Author Archives: Alon Levy

When Nationwide Electrification is Called For

Small, dense developed countries should electrify their entire national rail networks. Usually, railroads think in terms of electrifying lines, but this hides the systemwide benefits of transitioning the entire network to run under electricity. I have previously written about this … Continue reading

Posted in Israel, Regional Rail, Transportation | 24 Comments

Transit-Oriented Airports

There are recurrent discussions of how to best connect public transportation to airports; I, too, have made my comments both on how desirable such connections are and how to best build them. What I think is less discussed is how … Continue reading

Posted in New York, Regional Rail, Transportation | 34 Comments

Bergenline Avenue and New Hudson Tunnels

The main street of Hudson County from Jersey City north is Bergenline Avenue. It passes through the densest cities in the US (denser than New York, which is weighed down by outer-urban areas), and hosts frequent jitney service. Last decade, … Continue reading

Posted in Amtrak, New York, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 68 Comments

Redundancy is Overrated

The night before last, a Northeast Corridor Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia, killing seven people. For some overviews of what happened, see Vox and Huffington Post. I am not going to talk directly about the accident here; it appears to … Continue reading

Posted in Incompetence, Transportation | 40 Comments

The Utica Subway

Last week, Bill de Blasio released a plan for New York’s future called OneNYC, whose section on subway expansion called for a subway under Utica Avenue in Brooklyn (PDF-pp. 45-46). The call was just a sentence, without mention of routing … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Good Transit, New York, Transportation, Urban Transit | 78 Comments

Quick Note: MBTA Electrification

I’ve been thinking about MBTA modernization recently, and realized that although the principles underlying modernization are similar throughout North America, the concrete benefits and the resulting political alliances that could push for it are very different. In New York and … Continue reading

Posted in Politics and Society, Regional Rail, Transportation | 52 Comments

Homeowner’s Bill of Rights to Preempt State and Local Zoning Laws

After weeks of fraught negotiation, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced that both houses of Congress had reached agreement on passing the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights (HOBOR), which uses the preemption doctrine to abolish most local planning restrictions. … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Politics and Society, Urbanism | 13 Comments