Today’s Headlines

  • Bloomberg: NYC Won’t Give More to MTA Budget; Free Crosstown Buses? Not Right Now (NYT, News)
  • M42 and B44 Take Home 2009 Pokey and Schleppie Awards for Worst Bus Service (Post, City Room)
  • No Charges for Parks Dept Driver Who Ran Over Woman in 8th Ave Bike Lane (Post, News, NY1)
  • It’s Official: Tom Prendergast to Replace Howard Roberts as NYCT Chief (City Room, 2nd Ave Sagas)
  • More Transit Stimulus, Please: Recession Deals Setback to Denver’s Ambitious FasTrax Plans (NYT)
  • New City Council Bill Would Make NYPD Traffic Safety Data More Open and Transparent (Our Town)
  • DOT Explains How to Get Bike Access to Your Building (MTR)
  • Officer Andrew Kelly Pleads Not Guilty for DWI Killing of Vionique Valnord (News, Post, City Room)
  • Total Pricetag for Kosciuszko Bridge Replacement: $1 Billion (Brooklyn Paper)
  • MTA Watchdog: Straphangers Can’t Keep Track of Sweeping Weekend Service Disruptions (Post)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Ben,

    What is the basis for the “no charges” description of the Chaikin coverage–the NY1 report, which may mean only “no charges yet”?

  • The Post story is more conclusive: “Police said the Parks Department driver would not be charged.”

  • CM Lappin’s bill would be a nice step forward on the information side, but I would argue that there should be thresholds after which corrective measures need to be taken to calm or daylight the intersection. But good on CM Lappin for moving this forward.

  • Denver’s Ambitious FasTrax Plans

    It’s spelled “FasTracks”.

  • Livable streets advocates should be out there saying that the way to reduce the cost of replacing the Kosciuszko Bridge is by eliminating the huge expansion of capacity, from six lanes to nine lanes.

    From the article:

    Whatever design is chosen, the new bridge will have nine lanes, up from the current six; have a less-steep incline now that there’s no longer a need to accommodate large boat traffic on the Newtown Creek; a bike and pedestrian lane; and a boat launch.

    The federal government will pay for 80 percent of the replacement project, leaving $200 million to be picked up by the state. The four-year construction will begin in 2013.

    It’s not a moment too soon. The span is perpetually gridlocked — a result of antiquated design and nonexistent shoulders. In addition, the support beams and roadways are deteriorating. Two weeks ago, the bridge was partially closed due to joint failure.

    So the New Kosciuszko is on the fast track, right?

    Um, not so fast. Last month, Gov. Paterson said that his own Transportation Department’s five-year, $25.8-billion capital package plan is too pricey. He did not mention the Kosciuszko Bridge specifically, but said the agency would face massive budget cuts.

    “This plan … [is] simply unaffordable given New York’s current fiscal condition,” Paterson said in October. “If the Legislature does not work with me to address the budget deficit, it will become increasingly difficult to enact a necessary and affordable road and bridge plan for New York.”

    I know it is hard to spell Kosciuszko, but that is not a good reason for NY livable streets advocates to ignore this unaffordable expansion of road capacity. They should build a bridge with six lanes plus shoulders and a bike/ped path, rather than increasing capacity to nine lanes.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Just came across this:

    http://taxdollars.freedomblogging.com/2009/11/04/bicycle-ticket-could-cost-santa-ana-student-400/41971/

    “The new semester had just begun. Oswald Muniz Sanchez was riding his bike to biology class at Santa Ana College, earphones in both ears, listening to the dulcet tones of National Public Radio.”

    “Sanchez saw no cars at the intersection of Washington and Freeman streets, so he buzzed through the stop sign, as cyclists so often do. That’s when he saw the Santa Ana policeman, half-way up the side street.”

    “How are you going to hear someone honking at you with earphones on? the officer asked. I heard you, Sanchez said. What music were you listening to? the officer asked. It was just the news, Sanchez said. If you were in your car, would you have stopped? Yes, Sanchez said. Are you going to give me a warning? No, the offficer said. I’m going to cite you for running a stop sign.”

  • I wasn’t aware the Kosciuszko replacement is lower… that seems like a poor decision. You never know when manufacturing might come back to NYC some day….

  • Kaja

    What’s the cost/benefit of a higher Kosciuszko, and attendant BQE accidents & congestion (& pollution), versus the improbable but real future possibility of heavy industrial on the Newtown Creek?

    America will be in some form auto-dependant for the forseeable future. Even if in Sunnyside of 2060 a thousand factories bloom, this bridge will seem sensible given what we knew today.

  • re: It’s Official: Tom Prendergast to Replace Howard Roberts as NYCT Chief (City Room, 2nd Ave Sagas)

    Tom Prendergast relationship with Vancouver’s TransLink and NYC DoT Commissioner Sadik-Khan, New York firm Parsons Brinckerhoff, etc is quite promising; maybe even exciting; hopefully potentially incorporating bicycles and even public bicycle systems within the MTA; elevated systems?

    Of note:
    http://www.translink.ca/en/Cycling.aspx
    http://www.translink.ca/en/Cycling/Public-Bicycle-System.aspx

    SkyTrain
    http://tripplanning.translink.ca/hiwire?.a=iScheduleLookupSearch&LineName=999&LineAbbr=999

  • Well, we’ve already burned all our bridges by loading up most of the riverfronts with luxury condos… might as well go all the way.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The lower bridge would be plenty high to let barges through. The current bridge is high enough for the masts of sailing ships. I think that standard could be safely changed without burning any economic bridges.

  • Fair enough.