Today’s Headlines

  • NYT: Obama Must Make Transit a Priority
  • No Mention of Transit in Obama Address on Economic Recovery (CAHSR Blog via Streetsblog.net)
  • Steel Industry Pushing for Transit Projects in Stimulus Package (TPM)
  • TLC Wants Taxi-Mounted Cams to Improve Safety of Cabbie Driving (News)
  • Street Memorial Project Visits Sites Where Cyclists Were Killed in 2008 (News)
  • NYT Recaps Kent Ave Bike Lane Saga
  • City Agencies Ordered to Cut Car Fleets By 700 Vehicles (NYT)
  • Brennan Center: Albany as Dysfunctional as Ever (News)
  • Raise Gas Tax, Says Federal Commission (NY1)
  • SF Begins to Study Congestion Pricing Options (NYT)
  • Larry Littlefield

    RE: Transit — the problem is that most Americans do not take transit, and do not live in places where transit could even be feasible. The population is so dispersed, and so few people woudl be on each bus or train, that the carbon footprint of transit would be greater than SOVs.

    So what happens is a little spending on transit in places like New York is traded for lots of spending on roads somewhere else.

    In the long run, certainly more transit accessible places should be created, and more people should choose to live there rather than exurbs, which is what seemed to be happening (along with many other things) when the price of oil is high. But right now funneling money through Congress (or the state legislature) is not good for the environment or livable streets. I agree with those who are suspicious of what we will get. We are already subsidizing auto finance while the alternative fuels industries dies (again).

    That’s why what I really want from Washington is a universal health care finance system at the federal level, eliminating Medicaid and the burden of health care for public employee retirees, along with the problem of the uninsured. They everyone could afford to pay for their own infrastructure.

  • Moser

    According to Brookings, about two-thirds of Americans now live in the 100 largest metropolitan areas. The population isn’t that spread out compared to U.S. land area. Take a look at 2008 transit ridership numbers – they were going up everywhere, not just in NY/NJ. These problems can be addressed and if the #’s in the NYT editorial are right, Obama is off on the right foot regarding transportation stimulus.

  • Larry Littlefield

    When you get down to 100, you are talking about a place like Lansing Michigan, no. 99 in 2000.

    The metro Lansing transit authority had 79 buses, serving about 38,000 passengers on an average weekday, with Michigan State U. probably accounting for most of them. The fares cover 13% of the cost.

    The metro area population is about 450,000.

    Modesto California was no. 100

  • Michael

    Larry,

    The key to transit effectiveness isn’t really metropolitan area size, it’s density — even in small communities, if there is a defined core. A majority of Americans (if not a full 2/3) definitely live in metro areas where some form of transit could be hugely beneficial.

    Also, it’s not really a question of transit in NY or roads in Georgia. It’s more a question of roads in NY or transit in NY.