Category Archives: Uncategorized

“Mean Streets 2014: Who We Lost, How They Lived”

Reflections from the excellent reporters at WNYC Radio on covering the 265 New Yorkers killed in traffic last year. Their work reminds us that traffic safety isn’t a concern for some New Yorkers, it is a concern for all New Yorkers.

Throughout 2014, WNYC tracked the 265 men, women and children killed in traffic crashes in New York City. Click here to see their stories. 

Big Data, Big Picture

Next City talks to two of our researchers, Anthony Townsend and Sarah Kaufman, about patterns in big data and challenges cities face in using it. And they ask, would you share your private data for the good of city planning planning? Well, would you?

“As the data accumulates, these traffic schemas acquire a third dimension: They show a city changing not just from day to night, but from year to year.

They show a city changing not just from day to night, but from year to year. Using cellphone data, for example, “you can really see the story of how a metropolitan area has evolved, over the last decade,” says Anthony Townsend, the author of Smart Cities.

Many of these ideas are hypothetical, for the moment, because so-called “granular” data is so hard to come by…Corporate entities, like Uber’s pending data offering to Boston, don’t always meet researchers’ standards. “It’s going to be a lot of superficial data, and it’s not clear how usable it’ll be at this point,” explains Sarah Kaufman.”

Mobility, Economic Opportunity and New York City Neighborhoods: A New Report

The NYU Rudin Center for Transportation announces the release of a new report: “Mobility, Economic Opportunity and New York City Neighborhoods,” focusing on the variations of job access by transit throughout New York City.

This research was supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and Google.

Job Access Map

From the Introduction:

“The ability of a public transportation network to physically link residents to jobs has become a central point of concern for urban policy in an era of uneven unemployment and rapidly changing job markets. The economy of New York City is unique in North America due to its high uptake of public transportation. Here, 56% of the population uses transit to reach work; an individual’s ability to access a job is largely a function of how well their neighborhood is served by the public transportation system. This report presents direct measurements of job access in New York City, and contrasts the levels of access that are experienced in the city’s many neighborhoods…

To improve economic opportunities citywide, the NYU Rudin Center recommends that policymakers increase the number of transportation modal options across the city, maximize use of existing transportation infrastructure, and foster the ability to work remotely. These solutions will benefit all New Yorkers’ access to job opportunities and economic improvement.”

Report maps by NYU Rudin Center, linepointpath and Datapolitan.

 

December Events: Transportation Futurism, Tech and Thought

Please join the NYU Rudin Center at three exciting events in December:

December 3, 9am: Re-Programming Mobility: What Do Smart Phones and Self-Driving Cars Mean for Future Cities?  Based on the report Re-Programming Mobility by Dr. Anthony Townsend, NYU Rudin Center Senior Researcher. For more information and to RSVP visit:  http://wagner.nyu.edu/events/rudin-12-03-2014

December 9, 6:30pm: Open in NYC: Open technology and tools for city government. Join Sarah Kaufman, NYU Rudin Center Digital Manager, and several other experts showcasing the latest location-based works in NYC, at Google NYC. RSVP here:  https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/open-in-nyc-tickets-12168378949

December 9th, 7:30pm: Cities +, Presented by the NYU Rudin Center and Satellite Magazine. Five lightning talks from transportation experts in video, data, ridership, collaborative planning and mapping at The Way Station in Prospect Heights. More information and RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/1489962491284066

We hope to see you on December 3rd or 9th at one of these fantastic events.

Artwork above by Jeff Ferzoco, linepointpath, for Re-Programming Mobility. 

 

Apps for Street Safety

The best app for keeping pedestrians safe in NYC? One that tells them, on their phones, whether the street they are about to cross has a “don’t walk” sign lit. This app, Tug, was one of the winners of AT&T’s Connected Intersections Challenge; the NYU Rudin Center hosted the awards ceremony this morning.  See the video to learn more about the challenge:

The winners of the Challenge were:

Solutions for Pedestrians & Cyclists – Grand Prize Winner & Popular Choice Winner
Tug
Utilizing low-energy Bluetooth technology, messages are sent from crosswalk signs to all smartphones at the intersection running the application in order to alert pedestrians to wait for oncoming traffic or to cross safely when they have the right of way.

Solutions for Drivers – Grand Prize Winner
Anti-Sleep Alarm
Using a Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch and a smartphone, the Anti-Sleep Alarm app detects the drowsiness of a driver via hand gestures or facial recognition and prompts the driver to pull over and rest or it sets off an alarm if the app determines the driver is falling asleep behind the wheel.

Solutions for Pedestrians & Cyclists– Second Prize Winner & Multi-Modal Winner
Rider Alert
Rider Alert hardware scans the street for Bluetooth-enabled smartphones while moving through traffic with a motorist. It will sound an alert on smartphones running the Rider Alert application when pedestrians and cyclists are nearby. The app also uses smartphone sensors to notice if the driver is looking at the smartphone screen and warns the driver to look up.

Multi-Modal Winner
Yield
Utilizing Bluetooth low-energy technology, Yield detects drivers or pedestrians within 10 to 30 meters in proximity of a smartphone using the app and delivers an alert notifying them to the other person’s presence.

Solutions for Drivers – Popular Choice Winner
Drowsy Detector
Using facial recognition technology, the app determines when a driver is getting drowsy and sends a warning followed by an alert that can be deactivated only when driving is ceased. The app also sends alerts to others in the area that a drowsy driver is nearby.

Solutions for Drivers – Second Prize Winner
Drive Safely
An app that uses NFC technology to determine if a smartphone user is sitting in the drivers seat of a vehicle and sends an auto-reply message to incoming calls and texts while the vehicle is moving The app runs in the background and will not activate on public transit or when the smartphone owner is a passenger in a vehicle.

Solutions for Pedestrians & Cyclists – Large Organization Recognition Award
Look up!
Utilizing GPS technology, smartphone accelerometer and wearable sensors, the app anticipates when a pedestrian is crossing an intersection and delivers an on-screen alert warning the pedestrian to look up.

Solutions for Drivers – Large Organization Recognition Award
SafeDrive App
An app that awards points to drivers for not texting while driving and provides the smartphone owner the opportunity to redeem those points for products and services at partner companies.

The judges were:  Marissa Shorenstein of AT&T; Kim Wiley-Schwartz of the New York City Department of Transportation; Mitchell Moss of NYU Rudin Center for Transportation; Matthew Brimer of General Assembly; Luke DuBois of New York University’s Polytechnic School of Engineering; and Justin Hendrix of NYC Media Lab.

Event photos below; we highly recommend checking out the apps.

 

Mitchell Moss on the MTA Capital Plan

NYU Rudin Center Director Mitchell Moss appeared on NY 1 News to discuss the MTA’s capital plan. “Nothing is more important in Albany than making sure the MTA maintains its terrific condition as the basic engine that drives the economy,” he said. Watch the video on NY1’s site.

Mitchell Moss on NY1
Mitchell Moss on NY1

Link: http://www.ny1.com/content/news/216833/mta-officials-hope-capital-program-clears-hurdles/

New Report: Re-Programming Mobility

Anthony Townsend’s new report on the future of transportation:

“With generous support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management has developed a set of four alternative future scenarios set in a selection of representative U.S. metropolitan areas in 2030. Based on our synthesis of current and anticipated technological innovations and expert speculation on their impacts from over 150 source documents, these scenarios highlight:

  • likely and possible shifts in the market for mobility, public financing schemes, and the overall structure and function of the U.S. transportation system at a metropolitan level,
  • the kinds of organizational changes that transportation regulators, funding agencies, and public planning institutions need to begin preparing for now, and
  • the kinds of skills and practices that might be required of transportation planners in the future.”

Read more on the project website.

Event Recap: Short Talks, Big Ideas

Last night’s Short Talks, Big Ideas featured the best in transportation innovations of late:

Arlene Ducao showed off her MindRider brain wave-tracking bike helmets, which help map biking stress points in NYC.

Richard Dunks discussed the missing link in data processing (what to do with all this data), focusing on his Water Street Corridorscope project (with Jeff Ferzoco).

Paul Salama showed the potential for green loading zones, such as priority delivery windows for electric trucks.

Jose Soegaard taught us the importance of a functional NYC waterfront, including ferries that have been used in emergency evacuations.

Malinda Foy showcased new work at MTA Bridges and Tunnels, and fielded several questions about potential for biking on bridges (answer: hopefully!).

Neysa Pranger dove into potential uses for beacon technology to improve transit by sharing applicable information to riders’ devices.

Ryan Russo shared Vision Zero’s important initiatives to improve pedestrian safety in New York City, estimating that two million speeding tickets will be issued in 2014.

John Biggs discussed travel in reality and fiction, including his new young adult novel, “Mytro,” featuring a magical worldwide subway.

The event was moderated by Sarah Kaufman, NYU Rudin Center for Transportation. Please contact her if you have a big idea to share at the next event.

 

See the photos below (by Lauren Holter and Sarah Kaufman, in a very dark room) and visit the tweetstream for further discussion.

Bikes and Gondolas: A News-Filled Week at the Rudin Center

The Rudin Center was abuzz with discussions of bike policy after hosting NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg for the NY Cycle Club Town Hall. Read the extensive discussion about expanding cycling in NYC on Streetsblog and check out some event photos.

We also encountered the bold new plan of connecting Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens with gondolas. We discussed the practicality and ambition of the plan, plus logistical details:
New York News

 

We hope to see you next Tuesday at Short Talks, Big Ideas!

Event Photos: NY Cycle Club and Polly Trottenberg

Last night’s New York Cycle Club Town Hall, hosted by the NYU Rudin Center and featuring Polly Trottenberg, NYC DOT Commissioner, brought a full crowd and exciting discussion. Event photos by Nolan Levenson.