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This edition: Transportation Dreams

Episode Details

Original tape date: April 7, 2015.

First aired: April 8, 2015.

This week, a special hour on transportation.

First, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is short $15 billion to maintain the system and finish major projects such as the Second Avenue Subway and 7 Line Extension. How will the MTA come up with that, and why is it so difficult to fund essential infrastructure that a growing population pays for? These questions and more with Elliot Sander, former CEO of the MTA and former commissioner of New York City Transit, now president of engineering firm HAKS Group and chair of the Regional Plan Association. Also, Gene Russianoff, longtime advocate for transit riders and staff attorney and spokesman for the New York Public Interest Research Group's Straphangers Campaign.

Then, the case for high speed rail. Despite support from the Obama Administration, the technology hasn't been fast moving, as critics call it too expensive and wrong for America. Meanwhile, this next guest envisions a 17 thousand mile high speed rail network criss-crossing the U.S. by 2030. He is Andrew Kunz, the president of the U.S. High Speed Rail Association.

In our Public Intellectual segment, which explores new research with the power to change minds and public policy, an unspoken truth about bike crashes. A new Harvard study finds that throughout the U.S., police reports involving bike collisions are not fully fleshed out. The report templates have too few variables to be used to collect data to inform policy and streets. To discuss, Anne Lusk, a research scientist in the department of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. School of Public Health.

Next, LaGuardia Airport has a reputation as a sad site in need of improvements. The state and Port Authority last year announced a design competition to rethink the port and its connections to transit. Our guest rethought the whole city, and its connections to LaGuardia. He is Jim Venturi of ReThinkNYC.com.

And finally, walking the streets isn't always easy. Brian's last guest has designed technology that has street furniture such as street lights and benches respond to the needs of individual pedestrians as they stroll by. The elderly and people with disabilities would be able to use their smart phone or a key fob to have the streets respond to their needs. To explain, designer and engineer, Ross Atkin, whose Responsive Street Furniture is up for a Designs of the Year award from the London Design Museum.

Guest List

Ross Atkin Designer and Engineer, Ross Atkin Associates

Andrew Kunz President, U.S. High Speed Rail Association

Anne Lusk Researcher, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Gene Russianoff Staff Attorney, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign

Elliot Sander Chairman, Regional Plan Association

Jim Venturi ReThinkNYC.com

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