Today’s Headlines

  • Larry Littlefield

    What is going on in the economy, which goes far beyond the financial markets, will have more of an effect on the issues discussed in this blog than the issues discussed in this blog. This is beyond what even I could have imagined.

    From what I can tell, the sort of people who post here will be less affected that most Americans, but it isn’t going to be pretty.

    For one thing, when America is no longer subsidized by the rest of the world by being allowed to go deeper and deeper into debt, individually and collectively, lots of people are going to want bicycles as the only realistic option. But may not be able to afford them. Too bad that $240 per year is not indexed for inflation.

  • Brooklyn

    Re: car-free Prospect Park.

    I propose a compromise — allow cars in the park northbound in the morning, but eliminate the southbound evening hours.

    I commute by bike through the park during the cars-allowed hours. Anecdotally, I notice the drives have many more pedestrians, runners, cyclists and parents with children in the early evening when I’m spinning home than in the morning, when I’ve finished fitness laps from 6a-7a (full disclosure — I’m one of those guys in the double paceline) and I’m heading to Manhattan. I imagine this is for the same reason that gyms are crowded after work (in the 9-5 sense) and not before.

    In addition, for much of the east (northbound) drive, there is a wide barrier between the bike/pedestrian path and the car lanes — space to pass people, as well as literal and figurative distance from cars. In contast, on the west drive, there is only a double white line separating them from GAP all the way to Park Circle — the experience often feels predictably claustrophobic.

    What do you all think?

  • The way to fix car commuting and parking tax credits is to eliminate them, not to extend token credits to bicycles. Should pedestrian ‘commuters’ get a $5 credit for shoe leather? Like the rest of our tax policy, this is a joke. Proportional tax credits still promote waste, even if applied universally (and they are not), by more heavily subsidizing more expensive modes. It’s a lot of paperwork that changes nothing and, as a person who rides to work, I’m not even sure I would file for. Extending more tax credits is the last thing we should be fighting for in a country running massive deficits. And if this monopoly money is going to be spent at all, please spend my credit on less lethal infrastructure. I’d rather arrive alive than be run over with an extra $20 in my pocket.

  • Edgar

    Honestly, I’ve ridden the MTR in Hong Kong–one of the few subway systems in the world that generates an operating profit.

    There are ads everywhere, in places that American ad-men would even imagine.

    Yet for all that, my traveling companions and I would take the cleanliness, timeliness, and air-conditioning in the MTR system over the relatively ad-free NYC Subway any day.

  • i like your idea, Brooklyn

    that west drive barrier is uncomfortably non-existent

  • Larry Littlefield

    Here is an article about reality, I’m afraid.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=afZRKK9qsBHI&refer=home

    I don’t think the bailout is going to fix this, although its absence might make it worse. Forget “peak oil.” We are at “peak debt.”

  • vnm

    Re Amtrak

    The Wall Street Journal’s article on the Congressional action sheds more light on how McCain and Obama voted.

    This is one issue where there are clear differences. The two candidates could hardly be farther apart.

    Despite the obvious benefits with regard to energy independence (which Palin mentioned about 100 times last night) and environment, and the mobility of Americans who can’t afford increasingly expensive gasoline, McCain still, still votes against increased funding for Amtrak. He’d evidently rather spend much more money funding a war in Iraq to get their oil we need to keep the highways humming.

    The guy is unaware of our current predicament or unable to mentally cope with it.

    Sen. McCain, the Republican nominee, a consistent critic of the nation’s money-losing long-distance rail provider, voted against the measure. Sen. Obama, the Democratic candidate, voted for it; he routinely advocates an expansion of passenger-rail service.

    In opposing the bill, Sen. McCain emphasized accountability and the need to set priorities at a time when the government is considering a $700 billion package to stem the financial crisis.

    “With the financial situation facing our nation, this multibillion-dollar commitment of taxpayers’ dollars could be dedicated to addressing far more important national priorities,” a McCain spokesman said in an email Thursday.

    The spokesman also singled out an earmark in the bill that would steer $1.5 billion over 10 years to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which operates bus and rail service in the nation’s capital.

  • What’s up with the Brooklyn Paper calling the Youth Advocates “cycling activists” but the community board chairs “locals”? Aren’t the Youth Advocates just as local as the community board chairs? The only pro-cycling thing I heard about them saying or doing was free tire pressure checks. Do they even ride bikes?

  • Actually, the Editor, Gersh Kuntzman does ride.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2rBSwNYGn8

    I agree, it was a lousy article. Dr. Fructer “collided” with a van. Um, okay.

  • Apologies, it’s Fruchter. Rachel Fruchter.

    (still waiting for that editing feature 😉

  • lee

    the youths haven’t lived in the area long enough to be considered locals.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (the youths haven’t lived in the area long enough to be considered locals.)

    I’ve only lived in Windsor Terrace for 23 years, so I don’t really qualify either.