Today’s Headlines

  • 2,000+ NY Bridges "Deficient," 9 NYC Spans Lowest Rating (NYT, Sun, News)
  • Current Weight Limits on City Bridges Would Ban Large SUVs (Streetsblog)
  • Heavy Trucks Contribute More to Road and Bridge Wear and Tear (TSTC
  • I-35 Survivor Recounts Terrifying Plunge (NYT)
  • Results Are In: How Many SUVs Are There on Your Block? (Brian Lehrer)
  • 9th St. Bike Lane: Businesses Fuming Over Double-Parking Tix (Bklyn Paper)
  • Spitzer Signs Law to Put Carbon Emissions Labels on 2010 Model Cars (CityRoom)
  • State Allows Community Boards to Compete for Brownfield Study Funds (News)
  • Congress Begins Debate on an Incomplete Energy Bill Today (NYT)
  • To Increase Road Capacity, Seattle Tries Double Decker Buses (Planetizen)
  • IBM Pilots New Real-Time Traffic Prediction Technology in Singapore (CNN)
  • CA Legislator Connects Sprawl and Climate Change (Planetizen)
  • SF Voters to Decide on Transit Funds and a Repeal of Parking Limits (SFGate)
  • Building Starts on S.C. Plant to Convert Nuke Weapons Into Civilian Energy (NYT)
  • Steve

    Thank you for dusting off the post about certain SUVs being overweight for many NYC bridges. An expose that Bloomberg (or anyone else, for that matter) rides a 3-ton + over the Brooklyn Bridge would be so much more relevant than the express stop subway story. How much do those Chevy Suburbans weigh, anyway (sans armor)?

  • Charlie D.

    Re: 9th street bike lanes

    “Community activist Aaron Naparstek thinks the solution is to install bike lanes between parked cars and the sidewalk, as it is sometimes done in Paris and Copenhagen.”

    So the trucks would then double park in a narrowed street, blocking the general travel lane completely, and then they would haul their goods across the bike lane? I don’t see how this is a solution at all. Wouldn’t it be better to just add a loading zone along the existing curb so the truck can pull in completely?

  • Eric

    Charlie, that would of course be the proper solution. But if you thought the fight to stripe the bike lanes was nasty, wait’ll you tell Park Slopers that you’re going to take away some precious parking spaces for a loading zone.

  • Eric

    While I know that I’m liable to have to fix problems in the house after they happen, rather than doing reasonable preventive maintenance (i.e., replacing the roof AFTER it starts to leak), am I the only one a bit concerned that Spitzer and Corzine had to order emergency bridge inspections in the wake of the I-35 bridge collapse? I mean, isn’t inspecting bridges to make sure they’re safe what bridge inspectors are supposed to do? Shouldn’t the Govs be able to say “all open bridges are safe to use?”

  • Larry Littlefield

    Some people get away with breaking rules and some people don’t.

    I have only double parked once in my life. Pressed for time and on my way to somewhere else, I double parked for one minute on the very block in question, as I ran in to use a cash machine. I was ticketed when I returned.

    This was three years ago. This has absolutely, positively, with 100 percent certainty nothing to do with the bike path. That location is a tickeing happy hunting ground and has always been.

  • Charlie,

    They already have loading zones and taxi stands on 9th Street in front of the shops and car service place. And as part of the 9th St. Road Diet redesign DOT said it was going to expand and improve them.

    The street is very wide. Even if you narrowed the street by five feet on either side for a pair of cycle tracks, the street would still be wide enough for two lanes of traffic and a a full, 9-foot median — plenty of space to get around a double-parker.

    Yes, physically separated bike lanes or “cycle tracks” would have bus riders, delivery guys and pedestrians walking across them at various points and times. “Vehicular cyclists” who don’t want or like the cycle tracks could still ride in the street if they wanted to avoid those kinds of conflicts (and deal with the cars and trucks instead).

    I think 9th St. is an ideal spot to experiment with cycle tracks because the blocks are 1/8th of a mile long — nice long stretches without an intersection. It is an important, mixed-use neighborhood “Main Street” and a key access point to Prospect Park. I could see 9th St. being a very popular route for parents riding with kids, the elderly, and more vulnerable bike riders who would likely be encouraged by cycle tracks.

    The other day a Streetsblog tipster said he saw a Dad teaching his kid to ride a bike in the 9th Street bike lane. That’s an activity that never would have taken place on that street just a few weeks ago. It’s nice to see new users and new uses on what was once a dangerous, dysfunctional street. I’d like to see more of that. I think cycle tracks could help and are very much worth an experiment or two in NYC.

  • Charlie D.

    Aaron,

    I appreciate your response. I totally agree that cycle tracks could be something to encourage bicycling by a wider range of people, and I think it’s great that Transportation Alternatives is pushing to have them installed in appropriate places.

    I think it’s important however, that they not become the recommended solution for every problem. The root problem here is there was not an available legal place for the truck to park. By suggesting a cycle track as a solution, you somewhat solve the problem for bicyclists who choose to use the cycle track, but you haven’t addressed the root of the issue. You still have a truck that is forced to double park, blocking at least part of a travel lane, and which motorists and vehicular cyclists in the general travel lane would still have to navigate around.

  • Zach

    Seems doubtful, Charlie:

    Generally, cars won’t double park if they’re going to cause a major impediment to traffic — it only takes about fifteen seconds to get enough horns together to get somebody to move.

    Loading zone is still a good idea, yes, but it doesn’t preclude having separated bike spaces. And a handcart cutting across the path is *much* easier to deal with than a truck blocking mixed traffic.

  • Actually, the root problem on 9th Street was that all these people were getting killed there and too many cars were crashing. That was the impetus for the street redesign. Do a search on Streetsblog for “9th Street” and you’ll get way more info than you could ever have wanted.

    Also, for what it’s worth, I don’t think I told the reporter that cycle tracks were “the solution” for the double parking problem. I believe I mentioned it in passing, more like, “one good possible way to address that problem…”

    London has a really nice set of guidelines to help determine when and where cycle tracks are most appropriate:

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2006/11/13/londons-cycling-design-standards-a-model-for-nyc/

  • John Hunka

    Reopening of Manhattan Bridge North Bikeway.

    Here’s the text of an email message I received from DOT yesterday:

    NYCycles – The Official Newsletter of NYC DOT’s Bike Program

    Reopening of Manhattan Bridge North Bikeway

    The north bikeway of the Manhattan Bridge will reopen on Monday, August 6. The north
    bikeway has been closed since October 2006 to complete various construction tasks
    in association with the rehabilitation of the lower roadway of the bridge as well
    as to ensure and maintain public safety during the rehabilitation. Once the bikeway
    reopens the south walkway will revert to pedestrian use only.

    More information about the Manhattan Bridge rehabilitation project is available
    on the DOT Web site at http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/eastriverbgs.html

    This is the NYC.gov News You Requested for:

    Bicycle Updates
    Transportation Updates