Archive for June 19th, 2009

Traffic Safety Film of the Week

In an English mood lately, this one features none other than Darth Vader — e.g., David Prowse (and ironically, there’s an R2D2 ripoff). That kid in the second film looks a bit to me like an older version of “Danny” in The Shining.

Posted on Friday, June 19th, 2009 at 4:26 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Update on ‘Barrel Monster’

When I posted the above photo before, I didn’t quite realize what a cause celebre the ‘Barrel Monster’ had become.

From the Raleigh News-Observer:

In the week since Joseph Carnevale, a student at N.C. State University, was arrested June 10, both he and the Barrel Monster have attracted attention from around the country, and even the world.

The monster’s image was broadcast on national television networks Thursday amid coverage of the mass street demonstrations in Iran to protest the disputed election there. An interview with Carnevale aired that afternoon on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” a national radio program.

Nearly 3,000 people have joined a page on Facebook, the social networking site, urging Wake prosecutors to drop the charges. The Barrel Monster, which was created under Carnevale’s nom d’art, Uliveandyouburn, has hundreds of Internet admirers, some from as far away as Brazil and South Korea. The page includes a doctored photograph showing the monster standing in for Jack Ruby as the killer of President John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, in an iconic image.

Carnevale may have tapped into a growth industry:

At Hamlett Associates, the company that owned the barrels, staff members have repeatedly said they never wanted to press charges. Instead, they’d like to have a Barrel Monster of their own to display either at their Guilford County office or at a job site.

Steven Hussey, the company’s president, said he has turned down offers from Barrel Monster supporters who have called the company offering to repay him the less than $400 in barrels it took to create the statue. Send the money to charity instead, Hussey tells them.

“For a small amount of money, we got a ton of publicity,” Hussey said.

Perhaps the NYC DOT could erect a few at the gates of the newly closed section of Broadway at Times Square?

(thanks Daniel)

Posted on Friday, June 19th, 2009 at 2:03 pm by: Tom Vanderbilt
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Powered by Heineken

This one’s from Amsterdam, but apparently they’re sweeping Europe: The Beer Bike!

UPDATE: As the commenter below notes, these are available in Minneapolis, including for “team-building” events and conventions. My first question is why the streets of D.C. weren’t filled with these paragons of vehicular awesomeness during the last TRB? What better way to enliven a dreary transpo conference than these mobile watering holes!

(thanks Dan)

Posted on Friday, June 19th, 2009 at 7:10 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
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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:

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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



June 2009

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