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Unfortunately, their launch didn't go so well and some people are losing significant portions of their cities (and other problems). At least Cube hasn't done that to me! On the thought of it being a decent modeling engine, they may have used one of the old NCHRP or NHTS reports and do a basic four-step model. I'd trust Sim City to do that right until I can start putting in variable-priced HOT lanes. :-)
If you can't get signatures electronically, how are you supposed to get the reach that you currently have? Even though I'm a member of ITE, I've never been to an ITE function because I do transportation forecasting and I rarely see anything from ITE related to forecasting. So to get my signature, you'd have to show up at the TRB Annual Meeting or the TRB Planning Applications Conference. This is not only an issue of you not being able to be on the ballot for an ITE office, this is also about making it difficult for some ITE members to be able to sign those petitions. Anyway, hopefully ITE jumps into the 21st century, because the restrictions in the first paragraph are a bit pathetic.
It is a shame that the airline industry has abused their customers so much that these protections are needed in the first place. Unfortunately, the options for long distance travel (particularly for business travelers) are limited. Amtrack tends to take 2-3 times as long as driving, leaves at odd hours, and doesn't run on a daily basis. Driving isn't normally an option for business travelers (a 250 mile round-trip using the standard IRS rate for 2010 is over $250, so you start to eclipse the cost of an airline ticket pretty quick). Better options (high speed rail, perhaps) are severely needed.
The real shame in all this is that it is probably very difficult to enforce these bans. If the average driver were responsible enough to not talk or text while driving (recognizing the fact that these actions are unsafe), we wouldn't need to have the bans in the first place.
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Jan 29, 2010