Janette Sadik Khan
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
By Kate Hinds
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:
Monday, November 22, 2010
New York City is preparing to set up the largest bike share system in the nation. The city is issuing a request for proposals for one-way, short-term bike rentals, a system that has augmented the transportation network in dozens of European cities as well as in Denver, Minneapolis, and Washington, DC.
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
By Kate Hinds
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)
Friday, November 19, 2010
(New York, NY -- Jim O'Grady, WNYC) New York City's Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, was the keynoter at the Transportation Alternatives Speeding Summit today, pledging a major new public health emphasis on urban design.
"After quitting smoking, there's probably no behavior that promotes health more than regular physical activity," Farley said. "Okay, that's great. So what are we going to do about that? To me, the answer to that is thoughtful urban design and transportation infrastructure. "
Though the NYC Health Department last summer released a report saying 25 children's lives are saved a year because fewer New York City children ride in cars than in other cities, most of New York's traffic safety campaign has rested on the shoulders of NYC DOT, and its commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan.
It's Sadik-Khan who's taken fire from protesters, like Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and more recently, some orthodox Jews in Brooklyn's Borough Park. But Farley signaled that with a report coming out Monday on traffic injuries and urban design, he'll join Sadik-Khan in promoting public health benefits of slower driving speeds and more pedestrian-friendly environments.
Farley also said he would send staff to community board meetings to explain the safety benefits of bike lanes.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
By Kate Hinds
Are you smarter than a fourth grader? If you don't know what New York's speed limit is, the answer is probably "no."
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
By 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)
Thursday, October 21, 2010
By Kate Hinds
“Many New Yorkers do not even know what the speed limit is,” said New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. Speaking today at the intersection where Broadway, Amsterdam Avenue and West 71st Street meet in a notorious “bow-tie” configuration, she said that the city and the New York Police Department are kicking off an enforcement campaign designed to make the streets safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Many New Yorkers are familiar with car sharing services like Zipcar, and now city employees will be too. The city is testing out car sharing for part of it’s fleet and hoping the savings will follow.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
By Kate Hinds
(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.
Monday, August 16, 2010
(New York, NY - Collin Campbell) Five years of data and 7,000 crash records are showing a rich picture of collisions between pedestrians and cars in New York City. They're at the lowest point in recorded history, the Bloomberg Administration says, and the analysis released today may inform policy decisions to push them lower.
Among the findings from the mayor's announcement today:
• Male drivers are involved in 80% of crashes that kill or seriously injure pedestrians. They're only 57% of registered drivers in New York City.
• Private vehicles – not taxis, trucks or buses – are involved in 79% of crashes that kill or seriously injure pedestrians.
• Pedestrian fatalities in 2009 were down nearly 20 percent from 2001.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) New York City continues to give less space to cars, more to...um...other pursuits. Lower Manhattan's street grid is the only part of New York that still looks like Amsterdam, and businesses there have been pining for outdoor cafe space. Now, the city has converted five parking spots to a "pop-up cafe," where residents can dine and chat.
The spaces contain wooden platforms that support steel planters with with herbs and 15 folding tables with two chairs apiece. Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said the experiment was about creating "high performing streets that work for all user" -- and that this location works out, the City will expand the program next summer.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) There have been some interesting political alliances in the transportation world -- former Charlotte Mayor Pat McGrory, a conservative Republican, has been one of the nation's biggest backers of transit. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, also a Republican, who has also run on the Republican line, has found himself lauded by scrappy environmentalists who would probably otherwise hang with the far left. But when Bloomberg last spring appointed a former Republican Mayor of Indianapolis -- and adviser to George W. Bush -- to oversee Parks, Environmental Protection, and Transportation, a bit of a frisson shuddered through the transit world. Turns out Goldsmith is a huge supporter of congestion pricing, which he's called "terrific" and "imperative." He loves BRT and has seen it in operation in Curitiba, Brazil. He's studied bike share and thinks it's compatible with the short distances New Yorkers travel. But does he love bike lanes as much as Janette Sadik-Khan? Here's a bit of his exchange with me --
BERNSTEIN: There was some thought -- the commissioner wanted to have bike lanes all the way up First and Second Avenues. And then that plan was pulled back and that was around the time that you were coming and there was some speculation that was because you were concerned about that. Is there any truth to that?
GOLDSMITH: No. Not exactly. The mayor and I are concerned about getting the balance right. How to make the city more livable in a way that doesn’t create ancillary byproduct problems. And how extensive the bike lanes should be and where they should be is a legitimate question. I had a conversation about this with the mayor this morning. You know, he is interested in getting the balance right. He asked me a lot of questions and asked Janette a lot of questions about it, as he should, and I’ll continue to work on it.
BERNSTEIN: That was a very evocative ‘not exactly’. Can you expand on that?
Audio, and full transcript, after the jump.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
(Andrea Bernstein) There's a big problem with New York's pedestrian plazas -- nothing to eat. In Times Square you can sit in the middle of Broadway, but you have to go to Starbucks for a coffee to sip at your cafe table. Assuming, that is, you don't want to ingest a dirty water hot dog. Now, New York City's DOT says it will unveil what it's calling a "pop-up cafe, an innovative, new temporary public space in Lower Manhattan." It will provide "room to sit, eat, or enjoy a cup of coffee, enhancing enjoyment of the streetscape and increase business revenues in Lower Manhattan.
Pix coming tomorrow.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) UPDATED POST Charlotte is getting $24 million for a streetcar, New York City has half the funding in hand -- $18 million -- for a 34th street Bus Rapid Transit line , the only true BRT planned for New York City, (NYC DOT rendering above) and Boston's bike share gets $3 million. Those are some of the grants announced in a $300 million package unveiled by the Federal Transit Administration Thursday.
The funding comes from the federal "liveability" program. The feds say localities applied for $3 billion in funding, with $300 million available.
And it comes as localities are reeling from budget cuts. New York's MTA just cut two train lines and cut or modified 76 bus lines, and the city and state budgets aren't much rosier. So the $18 million is "huge boost" says New York City DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. It will comprise half of New York's funding for the 34th street project, with the rest coming from the MTA, the city, and another funding stream.
The 34th Street busway, is envisioned as what Sadik-Khan has called "the first real Bus Rapid Transit corridor" in New York -- it will be the only place in the city where bus lanes will be fully physically segregated, end-to-end, blocking the usual NYC practice of just driving, walking, or biking, wherever you want, whenever.
Friday, July 02, 2010
(WNYC Newsroom). Trucks making deliveries after seven pm and before 6 am shaved an average of forty eight minutes on their routes. That's according to the results of a pilot program by the New York City Department of Transportation. City Transportation Comisssioner Janette Sadik-Khan says the off-hour delivers also resulted in fewer parking tickets, down from$1000 per truck to almost nothing. The four month pilot enlisted thirty-three companies around Manhattan, including Foot Locker, Whole Foods, and Cisco. Some businesses have expressed reluctance to schedule off-hour deliveries because it can cost more in overtime and make last-minute deliveries more difficult. And some have said it's not an option for perishables.
Thursday, June 03, 2010
By Kate Hinds
(Kate Hinds, WNYC) Wednesday's official groundbreaking of the Brooklyn Bridge rehab brought out some big political names--Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Congressman Jerrold Nadler. What it did not bring was clarity on the job creation issue.
Because New York received federal stimulus dollars to complete the bridge work ($30 million of the $508 total comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, with a $192 million in additional federal funding and $286 in the city’s own capital funds going to complete the work), the city must follow certain reporting guidelines, like the amount of money spent, the progress of the work and the expected number of jobs that the project will generate, although pinning down actual job creation numbers is notoriously difficult. (Last December, the Obama administration changed the job reporting requirement to evaluate “full-time equivalent” positions paid for out of stimulus funding--regardless of whether the job was newly created or existing.)
New York City’s stimulus website estimates that the Brooklyn Bridge rehab will create and/or retain 834 full-time equivalent positions--although New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said after the press conference that calculating the number was difficult. “There are all different ways to cut a job,” she said. “There’s the direct job number, then there’s the indirect job number--I think that’s 2,594 or something, it’s not an exact science.” Earlier in press conference, the vice president said that the federal stimulus dollars would create 150 jobs.
But as of March 31--the most recent stimulus reporting deadline--New York City’s own data said the bridge work had created 0.13 positions. Recovery.gov’s data registered zero jobs created, even though Skanska Koch, the contractor, officially began work in January. According to the commissioner, the .13 figure is outdated and a more accurate number will be reflected in the next reporting period, which ends June 30. “I think we have 44 people on-site right now, and we expect that number to grow as the project ramps up,” she said. WNYC was unable to find any public job postings for the Brooklyn Bridge work on either the New York State Department of Labor website or recovery.gov.
The commissioner added that the work on the bridge is “on schedule and on budget” despite its complexity--and the fact that it’s reported as being six months late on the city’s stimulus tracker. “This is not a typical infrastructure job in that this is the Brooklyn Bridge. This is a half-billion dollar project...this is not a project where you're stapling two pieces of paper together. This is a project where you are engaging a wide swath of the construction and engineering community,” she said.
But back to the Brooklyn Bridge and job creation. “Yes, these are jobs, these are real jobs,” Vice President Biden said. “But I want to point out--when people say well, this is because the economy’s in such trouble. What we’re doing here, what the mayor and the city and state are doing here on the Brooklyn Bridge--and what we’re doing on those other bridges across the country--they are worthwhile in and of themselves. (Even if) this economy were clipping along at an 8 percent growth rate and we had zero percent unemployment, this is a necessary, worthwhile investment.”
Learn more about WNYC’s Brooklyn Bridge coverage--and to sign up to help the station watch the work here.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Most days, New York's sidewalks hardly seem big enough for everyone on them. That's in part why the city is kicking cars off its streets, to create more walkable area. But there's still the daily frustration and clashes of speedsters and strollers, locals staring down the block and tourists enjoying the view. The latest evidence of this most urban of daily struggles is in today's New York Post: someone painted lanes on Fifth Avenue. One for tourists, one for New Yorkers.
Next up: someone needs to get out there with a speed gun and report back.