Why New York Might Finally Pass Congestion Pricing - CityLab

They said this time would be different—just like the last time. But congestion pricing finally looks poised for arrival in New York City. Leaders in the New York state Senate and Assembly are expected to approve charging fees on vehicles entering the most trafficked parts of Manhattan, the New York Times reported on Monday. If the measure in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget gets the green light by the April 1 deadline, New York City would be the first place in the United States to adopt the policy known as congestion pricing. It’s been a long time coming. Thanks to low gas prices, a growing populace, and the meteoric rise of ride-hailing converging with a decaying subway, traffic is noticeably

How will we all 'get there' in twenty years...? - GVF

It would be hard to find many people these days who would disagree with the fact that the amount of ‘severe’ weather events has seemed to increase in the past few years. Whether or not we subscribe to the theories of climate change, we would most definitely agree that both severe temperatures and large amounts of precipitation have affected many of our lives. This past fall, the UN Climate Council made the stark recommendation that the world must mitigate the effects of global warming within the next 10 years before the negative effects (like sever weather) will be irreversible. And carbon emissions are the largest contributor to this global warming phenomenon. If polled, most of our comm

Study: Good Bike and Ped Infrastructure Actually Makes Neighbors Healthier - Streets Blog USA

Living near safe, high-quality biking and walking facilities actually improves people’s health, according to a new study that found a direct link between urban active transportation infrastructure and increased exercise. The study, published in the journal of Preventative Medicine, examined a random group in Vancouver, British Columbia, before and after the construction of the Comox-Helmcken Greenway, a 1.2-mile protected biking and walking facility. The study found that people who lived with .2 miles — a few blocks — of the new greenway were twice as likely to get the recommended 20 minutes of physical activity daily. The effect declined as the distance from the greenway increased. “The mes

8 Ways to Improve State DOTs, According to Smart Growth Advocates - Governing

Few institutions can shape a community like a state transportation department. The agencies charged with building interstates are often deeply involved with day-to-day decisions that determine how fast cars can go, how long lights stay red and where pedestrians can cross the road. Increasingly, though, those state departments of transportation are at the center of controversies over how they design roads and prioritize users of them. As urban areas have become more popular, so-called smart growth advocates who want walkable neighborhoods, vibrant shopping districts and safe passage for cyclists and pedestrians frequently criticize state DOTs -- which were originally called “highway departmen

To Avoid Climate Disaster, Urban Transportation Must Change, Now - City Lab

Today, hundreds of thousands of students from over 100 countries are walking out of their schools to join a Global Climate Strike, part of a wave of youth protests around the world aimed at demanding immediate government response to the climate crisis. “I don’t want your hope,” said Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish student who initiated the movement, in her quiet, eloquent demand at Davos in January. “I want you to act. I want you to act as if you were in a crisis … as if the house were on fire. Because it is.” The demand? That governments acknowledge the crisis, and move with commensurate speed and action. In an urbanizing world, the transportation sector is a major generator of clim

Three Signs Philly Is Getting Serious About Street Safety - Philly Mag

Back in 2015, some of us were doubtful that Philadelphia officials would support something like Vision Zero, a Swedish-born concept that cities can prevent traffic fatalities by emphasizing street safety through better road design and planning. Despite Philly’s alarming rate of traffic deaths (97 the prior year), smart street design didn’t seem like a priority, especially when you looked at the number of lives lost to issues like homicide in that same year (248). But more and more, residents (especially younger residents and activists with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia) framed traffic fatalities as preventable tragedies and demanded policy changes. And two years later, under

Benches and transit shelters make riders happier, study finds - Mobility Lab

It feels like there’s a new tech product “disrupting” the transportation industry every day, from e-scooters to mobility-as-a-service apps. But sometimes it’s the simple things that make the biggest improvements in our mobility. In this case, it’s benches and transit shelters. A new study found that the ability to rest is one of the most important factors affecting people’s happiness during trips. Researchers Shuyan Chen, Yingling Fan, Yang Cao, and Aemal Khattak used data from the American Time Use Survey to assess factors influencing happiness on daily trips. It is unknown if most of the trips they looked at were public or active transportation trips or driving. The two most important fact

Rail Line Opening Allows for Europe-Asia High-Speed Intercity Trains - Next City

Turkish President Cuts Ribbon on Asia-Europe Commuter Rail Link The long-awaited, long-delayed spine of Istanbul’s regional rail transit network finally entered service along its entire length March 9. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cut the ribbon to formally open the entire 77-km (47.8-mile) Marmaray rail line, which runs from Gebze in Asia to Halkali in Europe via an already-in-service 13.6-km (8.5-mile) subway tunnel that crosses under the Bosporus. Both the International Railway Journal and Railway Gazette International reported on the opening, which brings to a conclusion a project 15 years in the making. Work on the project, which also links Asian and European long-distance ra

Emotions shape opinions. What does that mean for transit advocates? - Mobility Lab

This article is adapted from a shorter op-ed in our latest Express newsletter. If you want to hear from us first, subscribe here. One of Duke University’s reasons for vetoing a light rail project is that construction would disrupt underground utilities that serve its medical center, as reported by the New York Times. Multiple readers commented that this isn’t a problem for the scores of hospitals and universities located in cities with underground transportation. That’s a great and important point to make. But unfortunately, the debate on transportation priorities in this country – like most issues – isn’t grounded in reason. People are irrational and make decisions emotionally. It might be

Study: Better Transit Raises Property Values, Lowers Poverty - StreetsBlog USA

Neighborhoods with transit access enjoy higher property values and lower poverty rates, according to a new study by researchers at Cleveland State University. The study isolated neighborhoods in Cleveland that gained transit access after previously lacking it, using statistical modeling to control for other factors. The research team found that neighborhoods that gained access to transit saw property values rise by 3.5 percent and poverty rates fall by almost 13 percent after 10 years. Those neighborhoods saw overall employment climb 3.5 percent. “RTA is fantastic investment for taxpayers,” said Obed Pasha, an assistant professor at Cleveland State and one of the studies authors. “Not only d

Transportation Techies build data tools to communicate transit’s needs - Mobility Lab

The fact that Transportation Techies (our geeky meet-up group) even exists shows that we swim in a sea of data. Luckily, there’s a conversation bubbling among transit agencies and advocates about how best to interpret and communicate the travel data that agencies collect. Transportation Techies’ Bus Hack Night III provided a platform for tech-focused transportation officials and for coders to show what agencies and individuals are able to create with the information that already exists. Getting meta(data) Tim Witten from Blacksburg Transit, which serves Virginia Tech, discussed how he makes sense of the data he has available to keep up with booming ridership. He refers to this as pulling ins

How can cities boost transit ridership? Add more bike share - Curbed

Transit ridership is down in nearly every major U.S. city across the country. The prevailing narrative is that those riders are being tugged away by cars, most notably, cars operated by Uber and Lyft. Improving transit service might be enough to win riders back, but will cost cities money. What if there was a cheaper, more nimble solution cities could deploy? A new study suggests cities might boost ridership by doubling down on bike share. Presented by University of Kentucky researchers at January’s Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, the study “Understanding the Recent Transit Ridership Decline in Major U.S. Cities: Service Cuts or Emerging Modes?” started out by looking at the co

All great train stations have 7 things in common - Mobility Lab

Growing up in the New Haven area, nothing was more exciting than a train ride to New York City on commuter rail. And arriving at beautiful Grand Central Terminal was the cherry on top. But if Grand Central looked like Penn Station (so, in other words, ugly), would 10-year-old me have been just as stoked about the trip? Did Grand Central’s majesty imbue trips to New York with excitement, or did the excitement about those trips make Grand Central special? Both, according to a presentation at this year’s Transportation Research Board meeting. And station architects should plan for that. “We’re asking stations to help travelers and also be economic catalysts,” said Trent Lethco, a transportation

Washington State did Vision Zero first. Here’s how it worked. - Mobility Lab

In 2000, Washington was the first U.S. state — or jurisdiction of any kind — to adopt a Vision Zero policy. The state’s bold decision came after the Director of the Traffic Safety Commission, John Moffat, saw a presentation about Sweden’s Vision Zero, the original policy pioneered back in 1997. Vision Zero calls for infrastructure improvements, like narrower streets, better lighting, separated bike lanes, and protected intersections so that inevitable human error that happens when driving does not result in death or severe injury. Washington state’s policy, called Target Zero, is somewhat different than Sweden’s Vision Zero, which focuses exclusively on protecting people walking and biking.

Tech-savvy crosswalk helps both drivers and pedestrians stay alert - Curbed

With pedestrian safety posing an ongoing challenge to cities around the world, a new solution from South Korea Korea places the onus for awareness on both drivers and walkers. The Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) has designed an experimental high-tech crosswalk that alerts drivers and pedestrians to each others’ presence. The engineers use a thermal imaging camera to detect when a pedestrian is nearing a crosswalk. In response, it illuminates both sides of the crosswalk with LED lights that can be seen from 160 feet away, giving drivers a visual signal that someone is crossing the street. At 98 feet from the crosswalk, the driver get another warning in the

Dockless Trikes and Tiny Cars: Coming to City Streets Near You? - Next City

A new class of dockless electric vehicles is poised to hit city streets. In general, they can go faster and farther than existing bikes, e-bikes and scooters. First, dockless vehicle-sharing company Gotcha is debuting an electric three-wheeled vehicle that can reach a top speed of 25 miles per hour, reports Electrek. Gotcha already operates bike, scooter, and electric shared ride-hail vehicles in 20 states in the U.S., mainly on college campuses, The Verge reports. It’s launching the electric trikes at South By Southwest in Austin, Tex., next week, after the culmination of a publicity ride by Gotcha CEO and founder Sean Flood, who’s riding a Gotcha from Tallahassee, Florida, to Austin. Elect

Dallas DOT Is Making Plans for a Better-Connected City - Next City

A photo of a construction site spilling onto a downtown sidewalk. Another of a car parked on the sidewalk. Prickly cacti blocking access to a crosswalk button. This is all evidence, according to D Magazine, that Dallas “hates pedestrians.” The city’s Department of Transportation, established in 2018, wants to change that perception. From modern Dallas’ start in the early 1900s, the region largely focused on new development, sprawl and roadways to connect it all. Transportation policy has long been guided by powerful Texas state authorities that invested heavily in car-centric planning. Before 2018, according to Jay Blazek Crossley, executive director of Farm & City, local transit matters in

9 Shared-Mobility Startups Eager To Disrupt Transportation - Forbes

Nine upstarts pitched ideas to advance the booming shared-mobility industry Thursday in Chicago. Some tackled the young industry's most dogged problems. Executives from nine fledgling companies faced three judges and 120 conventioneers on the opening afternoon of the Shared Use Mobility Summit. Read to the end to discover which three were selected as semifinalists to compete for votes over the next two days. The nine were: CLEVR CLEVR is offering a three-wheeled scooter that can be fitted with a seat to make it viable for disabled persons. But the company's real secret weapon is a super-precise GPS tracking module that's accurate to within three feet. So CLEVR can tell where the scooter is b

New York MTA to Be Streamlined Under Reorganization Plan - Next City

Cuomo, De Blasio Announce MTA Reorganization Plan If, a couple of decades hence, the Governor of New York State and the Mayor of New York City cut the ribbon on the rest of the Second Avenue Subway and announce with pride that they spent far less than $2 billion a mile to build it, they may have current Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to thank. The two heads of government jointly announced Feb. 26 a plan to completely restructure the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, raise the funds needed to modernize the New York region’s mass transit infrastructure and tamp down on spiraling construction costs. Articles in Metro Report International and Railway Age provided the broad outli

To Build a Better Bus Lane, Just Paint It - City Lab

Trains have tracks, while buses share roads. And since trains don’t have to dodge cars, avoid potholes, or slog through rush-hour congestion, they tend to arrive more reliably than their rubber-tired counterparts, which are slow, late, and unpredictable in many U.S. cities largely (though not solely) due to other vehicles. That’s why city leaders looking to pull commuters out of their cars and onto public transit should put the bus first and apologize later, urges a new report from UCLA’s Institute of Transportation Studies. The name of the game is “tactical transit lanes”—also known as dedicated bus lanes. The report serves as a how-to guide for whipping up bus-only infrastructure on the ch


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