Today’s Headlines

  • Straphangers: Q Train Ranks 1st, C Brings Up the Rear (WSJ, NYTSAS, TransNat, Post)
  • Cyclist Struck By Cabbie in East Harlem Monday Dies From Wounds (DNA)
  • 9-Year-Old Recalls Horror of Watching Hit-and-Run Driver Take His Father’s Life (Post)
  • TA to Campaign for Protected Bike Lanes on Fifth and Sixth Avenues (DNA)
  • Schumer: Connect Brooklyn-Queens Tech Clusters With “Nerd Bus” (Post)
  • Atlantic Terminal Sarcophagi Cost the MTA $1.35M to Install and Tear Out (TransNat)
  • Main Challenge to NYC Dems in 2013 Could Come From… a Member of NYC Dem Establishment (Post)
  • NYT Mag Explores the Second Avenue Subway Tunnel
  • How Can You Find the Right City Bike For You? (DNA)
  • The Legend of the Bike Lane Vigilante Continues to Grow (Bklyn Paper)
  • Plaza Street Bike Lane Goes Green (Bklyn Spoke)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Brick

    Protected lanes on 5th and 6th would be the logical extension of the bike network. Commuters coming from the heart of Midtown are unlikely to want to travel all the way to 2nd or 9th for a southbound lane.

    The on-street lane north of 8th Street on 6th Ave might as well not be there, constant double parking and cab pickups make it feel the same as between Prince and 8th.

  • Anonymous

    I bike on 6th Avenue regularly (between 42nd and 59th), and have also used 5th a couple times. 6th Ave generally seems to be wider and faster compared to 5th, which is a mess with all the buses. Perhaps another option to consider would be a two-way protected lane on 6th instead of one on each avenue. 6th Ave often seems to have excess capacity, unlike 5th. These are just my anecdotal observations…

  • Hilda

    Regarding the Harlem cyclist killed – If the cyclist was traveling with the flow of traffic on 108th, and the cab was traveling on 108th and had the green light, it seems that both had the green light. And the media only states that the cab had the green light because obviously if a vehicle has a green light, then it automatically has the right-of-way?
    Does anyone have anymore info, did the cab turn into the cyclist or pass a car and hit the cyclist?

  • fj

    Are pedestrians and cyclists environmentalists? . . . and . . .

    The Hidden Epidemic Of Murder: Environmentalists Are Being Killed In Record Numbers Around The World

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/08/02/627101/the-hidden-epidemic-of-murder-environmentalists-are-being-killed-in-record-numbers-around-the-world/

  • I think the 2-way protected lane on 6th is a fantastic idea, even though it may be politically impossible. The cycling tourist traffic on 6th is incredible – they are often on the sidewalk amidst throngs of pedestrians as they understandably feel unsafe in 6th ave car and truck traffic. This concept needs tons of support. It is the main cycling route between 42nd and Central Park (a major tourism corridor). 

  • We also need protected crosstown lanes on 57th Street. 

  • One comment about the “nerd bus.” Does Schumer not understand that the nerds ARE the hipsters? They are one and the same. 

  • One comment about the “nerd bus.” Does Schumer not understand that the nerds ARE the hipsters? They are one and the same. 

  • Anonymous

    I used to commute from midtown (6th ave and 45th) and taking 5th ave down would be the worst.  Even though the traffic would never move that fast . . . whenever they could get space, would lead to me getting buzzed.  

    And the existing “door zone” bike lane for 6th ave is a joke.  

  • Larry Littlefield

    I use Park instead of 6th Avenue on the way up, because 6th seems dangerous even with the bike lane.  And am now using 5th rather than Broadway on the way down, because the bike lane is always blocked by jaywalkers stepping right in front of you and, in Herald Square, by people moving chairs and tables into the bike lane.

    Rather than more protected bike lanes, I think the “bicycle boulevard” concept should be tried on park.  Lights timed to slow traffic, and bollards blocking non-bike through traffic at key intervals, turning it into a local street and sending through traffic elsewhere.

    That isn’t as child friendly as a projected lane, but in the middle of Midtown I’d expect the peds to just take such a lane over anyway.

  • I noted this on my blog, but in the Brooklyn Paper the police spokesman excuses parking in the bike lane by saying that sometimes “a stray dog needs to be transported.”  Add this quote to the officer who blew off the tacks in Central Park by saying that the police have “more important things to worry about…like squirrels getting run over.”  

    There’s a pattern of complete disregard for human life at the NYPD (at least human life that transports itself on two wheels or two feet) and it’s very disturbing.  People only make these public comments to newspaper reporters if they know there is an institutional culture that accepts such insensitivity.  

  • Brad Aaron

    @f9bd7b80a3fd8a1d970a082a5b7657a4:disqus We will have a post on the East Harlem fatality soon.

  • Station44025

    The current 6th ave bike lane is a complete joke, and shouldn’t be counted in the total miles of lanes, IMO.

  • kevd

    Riding past the ongoing work to replace those absurd barriers at Atlantic terminal this morning, I wondered just how many millions the idiots at the MTA wasted on those.

    Common sense is consistently lacking among many of those making planning, safety and terrorism prevention decisions in this city.

    Well, it was fewer millions than I had feared. Still about $1.2 million too much.

  • 5th and 6th Avenues in Midtown: As a political matter, if this is going to happen at all, it has to be a “complete street” makeover that focuses on pedestrian and transit safety improvements and amenities, as well as bike lanes.  We need to get the property and business owners, mass transit users, taxicab industry, tourism interests, etc. on board.  The goal must be to make these avenues perform better for EVERYONE.

    This campaign is going to be “complete streets 2.0,” building on lessons learned from PPW, pedestrianized Times Square, First and Second Avenues, Eighth and Ninth Avenues, Columbus Avenue, and all the rest.  This is going to be BIG.

    Please RSVP and attend the meeting next at Transportation Alternatives next Wednesday, August 8, to learn more and get involved.  Food provided!  http://bikenyc.org/event/2484?utm_source=protected_5thand6th-Jul312012&utm_medium=email&utm_content=version1&utm_campaign=bicycling-2012

  • The problems with the NYPD stem completely from the fact that a large segment of officers live in the Suburbs, not in urban, walkable areas. 

  • Anonymous

    Schumer’s “nerd bus” is basically the B62 extended to Roosevelt Island.

    Re Malcolm Smith: I always thought he had a vacuous Palin-esque quality about him. I’m sure the Republikans love that. I hate how “moderate” in the news media basically means acquiescing to right-wing thuggery like stop ‘n frisk. Some moderates.

  • Anonymous

    @742ec67ca99409c49641a2a7b1a1d8f1:disqus  I don’t know that I’d say *completely*, but it’s a big part of it.

  • Upgrading the 6th avenue bike lane and 5th Ave bike lane, above 14th Street, is long overdue.. but how do you create a traditional protected bike lane in midtown where there’s no parking to separate bikes from traffic? Barriers? Bollards? Let’s hope DOT don’t omit midtown – the place where it’s most needed –  just as they did with the 2nd Ave Bike Lane near the Queensboro Bridge and Midtown Tunnel.

    As I’ve said before, we need real bike lanes that will bring us to real places. This sounds like a great start!

  • Anonymous

    @twitter-22824076:disqus 

    For your plan to work, we’d have to ditch the pedicabs.  

    They’d be terrible for a protected bike lane and they also would take up a lane. 

  • JarekAF I haven’t formed any plan…that’s happening next week at the meeting and thereafter!  But just for the sake of argument, why couldn’t vehicle traffic on the midtown portions of these avenues be restricted to vehicles-for-hire (motorized and non-motorized) during certain hours? 

  • BTW didn’t mean to suggest that not-for-hire bicycles should be excluded.  Just consider restricting private, non-commercial motor vehicles during high volume hours.  On the theory that pedicabs and taxicabs alike are more efficient in moving people and more likely to bespeak localized economic activity.

  • Why not a nerd streetcar from downtown to the navy yard toward Greenpoint and then to Queens with a stop near the Roosevelt Island bridge? To much to ask for? 

  • Bob

    For 6th, not only should there be a protected bike lane, there should be a BRT lane (at least during rush hours) as well. On 5th, no matter what happens north of it, there should be a protected bike lane south of 23rd to Wash Sq Park.

  • Anonymous

    @Jared: most probably.  The B62 replaced a streetcar. The city’s planners are notoriously anti-rail, and the TWU no doubt likes the extra labor overhead associated with buses. The riders lose, as usual.

  • J

    re: 5th & 6th. 5th Avenue south of 23rd can happen right now with relatively little pushback (a small loss of parking). The space is already reserved with the buffered lane. North of 23rd, protected lanes could be installed very similarly to those on 8th & 9th Ave, by narrowing the existing travel lanes and making parking lanes only 8 feet wide. HOWEVER, there are curbside bus lanes north of 34th which would have to be removed to install protected bike lanes, and I can’t say I’m in favor of removing bus lanes. Also, I’m pretty sure 5th & Madison, north of 23rd Street are part of the SBS plans, but which don’t seem to be moving forward at the moment. In short, putting in protected bike lanes on 5th, north of 23rd will be a heavier political lift, as they are narrower and have heavy bus and car traffic.
    6th Ave, however, is much easier for a large stretch. Between W 8th & 41st, protected lanes could be installed very similarly to those on 8th & 9th Ave, by narrowing the existing travel lanes. North of 41st, you’d likely need to remove a travel lane, but I think that the traffic in that area is somewhat lighter (?). At very least, there are no major destinations at the end of 6th Ave. You could begin by building 6th Ave from W 8th to 41st. Then you could start extending it south from Central Park five blocks at a time, giving traffic a chance to adjust. Connecting the lower protected bike lane on 6th Ave up to Central Park would be pretty obvious. South of W 8th, a protected bike lane would require removing a car lane as well, but that could be justified as a traffic calming measure due to the speeding that occurs there.I was pretty skeptical at first, but from the looks of it, large parts of these avenues are actually pretty doable in the short-term. Also, @twitter-22824076:disqus is spot on. These will probably help pedestrians as much or more than bikes, and must be sold as such. Complete streets in Midtown! Very exciting stuff!

  • Daphna

    to J: you do not need to remove a curbside bus lane for a street to be able to also accommodate a curbside parking protected bike lane.  The bus lane can be on one side of the street and the bike lane on the other.  This is how sections of First Avenue and Second Avenue are already.

  • J

    @88b32fb69e499718d95067da9d3d7b03:disqus You are correct. However, you have to remove something to free up enough space for a protected bike lane on those stretches. It’s either a curbside bus lane or a regular travel lane. I prefer the latter, but neither is politically easy. Also, 1st & 2nd aves are wider and have significantly less traffic in the sections with both protected lanes and bus lanes, which made it an easier sell there.

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