Most of our commutes are rife with subway delays, over-crowding and shutdowns, and while you can credit some of those to the sick passengers (and a handful of dizzy dieters), a lot of the blame falls on the fact that our subway still runs on an antiquated system built in the 1930s. Transit authorities are only now beginning to replace the eight-decade-old system, which still uses—wait for it—pencil and paper to track train progress. The update is a long overdue one, yes, but don’t expect your commute to get any more comfortable in the near future. With 700 miles of track to cover, the time estimated to make the switch won’t be much of a boon for us six million riders now boarding daily.
Those who’ve been dying to check out up-and-coming Red Hook will now have a much easier, much more comfortable way of getting to the cozy, cute nabe. The New York Water Taxi Commission has just added a brand new stop that will ferry passengers to Van Brunt Street from Lower Manhattan, DUMBO and Midtown on the West Side. Locals residents have been championing for a stop for the last few years, citing that it would be a boon to business development in the area, particularly for those still hurting from the effects of Superstorm Sandy.
JPods, East River Skyway, an expanding Citi Bike—if one thing is clear, New York City’s rapidly growing population has gotten a lot of people worried about how our already taxed infrastructure is going to account for all of these new bodies. The latest transportation idea to come out of the woodwork is not necessarily a new one, but it’s one that’s recently found a new boost thanks to interest and funding provided by everyone’s favorite search giant: Google. Called “SkySMART,” this new idea for mobility utilizes a series of sun- and pedal-powered pods that run along an elevated rail high above city traffic.
NYC is well on its way to becoming a bike-friendly city. With Citi Bike expanding and designs for bikes of all shapes and sizes growing in popularity, it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing architecture built specifically for cyclists’ use. In his article, “10 Points of a Bicycling Architecture”, originally published on ArchDaily, Steven Fleming explores ten ways major cities, like New York, can make this happen.
A revolution is occurring in street design. New York, arguably the world’s bellwether city, has let everyday citizens cycle for transport. They have done that by designating one lane on most avenues to bicyclists only, with barriers to protect them from traffic. Now hundreds of cities are rejiggering to be bicycle-friendly, while in New York there is a sense that more change is afoot. Many New Yorkers would prefer if their city were more like Copenhagen where 40% of all trips are by bike. But then Copenhagen wants more as well. Where does this stop? If you consider that we are talking about a mode of transport that whips our hearts into shape, funnels many more people down streets than can be funneled in cars, has no pollution, and costs governments and individuals an absolute pittance, you won’t ask where it stops, but how close to 100% the bike modal share can possibly go and what we must do to achieve that.
Still recovering from a Thanksgiving travel fiasco? Or maybe you haven’t even made it home yet. Either way, this map is probably not going to make you feel better. It’s a visualization of taxi trips from NYC-area airports between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
The project was inspired by a previous mapping endeavor, NYC Taxis: A Day in the Life, and was created by designers at ImageWork Technologies. They looked at taxi trips originating from JFK and LaGuardia in 2013, and even have a feature that allows users to filter the results by individual airline terminals.
Ironworkers attach the “Old Glory” flag to the final Oculus rafter piece before installation
Just weeks after One World Trade Center and the Fulton Center Subway Station opened their doors for business, the last of the 114 steel rafters was installed on Santiago Calatrava‘s long-overdue, majorly over-budget flying bird-looking transportation hub. This is just one of many steel components in the project; it’s made up of 618 steel pieces which weigh more than 12,000 tons. The rafters were supposed to be completed by August, but though they were three months behind schedule, the hub is still expected to open in late 2015.
Self-driving cars are definitely in our future. Some states–Nevada, Florida, Michigan, California–and Washington, D.C. are already allowing them on their streets (at least for testing purposes) and a number of others are considering doing the the same. Though the road to a hands-free life has been paved, the future of it all is still up in the air. What would allowing self-driving cars on the road en masse mean for our safety? How will we communicate our needs to them? In what ways will they change how we live day to day? And can they enrich our lives?
International design group and think tank IDEO wants to explore what this new technology could mean for urban life over the next 15 years. With their study “The Future of Automobility” they offer up a wildly vibrant vision through three concepts grounded in the use of autonomous vehicles.
Bridges and tolls are on everyone’s mind these days, thanks to the MTA’s latest proposed fare hikes. If approved, this would raise the toll of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to $16. And today, on the 50th anniversary of the bridge’s opening, most Staten Islanders still think that driving across the bridge was supposed to become free once it was paid off. No one’s really certain where this myth came from, but those who believe it are quite passionate about the subject.
Admit it; we’ve all rolled our eyes at the person taking up four spots on a rush hour subway car with their bulky bicycle. And while we applaud their eco-friendly commuting habits, we admit it can be a little frustrating when we’re running late for work.
Enter the Vello Bike to save the day. The lightweight, handmade folding bike’s 20-inch wheels (as opposed to traditional 26- or 28-inch wheels) are perfect for gaining speed, but also save space on crowded public transportation or when packed away in luggage. The bicycle features high-performance, top-end features not typically found in folding bikes, and it’s built to sustain various terrains (think cobblestone streets in the Meatpacking District or rocky hills during an upstate weekend camping adventure). Another detail that has us smitten with Vello? The bikes come equipped with unique QR codes that link to riders’ online profiles and help locate them if stolen.