Meetings of the vision42 working group are normally held on the third Tuesday of each month, 6 to 8pm at the offices of Transportation Alternatives. On September 18, 2015, “TA” moved their offices to downtown Manhattan, 111 John Street, Suite 260. Closest subway station is Fulton Street on the #2/3 line (south end of the 2/3 train stops virtually at John Street).
Newcomers are welcome. Please respond to info@vision42 if you wish to attend.
Presentation: “New Directions for Transportation Planning for the 22 Million-Person NY-NJ-CT Metropolitan Area,” by Gerry Bogacz, Director of Planning for New York, Metropolitan Transportation Council. Location: new office of Transportation Alternatives, 111 John Street, Suite 260, Conference Room B, Manhattan, 6 to 8pm.
Presentation: “Why Not Light Rail for NYC?” by Roxanne Warren, AIA, Chair, vision42, and George Haikalis, ASCE, President of IRUM. Discussion of specific advantages of light rail over bus for surface transit in dense urban locations like NYC. Location: new office of Transportation Alternatives, 111 John Street, Suite 260, Conference Room B, Manhattan, 6 to 8pm.
Presentation: “An Overview of NYC’s Proposed Citywide Ferry System,” by James Wong, Vice President/Director of Ferries, and Justine Johnson, Assistant Vice President, Government and Community Relations, NYC Economic Development Corporation.
Presentation by urban designer and light rail advocate Peter Brassard: Providence, RI: Public Transit, Streetcar Proposal, and Commuter Rail Issues.
Transit expert Bon Provenzano described the very successful light rail transit system recently completed in Manchester, UK.
Walking tour of Gowanus Canal and Red Hook – working group member Ray Howell showed us Richard and Van Dyke Streets, where the old trolley turnaround was, and the still-buried trolley tracks under Richards Street, as well as other sites around Red Hook that were key to the extensive old trolley network.
Walk across High Bridge – working group member Michael Frank led us across the freshly restored, very beautiful pedestrians-only High Bridge, followed by a quick tour of the Washington Heights neighborhood. The July and August tours thereby featured Robert Moses at his best and worst!
“Rail and the City: Shrinking Our Carbon Footprint While Reimagining Urban Space.” This was a presentation by Roxanne Warren, architect and Chair of vision42, on the substance of her book published by MIT Press in October 2014.
“Light Rail and Regional Rail – Working Together for a Better NYC” was presented by George Haikalis, civil egnieer, transportation planner, and President of IRUM, showing how a coherent plan can drastically shrink NYC’s car chaos.
Presenting “How Melbourne Retained and Enhanced Its Extensive Tramway Network in an Auto-dominated Culture,” will be Kinsie Hope, Manager, Local Connections, Outer Eastern Melbourne, Department of Health & Human Services, Victoria State Government, Australia.
Continuing on with a key question raised by the subject of our March meeting, the Move NY proposal by former traffic commissioner Sam Schwartz — Jeffrey Gold and George Haikalis of IRUM will discuss the issue of cordon tolls around Manhattan’s CBD, and its implications for medallion taxis and for-hire cars, such as black cars, Uber, etc. Time and place: 6 to 8pm at Transportation Alternatives, 127 West 26th Street, Suite 1002, Manhattan.
Our speaker was Jonathan Matz, Campaign Coordinator and Analyst for Move NY, which is the further refinement of the plan by engineer and famed traffic consultant Sam Schwartz to use pricing incentives as a key method to reduce unfettered traffic into the most crowded parts of NYC, while netting major funds for public transport.
“Light Rail – Superstar of Urban Planning,” a review of images of new light rail lines built in France, Germany and Jerusalem, that were shown at a meeting on December 30th by one of the winning teams from the recent vision42 design competition.
Our speaker was Paul Gawkowski, former Director of Surface Transit for Brooklyn and Queens, and ultimately for all of NYC. His presentation was “Light Rail at Home and Abroad, plus 20 Candidate Light Rail Lines for New York City.” All of these bus lines have average daily riderships of at least 25,000 per weekday, except for those 42nd and 34th Streets, which have very high ridership per route mile.
Reception in Honor of the Winners of the vision42 International Design Competion, at 4 Times Square on 42nd Street between 6th Ave & Broadway, 6 to 8pm, Lobby Level. Open to the public; tickets are complementary. The exhibition will be open from November 17 through January 5, 2015.
David Gurin, former NYC DOT Commissioner for Planning, and former Commissioner of Planning for Metropolitan Toronto, will discuss “People vs. Cars: the Early History of a Movement.” The results of the vision42 design competition will also be reviewed.
Amy Miller and Linnea Paton, US City and State Divestment Campaigners for 350.org, described that organization’sCampaign to Divest New York City and State Pension Funds from Fossil Fuels. Plans were also made by group members for participating in the People’s Climate March.
Inwood Walking Tour. A bit of the very northern tip of Manhattan remains in its natural wooded state, providing breathing room for the otherwise densely developed neighborhood of Inwood. The tour begins at 6pm sharp, at the Dyckman Street station of the #1 subway (where it emerges from below ground). We will meet in front of the token booth inside the station at street level. We will be joined by some neighbors who know the history of upper Manhattan and its remarkable revitalization.
“The Hudson Bergen Light Rail Line: A True Success Story,” presented by Philip Maccioli, President & CEO of the 21st Century Rail Corporation, and James Greller, Senior Transportation Planner, Hudson County Improvememt Authority.
“Why Regional Rail Should Be an Important Transport Priority for NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio,” prepared by IRUM transit advocates Paul DiMaria and Anthony Callender.
“Achieving Vision Zero: A Community Effort to Save Lives,” by Tom DeVito. Manhattan Organizer for Transportation Alternatives.
“Designing Complete Streets,” presented by Will Sherman, transporttion planner and Associate at Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates.
“Progress Report on Personal Rapid Transit (PRT),” presented by Lawrence Fabian, Founder, Trans21.
“Light Rail for the Brooklyn-Queens Waterfront,” presented by Alex Garvin, President & CEO of AGA Public Realm Strategists, Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning at Yale University, and President of the Forum/Institute for Urban Design.
“JFK Express – World Class Rail Service to the Airport and the Rockaways,” by George Haikalis, President, IRUM, summary of presentation by NYU Wagner School Capstone students in Spring 2013.
“Autonomous Vehicles Competing with Autonomous Pedestrians and Everything Else – Where it Might Work on Manhattan’s Crowded Streets,” presented by Alain L. Kornhauser, PhD, Director of Transportation Programs at Princeton University.
“Why Regional Rail Should Be a Top Transportation Priority for NYC’s Next Mayor,” by George Haikalis, President, IRUM.
Walking Tour of Auto-free Areas of Jackson Heights, Queens, led by Ed Walters.
“State-of-the-Art Light Rail: the Nouvelle Tram in France,” Roxanne Warren, AIA, Chair, vision42, Highlights of a presentation by Greg Thompson and Tom Parkinsongiven at January 2013, Transportation Research Board, meeting of Rail Transit Committee.
Presentation: “A Trolley Grows in Red Hook” by Bob Diamond, Chairman, Brooklyn Historic Railway Association.
Presentation: “Sustainable Community and Economic Development in NYC” by Peter Fleischer, Executive Director, Empire State Future.
Presentation: “Over a Dozen Cities Have Built New Light Rail Lines in Turkey in the past Two Decades — Where’s NYC?” by Jack May, Vice President, New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers.
Presentation: “Will Proposed Changes to Manhattan Off-Street Parking Regulations Lead to More Traffic?” by Dan Gutman, Environmental Planner.
Presentation: “Setting a New Path for Amtrak’s Future”, by Albert L. Papp, Vice Chair, Legislative Policy & Strategy, National Association of Railroad Passengers.
Forum on the state of the art of surface light rail/ streetcar wireless technology, at the AIA/Center for Architecture, 6 to 8pm. Location: 536 La Guardia Place, Manhattan. $10 entry fee required for non-AIA members.
Presentation:“NYC Transit Riders Get Organized” by John Raskin, Executive Director of the Riders Alliance, a newly formed grass roots transit advocacy organization.
Presentation by Joel McNeil of Liberty Streetcars of their entirely American-made vehicle. There was further discussion of the Mayor’s proposed upzoning of East Midtown, and the need it would create for more pedestrian space and crosstown surface rail transit, such as would be provided by vision42.
Discussion led by architect and urban planner John West about the Mayor’s proposed rezoning of East Midtown.
Presentation by Kinkisharyo International on the company’s battery-powered (vehicle-mounted) light rail system. The special batteries are good for a route of five miles and will last many years.
Presentation by Alstom on the company’s APS (underground) power system for light rail. The system has been in passenger operation in Bordeaux since 2004, and is being built in several other French cities, as well as Dubai.
Presentation by Bombardier on the company’s Primove (underground) power system for light rail. This system is scheduled to go into passenger operation in Augsburg, Germany.
The New Jersey Light Rail Study Tour on September 13th 2008 had some 60 attendess, and was a great success. It provided an opportunity for New Yorkers — community leaders, elected officials and advocates for sustainable transportation — to experience this popular mode of transit — which has gained enormous ridership all over the country. Transit for the group by ferry over the Hudson was courtesy of New York Waterway, and a special VIP light rail car was arranged by the operators of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail line. It was suggested by several attendees that we plan a repeat of the tour in the future.
A Community Informational Forum, with presentation and discussion, was held on October 24, 2006, at the auditorium of the SUNY College of Optometry, 33 West 42nd Street. The results of a second round of technical studies were released — Theeconomic study projects gains of over $1 billion annually, when travel time savings, increased business, and the resultant increases in tax revenues are combined. The traffic study further refines the previous traffic study and addresses provisions for the needed curb space on the avenues for truck deliveries to 42nd Street. Theconstruction phasing study shows how the work can be performed within a two-year time span, with only a six-month construction period per block, and with a minimum of disruption to businesses and pedestrians.