Today’s Headlines

  • USA Today Calls Transpo Bill a “Big Maybe” on Boehner, McConnell’s To-Do List
  • Senate Still to Vote on Transit Benefit (WaPo)
  • Crude Oil Rail Transport Expands Over Objections of Unprepared Communities (Business Insider)
  • State Officials Insist on Removing Trees for “Road Safety” in Louisville (WHAS11)
  • 78 Years Later, Spokane Regrets Burning that Streetcar, Turns Back to Transit (Spokesman-Review)
  • Retired Army Official Slams George Will for Criticizing Safe Routes to School (Post-Gazette)
  • “Vancouver 24 Hrs” Publishes Pro and Con on Sales Tax for Transit
  • Why Is Paris Restricting Driving? Because the Champs-Elysées is a “Canyon of Pollution” (Salon)
  • Add Poland to the List of Countries With More Advanced Rail Than the U.S. (PressTV)
  • Ian Turner

    Bloomberg View: Bike Lanes are why US infrastructure projects are so expensive.
    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-12-15/road-bridges-and-tunnels-matter-america

  • Pete

    Wow. That’s not actually what this article says.

  • I see you listed the Salon piece by Henry Grabar. I wish you would take a look at it – I was surprised by what I call his “war on cars” take on the Hidalgo plan. His piece is cited in in Planetizen: “Parisian Traffic, Air Pollution Reduction Plan Caught on Political Snag”:
    Parisian clean air politics turn out to be something of a class issue, even for a socialist mayor. The plans are seen as penalizing low income Parisians while benefiting elitist city dwellers who dislike traffic, overshadowing public health benefits.
    3 hours ago The New York Times
    http://www.planetizen.com/node/72864

  • Pete, it is listed as #5 in reasons why projects are super-expensive: “The Transportation Alternatives Program, which mandates things like bike lanes”

    Remember, this is an opinion piece, and it should be viewed just as the opinions of the Stony Brook professor, Noah Smith.

    Comparing bike lanes to the extension of the #7 subway and LIRR’s East Side Access project makes as much sense as, well, you fit in the appropriate analogy – it’s ridiculous – although in one case – adding a bike lane to the west span of the Bay Bridge- the price tag is $500 M
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Bay-Bridge-bike-path-in-works-4784492.php

  • Pete

    I see it there, but the comment frames it as ‘the’ reason.

    So $500M for segregated bike lanes on a $2B+ project? Doesn’t actually sound so expensive, and I bet it was cheaper than the computer-controlled artistic lighting on that thing, let alone what was spent replacing cheap bolts that didn’t meet spec. For another example see the proposed Columbia River Crossing project – $5B for a 12-lane highway, with $30M estimated for bikes, pedestrians, and MAX lines (combined). If you actually compare what is spent on bridges and highways versus bike infrastructure you will find the costs to be quite small – <1% in most cases – and if you simply compare numbers you are ignoring another measure: value.

  • Agreed – thanks for pointing to Columbia Crossing too. Is that still dead (or shall I say dormant)?
    http://www.planetizen.com/node/67777

  • Pete

    Dormant sounds like the right word, from what I understand. The freight industry there really, really wants it.