MNTRC Newsletter Vol 19, Issue 1: Summer 2012

Bloustein student wins APA Transportation Division Award for best paper

Robert B. Noland, PhD, Professor and Dir., Voorhees Transportation Center

Kyle Gebhart’s student paper about parking supply and mode use at Harlem’s East River Plaza won first-place ranking.

Rutgers News – Kyle Gebhart, a MCRP student at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, has won first place in the student paper competition of the American Planning Association Transportation Planning Division (APATPD). His paper, Wasteful Parking Supply in East Harlem: An Analysis of Parking Occupancy and Mode Usage at East River Plaza in New York City, was chosen by the review committee for its clarity, strong research, and timeliness. I was pleased to serve as Kyle’s advisor.

His research included gathering original data and examining the environmental impact statement that was used to justify constructing the parking garage at the shopping center in East Harlem.  His research found that there was an excess parking supply, primarily because the developers assumed that shoppers would access the site as if it were in a suburban location, rather than using the plentiful transit available in New York City. He also found that the development actually made walking to the site more difficult, despite the large numbers of pedestrians who access the site.

In addition, Rutgers University student Dorothy Le has been named a National Parks Scholar for 2012. This program is run by the Eno Center for Transportation in conjunction with the National Parks Service, and its goal is to provide expertise for addressing transportation challenges in America’s national parks. Ms. Le will be involved with transportation planning for the National Parks of New York Harbor. One of her tasks will be to plan better bicycle access for the park.

Measuring Benefits of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)

Researchers at the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, Rutgers University, are examining the myriad benefits that can accrue from intensive development and redevelopment near transit facilities. This work is funded by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and with funding made available by the Mineta National Transit Research Consortium. 

This research takes a comprehensive approach, examining economic, environmental, and health benefits that may emerge from intensified land use near transit. The research team recently completed key informant interviews (with public officials; economic development, environmental, and health professionals; and land developers) and focus groups (with residents of communities that have built or anticipate building TOD).

A survey of households located near eight rail stations will commence this spring. Data derived from both the qualitative and quantitative analysis will be used to support an interactive website for communities embarking on TOD. We expect full results to be available in early 2013.