TRB Annual Meeting 2016

TRB Annual Meeting 2016

Here are my presentations and papers at the TRB Annual Meeting – Sunday 10 January -to- Thursday 14 January 2016:

  • Repurposing Travel Lanes for Multimodal Projects – Workshop 114 – Analyze This! What Planners Want to Know; Andy Nash, Green City Streets with Natalie Stiffler, City of Boulder. The workshop considers three problems, our problem considers the evaluation of and communications about the potential congestion impacts of sidewalk widening, bike lane, and transit lane projects. We’ll use Boulder’s Folsom Street project as a case study and try to develop strategies for improve the evaluation of these projects and communications about congestion. Sunday 10 January – 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM, Convention Center, 140A.
  • Enhanced Resource Conflict Graph Rescheduling Model for Freight Rail Traffic: Introducing Energy Saving; Toletti, Ambra, Valerio De Martinis, Ulrich Weidmann and Andrew Nash; Monday -1:30 PM- 3:15 PM – Session 367 – Current Research on Freight Rail Transportation, Convention Center, 149.
  • Tram Safety in Mixed Traffic: Best Practices from Switzerland; Improving Light Rail Through Operational and Safety Analysis – Marti, Christian, Jonas Kupferschmid, Michael Schwertner, Andrew Nash, and Ulrich Weidmann;  Monday – 7:30 PM- 9:30 PM – Session 470 – Convention Center, 143A.
  • Banedanmark TMS: ETCS as the foundation for attractive and efficient railway service; Nash, Andrew; Tuesday – 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Intercity Passenger Rail Committee, Marriott Marquis, Capitol (M4).
  • Evaluation of Freight Train Energy-Saving Potential Using Onboard Monitoring Data; De Martinis, Valerio, Ulrich Weidmann, Andrew Nash; Tuesday – 10:15 AM- 12:00 PM – Session 576 – Energy Efficiency Technologies for Rail Transportation – Convention Center, 147B.
  • Ring Ride – Ringstrasse 150 Project; Honourable Mention Award: Communicating with John and Jane Q. Public Contest 2016; Nash, Andrew; Tuesday – 10:45 AM- 12:30 PM – Session 585 – Public Involvement; Convention Center, Hall E.

Hope to see you there!

Google Transit and Vienna

Google Transit and Vienna

Yesterday’s Gov Camp Vienna 2015 was another in their great series of un-conferences held on civic applications and open data to improve government in Vienna (Austria). Vienna has done a great job opening data sets (German) and encouraging the development of apps and other open government projects.

However, one big problem in Vienna is that the city’s public transport agency (WienerLinien) does not yet provide data in the GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification). Consequently, when you search for transit directions in Vienna using Google Maps, you’ll be directed to some crazy trips.

**UPDATE** The Wiener Linien now provides data in GTFS and so the problems reported below no longer exist. Good news for public transport users in Vienna!

Why? Because the Austrian Railway DOES put their data in GTFS! So Google Transit sends you on convoluted train trips through the city when you just need to go two Metro stops. You get sent walking to a railway station, boarding an infrequent train, and walking back from a railway station to your destination.

For some reason – unlike most major public transport operators! – the Wiener Linien has not seen fit to provide their data in GTFS format. Of course they do have their own nice public transport application called qando (rated 3 stars on iTunes and 4 stars on Android). But how many of our millions of tourists know about it? And, why download it for a short visit to Vienna?

And … not providing open data in the accepted standard formats hurts Vienna’s application development community by forcing them to develop unique code for Vienna.

In short, no one wins with the Wiener Linien’s short sighted data policy.

Ringstrasse150 Project Launch

Ringstrasse150 Project Launch

We’re excited to be launching the Ringstrasse150 – Ring Ride project. The project consists of a website with information on improving walking and cycling in Vienna and a mobile phone game designed to increase engagement by linking to the website in the game results screen. The website is available here:


We’ll be working on the website in the next few days to finish the German version and improve the content.

The Ring Ride game is available for Android from the Play Store:

Ring Ride Game for Android

The iOS version will be available as soon as it it approved by Apple.

We have rethought the project since our original idea for a website that would include mapping of improvement ideas. Instead the website now focuses on being a “one stop shop” for presenting information about how to improve walking and cycling in a city – in our case Vienna’s Ringstrasse. We’ll add learning elements to the website later. The main reason we decided not to include improvement mapping is that many cities already have these websites (including Vienna), so we’ll focus on trying to get people to use these existing websites.

If this project is successful similar websites could be developed for other cities following the same model. Here’s more information about the project and what we hope to achieve.

The goal is to increase support for walking and cycling improvements by creating a game (Ring Ride) that will introduce new people to organisations, activities, ideas and resources for walking and cycling in their cities.

Contact us if you want more information.

Janes Walk Vienna Grinzing

Janes Walk Vienna Grinzing

Vienna and Vineyards from Krapfenwaldgasse Wien 1019

Vienna and Vineyards from Krapfenwaldgasse – Grinzing

I’m leading a walking tour from Cobenzl to Grinzing on May 2, 2014, as part of the worldwide Jane’s Walk weekend. Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) was an urbanist and activist whose writings championed a fresh, community-based approach to city building. Her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities is required reading for anyone interested in city planning and how cities work.

The walk will start at Wiener Linien bus 38A stop in the Cobenzl parking lot. We’ll walk down the Oberer Reisenbergweg into the centre of Grinzing, head up to the Krapfenwaldgasse (see the view above). Along the way we’ll talk about history, wine in Vienna and Grinzing.

At the end of the walk we’ll stop for a glass of wine and some Heurige food at Jutta Ambrositsch’s Buschenschank in Residence. If you’d like to take the walk by yourself contact me and I can send you my notes for the tour.

Vienna – Glacis Beisl

Glacis Beisl Vienna - entrance on a winter night.

Glacis Beisl Vienna – entrance on a winter night.

The Glacis Beisl is one of my favorite restaurants in Vienna. Located in the MuseumsQuartier, it’s a very comfortable place with a great garden in the summertime.

The room is large and comfortable. It’s no smoking (inside) and the noise levels are fairly low.

They give you the option of having linen tablecloth and napkins, bread and a spread (Gedeck, cover charge in English) or not. This is really a nice feature and makes the restaurant good for both formal and informal dining. You should specify which you want when you make a reservation (or come into the restaurant).

The service has been very good every time I have visited. The staff are nice, speak English and are helpful with menu choices. The menu itself has an English translation on the last page.

The food is excellent. Whether you want traditional dishes like Wiener Schnitzel or Tafelspitz, or more creative cooking. Their food comes from good sources, local and often organic. The bread is from Joseph Brot (a local bakery) and is fantastic. They have a changing menu and standards. Like many Viennese restaurants they have a daily lunch special including a main course and soup.

The wine list features many very good Austrian wines by the glass and bottle. This is a nice place to experience Austrian wines. They feature a rotating winery of the month. The beer is good (Eggenberger and Budweiser from Czech Republic).

We love to take visitors to the Glacis Beisl to taste excellent Austrian food at a reasonable price.

Vienna – 1500 Foodmakers

Table reservation card at 1500 Foodmakers in Vienna.

Table reservation card at 1500 Foodmakers in Vienna.

On New Years Day we tried the restaurant 1500 Foodmakers located in the 25 Hours Hotel in Vienna. We reserved and found the sign in the photo waiting for us on a nice table.

The restaurant is very comfortable. Tables are big and well spaced. The music is good, you can hear it but it’s not disturbingly loud. It’s possible to have a nice conversation. It’s no smoking!

The staff were excellent. Very friendly and accommodating.

The food was very good. Generally simple dishes, but with a hint of complexity. We had 4 pizzas and a salad. All were very good. The menu also featured some pastas and interesting dishes. There was a nice basket of “pizza bread” with olive oil and salt waiting on the table (no charge). Much of the food seems to be sourced locally or at least with quality in mind.

The wine list is very nice with lots of good Austrian and international wines. We had a very nice Merlot for 25 Euro a bottle.

In the summer they have a converted Airstream Trailer outside where they cook hamburgers with picnic tables. We’ll certainly be back!

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