Click this link if the embed image doesn’t show.
Click this link if the embed image doesn’t show.
According to Congress for New Urbanism President John Norquist, the Salt Lake City area has the fastest growing rail system in America. And as Streetsblog’s Angie Schmitt pointed out last month, “It’s the only city in the country building light rail, bus rapid transit, streetcars and commuter rail at the same time.”
Federal Railroad Administration is running a planning program of future needs along the Northeast Corridor rail system and encourages public input:
Welcome to NEC FUTURE, a comprehensive planning effort to define, evaluate and prioritize future investments in the Northeast Corridor (NEC), launched by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in February 2012. FRA’s work will include new ideas and approaches to grow the region’s intercity, commuter and freight rail services and the completion of an environmental evaluation of proposed transportation alternatives.
The NEC, the rail transportation spine of the Northeast region, is a key component of the region’s transportation system and vital to its sustained economic growth. Today, the 457-mile NEC—anchored by Boston’s South Station in the north, New York’s Pennsylvania Station in the center, and Washington’s Union Station in the south—is one of the most heavily traveled rail corridors in the world.
Visit NEC Future to submit your comments.
See also: ProJo: Agency explores methods to expand rail service to D.C.
At DOT, we know that America’s transportation infrastructure is in need of attention, while construction workers across the country remain eager to get back on the job repairing, replacing, and modernizing our roads, rails, and runways.
Over the last decade, Congress has set aside $473 million in transportation funds that were never spent. These idle earmarks have sat on the shelf as our infrastructure continues to age and fall into disrepair, and hundreds of thousands of construction workers look for work. That ends today.
I’m excited to announce that this Administration is freeing up this unspent money and giving it right back to the states so that they can spend it on the infrastructure projects they need most.
As President Obama said today, “My administration will continue to do everything we can to put Americans back to work. We’re not going to let politics stand between construction workers and good jobs repairing our roads and bridges.”
→ Make bus service free [New Urbanism Blog]
It’s true. Nothing is ever free. But my proposition is that the basic city bus service that so many places fund would be better off as a basic municipal service, like fire or police. Fund it through a dedicated tax of some kind – sales, property, etc, and don’t bother to charge for the ride itself. Allow me to elaborate.
→ The bike whisperer [RedEye Chicago]
The wheels of change are in motion for city cyclists thanks to new initiatives from [Chicago] Mayor Emanuel. In the works are 100 miles of protected bike lanes, increased bike parking and a widespread bike-share program that could put Chicago on the map as one of the nation’s most bike-friendly cities.
Enter Gabe Klein, the city’s Department of Transportation commissioner, who took office this year.
→ Pictoral> MTA Perseveres Through Hurricane Irene [The Architect's Newspaper]
The Architect’s Newspaper looks at how the New York transit system faired during Irene. More photos, such as the one below, on the MTA’s Flickr page.
Also see, Metro-North and the Aftermath of Irene, Damage Photos via I Ride the Harlem Line
→ Blackstone River Regional Rail [Pedestrian Observations]
Following up on my proposal for improving regional and intercity rail service between Providence and Boston, let me propose a line from Providence to Woonsocket, acting as an initial line of a Providence S-Bahn. The basic ideas for how to run a small-scale regional railroad, as usual, come from Hans-Joachim Zierke’s site, but are modified to suit the needs of a line with a larger city at one end. It is fortunate that the road connecting the two cities is not a freeway, and takes 24 minutes, allowing good transit on the same market to be competitive.
→ Would $12,000 Convince You To Move Closer To Work? [Fast Company]
How much cash would it take to get you to move closer to your work? For the purposes of this exercise, imagine that your work is in one of the more, shall we say, unsavory parts of Washington, D.C. and you live in a nice, quaint suburb in Virginia. Would you accept $12,000? Washington, D.C.’s Office Of Planning thinks you might–so the organization is launching a pilot program that will match employer contributions of up to $6,000 to convince people to move closer to their work or public transit.
→ A mighty role in downtown Worcester [Boston.com]
WORCESTER – Stand on one side of tiny, wedge-shaped Federal Square, on the southern edge of this city’s downtown, and the perspective is gleaming. What once was a boarded-up multiplex is now the glassy facade of the restored Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, a venue for touring Broadway shows that draws audiences from all over fast-growing Worcester County.
Stand on another side of the square, and the pawnshop that doubles as a check-cashing emporium is difficult to miss, while empty storefronts are easy to see. Then again, the dive bar is gone now, replaced by an establishment that serves craft beers. Apartments a few doors down from the theater are being rehabbed. A couple of small restaurants have popped up.
→ Making Sense of Amtrak’s Vision for the Northeast [The TransportPolitic]
Let it be known: Amtrak’s focus is on the Northeast Corridor. While Congress may require it to provide long-distance, cross-country services, the public company owns most of the rail corridor between Boston and Washington and it intends to exploit it fully… If it gathers sufficient resources to do so.
→ More Vehicles Than People [Planetizen]
Historic Massachusetts towns have reached a new milestone — the number of vehicles on the road have outnumbered the population of people. Ann Sussman looks at this “demographic” shift, and what it means for people living in the shadow of Emerson and Thoreau.
This video has been all over the interwebs today, so it should be here too. Two characters from the Mad Men series discuss the idea of advertising high speed trains (in 1965).
“I think you can relax on this whole thing. I read a piece that said that in 40 years gas is going to be almost a dollar a gallon,” says Harry. “Look cities are getting bigger. Trains are the most efficient, economical, best investment. It’s obvious. We do not need to sell trains.” “I suppose you’re right again,” says Pete. “I know I’m right,” says Harry, “Now are you going to fix me a drink? I’ve got a long drive home.”
→ Sidewalk Rage: Mental Illness or ‘Altruistic Punishment?’ [Time Magazine | Healthland]
While it sounds like an oxymoron, altruistic punishment is basically how social norms get enforced. So when you expel a huffy “Excuse me!” to the rude sidewalk clogger in front of you who has stopped midstride to check his BlackBerry, you’re trying to discourage behavior that endangers other members of the society. It’s called “altruistic” punishment, because your efforts to protect civility come at personal cost with little chance of personal benefit: you are far more likely to get an obscene gesture or even a punch in the mouth than a thank you.
→ Nonprofit group wins funds for Olney Village rehab project [The Providence Journal]
Olneyville Housing Corporation has received key financing assistance from Rhode Island Housing that will permit the nonprofit organization to move forward with its Olney Village project.
The $10-million development project will turn 11 foreclosed properties and a large vacant lot in the Providence neighborhood into 39 affordable apartments, plus spaces for two organizations: the food pantry formerly located at St. Teresa’s Church and the Manton Avenue Project, a youth arts and theater program.
Greater City Providence is a resource that we hope you appreciate and enjoy. Our readers are able to enjoy the site at no cost to them. However, there are some costs to us. Your donation helps us cover the costs of keeping the site online, and allows us to continue to provide a platform for the discussion of vital urban issues in the city and region. If you are willing and able to make a donation, it will be greatly appreciated.
Greater City Providence is not a non-profit and as such, though your donation is greatly appreciated, it is not tax-deductible.