Upper West Side Livable Streets Advocates: Mark Your Calendar

Monday, September 24
6:00 to 9:30 pm
John Jay College
899 Tenth Ave. (at 58th St.)
RSVP to westsidestudy @ hshassoc . com or (917) 339-0488

UWS.jpg

Do you have thoughts about improving the bicycle, pedestrian and
transportation environment on the Upper West Side? In conjunction with
Councilmember Gale Brewer, the Department of Transportation would like
to hear your thoughts, concerns and ideas regarding transportation
issues from West 55th to 86th Streets (PDF).

From the DOT:
The
New York City Department of Transportation is conducting a traffic and
transportation study for the area bounded by West 55th Street, West
86th Street, Central Park West and Twelfth Avenue/Henry Hudson Parkway
in the Borough of Manhattan.

The study was initiated in
response to community concerns over the growth in major real estate
developments and traffic congestion. The study will assess existing
traffic and transportation conditions in the study area and project how
future land uses may generate new trips and affect levels of congestion
in the study area. Community input will be an integral part of the
assessment process. After the study we will work with the community to
produce recommendations to improve traffic flow and safety along
corridors and at intersections, reduce congestion and improve access to
local destinations.

  • momos

    I ride my bike through that area all the time. Would LOVE to go to this event, but I can’t make it.

    Is there a way to submit written comments?

    BTW, at a town hall meeting about PlaNYC I suggested to Gale Brewer that her district needs the kind of physically separated “bike tack” the DOT will build on 9th Ave. I even drew her a diagram that closely resembled the schematic street diagram in the DOT presentation. Her response? Such an idea is crazy because it prevents disable people from using the bus. She totally didn’t get it.

    Come on Streetsbloggers, go to that meeting and set her straight!

  • Zach

    … re momos: The key to convincing planners is to draw the lane on the left. =)

  • momos

    In fact I did draw it on the left. Then I drew in bus bulbs. (“What’s that???”) Then I explained how a wheelchair would move seamlessly from sidewalk, across bike lane to bus bulb. Curb cuts or other modifications would easily make this a breeze. And another benefit would be that cars would be physically prevented from blocking bus stops.

    “But this just won’t work for disabled people.”

    Middle-aged, out-of-shape suspicious lady standing nearby: “You’re not one of those bikers are you?? You are all bad people. You ride on the sidewalk like it’s your own.”

    I acknowledged that there are bicyclists who ride on sidewalks, but it’s not because they are “bad people.” It’s because they feel unsafe on the street with cars zooming by. In other words, it’s a cascade effect. And that’s why this physically separated bike lane is a good idea: everybody, including pedestrians would benefit.

    “But this just won’t work for disabled people.”

    They have them in Europe and it seems to work fine there, I pointed out.

    “But this is America. The Europeans abuse their disabled people. This just won’t work for disabled people.”

  • alex

    I live in this neighborhood, commute by bike everyday, and I’ll be at the meeting.

  • Mark Fleischmann

    It’s unfortunate that the survey doesn’t extend to 96th Street. Changes in the traffic signals, made a year or so ago, have made the intersection of Broadway and 96th more dangerous. Pedestrians have much less time to get across the street. The precious seconds have been reallocated to turning car traffic. With all the pedestrian activity surrounding the IRT express/local station, this is a real hazard, and one entirely manufactured by the DOT.

  • steve

    Yes, 96th Street is a disaster. The M96 is consistently the slowest crosstown bus north of 57th Street and there is terrible overcrowding due to bunching and non-use of articulated buses. A key bottleneck is between Amsterdam and Broadway, where the same florists’ delivery van and clergyman’s sedan seem to be blocking the right lane every morning I use the bus. I have found that I can reliably walk that block faster than travel it by bus at ~ 8:00 am. Some parking regulation is in order.

  • momos

    W 110th St between Broadway and Central Park West also needs attention from DOT. It has two lanes of traffic in each direction, widening to an additional 3 (but there’s space for 4, and speeding drivers use it all the time) east bound approaching Central Park West. The street has MAJOR excess capacity for cars, the result of which is cars speeding at upwards of 35-40mph as they travel east towards Central Park.

    This street is a prime east-west location for a bike track. Even then there’d be excess capacity for cars. Put a landscaped median with trees and greenery down the middle.

  • bike commuter

    i wish they would finally finish the bike path along the river between 79 and 92. the close encounters going up and down to the promenade on the railtracks are to much…

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    There’s a simple way to build a nice bike path between 85th and 92nd Streets – take a lane from the “parkway.” As far as I know, nobody has had the guts to suggest this to anyone who has the power to actually do it.

  • Bystander

    The greenway has already been designed (by Vollmer) and is awaiting construction as far as I know. Parks won rare approval from the Army Corps of Engineers to cantilever a path (that emits light) over the water. The Parks was very sensitive to the historic details of the parkway, which in this section is fortunately landmarked — exquisite details like the nautical railing that I had never noticed before.
    Angus, I share your pain over the lack of guts to suggest that the road accommodate the park. I have a hard time getting people to accept the idea that a parkway is a park with a road through it.

  • ddartley

    HEY! It says RSVP was required by 9/17!

  • Spud Spudly

    Mark, I find that the left turn signal at 96th and Bway is not bad at all. Once you’ve been through there a time or two you know when the left turn signal is coming and you can safely get halfway across the street before the walk signal turns green. It gives you a jump you couldn’t have gotten before.

    Of course, that’s obviously not how the DOT planned it. But it works for me.

  • Hilary

    Spud,
    Next time you’re making that beautiful turn, behold the beautiful Riverside Drive overpass at 96th. A superb restoration of a historic park bridge done by none other than City DOT. Evidence that where there’s a will (and community interest), there’s a way…

  • Mark Fleischmann

    Spud, point well taken, but another one comes up. If the new rhythm causes us to jaywalk more, doesn’t that make us less safe? After all, it makes our movements less predictable to motorists.

  • Spud Spudly

    That is a beautiful piece of work Hilary. I’m quite familiar with it. These days that same overpass would be a concrete slab held in place by steel I-beams. I may be wrong, but isn’t that an Olmstead and Vaux original?

    And Mark, you’re talking to one of the only people in NYC who’s actually been ticketed for jaywalking. Just once, which means I’ve gotten away with it 99.99998% of the time. Honestly, the jaywalking issue never crossed my mind. But at that intersection — if the cars obey the “No U-turn” sign — it’s perfectly safe to jaywalk halfway across the street during the left-turn signal.

  • Hilary

    Glad you like it (the overpass) too. New York’s parks are filled with similarly historic bridges and overlooks that on. You don’t have to replace a bridge like that with concrete and steel to ruin it. Just cover its parapets with jersey barriers, top with chain link, and plaster with signs. Bicyclists and pedestrians should be the greatest advocates because they’re going at the right speed to appreciate their beauty. Sorry to veer off topic, but any mention of that 96th bridge sets me dreaming… of one convert at a time.

  • steve

    The left turn signal phase helps the traffic flow but when it was introduced I believe they shortened the pedestrian green phase. Of course, the pedestrians borrow liberally from the left turn phase, so it evens out, but it’s a bit chaotic and stressful for seniors and parents with small kids.

  • Peter Goldwasser

    RE: MOMOS

    It is true that the Council Member is very concerned about maintaining safe streets for the disabled. But, I also know that she is very supportive of new design ideas like the “cycle-track” separated 9th Avenue bike lane that you mentioned–especially when its design (like the 9th Avenue Model with its left side placement and other design features) will not actually hamper bus access for the disabled.

    I know that such ideas and comments were raised in some of the breakout sessions at the event this past Monday. Also, the DOT has set up a link where you can post your ideas for about the next 3 weeks:

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/about/westsidestudy.shtml

    Please do give me a call if you would like to chat more on 9th Avenue, possible future application in Gale’s District, or any other transportation related topic.

    Best,

    Peter Goldwasser
    Director of Policy and Communications
    Office of Council Member Gale A. Brewer
    212-873-0282

  • I really appreciated your post, this would really provide the great information .Thanks for sharing.
    wheelchairs

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