NIMBY opponents are throwing everything they can at the plan. But they aren’t looking at the real benefits.

by Annie Weinstock

The Gowanus Canal: not exactly a garden spot of America. Photo: Annie Weinstock

This article originally appeared on Streetsblog NYC and is republished here.

By Walter Hook and Annie Weinstock

Bi-articulated bus in downtown Bogotá. Photo (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Galo Naranjo

Until March 2020, Bogotá’s TransMilenio, perhaps the most well-known BRT in the world, was regularly carrying 2.4 million daily passengers, more than most European subways. It had been so popular that its main problem for years was persistent overcrowding on several corridors.

By Walter Hook and Annie Weinstock

Passengers move through a bright and comfortable Rea Vaya BRT station. Photo credit: Annie Weinstock

Public transport in South Africa is at a crossroads. Life is slowly returning to normal, with daily COVID-19 cases under 1,300. Ridership has returned to about 70% of its pre-COVID levels at least in some areas. National public transport policy, however, is in turmoil.

By Annie Weinstock

Several streets in Downtown Birmingham, UK are 24/7 pedestrian zones. Photo credit: Annie Weinstock

The Flushing Main Street Busway in Queens, that opened this January, operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 24/7 operations for any changes to streets which deprioritize cars, is surprisingly rare in the US. By contrast, the Jay Street Busway in Brooklyn operates from 7am to 7pm M-F and the 14th Street Busway in Manhattan operates from 6am to 10pm every day.

By Annie Weinstock and Walter Hook

London increased its bus service into the congestion zone as part of its congestion charging package. Photo by mariordo59/Flickr

Congestion pricing in New York City finally appears to be moving. But…

By Walter Hook, Annie Weinstock, and Larson Holt

Source: Tdorante10 — CC BY-SA 4.0

In 2016, following a global trend, MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) embarked on a borough-by-borough Bus Network Redesign. Rapid progress was made under Andy Byford’s leadership. Excellent reports detailing existing conditions were completed for the Bronx , Queens, and Brooklyn. A redesign plan was finalized for the Bronx, a draft plan was released for Queens, and a Brooklyn plan was on he way. Advocacy groups put a lot of time and energy behind the effort.

By Annie Weinstock

Eckerson’s question regarding whether we need a wider protected bike lane was picked up by city council members and mayoral hopefuls and now calls to do it are growing.

Additional width…

By Walter Hook

By Annie Weinstock

Throughout my career as a bus advocate, I have been skeptical of curbside bus lanes. They are exceedingly easy to block. In fact, most curbside bus lanes come with a list of both illegal and legal encroachments.

  • Illegal: driving in the bus lane, parking/stopping for extended periods of time in the bus lane, deliveries during certain hours, police stopping for a pizza.
  • Legal: right turns, quick drop-offs, parallel parking if the lane is adjacent to a parking lane (“offset”), even deliveries during certain hours.

Illegal blockages are really hard to control

By Annie Weinstock

In April of 2020, in response to the effect Covid-19 had on the restaurant industry, Vilnius, Lithuania announced a plan to turn over many of its streets to outdoor dining. Following suit that June, Mayor de Blasio announced that NYC would repurpose thousands of parking spaces for outdoor dining. For many cities doing the same, an expedited permitting process laid bare the possibilities for skipping the bureaucracy and public process that so often mar positive change in the city. …


Reorientations is a blog by the staff of People-Oriented Cities. Each post provides a novel idea for “reorienting” cities away from cars and towards people.

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