Streams

 

Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Transportation Nation

Transpo Experts Slams NYC Dollar Van Plan

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Turns out Buz Paaswell doesn't much like dollar vans after all.  In a NY Times Op-Ed, the City College of New York Professor and former interim President  suggests, with co-author Elliot Sclar of Columbia Univeristy,  that the private commuter vans, which started running along discontinued NYC bus routes this week, may "doom" Mayor Michael Bloombeg's transportation plans, lead to more pollution and accidents, and encourage the development of informal "cartels."

Oh yeah, and they call promises to tightly regulate these vans "empty." -- Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation

Read More

Comments [1]

Transportation Nation

NY's New Deputy Mayor Likes BRT and Congestion Charging -- But Does He Like Bike Lanes?

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?

GOLDSMITH: No.

Audio, and full transcript, after the jump.

Read More

Comments [2]

Transportation Nation

Portland Metro Council President to Join NYC Government

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) It's become de rigeur for major cities to have a sustainability plan -- but one of the largest and most comprehensive has been New York's PlaNYC. The plan has been a driving impetus for New York's bike lane expansion, its conversion of schoolyards to playgrounds, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg's support for converting the Great White Way to a pedestrian plaza.

Now, after importing the former Republican Mayor of Indiana, Stephen Goldsmith, to be Deputy Mayor of Operations (in charge of Transportation, Parks, Environmental Protection, and other departments) , New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is tapping David Bragdon, former President of the Portland, Oregon Metro Council, that greenest of green cities, to run the New Ycrk City Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability.

Comments, Portland residents?

Read More

Comment

Transportation Nation

NY Gets New Bridge

Monday, August 09, 2010

Photo: Daniel Tucker

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) The fanfare has been incessant -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg did no less than FOUR live interviews this morning about it. Perhaps because it's been a season of relentless bad news for local budgets, which means major infrastructure completions are totally rare these days. Perhaps it's because this project has been so vivid -- a bridge floated down the Hudson River from Albany to Bayonne, NJ, tweaked, then sent up the East River by barge to its Bronx home. But we're suckers for it anyway, we can't help ourselves, it's catnip for journalists, irresistible especially these slow August news days. So here it is, the new Willis Avenue Bridge, getting ready to be moved into place in the Bronx.

Read More

Comment

Transportation Nation

NY Deputy Mayor: Congestion Pricing "Terrific"

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) When, in 2007, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg first signed on to the idea of congestion pricing -- charging private motorists to drive in parts of Manhattan during peak periods -- he took on one of the biggest battles of his administration. Congestion pricing was widely derided by drivers, never gained traction in the legislature and was killed in Albany.

But every idea has its time. In New York and San Francisco, the idea of congestion pricing is getting bandied about again. San Francisco County Transportation Authority holds hearings about that city's plan starting next week. And in New York, Stephen Goldsmith, Bloomberg's new Deputy Mayor for Operations and the former Mayor of Indianapolis, gave one of the administration's biggest pushes for the idea in years, in an interview with NY1 television. (The discussion starts about 9 minutes in).

"It's not just the revenue from congestion pricing that makes it so exciting," Goldsmith told Inside City Hall host Elizabeth Kaledin. "You've got a limited number of transportation mechanisms and different ways to get around ... And congestion pricing causes people to think differently about how they consume those roads and consume those bridges and so it's a very important signal to the populace."

Full transcript here:

Read More

Comments [2]

Transportation Nation

Tunnel Vision Complete As Manhattan Bedrock Crumbles

Thursday, July 15, 2010

(New York, NY - Matthew Schuerman, WNYC)  I was there.  At about 4:15 p.m. Eastern time, a giant boring machine drilled through the last of Manhattan bedrock to complete the tunnel for an extension of the Number 7 train.  The event marks a political milestone for Mayor Bloomberg.  It's also expected to develop Manhattan's Far West Side in the same way London supported Canary Wharf with an extension of the Jubilee Line.

For the past year, a pair of machines has been digging the mile-long tunnel, starting at 26th street and 11th Avenue and ending, today, underneath the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 8th avenue and 41st street.  There the extension connects with the current number 7 subway line.   Here's more of what the big moment was like from our broadcast of All Things Considered this afternoon.

Read More

Comments [2]

Transportation Nation

New York Gets Its First Public EV Charging Station

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

(WNYC, New York) Own an electric car? Thinking about buying one? Until now, you've been, um, running on empty if you're stuck in New York City with a low battery.

But starting today, California company Coulomb Technologies plans to install 300 of the stations—called ChargePoints—in the New York metropolitan area by October 2011.

Carmakers Chevrolet and Ford, as well as smart USA, distributor of the "Smart Car,"  plan to bring Electric Vehicles—known as EV in industry parlance—to New York City streets in the coming months.

"We want New York City to be prepared when people start buying them," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a press conference unveiling the station today.

Motorists will be able to pay about $2 to fill an empty battery -- enough for about four hours of driving. The charging stations look like gas pumps -- but are much narrower and more elegant.

Read More

Comments [1]

Transportation Nation

Up from Underground: Demand Drives Dollar Van Industry

Friday, June 25, 2010

(New York, NY – Lisa Chow, WNYC) This week presented a turning point for a New York industry that has operated largely underground. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky want private commuter vans, also known as dollar vans, to start picking up passengers along bus routes that will be eliminated this weekend because of the MTA’s financial woes.

The commuter van industry has thrived in the shadows for a number of reasons. (Listen to Lisa Chow's audio segment here.)

A dollar van on Bushwick Avenue

A dollar van on Bushwick Avenue (Photo by Stephen Nessen)

There’s strong demand. People are constantly looking for easier ways to get around the city, and unlike the public transit system, private vans can respond quickly to that demand. Heavy government regulation of passenger vehicles like commuter vans has pushed the industry underground, but light enforcement of that regulation means doing business underground is often less costly than following the rules.

“It's like the Wild Wild West,” says Juan Perez, CEO of Highbrid Outdoor, a company that sells advertising in the vans.

Read More

Comments [1]

Transportation Nation

Facing Big Bus Cuts, New York City to Expand Van Network

Monday, June 21, 2010

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) Facing system-wide cuts in mass transit this weekend, WNYC has learned New York City is looking to vastly expand it private commuter van network. So-called dollar vans, which actually cost $2.00, operate throughout the city, picking up passengers who flag them down and dropping them off along specified routes. The vans, which are privately operated, are regulated by the city Taxi and Limosine commission, or TLC. According to those with direct knowledge of the situation, the TLC has been quietly meeting with dollar van operators to expand their routes to pick up much of the slack left by bus line cuts. Those cuts go into effect on Sunday, though the expansion of dollar van routes isn’t expected to take place that quickly.

Read More

Comments [1]

WNYC News

"Ah? I Couldn't Hear What You Had to Say?"

Thursday, February 04, 2010

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg does not like talking about his new hearing aid. That was clear today at a news conference when he chided reporters who asked the mayor about ...

Comment

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.

Read the full story.

Read More

Comment

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.

Listen to the full story.

Read More

Comment

WNYC News

Michael Bloomberg: Billionaire Mayor

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Michael Bloomberg claims that the upcoming election is a referendum on his record. So, what does the record tell us? Joyce Purnick has just published the sweeping biography Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, which tells ...

Comments [1]

WNYC News

Bloomberg On The Ball

Monday, July 13, 2009

bloomberg

Ana Irene Lalin, head counselor, relieves Mayor Bloomberg as the pitcher in a kickball game at the Goodhue Center summer day camp on Staten Island. Goodhue is one of ten Children's Aid Society community centers throughout the City.

Comments [1]

WNYC News

Look Who's Working for Mayor Bloomberg

Friday, July 10, 2009

rudy

Definitely the oddest tidbit I have unearthed so far in sorting through Mayor Bloomberg's latest campaign spending report: Rudolph Giuliani is working for the Bloomberg campaign.

That's Rudolph S. Giuliani...the second cousin of former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, according to Bloomberg campaign spokeswoman Jill ...

Comment

WNYC News

Working Families Party Endorses Bill Thompson for Mayor

Friday, July 10, 2009

thompson

For weeks now Mayor Bloomberg's early multi-million dollar ad campaign had created an air of inevitability. But with this week's endorsement of Comptroller Bill Thompson by the Working Families Party, the mayor had his first political setback in his bid ...

Comments [2]

WNYC News

FBI Foils Plot to Bomb Bronx Synagogues, Four Men Charged

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Screen shot from an AP video showing the FBI and NYPD with a terror plot suspect

Screen shot from an AP video showing the FBI and NYPD with a terror plot suspect

The Brian Lehrer Show
Update on Local Terror Plot

Comments [1]

WNYC News

Getting to the Bottom of the Reading Scores

Thursday, May 07, 2009

School districts from New York City to Buffalo found plenty to cheer about when the state released the results of this year's English Language Arts exam. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg once again said the increase showed his administration had put the schools on the right track. Skeptics once again found little evidence that the gains in New York City were really so much more dramatic than the statewide gains.

Let's do the numbers:

Statewide, 77 percent of students made Level 3 or 4 on their English language Arts exam, which is what the state considers meeting or exceeding the standards. That's a nine percentage point increase from 2008. In New York City, almost 69 percent of pupils met the standards, an increase of 11 points from 2008.

Clearly, the gap between the city and state scores is definitely getting smaller. But are the city's scores off the chart, so to speak? And what does that bode for Mayor Bloomberg's effort to persuade the legislature that he should maintain full control over the schools when that 2002 law expires at the end of June?

Comments [1]