Today’s Headlines

  • The Hatzolah Ambulances are a menace to pedestrians and even cars. I was nearly hit by one on West End and 99th street when it went through a light and crossed the yellow line to the wrong way side of the street while pulling up to a building. I understand patients in acute situations require immediate assistance, but that’s not a license to endanger everyone else in society.

  • Hatzolah doesn’t dispatch the ambulance straight off; they rely on a network of members who are driving around in their personal vehicles to buff calls off the police radio, then drive like crazy to the scene, where they park and check if the patient wants a Hatzolah bus. Only then is the ambulance dispatched. The police let them use red lights instead of the green bubble light that they are authorized to use.

  • The SBS announcement is obviously been discussed much here, but that combined with the new energy behind getting the Greenway Gap “bridged” (more on that later) offers a compelling case of where activists can make a difference transforming a mostly car-dominated streetscape into a much more safer and sustainable transportation friendly area.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Gas is something we all want — and want cheap. Most of the people I talked to were driving what you’d have to call gas-guzzlers, so I asked whether they feel any personal culpability. “Uh, no,” Carpenter says. When I ask the question, he looks sort of angry. I hear this a lot. People are disgusted by the oil spill, but what really has them worried is the idea that gas prices will spike.”

    You think a little spilled oil is going to cause introspection? Consider what hasn’t.

    Two devastating recessions set in motion by oil price spikes in the 1970s, after which a U.S. President said our energy problem would require the “moral equivalent of war.”

    Another recession and war, with oil concerns playing a role in both, in the early 1990s.

    The most devastating terrorist attack in recent global history, launched on our largest city by people from a country we are dependent on for oil less than a decade ago, followed by a decade or war that most Americans have neither paid for or participated in.

    All this in addition to global warming, which some choose not to believe in.

    An oil spill?

  • The NY times article said there would be no protected bike lanes above 34th St at all. Do they know something we don’t know, or are they just referring to the “gap,” but failing to mention that the lanes continue again further uptown? The News article also makes reference to just 3.5 miles of protected lanes, which is of course much less than all of the proposals we’ve seen lined up so far.

    Did we get screwed behind the scenes, or are these papers mistaken?

  • Jeff, that is apparently now the plan. See http://www.nyc.gov/html/brt/html/next/first_ave.shtml

    The new plan involves:
    – Protected bike lanes below 34th St on 1st and 2nd, w/pedestrian refuges
    – Some sort of upgrade to the existing bike lane on 1st above 72nd, without pedestrian refuges (unclear what this upgrade entails)

    Otherwise, nothing until maybe 2011-2012, and not clear what they’re doing then.

  • Wow, I take back the above comment!

    This is actually a real betrayal of the advocates in North-East Manhattan by DOT if they aren’t even putting a time-frame in. This is not what was presented to the community nor what was approved. I guess I’ll be breaking the bad news to people at the greenmarkets again this year. Maybe another 1000 letters will do the job?

    Good for South-East Manhattan and Brooklyn to Midtown commuters though.

  • Larry Littlefield

    What they are running into is the lack of north-south highway truck/bus routes into Midtown from points north. First and Second Avenues are the route for express buses and trucks coming down from that direction, and are thus heavily used by vehicles other than private cars.

    In a more radical future era, perhaps private motor vehicles could be banned from the BQE to aid bus and truck movement through Brooklyn and Queens and from points north to Midtown via the Triboro and Queens Midtown Tunnel. After all, buses and trucks are not allowed on the FDR.

  • “City Planning” doesn’t appear to plan very well, and what passes for “planning” tends to be not very friendly to cities.

  • bicyclebelle

    Re: Big Rig Driver
    A couple of years ago I was doing turning radius research for work and came across what appeared to be a table saying that the largest trucks (big rigs) are not allowed on NYC streets without special permits. I clearly recall extended cabs were not permitted yet I see them all the time.

    I’m assuming I’m wrong on this because I’ve never read about it elsewhere, but perhaps someone can enlighten me? I just get so mad seeing such deadly trucks, whose drivers can’t see a pedestrian directly in front of them, on our streets.

    Thanks.

  • RE: Truck kills granny

    “The truck driver told investigators he could not see the grandmother over the hood of his truck. He was not arrested or given a summons, police said.”

    Sounds like he stopped too close (or over) the crosswalk line. No ticket for that?

  • JamesR

    Eric, are you referring to DCP specifically or to the field of urban planning in general? DCP is hamstrung because the only tool they have to work with is zoning. They don’t engage in comprehensive urban planning and never have, with the usual reason given as the city being too contentious and polyglot of a place to make the creation of a real comp plan possible (I’m not counting PlaNYC as a comp plan).

  • Bicycle Belle, is this PDF the table you’re looking for?

  • bicyclebelle

    Thanks Cap’n! That’s not exactly the document I saw, but it says what I remember, that 53′ trailers are not permitted on NYC streets, including on truck routes, without a special permit. Do you have any idea why we still see these trucks absolutely everywhere? They’re hard to miss when they have a big “53 ft.” painted on the side.

  • Ian Turner

    Bicyclebelle, one must conclude that either the law is not enforced or that a permit is easy to get. I’ve heard both claimed.