President Obama on April 29 nominated Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx for Secretary of Transportation. Transit advocates are hoping that Foxx's experience as the successful mayor of a mid-size city will ground his work as secretary. The two year transportation…
The affordable housing world is paying attention to the connection between housing costs and transportation costs, and that’s a good thing. The federal government and many state and local governments are encouraging transit oriented development (TOD), and that’s a good…
The path to a walkable, livable urban future is filled with hurdles. Take, for instance, the public transit battle being waged in Hawaii. Tourists to Hawaii are often transported deftly from Honolulu airport to Waikiki beach. The residents of Oahu,…
My son, who is approaching 2 years of age, is obsessed with trains. And it's no wonder: every day as many as 10 freight trains whistle and chug their way through our town, down a track that runs parallel to…
The latest in the snazzy series of useful tools and research on housing and transportation costs published by the Center for Neighborhood Technology is called Abogo. It works like Walk Score: you enter an address and the site produces a GIS-coded map and data for that address, including the average amount of monthly spending per household for transportation in the address’s neighborhood and the average monthly amount of carbon emissions per household for transportation, in both cases compared to regional averages.
CNT explains its methodology including, in part, the following:
“We estimate total transportation costs for an average household from your region living in your neighborhood, including commuting, errands, and all the other trips around town. We count money spent on car ownership and use, as well as public transit use. For CO2 emissions, we count car use only. We use data from the Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, a project of the Center for Neighborhood Technology.”
On my NRDC blog, I show not only the map and info for my house, which you see here – our location is below the regional average in both costs and emissions – but also for NRDC’s office neighborhood in DC and for my sister-in-law’s location in an outer suburb. Because of greater regional accessibility, we would expect the downtown location to perform best and the outer suburb to perform worst. That’s exactly the case. Check it out, here.
Well done, CNT. Go here to try Abogo for yourself and for more information. more
I’ve posted a bunch of great transit holiday photos over on my NRDC site. Please check them out, and happy holidays!
photo here of NYC subway by Luke Redmond, creative commons license more
James Oberstar, the Democrat from Minnesota who chairs the House Transportation Committee, has been sending out cranky letters to governors around the country who haven’t been spending their economic stimulus money fast enough on highway projects. Massachusetts and Virginia, which ranked 48th and 51st among the states, got letters last month. These states had done a poor job thus far to meet the purpose of the $787 billion stimulus package, which was to “create and sustain family-wage jobs,” he wrote.
Gov. Deval Patrick wrote back, arguing that Massachusetts was identifying projects that could have a short-term stimulus effect as well as a long-term economic impact. Virginia. Gov. Tim Kaine took a different approach, noting that Virginia didn’t have a wish list of shovel-ready projects that the stimulus would make actionable. New projects had to be identified through a public comment period, he said. Another state at the bottom of Oberstar’s list, Florida, reminded the Congressman that the money had to be funneled through counties and cities, all of which have their own regulations to comply with before a project can go forward. more
New York City Council approved a measure, the Bicycle Access Bill, that requires buildings with freight elevators to allow for bicycle access. The measure, which was overwhelmingly passed, is just another example of New York City government taking aggressive action…
GIS mapping in Melbourne, Australia, on patterns of car ownership shows that transit works: the closer one is to a rail transit line, the less need there is for a car. The farther away, the greater the need for multiple…
May was Bike to Work Month, designed to encourage commuters to step out from behind the wheel and find ways to ride, but did anyone think it could go this far? Watch CBS Videos Online Do you bike to work?…
The Center for Neighborhood Technology is releasing today a new series of GIS-based maps showing where carbon emissions from driving are the highest in the nation’s metro areas. The maps demonstrate vividly that, although emissions on a per-acre basis are…
Tuesday’s announcement from the White House regarding the president’s intention to direct EPA and DOT to jointly raise fuel-economy standards and reduce greenhouse-gas pollution is certainly welcome news here at Rooflines. With these new rules, passenger vehicles sold in the…
Americans are far less likely to use public transportation than residents of other countries, according to the National Geographic Society’s 2009 Greendex report. Only five percent of Americans surveyed report daily use of public transportation, and only seven percent report…
It’s Bike to Work Day 2009 and I did not ride my bike to work. Why? I can’t. I can ride a bike, and I love hitting the road for some recreation, but for me, and for millions of commuters…
Summoning the ghost of Eisenhower, President Obama announced yesterday “a new era in American train travel” involving an $8 billion “down payment” for, and subsequent billion-dollar supplements every five years on a comprehensive high-speed rail system.The funding is part of…
Amid the growing acknowledgment that strong centers make healthier regions, it’s increasingly clear that the argument for providing opportunities for transit oriented development, or green development, is gaining major traction not only in community development circles, but neighborhood circles as well.
But recognizing that TOD is good for communities is one thing, getting it done is another.
At the third annual NACEDA Summit this week, we got a look at what’s happening on the federal level as well as in our communities when it comes to putting housing back in our cities and town centers and reforming spending practices by the federal government as related to financing transportation and TOD. An important subtext here is the efficacy of our system in increasing the access to jobs and schools, as well as giving people transportation choices.
Ilana Preuss, outreach and field director for the Transportation for America Campaign illustrated the trend toward TOD arrives as the U.S. “is at a crossroads,” adding that federal and local governments should capitalize on the “unique opportunity for change” in the next transportation cycle.
She also noted that while homeowners increasingly show a willingness to relocate to smaller properties, on smaller lots, located closer to regional cores, repairing existing infrastructure is paramount:
Transportation is broke and broken. We have a world-class highway system built in the 50s and no one is fixing it and we have to maintain what we have. No one creates a world class something and lets it fall in disrepair. Fixing highways and bridges creates more jobs than new road construction.
With federal transportation funding due for a much needed increase, the question now is: How will this huge investment address what our communities need? more
I thought this was an interesting tidbit: in an effort to highlight trains as convenient, energy efficient, environmentally sound ways to travel, Amtrak will hold its second annual National Train Day in May to mark the 140th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad.
The event, slated for May 9, Amtrak will host free events in four of its gateway stations across the U.S. — D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles.
From The Washington Business Journal:
The transcontinental railroad was officially created on May 10, 1869, when a golden spike was driven into the tie that connected the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways at Promontory Point, Utah.
At Union Station, festivities will include live music, interactive green exhibits, VIP appearances, a kids section, and model train and art exhibits.
Communities across the U.S. will also develop and host their own events.
Members of Amtrak’s loyalty program, which lets frequent train travelers earn points redeemable for free travel, can earn double points for any trip between March 16 and May 8 and quadruple points for any trip taken on May 9.
Amtrak provides intercity passenger rail service to more than 500 destinations in 46 states on a 21,000-mile route system.
The weekend before Barack Obama and Joe Biden take the oath of office, I can’t help but remark on the seeming missed opportunity for these two change agents as they make their symbolic whistle stop tour on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor…