Today’s Headlines

  • How the Holiday Blizzard Paralyzed NYC (NYTNews)
  • Plowing Slowed By Abandoned Vehicles… (NYT 12)
  • …But Post, David Greenfield Blast Bloomberg For Clearing Bike Lanes (Post 12Yeshiva World News)
  • Tri-State’s Welcome Letter to Cuomo: Reform NYS DOT, Focus on Buses (MTR)
  • NY1‘s New Yorker Of The Year: Janette Sadik-Khan
  • New Yorkers Now Pay More For Transportation, From MetroCards and Gas to Helicopters (NYT)
  • Cost of On-Street Parking Rises in Manhattan and Queens, With Other Boroughs to Follow (Post)
  • TLC Tries Again on Failed Queens Commuter Van Route (News)
  • 9-Month-Old in Critical Condition After Livery Cab Smashes Parked Car Onto Sidewalk (News)
  • Port Authority Wants to Raise, Not Rebuild, Bayonne Bridge (WSJ, Transpo Nation)
  • Larry Littlefield

    Well my ride in was pleasant — once I got past Park Slope.

    The Prospect Park West bike lane was not plowed, and the best chance to have it melt to blacktop may have passed. I hope the bike lane opponents are looking forward to having me take the lane on 8th Avenue for the next month, because I’m not.

    The best news — the Manhattan Bridge. One small ice patch on the whole thing, and there wasn’t that pile of salt we usually get. I guess they alwasy put down enough salt for 2 feet of snow — that way they’re covered.

  • Open source design and development of net-zero human mobility on the scale of Linux and Wikipedia will start to heal civilization.

  • Larry, don’t worry. The fact that the PPW bike lane has not been cleared yet will not stop Neighbors for Better Bike lanes from claiming that it was before the road.

  • Amazing bias bordering on dishonesty in NYT article New Yorkers Now Pay More For Transportation, From MetroCards and Gas to Helicopters: The article said, “Even if you can afford to fill up [your car], be prepared to pay up to 33 percent more to use tunnels and bridges operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.” Up to 33% more? Maybe for cash payments on a couple of “minor” crossings. On “major” crossings like Triborough, Throgs Neck and Bronx-Whitestone, the cash increases were 18%. More importantly, the toll increase for trips using E-ZPass on all MTA crossings was just 5%. Considering that E-ZPass is used on almost three-fourths of all MTA bridge and tunnel trips, I’ll bet that the weighted-average toll increase is less than 10%.

  • Moocow

    …or that no bikers are using PPW so it should be removed.

  • butters

    Quick request to streetsblog: next time there’s a blizzard or other big snowstorm, maybe do a blizzard transit open thread so people can share suggestions in the comments? Twitter was helpful, but it was hard to get a read on which bridges and other bits of infrastructure were bikeable. Thanks!

  • m to the i

    Can someone please tell me what the actual rules are for the shared bike lane/left turn lane on 1st and 2nd Avenues. I find them to be the most dangerous part of my commute. Today a car was driving beside me, I literally turned my head and looked at the driver through the driver side window. He honked his horn at me and then cut me off and turned in front of me, very close to my front tire. I suspect that I have the right of way but there is no bicycle lane there. I’m really asking because I want to know if I should get angry or get used it. Does DOT know that these shared turn bays do not work from a safety perspective?

  • eLK

    I was very grateful that the Hudson River Greenway was rideable this morning. A few ice patches. Far less dangerous than sharing a street with crazed and impatient motor commuters.

  • m to the i, those triangles behind the merge area in the car lane are called yield wedges (or yield something, teeth?), and the motorcar is supposed to wait behind them until it’s safe to complete the turn. Lack of education and courtesy means that most drivers just wait in the shared area, blocking the bike lane, until it’s safe for them to turn left.

  • Noob

    I was actually looking into the Bayonne Bridge before seeing the post this morning. More precisely, I noticed the current extension of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail down to 8th street — bringing it to the southern boundary of Bayonne, and just a single hop from Staten Island. If extended, this line could give a one-transfer ride from Staten Island to both the WTC and Midtown via PATH. Couldn’t a rebuilt Bayonne Bridge handle light rail as well? Wouldn’t this be a huge deal?

    I realize that it wouldn’t connect the bulk of SI at once. But if it could also connect to the SI railroad…

  • J. Mork

    The 8th Ave. separated path was clear sailing. Sweet.

    For the shared bike/turn lanes (unless they have a bike green and a red arrow) I look back early and merge into the “car” lane to avoid getting hooked like that. Then I proceed straight through and back into the bike lane.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Can someone please tell me what the actual rules are for the shared bike lane/left turn lane on 1st and 2nd Avenues.”

    You’ve got to move right to the middle of the lane, or the other side of the lane. That’s what I do on Broadway, anyway.

    In those locations, the bike isn’t supposed to be nearest to the curb if it is going straight.

  • NY1 New Yorker of the Year:

    Norman Steisel is quoted, “Just five months since the bike lanes were opened, we’ve received eyewitness accounts of 10 vehicular accidents on Prospect Park West, which compares to an annual average rate of 8.8 for the preceding four years.”

    It sounds like he’s comparing eyewitness accounts reported to a vigilant group of opponents who organized *this year* to historic, official (i.e. not eyewitness) stats. Shame again on Vacca and Transport Committee for giving this guy disproportionate audience on the subject.

  • Geck

    The idea of the shared turn lanes is to merge with traffic so that you are behind turning vehicles-not on the side of them. The cars are supposed to yield, but you can’t count on it.

  • J. Mork!/NYC_DOT/statuses/21979891507400704

    #NYDOTbike tip: For left turn lane mixing zones inc 1st/2nd ave, merge w traffic so u are behind turning vehicles-not on the side #bikenyc

  • J:Lai

    My observation, admittedly anecdotal, was that abandoned vehicles were a major impediment to getting streets plowed in a timely manner. Furthermore, this problem seemed to be worse in Brooklyn and Queens than in Manhattan.
    In the most egregious example I saw, there were two city buses and a snowplow trapped on a 2 block stretch of road that had about a dozen private cars blocking either end.

    If what I saw personally is representative of the city, then I would have to assign the majority of the blame for inadequate snow removal to selfish motorists who decided to drive during a severe snowstorm, and then decided to abandon their cars in the middle of the street (for up to two days!)

  • Joe R.

    In my opinion, anyone driving during a blizzard who ends up abandoning their car should have it forfeited to the city. I’m amazed that all these people just HAD to be out driving on a Sunday, the day after Christmas. Presumably most of them were doing nothing more important than going to after Christmas sales. Anyway, sure the city could have done better plowing, but I hope the real story that abandoned cars were a major impediment gets out.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Presumably most of them were doing nothing more important than going to after Christmas sales.”

    Many may have been coming back from out of town, particularly when the storm intensified after 6 pm.

  • Joe R.

    It’s possible some may have been returning from out of town. However, everyone knew this storm was on the way a few days in advance. It might have been more prudent to return late Saturday or early Sunday than wait until the storm was going full tilt.

  • m to the i

    I will be more aggressive about merging into the middle of the turn bay and see how it works out. Im a very experienced cyclist and I can’t imagine many unexperienced cyclists feeling safe if I don’t. I usually do merge but sometimes, when there is a line of turning cars, its hard to make the call where to merge over. Today, I made eye contact with a driver who then decided to cut me off instead of let me pass through.

    I appreciate the tweet shout out from DOT. I really wish these intersections were signalized like 9th Ave and Broadway. But in the mean time, the DOT should move the sharrows from the curbside into the middle of the turn bay which is the correct place to be riding.

  • @ddartley,

    Are those accident rates even published anywhere? Of course, the alleged “eyewitness accounts” may have included several “accidents” that didn’t get reported, and wouldn’t be reflected in the “average annual rate.”

    It makes me chuckle that the Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes claim fealty to data, deride DOT’s and PSN’s data collection, and then deal strictly in anecdotes.

    Let’s hope their 15 minutes of infamy ended with the change of the calendar.

  • StevenF

    Bayonne Bridge:

    Will the Port Authority retain the current bicycle/pedestrian path on the higher bridge deck? This is the only non-motorized path between SI and NJ. Will they make it fully roll-on – roll-off ADA accessible? Currently, there are steps on the NJ end of the path.

    Will PORT design the new raised deck for future light rail transit tracks into SI? The Hudson-Bergen LRT tracks end at the Bayonne side of the bridge. There is space on the bridge now, will there be space and land-side ramp connection space in the future?

  • BicyclesOnly

    One of the reasons for confusion in navigating the mixing zones is DoT’s painting of the dashed pathway lines at the curb, suggesting that cyclists should keep straight at the curb and trust that motorists will wait at the yield teeth for cyclists and pedestrians to clear the intersection. Great in theory, but it doesn’t happen.

    It can be hard to get right when there is a queue of MVs wating to turn left that fills and extends upstream from the mixing zone. Luckily, that’s not the typical situation, and when it does exist, at least the queued MVs are at a standstill, so it’s not too hard to slip through a gap in them as they advance to the corner. Or, if no gap opens up when you need it before you reach the crosswalk, you can just jump off the bike and walk it through the crosswalk, using it to block the rare motorist who won’t yield.

    Another hazard that’s even hardeer to deal with is the motorist who makes the left turn not from the mixing zone/left turn bay, but illegally from the next traffic lane over. That happened to me on Sunday. The only thing that saved me from injury or damage to my bike was that I was keeping my eye on the car and noticed it slowing before making the turn, and started to brake (I ended up T-boning the driver’s door at about 3 MPH).

    The mixing zones are the most problematic feature of the First and Second Avenue parking-protected bike paths (apart from the too-narrow buffer on Second south of 14th). To navigate them safely and efficiently, cyclists must apply a nuanced mixture of assertiveness and caution as well as maximum vigilance. I’m no expert, but here is a video that shows (rider’s POV) the technique that J.Mork and others have described:

    While the signalized left turns on Broadway, Eighth and Ninth are safer, the absence of a split left-turn phase (regulated by a separate signalhead with green and red bicycles) means that First and Second have fewer red lights for cyclists and are therefore a lot faster. So I’m ambivalent about signalizing the First and Second Ave. mixing zones.

  • Andrew

    Joe R.:

    The forecasted storm exploded in intensity on Saturday. Anybody who hadn’t checked the forecast since Friday or even Saturday morning had no idea of what was coming.

    That said, I agree that cars abandoned during a severe snowstorm should be treated as abandoned property.

  • Suzanne

    Apparently in California “crash taxes,” where car insurance companies are charged for emergency services, are growing in popularity. How about adding reckless stupidity in driving in a blizzard and blocking streets from being plowed?


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