Today’s Headlines

  • MTA Board Makes Fare Hikes Official (NYT, News, Post, NY1, AP)
  • Clyde Haberman: Transit Riders Aren’t Out of the Woods Yet (NYT)
  • Payroll Tax Blowback: Orange and Rockland Counties Want to Secede From MTA (2nd Ave Sagas)
  • In Germany, They’re Taking the Car Out of the Suburb (NYT)
  • Pew Poll: Americans Still See Cars as #1 Household Necessity (Toll Roads News via Planetizen)
  • Charlotte, NC Tripling Size of Transit Network (The Takeaway)
  • Suit Against NYPD’s Critical Mass Policy Goes to Trial Today (Time’s Up)
  • MTR Spots Positive Signs for Cross Harbor Freight Movement
  • Times Covers Ground-Floor Advertising Trend
  • Build More Parking, Says Parking Lobby (AP)
  • The Greatest Threat to the Planet? Try Cul-de-Sacs (Net Density via
  • Larry Littlefield

    The 12.5% increase in the base fare is one of the smallest in percentage terms in the history of New York City’s transit system.

    Which only shows how repeated the “save the fare” theatrics followed by massive increases and system deterioration have been.

    In the end, the fare has gone up far more than inflation despite growing subsidies — because when the fare is being held down by debt the general public ignores costs and everyone else grabs all they can, over and over.

  • There is an excellent little article in the current New Yorker (“Engine Trouble” in the Talk of the Town section). Unfortunately, it’s only available online for subscribers, or for a fee. It’s about an anti-idling crusader, a gentleman who works for a mortgage office on Wall Street and in his spare time hands out business cards with the text of the NYC engine idling statute to motorists violating the law. He’s unfailingly polite, and although he gets quite a bit of guff, he also has a success rate of almost 80%. He keeps records of his encounters in a spreadsheet, by which he reckons that in 2007 he alone could have ticketed motorists for almost $160,000.

  • RE: Build More Parking, Says Parking Lobby

    Yes, if it’s one thing downtowns need, it’s more parking; there are still traces of activity there to stamp out.

  • (Sorry if this link doesn’t come out right)

    Here’s a Google Maps view of the car-free neighborhood of Vauban, described in the NYT article. If I’m not mistaken it’s bordered by Merzhauer Strasse on the east, Weisenstalstrasse on the north, what appear to be train tracks on the northwest, and a line of trees to the south. There do still appear to be some cars, but not many.

  • Hey, the link worked! And while I’m at it, here’s the Wikipedia page for Vauban.

  • Car Free Nation

    It’d be nice if neighborhoods in NYC could declare themselves car-free… give up parking, but get the streets back. I imagine it’d be difficult to get a neighborhood to agree, but we already have all the ingredients that they talk about in Vauban. Perhaps a referendum at block association meetings would be enough…

  • we already have all the ingredients that they talk about in Vauban

    I think even NYC has a long way to go before such an idea gets off the ground. The concept is just so alien–even in a neighborhood like mine where at least half of the residents don’t own a car. The American Dream specifies that people who don’t own a car are just poor folks who can’t afford one. The notion that someone would choose to live that way is unthinkable.