Today’s Headlines

  • City Council Passes Budget, Apparently Without Touching Parking Meter Rates (Gotham Gazette)
  • Tractor-Trailer Driver Kills 13-Year-Old Girl Near Staten Island School; No Charges (News, Post)
  • Drunk Driver Critically Injures 6-Year-Old Jamaica Girl as She Waits for Ice Cream (News)
  • MTA Gets No Credit From the Daily News for Select Bus Service or Countdown Clocks
  • 2,824 Riders on First Weekday of Paid East River Ferry Service (DNAinfo, Brooklyn Paper)
  • It’s Fighting-for-Scraps Season on the Brooklyn Bridge (Gothamist)
  • Amtrak Gets Big Federal Loan to Buy New Locomotives for Northeast Corridor (Transpo Nation)
  • WSJ Covers the Rezoning of Brooklyn’s Fourth Avenue
  • NYPD Fail (Jalopnik)
  • We Oughta License and Insure All These Scofflaw Drivers (Brooklyn Spoke)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    No matter how you feel about the behavior of people on Brooklyn Bridge (cyclists/walkers) what the city needs to do is get rid of all the vendors on the bridge who are using up precious space and creating bottlenecks.  There are multiple vendors selling water and snacks.  Others hawking jewelry, t-shirts, and art.  And on the Manhattan side there is even a bike rental company who has bikes plopped right in the middle of the path at the bottom.  It’s totally insane to allow that day in and out, if I were still a Brooklyn Bridge bike commuter I would have been enraged by now!

  • One of those East River ferries passed underneath me on the Manhattan Bridge this morning. There was literally one person on the deck.

  • J

    You missed a big one. UN Land Swap Deal moves one step closer to completion. This would allow the creation of an East River Esplanade around the UN.
    http://www.dnainfo.com/20110629/murray-hill-gramercy/united-nations-land-swap-one-step-closer

  • Bklyn Bridge

    I stopped at one of those vendors and he was charging $4 for Gatorade! The city either needs to kick these guys off of the bridge or at least give the spots to licensed vendors in order to have some of the money come back to the city itself.

  • Bklyn Bridge

    I stopped at one of those vendors and he was charging $4 for Gatorade! The city either needs to kick these guys off of the bridge or at least give the spots to licensed vendors in order to have some of the money come back to the city itself.

  • The attack on cyclists on the bridge is sad. The photos from the so called photographer are bad too. Pick and choose to suit his point. I agree many cyclists show poor skills in navigating the bridge but that is not most. Folks walking show poor awareness skills too but not all. This is the kind of thing that gets picked up and run with by anti-cycling activists.

  • Anonymous

    When I take the BK Bridge during tourist hours, I know what to expect.

    It’s slow, slow, slow, and slow.  Which is fine.  I can be patient.  But, all it takes is a few aggressive punks, and then we all look bad.

    What’s more annoying is the WillyB.  They have bikers and walkers on the same side for the Eastern half of the bridge because of terrorist prevention construction.

    That s–t is mayhem!  

  • Anonymous

    Real big. I was wondering if it was still alive.

  • J:Lai

    It would be great to get more non-car space on the Brooklyn Bridge, but until that day it is just a known fact that it is not a good route for biking due to all the sight-seeing pedestrians.  Given the fact that the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges are almost redundant for bikers, it would make sense to designate the Brooklyn bridge path as walking only at least during peak sight-seeing hours.
    The Manhattan Bridge dedicated bike lanes are a fast alternative, and only a minor detaour for trips originating or ending on the west sside of Manhattan.

    Bikers expecting to be able to ride fast over the Brooklyn either have never ridden it before, or else are not being reasonable.

  • J:Lai

    Regarding the guy who circumnavigated Manhatten in a car in 26 minutes — they claim to have had extensive reconnaisance, surveilance, and trial runs, so it’s quite possible he got pulled over on one of the trials they didn’t show. 
    Nevertheless, I’m not sure why this is something to be proud of, but I don’t really understand the appeal of Jackass either.

  • krstrois

    Re City Council and parking. My husband and I had lunch on the LES yesterday and as we were walking to the restaurant we passed a red-faced man who was hitting one of those muni-meter machines (poor street robot!) and saying “Six dollars? Fuck you! fuck YOU!” and so I think we are a long way from parking reform. 

  • carma

    as reckless as this is.  i do find it pretty cool to watch.

    heh, at least he stopped at all the red lights! so at least he obeyed 1 rule.

  • carma

    as reckless as this is.  i do find it pretty cool to watch.

    heh, at least he stopped at all the red lights! so at least he obeyed 1 rule.

  • The Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges are not at all redundant for bikers.  They are close to each other on the Brooklyn side, but very far apart on the Manhattan side.  If you work on Wall Street or near City Hall, taking the Manhattan Bridge is hugely inconvenient and requires you to navigate through parts of Chinatown, a task in and of itself. 

    Cyclists want the quickest, safest way to reach their destination, and making the Brooklyn Bridge off limits to cyclists would put a number of them at risk on busy Manhattan Streets. 

    That being said, no one who takes the Brooklyn Bridge should expect to ride fast.  I look at it as a small trade-off for avoiding a more complicated ride up to the Manhattan Bridge when I’m all the way downtown.

  • Joe R.

    I agree that it’s cool to watch, especially when I typically think of cars not being able to go much over walking speed in Manhattan.  Someone should do a circumnavigation by bike.  Under an hour might be possible for a strong rider.  I still remember going from 125th Street to West 4th Street in 15 minutes back in 1981 when I tried bike messengering for a short time.  I gave it up because there wasn’t much money in it, and I knew sooner or later I would end up as a bumper ornament on a taxi.

  • Jeff

    Even if we can’t get dedicated space for cyclists on one of the lower decks, can they not be a shared space?  Can we get the law repealed which guarantees motorists they can traverse the bridges at a minimum of 30 MPH and not have to look at bicycles while doing so?  Or would this require a change to the City Charter?
     

  • J:Lai

    I think we mostly agree – there is a trade off between being able to ride fast (or at all) vs taking the most direct route.  In a perfect world, some space would be re-allocated from motor vehicles.  However, given that for the time being the amount of space dedicated to non-motor traffic on the bridge is fixed, I think it makes perfect sense to designate the Brooklyn bridge for walkers.  There are plenty of places where you can’t ride a bike, so it’s not like this would be unprecedented (e.g. subway platforms, certain park paths, etc.)

    I think the best idea would be to eliminate the bike/ped markings and make the entire Brooklyn Bridge pathway shared usage.  That way, bikers would not expect an open bike lane and would ride as fast an conditions warrant – basically walking speed on a summer weekend afternoon, and faster at other times.

    The Manhattan Bridge, which already has a dedicated bike path, would thereby become the preferred route for all bike traffic between downtown Brooklyn and lower Manhattan.  Perhaps a few signs to this effect could be added for the benefit of those in doubt.

    As far as the manhattan termini being very far apart, the 2 bridges are a little less than 1 mile apart in Manhattan.  Even at a very cautious pace, that is only about a 5-6 minute detour.  While the Chinatown streets in between are not the nicest place to ride, I would suggest that perhaps those without the requisite skill to ride through 1 mile of city streets should not be bike commuting in Manhattan at all.

  • carma

    the closest i come to doing the loop is the 5 boro bike tour. and it usually crowds up.  but my normal times are around 1 hour in and out of manhattan and up the queensboro koch.  (that name doesnt sound right)
    i leave early to avoid the usual crowding on 6th ave.

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