Friday, June 3, 2016

Could these bridges solve NJ's transit problems more effectively than the Gateway Project?

Courtesy of NJ.com
Credit:  Tevebaugh Associates Architects

A transportation consultant who worked on the cancelled ARC Tunnel project believes a faster and better alternative to the Gateway Project is actually a pair of suspension bridges that would run from New Jersey to Manhattan to Queens.  

The $20 billion Gateway Project is the plan to construct two new tunnels under the Hudson River to help ease NJ Transit and Amtrak congestion.  However, the tunnels are expected to take at least 15 years before they would be in service.  Consultant Scott R. Spencer believes the solution lies in building twin bridges, the first of which could be in service in just 5 years.  The tri-level bridges would carry two rail lines on the lower levels, while carrying buses on the middle levels, and pedestrian/ bike traffic on the upper levels.  

Spencer proposed the project at a public hearing on the tunnels last month and plans to send concept drawings and documents to the Federal Railroad administration.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

NYC Open Data reveals millions in parking tickets should have never been issued

According to ABC News, data analyst Ben Wellington has discovered that the NYPD has issued upwards of $12 million in invalid parking tickets over the past several years. Combing through the NYC's Open Data portal, Wellington noticed a large number of summonses were issued for blocking pedestrian ramps that are located in the middle of the street and not connected to crosswalks.  However, the city made those parking spots legal in 2009. 

The NYPD has since admitted the tickets should never have been issued and stated, "Mr. Wellington's analysis identified errors the department made in issuing summonses... The department has since sent a training message to all officers clarifying the rule change."



Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Defective meters in the Bronx resulting in headaches and tickets





According to CBS News, defective muni meters in the Morris Park section of the Bronx are causing problems for drivers and businesses along White Plains Road.  The malfunctions range from meters saying credit cards are invalid, to saying transactions were cancelled but still charging users' credit cards.  Other drivers are being ticketed while parking to look for a working muni meter.  Out of 8 muni meters CBS News tested on the stretch of road in question, only two out of eight were working correctly.  

NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg says all the meters in the city are inspected once a month and if you find a defective meter, call 311 to report it.  

Thursday, April 7, 2016

25 of the most dangerous intersections in NYC



Gothamist reported this week that Aleksey Bilogur, a Baruch College mathematics student, analyzed NYC's public data on motor vehicle collisions and compiled a list of the most dangerous intersections in the city.  He created an interactive which allows you to zoom in on intersections to see their annual collision rate.  The graph and entire list can be viewed here,

What is the most dangerous intersection in the city? Tilary Street and Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, with an estimated 180 collisions per year.  While that is still a high number, overall the city is still on track to have record low traffic fatalities for the third year in a row.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

NYC's new toll plan introduced in Albany

photo credit: Wikipedia user ILMRT


A new toll and congestion relieving plan created by Gridlock Sam Schwartz has been introduced in Albany by Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez, D-Manhattan.  According to Crain's, the bill, called the Move New York Fair Plan, will:


  • create a standard toll around the central business district ($5.54 with E-ZPass/ $8 without)
  • 60th street in Manhattan would become an additional tolling point for vehicles traveling north or south
  • tolls would be paid digitally so vehicles would not have to slow down to pay, which would also allow for peak/ off peak pricing
  • create a vehicle for hire surcharge
  • raise revenue for subways/ buses/ roads/ bridges
  • cause the Verrazano Bridge toll to drop by half, as well as discount the tolls on seven MTA bridges
  • decrease traffic congestion
The bill has 14 co-sponsors, and both Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo have said in the past that the plan has merit.  What do you think of the new bill?



Monday, March 7, 2016

Home delivery services clogging NYC streets

PHOTO CREDIT: KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/ GETTY IMAGES


According to the Daily News, home delivery services like Amazon and FreshDirect are further clogging New York's already busy streets.  90% of city goods are brought in by trucks, and delivery services are creating a bigger challenge for the Department of Transportation.

City Councilman Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) has proposed a bill that would require the city to perform a study on commercial vs home truck deliveries.  He believe commercial truck deliveries are still the main problem and would like to see limits imposed on rush hour deliveries.

According to FreshDirect, their fleet has been reduced in the city, as well as increased its number of hybrid vehicles.




Thursday, February 25, 2016

NYC Councilman proposes free parking on legal holidays




According to CBS News, NYC Councilman Vincent Gentile is proposing a bill that would make metered parking free for the approximately 35 legal holidays in the city.   "It's probably one of the biggest complaints I get from constituents, alternate side parking is suspended, why aren't the meters suspended as well, because people presume that's the case, and then they get ticketed," he said.

The bill is scheduled to be introduced to the City Council on Wednesday.










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