Let’s get real about reducing congestion. New York City is a vital urban, financial, tourism and cultural hub. The city thrives with an energy and buzz of economic activity. Population is the secret to the city’s success and its greatest sore spot.
Nearly 4 million workers are in the city on a typical weekday and in Midtown the population doubles from 1.6 million to 3.1 million with the morning rush hour. More than 600,000 “super commuters” travel 90 minutes or more each way to the city.
Solving congestion is serious business. Supply and demand drive congestion. There is a finite supply of real estate, roadways and parking. Despite the growth of public transportation, 85% of all U.S. workers commute to work by car. To get around New York City, locals and tourists alike often use rideshare apps and travel in private vehicles or taxis. So, what’s the city to do?
The parking industry, which I represent and includes the garages that New York City commuters rely on every day, believes cities should employ policies that clear the curb and move cars off the street without punishing consumers.
New York should not penalize commuters, workers and visitors with congestion pricing that is a deterrent to getting into the city. Congestion pricing has always been a concern for businesses, such as parking garages, retail establishments and their many employees because they rely on vehicles for their livelihoods. Government should steer clear of policies that put a gate on the city and padlock access with high prices, which have unintended consequences. Congestion pricing could lead to more cars parking inside the city overnight and on streets to avoid congestion fees for moving in and out of the zone.
“Congestion quest eats up oxygen” quotes transportation and parking expert Donald Shoup saying let’s focus on curbside pricing reform. Parking garage operators agree. Price parking properly, enforce parking regulations and make streets safer for pedestrians.
Let’s put the focus on how the curb is used and how parking is priced there. This is an effective tool for managing congestion from unoccupied vehicles that are waiting, parking or double-parking on streets. Use off-street parking garages to clear active roadways.
A new study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, An Ecosystem Approach to Reducing Congestion, reports, “When there isn’t the right type or amount [of parking], or its prices are inappropriately set on the street, travelers have more incentive to circle, cars clog streets looking for elusive spaces and delivery trucks, taxis and [app-based] vehicles cause chaos at the curb.” The study concludes, “Parking can be an effective tool to declutter roads and reduce curb congestion.”
Next, let’s gear up to enforce current regulations. Increased enforcement of double-parking and no parking zones will keep the roadway clear for traffic flow at rush hour. Don’t let bad behavior plague city commuters who are stuck in a dead lane. Use tools you have right now as a city to fight for clear roadways.
Get creative with practical solutions. Let’s get rid of gridlock with some near- to mid-term strategies that can ease congestion. Explore opportunities for pedestrian bridges to improve safety and get pedestrians above the roadway at the most congested intersections.
The future of urban transportation is an ecosystem that brings many modes of transit together to make mobility easy. By reinventing the curb, we can make the best use of the most valuable real estate in every city—the curb—with access to transportation for all.
9-year-old genius to graduate university
(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.
Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.
Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.
He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.
His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.
“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.
Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.
While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.
But Lydia has her own theory.
“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.
The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.
“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.
“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”
Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.
“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”
Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”
His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.
“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.
“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”
While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.
“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”
Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.
However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.
In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.
Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.
New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne
Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem
Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.
The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.
Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.
🚨WANTED for ASSAULT: on 11/6 at approx 3:43 PM in front of 128 West 112th St in Manhattan, a 32 yr old male was walking with his 8 yr old son when a white BMW jumped the curb & hit the father & son. The driver then got out and slashed the father. Call @NYPDTips with any info. pic.twitter.com/cwd79rcM4c
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) November 15, 2019
Father and son were both knocked through a gate.
The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.
One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.
McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.
McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.
Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.
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