Today’s Headlines

  • NYT: Success of Car-Free Times Square Hinges on How Much Traffic Speeds Improved
  • Manhattan Costco a Retail Disappointment and Job Creation Failure (Crains)
  • How Much Do the Feds Spend on Transit? See For Yourself (NYT)
  • Doomsday Hitting American Transit Agencies For Real This Time (Transport Politic via SAS)
  • Looks Like Parking in Long Island City Is Too Cheap (News)
  • TLC Starts Enforcing Zero Tolerance Policy on Distracted Cabbies (Post)
  • FedEx Truck Smashes Into Brooklyn Heights Building, Injuring One (Bklyn Eagle)
  • Countdown Clocks Come to Two More Bronx Subway Stations (SAS)
  • The Painstaking Process of Building a New LIRR Terminal 14 Stories Underground (WNYC)
  • Melbourne’s Swanston Street Goes Car-Free (Herald Sun)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • It’s very easy to file a 311 complaint online against a taxi driver these days. And the more that people do it, the safer our streets will be. Most important is to get their four digit medallion number.

  • Re the top link, DOT erred in promoting car-free Times Square as a boon to drivers. It’s a boon to pedestrians and needs no other justification.

  • MrManhattan

    And if you actually read the NY Times article, you find that it only didn’t reach it’s (overly optimistic) goals in traffic reduction, not that traffic wasn’t reduced. Meanwhile to only person reporting complaints was a representative of the taxi industry. All others reported positive reactions, or no complaints.

    By New York City standards, an overwhelming success.

  • Doug

    MrManhattan is right. The goal was a 17% improvement in traffic flow, but even a 5% or 3% improvement would be a success, especially when weighted against the boon to businesses, pedestrians, and open spaces.

    But leave it to the Times to frame perfect as the enemy of good.

  • Omri

    Someone should remind the reporter that most of the traffic in Times Square is pedestrian.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Costco Manhattan: “One of the problems plaguing the store is a lack of nearby public transportation: It’s a 15-minute walk from the nearest subway stop to the far east 116th Street location, which is partially obscured by a parking garage.”

    Well, by the year 2500 there will be a stop on the Second Avenue Subway by then. Following the three previous bond issues voters approved to build the subway before funds were diverted to politically powerful short term needs, I predict ten more. There seems to be an average gap of 25 years before they think they can get away with it again.

    As for transit doomsday, this isn’t it. I expect the real doomday to occur in 12 to 24 months. Basically New York City in the 1970s, but this time not just in New York and other older cities. Remember the “urban crisis?” This time it’s more dispersed.

  • Geck

    Even if the New Times Square turns out to be somewhat worse for the very small percentage of people who pass through it in motor vehicles, it is a success for the vast majority who do not.

  • Josh

    Yeah, I think Geck said it very well.

  • And yeah, how is the head of the Transportation committee for CB5 work in the taxi industry. Seems like a total conflict of interest and in opposition to the vast majority of the residents, workers and people moving through Central Manhattan.

  • fdr

    The online version of the Times Broadway article includes a link to their profile of Sadik-Khan last July, which devoted a lot of space to her letting advocacy groups pay for some of her travel, implying a conflict of interest.
    http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/janette_sadikkhan/index.html

  • The graph showing how much the budget spends on transit versus war is enough to make me cry.

  • J:Lai

    Regarding parking in LIC, this is an area that is incredibly well served by public transit (several stops on the 7 train, as well as the E, G, R, V lines, and multiple bus lines, not to mention LIRR.)
    I’m not surprised the News reporter was able dig up people who think more free or nearly free street parking is the answer, but I’m disappointed that the article never mentioned the plentiful transit options. LIC is probably the place where you least need a car in the entire borough of Queens.

  • “Still, when the project was announced a year ago, the chief aim was to reduce congestion, and some argue that this has not been achieved.”

    Here’s the problem. The article starts by saying that the plan may not have met its goals of 17 and 30% congestion reduction. But if the “chief aim” was to reduce congestion (full stop) then isn’t even a 1% reduction good enough? It makes no sense to revert to how it was and increase congestion again.

    The second point is obviously, why is the “chief aim” reducing vehicle congestion and not increasing mobility? Lets forget about the public space for a second, and how it impacts quality of life, but people who need to walk through times square can do so much, MUCH quicker, now that tourists aren’t blocking the way. I think it’s fair to guess that more pedestrians walk through times square than vehicles do (or used to). Isn’t speeding up pedestrian time good enough?

  • fdr

    The City announced it as “a pilot program to reduce traffic congestion throughout Midtown Manhattan.” See it on the DOT web site. “Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan are beginning a pilot program, “Green Light for Midtown,” to reduce traffic congestion throughout Midtown Manhattan via targeted improvements on Broadway, focused at Times and Herald Squares.”
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/about/broadway.shtml

  • Andrew

    The NYT article perpetuates the myth that “furniture was set up to accommodate tired and hungry tourists.” In fact, the furniture does not discriminate against residents. The article even goes on to state that “the square had become more hospitable as a lunch destination” among “New Yorkers who work in offices near Times Square.”

    Pedestrian traffic congestion (the only form of traffic congestion of direct interest to the vast majority of people in the area) has undoubtedly dropped substantially. It also appears that vehicular traffic congestion has decreased somewhat, even if not at DOT’s ambitious 17% and 37% levels.

    It’s good for pedestrian traffic, it’s good for vehicular traffic, and everybody seems to like it, aside from a taxi management company. So what possible reason would there be to discontinue it?