TransportationRSS

Photo by marlordo59 licensed under Creative Commons

Greater Greater Washington writes about how people get around the Washington region, whether on Metro, buses, streetcars, driving, walking, biking, or any other method.

One of the region’s strengths is the wide range of options for travel. There are many walkable places in DC, Maryland, and Virginia where people could choose transit, walk or bike, or if they don’t have their own car, grab a shared vehicle or hail a ride. This reduces the need to own cars, saving people money and reducing traffic congestion.

As our region grows, it is imperative to continue to make these options safe, economical, and available to even more people. It is imperative to ensure safe sidewalks and bicycle infrastructure, expand transit options, and add housing near existing transit stations.

  • Good riddance ugly planters

    Times Square is crowded.  At almost all hours, the sidewalks are full of pedestrians.  But that didn’t stop a bunch of buildings from installing large planters or other barriers after 9/11.  They ostensibly kept potential terrorists from driving up to the buildings, but more often (i.e. almost constantly) kept potential pedestrians from having room to…  Keep reading…

  • NYC BRT

    On Thursday, I was in the vicinity of 10th Avenue and 23rd Street, heading home.  Since 10th Avenue turns into Amsterdam and I live half a block from Amsterdam, I decided to try taking the M11 bus.  I knew traffic would be bad, and wasn’t in a rush, but getting past the Lincoln Tunnel was horrifically slow.  Keep reading…

  • Save Our Superblock

    One of the travesties of 1950s-era urban planning was the “superblock”, where cities disrupted the regular street grid to build large towers surrounded by windswept plazas.  Most of these superblocks are now recognized as mistakes, such as Boston’s City Hall Plaza, a huge barren space nearly empty all year round, and the World Trade Center superblock,…  Keep reading…

  • Restoring Penn Station: Possible?

    In the 1960s, the beautiful Penn Station was torn down and replaced by the hideous Madison Square Garden, relegating America’s busiest train station to a cramped basement.  Now, New York is poised to build a new grand Moynihan Station on the west side of 8th Avenue, in the old Farley Post Office building that happens to have been designed by the same architects.  No…  Keep reading…

  • Freeways that never were

    In the 1950s and 60s, urban planners were busy constructing freeways across America, through plains and mountains where they were needed, and into the centers of cities where they bulldozed vibrant communities and hastened sprawl and urban decay.  Keep reading…

  • Gowanus tunnel?

    In The Power Broker, Robert Caro describes the Gowanus Expressway as one of Robert Moses’ first of many terrible highway projects.  He ran the highway right down the center of Sunset Park, completely covering the then-vibrant Third Avenue despite the neighborhood’s pleas to run it closer to the waterfront.  The Gowanus needs to be replaced, and since the…  Keep reading…

  • Bravo Gale

    For many reasons, some known, some not known, the New York City Department of Transportation is still mostly stuck in the SimCity Classic phase of urban planning thinking, closer to Robert Moses than Jane Jacobs.  While they did recently suggest, to the surprise of many observers, converting a segment of Willoughby Street in Downtown Brooklyn to be pedestrian-only, DOT Commissioner…  Keep reading…

  • Low rent for metal tenants

    I pay approximately $4.36 per square foot per month for my apartment.  But to park my car right outside, if I comply with alternate side parking rules, costs zero.    Keep reading…

  • Good ideas almost everyone wants

    The New York Times came out in favor of congestion pricing.  Local business leaders want it, activist groups want it… but Bloomberg still doesn’t.    Keep reading…

  • More than a thousand words

    None but the most corrupt of politicians would think that moving Yankee Stadium over to a public park, farther from the highway, replacing that park with some space on top of garages and other parkland crammed up against the river far away from the neighborhood, and having the city kick in $70 million for this, could possibly be a good idea.  Keep reading…

  • Grand Street is crazy wide

    Last night, heading to a party on the Lower East Side, I decided to drive.  As Transportation Alternatives’ recent study (PDF) showed, the top reason most people who drive into or out of Manhattan do so is because it’s faster.  And from Hoboken to the LES late on a Saturday night, it sure is, and (once you already have paid the sunk cost of having a car) cheaper too:…  Keep reading…

  • Thin layer of ice found in hell

    Smart growth, transit-oriented development - there are many names for the idea of building mixed-use, walkable communities.  Whatever you call it, it’s starting to catch on in suburban communities from San Mateo to Silver Spring.  But most are areas with existing transit, near to already walkable cities.  What about America’s great bastions of…  Keep reading…

  • WMATA expansion plans

    New York City’s subway first opened in 1904, and Boston’s in 1908; but by the 1960s, Washington DC still had no subway system.  A comprehensive plan designed at that time has by now been built, with a few changes.  Therefore, WMATA has developed a new master plan to keep systems in good repair, extend trains to eight cars, make pedestrian access improvements,…  Keep reading…

  • Westwood Station

    In Westwood, MA is the Route 128 rail station, a stop on Amtrak’s Acela and Regional trains between Boston and the rest of the Northeast Corridor cities to the south.  It is also a stop on the MBTA’s commuter rail, and immediately off Massachusetts’ Route 128, (in that area at least) better know to the rest of the country as I-95.  Keep reading…

  • Build This California!

    San Francisco is one of California’s few dense, walkable cities.  Many San Francisco residents do not own cars and get around on a daily basis using public transportation.  Keep reading…

  • A backbone for people and bicycles

    I first read about this idea in the RPA’s analysis of congestion pricing, but now that traffic reduction ideas are a talked-about topic, another more radical idea has hit the blogs: closing Broadway to traffic.  Paul White of TA brings up the idea in a Gothamist interview, and MemeFirst follows up with some more detailed detailed thoughts.  Keep reading…

  • Congestion pricing, pro and incoherent

    Enjoying a new spate of publicity, the idea of congestion pricing rated a pair of columns, pro and con, in the Daily News.  The pro article, by Paul White of Transportation Alternatives, laid out some clear arguments backed up by facts: London’s pilot program reduced traffic 18% and sped up travel by 30%, in addition to generating revenue for mass transit projects.  Keep reading…

  • Congestion pricing: an idea whose time is coming

    Congestion pricing in Manhattan below 60th Street is “being whispered in the ears of City Hall officials” according to the Times (in an article written by Sewell Chan!)  It’s an idea that keeps popping up, for the simple reason that it’s an obvious, huge win.  The only obstacles are inertia, and Queens councilmembers representing a small minority…  Keep reading…

  • News flash: people drive more if there is parking

    A study from San Francisco State shows something that should be obvious, but isn’t to the New York City Council: if there are fewer parking spaces, people choose to drive less.  Therefore, San Francisco should limit the amount of parking in new developments, rather than requiring a certain amount as it does today. More about free parking, and its costs, in this SF Chronicle editorial.  Keep reading…

  • City Council takes some stupid pills

    It’s the most basic rule of economics - if something costs more, people will do it less, and vice versa.    Keep reading…

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