What will make cargo bike package delivery succeed in New York?

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Lessons from other cities that have started replacing trucks with bikes.

What will make cargo bike package delivery succeed in New York?

At a UPS operating center in midtown Manhattan, two cargo delivery bikes will soon begin rolling out of a driveway in the morning a few hours before the usual delivery trucks begin their routes. The company is part of a new six-month pilot program in New York City that will test how well cargo bikes, with electric “pedal assist” for couriers, can potentially help relieve traffic by replacing some delivery trucks. A similar system is already in use in several other cities around the world: New York can learn from what’s working elsewhere to consider how the pilot could scale up.

In European cities, UPS typically brings a shipping container from a depot to a spot in the city center early in the morning, and couriers on bikes take loads of deliveries to nearby neighborhoods. Since the cargo bikes can’t carry as much as a truck, the cyclists have to make multiple trips; the system only makes economic sense in congested areas where trucks struggle to park, but bikes can reach customers more quickly. (We’re using the term bike liberally here, many of these vehicles have more than two wheels.)

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NYC turns to electric cargo bikes to solve delivery truck crisis

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A new program in New York City will see electric cargo bikes promoted as a solution to the growing number of polluting and congesting delivery trucks throughout the city.

Now I love shopping on Amazon and other e-commerce sites as much as the next guy. But I also recognize that the huge shift towards online shopping has also prompted a drastic increase in the number of deliveries being made and thus delivery trucks clogging our streets and polluting our air.

And few know this problem as intimately as the residents of New York City. The already famously congested streets of the city can often be held hostage to delivery trucks unloading in bike lanes, sidewalks and anywhere else that will fit the massive trucks.

But a new program in the city will test out replacing those large delivery trucks with smaller, less intrusive electric cargo bikes. The electric cargo bikes, which will be operated by Amazon, UPS and DHL, can travel at city speeds yet take up much less room than conventional delivery trucks. And of course, they also result in zero emissions during use.

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NYC threatens to seize any Fedex delivery bots on city streets

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In February, FedEx debuted its SameDay Bots, which are parcel delivery robots that use a combination of artificial intelligence and motion sensors to navigate city streets and sidewalks.

Last week, social media users began reporting sightings of the bots in New York City. But based on a tweet from Mayor Bill de Blasio, FedEx never bothered to get permission to test the robots in the Big Apple — and it could be the bots’ undoing.

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The technology that could transform congestion pricing

Manhattan TollsMotorists entering Manhattan will soon be paying for the privilege. How should the city administer their tolls?

As cities like New York move ahead with plans to charge motorists to enter certain urban areas, we need to think about the best ways to manage road tolling.

Now that New York City has adopted congestion pricing in an effort to rein in traffic and raise revenue desperately needed to upgrade public transportation, other American cities are taking a closer look at this often-contentious technique. San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle have all recently released requests-for-proposals to begin studying the possibilities and implications of congestion pricing. As cities study the ins and outs of charging motorists to enter central districts, there hasn’t been much attention devoted to one critical part of congestion pricing package: the technology. How will tolls be collected? How will cities insure compliance in the charging zone? And how will our data privacy be addressed and protected?

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Super-tall, super-skinny, super-expensive: the ‘pencil towers’ of New York’s super-rich

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The proposed 2022 skyline overlooking Central Park.
Photograph: Andrew C Nelson/Jose Hernandez/Skyscraper Museum

An extreme concentration of wealth in a city where even the air is for sale has produced a new breed of needle-like tower. By Oliver Wainwright

It is rare in the history of architecture for a new type of building to emerge. The Romans’ discovery of concrete birthed the great domes and fortifications of its empire. The Victorians’ development of steel led to an era of majestic bridges and vaulted train sheds. The American invention of the elevator created the first skyscrapers in Chicago. Now, we are seeing a new type of structure that perfectly embodies the 21st-century age of technical ingenuity and extreme inequality. A heady confluence of engineering prowess, zoning loopholes and an unparalleled concentration of personal wealth have together spawned a new species of super-tall, super-skinny, super-expensive spire.

Any visitor to New York over the past few years will have witnessed this curious new breed of pencil-thin tower. Poking up above the Manhattan skyline like etiolated beanpoles, they seem to defy the laws of both gravity and commercial sense. They stand like naked elevator shafts awaiting their floors, raw extrusions of capital piled up until it hits the clouds.

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Organ Harvesting Ambulance for New York City

Organ Harvesting Ambulance for New York City

 Harvesting organs is big business in NYC

Saving the living has always been the No. 1 priority for a New York City ambulance crew. But a select group of paramedics may soon have a different task altogether: saving the dead.

The city is considering creating a special ambulance whose crew would rush to collect the newly deceased and preserve the body so that the organs might be taken for transplant.

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Moscow Now Has More Billionaires Than NYC

Moscow Now Has More Billionaires Than NYC

Forbes released its report today on the world’s billionaires, see the top 25 (after the jump). Note that Indians represent three of the six richest people on the planet, and four of the eight richest people, compared to only two Americans. Of the top 25 richest people in the world, Russia has almost twice as many billionaires as the U.S. 

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