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Regional Roundup

A roundup of transportation news from daily, weekly and online outlets.

Land Sale Could Advance Proposal for Greenway Between Jersey City and Montclair Jersedydigs.com, 7/1/2020 - In a decision that could allow for a linear park proposal to advance, a Virginia-based corporation that owns a former rail line between Essex County and Hudson County could soon sell the 8.6-mile corridor to a non-profit organization.
Biking and walking path between Jersey City and Montclair is one step closer to reality NJ.com, 7/1/20 - Imagine hopping on a bicycle in Jersey City, crossing the Hackensack and Passaic rivers, and riding all the way to Montclair — all without touching a road.
Temperatures, rain and goldfinches. New report details climate change impacts in N.J. NJ.com, 6/30/20 - On Tuesday, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection released a new report detailing a vast array of effects that climate change has had on the Garden State already, and what is expected in coming years and decades.
NJ Transit has 6 months to finish positive train control. Will it make the deadline? NorthJersey.com, 6/30/2020 - The Federal Railroad Administration will have exactly the six months it requires to review NJ Transit's positive train control safety plan, which was sent to the federal agency Tuesday.
NJ Transit makes safety system ‘milestone’ with miles of track still to test by end of 2020 NJ.com, 6/30/2020 - NJ Transit officials proclaimed the agency “achieved a milestone” toward meeting an end of the year deadline to have a $337 million safety system running that’s required by the federal government.
NJ Transit to receive $13.3M in CARES Act funds for rural transit needs NorthJersey.com, 6/30/2020 - The money, which was allocated in the federal stimulus package passed in March to provide relief from the coronavirus, will go to a number of rural counties that provide transportation links within their region and to urban areas.
Drivers lined up for hours when inspection stations reopened after 3-month coronavirus closure NJ.com, 6/29/20 - After the coronavirus pandemic closed them for three months, state vehicle inspection stations reopened Monday morning to lines of cars stretching for miles and drivers who said they waited as long as two hours in certain places.

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Issues & Insights

A list of links to recent articles, reports and announcements relating to transportation policy, legislation and research.

I’ve Seen a Future Without Cars, and It’s Amazing The New York Times, 7/9/20 - As coronavirus lockdowns crept across the globe this winter and spring, an unusual sound fell over the world’s metropolises: the hush of streets that were suddenly, blessedly free of cars. City dwellers reported hearing bird song, wind and the rustling of leaves. (Along with, in New York City, the intermittent screams of sirens.)
How Cities Are Trying to Avert Gridlock After Coronavirus Lockdowns The New York Times, 6/26/20 - As coronavirus lockdowns loosen around the world, city leaders are scrambling to address a new problem: the prospect of gridlock worse than before the pandemic. From Shenzhen to Milan to Austin, officials are trying to coax people back onto buses and subways and reclaim road space for cyclists and pedestrians.
Five ways to ensure that models serve society: a manifesto Nature.com, 6/24/20 -  The COVID-19 pandemic illustrates perfectly how the operation of science changes when questions of urgency, stakes, values and uncertainty collide — in the ‘post-normal’ regime.

Well before the coronavirus pandemic, statisticians were debating how to prevent malpractice such as p-hacking, particularly when it could influence policy. Now, computer modelling is in the limelight, with politicians presenting their policies as dictated by ‘science’ Yet there is no substantial aspect of this pandemic for which any researcher can currently provide precise, reliable numbers. 

Emissions Are Surging Back as Countries and States Reopen The New York Times, 6/17/20 - 
After a drastic decline this spring, global greenhouse gas emissions are now rebounding sharply, scientists reported, as countries relax their coronavirus lockdowns and traffic surges back onto roads. It’s a stark reminder that even as the pandemic rages, the world is still far from getting global warming under control. In early April, daily fossil fuel emissions worldwide were roughly 17 percent lower than they were in 2019, as governments ordered people to stay home, employees stopped driving to work, factories idled and airlines grounded their flights, according to a study published in May in Nature Climate Change.
Fear of Public Transit Got Ahead of the Evidence The Atlantic, 6/14/20 - 
The headline of the report read like the title of a 1950s horror film: “The Subways Seeded the Massive Coronavirus Epidemic in New York City.” As America’s densest city became the epicenter of a national pandemic in March, New York’s subway system, which carried 5.5 million people on an average workday in 2019, emerged as the villain from central casting. Landing in mid-April, the report, written by an MIT economics professor, concluded that New York’s subway system was “a major disseminator—if not the principal transmission vehicle” in the city’s COVID-19 outbreak.

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