Rail~volution 2015: Kickoff video mixes Game of Thrones, North Texas

The parody video called “Game of Rails” was created by DART Photographer/Videographer Lupe Hernandez to kick off Rail~Volution 2015 and likens North Texas to the fictional world in “Game of Thrones.” Rail~Volution is a conference held every year with a focus on building livable communities through transportation.

DART is the host organization for the conference that is taking place at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Dallas. Transit-oriented development, first-mile/last-mile problems, bike share, high-speed rail, streetcars and urban design were just a handful of the topics attendees learned about at Monday’s kickoff day workshops led by industry experts. Alternatively, mobile workshops took the conference to the streets to tour downtown districts, major transit-oriented development hubs and more.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings kicked off Rail~Volution with words that resonated throughout the conference: “It works.” What works? Transit, rail, buses, urban development and more, he says. For example, Dallas’ rail build-out created jobs, increased development, caused growth in density and more, he said.

One session with some facts and information too good not to share was “Sex, Neuroscience and Walkable Urbanism” presented by Jeffrey Tumlin, Principal at Nelson/Nygaard consulting Associates, Inc. This workshop pitted “walkable urbanism” against “automobile dependency.” Tumlin brought the science to this session sharing facts like when you exercise outdoors (walking, for example), your brain releases oxytocin, which is the same chemical agent associated with love and longing. Alternatively, exercising indoors results in no oxytocin release. He likens this to walkable communities and public transit versus being stuck in traffic. Think about that the next time you’re weighing walking to the bus stop or sitting in bumper-to-bumper.

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