Today’s Headlines

  • Pricing Could Push Congestion to Suburbs (NYT)
  • Congestion Panel Should Do Europe (NYT)
  • Scooter Owners Hope for Pricing Exemption (BBC)
  • Inside the Traffic Jam Reporting Industry (NYT)
  • Controller Says MTA Should Delay Fare Hike (Daily News)
  • Google Eyeing NYC Transit Guide (City Room, Crain’s)
  • SUV Driver Slams Into Delivery Workers, Killing One (Gothamist)
  • Potential Remedy for Dangerous Driving: Ad-Wrapped Cars (NYT)
  • NYU Pays Residents for Move-In Day Parking (NY1)
  • ‘Stray Voltage’ Isn’t Just for Sidewalks Anymore (Post)
  • Dissatisfied With Police, Bike Theft Victims Go Vigilante (WaPo)
  • Out of Control Pollution in China (NYT)
  • Golfers Protest Cart Requirements (Sun)
  • nobody

    I think NYU misfired with the parking thing. We need parking to cost more, not less.

  • ddartley

    Doctoroff and other pricing supporters should stop trying to convince suburban worriers that their areas will be little affected. Pricing supporters should say “yes, too bad. You bring illness, danger, and economic impedance to our streets. You can start keeping some of it for yourselves.” (not holding my breath)

  • James

    That sounds like a great sales pitch to get the State Assembly on board, Dartley.

  • Brooklyn

    The Washington Post article is disappointing. “Vigilante” is confronting the thief with three friends and a baseball bat. You and three friends hopefully ride away wearing bright, sunburst grins. The thief, hopefully, bleeds out into the curb.

  • ddartley

    One possible benefit from ad-wrapping cars:

    Ad-wrapped cars that are used by real people for their real driving “needs” are at least better than THIS: flickr.com/photos/10798592@N08/1249614994/

    Maybe if this trend continues, advertising vehicles that do nothing but drive around (such as towed, rolling billboards, or the Howling Monkey truck) will stop being used.

    The one real bad thing the article describes–where the guy says he tells his employees to sit in traffic–has an answer too: congestion pricing.

  • Cap’n Transit
  • Steve

    Ad-Wrapping: Belies the assumption of conventional transpo planners that motorists have “real” transportation objectives while bicyclists are recreationists to be tolerated but not alloacted meaningful amounts of road instractrucute when push comes to shove.

  • Hilary Kitasei

    The Metronorth stations in Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil have the same parking shortage, but unfortunately are at the bottom of steep slopes with narrow streets and no sidewalks. It’s a terrible disincentive to using the trains, and makes those transit-rich communities terrible sources of cars into Manhattan. These waterfront stations are also waterfront parks — and hopefully future ferry stations and the greenway – so the problem of linking the upland must be solved. The same problem applies to all of the Metronorth stations along the Harlem River in the Bronx. I keep thinking that cable cars or funiculars are what we need.

  • brent

    Bike Theft- As someone who parks a bike on the street almost every day I have had several bikes stolen, not to mention being the victim of parts snarfers who have ruined numerous commutes (who woulda thunk $2 plastic pedals would be worth taking, anyhow). I am glad to see an article that at least discusses this gigantic problem. There is no sympathy for bike theft victims whatsoever, everyone seems to just accept it. I don’t even bother telling most people about it anymore as responses fall somewhere between laughter and, “why would you park it in the street anyhow?” Bike theft is NOT ACCEPTABLE. It is a crime and if there was political will at all levels it could be reigned in. There are a lot of factors that make New York a lesser city for biking than it could be, but this is easily one of the major ones. There are dozens of things that need to happen to fix this problem. The good news is I don’t think it can get any worse. We need more cooperation from police and government. We need major infrastructure improvements. Until these things change, however, I would like to see more citizens taking matters into their own hands. It would be nice there was organized resistance- Guardian Angels style. Maybe that’s too much to hope for. It would be a step ion the right direction if there was just more information and cooperation among people who want this madness to end. Does anyone know anything about this?

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    The Riverdale Funicular … I like the sound of that! I don’t understand why you don’t at least have sidewalks. I was just in Riverdale yesterday and marveled at the potholed streets next to multi-million dollar homes.

    Also, the express buses take twice as long as the train to get to Midtown. I bet they could save some time if they weren’t barred from the west side drive.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (There are dozens of things that need to happen to fix this problem.)

    Stakeouts are one of them. Everyone knows that the bicycle rack at the Brooklyn Public Library is a place where theives take orders. Why not just install a camera and send a few order takers to Rikers?

  • Steve

    I’m with you, Brent. I found my $1.59 bungee cord had stolen the other day just as I was about to bring home a big birthday present for my son. I have often fantasized about the potential impact of conducting systematic sting operations with transponder-loaded bikes so that the fences could be systematically caught and punished. T.A. apparently conducted a low-tech version of this some time ago but I have not heard of anything since. With the cost of transponders going down over the years, bike accessory manufacturers should come up with an affordable model that bicyclists can install themselves. Nothing would be more satisfying than to electronically track a stolen bike to a paint shop and nail the fence.

  • Hilary Kitasei

    Angus, Many Riverdale roads don’t have sidewalks because they are part of historic districts (one near the station and the other in Fieldston). The curving roads were laid out by Olmsted as an alternative to the grid, and are prized. Palisades Avenue was a great zoning victory by Riverdalians who preserved it from being widened (history is at Riverdalenature.org) Potholes are great for traffic calming.
    More than the absence of sidewalks is the steepness of the slopes. It is an arduous climb from the populated ridge to the subway (by step streets) or the train.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    Hilary, I’m all for historic districts, but I don’t want to see them get in the way of pedestrian mobility. It doesn’t really seem that the lack of sidewalks deters people from walking in Riverdale, but if it does then they should add some contextually appropriate sidewalks. Or else ban all contextually inappropriate cars from the district as well.

    In the absence of a funicular (how much do those things cost, anyway?), there is the RailLink bus, but how successful is that? What are the barriers to people using it? Why don’t they run it at off-peak hours?

    I can’t find an article on your site that specifically refers to Palisade Avenue. Can you give a direct link?

  • Ian D

    Interesting conflict between mobility and historic preservation. I can’t really think that in his designs Olmstead considered Hummers more than a weekend stroll (or weekday walk to the train).

    Here in SoHo, the granite sidewalks and cobbled streets are an integral part of the historic district. Of course, they generally don’t include any wheelchair-accessible ramps. So what do we do – tell the disabled to take a hike (literally)? There has to be a balance between preservation and the real basic needs of the community.

  • Hilary Kitasei

    Riverdale’s streets are extremely walkable. I think there’s far more to fear from transportation engineers than historic preservation(just check out what they did to Riverdale’s once-beautiful overpasses.) The problem, as I said, is the steep slope, something that doesn’t occur in Brooklyn and Queens.
    The rail link is a full-size bus and connects to the rush hour trains only. As I recall, by 8:00 pm there was only one train an hour.
    I went back and read some background to the great zoning victory and am horrified to realize that it caused much of the present day I’m talking about! They allowed the high rise development along the parkway “where traffic wouldn’t destroy the local streets” and preserved the low density down either slope. The result is a bucolic, quiet waterfront with train stations that no one can get to.

  • Steve

    Our family often takes the BxM 1/2 to and from the 252nd St. stop in Riverdale to visit Wave Hill. The approximately 1/2 mile walk from the bus stop to Wave hill is virtually sidewalk-less, with a mix of historic and frankly modern homes extending their front lawns and hedges up to the road’s edge. Except for the service road to the Henry Hudson, the traffic is calm and I feel comfortable walking along the road, even with small kids. However on the service road, there really ought to be a proper bus stop rather than the patch of dirt now provided for those waiting for southbound buses at 252nd. My guess, though, is that locals would object to a bus stop and be concerned that it would be vandalized, making it into a worse eyesore.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    Hey, this Scottish funicular cost less than $40 million. Even with cost overruns, it sounds like a pretty good deal.