Today’s Headlines

  • Driver Kills Alfiya Djuraeva, 56, in Bensonhurst; Cited for Failure to Yield (News)
  • No Info From MTA at L Train Forum, But Dilan Did Threaten Funding (News, DNA, WNYCBklyn Paper)
  • Eric Adams Plugs “Freedom Ticket” as One Solution to Looming L Shutdown (Politico)
  • Horse Carriages: Conservancy, Pedicabbies Protest (Politico 1, 2); Optics Somehow Get Worse (NYT)
  • Citi Bike Trips Jumped by 24 Percent in 2015 (Next City)
  • Safety Obstructionists Will Try Anything to Derail Amsterdam Avenue Bikeway (Spirit)
  • Locals Demand Parking at New Cobble Hill Medical Center (Bklyn Paper)
  • David Greenfield Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Pandering to Motorists (Crain’s)
  • People Who Make a Fortune Off Cab Drivers Continue to Degrade the Job (Post, NY1)
  • Bill Bratton Surprised by New Yorkers Clamoring for Space Beneath His Chauffeured SUV (News)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • BBnet3000

    Nearly a week after the snow, the western part of the narrow, discontinuous bikeway across Grand Army Plaza remains unplowed, and the police continue their habit of parking on the “Budnick Bikeway”.

  • No news today about clearing bike lanes. But I thought, here on my first day back riding after the snow, that I would report on the bike lane that I use on my commute to work. (I had tried riding yesterday morning; but, after I found myself slipping on ice that I could not see several times in the first half mile, I turned around and went home.)

    The northbound lane on Woodward Avenue is in deplorable condition. There is slush covering essentially the whole thing. I did my entire ride on that street in the centre of the road; this took a part of the ride which is usually very pleasant much and made it uncomfortable.

    I would bet that the accompanying southbound Onderdonk Avenue lane is in no better condition. But I probably won’t see much of it, as I have shifted my homebound commute over to Cypress Avenue; I don’t hit Onderdonk until Madison Street.

    Side note to anyone who rides or lives in that area: I have been in a struggle with the Domino’s Pizza at Onderdonk Avenue and Cornelia Street since the new bike lane came in. (In another post I said that the Woodward and Onderdonk lanes were installed last summer. I now realise my brain fart; it was actually the summer of the previous year.) Only in front of the Domino’s is there constant blockage of the bike lane all day.

    I have called 311 many times; and I have visited the 104th Precinct on two or three occasions, and have have had several telephone conversations with the sergeant there who deals with community relations. Before all that, I had complained at the store; and the manager basically dismissed me, asserting that the police told them that they are allowed to park in the bike lane. (The cops whom I spoke to have denied this.) The attitude of the people there was frankly infuriating; they actually appear to believe that they are exempt from the law.

    I then went up the chain of command at Domino’s, finally reaching their security director for the Northeast. This was encouraging at first, as he made no excuses, apologised, and stated in no uncertain terms that this should not be happening. He asked me to send him pictures, which I did. And he initially expressed confidence that he could address the matter. But then, as months passed, he began to get exasperated, until he told me apologetically that there was nothing that he could do.

    If anyone else in the area wants to pitch in to try and stop this blatant and chronic lawbreaking, then I would be happy to share my information. The more different individuals whom the police hear from, the more likely it is that they’ll take the matter seriously and start giving tickets in enough quantity to deter that behaviour on the part of Domino’s employees.

  • BBnet3000

    Go to your CB and ask them to support a loading zone in front of the Dominos.

  • But it isn’t a matter of delivery trucks. What happens here is that their drivers park their cars in the bike lane en masse while they go inside to get their orders, the result being that the lane is constantly blocked by four or five Domino drivers’ cars.

  • BBnet3000

    So either you get people parking in the loading zone to get their pizza or people parking in the bike lane. I know which one I would choose.

  • Guest

    How about some of those NYPD resources in the subways actually do something helpful to keep things safe and comfortable, like, oh, I don’t know, actually writing a ticket for blocking the doors!

    The door standing has gotten worse, while trains are getting more crowded, and I have NEVER seen an officer pull somebody off and write a summons when they’re jamming everything up and giving everybody attitude.

  • c2check

    We could start by having cops just ride the train, if just on the way to work. I think I’ve only seen 1 uniformed officer on the train in 2 years.

    (This might also help with the private vehicles parked on sidewalks outside police stations)

  • ddartley

    Greenfield (some of whose proposals are actually quite good) makes me wonder, does he even have a staff? Does he have anyone consider a bill before he introduces it to council? Hey he keeps things fun.

    Can’t help pointing out this gem, though: he says, “Black Friday is the most-ticketed day of the year, because while most people think of it as a holiday, the city doesn’t treat it as such.” Maybe I’m being arbitrary here; sometimes I think a critical mass of popular misapprehension DOES justify changing a rule. But in this case, I’m sorry, I think anyone who really assumes that Black Friday is a legal holiday–especially if they then complain about a parking ticket the get that day–is above the dumbness threshold beyond which we shouldn’t take any pain to accommodate.

  • These are mostly Domino’s drivers, not customers. You can tell because they have the Domino’s identication in their windshields, and sometimes on the car’s roof.

    But I suppose that a loading zone would be good, because then the Domino’s drivers could park along the curb instead of in the bike lane; and they would presumably be able to vacate it when actual deliveries took place.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Eliminate all Parking placards and NYPD, FBI, DEA, DHS, etc would all be Riding Subways to work. Shouldn’t THAT improve safety ?

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Ferdinand – Hate to break it to you, but you need to ride 3x more miles. This guy has you beat by a Long shot. Commuted Every Day since 2003. 42 miles One way. 15,000 Miles per year

    Joe – you’ll be pleased to note he ready Rides a velomobile.Averrate door to door speed Is 28MPH.

  • Joe R.

    Well, that just illustrates the kind of distances one can cover in a velomobile with good bike infrastructure. 28 mph door-to-door speed in phenomenal. Incidentally, I’ve mentioned a few times that such speeds under human power are quite possible. If others saw this, then made planes to accommodate vehicles like velomobiles to their full potential, we could have a human-powered transportation revolution. Who needs a car when you can average ~30 mph under your own steam? And note that future advances in aerodynamics could bump this up considerably, perhaps even to the point one could cruise at highway speeds for an extended time on human power alone.

  • Joe R.

    That’s exactly what a loading zone would do. The space is front of Domino’s could be reserved solely for Dominos vehicles. Any other vehicle parking there would be subject to ticketing and towing. Provided enough space were set aside, the bike lane issue would be solved.

    I don’t know if you’ve encountered this yourself, but another very annoying practice I’ve noted is when restaurants stick a valet parking sign right in the street area where cyclists usually ride. I’m pretty sure this is illegal. It’s certainly dangerous. I always move those signs back into the space between parked cars whenever I see them.

  • Zarking fardwarks!

    But note that this guy’s total of 15,000 miles in a year is 2.2 times my 2015 total of 6800 miles, not three times.

    Anyway, that is a feat that I can only dream of matching. Even if I equalled my best month of 1157 miles (July 2015) every month, I’d still be more than 1000 miles short of 15,000 in a year.

    I have never seen anyone in New York in a velomobile. I wonder if there are any users of such a contraption here.

  • Joe R.

    I haven’t seen them, either, but I’m seriously considering buying one once I have time to use it.

    Incidentally, I’ll bet you still have this guy beat in terms of number of hours riding. If you average 10 mph then you spent 680 hours on the bike last year. If all of his 15,000 miles were done at an average speed of 28 mph, then he only spent 535 hours riding. Still a considerably amount of time riding, but I think you have him beat. 🙂 My best year in terms of hours spent riding was 431 hours in 1991, which incidentally was also the year I rode the most miles (5001.5). Overall average speed that year (11.6 mph) was off compared to other years. I forgot the exact reason. I think I did a lot of day rides. My second best year ( 4293 miles in 275.5 hours ) was 2012. I managed to average 15.6 mph overall. Still not in the same league as this guy’s 28 mph, but I guess not too shabby for a regular bike ridden on crappy NYC streets.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    dude,

    how Many Motorists average 28MPH door-to-door in Their commute 🙂

    He Is also 56 years old. So that belies the canatd that Bike commuting is a Young Mans game

  • Alexander Vucelic

    If you could average ~30MPH; Maybe you’d be cycling 20,000 Miles annually 🙂

  • Joe R.

    I wonder what a younger rider at their peak could do? I have seen a few videos of Milan SL velomobiles where the rider averages over 35 mph. You’re right though. How many drivers average 28 mph, even in the suburbs? This is exactly why I say human power could be revolutionary.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    his fastest Time was 78 minutes for the 70 km commute ~32MPH

    He Used to ride a race Bike, but switched to thr velomobile because He wanted Protection from weather Since He Rides 180 days per year

  • Joe R.

    Holy crap! That’s 33.5 mph! Now you’re getting into commuter rail type average speeds. All weather protection is yet another plus.

  • It would be interesting to try one of these things.

    I found this video of a guy named Stephen Mosca, who sells them out of his home in Maywood, NJ:

    http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/velomobile-no-gas-burns-calories-secure-like-a-car/

    Mosca says that they start at $8500; the model he is riding in this video is listed at his site as costing $10,884.

    Mosca acknowledges that it is difficult climbing hills in a velomobile. That is a big deal, quite a bit bigger than he acknowledes. (He mentions an electric assist motor; but I don’t think I want to consider using a motor for many more years.)

    Also, it appears that you need a garage to have one of these. I live in an apartment. I carry my bike up the stairs with no problem; but I doubt that doing so would be possible with this thing.

    And the biggest problem is where to get maintenence. He actually says during the video “no maintenence”; he says it along with “no licence”, “no insurance”, and other things.

    But that cannot be true. Things break. When that happens, can you get a velomobile serviced at a bike shop? I doubt it.

    Mosca’s company is called Go-One; its website is http://www.go-one.us . His e-mail address is mosca@go-one.us . Maybe I will send him some of these questions.

  • Joe R.

    Carrying a velomobile up or down stairs might be the real show stopper here. That and the price. As for doing your own maintenance, my understanding is the drivetrains use the same parts a regular bike uses-chain, freewheel, chainrings, etc. The only difference is a velomobile might use a very large front chainring, perhaps 60 teeth, and a longer chain. Also, some of them have an intermediate transmission, which is basically a way to get lower gears than would otherwise be possible to facilitate hill climbing. I would imagine the dealers selling velomobiles would also service them, particularly the ones which might use some non-standard parts.

    Part of the way velomobiles deal with hills is just to get enough speed before hitting the hill so your momentum helps carry you up ( see the video below at the 4:20 mark ). Obviously not possible on a really long hill involving more than a few hundred feet of climbing where you’ll eventually need to slog up, but here on the East Coast those mostly don’t exist. One thing I’m a bit surprised at given the price with why don’t any of these velomobiles use a Rohloff hub. That’s a 5.26 to 1 range. Add in two front chainrings with maybe a 30% difference and you can get about a 7 to 1 range. That’s enough for creeping up hills at 6 or 7 mph or blasting along at 45 to 50 mph. It also makes the transmission really simple to use and to maintain.

  • ohnonononono

    To be fair, the days when alternate-side parking rules are suspended include some of the more obscure religious holidays and are not “legal holidays” in any other sense. Our federal, state, and city governments designate legal holidays solely for the purposes of their own offices and employees. Election Day is a state and city holiday but not federal. Good Friday is not a legal holiday in any sense, but ASP is suspended then. I think you should forgive the confusion.

  • ohnonononono

    I’ve seen people literally throw food wrappers/garbage on the ground in front of cops in subway stations. Cops did nothing.

    The big push from NYC politicians (and apparently voters, I guess?) is away from enforcing “quality of life” infractions. I don’t understand it.

  • kevd

    just take the sign and throw it in a dumpster a few blocks away. sends a more effective message than just moving it a couple feet closer to the curb.

  • ddartley

    I hear you. While commenting, I did indeed have in mind the addition of so many religious days, and how it’s maddening (and mad).

  • JoshNY

    Of course, the problem with this plan is that @FerdinandCesarano:disqus would have to ask his community board to recommend removing parking, which we all know they’d never do.

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