Ethan Finlan

Ethan Finlan is a writer and sketch comedian based in the Boston area.

“Bootleggers And Baptists”: When Community Activists Side With Nimbys

May 6, 2019

Activists who stop housing projects because they’re imperfect are basically siding with Nimbys who want to block housing altogether.

California Went Backwards On High Speed Rail

February 18, 2019

California HSR will only become a reality once it controls costs, installs value capture, and embraces incrementalism.

Can Congestion Pricing Ever Be Popular?

January 14, 2019

Some suggestions for how road tolling can grow more widely-accepted.

How To Replace Boston’s Logan Airport

December 6, 2018

Closing the hub is not some pie-in-the-sky proposition. The lost capacity could be made up for elsewhere in metro Boston.

Can Microtransit Serve As A Public Provider?

December 3, 2018

There has been some criticism of microtransit. Here I dissect the different points.

Boise And Omaha As The Dense U.S. Metros Of Tomorrow?

November 26, 2018

The silver lining to coastal Nimbyism is that inland cities will get their shot at producing dense urbanism.

The Case for Closing Boston’s Logan Airport

November 18, 2018

Having an active airport next to a downtown area that’s ready to densify has proven incompatible.

Can Competition Save American Passenger Rail?

October 29, 2018

If the U.S. really wants to look to Europe for transit advice, it should explore the continent’s various privatization experiments.

Uber Should Be Allowed To Use Designated Bus Lanes

October 22, 2018

Letting TNCs use bus-only lanes for a fee would maximize the usage of the space during slow periods.

AVs and Urbanism: It’s About Incentives, Not Technology

October 15, 2018

Will AVs encourage sprawl or density? Based on some early signs, it could be the latter.

Greater Boston Mayors Commit To Boosting Housing Supply

October 8, 2018

15 Boston-area municipalities look to build 185,000 units by 2030.

Toll Lane Losses: Market Failure Or Market Signal?

October 1, 2018

Charging tolls will give feedback about whether these roads were an efficient land use to begin with.

Brightline Bets On Vegas

September 24, 2018

Like in South Florida, the private train company will focus on developing around its stations in Las Vegas.

Baltimore’s Bus Revamp Hasn’t Delivered

September 17, 2018

Despite a Houston-style bus revamp, Baltimore has seen declining ridership and failure on other metrics.

Nimbys Shouldn’t Be The Only People At Public Comment Sessions

September 10, 2018

A Boston University study shows the need for more diverse representation at community meetings.

In California, Less Housing In Core Means More Near Wildfires

September 3, 2018

A recent approval in Tejon Ranch shows the political dynamics that encourage sprawl over density.

California To Allow Upzoning Around BART

August 27, 2018

In turnaround for upzoning momentum, CA Senate passes Bay Area TOD bill.

Will A Minneapolis Suburb Vote For Yimby Tyler Hamilton?

August 13, 2018

YIMBY Political Report: Minneasota Candidate Tyler Hamilton; Cory Booker’s Pushback on Local Zoning

Just Kill the LaGuardia AirTrain Already – and Do Something Better

August 6, 2018

Improving New York City’s existing bus and rail infrastructure for LaGuardia is smarter than building some flashy new project.

When Resistance To Urban Innovation Is Ideological

July 30, 2018

Do activists really want to help the poor – or just attack the rich?

Private Transit Key To Solving First-Mile, Last-Mile Problem

July 23, 2018

City governments should work with, not against, private companies to solve their own transit problems.

Where Do Aerial Tramways Make Sense?

July 16, 2018

A look at another unconventional transit method.

Where Would Hyperloops Work?

July 9, 2018

The viability of Elon’s Hyperloop may depend on achieving a “goldilocks zone” for distance.

California Election Outcomes Prove More Nimby Than Yimby

June 16, 2018

California’s elections and ballot measures offered a mix of pro- and anti-housing sentiment.

How To Fix America’s Airports: Five Important Steps

May 11, 2018

This extended essay describes five things that U.S. airports must do to mirror the great airports of Europe.

Taxing Uber & Other TNCs Is A Bad Idea

April 5, 2018

Let’s implement broad-based congestion charging rather than taxing specific companies or services.

SB827 Demands A Sensible Mix Of Housing With Transit

January 19, 2018

Too many parts of America put transit in low-density areas. California’s SB827 would reverse this trend.

When Tolling Leads To Slugging

January 5, 2018

Virginia’s exorbitant toll fees could facilitate the rise of “slugging” and other alternative options.

The Case Of Via: Making Transit Private

December 6, 2017

Arlington, TX, will become the first city to run its entire public transit system using a private rideshare service.

Meet The Nimby Facebook Group “Florida NOT All Aboard”

November 23, 2017

America’s first private rail project in a quarter century is facing local pushback.

California High Speed Rail Is Too Little, Too Late

October 19, 2017

I’m writing this on a bus from Los Angeles to Bakersfield, on the way to visit family in northern California….

Subsidizing Companies And Neighborhoods Alike

September 26, 2017

Amazon’s announcement that it will build a second headquarters has sparked interest among politicians, in cities from Atlanta to Pittsburgh, who want to lure the internet retail giant. Each candidate is sure to continue the tradition of municipal governments outbidding each other to offer as many direct and indirect subsidies as possible. In the process, they may end up trying to subsidize specific neighborhoods as well.

De Blasio’s Class Consciousness Apparently Doesn’t Apply To Congestion Pricing

September 8, 2017

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio loves to talk about raising taxes on the wealthy as a means to finance public services. But recent events show that this impulse is selective.

The Land Use Should Come Before The Transit

August 16, 2017

Transit decisions are often used as a tool to inform land use. The extensions of transit into outlying areas, for example, are largely advocated for as a means to mitigate sprawl, by providing a fixed route service to an urban center. Yet in many cases…