Archive | November, 2010

Bike Sharing Comes to New York City

30 Nov

New York City Mayor Bloomberg announced last week that it is moving forward with an official, city-wide bicycle-sharing program that could potentially make thousands of bicycles available for public use throughout the city. The program would likely be the country’s largest, and, according to city officials, should turn a profit. The city is looking to set up a twenty-four hour network of around 10,000 bikes.

New York Transportation Commissioner Janette-Sadik Khan tells Transportation Nation that the program would be entirely funded, maintained, and operated by a private contractor who would share the revenue from rentals and membership with the city. In other cities with bike shares, sponsorships and advertising help pay for the bikes.  Earlier generations of bike share in many European cities required subsidies, but the city believes that wireless technology, gps, and solar-powered bike stations, a system in New York can be run far more efficiently. The program could be up and running as early as 2012.

Just last month, San Francisco announced they would pilot an $8 million bike-share program around the same time London announced their bike-share was on track to turn a profit.

New York City is also following in the footsteps of Denver, Minneapolis, and Washington, DC — all of which have installed large scale bike share programs. Boston is preparing to begin one soon.

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Finding the Most Walkable Places

23 Nov

Yesterday, Walk Score unveiled new heat maps for the 2,500 largest American cities, providing a quick way to get a sense of where cities are most walkable.

The heat-map feature builds on Walk Score’s walkability scoring tool and its transit score. These maps are helpful in that they get people thinking about walkability and density, although they have been critiqued for being limited in their usefulness because they don’t measure things like how busy a road is, whether it has sidewalks or crosswalks (and thus is actually walkable), or how desirable nearby amenities might be. Walk Score is working on improving the tool’s limitations. In the meantime, it helps get us thinking about the important issues of walkability and our built environment.

 

New Jersey’s First Statewide Bicycle Map is Underway!

18 Nov
The New Jersey Bicycle Map, funded through the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and is managed by The RBA Group, is currently in the works. The purpose of the project is to provide a map of the preferred bicycling routes for the entire state. Their target is to have the map ready for the public in the summer of 2011.

They’d like to hear from you! To make sure they hear the needs of cyclists from around the state, NJDOT is hosting three meetings.

North Jersey
Wednesday, December 1
10:00am to 12:00 noon
Frelinghuysen Arboretum
55 East Hanover Ave
Morristown, NJ

Central Jersey
Tuesday, December 7
9:30am to 11:30am
NJDOT Headquarters
1035 Parkway Ave
Trenton, NJ

South Jersey
Wednesday, December 8
10:00am to 12:00 noon
The George Luciano Family Center
Cumberland County College
Vineland, NJ

Prior to the meeting, all are encouraged to review the draft map on the interactive website, (http://bikemap.com/njbike/). You must register first and answer a few questions but then you can download PDFs of the latest drafts. If your town, county or other organization has data that might help in the correct or complete the map, you are also encouraged to upload it to that sight. Once you register on the site you will receive e-mail notices each time a new map is posted.

Please RSVP to Elizabeth Cox, The RBA Group at 973-946-5736 or rsvp_njbikemap@rbagroup.com a week before the meeting.Attendees will be sent an agenda and directions. If you are unable to attend, participation is encouraged through the website.

At the end of the maps development a PDF of the final map will be posted on a web site. Printing of the maps will be sponsored by organizations interested in supporting cyclists. If your organization would like to help sponsor printing, please contact the NJDOT project manager.

The Housing and Transportation Link

16 Nov

The Route 1 corridor between New Brunswick and Trenton, which cuts through the heart of the GMTMA region, gained more than 100,000 jobs between 1980 and 2005. As we all know, traffic congestion has increased dramatically during this time period as well. According to a new study by PlanSmart NJ, one of GMTMA’s member organizations, the region is ill equipped to continue this economic growth, because of uncoordinated transportation planning and inadequate zoning for new housing to shelter all these new employees.Back in 1980, there was a one-to-one ratio of jobs to homes in the region. By 2000, the ratio had jumped to almost two-to-one — there were almost two jobs for every home. This imbalance causes traffic congestion to increase during rush hour, as commuters travel farther and farther distances from their homes to reach jobs in the Route 1 corridor. The analysis, commissioned by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, estimates that traffic jams will increase an astounding sevenfold by 2025. Roads will approach Los Angeles-type conditions, and homes will be so scarce that prices will be out of reach for most middle-class families.

Read about the study here: http://blog.nj.com/njv_guest_blog/2010/11/where_will_all_the_workers_liv.html

Princeton University Reveals Plans for Dinky Station, Arts District

16 Nov

On Saturday, interested citizens turned out to see Princeton University’s current plans for a new Arts District at the site of the Dinky Station. (See http://centraljersey.com/articles/2010/11/15/the_princeton_packet/news/doc4ce1c646990cd427014275.txt) While the Arts District concept is generally well-received, the plan calls for moving the Dinky stop 460 feet to the south, farther from town. The proposed Dinky station move has caused considerable controversy among Princeton citizens. What are your thoughts on the redevelopment plan for the area?