Streams

TN Moving Stories

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Ford sales in China are up 53 percent, a record.  The Fiesta is a hit! (AP)

LaHood faces lobby against his push for stronger distracted driving laws.  (Washington Post)

Vegas officials agree on high-speed rail plan.  Now go to feds.  (Las Vegas Sun)

LA's Expo Line now a target for SoCal developers, previously interstate-focused.  (NY Times)

Manhattan's pedicabs "not all a bunch of lawless renegades," says NY Post.

Read More

Comment

Neighborhoods and Trucks Meet in Detroit

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

(Detroit, MI - Rob St. Mary, WDET) Trucks aren't allowed in residential neighborhoods in Detroit, but with the help of mobile phone texts and a mapping tool, the public radio station in the Motor City, is showing that they're going into those neighborhoods anyway. In the first part of a series, reporter Rob St. Mary talks to a neighborhood resident who's been collecting photographic evidence.

Listen here:

To follow their whole series, or participate in their mapping project, click here.

Read More

Comment

TN Moving Stories: Airport connector envy in Tampa, parking garage love, and the post- (Crown) Victorian era

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

New York Magazine says the city's transportation future is not below the streets, but on it.  All hail BRT!

High-speed rail in Florida: why does Orlando's airport get a station--and Tampa's doesn't?  (Tampa Tribune)

The kindest cut?  Some of the MARTA routes slated for elimination carry fewer than one person on a bus per mile.  (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Life in the  (post- Crown) Victorian era:  Ford's plan to cease production has local police departments making test drives.    Iowa City is leaning towards the Tahoe, California's Tulare County is eyeing the Charger, and Conway, South Carolina, has settled on the Chevrolet Malibu.

What building is the "connective piece for everything?"  One scholar says it's the... parking garage.  (Baltimore Sun)

How can libraries stay relevant in the 21st century?  Well, some are offering drive-thru service.  But does it come with two triple cheese, side order of fries? (Marketplace)

The Transport Politic says that even thought BART continues to be suburban-focused, at least it points the way towards serving a city center.

Read More

Comment

Will Blind People Drive in 2011?

Monday, July 05, 2010

(The Takeaway)  Blind people and advocates for the blind liken it to walking on the moon: The National Federation of the Blind has joined forces with Virginia Tech to create a car that could be driven by passengers who do not have the use of their sight. The car, slated at this point for a 2011 release, uses hand sensors, speaking computer directives and other forms of cutting-edge technology to aid their visibility-challenged drivers.  Here's Mark Riccobono, executive director of the National Federation of The Blind Jernigan Institute explaining it to John Hockenberry on The Takeaway.

Read More

Comment

About to Hit the Roads? You'll Have Company

Friday, July 02, 2010

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation)  Government data out this morning shows the  unemployment rate dipped to 9.5, as private sector employment ticked up.  But government hiring is down. Confused?  The AAA is concluding there are enough straws to grasp to give you a good enough feeling to get in your car, buy some relatively cheap gas (down from soaring highs two years ago) and drive.  The Motorists' group says some 17 percent more Americans will travel this fourth of July weekend than last year, though we won't be driving farther.

Read More

Comment

Big Brooklyn Bridge Contractor Got "Marginal" Rating on Minority Hiring

Friday, July 02, 2010

(Kate Hinds, WNYC) One of the main reasons WNYC decided to monitor the renovation of the Brooklyn Bridge is that we thought following this $508-million project would provide a good test case for government transparency. We would publicly mull over questions like How does the city award contracts? Where will the materials come from? Who will get the jobs? Read on, and we'll tell you how the main bridge contractor, Skanska-Koch, got a "marginal" rating for hiring women and minorities. But first...(more)

Read More

Comment

Study: Off Hours Truck Deliveries Save Time, $$

Friday, July 02, 2010

(WNYC Newsroom). Trucks making deliveries after seven pm and before 6 am shaved an average of forty eight minutes on their routes. That's according to the results of a pilot program by the New York City Department of Transportation. City Transportation Comisssioner Janette Sadik-Khan says the off-hour delivers also resulted in fewer parking tickets, down from$1000 per truck to almost nothing. The four month pilot enlisted thirty-three companies around Manhattan, including Foot Locker, Whole Foods, and Cisco. Some businesses have expressed reluctance to schedule off-hour deliveries because it can cost more in overtime and make last-minute deliveries more difficult. And some have said it's not an option for perishables.

Read More

Comment

TN Moving Stories

Friday, July 02, 2010

New York: What do we need? Better, faster runways. Britain : What do we need? No more runways! Brits take first move to curb air travel: (NY Times)

Questions about DC Metro not put to rest, as train gets misrouted, bewildering riders. (Washington Post)

Brooklyn's Prospect Park West Bike Lane, now installed, inspires dueling facebook groups, con and pro, a meeting in U.S. Senator Charles Schumers' Prospect Park West building, opposition from both his daughters, and his wife, Iris Weinshall, the former NYC DOT Commissioner. (Streetsblog and NY Daily News.) But the Brooklyn Paper does a 180, and decides the lane is a good thing. Schumer's office isn't talking.

Auto industry says its misses incentives, starting at sales down almost 11 percent. (LA Times)

BART chooses route into downtown Livermore over more tracks near freeway. Density, transit-oriented development-backers rejoice. (Contra Costa Times)

A tour of Delhi's dazzling new airport terminal, set to open tomorrow (BBC News)

Read More

Comment

Bay Area Bridge Toll Congestion Pricing Arrives: Chaos Does Not Ensue

Friday, July 02, 2010

Tolbooth at the Bay Bridge. Photo by Casey Miner

(Casey Miner, KALW) After months of preparation and public service announcements, on Thursday morning Caltrans and the Bay Area Toll Authority officially debuted congestion pricing on the Bay Area’s bridges. The system, used in several cities around the world but relatively new to the US, sets prices at different levels based on the volume of traffic, rather than a flat rate across the board.

Tolls on all but one of the region’s seven bridges rose to $5; on the Bay Bridge, the toll during peak commute hours – 5am-10am and 3pm-7pm – went to $6. The extra revenue will be used to pay for seismic retrofits on the Antioch and Dumbarton bridges.

It’s a major change, and one that’s required a good deal of planning.

Read More

Comments [2]

Former President Clinton Gushes about BRT, Sustainable Transit

Thursday, July 01, 2010

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation). His former Vice President, Al Gore, is known for going on about the environment, but I'm straining to remember when I ever heard Gore go on about transit. I can't ever remember hearing the current President, Barack Obama, (even as a candidate) talk about mass transit in the way you can see former President Bill Clinton speak here.

Perhaps it shouldn't be surprising. Clinton's ClimateWorks foundation has made international low-carbon transit a priority. But still, he says "bus rapid transit."

The video was screened at at gala Wednesday night for the mass-transit touting  Institute for Transportation Development Policy.

Please correct me if I'm wrong: Anyone seen anything comparable from Barack Obama, Vice President Biden, former Vice President Al Gore, or anyone from the U.S. Senate?

Read More

Comments [1]

Peer-review finding: California high speed rail projections unreliable

Thursday, July 01, 2010

(Nathanael Johnson, KALW)

For months, watchdog groups and critics of the California high speed rail project have claimed that a study of projected ridership on the proposed super-train was wildly incorrect. The High Speed Rail Authority has acknowledged that one of its numbers was off by an order of magnitude, but has maintained that the model still produces valuable information. These statistical models are incredibly complex, and it’s impossible to assess these competing claims without considerable expertise and a lot of time. So California's Senate Transportation and Housing Committee commissioned a peer review from engineers at UC Berkeley and UC Irvine, to put an end to the debate once and for all. The California High Speed Rail Authority paid for the review.

Now this group has released it’s findings. In their report, the professors wrote: “we have found some significant problems that render the key demand forecasting models unreliable for policy analysis.” They go on to tear the study apart, shred by carefully-worded shred.

courtesy of the California High Speed Rail Authority

Why does this matter?

Read More

Comment

Highways get a $3.7 billion boost in House bill

Thursday, July 01, 2010

(Todd Zwillich, Transportation Nation, Washington, DC) National transportation programs get a $3.7 billion dollar boost over last year in the House’s latest appropriation bill funding the Department of Transportation.

The increase includes new money for highway repairs and improvements, which have been in limbo with Congress unable to reach agreement on transportation or highway policy bills.

The House Appropriations Committee released a summary of the bill Thursday as the bill works its way through the legislative process on its way to the floor later this summer. DOT would get a total of $79.4 billion in Fiscal 2011, which begins Oct 1. That’s $3.7 billion more than the agency’s budget this year and $1.7 more than requested by President Obama.

Most of the money in the bill—$45.2 billion--goes to federal highway maintenance and construction. It’s a $3.1 billion increase designed to help fill a hole left by the stalled transportation reauthorization bill.

Read More

Comment

Virginia Loses Round in Transit Power Play; Metro Funding Deadline Met

Thursday, July 01, 2010

(David Shultz, WAMU) DC Metro will meet its funding deadline this evening. Metro needed to finalize a funding agreement between DC, Maryland. and Viginia. by the end of the day or it would default on a billion dollar contract for new rail cars. Thelma Drake, the director of Virginia's Department of Rail and Public Transit, tells WAMU she will sign off on the agreement later tonight - meeting the deadline by just a few hours. For more than a month, Virginia Governor McDonnell had refused to approve Metro's funding agreement.

Read More

Comment

June Car Sales Up From a Year Ago, Down from Last Month

Thursday, July 01, 2010

(Charlie Herman, WNYC)  Auto sales increased solidly in June from a year ago when the economy was mired in a deep recession, but fell from the previous month as worries about the economy led to car buyers to put the brakes on purchasing a new car.

Total sales increased by more than 14 percent compared to a year ago but fell nearly 11 percent from May to June.  At the current sales rate, more than 11 million cars will be sold in 2010.  A year ago, the sales rate was 9.7 million.  Sales declined in part because automakers offered few incentives to buyers.  Incentives were down over 1 percent from May to June.  With few automakers offering deals going into the July 4 holiday weekend, analysts believe sales could be off to a slow start in July as consumers continue to worry about the economy and their own finances.

Read More

Comment

Transit Safety Bill Clears U.S. Senate Panel

Thursday, July 01, 2010

(Todd Zwillich, Transportation Nation, Washington, DC) Transit systems across the country would have to abide by a common set of safety standards under a bill that cleared a Senate panel this week.

The bill forces public transit systems receiving federal money to adopt new minimum safety standards created at the Department of Transportation. The agency could conduct ad-hoc safety reviews, and it also gets new powers to conduct safety investigations and issue subpoenas after transit accidents.

The bill was approved by the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee earlier this week. It was largely motivated by the last year’s Metro crash in Washington, DC that killed 9 people.

It’s one of several transit safety bills circulating in Congress now. Another beefs up funding and clout at the National Transportation Safety Board.

Meanwhile, the Homeland Security Department is trying to give rail safety a boost. DHS Sec.Janet Napolitano was in New York’s Penn Thursday morning launching a new safety campaign for Amtrak.The campaign is based on the “See Something, Say Something” message familiar to New York City subway riders.

Read More

Comment

Showdown over DC Metro Funding

Thursday, July 01, 2010

(David Schultz, WAMU)  The Administration of Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell  has threatened to withhold funding from Metro's budget if they don't get more authority over the transit agency's operations. This is a big problem for Metro, because it just signed a multi-billion dollar contract with Kawasaki to purchase new, badly-needed rail cars. If Metro's regional funding agreement is not in place by the contract's deadline, the transit agency could default.

That deadline is tomorrow. Metro needs to have its funding agreement in place with Virginia on board and with the FTA's approval by today so it can tell Kawasaki to move forward with the cars by close-of-business tomorrow.

This morning, in a hastily-called emergency meeting, Metro's Board of Directors approved a final version of the funding agreement after reaching an 11th hour compromise with Virginia.

But...

Read More

Comment

On the Road with David Foster Wallace

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Writers love road trips.  From Homer to Kerouac, travel is work and grist for their mill.  It was the same for David Foster Wallace, who chronicled everything from the ugliness of luxury cruises to getting car sick on rides at the Illinois State Fair.  The tables are turned in the new book, "Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace."  David Lipsky, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, got to ride with Foster Wallace, as he went on book tour with his hit "Infinite Jest" in 1996.  The best part is, Lipsky never got to write a story about it, and the recordings he made of the trip were never aired.  Until now.  This morning, Lipsky, his tape and Foster Wallace's sister appeared on The Takeaway.

Read More

Comment

TN Moving Stories

Thursday, July 01, 2010

State bans on texting and driving start today in Michigan, Georgia and Kentucky.

Ford stock hits seven-month low, as company funds pension, pays off $4B debt.  (Free Press)

Commuter-airline that serves United, US Airways faces $2.5 million penalty for maintenance lapses.  (WSJ)

Sappy, wet kiss from Washington Post to Secretary LaHood.

Read More

Comment

Cuomo: Car Dealer Employees Boosted Theives

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

(Azi Paybarah, WNYC) As if Toyota needs more bad publicity.

A ring of car thieves who stole vehicles from the tri-state area and shipped them to Senegal was able to get into the automobiles using keys obtained from Toyota car dealers, authorities said.

Seventeen people in the ring -- including two employees of car dealerships -- which stole about 500 cars were arrested early this morning. That's according to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who is running for Governor.

Here’s how it worked, he said:  The thieves would get an “order” for a particular kind of car “down to the accessory package.”

Read More

Comment

Subways Yield Safer Kids, in Review of Child Fatalities

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kids are better off riding the subway than driving. A report by New York's health department shows that children are about half as likely to die as a result of injury in New York City as they are in the rest of America, mostly because they use public transportation. Traffic accidents are the leading cause fatal injuries in American children one to twelve years old.  The report also called attention to disparities within city groups.  Children in the highest income neighborhoods are less than half as likely to die from injuries as children in areas with the lowest incomes.  - TN

Read More

Comments [1]