Today’s Headlines

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • I’m sick of the mainstream media’s recent decision to characterize the Bedford Ave Bike Lane debate as a cause of the “hipsters.” I am not a hipster, nor do I belong to any other particular sub-culture. I’m just a guy who lives in North-West Bed-Stuy and wants to get to work without dying.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Of all the issues that they put on the table, this is the one that may demand that the city and state intervene.”

    Wrong. I wrote years a long time ago that when the city and state’s priorities were set, 70 percent of NYC residents over 65 were non-Hispanic Whites, and 70 percent of those under 18 were not. The ratios may have changed, but the attitudes have not. If they wanted to really make the State Legislature give a damn, they would have threatened senior discounts.

    Meanwhile, I stand by my Room 8 post on the subject: the city would be better off funding a bike for rent program, and try to get the kids to ride, despite the risks. With tens of thousands riding together at the same time, those risk might fall. And the long term payoff for their health would be great.

  • David_K

    Jeff, I agree. The hipster thing is stupid and it pops up in every article about the Bedford bike lane. I am a middle-aged guy that lives in Brookyn and commutes to an office job in Manhattan. I used the bike path because it was a relatively safe route to the W-burg Bridge on my morning commute. (I still bike Bedford, but I really regret the loss of that lane)

  • Poor Tunku Varadarajan is so confused he puts his hipsters in “Day-Glo jackets”. It is hard to keep up with the stereotypes needed to marginalize riding a bicycle, these days!

  • If you look at that map on the DN of the polluted areas, it basically shows where traffic is heaviest – look at the outlines of the BQE, LIE, Queens Boulevard…Manhattan is the worst because of the heavy traffic.

  • J. Mork

    The “On Transit” mythbusting piece is totally excellent.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Sheldon Silver, NYC Democrat.

    http://www.observer.com/2009/politics/silver-congestion-pricing-killer-blames-bloomberg-congestion-problems

    “On NY1 last night, Silver said, ‘[T]he mayor has added congestion by narrowing streets, by putting benches in the middle of the city—and this was the same mayor who talked about congestion when he was going to build a football stadium in the middle of the most congested part of the city. They’ve now put park benches in the middle of Times Square, reduced Broadway traffic up and downtown from four lanes down to one or two, and lower Broadway down to one lane. So, he’s created congestion just in these traffic patterns that have taken place.”

    “When the show’s moderator said Bloomberg has argued that these changes “improve traffic flow,” Silver responded, “I don’t believe so, and I don’t think any New Yorker believes it.”

    “When the moderator clarified, and said Bloomberg argued the changes improved “pedestrian traffic,” Silver took his opposition one step further.”

    “He makes that statement in Copenhagen. Let him stand on 42nd street and tell every car going by.”

  • David_K

    What a marvel. Shelly Silver, Speaker of the “People’s House”

    He’s obviously in touch with your average joe on the street.

  • Larry Littlefield

    He thinks the average Joe is in the Escalade with tinted windows, having purchased it by HELOCKing his house. And he may be right. But the average Joe is bankrupt.

  • MrManhattan

    Has Silver been out of New York so long he doesn’t realize Broadway hasn’t run uptown for several decades?

  • Car Free Nation

    The Silver comment is very very depressing. Every time I get a little hopeful that the traffic snarl that is downtown Brooklyn might be alleviated, some windshield perspective politician with power who I can’t even vote against dashes my hopes.

  • Bloomberg’s first plan died in the Assembly. Ravitch’s bridge tolls died in the Senate.

    The only congestion pricing plan that takes into account the political reality of Albany and Outerborough politics is Sam Schwartz’s Plan.

    Divide and conquer the non-Manhattan pols. It’s the only way this will get done. I can’t understand why someone like Sam, with 30 plus years of NYC and Albany experience and unmatched transportation credentials, keeps getting unrecognized or dismissed.

    BTW, Shyellie Seelvah needs to grow a pair before he’s ever capable of backing up any of his unsubstantiated claims.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Sam schwartz killed HOV on the East River Bridges after 911. Thanks Sam. I’m sure he had his reasons but your position that we should support his latest consultation simply because of his many years of good works (and that great column in the progressive New York Daily News) is at the least misplaced.

  • J. Mork

    Isn’t Schwartz’s plan revenue neutral?

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Isn’t Schwartz’s plan revenue neutral?”

    Yes it’s revenue neutral, sort of. But I think he has a point.

    First, lower (not zero) tolls on the facilities that don’t go to Manhattan could be part of the deal.

    Second, the end of toll shopping would mean lots more revenues at the existing MTA facilities, sort of a hidden revenue plus.

    And the MTA hole is so deep that congestion pricing won’t fill it, so not pretending to do so would avoid the “see you got your tolls and the money just disappeared” argument.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli,

    Who would you suggest?