Passenger rail along the Gulf Coast has been absent since 2005 when Hurricane Katrina wiped out much of the infrastructure. But Smart Growth America, through our Transportation for America (T4America) program, has been coordinating a monumental effort to restore service along the Gulf Coast and that work is paying off.
Amtrak station in Rochester, NY. Photo via New York Railroads.
Rochester, NY is building a transportation gateway to the city that will serve the region and become a landmark for generations—thanks in part to a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).
In August, USDOT dedicated $15 million in TIGER grant funding to replace the city’s current Amtrak station, which first opened its doors in 1978, with a new intermodal transit center. The new 12,000 square foot, $26.5 million facility will include high passenger platforms, an underground concourse and two new passenger sidings.
Coatesville, PA is home to a station on the Amtrak Keystone Line. Photo by the Chester County Planning Commission via Flickr.
The 104-mile long Keystone Rail Line that runs from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, PA, has played a significant role in shaping the towns around its 12 stations. Now, new investments in the line are creating opportunities for development along the corridor.
In 2006, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Amtrak completed a $145.5 million infrastructure improvement program to increase train frequency and service reliability along the Keystone Corridor. These improvements have the potential to attract new development – and new economic growth – to the areas around stations along the rail line.
Get Ready for $150 Oil
Barron’s, July 2, 2011
As oil producers’ spare capacity gradually declines to worrisome levels, the average monthly price could reach a record $150 per barrel by next spring, with spikes to $165 or $170. With this, $4.50-a-gallon gasoline will become the norm. That will put a huge dent in consumer wallets, while ramping up the desirability of fuel-efficient cars.
In Los Angeles, Cuts Will Make Long Bus Commute Longer
New York Times, July 3, 2011
“Changing lines means I will never know what time I get from one place to another,” said Guadalupe Lopez, who has used the same route for more than a decade to get to her housekeeping jobs. “It might get to the point where it is not worth it, it will just take me too long. But nobody where I live is going to pay me to clean houses.”
Safety in Diversity: Why Crime Is Down in America’s Cities
The Atlantic, July 2, 2011
But the key factor, as it turns out, lies in the growing racial, ethnic, and demographic diversity of our cities and metro areas. Our analysis found that the Hispanic share of the population is negatively associated with urban crime. Crime also fell as the percentage of the population that is non-white and the percentage that is gay increased. And of all the variables in our analysis, the one that is most consistently negatively associated with crime is a place’s percentage of foreign-born residents.
Bicycles fight for space on city streets
CNN, July 1, 2011
“As bicycling is being more seriously integrated into our transportation system, of course there is going to be more focus on making sure that bike riders are following the rules to make it safe for everyone,” said Caroline Samponaro. She’s the Director of Bicycle Advocacy at Transportation Alternatives, a New York based organization that advocates for bicycling, walking and other alternative transportation. The streetscape in New York is undergoing its greatest change in 50 years and the state’s Department of Transportation is trying out new types of infrastructure to support bicycling.