There’s been a lot of handwringing by American lefties over the austerity plans that Germany is asking indebted eurozone governments like Italy and Greece to implement in exchange for bailouts, but many aspects of the plans – especially labor market deregulation – are long overdue no matter … [Read more...]
Cutting Costs On California HSR Doesn’t Have To Add Delays
Scrapping viaducts like this would make California HSR cheaper, faster to build, and easier to maintain, without a loss in quality The recent peer review report recommending that California delay construction on the first segment of its high-speed rail project has caused a bit of consternation in … [Read more...]
In Defense Of Land Reclamation: It Ain’t All Palm Islands!
Earlier today Urban Photo Blog tweeted earlier today a link to an article about Hong Kong’s latest land reclamation project, with an obviously sarcastic “because it worked so well in Dubai!” tacked on at the end. Not to pick on Urban Photo Blog – actually, his Twitter account is … [Read more...]
Freakonomics Quorum: Can Amtrak Ever Be Profitable?
Are America's private railroading glory days gone forever? The folks at Freakonomics have asked me to contribute to a “Quorum” on Amtrak and whether it can ever be profitable. Maybe I was a sucker, but it looks like I hewed closer to the question that some of the … [Read more...]
California HSR Review Panel Recommends Against $2.7 Billion Bond Issue
Enormous viaducts like this are one reason for the project's ballooning cost estimates Well, the other shoe has finally dropped: the California High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group is recommending that the state legislature not authorize the issue of $2.7 billion in bonds to begin paying for the … [Read more...]
Qatar’s Skyscraper Diplomacy
London’s Shard tower, soon to be the tallest in Europe, is, financially speaking, a bit puzzling. Europe is in the midst of an economic crisis, and London’s Southwark, across from the skyscraper-crazed City of London, is gentrifying, but not the safest place for a massive real estate … [Read more...]
The Lord Gave To NYC Tech Start-Ups And Universities, And The Lord Hath Taken Away
Stanford's (losing) vision for Roosevelt Island, with requisite acres of green Big news out of New York City: Stanford pulled out of Bloomberg’s applied sciences university “competition” after Cornell got an enormous donation, leaving the upstate university the front runner to … [Read more...]
The Central Park Caper And Transit NIMBYism
It has often been suggested that one of the reasons that American subway construction is so expensive is that our laws are too friendly to NIMBYs. That is to say, contractors will be paid to engineer expensive, long-term solutions to avoid short-term disruptions to neighbors during construction. The … [Read more...]