Good Stuff in This Week’s Mobilizing the Region

Finally, we get to see just how much former executive director Jon Orcutt was tamping down the high-powered talent at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. The latest issue of Mobilizing the Region is jam-packed with good articles. Here are some highlights (and, yes, I’m kidding about Orcutt but serious about this week’s MTR being really good):

NYC: Rationing Won’t Do the Trick

Assemblymembers have proposed several spurious "alternatives" to congestion pricing, none of which have proven effective in reducing congestion and none of which would provide revenues for increasing transit capacity.

Assemblymember Richard Brodsky has argued for a car rationing scheme which would restrict car access to parts of Manhattan by license plate. As reported in MTR #558, a similar scheme in Mexico City increased used-car purchases, gasoline consumption, and driving, and decreased transit use.

Further investigation reveals, unsurprisingly, that Mexico City’s policy has done nothing to improve air quality. A University of Michigan study found no evidence that the policy reduced emissions of five different pollutants-in fact, the policy increased emissions on weekdays….

…The only effective way to enforce a rationing scheme would be through
the installation of license-plate cameras, which Brodsky is on the
record as opposing.

Greenhouse Gases: Getting to the Goal in New Jersey

When Governor Jon Corzine announced an executive order in February requiring New Jersey to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, environmentalists applauded. However, while the NJDEP is busy creating a plan to execute the order, the NJ Turnpike Authority is fast pursuing an agenda thatwould undermine the plan’s goals.

Newark: Linking Redevelopment and Pedestrian Safety

Newark’s push to encourage growth goes beyond the addition of new housing: the city and state are also embarking on an aggressive complimentary plan to improve its run-down and unsafe streets. TSTC, along with the Regional Plan Association and others, has long said that improving pedestrian safety and streetscapes can help attract development and assist in revitalization efforts.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Mourning the Potential Loss of Bus Service in Long Island

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It says a lot about how we prioritize transit in this country that one of the nation’s largest suburban bus systems is on the brink of collapse outside New York City. Long Island Bus is facing possible closure or at least very dramatic service reductions after years of chronic underfunding by officials in Nassau County. […]

St. Louis “Beat Congestion” and Now Commute Times Are Longer

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St. Louis is every highway planner’s dream. Consistently ranked among the least-congested cities in America, the region’s car commuters spend a smaller share of their trips to work sitting in traffic than all but two other cities. That means St. Louis car commuters aren’t encumbered much by other car commuters, just like in those car commercials. But […]

Congestion Pricing: Still Good For Basically Everyone

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Urbanists often find themselves falling into a pattern of thinking that boils down to the dictum that what’s good for drivers must be bad for walkability, and sustainability, and all the things that they prize about well-designed cities. Drivers seem to believe this too, which is interesting because it often isn’t true. What’s good for […]

Transit and Congestion, an Indirect Connection

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Yesterday, Freakonomics linked to a new piece of research [PDF] on congestion that I’d been musing over for a few days. Let me quote the abstract here (paragraph break and emphasis mine): We investigate the relationship between interstate highways and highway vehicle kilometers traveled (vkt) in us cities. We find that vkt increases proportionately to […]