Category Archives: Politics and Society

California HSR Should Not Have Been Funded This Way

Last month, California made a budget deal for the formula that would be used to distribute its cap-and-trade revenues. The state’s cap-and-trade bill does not deed the money to the general budget but to a separate account, to be distributed … Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Issues, High-Speed Rail, Incompetence, Politics and Society, Transportation | 35 Comments

What Elites Do Instead of Providing Services

I realized last year that even when they face a problem that is evidently about city services, city governments prefer to go for monuments that glorify their leadership. The most blatant example then was Cornell NYC Tech, the city-backed university … Continue reading

Posted in Incompetence, New York, Politics and Society, Transportation | 35 Comments

State Boundaries and the Northeast (Hoisted from Comments)

Aaron Renn’s repost on US states mattering more than some people imagine made me think about the difference in attitudes toward state lines in different US regions. Aaron’s examples of state lines mattering come from the Midwest, specifically Indianapolis and … Continue reading

Posted in New York, Politics and Society, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urbanism | 59 Comments

Transit Observations from Philadelphia

I was in Philadelphia last summer for about five days. I have few observations as a pedestrian: I stayed in West Philadelphia, in the gentrifying zone radiating out of University City, and traveled to Center City, and both neighborhoods seemed … Continue reading

Posted in Pedestrian Observations, Politics and Society, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit, Urbanism | 64 Comments

Loopy Ideas Are Fine, If You’re an Entrepreneur

There is a belief within American media that a successful person can succeed at anything. He (and it’s invariably he) is omnicompetent, and people who question him and laugh at his outlandish ideas will invariably fail and end up working … Continue reading

Posted in High-Speed Rail, Incompetence, Politics and Society, Transportation | 563 Comments

Tel Aviv Needs a Subway, Done Right

After decades of false starts, Tel Aviv is finally building a subway-surface line. The political opinions of activists and urban planners in Israel are divided between supporters, who believe the line is long overdue, and opponents, who instead believe buses … Continue reading

Posted in Israel, Politics and Society, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 30 Comments

Quick Note: Why Quinn is Unfit to be Mayor

The Triboro RX plan calls for using preexisting freight rail rights-of-way with minimal freight traffic to build a circumferential subway line through the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. It was mentioned as a possible project by then-MTA head Lee Sander and … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Incompetence, New York, Politics and Society, Transportation, Urban Transit | 9 Comments

Quick Note: More on Urban Absolutism

In previous posts, I brought up the theory that American cities are run in a feudal fashion, despite the nominally democratic system, and that the failings of feudalism are leading proponents of livable streets and public transit to demand elected … Continue reading

Posted in New York, Politics and Society, Transportation, Urban Transit | 36 Comments

Who are the Opponents of Transportation Alternatives?

Streetsblog has traditionally lashed at multiple factions that oppose bicycle and transit infrastructure, but reserved the harshest criticism for entrenched community groups and NIMBYs, and their representatives including most of the high-profile Democratic mayoral candidates in New York. Early community … Continue reading

Posted in New York, Politics and Society, Transportation | 17 Comments

Quick Note: Why the Focus on Penn Station?

Penn Station is in the news again: the Municipal Art Society ran a public competition for a rebuilt station house, involving proposals by four different architectural firms. This does not include any track-level improvements at all: only the concourses and … Continue reading

Posted in Incompetence, New York, Politics and Society, Transportation | 81 Comments