Houston, Dallas & New York City: America’s Great 3-Way Housing Supply Race

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

The conversation on America’s affordable housing crisis is often fueled by anecdotes. Journalists and activists tell tales of gentrification, eviction and displacement from within their increasingly expensive cities. Then, when new housing is built that is even more expensive, the housing itself is presented as the cause, and more construction is discouraged. But a look at the numbers shows that, on the contrary, housing construction (or lack thereof) seems to be the driving factor behind whether or not large U.S. metros remain affordable.… Read more

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City Journal’s 25th Anniversary Issue Is An Urban Policy Goldmine

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Ever since becoming a cross-country traveler, I’ve visited New York City for at least one weekend every year to track all the new developments. The last couple trips, I’ve included a meeting with Aaron Renn, who is a Manhattan Institute fellow, author of the popular Urbanophile blog, and great resource for discussing all things city and urban. Last Monday, I visited him at MI’s midtown office. During our conversation, a staffer went around passing out advanced copies of the 25th anniversary edition of City Journal, the institute’s quarterly publication.… Read more

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Nation’s First Hemp Bar Shut Down By New York City Regulators

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

In late September, America got its very first hemp bar, when an establishment called Brooklyn’s Dark Hemp Bar opened in New York City. But not even a month passed before it was shut down by regulators from the city’s health department. One possible reason may be that hemp–which can now be legally grown in New York state–is still wrongly perceived as a mind-altering drug, and may have been targeted by the city. But the reason given was mindlessly technical: the bar didn’t have enough sinks…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Don’t Like Rideshare Surge Pricing? Go With Gett

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

New York, NY

On Tuesday, I wrote here about a promotional campaign by Uber to advertise on Miami’s bus stops, describing the company’s efforts to steal riders from public transit. The next morning, I got a p.r. message from some competing company named Gett, which claimed to be doing a similar ad campaign in New York City. The message explained that Gett was a “surge-free alternative to Uber and Lyft” whose “app installs have gone up 146%” since the ad campaign’s August start…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Will Hurling More Money At The MTA Improve New York City’s Transit?

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

After some head-butting between powerful politicians who dislike each other, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will get funding for its 5-year capital plan. Last week, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and state governor Andrew Cuomo worked out an arrangement for the city to contribute $2.5 billion, and the state $8.3 billion, towards the MTA’s $26 billion budget. This is the city’s largest-ever contribution, and will be used to modernize the dated yet economically important New York City transit system. What hasn’t been discussed between both leaders, though, is the reason why the MTA needs so much money–because it prioritizes labor and bureaucracy over actual services…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Mayor De Blasio Should Police, Not Destroy, Times Square’s Pedestrian Plaza

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Since becoming New York City mayor in 2014, Bill de Blasio has thought up one bizarre policy proposal after another. Whether it is attacking successful charter schools, Central Park horse carriages, or Uber, it’s like he is out to stop the things that people actually want. But this week he outdid himself, by proposing to destroy a widely-loved public space in the city’s most crowded area.

On Thursday, the mayor said that he would consider ripping up Times Square’s pedestrian plaza, bringing back the days when cars and jaywalkers crammed together along Broadway…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Brooklyn Might Finally Get A REAL Skyscraper

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

It used to be that nothing in Brooklyn exceeded the height of the Willamsburgh Savings Bank Tower, a famed historic clock just off Flatbush Avenue. But following a rezoning of downtown last decade, one developer surpassed that structure by 2 feet in 2009, and now the cap looks like it might blow off the roof. In the years since, several other skyscrapers were built, and a mega-version could soon follow…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Can’t Find A Bathroom In New York City? There’s An App For That

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Have you ever been in the middle of a winding, day-long stroll through New York City when suddenly you must go to the bathroom? Of course you have, and you know what often happens next. Over the course of what can seem like an hour, you may navigate long lines, forbidding McDonald’s stalls, and inflexible store workers before you finally get access to a usable bathroom. Now, there is an app to help this situation.   [read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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The Many Shades Of Public Pension Mismanagement

[Originally published by Market Urbanism]

 

1. My two Forbes articles this week were about how Miami’s liberalized culture and economy have made it an international banking center; and how reducing medallion requirements for taxis would level their playing field with Uber.

2. About a month ago, I asked readers whether they thought cities would be smarter to invest their pension funds using “in-house,” government-hired money managers, or outside private ones. I haven’t been able to address the issue, but last night rediscovered in my notes the story that sparked the question.… Read more

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How To Solve The Uber vs Taxi Conflict? Medallion Reform

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

It’s easy to label taxi drivers’ resistance to ridesharing companies as just a bunch of people trying to stop progress. This is, after all, what they are doing, since companies like Uber and Lyft represent a modern fix for the old urban scourges of congestion and immobility. But it is still worth noting the cabbies’ side of the story.  [read the rest at Forbes]Read more

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