Today’s Headlines

  • NY1 has done it! They’ve managed to film the ultimate and complete parking/bike lane story. It includes:

    -The motorist claiming he was only blocking the lane for a second(to pick someone up of course)
    -A defense of double parking by way of senior citizens and the disabled
    -A dig against the city for raising money via tickets
    -A motorist claiming that he bikes and cares about cyclists
    -A clarification at the very end that reminds us that blocking traffic(even bike traffic) is against the law.

    Thank you NY1 for bringing us this story of injustice!

    http://ny1.com/content/top_stories/102807/-i-ny1-for-you—i–cyclist-complains-about-ticket-for-blocking-bike-lane/Default.aspx

  • gecko

    re: Dignity on a Bike” Reigns at George Bliss’s Bike Shop (Villager)

    Being absolutely shameless, lazy, and sycophantic posted the the entire Villager article as a livable streets wiki on George Bliss which I have been thinking about for some time.

    http://www.livablestreets.com/streetswiki/george-bliss

  • Thanks for the link, Dan!

    It’s impossible to load or unload passengers from a car without blocking a bike lane or traffic itself.

    Leaving aside the question of why bicycles aren’t “traffic itself,” if he’s such an avid cyclist why not block the car lane instead?

    Still, the DOT bears some responsibility for this. There should be at least one space available at all times on every block for loading and unloading.

  • Oh and Gecko, the problem is not so much of laziness or sycophancy, but of fairness and control. The reporter and publisher of the Villager article receive ad revenue from the article, and have the right to decide whether it should appear on someone else’s site. But you did credit them, which is the most important.

  • gecko

    #4 Cap’n Transit, They have been credited along with a direct link to the original article.

  • Scott

    Regarding the Washington Heights police chase story:

    Without wading too heavily into a discussion of the appropriateness of the chase and/or shooting, reporting like this strikes me as indicative of the larger trend:

    “Police investigating a bogus robbery report fatally shot the unarmed suspect after he tried to run over one of the cops twice, authorities said Thursday.”

    Why is a personally-wielded, 2,000-lb+ vehicle not considered a weapon? Considering how tragically often people are killed by reckless and/or aggressive drivers, I don’t think it’s fair to call someone behind the wheel “unarmed”.

  • mike

    That NY1 story was pretty bad, which is unusual for them. Why not do an “NY1 For You” piece from the perspective of the bicyclist whose life is endangered by a clueless motorist parking in the bike lane? And from Community Boards who scream bloody murder when DoT proposes more loading zones and higher meter rates in order to reduce bike lane parking?

  • Scott, I appreciate your consistency, but having cops fire live rounds in my neighborhood when the maximum number of people are out on the streets really freaks me out. Livable streets and gunfire don’t mix.

  • I just watched the NY1 clip, and to the contrary, I thought it was pretty helpful. They quoted the DOT spokesman as saying that on that block of Grand St, there was both ASP and meter parking, and that drivers could use the bus stop for expeditious pick-ups. They quoted the spokesman as saying that bike lanes were “no stopping” zones, and that no matter how young or how disabled the person being picked up or dropped off, there were no exceptions to this rule. They filmed the delivery truck parked in the bike lane, conspicuously without a ticket. They mentioned that the ticket was for $115.

    My take-away was that parking in a bike lane was like parking in a no-stopping zone, that it would cost me $115, and that there were no exceptions. I don’t think that just because Wiley Norvell wasn’t quoted, the piece was anti-bike lane.

  • Car Free Nation

    I happened to catch the NY1 piece live on cable, and the lead in (from the anchorman) was interesting. The anchorman noted that bike lanes were often used for things other than biking, and noted that he had seen an armored truck traveling the wrong way on a bike lane. I actually had the perception that the anchorman might have been for keeping the bike lanes free or cars.

    Although the “poor me” slant is annoying, I do think the larger message — that if you stop in the bike lanes, you’ll get ticketed — is what most motorists will take from it.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Sheepshead Bay doesn’t want ferry service because there isn’t enough parking.

    http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/2009/07/sheepshead-bay-ferry-proposal-criticized-at-hearing/

    This is something I mentioned on Room Eight. Most of the places proposed for ferry service have population densities that are too low to attract enough people in walking distance, and not enough land for huge parking lots.

    The Weiner solution? Deep subsidies to this premium service, with money diverted from the steerage service offered by New York City Transit, likely to deteriorate to slave ship conditions as debts and retiree benefits soar.

    An alternative solution? The bicycle. Three times the speed of walking, and thus able to draw from three times the distance with equal accesibility.

  • Ed

    Nice to see George getting credit!

  • Larry,

    Thanks for digging up that one, especially for the comments suggesting helicopter commuting.

    One simple question: if there’s no park-and-ride near the subway, why should there be one near the ferry? Perhaps the ferry is just the stalking horse for park-and-ride.

    Another, once the ferry is built, why not construct 12-story apartment buildings along the waterfront in a classic example of transit-oriented development? Having the ferry there for just the current population density seems like a waste of good infrastructure.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “One simple question: if there’s no park-and-ride near the subway, why should there be one near the ferry?”

    This general area is perfect for a bike and ride for the subway — the Kings Highway Station on the Brigton Line in particular. There is a large population to the east beyond walking distance from the subway, but within biking distance.

    The Brighton Line subway stations are being rehabbed, but my guess is the design and bids are a done deal (shovel ready) and don’t have bike parking.

  • gecko

    #11 Larry Littlefield, “Sheepshead Bay doesn’t want ferry service because there isn’t enough parking . . . An alternative solution? The bicycle.”

    Agreed.

    The type of attended mobile parking advocated by George Bliss could be one immediate solution.

    Dignity on a Bike” Reigns at George Bliss’s Bike Shop (http://www.thevillager.com/villager_325/thewheelsareturning.html)

    Another would be to simply encourage bikes on the boats.

    DoT could also set up a local bike system.

  • RE: Some People Can’t Fathom Back-in Angled Parking

    I like and completely comprehend back-in angled parking but must admit it can be difficult to back in a car perfectly parallel to the lines especially when there are no other cars around to gauge (personal experience in Philly). Still its a good idea that drivers in other cities seem to comprehend just fine.

  • Andy, have you tried adjusting the driver’s side mirror all the way down so that you can see the rear wheel and the white line of the parking space at the same time? Just be careful to use the mirror only for checking your alignment; make sure that once you begin to move in reverse, you are looking directly through the rear window.

  • vnm

    Re back-in angled parking.

    You’ve gotta love the fact that a motorist confused by back-in parking would have preferred that someone “less educated” have redesigned the parking configuration.

    Education of transportation officials is what’s ruining this country!