A three-minute animated music video, written by McCann ECD John Mescall, is the centre piece of the campaign. The video highlights the many dumb ways there are to die, with being hit by a train – a very preventable death – among them.
Mescall said: “We’ve got people eating superglue, sticking forks in toasters and selling both their kidneys. But truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and we still couldn’t come up with dumber ways to die than driving around boomgates and all the other things people do to put themselves in harm’s way around trains. The aim of this campaign is to engage an audience that really doesn’t want to hear any kind of safety message – and we think dumb ways to die will.”
The most obvious source of funding for these projects would be for the Federal Reserve to purchase public infrastructure bonds instead of the $40 billion a month of mortgage-backed securities it has been buying. The housing market is important, and keeping mortgage rates low is useful, but investing in public infrastructure is much more important for the nation now. This approach would require a small legislative change to Section 14(b) of the Federal Reserve Act, which currently only allows the Fed to purchase of municipal bonds that mature in six months or less. These infrastructure bonds must be issued with maturities extending from 30 to 50 years, because the assets they fund will last at least that long. In two months, the Fed could buy $80 billion in infrastructure bonds. That would build some very important public infrastructure.
For more than half a century, it has stood out as a singularly vexing flaw of the subway system, a glaring inequity that has frustrated generations of riders and has even puzzled transit officials, who have wondered how the situation ever came to be.
But beginning on Tuesday, once the first travelers make their way between a B train and an uptown No. 6 at Bleecker Street, a daily frustration will have given way to a whimsical remembrance: Here stood New York City’s fussiest subway transfer point, the one that went one way but not the other.
Historically, workers have lived in residential suburbs while commuting to work in the city. For Silicon Valley, however, the situation is reversed: many of the largest technology companies are based in suburbs, but look to recruit younger knowledge workers who are more likely to dwell in the city.
Private mass transit options offered by tech companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook linking San Francisco to Silicon Valley transport approximately 40% of the amount of passengers Caltrain moves everyday. Google alone runs 125 daily trips throughout the city.
I’ve discussed my series of maps called Accessible Transit which removes stations which are not accessible, including systems such as the London Underground, London Overground, New York City Subway. Maps represent corporeal objects, through convenient fictions – a representation which works for a majority of its users. But where are the maps for the disabled or those require additional accessibility? Wouldn’t the mother with newborn in stroller need a different map then those without the need to lug all the accoutrement’s of childhood? Equally, those in a wheelchair require a map different then one which the walking can use. I decided to rectify the situation by editing the maps of major metropolitan transportation systems, in order to create a map for those who are not represented on the official map.
It has come to my attention that Transport for London has a Step Free Tube Guide which illustrates stations where it is possible to get between the platform and street step-free, or change between lines step-free. Stations where this is not possible are shown in a light grey which is nice, but utterly incomprehensible.
The New York Times Magazine has an article about the Tunneling Below Second Avenue:
“Geology defines the way you drive the tunnel,” Mukherjee said. The bedrock below Second Avenue and for much of the rest of Manhattan is schist — a hard, gray black rock shot through with sheets of glittery mica. Some 500 million years ago, Manhattan was a continental coastline that collided with a group of volcanic islands known as the Taconic arc. That crash crumpled layers of mud, sand and lava into schist, lending it an inconsistent structure and complicating tunneling: in some places, the schist holds firmly together, creating self-supporting arches; in others, it’s broken and prone to shattering, forcing workers to reinforce the tunnel as they go to keep it from falling.
The first time New York confronted its bedrock to build a subway, in 1900, the method was “cut and cover”: nearly 8,000 laborers given to gambling, fighting and swearing were hired to pickax and dynamite their way through streets and utility lines for two miles. Their efforts were quick — they finished in four years — but their blasts smashed windows and terrorized carriage horses. Tunnels collapsed, killing workers and swallowing storefronts.
BigMediaMatt has a good tick-tock about The Logic Behind The $7 Billion Washington Union Station Renovation Proposal prepared by Parsons Brinckerhoff | HOK (Union Station Master Plan Executive Summary):
The plan comes essentially from the conjunction of two separate issues. One is that way back in 2002, Akridge paid a considerable amount of money for the right to build a platform over a lot of these Union Station tracks. Atop the platform will sit a bunch of buildings, as well as a reconnection of the currently disrupted street grid. That will include a renovation of the existing H Street Bridge, which is currently quite old and in need of some form of replacement.
The money for all this work is separate from the Master Plan proposal and would all come from Akridge. But once this is done, it will become practically impossible to ever move the Union Station tracks.
Amtrak/MARC/VRE’s contention, however, is that moving the tracks would be highly desirable. Why? Because they want to make the platforms wider. Why do they want to do that? For starters, they say the existing 18 foot platforms aren’t compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act and National Fire Protection Association guidelines for safety. New train stations are normally constructed with platforms in the 25-30 foot width range. The practical transportation capacity issue here is that the current platforms are allegedly too narrow to let passengers be getting on/off of the tracks on both sides of the platform simultaneously. Wider platforms allow for simultaneous boarding allow for greater capacity.
Contra to Kevin Drum, this isn’t necessarily just about widening the platforms for the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is certainly part of the project’s goals:
Queues of departing Amtrak passengers form a halfhour before boarding begins and routinely extend into the public concourse, blocking flows. Additionally, the tracks and platforms do not comply with modern design standards, including the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the emergency egress standards of life safety codes. The mixing of train servicing activities with passengers – both concentrated at the same end of the platforms – creates circulation bottlenecks that will worsen as passenger volumes increase.
The project’s goals are to increase capacity and reconnect the station with the surrounding neighborhood. Done correctly, and you get Grand Central Terminal, poorly and you get Penn Station. The estimated $7 billion (2012 dollars) is steep for what seems to be a project designed to allow a private developer to maximize profits and to increase capacity. I don’t see why the developer can’t chip in some of the cost of the overall project, as they are the ones who will reap the single biggest reward.
The biggest problem with this project is that for $7 billion you don’t get any additional capacity and speed between city pairs (DC-Baltimore, DC-Philadelphia, DC-NYC) isn’t increased at all. If I was king, I would spend that money on upgrading the Northeast Corridor in order to increase the overall train speed, including improving regional and commuter rail. This is also the problem withe Penn Station renovation plans: they are undoubtably very pretty, but ultimately less useful than making trains go fast.Union Station Master Plan roof shed[/caption]
OpenPlans, a company which builds open source civic infrastructure, collaborating with the public sector to create technology for more efficient, responsive, and inclusive government, has launched a kickstarter drive to create a Transit App for iOS 6 and Beyond:
With the announcement of iOS version 6, Apple has dropped Google Maps and with it, previously built-in support for travel directions via public transit.
With your support, OpenTripPlanner Mobile, an open source application developed by OpenPlans will put transit back on the iPhone. Initially, we will offer coverage for almost all transit systems in North America (see coverage details below).
The app will also add new features that Google Maps didn’t have, allowing users to combine walking, bikes, bike-share and transit together, finding the fastest and most efficient trips regardless of mode of transportation.
Transit App will is now supporting any transit agency in North America that provides open data in the GTFS format. Hundreds of transit agencies already offer this data – check out the current coverage map.
This is the fifth installment of my Accessible Transit Map series. Intended as a replacement map for those with disabilities, this map illustrates which station stops on the Paris Metro are accessible for those with strollers or with a disability. As you can see below, very few stations are accesible in the City of Light:
Opened in 1900, network’s sixteen lines are mostly underground and run to 214 km (133 mi) in length with 301 stations, of which 62 are interchange stations. Just 50 Metro/RER stations within central Paris have elevators and are accessible for wheelchairs or for strollers. Just like London’s Underground the Metro was largely built when accessibility wasn’t a concern; unfortunately the RATP doesn’t match Transport for London’s excellent Accessibility guidelines, offering only a page of platitudes:
Accessibility for persons with reduced mobility. It is the RATP’s ambition to provide every traveller with a transport system suited to his needs from end to end.
As in previous maps, I have removed all stations which are not handicapped accessible. Maps represent corporeal objects, through convenient fictions – a representation which works for a majority of its users. But where are the maps for the disabled or those require additional accessibility? Wouldn’t the mother with newborn in stroller need a different map then those without the need to lug all the accoutrement’s of childhood? Equally, those in a wheelchair require a map different then one which the walking can use. I decided to rectify the situation by editing the maps of major metropolitan transportation systems, in order to create a map for those who are not represented on the official map.
You may download the Accessible Transit Paris Metro map here:
Other Accessible Transit Maps for your perusal: