CNT in the News

Reverse commute is a long haul on public transit

Chicago Reporter | June 2, 2016

While transit officials blame money woes for hamstringing the expansion of public transportation services, the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s Jacky Grimshaw said funding is only part of the problem.

“You have to have money to build anything, but it is also political will,” said Grimshaw, the center’s vice president of policy and a CTA board member from 2009-2015.

Take the Red Line. Former Mayor Richard J. Daley promised in 1968 to extend it to the city limits. The extension still hasn’t happened, Grimshaw said, although other new lines and expansions have occurred.

“It is money obviously, but there is also the decision-making process that contributes to whether or not we have the transit system where we want it,” she said.

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End of the road: Uber and millennials help US cities cut car addiction

The Guardian | May 31, 2016

There are many reasons for cities to eliminate these parking requirements. For one, it’s inordinately expensive to build parking spaces – Bayley estimated a cost of $30,000 per space, while Nelsen priced it at $40,000 – which increases the cost of living in those buildings and discourages affordable housing.

A recent study from the Center for Neighborhood Technology found only two-thirds of parking required by building codes was ever in use at one time. “That really hurts affordable housing,” Bayley says. “If you are building affordable housing [and you have to include parking], you will move toward cheaper areas, pushing the developments into a few neighbourhoods.”

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When it Comes to Jobs, Housing & Transit, Seattle is No. 1 (Locally)

Curbed Seattle | May 27, 2016

At a guess, your dream place to live and your dream job are in different places. The balancing act is to find a nice compromise, which usually means figuring out a reasonable commute. The Center for Neighborhood Technology analyzed 362 regions for the jobs and transit options available, and compiled the results into a score for each region.

Within the Puget Sound region, Seattle comes out best in every category: the number of transit routes within a half mile (23), jobs accessible within a thirty minute trip (424,924), percentage of commuters using transit (20.98%), and overall score (8.6).

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The Gross Gatherings: A climate fight on Chicago's South Side

WBEZ's Heat of the Moment | May 18, 2016

Burns got back in touch with the Center for Neighborhood Technology, the organization that held that meeting she attended.

Together they started working on flooding issues in Chatham. They gathered data and learned that the Chatham area had the highest number of flooding insurance claims in the city. That sounds like bad news, but it also was kind of affirming for Burns, because she now had tangible proof of what a big problem Chatham was facing.

“We weren’t really understanding how endemic the problem was or how expansive,” she recalled. “There wasn’t this groundswell of activity to say, ‘Hey, this is ruining homes. Diminishing home values. And really demoralizing as a homeowner.’”

Armed with this information, Burns and CNT organized neighbors, people like Cheryl Watson, the woman at the start of this story.

CNT also helped Burns get a special back-up valve installed. These valves are expensive and a lot of people can’t afford them. But it’s a good fix for an individual home because it stops sewage from coming back through your pipes. Burns said it’s worked really well; she no longer gets nervous and rushes home during every storm.

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Charlotte’s transit among nation’s worst

Charlotte Observer | May 14, 2016

News that the state legislature is considering repealing its $500,000 cap on light-rail projects is a boon for North Carolina’s cities.

Its removal, however, should be a first step rather than an end goal. North Carolina’s boomtowns severely need transportation options that complement – rather than work against – the rapid urbanization they are seeing.

Consider Charlotte. According to AllTransit, a new online tool developed by the Center for Neighborhood Technology with support from TransitCenter, public transportation in North Carolina’s largest city is still anemic by national standards despite some successful recent investments.

On AllTransit’s scale of 0 to 10, Charlotte scores a 4.33 for its transit quality. That’s 26th out of the 32 U.S. cities with more than 500,000 people and behind other sprawling places like Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix. Overall, 58 percent of Charlotteans live in areas with scores below 5. Just 1.6 percent live in neighborhoods scoring 9 or above.

In sum, most of Charlotte lacks the high-quality transit Americans increasingly demand. And even where it does exist there are barriers to using it, since few people live, work, and play in areas all well-served by buses or the Blue Line.

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Far from the city, far from recovery

Washington Post | May 5, 2016

A 2011 study by the Chicago-based Center for Neighborhood Technology found that most of Loudoun County’s commuters traveled 26,000 to 35,000 miles a year to work. Less than 10 percent used public transit. They spent $1,280 to $1,770 a month on transportation, and that didn’t even account for the time sopped up sitting in traffic.

“What is the time value of the hour and a half you spend commuting each way?” Fleming said. “If you really calculated, would you have bought that home out there? That’s why all these exurban areas are struggling to recover. Because there is not the demand.”

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