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Blog Profile / Cap'n Transit Rides Again

Filed Under:Industries / Transportation
Posts on Regator:819
Posts / Week:2.4
Archived Since:March 4, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Ferguson, Missouri is not a Strong Town

A lot of people have had a lot of insights about the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri. I want to highlight a few that I think are particularly important, and add a few thoughts that I hope will help focus them on our goals.Last week,...Show More Summary

The defeat of the power broker

Robert Caro’s The Power Broker is one of the all-time classics of urbanism, assigned in many courses and read even by casual students of history. Caro intended his biography of Robert Moses to be an examination of the nature of political...Show More Summary

The O Train to Avenue H

One subway expansion proposal that always gets mentioned by people, but has never gotten any official funding or planning, is the "TriboroRx" line, using the Port Morris Branch, the New York Connecting Railroad and the LIRR Bay Ridge...Show More Summary

The transportation hypocrisy of civil libertarians

It was in the news yesterday that the Drug Enforcement Administration paid an Amtrak employee over $800,000 over twenty years for confidential passenger information that it could have gotten for free. The Albuquerque Journal reported...Show More Summary

The McCarter Highway, freeway without a future

Back in March I was honored to nominate Newark (together with Michael Klatsky) for Streetsblog's coveted Parking Crater award. I'm also pleased that Newark's nomination helped inspire Sharon Adarlo to write about how the obsession with...Show More Summary

Could we build another Park Slope?

Do you like the modern towers of the Upper East Side? Photo: Peter Cigliano / Flickr. How about a nice gigantic Upper West Side prewar apartment building like the Ansonia? Photo: wallyg / Flickr. Or the brownstones of Park Slope? Photo: Beyond My Ken / Wikipedia. Show More Summary

Why we need a Brooklyn Bridge cycle track

I remember when you could walk or bike over the Brooklyn Bridge at almost any hour and not feel crowded. Those days are long past: walking over the bridge has become a major tourist activity, and commuting by bike has become extremely popular. Show More Summary

Five migrations in gentrification

In a recent post I noted that the demand driving up rents and prices ("gentrification") in big cities like New York, San Francisco and Chicago is a result of at least three distinct migration streams. Thinking about it now, I can identify five major streams. Show More Summary

21st Street and Astoria Boulevard

In a recent post I argued that the Astoria elites no longer have the same opposition to extending the N train that they did just seven years ago. This extension would not only connect to LaGuardia, but it would be able to serve parts of Astoria east of the current line. Show More Summary

Unpacking gentrification

Transit advocates, pedestrian advocates, urbanists and in general all the people who are trying to improve the quality of life in cities need to talk about gentrification. Not because improvements to transit or walking or urban quality of life lead to gentrification, but because some people think they do. Show More Summary

Along the Chemical Coast to Staten Island

People seem to be captivated by the unused stretch of the Staten Island Railroad along the North Shore of the island. It makes sense to do something with it, because it's the part of Staten Island with the poorest population and the lowest car ownership. Show More Summary

Cheap housing with els

Two years ago I wrote that for truly affordable housing we not only do we need an adequate supply of living space, as Matt Yglesias explains so nicely, but also a decent range of quality. I mentioned that this pricing distribution could...Show More Summary

First impressions of the M60 Select Bus

So I went up to Astoria today to check out the new M60 Select Bus line. I didn't look ahead of time to see where the stops were since I was out for a walk anyway, so when I got to 46th Street I had to walk east to 77th Street. This is not as far as it sounds, due to a bend in the street grid. Show More Summary

It's time to extend the N train to LaGuardia

Twenty years ago, Astoria leaders blocked a plan to extend the elevated train line that serves their neighborhood. The proposal would have run the trains a few blocks north past their current terminus at Ditmars Boulevard, then east to LaGuardia Airport. Show More Summary

The return of the mixed-traffic streetcar

I wrote before that mixed-traffic streetcars no longer make sense in this country, because whenever a corridor has enough walkable destinations to support the service, it attracts too many private cars. Those cars slow down the streetcar so much that it no longer provides enough value to draw passengers. Show More Summary

Imagining desire lines

You've seen them: lines where the grass is worn down, the evidence that enough people have walked a particular route as to kill the grass. They are called "desire lines" by landscape architects, and they are used to decide where to put new concrete or gravel paths. Show More Summary

Estimating crowded subways

It turns out that there's another hitch in estimating how crowded the subways are: in my last post I used the NYMTC's estimates of space per passenger from Table 20, but in the comments threestationsquare pointed out that they assume that every subway car has 602 square feet of space, which is definitely not true. Show More Summary

Infilling the subways

Commenter threestationsquare pointed out that I made an error in the chart I posted about overcrowded subways. He also noted that it's Table 20 of the NYMTC Hub-bound Travel Study that gives floor space per passenger during morning rush in 2012. Show More Summary

No more freight hostages

Twice in the past few days, someone has tried to pull a freight hostage argument on me.If you're not familiar with it, the freight hostage argument is a classic muddle-headed transit advocate attack. "Oh, you muddle-headed transit advocates!...Show More Summary

Our overloaded subways

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, there are times when building new transit is not warranted. In particular, it is a waste of resources to build new radial capacity on the outskirts if it connects to a trunk line that can't absorb that capacity. Show More Summary

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