In the middle of presidential primary season, the debate about the caucus vs. primary processes is hot with criticisms being leveled on both sides. What can planners learn about this debate to help improve community engagement for planning?
Working for a small municipality - regardless of its location - has all the isolating properties of a far-away fiefdom. So it has been with great consternation that, despite being nary a narrow river's width from that island, I have been yet so far removed from the industry-insider privileges of working on transportation projects in Manhattan. I am, admittedly, all but entirely absorbed by work in the New York City satellite of Hoboken, NJ, and while aware of progress as reported by the media, have nonetheless lost granular touch with the revolutionary day-to-day goings-on in my career's former epicenter. From this side of the Hudson I read the broad
Submitted by Ian Sacs on February 19, 2011 - 3:55am
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:
Submitted by Ian Sacs on November 2, 2010 - 7:32am
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.
Submitted by Ian Sacs on October 23, 2010 - 4:58pm
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.
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.
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
Submitted by Ian Sacs on September 30, 2010 - 3:15am
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.
Submitted by Ian Sacs on September 11, 2010 - 8:49am
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
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