Today’s Headlines

  • After February Hit-And-Run Death of Cyclist Ronald Tillman, S.I. Intersection Gets Signal (Advance)
  • MTA to Set Up Cameras for Riders to Sound Off on Fare Hike Proposal (News)
  • BID Proposes Park Redesign for Freeman Plaza, at Holland Tunnel’s Entrance (NYT)
  • What Loading Zones? Streisand Trucks Already Parking on Street Near Barclays Center (AYR)
  • Elevated Bike Superhighways in Manhattan? Not So Fast, Says RPA’s Barone (News, CapNY)
  • The Only Survivor of Monday’s Southern State Parkway Crash Was Wearing a Seat Belt (News)
  • Zipcar With Expired Registration Gets Towed, Leaving Customer in the Lurch (News)
  • City Scams Cyclists With Multiple Traffic Tix! (Gothamist via Bklyn Spoke)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    “While cops can follow motorists and cyclists for as long as they like, racking up numerous infractions, “this kind of following almost never happens with motorists, but happens surprisingly often with cyclists.”

    There is this canard out there, that because cyclists are not required to have drivers licenses and don’t have license plates on their bicycles, it is impossible to enforce the law against them.  Whereas it is easy to enforce the law against motor vehicles.

    But if fact, if you have a police officer in a vehicle that is not moving observe someone breeze by in a motor vehicle at high speed, that motor vehicle can be blocks away before the police car even gets going.  So lots of times they let it go.  Whereas it is very, very easy to catch up to all but the fastest bicycle riders.  If the goal is to write tickets, bicycles are easy targets.

  • vnm

    If an unlicensed gun user unintentionally kills four people, should he or she ever be allowed to acquire a gun again? 
    If an unlicensed driver unintentionally kills four people, should he or she ever be allowed behind the wheel again?

  • fj

    Until completely safe bike and pedestrian networks exist throughout the city “Elevated Bike Superhighways in Manhattan” is a great idea; either at grade or elevated, completely safe bike ways are at the early stage of the simple technology track to advanced extremely efficient, low-cost, zero emission mobility solutions to meet New York City and global mass transit needs.

    Bizarre that RPA’s Barone thinks that these things would be significantly anything more than elevated walkways with considerable benefit which must in no way compromise bike and pedestrian safety and environment at grade.

  • Joe R.

    Regarding the elevated bike lanes, I’ve been saying for years that NYC needs to do this. We can hang elevated bikeways off existing grade-separated highways and railways for starters. Then we can fill in the gaps with new viaducts. The problem with the existing bike network is the sheer number of signalized intersections. Constantly starting and stopping may be possible for motor vehicles, but not for anything human-powered on a trip of any length (i.e. try riding 25 miles stopping every 3 blocks for red lights). It costs too much in terms of both energy and time, which is why most cyclists roll through red lights when they can. We therefore need bikeways where there is no need to stop or slow down at all. Human power only functions well under those conditions. A major secondary benefit is that junctions with motor vehicles are avoided. Junctions are where most bike-car collisions occur. It’s a shame Barone and TA aren’t on board for this. Bike viaducts will hardly be ugly. In many cases they can be hung off existing infrastructure. The entire complaint about the approach slopes is unfounded as well. Most cyclists can tolerate a very steep climb which only goes up 15 or 20 feet. This is quite a bit different from the climbs on the East River bridges where a cyclist might be climbing over 200 feet. You’ll only be doing the climb once during the ride. Besides that, by varying the height of the viaduct above street level, you can level out the route somewhat compared to keeping it at street level. And exactly in what way are elevated bike lanes dangerous? I assume there will be fences on either side to keep the bikes from falling off. They can even be roofed over to allow riding in inclement weather. Some designs even channel prevailing winds into a tailwind, increasing travel speed significantly.

    Elevated or otherwise grade-separated bikeways are the next logical step in the evolution of human-powered transit. The only way street level bike lanes will work efficiently for transportation is if we significantly reduce the volume of motor traffic to the point that we can remove all or most traffic signals. We seem unwilling or unable to do this. The only alternative then is to put the bicycles above (or perhaps below) everything. A less expensive alternative to grade-separated bike lanes which might work on roads which only have a few signalized intersections per mile (as is the case for many outer borough arterials) would be protected lanes for most of the route, but have the lanes go underneath the signalized intersections (with a street level path only for turns). In the outer boroughs there wouldn’t be many problems digging a tunnel about 8 or 10 feet deep to bypass intersections. The gradients of the approaches are pretty much irrelevant also as the speed increase going down will carry the cyclist back up on the other side.

  • fj

    The greener the industry the higher the growth rate.

    Bicycle technology is early stage net zero mobility technology with even greater advantages than net zero construction of buildings and homes yet the advocacy seems totaly unable to advance this point to accelerate deployment and advancement of this extremely valuable technology; as it advances just the same but, at the typical glacial pace.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/10/10/984211/report-the-greener-the-industry-the-higher-the-job-growth-rate-over-the-last-decade/?mobile=wp

  • fj

    No where is it more blatant how the rich have totally corrupted the rule of law than it is on the world’s roads monopolized by cars. People tend not to obey laws that they rightfully understand to be unjust which is most certainly the case for pedestrians and cyclists in this city.

  • fj

    No where is it more blatant how the rich have totally corrupted the rule of law than it is on the world’s roads monopolized by cars. People tend not to obey laws that they rightfully understand to be unjust which is most certainly the case for pedestrians and cyclists in this city.

  • fj

    No where is it more blatant how the rich have totally corrupted the rule of law than it is on the world’s roads monopolized by cars. People tend not to obey laws that they rightfully understand to be unjust which is most certainly the case for pedestrians and cyclists in this city.

  • fj

    Nice!

  • jrab

    What Joe R. said about elevated bikeways is absolutely right.

    With the exception of the West Side Greenway, it’s nigh impossible to exceed an overall 13 mph on city streets or parks on a bike. Sure, one can get up to 20 mph fairly easily, but then you have to put the brakes on when you get to the intersection to make sure you don’t crash into oncoming traffic.

    What TA doesn’t understand is that making biking faster makes it more attractive as transportation. Maybe in suburban settings it’s important to get people out of their cars for short (<2 mile) trips to the grocery store or day care that can be easily accomplished at 6 mph, but in order to make bicycling feasible as transportation that can take the place of the car, it needs to be faster and safer.

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