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May 2014

Area agencies urge commuters to “Dump the Pump” and try transit

North Texas commuters can save money on gasoline prices just by riding public transit, representatives from three area transit agencies said Wednesday.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), The T in Fort Worth, and the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) are working to spread that message in June during the ninth annual national Dump the Pump campaign.

The three agencies encourage commuters to try public transit the week of June 16-20 and on National Dump the Pump Day, Thursday, June 19. The slogan of this year’s campaign is “Dump the Pump.  Save Money.  Ride Transit.” Read more

Indiana South Shore could boost economy, communities

Keith Benman | NWI Times

MERRILLVILLE | Railroad and development officials Wednesday rolled out a blueprint for a South Shore commuter rail extension to Dyer and big improvements on the existing line.

The South Shore 20-year Strategic Business Plan calls for $1.16 billion total in new projects, such as station upgrades, reroutes, new double tracks and an 8-mile extension to Dyer.

If brought to fruition, it would be the largest set of projects implemented on the line in at least 90 years.

“We believe you just shouldn’t show bits and pieces of the pie and ask people to step up with their support,” said Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority CEO Bill Hanna. “You should present the whole picture.” Read more

Homeless youth and public space: Is there a design for that?

Knute Berger | Crosscut.com

The coming boom spurred by a new Sound Transit light rail station and a possible rezone of the University District for transit-oriented development poses some interesting challenges. Here’s one: With density and possible gentrification in the offing, can inclusive public spaces such as parks and plazas be part of the plans? Or will efforts to include public space be derailed by the mad desire for density and worries about abetting the District’s homeless youth population?

One much-discussed concept to add open space is the U District Square proposal. A group of architects and university residents wants to close off Brooklyn Ave. at the new light rail station and turn it into a public plaza. Their concept drawings show a two-block stretch alongside University Tower (and between 45th NE and 43rd NE) that would be closed to most traffic and host a variety of community-building activities, including the neighborhood’s farmer’s market. The space would feature trees, benches and an area for outdoor concerts or films. Some of the plaza would be taken up by the large entrances to the underground station, but the plan’s proponents say these surface eyesores could be incorporated into their concept. Read more

All Aboard Florida to reveal Miami development plan

By Kim Miller | The Palm Beach Post

All Aboard Florida is scheduled to reveal its downtown Miami development plan today, which is expected to bring in $59.5 million in transit oriented development economic impacts beginning in 2019 to Miami-Dade County.

A spokesperson for the express passenger service that will travel from Miami to Orlando said this morning a similar plan will be revealed for downtown West Palm Beach in the near future. Read more

Tappan Zee Bridge bus plan won’t work, grad students say

Theresa Juva-Brown | lohud.com

The state’s plan for a robust bus system around the Tappan Zee Bridge won’t reduce congestion in the next five years and fails to address the difficulty of getting people out of their cars, a group of Columbia University urban planning graduate students says ina new report.

“There is no one solution that will solve congestion on the corridor. You have to look at a combination of approaches,” said student David Perlmutter. “You have to look at a transit in a holistic way. You can’t plop a line down and expect the region to be transformed.” Read more

Transit experts unveil recommendations for Pittsburgh

Molly Born | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A panel of experts told transit officials and the public Friday that the future of transportation in Pittsburgh must focus on customer service, advancements in technology and, if Port Authority can swing it, really cool bus shelters.

The group commissioned by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Urban Land Institute presented these and several other recommendations during a presentation at the Omni William Penn Hotel, Downtown. The findings were based on nearly 80 interviews with public officials, neighborhood leaders and others. It also included tours of the bus and rail systems. Read more

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