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The Water Next Time

November 25, 2014 As we drove downhill along narrow Second Street in Hoboken, the compact New Jersey city separated from Manhattan by the Hudson River, the landscape and urban designer Diana Balmori remarked to me that after Hurricane Sandy, this part of town had basically been “a lake.” During Sandy’s storm surge, in ...

from govexec

Silicon Valley May Soon Offer a Public Bus Commute That's Quicker Than Driving

November 19, 2014 The big advantage of driving to work over taking the bus is time. A bus ride just takes longer: walking to the stop, waiting for the bus, picking up passengers, all while toughing out the same traffic as cars. But when transit is done well, the time gap shrinks, and ...

from govexec

Moving Forward with America's High-Speed Rail Projects

October 28, 2014 A nationwide roll-out of high-speed rail may never materialize in the United States, but that hasn't stopped local plans from moving forward at their own pace. The past few weeks have brought intriguing—and in some cases, very encouraging—updates on bullet train projects in California, Texas, and the Northeast. Let's check ...

from govexec

Why New Yorkers Can't Find a Taxi When It Rains

October 20, 2014 You have to live in New York City for precisely one rainy day to appreciate that it's extremely difficult to find a taxi in New York City when it rains. It's also extremely difficult to figure out why that's the case. Sure, there might be more people looking for a ...

from govexec

A Chat with Amtrak's CEO on the State of U.S. Passenger Rail

October 16, 2014 The first thing I say over the phone to Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman is that I appreciate him taking the time to talk about Amtrak, because it's one of my favorite subjects, and it's a favorite subject of CityLab readers. To which he responds, without missing a beat: ...

from govexec

The Urban Future of the American Suburb

October 16, 2014 One rainy afternoon in August, Michael Caplin stopped his car in an empty, beat-up asphalt lot and swept his hand across the scene. “Here we are,” he said. “This is Town Square!” In actuality, it was a dormant 10‑acre construction site in the shadow of Tysons Corner Station, an elevated ...

from govexec

The Outrageous, Unjust Rule That Lets New York Drivers Who Hit Pedestrians Off the Hook

October 2, 2014 Earlier this year, a 9-year-old boy named Cooper Stock was struck and killed by a New York City taxi cab while crossing the street with his father. They were in the crosswalk and had the walk signal at the time; Cooper was holding his father's hand. It was a tragedy ...

from govexec

Balancing Bike-Share Stations Has Become a Serious Scientific Endeavor

August 28, 2014 If "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" were written today, bike-share stations would play the role of the porridge. A station that's too full is a bad thing, because that means riders can't return a bike there. A station that's too empty is also a bad thing, because that means potential ...

from govexec

7 Charts That Show How Good Mass Transit Can Make a City More Affordable

August 26, 2014 Housing costs are often the first to come to mind when we think about whether or not a city is affordable. If the rent is too damn high, the city is too damn expensive. That's largely true, but transportation costs also have a lot to do with it. HUD actually ...

from govexec

Which Mode of Travel Provides the Happiest Commute?

August 20, 2014 For most people, a satisfying commute is not necessarily a happy one—a not-so-unhappy one will do. Yes, it's true that the ideal commute not absolutely zero commute; many of us can use the time to decompress or get some thinking done. But it's also true that beyond a certain point—roughly ...