CONTACTTRAFFICABOUT TOM VANDERBILTOTHER WRITING CONTACT ABOUT THE BOOK

Visionary Highway Film of the Week

Via BoingBoing, a few parts Norman Bel Geddes, add a dash of atomic utopianism, a twist of Broadacre City, and follow with a Wall-E chaser. Rather odd to see 1950s gender-work relations projected so far out into the future. But at least we’re finally getting the real-time traffic info!

[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google] [MySpace] [Slashdot] [StumbleUpon] [Yahoo!]

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 at 4:54 am and is filed under Etc.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

8 Responses to “Visionary Highway Film of the Week”

  1. Brian Weis Says:

    The truck train seem like a halfway decent idea, freight trains that can separate and go to individual places. But with a lot of the concepts shown there… can you imagine how fat we would get? Riding around on moving sidewalks and only having to walk 10 feet to the desk at work… But my personal favorite from the video? “On entering the city, the family separates. Father to his office, Mother and Son to the shopping center.”

  2. Rich Wilson Says:

    Interesting how everyone remains so skinny while sitting on their ass in a car all day long.

  3. John Says:

    One of your most interesting postings. Would I love to be able to go X-country at 160 MPH on something like what they showed– in a car not a train. A good solid 20 hour drive could get one from New York to California.

    Perhaps our density has betrayed this dream. Most of what they showed were “wide open spaces.”

  4. Alvin C. Says:

    Can the bridgemaking machine (2:15) really support itself on an arch with only one abutment?

  5. Jack Says:

    Aren’t these fantasies still shown at every DOT Christmas party? Highway escalators, nonstop farm-to-market cargo carriers, never any traffic, and “no driving responsibilities”- – so what went wrong?

  6. John Says:

    Jack–

    here’s what I think went wrong.

    Let’s say this film was made 50 years ago. As of 2009, the average posted speed has changed very little. Imagine if what they were showing, in all its glory, still only operated at limits of from 55 to 75 mph. We would not be satisfied. The film, throughout, uses the allusion of speed.

    How to get to limits of 150 mph? Bottom line, just like the fabled Autobahn, driver ability. Mr. Vanderbilt should give some press to the intriguing book American Autobahn, if he has not yet.

  7. Todd Scott Says:

    Perhaps one of the film’s biggest mistake is to assume significantly lower energy costs for construction, operation, and maintenance of these systems. That “atomic utopianism” call is spot on.

  8. Jack McCullough Says:

    I have a couple of thoughts. The first is to wonder how anyone would have been naive to watch this thing and think it could ever depict a plausible future reality.

    The second, though, is to think about how many of the ideas in the film have come to pass.
    Rear-view video cameras–check
    Dashboard displayed interactive maps–check
    Programmed travel routes–check
    People at work participating in conferences by “television”–check
    Ever-expanding commuting distances (and times)–check.

    We’re not there yet, and we pretty clearly never will be, but much of what we have now would have seemed like fantasy to us forty or fifty years ago.

Leave a Reply

Traffic Tom Vanderbilt

How We Drive is the companion blog to Tom Vanderbilt’s New York Times bestselling book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), published by Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S. and Canada, Penguin in the U.K, and in languages other than English by a number of other fine publishers worldwide.

Please send tips, news, research papers, links, photos (bad road signs, outrageous bumper stickers, spectacularly awful acts of driving or parking or anything traffic-related), or ideas for my Slate.com Transport column to me at: info@howwedrive.com.

For publicity inquiries, please contact Kate Runde at Vintage: krunde@randomhouse.com.

For editorial inquiries, please contact Zoe Pagnamenta at The Zoe Pagnamenta Agency: zoe@zpagency.com.

For speaking engagement inquiries, please contact
Kim Thornton at the Random House Speakers Bureau: rhspeakers@randomhouse.com.

Order Traffic from:

Amazon | B&N | Borders
Random House | Powell’s

[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google] [MySpace] [Slashdot] [StumbleUpon] [Yahoo!]
U.S. Paperback UK Paperback
Traffic UK
Drive-on-the-left types can order the book from Amazon.co.uk.

For UK publicity enquiries please contact Rosie Glaisher at Penguin.

Upcoming Talks

April 9, 2008.
California Office of Traffic Safety Summit
San Francisco, CA.

May 19, 2009
University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies
Bloomington, MN

June 23, 2009
Driving Assessment 2009
Big Sky, Montana

June 26, 2009
PRI World Congress
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

June 27, 2009
Day of Architecture
Utrecht, The Netherlands

July 13, 2009
Association of Transportation Safety Information Professionals (ATSIP)
Phoenix, AZ.

August 12-14
Texas Department of Transportation “Save a Life Summit”
San Antonio, Texas

September 2, 2009
Governors Highway Safety Association Annual Meeting
Savannah, Georgia

September 11, 2009
Oregon Transportation Summit
Portland, Oregon

October 8
Honda R&D Americas
Raymond, Ohio

October 10-11
INFORMS Roundtable
San Diego, CA

October 21, 2009
California State University-San Bernardino, Leonard Transportation Center
San Bernardino, CA

November 5
Southern New England Planning Association Planning Conference
Uncasville, Connecticut

January 6
Texas Transportation Forum
Austin, TX

January 19
Yale University
(with Donald Shoup; details to come)

Monday, February 22
Yale University School of Architecture
Eero Saarinen Lecture

Friday, March 19
University of Delaware
Delaware Center for Transportation

April 5-7
University of Utah
Salt Lake City
McMurrin Lectureship

April 19
International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (Organization Management Workshop)
Austin, Texas

Monday, April 26
Edmonton Traffic Safety Conference
Edmonton, Canada

Monday, June 7
Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals
Niagara Falls, Ontario

Wednesday, July 6
Fondo de Prevención Vial
Bogotá, Colombia

Tuesday, August 31
Royal Automobile Club
Perth, Australia

Wednesday, September 1
Australasian Road Safety Conference
Canberra, Australia

Wednesday, September 22

Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s
Traffic Incident Management Enhancement Program
Statewide Conference
Wisconsin Dells, WI

Wednesday, October 20
Rutgers University
Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation
Piscataway, NJ

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre
Injury Prevention Forum
Toronto

Monday, May 2
Idaho Public Driver Education Conference
Boise, Idaho

Tuesday, June 2, 2011
California Association of Cities
Costa Mesa, California

Sunday, August 21, 2011
American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Attitudes: Iniciativa Social de Audi
Madrid, Spain

April 16, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Gardens Theatre, QUT
Brisbane, Australia

April 17, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Centennial Plaza, Sydney
Sydney, Australia

April 19, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Melbourne Town Hall
Melbourne, Australia

January 30, 2013
University of Minnesota City Engineers Association Meeting
Minneapolis, MN

January 31, 2013
Metropolis and Mobile Life
School of Architecture, University of Toronto

February 22, 2013
ISL Engineering
Edmonton, Canada

March 1, 2013
Australian Road Summit
Melbourne, Australia

May 8, 2013
New York State Association of
Transportation Engineers
Rochester, NY

August 18, 2013
BoingBoing.com “Ingenuity” Conference
San Francisco, CA

September 26, 2013
TransComm 2013
(Meeting of American Association
of State Highway and Transportation
Officials’ Subcommittee on Transportation
Communications.
Grand Rapids MI

 

 

[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google] [MySpace] [Slashdot] [StumbleUpon] [Yahoo!]
Twitter
December 2009
M T W T F S S
« Nov   Jan »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031