On the Road Again

Some stalwart readers have been asking about my extended absences here. The primary reason is I’ve now got another book to do, and, as fate would have it, it has precisely nothing to do with transportation (not that I don’t hope you’ll follow me along for this particular ride). Nor is it a young-adult series about a group of kraken living semi-clandestinely in suburbia. Nor a dog memoir (though for the right price I might be lured out of retirement for a cat memoir; working title There’s Only You and Me and We Just Disagree).

Which is not to say I’ve been idle in the realm of transportation. In a few weeks Slate will run my multi-part series that looks at walking as a ‘lost mode’ of transportation. I’m also just finishing a big feature for the February Wired which looks at autonomous vehicles (as per photo above), including Google’s fleet, which I was lucky enough to ride in recently. And there’s many other things; e.g., I’ll be doing a transport seminar at Australia’s Institute for Sensible Transport.

What else? I’ve become a “micro-columnist” for the New York Times Magazine. I’ve also been biking more recently. And Twittering. And sometimes Twittering about biking.

This entry was posted on Monday, December 5th, 2011 at 8:19 am and is filed under Book News. 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.

11 Responses to “On the Road Again”

  1. Colin Says:

    I’d love to know how the google autonomous vehicle interacts with cyclists. If it truly respects road rules rather than driving norms it could be a great boon for cycling. A cyclist could ride in the centre of the lane, even at slow speed, without fear of ignorant road-raging drivers.

  2. Michael Says:

    I would definitely read a series of about a group of kraken living semi-clandestinely in suburbia. Young adult or not. You should consider it!

  3. Dan Miller Says:

    Hope you’ll post links to the Slate series and other stuff as it becomes available–I don’t want to miss it!

  4. Robert Hurst Says:


    I think you may enjoy a micro-blog on energy, transportation (especially bikes) and kraken.

    Watch out for those oblivious drivers.


  5. gpsman Says:

    Well, I, for one, would be disappointed to find you here very often. I would hope you have higher priorities than “blogging” which, of course you do.

    If you’re biking in traffic I’d be interested in reading somewhere how you reconcile that with what you know about “drivers” and “driving”.

    “Traffic” is an excellent read, and reference. I keep it handy and refer to it every week.

  6. JamesR Says:

    You’re on Strava? Awesome. Do you ever get out across the George Washington Bridge to Route 9W for any riding?

    Looking forward to hearing more about the new book.

  7. george cordutsky Says:


    I can’t wait for your new book. The title sounds interesting.
    I lent out ‘Traffic’ [Twice read including footnotes] to somebody who did not return it and I don’t remember their name. Please finish the book so I could have something interesting to read.

    Most of my errands are completed by foot:
    Library, haircutter, dentist, groceries, beer&wine, post office, bank, bar, Home and Office Depot, Lowes, Radio Shack, Baynesville Electronics, opticians, drugstore, cardshop, bikeshop and a host of fast food places. Most places are a 40 to 70 minute round trip. If I am rushed for time I do a ‘time trial’ on the bike.

    I live in and older subburb as a matter of choice.

    I have had some interesting encounters with below-average motorists. Including the time I was yelled at while carrying 2- 1″x4″ 8′ pieces of lumber back from home depot. B.A.D thougth my lumber was hanging over the curb into the street. [It wasn’t but if it was it would have been easily avoidable. And if his car hit the wood at 30mph I would have got the worst of it.]

    Don’t get me started on crossing at a signalized intersection.

    Have a happy new year.


  8. Brian Ogilvie Says:

    I just turned on Jeopardy and saw you there. I hope you had a good time! (I’m posting this before the local station finishes the game, so I don’t know how you did.)

  9. Tippers Says:

    hope you’ll be soon posting here. Please tell us more about the book that you are writing.

  10. steve magas Says:

    Great to see you on the BIKE! Keep up the good work – just reposted your jaywalking article – as a math-major-turned-bikelawyer, the stats side of these arguments are always fascinating to me…

    Have fun!

    Steve Magas
    The Bike Lawyer

  11. Murray Says:

    Looking forward to seeing you in Australia soon. Now if only I can get my boss to pay for it…

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 Transport column to me at:

For publicity inquiries, please contact Kate Runde at Vintage:

For editorial inquiries, please contact Zoe Pagnamenta at The Zoe Pagnamenta Agency:

For speaking engagement inquiries, please contact
Kim Thornton at the Random House Speakers Bureau:

Order Traffic from:

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

U.S. Paperback UK Paperback
Traffic UK
Drive-on-the-left types can order the book from

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

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 “Ingenuity” Conference
San Francisco, CA

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



December 2011
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