History, Transportation

Courtesy of the NYPL

At one point in New York history, it looked very likely that the city would get a brand new bridge across the East River between Manhattan and Queens by way of Blackwell’s (now Roosevelt) Island. This was back in the 1870s, as the Brooklyn Bridge began rising to the south. According to Ephemeral New York, this would have been the second bridge to link Manhattan to Long Island, and plans were just getting off the ground. Though an 1877 newspaper article got the location of the bridge wrong–as it wasn’t going to Brooklyn–it explained that the proposal process was moving right along: “The projectors of this proposed bridge over the East River, between New York and Brooklyn at 77th Street, by way of Blackwell’s Island, have, in response to the invitation sent out, received ten separate designs and estimates from as many engineers,” it said. “Ground will be broken as soon as a plan shall be decided on.”

Here’s why it never happened

Policy, Transportation

Photo via joiseyshowaa on Flickr

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s task force, Fix NYC, released its congestion pricing plan last week, critics were quick to say the fees would most burden commuters who live outside the city and drive into Manhattan for work. However, a new report from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign found that less than 4 percent of residents in most districts commute by car into proposed congestion zones. In their report, the transportation research group analyzed the community patterns by looking at state Senate and Assembly districts; they found that a majority of commuters rely on mass transit, rather than cars, to commute.

More here

Policy, Transportation

Second Avenue Subway station, courtesy of Governor Cuomo’s Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed FY 2019 budget, released earlier this month, calls on New York City to increase its funding to the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority, forcing the city to pay half of the authority’s $836 million emergency action plan. Another provision in the governor’s proposal allows the MTA to create special “transit improvement” districts and impose higher taxes on property owners in these areas in order to raise money for subway repairs and projects. According to the New York Times, the governor’s plan, known as “value capture,” would apply to future projects that would cost over $100 million. Like most issues involving both state and city cooperation, this proposal has continued the rift over MTA funding between the governor and Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has already expressed disapproval of the plan. Find out more

City Living, Transportation

Photo via Cargo

A new start-up wants to convert your Uber or Lyft car into a 7-Eleven on wheels while benefitting drivers in the process. The company, called Cargo, sends drivers a box packed with snacks and amenities, like Pringles, earbuds and Advil to sell to riders. While some goodies are free, others like an iPhone charging cord will cost a few bucks, but passengers can easily pay on their phones, according to Forbes. Each time a passenger uses Cargo, even if it’s just for the free samples, drivers can earn money. According to the company, drivers can earn up to $300 per month, with most earning about $100 every month.

Snack on this

Policy, Transportation

R211 subway car prototype © MTA/Flickr

The board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Wednesday delayed a vote on construction contracts to renovate two stations in the Bronx and six in Manhattan after MTA members, appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, objected. The contracts fall under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $1 billion plan to outfit 33 subway stations with countdown clocks, LED lighting, USB ports and other amenities. The board’s city representatives questioned why so much money was being put towards unnecessary, cosmetic improvements at stations that are in decent condition already, instead of funding signal and track repairs. As the New York Times reported, the decision to postpone the vote has ramped up the public dispute between de Blasio and Cuomo over MTA funding.

More this way

Policy, Transportation

Photo via Wikimedia

Editor’s Note: Although City Hall previously said the mayor would meet with Trump, on Wednesday he tweeted: “I will NOT be attending today’s meeting at the White House after @realDonaldTrump’s Department of Justice decided to renew their racist assault on our immigrant communities. It doesn’t make us safer and it violates America’s core values.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio will meet with President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday, the first meeting between the two since the president’s inauguration. De Blasio, along with the rest of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, will discuss infrastructure funding with Trump, who is expected to release his long-awaited plan this month. During his campaign, the president pledged to introduce a $1 trillion proposal in his first 100 days in office, later changing the deadline to the third quarter. The White House claimed a detailed infrastructure plan would be released in early January (h/t Daily News).

Find out more

maps, Transportation

Here’s a handy map that will allow you to find areas you can reach by walking, cycling, driving or using public transport, anywhere in New York, in a set amount of time. Called TimeTravel, it’s a pretty straightforward tool: you plug in an address, a time frame, and mode of transportation. The map then comes up with a layout where you can go from that point in a given amount of time on a certain mode of transit. Above, you’re looking at how far a New Yorker could travel in 15 minutes, from Union Square East, on public transit. The map even allows you to specify what date and time you’re leaving, to give you the most accurate estimate possible.

You can also search for nearby amenities


MTA will spend $4 billion to buy 1,600+ new subway cars

By Emily Nonko, Mon, January 22, 2018

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

R211 subway car prototype © MTA/Flickr

Following a very rough year for the city’s subway system, the MTA announced it’ll spend close to $4 billion to buy over a thousand new train cars to modernize the aging fleet. The New York Times calls it “a major investment meant to help remedy the delays and breakdowns that plague the system.” The MTA has set up a three-phase contract with the Japanese company Kawasaki in which the first new cars should be delivered July 2020. Known as the R211, the cars will have brighter lighting, 58-inch-wide doors, rather than the current 50 inches, and eight digital screens displaying information and advertisements. An initial batch of 20 trains will feature the open-gangway cars, pictured above and on display to New Yorkers late last year.

The cars will also perform

Manhattan, Policy, Transportation

Photo courtesy of Davide Gabino’s Flickr

Drivers entering the busiest areas of Manhattan might soon be required to pay $11.52 per trip under a congestion pricing plan expected to be released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday.  According to the New York Times, the proposal comes from an advisory panel “Fix NYC,” a group assembled by the governor to explore ways to reduce congestion and also fund the city’s strapped-for-cash transit system. Under the proposal, trucks would pay $25.34 and taxis would see a surcharge of $2 to $5 per ride if entering the “pricing zone,” which would run south of 60th Street. Cuomo first introduced the idea of a congestion pricing plan to fund the MTA‘s transit repairs in August, after declaring the subway in a state of emergency earlier that summer.

Find out more

Manhattan, Policy, Transportation

Photo via Wikimedia

Crosstown protected bike lanes may finally come to Manhattan’s Midtown neighborhood, the first of its kind in New York City. The city’s Department of Transportation presented on Wednesday a series of proposals to create bike lanes that stretch from the East River to the Hudson River, traveling east to west instead of north to south. The first two protected lanes are proposed to run east on 26th Street and west on 29th Street, where an existing lane will be replaced. Officials are also looking to add a lane moving west on 55th Street and east on 52nd Street. DOT’s move to add more protected bike lanes in Midtown comes after the city experienced an increase in the number of cyclist deaths in 2017, despite it being the safest year on record for traffic fatalities.

Find out more


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