The Week’s Links

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A Bike Parking Building Boom in Portland (and Brooklyn Too) 
BikePortland.org reports that four new "Bike Oases," sleek, roof-covered, bicycle parking facilities (pictured above) will be installed on a popular shopping boulevard by spring. PDOT has also been converting car parking spaces into on-street bike parking. This is something that bicycle commuters who park-and-ride to the Bedford Avenue L subway stop in Brooklyn have been trying to get for a couple of years now. Well, good news: Last night DOT informed Brooklyn Community Board 1 that they will be eliminating five car-lengths of parking space on the southeast corner of N. 7th Street and Bedford Avenue and installing bike racks. As far as I know, the project sets two new precedents: First, DOT’s creation of a bike park-and-ride at a subway stop and second, an outer borough neighborhood willingly giving up car parking spaces to bicycles or, well, anything, for that matter. Details to come.

No Justice for Brooklyn Law Professor Slaughtered by Garbage Truck 
I happened upon the scene shortly after it occurred and saw Sara Robbins’ body covered in a sheet about 10 to 15 feet south of the crosswalk and the green private garbage truck some ways down the block. It was pretty gruesome and has affected me the past few days. Today, I read the cover story in the Brooklyn Heights newspaper and was outraged (though not surprised) that the cops didn’t even issue a summons to the driver. The paper reports, "Officials said that the truck had the light as it made a left from Montague Street onto Henry." This was after mentioning that the woman had been IN THE CROSSWALK. There was no mention that the ped had the green light too nor that she had the right of way. The paper and "officials" make it seem like the driver did nothing wrong — he had the green light after all. I am beyond livid by this. It’s nice to know, however, that the City is concerned about people’s consuming trans-fats. I don’t know anyone who was killed suddenly, violently and involuntarily by consuming too many french fries.

The UK’s Eddington Report Links Transport, Climate & Economic Development
A corespondent returns from London with news of the Eddington Report (PDF), a rigorous independent review of the effect of transport policy on the next 20 years of economic growth in the UK. The report provides the intellectual architecture for expanding the congestion zone out of London and across the entire British road network. "In general," our correspondent writes, "the discussion in England right now on things like carbon footprint (air travel as well as road) is at such an elevated level compared to here it almost seems like another planet."

Urban Artwork To Psych-Out Dangerous Drivers (NYT)
Artwork commissioned this summer by the city of Cambridge, Mass. is aimed at reducing traffic speeds at a busy intersection. The junction in question is in residential West Cambridge. Six thousand cars pass through it every weekday. People were aware that neighborhood street murals in Portland, Ore., had had the unintended consequence of slowing drivers down, and they decided to experiment. Residents selected the semi-abstract composition of the local artist Wen-ti Tsen. Tsen says that he initially thought of proposing a giant trompe l’oeil pothole.

Green Roof or Parking Deck for Brooklyn’s New Whole Foods? via Curbed
Nevermind the 1,800 cars an hour expected at the Gowanus Whole Foods when it opens in 2008 or the 480-car parking garage and rooftop parking. There’s a new group organizing to make the grocery’s roof a sea of green instead of blacktop. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a city government that did some pushing (and incentivizing) for design ideas like this as well?

  • The bike parking at Bedford Ave. is huge. Besides being useful for cyclists, the symbolism of giving car space directly to cyclists is just tremendous.

    Whole Foods doing 1800 cars an hour in Brooklyn is just plain disgusting. They try to cultivate a reputation of being environmentally friendly[1] and sensitive to their neighborhoods, and this is how they conduct business in the 2nd densest county in the U.S.? Unfortunately all too many Park Slopers and Carroll Gardeners will eat the green roof right up with a spoon.

    Notes:
    1. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/issues/commitmentgreen.html
    2. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company/communitygiving.html

  • da

    Yes, to a certain extent the green roof is “greenwashing”.

    But if the alternative is rooftop parking, isn’t a green roof to be preferred?

    Actually if they go with the green roof, they’ll say they need to make the parking garage even bigger.

  • AD

    It’s easy to fall back on the defense that people will always drive because they need the trunk space for groceries.

    My experience living in Harlem belies that. Harlem’s built environment is characterized by supermarkets located within walking distance of brownstones and small to medium apartment buildings that don’t have off-street parking. This encourages people to walk to the supermarket and take the food home in a wire pushcart. These pushcarts are sold on the cheap up there.

    The supermarkets are built within the areas of concentrated housing, not placed way out in a place like Gowanus, to far from concentrated housing in the Slope and Carroll Gardens to walk, then luring drivers by building a huge garage.

    Despite the laudable green roof, this development is a bad idea.

  • ddartley

    Also about the bike parking–

    Bikes belong on the street, right? So they should not compete with pedestrians for sidewalk space. It is a great move, and I hope it starts to repeat itself all around town.

  • I don’t think the entire area freed from car parking in W’burg will be filled with racks. The whole plan originated to help ease pedestrian obstructions at the subway entrance, which random non-rack bike parking at the corner aggravates. So some of it will apparently be sidewalk widening. Sum result is peds will have more room, the transit entrance will be easier and bike parking is expanded and perhaps somewhat more orderly.

  • Thanks for clarifying. I should have more details on the bike parking on Monday.

  • When I talk about bike park and rides near subways to local officals, they just look at me and say “That’s what the bus is for”. And they wonder why people complain about bus bunching and overcrowding…

    A bike is perfect for short trips around the neighborhood. Biking is also especially good at reducing peak demand for subway feeder buses AND providing a good transit option during off peak times when the buses are not as frequent. And it’s healthy…

    But in most parts of the city, the “That’s what the bus is for” continues to be the norm. Perhaps we could get the MTA to start advocating for this after Sanders takes over…

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Now the MTA is Stealing Bikes in Williamsburg

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Back in July, New York City’s Department of Transportation built sidewalk extensions and bike racks on a few automobile parking spaces-worth of street space near the Bedford Avenue subway stop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was the first time ever that on-street car parking had been replaced by bike parking in New York City. The Bedford […]

An NYC First: On-Street Parking Spaces Replaced by Bike Racks

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The new bike racks have been installed at the Bedford Avenue L subway station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. As the Dept. of Transportation announces in today’s press release, "The facility marks the first time car parking spaces have been removed to accommodate bicycle parking in New York City." DOT extended a 76-foot section of the sidewalk […]

Small Step for Pedestrians & Cyclists; Giant Leap for NYC

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The Department of Transportation’s recently announced streetscape renovation at the Bedford Avenue L subway station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn marks the first time ever in New York City that car parking spaces have been removed to make way for bicycle parking. Since breaking the news of this development on Monday, Streetsblog has learned more about the project. DOT’s plan […]