Ian Sacs's blog

Ian Sacs, P.E. is a worldwide transportation solutions consultant based in Finland.
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Bike Sharing Coming To Hoboken & Jersey City?

While it is still in the early stages, it's nonetheless exciting to post that Hoboken and Jersey City are collaborating with Hudson County Transportation Management Association (TMA) to explore ways to bring a full-fledged bike sharing program to the west coast of the Hudson.  The full details are posted in a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI) here:


Help Me Help You Help Us! Planning Volunteers Wanted for Hoboken (Transport/Parking)

We're doing a lot of fun, progressive stuff in Hoboken, NJ, and what we do here helps our industry push the envelope for the whole country.  But limited budgets and ever-critical politics make it incredibly difficult to keep the momentum on current and new projects with our limited staff.  Last year we created a new Department of Transportation and Parking, but we have been strapped from hiring on requisite professionals to manage all projects because, well, we don't have the money.  If you are a planning/engineering student seeking real-world experience to counterbalance academic theory, or if you are currently employed but looking for an outlet to independently exercise your creativity, I need your help in Hoboken, no matter where you live.

Hoboken Begins 'Twenty is Plenty' Driving Speed Campaign

This week, Hoboken is announcing its version of a highly successful awareness campaign practiced throughout Europe and, more directly translatable, the UK. In the UK, the campaign is called “20's Plenty for Us”, and in cities that adopt this policy, a 20mph speed limit area is established and signs are posted requiring drivers to obey the lower speed limit.

NJ Governor's ARC Tunnel Plug-Pull Can Lead to Better Plan

Ostensibly, the actions today by NJ Governor Chris Christie to cancel the "Access to Region's Core" (ARC) tunnel project seem like a vicious blow to the future of rail in our country (fatal even, given the recent commentary from conservatives country-wide on opposition to the national high speed rail network projects).  I myself am extremely disappointed that our state's fiscal circumstances have led the Governor to make this decision, and I am sincerely empathetic to the construction and operational jobs and potential to improve mobility conditions that this cancellation jeopardizes.

Hoboken Challenges Residents to "Surrender" Their Permits (Read: Cars)

Over the past year, we've been guiding the City of Hoboken, NJ towards providing sufficient alternative modes of transportation such that owning a car for a large number of residents becomes more than unattractive, it's simply not necessary.  The goal is not to tell residents that they can't own a car, but to make life without a car so easy that every single family in Hoboken can freely choose whether owning a car is what they want to spend their money on.  For those who decide that a daily commute by car is most practical, my job is to make it possible to find a parking space and travel in and out of town without too much friction.  However, for the overwhelming majority of Hobokenites who commute daily on foot, bicycle, or via transit, life without a car should be as

Reflections on Urban Parenthood (Year 1)

As young planners bursting into the real world we are anxious to create communities that are vibrant, fun, and speak to the urbanity that will host future generations of our civilization.  What we lack in experience we make up for in enthusiasm, and hope that our superiors guide us on the finer points of less crystallized aspects of critical infrastructure such as designing for the elderly, disabled, and those semi-attached to a stroller.  In traffic engineering, we often hear a common rebuttal to technical traffic analysis from communities; they say, “I drive these streets every day, so I understand traffic here better than you.”  Well, they’re right.

Peace, Love, Understanding, and Mobility

On a day we remember how hate can be manifest into reckless slaughter, perhaps we can find a moment to also remind ourselves that the provision of mobility as a basic tenet of urban planning is one small but nonetheless fundamental way we can strengthen the brotherly ties between neighbors, nations, cultures, humanity. ~ian


Reflexive Congestion Self-Management?

I frequently drive to an uncle’s house near the beach via the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey.  For years, that drive required a very late Friday evening departure and a similarly late Sunday evening return trip to avoid the wicked stop-and-go that always mires t

Are You For/Against Closing Street Segments?

There's a lot of babbling on in this blog about how streets are public space, that they are for people, and that they should be designed equitably for everyone.

Don't Let Time Dilute Outrage Over BP Gulf Spill

Just because our media-ravenous culture inundates us with more news than we can stomach doesn't mean we should give up on the long term prospects of the BP catastrophe.  As the poorly secured well beneath the exploded BP rig Deepwater Horizon continues its high-pressure torrent of not-yet-quantified-but-something-in-the-order-of-tens-to-hundreds-of-thousand-of-gallons-per-day of oil into the gorgeous waters of the Gulf of Mexico, we must not let the drone of time allow us lose sight of the result of horrendous and unforgivable destruction, weak industrial controls, and even weaker environmental morals.  We must also not ignore that efforts to “contain” the spill were devised simultaneously with an effort to spare the well.