Streams

New York's Second Avenue Starts Turning Green

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

(Marianne McCune, WNYC) Painting on the protected Second Avenue bike lane got underway overnight.   The lane, which will go north to 34th Street, is part of the city DOT's plan to extend its bike lane network -- though more slowly than promised.

The photo is of the block between 5th and 6th street.

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TN Moving Stories

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cast your mind back to when Oakland's Madison Square Park was a thriving neighborhood. And then BART came. (KALW)

Yes, you too can solve transportation problems: Slate asks its readers to help create Nimble Cities. (Slate)

Rats! Lower Manhattan subway lines are infested! (WNYC)

Hartford considers repealing skateboard ban -- and maybe even establishing an official skate park. (Hartford Courant)

President Obama, in his first use of the Oval Office to speak to the nation, calls for a new energy policy (New York Times). Meanwhile, new government estimates say BP's blown well in the Gulf of Mexico may be spitting out 60,000 barrels of oil every day. (NPR)

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Senate Energy Bill Would Have "Modest Impact" on Consumers, Says EPA

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

(Washington, DC - Todd Zwillich, Transportation Nation)  Gasoline prices are likely to rise under the energy and climate change bill the Senate is planning to tee up in July, according to an Environmental Protection Agency Analysis released today.

EPA predicts gas prices will hover around $5 per gallon in 2050 under the American Power Act (APA), the main legislative vehicle getting set for Senate debate. That’s about 20% higher than the $4-per-gallon estimate predicted if Congress does nothing.

The agency says gas prices would rise slightly under the APA starting in 2015, with about a 25-cent per-gallon premium on fuel by 2030. Prices will continue to accelerate under the act until reaching the roughly dollar-per-gallon increase by 2050, according EPA’s analysis.

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Oil Execs on the Hill, But Not Much on Gas Prices, Energy Policy

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lamar McKay, Chairman and President of BP America sits in today's House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing. (Getty Images)

(Washington, DC -- Todd Zwillich, Transportation Nation) You didn’t really think oil CEO’s were going to get a grilling on gas prices, did you?

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Bronx Gets Electric Truck: 15,999 To Go.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) Hunts Point, the Bronx is New York's major food distribution center. There's a fruit and vegetable wholesaler, a seafood market -- and lots of lots of trucks. The area, in the poorest congressional district in the nation (yes, it beats Mississippi, yes it beats Appalachia), also has an asthma rate that is 700 percent of the national average. Now, Down East seafoods has bought a zero emissions truck, with the help of a local development corporation and the local congressman. More, from Marketplace.

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TN Moving Stories: Where's the paint, Black Hawk bicylists down, and Wichita imagines its transit future

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Upturn in the economy, downturn in supplies: road crews grapple with nationwide paint shortage. (WAMU)

Can't we all just get along?  "To say we all can't fit on the road together is ridiculous," says one recently ticketed Black Hawk bicyclist.  (Denver Post)

Rethinking Wichita: city unveils 20-year master plan, idea is to park once and be able to get from one end to the other on transit. (Wichita Eagle)

What's keeping the Cleveland transit authority solvent? Parking lots in suburban areas--and bus bicycle racks. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

You know what would improve your daily commute? A view. Bring on the gondolas! (Transport Politic)

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JetBlue VP: Airplanes No Good For New York-Boston (AUDIO)

Monday, June 14, 2010

(New York, NY - Collin Campbell, Transportation Nation)  Jet Blue Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rob Maruster has a refreshingly comprehensive view of transportation.  "I may be shooting ourselves in the foot here, with five daily flights from JFK to Boston.  But it just may not make that much sense for an airplane on a 150-mile route to fly over 300 air miles to get there.  Maybe there's a different mode of transportation that may be better to carry those customers from point A to point B," Maruster said today.

He was speaking at a forum on the future of airports and air traffic control.  It was an event filled with charts and maps that drove home how overwhelmed and outdated current air traffic control technology is.  One solution Maruster said was obvious is taking airline passengers off some routes, like New York to Boston. 

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TN Moving Stories: Empty buses = empty seats at World Cup. What is UAW's Future? Spirit strikes, strands

Monday, June 14, 2010

Spirit strikes, cancels all flights.  No talks scheduled as of Monday morning.  (Reuters) Video:

Empty seats at World Cup blamed on fans who don't trust public transportation.  (ESPN)

United Auto Workers meets in Detroit.  How does organized labor go forward after near-death of Big Three?  (Reuters)  As president Ron Gettelfinger steps down, he'll say unionizing a basic right.  (Detroit Free Press)

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Planning Group: Tear Down That Drive!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Photo: Terreform and Michael Sorkin Studio

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) In the last five years, New York has added hundreds of miles of bike lanes and closed parts of Broadway to cars, a re-allocation of street space that has caused no small measure of controversy. But those plans? Child's play, compared to what a group of international planners want the city to do: tear down the lower part of the FDR drive.

It’s a proposal that draws almost immediate – and intense – derision from almost anyone who hears it.

“Terrible idea,” mused Bryan Delaney, kibitzing with his wife, Ibelice, the other night on Grand Street near the FDR drive. “Ridiculous,” snorted Carmen Gund, a teacher walking three small dogs. “People are going to drive into Manhattan regardless, so why not have as many roads to drive into Manhattan as possible?”

Inside the Bloomberg administration, there’s also incredulity. “Tear down a ring road?” said one highly placed city official who didn’t want his name used because he was speaking about the plan without authorization. “That will never happen.”

But architect Michael Sorkin, who drew up blueprints for a radically different lower Manhattan, is a fervent believer in the “if you unbuild it, they won’t come,” school of thought. His plans look sort of like a Brooklyn Bridge park, but on the Manhattan side – manicured lawns, plazas, ferry terminals, restaurants, and lots and lots of open sky. For designs and the rest of the article, go to the WNYC Culture page.

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TN Moving Stories: DOT wants oversight of mass-transit; a Spirit strike? Solo teen sailor found stranded

Friday, June 11, 2010

As anniversary of DC Metrorail crash approaches, LaHood quietly pushes for more federal oversight.  (Washington Post)

Spirit Airlines, pilots inch closer to weekend strike.  (AP)

Freight rail, federal DOT working out differences slowing high-speed rail plans.  (Crain's)

West Virginia laments rail expansion project that got no stimulus money, is canceled.  (Herald Dispatch)

California teen trying to become youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe found stranded at sea.  (LA Times)

Most creative use of fondant?  Subway map on a cupcake, natch.  (Huff Po)

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GOP Fail to Stop Obama Plan to Regulate Carbon, but Get a Test for July?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and others hoped to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate carbon.  The move failed 47-53 in the Senate today.  "Murkowski might have lost the vote, it looks like she won the war: It's hard to see a strong climate bill getting 60 votes in a Senate where her bill got 47," reports Ezra Klein of the Washington Post.  It's all about the full-blown energy policy debate set for July, as we reported earlier today.  More from the NY Times. -- Todd Zwillich

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Minneapolis Rolls Out Bike Share

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Friends Mark Hawkins, right, and Sherri Juenemann stopped to check out one of the new Nice Ride bicycle kiosks in Minneapolis. Nice Ride is the largest bike sharing program in the country, and allows riders to pick up, use, and drop off bicycles throughout Minneapolis for a user fee. (MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson)

(Minneapolis, MN - Dan Olson, MPR News) - As of today, residents of the Twin Cities can zip around on two wheels with one of the nation's largest bike share programs.  Seven hundred "Nice Ride" bikes are available for rent at 65 locations.

Nice Ride Minnesota Executive director Bill Dossett says downtown Minneapolis office workers are among his many potential customers.  Dossett said many workers arrive downtown by transit. Instead of going to a nearby meeting by bus or train they can rent a bike for $5 or for a yearly subscription of $60.

"Another group that we've seen in other cities that really use bike share are students. So, you've got all those students at the University [of Minnesota], at Augsburg and other colleges around downtown," Dossett said. "You've got a lot of them use public transportation and having the bike as additional tool they can use with the bus is really a great asset to them.  More.

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TN Moving Stories: Navigating World Cup traffic, Twin Cities bike share kicks off, and food trucks in trouble for feeding meters

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Senator Boxer: LA must build 30 years worth of transit in ten years. (Huffington Post)

Alabamans wonder: would boycotting local BP stations hurt the oil company--or local mom-and-pop stores? (Anniston Star)

Um, remember how World Cup organizers weren't worried about transportation? Scratch that. (Sport 24, South Africa) But will drivers stuck in traffic jams honk vuvuzelas?

For the fourth time in a year, a hole appears on a Tulsa bridge. Officials say the deck is in fair condition -- but the structure itself is "functionally obsolete." Drivers try not to think of Swiss cheese while crossing it. (Tulsa World)

Feed New Yorkers, not the meters? NYC Council mulling over a bill to get food trucks to stop idling and refilling parking meters. (NY Post)

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Shall We Kick Off The Energy Debate?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in January with Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (at left) (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(Washington, DC - Todd Zwillich, Transportation Nation) -- The much-anticipated Senate debate over energy and climate change legislation is getting an early start.

Lawmakers are set to vote today on a GOP-backed resolution stripping the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate carbon and other ‘greenhouse gasses’. The vote is shaping up as an early test of where lawmakers stand on curbing carbon emissions in advance of a full-blown energy policy debate set for July.

The EPA branded carbon an “endangerment” to human health in December, 2009, clearing the way for the agency to regulate it as a pollutant. That came after a Supreme Court decision ruling the agency had the power to regulate carbon under the Clean Air Act.

But amid mounting global pressure for US action on climate change, the move was widely seen as the Obama Administration’s way to pressure reluctant lawmakers to act on carbon caps or face regulations from the EPA.

Still, Republicans decried EPA’s anti-carbon threatened rule-making as a power-grab.  Today’s vote, if successful and the bill becomes law, would strip EPA of the authority to make new carbon-control rules.

“The EPA intends to take control of climate policy.  Take it away from the Congress,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the resolution’s main sponsor. “This resolution is about protecting the economy and preventing agency overreach. It’s as simple as that,” she said.

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Boston Bike Share Postponed

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

(Andrea Bernstein Transportation Nation) Boston's bike share was supposed to start this summer, but it's been pushed off at least until April, 2010. Nicole Freedman, Director of Bicycle Programs for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, explains "we felt like we need more time to ensure we could get the operations correct." Each city's structure for bike share is different. Montreal has contracted out operations to Bixi, Washington's DDOT has hired Alta Bike Share to run the system, and Denver and Minneapolis have non-profits setting up theirs.

But Boston is still working out the details of how its system will be run. Freedman says Boston might have been ready by early fall, but setting up a system so close to Boston's notorious winters didn't seem wise.

The news comes on the heels of announcement by New York that a major expansion of protected bike lanes, seen as a prerequisite for bike share, was being postponed.

But cheer up bike share enthusiasts. As MPR reports, Minnesota's bike share starts tomorrow. And DC's now has a name.

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Why Don't More Women Bike to Work?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Female biker's feet in heels

Rachel Bents, St. Paul consultant, now bikes to work after to give up her leased car a few weeks ago. (MPR Photo/Dan Olson)

(Minneapolis, MN - Dan Olson, MPR News) - The folks who organize national Bike and Walk to Work Week here are making an effort to address cycling's gender imbalance.  Surveys continue to show that more than two out of three bicyclists in this country are male.

Different cities are taking different approaches to try bring some balance to the equation.  Organizers in Minnesota are sponsoring rides specifically for women, in an effort to introduce and orient new riders on city streets.  Participants will get bright red T-shirts, urging women to wear red to show their commitment to women's health.

Still, a significant determinant in bike commuting - for women or men - is where you choose to live.  More enthusiastic bike commuters say they live where they know they can bike.  More.


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TN Moving Stories: Worldwide baggage fees? World Cup "trans-sport-tation." Biking, yes biking, illegal in CO town

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

South African transportation minister: "the World Cup is not just about sport, it is more about transport."  Says nation is ready for the rush.  (AP)

Judge rules NYC must re-open and restaff subway station booths.  (WNYC)  Meanwhile, BRT-like plan for East Side comes with more transit cops.  (Daily News)

Airlines asked to set international standards for baggage fees.  (WSJ)

Burbank (Bob Hope) Airport to put $18 million into center for passenger trains, shuttles, buses and taxis.  (LA Times)

Ride your bike on some streets in Black Hawk, Colorado, get a $68 ticket. (7 News Denver)

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New, Bigger Bike Share Has a Name in DC

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

"Capital Bikeshare" it is, rolling toward 100 stations in Washington and 14 in Arlington.  DC's DOT reports that the name beat out George, GoBike, Capital Bixi and ShareCycle.  DC's SmartBike was the first big city bike share pilot, launching with a small number of bikes in 2008.  Capital Bikeshare promises more than 1,000 bikes and hopes to big biggest in the nation.  Launch date still a murky "later this year."

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Passenger Rail Is Booming In Virginia

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

(David Schultz, WAMU) Late last year, Amtrak began running trains daily between Washington D.C. and Virginia's Shenandoah Valley - the locale of cities and towns like Lynchburg, Culpeper and Charlottesville, home to the venerable University of Virginia.

This new train service was meant to be a pilot program, funded by Virginia's Department of Transportation (VDOT). It estimated that - eventually, with a slow and steady growth - ridership might reach levels that could make this service viable.

They were right, except for that "slow and steady" part. Ridership on the Virginia-to-D.C. line has grown exponentially since it began.

VDOT estimated the new rail service would eventually carry 51,000 riders a month. In little more than half a year, monthly ridership has grown to 55,000 per month and it shows no signs of leveling off. This new service has been so successful, Amtrak may actually make a profit off it.

Now plans to expand passenger rail service elsewhere in Virginia are moving forward.

For more on those plans, and to hear from a rider who uses the new train service, check out this story from WAMU in Washington.

(Hat tip to The Hook in Charlottesville)

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From High-Speed Rail to Red Ink: Where California's Governor Wannabes Stand

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

California Attorney General and democratic candidate for governor Jerry Brown (L) shakes hands with a voter as his campaign manager Steven Glazer looks on this morning in Oakland, California. California. Voters are heading to the polls to vote in the primary elections for governor, U.S. Senate and other statewide and local races. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Nathanael Johnson, KALW News) - Californians go to the polls today to pick their party nominees for governor.  It's a tough job -- facing the nation's highest budget deficit, and succeeding the meandering political mantle of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

So how do the candidates come down on transportation issues, and the Golden State's crumbling bus systems, rusty rails, ruby red budgets and push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?  The leading pols haven’t said much about transit issues (and did not respond when this reporter asked them directly). Still, we can piece together some idea of how each potential governor would alter California’s transportation environment.

Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner are racing for the Republican nomination. Jerry Brown (barring a last minute scandal) has the Democratic nomination wrapped up. Here’s where they stand:

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