Today’s Headlines

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • David_K

    Segment on NPR’s “Morning Edition” today on the 70,000 pedestrians and cyclists killed on America’s roads, and the fact that (some) planners are trying to mitigate the carnage:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120266854

  • Daily News on scheduling change contemplated to reduce drunk driving by cops: “Many detectives live too far away to drive back and forth and sleep in seven hours. So they stay in the city.”

    Perhaps living in the city would help — either within walking or transit distance of their precincts.

    The PIX 11 news noted last night that schedule changes have previously been opposed by the union because of reduced opportunities for overtime.

  • David_K

    Meant to say, 70,000 in the last 15 years.

  • Ian Turner

    Regarding detectives’ scheduling:

    1. It’s unreasonable to schedule anything less than 9 hours, preferably 12, between the end of one shift and the start of the next one. Detectives are needed for their judgment, which they cannot exercise if they are sleep deprived.

    2. A residency requirement would help address this and many other negative effects of the police force.

  • vnm

    In other news, the New York State DOT wants to chip away at the unique transit-oriented, people-oriented character of the South Bronx and induce more automobile through-traffic there by widening the Major Deegan Expressway! And they want to demolish a half dozen buildings to do it! And they want to spend $250 million of a debt-ridden federal government. A NYSDOT official looked us in the eye last night and said: “There will not be any negative environmental impacts to this project.”

    Since NYSDOT announced its legally mandated public hearing on a Friday, and the hearing was on the following Monday, attendance was muted from what it would have been had people known about this project earlier. My hats off to those who spoke last night. Those who were there noted that the people of the Bronx want jobs and affordable housing, and don’t have cars so couldn’t care less about the highway widening “benefits.”

    The study presented several alternatives involving the creation of a new “auxiliary” lane and also lenghtening exit/entrance ramps and widening them from one lane to two. All of this is justified because the current Deegan configuration does not meet one-size-fits-all rural-oriented, suburban-oriented Federal guidelines on highway construction.

    The project was also presented as supportive of and contextual with the recent development in the Deegan corridor from Yankee Stadium to the Madison Avenue Bridge – both the new stadium and everybody’s favorite big box mall. What the presenters failed to acknowledge was that any excess demand by those developments would be met with a new $91 million train station: NOT a highway widening project.

    The AECOM presenters put a figure on how many hours drivers spend stuck in queues at the 138th Street exit and how many would be eliminated by this project. If you look at this objective myopically, I guess there would temporarily be less traffic at a particular newly widened stretch of asphalt. But actually, by removing a bottleneck at 138th Street, NYSDOT’s proposal would A) induce traffic demand, B) further congest Manhattan, particularly Harlem, and C) lure people away from Metro-North Railroad’s Hudson Line, which competes with the Deegan.

    All of which leads to the question: Why, after all we know about induced automobile demand, carbon emissions, climate change, and motor vehicle deaths, injuries and property damage, will the federal government finance 100% of roadway widening projects but only 30% of transit projects?

    This project needs to be stopped. And the U.S. government needs to reverse its spending priorities.

  • TKO

    The parking does seem to be for a hospital. Not all hospitals are easy to get to from ones house especially in areas not well served by direct lines of public transit. Not all hospitals are mass transit hubs.

  • A quick plug for the Commute Orlando story near the back of today’s Headlines stack. It’s simply terrific.

  • Good point, Vnm! Now, everybody: how do you think Frank McArdle would deal with the Sheridan teardown, or the Deegan widening, or any of the other areas where the State DOT has a choice between adding road capacity or saving money?

    Tko, there’s no reason for a hospital to spend millions on a parking deck anywhere in New York City. Saint Barnabas was well-served by transit until the City tore down the Third Avenue El. It’s a matter of justice to restore rapid transit to this corridor.

    There doesn’t seem to be any other information about this North Queens Medical Center, but most of Union Street in Flushing is located close to a major transit hub. But why spend millions to build a new hospital (with parking) when there are two vacant sites convenient to transit? Saint John’s, which just closed, is right on top of the Woodhaven Boulevard station, and Parkway is a short walk from the Continental Avenue station.

  • You guys see this piece in the Times?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/automobiles/08inter.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=cloverleaf&st=cse

    It’s a pretty sad, but accurate, commentary on what passes for “town squares” in the states.

  • paco

    capn transit…
    i agree that its preferable to not have massive parking lots at hospitals but the way the state has been operating, it seems in the past few years there are more conglomerations of hospitals that become mega centers and smaller hospitals are eaten up. its the state’s preference and their purse string guides a lot of hospital decisions so i think they often have to build ridiculously sized parking lots because there’s such a wide range of patients coming from a wide swathe of areas without traffic justice.

    that plus, many patients need a smoother ride than subways or buses will allow when they visit the hospital. after my hit and run, i could only sit as passenger in car for a long time… the vibrations on the subway were too severe for broken ribs.

  • Paco, if they need a smooth ride, or don’t have convenient subway access, they can take a car service. That’s what I do if I can’t take transit to the hospital.

    You’re probably right that the state created this push for consolidation, but that doesn’t mean that the city should spend stimulus money on parking garages. Two wrongs don’t make a right.