PlaNYC Team Releases Transportation Technical Report

The PlaNYC team has released the technical report providing the detailed background data for the transportation recommendations made in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s April 22 Long-Term Planning & Sustainability speech. It’s a big download — 25 megabytes and 166 pages — but if you are a New York City transportation policy wonk, it’s totally worth it. 

The report provides a comprehensive rundown, in one place, of all of the various transportation initiatives that are currently planned, underway or being discussed for New York City. Those who have been following the work of independent consultant Bruce Schaller will recognize some of this material. (Speaking of which: Is Bruce Schaller the Bill James of New York City transportation policy, or what? When is city government going to offer the guy a job?)

The report contains some really interesting maps and charts, like the one above, graphically depicting where Manhattan-bound car commuters come from. The map is broken down by census tract. Height represents the total number of single-passenger drivers and color represents the percentage of commuters who chose to drive alone to workplaces below 96th Street. A darker color means a higher percentage of single-passenger drivers and a lighter color means more people used transit, walked, carpooled or used a ferry or bike. It turns out that only 4.6% of New York City residents drive to work in the Manhattan core in single-passenger motor vehicle.

Here’s another great factoid from the report: If New Yorkers owned cars at the same rate as the rest of the nation, it would take 11,000 acres, or all of Manhattan below 136th Street, just to park them end to end.

  • I think height represents the total number of workers in the census district, not the total number of drivers.

    Breezy Point has a low height and brown color: not many workers, but a large portion of them drive to Manhattan. Mid-town Manhattan has high height and light green color: lots of workers, and a small percentage of them drive to Manhattan.

    “Height represents the total number of single-passenger drivers and color represents the percentage of commuters who chose to drive alone to workplaces below 96th Street.”

  • The negative correlation of drivers to availability of MTA service is obvious.

    If you build it, they won’t drive.

    However, the really dark strip on the western edge of Sunset Park is interesting. Is there simply no bus or subway service there?

  • Q.R.

    re Dope: Nah, but very few people live west of 3rd Ave… it’s probably one or two districts with

  • mappers

    Neat maps!

  • nimby pimby

    Re: “Those who have been following the work of independent consultant Bruce Schaller will recognize some of this material. (Speaking of which: Is Bruce Schaller the Bill James of New York City transportation policy, or what? When is city government going to offer the guy a job?)”

    Perhaps they will when his studies either a) are based on original research and data gathering and not just a compilation of other people’s work and b) aren’t so methodologically flawed as to be worthless.

    An ideological compatriot does not a smart consultant make…

  • Davis

    Nimby,

    Do not mess with my man Schaller. 

    1. Schaller has been offered jobs in city government. He has turned them down.

    2. If combing through census data doesn’t qualify as "original research and data gathering," then OK. But most people don’t expect researchers to go out and actually conduct the US Census.

    3. Schaller’s ideology, if he has one, seems to be "multi-modalism." Based on reading lots of his work, he seems to believe that New Yorkers should have multiple transportation choices and the more efficient and socially desirable choices — i.e. transit or bicycling — should be more competitive with motoring, especially in the outer boroughs.

    4. What’s Phil Habib’s ideology — Money Makinism? Or is he just a pure and righteous engineer in your book?

    5. It is a sign of the failing of NYC DOT that Schaller’s research niche even exists. Unfortunately, we have a city transportation agency that refuses even to set meager performance targets no less actually keep track of what is happening on city streets beyond traffic counts and the number of fatalities.

  • Performance

    Oh,”performance measures.” Yeah, those are good. Has anyone noticed there are not any in the 2030 plan? Lots of bike lane miles and new transit service and smart pedestrian planning but zero on actual targets for cycling, walking or deaths and injuries.

    Pimby re: Schaller. Let’s see you give a couple of specific examples of bad methodology by Schaller to back up your assertion. His stuff seems pretty solid and he seems to avoid assertions not backed by data. If you compare a Schaller study to the average EIS/EA done for large projects by the big consulting firms he looks pretty damn good. Those things, which are supposed to be the objective basis of big policy decisions, are typically riddled with problems.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Bruce Schaller Profiles a “City in Flux”

|
Ahead of Sunday’s big PlaNYC 2030 reveal, Bruce Schaller of Schaller Consulting has released an exhaustive analysis of New York City traffic, transit and public space. "CITYinFLUX: Understanding and Untangling Traffic and Transportation in NYC" is a compendium of over 40 reports and databases, highlighting a wealth of interesting facts, charts and analyses. The complete […]

DOT Hires Bruce Schaller to Run a New Planning Office

|
This is the first of a number of exciting and heretofore unimaginable hiring announcements likely to be coming out of New York City’s Department of Transportation in the next few weeks: Today, DOT is announcing the creation of a new Office of Planning and Sustainability and the appointment of Bruce Schaller of Schaller Consulting as […]

Jon Orcutt and Bruce Schaller Are Moving on From NYC DOT

|
Two key architects of change at NYC DOT are moving on after seven years with the agency. DOT Traffic and Planning Commissioner Bruce Schaller departed at the end of May, and DOT Policy Director Jon Orcutt announced on Twitter yesterday that he will be leaving next week. Orcutt and Schaller were two of former DOT chief […]

Jon Orcutt Appointed as DOT Senior Policy Advisor

|
File under: Totally unimaginable just a few months ago. Following the appointment of Bruce Schaller as Deputy Commissioner for Planning and Sustainability, Jon Orcutt is DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan’s second high profile hire since taking over the agency. Stay tuned for one or two more big appointments. Kate Slevin will be taking over as Tri-State […]

Schaller: Road Pricing Won’t Fly Without Driver Support

|
Road pricing won’t ease this BQE traffic jam unless drivers want it to, says Bruce Schaller. Image: photoAtlas via Flickr. Road pricing isn’t going to happen unless drivers want it to, writes Bruce Schaller, one of the architects of New York’s congestion pricing push. That’s the central conclusion of a new paper Schaller penned for […]

The Power of Parking Policy

|
This is the third in a three-part series on New York City parking policy.Part 1: The New York City Parking Boom  Part 2: Parking: If You Build it They Will Come… in Their Cars Over the course of the last year, New York City’s transportation policy community has spent tremendous time, energy and money pursuing […]