I live in Hoboken, New Jersey. It is a small (~50k residents), very densely populated city (fourth in the country), with high pedestrian volumes and some hairy traffic issues in certain areas. With heavy rail, light rail, subway, bus, ferry, taxi, bicycle, pedestrian, and para-transit all converging at Hoboken Terminal, it is also home to perhaps the richest intermodal transportation facility in the world (in terms of modes). It is often characterized as feeling European, or like Brooklyn, take your pick. Recently, we have been successful in implementing a nascent bicycle plan that includes bike lanes striped along the length of two north/south avenues in the heart of the city. Cross streets are next with “sharrows" since these streets are too narrow for exclusive
Last year, California, passed SB 375, which requires regional governments to develop smart growth-oriented land use and transportation plans aimed at reducing VMT.
The growth in hybrid car sales is a welcome sign that a major change in the automobile industry is afoot. The shift to transport infrastructure that is not based on the archaic complexity of an internal combustion engine, with its hundreds of moving parts and compressed fuel explosions, has been long put off by an automobile industry, happy with status quo, partnered with oil cartels with the power to price their product as if it were in endless supply. But with smack-in-the-face-reality fuel prices last summer, the collapse of the so-called “Big Three” over the winter, and the simultaneous heralding assertion of alternative energy technologies (Daimler AG bought a 10% stake in Tesla Motors last month!), the fallout of western economic near-collapse has changed everything we’ve known to be sacrosanct; Leonard Lopate even waxed nostalgic about the “Death of the Car Song” yesterday on National Public Radio’s local station, WNYC.