They said Citi Bike would bring “total carnage” to the streets.
We were warned that bike share in New York would be “hell on wheels.”
“Experts“ told us that “It’s, like, super dangerous to ride a bike in the city.”
But so far, not a single bike share user has been killed in New York between Citi [...]
Founding TSTC board members and 2013 honorees (L to R) Jeffrey Zupan, James T.B. Tripp, Rich Kassel, Charlie Komanoff with TSTC executive director Veronica Vanterpool. | Photo: Joseph Cutrufo/TSTC
Last Thursday’s 20th Anniversary Benefit was a great success, with one of our largest guest lists to date. The event, which took place at [...]
The deal made last January to avert the “fiscal cliff” included a provision that eventually brought the monthly transit commuter benefit up from $125 to $245 to match the pre-tax benefit for parking. This was a big win for transit riders, albeit a temporary one: the pre-tax benefit for transit will fall back to $125 ($130 with inflation) per month on January 1 if Congress doesn’t extend (or better, make permanent) the parity that straphangers currently enjoy.
Today, New York Senator Chuck Schumer held a press conference at Grand Central Terminal to highlight the impending expiration date of the transit commuter benefit. Highlighting the Commuter Benefits Equity Act of 2013, legislation he introduced this past June to extend the tax break, the Senator noted that he will continue to push for parity between the parking and transit benefits.
According to Sen. Schumer, more than 700,000 people receive the benefit in the tri-state region, which saves employers and commuters $330 million that can be reinvested back into the economy.
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Today is the one year anniversary of the day after Sandy. Relief was at the forefront of people’s minds, but it was also a new beginning: it was the day the region began to think about how to rebuild better and stronger.
Although the region’s transportation infrastructure was dealt a series of incredible blows, we can look back one year later with a better understanding of our transportation system’s vulnerabilities, as well as more insight into how state and local governments can improve our transportation infrastructure to become more sustainable and more resilient against future storms. It’s obvious that Sandy presented the region a whole host of challenges, but damage from the storm also presented opportunities:
A chance to plan and rebuild smarter. The last 12 months have seen a variety of new ideas about how to weather-proof buildings and infrastructure. Now that we’ve seen what kind of havoc storms can cause, we must use this rebuilding opportunity to be better prepared for the next storm. Sandy wiped out roads in low-lying coastal areas, which has presented communities with an opportunity to rebuild them in a way that is able to withstand storm surges and provide real transportation choices like walking and biking that keep people moving not only in the time of crisis but also every day.
Another reason to learn how to ride a bike. Riding a bike is a great way to get around, especially when subways are shut down due to flooding. Bicycle ridership skyrocketed in New York City in the days following Sandy.
A wake-up call to refocus on fix-it-first. Sandy took a heavy toll on roads, rails and bridges, which should serve as a wake-up call to state governments: before wasting money on highway widening projects, existing infrastructure must be in a state of good repair and able to withstand wind, rain and flooding.
A reminder that planning is only as good as execution. N.J. Transit failed to follow its own storm plan, and they paid the price with 273 railcars and 70 engines that were destroyed by flooding. The Brooklyn Navy Yard, where yet-to-be-launched Citi Bike equipment was being stored, saw six feet of flooding, which damaged “the bikes—and their circuitry-filled docking stations,” delaying the full first phase of the Citi Bike rollout.
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Tri-State came across this 1937 children’s alphabet book, The ABC of City Planning (hat tip to the Citizens Housing and Planning Council) published by New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia’s Committee on City Planning. The book, CHPC writes, was “intended to instill understanding and enthusiasm in children for the city’s built environment.”
Some of the book’s entries [...]
Many U.S. cities, including Albany, NY (pictured), have established residential parking permit programs. | Photo: Cindy Schultz/Times Union
On-street parking on residential streets is free throughout New York City, which makes finding a place to park incredibly difficult in some neighborhoods, and provides an incentive for owning a vehicle. In a dense, congested city like New York, it seems counter-productive to allocate so much public space to cars without asking vehicle owners to pay at least something for it.
So far, efforts to implement a residential parking permit (RPP) program in New York have been thwarted despite advocates repeatedly calling for such a measure. But that doesn’t mean the conversation is over. Here are five reasons why the next Mayor should revisit the idea of an RPP program:
1. Everybody else is doing it. Certainly not the best reason to do something, but it’s worth noting that just about every other major American city has a residential parking permit program. Some of them even charge money for them. In Washington D.C. permits are just $35 a year for most vehicles registered in the District, while San Francisco, whose residential permits are the most expensive in the United States, charges $109 per year (30 cents per day). That’s still a bargain compared to what you’d pay for garage parking in New York City.
2. People are willing to pay for it. According to a recent study, about half of New Yorkers said they would be willing to pay $408 a year on average if it meant that finding parking near their homes would be easier.
3. It will reduce congestion. As Seinfeld‘s George Costanza famously said about parking, “Why should I pay, when if I apply myself, maybe I could get it for free?” Turns out, a lot of us are just like George. Drivers who are looking for somewhere to park account for 28 to 45 percent of traffic in places where on-street parking is under-priced (or in this case, free).
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Cleveland’s HealthLine bus rapid transit corridor. | Photo: EMBARQ
Tri-State has been pushing for transit on the new Tappan Zee Bridge since it was announced in 2008 that the current span would be replaced. Just as crews have made progress building the new bridge, so too have elected officials and advocates, forming a [...]
Safe access for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as transit-oriented development, must be priorities for Metro-North access — not just parking for cars. | Photo: Chet Gordon/Times Herald-Record
A recent feature in the Journal News highlighted the parking constraints near Metro-North stations. According to the report, nearly half of the 43 Metro-North stations in Westchester County “have wait lists for one or more of their lots,” as well as three of Putnam’s seven stations, and one of Rockland’s five stations, despite the fact that commuter parking has increased five-fold since the 1990s.
To meet demand, Metro-North has added 5,124 parking spaces to its stations in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam over the past two decades, bringing the total to 6,382 spaces. But Metro-North says it has just about maxed out the parking it can build, other than a 500-space garage planned to replace a 109-space facility at the North White Plains station.
What if instead of trying to maximize the number of parking spaces, there was an emphasis on making it easier to get commuters to and from stations without cars at all? One means to that end is to follow the lead of New Jersey and Connecticut, which both appear to be embracing transit-oriented development (TOD), as well as some communities in the Hudson Valley. This may seem strange for people who are used to seeing commuter rail stations surrounded by asphalt, but before the onslaught of the automobile it was once the norm to build residential and commercial buildings around train stations.
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Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Connie Kepert (pictured) secured funds for the sidewalk and was a key supporter of the bike lane on Wilson Avenue. | Photo: Liz Krolik-Alexander
Construction on Straight Path Road in the Town of Babylon | Photo: Jonathan Keyes
Several communities across the region have adopted Complete Streets policies [...]
Photo: Surveillance video via NY Daily News
A 19-year-old cyclist struck actress Nicole Kidman on a sidewalk outside a Manhattan hotel yesterday, knocking her to the ground. Fortunately for Kidman, she was only a little shaken up after the crash, and was able to walk away without any serious injuries (though she’s still [...]