Today’s Headlines

  • State Senate Votes to Axe MTA Capital Funds (Daily Politics, 2nd Ave Sagas)
  • Senate Transportation Bill Includes Restoration of Commuter Transit Benefit (TransNat)
  • Related: Bloomberg to Explain to Eric Cantor How Cities Work (TransNat, Capital NY)
  • Report Finds New York World’s Most Competitive City (WNYC, Crain’s)
  • Curb-Jumping Cabbie Pins Pedestrian to Building in Midtown (Post, DNA)
  • Should Cab Drivers Be Behind the Wheel 70 Hours a Week? (Gotham Gazette)
  • City Close to Deal for Jackson Heights Park Land (News)
  • City Room Has Renderings of the High Line Expansion Into Hudson Yards
  • Developers Propose Pedestrian-Oriented Replacement for South Street Seaport Mall (DNA)
  • Former Staffer Tells How the MTA Opened Up Its Data (NY World)
  • Intriguing Alternative to Killer Garbage Trucks: Trash Tubes (Forbes)
  • Casey Neistat Shows What It Takes to Get Caught Stealing a Bike (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Streetsman

    They may call the new seaport design pedestrian-oriented, but the architecture is not at all representative of that. Large scale, with towering 20-foot atriums. Long, flat uninterrupted facade of glass and metal. Expansive hardscape public spaces with few vertical elements and no protection from sun, rain or wind. Major attractors many flights up inside a building, while the outdoor public spaces have little else but seating.

    The article says: “unlike the monolithic shopping center that’s in place now, the base and
    mezzanine levels of the new building would feel more like a normal
    streetscape, with smaller individual structures housing shops and
    restaurants, separated by open-air pedestrian thoroughfares.” I think the new design looks even MORE like a large monolithic shopping center, now with barren public spaces having a streetscape design quality comparable to corporate office towers along Avenue of the Americas.

    This is what a pedestrian-oriented waterfront looks like: http://mylifeindk.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/img_1226.jpg. Smaller proportioned buildings with human-scale facades, regular interruptions, shops and cafes spilling out to the public space, pedestrian lighting, greenery, shade, outdoor activities, transportation.

    This new design looks even worse than the original. I doubt they have an urban designer or a waterfront expert involved anywhere in this development. The photo of the existing condition, even in the dead of winter, looks better to me than what they’ve proposed.

  • dave
  • Mfs

    The garbage tube story was completely laughable to anyone who is familiar with the challenges of installing infrastructure. It doesn’t seem to have been built anywhere that isn’t a greenfield or wholesale redevelopment project.  Could this be used in Hunter’s Point South or Columbia U expansion where the whole district is being regraded? Sure!  But to think you can retrofit anywhere in NYC that’s already built for less than tens of billions of dollars is foolish.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The poltical assault on transit is amazing, given rising ridership and its popularity among the young. 

    I see it as just one more indication of the mobilized self-interest of senior voters.  Why aren’t Republicans worried that Democrats will make a straight generational appeal — “remember which party sold you out for 30 years and do something about it?”  Because Democrats in power are part of the same group.

  • Joe R.

    @f9b2cb395abd5a101456b3b0a40912e1:disqus I think it’s precisely because transit is becoming much more popular that it’s under attack. Those in charge see that their income stream from oil and autos will be sharply reduced as the older generation dies out. The only way to keep people dependent on cars is to grossly underfund the alternatives. Sure, we’ve been doing that already for 30 years, but the effect wasn’t as dramatic when transit ridership was less. In fact, so long as the numbers using mass transit were relatively small, even Republicans were happy to keep systems limping along, figuring a lot of mass transit users may use it to commute to work, but will still need to drive the rest of the time.

    Now they’re seeing a generation who no longer views the auto as a symbol of independence, but rather a ball and chain. This generation will happily ditch their cars forever, or better yet never buy one in the first place, if a good enough transit system exists. For now politicians can still ignore this group. In 5 years though I think it’ll be political suicide to cut either transit or bike projects. In 10 years it’ll probably be political suicide to not be advocating for a huge expansion of transit and cycling infrastructure.

    Just give it time. Sooner or later the message that cars are so 20th century will be heard loud and clear.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Sooner or later the message that cars are so 20th century will be heard loud and clear.” 
     
    It won’t be heard if it isn’t spoken.  It really is the responsibility of the minority of those in older generations who have been responsible to rally the clueless young.  It’s their chance to be in the majority finally.

  • Bolwerk

    I always thought one great side-effect of a good surface rail system in NYC could be more efficient, quieter garbage pickup.  More garbage hauled at a lower cost, more safely, faster, and with less energy consumed.

  • moocow

    Larry, I am not calling you old, but I appreciate your efforts to do just that.

  • Anonymous

    So, since it’s been in the news, maybe someone can help me figure something out:  if my employer doesn’t participate in TransitChek, is there any other way for me to take advantage of the transit benefit (whether at its original $230/month level or even if it winds up staying at the reduced $125/month level)?

  • Mike

    JoshNY: Get an employer that treats you right.

  • Andrew

    @2555783a6f62598b6aadd2d882a4830f:disqus It’s a culture war. To the older generation, a car is aspirational – even if you don’t get around by car today, you long to get around by car tomorrow, once you’re old enough or you can afford it or you’ve gotten over whatever it is that’s holding you back now. But to the younger generation, a car is simply a transportation device, and if a different transportation device (such as a bus or train or bicycle or pair of feet) is more suitable or simply gets the job done at lower cost, then a car is unnecessary. The older generation resents this outright rejection of the values that they’ve spent so much to maintain.

    @JoshNY:disqus No.

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