Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Transportation

Transportation

  • bx6 select bus

    Mayor rides the bus (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In this video brief (find others here) on the top issus in the 2021 New York City elections, hosts Jarrett Murphy and Ben Max discuss key topics related to transit and transportation that are on the agenda in the race for mayor and other offices. Watch:

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    Bus riding in NYC (photo: Edwin J Torres/Mayor's Office)


    Leading Democratic candidates for mayor discussed their ideas and beliefs on the future of transportation in New York City at a forum this past Thursday.

    “Safe, Equitable, and Accessible Streets: A Mayoral Forum on the Future of Transportation” was co-hosted by transit advocacy groups Riders Alliance, Transportation Alternatives, Regional Plan Association, Straphangers Campaign, Families for Safe Streets, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, and StreetsPAC. The forum

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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 (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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  • mta pro el

    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 ...

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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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  • scooter smk mus

    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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  • mta disinfected covid

    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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    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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  • feelthewyaido

    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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  • 1 as grows

    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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    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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  • marat mazitov henderson

    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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  • 6 fewest traffic record

    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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    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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    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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  • covid 19 climate

    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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  • cycling covid

    Coronavirus has created a new cycling world (photo: NYC Department of Transportation)


    New York City has seen a spike in cycling since the beginning of the confirmed coronavirus outbreak here. With most New Yorkers staying off the subway to avoid the spread of the virus, some have sought new ways of getting around, whether to their jobs (before and, for fewer commuters, since the near-shutdown order from the governor) or to make essential trips for groceries or exercise. And there are, of course, those who use bikes for their work, with food delivery expected to spike

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  • car free open streets

    Car free day 2019 (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    The COVID-19 pandemic is posing an unprecedented challenge to New Yorkers. As we face this surreal moment together, we are also learning what it means to practice “social distancing” — and, inevitably, it has not gone perfectly. Case in point: we have taken to city parks in astonishing numbers, creating crowds and density that risk spreading the very virus we’re trying to fight.

    Is it possible for New Yorkers to maintain a safe distance and “...

  • commvoicesheard

    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    New York City doesn’t have a comprehensive plan for the future. There is no single guiding document that determines how housing will be built over the next decade, for example, overlaid with a strategy for meeting infrastructure needs like transit options and school seats, with unifying visions for social services and economic development. But such planning should exist, according to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who is making several moves toward the type of planning that has mostly

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  • dot taxi bike lane

    Image via NYC TLC training video


    Cyclist deaths plagued New York City last year; 2019 had the highest recorded number of such deaths in the last 20 years, and many street safety and cycling advocates have made an effort to raise awareness about the problem and

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  • bike riding new york city

    (photo: New York City Department of Transportation)


    One of the New York City Department of Transportation’s bicycling safety tips, “Watch out for car doors,” seems straightforward until a door unexpectedly opens and catapults you into oncoming traffic. Several of this year’s bicycling fatalities came from dooring incidents,

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  • queenslink rendering

    QueensLink rendering


    The Rockaway Beach Branch right-of-way is a 3.5-mile, skinny strip of land that holds the key to transforming our borough in two fundamental ways. First, it will connect north and south Queens with the rest of the city in an environmentally sustainable way. Second, it will create up to 33 new acres of park space adding value to local neighborhoods and the entire city.

    This dual-purpose project is called QueensLink.

    It was disappointing to read “...

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    ‘Tis the season for improving public spaces.

    The 14th Street busway has been live for just over three weeks and the accolades are already enough to deem its opening as historic. New Yorkers are now seeking more innovative ideas to improve the pedestrian and commuter experience throughout the city. 

    With the holiday season approaching, we are hopeful that this embrace of open space can be adopted in Midtown. 

    Rockefeller Center is one of the centerpieces of Manhattan. Every year, the area

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