Monthly Archives: December 2011

Why Moynihan Station Has Negative Transportation Value

Amtrak has been making noises again about the need for Moynihan Station as a replacement concourse for Penn Station for Amtrak travelers, but makes it clear it does not want to pay almost anything for it. While former Amtrak President … Continue reading

Posted in Amtrak, Development, Incompetence, New York, Transportation, Urbanism | 43 Comments

Commuter Rail Speed (Hoisted from Comments)

For commuter rail, even more so than urban transit, there is a tradeoff involving speed, cost, and coverage. Higher speed is useful all else being equal, but all else is frequently not equal. American commuter rail is on average faster … Continue reading

Posted in Good Transit, Regional Rail, Transportation | 16 Comments

Consensus and Astroturf

Anthony Flint’s article in The Atlantic Cities, which compares Jane Jacobs’ protesting to current Tea Party protests against urban planning, inadvertently unmasks a serious issue in any consensus society. In drawing parallels between the near-riots of the 1960s and those … Continue reading

Posted in Consensus, Politics and Society | 10 Comments

Staten Island Rapid Transit

The great missing piece of New York’s rail network, and the most controversial of any of my proposals, is Staten Island. Connected to New Jersey by the B&O but not toward Manhattan, it relies on buses to the subway and … Continue reading

Posted in New York, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 22 Comments

Quick Note: Don’t Overlearn From a Case of Success

I’ve been asked in comments to my previous post about construction costs what can be done to contain them, and tempting as it is to just repeat listing good cases, in the wrong context it can do more harm than … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Transportation | 12 Comments

Cost Concerns, Reasonable and Otherwise

Stephen Smith’s recent post excoriating high US transit costs left me with a weird feeling that took me a while to figure out exactly. The feeling is primarily about the attitude, but the most telling quote about it is the … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Politics and Society, Transportation | 14 Comments

Connecting New Jersey to Lower Manhattan

In my regional rail series, I proposed a new tunnel connection from Hoboken to Lower Manhattan, allowing regional trains to use the line and serve Manhattan and continue to Brooklyn on new track. I would like to revisit this concept, … Continue reading

Posted in New York, Regional Rail, Transportation | 55 Comments

The Rockaway Cutoff

When I went to an IRUM meeting nearly two years ago, the participants crowed about the possibility of restoring rail service on the Rockaway Cutoff. New York urban planner and technical activist David Krulewitch recently posted his proposal in a … Continue reading

Posted in Good/Interesting Studies, New York, Regional Rail, Studies, Transportation | 38 Comments

Quick Note: No More Track Maps

I regret to say that I’ve taken down the track maps by Rich E Green that I’d hosted, in accordance with requests by him and by his employer, to whom he sold the maps. This involves breaking past links; I … Continue reading

Posted in Personal/Admin, Regional Rail, Transportation | 8 Comments

What’s the Infrastructure’s Highest Value?

A piece of land and infrastructure may have multiple uses. Land might be needed for urban development or for a highway. A two-track structure might be needed for freight or passenger service. A right-of-way might be needed for multiple kinds … Continue reading

Posted in High-Speed Rail, New York, Providence, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit, Urbanism | 18 Comments