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Planning to drive in the New York City area this holiday season? The Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, in a new report, has identified the 10 worst bottlenecks to steer clear of when you get behind the wheel during peak travel hours.
"The holiday season is one of the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year, and the weekend before Christmas is the busiest of the holiday season, bar none," said Professor Mitchell Moss, director of the Rudin Center, housed at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.
"Travelers should consider alternative routes-or better yet, use alternative routes if possible," he said. "Our list indicates the 10 roads in the New York City area definitely to avoid so that your trip doesn't end up taking two or even three times longer than expected."
Moss and his colleague Carson Qing at the Rudin Center compiled the 10 worst bottlenecks using data developed by the Texas Transportation Institute. The data identify the most congestion-prone corridors in the country and measure how much additional time should be allocated to travel along these corridors when they are congested.
Among the 10 worst New York City-area traffic "hot spots" during the holiday season, for example, are the evening rush hour (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) on the Whitestone Expressway northbound in Queens, and the morning rush hour (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.) on the Hutchinson Parkway northbound in Westchester County.
"The two-lane northbound Hutchinson Parkway requires motorists to plan on a trip three times longer than normal to guarantee on-time arrival at the end of the route," Moss, an urban policy professor at NYU Wagner, said. "While the Whitestone from Flushing to the Bronx is twice as wide as the ‘Hutch,' it is just as prone to intense congestion during peak traffic hours, and motorists should plan for a trip that is three times as long as normal."
For the report, the Rudin Center estimated how much time should be allocated for travel along each of these 10 arteries in order to guarantee on-time arrival in expectation of holiday traffic congestion. According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, nine of 10 Americans who travel during the holiday season do so by car, while long-distance travel over this period increases by 23%. During the weekend before Christmas, there are 93% more long-distance trips than the daily average. AAA Travel Services has projected that the coming 11-day holiday period will bring the highest traffic volume the country has seen in 10 years.
Among the routes the Rudin Center finds to be especially prone to traffic jams are three leading northbound out of New York City between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. These are the Henry Hudson Parkway, FDR Drive, and the Major Deegan Expressway.
The New York City-area traffic bottleneck where you can expect be stuck for the longest duration during the evening peak traffic hours (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) is southbound I-95, which includes the notoriously slow Cross-Bronx Expressway and leads into the New Jersey-bound lanes of the George Washington Bridge. Evening commutes along I-95 can be expected to increase from 15 minutes (best-case scenario) to a patience-taxing 40 minutes during the holiday period.
Heading into Manhattan through the Holland Tunnel will be no treat, either. The Pulaski Skyway northbound, which feeds into the tunnel, is one of the least reliable stretches of highway in New Jersey, slowing a five-minute morning commute to at least 15 minutes, according to the report.
Rising costs and budget reductions are forcing New York City leaders to grapple with the long-term financial impact of City retirees' pension and health care benefits. At present, about 20 percent, or $13 billion, of the City's annual budget pays those expenses. This portion arises from collective bargaining agreements, the ups and downs of the stock market, the dynamics and costs of health care, demographics, and other factors.
Weaving questions of public finance and public policy, a December 12 roundtable discussion at NYU Wagner on the City's long-term liabilities drew more than 100 guests, as leading experts explained the hard numbers and difficult choices associated with the public cost of health care for city and state employees, both active and retired, in the years ahead.
The discussion was the second of three roundtables on long-term liabilities cosponsored by The Fund for Public Advocacy; the Office of Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate for the City of New York; as well as by NYU Wagner and the Wagner Economics and Finance Association.
"It's the 20 percent of the budget that we tend to talk about the least," noted De Blasio, who explained that the question of how long-term liabilities are handled is critical to sustaining the City's strengths as a major local employer and an indispensable provider of public services.
The event included a keynote address on Federal health care liabilities by Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, and a panel discussion with Carol Kellermann, president of the Citizens Budget Commission; Bruce McIver, president, the Voluntary League of Hospitals and Homes New York; Carol O'Cleireacain, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and New York Times columnist Michael Powell (moderator).
Reshma Saujani, executive director, Fund for Public Advocacy, and deputy advocate for special initiatives at the Office of the Public Advocate, delivered opening remarks, as did Neil Kleiman, special advisor to the NYU Wagner dean.
The series is being presented with the help of generous support from The New York Community Trust and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.
Ellen Schall, Dean and Martin Cherkasky Professor of Health Policy & Management at NYU Wagner, moderated a comprehensive, in-depth panel discussion on healthcare policy and management on December 12 at the second annual "Innovations in Healthcare Symposium" at New York University.
Attended by 150 guests, the symposium was co-sponsored by NYU Wagner, the College of Nursing, and NYU Langone, and was held at the NYU Langone Medical Center's Alexandria Center, located along the East River. The gathering brought together leading minds from inside and outside the healthcare industry to offer solutions for healthcare reform and innovation.
Dean Schall's panel, "Innovation in Health Care Delivery: Making Patient-Centeredness Real," included these leading healthcare experts: Annette Diefenthaler, PhD, Design Researcher and Project Lead, IDEO; Kimberly S. Glassman, PhD, RN, Sr. Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, NYU Langone Medical Center; Albert G. Mulley, Jr., MD, MPP, Director, Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science Professor of Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School; and Michael Meltsner, JD, Matthews Distinguished University Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law.
Commented Robert I. Grossman, MD, dean & CEO at NYU Langone Medical Center, "Discovering innovative ways to deliver health care cannot be accomplished if we work only in silos, and succeeding in this challenge never been more important than it is today. Providers, payers, academia and industry must collaborate to create novel methods to improve the quality, safety and effectiveness of care at a reasonable cost. This symposium was created to facilitate dialogue and drive action towards improving the healthcare delivery system."
The Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Policy at NYU offers a Health Policy and Management Program that has been recognized as one of the best in the country, crossing traditional boundaries, linking management, finance and policy and providing students with the cutting-edge concepts and skills needed to shape the future of health policy and management. Students in the Wagner program receive a set of tools and experiences that allow them to understand both the delivery of health care services and the broader social, cultural and economic factors that influence health outcomes. Wagner's students experience firsthand the importance of health care delivery and health promotion in one of the most interesting, diverse, and complex cities in the world, and its graduates work in every sector of the health care system.
A new poll from the Women of Color Policy Network (WOCPN) at NYU Wagner finds that Latino and African-American voters in 11 battleground states key to the outcome of the 2012 presidential election support President Barack Obama's re-election overwhelmingly -- and are motivated strongly to turn out.
The WOCPN's telephone survey of 800 registered minority voters in Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, and Missouri shows that getting the economy back on track and education are the top issues of the campaign for a large majority of these voters, putting them on a course to turn out at the polls in the presidential race. Those surveyed (the poll was conducted during the first two weeks of November) expressed some disillusionment with progress on a number of major public fronts, but principally blame Republicans in Congress.
The Women of Color Policy Network is a nationally known research center at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate Center of Public Service. The executive director is C. Nicole Mason.
The poll was conducted ahead of the "Engage 2012" conference on minority voting and the 2012 election that was convened by WOCPN on Thursday and Friday, December 8-9 at NYU Kimmel Center. The survey attracted national press coverage, including on MSNBC and Politico.
The highly respected Public Administration Review (PAR) has published a special issue on the Federalist Papers guest-edited by Paul Light, Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at NYU Wagner, and founding principal investigator of the Global Center for Public Service.
For this extraordinary edition dated December 1, 2011, Professor Light brought together 20 leading public administration scholars and asked them to write boldly about what he called a "perfectly audacious" question: What might Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, who between October 1787 and August 1788 penned the Federalist Papers promoting ratification of the U.S. Constitution, add now to the pamphlets, in view of changes in the administration of our government over the past two and a quarter centuries? Are these foundational essays still relevant? How might key pamphlets be updated to reflect new realities? Each contributor considers a specific Federalist Paper that Light considers to be among those of greatest import to effective governance in our time.
In the role of guest editor, Light assembled some of the most senior scholars in the field, as well as members of the next generation of leading thinkers in public administration. The special issue will stimulate debate on some of the seemingly intractable issues with which Americans are intensely grappling today.
NYU Wagner has not just one, but two finalists in the national Public Service Scholarship essay-writing competition sponsored by the GovLoop social network for government and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. He's Brian Footer, who is working toward an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy with a specialization in Financial Management.
Way to go, Brian!
Brian is one of 15 finalists. His essay was chosen from more than 170 submissions by judges from GovLoop and NASPAA. In the next and last phase of the competition, the three winning pieces on how to prioritize federal sending in fiscally constrained times will be picked by the GovLoop network of more than 50,000 members in an online vote, and will be eligible for a scholarship award of as much as $2,500.
"If the U.S. government had only $100 million left in the budget," Brian's thoughtful and well crafted submission begins, "I would begin devising a grant program to direct money to local governments in the pursuit of assisting the most fragile and disenfranchised populations. I believe government's inherent social value is establishing services essential to provide basic human needs. This, however, is not a mandate for government to deliver services. Rather, government should be a coordinator of parties and resources, and no one understands the unique demands of each geographic community better than local government."
The piece goes on to explain how the locally guided grant process would work.
Brian's own career as a passionate public servant is more than 10 years in the making.
He moved to New York City to work on Christine C. Quinn's successful campaign for re-election as City Council Speaker, and later served as the Speaker's Scheduler. Prior to arriving in the city, he lived in Washington, D.C., and worked on Capitol Hill, for the Democratic Governors Association as a fund raiser, and for the US Tax Court as a Clerk.
He is now a Legislative Policy Analyst to the New York City Council's Committee on Aging and Committee on Veterans Affairs.
Brian volunteers his time at the Abzyme Research Foundation, helping to advocate for development of abzyme technology in hopes of producing the world's first effective HIV vaccine and improved treatments. After two years of effort and dedication toward developing a small-donor program, Brian is a member of the Board of Directors.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Prelaw from Ohio University.
The White House brought together 200 thought leaders and influencers in public service, business, and the nonprofit sector, including NYU Wagner’s dean Ellen Schall, to participate in a daylong program Nov. 15 in Washington, D.C., on the role of nonprofits and how they can develop highly effective leaders.
The invitation-only event at the national office of the American Red Cross was hosted jointly by the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, and the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
In addition to Dean Schall, who is also the Martin Cherkasky Professor of Health Policy & Management at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Pubic Service, Wagner's participants in the forum included Bethany Godsoe, executive director of the Research Center for Leadership in Action (RCLA), and Vanessa Hutchinson, assistant director of admissions.
Additional attendees included Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Obama; Jonathan Greenblatt, director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation; Joshua DuBois, executive director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships; and Kenneth I. Chenault, chief executive of American Express.
The event was co-convened in partnership with American Express, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Aspen Institute Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation, Center for Creative Leadership, Commongood Careers, Corporation for National and Community Service, Independent Sector, Public Allies, Rudin Family Foundations, and the American Red Cross -- with support from additional planning committee members including AchieveMission, Atlas Corps, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Network for Good, New Sector Alliance, Points of Light Institute, Presidio Trust, ProInspire, Reimagining Service, Service Nation, and others.
NYU Wagner's John Billings, associate professor of health policy, has been chosen as the 2011 recipient the Lewis and Jack Rudin New York Prize for Medicine and Health. The award was presented to him on Oct. 10, 2011 at New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM).
"Throughout his career, John has always brought into focus the inequalities and disparities in health care," said Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford, MD, president of NYAM. "In New York City, he's the ‘go-to' researcher who is able to deal with public policy issues in a practical way. He is a brilliant teacher and is always a challenging and rewarding."
Established in 2003, the prize provides a forum for a distinguished member of the research community to receive recognition from colleagues and the public at large. The award was created to promote the sharing of innovative findings from a variety of research areas with both fellow researchers and clinicians in the metropolitan New York region, with particular focus on the excellence and dedication of the men and women striving to find solutions to pressing health concerns.
Previous recipients include Dr. David Ho of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and The Rockefeller University, Dr. Harold Freeman of the National Cancer Institute, Dr. John H. Laragh of the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Susan Band Horwitz of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Dr. Barbara Barlow of Harlem Hospital Center.
At the award event, Billings delivered a lecture, "Population Health: Improving the Health of Vulnerable Populations."
Professor Billings is the director of NYU Wagner's Health Policy and Management Program. He is principal investigator on numerous projects to assess the performance of the safety net for vulnerable populations and to understand the nature and extent of barriers to optimal health for vulnerable populations. Much of his work has involved analysis of patterns of hospital admission and emergency room visits as a mechanism to evaluate access barriers to outpatient care and to assess the performance of the ambulatory care delivery system. He has also examined the characteristics of high cost Medicaid patients in order to help in designing interventions to improve care and outcomes for these patients.
Parallel work in the United Kingdom has involved creating an algorithm for the National Health Service to identify patients at risk of future hospital admissions and designing interventions to improve care for these high risk patients. As a founding member of the Foundation for Informed Decision Making, Professor Billings is helping to provide patients with a clearer mechanism for understanding and making informed decisions about a variety of available treatments. Professor Billings received his J.D. from the University of California (Berkeley).