Today’s Headlines

  • TLC Considering 15 Percent Taxi Fare Hike, First Since 2004 (Post)
  • Tix Fix Wiretap Shows NYPD Highway Squad Greater Sticklers for Rules (Post)
  • Construction Industry Opposes Gas Tax Holiday, But Cuomo Doesn’t Rule It Out (CapTon 12)
  • Boy, That Chris Christie Sure Does Worry About Huge Subsidies and Cost Overruns (NYT)
  • Christie’s Port Authority Bailout Could Stiff PABT Bus Riders (MTR)
  • NE Bronx Group Wants All Corner Lots Turned Into Parking, Higher Parking Minimums (Bx Times)
  • Flashback: East Side Bike Lanes Necessary for Bike-Sharing, Said JSK in 2010 (Transpo Nation)
  • Ben Kabak: Little Progress on Bloomberg’s 2009 Transportation Platform
  • City Planning Aims To Reinvigorate “Fur District” South of Penn Station (DNAinfo)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Stan

    Do the shared bike lanes enjoy any legal distinction from a regular lane of car traffic?
    With no physical seperation, and no enforcment even if there is a legal distintion, they don’t seem to have much to offer.

  • Ugh, Cuomo. Clearly a gas tax holiday would be a further burden of the millions of New York State taxpayers who don’t buy any gas.

  • Kaja

    Gee, I can’t wait until some po’ pulls me over for changing lanes across that solid white.

    There will be no justice until the cops are all gone.

  • Anonymous

    My understanding is that the “shared” lanes signify which streets the city would prefer you to get doored and/or killed on. By riding on streets that don’t have any painted bike markings, you undermine the social fabric, and are deemed automatically at fault for anything that happens.

    Why I would choose to ride in the “shared” lanes on 5th avenue in Brooklyn, for example, I have no idea. They are absurd and pointless, and it is a joke to include them in the total miles of bike lanes that some city planners take credit for and some editorialists are so up in arms about. I’d be curious to know what percentage of the lanes are shared.

  • Streetsman

    Higher taxi fares, looming transit fare increases, rising gas prices and new gas taxes? Sounds like it’s going to be a banner year for cycling!

  • Jszende

    This article lists four possible cases for sharrows. The 1st Ave. scenario is “linking other bike lanes” and is a legitimate use for the lane markings.

    http://www.miabirk.com/blog/?p=237

    I think the idea behind the solid lane is to give some of the protection of a bike lane without the backlash.

  • Ewenezer

    I propose a new term for the gas tax holiday: “reality holiday”! Except, there is no holiday from reality!

  • carma

    i clearly dont see how increased taxes are a good thing. i mean, ppl here seem to think that it wont affect you at all just b/c you cycle. gas tax increase affects everybody. it introduces consumer inflation b/c those goods/services that require a method of transportation is going to increased b/c the increased costs of transportation.

    cycling is a good way to reduce that burden of costs, but a high gas tax tanks an already shaky economy.

    im not proposing cutting the gas tax, but let the forces of the economy dictate how high gas prices should be. if there is a demand for gas, then the prices go up. and as prices go up too much, demand will go down. its eco 101 folks. the free market is already a good balancer of this.

  • Anonymous

    Chris Christie in a nutshell:

    transit riders, teachers, public pension funds are greedy.

    private developers are good.

    ***

    What an @ss. He’s got financing for the ugliest and largest mall in the Northeast. But for everyone else, go f yourself. What a piece of sh-t.

  • Emily S.

    From the NYT article on Christie’s mall:

    “To us, American Dream is about opportunity,” said Maureen Hooley Bausch, a spokeswoman for Triple Five. “It’ll provide an opportunity for people with indoor theme parks, water parks and ski hills. It’ll become an international tourist destination.”

    Good God.

  • @ carman

    Yes, it’s true. Rising gas prices do affect everyone. BUT, higher gas prices seems to be the only thing that keeps most people from driving like there is no such thing as peak oil, or global climate change. Or even othwer human being who’d like to walk or bike without getting run over.

  • Except that the NYPD and every major news outlet is doing their damndest to frighten people away from riding.

  • Except that the NYPD and every major news outlet is doing their damndest to frighten people away from riding.

  • Aren’t malls out? I thought the country was littered with the empty husks of dead malls. *This* is what Christie wants to spend money on???

    The developer obviously bought and paid for his shriveled soul.

  • carma

    suzanne, wrong. low gas prices is not the thing that keeps ppl from driving. the fact that a lack of transportation that is convenient keeps ppl driving. higher gas prices will not make ppl stop. but will make ppl consume less. trips will be eliminated/combined. carpool may be more popular. but ppl will still be driving. habits will definitely change, but ppl will still drive. most of the country doesnt revolve around a big city where there actually is public transport.

    as i mentioned, even queens/brooklyn lacks any real public transport in the remote parts. forget about staten island completely.

    theres more to nyc than just Manhattan/downtown brooklyn, which as i mentioned you really DONT need a car to move around efficiently. and its not the sprawl. You can hardly call brooklyn/queens sprawling suburbs of NYC. They are still an essential part of NYC.

    most cars in fact do not emit those nasty fumes that you think of thanks to more efficient burning of fuel and the catalytic converter. im not saying cars dont pollute. they do. but the biggest culprit are buses and trucks. NOT cars. and guess what, we DO need trucks and buses to move things/ppl around.

    lets face it, ppl are not going to wean off of cars and stop driving. there will have to be a shift. meaning smaller cars, and cars that run on renewable energy. but there still will be cars. and when i mean small. im talking about smart car small. (even smaller) w/ efficiency equivalent to a honda insight 1.0

    the point is, we shouldnt embrace higher gas prices solely as a way to make ppl not drive b/c it ultimately hurts everybody. sorry, i do not want to pay $10 for strawberries.

  • carma

    im surprised no articles on the popularity of the bike tour. i had a hard time getting my pass. its going to be nice weather sunday.

  • carma

    btw, suzanne. im not picking on you. its just that the reality is that ppl will still drive. and the bigger reality is that all consumer prices will go UP.

  • carma

    btw, suzanne. im not picking on you. its just that the reality is that ppl will still drive. and the bigger reality is that all consumer prices will go UP.

  • Driving is not an intrinsic activity like model railroading; people don’t own cars in New York or drive because they enjoy driving. Presumably if it gets too expensive they’ll stop, and start taking transit.

    The benefit of raising the gas tax is that it would allow for better funding of transit to ease that transition.

  • Anonymous
  • @carma

    “low gas prices is not the thing that keeps ppl from driving. the fact that a lack of transportation that is convenient keeps ppl driving”

    Hence, the need to build a low carbon transportation systems now, while oil prices are still low enough that we can afford to do so.

    “most of the country doesnt revolve around a big city where there actually is public transport.”

    That’s a serious problem and it needs to be addressed. Although we’re already seeing a reversal where the cities are becoming revitalized and the ghettoization of the burbs. Not the best solution (basically sticking it to those too poor to be able to afford to live in cities) – we need to think of something better. Again this should be done now, while we can afford to do so.

    “most cars in fact do not emit those nasty fumes that you think of thanks to more efficient burning of fuel”

    Still doesn’t deal with the sheer amount of space even a compact car requires. Not just for the car itself but many times its own size, for parking available at home, work, shopping, etc., etc. And it doesn’t change the fact that it takes a hell of a lot more energy to propel a 4 ton vehicle than a 30 pound one – a *huge* waste of resources for just one person going to work or to the movies.

    “lets face it, ppl are not going to wean off of cars and stop driving. there will have to be a shift. meaning smaller cars, and cars that run on renewable energy.”

    See above. As for renewable energy, what exactly are you talking about? Do you know something no one else does, because every single alternative source of energy is net negative, meaning it takes more energy to produce than you get using it – ethanol, solar, wind, biomass, algae, hydrogen – all of it. And even if scientists do manage to find something that’s net positive, nothing will replace oil, and certainly nothing, or no combination of anything, will ever produce the *vast* amounts of cheap energy we’ve become accustomed to.

    As it stands right now, in about a hundred years, we’re looking at a pre-industrial future.

    “ DO need trucks and buses to move things/ppl around.”

    Fine. I was talking about private cars.

    “sorry, i do not want to pay $10 for strawberries.”

    It doesn’t matter what you want. We in the US don’t pay real prices for food. Food is heavily subsidized by the nearly free oil we pumped from the earth with reckless abandon. For every calorie of food you eat, you’re “eating” about 10 calories of oil – oil to run the machinery, that’s turned into fertilizer and pesticide, to create the packaging, and then to ship it the 6000 it travels to your plate. You’d better get used to paying a heck of a lot more for food… In fact, you’d better get used to growing your own food.

    “ im not picking on you. its just that the reality is that ppl will still drive. and the bigger reality is that all consumer prices will go UP. show more show less”

    I don’t think you’re picking on me – this is a discussion, and a necessary one. OMG is it a necessary one! And I agree, everything is going to get more expensive.

    Google “peak oil”. And think hard about the implications of what you read.

  • carma

    jonathan. raising the gas tax wont allow for better funding of transit. that is completel false. its almost like saying that every dollar from the lottery REALLY goes to education.
    and some ppl do enjoy driving for the sake of driving sometimes when there is a nice open road full of scenery to absorb. but i reckon to find one person that enjoys being stuck on the cross bronx.

  • Driver

    Being stuck on the Cross Bronx sucks, but it is made up for by being able to get directly to any destination of your choosing once you cross the GWB in a speed and comfort that transit cannot compare with in most cases.

    I have always been a fan of a national gas tax as proposed by Thomas Friedman
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/opinion/23friedman.html

  • Driver

    “Cars aren’t some kind of biological necessity”
    Neither is electricity or indoor plumbing, or the wheel for that matter, but it seems to be human nature that once we reap the benefits of technological improvement we are not willing to give them up. Here is a very funny clip related to technology improvements and human nature if you have 4 minutes to spare. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r1CZTLk-Gk

  • “Neither is electricity or indoor plumbing, or the wheel for that matter”

    And neither nuclear weapons or crystal meth. Just because humans have made something doesn’t mean we have to have it. We need to look at that technology’s effects – is there a better alternative? Even if there isn’t a better alternative, is this thing so harmful that we should ditch it?

    We need to be smarter about things, and not just go with the status quo because we’re more comfortable or averse to change.

  • Ewenezer

    I support a gas tax increase + indexing to inflation to restore the transportation fund. As for increasing the tax to force mode shift, that should have been done over the last 30 years. IMO it’s too late for that now. Peak oil is at our doorsteps (within the next 10 years or maybe it has already happened) and the age of cheap oil is over. (As an aside, if supply and demand are going to make the price increase why not keep some of the money inside the country and use it to build alternatives). The market will inevitably increase the price though with a lot more volatility which is damaging in its own right.

    I agree that high oil prices will damage the economy, regardless of whether high taxes or the market do it, since there has virtually been no foresighted energy/transportation policy. So let’s see what $4-$5-$6 gas will do. Mainly it will cause oil savings through curtailment i.e. recession-recession-recession. People will ask “Why is this recession never-ending?” Because this country is stuck with the infrastructure it built and apparently stuck with its appetite for driving. However far and in however big cars that may be.

  • Eric McClure

    Christie and NJ don’t have $270 million for the ARC tunnel, but they have $200 million for the “American Dream?” More like NJ’s nightmare.

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