Short Talks, Big Ideas: Event Recap


Last night’s Short Talks, Big Ideas event presented to a sold-out crowd, showcased the best in transportation innovation for nearly every NYC mode. The impressive speaker lineup was:

-Noel Hidalgo, Code for America, showcased the work of bike data hackers at Bike Hack nights.
- Lois Goldman, North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, discussed pedestrian safety measures in Newark, including a crash stat map and a planned demonstration of what various car speeds can do to a 10 year-old crash test dummy.
- Emily Gallo, Taxi & Limousine Commission, showed off the new lime green Boro Taxis and taught us that 97% of yellow taxi pickups are in Manhattan or at the airports.
- Kevin Ortiz, MTA, gave a behind-the-scenes look at wireless connectivity in the subways, and assured us it will be completely installed by 2017.
- Eric Goldwyn, Columbia University, shared his research on NYC dollar vans, which carry 125,000 passengers a day, making them the 20th largest bus system in the U.S.
-Gary Roth, MTA NYC Transit, made the case for bus security cameras, and showed how they work to show false injury claims.
- Robin Lester Kenton, NYC DOT, showed the power of Instagram photography for infrastructure, with special before/after shots of DOT-enhanced roadways. Follow NYC DOT on Instagram here.
- Randy Gregory II showed off his 100 Ideas for the Subway, some of the recommendations from his popular blog.

The event was moderated by Sarah Kaufman, Research Associate at the NYU Rudin Center, who is always looking for new presenters. Contact her at sarahkaufman /at/ nyu /dot/ edu if you’d like to speak in Spring 2014.

See below for some photos and check out #BigIdeas13 for tweets around the event.


Honoring Women in Transportation


At last night’s gala of the Women’s Transportation Seminar, NYU Rudin Center Director Mitchell Moss introduced Helena Williams, President of MTA Long Island Rail Road, and WTS Woman of the Year. He discussed the importance of women in transportation, from the true architect of the Brooklyn Bridge (Emily Warren Roebling), to the fact that it took LIRR 179 years to find someone as great as Helena, the first woman to run it. When the MTA was founded 48 years ago, Professor Moss said, the goal was to make the Long Island Rail Road the best railroad in the country, “and Helena is the one to make that come true.”

Congratulations to Helena Williams!

Mitchell Moss discusses the importance of women in transportation and honors Helena Williams

Mitchell Moss discusses the importance of women in transportation and honors Helena Williams

Helena Williams, MTA LIRR President, accepts the WTS award for Woman of the Year

Helena Williams, MTA LIRR President, accepts the WTS award for Woman of the Year

 

 

 

 

Upcoming events at the NYU Rudin Center


Please join the NYU Rudin Center on the evening of November 4th for our next edition of Short Talks, Big Ideas, showcasing innovative work and ideas at the frontier of transportation innovation. Free registration is now open: http://wagner.nyu.edu/events/rudin-11-04-2013

We’ll cover streets, bikes, transit, dollar vans, data, wi-fi, photography, and more. #BigIdeas13
Also, we’re co-hosting the November 19th event “Closing the Enforcement Gap to Save Lives on NYC Streets” with Transportation Alternatives. Register here:

https://secure3.convio.net/ta/site/SSurvey;jsessionid=99462DC93AA291251B5950A7105F2B2D.app365b?ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS&SURVEY_ID=6420&pw_id=2441&autologin=true

 

Hope to see you in November!

‘Smart Cities’ Book Talk


The new book ‘Smart Cities,’ by NYU Rudin Center’s Senior Research Fellow Anthony Townsend, takes an urbanist’s approach to the growth of big data. He spoke at the Rudin Center last night about this labor of love, and his desire “to bring a new perspective to the Jetsons vision of the smart city.” Anthony recalled his budding passion for this topic when creating rogue wi-fi networks with NYC Wireless a decade ago, leading him to study cities and technology, which is he thrilled to have led him to this point.

Check out the book’s website here, and read an excerpt on Boing Boing.

Smart Cities Cover

WalkNYC comes to Crown Heights


wayfinding1

WalkNYC Wayfinding Map at Frank;lin Ave and Park Place

NYCDOT has begun installing pedestrian wayfinding maps throughout the city. These maps feature clear graphics about multimodal information, including nearby destinations. Yesterday, the WalkNYC program came to Crown Heights in partnership with the Heart of Brooklyn and the Brooklyn’s Children Museum. WalkNYC maps can also be seen in Chinatown, Long Island City, Herald Square, the Garment District, and at CitiBike stations.

wayfinding2

Wagner Transportation Association at Park(ing) Day 2013


Today is International Park(ing) Day! Around the world, people are temporarily reclaiming public space from cars. The NYU Wagner Transportation Association (WTA) has a site on 6th Ave and West 3rd Street from 9am – 3pm today.

ParkingDay1 ParkingDay2

Click here to see information about where the sites are around the world.

Tracking Your Car Travel Patterns?


Ever wonder which streets have the slowest car traffic? What your average driving speed is? Where you brake the most? New data may help us find that out. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that The New York City Department of Transportation recently received a grant from the Federal Highway Administration to launch a program that monitors 500 cars with transponders around the city. Data will be available through apps to both car users and the city DOT. Participants in the program will receive a discount on their car insurance, and the city will have more data about car travel. Our own Sarah Kaufman was quoted talking about the potential pros and cons of the program.

Super-commuting on the rise and in the news


If you were offered a dream job in a city far from home would you want to uproot and resettle? For a growing number of people, living and working in two different time zones is a daily reality, no resettling required. Super-commuters, people who work more than 180 miles from their home, usually commute by plane or train and expand urban work-forces across time zones.

In 2012, the Rudin Center released The Emergence of the Super-Commuter, a report on super-commuter demographics and trends. The findings highlight that super-commuters are more likely to be younger (29 years old and under) and middle-class than the average worker.

Citing our report, Forbes profiled three super-commuters this week. These commuters travel from their homes daily, weekly, and bi-weekly via plane and train over 180 miles each way. These super-commuters sacrifice time and sometimes comfort to maintain lives in cities like Chicago, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia while contributing to the workforce in New York City and Boston.

Future planning decisions, as our 2012 report notes, should consider the implications of growing numbers of super commuters, who link cities more than 200 miles apart. What will increasing flexibility for travelers and in the workplace mean for your city?

Will pay phones become charging electric vehicle stations?


Photo via Flickr.com user Susan Sermoneta

Over the last decade, cell phones have become ubiquitous in cities across the world, creating less and less of a demand for the public pay phone. According to the Department of Technology and Telecommunications, there are still a little over 10,000 public pay phones on New York City sidewalks. The operational contracts for these kiosks expires in October 2014 and the city has the opportunity to transform the remaining kiosks to meet 21st century needs.

Earlier this year, the city sponsored a design contest to re-imagine these 20th century relics for the mobile 21st century. Several contest winners included electric vehicle charging stations as part of their design.

The electric vehicle is on the rise in the United States, electric vehicle sales are the fastest growing sector of the automotive industry and the number of E.V. models on the market has quadrupled in the last year. One challenge facing E.V. owners is the number and location of charging stations, especially in urban areas.

Converting kiosks into charging stations with two to three parking spaces each would be one potentially creative way to reuse the kiosks, which already have electric power. Finding charging stations can be a challenge for E.V. owners: Jay Friedland, legislative director for Plug in America, said that in one California town, E.V. owners use municipal owned Christmas tree light wiring to recharge.

Conflicting jurisdiction and interests of city agencies could complicate the process, which would involve formal applications and approval from the city. Earlier this year, New York Governor Cuomo announced plans to bring 3,000 charging stations to the state over the next five years and put 40,000 E.V.s on the road in that same period. Converting even a percentage of New York City’s pay phones to charging stations would meet statewide goals and increase access to charging for eager owners.