Today’s Headlines

  • Crain’s: Sam Schwartz Toll Plan Would Be Good for Business, Good for New York
  • NBBL Plans Another Prospect Park West Lawsuit, This Time Over Pedestrian Islands (Bklyn Paper)
  • Cab Driver Leaves Five-Year-Old Deaf Tourist Timothy Keith Brain Dead; No Charges (News 12)
  • Henry Garcia, 13-Year-Old Cyclist, Killed By Hit-And-Run Bensonhurst Driver (Post)
  • Victor Felix Killed By Possibly-Drunk Driver While Crossing Adam Clayton Powell Blvd (Post)
  • Hit-And-Run Bronx Driver Leaves Two Pedestrians in Critical Condition (Gothamist)
  • While Sitting at Williamsburg Bus Stop, Deborah Munize Hit By Livery Cab (News)
  • Ray Kelly May Be Running For Mayor After All (Post)
  • PlaNYC Author: Infrastructure Bank Without New Revenues Is “Fiscal Game” (Bloomberg)
  • Staten Island Breaks Ground on New Bike Path at New Dorp Beach Park (Advance)
  • The Times Gives Some Love to Hudson Square’s Pedestrian Managers
  • One Delivery Driver and His Boss Complain About Bike Lanes (Post)
  • Looks Like the M15 Select Bus Service Is Pretty Popular (Post)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    This link got me behind Crain’s paywall to access the editorial lauding Sam’s plan: http://bit.ly/J4NlU0. I hope it works for others.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “At the root of this difficulty are two fantasies about infrastructure that the U.S. can’t seem to shake.”

    Or those in charge would prefer not to.

    “The first is that once a bridge or a road or a water main is built, it’s there forever. As any accountant knows, the day you start using a capital asset is the day you start using up its value. A community with a crumbling bridge isn’t as rich as it thinks it is. As a nation, we need to start taking seriously the annual depreciation of our infrastructure, and budget future capital expenses to offset it. ”

    When you have a lot of existing infrastructure, those costs are essentially ongoing.

    “The second fantasy is that we can find a way other than taxes (on gasoline and property) or user fees (tolls and the like) to pay for infrastructure. If Americans are unwilling to raise taxes to pay for crumbling roads and bridges, then we need to be more open to making them pay for themselves.”
     
    The third fantasy is that younger generations have the option of paying for their infrastructure.  In reality, they are required to pay for the debts run up by prior generations that refused to pay.  People have this fantasy that because they are paying for things, they will get them.  That is because the grifters put out propaganda to mix up money they have sucked out with actual services. 

  • J

    1) It’s about time those ped islands were installed on PPW. Even Natalie O’Neill now admits is crazy popular. I honestly can’t believe NBBL is doubling down at this point. They really are cementing themselves as a truly spiteful group and doing so right as PPW bike use is exploding.

    2) The Post article on the M15 amazingly fails to mention any aspect of SBS at all in the article as a possible explanation for the bus’s increasing popularity amid decline citywide bus use. My guess is that they simply cannot bear to ever give any credit to DOT or MTA. Still, when even the Post lauds a DOT project, that’s a sign of undeniable success.

  • Mark Walker

    So NBBL is taking on pedestrian improvements now? They may be overplaying their hand, acquiring a whole new category of adversaries.

  • Political Observer

    Let’s see the NBBL “news” for what it is: a naked ploy to kick the can down the road (or the bike lane, as the case may be) for as long as possible.

    The only chance Norman Steisel and Iris Weinshall have of getting their precious parking spaces back at this point is to wait until Mayor Quinn returns New York to machine-style government, where political favors count more than data and community support and where secret barroom meetings are okay so long as the barroom is actually a penthouse apartment overlooking the park. 

    The threat to sue DOT over pedestrian safety improvements (repeat: PEDESTRIAN safety improvements) represents the dying gasps of a long-ago discredited group of nobodies longing for the ways thing were done in the Koch, Dinkins, and Giuliani administrations, and desperately clinging to any chance to keep this story going into 2013.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The only chance Norman Steisel and Iris Weinshall have of getting their precious parking spaces back at this point is to wait until Mayor Quinn returns New York to machine-style government.”

    Or John Liu or Bill DeBlasio or any of them really.

    Sometimes I worry that in an effort to attract publicity, one of these desperate folks is going to throw themselves in front of my bicycle to claim an injury.  Not that this would get them their accident if I were actually involved.  I ride down the Broadway bike lane and have people throw themselves in front of my bicycle every day, but have always been able to jam on the brakes and stop, so I’m used to it.

  • Danny G

    Sometimes when I read the word NBBL as “nibble” I laugh a little because I picture those little goblins from that David Bowie movie. I’m sorry that this is a weird and obscure comment, but it’s true one.

  • Anonymous

    NBBL’s announcement that they intend to announce a suit comes soon after it’s become clear that DOT will put in two-way lanes on Plaza Street. Stopping those lanes was their one (very doubtful and deeply repugnant) claim to fame.

    In addition to kicking the can down the road, this is also the serial killer thrashing around at the end of the movie, trying to grab the sole-survivor’s leg and drag them into the grave.

  • Political Observer

    @dporpentine:disqus That’s why DOT needs to go full throttle ahead and install the original protected plan on Plaza Street. They’ll never be able to appease these people no matter what they do, so there’s no point in trying.

  • Bolwerk

    @Uptowner13:disqus  : You’re assuming the Post would understand why a bus service is successful if it’s explained to them? I would guess that it’s borderline convenient is probably the explanation.  That sets it apart from most other buses in Manhattan. 

  • Bolwerk

    We’re really going to have another crappy mayor, it seems:

    “I will be talking to the county leaders in the city about getting
    behind Ray Kelly, and I think he could defeat [City Council Speaker
    Christine] Quinn or one of the other liberal Democrats who are looking
    to run,” said Powers. “I think he’d get a lot of outer-borough support
    and the backing of Democrats who have voted for Rudy in the past.”

    The wanky part is that Quinn is nearly as authoritarian and crude as Kelly.

  • Steely

    they are called NBBLers for a reason!  “Erosion of cities by automobiles entails so familiar a series of events
    that they hardly need describing. The erosion proceeds as a kind of
    nibbling…”  — jane jacobs

  • Guest

    Asymptote,  the Crain’s Link works, thanks.Komanoff: Charlie, Sam’s toll plan “overall” is a good congestion pricing option, but the Devil is in the Details. For example, I don’t recall that bridge prices change between Rush Hours versus 3 AM, a logical congestion pricing step. But on average, not a bad plan.Sam Schwartz, however, tends to have some amazing blind spots.  As the Crian’s editorial points out, the 50 cent bike toll is all show, no go.  We have already gone over what a realistic bike toll would be based on bike impacts; fractions of a cent.  Even based on a share of maintaining the bridge path, it would be pennies.  Cost of collecting any toll by any method would far exceed the value received.  Crain’s is spot on – Sam seems to be proposing the toll for political and not financial or technical reasons.
     
    More disturbing than the bike toll is Sam’s flogging of totally new bridges that only parallel already existing crossings when there are critical path gaps around the city that need closing.

     Installing the bicycle/pedestrian paths the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was designed for is far more important than adding a redundant Red bike Hook crossing that is only a few minutes away from the Brooklyn Bridge at either end.  Completing the VNB paths will cost less than any one of Sam’s proposed bike bridges.  The VNB is a blocked bottleneck that should be a major gateway not only between SI and Brooklyn, but comfortable bike route from Manhattan to Bay Ridge via the SI Ferry and VNB.

    The Goethals Bridge has two path that have been closed for years.  The Goethals would be a perfect direct connection south and west into NJ by local bicycle safe roads, unlike trying to cross the Meadowlands from Jersey City.  How much could it cost PORT to restore even one of these paths to bicycle use?

    The GWB path is closed from Midnight to 6 AM for “security.”  PORT claims they can’t afford to24/7 access because a bicycle is so dangerous at night, yet fully loaded semis freely drive onto the bridge at all hours.The GWB path was closed for the 2004 Republican National Convention.  Does PORT still think a mass of protestors will march down Broadway at 3 AM?  There are smart computer assisted video scanners on the market that
    will make tracking late night path users much easier. They will cost
    much less than a totally new bridge.

    From Northeast Queens to Southeast Bronx is almost a far by bike as Bay Ridge to Staten Island,  The Bronx-Whitestone Bridge had paths and bike access until 1946, when Moses removed both.  The Bronx-Whitestone may not be able to carry the load of a path today, but it is very probible that the Throgs Neck Bridge can.  Adding one or two paths would again cost less than building a new East River bike bridge.

    The Outerbridge Crossing is the outermost NYC bridge to NJ.  A perfect gateway to Sandy Hook and south NJ,  The Outerbridge’s paths were removed in 1964, along with the VNB’s opening, and the closing of the Perth Amboy – Tottenville Ferry.  All of southern SI lost all bicycle/pedestrian access to NJ.  For the cost of one of Sam’s redundant bridges, a path could be restored to the Outerbridge Crossing.

    Even Sam’s idea to put trucks on the Belt Parkway could wreck the bike pathand the watefront parks from the Narrows to Jamaica Bay.  New truck and bus ramps down from the VNB could torpedo installing the missing bike/ped paths on the Verrazano – they are in conflict.  The 1970’s Nassau Expressway and and JFK Airport access ramps destroyed all bicycle access along the Belt between Cross Bay and Rockaway Blvd.  The Belt was one of Moses 1930’s bicycle/pedestrian/park successes that has been partly ruined.  Sam may not have the skill or knowledge or taste to prevent further destruction if he is allowed to widen the Belt for trucks and buses.

    It’s not that Sam’s bike new bridges are bad. It’s they they are hardly the most important critical path bridge crossings we need first.  Sam has problems setting priorities, particularly about bicyclists and pedestrians   He has good intentions, that often miss the point: they are the wrong thing, in the wrong place or designed in the wrong way to meet our needs.  Sam’s plan is one gift horse that needs a very careful examination.

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