Today’s Headlines

  • GM, Chrysler Ask for Another Handout, This One for $14 Billion (NYT)
  • Obama Signs Stimulus Bill Into Law (NYT)
  • Why the Prez Made High Speed Rail a Stimulus Priority (Politico)
  • Transpo Sec LaHood on How Stim Money Will Be Spent (Transportation for America)
  • More Responses to David Brooks (Joe Urban, Discovering Urbanism)
  • Lentol at Mock G Funeral: ‘We Will Get a Plan Down That Saves the Subway System’ (News)
  • Bronx Beep Carrion Heads to DC to Oversee Office of Urban Policy (News)
  • MTA Won’t Use Stim Funds to Bail Out Atlantic Yards; Paterson Still Might (Post)
  • To WSJ Columnist, ‘Smart Transportation’ = Gadgetry for Roads and Cars
  • Memphis Airport Security Takes Sticker on a Bike Too Literally (Urban Velo via
  • WillG

    The “Why the Prez Made High Speed Rail a Stimulus Priority” article doesn’t explain anything. Congestion is caused by people driving within cities, not between them. High speed rail is about reducing airplane trips, not car trips. Now maybe Obama’s high speed rail is a way, via rebranding, to steer desperately needed money to existing boring Amtrak and commuter rail. Otherwise, the transportation justification just isn’t there.

  • Rhywun

    And a lot of the traffic in cities is created by people driving back and forth to the airport. HSR will relieve some of this.

  • Rhywun

    RE: MTA Won’t Use Stim Funds to Bail Out Atlantic Yards; Paterson Still Might

    Given that the sole purpose of Atlantic Yards is to put money in Ratner’s pocket, it’s unconscionable that the governor is considering using tax dollars for this purpose. Or rather, it’s politics as usual around these parts.

  • Rhywun


    One can hope.

    PS. Has it occurred to no one in Obama’s team that transit operating costs are just as “stimulating” as construction costs? Actually, even more so, because the jobs it saves and/or creates are permanent, and those jobs help more people to get to their jobs etc. And shovels aren’t even needed. But there’s this sacrosanct prohibition against providing assistance for operating costs that I don’t get.

  • WillG

    No, a trivial amount of overall traffic is airport bound. And, of that, only the portion of people driving to a regional air trip might switch to a train trip. A big part of of high speed rail is to reduce regional air travel and reduce the peak hour demand for runway slots. That reduces pressure to build additional airports, which are major sprawl inducers. In the New York City metro area that would mean reducing the need to establish Stewart Airport as a fourth major area airport. Still, the benefit/cost of high speed rail, outside the context of a rational transportation/land-use plan seems questionable.

  • Airplane flights are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, and HSR emits only one-sixth as much CO2 per passenger mile.

  • Rhywun

    I dunno how “trivial” airport traffic is… every time I take a taxi to LaGuardia or JFK, it’s bumper-to-bumper traffic for several miles around. Also, the most trips on HSR, especially in dense corridors like the Northeast, will be medium-length trips that people currently are equally likely to drive as to fly.