Today’s Headlines

  • Shared Streets, Big City: In Experiment, London Will Shut Down Traffic Lights (Wheels)
  • DMI to Bloomberg: Serious About Transit? Show Us the Money (HuffPo)
  • Report: NYC Congestion About to Get Worse Than Ever (Post)
  • NPR Considers the Benefits of Multi-Modal Transit Networks
  • Motorists Grumbling About Higher Vehicle Fees to Fund MTA, Roads (City Room, 2nd Ave Sagas)
  • Thompson Rips MTA for Eliminating Station Agents (AMNY)
  • Cops Get Course in Motorcycle Safety. What About Squad Car Safety? (Post)
  • C’mon, Brooklyn Paper, the 33rd District Debate Was About More Than Biking
  • Cleveland Transit Fares Rise for Second Time in Less Than a Year (Plain Dealer)
  • Summer’s Not Over: Car-Free Myrtle Ave Just Getting Started (Brooklyn Eagle)

More headlines over at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • NY Post stories and their following uninformed comments get my heart racing more than any tank of coffee. I hate reading and learning what these people “think”, but I always do just to look into the abyss.

  • Marty Barfowitz

    It’s like the Brooklyn Paper is edited by someone with a partial lobotomy.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “On Tuesday, the fees for licenses and registrations increased for the first time in more than a decade.”

    That’s usually the plan. Hit them in a recession, when it hurts the most. But not before, when money can be borrowed instead.

    And now, how many people appreciate, or even remember, that decade? Or the removal or tolls on the parkways, and the freezing of tolls for several years? Or the big reduction in transit fares associated with the Metrocard discounts? No one.

    Just as no one now in debt is pleased overall with their diminished personal circumstances, because the extra spending in the past was worth it.

    And the reaction? Blame the MTA. Drivers against transit riders. The middle class against the poor. Tax the rich. Etc. Reality is unpopular.

  • Who knew that the 33rd District was in Bizarro World?

    As a driver, [a resident] is scared of bikers, saying that bikers have all the power. If she hits a cyclist, she’s responsible, even if the biker ran a red light.

    “They should be licensed,” she urged. “And they should be ticketed [for traffic violations]!”

  • JSD

    Moocow,

    I couldn’t agree more. Just catching a glimpse of the headlines on the subway gets me a bit worked up. I need to remember that some people buy that rag because it’s cheap and is great for insulating an unused room.

    Others seem take it all in, hook line, and sinker.

  • Shemp

    It’s so bizzaro all the douchebags on fixies ride against traffic in the bike lanes.

  • Marty Barfowitz

    I biked from Park Slope to the US Open and back the other evening.

    The two most annoyingly dangerous stretches of road I encountered were:

    1. In Queens near the LIE entrances and exits and Queens Boulevard. Hostile streets and aggressive, mindless, idiot drivers everywhere.

    2. On the bike lanes in and around Williamsburg where at least five d-bag fixie cyclists passed me riding the wrong way, aggressively fast, in the bike lane. This even happened on two-way Manhattan Ave where there was a bike lane going in the right direction on the other side of the street. What gives?

  • Bill from Brooklyn

    Marty, those bike salmons seem to be everywhere and I think along with bikers who ride on the sidewalk in crowded areas are the two main sources of much of the anti-bike backlash from the everyday crowd (as distinct from the drivers who are fighting to hold on to every inch of the road). Both of these behaviors disturb pedestrians and decent drivers way more than bikers yielding and then going through a red light, because these actions are so much more unexpected and unpredictable. I am always amazed on my commute home when I ride up Dean Street and there are salmons in the bike lane coming at me, when there is a bike lane going the other way only one block over on Bergen. Yet it is not an infrequent occurrence. Basic respect and courteous biking would be some of the best PR.

  • Bill and Marty, I suspect that most bike salmon are making short trips in the neighborhood. If I’m on Dean just east of Bond, and I’m going to Smith St & Dean, it makes a certain kind of sense to ride west on Dean against traffic for two blocks, rather than loop around and take Bergen St west.

    This hypothesis includes bicycle-mounted deliverymen.

  • > a certain kind of sense

    Yeah, if you think being an immense danger and a jerk is OK so long as you only do it two blocks at a time.

    Drivers who behave like you do are the reason some absurd percentage of accidents happen within a quarter mile of home. Proximity to your destination doesn’t relieve you of civic responsibility.

    Go the hell around.

  • Moser

    I ride Dean St. about once a week and rarely see any salmon (given the tight space there it would really suck to deal with). I ride Berry St. in W’burg daily and there are at least an equal number of salmon relative to right way riders, despite the fact that every avenue in Williamsburg has bike lanes now. Would be a great place for a PD blitz on stupid cycling.

  • Elaborating on Jonathan (whom I don’t mean to single-out with ‘drivers like you’; he’s just presenting the ‘logic’) —

    Deliverymen are the cabbies of the bike world. It’s their job, they’re not from around here, and they move with total abandon. And deliverymen _do_ need to be licensed, at the business-level; their employers need to ensure their bikes are in safe + legal condition, that the driver has helmets, and that he obeys traffic laws.

    I can’t think of a designed way out of this one. And enforcement would be ugly.

  • Moser, you can’t count right-way vs wrong-way cyclists while you yourself are riding. You will inherently see a much larger percentage of wrong-way cyclists, because their velocity relative to yours is very high; while right-way cyclists have a low (or zero) velocity relative to yours. The only reasonable way to make such a count is to be stationary. I think if you stand still, you’ll see more right-way than wrong-way.

  • More poasting on salmon, pardon my verbosity this morning-

    A man who wasn’t a deliveryman but who fit the demographic profile wrecked himself on me yesterday on the East River esplanade under the FDR. He was riding in the oncoming lanes, without looking, and (we discovered) wearing headphones, and so didn’t hear me yelling at him that I was coming. He turned left across me while I was squeezing right to pass him; I crunched his bike, suffered no damage myself, and two cops saw the whole thing.

    He spent about five minutes trying to convince the cops that “I f’d him”, while the officers stood firm and told him it was all his fault. I believe that man will remain convinced until the day he dies that it was my fault.

    Many citizens seem mentally ill beyond repair, specifically (and perhaps solely) in regard to civilly responsible behavior.

  • Kaja, I am a paid-up, card-carrying TA member and as such, always ride in the direction of traffic. You and I agree, “Proximity to your destination doesn’t relieve you of civic responsibility.” Just wanted to make that clear.

  • I need to get off my butt and pay TA some dues.

    Doing that immediately. Thanks for the reminder, Jonathan.

    (Even if TA’s #1 piece of bike advice is a mistake.)

  • Moser

    Mike, the topography of Berry between the WB Bridge and Greenpoint is such that you can see quite far ahead of you on several extended stretches, so I stand by my statement.

    Also Google street view showing typical conditions (tho not a fixie):

    http://maps.google.com/maps?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&q=berry+street+brooklyn+ny&um=1&ie=UTF-8&split=0&gl=us&ei=vwagSraDII7klAek45m-DA&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=1

  • cat

    What’s the deal with fixies? Why are they so hated? I’m asking because I honestly have no clue. I don’t bicycle, and I’m not in the habit of checking out what types of bikes people are riding. If no one answers me in this day-old thread, I’ll ask again next time it comes up.

  • James

    It’s not about the bike. It’s not fixed gear and track bikes themselves that are hated by some, it’s the hipster subculture that are known for riding them. They can come across as pretentious and overly-image conscious, as a track bike with no brakes isn’t terribly practical (to say the least) for usage on busy city streets.