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Transportation Nation

Breaking: New York Reaches Transit Card Deal

Thursday, June 17, 2010

(Matthew Schuerman, WNYC). School systems have been under pressure around the nation to cut transportation costs. Minneapolis plans to cut bus service for students who elect not to go to their district schools. Douglas County, Colorado, will start charging school kids to ride the yellow bus. But some 300,000 New York school kids will get to keep their free Metrocards to ride the bus or subway to get to school, under a tentative deal worked out in Albany.

Sources in Albany tell WNYC that New York Governor David Paterson will submit a transportation budget bill tomorrow that would give the Metropolitan Transportation Authority 25 million dollars to save the program. That's not as much as the MTA has wanted. But the bill would include other provisions that the MTA had sought, such as an increase in the debt limit for its capital program.

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cast your mind back to when Oakland's Madison Square Park was a thriving neighborhood. And then BART came. (KALW)

Yes, you too can solve transportation problems: Slate asks its readers to help create Nimble Cities. (Slate)

Rats! Lower Manhattan subway lines are infested! (WNYC)

Hartford considers repealing skateboard ban -- and maybe even establishing an official skate park. (Hartford Courant)

President Obama, in his first use of the Oval Office to speak to the nation, calls for a new energy policy (New York Times). Meanwhile, new government estimates say BP's blown well in the Gulf of Mexico may be spitting out 60,000 barrels of oil every day. (NPR)

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Transportation Nation

Planning Group: Tear Down That Drive!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Photo: Terreform and Michael Sorkin Studio

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) In the last five years, New York has added hundreds of miles of bike lanes and closed parts of Broadway to cars, a re-allocation of street space that has caused no small measure of controversy. But those plans? Child's play, compared to what a group of international planners want the city to do: tear down the lower part of the FDR drive.

It’s a proposal that draws almost immediate – and intense – derision from almost anyone who hears it.

“Terrible idea,” mused Bryan Delaney, kibitzing with his wife, Ibelice, the other night on Grand Street near the FDR drive. “Ridiculous,” snorted Carmen Gund, a teacher walking three small dogs. “People are going to drive into Manhattan regardless, so why not have as many roads to drive into Manhattan as possible?”

Inside the Bloomberg administration, there’s also incredulity. “Tear down a ring road?” said one highly placed city official who didn’t want his name used because he was speaking about the plan without authorization. “That will never happen.”

But architect Michael Sorkin, who drew up blueprints for a radically different lower Manhattan, is a fervent believer in the “if you unbuild it, they won’t come,” school of thought. His plans look sort of like a Brooklyn Bridge park, but on the Manhattan side – manicured lawns, plazas, ferry terminals, restaurants, and lots and lots of open sky. For designs and the rest of the article, go to the WNYC Culture page.

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Transportation Nation

Shannon Trice Will Stop You, Distracted Drivers

Thursday, April 08, 2010

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(Syracuse, NY - Transportation Nation) On the window sill next to Captain Shannon Trice's desk, there's a toy cop car. Instead of the badge of the Syracuse Police Department, where he's worked for the last 20 years, it has the logo of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Trice is a traffic nerd.  He's worked on a bunch of federal-state-local programs, reads the studies.  The toy car is one of a few awards he's won for traffic safety programs.  He's a modest man, but you can almost get him to brag about how many tickets he's written as part of New York State's "Click It or Ticket" program -- something he does for an hour now and then just to get out of the office.  He has served long enough to see the difference his work has made.

But Trice and the Syracuse PD are now taking on a new challenge.

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Transportation Nation

Silent and Stress Free: Park and Ride Woos Houstonians

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

(Houston - KUHF News Lab)  Houston's traffic is stuck in the top 10 worst metro areas.  In the search for alternatives, eleven thousand commuters have been drawn out of cars and into a Park and Ride bus system.  It's a quiet, cheap ride that has those using it asking for more buses and weekend service.  KUHF's Wendy Siegle steps aboard a service in high-demand.

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Transportation Nation

Probing Bike-Friendly Houston

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

(Houston - KUHF) - Triple-digit temperatures and summer storms make biking tough in Houston.  But the city is still pressing forward with a decades-long plan for bike trails and roadside amenities to encourage car-loving Texans to consider other ways to get around.  With Google Maps expanding its popular online directions to bike routes, KUHF's Melissa Galvez took to two wheels on her way to work, and took a microphone along for the ride.

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Transportation Nation

Houston plans for future gridlock

Friday, March 19, 2010

Houston traffic-roads(Houston - KUHF News Lab) In the next 30 years, Houston is expected to add 3.5 million people.  It's a planning challenge on all levels, especially transportation.  How will Houston bill ways to get to work that encourage people to reconsider roads?  That's the subject of a year-long study now underway, as city officials get ready for the newcomers.  KUHF's Wendy Siegle reports on what planners will be looking at and how the public is giving its input.

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Transportation Nation

New Front for Distracted Driving: Drivers Shaving Bikini Line

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The definition of distracted driving is expanding under the Obama Administration -- they're fighting talking and texting while driving, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has asked for a ban on just about everything behind the wheel.  Here's the secretary recently reciting his list, which includes combing you hair, putting make-up on and yes, shaving:

meganbarnesOn Tuesday, March 2, Megan Mariah Barnes (right) helped LaHood's cause.  The 37-year old Florida woman crashed while "shaving her bikini area," according to the Key West Citizen. She was traveling 45 MPH -- within the speed limit -- but hit a car traveling about 5 MPH. The three people in the car Barnes hit were treated for minor injuries.

Even worse -- the day before the wreck, Barnes was convicted of DUI and driving with a suspended license., reports the Citizen. She faces a year in jail for Tuesday's collision.  So far, no word from Secretary LaHood on the incident. -- Collin Campbell

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Transportation Nation

WNYC: Brooklyn Officials Bristle as MTA Considers Service Cuts

Monday, January 11, 2010

NEW YORK, NY January 11, 2010 —As the MTA considers making deep service cuts to deal with a nearly $400 million budget gap, elected officials from South Brooklyn are pushing back. Bay Ridge councilman Vincent Gentile wants the commuter tax reinstated.

Read the full story.

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Transportation Nation

The Takeaway: Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper: Colorado's Next Mayor?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter recently announced he won't run for reelection in 2010, leaving wide speculation about who will succeed him. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper was in the midst of recording an interview with The Takeaway on Wednesday afternoon when Ritter called Hickenlooper to talk about what the job entails. Hickenlooper took the call, called us back, and strongly implied that he's considering running for governor.

Read the full story here.

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Transportation Nation

WNYC: Bloomberg: MTA Needs New Funding Sources

Thursday, December 17, 2009

NEW YORK, NY December 17, 2009 —The MTA board has approved an austerity plan to close a nearly $400-million funding gap by eliminating the W and Z subway lines, and more than 20 bus routes.

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Transportation Nation

WNYC: MTA Expected to Approve More Service Cuts Today

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

NEW YORK, NY December 16, 2009 —As Yogi Berra would have said, it's deja vu all over again. Just seven months ago state lawmakers said they had rescued the MTA from a crippling deficit and riders from steep fare hikes and severe service cuts. But Dale Hemmerdinger, who was MTA chairman at the time, warned reporters a few days later it wouldn't be easy.

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Transportation Nation

The Takeaway: New York Mayor Bloomberg at Climate Talks in Copenhagen

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in Copenhagen this week to take part in the Climate Summit for Mayors.  Last week, the Mayor passed his Greener, Greater, Buildings Plan, and this week he hopes to inspire leaders from other cities to follow suit.  With cities around the worldproducing more than 80 percent of the global carbon dioxide emissions, changes in urban systems can have green effects globally.  We speak with Bloomberg from Copenhagen.

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Transportation Nation

WNYC: MTA Criticized for Countdown Clocks for Bus and Subways

Friday, December 04, 2009

NEW YORK, NY December 04, 2009 —An influential Long Island lawmaker is criticizing the MTA's decision to install countdown clocks throughout the bus and subway system. At a hearing yesterday on the authority's capital plan, State Senator Craig Johnson said he had a tough enough time voting for a new payroll tax this spring to bail out the MTA.
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Transportation Nation

WNYC: New MTA Chief Takes Stand on Pay Raises

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NEW YORK, NY October 28, 2009 —New MTA chairman Jay Walder says his agency is right to have appealed an arbitration ruling that gave transit workers a pay raise. In August the Transport Workers Union was granted an 11 percent hike over 3 years, but Walder says the arbitrator didn't follow the Taylor Law, which governs public employees. "The arbitrator is required to make a decision on a specific set of legal criteria. And our legal arguments indicate how the arbitrator had failed to make a decision on the basis of that criteria," Walder said.

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Transportation Nation

The Takeaway: Washington Convenes 'Distracted Driving' Summit

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Call it Driving While Distracted, or DWD.  It may not sounds as serious as DWI, but driving and texting or twittering or "just" checking your email is as serious enough issue that dozens of elected officials, transit groups and law enforcement agencies are gathering in Washington today to look at what can be done about it. We hear from Kristin Backstrom of AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, who will be at the conference, New Jersey State Trooper Segeant Stephen Jones and his daughter Alicia Jones, who admits to texting while driving.

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