Today’s Headlines

  • 18-Year-Old Cyclist Killed by Motorist in East Harlem (DNA)
  • Lines Form as Citi Bike Opens to Everyone (NYTWSJ, Post, NY1, AMNY)
  • WSJ Editorial Board Member Dorothy Rabinowitz Denounces the Privileged Cyclist Class
  • A Giddy Bill Cunningham Says Bike-Share “Absolutely Wonderful” and “Perfect” for NYC
  • Jewish Daily Forward: Hasidic Williamsburg Wants Citi Bike
  • Post Editorial Staff Hates Bikes, But the Advertising Department Is Cashing In
  • Daily News Finds a New Way to Root for NYC’s New Transit System to Fail
  • Cuomo Orders More License Points for Distracted Driving, Urges Legislature for New Law (News)
  • Staten Island Community Education Council Wants Slow Zones for 12 Schools (Advance)
  • The Times Runs a Paean to Public Plazas From Architecture Critic Michael Kimmelman
  • Bike Part Vending Machines Come to Brooklyn (DNA)
  • Daily News Columnist Joshua Greenman Has Just Had It With All the Car Hate

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • SGreenberg

    So Dorothy Rabinowitz represents “the majority of city residents” but our democratically elected government is “totalitarian”. Interesting logic…

  • Bruce

    Doesn’t she work for Rupert Murdoch? Talk about totalitarian.

  • Bolwerk

    Streetsblog got a mention in a stupid NY Daily News op-ed over the weekend. Show cars some rahspect, libruls!

  • Reader

    Is Josh Greenman the grandson of Dorothy Rabinowitz?

  • Bolwerk

    Well, it’s not democratic, when the only option is a republican (i.e., a Democrat).

    But, yes, she is an authoritarian employing populist rhetoric.

  • ADN

    As long as a guy like Isaac Abraham is considered to be a “leader” in Williamsburg’s Hasidic community, they are simply screwed. Imagine if a non-Jewish NYC “community leader” called Mayor Bloomberg a Nazi. How big a freakout would these very same people have? Williamsburg needs to marginalize this Wise Man of Chelm and make it clear that he doesn’t speak for the majority. I mean… Look at this crazy talk:

    “Isaac Abraham, a former member of Community Board 1, which covers South Williamsburg, said an increase in biking activity would adversely affect his neighborhood, particularly the thousands of young children who walk to school crossing major roads. ‘It’s just another ploy,’ Abraham said of the city’s bike share program. ‘This nanny, soup Nazi mayor [Michael Bloomberg], when he wants to implement something, there’s no law.'”

  • Anonymous

    What a remarkable instance of denialism in the Rabinowitz (WSJ) clip, at around 1:45:

    Q: City Journal’s Nicole Gelinas came out with a piece. She said: “For almost four years, no pedestrians have died underneath a bike in New York. But 597 have been hit [presumably the interviewer meant killed] with [sic] cars and trucks.”

    A: Yes.

    Q: So is there a chance that the [bike] danger is overblown?

    A: Oh! Well, look: Before this, it was dangerous. Before this, every citizen knew, who’s in any way sentient, that the most important danger in the city is not the yellow cabs, it is the bicyclists, who veer in and out of the sidewalk, empowered by the administration with the idea that they are privileged…

  • ADN

    It is bold of Josh Greenman to “offer words in defense of the car.” Whereas urban bicycle transportation is represented by “all-powerful” non-profit organizations like Streetsblog and T.A., the auto industry only spent a bit more than $32 billion on advertising last year. And that $32 billion doesn’t even include expenditures by oil companies, auto insurance, sprawl developers and hip-hop artists rapping about their Bentleys. So, thank you — thank you — Josh Greenman for giving voice to the voiceless car companies. Where would they be without you?

    Speak truth to power, Josh Greenman! Cops and politicians read your newspaper every day. You’ve got the one media platform in this city that could truly move the dial on traffic justice issues and get Ray Kelly and the District Attorneys to take ped/bike fatalities seriously. But you’re not going to get pushed around by Big Bike (the city’s most powerful lobby after REBNY and the Teachers Union). Stand firm, Josh Greenman, with the credibility that only a Citibike key fob can bestow upon a tabloid editor. Speak for the cars, Josh Greenman. Speak for cars. For the cars have no tongues.

  • It’s the conservative mindset. She represents the majority in the same way that Romney’s 1% believes they’re greater than the 47%.

  • It’s the conservative mindset. She represents the majority in the same way that Romney’s 1% believes they’re greater than the 47%.

  • > Hasidic Williamsburg Wants Citi Bike

    I was just riding home this weekend from the beach on Bedford Ave, and when it gets to Hasidic Williamsburg, it’s just not safe to travel northbound with the bike lane removed. I think their neighborhood is just *too dangerous* for bike share! 😉

  • Reader

    Greenman would be hard pressed to find a single bicycle advocate who actually believes what he thinks they believes.

    You have to wonder what Josh really believes. Or does the influence of Arthur Browne truly corrupt smart minds? The best thing that could happen for Josh would be to get Nazaryan’ed out of there so he can write real honest piece for the Atlantic Cities.

  • My news form the Boggie Down:

    1. I have a CitiBike post on the “spotlight” list at DailyKos! And it has over 35 recs!

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/06/02/1213240/-Bike-Share-Comes-to-New-York-but-only-for-some-people

    check it out! and rec’ it more!

    2. The 158th Bronx parking garage owners are selling sidewalk space again and the police will do nothing look at this:

    http://instagram.com/p/aFH7pxl4Dy/

    those are PARKED CARS whose owner’s PAID for the privilege of blocking a hydrant on two sides.

    They stopped for about three years after I went after them last time but they are at it again! (and so am I– but I need ideas for ways to shut them down again this time for good, the sidewalk is not a parking spot and it is not for sale. and fire safety is not for sale either.)

    3. The Times has a dumb article about the Bronx that brings up charlotte gardes of all things?? here is my response:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/06/03/1213358/-Lazy-ideas-about-New-York

  • Joe R.

    Regarding the parking at 158th Street, install bollards along the curb, and also in the portion of the street near the fire hydrant. This wouldn’t impede access to the fire hydrant, but it’ll prevent using the space for parking. Also install bollards spaced about 5 feet apart on both sides of the driveway shown in the picture. This will prevent cars from driving onto the sidewalk from the driveway.

  • > Daily News Columnist Joshua Greenman Has Just Had It With All the Car Hate

    You guys know Josh Greenman is on the Twitters, right? You can send him your examples of people and things that didn’t have enough RESPECT FOR CARS! I’ve done my part: https://twitter.com/billymeltdown/status/341566043866664960

  • I guess we can ask for that. Who’s best to ask community board? DOT? Both?

    It’s really only this one hydrant in the whole neighborhood– the cops enforce the law at all the others and residents obey.

    One block away the hydrant was not blocked.

    Only people going to yankee games who pay the garage owner about $30-450 get to park like this. (or rather have their car valet parked like this.)

    The cops are sitting right there within eyesight of this.

    Next time I’ll get *video* to show how close they are.

    I’m scared to video cops though so I’ll do it so they don’t notice.

  • Haha, I dunno, I definitely don’t have enough RESPECT FOR CARS, I will take them all away when I become King of NY.

  • Joe R.

    I would start with the DOT but you can always ask both.

  • kevd

    It is perfectly safe. They removed the bike lane markings in the bike lane – but never reconfigured the lanes or repainted the lines to where they had been prior to the bike lane being installed.
    And while there is lots of double parking in the remaining “bike lane” it isn’t as if anyone didn’t double park in it before.

  • Jesse

    The Rabinowitz video could be posted on The Onion as is. Perfect illustration of Poe’s law.

  • Ian Turner

    You should add this as a comment to the essay.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think I’ve seen the link to Gelinas’ City Journal article posted here yet, so here it is: http://www.city-journal.org/2013/eon0530ng.html

  • Anonymous

    Could have been Poe’s Law if not that the awful mean-spiritedness of the whole WSJ editorial-page enterprise rules out parody. But what fascinates me is Rabinowitz’s dogged mis-hearing of her interlocutor’s question. In her mind, the 597 peds killed by drivers were actually killed by cyclists!

  • Greg

    Citi Bike stats update, as (mostly) collected from the blog reports: https://sites.google.com/site/citibikestats/

    I also wrote up a script over the weekend that applies neighborhood and individual station breakdowns, based on their live station feed. There are a ton of caveats, but it suggests that:

    – Manhattan is a better adopter than Brooklyn
    – Manhattan’s most active neighborhoods are the West Village, Soho, and Union Square
    – Brooklyn’s most active neighborhoods are Dumbo, Williamsburg, and Brooklyn Heights (Boerum Hill and Park Slope are also very active, but those neighborhoods only consist of a single station).
    – As might be expected, Midtown and Midtown East show a relative surge in popularity on weekdays vs. weekends (based on the Friday May 31 – Sunday June 2 period).

    I can compile all sorts of breakdowns if anyone has any requests.

  • I was just being a snot. Although, I would note that riding in that non-bike lane shoulder isn’t really safe, it’s treated as a walkway and double-parking zone. We had better luck on this ride by riding together phalanx-style in the right-hand lane. The people who wanted to zoom by could do so from the left lane. Not sure that would work so well on my own, though. Some aggressive minivans out there.

  • Anonymous

    Fantastic charts, thank you! I just wanted to ask — where is this live station feed? The System Data part of the website only says “We look forward to sharing Citi Bike system data with developers and the general public after the program launches.”

  • Greg
  • Greg
  • kevd

    I guess perfectly safe is not accurate.
    No less safe then before the bike marking were removed as a non-bike lane shoulder is no different from a shoulder bike lane of the same size when NYPD refuse to enforce the law. When it was a bike lane, it was just as full of double parked vehicles as it is now.

    I do well on the left side there. I have more trouble with agressive minivans when taking the right lane.
    But, to each his own!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, that looks very useful. Another interesting stat that I can think of is the total number of bikes available at different times of day. I just computed it a few minutes ago and the number was 4299. Plotting this over time can reveal what the rush hours are for bikeshare use.

    Also interesting would be the number of stations that are completely full or completely empty at a given time: again based on a snapshot taken a few minutes ago, I found 26 empty stations and 20 full stations, out of 327 stations.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, that looks very useful. Another interesting stat that I can think of is the total number of bikes available at different times of day. I just computed it a few minutes ago and the number was 4299. Plotting this over time can reveal what the rush hours are for bikeshare use.

    Also interesting would be the number of stations that are completely full or completely empty at a given time: again based on a snapshot taken a few minutes ago, I found 26 empty stations and 20 full stations, out of 327 stations.

  • Anonymous

    Correction: if I only count stations with status “In Service”, there were only four empty stations and zero full stations.

  • Greg

    Those are all great ideas. I’d love to expand the page to add things like that, and to expose the neighborhood-specific reports I already have (but are now just Python scripts that spit tables out to the screen).

    If you’d like to discuss further or even collaborate, let me know.

    Otherwise I’ll patch more analyses in when I can.

  • notraction

    Her words will have traction with some as long as the “livable streets” movements stay mostly white, mostly male, mostly well-to do and disconnected from the work of activist of color, and/or activists who tackle low-income and “outer brought” issues that relate to safety, use of public space and urban planning.

    Right now with CitiBike it is looking pretty elitist.

    But if that image and reality can change a lot of new people can be won over.

    Then there are those who will never be won over. They are not worth worrying about.

    There is the populist notion that only rich “hipsters” like or use bike lanes and things like bike share and that the bike issues are more important than the pedestrian safety issues. Like so many stereotypes its based in partial truths.

    Can we take a hard look at ourselves and face those truths?

    Or will they still be used against us a year from now?

  • Greg

    More specifics from my first post:

    From Friday 5/31 through now, Manhattan averaged 6% more activity per dock than the city average. Brooklyn averaged 26% less.

    From Friday 5/31 through now, Manhattan averaged 13% more activity per *station* (where a station consists of many docks) than the city average. Brooklyn averaged 38% less.

    This would imply, which I believe is true, that Manhattan’s stations are on average larger than Brooklyn’s stations.

    On Friday May 31 and Monday June 3, Midtown showed 2% more activity than the city average.

    On Saturday June 1 and Sunday June 2, Midtown showed 31% less activity than the city average.

    I’m curious about the perceived mismatch between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Downtown Brooklyn, in particular, seems to have surprisingly low numbers compared to other Brooklyn neighborhoods. The waterfront neighborhoods show fantastically high usage.

  • Anonymous
  • Theory: The East River Bridges are a barrier between the Manhattan and Brooklyn sections of the system — a porous barrier, but enough of a barrier to dampen trips between boroughs. As a semi-separate bike-share system, the Brooklyn map has a lot less utility than the Manhattan map. The Brooklyn map is smaller and less contiguous — there just aren’t as many trips to be made. But the stations near the Brooklyn waterfront do see high usage because those areas tend to be farther away from transit. I think activity in Downtown Brooklyn will perk up a lot once the map expands into Crown Heights, Park Slope, north Brooklyn, etc. That’s my theory.

  • Greg

    One more before getting back to work:

    Brooklyn’s most active weekend stations (by dock activity) seem to be: Old Fulton St, Dekalb & S. Portland, South 5th & South 4th, Metropolitan & Bedford, Borough Hall, Clark & Henry, State & Smith, and Brooklyn Bridge Park @ Atlantic Ave.

    Brooklyn’s most active weekday stations: Dekalb & S. Portland, State & Smith, Hicks & Montague, Borough Hall, Clinton & Myrtle, Ashland & Hanson Pl, Henry & Atlantic.

  • Scott Sanderson

    Wow, I did not realize what a cranky old lady Rabinowitz is.

  • cc

    I can’t believe that bitch said “the bike lobby is all powerful”. Please.

  • Andrew

    “The fire trucks can’t get into subway stations”? Did I really hear that?

  • Anonymous

    I never thought anyone could beat Marcia Kramer’s “but what if the terrorists come by bike” line (http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/07/08/bin-laden-is-dead-but-the-second-avenue-bike-lane-lives-on/) but between the line you quote and the one about “the bike lobby is an all-powerful enterprise” those two folks managed to take down a hitherto unbeatable foe.

    I bet Streetsblog regrets calling that comparatively mild Observer editorial “the Dumbest Bike-Share Editorial of All Time.” Who knows what gems have yet to be unearthed!

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