Today’s Headlines

  • Steve Levin: 88 Percent of Atlantic Ave. Drivers Exceed Speed Limit by Over 10 MPH (Bklyn Paper)
  • Mayoral Candidates Good Enough on Transit, But Who Will Lead? (Capital)
  • In Prospect Park Point-Counterpoint, Both Sides Want Cars Out (Bklyn Daily 12)
  • Unlicensed Domino’s Driver Hits and Kills East New York Grandmother, Flees Scene (Post)
  • After Month-Long Hiatus, MTA/TWU Negotiations Recommence (Post)
  • Lack of Parking Doesn’t Put a Damper on Demand at Via Verde (WSJ)
  • Fear and Loathing of Public Spaces in Kensington (Bklyn Daily)
  • Borders for Brooklyn Bike-Share: Rogers Avenue, Lefferts Avenue (Crown Racks)
  • Criticism Critics Want Kimmelman to Write More About Buildings, Less About Cities (Observer)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Steve Levin: 88 Percent of Atlantic Ave. Drivers Exceed Speed Limit by Over 10 MPH”

    Perhaps this is the flip side of a blanket 30 mph speed limit for the city.  I can tell you that in Tulsa OK the limit in residential neighborhoods is 25, but it is 35 or 40 (and sometimes more ) on major arterials.  Of course there is more pedestrian traffic across arterials in NYC than in Tulsa, OK.

  • J

    The article about Crown Heights claims to have heard someone from DOT say that the bikeshare start date will be August 2012. Exciting, but still a pretty long way away.

  • J

    @f9b2cb395abd5a101456b3b0a40912e1:disqus I don’t think we should cater the speed limit to what people drive. If we do so, what’s to stop them from driving even faster. Instead, we should build and enforce our streets to the desired speed we want people to drive. Surely we don’t want people driving 45+mph through the densely populated streets of Brooklyn.

  • Lois Carsbad

    If people want to drive faster than 30 mph, there’s a perfectly good expressway that crosses right over Atlantic Avenue.

  • Eric McClure

    @73067611c5ba023dc5cb3f96d892ebcc:disqus , you mean Flatbush Avenue?

  • Lois Carsbad

    @EricMcClure:disqus come to think of it, if drivers want to speed they should just go to Prospect Park. 

  • Joe R.

    @Uptowner13:disqus Numerous studies show the posted speed limit has little effect on the speed people actually drive. Rather, the width of the road, curvature, lines of sight are all things which affect driving speed.

    I kind of agree with Larry here. I think NYC can and should adopt a lot more 20 mph zones on residential streets. In order to sell this to motorists, it should at the same time increase the speed limit on arterials. This would divert traffic away from residential streets.

    Another concept the city could experiment with is variable speed limits, depending upon time of day. During the times when you might have lots of people crossing, keep the speed limit at 30 mph. Make it higher the rest of the time, even up to 50 mph late nights. At the same time, adjust the light timing so if you drive the posted speed limit, you won’t hit a red light. Also post plenty of signs to make drivers aware of this fact. One big reason drivers speed in this city is to make the next light. They simply don’t know when it will change, so they go fast to make as many lights as possible. My idea would change this. If you went faster than the posted limit, all it would accomplish is eventually hitting a red light. It wouldn’t increase average speed of travel. Oh, and late nights (i.e. after 10 or 11 PM) just make all the lights flashing yellow on the arterial, flashing red on the side streets.  

  • gecko39

    Since Twenty’s Plenty maybe the speed limit should be set to 20 mph minus 10 mph; i.e., 10 mph.

    A speed limit of 10 mph would be a lot safer and save a lot of lives.

  • Car Free Nation

    @2555783a6f62598b6aadd2d882a4830f:disqus @f9b2cb395abd5a101456b3b0a40912e1:disqus Oh please… I love how people who don’t live near a street seem to think it’s OK for the drivers to go faster there. “Let ’em speed on Atlantic or 4th, just not my side street” 

    Atlantic Avenue, in that area, has apartments on both sides of the street. Many of those apartments are filled with little kids or the elderly. If you look at this population, you’d expect a 20 mph speed limit and speed humps everywhere. 

    Imagine those people lived in some leafy suburb on a cul-de-sac. I guarantee you’d have neighborhood activists going nuts if cars flew through at 50 mph. But here, because one person’s neighborhood is another’s speedway, we let it go.

    I’m not a traffic engineer, but I bet that if drivers passed through Atlantic Avenue in that neighborhood at 20 mph, they’d add at most 1 minute to their trip. Most of the time is spent waiting for lights anyway.

  • Mark Walker

    PIX11 covered the Levin – Atlantic Ave. story last night. And there’s been a small spate of recent stories covering other pedestrian hazards. Nice to see the station moderating its windshield perspective a little — though it still runs stories vilifying the DOT every time it removes a parking space.

  • NoNeedForSpeed

    Thank you, Steve Levin.  I live on Atlantic between Hoyt and Bond.  In addition to the NASCAR culture, the vehicles turning into the side street at excessive speeds are an issue.  More so when they have to cross the opposing lanes of speeding traffic. I avoid walking across those intersections.  I’d love a light rail down the center with one lane of traffic each way . . . .

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Imagine those people lived in some leafy suburb on a cul-de-sac. I guarantee you’d have neighborhood activists going nuts if cars flew through at 50 mph.”

    Having been in the suburbs lately, I’m not so sure.  But Car Free, should DOT drop the restrictive speed zones and just push for 20 mph citywide?

  • Ben from Bed Stuy

    Yes Atlantic Avenue is one of several highway-like mega-dangerous roads cutting through residential neighborhoods. I live on a quiet side street in Bed-Stuy, but on bike and foot I need to cross Atlantic Ave. daily. So, the dangerous conditions on that street are horrible for the hundreds who live along it, but it also adds unneeded peril to the daily lives of THOUSANDS of Brooklyn residents who risk life and limb to simply cross the road!

  • Joe R.

    @5ba9018b0e9dc8d85d1f53d09d18548a:disqus I live 2 blocks from 164th Street in Queens-a street with houses and apartments on both sides. Right now people regularly drive down that street at 40 mph or better, usually trying to make traffic lights which don’t seem to be synchronized at all. This is even with the traffic calming effect of a bike lane which was put in a few years ago. I would be willing to give higher speed limits (at certain times of the day) and better traffic light synchronization a try. It couldn’t be much worse than the current situation. That being said, even my 73 year old mother can cross 164th Street without too much trouble because she always watches for turning cars and gaps in traffic (yes, gaps long enough for a person to cross frequently exist even on busy arterials).

    One thing some livable streets advocates often seem to forget is that people have to get where they’re going in an efficient manner. Slow zones on arterials are fine for a block or two, but you just can’t make an entire 400 square mile city one big slow zone. I’m saying this from the perspective of someone who bikes and uses public transit. Putting aside personal cars, buses, delivery trucks, and emergency vehicles have to get where they’re going in a reasonably efficient manner. We’re not talking about adding a minute to a trip as you say, but more like 30 minutes once you count all the slow zones and much longer light cycles needed to get slower walkers across arterials. I think it’s better to not worry about making every block of every arterial totally pedestrian friendly in exchange for calming more side blocks and school zones. I *don’t* want cars racing down the narrow one-way streets in my neighborhood where children are more likely to play, and I’ll gladly make the tradeoff of essentially giving roads like 164th Street over to cars in order to accomplish this. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of “good enough”.

    At some point it would be great if viable alternatives to motor vehicles existed in more of the city. Once that happens, then you really can slow things down everywhere because most people traveling longer distances will be taking subways, not using motor vehicles of some type.

  • moocow

    Joe, I don’t understand why (as a fan of many of your comments,) you feel the need to give anything back to motorists.
    Late at night there is less traffic, so a car can make more lights due to less volume.
    I always felt slowing cars down would have a similar effect to congestion pricing. (with out the millions in income)
    And there is an alternative to cars, trains, buses, trolleys (I can hope) and bikes.

  • Joe R.

    @twowheel:disqus I’m speaking more from an outer borough perspective here. Obviously if transit is plentiful in an area, slow down cars, make parking harder, basically do things to make driving less attractive. You could make all of Manhattan a slow zone (other than for buses), and it would only affect a minority. Where I live unfortunately the buses stink other than as shuttles to subway stations. We’re not quite there as far as biking as transportation (I wish we had more bike parking). So basically then a lot people here drive because there are few viable alternatives unless you’re going to Manhattan. A lot of slow zones will measurably affect a lot of people. Down the road, as we (hopefully) have many alternatives to driving, then implementing slow zones even here is a non-issue.

    I’ve said many times that the outer boroughs are the one place where cycling can replace car trips, even be much more widely used than in Manhattan. If we can’t afford to expand the subway system, then expand the bike network all the way to city limits and beyond. Do this, and you can have traffic calming in places where it just wouldn’t be feasible now.

  • Bolwerk

    NYC shouldn’t be diverting drivers to clogged, violent arterials. It should be dismantling arterials. Really, if you’re in a hurry, take the train.  You don’t need to and have no right to speed.  Ever.

  • Joe R.

    “NYC shouldn’t be diverting drivers to clogged, violent arterials. It should be dismantling arterials. Really, if you’re in a hurry, take the train.”

    Agreed-providing there’s a train to take. Given the alternative in my neighborhood of lots of arterials filled with speeding cars, versus slower streets but subway stations within walking distance, I’ll choose the latter in a heartbeat. Sadly, I’m not seeing more subways being built in my neck of the woods in my lifetime.

    Oh, and rather than dismantling arterials, narrow them and convert them to bike only boulevards (or even bike and bus only boulevards).

  • Bolwerk

    LRT probably gets you the most bang-buck on when converting medium-density (by NYC standard) arterials. Of course, planners know this and prefer buses to keep transit ineffective!

  • Car Free Nation

    I’m all for 20mph citywide. Or at least in dense neighborhoods. I am very much against allowing faster speeds at night or when it’s less crowded. Isn’t that when pedestrians are the most vulnerable?

  • Joe R.

    LRT is fine in lieu of a full-fledged subway, particularly when they grade separate for portions of their route. In fact, there used to be a trolley running right down 164th Street. I’d love to see an updated version of that.

  • Joe R.

    @5ba9018b0e9dc8d85d1f53d09d18548a:disqus At night is when there are large enough gaps in traffic so that a person can safely cross, regardless of how fast the cars are going. I cross 164th Street all the time at night, even at unsignaled intersections, with no problems, even though many cars are going 50+ mph at that time. The real key to allowing higher speeds at night is line of sight. The great thing about most NYC arterials in this respect is they’re very wide and straight. This allows one to see cars 5 or 10 blocks down with ease. Now on streets which are curvy or otherwise have obstructions, 20 mph all the time makes more sense.

    Another idea here is to have the pedestrian walk signals at night go to push-on-demand. If nobody wants to cross, the arterials get either a flashing yellow or steady green all the time. If someone pushes the button, the light cycles to red within a few seconds, and the walk signal comes on. You could do the same with car traffic from the side streets. Put in detectors. The arterial signal stays green unless a car is detected on the side street. My thought behind this is by greatly speeding up traffic (late nights only), you might encourage delivery trucks to make their rounds then, meaning there will be far less of them on the streets at times when there are lots of pedestrians and cyclists. On demand walk signals would ensure the safety of the relatively few people who might be out at night while minimizing any delays to traffic. Whatever our disagreements, I think we can all agree large delivery trucks are one of the biggest hazards to both pedestrians and cyclists. The more trucks we can time shift to when streets are emptier, the better.

  • Bolwerk

    LRT and subways aren’t perfect substitutes, and LRT is better than a subway in some cases.  For shorter cross-town trips, level boarding on the street just makes more sense.  I doubt the capacity or speed advantages of subways are worth it in most of those circumstances.

  • Driver

    Joe, it is already significantly faster to drive around at late night/early morning hours even with the existing traffic signals, simply because of the decreased number of vehicles.  The problem with off hour deliveries is it usually requires off hour employees wherever deliveries are to be made.  It essentially adds an additional shift of employees that will in many cases be less productive than those performing the same function in addition to typical daily operations during business hours.  The reality is most businesses do not have the incentive to provide a means of receiving deliveries during overnight hours. 

  • Ocean Road is one of several highway-like mega-dangerous streets reducing through personal local communities.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Today’s Headlines

|
More Coverage of New Speed Cams From CapNY, News, WNYC, NY1, DNA, Observer Livery Driver Jumps Curb, Crushes Woman’s Leg on Atlantic Ave Sidewalk (DNA, Post, Bklyn Paper) MTA Bus Driver Seriously Injures Elderly Man in Maspeth; No Charges Filed (WNBC) Manhattan CB 7 Backs West End Avenue Road Diet, Now With More Ped Islands (West […]

Today’s Headlines

|
Cabbie Who Killed Cooper Stock Gets $580 Slap on the Wrist (Post) Daily News Argues for Tougher Reckless Driver Penalties, Yet Remains Against the Right-of-Way Law Hit-and-Run Driver Who Killed Glauber Family Sentenced to 25 to Life (News, Post, Bklyn Paper, WPIX) Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway to Link Sunset Park and Red Hook Beneath Gowanus Expwy (Gothamist) Cyclist […]

Today’s Headlines

|
Tri-State Links Fresh Direct Mitigation to Implementation of Sheridan Recommendations (MTR) Woman Loses Leg on East Tremont Avenue in The Bronx After Driver Swerves Near Her (Post) Off-Duty NYPD Cop Arrested for Bronx April DWI After Investigation (News) Driver Manages To Plow Through Park, Nearly Crash Into Newtown Creek (Gothamist) Washington Heights School Group Applies […]

Today’s Headlines

|
Assembly Dems Call on Silver to Step Down (NYT, Post, CapNY) Subways Ran During Cuomo’s Snow Shutdown, Just No Passengers (Bklyn Paper, 2nd Avenue Sagas) Storm Dumped Less Snow Than Expected on NYC; Roads and Transit Come Back Online (WNBC) Sheepshead Bay Safety Cam Catches Speeders and Council Member Deutsch Is Outraged (Bklyn Daily) Daily News Wants […]

Today’s Headlines

|
Where’s the MTA Reinvention Commission Report? The Commission Wants to Know, Too (CapNY) De Blasio Backs Council Bill to Solve Major Street Safety Problem (NYT, News, Gothamist, Bklyn Spoke) Health Department Sees Vision Zero, Safe Routes to School as Health Equity Policy (CapNY) Moms in Central Queens Say Aggressive Drivers Make Them Scared to Cross the Street (DNA) […]

Today’s Headlines

|
City Commits to Overhauling Trash Collection; Major Traffic Safety, Pollution Gains Expected (Politico) NYPD Says William Wine, 29, “Darted Into Traffic” Before Driver Killed Him in St. Albans (News, WCBS) Livery Driver Exiting S.I. Expressway Seriously Injures Pedestrian Near Clove Road (Advance, News) Injured Cyclist Sees Hit-and-Run Silver Lining: Driver Arrested for Imam Murder (DNA, PIX, Post, News) Mark-Viverito Stands by Gibson After Alleged […]