All posts in Transportation
“This bridge is not going to rot,” the Guardian quoted project leader Reinder Lanting as telling local daily newspaper Dagblad van het Noorden. “That is because it is technically well designed. The wood is not pressed together but has a sort of venting system.” The bridge was designed by NOL, a local multidisciplinary civil engineering and design firm. Matters of length aside (China still rules in that department), the bike-loving Netherlands is home to a large number of notable bridges reserved for bike and foot traffic. They include and certainly aren't limited to, Nescio Bridge, a curvy, single-cable steel suspension bridge in Amsterdam designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and engineered by ARUP: Grontmij, a modest bike bridge in the village of Gemert that, in a world-first, harnesses 3D printing technology: Eindhoven's Hovenring, a first-of-its-kind suspended bike roundabout that's technically a circular cable-stayed bridge, and a span in Utrecht that’s incorporated into the rooftop garden of a Montessori school.
The Province of Groningen has started construction on the €6.5 million, 800 meter Blauwe Loper ("Blue Carpet"), a walking and cycling bridge between Winschoten and Blauwestad.When completed in late 2020, it will be the longest bicycle bridge in Europe.https://t.co/0h9tW1ARMw pic.twitter.com/FCEGskgkba — Dutch Cycling Embassy (@Cycling_Embassy) March 2, 2020
Is Trump holding up NYC congestion pricing and Second Avenue Subway funding?
Cuomo has framed the delay as an act of retaliation for the state’s refusal to hand over data culled from the Department of Motor Vehicles to the Department of Homeland Security that would be used for immigration enforcement. “Will they hold congestion pricing hostage? Yes,” the New York Post quoted Cuomo as saying at the press conference. “It doesn’t happen without the federal government’s approval and right now, they’re not approving it.” Cuomo revealed in another press conference held this past Monday that $3 billion in federal grant funding for Manhattan’s Second Avenue Subway expansion has also been derailed by President Trump. Encompassing three new stations and two miles of tunnels, the first phase of the East Side’s forever-awaited Second Avenue Subway line opened in January 2017. The $6 billion second phase, which would stretch the line from East 96th street to East 125th Street with three new stations, is anticipated to be operational by 2027-2029. The project is currently in the preliminary design phases. Trump had previously expressed decidedly non-antagonistic feelings toward the Second Avenue Subway and its progress.
NYC needs congestion pricing for so many reasons, including critical funding for our subways and buses. We must keep fighting to ensure congestion pricing is implemented effectively and without delay.https://t.co/ZhqizbJSuV— NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson (@NYCSpeakerCoJo) February 21, 2020
The Trump administration has also delayed funding to rehabilitate a rapidly deteriorating Hudson River rail tunnel that took on significant damage during Superstorm Sandy. The tunnel project is part of Amtrak’s Gateway infrastructure initiative geared to improve rail travel along the Northeast Corridor. It was downgraded to “medium-low priority” status by the Federal Transit Administration earlier this month, “The federal government has been slow, obstinate and I think purposefully difficult whenever they can,” Cuomo told reporters last week in reference to the federal foot-dragging that's slowing crucial New York infrastructure undertakings. “It’s political extortion … and, I think, you see this across the board, and I’m not holding my breath for them to approve congestion pricing.” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed similarly waning confidence that congestion pricing will be implemented at the start of next year. He went as far as to suggest that the funding needed to fix his city’s ailing subways system will only come through if a Democrat takes the White House this November. “I am hoping that the professional folks and reason will prevail,” de Blasio recently explained on the most recent episode of WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show. “It doesn’t always happen in Washington, and if that doesn’t happen, then I am hoping for an election result that will change things in November.”
.@NYGovCuomo says in addition to not approving congestion pricing to raise money for City subways, @realDonaldTrump Admin has also blocked funds to extend Second Avenue Subway, which amounts to roughly $3 Billion of @MTA $51 Billion capital plan pic.twitter.com/jBKhhjVOvT— Zack Fink (@ZackFinkNews) February 24, 2020
Byford Goes Bye-Bye
Andy Byford resigns as head of NYC’s subways
So, farewell to the transportation official that railfans were so enamored with that they nicknamed him the “Rail Daddy.” He’ll live on as long as the MTA continues to run in-station ads for its new OMNY contactless fare system; Byford lent his dulcet voice to an audio announcement about the upgrade that has been running since January 7.
Seriously, this is a crisis. If we lose Andy AND his team, all the gains we’ve made could be lost.Let’s get this going - #BringAndyBack — Corey Johnson (@CoreyinNYC) January 23, 2020
Maryland towns band together to fight high-speed rail route
Accelerating the modern world
A thrilling journey through the history of the car is on show in London
The automobile—a long-time fetish object of architects, the car is arguably the object that defines the 20th Century and one that has perhaps sent us crashing us into the 21st. The development of the car was once fuelled by optimism, able to set people free to go where they wanted, when they wanted. Today, however, its image has been tainted by its contribution to the climate crisis. The car is both personal and global, shaping lives, cities and nations, and it is the subject of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s (V&A) latest exhibition: Cars: Accelerating the Modern World.
There’s no Lamborghini Countach, no Citroen DS or Aston Martin DB5 here, this isn’t that kind of show. Cars is a critique of the automobile and its impact. Expect instead to find posters about workers rights relating to Fordist assembly lines, maps tracking global oil production, the world’s first commercial car designed using wind tunnel testing (the Tatra 77), and Graham, the viral, life-sized latex figurine born from the Transport Accident Commission of Australia that shows how humans could evolve to survive a car crash.
Tucking the exhibition into the new AL_A-designed Sainsbury Gallery at the V&A in London, curators Brendan Cormier and Lizzie Bisley have, through a welcome variety of mediums, given audiences a thrilling ride through the history of the car that’s full of unexpected turns.
With regards to architecture, we’re given Prussian-American architect Albert Khan’s plans for the Henry Ford’s Highland Park plant, the place where assembly lines were first used for industrial production. Next to it is a model of Italian architect Giacomo Mattè-Trucco’s Fiat Lingotto factory in Turin, complete with rooftop test track. But nearby is something more sinister—a letter from a Highland Park factory worker’s wife to Mr Ford. “The chain system you have is a slave driver! My God!” it reads, detailing the perils of the factory conditions.
It comes as no surprise to learn that Ford was a control freak. In 1926 he purchased land in Amazon Rainforest to produce his own rubber. Brazilian workers were banned from smoking, drinking alcohol and playing football, while American customs such as square-dancing in community halls and working in the sun, as well as hamburgers in the canteen, were introduced. The workers revolted and “Fordlandia”, as it was known, was abandoned in 1945.
Factory revolts and angry letters to bosses may be fewer and far between now, particularly as machines usurp humans in factory line production. A lengthy and eerily slow panning projection of the inside of the BMW Group Plant in Munich duly demonstrates this. Here machines do the heavy lifting while humans keep watch.
Cars also delves into the wider spatial implications of the automobile. Le Corbusier, who was as obsessed with the car as any architect (maybe more), designed the Maison Citröhan (1922)—named in the car manufacturer’s honor—to be as efficient as the car. Tire manufacturer Michelin, meanwhile, carried out an exhaustive photographic study of dangerous roads in America in the 1930s, highlighting the need for urgent improvement, and an array of photos from this shows just how poor America's roads once were. Missing, however, is Frank Lloyd Wright’s conception of the garage. The car’s impact on suburbs, roadside architecture (notably the work of Denise Scott-Brown), along with highways and freeways and drive-in cinemas is also amiss, but these do all feature in the exhibition’s accompanying book, which has been beautifully produced.
“In the end we ran out of space,” Cormier told AN. More important to the curators was to expose the rush for oil extraction the car created and the devastating effect this is having on the environment, which is understandable.
Throughout the exhibition, visitors are continually exposed to visions of a future which will never exist. One example: adverts and sci-fi films from 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s show many men in many cars, but none are stuck in traffic. By analyzing the automobile through the rear-view-mirror, Cars highlights how the car and modernity have failed to deliver on many promises. That hasn't stopped the industry, though. In the last room is 'Pop.Up Next', a concept from Italdesign which combines an electric car and a drone that is able to clip onto the pod-like vehicle—or rather, another attempt at a flying car, a never-realized fantasy of old which, like its predecessors, may be destined to forever belong in a museum.
Cars: Accelerating the Modern World runs through 19 April 2020.