My colleague* with the most celebrity cachet these days is, by far, Donald Shoup, profiled here in Planning magazine. His 2005 The high cost of free parking is APA's best selling book ever, I believe. He has managed to appeal to the right, by promoting pricing as a preferred rationing/funding device for curb space, as well as the left, by promoting higher operating costs for cars in particular -- and even to people like me, who don't know their right from left, just by being a dependable wit at interminable department meetings. Even his students like him ... possibly too much, I might add. Here he is on NPR. How Shoup has avoided a wikipedia entry is unclear. A vast right/left wing conspiracy?
I could summarize and critique his book two years too late ("free" parking is really costly, no kidding, with examples to die for) but my holiday gifts to you are instead links to a couple of video interviews from the NYC transportation-oriented video web site, StreetFilms. The first, hot off the video editor, has quite clever parking/traffic animations while the second (and earlier) is a more straightforward paean to his obvious guru potential (where he speaks to parking as an empowering/holistic engagement). Can an interview with Irvine's own jarana strummer Zack de la Rocha** be far behind?
Enjoy, and feliz año nuevo.
*I suppose that depends on what you mean by celebrity and colleague. My department has its share of minor deities but Shoup is on top for now. The university at large is blessed with dignitaries of all kinds, mostly scholarly, some mixed.
For example, (real) Steve Jobs was adopted at birth and raised by a working class couple, now passed on. However, his birth father is Syrian, making Steve probably the wealthiest Arab American in the U.S. -- which might be advertised more widely except that he is clearly estranged from this man, who left Steve's birth mother only after later marrying and then fathering a second child (Steve's little sister) with her, who in turn became a very successful novelist -- her first led to the 1999 Natalie Portman/Susan Sarandon film, Anywhere But Here, based loosely on her teen LA adventures with that same mom -- and is now a UCLA English professor (with whom, together with his birth mother, Steve has reunited). The same UCLA where I park and then work. You see how all things connect to my planning research in this blog, and it's all good?
**Not kidding. I am a huge Rage fan and that would be way cool. It might take some work to get Zack to see parking as a globalization-scale problem of oppression though.
p.s. Special holiday bonus of how my blog connects all things: Fake Zack appeared in the first "ask a celebrity" post a week ago or so on the celebrated fake Steve Jobs' blog here. (I gather fake Steve attended a real Rage concert recently; wish I could say the same.) Note this is fake. Not real. Yet funny in an edgy, celebrity-obsessed, iPod-centric 2007 sort of way. I have no information whether real or fake Donald or Zack or Steve agree.