Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

A weekly roundup of good deeds, missteps, heroic feats and epic failures in the tri-state region and beyond.

WINNERS

Connecticut, New Jersey & New York — The tri-state region received several TIGER grants to fund transportation projects, including $16 million to replace the Portal Bridge, $10 million to fill a gap in the Bronx River Greenway, $10 million to develop bus rapid transit on the new Tappan Zee and $10 million to build a new rail station on the east side of Bridgeport.

NYC Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer — Councilman Van Bramer endorsed tolling on the East River bridges as a way to cut traffic congestion and fund transit investments.

NYC transit riders — Next year, an additional 450,000 workers in New York City will become eligible for a transit tax break, which will save straphangers more than $400 annually. The MTA will also install countdown clocks along 36 stations on the B, D and N lines starting next year.

Connecticut Department of Transportation — Connecticut is once again choosing experienced people from elsewhere in the region: the agency appointed former NJ Transit official Richard Andreski to lead the state’s bureau of public transportation.

Panasonic North America — Since the company began offering transit commuter benefits and charging market rates for parking after moving its office to downtown Newark, employee transit ridership has risen from 4 percent to 57 percent. Meanwhile, solo car commuting has dropped from 88 to 36 percent.

LOSERS

NYC Councilman Steven Matteo — Councilman Matteo proposed widening Victory Boulevard as a way to cut congestion and to a create a “better walkable community.”

Arkansas Department of Highways and Transportation — The agency is pushing for the widening of Interstate 30, which runs through downtown Little Rock and would require the removal of a streetcar line.

United States House of Representatives — The House passed a transportation bill that limits project transparency, undermines the environmental review process and fails to index bicycle and pedestrian project funding to inflation.

5 Comments on "Wednesday Winners (& Losers)"

  1. Clark Morris | October 28, 2015 at 6:36 pm |

    The expansion of I30 not I10 in Little Rock probably could be reduced or eliminated by resigning I440 as I30 from the current interchange of I530, I30 and I440 and resigning the current I30 between that interchange and I40 as I530. This would keep long distance traffic out of downtown Little Rock and also provide a more direct route to destinations on I40 to the East. It would be interesting to see if the EIS for this project mentions this alternative.

  2. Clark Morris | October 28, 2015 at 6:41 pm |

    The environmental review processes take far too long, cost a large amount of money and have given obstructionists a field day against both transit and highway projects. We need much faster ways of getting to an acceptable yes or no answer. The Purple Line in the Washington DC suburbs and the Southwest Line in Minneapolis are examples of the process run amok. The House bill may well go too far but the current process is broken.

  3. Rob Durchola | October 28, 2015 at 6:59 pm |

    Re: Arkansas – Please don’t wander into parts unknown in your news briefs. I-10 does not run through Arkansas (though Arkansas DOT is proposing a road widening in downtown Little RocK) and the trolley is more a tourist thing than a useful component of the city’s public transit network (though, undoubtedly, some locals use it.

  4. Mr. Transit | November 1, 2015 at 6:06 pm |

    Well let’s not laugh at a gift $16 million towards some preliminary work on the Portal Bridge replacement but seriously, it is an all-in $1.0 billion or so project. This TIGER gift ought to be described in the context of the full need.

  5. Clark Morris | November 3, 2015 at 1:55 pm |

    Why should a 4 track bridge or pair of bridges cost 1 billion dollars (up from the current 2 and elevated so that no bridge openings are required? 16 million just for planning also seems high.

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