NYC Subway Map Displays AirTrain JFK; Sets Precedent for Including PATH

Subway NY NJ proposes more prominently displaying ‘New York’s second subway”–PATH to New Jersey–on the NYC Subway map, for a more complete map of transit in the NY & NJ urban core. The map has a long history of including NJ subway connections. The current subway map also prominently displays AirTrain JFK, which connects terminals at John F. Kennedy International Airport with the A Train at Howard Beach, and the E, J, Z, and Long Island Rail Road at Jamaica. Like PATH, AirTrain JFK is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

AirTrain JFK on Subway Map

The presence of AirTrain JFK on the NYC subway map sets a precedent for including other non-MTA transit services that directly connect to the subway system, accept the pay-per-ride MetroCard for fare payment, and serve transit needs in the urban core. PATH meets this threshold in all three ways: it is even more centrally located in the urban core than AirTrain JFK, also accepts the pay-per-ride MetroCard, and connects to 18 subway lines: B,D,F,M at 33rd, F,M at 23rd, 1,2,3,L,F,M at 14th, and 2,3,4,5,A,C,J,Z, and R at Fulton Center.

“It’s New Jersey, so Who Cares?”

On Sunday, NorthJersey.com published an opinion piece by Philip Mark Plotch that shed light on the political attitudes that have led to the precarious and deteriorating state of cross-Hudson transit. Plotch is well-placed to offer this insight: he was previously director of WTC Development for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, a joint city-state public entity created to plan redevelopment of Lower Manhattan after the September 11 attacks. He is currently professor and director of the MPA program at St. Peter’s University, and author of Politics Across the Hudson, a book about the megaproject to rebuild the Tappan Zee bridge.

While writing his book, Plotch interviewed numerous New York state officials to better understand why they didn’t promote Access to the Region’s Core (ARC), the cross-Hudson tunnel project canceled by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in 2010. Their answers, Plotch says, “made my head spin.” Continues…

Amtrak, MTA, NJ Transit, Port Authority & RPA on Expanding Trans-Hudson Capacity

As delays and interruptions become more frequent in the century-old North River Tunnels connecting New York and New Jersey, and the political debate grows louder over who will pay for the two new tunnels proposed by Amtrak, some context on the issue is helpful.

In May, the Port Authority, MTA, NJ Transit, Regional Plan Association, and Amtrak jointly convened a Trans-Hudson Summit to discuss the needs, challenges, and solutions for NY & NJ transit infrastructure. The Port Authority also prepared a Profile of the Regional Interstate Transportation Network, a snapshot of trends and market patterns:

Manhattan’s extraordinary concentration of high-value jobs would not be possible without its access to a huge, diverse, and talented labor market over a large geographic area that its extensive transit network makes possible. Efficient public transit is essential to providing the regional mobility needed to sustain its economic competitiveness. And interstate commuting to employment sites outside Manhattan has been growing as well. Access to skilled workers means gains in productivity and profitability for area businesses and a growing standard of living for the entire region.

Continues…

NYC Subway Maps Have a Long History of Including PATH, NJ Waterfront

The New York & New Jersey Subway Map proposes more prominently displaying ‘New York’s second subway”–PATH to New Jersey–on the NYC Subway map, for a better map of transit in the NY & NJ urban core. There’s a precedent for this idea: subway maps in New York City have a long history of including the Hudson Waterfront and subway connections between New York and New Jersey.

Although the Hudson & Manhattan railroad (the precursor to PATH) was still under construction and revenue service wouldn’t begin until 1908, the 1906 Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) map showed the New Jersey waterfront, with Hoboken and Jersey City labeled, and ferry routes connecting NY & NJ:

IRT 1906 subway map

After the IRT, BMT, and Independent Subway System (IND) were consolidated into a single system, the 1944 NYC Board of Transportation map included the Jersey City waterfront, H&M lines labeled “Hudson Tubes (to Newark)”, stations in Manhattan, and Exchange Place station in New Jersey: Continues…

Hoboken, NJ: Visual Identity, Wayfinding System, and Streetscape Improvements

In 2014, the City of Hoboken hired M Studio, a branding and communications agency, to design a new visual identity for the City. I advised M Studio on identifying elements that define the city, refining design concepts, and creating the identity elements and standards to help Hoboken stand out among cities in the New York & New Jersey urban region.

The visual identity system builds on two of the most recognizable informal identifiers for Hoboken: The rail-spike “H” seen in the PATH subway station and on rail trestles, and the moniker “Mile Square City”. Each has wonderfully unique characteristics. The angled spikes of the “H” are both a throwback to the days when the region’s economy was first being built on the backbone of rail transit, and a nod to the city’s current resurgence based on its proximity to Manhattan by transit. “Mile Square City” is both a descriptor of the city’s size, and a reference to its compact, walkable urban character.

In the new visual identity system, these two well-known icons become the city’s official logo and tagline, along with a set of consistent, thoughtfully-designed branding elements and tools, including maps, kiosks, directional blades for intersections, a color palette, and a font family. Hoboken’s new identity is used throughout the city in a wayfinding system designed by T&M Associates, and funded by an $880,000 federal Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery. Continues…

Fitch Ratings: Business Intelligence Powered by Credit Ratings

Fitch Ratings hired me to rebuild the company’s digital platforms to position it as a provider of business intelligence powered by credit ratings. I established a global digital and social team, partnered with engineering to redesign and migrate 22 websites to a single, customer-centric platform, and worked with marketing to drive audience growth. I also started the company’s use of podcasting, created new tools to package content using editorial features, video, and data visualization, updated brand and graphic standards, introduced new logo and brand elements designed for digital and social platforms, and built the largest Twitter audience among credit rating agencies. These changes doubled subscription revenue to $150M, and helped push rating revenue past $1B for the first time in the company’s history. Continues…

34 St-Hudson Yards: A Look at the 7 Subway Extension to the Far West Side

At the MTA board committee meetings this week, officials showed a preview of the 34 St-Hudson Yards station, due to open later this spring. The station entrance canopy and surrounding park are complete, and the ventilation building will be surrounded by 55 Hudson Yards, a 51-story office tower outlined in yellow. To support the tower, two rows of five caissons are being sunk in the area adjacent to the ventilation building, six of which will be sunk between the two subterranean escalator banks that lead to the station’s mezzanine.

7 Extension - 34 St Hudson Yards exterior

The 7 Train extension to Hudson Yards was funded by New York City using bonds backed by future tax revenues from the new Hudson Yards neighborhood.

34 St – Hudson Yards is not the deepest station in the system, but the station’s escalators span an 84-foot vertical drop, longer than any other in the subway system. For comparison, the escalators at Lexington Ave – 53 St station span a 56-foot vertical drop. Continues…

100 Works Designed and Constructed by Women: Built By Women New York City

In 2014, supported by grants from the New York Building Foundation and the New York Council for the Humanities, the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation began a project to identify buildings, structures, and built environments in New York City that are designed or constructed by women. The criteria:

The structure or built environment must have a woman who was directly responsible for leading the design (architecture, engineering, or landscape) or who led the construction, either from the development or construction management team. Projects must be completed or have broken ground and located in New York City.

100 Works Designed and Constructed by Women: Built By Women New York City

A jury of eight leading women in architecture, landscape, engineering, design, and planning identified 100 civic, commercial, cultural, institutional, landscape, mixed-use, residential, transportation, and urban design projects, and in December, they published Built By Women New York City (BxW NYC). This is a wonderful celebration of the women who have made New York City what it is today, and the foundation is planning a series of public events to draw greater attention to these important works: Continues…

Hoboken City Council Should Vote Unanimously to Fund Uptown Flood Pump

Update (February 23): The Hoboken City Council voted 7-2 to approve a resolution to issue bonds for the uptown flood pump. Council Members Bhalla, Castellano, Cunningham, Doyle, Giattino, Mello, and Occhipinti voted in favor; Council Members Mason and Russo voted against. The 7-2 margin means the resolution achieved the two-thirds majority necessary to authorize the expenditure, which means the City can move forward with its application for the low-interest loan for the project.

In December, the Hoboken City Council unanimously approved moving forward with construction of a second flood pump in uptown Hoboken. The project would be funded by a bond issuance, the proceeds of which would be used to pay back a low-interest loan provided by the state at a historically low 0.5-0.75% interest rate. In addition, 19% of the loan’s principal would be forgiven at closing using federal Hurricane Sandy recovery funds. The pump would be operated by the North Hudson Sewerage Authority (NHSA) under a 99-year lease from the City. Continues…

Space Under Hoboken’s New 14th Street Viaduct Will Anchor Neighborhood Development

In 2011, Hudson County broke ground on a $55M project to replace the 14th Street Viaduct, an elevated structure connecting Hoboken with the Jersey City Heights and Union City. The original viaduct, completed in 1908, had become structurally deficient and functionally obsolete, and after the 2007 collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge in Minneapolis, Hudson County accelerated plans to replace the aging structure. Major construction of the new viaduct structure and roadway wrapped up in mid-2014:

The new Viaduct is an eight-span, 1177-foot long structure, constructed entirely of multi-steel girders and includes extensive traffic improvements such as modern LED 12-inch traffic signals for the intersections at each end. In terms of total cost, the 14th Street Viaduct replacement was the most expensive—and perhaps the most challenging—local roads project in Hudson County history.

14th Street Viaduct from Parking Structure - 2014

In 2010, Hudson County and the City of Hoboken unveiled plans for public spaces underneath the new viaduct, including multi-use spaces spanning two blocks, a basketball/roller hockey court, and a pocket park surrounded by a children’s playground and dog park. Continues…

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