Today’s Headlines

  • Anthony Weiner Just Joking About “Tearing Out Your [Expletive] Bike Lanes” (Grist)
  • DOT Scuttles Plans for Lafayette Ave Bike Lane, Which Once Had Strong Community Support (Post)
  • NewsPost Reprint NBBL Arguments, Accuse DOT of Funny Math on PPW
  • The New Yorker Hops on the Anti-Bike High Horse; Naparstek Responds
  • The New York Times and Gothamist Head to PPW for Man-On-The-Street Interviews
  • Observer Optimistically Labels Bike Lane Backlash “New York’s Last Culture War”
  • David Weprin Trying to Head Off Congestion Pricing With Reintroduction of Commuter Tax (News)
  • Despite Initial Anger, Replacing Astoria Parking With Senior Housing Is a Popular Move (News)
  • Court Says Crash Victim Not Careful Enough, Should Have Seen Red-Light Running Bus Coming (Post)
  • Nancy Gruskin Targets Delivery Cyclists With Safer Cycling Pledge (CBS 2)
  • David Paterson, Back on the Streets, Fears Silent Bikes More Than Noisy Cars (Observer)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    Weprin isn’t trying to head off congestion pricing by introducing a bill for the commuter tax. He fully expects there to be no commuter pricing, and is seeking to deflect blame for the collapse of the transit system to those who don’t vote for the commuter tax.

    It isn’t an original idea. He got it from Weiner.

  • kevd

    It seems that New Yorker writers like Prospect Park West residents, are just more faux liberals, more enraptured with their own privileged life-styles than reasoned discourse or arguments supported by facts.

    I always suspected as much of the New Yorker and NYTimes. They have really been showing their true colors of late.

    Rode the PPW bike lane late last night for the first time in months. While I never had a problem riding the old PPW configuration (I guess I took as much pride in my tough-guy disregard for my own safety as John Cassidy did) the lane really makes things much easier and more pleasant.
    Even at midnight in sub-freezing weather I saw 5-10 riders between GAP and Bartel Pritchard.
    I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but I only saw about 20 cars in the same stretch.

  • Chris

    Hmm, I guess courts blame the victim? Why am I not surprised.

  • Larry Littlefield

    As for the PPW pedestrians, people see what they want to see. Today there was a woman waiting to cross with her dog. I slowed down to let her go first. But she didn’t move so I went to pass by. And then she yelled at me about the light.

    That’s what the opponents have managed to accomplish.

    As for the cyclists yelling at pedestrians and blowing by, I have yet to see any of that kind of behavior on the PPW bike lane. I have seen it in Prospect Park riding fast for exercise, where you have people with whistles riding for exercise, and used to be afraid of it when I had toddlers.

  • kevd

    @ LL.
    Last week on a street without a bike, and absolutely no reason whatsoever for either me, or the jay-walking pedestrian to be upset with each other (heavy traffic, he crossed the street, I slowly pedalled behind him) I got a “No Bike lane Here!”

    The main accomplishment of the media created “bike land backlash” is that ignorant douchebags feel good about acting like douchebags.

  • kevd

    (without a bike lane)

  • kevd

    And I will reiterate my stance on the traffic lights on PPW after experiencing it first hand for the first time in months.

    While they are very easy to see – at least at night, the flashing yellows are pointless.
    Like Larry said, we already ride as if there is a flashing yellow at all times. It does nothing to tell us about who has the right of way. Simply synchronising those lights with the traffic lights and crosswalks on PPW would reduce a great deal of confusion, conflict and needless anger.
    I would suggest green when PPW is green, and a flashing red when PPW is red….. But that probably won’t fly.

  • car free nation

    culture wars, indeed

  • Number of non-emergency motor vehicles I saw flagrantly run red lights during this morning’s bike commute: 3. (2 of them in front 2 cops.)

    On Monday I’ll move this log to my twitter account, @ddartley.

  • I believe Weiner that he was joking. I also believe that he’s a slimeball, because, among other reasons, he voted for the Iraq War, and claimed, later, that he did so because he was “misled.” Misled by that Wizard of Deception, George W. Bush.

  • Morris Zapp

    Iris Weinshall is the Dick Cheney of city politics. A heckling has-been.

  • dporpentine

    I read that New Yorker article. It’s beneath contempt.

  • Geck

    I ride on PPW at least twice a day and I have never had a conflict with pedestrians crossing at an intersection. Honestly I rarely encounter them when they are ready to cross. If they are in the crosswalk at the edge of the lane I stop for them. Often they wave me through.

    One man who was loading a car mid-block darted in front of me suddenly. Being on a bike it was relative easy to “stop on dime” and avoid him. He apologized. Others who have wander out into the lane mid block without looking generally respond to my bell and apologize.

    Some, like the women Larry encountered, are looking for a fight. I have seen a woman with a dog do what he described to someone else. Probably the same woman.

  • Larry Littlefield

    By the way, there is nothing wrong with Gruskin’s pledge. She should hand it out to commuters at the bridge approaches too.

    After all, it says stop at red lights and not stop at red lights and sit there with no vehicles coming, no pedestrians in the way, and lots of pedestrians jaywalking right next to you.

    And put pedestrians first means stopping for them even when they are jaywalking and you have the right of way. A reasonable request in pedestrian dense areas.

  • Bolwerk

    Weprin lays out a case for a congestion charge and then tries to support a proposal something that won’t affect congestion:

    The fact is that most of the transportation infrastructure in the metropolitan area was designed when cars still had tail fins and ribbons of highways were laid, encircling our cities and suburbs in an effort to turn New York into a commuter’s utopia. The sprawl that followed, in addition to the neglect of the area’s mass-transit infrastructure, has brought us to the problem we are facing today: too much traffic, too few alternatives.

  • NM

    To respond to Larry, I’m giving up for Lent (okay, for good) being annoyed with pedestrians in the bike lanes, especially Grand Street and 1st/2nd Aves. I just need to take a deep breath and be polite until there are enough cyclists in the lanes that they aren’t so attractive to pedestrians. (And oh yeah, I’ve stood there too – the environmental cues will trump my good intentions every time until I consciously realize what I’m doing and step back on the curb.)

    And really, the sidewalk does need room for both standing around in front of shops and shop windows and the ‘express lane’ services the bike lane now often provides. Not to mention that every other street use – trees, newspapers, trash cans, benches, even bike racks – are at the sole expense of sometimes meager pedestrian space, so I could be a little more understanding.

  • DingDong

    The whole world is watching. This story on the lawsuit was featured prominently on the first page of the Guardian’s website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/bike-blog/2011/mar/09/new-york-bike-lane-cycling

  • brooklynwalker

    @NM: Thank you!

  • Larry Littlefield

    “To respond to Larry, I’m giving up for Lent (okay, for good) being annoyed with pedestrians in the bike lanes.”

    Ha. I’ll probably try to lose weight (again) and attend daily mass a few times a week. If getting there via the PPW bike lane rather than on 8th Avenue isn’t a sin.

  • Greg

    I was going to post the same link to the Guardian, DingDong. I wish we had a good newspaper like that in the US.

    The Guardian CRUSHES the Times for the “hatchet job” it did on Sadik-Kahn.

  • I don’t think Paterson’s comment is anti-bike, because he biked to college and his wife bikes to work. Unfortunately, a few encounters with hybrid cars may put the fear of them in Paterson.

  • car free nation

    Has anyone read the comments on the new yorker article? It’s worth quite a few chuckles…

  • Lunch hour bonus: 3 cars uncontestably red lights. Observed during my little, local errand.

  • da

    Cassidy’s already posted a followup to his piece in the NYer.

  • Spartacus

    NM – A group called “improve everywhere” created a New Yorkers and Tourists lane on a sidewalk.

    Video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp38Hk6aMuw&feature=player_embedded
    Web page – http://improveverywhere.com/2010/06/08/the-tourist-lane/

    Very funny and very effective

  • Is John Cassidy the new Eustace Tilley?

    He considers himself “like many New Yorkers who don’t live in Manhattan” —- one of his “favorite pastimes” is to drive his Jaguar across the East River for dinner.

    Once in Manhattan, however, he finds himself unable to find a free parking space. Who does Mr. Cassidy hold accountable for spoiling his pleasure? “The bicycle lobby!” he sputters, fingering his cravat as the monocle falls from his face.

    And thus, “like many New Yorkers” (again, Mr. Cassidy is a real man of the people), he will “quietly cheer” on Iris Weinshall et al. as they attempt to dismantle bicycling infrastructure in NYC.

    Nice work, dude.

    Naparstek’s dismantling of the Cassidy piece is priceless, by the way.

  • dporpentine

    As da noted above:
    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2011/03/bike-lanes-ii.html#entry-more

    All he does is dig in his heels. It’s revolting.

  • dirtycrumbs

    Cassidy covers economics for the New Yorker, yet at no time in this piece does he address the externalities of driving or the scarcity of NYC street space.

    Hmmm….

  • vnm

    How quickly things change in Albany. The Fare Hike Four? Now its just the Fare Hike One.

    Espada – voted out of office
    Monserrate – censured and kicked out of office by his colleagues, then lost a re-election bid and now unable to even afford child support.
    Kruger – surrendering to federal authorities tomorrow.
    Diaz – now in the Senate minority

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