Today’s Headlines

  • Appeals Panel Kicks PPW Case Back to Trial Court to Resolve One of Four NBBL Assertions (News, Post)
  • Park Slope Neighbors: The Case Against the Safer PPW We All Enjoy Today Is a Loser (Bklyn Spoke)
  • The Fare Hike Is Official — Prepare for a $2.50 Base Fare in March (Crain’s)
  • Young Girl on Brownsville Sidewalk Pinned by Car After Three-Car Crash (Post)
  • Pedestrian Safety Plan for Brooklyn’s Park Avenue Nears Petition Goal (Patch)
  • Gelinas: Shiny New Renderings Can’t Disguise Shaky TZB Finances; How Will Cuomo Pay for It? (Post)
  • City Seeking Bids to Extend Subsidized East River Ferry Service Five More Years (NYT)
  • How Will the Thruway Save Money After Nixed Toll Hike? Beet Juice (Post)
  • MTA Has to Find a New Color for the Lights on SBS Buses (Advance)
  • Road Rage: Driver Kicks DOT Construction Worker in East New York (News)
  • Old-Timey Cuomo Poster Is Really Proud of TZB; No Transit There, Either (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    Again, Brooklyn Spoke doesn’t get it. The idea is to delay, delay, delay, and settle with the next Mayor to remove the lane after a backroom deal, with the Mayor blaming the judge.

    Those suing to block this lane are “environmentalists” in the traditional Northeastern sense.  Exclusionary zoning, entrenched privileges, and wasteful lifestyles.  And they are using the old environmental lawsuit playbook, the one that step by step destroyed the environmental review process as something that had anything to do with the environment.

  • Morris Zapp

    Has it really not dawned on Cuomo that his poster looks like a parody of his priorities?

  • Larry, I get it. I was merely posting PSN’s press release to let it stand without the filter of the Post or other “news” sites. I’m as aware as anyone that this latest move makes the possibility that this will be decided under a Mayor Quinn administration very real.

    NBBL has no interest in democracy.

  • Anonymous

    Re PPW lane, that is why I would have rather seen the judge rule on the merits of the lane in the alternative, i.e, even if the the challenge was timely made, the creation of a popular bike lane/traffic calming at the community board’s request that has reduced speeding and sidewalk bicycling, shortened crossing distances for pedestrians and generally enhanced safety, while created a much loved and widely used bike lane was not arbitrary and capricious.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Even at the low end, $3.6 billion is a lot of money. Assume the Thruway can borrow at around 4.5 percent for 30 years, and that the state gets a federal loan for the project. The debt then would cost about $200 million a year, plus a little extra to keep bond analysts happy.  But the Tappan Zee — with its current $4.75 round-trip toll — only takes in about $130 million a year. Yes, expenses may fall on the new bridge. Still, raking in close to $200 million more would require more than doubling the toll, bringing it to $11 or so.”

    Believe it or not, I had no idea how low the tolls on the Tappan Zee Bridge are, compared with the crossings further down the river.  I don’t see the $11 per vehicle toll as a problem. Perhaps it will induce people to carpool.  Put two people in a car, and the per person price falls by half. 

  • Larry Littlefield

    I’m glad you get it Doug.  This sort of crap made me sick decades ago when I was at City Planning.  I don’t fear a Mayor Quinn any more than any of the others on this one, to tell the truth.

  • Anonymous

    Larry’s obviously right that this is a victory for the antis in the sense that it’s more and more delay. But let’s be clear: legally, this is a victory for the city. 

    The appeals court ruled for the city on three of four counts. On the fourth, it sent the case back to the trial court not yet for a decision on the merits, but for a factual determination on the statute of limitations. If that technical question goes for NBBL, the appellate decision actually is very good for the city. The question on the merits on the remaining count is whether the decision to build the bike lane was “arbitrary and capricious.” The appeals court notes quite casually that the lane was built in response to a community board request and modified in response to community input. If a trial judge ever gets to the merits, that’s basically case closed — not arbitrary, not capricious. 

    The legal technicalities are important, because they’ll shape the case for a while. But don’t lose sight of the fact that none of these rulings have anything to do with the appropriateness of DOT’s actions yet. 

  • Amid all the thoughtful analysis of the PPW decision, can we please take a little time to feel unbridled contempt for the rotten human beings who are wasting our time with this–and the city’s money? I know I’m going to be doing a fair amount of that today.

  • Jonathan Rabinowitz

    LyleLanley, “Good for the city” does not necessarily imply “good for bicycling.” I’m a card-carrying bicycle advocate, and I have yet to be persuaded that the New York City Department of Transportation is actually a champion of bicycling.

  • Jonathan Rabinowitz

    LyleLanley, “Good for the city” does not necessarily imply “good for bicycling.” I’m a card-carrying bicycle advocate, and I have yet to be persuaded that the New York City Department of Transportation is actually a champion of bicycling.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Can someone remind everyone what the public process was before those pedestrain pens were installed on 5th Avenue to speed motor vehicle traffice through Midtown?

  • Larry Littlefield

    Can someone remind everyone what the public process was before those pedestrain pens were installed on 5th Avenue to speed motor vehicle traffice through Midtown?

  • Guest

    Jonathan, this DOT has built hundreds of miles of bike lanes and some of the best cycling infrastructure in the country. Even Portland doesn’t have the kind of parking protected cycle tracks we enjoy in NYC. They’re installing on-street bicycle parking at an fast pace. They have miles and miles of additional bike lanes either proposed or set to be installed in the coming year.  They’re introducing the country’s biggest bike share system, albeit with some unfortunate delays. 

    If DOT is not doing enough, it’s only because the department frequently meets resistance from entitled NIMBYs like NBBL, cranky community board members (Hello, Manhattan CB7!) and a parking-obsessed City Council.

  • vnm

    Larry, I don’t remember any process at all. I think the DOT under Giuliani just did it.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Larry, I don’t remember any process at all. I think the DOT under Giuliani just did it.”Right.”Gaffney guessed that the anti-gridlock plan, being tested through Jan. 4, “is motivated by motorist panic, drivers scared of running down pedestrians.””Not so, said Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who called his pedestrian critics “anti-car” and “hysterical.””Instead of being cynical critics, they should give the plan a chance to work,” he said. “It’s a pilot program. Don’t get so frightened of it.”http://www.deseretnews.com/article/603074/Pedestrian-control-raising-a-ruckus-in-NY.html?pg=all”The city’s pilot program to ease gridlock in midtown Manhattan took another step toward permanence yesterday when transportation officials announced that wrought-iron barricades would replace temporary ones at two intersections and that two midblock crosswalks would be added to help ease traffic.”http://www.nytimes.com/1998/03/19/nyregion/manhattan-traffic-barricades-are-to-get-more-permanent-cast.htmlTo be fair Weinshall was not DOT Commissioner until 2000.  But I don’t recall her having a problem with this at the time.  And if it worked out, I don’t have a problem with it either.  But ooooh the hypocrisy.

  • Bolwerk

    That poster is a smouldering crock parading Cuomo’s contempt for progress and reform. And what’s that in the background?  Blue sperm-sardines swimming toward an open container?  Alert MADD!

    I agree with Larry. $11 seems reasonable for the TZB. It’s in eyeshot of the GWB, so there is no reason they shouldn’t have consistent tolls.  The bridge still needs serious transit infrastructure to be remotely worth it.

  • Jonathan Rabinowitz

    Guest,

    In September 2011, my local community board, CB 12M, requested a bicycling plan for our area from DOT. Still haven’t seen it.

    In the summer of 2010, my advocacy group and the community board were told that the Sherman Creek Traffic Study would result in changes to several intersections in the Inwood neighborhood, including two intersections on Dyckman Street, the western one with Riverside Drive and Broadway, and the eastern one with the Harlem River Drive and 10th Avenue. Since that time, my wife and I have gotten married and had a baby boy who now at the age of 18 months quite enjoys playing in Anne Loftus Playground, at the Riverside Drive and Broadway corner. How many more children do my wife and I need to raise before that very dangerous intersection is fixed?

    The 2.8-mile 167 St-Bronx Backbone bicycle route was striped in 2007; now that the paint has worn away in most sections, how are bicyclists and motorists going to know the lane is there? The city is still counting those miles as bike lane miles.

    In the meantime, we have DOT coming up with oxymorons like the “Midtown in Motion” program: http://www.nyc.gov/html/om/html/2011b/pr257-11.html

    Stop blaming citizens for the technocrats’ failures.

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