Cities

The New York Transportation Journal

The New York Transportation Journal
Spring 2007, Vol. 10, No. 3.

de Cerreño, A.L.C., Publisher, Sterman, B.P., Editor, Nguyen-Novotny, M.L.H., Assistant Editor.
02/01/2007

In this issue of the Journal, Bruce Schaller, a former Rudin Center Visiting Scholar and Practitioner, shares some astute observations on Mayor Bloomberg's recent announcement on congestion pricing and what it means for New York City. Also included are articles on recent Public-Private partnerships ”The Indiana Toll Road and the Chicago Skyway” written by Joseph Seliga of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP in Chicago; and the Bay Area TransLink Smart Card, written by Nathan Gilbertson of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. In addition, Howard Mann of NYMTC provides a timely discussion of the challenges of growth and freight in the region in light of the Rudin Center's upcoming conference on freight, "Delivering the Goods: The Freight Needs of a Growing Population" on June 6, 2007.

Can Public Schools Close the Race Gap? Probing the Evidence in a Large Urban School District

Can Public Schools Close the Race Gap? Probing the Evidence in a Large Urban School District
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 26(1): 7-30.

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E., Gould & I.E.
01/01/2007

We examine the size and distribution of the gap in test scores across races within New York City public schools and the factors that explain these gaps. While gaps are partially explained by differences in student characteristics, such as poverty, differences in schools attended are also important. At the same time, substantial within-school gaps remain and are only partly explained by differences in academic preparation across students from different race groups. Controlling for differences in classrooms attended explains little of the remaining gap, suggesting little role for within-school inequities in resources. There is some evidence that school characteristics matter. Race gaps are negatively correlated with school size - implying small schools may be helpful. In addition, the trade-off between the size and experience of the teaching staff in urban schools may carry unintended consequences for within-school race gaps.

Disentangling the Racial Test Score Gap: Probing the Evidence in a Large Urban School District

Disentangling the Racial Test Score Gap: Probing the Evidence in a Large Urban School District
Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, Winter 2007, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p7-30, 24p.

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E. & Ellen, I.G.
01/01/2007

We examine the size and distribution of the gap in test scores across races within New York City public schools and the factors that explain these gaps. While gaps are partially explained by differences in student characteristics, such as poverty, differences in schools attended are also important. At the same time, substantial within-school gaps remain and are only partly explained by differences in academic preparation across students from different race groups. Controlling for differences in classrooms attended explains little of the remaining gap, suggesting little role for within-school inequities in resources. There is some evidence that school characteristics matter. Race gaps are negatively correlated with school size-implying small schools may be helpful. In addition, the trade-off between the size and experience of the teaching staff in urban schools may carry unintended consequences for within-school race gaps. © 2006 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Does Federally Subsidized Rental Housing Depress Neighborhood Property Values?

Does Federally Subsidized Rental Housing Depress Neighborhood Property Values?
Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, Spring 2007, Vol. 26 Issue 2, p257-280, 24p.

Ellen, I.G., Schwartz, A.E., Voicu, I. & Schill, M.H.
01/01/2007

Few communities welcome federally subsidized rental housing, with one of the most commonly voiced fears being reductions in property values. Yet there is little empirical evidence that subsidized housing depresses neighborhood property values. This paper estimates and compares the neighborhood impacts of a broad range of federally subsidized rental housing programs, using rich data for New York City and a difference-in-difference specification of a hedonic regression model. We find that federally subsidized developments have not typically led to reductions in property values and have, in fact, led to increases in some cases. Impacts are highly sensitive to scale, though patterns vary across programs.

From Districts to Schools: The Distribution of Resources across Schools in Big City School Districts

From Districts to Schools: The Distribution of Resources across Schools in Big City School Districts
Economics of Education Review, 26: 532-545.

Rubenstein, R. & Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L.
01/01/2007

This paper explores the determinants of resource allocation across schools in large districts and examines options for improving resource distribution patterns. Previous research on intra-district allocations consistently reveals resource disparities across schools within districts, particularly in the distribution of teachers. While overall expenditures are sometimes related to the characteristics of students in schools, the ratio of teachers per pupil is consistently larger in high-poverty, high-minority and low-performing schools. These teachers, though, generally have lower experience and education levels - and consequently, lower salaries - as compared to teachers in more advantaged schools. We explore these patterns in New York City,  Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio by estimating de facto expenditure equations relating resource measures to school and student characteristics. Consistent with previous research, we find schools that have higher percentages
of poor pupils receive more money and have more teachers per pupil, but the teachers tend to be less educated and less well paid, with a particularly consistent pattern in New York City schools. The paper concludes with policy options for changing intradistrict resource distributions in order to promote more efficient, more equitable or more effective use of resources. These options include allocating dollars rather than teacher positions to schools, providing teacher pay differentials in hard-to-staff schools and subjects, and adapting current district-based funding formulas to the school (and student) level.

Modeling the Effects of Transit System Transfers on Travel Behavior: A Commuter Rail and Subway Case Study in Downtown Boston

Modeling the Effects of Transit System Transfers on Travel Behavior: A Commuter Rail and Subway Case Study in Downtown Boston
Transportation Research Record, Vol. 2006, pp. 11-20.

Guo, Z. & Wilson, N.H.M.
01/01/2007

Transfers can have an important influence on customer satisfaction and on whether many customers find transit service an attractive option. An empirical investigation of transfers from commuter rail to subway in downtown Boston, Massachusetts, is conducted. The research identifies a higher transfer penalty between commuter rail and subway than between subway lines. Fare payment and network familiarity also are shown to affect transfer decisions. Despite a large variation of the transfer experience between the stations analyzed, riders seem to have a similar perception of transfers. For example, in most cases, the perceived transfer penalty has a narrow distribution, with a coefficient of variation below 0.5. Potential applications of the research findings to transit planning are presented.

Robert Moses and the Modern City: The Transformation of New York

Robert Moses and the Modern City: The Transformation of New York
W.W. Norton.

Ballon, H. & Jackson, K.T. eds.
01/01/2007

"We are rebuilding New York, not dispersing and abandoning it": Robert Moses saw himself on a rescue mission to save the city from obsolescence, decentralization, and decline. His vast building program aimed to modernize urban infrastructure, expand the public realm with extensive recreational facilities, remove blight, and make the city more livable for the middle class. This book offers a fresh look at the physical transformation of New York during Moses’s nearly forty-year reign over city building from 1934 to 1968. It is hard to imagine that anyone will ever have the same impact on New York as did Robert Moses. In his various roles in city and state government, he reshaped the fabric of the city, and his legacy continues to touch the lives of all New Yorkers. Revered for most of his life, he is now one of the most controversial figures in the city’s history. Robert Moses and the Modern City is the first major publication devoted to him since Robert Caro’s damning 1974 biography, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. In these pages eight short essays by leading scholars of urban history provide a revised perspective; stunning new photographs offer the first visual record of Moses’s far-reaching building program as it stands today; and a comprehensive catalog of his works is illustrated with a wealth of archival records: photographs of buildings, neighborhoods, and landscapes, of parks, pools, and playgrounds, of demolished neighborhoods and replacement housing and urban renewal projects, of bridges and highways; renderings of rejected designs and controversial projects that were defeated; and views of spectacular models that have not been seen since Moses made them for promotional purposes. Robert Moses and the Modern City captures research undertaken in the last three decades and will stimulate a new round of debate.

What Do Business Improvement Districts Do for Property Owners?

What Do Business Improvement Districts Do for Property Owners?
Proceedings of the Annual Conference on Taxation, p431-437, 7p

Schwartz, A.E., Ellen, I.G. & Meltzer, R.
01/01/2007

The article discusses the implication of business improvement districts (BIDS) to property owners in the U.S. The scheme first arrived in the country in mid-1970s when urban centers were losing both residents and businesses to suburbs. Such scheme is beneficial to companies because it delivers fair basic services such as security, maintenance, marketing and capital improvements.

Pennsylvania’s “Key” to Successful High Speed Rail

Pennsylvania’s “Key” to Successful High Speed Rail
New York Transportation Journal (NYTJ) 10, 1, Fall 2006, 4-5 .

de Cerreño, A.L.C.
09/01/2006

Many countries have or will soon deploy new high-speed rail (HSR) (separate right-of-way (ROW) using technologies that allow speeds over 200 mph) or Maglev (separate ROW using magnetic levitation technologies allowing speeds beyond 300 mph). In the United States, however, though Congress first authorized studies aimed at deploying HSR in 1965, and despite at least 17 different efforts (some with multiple attempts), over the past 40 years nearly all HSR projects have failed to progress. Further, the two which do exist - the Empire Corridor (between New York City and Albany, NY) and Northeast Corridor (NEC) - fall far short of speeds and performance levels elsewhere.
Last year, the Rudin Center completed a study, funded by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI), aimed at identifying key elements for successful US HSR outcomes. The resulting report, described in NYTJ (Spring 2005), summarized US HSR legislative
history and developed in-depth case studies for Florida, the Pacific Northwest, and California. This year, MTI funded the Center to develop three more cases - the Chicago Hub, the NEC, and the Keystone Corridor. The following discussion is derived from the Keystone case which, along with the others is undergoing peer review. As one of the few cases where HSR has been (or is about to be) implemented in the United States, the Keystone holds important lessons for future efforts.

Pages

Subscribe to Cities