People and Cars

I just wanted to post two simple facts.  Everybody should think about these two facts in the Metro Region.
  1. Fully 79% of Metro riders own cars.
  2. During peak travel times, the average car rider takes up 25 times the amount of space on the road as the average bus rider.
Generally, from behavioral analysis I already knew that most SOV’s had drivers that where unknowingly, or sometimes knowingly, being rude, discourteous, and greedy by the mere operation of a motor vehicle.  Most people don’t think through their actions in completeness, especially since most of the repercussions of one driving are obfuscated by corporate and Government encouragement.
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Bing Maps Catches up ~5 Years After Google Enabled…

…the urban transit lifestyle through Google Maps.  Google and TriMet, the first to pair up and develop some standards and get transit systems on maps, finally have an urban competitor in the online mapping space.  Bing finally offers transit directions in…  well I’m not sure all of the areas they offer directions, but I know they cover Seattle now.  I’m happy, but at this point Microsoft lost me years ago with their suburban centered, not so feature packed maps.  Google on the other hand has pushed the envelope for years.

Which leaves me the question, how could Microsoft even gain my interest at this point in the mapping field?  In the clean urban lifestyle field?

  • Microsoft now has transit on the maps, using of course the transit information that originated from Google and TriMet’s work years ago.
  • Microsoft provided transit to their campus from downtown Seattle, even though they’re mostly suburban focused still.  Google did this in San Francisco years before Microsoft did.  I do however, applaud both in these efforts!
  • Microsoft does have alternative campus locations in Westlake in Seattle, and Lincoln Center in Bellevue which are great urban campuses.  However, many of the people who would like to work in these offices are still stuck traveling out to the suburbs.

This also leads me to one of the other questions I have pondered a lot lately.  I wonder how many candidates Microsoft loses because they are young and want to live where the startups, the fun, the action, the music, and the art are?  Because those things sure aren’t out on the Redmond, that’s pretty much downtown Seattle, Fremont, or Ballard area.  The mixed zoned, city center oriented, transit friendly areas.  Does anyone know these statistics?  Does anyone have a wild guess?

Overall, I’m not really complaining.  It is awesome that Microsoft finally got on the bandwagon.  I also realize that the corporate powers slowly but surely realize that they need a LOT MORE presence in urban centers in San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and other tech heavy cities.  These are the cities that are starting to show the future trend path of the youth.  These cities are the ones that are showing the rest of the country how to get its act together.  I just hope that these corporate leaders didn’t realize to late to stave off ill will and bad effects.