Today’s Headlines

  • MTA Stresses Efficiency of Revised Austerity Plan; Advos Still See Pain (AMNY, SAS, MTR)
  • Port Authority May Make More Room for Buses in Lincoln Tunnel (WNYC)
  • Safer Biking and Walking on Prospect Park West? Markowitz Sez ‘Fuhgeddaboudit’ (Bklyn Paper)
  • Only Marty Markowitz Knows How He Got, or Believes He Should Have, Lights and Sirens (Post)
  • Ray Kelly Joins Electeds in Call for Tougher Distracted Driving Penalties (Post)
  • Apple and Yahoo Wade Into Parking App Market (Baltimore Sun, Ubergizmo)
  • The Times Surveys the No Man’s Land That Is Hempstead Turnpike
  • Bayside Residents Tie Uptick in Traffic to Queensborough Community College (YourNabe)
  • City Issued Four — That’s Right, Four — Faulty Car Alarm Citations in 2009 (Post)
  • Is It Harder to Beat a Transit Ticket Than a Moving Violation? (News)
  • Hey NYPD: Think You Can Catch This Guy Before He Kills Someone? (News)
  • Shame-Free Hiram Monserrate Compares Himself to Slain Civil Rights Heroes (News, NY1)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    The Prospect Park bike lane issue really pisses me off. I was looking forward to it. So I ought to ride around the park loop, and up that hill, an extra mile or two on the way to work?

    Consider that the virtually useless (because it runs so infrequently that it is far slower than walking up to 1.5 miles) B69 is being eliminated south of GAP. It’s one use was to allow parents in lower Park Slope and Windsor Terrace to bring their kids up to the library/Museum area.

    With the lane, they could have ridden bicycles instead — were it not for the fact that it is legal to steal bicycles from the bike rack at the library. I mean legal in a New York sense — if it benefits you and there are no consequences, it’s “legal.” When our kid’s bike was stolen from there, the guard at the Central Library told us it happens all the time and we were idiots for trying to ride to the library.

  • It would be wise to consider alternative uses for the abandoned bus stops on closed routes. I’m thinking of Convent Avenue, which used to be served by the M18 bus. Since through traffic is diverted away from the CCNY campus, Convent has remarkably little traffic for a north-south avenue. Can we convert the space used by bus stops into curb extensions and chicanes so that it can become a bike boulevard instead? Please?

  • So far Jay Walder seems to be playing his cards about as well as I could imagine.

  • The NPR (#2) story on making more bus lanes in the Lincoln Tunnel has an interesting twist. Single-driver cars could buy the right to use the bus lane. A cousin of congestion pricing?

  • Oops, said NPR, meant WNYC.

  • Rachel

    “I don’t see a reason for a siren. I never saw a reason for a siren, and this is my fifth year on the council,” said Councilman Jimmy Vacca (D-Bronx).

    “I manage to get there, and I drive normally. I don’t see what the emergency would be that a borough president must be on the scene. That should be reserved for emergency personnel and the chief executive.”

    Way to go Councilman Vacca!

  • Mark, David Owen’s Green Metropolis has a pretty good refutation of HO/T lanes like what you describe. Basically, it gets drivers who would already be carpooling out of the standard lane, making those lanes more inviting for other commuters who might now be taking the bus.

    The first paragraph calls it right: “a plan to get more people through the Lincoln Tunnel every morning faster.” Where are those “more people” coming from? Out of buses and trains, no doubt, given our stagnant economy.

  • @Larry,

    Last I heard from DOT, the PPW project was a go, just waiting for better weather to get construction under way. It would be good to get confirmation from them, however.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (Last I heard from DOT, the PPW project was a go, just waiting for better weather to get construction under way.)

    Well I hope so. The newspaper that reported the Markowitz objection to the project also asserted that 5th Avenue is too narrow to be a bike lane. The alternative route for my wife and I would be UP Prospect Park West, down Vanderbilt, and across on Bergen/Dean.

    With the B69 likely to be killed, perhaps DOT could assure Markowitz that the total number of parking spaces on PPW will not change — and offset spaces gained at the removed bus stops with a 20-foot long raised divider on each side of each park entrance, to provide visibility for bicycles and pedestrians.

  • J

    Eric, I hope you’re right about PPW. Otherwise, this is a huge slap in the face to walkers and bikers, not to mention the Community Board that voted for this. Markowitz claims to oppose the bike lane because of people walking to BBQs in the summer. Hah! So crossing 45mph traffic is somehow safer than crossing a bike lane. I hope DOT & Bloomberg have the courage to stand up to this bumbling figurehead.

  • Markowtiz is a swine. Check out his ugly mug in the Post article (which concludes, by the way, that the sirens that he uses to speed around to photo-ops are illegal: neither authorized by the mayor’s office, by the police, nor by DOT).

    I hope that others commenting here are correct — that the bike lane is still a go at PPW — but I read the Brooklyn paper story as saying that Markowitz killed it.

    By the way, wasn’t there a video on this site from the past year or two w/a radar gun showing people flying down PPW at ridiculous speeds?

  • J. Mork

    SAS says the B69 is moving to 7th Ave, not being eliminated.

    (And this is just the proposed plan, not set in stone.)

    See http://secondavenuesagas.com/2010/01/25/in-service-cut-plan-bus-riders-hit-hardest/

  • Larry Littlefield

    “SAS says the B69 is moving to 7th Ave, not being eliminated.”

    It is being shifted to 7th Avenue on weekdays, and terminated south of Grand Army Plaza on weekends, thus becomming unusable for access to the library by residents of Windsor Terrace and transferees from the B68 (not that once every 30 minute headways made it that usable to begin with).

    Getting rid of the B69 but installing the bike path could be a useful pilot for the policy of charging taxes (for pensions, health care, member items and political appointees) and not providing public services. But at least not hassling those who try to provide what used to be public services for themselves.

  • Larry Littlefield

    By the way, let no one assume that my comments above imply a belief on my part that there will continue to even be library service (or service more than a day or two per week so pols can pretend it still exists) after FY 2011. Just take past fiscal crises, multiply by two, and you get the effects.

    Forbes (quoting Moody’s) reports New York City has $60 billion in unfunded pension liabilities and $60 billion in debt, the latter the highest as a share of its residents’ personal income since 1980. Anyone remember public services in 1980? Without the details, I’m not sure if any of the MTA debts were included.

    http://www.forbes.com/2010/01/20/big-cities-debt-business-wall-street-debt-10-cities_slide_2.html

  • J. Mork

    Thanks Larry; yep, I missed that.

  • Geck

    There is steam coming out of my ears over Markowitz position on PPW. Please DOT, don’t let Markowitz sway you-he just doesn’t get it driving around in his City issued SUV. You have the communities support.

  • Recessions don’t last forever. If the US isn’t out of the doldrums by 2011, there will be more important things to worry about than the libraries staying open.

  • > Recessions don’t last forever.

    Past performance doesn’t indicate future results.

    (And Markowitz really does think he’s mayor.)

  • @David_K,

    That was our Park Slope Neighbors video — here’s the link:

    http://parkslopeneighbors.org/ppw8/videoppw8.htm

    I think the Brooklyn Paper is speculating; construction of the project was originally scheduled to begin around October 1 of last year, and when it didn’t get started on time, it got bumped to spring 2010, because, as the BP article correctly noted, they can’t do that kind of work during the winter.

    But it would be nice if DOT would confirm publicly — preferably here at Streetsblog — that the bike lane is full speed ahead. Community Board six approved it, and Park Slope Neighbors collected 1,200+ petition signatures supporting it.