Streams

Kate Hinds

Kate Hinds appears in the following:

TN Moving Stories: Road Work Grinds to A Halt in NJ, and A Look at the MTA's Most Delayed Trains

Sunday, October 03, 2010

In NJ, work on $1.7 billion of state Department of Transportation projects halts today as Gov. Christie and state Democrats clash over funding (WNYC). An emergency meeting between Governor Christie and NJ Democratic lawmakers is scheduled for 10am today.

AT&T, T-Mobile to strike deal bringing cell service to NYC subway stations (Business Week).

Possible strike that could affect a third of Phoenix's bus routes (Arizona Republic).

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the MTA's most delayed trains.

Connecticut tries to prepare for plug-in vehicles. (Hartford Courant)

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wrote an op-ed in AOL News about his safety efforts.

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TN Moving Stories: Can NY's Subways Handle The Rain, and Seattle Launches RapidRide -- While Cutting Other Service

Friday, October 01, 2010

New York's subways brace for heavy rain. The Wall Street Journal points out that "the last heavy rainfall event of this magnitude in August 2007 caused epic flooding throughout the subway system." Gizmodo adds: "we depend on just 700 fragile water pumps to keep the tunnels dry—some a century old."

Seattle launches its RapidRide bus service this weekend, "but simultaneous service cuts will hit at the heart of Metro's regional system: densely populated Seattle." (Crosscut)

Chicago Transit Authority submits proposed budget, says system won't suffer further cuts -- but won't make improvements, either. (Chicago Tribune)

California gets $194 million stimulus grant to help with planning for a 520-mile high speed rail line linking San Francisco to Anaheim. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Maryland Governor O'Malley co-authored an op-ed about using public-private partnerships to fund infrastructure projects. (Politico)

The Hudson Valley's Stewart Airport will expand, hopes to attract international flights. (WNYC)

NJ Governor Christie to name a former state attorney general, David Samson, to head the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. (Star-Ledger)

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TN Moving Stories: MTA's "Stealth" Fare Hike, and World Traffic Deaths Falling in Developed Nations

Thursday, September 30, 2010

World traffic deaths falling in developed nations--like in Denmark, which, in 2009, posted the lowest number of traffic fatalities since 1932. (Detroit News)

Transportation leaders gather in DC to trade ideas on how to bring big projects to fruition. (WAMU)

The MTA says that eliminating discounts on tickets purchased via mail or web is not a fare hike; Connecticut Metro North riders beg to differ. (Hartford Courant)

New York Times op-ed: if Governor Christie kills the Hudson River tunnel, "the region’s economic future could be hobbled."

An etiquette authority has been called in to help Londoners adopt "Victorian-style" manners when biking/walking on the towpaths (BBC).

Looking back on the defeat of Westway, the highway that was to have been tunneled under Manhattan's Hudson River waterfront. (WNYC)

(Under the Westway II by Drew Leavy)

Zipcar in Cambridge to put decals on vehicles, remind drivers not to door bicyclists. (WBUR)

Seoul Cycle Design Competition unveils a new urban commuter bicycle -- say hello to Bike 2.0. "You will never get oily pants or fingers from the chain again." (via AltTransport)

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TN Moving Stories: Daley Pines for High Speed Airport Rail Link, Villaraigosa wants better federal transit financing, and roll-bar rebate rolling out in Vermont

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

LA Mayor Villaraigosa testifies before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, asks feds to create a "national program of innovative financing tools" for major transit projects (Los Angeles Times). At same hearing, committee chair Barbara Boxer questions the need for President Obama's proposed infrastructure Bank (Streetsblog).

NYC's Department of Transportation rescues engagement ring after would-be groom drops it during proposal on the Brooklyn Bridge. (New York Post)

Delta flight attendants begin voting on union representation today. (Minnesota Public Radio)

Caltrain installs suicide prevention signs on tracks. (Silicon Valley Mercury News)

Roll-bar rebate: a new Vermont program will reimburse farmers to prevent tractor rollover deaths -- the leading cause of death on farms. (Burlington Free Press)

Chicago's Mayor Daley visits China, admires high speed rail, hopes that foreign investors will build a similar link between O'Hare and downtown (ABC7Chicago).

Just how politically divided is the country over the issue of high-speed rail? The Infrastructurist has a chart that breaks it down by state. Just about every Republican candidate opposes it, while Democrats support it.

Following up on last week's story about a man who commutes to work via kayak, here's a more...vertical commute story: follow along as a technician climbs 1,700 feet into the air to get to his job, repairing broadcast antennae (via AltTransport).

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Study Saying Text Bans Don't Reduce Crashes Provokes LaHood Ire

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) A week after Ray LaHood’s national Distracted Driving Summit, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Highway Loss Data Institute has released a study that says not only do texting bans NOT reduce car crashes, they may in fact increase them.

The study compares claims in four states (California, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Louisiana, which were among the first to enact texting bans) with patterns of claims in nearby states. The president of the HLDI and IIHS, Adrian Lund, says the study shows that "neither texting bans nor bans on hand-held phone use have reduced crash risk...(the states are) focusing on a single manifestation of distracted driving and banning it. This ignores the endless sources of distraction and relies on banning one source or another to solve the whole problem."

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Amtrak's 30-Year, $117 Billion, Northeast Corridor Vision

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It would take 30 years and $117 billion, but Amtrak today unveiled an "initial look" at a high-speed rail system linking Boston to Washington DC. More to come on this later, but you can read the report here (PDF).

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TN Moving Stories: More finger pointing in Hudson River Rail Tunnel, Google Invests in "A Bike Lane With A View," and MTA Deficit Plan "Risky"

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Department of Transportation wants airlines to refund baggage fees in the event of lost or delayed luggage.  Unsurprisingly, there's opposition from an airline trade group, which says defining a timely delivery is "subjective." (Marketplace)

The Hudson River rail tunnel saga continues: Senator Lautenberg says that Governor Christie won't let NJ Transit staff meet with the Federal Transit Administration. (Star-Ledger)

Google invests in Shweeb, a human-powered monorail line. "Think of it as a bike lane with a view," says NPR.

A Maryland ban on (cell phone) talking while driving goes into effect this week. (WAMU)

Bangladesh to develop the "Greater Dhaka Sustainable Urban Transport Corridor Project," which contains BRT lines and an elevated expressway.   (Daily Star)

The New York State comptroller says the MTA's plan to reduce $1 billion deficit is risky (DNA Info).  Read the audit here (PDF).

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Hyundai Recalls 140,000 Vehicles For Possible Steering Problems

Monday, September 27, 2010

(Detroit - Jerome Vaughn, WDET) - Hyundai is recalling nearly 140,000 sedans because of steering wheel problems.  The affected vehicles are from the 2011 model year, and the recall includes Hyundai Sonata sedans built between  December 2009 and this month.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the universal joint connections in the steering column may have been insufficiently tightened or installed improperly. The problem could allow the connections to loosen, possibly resulting in a loss of steering and increasing the possibility of a crash.

(photo by IFCAR)

Dealers will inspect the steering column and make repairs at no cost to consumers.  The automaker will also update power steering software during those inspections.

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TN Moving Stories: Amnesty for MTA Scofflaws, Moving day for Masdar, and Traffic-Clogged cities team up

Monday, September 27, 2010

The New York City MTA, in an effort to encourage scofflaws to pay up, has declared October to be late-fee amnesty month for subway and bus riders who have received tickets (New York Post). Meanwhile, lawmakers give the MTA a "B" for its work on the Second Avenue Subway (New York Daily News). And: this weekend saw planned work on nearly every subway line, culminating in the largest MTA shuttle bus deployment ever (Gothamist).

People have begun moving into Masdar, Abu Dhabi's "zero-carbon" experimental city--where the ground level was elevated 23 feet so that a fleet of electric vehicles could operate below the surface. (New York Times)

Southwest Airlines to buy rival AirTran, expand service on East Coast.  (Wall Street Journal)

Ray LaHood says that this year the Department of Transportation has "completed more NTSB safety recommendations than in any of the last five years" (Fast Lane).  But: a recent investigation found that "Americans are exposed every day to risks in highway, air, rail and water travel because of government delays in acting on recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board." (Washington Post)

The Transport Politic takes a look at the long-term consequences the recession has had upon urban transit agencies.

Los Angeles and Beijing are teaming up to share ideas on dealing with traffic. (AP)

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TN Moving Stories: Traffic Deaths Drop, DC Metro needs more whistleblowers, and 8 weird transpo devices

Friday, September 24, 2010

Decrease in traffic deaths nationwide, and Florida has the country's largest drop. But why? (Florida Times-Union)

California's budget stalemate has put $3.9 billion in transportation funding on hold. (San Jose Mercury News)

DC Metro safer than last year, but needs more whistleblowers. (Washington Post)

General Motors' return to the stock market might be a smaller sale than previously thought. (Marketplace)

MARTA cuts roll out Saturday. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Walking too passé?  Biking getting boring?  AltTransport lists the eight strangest transportation devices you can actually buy. Like the below PowerRiser.

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Brooklyn Bridge Under Wraps

Thursday, September 23, 2010

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) WNYC went out on the Brooklyn Bridge last week to check on the progress of that structure's $508 million, four-year rehabilitation. The galvanized steel containment shields are going up, the off-white canvas is being hung, and the pedestrian/bike walkway has narrowed about a foot and a half.

To read the rest of the story, click here.

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Aging Infrastructure Not Good For Business

Thursday, September 23, 2010

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released its first "Transportation Performance Indexes" today, which look at how the country's infrastructure is "serving the needs of the U.S. economy and business community."

The report looks at both the overall picture and on a state-by-state basis, and draws the conclusion that the transportation system is not keeping up with the demands placed upon it.

"The bottom line is this: our nation's deteriorating infrastructure is placing a major drag on our economic growth," said Thomas Donohue, the Chamber's president and CEO. The indexes' web page quotes one statistic that says it will take $148 billion just to keep freight rail operational in the year 2035--which is a bit more than President Obama's $50 billion infrastructure plan.  -- Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation

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Museum Closes for Obama Visit

Thursday, September 23, 2010

As part of the U.N. General Assembly events, President Barack Obama is hosting a reception for visiting heads of state at the American Museum of Natural History Thursday night. The museum has been closed to the public all day in preparation.

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Billings to Ban Distracted Driving

Thursday, September 23, 2010

(Jackie Yamanaka, Yellowstone Public Radio) Montana has no law banning cell phone use or texting while driving--but that will soon change in the state's largest city. An ordinance going into effect next month says if a Billings City police officer sees a driver holding up a cell phone to their ear, or texting while driving, that driver can be immediately pulled over and given a written warning or a citation.

For a first offense, the fine is $110. Billings Police Chief Rich St. John says he’s hoping the law will deter drivers from using a cell phone while driving. “If we don’t write a ticket for this, I’m okay with that," he says, "as long as we get compliance. Because ultimately the goal is to get people’s heads out of the cell phone or Blackberry and out on the road where it belongs.”

People who use a hands-free device are exempt from this ordinance, as are emergency responders, such as police and firefighters. The ban takes effect October 31, 2010.

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Brooklyn Bridge Work Update

Thursday, September 23, 2010

We went out on the Brooklyn Bridge last week to check the progress of the work.

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TN Moving Stories: NYC Taxi Drivers Accused Of Overcharge Scheme, and Virginia's DOT has millions in unspent funds

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dozens of New York City taxi drivers have been arrested on charges that they defrauded customers by doubling fares. (WNYC)

More than a year after Virginia implemented a statewide ban on texting while driving, local police officers say they're unlikely to write a ticket for a violation. (WAMU)

Another round of strikes hobbles transportation in France.  (NPR)

The results of an audit of Virginia's Department of Transportation are expected to reveal that the department has almost $500 million in unspent funds. (Washington Post)

The Bay Area's AC Transit voted to slash weekend and overnight service (San Francisco Chronicle). Meanwhile, BART is considering selling naming rights to stations to raise revenue (Sacramento Bee).

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Union Square Pedestrian Plaza Unveiled Today

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation)  Crossing the streets around New York City's Union Square got a little bit easier today, with the official completion of the redesign of the sidewalks and streets surrounding the area. The neighborhood, which hosts the city's flagship Greenmarket four days a week, sees tens of thousands of visitors on a daily basis, and there have been 95 pedestrian injury crashes from 2004 to 2008. The updates include a bike line and changes to the traffic pattern, and a pedestrian plaza has been added to the east side of Broadway between 17th and 18th Streets.

Looking north on Broadway from Union Square (Kate Hinds)

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TN Moving Stories: SF Wants to Move People, Not Cars; Freight vs. Passenger Rail; and It's Awfully Dark in Minnesota

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency wants to "focus on moving people, not cars," says agency head. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Lights out, Minnesota: some towns are turning off streetlights to save money.  (Minnesota Public Radio)

Freight railroad companies balk at sharing rails with high speed passenger trains.  (Wall Street Journal)

Did Governor Christie say that he'd replenish NJ's Transportation Trust Fund with the Hudson rail earmark?  What he meant to say was that he was waiting for recommendations.  (Star Ledger)

The Infrastructurist reports on a (fairly unscientific) trial to determine: which makes you crazier, commuting by bus or by car?

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg takes helm of the C40 Climate Leadership group, an association of cities working to reduce carbon emissions and slow climate change. (WNYC)

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Commercial Trucking Texting Loophole Closed

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

(Washington, DC — Todd Zwillich, Transportation Nation)  Commercial interstate truckers hauling cars or chickens are already banned from texting while behind the wheel. So you'd think it would be a no-brainer that rig drivers hauling gasoline or other flammable materials would be banned too.

In fact, federal rules laid down last year prohibiting texting while driving in the federally-regulated commercial trucking industry left out rigs hauling hazardous materials. Now that loophole has been closed, under planned new regulations announced by the Department of Transportation Tuesday.

In addition to the trucking ban, Obama Administration officials also said they want to lean on private companies to do more to curb distracted driving in their vehicle fleets.

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The Post-Season Express: Baseball Replays on Times Square Shuttle Trains

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Starting Tuesday, one of the three shuttle trains running between Grand Central Station and Times Square has what the MTA calls a subway first: an advertiser-sponsored video campaign. The ten-inch screens are promoting TBS's coverage of the baseball post-season.

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