Today’s Headlines

  • Larry Littlefield

    If the teen candidate wants to get ahead in life, he should not only oppose infrastructure investments with long run benefits, but also be in favor of increasing “pro-growth” debts, and tax breaks and spending increases for our dear seniors.

    Thereby joining the existing successful people who spoke rationalization to power.

  • From the Post article:

    But store owners on the Seventh Avenue side said the increased car traffic and sinking economy might tank their business.

    Someone please ask these store owners to go talk to the Summer Streets kvetchers?

    Oh, and Rosie Mendez is probably the most pro-bike member of the City Council, appearing at rallies in pedicabs. If I lived in District 3 I’d vote for her over that landsman any day.

  • Car Free Nation

    re: Questionable Scofflaw Cyclist Study Makes Headlines Again

    I think TA should turn up the rhetoric. Rather than

    39% of NYC Drivers Caught Speeding
    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    39% of NYC Drivers Engage in Illegal Behavior

    or

    39% of NYC Drivers Have No Regard for Pedestrian Safety

    or

    39% of NYC Drivers Routinely Break The Law, Endangering Others

    or

    39% of NYC Drivers Flout Traffic Safety Laws

  • Has anyone looked at the comments to the City Section article? That article (“Midtown Cyclists Routinely Break the Law, Study Says”) generated twice as many comments as any other City Section article yesterday — and they are overwhelmingly negative, even hostile, from citizens clamouring for an immediate and decisive police crackdown on bicycle riders who it seems are a law unto themselves, and the greatest danger to this peaceable metropolis.

    It kills me. On the one hand, there seems to be so much potential (and progress made) to making New York a bike-friendly city. On the other hand, it seems that the public would prefer car-choked streets, and will accept the deaths and injuries inflicted by cars and trucks.

  • @shemp,

    I saw that too. Looks encouraging. I really hope that the city starts to think about the design implications of some of these street plans. For example, I love the idea of the median, but does it have to just be concrete and trees? I know that it’s probably MUCH cheaper than, say, anything else, but it’s just kind of sad looking. Ut would be nice to see hardscapes mixed with softer terrain and places for activities. I think the reliance on inexpensive solutions is only going to take us so far. I like riding int eh ninth avenue bike lane but asphalt and thermoplast aren’t the most fun materials. I’d like to see the same level of innovation that DOT is applying to safer streets applied to the visual language of those streets.

  • FYI Dan, I pulled Shemp’s comment and added the link up top. Looks like today’s top story to me.

  • Bhairavi Desai thinks it’s a crushing burden for taxi drivers to putter along at anything less that expressway speeds. Imagine that.

  • Thanks Brad! Has it actually been released? I couldn’t find the manual on NYC.gov.

  • While The Times is rehashing that study and the “I was almost hit by a bicycle just last week” crowd is flooding the comments section, how many peds were run down by cars this week in NYC? I count one dead 13-year-old in Flatbush, a boy who lost a leg in Brooklyn, and the fellow who was plastered by the speeding SUV in Chelsea, at least.

    Hard to get worked up about that when a cyclist in Midtown may have proceeded through a red light after stopping and looking both ways.

  • bc

    “While The Times is rehashing that study and the “I was almost hit by a bicycle just last week” crowd is flooding the comments section, how many peds were run down by cars this week in… ”

    Thanks Eric, I said almost those exact words in my comment to the article. I am very bothered by the piece, and moreso by the vitriol in the comments accompanying the piece. I don’t know why the Times feels the need to run one of these every month, and I love that it was right in the middle of Bike Month. The “study” is flawed in so many ways, and, as you point out, anyone that wants to look at statistics should be ashamed we are even discussing whether people are more afraid of bikes or cars.

  • gecko

    >> City Releases Guidebook for 21st-Century Street Design (NYT)
    titled “In the Future, the City’s Streets Are to Behave” at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/20/nyregion/20streets.html is quite nice.

  • JSD

    Has the actual street design guide been released? I’ve done more than a few Google searches, but I can’t seem to find it. There is a link in the article to the Broadway plan, but not the actual manual.

    I’ll keep looking.

  • Note that the article stating that 25% of motorists text when they drive (also in an NY Times blog) has not received a similar barrage of hostile commentary on the Times site, calling for a crackdown of text messaging while operating a vehicle, in the same way that the cycling article turned into a public hate-fest.

  • Mike

    I think the street design manual comes out tonight.

  • Moser
  • Mike @ DOT

    I stand corrected 😉

  • Thanks Mike@Dot!

  • I’ve stopped reading the Times generally because of their bicycle baiting this year. I won’t support any news publication that puts me in an arbitrary group and recites a few rotten generalizations about “us” to kick off thousand-word rants in the comments about how “we” are so despicable. (When you get to the rhyming anti-bicycle ditties, congratulations: you have reached the end of the waiting-to-die-net.) Baiting gets big pageviews, but it will cost them the forward thinking and moving part of society that used to adore the paper. By the time they and their advertisers notice the readership trending deeper into Florida and retirement communities, it will be much too late for the gray lady.

    A lot of people moved on after the Times’ prelude-to-Iraq cheerleading; I’m a little ashamed that I waited for a wrong that felt more personal. What other critical stories will the paper get fundamentally wrong, and in doing so disastrously affect the events they’re supposed to describe? I’ll be watching this car crash from somewhere else.

  • Nathan H: “I’ve stopped reading the Times generally because of their bicycle baiting this year. I won’t support any news publication that puts me in an arbitrary group and recites a few rotten generalizations…”

    You reminded me of a friend of mine who’s disgusted with the paper’s political coverage (I won’t go into detail). He doesn’t take it lying down. Every time he sees something he doesn’t like, he fires off a letter.

    I think he’s writing both to the editorial page (which published at least one letter) as well as to the Public Editor, Clark Hoyt, whose job is to serve as a reader representative or ombudsman who offers independent critiques of the paper’s coverage.

    Rather than give up on the Times, a very influential player in local mainstream media, you might opt to struggle against its deficiencies with a stream of emails that are short (so you can do it often), civil (more effective), and pointed (enough to leave an indelible impression). That would make more of a difference than just dropping out of the paper’s readership. Make them care about you. The email addresses are letters@nytimes.com and public@nytimes.com.

  • jew

    ## 13
    very possibly. here is the website we can have a look: http://www.streetdesignuk.com/index.cfm?do=home.welcome

  • RE: Trains Slower Now Than in the 1920s

    I’ve read similar anecdotes about how the NYC Subway is slower now than in the same time period–for some of the same reasons (indifference, lack of investment) and some different reasons (cars are heavier than ever). Anyway it’s nice (if disheartening) to read some concrete evidence of this phenomenon.

  • “That would make more of a difference than just dropping out of the paper’s readership.”

    Yes, but requiring much more time and concern. I do feel the paper has disqualified itself from being my front page news filter; my avoiding it is half petty vindictiveness and half practicality. I just don’t trust their editorial judgement anymore. When they write about transportation I’ll hear about it from weblogs I do trust, and at that point I could offer the feedback you suggest. But that kind of correspondence is a poor value compared to public commenting. I don’t want to spend half an hour or an hour (I have a problem: I edit excessively) on even a short letter to the editor that may never be read seriously by anyone. And the Times does comments absolutely terribly. I’m not going to add my blood to the festering, editorially-inflicted wound below a skewed article about bicycles or MTA finances to protest that very situation. They know exactly what they’re doing and it’s up to them to change course, or devolve into nothing more than a brand that draws just enough habitual viewers (yes, viewers) to pay the hosting bills.