Archive for March, 2010

Supply, Demand, and Migration

In comments to yesterday’s post, my friend David Schleicher noted: Ryan — you should pair this with the lists on which cities have seen year-on-year increases in property values. The in-flow data is interesting all on its own (thanks for blogging it!), but it doesn’t paint a full demand-side picture without price. If supply was […]

A Funny List

Lexington posts a note on recent census estimates which reminds me to take a look at top metropolitan areas in terms of net domestic — internal — migration, from 2008 to 2009. It’s a really interesting list. Here are the top 20, in order, with growth totals from 2008 and 2009: Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 37,158 […]

Who Needs This Goose and its Golden Eggs?

Let me just make one more point concerning Metro and its funding shortage. Currently, the plan seems to be to hike fares and reduce service. This will seriously degrade the rider experience on and the utility of Metro. Since it will encourage current riders to start driving, it will also degrade the experience on roads. […]

The Rich City

It’s also worth pointing out that smartphones and their apps are making being in and getting around a city increasingly easy and enjoyable. It could be that these apps are most effective in cities, or it could merely be that the early adopters are located most densely in big cities. Either way, smartphones make the […]

Opportunity Costs

Over the weekend, Steve Waldman tweeted at me: iphones & public transit: i’ve found smartphones increase the opportunity cost of driving, tilt toward public trans. just me? Smart, internet connected devices of all sorts have significantly reduced the pain of what were previously dead times — sitting on the train, waiting in the airport terminal, […]

Money, cont.

On the subject of congestion pricing and regressivity, consider this: Metro’s proposal to raise fares would disproportionately affect commuters who depend on bus transportation and are least able to pay, according to outraged bus riders whose complaints are backed by Metro data. Rail passengers, who face a 15 percent increase in fares, have a median […]


The big obstacle to passing a new, comprehensive transportation bill is the lack of agreement over a source of financing. The traditional source of funding for federal transportation programs is the gas tax, which, as we all know, hasn’t been increased since 1993, which means its real value has fallen considerably. And, it seems to […]

The Illusion of Affordability

One (though by no means the only) way to think about housing is as a means to access a set of economic opportunities. When you buy or rent a house in a particular city, you are buying or renting access to the labour market and cultural and consumption amenities located there. To get access to […]


Hm: The EN-V’s maximum speed of only 40 kilometers per hour (24 mph) — even now city roads average only 20 kilometers per hour (12 mph) and often less — and other high-tech features reduce the need for heavy, high-stress steel, bumpers, air bags and crumple zones, says Albano. Apart from its diminutive size and […]

More Population Notes

A commenter notes that Pittsburgh enjoyed net domestic in-migration in 2009, for the first time in ages. Philadelphia didn’t quite manage that, but it did manage net population growth.