Highlights From the Latest Mobilizing the Region

The latest issue of Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s Mobilizing the Region newsletter just came out. Here are some of the highlights:

The Bloomberg Sustainability Agenda: Reading the Transportation Tea Leaves
The mayor mentioned only two broad transportation-related goals: bring the subway system to a state of good repair, and improve travel times over today’s levels by adding mass transit capacity. Urbanists and pedestrian advocates looking for a statement about more efficient and convivial use of city street space were disappointed.

Congestion Pricing: What’s the Problem With Queens?
Strangely, six of the seven bridges or tunnels that connect Queens to other boroughs (and most of Queens to the Rockaways) already have tolls. So is the big fuss in Queens really just about keeping the chronically-clogged Queensboro Bridge toll-free? It is true that Queens connections to some of the free bridges in Brooklyn are pretty direct (if one were driving from eastern Queens to City Hall, for example) but the big shifts in free versus paid car access to the central business district under the Manhattan Institute plan would be in Brooklyn and The Bronx, rather than in Queens.

Earth to Staten Island: Stop Voting for Worse Traffic
Recent news from Staten Island clearly manifests the Island’s split personality. One headline announced the start of construction of a new mall along the West Shore Expressway that is slated to be the "second-largest shopping center" on the Island and looks like it would fit into any sprawling suburban retail landscape across the U.S., while within just a few days, the NASCAR track proposed for a site near the Goethals Bridge went down to defeat because of traffic fears. 

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    Also a piece of heartening national news, from the NARP Hotline: “Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMTs) rose a mere 0.9% in 2005 compared with 2004, according to the newly released Highway Statistics, an annual U.S. DOT report. For the first time, VMT per capita actually fell. These numbers signal a break in the widely-assumed link between VMTs and economic growth (GNP). Highway interests are trying to spin this otherwise.”

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Opposing the Move NY Plan Does No Favors for Southeast Queens

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Four highways encircle New York’s 27th City Council district, a largely African-American section of southeast Queens: the Grand Central Parkway on the north, the Van Wyck Expressway on the west, the Southern State Parkway on the south, and the Cross Island Parkway on the east. Highways girdle the transportation perspective of the 27th District’s Council […]

Three Concrete Proposals for New York City Traffic Relief

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This Morning’s Forum: Road Pricing Worked in London. Can It Work in New York? Three specific proposals to reduce New York City’s ever-increasing traffic congestion emerged from a highly anticipated Manhattan Institute forum this morning. One seeks variable prices on cars driving in to central Manhattan, with express toll lanes and higher parking fees to keep things […]

Survey: See Which Candidates Favor New Transit Funding and Speed Cams

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Races for the White House and Congress aren’t the only ones on the ballot tomorrow. Though as usual there aren’t many competitive contests for State Senate and Assembly, voters who are interested in transportation funding and safer streets should check out a candidate survey released over the weekend by the New York Bicycling Coalition, the Straphangers Campaign, Transportation Alternatives […]

The Iris Weinshall Legacy: Queens Boulevard

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"What became clear to me in this discussion was that the engineers were thinking from the motorists’ viewpoint."  — Iris Weinshall, New York Newsday, April 29, 2001   A long walk across Queens Blvd. at Grand Ave., Elmhurst, circa March 2001. Photo: Jeff Saltzman Departing Department of Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall often cites the pedestrian […]