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Souvlaki VS a Spot, on New York City's Streets

Friday, June 18, 2010

The "Treat Truck" food truck parking in Manhattan(New York, NY - Kate Hinds, WNYC)  Food trucks are a fixture of New York City's corners.  From halal chicken and rice to fancy desserts, they offer a curbside piece of the city's culinary fabric.

But they also take up parking spots.  And they get used to the streets they serve.  “There is a vendor on 86th and Lex. who thinks that he owns the northeast corner," says New York City Councilmember Jessica Lappin.  "I don’t think it’s right.”

Lappin has introduced a bill that would keep truck operators from getting too attached to their turf.  It would also penalize those who get multiple parking tickets by taking away their permits.

Shaban Azab runs the food truck that drew Lappin's ire.  "This is going to happen to every car, or only me? Only the food truck? What do you want me to do?” he said.  More.

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TN Moving Stories

Friday, June 18, 2010

Obama, LaHood to Ohio to mark start of the 10,000th road project launched under recovery act.  (Columbus Dispatch)

Boston commuter rail link to South Coast takes step forward with purchase of frieght tracks.  (Boston Globe)

Toyota resumes building Mississippi facility, promising 2,000 jobs.  UAW accuses company of skirting union shops.  (AP)

Seattle jaywalking spot becomes YouTube sensation, police concern.  (Seattle Times)

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Breaking: New York Reaches Transit Card Deal

Thursday, June 17, 2010

(Matthew Schuerman, WNYC). School systems have been under pressure around the nation to cut transportation costs. Minneapolis plans to cut bus service for students who elect not to go to their district schools. Douglas County, Colorado, will start charging school kids to ride the yellow bus. But some 300,000 New York school kids will get to keep their free Metrocards to ride the bus or subway to get to school, under a tentative deal worked out in Albany.

Sources in Albany tell WNYC that New York Governor David Paterson will submit a transportation budget bill tomorrow that would give the Metropolitan Transportation Authority 25 million dollars to save the program. That's not as much as the MTA has wanted. But the bill would include other provisions that the MTA had sought, such as an increase in the debt limit for its capital program.

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Detroit Means Top-Quality Cars, For First Time in Decades

Thursday, June 17, 2010

(New York, NY - Charlie Herman, WNYC)  For the first time in a nearly a quarter of a century, the U.S. auto industry beat out its foreign competitors in the quality of new cars and trucks.

The Initial Quality Study conducted by J. D. Power & Associates measures problems with new vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership.   It finds that significant improvements from Ford and General Motors led domestic manufacturers to the first place finish.  In particular, Ford received the highest initial quality rating for all non-luxury brands, and rose to fifth place in overall rankings.  Last year, the Detroit automaker was eighth.

“Domestic automakers have made impressive strides in steadily improving vehicle quality, particularly since 2007,” said David Sargent, vice president of global vehicle research at J.D. Power and Associates.

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TN Moving Stories

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How do you translate "rumble strip?" Colorado nonprofit teaches English-language road skills to refugees. (Greeley Tribune)

Prepare for takeoff: Spirit Airlines, pilots reach agreement, flights to start tomorrow. (Miami Herald)

If you teach them, they will share the road: Boise police try education, not ticket writing, in an effort to make roads safer for cyclists. (Idaho Statesman)

Light rail versus bus rapid transit: it's a wedge issue in Maryland's gubernatorial race. (Baltimore Sun)

The 2010 census could cost Green Bay Metro roughly $1 million in federal funding . Which doesn't sound like a lot -- except the transit agency's total annual budget is $8 million. (Green Bay Press Gazette)

And how will you be celebrating the fifth annual "Dump the Pump" day? Advocates hope you'll do it on public transit.

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Federal Report: Biking, Walking up, Still Tiny Percent of all trips

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) Via Ray Lahood's blog, the federal highway administration today releases the "National Walking and Biking Study: ...

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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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