Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Transportation

Transportation

  • City’s Greenways Get Another Boost as Officials Plot Expansion

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    New York City’s greenways are getting another lift. Greenways, paths for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles exclusively, are viewed by supporters as boons for safe, environmentally-friendly alternatives to traditional transportation and opportunities for quality-of-life-boosting recreation.

    Advocates stress that building these pathways, ideally in an expansive and connected network, has several benefits. Those include reducing car use and pressure on mass transit, offering venues for outdoor exercise, and creating green spaces that line the thoroughfares and prevent flooding and even

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Making New York a Bike-Friendly City

    Mayor Adams, DOT Commissioner Rodriguez & others biking (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    May 19, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Making New York a Bike-Friendly City

    Jon Orcutt, Advocacy Director at Bike New York and a former NYC Department of Transportation official, joined the show to discuss the current state of biking in New York City and how to make it a truly bike-friendly city.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter @TweetBenMax. You can listen to the show through the embedded

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  • During Earth Week, Advocates Press New York State and City Leaders to Go Bolder on Climate Policy

    Climate action (photo: Paige Polk/Mayoral Photography Office)


    With the global climate crisis heading to the point of no return, dozens of climate activist groups are rallying ahead of Earth Day, April 22, calling on Governor Kathy Hochul and the state Legislature to pass a a raft of bills they say are crucial to the local and global effort to fight climate change, global warming, and their ill effects.

    The bills include efforts to cut carbon emissions, build green infrastructure, reduce the state’s reliance on fossil fuels, prevent harmful cryptocurrency mining, and create tens of thousands of

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  • Adams Administration Officials Outline Preparations for Massive Influx of Federal Infrastructure Funding

    Infrastructure underway (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The $1.2 trillion infrastructure law enacted in November by Congress and President Joe Biden is expected to funnel about $27 billion to New York State, with a hefty portion of that funding flowing to New York City. The City Council wants to ensure that those resources will be used well and distributed equitably across the city, and at a hearing on Tuesday, Council members sought plans from Mayor Eric Adams’ nascent administration to accomplish that goal. 

    Tuesday’s joint hearing was held by the Council’s Committee on

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  • Ensuring Transportation Equity in New York City

    Council Member Brooks-Powers, the author (left), with MTA CEO Lieber (photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)


    For too long, New York City’s transportation conversations have focused largely on communities – both geographic and otherwise – that are best able to navigate our city’s streets, sidewalks, waterways, and subways. New York City is now at a pivotal moment where we are seeing historic funding from Washington, D.C. and the first female majority City Council. It is time to reshape the transportation and infrastructure conversation that for too long has left out the outer-boroughs and transportation

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  • 22 Ways To See The City

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    NYC's 'Open Culture' (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Words have the power to change how we see things and how we think. In life we are often fish who don’t know what water is, going through the motions in our default state, unaware of the environment around us. But every now and then we stumble upon a realization that changes our entire view – seeing water for the first time.

    Over these past couple turbulent and transformative years, I’ve been among many who have been seeing the world anew, and I’ve been collecting these ideas, these

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  • Max Politics Podcast: A Bus Agenda for Mayor Adams

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    Eric Adams at an event urging better bus service (photo: BK BP office of Eric Adams)


    December 8, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: A Bus Agenda for Mayor Adams

    Two leading transit advocates joined the show to discuss a bus agenda for Mayor Eric Adams so that the new mayor who has promised to deliver for working-class bus riders can fulfill those promises and ensure city buses start moving faster. Danny Pearlstein of Riders Alliance and Ben Fried of Transit Center joined host Ben Max to discuss the current state of buses in

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  • The Micromobility Revolution Can Work For Everyone; Here’s How

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    E-Scooters (photo: NYC DOT)


    There’s a revolution going on in the streets of American cities. And it’s driving lots of people crazy.

    From coast to coast, in cities large and small, we’re seeing an explosion of new types of electric-powered vehicles. There are e-bikes, of course, including cargo bikes. But there are also electric scooters, electric mopeds, electric skateboards, even electric unicycles. All of these micromobility devices — so called because they are smaller than the humans riding them — represent

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  • De Blasio Administration Looks Toward Final Climate Actions

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    The new Brooklyn Bright bike lane (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio is putting the final touches on its efforts to combat climate change and create a more sustainable city, with significant short- and long-term challenges at play, major decisions to be made in the mayor’s final months in office, and questions about its policy choices.

    Ben Furnas, the director of the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability, points to key accomplishments of the last several

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  • Comprehensive Planning is Not Just About Housing and Zoning

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    Rendering (photo: mayor's office)


    The City Council held a hearing this week on a bill to implement comprehensive long-term planning in New York City. With the right amendments, we think this legislation has the potential to foster a more equitable and rational planning process to guide land-use changes in New York City — one that will balance local and citywide needs.

    But comprehensive planning is about much more than land use. Done right, comprehensive planning touches on decisions in nearly all aspects of city life: education,

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  • Kathryn Garcia Continues Fleshing Out Mayoral Campaign Platform with Housing, Transit and Food Plans

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    Kathryn Garcia (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    In recent weeks and months, former New York City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia has further filled out her campaign platform as she runs for mayor, releasing plans for administering the COVID-19 vaccine and working with the federal government, building and maintaining housing, and improving the city’s transit and public spaces. Garcia, who has never run for elected office before but is a veteran of city government in several roles with major responsibilities, is running on her experience as a manager

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  • Claiming 'The Campaign of Ideas' in Mayoral Race, Shaun Donovan Releases Climate and Transit Plans

  • For Climate and Community Protection, It’s Time to Electrify Transportation in New York

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    An electric bus (photo: Marc A. Hermann/MTA New York City Transit)


    This has been a year of unexpected and devastating loss with the number of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States already surpassing 300,000. In New York City, bus drivers, train operators, and other transit workers have shown up everyday to keep the city moving forward through the spring peak and now into a second wave of infections. 

    But there is a cost to providing transit services during a pandemic. And the cost is more than ...

  • Bike Culture is Vital and Here to Stay; Now Let’s Make New York a Bike City for All

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    Mayor de Blasio on a CitiBike (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City is a Bike City in disguise. Bicycles are part of city culture, whether we recognize it or not. Let’s give bike culture its rightful place by building safe, protected streets. Now.

    Becoming a Bike City is not taboo. It is not radical. It is about necessity and safety -- for essential delivery workers, for commuters, and, increasingly, for students traveling to and from school, sometimes on their own bikes and sometimes on their parents’. Bike culture supports our economy

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  • Long-Time Transit Advocate Eyes New York City E-Scooter Pilot

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    Link e-scooters on the move (photo: @LINK_Scooters)


    New York City is about to solicit bids for a new electric scooter sharing program that could eventually transform the city’s micro-mobility landscape. One firm that plans to seek a city contract believes it has the track record to prove itself and create a network of e-scooters that will be sustainable and accessible to communities of color that have been underserved by the city’s mass transit system.

    For years, transit advocates clamored for the legalization of e-bikes and e-scooters, which was finally approved by

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  • To Tackle Covid and Climate Change, Invest in a Five-Borough MTA

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    Governor Cuomo talks subways (photo: governor's office)


    A city on the precipice of financial collapse. A federal government unwilling to provide help. Thousands of jobs and vital programs on the line. This was the situation in New York City in 1975, but this description is not far off from the picture in 2020.

    Though the causes of these two crises were different, the effect will most likely be the same: massive budget cuts, especially to new projects. During the 1970s, the MTA was implementing plans to expand the subway system, including building the

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  • Without Federal Aid, MTA Bloodbath Will Be Even Worse Than Its ‘Doomsday’ Plan

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    Subway ridership (photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit)


    We agree with the MTA that its fate hinges on the federal government, which must provide the MTA at least $10 billion in federal emergency funds through the end of 2021 to prevent the end of the New York City region’s mass transit system as we know it. 

    The MTA’s options without federal aid from its August “doomsday” plan are all terrible. Worse, they are far from exaggerations and are a glimpse into a

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  • Uncurb Our Enthusiasm: How the City Can Better Help Restaurants and Keep New Yorkers Moving

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    Outdoor dining is proving successful (photo: @NYC_DOT)


    With the City’s popular Open Streets and Open Restaurants programs, the de Blasio administration has taken important steps forward to support New Yorkers during the pandemic, helping to ensure that people, not just cars, have much needed access to our streets. 

    Meanwhile, the success of these programs have been amplified by the continued growth of biking as a safe, socially distanced form of transportation, and by bikeshare’s ongoing expansion into the Bronx and Upper Manhattan. In New York City and elsewhere,

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  • As City Reopens, De Blasio’s ‘Better Buses’ Plan Stuck in Traffic

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    Mayor de Blasio on the bus (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Early in June, when New York City was just entering phase one of its economic “reopening” and the city still had daily triple-digit coronavirus death counts, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an ambitious plan, the Better Bus Restart Initiative, to add 20 more miles of bus lanes and five new busways by October, in addition to making the 14th Street busway permanent. While this plan, offered during a unique opportunity to rethink city street use, did not go as far as many public officials and advocates would

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  • To Honor Essential Workers, Congress Must Save Public Transit

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    Nurses and other essential workers need public transit (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    I am a lifelong New Yorker and public transit rider. In March, when so many of my friends, family, and neighbors stopped commuting, I kept traveling to work. I depend on a bus and two subways to get from my Queens home to the East Side of Manhattan hospital where I’m a pharmacist. 

    Like most people, I had never heard of “essential workers” before COVID-19. Everyone I knew got up and went to work regardless of what job they had. And thankfully, many I know

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  • How E-Scooters Will Keep New York City Running During the Pandemic and Beyond

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    E-scooters in use (photo: Marat Mazitov)


    In June, the New York City Council signaled a major shift in policy when it voted to allow people to use e-scooters on city streets. The Council legalized the private use of e-scooters and e-bicycles across the city and announced plans for a shared e-scooter pilot program that will allow e-scooter companies to operate in all boroughs besides Manhattan.

    The timing could not be better. Workers, including health-care and delivery workers, require sustainable, flexible options for navigating around the city. As the

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  • Remove the NYPD from the Enforcement of Streets and Sidewalks

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    Mayor de Blasio with NYPD transportation (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Streets and sidewalks make up a majority of New York City’s public space. Like the parks and open spaces that make up the rest of it, these spaces should serve a common good, accessible for all to travel, to play, and to protest without harm. But there is ample evidence that this is not a reality. 

    Consider what happened when Mayor de Blasio cracked down on social distancing last month. Nine out of ten arrested for walking, standing, or sitting too

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  • De Blasio Offers No Transit Plans as City Heads Toward 'Reopening'

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    Mayor de Blasio rides the bus (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    New York City is set to begin a phased “reopening” on Monday, June 8, as indicators show significant progress in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. But as many New Yorkers start heading back to work, Mayor Bill de Blasio has offered no solutions to balance city residents’ need for transportation, maintaining public health by preventing new coronavirus infections, and preventing all-out gridlock if too many New Yorkers turn to cars.

    About 5.4 million people rode the New York City subway

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  • Ferries Will Play an Even More Important Role in the Pandemic’s Aftermath

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    NYC Ferry program could become more important (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    There’s no doubt we’ll see changes in almost every facet of our daily lives after the coronavirus pandemic, but perhaps none will be as dramatic as the answers to the question of how New Yorkers will move safely around the city, including in our travels back-and-forth to work. Studies show that even if we drastically reimagine our economy, roughly two-thirds of employees -- at the very least -- will still need to commute, and the subways have been the lifeblood of the

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  • Plummeting Ridership But No Budget Cuts or Fare Increases for De Blasio's Ferry System

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    Mayor de Blasio aboard the ferry (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    The coronavirus pandemic has led to plummeting ridership across the city’s various transit systems, posing an existential threat to the future of mass transit as the state and the city begin to cut costs and service. Among them, the New York City ferry, a signature initiative of Mayor Bill de Blasio, has seen far fewer commuters and a reduced schedule, but unlike a long list of other programs, the city does not plan to decrease its budget or scrap an expansion that is slated to take place this

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