department of transportation

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.

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Policy, Transportation

L train, L train shutdown, MTA

Photo of the L-train via Wiki Commons

The MTA unveiled on Wednesday its much-anticipated plan for the 15-month shutdown of the L train, set to begin in April of 2019. Hurricane Sandy heavily damaged the 100-year-old Carnarsie Tunnel in 2012, filling it with 7 million gallons of saltwater and forcing a total reconstruction of the tunnel. The 225,000 daily L train riders that travel from Brooklyn through the tunnel to Manhattan will be given alternative travel options, as amNY reported. The MTA’s plan calls for a new bus route that would run between Brooklyn and Manhattan, a busway on 14th Street in Manhattan with a two-way bike lane on 13th Street and increase subway service on nearby lines.

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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

nyc, traffic, congestion pricing

Photo via Lucas Klappas on Flickr

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Sunday a five-point plan designed to ease congestion in the city’s busiest neighborhoods. The program, called “Clear Lanes,” includes a series of initiatives like creating new moving lanes in Midtown, clearing curbs during rush hour and expanding NYPD enforcement of block-the-box violations. Beginning in January, in addition to the heavily congested Midtown, rush-hour deliveries will be banned during a six-month test run on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn (h/t New York Times).

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City Living, Transportation

Photo courtesy of Nick Harris on Flickr

Since it was first introduced to New York City in 2013, Citi Bike, a bike-share program, has grown from operating 6,000 bikes to a current total of 10,000 bikes in over 600 locations. Looking to expand even further, Citi Bike will add 2,000 bikes and 140 new stations in Long Island City, Astoria, Crown Heights and Prospect Heights. According to Metro, the expansion will begin on Sept. 12 and continue until the end of the year.

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hudson yards, New Jersey, Policy, Transportation

hudson yards tunnel, gateway program

Photo of Hudson Yards Amtrak tunnel encasement via Tutor Perini

Currently, the first part of two box tunnels under the Hudson Yards development, below 10th and 11th Avenues on Manhattan’s west side, sits mostly finished. While construction of the final piece has yet to begin, when it’s complete the remaining section would link the tubes to the proposed new tunnel under the Hudson River, providing better access to Penn Station. However, according to the New York Times, both tunnel projects, which fall under the multi-billion dollar Gateway Program, lack the funding needed to finish.

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Policy, Transportation

Hudson River Tunnel, NYC Infrastructure, Grant Program

According to a report released Thursday by the federal government, constructing a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River and repairing the existing one could cost nearly $13 billion, almost a 50 percent increase from an earlier $7.7 billion estimate. Transit officials say they are moving forward with the project because of its urgency; the two-track tunnel, which takes Amtrak riders and NJ Transit commuters to and from New York City, is over 100 years old and was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. According to Crain’s, the report, which evaluated the plan’s environmental and economic impacts, follows the recent withdrawal of the U.S. Transportation Department from the Gateway corporation board.

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Policy, Transportation

Gateway Program, Hudson River, DOT

The two tunnels under the Hudson River that need repair, image via Amtrak

Despite forming an infrastructure task force made up of two New York-based developers, the Trump administration has withdrawn from the board of the Gateway Program, a $23.9 billion project that would add a second rail beneath the Hudson River. According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) said it is not their “practice to serve in such a capacity on other local transportation projects.” As the number of commuters entering the city from NJ continues to grow, the purpose of the Gateway Program was to double rail capacity between the two states as well as fix the Hudson River tunnel’s crumbling infrastructure, which was damaged by severe flooding during Hurricane Sandy. If one of the two tubes needs to be shut down before a new tunnel is built, train capacity into NY would be reduced by 75 percent.

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Image via Pexels

Advocacy group Move NY has suggested that the city impose a congestion charge on motorists driving on Manhattan’s most crowded streets. Similar proposals haven’t fared well in the state legislature–but the group cites a 1957 state law that says cities with a population of over a million can toll their own roadways and bridges. The Wall Street Journal reports that Move NY will offer the City Council’s transportation committee a new proposal today under which the city would impose a $2.75 charge on automobiles entering Manhattan’s central business district below 60th Street. The fee for trucks would be higher; for-hire vehicles including taxis would pay a congestion surcharge based on trips within the zone.

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City Living, Transportation, Union Square, Urban Design

14th Street, L train shutdown, L-ternatives

Advocacy group Transportation Alternatives has been trying to stay focused on grounded solutions–literally, as opposed to the tunnel and skyway ideas that are also being discussed–to mitigate the anticipated possible chaos when the dreaded 15-month L train shutdown hits. The organization is aiming for the ear of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the MTA which control street design and bus expansion, respectively. The group recently held an “L-ternative” contest seeking pedestrian-centered proposals for main transit corridors along the L line, such as 14th street, Gothamist reports. The winning proposal, called 14TH ST.OPS, imagines a (car) traffic-free 14th Street with a six-stop shuttle bus using dedicated lanes, plus protected bike lanes.

Check out the winning post-L-Train vision


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