Overhead Wire

National Links: Subway Costs, Hinterland Connections, and Upzoning

Every day at The Overhead Wire we collect news about cities and send the links to our email list.  At the end of the week we take some of the most popular stories and post them to Greater Greater Washington, a group blog similar to streets.mn that focuses on urban issues in the DC region.  They are national links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.

Rejected tunnel deal: The Trump Administration has dealt a blow to a future Amtrak and transit tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey, denying funding from the federal government for the project. In a letter from the administration to New York state officials, the fact that most of the riders would be local was a factor in their decision. (Governing)

Detached from the Hinterland: Global cities are getting richer, and as they do a disconnect forms between the city and the surrounding environs. Hinterlands are often connected to the central city by way of commerce. However, as technology makes it easy to detach, global cities are finding themselves becoming an island. (Seattle Times)

Most expensive subway ever: Looking into the Long Island Railroad East Side Access project costs, the New York Times found a “a dizzying maze of jobs, many of which do not exist on projects elsewhere,” leading to extremely high construction costs. An internal report found that New York employs four times the number of people in Europe and Asia — which is upsetting, because there could be more projects completed for the same price. (New York Times)

Upzoning California: New legislation proposed by State Senator Scott Wiener hopes to increase housing production in California by upzoning properties proximate to frequent transit. The legislation would eliminate parking minimums and override existing zoning, but opponents are worried that single family homes would be wiped out. (Los Angeles Times)

Quote of the Week

“Over time, facades became separated from load-bearing structures. They started acting like independent skins, subject to material, formal and technological experimentation. Today, architecture often boasts dynamic lighting that can transform physical appearance. The phenomenon is known as media architecture.”

Neils Wouters in a piece at CNN discussing how we should think about regulating buildings to account for digital media.

Jeff Wood

About Jeff Wood

Jeff Wood is an urban planner focused on transportation and land use issues living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jeff blogs at The Overhead Wire and tweets @theoverheadwire. He also shares news links daily from around the country on issues related to cities at The Direct Transfer