The secret to vibrant streets (left); Funds approved for Roselle Park Station (top right); How cities can correct racism (middle right); Atlantic Avenue rezoning plan (bottom right)
The Secret to Vibrant Streets? Focus on What People Can See
Tristan Cleveland, Happy Cities, September 6 2023
Transit-oriented development advocates for placing jobs, businesses, and homes within a five-minute walk (400 meters) of transit facilities. However, to create vibrant streets, planners may want to consider the limitations of the human eye, which sees up to about 100 meters and optimally to about 25 meters. So, to achieve successful transit-friendly places, consider what can be seen and work to create appealing street life within every 100 meters.
Roselle Park Station to Receive an Additional $9 Million in Improvements
Jack Williams, TAPintoRoselle Park, September 13 2023
NJ TRANSIT announced that $9 million in federal funding will be used to modernize the Roselle Park train station, funding that will be used in conjunction with $27 million the Borough of Roselle Park received to improve the station. The funds will provide new platforms, canopies, ramps, and elevators to improve station accessibility.
N.J.’s Congestion Pricing Lawsuit: Here’s Why It Should Fail
Dave Colon, Streetblogs NYC, September 6 2023
New Jersey’s lawsuit against the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) alleges that the agency violated environmental acts and policies to reduce congestion when it approved New York State’s law that established congestion pricing in Manhattan’s central business district. New Jersey claims that the FHWA should be required to conduct a full environmental impact statement (EIS), and the Environmental Assessment (EA) is flawed. However, experts argue that the EA conducted by the FHWA was both exhaustive and comprehensive and that the lawsuit, and the call for an EIS, is politically motivated.
Pallone Joins Governor Murphy to Announce Major Federal Investment in State Transportation Projects
Samantha Minchello, TAP into Long Branch September 6 2023
Congressman Frank Pallone and Governor Murphy have announced that New Jersey has been granted flexibility to use $425 million in federal funding from the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration for transit infrastructure improvements. This funding will facilitate several projects including construction of a pedestrian tunnel at the Long Branch Train Station, upgrade of a commuter parking lot to accommodate buses and charging stations, and a heated pedestrian overhang for bus service. The tunnel will connect the east and west sides of the city, allowing pedestrians to safely cross the rail corridor.
CALIFORNIA—What Can Cities Do to Correct Racism?
The Daily Record, September 7 2023
Local planning and zoning can play a pivotal role in advancing environmental justice and addressing disparities in life expectancy due to race, poverty, and local environmental conditions. Some California cities actively combat inequity through measures such as inclusionary zoning and Health in All Policies (HIAP) approaches and use explicit anti-racist language in their zoning policies.
Tree Equity and Trees’ Impact on Surface Temperatures, Human Health: A Research Roundup
Naseem Miller, The Journalist’s Resource, September 6 2023
One of the long-term effects of redlining is that those living in lower-income neighborhoods have less access to green spaces and live in places with fewer trees than residents of higher-income neighborhoods. Consequently, these neighborhoods experience urban heat island effects more frequently than other locations. One study found that low-income blocks have 15.2 percent less tree coverage and experience temperatures 1.5 degrees higher than high-income blocks. Investing $15.8 billion in trees in high-density areas has the potential to address the urban tree cover disparity.
NEW YORK—NYC’s Atlantic Avenue Rezoning Plan Calls for 4,000 New Homes and More Open Space
Devin Gannon, 6sqft New York City, September 11 2023
Amidst the severe housing shortage, the New York Department of City Planning has released the Atlantic Avenue Mixed-Use Plan, which seeks to rezone 13 blocks of an industrially zoned area to allow for 4,000 new higher-density apartments, including 1,550 income-restricted homes. Mayor Eric Adams also announced plans for the city to invest $23.9 million to improve St. Andrew’s Playground on Atlantic and Kingston Avenues.
How to Reduce Excess Vehicle Travel
Todd Litman, Planetizen, September 8 2023
Litman challenges the notion that remote work serves as the most effective means of reducing vehicle travel and advocates instead for a more comprehensive approach to promote sustainable transportation. He argues that walking, bicycling, and public transit offer greater potential for reducing vehicle travel. Litman observes that these travel modes are often underfunded and supports improving non-auto travel modes, implementing transportation demand management policies, adopting Smart Growth development policies, and providing incentives such as parking payout.
CANADA—100 Apartments, 60 Parking Spaces: A Trend to Curb Car Use Comes to London
Andrew Lupton, CBC News, September 8 2023
A proposed six-story residential building in London, Ontario, aligns with city efforts to meet a provincial target to create 47,000 new homes. The building, situated near a transit-served arterial road, would comprise 100 residential units and provide 60 parking spaces (including 27 underground). The parking represents a reduction from historic requirements and meets zoning rules adopted in 2022, which reflect efforts by the City to actively address climate change concerns and reduce vehicle use.