Today’s Headlines

  • Obama Calls for $50B Infrastructure Investment to Create Jobs (NYT, USA Today)
  • The New Broadway Feels Broader to Pedestrians and Cyclists, But Not to the Times
  • Driver Kills 70-Year-Old Woman Walking Across 3rd Ave; Police Issue a Ticket But No Charges (News)
  • 5 Injured as Cabbie Jumps Curb and Crashes Into First Ave Coffee Shop (News, Post, Gothamist)
  • …And the Post Finds Someone Who Blames the Bike Lane
  • Felix Salmon Posits a Unified Theory of NYC Cyclist Behavior
  • Family and Friends Will Hold a Memorial for Robert Bowen, Victim of Hit-and-Run on 2nd Ave (Post)
  • Staten Island Assistant DA Caught Driving Drunk in Hell’s Kitchen (Post)
  • Paterson OKs Parking Permit System for Downtown Albany (Times Union)
  • Zombies Get Red Light Cam Tickets, and They Don’t Fly Into a Murderous Rage About It (Boing Boing)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Michael1

    The New York Times says that Broadway is now not a continuous path due to the pedestrian plazas and other recent changes. That’s not true, I don’t remember ever driving from one side of Broadway to the other at Times Square before that ever happened.

    And the Post’s story about the crash between a cab and a cyclist, how fast would you have to be going if trying to avoid a Jeep sends you to the sidewalk? Forget the bike lane, the cab almost made a drive-thru of a coffee shop. The DOT should add shiny, metal bollards to their checklist as soon as the changes are permanent.

  • RE: NY Times story. I could not believe anyone would call the old Broadway a “grand avenue.” Driving through Times Square was like entering purgatory, and no taxi driver who wanted a tip would take that route. Walking as a solo adult was scary, and chaperoning a couple of young kids was out of the question. Forget about bike riding.

    I’m amazed at the NY Times writers. Their office is adjacent to Times Square. Are they all driving in and out of their building’s garage from homes in the suburbs??? It has to be, because otherwise, their sentiments would echo those of the Times Square BID, which is overwhelming positive.

    As for me, a suburbanite, I love the changes. I can take my little kids to Times Square, have a place to sit between meals, museums, movies or shows, and watch the world go by. Couldn’t do that before.

  • MRN

    I’m only halfway through, but Salmon (Unified Thoery of NYC bicyclists) is right-on so far.

  • ddartley

    Times:
    “For the first time in New York’s modern era, Broadway no longer offers a continuous path from the Bronx to the Battery.”

    Yeah, that’s ridiculous, as Michael1 points out above. I can’t remember a time when you could drive straight down Broadway through Times Square. Funny the article should say such a thing so early in the text, considering where TIMES SQUARE get its frickin NAME.

  • Mike

    Broadway has also always been discontinuous at Union Square.

  • The dumbest statement in the Times article is right near the beginning:

    “under the Bloomberg administration, Broadway has been transformed, from a grand avenue that ferried automobiles on a scenic route through Midtown to a narrow passageway”

    Broadway is as wide and as grand as ever. It is not narrower or less grand because some lanes have changed from auto to pedestrian space.

  • No kidding: why does the Times make the assumption that Broadway’s grandiosity is diminished because it’s not filled with cars?

    And “scenic route”? Assuming that you’re taking in Broadway for the pleasure of looking at the neon ads in Times Square, or at the facade of Macy’s, it’s probably better to do so on foot than from behind the wheel of a car in heavy traffic.

  • meb

    An interesting unified theory, but I’ll stick to my own interpretation of the mayhem out there.

    People get away with whatever they think they can. U-turns by motorists, red light running cyclists, jaywalking pedestrians, all symptoms of the same problem.

  • Larry Littlefield

    As for the unified theory, I would agree that cyclists, like motor vehicles, should never ride the wrong way up a busy avenue, ride on the sidewalk, or ride at night without lights.

    Actually, motor vehicles ride on the sidewalk all the time, as they move from the street to off street parking, but anyway…

    In other cases, however, I believe that cyclists should be thought of as pedestrians when they are moving at the speed of a pedestrian, ride as motor vehicles when moving at the speed of motor vehicles (in the center of the lane), and ride as something in between as moving at the speed of something in between (as is usually the case).

    For example, I think it is perfectly acceptable for a bicycle, rather than moving across several lanes of traffic to the left lane to make a left turn, to ride up the right lane, wait for the light, and then cross as a pedestrian would. A motor vehicle shouldn’t do that.

    And if a cyclist glides slowly up to a red light at a side street, and looks and sees no motor vehicle traffic coming for a block as pedestrians jaywalk beside them, I’m not sure the jaybiker should be ticketed while the jaywalker would not be. Those riding a bicycle faster than a walk, however, put their own lives at risk and menace pedestrians crossing with the light.

    I don’t consider it wrong for a bicyle to ride at a slow pace alongside stopped motor vehicle traffic.

    And I don’t consider it wrong if, having slowed to the pace of someone walking and stopped if there were any pedestrians close by, a bicycle makes a right (or left) on red.

    Whether such things should be legal is debatable: perhaps legalization would empower the jerk cyclists would make those moves at 15 miles per hour, flashing withing a foot of pedestrians, as I see happen ever day. I would be afraid to run a GREEN light at that speed in Manhattan, because a motor vehicle might be running the red.

    Perhaps the police should use their discretion and enforce against those cyclists doing something truly dangerous, to themself or someone else.

  • eLK

    The “Unified Theory” makes my head hurt. It’s another screed dividing and blaming. We are all New Yorkers. New Yorkers are the problem in New York. Those “Bikers” also walk and drive cars. People as individuals behave poorly.

    People riding around on bicycles behaving poorly are likely to be the same in a car or walking. Responsible people are doing the same thing regardless of their modal choices.

    Jeeze!

  • Wow, Greg Mocker of WPIX just did a scathing piece on placard parking in Harlem on tonight’s 10 o’clock news. Video isn’t in the Mocker section of the WPIX website yet but probably will be soon. He finds placards from NYPD, PBA, Housing, and Parks (among others) and promises to make calls for a followup. Mocker has made a career out of mocking the MTA but it’s nice to see him aiming his blunderbuss in a different direction.

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