Policy, Transportation

Photo of the Brooklyn Bridge via pixabay

Dubbed the “Times Square in the Sky,” the Brooklyn Bridge promenade remains the borough’s most popular attraction, experiencing an increase in pedestrian volume by 275 percent between 2008 and 2015. The New York City Department of Transportation released a report on Friday that details ways to reduce the growing congestion of cyclists, pedestrians and vendors on the promenade. After hiring the consulting term AECOM over a year ago to conduct an engineering study aimed at improving safety, DOT has finally outlined steps to be taken in order to limit crowds. As the New York Times reported, the city is exploring ideas like building a separate bike-only entrance to the Manhattan side of the bridge, possibly expanding the width of the promenade and reducing the number of vendors allowed to sell goods, while restricting where they can sell them.

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Policy, Transportation

LaGuardia Airport, Governor Cuomo, new LaGuardia

Interior rendering of LaGuardia Airport, via Governor Andrew Cuomo on Flickr

With the approval of its $8 billion 2018 budget on Thursday, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey plans to spend more than $1 billion on major redevelopment projects at LaGuardia, Newark Liberty International and JFK Airports next year. The agency’s board of commissioners approved a budget that allocates $3.2 billion for operating expenses and $3.4 billion for capital expenses. According to the Wall Street Journal, $578 million will be put toward the $8 billion redevelopment of LaGuardia and $167 million toward a $2.3 billion redevelopment plan of Newark’s Terminal A.

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City Living, Design, Transportation

Credit: Alex Lee. Image courtesy of Helmut Lang

Iconic fashion brand Helmut Lang has launched a capsule collection called the “Taxi Project,” named in celebration of the fact that the eponymous Austrian designer–though he no longer heads the company–was the first designer to advertise on top of the city’s yellow cabs starting in 1998. InStyle reports that as part of the project, actual NYC taxi drivers posed for an editorial shoot by Alex Lee, held in a body shop in Queens, in which they’re wearing the new hoodies and tee. The brand is having a giveaway of items from the sporty collection–via taxi, of course.

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See inside the MTA’s proposed open gangway subway cars

By Devin Gannon, Thu, November 30, 2017

NYC subway, MTA, open gangway subway cars, R211 subway car

All photos © 6sqft

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority unveiled its newest class of subway cars during an open house at the Hudson Yards station on Thursday, allowing the public to tour the sleek trains and provide feedback to officials. In order to reduce delays and speed up boarding time, the new R211 cars feature 58-inch door spans, eight inches wider than doors on existing cars. As part of a pilot program, some of the initial cars will be equipped with open gangways, which are accordion-like walls located at the ends of cars. This technology aims to let straphangers move freely between cars and reduce overcrowding. While some of the city’s buses already have the open gangway, it remains unclear whether subway straphangers will enjoy this sometimes-wobbly section of the car.

Check out the prototype here


Today the nonprofit Regional Plan Association released its Fourth Regional Plan, a collection of broad and sweeping suggestions to make the MTA’s very bad subway system start working again. In fact, there are more than 60 suggestions total in the 351-page document, which the association has been working on for years to improve infrastructure throughout the tri-state area. The RPA explicitly ignores political realities, but in the past their suggestions have proved influential over the region. And so they’ve offered up a few biggies to the MTA: ending 24/7 subway service, eight new or extended subway lines, and taking away the responsibility of subway maintenance and repairs from the beleaguered transit agency.

Read details of these ambitious proposals

Policy, Transportation

nyc ferry, citywide ferry service

In a city with both its subway and bus currently in crisis, hearing anything positive about a transit system seems impossible. But, as the New York Times reports, the popularity of New York City’s ferry service continues to grow, with its fleet carrying 700,000 more passengers than officials had first expected. Plus, two of the four ferry routes already serve more riders than had been projected for 2019. The success of the citywide ferry, which serves as an alternative to the problem-plagued trains, has officials brainstorming ideas for express routes to get commuters to their destinations even faster.

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New Jersey, Transportation

Photo via Paul Sableman/Flickr

A new proposal from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey would extend the PATH system’s Newark to World Trade Center line from its current terminus at Newark Penn Station to the Newark Liberty Rail Link Station (Airport Station) at Newark Liberty International Airport. The addition would allow better transit access to and from the airport for Lower Manhattan and Bergen, Hudson, and Essex Counties in New Jersey–there is currently no pedestrian or bus access to the Airport Station. The Port Authority is holding two public meetings this week in Newark to discuss the project’s scope.

Details, this way

Policy, Transportation

MTA, nyc bus, nyc transit

A Brooklyn-bound bus, photo via Wikimedia

Among large cities, New York City’s bus system runs at the slowest pace in the nation, traveling at just 7.4 miles per hour, according to a report released by City Comptroller Scott Stringer on Monday. Due to an outdated fleet, inefficient routes and buses running at near-crawling speeds, the system lost 100 million passengers over the last eight years. And while it serves more than two million passengers each day, more than the daily ridership of LIRR, MetroNorth, PATH and NJ Transit combined, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has largely ignored the system’s failures. In his report, Stringer urges the MTA and city to better coordinate to address the bus system’s crisis and lists 19 recommendations, which includes updating routes, replacing old buses and introducing all-door boarding and tap-and-go fare payment options.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo via Wikipedia

After a wide-ranging investigation by the New York Times into the failures of the New York City subway system, the MTA is trying to step up its game, announcing that Andy Byford will become the next president of New York City Transit, the MTA agency responsible for subways, buses, para-transit services, and the Staten Island Railway. (Talk about pressure.) Byford, however, has a good track record after five years of reducing delays, improving rider satisfaction, and modernizing the Toronto Transit Commission. The MTA’s plan, according to the Times, is to change up leadership to “restore accountability and change a culture that for years has left the system lacking adequate funding or support.” But they’re already dealing with a high rate of turnover, as this will mark the agency’s fifth full-time leader in the past ten years.

He still faces massive challenges

Architecture, Midtown West, Transportation, Urban Design

Drawing of the original Penn Station, re-created. Credit: Jeff Stikeman for Rebuild Penn Station

In August 6sqft reported that major work was underway in the $1.6 billion transformation of Penn Station’s James A. Farley Building into a state-of-the-art, 225,000-square-foot “world-class 21st century transportation hub” called Moynihan Train Hall. That hasn’t stopped the flow of suggestions for how to best make use of New Yorkers’ un-favorite transport hub, which have included Practice for Architecture and Urbanism founder Vishaan Chakrabarti’s proposal to repurpose, then move the old building to create a neighborhood gathering spot and a plan by Columbia University’s DeathLab  to turn the the station into a landscaped cemetery. Among those voices-with-a-vision is Rebuild Penn Station, a group of architects and preservationists whose intent is to recreate the original McKim, Mead and White-designed Penn Station, and a new ad campaign aims to get commuters on board (h/t Curbed).

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