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Public Transportation

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  1. 9.2 hrs • 10/1/2015 • Unabridged

    In this clear and erudite presentation of the principles of smart transportation and sustainable urban planning, Samuel Schwartz uncovers how American cities became so beholden to cars and why the current shift away from that trend will forever alter America’s urban landscape. On a Saturday morning in December 1973, a section of New York’s West Side Highway collapsed under the weight of a truck full of asphalt. The road was closed, seemingly for good, and the 80,000 cars that traveled it each day had to find a new way to their destinations. It ought to have produced traffic chaos, but it didn’t. The cars simply vanished. It was a moment of revelation: the highway had induced the demand for car travel. It was a classic case of “Build it and they will come,” but for the first time the opposite had been shown to be true: “Knock it down and they will go away.” Samuel Schwartz was inspired by the lesson. He started to reimagine cities, most of all his beloved New York, freed from their obligation to cars. Eventually he found he was not alone. Since the turn of the twenty-first century, a surreptitious revolution has taken place: every year Americans are driving fewer miles. And the generation named for this new century—the millennials—are driving least of all. Not because they can’t afford to; they don’t want to; they have better ideas for how to use their streets. An urban transformation is underway, and smart streets are at the heart of it. They will boost property prices and personal fitness, roll back years of congestion and smog, and offer a transformative experience of American urban life. From San Francisco to Salt Lake, Charleston to Houston, the American city is becoming a better and better place to be. Schwartz’s Street Smart is a dazzling and affectionate history of the struggle for control of American cities, and an inspiring off-road map to a more vibrant, active, and vigorous urban future.

    Available Formats: Download, CD, MP3 CD
    Street Smart by Samuel I. Schwartz

    Street Smart

    By Samuel I. Schwartz, with William Rosen
    Read by Don Hagen
    9.2 hrs • 10/1/15 • Unabridged
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    Also: CD, MP3 CD
  2. 15.4 hrs • 2/4/2014 • Unabridged

    In the late nineteenth century, as cities like Boston and New York grew more congested, the streets became clogged with plodding, horse-drawn carts. When the great blizzard of 1888 crippled the entire northeast, a solution had to be found. Two brothers from one of the nation’s great families—Henry Melville Whitney of Boston and William Collins Whitney of New York—pursued the dream of his city digging America’s first subway, and the great race was on. The competition between Boston and New York played out in an era not unlike our own, one of economic upheaval, life-changing innovations, class warfare, bitter political tensions, and the question of America’s place in the world. The Race Underground is peopled with the famous, like Boss Tweed, Grover Cleveland, and Thomas Edison, and the not-so-famous, from brilliant engineers to the countless “sandhogs” who shoveled, hoisted, and blasted their way into the earth’s crust, sometimes losing their lives in the construction of the tunnels. Doug Most chronicles the science of the subway, looks at the centuries of fears people overcame about traveling underground, and tells a story as exciting as any ever ripped from the pages of US history. The Race Underground is a great American saga of two rival American cities, their rich, powerful, and sometimes corrupt interests, and an invention that changed the lives of millions. 

    Available Formats: Download

    The Race Underground

    15.4 hrs • 2/4/14 • Unabridged
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