Kate Hinds

Kate Hinds appears in the following:

TN Moving Stories: Christie Likes #7 Extension Idea, and London's Double Decker Bus Gets Revamped

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NJ Governor Christie says extending the #7 subway across the Hudson is “a much better idea” than the ARC tunnel, but he hasn't yet spoken to Mayor Bloomberg about it. (AP via New York Times)

Traffic fatalities in NYC are at an all-time low, but pedestrians make up the majority of those killed. (NY1)

NYC transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan is one of Esquire Magazine's "15 Genuises Who Give Us Hope."

Talk about paving roads with good intentions: as BART extends to San Jose, "construction crews plan to use at least 250,000 old tires, ground up into 3-inch chunks and laid under large sections of the tracks, to act as shock absorbers, reducing vibration and noise along the route." (San Jose Mercury News)

London's iconic bus--the Routemaster--is getting updated. "The new bus has three doors: joining the single rear entrance are a front and a side door. There are also two staircases, solving a major congestion problem, and a source of missed stops on full buses." (Wired - Autopia)

Do electric cars spell cash or calamity for utility companies? "Plugged into a socket, the Nissan Leafs and Chevrolet Volts can draw as much energy from the grid as a small house." (The Takeaway)

NYC deputy mayor Steven Goldsmith is on today's Brian Lehrer Show.

With all the news about new TSA screening procedures, the Washington Post has assembled a good, sober guide of what to actually expect at the airport.  This Saturday Night Live video takes a more...whimsical approach:

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TN Moving Stories: Subway Inspection Reports Faked, CT Wants More HSR Money, and Stay Out of the Bus Lane...Or Else

Monday, November 22, 2010

The MTA's Inspector General found that New York City Transit workers falsified track signal inspection reports.  Subway riders are understandably jittery.

Surveillance cameras will begin monitoring motorists on Manhattan's east side bus lanes (Wall Street Journal); violators get mailed a $115 fine. Which bike lane billboardists will make clear.

The Wall Street Journal digs into New York's bike lanes. "The city has discovered...that remodeling its streets and increasing ridership is the easy part of building a bike town. It's a far greater challenge to change the habits of drivers, bikers and pedestrians in a dense urban environment with congested streets."

WAMU reports on the transportation challenges facing DC residents who moved to the suburbs for lower rent.

CT governor Jodi Rell has requested $100 million in additional high-speed rail funds. (Boston Herald)

Crain's profiles NYC DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. "Admirers hail the 50-year-old as the most innovative leader the Department of Transportation has ever had. She has transformed an agency long associated with humdrum tasks like filling potholes into an organization that is executing, on a sweeping scale, some of the globe's hottest urban-planning concepts."

Brookings has produced a State of Metropolitan America interactive map--which allows you to visualize commuting data. For instance: which city has the highest number of people driving alone to work? (Answer: Akron, OH)

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TN Moving Stories: LaHood Toys With Scrambling Technology, LA Mayor Says Homes Can Be EV Ready in 7 Days, and Good Week for American Auto Manufacturers

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Star Ledger is intrigued by the 7 train proposal. "Can this really work? At this stage, who knows? But let’s kick the tires and find out." Meanwhile, the New York Times looks at Flushing and Secaucus: "These two very different places might one day be knitted together by a single rumbling artery: the No. 7 subway line."

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa promises to make Los Angeles homes electric car-ready in under seven days (Los Angeles Times). And he also wants to make public transit free for kids on field trips. (Daily Breeze)

The Albany Times-Union devotes an editorial to Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch's depressing transportation analysis. "What his report doesn’t clearly say is that the state must stop playing the game of using money meant for construction to pay for operating expenses."

Is Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood looking at scrambling calls in cars? "There's a lot of technology out there now that can disable phones and we're looking at that," he told MSNBC. (Fast Company)

Charlotte scales back light rail expansion plans, looks at public-private partnerships. (Charlotte Observer)

What a week for the auto industry: the Chevy Volt wins "Car of the Year."  And General Motors stock is on a joyride. (Detroit Free Press)

The Federal Aviation Administration is preparing for a busy Thanksgiving holiday travel week by working with the Department of Defense to clear the way for commercial aircraft to fly in airspace normally reserved for the military. (FAA)

BMX whiz Danny MacAskill goes "Way Back Home" from Edinburgh, Scotland, to his hometown of Dunvegan, on the Isle of Skye.

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From The Onion: Forget High Speed Rail. What About High Speed Buses?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) Here's your transportation levity for the day. Get out of the way, the bus of the future is here!

Obama Replaces Costly High-Speed Rail Plan With High-Speed Bus Plan

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The S.E.C. Settles With Car Czar Rattner, But Cuomo's Not Done With Him Yet

Thursday, November 18, 2010

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) GM Turns a page today, issuing a $16 billion IPO that has (as the New York Times puts it ) "Wall Street panting."  But on the day the automaker crawls out its hole, the man who set the stage for the deal crawls into one.

Former auto czar Steven Rattner will pay $6.2 million as part of a settlement deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He has also accepted a two-year ban from the securities industry.  Meanwhile, in separate proceedings, New York State Attorney General and Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo has filed two lawsuits against Rattner for $26 million dollars.  Read the story at WNYC.

Richard Bamberger, Andrew Cuomo's director of communications, issued this statement:  “Mr. Rattner now has a lot to say as he spins his friends in the press, but when he was questioned under oath about his pension fund dealings he was much less talkative, taking the Fifth and refusing to answer questions 68 different times.  Anyone who reads the extensive facts laid out in our Complaint will understand that Rattner’s claims that he did nothing wrong are ridiculous and belied by the fact that he is paying the SEC $6 million today.”


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New York "Must Prevent a Self- Destructive Backsliding" on Transportation Infrastructure

Thursday, November 18, 2010

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch released a report today that says New York needs billions of dollars just to maintain its aging infrastructure--and "has no credible strategy for meeting future needs."

"Because of the constraints on the State’s resources, New York must refocus its transportation program to emphasize state-of-good-repair, safety and security, more efficient and cost-effective project delivery, and better regional planning," he writes in the report.  "While politicians often speak of doing more with less, the fiscal reality of the next decade may dictate that New Yorkers learn to do less with less."

We'll have more analysis later. You can read the full report below.

43136674 Lt Governor Report Transportation Capital Needs 1

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TN Moving Stories: What's the Likelihood of the 7-Subway-to-Secaucus, Exxon Mobil to Clean Up Greenpoint Oil Spill, and Happy Anniversary, 150-year-old Bike Sho

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New York's current lieutenant governor, Richard Ravitch, will release a report today that lays out the transportation challenges facing incoming governor Andrew Cuomo. Such as: failing to come up with a long-term plan to fund transportation infrastructure "means surrendering any plausible chance for a prosperous future for New York." (Wall Street Journal)

Bus Rapid Transit debuts in Atlanta. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Exxon Mobil agrees to clean-up a multimillion gallon, underground oil spill that has vexed Greenpoint (Brooklyn) residents for decades. (WNYC)

Fiat returns to the U.S. auto market (NPR).  The base model costs $15,500.

You may want to temper your #7 subway-to-Secaucus hopes. According to the New York Daily News: "The chances of a subway line running to New Jersey anytime soon hover between slim and none, a top transportation official said Wednesday."

Besides: MTA head Jay Walder says they can't afford a fourth "megaproject." (AM New York)

NJ Transit may privatize parking at some locations. "Under the SPACES (System Parking Amenity and Capacity Enhancement Strategy) initiative, firms would vie for the exclusive right to collect parking revenues at the sites throughout the decades-long agreement." (The Times of Trenton)

Faces of Distracted Driving launches -- an online video series featuring people who have been killed or lost loved ones. (New York Times)

The world's oldest bicycle shop, located in Surrey, England, is marking its 150th anniversary. (Your Local Guardian)

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The Taxi of Tomorrow

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NYC Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky was on the Brian Lehrer Show this morning to talk about the Taxi of Tomorrow.  Listen below--and visit the segment's comments page to weigh in with a few suggestions of your own.

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TN Moving Stories: More on the Number 7's Trans-Hudson Ambitions; DC Unveils First Public Car Charging Station, and Virgin Wants in on U.S. High-Speed Rail

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ARC tunnel, we just can't quit you: The New York Times takes a look at the mayor's plan to run the number 7 train under the Hudson River to New Jersey.   And while Mayor Bloomberg didn't shed many tears when the ARC died...when it comes extending his beloved number 7 line? Si se puede! (WNYC)

Do Europeans do a better job of traffic safety than Americans? A new report says yes. "It's not that they have technologies that we don't have; it's that they use them more extensively and they manage their highway safety programs more [intensely] and better than we do." (NPR)

General Motors returns to the stock market; is expected to expand its initial IPO by 31%. (Wall Street Journal)

The head of the Transportation Security Administration went before Congress yesterday to defend new airport screening procedures. (NPR)

DC unveils its first public curbside electric car charging station (Washington Post). Also in the capitol: The DC city council is holding a hearing on the final details of a streetcar plan.  (WAMU)

A NYC Transit supervisor is suing his former employers; says he was fired after reporting safety and security hazards on the subway. (NY Daily News)

The National Transportation Safety Board wants all states to adopt motorcycle helmet laws. One cyclists' group calls the move "disturbing." (Wall Street Journal)

Good Magazine has images from the 15 finalists in its Best Bus Route in America contest.

Virgin's Richard Branson has formed a high-speed rail consortium; wants to bid on contracts in Florida. (Forbes)

On this morning's Brian Lehrer Show, TLC Commissioner David Yassky takes listeners' suggestions about the Taxi of Tomorrow. (WNYC)

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Fourth Graders Educate New Yorkers About City Speed Limit

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Janette Sadik-Khan, James Vacca, and PS 261 students

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) Are you smarter than a fourth grader? If you don't know what New York's speed limit is, the answer is probably "no."

As part of a school education program, city transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan met today with fourth graders from Brooklyn's P.S. 261. Standing on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Hoyt Street, they used speed scanners to determine how fast cars were going -- and at least one car was driving fifteen miles over the speed limit of 30.

The commissioner told the fourth graders she was impressed with what they’ve learned.

“You guys know more than seven out of 10 New Yorkers,” she said. “You know why? Because seven out of 10 New Yorkers don't know what the speed limit is.”

Read the whole story at WNYC.

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Fourth Graders Educate New Yorkers About City Speed Limit

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Are you smarter than a fourth grader? If you don't know what New York's speed limit is, the answer is probably "no."


1st and 2nd Avenue Bike Lanes: Not in 2010. In 2011?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and NYC Council Member James Vacca measure car speeds on Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, with P.S. 261 fourth graders (Kate Hinds)

UPDATED WITH NEW COMMENTS FROM JANETTE SADIK-KHAN  (Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) We've been following New York City's plans to build protected bike lanes on Manhattan's  east side. These lanes were initially planned to stretch from Houston Street in the East Village up to 125th Street in East Harlem, but construction has stopped at 34th Street. Last week supporters held a rally urging the city to move forward on the lanes' full implementation. So when we saw the city's transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, in Brooklyn this morning, we asked her if the lanes would be extended north of 34th street. Here's the exchange.

KH: Are there plans to build out the East Side bike lanes?

JSK: We’re working on what we’re working on right now. We’ve got a full plate.

KH: I know you had said in the summer it wouldn’t happen in 2010; is it on the table for 2011?

JSK:  Not at the moment.

KH: Not at the moment?

JSK: No. Our plans are our plans and we continue to work with communities about what’s the right set of tools and what works best, tailored to meet community needs.

(You can hear the exchange here.)

KH: Why did the city back away from the original plan to go north of 34th street?

(answer after the jump)

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TN Moving Stories: LA Looks At Congestion Pricing, a Streetcar Named Red Hook, and Is NY Closer to ARC $?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Is New York "well-positioned" to snag some federal ARC funds? Senator Gillibrand spoke to Ray LaHood Monday -- and she thinks signs point to yes. (Wall Street Journal)

The Los Angeles MTA is considering bringing some form of congestion pricing to the city. (Los Angeles Times)

Ray LaHood predicts that Rahm Emanuel will win Chicago's mayoral race.  (Chicago Sun-Times)

China will soon have more miles of high speed rail tracks than the rest of the world put together. (NPR)

The "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign heads to the DC region. Just in time for the holidays! (Washington Post)

Some airline travelers are not so happy about new TSA screening requirements. Neither are pilots.  (NPR)

If a Republican House bans earmarks, one of those transportation projects in doubt could be the Minneapolis region's Central Corridor light rail. (Minnesota Public Radio)

New York's Department of Transportation will present its Brooklyn Streetcar Feasibility Study (read: trolley service in Red Hook) at a community board meeting tonight. (NYC DOT)

More on New York's taxi of the future finalists. (WNYC)

GM dealers say that Chevy Volt production has begun. (Detroit Free Press)

Is F train performance now better F? New York City Transit says yes. (New York Times)

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Monday Morning, 11:00AM: Bike Lane Installation Continues

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pedestrian island being installed on Columbus Avenue (Kate Hinds)

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) Work on a fully-realized Columbus Avenue bike lane continues today on Manhattan's Upper West Side. It looks like the DOT is installing a floating pedestrian island, which will separate the bike lane from traffic.

It's the first protected bike lane on the Upper West Side, and part of a plan that will include building a matching lane heading uptown on Amsterdam Avenue.  Business owners have protested the implementation of the lanes, which decreased available parking spaces, saying that their ability to receive deliveries has been compromised. Community Board 7 is looking into creating a task force to help solve these issues.

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Queens Midtown Tunnel Turns 70 Today

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sandhogs tighten a bolt in a tunnel-lining ring. Six cylindrical jacks on the back of a shield are visible behind the men. Photographer: Michael Bobco for Somach Photo Service. Feb. 26, 1939. Courtesy of MTA Bridges and Tunnels Special Archive

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) The Queens Midtown Tunnel - which links that borough to Manhattan, and transports not only vehicles, but elephants (well, on one day a year), turns 70 today. Below is some information that the MTA sent out about the construction of the tunnel.


It took 20 years of lobbying and planning and four years of hard work but on Nov. 15th, 1940, the Queens Midtown Tunnel, linking Manhattan and Long Island City, Queens, opened to the public. At the time it was the largest, non-federal public works project in the nation.

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TN Moving Stories: Boston's First Solar-Powered Transit Station Breaks Ground, and: Are NYC's Subway Pickpockets Dying Out?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Attorney, labor mediator--and transit activist--Theodore Kheel died Friday; he founded a group called "Nurture New York's Nature" that supported making mass transit entirely free.

Massachusetts breaks ground today on its first solar-powered transit station--Fenway Center. You know it's only a matter of time before the Green Monster nickname gets bandied around. (WBUR)

Are NYC's subway pickpockets going the way of the dinosaurs? "You don't find young picks anymore," NYPD Transit Bureau Detective Nelson Dones said. "It's going to die out." (New York Daily News).  Plus: crime on the LIRR has dropped 15% over last year. (Newsday; subscription required)

GM retirees wrestle with the decision over whether to buy stock in the company or not. (New York Times)

The National Journal's Transportation blog wonders how to resolve the impasse over the fuel tax.

A NJ Transit passenger videotaped a bus driver's unorthodox driving performance ("At some moments he touches the steering wheel with just an index finger, and at other times he does the grown-up’s version of 'Look Ma, no hands'")--and learns some hard lessons about the transit agency's customer complaint system.  (Newark Star-Ledger)

Omaha will kick off a year-long process to update its transportation master plan this week: one goal is trying to create walkable communities with less dependence on automobiles. (Omaha World-Herald).

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TN Moving Stories: Amtrak No Longer Interested in ARC Tunnel, and Metro-North Now Nation's Busiest Commuter Rail Line

Friday, November 12, 2010

Amtrak breaks off talks with NJ Transit, says it's done talking about reviving the ARC tunnel. "We are no longer interested in this project," a spokesperson for the national rail agency said. "There were exploratory talks going on with NJ Transit. The talks have stopped. … That was commuter rail, and we are interested in intercity rail projects." (The Record)

NJ Gov Christie says his wife didn't like the ARC tunnel either. (The Record via NY Post)

Minneapolis's Northstar light rail line, which opened a year ago, is carrying 5% less passengers than anticipated.  Reasons? Maybe the economy...and low gas prices. Plans for an extension have been shelved. (St. Cloud Times)

General Electric is buying 25,000 electric cars--including 12,000 Chevy Volts. (Smart Planet)

The Florida Times-Union writes: "No one seems to know what Gov.-elect Rick Scott hopes to accomplish when it comes to roads and passenger rail."

Maine's highway fund is facing a potential shortfall of $720 million in the next two-year budget cycle. Interesting:  "The highway budget is funded for the most part by motor fuel taxes, which have grown static due to increasingly efficient vehicles." (Business Week)

The MTA is telling about half of Staten Island's Access-A-Ride customers to take a bus instead. (Staten Island Live)

America has a new busiest commuter rail line: In September, ridership on Metro-North surpassed the Long Island Rail Road's for the first time ever. (WSJ)

There's a booming resale market for the little three-wheeled vehicles most urban police departments use to look for parking violations.  Plus, it's just fun driving around terrifying people who think you're going to ticket them. (WSJ)

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A NYC Councilman Plays the Bubbe Card

Thursday, November 11, 2010

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) As part of its Safe Streets for Seniors program (see detailed project PDF here),  the NYC Department of Transportation is in the process of installing "pedestrian refuge islands" on Fort Hamilton Parkway in Brooklyn's Borough Park.  The islands drew some community ire, which was then gleefully covered by favorite Streetsblog bête noire, CBS's Marcia Kramer. In an attempt to get everyone to dial down the rhetoric, New York City Councilman Brad Lander, who represents the neighborhood, wrote an op-ed in last Friday's Hamodia that caught our eye (It Could Be Your Bubbe or Zeide: How We Can Make Fort Hamilton Pkwy. Safer).

He writes: "The goal of these islands is to keep any more of our grandparents — or anyone else — from getting seriously injured or killed. In a world with terrorism and crime, hunger and homelessness, maybe we should save our “outrage” for something other than an effort to keep pedestrians safe." Put that way, the DOT is doing a mitzvah!

Read Lander's op-ed below.

Fort Hamilton Parkway Op-Ed

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The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel--For 80 Years, the Only Place You Can Drive Underwater Between Two Countries

Thursday, November 11, 2010

(fritzmb, Flickr)

(Detroit -- Rob St. Mary, WDET) From his office above the toll plaza, Neal Belitsky, the general manager of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, has a commanding view of downtown Detroit. But this morning he stares into a computer monitor displaying dozens of camera views of the almost mile long international crossing.

"This is the pillar section down the tunnel, and these are all pan tilt zoom cameras," he said, explaining what we're looking it.  "They're fine enough that if someone dropped a quarter on the roadway we'd be able to see it. And they are all digitally recorded."

Belitsky runs the tunnel's day-to-day operations for both owners - the Cities of Windsor (Canada) and Detroit. Although both municipalities now have a stake in the tunnel, it didn't start out that way. In the late 1920's, the border crossing was conceived as a for-profit competitor to the Ambassador Bridge. But that idea changed.

"What happened was folks back then who were granting the permits said you know, maybe we need to do something a little bit different from the Ambassador Bridge," Belitsky said. "So, where they got the rights in perpetuity, they told the tunnel folks they could go ahead and do that--but they could only have it for 60 years."

The tunnel was given to both cities in 1990--which means 2010 marks the 80th anniversary of this unique structure. But why is it so unique?

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How to Cross a 7-Lane Highway: Go Under, Not Over

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Billings cyclists participate in a ribbon cutting to christen a new bike/pedestrian tunnel that connects bike trails under Montana's busiest highway (Jackie Yamanaka)

(Billings - Jackie Yamanaka, Yellowstone Public Radio)  Overcast skies and a few snowflakes didn't deter a group of cyclists, runners, government officials and others from christening a newly completed tunnel under Montana's busiest highway.

Darlene Tussing is the Alternative Modes Coordinator for the City of Billings. "It's seven lanes of traffic," she says. "And it's not someplace you'd like to take your family on a bike ride."

Until now.

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