Tunnel trouble under the Hudson River is an immanent threat to the New York region’s transit system

City Terrain, East, Transportation
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
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The NY-NJ region would see more traffic if a Hudson River rail tunnel closed for repairs (Sumith R / Flickr)

The NY-NJ region would see more traffic if a Hudson River rail tunnel closed for repairs (Sumith R / Flickr)

Two rail tunnels connecting New Jersey to New York are the main arteries of the regional transit system. Riders usually don’t need to focus on the infrastructure that carries them to their destinations—unless something goes wrong. Each day, 500,000 commuters use mass transit—Amtrak, PATH, and NJ Transit—to travel from New Jersey to New York and back.

After more than one hundred years in service, the rail tunnels are rapidly deteriorating. “Tunnel Trouble,” a new video released by the Regional Plan Association (RPA), warns of the dire consequences for transit on the Eastern seaboard if one of the tunnels were shut down for extensive repairs.

Watch the video here.

Removal of Vancouver’s Viaducts: Making room for housing, culture, and parks

Vancouver without the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts. (Courtesy City of Vancouver)

Vancouver without the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts. (Courtesy City of Vancouver)

On October 27th, the Vancouver City Council voted 5–4 to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts, making space for housing, culture, and parks.

The viaducts were part of a proposed freeway system through East Vancouver in 1971, until residents protested, and the project was abandoned. In June 2013, the city council made a unanimous vote to study the potential impact of removing the viaducts that connect the downtown to neighborhoods on the city’s East side.

Continue reading after the jump.

Richard Rogers beats Norman Foster and UNStudio for Taoyuan International Airport terminal commission

The winning design by Richard Rogers

The winning design by Richard Rogers. (Michael Speaks)

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners have fought off fellow British architecture practice Foster + Partners and Amsterdam-based UNStudio to design the Terminal 3 building at Taoyuan International, Taiwan’s largest airport. The firm won by a unanimous decision, AN has learned. In 2014, the airport was the world’s 11th busiest passenger airport.

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Oslo plans to make its city center free from cars in four years

Köpcentret Oslo City (Jenny Andersson, News Øresund / Flickr)

Köpcentret Oslo City (Jenny Andersson, News Øresund / Flickr)

Norway currently boasts three World Rally Championship drivers (second only to France), all of considerable pedigree, yet its capital city of Oslo is planning to remove cars for good. Along with the proposal to ban cars is the plan to build 37 miles worth of bike lanes by 2019 and a new system for handicap bus services and delivery vehicles.

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New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal is set for a $7 to $10 billion overhaul

City Terrain, East, News, Transportation
Monday, October 26, 2015
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Port Authority Bus Terminal. (Flickr / Eric Allix Rogers)

Port Authority Bus Terminal (Flickr / Eric Allix Rogers)

Over the next 15 years, $7–10 billion dollars will be spent to overhaul one of the saddest, most depressing places on earth. The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) voted this month to transform the 65 year old Port Authority Bus Terminal, on Eighth Avenue at 42nd Street, and build a new station on the next block.

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This tangle of highways in Providence, Rhode Island, could give way to a green boulevard

The 6/10 Connector today. (Courtesy Moving Together)

The 6/10 Connector today. (Courtesy Moving Together)

According to Moving Together Providence has the potential to be a “world model for urban design.” That is of course, if the city decides to go ahead with their ambitious proposal of tearing up the 6/10 connector which joins Routes 6 and 10 between Olneyville and the interchange with Interstate 95, replacing it with a bicycle- and bus-friendly green boulevard.

Continue reading after the jump.

Please be Seated: New York City expands its CityBench program and grows ‘Street Seat’ parklets in Brooklyn

Design, East, Transportation, Urbanism
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
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NYC DOT and other local stakeholders marked the installation of the 1,500th CityBench at M.S, 22 with a ribbon cutting. (Courtesy NYC DOT)

NYC DOT and other local stakeholders marked the installation of the 1,500th CityBench at Jordan L. Mott Middle School 22 in the Bronx with a ribbon cutting. Six new CityBenches were recently installed as part of a community beautification project at the school. (Courtesy NYC DOT)

If there’s one thing New Yorker’s won’t stand for, it’s a lack of benches. After unveiling the 1,500th addition to its CityBench program, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) has revealed that a federal award package of $1.5 million will be used to develop the CityBench scheme further. In addition to this The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership has initiated a colorful “Street Seats” program as seating projects gain popularity in the city.

Continue reading after the jump.

Seattle Park Proposal to Cap I-5 Unveiled

The C.A.P. park path. (Patano Studio Architecture)

The C.A.P. park path. (Patano Studio Architecture)

Take note. The Seattle waterfront plan is getting a lot of competition. Last month, we saw an opposing proposal to the James Corner Field Operations plan rejected by city council and put on the ballot for next summer. The project—Initiative 123—calls for reinforcing a portion of the Alaska Way Viaduct that runs north-south along the western edge of Seattle as well as building a new section. These two pieces would create a mile-long, High Line–style park.

More after the jump.

It’s hard to believe these before and after streetscape transformations are the same places

Ferenciek tere, Budapest, Hungary

Ferenciek tere, Budapest, Hungary. (Courtesy Urb-i)

The United States is currently 4th in the world in terms of vehicle ownership (measured by vehicles per capita)—a statistic that is reflected in contemporary cities’ car-dominated infrastructure. Urbanism website Urb-i however, is intent on changing that, giving cities back to the people. To show that change is possible, the group compiled before and after photos of dozens of amazing street transformations from across the globe.

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Boston considers supply-and-demand logic to price parking in prime areas

Congestion has always been an issue in Boston: traffic on the Harvard Bridge, 1923 (Courtesy Boston Public Library)

Congestion has always been an issue in Boston: traffic on the Harvard Bridge, 1923 (Courtesy Boston Public Library)

Boston-area drivers spend too much time stuck in traffic. To combat congestion in the city center, Boston city officials may follow San Francisco’s move to improve traffic flow by charging more for parking at peak times.

More after the jump.

University of Texas at Austin is transforming Speedway into a pedestrian mall through campus

Rendering of the proposal (Courtesy PWP Landscape Architects)

Rendering of the proposal (Courtesy PWP Landscape Architecture)

The so-called Speedway in Austin, Texas, is being slowed to the pace of the pedestrian, thanks to a redesign by PWP Landscape Architecture. The road is not a racetrack as its name implies, but a street used heavily by cyclists and motorists as it cuts through the University of Texas at Austin. The project, called the “Speedway Mall,” is a move by the university to improve the area and boost its usage.
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How landscape architects at SWA created the country’s largest Zero-Net Energy community at UC Davis

West Village Community at University California Davis

West Village Community at University California Davis.

In 2011 SWA built the nation’s largest planned Zero-Net Energy (ZNE) community. Working in collaboration with the University of California Davis and developer West Village Community Partnership (WVCP), the project houses over 2,000 students and 500 staff and faculty families.

Continue after the jump.

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