Today’s Headlines

  • Larry Littlefield

    I’ve read that the word out of the international auto show is a global consensus among automakers that electric cars are the future, in fact the near future, with hybrids just an interim step. Evidently breakthroughs in batteries are what has made this possible.

    Just a thought. What will happen to those who park on the street, and don’t have outlets to plug their cars into to recharge? Just imagine older New York City neighborhoods with parked cars along both sides of all streets, say Park Slope, and a 20 minute (minimum) recharge time every 350 miles, which is what they are talking about.

    Extension cords over the sidewalk? Only if you get the parking spot right in front of your house.

  • I’d love to see ARC go forward with a lion’s share of those shovel-ready stimu-bux. I’ll freely admit my parochial preference for the fed dollars pouring into NYC region (of course many of those dollars are coming from NYC in the first place), on top of my preference for more mass transit.

    The complaints about the design (in the comments to the prior post that is linked to today’s news reports) about how ARC should be scuttled unless it includes access from NJ directly to Grand Central or Long Island, are laughable. Not only would it add huge amounts to the cost simply to facilitate trips through NYC between NJ and Long Island, it ignores all the economic stimulus and traffic calming we get from the pedestrian traffic moving through midtown (or at least through the MTA trains/busses in midtown) to make the connection to points east.

    There is a reason why those “big-box” stores are designed like a maze–you enter at one corner and are forced to navigate your way throughout the maze in order to exit. If people want to commute by rail from New Jersey to Long Island, they can pay an MTA connecting fare, or walk from Penn Station to Grand Central and buy something along the way. Sorry, folks, Manhattan lies in the middle of your trip, that’s why its become the economic and cultural center that it has over the last 3 centuries. Nothing wrong with that!

    Once we see a doubling in the NJ rail commuter influx after ARC, if that new rail constituency wants to advocate for a seamless NJ-LI rail path, God bless them, I’ll support them all the way.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The construction of ARC and East Side Access, combined with an abandonment of transit projects within the city and the re-collapse our existing transit and school systems, would spur a repeat of the business and middle class exodus of the 1970s. Or at least that’s the non-plan.

    Why did Sheldon Silver freeze the upper half of the Second Avenue Subway for several years while allowing East Side Access to go forward? Why does no one ask questions like that?

    In an event, here is an article on auto’s going electric.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28659906/

    Note the plug. If your housing unit comes without off-street parking, where does it go?

  • Larry: “Extension cords over the sidewalk…”

    How about extension cords with broken insulation over a wet sidewalk? Could be an electrocution hazard. Mmmm, I love the smell of fried dog in the morning.

    On the bright side, the person most likely to be electrocuted is the driver going to his car.

  • Larry, I’m not convinced that ARC would draw residents and businesses out of the city. I’m no expert, but I can’t see NYC businesses relocating to exurban NJ communities linked to ARC, simply because ARC provided a more efficient means for their NYC-based employees to reverse commute.

    As for enabling people to live in NJ and commute to work into NYC more efficiently, it doesn’t bother me that the pre-existing rate of city-to-suburb exodus might increase a bit with ARC. There is always some level of that going on. The supply of new people moving to NYC will not dry up, nor will the supply of NYC residents who wish to stay. And who knows, some of those exurban NJ communities, once connected meaningfully to NYC via ARC, might become more pedestrian-friendly in the manner of Hoboken and Jersey City.

  • Great argument. The best he can do is to say the new roads don’t immediately fill to capacity. It takes a few years before the environmental damage is complete and the roads are as congested as ever.

    From Smaller Transpo Stimulus Means Fewer Highway Expansions (Politico)
    The American Road Builders and Transportation Builders Association say that new road projects are vital for key buses, a key transit mode. “These projects are ways to immediately invest and reduce traffic congestion,” said association spokesman Jeff Solsby. “Just because you build a new road doesn’t mean they’re immediately filled to capacity.”

  • Boris

    Larry,

    Electric car owners will be able to recharge or swap batteries at charging stations, which will be used the same way as gas stations. At least that’s what it is shaping up to be in Europe.

  • <blockquote.Not only would it add huge amounts to the cost simply to facilitate trips through NYC between NJ and Long Island
    It would cost a lot up front, but it would save a tremendous amount long-term. Alon Levy wrote on my blog, “If Penn Station becomes a through station, so that NJT trains immediately continue to the east as LIRR, it could go down to four tracks and still work.”

  • And who knows, some of those exurban NJ communities, once connected meaningfully to NYC via ARC, might become more pedestrian-friendly in the manner of Hoboken and Jersey City.

    It’s already happening with the Secaucus Transfer.

    Just a thought. What will happen to those who park on the street, and don’t have outlets to plug their cars into to recharge?

    Daniel Sperling says that you could have curbside charging stations. He’s been shown to be wrong when he says that Americans won’t use transit, and transit is a lot better idea than a bunch of cars plugged in all along the curb.