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HUD has tried to paint a picture nationwide that they are out there providing all the money and tools and administrative context, and the local agencies just aren’t getting it done.That’s sort of the perception they’ll try to sell to you, and I don’t think that’s accurate.

Richmond CA Mayor Tom Butt, San Francisco Chronicle

Category Archives: Blog

August 23, 2017
Transitioning The Direct Transfer and Your Role

Each day for The Direct Transfer I put together a list of the articles I think are most interesting about transportation and urban planning in cities. It usually takes me about six hours to put these together, first searching for articles through methods I’ve developed over the last ten years, sorting them based on topics, […]

March 9, 2016
February 1, 2016
Hey RSS Readers of The Direct Transfer!

Dear Loyal RSS Readers: First of all, I want to thank you all for reading and supporting The Direct Transfer Daily (and its various incarnations…) for almost 10 years. I also want to give a big shout out to those of you that responded and donated to Patreon (crowdsourcing site) to help fund the service. […]

June 15, 2015
Become a Patron of The Overhead Wire and The Direct Transfer Daily

Hey All! Thanks for keeping up with The Overhead Wire and The Direct Transfer in your RSS feeds or by checking back in to the website.  Many of you are using the RSS instead of getting the daily email and that’s awesome.  As many of you know, for nine years I’ve put together The Direct […]

June 3, 2015
The Next Big Tech Hub?

With the tech-driven growth that many places have seen, cities all over the US are trying to become the next big tech hub. Cities are trying to woo developers, incentivize start-up development, or become the next city with Google Fiber. However, Chattanooga, with its superfast fiber-optic broadband network, knows that high speed Internet isn’t the […]

May 11, 2015
Building Livable Cities for Our Aging Population

Cities, for the most part, are built for the young and the mobile. For the elderly, cities can be hostile environments. Walk signals don’t last long enough for them to make it through the crosswalk, pavements are uneven, and lighting is insufficient. This is an urgent problem that will need to be addressed. By 2030, […]

April 29, 2015
How Two-Way Streets Can Improve Cities

To improve the livability of neighborhoods, cities often turn to methods like building bike and pedestrian infrastructure or adding trees. However, one of the easiest and most affordable ways to improve cities might be to simply get rid of one-way streets. One-way streets became prevalent when cars were being introduced to the American public, as […]

April 19, 2015
San Francisco’s New Luxury Bus Service

There’s a new private service in San Francisco offering luxury bus rides to downtown from a few select neighborhoods. For $6 each way, Leap buses have free wifi, usb ports, and sell coffee and fresh juice on board during commutes. Leap is just one of a slew of new startups that are providing luxury or […]

April 9, 2015
City Building Games Can Help Illuminate Planning Issues

For those who are fans of the SimCity games, there’s a new game that’s taken the city building genre by storm. Cities: Skylines, by the Finnish game development company Colossal Order, was released last month, and it’s quickly become one of the top city building games. While there’s nothing in particular that’s is completely new […]

April 2, 2015
A List of April Fools’ Articles

St. Louis Ballot Initiative Would Break City Into 42 Municipalities, nextSTL Code Free Zones Proposed by FEMA, Restless Urbanist DC Mayor Muriel Bowser Announces New “Funiculator” Initiative, Greater Greater Washington Bridge Reconstruction Just April Fools’ Joke, City Says, Streets.MN US Government Announces Campaign to Save Historically Bad Places, Project for Public Spaces SF Mayor Ed […]

April 1, 2015
Egypt’s Plan for a New, Purpose-Built Capital

Egypt’s housing minister Mostafa Madbouly has announced a plan to build a completely new capital city, possibly as soon as within seven years. Cairo, which has a population of 20 million residents and is expected to continue growing, is overpopulated and polluted. The new city is expected to help alleviate some of that congestion and […]

March 24, 2015
The Cost of Street Parking Spaces

Cities are adding bicycle lanes to streets with heavy bike traffic as a means of improving safety, but the process is constantly being hindered by strong opposition from the businesses along the streets where the lanes are proposed. Most small businesses with street parking spots are reluctant to give them up for parking lanes out […]

March 17, 2015
How Accurate, Accessible Arrival Info Can Affect Ridership

The US continued its trend of increasing transit ridership last year, despite the dramatic drop in gas prices. While numbers varied widely across cities, the total number of transit trips in the country increased by 1% relative to 2013. Some of the increases in ridership were attributed to growths in transit service, while others were […]

March 10, 2015
How Self Driving Cars Will Change Our Cities

Self-driving cars are getting a lot of publicity–and for good reason. Some think that driverless cars will completely reshape our cityscapes. With fewer traffic accidents due to human error, autonomous vehicles would change the car repair and insurance industries. Ride-hailing companies like Uber and car-share companies like Zipcar could be transformed. One of the biggest […]

March 4, 2015
Do Buses Have an Image Problem?

More often than not, transit agencies in the US will choose to develop rail service where public transit is needed, even though a bus service would be far more affordable while providing a similar level of service. The reason, according to a 2009 Federal Transit Administration report, is that bus service in the United States […]

February 25, 2015
The Problematic Rapid Development of China

China has become one of the world’s largest economies in only a couple short decades. While the country’s average growth has slowed–its GDP grew by only 7.4% last year–it has established its place as a global economic superpower and will most likely maintain its ranking with a formidable economy estimated to be at $11.3 trillion […]

February 19, 2015
Changing the Dialogue Around Biking

Bike culture has seen a huge resurgence in the US over the last decade, and this has led to a growth in bike infrastructure as well as increasing concern surrounding bike safety. Bike safety has become a growing issue not only in discussions amongst bike advocates, but also in all levels of urban policy. Last […]

February 16, 2015
Regulating the Sharing Economy

Services like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb have revolutionized private taxis and temporary housing rentals. At the same time, these large-scale sharing economy services are in their infancy, and legislators often disagree about whether or not to regulate them, and if they do, how to regulate them. Many cities, like New York, are concerned about the […]

February 11, 2015
How Technology Transforms Planning

Tech is transforming everything, and urban planning hasn’t been overlooked. Uber recently offered to share its private trip data starting with the city of Boston, and this, as well as other private data, has some big implications for traffic planning. Private car data can be lifted from phones, taxis, sensors, and cameras. It can elucidate […]

February 10, 2015
The Only Thing That Will Fix a Housing Shortage Is More Housing

A shortage of affordable housing has been a huge problem for urban areas, and a recent pair of charts from Trulia’s chief economist really highlights a big issue with housing development in the US. For the past few years, housing development has grown the most in suburbs and less in urban areas, but the price […]

February 5, 2015
The Many Reasons for the Decline In Car Culture

Car culture seems to be declining worldwide, and urbanization and technology may play a big part in that. Millennials are more willing to live in cities and stay there rather than move to suburbs, unlike the previous generation. This means that they’re less likely to own cars and more likely to take public transit, walk, […]

February 2, 2015
The Role of Mayors In Transportation Planning

Last week, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the “Mayors Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets.” Foxx, who was the mayor of Charlotte from 2009 to 2013, urges mayors to make pedestrian and bike safety a priority for the next year. While road deaths in other categories have dropped over the last few years, the […]

January 28, 2015
How Should The Government Fix Affordable Housing?

Many American cities are experiencing a shortage of affordable housing. It’s a big problem that needs to be addressed, but there’s little consensus about how to address it. Add to that the NIMBY attitude that many people seem to hold toward affordable housing projects, and we’re looking at a problem that is both complex and […]

January 26, 2015
The Debate Over Whether Gentrification Exists

Gentrification is most commonly debated about in the sense that people disagree on how to counter its negative effects. However, there are also some who debate whether gentrification is actually harmful at all. Some people think it’s is one of the biggest urban issues in the developed world, some acknowledge that it’s not good but […]

January 22, 2015
The Benefits of Shared Mobility

It’s pretty widely acknowledged that America’s driving boom is over. The average VMT per person in the US has remained stagnant or declined since 2004, and even the Federal Highway Administration’s most recent projections predict future driving levels to remain fairly even. However, the US decline in driving may have begun far earlier than we […]


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