Today’s Headlines

  • Weiner to Announce Bike Commuter Tax Incentive (NYT); Spitzer Joins Race for City Comptroller (NYT)
  • NYPD Says W’burg Pedestrian Killed by Cop Had Right of Way, Calls Crash an “Accident” (Post, DNA)
  • Speeding Motorist Kills Himself and Injures Two Passengers on Ocean Parkway (News)
  • NYPD and Corrections Officers Arrested for DWI, Hit-and-Run, Pulling Gun (News, Bklyn Paper)
  • Toll-Dodging Motorist Strikes Bridge and Tunnel Officer on Triborough Bridge (Advance)
  • NYPD Issued 25,000 Summonses for Sidewalk Riding in 2012 (Post)
  • There’s a Public Hearing Wednesday on DOT’s Plan to Calm Fourth Avenue (Bklyn Spoke)
  • Who Is in Charge of the Post Entertainment Section, and Why Won’t They Toe the Line on Bike Hate?
  • Sure Enough, Citi Bikes Are Fading Into the Urban Fabric (NYT, Gothamist)
  • Times Readers Respond to the Imaginary Problem of Too Many Bikes in NYC
  • Second Ave. Sagas Suggests a Staten Island Subway Connection
  • Stay Classy, James Molinaro (Advance)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Eric McClure

    Re Molinaro: surely not THE Joan Cusack, right?

  • Miles Bader

    This NYT letter writer seems to have indulged a wee bit too much in his crack pipe: “I think Mr. Hadley put it best: ‘New York City is not the Netherlands.’ Our streets are too narrow to accommodate separate lanes for cyclists, and our sidewalks are already too cramped to store their bikes. ”

    NYC has many enormously wide streets, especially compared to the Netherlands. So wide that there’s ample room for sharing between uses; as it is, the space devoted to motor traffic is unconscionable. Reducing it will make NYC”s transportation more equitable, more pleasant, and safer.

    … Oh wait, the letter writer was Gary Taustine; we already know he’s a moron… ><

  • Anonymous

    Note that he didn’t respond to the letter writer’s question of whether or not he’s been to Amsterdam. It’s abundantly clear that Gary Taustine hasn’t, or he wouldn’t have made such an idiotic, ignorant remark that diminishes any standing he had to make an intelligent argument.

  • Anonymous

    He didn’t respond to any of the critical letters, really, except for the trivial point that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, and his gut feeling that bikes cause an increase in pollution.

    I’ve heard all the anti-bike arguments many times, but I find Mr. Gottlieb’s statement that “I can’t imagine a more absurd endeavor than trying to turn the city into a rural bike utopia” particularly distressing because it shows that he just doesn’t “get” bikes at all, despite describing himself as an “avid cyclist”. If you live on a farm and find that driving the ten miles to the nearest grocery store is the most practical choice, so be it. But fact that NYC is not rural is not only the reason why bikes are practical here (the distances are much more manageable), but is is also the reason why we *need* to promote bikes over cars (the density is to high to sustain driving).

  • ruby_soho

    No, a different one. The actress is too classy to be seen with the likes of that crusty old fool, who also wants to turn Bay Street into a two lane one-way and flood a dense, rather walkable area with parking: http://www.silive.com/northshore/index.ssf/2013/07/one-way_bay_st_more_parking_pa.html#incart_river

  • Anonymous

    According to Wikipedia, Amsterdam was established in 1275. I wonder how wide the SUV’s were back when their streets were first laid out.

  • Bolwerk

    I think I like Spitzer better than any candidate for mayor besides Sal Albanese. He actually had modestly progressive transit policies and seems to at least hit the meh bar on civil liberties. That’s as opposed to horrendous Quinn and bad Weiner, Wielder the Two Right-Wing Nuts, who both pander to drivers to boot. No joke: every candidate currently polling over 5% literally ranges from indifferent to hostile to transit.

    As for the police and people like Molinaro, the major problem with them is they get handed power in the first place but, secondary to that, they don’t fear the consequences when they act on their sociopathic impulses.

  • Bolwerk

    Bikes are a better fit in New York than Amsterdam, really. We are a larger, denser city. We are denser than Copenhagen too.

    We do need some work though: sidewalks should be widened, and bike lanes laid on the wider sidewalks (which should still net some more space for pedestrians). We shaved sidewalks back to make more room for cars a few generations ago. Let’s fix that.

  • Brownstone2

    Spitzer is running for city comptroller not mayor, but yes, he and Albanese are the only people running for citywide office who are pro transit and pro bike. The rest have a transportation IQ below room temperature (that’s with the air conditioner running….)

  • Bolwerk

    I know, I was just saying I prefer him to the mayoral candidates and grudgingly wish he would run for mayor instead.

    I wish he never resigned as governor, either. I think Paterson on paper had better policies, but he was too incompetent. Cuomo, on the other hand, is competent and has really crappy transportation policies.

  • Joe R.

    Before we do any of that we first need to drastically reduce the number of motor vehicles. I totally agree bikes are a much better fit for NYC than cars, but they don’t work that well the way our streets are currently set up. The traffic signals have got to go but that can’t happen until motor vehicle volume drops about 90%. I doubt we’ll have the political power to make that happen any time soon so we might as well just put the bikes above the streets. That neatly solves the problem of pedestrians intruding into a sidewalk level bike lane as I’m sure they would.

    The problem here ironically is exactly that NYC is a larger, denser city than Amsterdam. Street level bike lanes work in Amsterdam for three reasons. One, the density is less, and therefore you have fewer motor vehicles. Two, European cities tend to use traffic lights much more sparingly than in the US, particularly on bike routes. Three, the distances are shorter, so speed isn’t as important. NYC needs to invent its own unique solution here. I think we need to follow the model of Asian cities more than European cities. In South Korea there’s a plan to run bike lanes in elevated plastic tubes, for example. You could do something similar here. Because NYC is windy, you can have vents in the tubes which redirect prevailing winds into tailwinds. This could increase travel speeds by 5 to 10 mph.

  • Andrew

    I’m confused by this incident:

    “It was a tragic, unfortunate accident,” a police source told The Post.

    Felix Coss, 61, had the pedestrian signal as he finished crossing Broadway at Hooper Street at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, sources said.

    The veteran female officer was making a left-hand turn from Hooper Street to Broadway and failed to see the Coss, a teacher at the Beginning with Children Charter School, a source said. Coss was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

    No criminality and no traffic-law violations are suspected, police said.

    How about this traffic law?

    4-03(a)(1) Green alone:

    (i) Vehicular traffic facing such signals may proceed straight through or turn right or left unless a sign at such place prohibits any such movement. But vehicular traffic, including vehicles turning right or left, shall yield the right of way to other vehicles and to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk at the time such signal is exhibited.

    I know that the NYPD virtually never enforces this law, but are they actually unaware of its existence?

  • Andrew

    Oops, now I see that there’s an entire Streetsblog article making this exact same point. That’s what I get for replying before reading everything!