Monon Boulevard Corridor Category 9

National Links: Expensive Projects and Parking Spaces

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 that focuses on urban issues in the DC region. They are national links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.

Why NYC Can’t Have Nice Things: It costs three times more to build a subway station in NYC than in London or Paris. In a few years, London will complete Crossrail, a 14-mile underground commuter rail line with seven stations across the city’s urban core. Meanwhile, New York’s East Side Access project will construct four miles for LIRR for $7.3B, while London’s entire 14-mile megaproject will cost $10B. One of the biggest problems with the high cost of infrastructure in New York City is the multiple levels of government and difficult agency cooperation. Restructuring transit planning and the capital-construction process in the region may make infrastructure improvements more feasible. (Josh Barrow | Intelligencer)

France May Lose Thousands of Parking Spaces: A transport bill in France is making its way through the parliamentary process, aiming to alleviate the nation’s traveling woes, especially outside large cities. The bill contains 50 articles, including better coordination between transport providers and the indroduction of carpooling incentives. A proposed amendment to the bill would make it illegal to park within five meters of a pedestrian crossing to promote visibility. In Paris alone, this would get rid of 7,000 parking spaces. The amendment is still yet to be debated and the bill also has not been passed. If it succeeds, the amendment would give local authorities until December 31, 2026 to make the necessary changes. (The Local, France)

A New Approach to Regional Economic Development: Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program worked alongside Portland Metro to develop the Economic Value Atlas (EVA), whose objective is to better align economic development, regional planning, and infrastructure investment. The EVA offers multidisciplinary tools to get metropolitan stakeholders to cooperate, address shared values, and support regional economic goals instead of just giving money to companies to move somehwere.  (Adie Tomer | Brookings)

Houston’s Highway Transformation: The North Houston Highway Improvement Project (NHHIP) is Houston’s biggest infrastructure project in decades. Estimated to cost $7B to $10B, the project will widen I-45 to accommodate HOV lanes, build a seven-block highway park cap, tear down an elevated freeway on the West side, and entrench I-69 with several other park caps. The hope of the project is to knit Downtown back with its surrounding neighborhoods and increase walkability. (William Fulton | Kinder Institute)

Carmel’s Bold New Corridor: Carmel, a suburb of Indianapolis, is revolutionizing its downtown to fit a growing population and economy. The new 140-foot-wide Monon Boulevard was built on a rails-to-trails path and acts as a centerpiece of the area, now called Midtown. The complete street and public space cost $23M but is already paying itself off, attracting $175M in private sector redevelopment nearby before phase one of the project is even complete. The corridor connects to the Monon Greenway, providing residents access to nature. Otherwise, they can stay in Midtown in one of many small plazas and gathering spaces surrounded by public art and recreational areas. (Robert Steuteville | CNU Public Square)

Quote of the Week

“[Pollster] Baldassare said it’s possible that lawmakers heard from those most passionately opposed to SB 50, whose views did not reflect the broader public sentiment.”

Housing reporter Liam Dillon in the Los Angeles Times discussing a new PPIC poll showing 60% of Californians support new housing near transit.

This week on the podcast, we talk with Kendra Freeman of the Metropolitan Planning Council in Chicago about equitable TOD on bus and rail corridors.

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