Today’s Headlines

  • Fare Hike Is Imminent Without Help, Sander Says (NYT, Post, News)
  • Anthony Weiner Gets to Work — on Fashion Model Bill (News)
  • U.S. House Approves Rail Funding Package (Sun, AP)
  • Ridership Surge Strains Under-Equipped Transit Systems (MSNBC)
  • Department of Ed. Likes Pier 40 as School Site (Post)  
  • Yankees Seek More Subsidies for New Stadium (NYT, Newsday, Post)
  • Toronto Cyclists Form Riders Union (C.S. Monitor
  • Chicago Cyclist Doored, Killed During Bike to Work Week (Sun-Times
  • Killer Ambulette Driver Had License Suspended Seven Times (News)
  • More NYers Driving While Distracted (Gothamist)
  • lee

    not sure if my previous comment worked or not

    the amtrak bill passed with a veto proof majority.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/amtrak_congress;_ylt=AujT8joHmvtuwrIJn_yANhhhr7sF

  • Larry Littlefield

    The relevant information on the MTA.

    Brodsky is saying that the MTA is in a politcal fight for money, and it has to try harder. What is the MTA? A state agency. Who controls state agencies? The state legislature.

    Is Brodsky going to get away with this? He said there would be money for the MTA if congestion pricing was not approved. He got his way.

    As for Sander, the time for him to say the MTA is a financial basket case is when he was first appointed. He and Spitzer decided to paper over and defer the problem when times were good, because it was the easy and popular thing to do. He added promises onto promises.

    I don’t want to hear it from him now.

    And as for Ravitch, after taxes are increased, fares are raised, and services are cut to “save the MTA,” the legislature will pass a 20/50 pension plan for the TWU and the MTA will not be saved anyway.

    This we know based on our experience with all the extra money we have paid for Social Security since 1983, and the big increase in spending on the city’s public schools, followed by a big pension enhancement, followed within weeks by reduced funding for the classroom.

  • ddartley

    More NYers driving while distracted: That includes on-duty cops driving patrol cars–with their partners sitting next to them apparently not objecting. Four times in the past two years I have seen that happen. Gee, how many things are wrong with that?

  • Air

    The Chicago doored story is sad but enlightening. Look at the language in the article as well as the punishment and quotes from officials – very much on the side of the bicyclists. Boy would that be refreshing here.

  • Adam

    I can’t believe it! MSNBC of all media outlets is finally making the connection between high gas prices, transit, and an inadequate energy policy predicated on cheap oil. I’m glad to see the story, not for it’s ground breaking reporting, but if the media is finally starting to connect the dots, maybe our politicians will drag their feet just a little less.

  • To follow up on what Larry wrote, Richard Brodsky is basically backtracking on things he said in October. During the lead-up to our current fare hike, he said, “After 12 years of neglect under the Pataki administration, we want to work with the M.T.A., the city and state governments to change the failed policies of the past.”

    So he’s going to follow up 12 years of neglect with….another year of neglect?

  • Larry Littlefield

    “So he’s going to follow up 12 years of neglect with….another year of neglect?”

    Hey, state government services and their cost aren’t his responsibility. It’s all up to the MTA to ask him hard enough, and if he doesn’t deliver, it’s because the MTA didn’t ask correctly.

    The MTA is in a political fight alright — against Brodsky.

    And until him and everyone like him — the whole state legislature — is removed from office, stripped of their pension, health benefits and personal assets after prosecution for fraud, and dumped over the state line in a wheelbarrow, I’d say people just have to plan for the collapse of mass transit in New York — among other things — at vastly higher tax rates.

  • We need a lot more penalties for misbehaving drivers. If a driver gets their licence suspended even once, they should not be able to drive for another year or two at least, I don’t care how many defensive driving classes they take. And they should have something like the equivalent of a parole officer making sure they are not driving anywhere in the meantime.

    And there should be renewal tests (written at least) every 2-5 years. It would sure make folks read a little bit about traffic safety.

    We can make the roads a lot safer if we just make it really inconvenient and expensive for bad drivers to stay on the road.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The Hub Bound survey for 2006 is out.

    http://www.nymtc.org/files/hub_bound/2006_Hub_Bound.pdf

    E. Bicycle

    In 2006, 12,000 bicyclists entered the Hub per day, an increase by 33 percent compared to 2005 (Section G). The largest number of bicyclists – 8,000 or 66 percent of the total — entered the Hub though the 60th Street sector. About 3,000 bicyclists entered via the bridges from Brooklyn and about 700 entered via the Queensborough Bridge. The survey of bicyclists entering and
    leaving the Hub is conducted by New York City Department of Transportation between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., thus representing 12-hour rather than 24-hour counts. Bicyclists were considered in section G of the 60th Street sector whether they were moving
    along with or against the traffic.

  • john the bicyclist

    That Toronto bike union is intriguing, not surprising from a country that stresses social concerns.

    The biggest problem toward large-scale bicycling in the USA is the lack of money to be made by industry, corporations and governments. The manufacturer’s profit on a bicycle is slim compared to the profit made by a new car. It doesn’t cost much to run or fix a bike, so no big bucks to be made there either. Cyclists are generally healthier and happier folk, so forget about antidrepressant sales. Cycling will never take off here, because the powers-that-be-can’t profit from it.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The biggest problem toward large-scale bicycling in the USA is the lack of money to be made by industry, corporations and governments…Cycling will never take off here, because the powers-that-be-can’t profit from it.”

    You can profit from lower costs as well as higher revenues. Health care costs in particular.

    My health insuruer will pay $200 per year toward the cost of a health club I’d never have time to go to. That’s how much they think they will benefit from more exercise and less obesity.

    Yet since I’ve started commuting by bike, I’ve been ringing up 1:50 in exercise days I ride, including 20 minutes of fairly aerobic excercise (up the bridge and hill). More exercise than I have gotten since high school.

    There is your financial incentive for some corporations and government.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Bicyclists to mow down old people and babies in City Hall Park.

    http://www.tribecatrib.com/news/newsjune08/cityhallpath.html

    Is it possible to come up with “traffic calming” measures for cyclists in cases like this, with pedestrian conflicts. I generally ride slowly in these cases, but not everyone does.

    Speed bumps?

  • Re #11, I think it’s sad that pedestrians and cyclists are constantly forced to compete with each other for limited space–why can’t we be taking space away from cars, instead?

  • U.S. House Approves Rail Funding Package: This is utterly fabulous news for rail. And the numbers are veto-proof. Take that, George Bush!

  • Nice Ped

    Ugh – can you please have visited links be a different color from unvisited links, like it used to be? I can’t tell which headlines I’ve linked to or not.

  • Larry, the City is already experimenting with “bike calming” measures on shared pathways–check out these rules requiring bicyclists proceed at pedestrian speed on the East Side Greenway.

    The pathway plan for City Hall park is interesting, and apparently reflects a trend toward shared bike/ped paths in parks. City Hall Park is so skinny that being forced to dismount in order to pass through it is not prohibitive. But does Warren Street and the pathway at the north end of City Hall Park provide a direct connection to the West Side Greenway and the Brooklyn Bridge, the way Chambers does? If not, then many bicyclists will be discouraged from using the new route.

    The argument that bicyclists will bring in skateboarders is ridiculous. I have never seen skateboarders appear in locations simply because bike paths were put in. They prefer areas with pedestrian traffic (or no traffic) only, like the brick-paved areas abutting the Brooklyn Bridge ramp system on the Manhattan side. There’s no bike path there, but tons of skateboarders. What does that prove?

  • Mark Walker

    Even as a non-biking pedestrian, I understand that expecting bikes to proceed at pedestrian speed is unrealistic. From what I dimly remember from childhood, it’s hard to stay balanced on a bike at walking speed.

    But as a ped who shares a path with bikers on a daily basis — on the Hudson River promenade between 91-99 Sts. — I fervently beg certain bikers to be more considerate of peds. It is not acceptable to ride on a shared ped/bike path at racing speed!

    My informal estimate is that 95 percent of bikers on that path are considerate. But the other 5 percent frighten and upset me every day, and I’m talking about the ones who are going two or three times as fast as the other bikes.

    I’ve also noticed that the ones who go fastest are also the ones who come too close to me, a foot or less. These people scare me, and their behavior violates any reasonable notion of shared space.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “From what I dimly remember from childhood, it’s hard to stay balanced on a bike at walking speed.”

    I hadn’t ridden a bicycle much since childhood until a couple of years ago, but I find little difficulty staying balanced at (NYC) walking speed or slightly faster. I guess riding a bicycle is like…riding a bicycle; you don’t forget.

    I have a harder time slowing to 5 mph at the EZ-Pass booth in my manual transmission car without stalling.