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.

1 thought on “National Links: Subway Costs, Hinterland Connections, and Upzoning

  1. Paul Nelson

    In reference Rejected Tunnel Deal: This does not make any sense. The quote from the article: FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams. “We consider it unhelpful to reference a non-existent ‘agreement’ rather than directly address the responsibility for funding a local project where nine out of 10 passengers are local transit riders.” That statement sounds to me like extreme prejudice and disparaging of public transit modes and rail. We have an I-94 expense way here where nine out of ten users are very likely local car riders. The tunnel project is an important passage/public way for transport. For this application anyone in the US can use the tunnel. Just because everyone in the US does not reside close to the tunnel, does not mean it is just “local” in purpose. From the article it is clear that a lot of people are using this tunnel.

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