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What lessons can America learn from the rest of the world . . .?

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  • eric britton
    Dear World Friends (you will see why this opening in a minute), As a least some of you know there is a rather interesting project going on under the leadership
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 15, 2009

      Dear World Friends (you will see why this opening in a minute),

       

      As a least some of you know there is a rather interesting project going on under the leadership of something called the National Journal in Washington, DC, where they have created an expert blog in which they've invited a couple dozen "transportation insiders" (in their words) in order to provide counseling guidelines to be transportation team of the incoming Obama administration.  You can see all about it at http://transportation.nationaljournal.com.

       

      The idea is that each week the editors are asking the expert panel to respond to a question in the hope that some interesting ideas will appear there and make their way into the discussions and considerations of the incoming team at the Department of Transportation. The question that will be posted over this weekend will be the following:

       

      “What lessons can America learn from the rest of the world in terms of transportation developments that are safe, efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable?

       

      “We Americans often think of ourselves as sitting at the very top of the social, economic, technological, entertainment, and political pyramid.  After all, we invented human flight, the Super Bowl, the Interstate Highway , the transcontinental railroad, and Rock ‘n’ Roll.  But perhaps we’re not as advanced as we like to think.  Perhaps innovations in transportation , land use, and energy consumption are much more evenly distributed around the world than we ever thought possible.  Indeed, perhaps America is closer to the middle or bottom of the pyramid when it comes to transportation investments.  What lessons can America learn from the rest of the world in terms of transportation developments that are safe, efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable?”

       

      Since they originally invited me to join this panel, I guess in part because they think I have something to say from an international perspective, I have had a bit of a role in getting this question onto the agenda.  As those of you who know me can well imagine, I think I have something to say on this . . . however I think I have an even better idea than that, so let me share it with you.

       

      Specifically, I would like to you the chance to respond to this question terms of the following routine, if you agree:

       

      1.     Please address one and only one idea or topic either to me privately via eric.britton@..., or if you feel it will be of interest to the group as a whole to the New Mobility Café at NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com  (if you do this, kindly conserve the above Subject line).

       

      2.     Kindly make your point in less than 250 words.

       

      3.     Sign it in a succinct matter with your name, institutional affiliation, country, and e-mail.

       

      4.     Allow me to edit it on the understanding that I will not denature your commentary.

       

      While we don't have a lot of time for this, I for one will be extremely interested to see what kind of compilation we can make of this if we put our heads together.  I just have to think that it's going to be frightfully interesting.  And I'm sure it will tell the reader almost as much about ourselves as it does about the ideas we are addressing.  As far as I'm concerned that's okay too.  After all the solo transportation is people.

       

      Let's see what happens now.

       

      Eric Britton

       

       

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