Kate Hinds

Kate Hinds appears in the following:

TN MOVING STORIES: House To Vote On FAA Extension, BART Police Eye Media Restrictions, and Pipeline Explosion Kills Dozens In Kenya

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Top stories on TN:

President Obama's jobs plan includes a $10 billion infrastructure bank (link), but a key House Republican isn't interested. (Link)

Houston expands its electric vehicle fleet; will add dozens of charging stations. (Link)

Zipcar is increasing its presence on college campuses. (Link)

An unused air traffic control tower at LaGuardia Airport, being dismantled (photo by Alex Goldmark)

The House will vote on an FAA extension this week. (The Hill)

NYT columnist Frank Bruni calls NYC DOT head Janette Sadik-Khan a "bicycle visionary."  (Link)

A leaking pipeline exploded in Nairobi, killing dozens. (New York Times)

Bay Area Rapid Transit police eye media restrictions after the handcuffing and detention of at least six professional and student journalists at a protest. (AP via Mercury News)

Contract talks between auto workers and the Big Three manufacturers matter to the larger economy. (WBEZ)

Suzuki wants to end its partnership with Volkswagen. (Wall Street Journal)

Drunk driving arrests in Manhattan's East Village have tripled. (DNA Info)

There are so many cyclists in Copenhagen that congestion is becoming a problem. (The Guardian)

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TN MOVING STORIES: Obama Wants "World-Class" Transpo System, TSA Tries Out "No Lie" Zone

Friday, September 09, 2011

Top stories on TN:

A ratings agency downgraded the MTA's debt. (Link 1, Link 2)

NJ redirected money originally meant for the ARC Tunnel to the state DOT, where it will be spent on roads, bridges, and -- maybe -- NJ Transit. (Link)

What was Reagan National Airport like after 9/11? Abandoned. (Link)

President Barack Obama talks with Rep. Chris VanHollen, D-Md., before addressing a Joint Session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Sept. 8, 2011. Pictured, from left, are: Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va.; Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama's speech: "Building a world-class transportation system is part of what made us an economic superpower.  And now we’re going to sit back and watch China build newer airports and faster railroads?"

Where's the money going? $50 billion to transportation (Washington Post); $10 billion to an infrastructure bank (TN).

Analysis: WashPo, NYT, TN's Todd Zwillich on The Takeaway.

Authorities say there's a credible but unconfirmed terror threat aimed at bridges or tunnels in NY or DC. (Politico, NY1)

A highway spending bill extension cleared a Senate committee. (The Hill)

San Francisco's Clipper cards -- a universal fare card system -- are problematic (Bay Citizen via NYT).  So are DC's student transit cards (The Examiner).

There's a drop in parking tickets in Manhattan -- especially in the East Village. (DNA Info)

Transit eye candy: NY MTA workers pose for charity calendar. (NY Daily News)

The TSA is experimenting with a "no lie zone" -- a behavior detection program -- at Boston's Logan Airport. (Boston Globe)

Manhattan's High Line -- the park built on old elevated freight rail tracks -- is screening train-themed movies this month. (The High Line via DNA Info)

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NJ's ARC Tunnel Money Redirected

Thursday, September 08, 2011

(Photo by William Hartz via Flickr)

Money that was supposed to go to New Jersey's canceled ARC trans-Hudson transit tunnel has officially been redirected to the state transportation trust fund.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority voted Wednesday to pay money -- initially promised to the ARC tunnel -- to the state Department of Transportation instead.

The specifics are laid out in a memo to NJTA executive director Veronica Hakim from Donna Manuelli, the state's chief financial officer. Manuelli wrote she wanted to "take all necessary steps to terminate the Authroity's agreement with New Jersey Transit regarding the canceled ARC Tunnel project." (Read the funding agreement memo; pdf.)

Governor Christie killed the ARC Tunnel project last year, saying it was too expensive and he feared costs would spiral out of control. He  said in January that he planned to put the NJTA's ARC money toward the state's ailing transportation trust fund, so yesterday's NJTA vote didn't come as a surprise.

The NJTA collects tolls on the NJ Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway ($952 million in 2010), and it had originally pledged $1.25 billion to the ARC tunnel project.

It's unknown at this time where that money will go. Tim Greeley, a spokesman for the NJ DOT, said the state legislature makes decisions about the capital transportation budget in the spring. New Jersey's capital construction budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2011 has already been set.

Though not unexpected, NJ Senator Frank Lautenberg, long a proponent of a tunnel, was piqued by the move. “This toll revenue was supposed to be used to build a desperately needed trans-Hudson tunnel for New Jersey commuters,” he said in a statement.  “Using this money as a slush fund for other transportation projects is a disservice to New Jersey residents facing congestion on our roads and seeking access to more jobs and more trains in and out of New York.”

New Jersey's Transportation Trust Fund finances the annual capital program of the New Jersey Department of Transportation and NJ TRANSIT. The lion's share of its revenue comes from the state's gas tax, which is the third lowest in the nation. Governor Christie has said repeatedly he will not raise the gas tax.



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TN MOVING STORIES: Tonight's Presidential Speech Brought To You By the Letter "I" -- for Infrastructure

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Fashionistas now can ride heel-friendly bikes: designers trick out public bikes for Fashion Week. (Link)

Air traffic controllers remember 9/11. (Link)

Toronto's pedestrian 'scramble' signal

President Obama's jobs speech tonight: infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure. (Politico)

Number being thrown around for tonight's speech: $100 billion for infrastructure, state and local aid, and programs that target people who have been unemployed for more than six months. (Washington Post)

Maryland lawmakers were warned not to expect nearly as much help from Washington as in the past to pay for highways and transit. (Washington Post)

Toronto's "scramble" traffic signal -- a light that allows pedestrians to cross a busy intersection diagonally -- has come under scrutiny. (Globe and Mail)

Protected bike lanes are coming to East Harlem in the spring of 2012, a neighborhood with one of the highest rates of bicycle commuters in NYC. (DNA Info)

Gizmodo looks at the World Trade Center transit hub -- a $3.8 billion "mega-terminal."

Candidates complained about the TSA at last night's Republican debate. (The Hill)

A manual transmission with two pedals? (Wall Street Journal)

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Break a Heel? Grab a Bike! Designers Prototype Bike Share for NY's Fashion Week

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Fashion Week, New York City: One week, dozens of designers, scores of events -- and now, for the first time, 30 designer bicycles.

And -- unlike the clothing on the runways -- the bicycles are free to borrow as part of a week-long fashion-inspired bike share program. (More info on how to borrow the bikes is at the end of this story; more pictures can be found here.)

Elie Tahari's snakeskin-wrapped ride (photo by Kate Hinds)

It's part of Tour de Fashion, a Fashion Center Business Improvement District project.  Barbara Randall, the BID's president, said " the idea is that you can get around to all these different venues. A lot of times models are having to get between venues, or you forgot the shoes -- you can hop on a bike, get down there, drop them off, and get back." Plus, she said, the Fashion Center is pro-biking.

Here are a few of your choices, which will no doubt be more whimsical -- and probably not as functional -- as New York City's planned bike share program.

Fashion designer (and Project Runway winner) Gretchen Jones said she was eager to design a bike -- especially one that could accommodate her penchant for heels.

The (high) heel-friendly pedals of Gretchen Jones' bike (photo by Kate Hinds)

Jones lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and bikes to work over the Manhattan Bridge. She said her design, which has wood-paneled wheels and a laser-etched wood basket, was inspired by the old woodie cars. "The more wood the better," she said.

Jones, with her bespoke bike (photo by Kate Hinds)

The basket is made out of arrows, because "arrows are a distinct part of my aesthetic in textile design, so I wanted to bring a little bit of my clothing design elements into the bike."

Gretchen Jones' arrow bike basket (photo by Kate Hinds)

All of the bikes were made by New York City's Bowery Lane Bicycles. "I'm trying to make sure the bikes are secure enough to be ridden," fretted Bowery Lane's Patrick Benard, "and some of them are on the borderline."

Benard's favorite bike: the leather-clad model by menswear designer Thom Browne. "It's beautifully done and it's functional, which is not true of all of these bikes. It can be ridden for years, and that's one of the things that I like about it."

Thom Browne's bicycle (photo by Kate Hinds)

Jewelry designer Amrita Singh made a bike that's "fit for a maharajah or a maharani, so it has a royal theme."

Amrita Singh's bejeweled bicycle (photo by Kate Hinds)

Singh said her bubblegum pink bike was inspired by the colors of Rajasthan, India. She was surprised by how difficult her bike was to make. "I didn't realize how much work it is," she laughed.  "Just the painting process is insane -- coat after coat. You think jewelry is hard? Bikes are harder."

Public School's Dao-Yi Chow also had painting challenges. He put the finishing touches on his bike the morning of the Tour de Fashion event -- and he's got the paint-stained hands to prove it.

Public School's Dao-Yi Chow's paint-stained hands (photo by Kate Hinds)

Public School's bike was, according to their blog, inspired by "the countless times we couldn’t catch a cab during the hectic 10 days that is NYC Fashion Week."  Plus, Chow says, the checkerboard design is an iconic New York City symbol.

Public School's Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, with their taxi-inspired bike (photo by Kate Hinds)

Designer Yeohlee Teng's bike is covered with ants, "because cutter ants were the inspiration for my spring '11 collection, and I love the shape of the leaves that they cut, but I also like the fact that they are so industrious. Listen, we should take a lesson from the ants. You know what works for them? Cooperation."

Yeohlee Teng's ant-inspired bicycle (photo by Kate Hinds)

The bicycles will be on display -- and available for borrowing -- from Thursday, September 8 through September 15, from 10am to 6pm (weekdays; weekends 11am to 6pm). "If they're not here," said Barbara Randall, "it's because someone's riding them." There's no fee, but riders must present a valid credit card.  There are two docking stations, one at the pedestrian plaza on Broadway between 39th and 40th Streets, and one at the pedestrian plaza on Ninth Avenue and 14th Street.

At the end of the week, the bicycles will be auctioned off. The proceeds will go to the Council of Fashion Designers of America's Fashion Incubator, which supports up-and-coming designers through mentoring, low-rent studio space, networking, and education.






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TN MOVING STORIES: No-Shoe Air Travel Rule May Be Eased, Obama's Jobs Plan Heavy on Infrastructure Spending, and VP Biden Misses His '67 Corvette

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Top stories on TN:

A lower Manhattan subway station, severely damaged on 9/11, reopens. (Link)

Air traffic controllers remember 9/11: "There was no playbook." (Link)

Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama look at an app on an iPhone in the Outer Oval Office (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Previewing President Obama's jobs speech: rebuilding our infrastructure critical to easing jobs crunch. (Washington Post)

Joe Biden: the worst thing about being VP ("I'm serious") is not being able to drive my '67 Corvette. (Car and Driver)

New York Observer: NYC DOT head Janette Sadik-Khan is the best mechanic the city streets have had in a generation.

The head of Homeland Security foresees a future in which air travelers can keep their shoes on while going through security. (Politico)

Tropical Storm Lee disrupted oil production in the Gulf. (Wall Street Journal)

America's top ten gas drillers: you know numbers 1, 5, 7 and 9; have you heard of the rest? (ProPublica)

The National Park Service reverses position, says yes to bike share on the Mall. (Washington Post)

U.S., Kenya to hold talks on direct flights between the two counties; Ray LaHood to fly to Nairobi at the end of the month. (Bloomberg)

Starting this week, New York boaters can no longer discharge sewage into Long Island Sound. (New York Newsday)

Subway riders would rather that the next MTA chief have political savvy -- not a well-used MetroCard. (NY Daily News)

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"There Was No Playbook" -- Air Traffic Controllers Remember 9/11

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Air traffic controllers receiving reports about hijacked planes 30 minutes before the first plane struck the World Trade Center were one of the first groups of people who realized what was happening on 9/11.

Today the FAA  released a short video that shares the perspective of three air traffic controllers who worked that day. It's a sobering account of  the events of that morning and the scramble to clear the air space.  "Okay, we gotta put these aircraft on the ground," said one controller who was interviewed. "So we were working with the controllers to then tell the pilots 'you're going to have to're going to have to pick an airport...tell us where you're gonna land."

You can watch the video above, and read more about it at Fast Lane, the US DOT secretary's blog.

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TN MOVING STORIES: Boston Bike Share Booming, and A Look At The New DC Metro Map

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Top stories on TN:

President Obama calls on Congress to pass a transportation bill -- and keep the FAA open for business. (Link)

Trouble finding parking in San Francisco? There's an app for that. (Link)

"Revolutionary" Hubway riders outside of Paul Revere's House in Boston (photo courtesy of the City of Boston; hat tip to TheCityFix)

Ridership on Boston's one-month-old bike share program has exceeded expectations. (Boston Globe)

New York Times op-ed: reauthorizing the highway trust will create 120,000 jobs over the next three years.

Baltimore Sun op-ed: Congress has created a transportation time bomb; needs to renew gas tax and get moving on long-term legislation.

Detroit's city council will take up funding for the People Mover and governance for a local light rail project at its meeting today. (Detroit News)

China won't let the Chevy Volt get subsidies unless GM shares engineering technology -- and the conflict could spur a trade dispute between China and the U.S. (New York Times)

Commuter rail service between Philadelphia and Trenton resumes today, after being shut down for more than a week due to damage from Hurricane Irene. (AP via the Star-Ledger)

An intersection on Manhattan's Upper West Side -- dubbed "the bowtie of death" -- is getting pedestrian safety upgrades. (DNA Info)

Washington's Metro unveiled a draft of a new subway map -- and wants input from riders before finalizing it. (Greater Greater Washington)

A draft of the new DC Metro map (image courtesy of WMATA)

Southbound service at the Cortlandt Street subway station in downtown Manhattan will reopen today after being shut for six years. (New York Daily News)

9/11 made business travel cheaper -- and forced some other changes. (Marketplace)

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TN MOVING STORIES: Auto Sales Up, Hitchhiking in Havana, and DC Drivers: Worst in U.S.?

Friday, September 02, 2011

Top stories on TN
Trouble finding a parking space in San Francisco? There's an app for that. (Link)

The damage caused by disasters like Hurricane Irene has been amplified by decades of bad infrastructure decisions. (Link)

A public bus in Havana (photo by Wha'ppen via Flickr)

In Havana, terrible public transportation and good public safety have built a culture of hitchhiking -- especially for women. (NPR)

New express bus lines link Henderson to Las Vegas; officials hope the transit will give the region an economic boost. (Las Vegas Sun)

The price of gas is near the highest level it has ever been heading into a Labor Day weekend. (Marketplace)

Auto sales rose strongly in August. (Wall Street Journal)

Thursday's Brian Lehrer Show talked about the president's infrastructure speech -- and how many jobs could potentially be lost if transportation funds are cut. (WNYC)

DC drivers: among the worst in the country. (WAMU)

The Sinatra-crooning construction worker is leaving the Second Avenue Subway to work on another MTA project. (New York Post)

A tale of two bus systems in Bogotá: a photo essay. (The CityFix)

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Hurricane Irene Damage Amplified by Decades of Bad Infrastructure Policy

Thursday, September 01, 2011

A flooded street in downtown Millburn, New Jersey

WNYC's Bob Hennelly writes in his latest Stucknation blog post that global warming, combined with years of bad infrastructure policy, has set the table for the type of massive flood damage 13 states experienced this week.

"The scope of the damage of these short-sighted landuse practices that play out at the local level have become so pernicious the results can be seen from space...Can we learn these lessons or are we doomed to just keep repeating the same failed behavior? Connecting these dots are  our 21st century WPA scale challenge."

You can read his post here.

And you can listen to Bob discuss America's infrastructure policy on this morning's The Takeaway.

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TN MOVING STORIES: U.S. Oil Production Up, NYC Taxi Medallions Make Good Investments, and No More Free Rides for Chicago's Seniors

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Top stories on TN:

President Obama urges Congress to pass federal transportation bill and keep the FAA in business. (Link)

NY's MTA invokes "emergency powers" to repair a damaged Metro-North commuter rail line. (Link)

The head of the Port Authority of NY and NJ launched a full-throated broadside against politicians who say the government must reduce all spending.. (Link)

Photo: CC by Flickr user Vincent van der Pas

The cost of a NYC taxi medallion has gone up 1,000% since 1980 -- making them a better investment than gold. (Bloomberg)

How many jobs could federal funding of infrastructure create? Marketplace takes a look.

Closing tolls booths and transit during Tropical Storm Irene cost Massachusetts hundreds of thousands of dollars in transportation revenues. (Boston Globe)

San Francisco's BART hired a new general manager, who says the job "sounds fun to me." (San Francisco Chronicle)

Free rides for Chicago's senior citizens ends today; now they are expected to pay reduced fare on transit. (Chicago Tribune)

During Obama's tenure, oil drilling has gone up, but prices haven't gone down. (Washington Post)

Embattled car maker Saab may avert bankruptcy with a bank loan. (Bloomberg via Financial Post)

Detroit's People Mover only has enough funding to operate through December. (Detroit Free Press)

The family of a bicyclist killed in Brooklyn say she'd be alive if debris had been cleared from the bike lane. (New York Daily News)

Electric car batteries: is it better to recycle them, or reuse them? (New York Times)

India feels inspired by China's investment in infrastructure. (New York Times)

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NY's MTA Invokes "Emergency Powers" To Rebuild Port Jervis Line

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chairman Jay Walder surveys damage on the Port Jervis Line with MTA Board Members Susan Metzger and Carl Wortendyke (photo by Hilary Ring/MTA)

Rebuilding the Metro-North's Port Jervis commuter rail line will take months, not weeks -- and the MTA is invoking special powers to move forward with the work.

The line, which serves New York's Rockland and Orange Counties, was hit hard by Hurricane Irene flooding. MTA head Jay Walder described the damage as  "catastrophic" -- a description that seems borne out on the MTA's Flickr page, which has photos showing places where the track has completely washed out. In other pictures, the rails are canted at an angle -- more like a roller coaster than railroad tracks.

The MTA also says there is significant damage to the line's railroad bridges, as well as suspected significant damage to the signal system -- which is visibly exposed and under water.

There's no estimate yet of how long it will take to restore service. Also unknown at this time: how much repairs will cost, or how much money the federal government will contribute.

Jay Walder said in a statement today:  “There are sections of track literally suspended in the air, and in many places we will have to build a new railroad from scratch, from the foundation to the tracks to the signals. I have directed Metro-North to take such steps as are necessary to expeditiously and fully address the catastrophic damage suffered along the Port Jervis Line as a result of Irene. Rebuilding this infrastructure is going to be a long and difficult process, but we are taking every action in our power to continue serving our customers, to reduce unnecessary delay and to communicate every step of the way.”

Part of those actions: invoking "emergency powers," which the MTA described as necessary to quickly free up money and waive procurement rules.

"They’re going to do work now and sort the funding out later," said William Henderson, the executive director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA. He said waiving the usual competitive bidding process will allow Metro-North to speed up repairs.

The MTA is providing bus service from Harriman, New York, to a NJ Transit rail station in Ramsey, NJ, where passengers can board trains heading to New York Penn Station. Marjorie Anders said the MTA is about to announce additional bus service which will take passengers from Port Jervis and Middletown across the Hudson River into Beacon, where riders can take that Metro-North line south to Grand Central Terminal.

You can read the MTA's statement on rebuilding the Port Jervis line here (pdf).


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Photo of the Day: Yes We Can, Capital Bikeshare

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

DC's Capital Bikeshare, rendered in cans (photo by @The42BusDC)

No doubt, DC residents, there have been times when you've spotted a Capital Bikeshare station and thought: "I wonder what that would look like, rendered in canned food."

Your wait is over.

You can view this sculpture, along with many others, at the current Canstruction exhibit at the National Building Museum in Washington DC.

(Hat tip to DCist. Picture courtesy of the twitter feed of @The42BusDC.)

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President About to Speak on Highway Bill, FAA

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We'll have analysis later -- and the transcript as soon as we get it -- but if you want to watch the president's speech, the White House will stream it live.

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TN MOVING STORIES: President To Push Congress for Highway & FAA Bills, Maryland's Anti-Sprawl Plan, and NYC Subway Crime Up

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Top stories on TN:

BART protests, week three: less disruption, more dialogue. (Link)

Feds stop and yield to cash-strapped states, drop requirement to replace most road signs by 2018. (Link)

The closing of Walter Reed Medical Center may be a boon for DC. (Link)

US DOT head Ray LaHood and President Obama

President Obama will urge Congress to get to work on FAA reauthorization and a new highway bill today. (The Hill)

Did MTA head Jay Walder speak at a Mayor Bloomberg's Hurricane Irene press briefing over the objections of NY Governor Cuomo's staff? (City Hall News)

Exxon made a deal with Russia to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean.  (Marketplace, The Takeaway)

Maryland's anti-sprawl plan employs the carrot and the stick approach. (The Infrastructurist)

Hold onto your iPads and smartphones: crime in NYC subways has jumped 17%. (New York Daily News)

Boston's Logan International Airport opened the nation’s first airport-based counterterrorism office aimed at improving communication and collaboration between federal and local agencies. (WBUR)


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Feds Stop, Yield To Cash-Strapped States on Road Sign Requirements

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

(photo by Abby flat coat via Flickr)

States will be able to squeeze a little more life out of their existing road signs, rather than replace the majority of them by 2018 to comply with government requirements.

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Tuesday that "a specific deadline for replacing street signs makes no sense and would have cost communities across America millions of dollars in unnecessary expenses."

LaHood was referring to a 2009 decision by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), which publishes the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) -- the national book of road sign standards -- which would have required states and municipalities to upgrade existing road signs to make them more legible.

But then the feedback began rolling in -- and the DOT began backing away.

Last year, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said “I believe that this regulation makes no sense. It does not properly take into account the high costs that local governments would have to bear.  States, cities, and towns should not be required to spend money that they don’t have to replace perfectly good traffic signs."

Some state DOTs had delivered sober assessments of how much the regulations would cost to implement. "Based on Caltrans' limited assessment, it could cost between $500 million to $1 billion to implement the FHWA 2009 MUTCD requirements," said one. Another featured excited exhortations about typeface: "ALL CAPS signs are easier to read then mixed case signs! And mixed case signs are uglier too!" And many of them conveyed the same theme, summed up by a Tennessee official: "this... estimated cost for reflective sign replacement with the current time restrictions will further devastate an already strained budget."

Some changes, however, are non-negotiable. Ray LaHood wrote on his blog that "DOT has retained 12 deadlines for sign upgrades that are critical to public safety. These include installing “ONE WAY” signs at intersections with divided highways or one-way streets and requiring STOP or YIELD signs to be added at all railroad crossings that don’t have train-activated automatic gates or flashing lights."


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Amtrak: Post-Trenton Flood, No New York - Philadelphia Service Just Yet

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Trenton, as seen from the air on Sunday, August 28 (photo by Tim Larsen/NJ Governor's Office

The aftereffects of Hurricane Irene continue to disrupt Amtrak service between New York and Philadelphia.

"There was significant flooding in Trenton," said Amtrak spokeswoman Danelle Hunter. "But water has receded and we are making progress on track repairs."

Right now there is  no Acela Express, Northeast Regional or other Amtrak service between Philadelphia and New York.

Amtrak restored service between New York and Boston on Monday, and it will resume operations between Springfield, Massachusetts, and New Haven Tuesday afternoon.

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TN MOVING STORIES: Feds Scrap Road Sign Replacement Rule, Indy Eyes Streetcars, and House GOP Leader Would Cut Federal Funding to Bike Share Programs

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Top stories on TN:

Commuter rail is returning to service after this weekend's hurricane. (Link)

Flooding, downed power lines and debris continue to hamper roads in the New York/New Jersey area. (Link)

(photo by Felix the Cat via Flickr)

The Obama administration is scrapping a rule that required hundreds of thousands of street signs to be replaced by 2018 — and instead will allow communities to upgrade them as they wear out.  (New York Times, Detroit News)

Streetcars may run in Indianapolis once again. (AP via Chicago Tribune)

Although the Egyptian economy is fraught with unrest, the one area that's still growing with local and foreign investment is natural gas. (Marketplace)

San Francisco looks to all-door boarding to speed travel times on its bus fleet. (San Francisco Chronicle)

House GOP leader Eric Cantor doesn't think the government should be supporting bike share programs. (TBD)

Ray LaHood talks about Irene; praises transportation workers for East Coast recovery assistance. (Fast Lane)

After implementing safety upgrades, pedestrian fatalities in Maryland's Montgomery County have fallen. (Washington Examiner)

A new app lets you sell your parking space to the highest bidder. (DNA Inf0)

BMW is testing an "autonomous" vehicle -- which sounds an awful lot like autopilot. (Autopia)

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Road Update: NJ and NY

Monday, August 29, 2011

Upstate New York roads, as viewed by helicopter (photo by Karen DeWitt/NYS Public Radio/WXXI)

For New Yorkers trying to get in -- or out -- of the Catskills, flooded roads and downed trees continue to limit travel in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

The New York Thruway says sections of I-87 remain closed in both directions between exits 14 and 17.

Flooding has also closed parts of the east-west highways of 17, 28 and 23.  Those roads lead into some of the hardest hit regions in the state including Margaretville and Windham. For New York road updates, go to

In New Jersey, conditions are better today than yesterday -- the DOT says it's only dealing with 85 incidents statewide, down from Sunday's 300+ -- but new problems are cropping up as storm waters continue to rise in some areas.

All lanes on NJ Route 17 northbound in Hasbrouck Heights (near the interchange with Route 46) are now closed due to flooding.

I-287 northbound in Boonton and Parsippany, near exits 43 and 44, is also closed. Route 80 is experiencing a number of ramp and lane closures, particularly in the towns of Parsippany and Wayne.

The New Jersey Turnpike has some delays as crews continue to pick up debris.

The NJ DOT says the Garden State Parkway is in good shape, although there are some delays in Southern Ocean County.

For up to date conditions, visit

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Metro-North to Resume Extremely Limited Service Today at 2pm

Monday, August 29, 2011


Mudslide on Metro-North's Hudson Line (photo courtesy of the NY MTA)

This just in from the MTA: Metro-North will begin operating a Sunday schedule at 2 PM this afternoon on the Lower Hudson and Lower Harlem Lines. UPDATE 4:29: The MTA says that Metro-North's Hudson & New Haven Main Lines resumed service at 4pm, but on a Sunday schedule. On the Harlem line, trains are still not operating north of North White Plains. Travel on the New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury Branch Line Services remain suspended.

There is still no service on the New Haven, Pascack Valley, or Port Jervis lines. Check the MTA's website for updates.

Metro-North to Resume Service at 2 PM Today Operating On A Sunday Schedule

On the Lower Hudson and Lower Harlem Lines Only

Metro-North will begin operating a Sunday schedule at 2 PM today, Monday, August 29, on the Lower Hudson and Lower Harlem Lines.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, Metro-North crews continue to work around-the-clock, assess conditions, clear the tracks and repair the infrastructure.

Metro-North will continue to restore as much service as possible once it is safe to do so.

The following service will be in effect:

On the Lower Hudson Line, a regular Sunday Schedule will be in effect between Grand Central and Croton-Harmon only beginning with the following trains:

Inbound Departures from Croton-Harmon:

•           2 PM from Croton-Harmon; All stops to Grand Central.

•           2:34 PM from Croton-Harmon; Limited stop express to Grand Central.


Outbound Departures from Grand Central:

•           2:20 PM to Croton-Harmon; All stops to Croton-Harmon.


On the Lower Harlem Line a regular Sunday Schedule will be in effect between Grand Central and North White Plains only starting with the following trains.

Inbound departures from North White Plains:

•           2:01 PM:  North White Plains & White Plains, then Express to Grand Central

•           2:08 PM:  All stops to Grand Central

Outbound Departures from Grand Central:

•           2:25 PM:  All stops from Fordham to North White Plains

•           2:48 PM: Express to White Plains/North White Plains

Customers may use our interactive schedules page to view all train times.

New Haven Line, Upper Hudson, Upper Harlem and New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury Branch Line Services remain suspended. There is still no signal and third-rail power because of downed transmission poles, trees continuing to fall and water-damaged substations.  Following all repair efforts, patrols trains have to operate to ensure the safety of the tracks before resuming service.

On the West of Hudson, Port Jervis and Pascack Valley Line service remains suspended today.  In particular, water continues to flood sections of the Port Jervis Line making it difficult to assess the full impact of the hurricane to critical infrastructure.

Off-Peak fares will be in effect, and Metro-North will honor West-of-Hudson tickets on the Hudson Line.

Overnight, hundreds of Metro-North crews addressed several mudslides and washouts along the Hudson Line, removed numerous fallen trees on all three train lines, pumped water out of key locations, restored signal and power systems, repaired and replaced switch motors.  The difficulty of these efforts was compounded by the significant road closures in the territory.

Customers are urged to monitor media reports for the latest information, check the MTA's website at and sign up for customer email and text message alerts.

Metro-North regrets any inconvenience you may experience as a result of this service disruption due to Hurricane Irene.

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