Today’s Headlines

  • Are High Gas Prices an Adequate Substitute for Congestion Pricing? (NYT)
  • Ohio Congressman Wants to Reimburse Car Commuters (Plain Dealer)
  • Woman Killed by City Bus on Lower East Side (News, City Room)
  • Tunnel Boring Machine Completes First Leg Connecting LIRR to Grand Central (Post, AP)
  • Ikea’s Profits May Attract Other Big Box Retailers to Red Hook (Bklyn Paper)
  • Sun Hails Arrival of Target in East Harlem
  • Bronx Neighbors Call for Speed Hump After Crash Leaves Boy in Coma (Your Nabe)
  • Reflections on a Ghost Bike (NPR)
  • Two Children’s Subway Obsession (NYT)
  • The Liposuction Solution to Oil Dependence (SF Gate)
  • Spud Spudly

    I really can’t come up with appropriate words to describe how stupid that Ohio congressman is who dreamed up the car commuter reimbursement program. It’s flabbergasting.

  • Re: NYT piece on high gas prices

    If parking garage owners are complaining of a 10% percent reduction of business due to rising gas prices, perhaps they ought to consider offering their vacant spaces to cyclists for a small fee instead?

  • Unless higher gas prices raise money for mass transit, no, they’re not an adequate substitute for congestion pricing.

  • Woman killed by bus:

    It’s not clear that careless driving had any bearing on this tragedy, but I’d like to point this out anyway:

    The frequency with which I see MTA buses FLY across my intersection of 1st Ave and 14th St.–only to immediately screech to a stop at a busy corner, teeming with pedestrians no less, forced to overflow onto the street–is outrageous and disgraceful! I am honestly amazed that I have not seen anyone get injured in the years I’ve lived there.

    And yes, they often run red lights–while going very vast.

    I’ve always observed that bus drivers are some of the friendliest, most helpful MTA employees that the public deals with. Yet when it comes to their driving, I often see them behave in ways that are positively criminal and very dangerous.

    And it doesn’t make any sense: for most of their routes, many buses are stuck in crawling traffic. So why must they accelerate so dramatically as they approach intersections? Does it save anyone any time? I know it’s human nature in most drivers to speed up when they see a bit of available space, but city bus drivers must not.

    Finally, I have come to expect this kind of dangerous driving by employees of private organizations, but MTA drivers–trained by, and employed by a public agency–apparently need to be constantly threatened with serious penalties for speeding and running red lights.

  • Re: congestion pricing, can we just make all the traffic go away by banning cars from huge swathes of Manhattan; eliminating on-street parking; making the avenues bi-directional two-lane roads, and using all the extra space for pedestrianization, protected bike lanes, broadened side walks, plazas, and parks?

  • The LIRR connection to GCT is a wonderful first step towards developing a more comprehensive and useful regional rail service, but it will be even more wonderful when LIRR and Metro-North’s routes are integrated such that I could take one train from, say, Marble Hill to Jamaica. More substantial regional rail connections to Brooklyn are also needed.

  • JK

    Seems like the NYT headline writers didn’t care that their thesis/question was demolished by Bruce Schaller in the body of the article. Schaller pointed out that the effect of higher gas prices is diffuse, and congestion pricing very specific to the pricing zone/CBD. Schaller also reminded us that pricing would have reduced vehicle entries into the CBD by at least 10%. (More than the total reduction in VMT, since cabs cruise so much.)

    The overall decrease in driving suggests that motorists with a transit option (90% of those entering CBD) might be more price sensitive than previously thought.

  • We can and we will, Urbanis, but we’re going to have to raise taxes to support public trasit. And that conjures the spectre of tax flight; I’m not so scared though. The economics of city vs. sub/exurban living have changed so drastically in the past few years that we should be able to “raise prices” without quashing the demand to move/stay here and escape gashell, USA.

  • Doc, since the changes we’re talking about would make New York an even more pleasant environment to live in (dare I say, Parisian?), I think that if anything the demand to live here would go up rather than down.

  • Re: IKEA, this paragraph made me want to weep:

    “Commercial brokers say the availability of large tracts of land, optimum for big parking lots and sprawling stores, are all the more appealing to chains like Target, Wal-Mart and Bed, Bath and Beyond because of Ikea’s neighborhood status as an anchor business.”

    Great, let’s ruin Red Hook with big parking lots and sprawling stores!

  • Planman

    I tried to e-mail the Ohio Congressman to ask about his plan.

    His response?
    “Thanks for contacting Steven LaTourette. Our records indicate that you do not live in our district. Please contact your local representative to voice your concerns.”

    Never a good sign when you can’t get a policy maker to justify their policy.

  • anon

    FYI, the NPR link is broken.

  • Sarah Goodyear

    Fixed NPR link.

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