Today’s Headlines

  • Markowitz on PPW Bike Lane: Parking Must Be Preserved to Prevent Exodus From Brooklyn (WNYC)
  • Markowitz Requests 782 Fewer Parking Spaces at New Domino. You Read That Right. (Bklyn Paper)
  • School Bus Driver Kills Queens Man in Ozone Park; No Charges Filed (News)
  • Bensonhurst Hit-and-Run Leaves Cabbie Burned Beyond Recognition (News, Post)
  • Apps Won’t Solve NYC Parking Crunch (NYT)
  • The Free Ride Is Coming to an End for Broad Channel Residents (NYT)
  • Vacca Invites Sadik-Khan to Diagnose Safety Problems at PS 97 (Post)
  • Local Advos Want McCarren Park to Absorb One Block of Union Ave (Bklyn Paper)
  • Yassky Has an Idea For Taxi Passengers Who Want to Report a Maniac Cabbie (NY1)
  • Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter Mulling a Primary Challenge to Pedro Espada (BNN)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • On that WNYC story, Andrea Bernstein quoted this Streetsblog comment verbatim:
    http://www.streetsblog.org/2010/01/25/marty-markowitz-derails-prospect-park-west-bike-lane-for-how-long/#comment-191441

    I find this narratative of all cyclists being young hipster flakes living off of trust funds and lollygagging on bikes all day to be so stupid. I wish Bernstein would have had some facts at hand to quote. Have there been studies that show ages and occupations of bike commuters in NYC that can disprove (or prove, for that matter) the myth of hipster cyclist, or that can quantify ‘who’ is riding bikes?

  • Larry Littlefield

    “If you want to go the other way, I must tell you, the sidewalks are enormous. They are. Enormous.”

    Well, there is a solution. Ride on the sidewalks, and if you get ticketed and screamed at, consider part of the cost of living here.

    “I think you get a lot of bad reaction if you attempt to take away parking from residents of Park Slope…They should. We should be making New York as resident-friendly as we can. Because a lot of those people in Park Slope could live anywhere in America, and at a certain point, when their life becomes too inconvenienced, the way they vote is with their feet, and I don’t want them to leave.”

    Well I don’t want them to leave either, but it seems a lot of people really want to live in Houston but happen to be here. In any event, since they are taking away bus service, parking can be added in the former bus stops. Perhaps that can be a policy/strategy. Cut MTA funding, get more parking.

  • “Markowitz on PPW Bike Lane: Parking Must Be Preserved to Prevent Exodus From Brooklyn (WNYC)”

    Marty Markowitz is, for lack of a better phrase, full of shit. But we already knew that.

  • vnm

    Great news! Fare Hike Four member Karl Cruger is getting a primary challenger for the first time in at least a decade.

  • Larry Littlefield

    For those unaware of the mentality, “middle class” folks who toughed in tout in Brooklyn in the 1970s and 1980s did so by abandoning anything public — parks, transit, anything. You drove everywhere, because transit was unreliable, dirty, and dangerous. You generally did not go in Prospect Park. You did not send your kids to public schools, other than “special deal” schools for people like you. You lived like your contemporaries, who had moved to the suburbs.

    So why didn’t they all move to the suburbs? Often because they had a city job.

    Well, I think it’s entirely possible that the current generation of leadership may have re-created the 1970s as far as public services are concerned. But that’s why I want the northbound bicycle lane, because the bicycle is my work-around on the transportation side.

  • Yes, Vnm! But from your link:

    Assembly Member Alec Brook-Krasny, the first Russian-American elected to the State Legislature.

    Somehow I doubt that. With at least three Ukrainian-American Jews as speakers, I think a Russian-American must have snuck in there at some point during the past century.

  • TKO

    Marty wants the Brooklyn waterfront to look like a crappy Miami.

    Or even worse Toronto.

    Bland.

  • Josh

    Makowitz isn’t full of shit, he’s pandering. It’s not exactly the same thing.

  • I listened to the full twenty-minute interview with Markowitz. I must say, I don’t think his position is quite as militant as some of our constituency makes it out to be. From what I gather, he is basically doing his best to say, “I don’t really have too much of an opinion either way, but since I’m Borough President, I have to have an opinion, and if anything, I lean towards this being a bad idea.”

  • Larry Littlefield

    Again, the way to solve his problem Park Slope is to remove the bus stops and use them for parking. How many spaces would be added between 8th Avenue and PPW?

    The interview includes three things: bridge tolls, a car-free park, and the two-way bike lane. There is a large and vocal driving constituency that wants the park open and doesn’t want bridge tolls. I don’t think there is as much opposition to the bike lane.

    Yes there may be some congestion during those weekend days in the summer when cars are double parking to drop off people for picnics and barbeques in the park. That, however, is hardly the time for folks to be riding on the sidewalk.

  • I am glad to hear that they are reducing parking at the Domino project, but I am sorry to see that it is being built as glass-towers that look like a 1050s Mies van der Rohe fanstasy. This will be a visual blight on the waterfront, and those glass towers are very energy inefficient.

    For an example of what you could do with a site like this, look at Riverside Drive. It has a consistent urban fabric forming a street wall next to the park, rather than towers in open space. And it has facades with varied elements rather than blank glass facades.

    Why can’t we get beyond the modernist project architecture of the mid-twentieth century??

  • Sorry, I meant “1950s Mies van der Rohe fanstasy.”

  • Go rot all borough presidents.

  • molly

    Jeff, I listened to the full interview too and I got a different impression. His attitude seems to be that bikes and their accompanying amenities are fine when used for recreation (he seems to see no advantages to biking and walking over driving other than the health benefits), but that the real priority when it comes to improving quality of life in the borough with regard to transportation is ensuring abundant parking spaces.

  • J:Lai

    this has been touched on before, but the benefits to removing parking spots at the margin are diffuse whereas the costs are concentrated among the people who both live/work nearby and own cars.

    The situation creates asymmetric constituencies, where those who suffer are almost always more motivated and more vocal than those who would benefit, even though the net benefits may be greater.

    Small but vocal minorities will always get disproportionate attention from elected officials.

  • Doug

    The problem is that when Markowitz doesn’t have enough info and leans towards something being a bad idea, he leans towards favoring cars over people and bikes. We should move towards a place of favoring peds and bikes as the default, not cars.

    The amount of parking taken away from PPW would be nothing compared with the amount of people made safer by what is essentially an urban speedway.

    And Markowitz’ claim that it’s a lack of parking that would make people decamp for the ‘burbs or other cities is total BS. He has no data to substantiate that claim and one could just as well argue that it’s the lack of affordable housing or good schools in his borough that drives people to leave the city. I doubt parking is ever the straw that breaks the camel’s back for anyone who is thinking about leaving.

  • J:Lai

    Just scanning these stories, including the PPW parking comments, the parking apps, and the toll on the broad-channel bridge, the raw NIMBYism is staggering.

    Everyone knows the transportation system is bankrupt and broken, but “they” should fix it, and god forbid “they” should try to charge more for the parking spot on my block, or the bridge that I use . . .

  • Have there been studies that show ages and occupations of bike commuters in NYC that can disprove (or prove, for that matter) the myth of hipster cyclist, or that can quantify ‘who’ is riding bikes?

    I don’t think so. The American Community Survey has good data saying who uses which mode of transportation, but it only breaks transportation down into driving alone, carpooling, and transit. You can compute an average for the rest from the data, but that average is dominated by walking. There are other datasets saying who uses what mode of transportation, which have more categories, but they don’t offer cycling as a separate category, either. They put it in “other modes,” together with taxicabs.

    (For reference, if you want to know who’s taking transit and who’s driving, go here for residential geography data and here for workplace geography data.)

  • Larry Littlefield

    FYI Alon, the ACS collects data on mode in more detail. Here is the question.

    http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/ACS-1(info)(2010)%20Stateside%20English_web.pdf

    How did this person usually get to work LAST
    WEEK? If this person usually used more than one
    method of transportation during the trip, mark (X)
    the box of the one used for most of the distance.

    31

    Car, truck, or van
    Bus or trolley bus
    Streetcar or trolley car
    Subway or elevated
    Railroad
    Ferryboat
    Taxicab
    Motorcycle
    Bicycle
    Walked

    Worked at
    home ??SKIP
    to question 39a
    Other method

    The problem is the sample size. When we had the census long form, one of every six households got it. It was only once every ten years, but the sample size was large enough for relatively small groups (ie. bicycle commuters) to be counted at relatively small levels of geography.

    At some level, ACS data will be available on bike commuters every year. But it might be the U.S. or state level, all of NYC if we are lucky.

  • Oh, I know it collects this data. But the Factfinder tables don’t break it down so much. They lump all transit together, for instance.

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