Greater City Providence

News & Notes

Spokane: A very clear network map [Human Transit]

Human Transit looks at Spokane, Washington’s new system maps. The combined lines to create frequent service sectors would be apropo for RIPTA for places such as Elmwood Avenue and Charles Street.

In bicycle friendly D.C., going car-free is increasingly common [The Washington Post]

In urban areas nationwide, drivers younger than 24 drove six fewer miles a day in 2009 than in 1990. Drivers 25 to 34 drove almost 2.5 fewer miles a day.

“You don’t have to keep a car,” said Carroll, who takes Metro to work most days but walks the 2.4 miles occasionally on a nice day. “I love that the city is becoming more pedestrian-friendly and more bicycle-friendly. I can rent a bike and ride downhill all the way from work. I haven’t yet, but I’m going to.”

And Zipcar? She’s a longtime member who has never used a Zipcar.

“I have kept up my membership because you never know,” she said. “I might have a visitor who wants to take a trip to Middleburg or someplace. I think it’s a very valuable option.”

Breaking down Obama’s jobs plan [The Washington Post]

Washington Post graphic breaks down the President’s jobs plan. Notably, there is $50 billion for Transportation.

House appropriators make deep cuts to transportation for 2012 [Transportation for America]

The House Appropriations Committee released their draft bill for 2012 spending in the transportation program, and the cuts are severe, with some key programs facing more of a reduction than others.

The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development spending bill, or THUD, as its called, contained similar cuts for transit and road/bridge spending that we saw in Rep. Ryan’s budget earlier this year. Transit and highway spending both get cut proportionally, around 34 percent.

While cuts are proportional in those main two areas, other areas and innovative programs face deeper cuts.The innovative TIGER grants, TIGGER grants and high-speed rail programs are cut entirely.

Another notable policy change is for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The bill prohibits HUD from using any funding for anything related to the Sustainable Communities Partnership with DOT and the EPA. Essentially, this bill would require HUD to stop coordinating with the other two agencies and go back to the outdated siloed approach on housing, ignoring the effects on and the impacts of transportation and the environment.


Rail Advocates: House Bill Would Kill Amtrak [Streetsblog]

The 2012 transportation budget passed by a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee yesterday cut all high-speed rail funding and slashes Amtrak’s operating grant by 60 percent. What’s more, it forbids Amtrak from using that money to fund short corridors.

Ridership on those short corridors grew five percent in the last year. Twenty-seven train lines, including several in and out of Chicago, would suddenly see their federal funding disappear, if the House budget were to becomes law. That would only leave the Northeast Corridor and a handful of cross-country routes; half Amtrak’s ridership would be cut instantly.

Narrow roads often work better than wide ones [New Urban Network]

  • Designing wider roads means more time for pedestrians to cross, which in turn means more wait times for cars.
  • Designing more wait times for pedestrians means most cars will go 45 mph on major thoroughfares and stop for 2 minutes instead of going along at 30 mph with less stopping time.
  • In scenarios with narrower streets engineers can actually increase car capacity because there is less time for pedestrians to cross the street.
  • Mid-block crossings are safer for pedestrians because there is traffic coming from 2 directions instead of 4 at intersections.

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