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Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

TEDxArlington talk – Strategic Transportation Bets

On October 3, Lisa Nisenson gave a talk on the new era of transportation investment (spoiler: it’s not good) and how to actually succeed.

TED talks are 18 minutes (a big ask on time) so here is a cheat sheet:


Arlington & Bold Leadership (0:20) But then 2014 happened (1:04)

  • Controversial dog park, aquatic center and bus stop

Why Small is the new Big – Era of strategic, small bets (2:00)

  • Political climate, low trust in government to pull off big transportation projects, demographics.

Small is not such a bad thing -Lean, Customer Development & working towards a better big – (3:30)



1) Big Picture – a big transportation goal & the future of work/jobs in the region (5:45)

  • People actually support a larger regional network
  • The future of job relies on networking and talking to customers. The commute is no longer Point A to Point B, but half the alphabet in a day.
  • The cities/regions that figure out the nodes and connections among nodes win the economy.

2) Three Strategic bets for Transportation in Arlington (7:22)

(i) Bikes 2.0  (7:33)

  • Need to reframe bikes as economic engine
  • Every dollar saved on a trip is money that can be allocated to housing, child care, classes, craft beer
  • Bike Trail Oriented TOD

(ii) Technology & planning (9:10)

  • Shared rides offer new kind of microtransit
  • However – without planning – these services will compete with public transit for space to pick up and discharge passengers
  • Big opportunities for Lee Highway & the Pike

(iii) Driverless (11:00)

  • Right now focus is cars; if that’s all we get we lose opportunities for placemaking dividend
  • Need leadership in prioritizing driverless transit
  • Can offer opportunity for Crystal City, Lee Highway and Columbia Pike

3) The Arlington Way How its broken & how we can fix it (12:55)

(i) Get experimental (13:15)

(ii) Take it to the streets (15:44)

4) Call to Action (17:45)

  • Urgent but exciting need to start regional conversation


ALL the talks are a perfect portrait of Arlington –

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