At the broadest level, it's fair to say that urban mobility didn't have the most encouraging day. In recent years, conservative transportation policy has been much more inclined to favor highways serving rural and outer suburban regions than alternative modes that boost balanced city networks [...] But at the city and county level, where most transit initiatives occur, the midterms yielded a number of big victories, in keeping with the general success of transit ballot measures in recent years. — citylab.com
The Second Avenue Subway is the stuff of legend in New York City, the locomotive who cried wolf. Plagued by funding shortages, the project has been stop-and-go since the 1920s. Now construction is back to go; in late September, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) [...] requested $1.5 billion [...]. Michael Horodniceanu, head of construction for the MTA, has stated that the long-awaited line may be ready by 2029. In the meantime, the MTA is learning about, and acting on, geology. — cafe.com
Residents of Beijing can use one of the city’s 34 newly installed recycling machines to trade empty bottles for phone card rebates or free public transit passes.
Those who choose the phone card rebate just need to type in their phone numbers or scan their cards and the rebate will be automatically applied.
The value of the rebate will correspond to the value of the type of bottle that was recycled. — pangeatoday.com
Thousands of bus stops in Brazil completely lack signage to indicate which buses actually stop there. The nation-wide inconvenience has finally been tackled by one of the biggest community projects in the world.
‘Que Ônibus Passa Aqui?’ (‘Which Bus Stops here?’) is a resident-led initiative which has taken Brazil by storm. — popupcity.net
Urban densities are not trivial, they severely limit the transport mode choice and change only very slowly. Because of the large differences in densities between Atlanta and Barcelona about the same length of metro line is accessible to 60% of the population in Barcelona but only 4% in Atlanta. The low density of Atlanta render this city improper for rail transit. — usa.streetsblog.org
With so many crossovers in private operations, public data, and private uses, our future transit agency would blur the line between public and private sectors in a way we haven’t yet pioneered. The challenge is one of governance, bureaucratic turf, organizational development, planning, and public policy, not simply one of technology. Technology is just a tool, and our human institutions can either make use of it or try to ignore it. — urbanomnibus.net
Medellín has gained much attention for its urban transformation — and the escalators, which won several international prizes for innovation, make up one of the most striking projects. [...]
But are the escalators making any real economic or social impact in the neighborhood? To find out, I spent three months in Medellín talking with people in Comuna 13 about what has and hasn’t changed here. — citiscope.org
[Helsinki] has announced plans to transform its existing public transport network into a comprehensive, point-to-point "mobility on demand" system by 2025 ... allowing people to purchase mobility in real time, straight from their smartphones. [...]
Subscribers would specify an origin and a destination, and ... the app would then function as both journey planner and universal payment platform, knitting everything from driverless cars and nimble little buses to shared bikes and ferries — theguardian.com
Where apps and mass transit collide, commuters struggle most with coordination. Now, with so many different forms of transit, both public and privately mediated, commuters (and cities) need navigation tools that compare all options for them. Making this as accessible as possible, as Helsinki is...
In New York City history and lore, the Second Avenue subway is the Loch Ness Monster crossed with the Abominable Snowman. Politicians, transit planners, and everyone in between have witnessed this East Side subway line face countless stops and starts [...] And yet, the Second Avenue line has become a beacon for New York's future and a symbol of the numerous challenges facing a global city that must, in light of massive costs and slow build-outs, expand its transit network to stay competitive. — citylab.com
In June, the “Innovation in Mobility Public Policy Summit,” sponsored by the Association for Commuter Transportation, Transportation Sustainability Research Center, Mobility Lab, Transit Center, and Shared-Use Mobility Center, brought together a range of participants to discuss these themes in Washington, DC. — urbanomnibus.net
At the summit, elected officials, transportation entrepreneurs, academics, and developers engaged with a number of questions including, “What are new ways of solving urban mobility problems? How can we better design systems to address the needs of the public? Who should be engaged to make this...
"We're working with the other owners of the property and with Metro," said LACMA Director Michael Govan. "There's good reason to build a major development there. You've got subway access and density on Wilshire. My dream is some beautiful piece of architecture with an architecture and design museum at the base, which would add to Museum Row."
If built, the tower would offer a dramatic vertical complement to the relentlessly horizontal LACMA gallery building by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor — latimes.com
How's this for a yin-yang in the new Los Angeles: if this goes through, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) would be responsible for two majorly different impositions on Wilshire Blvd., the city's foremost thoroughfare and itself an icon. One: a street-straddling horizontal art...
You can’t build your way out of congestion. It’s the roads themselves that cause traffic. The concept is called induced demand, which is economist-speak for when increasing the supply of something (like roads) makes people want that thing even more. [...]
What [economists] Turner and Duranton (and many others who’d like to see more rational transportation policy) actually advocate is known as congestion pricing. This means raising the price of driving on a road when demand is high. — wired.com
The wisdom of surrounding transit stations with "seas" of park-and-ride lots may be turning. In theory, park-and-ride seems like a great transportation compromise, converting full-trip drivers into part-trip riders. In practice, the opposite often occurs, with former non-drivers now commuting part of the way by car.
That unexpected practical shift can increase vehicle miles traveled in a metro area, subverting the sustainability goal of transit. — citylab.com
The urban planning community is constantly touting the benefits of building dense communities around public transportation. But according to designers Chad Kellogg and Matt Bowles, few solutions have been ambitious enough to do the whole Transit-Oriented Development idea justice. So they came up with their own.
Behold the Urban Alloy Towers, a proposal to take over spaces immediately surrounding transportation infrastructure like elevated train lines and highways. — theatlanticcities.com
If there is any one lesson that I have learned in my life as a city planner, it is that public spaces have power. It's not just the number of people using them, it's the even greater number of people who feel better about their city just knowing that they are there.
Public space can change how you live in a city, how you feel about a city, whether you choose one city over another, and public space is one of the most important reasons why you stay in a city. — TED
Amanda Burden served as New York City's chief planner under Mayor Bloomberg, leading such revitalization projects as the High Line and Brooklyn's waterfront. You can watch the full TED talk below, or read the complete transcript here.
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