Kate Hinds appears in the following:
Friday, March 18, 2011
(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) Walking out my door this morning, I saw that a scene from the NBC show "30 Rock" was filming on my block. There were all the usual sights that accompany a filming -- lights on cherry pickers, electric cables running down the sidewalk, huge trailers parked on the street, and an enticing food service cart. But I got to see something I've never seen before: a bike, waiting for its 15 minutes of fame. Even filming someone riding a bike is a production!
Friday, March 18, 2011
(Washington, DC - David Schultz, WAMU) Cost estimates continue to rise for the second phase of the Dulles Metrorail project -- from Herndon to Dulles Airport and beyond. And now Loudoun County may withdraw its share of the funding for the project.
Loudoun County Supervisor Stevens Miller says a majority of his colleagues on the board think the cost of the so-called Silver Line is no longer worth it.
"Loudoun County's contribution to that project would be on the order of $300 million," Miller says. "But as of yet we haven't committed to fund that part. If we don't, then Phase II would be in complete jeopardy."
Board chairman Scott York says Miller is incorrect and that Loudoun will pay its share of the project -- just as long as its designers choose an above-ground aerial station at the airport.
"We have been communicating to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board that they had better well choose the aerial alignment," York says, "because of the fact that it is several hundred million dollars cheaper."
York says if the Authority chooses an underground station, Loudoun County will have a very serious discussion about opting out of the project.
You can listen to the story here.
TN Moving Stories: DC Metro Crime Up, Big Dig Tunnel Light Down, and New York's Bike Share Program Makes Progress
Friday, March 18, 2011
One-quarter of those arrested on the DC Metro are younger than 20, and the transit agency has hit a five-year high in the number of rapes, robberies and assaults. (WAMU)
Criticism continued over news that state transportation officials did not immediately reveal that a light fixture fell inside a Big Dig tunnel last month. (WBUR)
Crain's New York reports the city has chosen two (or three!) finalists for its bike share program.
Flint (MI) built a $8.1-million parking deck -- and it's now surrounded by a sea of free street parking, making the city's financial investment in the structure shaky. (Flint Journal)
The FAA and US airlines are watching Japan's radiation plume to ensure that planes avoid the cloud. (Marketplace)
GM plans to temporarily close a plant in Louisiana because it can't get enough parts from Japan. (NY Times)
Top Transportation Nation stories we're following: Central Park is center stage for NYC's bike crackdown. Florida Governor Rick Scott is a man with a port plan. And: we mull the ethics of using a subway seat as a bag rest -- while the injured rider stands.
TN Moving Stories: Feds to Investigate LA's MTA Over Civil Rights Complaints, Downtown Brooklyn Wants Its Own Bike Share, and TSA Vs. Congress Over Body Scanner
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Spurred by complaints about cuts in local bus service, federal officials said they would investigate whether the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority had discriminated against minority and low-income transit riders. (Los Angeles Times)
The TSA initially refused to send officials to a Congressional hearing on body scanners, but they later relented (WSJ). Republicans said the technology was "flawed and that "sometimes there's nothing like a good old-fashioned German shepherd." (The Hill)
Money from New Jersey's Transportation Trust Fund will pay for much of a proposed commuter rail line between Camden and Gloucester County, according to the state senate president. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
The December blizzard spurred a shake-up in the MTA's management. (NY Daily News)
The governor of Connecticut is meeting with Ray LaHood today to lobby him for some of Florida's rejected high-speed rail money. (NECN)
Jalopnik writes that Scott Burgess resigned today as The Detroit News auto critic after his editors bowed to a request by an advertiser to water down his negative review of the Chrysler 200.
Did your commute take longer than usual today? INRIX says Thursday is the worst commuting day of the week.
Top Transportation Nation stories we're following: The MTA's pothole-filling truck hits YouTube. Massive megaloads travel through a Montana city. And: two city planners talk about trying to de-sprawl Houston.
TN Moving Stories: Japanese Automakers Scale Back US Production, Miami Beach Begins Bike Share, and Chinatown Bus Riders Undeterred
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Many travelers have remained undeterred from taking Chinatown buses in the wake of two deadly crashes this week involving smaller bus lines. (WNYC)
Some Japanese automakers are scaling back US production as they assess the difficulty in getting parts from Japan. (NPR)
And the NY Times reports, of life in Tokyo: "In a nation where you can set your watch by a train’s arrival and a conductor apologizes for even a one-minute delay, rolling blackouts have forced commuters to leave early so they will not be stranded when the trains stop running." (NY Times)
Transit agencies, experiencing a rider increase because of higher gas prices, would like more money - but no one wants to raise the gas tax, and Congressman John Mica says he won't support an increase in transit funding. (WSJ)
A new report says Indiana's increased restrictions on teen drivers have resulted in a steep reduction in car accidents involving young drivers. (Indiana University)
The Chinese government has halted a tree removal program for planned subway construction in Beijing after residents protested. (Xinhua)
The NYT writes about real estate developers and NY's MTA. “The MTA has learned the hard way that it is one thing to ask a developer to make an upfront capital investment, and quite another one to maintain something on a day-to-day basis over the years," says one policy analyst.
The governor of Rhode Island said the state needs to stop borrowing money to pay for transportation projects. (The Providence Journal)
Opponents of the bike lane on Prospect Park West offer up an alternative: move it a block. NYC DOT says “the ‘compromise’ doesn’t hold up.” (Brooklyn Paper)
Top Transportation Nation stories we're following: the Northeast Corridor is now a federally designated high-speed rail corridor. Lawmakers are trying -- once again -- to create an infrastructure bank. And a subway artist passes away.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) The US Department of Transportation has officially designated the Northeast Corridor the "eleventh and final" high-speed rail corridor. (You can read the DOT's letter here: 110314 NEC Corridor Letter)
The designation means that Amtrak can apply directly for high-speed rail funding -- as opposed to states applying individually for their segment of the line. Or, as New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez enthusiastically tweeted earlier today: "Northeast designated as #HSR corridor by @RayLaHood. Means we are eligible for $2.4 billion in rejected FL $!"
DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said last week the money Florida rejected was up for grabs -- putting rail-supporting politicians on high alert. And now they're organizing. Earlier today, New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg announced the creation of the "Bi-Cameral High- Speed & Intercity Passenger Rail Caucus." The group's purpose is to support high-speed rail, and it's composed of representatives from states with horses in that particular race -- but so far it's only attracted Democrats, not Republicans.
Besides Lautenberg, other members of the group include congresspeople Louise Slaughter (NY), Corrine Brown (FL), Zoe Lofgren (CA), David Price (NC), Tim Walz (MN) and John Olver (MA). Illinois Senator Dick Durbin said today he will also join the caucus. The group formally announced its formation today at a press conference in DC's Union Station.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood already blogs, Facebooks and tweets. Now he's answering questions in the first installment of what he says will be an ongoing video feature called "On the Go With Ray LaHood."
In the nearly seven-minute long video above, LaHood sits in what’s presumably his office (with the browser on his computer monitor opened to his Facebook page) and he's filmed answering questions on these topics:
A national cell phone ban on distracted driving (he doesn't directly answer the question: "We need good enforcement...but more than anything else, we need people to realize you cannot drive safely while using a cell phone")
Will the administration push for the reauthorization of the Recreational Trails Program and Transportation Enhancement Activities ("Absolutely. We've spent the last two years in this job promoting livable and sustainable communities...We know that people are always going to have cars. We also know that people want to get out of congestion, they want to get on a streetcar, they want to get on a transit system, they want to get on a bus, and they also want the availability of walking and biking paths and the amenities that those provide.")
The future of Tiger 3 ("We're not sure if there will be a Tiger 3 program… (the 2012 budget) include(s) some programs where people can come directly to us – we don’t call them TIGER.")
And whether the programs in place to maintain bridges and highways are still viable, or will new government cutbacks cause improvements to be delayed. ("Not really...the president also understands that the transportation budget is also a jobs program...[he] has increased dramatically over the next six years the amount of money for roads and bridges -- over $336 billion -- a 48% increase.")
But he leaves the answer to one key question to his blog, not the video. In response to someone who asked, "Where are the jet packs; they said there'd be jet packs," LaHood writes: "I can only say that I share your disappointment that the 21st century so far lacks a decent jet pack. But it may be of some consolation that, at last year's Oshkosh AirVenture, I did see a flying car."
LaHood writes that he hopes people will keep asking him questions and he's designated a twitter hashtag (#q4ray) for that purpose. No word, though, if he'll offer to come dig your car out of a snowbank, though, the way Newark Mayor Cory Booker did.
TN Moving Stories: Auto Factories Idle in Japan, FTA's Bus Safety Formula May Be Rewritten As America Gets Heavier, and Dems Form Caucus on HSR
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The crisis in Japan is affecting that country's auto production, as plants owned by Toyota, Honda and Nissan remain closed (Detroit Free Press). Grist writes that it appears bicycling is up in Japan, as public transit is affected and energy conservation measures are in effect.
The Federal Transit Administration may adapt the formula it uses to write municipal-bus safety rules because the average passenger is getting heavier. (Bloomberg)
Seeking to defend President Obama’s high-speed rail initiative from conservative criticisms, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and several Democratic House members will announce the creation of a bicameral rail caucus. (The Hill)
The city of Chicago and two airlines reached a $1.2 billion agreement (brokered by Ray LaHood) about how to expand O'Hare Airport. (Chicago Tribune)
Public comment ended yesterday on Detroit's Woodward Light Rail line (Detroit News). Not sure where Transport Michigan stands on the issue? They made a video, complete with Lego characters, explaining why they support the center running option. Sample lyric: Pushing bikes off the side streets ain't real nifty/we got Complete Streets laws -- it ain't 1950.
Top stories Transportation Nation is following: NYCDOT formally unveiled the redesign of its 34th Street redesign. We took a look at the safety record of the bus company involved in this weekend's fatal crash in the Bronx. And a new report says that $5 a gallon gas means 1.5 billion new transit trips.
TN Moving Stories: NY's $14m Fare Beaters, and NJ's Legal Bills to Fight ARC Tunnel Repayment Mounting
Monday, March 14, 2011
A blind man in California uses echolocation to ride a bike. (NPR)
The NY Times Week in Review takes a look at anti-bike lane sentiment, and offers an interesting theory about bike lane acceptance and normative behavior: Yeah, mini-van drivers are unhappy, Elisabeth Rosenthal writes, "But of course, that is partly the point. As a matter of environmental policy, a principal benefit of bike lanes is that they tip the balance of power away from driving and toward a more sustainable form of transportation." (New York Times)
New York plans a $3 billion overhaul to the waterfront - complete with more waterfront parks and biking paths, dredging for bigger ships, and more ferries. (AP via WSJ)
Fare beaters cost NY's MTA $14 million annually. (New York Daily News)
So far, NJ has racked up a $330,000 legal bill in its fight with the feds over the repayment of ARC money. (Star-Ledger)
DC's DOT is considering new regulations for curbside intercity buses. (Washington Post)
"Smart bridges" use electronic sensors to check structural health. (New York Times)
Top Transportation Nation Stories we're following: Florida's high-speed rail money will be available to other states through a competitive process. If gas hits $5 a gallon, that could mean over a billion new trips on public transit. And economists are weighing in on the bike lane debate.
TN Moving Stories: Now FLDOT Says HSR Would Have Been Profitable In Its First Year, But Ray LaHood Says "There's a Line Outside My Door" Waiting For The Rejecte
Thursday, March 10, 2011
The Florida Department of Transportation released a study showing the now-dead high-speed rail line connecting Tampa to Orlando would have had a $10.2 million operating surplus in 2015, its first year of operation. (Miami Herald)
Meanwhile, DOT head Ray LaHood says "there's a line outside my door of governors, senators and congressmen" hoping to claim Florida's rejected $2.4 billion. ( First covered in Transportation Nation, now also The Hill,)
President Obama will talk about rising gas prices this morning (CNN). The Department of Energy said that U.S. drivers will spend about $700 more for gasoline in 2011 than it did last year. (AltTransport)
Gizmodo writes about a recent FAA rule requiring airplane lavatories to remove oxygen masks -- and says it turns bathrooms into "deadly traps" in the event of depressurization.
The Brooklyn Paper says the CB6 meeting on the Prospect Park West Bike Lane last night produced a lot of partisanship and no real solutions. (Coverage also in the NY Times and the NY Post, which called the hearing a "generational war.")
Top Transportation Nation stories we're following: New NYS Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald spoke about the fiscal challenges facing the state's infrastructure. And: megaloads traveled through a Montana city.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) In her first public event in New York City since being confirmed as state Department of Transportation Commissioner, Joan McDonald spoke about maintaining the state’s aging infrastructure during a tough economy.
“I don’t know about all of you,” she told the audience at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council’s annual meeting, “but I’m getting a little tired of the challenging economic times.”
Particularly in the Northeast Corridor, the most heavily traveled region in the country -- and the place with the oldest infrastructure.
“Here in the Northeast, in New York and New Jersey, we’re blessed and we’re cursed," she said. "We have an infrastructure that has been in place for over a century. We were ahead of the curve – but it’s old...We are doing our best to preserve the highway and transit networks, but the age and magnitude are daunting and they work against us."
McDonald ticked off a long list of New York's aging transportation assets, like the Long Island Rail Road (which began operating in 1836), the city's subway system (1904), and the Brooklyn Bridge (1883).
Speaking of bridges: "We rank New York State in the bottom ten in the nation in bridge conditions," McDonald said. "The average age of a bridge in New York State is now 46 years old – when 50 years is considered the average life. It’s a sobering statistic."
The bridge that was on everyone's mind during the NYMTC meeting is the Tappan Zee, -- a "600 pound gorilla," according to one participant. The 55-year old bridge bears more traffic than it was ever designed to carry, is enormously expensive to repair, and even more terrifyingly expensive to replace.
But McDonald tried to put a positive face on the proceedings, and talked about the need for continually planning and designing -- even at times when finding money for just plain maintenance is a scramble. "You never know when an opportunity is going to present itself," she said. "The economy will turn around. And if you don't have plans and designs on the shelf, you can't take advantage (of it.)"
McDonald also voiced her support for smart growth. Last year, New York passed smart growth legislation to address sprawl. "And New York State DOT has the responsibility to insure that its provisions are implemented. I am a very strong proponent and advocate for those smart growth principles," she added.
She said she saw the need for it while serving as the serving as the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. "I never saw so closely the link between housing, transportation and economic development, and overlaying it all is land use planning," she said. "We have got to make sure we continue those principles and advance them together."
TN Moving Stories: Ray LaHood Goes to Capitol Hill, Reversing DC Metro's Decline Will Take Years, and More British Coverage of NYC Bike Lanes
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will be up on Capitol Hill again today to field questions from lawmakers on President Obama's proposed $556 billion in new transportation spending in his 2012 budget. (The Hill)
Marketplace looks at the economic impact of high-speed rail.
The head of DC's Metro said reversing the growing decline in its bus and rail network will take years. "This system is stretched to its limits," GM Richard Sarles said. "Every time we try to make another adjustment to it, it becomes much more complex and takes a lot longer than we thought." (Washington Post)
Scotland has okayed a £290 million plan to renovate Glasgow's subway. (BBC)
Speaking of Ray LaHood...he blogged about his speech to the National Bike Summit and posted a video of it:
Janette Sadik-Khan and other NYC officials get a little love from transit and bike advocates. (NY Daily News, Streetsblog)
Even The Economist has something to say about bike lanes and the New Yorker's John Cassidy.
Slate theorizes about why -- in their words -- conservatives hate trains, and points out that it didn't used to be that way.
Top Transportation Nation stories we're following: Texas lawmakers consider a range of distracted driving bills. NYC is going after cabbies who refuse outer-borough fares. NYC DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan talks about bike lanes -- and unveils an Urban Bikeway Guide. And: California's census shows that the high-speed "train to nowhere" is really "the train to where the population growth is happening."
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
(New York -- Stephen Nessen, WNYC) The city is further cracking down on taxis that refuse to drive outside of Manhattan with a proposal for steeper fines and possibly revoking the license of repeat offenders. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday said such "geographic discrimination" is unacceptable and on the rise.
Under the new proposal, the city would issue a $500 fine for the first offense, a $750 fine and a 30-day suspension of the driver's license for a second offense within 24 months of the previous offense. A third offense would result in loss of TLC license.
"It doesn't matter which borough you are coming from or which borough you're going to, if you want to hail a cab, New York City cab drivers are required by law to take you to any destination in the city," Bloomberg said. "Without argument, pure and simple."
The Taxi and Limousine Commission has been creating undercover videos using Baruch college students posing as passengers hailing taxis to locations outside of Manhattan.
In one video, the student asks for a ride to Liberty Ave. and Lefferts Blvd. in Queens, and is flatly refused. He asks the taxi driver if he has a map, and the driver speeds off. (You can see the video, from Mayor Bloomberg's YouTube channel, below.)
The mayor was joined by TLC chairman David Yassky and City Council Transportation Committee Chair James Vacca, who is sponsoring the legislation. Yassky and Bloomberg said the number of cab refusals is on the rise and that when it occurs passengers should call 311 and report the medallion number of the driver.
The TLC currently has 100 enforcement agents ensuring city taxi drivers are obeying the rules. Yassky warned drivers that "if you turn down a fare that may well be a TLC enforcement agent."
Licensed taxi drivers are required to carry a map of the city, but not a GPS.
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) Janette Sadik-Khan is not only the NYC Transportation Commissioner -- and the subject of a lot of press coverage, plus a lawsuit, surrounding bike lanes these days -- but also president of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO). And speaking today at the League of American Bicyclist's National Bike Summit, she unveiled NACTO's Urban Bikeway Design Guide.
The guide draws upon the experience of transportation planners from over a dozen cities nationwide and is "intended to help practitioners make good decisions about urban bikeway design." It covers a host of topics like bike signals, intersection design, and pavement markings, and it can be found here.
TN Moving Stories: DART Shows Off Battery-Operated Streetcar, Bk Bike Lane Brouhaha Being Watched in UK, And Equality Comes With a Price
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Denver's FasTracks needs more money to complete its rail expansion, but the question of a tax increase has been put off until May. (Denver Post) (Meanwhile - if you want to learn more about Denver's transit expansion, listen to the TN documentary "Back of the Bus: Race, Mass Transit and Inequality")
Another step has been taken toward building a $778 million commuter-train line that would link nearly 20 suburban communities to downtown Chicago. (AP via Bloomberg Businessweek)
Apparently equality comes with a price: a European Union court ruled that insurance companies must charge men and women the same rates -- so now women drivers will pay as much as men do to insure their cars. (NPR)
Dallas Area Rapid Transit demonstrated a new energy-efficient streetcar that uses rechargeable batteries, not overhead wires. (Dallas Morning News)
The New York Observer weighs in on the bike lane brouhaha, which it terms "New York's last culture war." And the New Yorker's John Cassidy pens a defense of bike lane opponents. Which is then picked apart by Reuters' Felix Salmon.
Even the British paper the Guardian is writing about NYC's bike lanes. "How New York – the city that still has a uniquely low level of car ownership and use – manages its transport planning in the 21st century matters for the whole world: it is the template. If cycling is pushed back into the margins of that future, rather than promoted, along with efficient mass public transit and safe, pleasant pedestrianism, as a key part of that future, the consequences will be grave and grim."
A pregnant subway commuter tracks chivalry in New York -- with a positive outcome. Out of 108 subway rides, she was offered a seat 88 times. (WSJ via Second Avenue Sagas)
And, okay we bit. Here's the full Mad Men pro-high speed rail video, produced by the pro-high speed rail group, US PIRG.
Top Transportation Nation stories we're following: has the backlash to the bike lane backlash begun in NYC? And: Montana legislators mull penalties for multiple DUI's, but should the 3rd crime get offenders a felony charge...or the gallows? And: in DC, lawmakers want graduated driver's licenses for teens, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood talks about transportation of the future at the National Bike Summit.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) As the average price of a gallon of gas hit $3.50, The Takeaway looked at how that determines the price of... just about everything. It affects the cost of things that we make out of oil (plastic, fiberglass, petroleum based products), and it also affects the cost of shipping nearly every product to our doorsteps.
According to guest Christopher Steiner, of Forbes Magazine and author of the book, $20 Per Gallon, "We know that Americans start to change their behavior at four dollars [per gallon]. We saw it in 2008, when Americans drove 100 billion less miles than they did in 2007, and that's something we've never done before as a nation. And that was a clear reaction to four dollar gas."
Listen below to how oil prices will determine the future of American consumer and social trends.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) A day after opponents filed a lawsuit against the New York City Department of Transportation to compel the removal of Prospect Park West's bike lane, supporters of the lane gathered on the steps of City Hall.
City Council member Brad Lander, who represents Park Slope, said the the lane had gone through years of community review and process before being built.
"A small group of opponents have chosen to bring a baseless lawsuit in an effort to block further safety improvements, to eradicate the lane, to go back to three lanes of traffic on Prospect Park West—the speedway that it was before—and essentially to impose their will on the community through lawsuit,” he said.
Transportation Nation nation first reported on the lawsuit last month.
Lander said a survey of neighborhood residents showed that the majority support the new street design. Out of the 3,150 people who responded, 54% like the bike lane as-is; 24% want some changes, and 22% want to revert to the street's previous configuration. Lander said he was impressed with the response to the survey. “I think if we offered free money at our office we wouldn’t get 3,000 people," he said, "so there’s real passion on this issue.” The survey can be found here.
Michael Cairl, the president of the Park Slope Civic Association, said that his group supported the lane and that its installation had made the street safer. "Prospect Park West before the reconfiguration had been a speedway," he said. "It was unsafe to cross, it was unsafe to cycle on, it wasn’t all that safe to drive on.” New York City Department of Transportation says that data shows crashes involving injuries are down 63%, speeding is down from 75% of cars to 20%, and cycling on the sidewalk is down 80%.
But Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes and Seniors for Safety, which is bringing the suit, say that data has been manipulated and the city's actions were "arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to the civil and criminal laws of the State of New York." In a statement today, the group's attorney, Jim Walden, says:
"Everyone should be concerned about DOT's misuse of the data. Everyone. This case is about a government agency wrongfully putting its thumb on the scale by fudging the data and colluding with lobbyists. That is not what 'public integrity' means. Some people on both sides of the issue are affluent and have political connections. So, the continuous, one-sided name-calling is hardly appropriate. But, more importantly, it keeps people from focusing on the real issue in the case, which I suspect is the true aim."
But Gary Reilly, the chair of the environmental committee of Community Board 6, said he couldn't count the number of meetings that the DOT had with CB6. "And at various steps in the process, DOT has come back and taken input from the community, absorbed lessons from the survey, taken a look at the safety results, and looked at ways to tweak and make this project better at every step along the way."
Separately Tuesday, following a wave of coverage critical of city DOT chief Janette Sadik-Khan, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, the Straphangers Campaign, Transportation Alternatives, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Pratt Center for Community Development said they would stage a rally at City Hall Wednesday morning "to Thank City for 3+ Years of Transportation Improvements."
And on Thursday, Brooklyn's Community Board 6 will hold a meeting about proposed revisions to the bike lanes.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) Although the New York City metropolitan area is second to Los Angeles in traffic, it has the number one bottleneck in the country.
That honor goes to the Cross Bronx (I-95), according to the 2010 National Traffic Scorecard, released by the Washington State-based traffic company INRIX.
In congested traffic it took an average of 63 minutes to drive the 11.3 mile corridor.
"In almost the same amount of time you could make the 100-mile trip from New York to Philadelphia on Acela Express," said Sam ("Gridlock Sam") Schwartz, a former NYC traffic commissioner.
It's unclear whether the recent spike in gas prices will affect congestion levels.
INRIX's research dovetails with a report released earlier this year by the Texas Transportation Institute, which also said Los Angeles and New York City had the worst congestion in the country.
Moving Stories: Massachusetts To Hold Transit Hearings, Climbing Gas Prices Worry Nonprofits, and 'Mad Men' Mad for HSR
Monday, March 07, 2011
House Democrats are going after Republicans for backing cuts to port and transit security in the House spending bill, after GOP lawmaker Peter King called them “wrong” and “dangerous.” (The Hill)
Following a winter of service disruptions, the Massachusetts legislature plans to hold hearings on the transit system. (Boston Globe)
Leaders of Indiana nonprofit agencies that provide transportation for clients are nervously watching gasoline prices rise and wondering when they'll have to start making budget cuts. (AP via Chicago Tribune)
Two "Mad Men" actors filmed a video for US PIRG promoting high-speed rail that will premiere Wednesday; the teaser is below.
Should the US structure their cities around airports? The author of "Aerotropolis" makes his case on The Takeaway.
Does Toronto's transit plan shortchange the suburbs? "Only 217,000 commuters would benefit from light rail under (Mayor Rob) Ford’s plan, which is still being considered by Metrolinx, the provincial agency that approves transit funding. That compares with about 460,000 commuters who could have accessed light rail under the old plan, which Ford has declared dead." (Toronto Star)
Single women spend more on transportation than any other single expense except shelter. (AltTransport)
Top Transportation Nation stories we're following: a group of local residents filed suit against the NYC DOT to have Brooklyn's Prospect Park West bike lane removed. The cash-strapped MTA is looking at selling ads in subway tunnels. And NY's comptroller said that the MTA is late and over budget on anti-terror projects like bridge reinforcement and electronic surveillance.
TN Moving Stories: St. Paul Residents Welcome Light Rail -- Not Gentrification; BART's Cloth Seats A Comfy Perch for Bacteria
Sunday, March 06, 2011
Neighborhood residents hope that the Central Corridor light rail line will improve St. Paul -- without bringing any of the downsides of gentrification. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
What can developing countries teach the US about buses? Three words: bus rapid transit. (Reuters via NYT)
BART commuters may choose to stand instead of sit: "High concentrations of at least nine bacteria strains and several types of mold were found on the seat. Even after Franklin cleaned the cushion with an alcohol wipe, potentially harmful bacteria were found growing in the fabric." (Bay Citizen)
Consequences of the "tarmac rule"? An analysis of federal Department of Transportation figures reveal airlines are canceling more flights, presumably to avoid idling on the tarmac and exposing themselves to the whopping fines. In fact, the cancellation rate at the nation’s major airports surged 24 percent during the eight months after the rule went into effect. (Star-Ledger)
Michelangelo's "David" may be at risk because of the vibrations caused by the construction of high-speed rail line beneath Florence. (Telegraph)
4,600 City of New York employees owe $1.6 million in parking tickets. (NY Post)
The New York Times profiles city transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.