Today’s Headlines

  • Traffic Signal Priority Not an MTA Priority (AMNY)
  • Trottenberg Talks With Brian Lehrer About Brooklyn Bridge Promenade, Shared Streets (WNYC, AMNY)
  • Gothamist Assesses Current Conditions for Brooklyn Bridge Bikers and Walkers
  • Brooklyn Might Soon Have a Higher Population Than Chicago (Gothamist)
  • Revolting: Bronx CB 8 Tables Play Streets Vote for 3 Schools to Appease Narcissistic Cranks (Press)
  • Mark-Viverito Spat Highlights Uselessness of Tweeting DOT With Street Safety Issues (Post, DNA)
  • Motorcyclist Killed in Grand Central Parkway Collision (News)
  • NYPD Years Late in Complying With Body Camera Order (Post, AMNY)
  • 30-Year Fight for Scarce Sidewalk Space Rages on the Upper West Side (NYT)
  • Pedestrians, Cyclists, Motorists — We All Have a Role to Play (CBS)
  • Former MTA Chief Robert Kiley Dies (NYT, 2AS)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Kevin Love

    The Brooklyn Bridge proposal is a big step forward. However, only six feet of lane for each direction of cycling is still inadequate. Has nobody at DOT ever heard of induced demand?

    Also it is time to ring down the curtain on the absurd security theater. It speaks volumes about the priorities of NYPD that their leaders obsess about flags on a bridge or nipples in Times Square. But when it comes to people being killed and injured by traffic violence, they just don’t care.

  • Larry Littlefield

    To put the Brooklyn Bridge bike path in perspective, a quick check of Google Maps shows that if your are coming from Brooklyn and your destination is north of Chambers, the mileage for the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges is about the same.

    But if your destination is south of Chambers using the Manhattan Bridge costs you an extra mile, each way. For those near the top of their range for time-effective bike commuting, that could be enough to discourage it.

    With most of the destinations located north of Chambers, however, I think it is likely that people who could take the Manhattan Bridge are taking the Brooklyn Bridge due to familiarity and visibility. The Brooklyn Bridge approach is obvious on both ends, with the Manhattan Bridge approach less so.

  • Jonathan R

    Well, the Manhattan Bridge bike lane on the east side of the bridge has been open for 12 years now. There is a protected bike lane nearby in Manhattan, on Allen Street, 540 feet to the east, and in Brooklyn on Sands St, 75 feet to the northeast. There are signs all over both boroughs pointing to the Manhattan Bridge bicycle path.

    If there are still lots of bikes on the Brooklyn Bridge after 12 years of building out the bike network around the Manhattan Bridge, I would argue that it’s because bicyclists prefer the Brooklyn Bridge, not because they don’t know how to get onto the Manhattan Bridge.

    Perhaps future generations of planners could learn from the Brooklyn Bridge and add its positive features to new bicycle facilities.

  • Elizabeth F

    The cops near the Manhattan terminus of the Manhattan bridge have made it their business to give cyclists as many tickets as possible, for whatever reason they can. That’s a good reason to take the Brooklyn Bridge…

  • Greg

    I kind of get what you’re saying, looking at Google Maps. But my daily reality brings me to quite the opposite conclusion.

    I bike daily from Brooklyn to Manhattan north of Chambers. I use the Brooklyn Bridge 95% of the time, only using the Manhattan if I know crowds will be especially bad on the Brooklyn or if I just want to vary up my routine. I’m plenty familiar with both but the Brooklyn just works better for me.

    Coming from Brooklyn Heights, the Brooklyn Bridge approach is a no-brainer. It’s way closer, has a saner approach, and routes me through much better streets. Coming out into Manhattan I *much* prefer going down Chambers or Reade Sts to the west side bike path or Hudson St vs. any path I’m aware of from the Manhattan. When I take the Manhattan Bridge I usually go up Chrystie St, get stuck in that weird no-mans’ land by Houston St, and slowly weave my way over to the west side. I don’t hate that route, per se, but I find it much less pleasant.

    So… there’s a little bit of perspective from the other side.

    Come to think of it, I actually track my rides with a phone app. Let me look that up and see how the mileage on the Brooklyn vs. Manhattan routes compare..

  • Jonathan R

    From Bklyn Heights to Manhattan Bridge: Tillary-Cadman Plz E/Washington-Prospect-Jay (use lane on sidewalk)

    From Manhattan Bridge to Hudson River Greenway: Canal-Eldridge-Hester-Allen/1st Ave-3d St-McDougal-Minetta-Carmine-Bedford-Commerce-Hudson-Christopher

  • Greg

    Yeah – that first one is exactly what I do when I’m coming back over the Manhattan Bridge.

  • kevd

    The BB is much better for getting to the west side path.
    lots of roadies from Brooklyn use it to ride up to the GWB, and then up to Nyack. But that is typically early in the morning.

  • bxcyclist21

    I love the ideas of play streets in front of schools during pick up and drop off hours and sad to see Bx CB 8 table it since angry people will feel inconvenienced. I live in a different BX CB district and my kids’ school is along the service road to the I-95 and cars whiz by as the buses and kids get to school. It would be great if we can get it closed during this time and only allow school buses and parents dropping off or picking up their kids. Perhaps I’ll recommend it and see if I can get the narcissistic cranks upset. I assume our Bx CB would act similarly but worth a try.

  • AnoNYC

    Any word on the protected bike lane expansion on 1st Ave between E 124th and 125th Sts/Willis Ave Bridge, plus the addition to E 124th St between 1st and 2nd?

    The 2nd Ave parking protected bicycle lane has extended a few blocks south in East Harlem finally. I can’t remember what street, maybe E 99th now? Street is still full of construction equipment and cordoned off closer to E 96th St though.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The positive feature is the view. I’ll take the bridge for a recreational trip, by bike or on foot, but not if I have to get to work. It’s irresponsible to move at a decent clip given the crowding.

    The Brooklyn Bridge also has a more gentle grade.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    Plenty of people take the Manhattan Bridge too. In summer the narrow bike path is pretty much at its effective capacity.

  • Actually, that’s a good reason to ride legally.

    Furthermore, the cops who are taking up scarse space by sitting in the middle of the bike/pedestrian road on the Brooklyn Bridge provide an additional good reason to take the Manhattan Bridge.

  • Maggie

    I flipped from supporting the local sidewalk booksellers when they started expanding across the width of the sidewalk.

    Also, reading NYT metro coverage of Upper West Side sidewalks the same week that editors announced they don’t see Bronx children dying in fires as worth their coverage – this makes me throw up in my mouth.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Not what I see, though I cross the bridge earlier than peak in both directions. Plenty of cyclists, but plenty of room for more.

  • Everyone has his/her preferences. If you like the Brooklyn Bridge, then go for it.

    But, if you’ll permit me, I’d like to focus on one tiny thing: I find the assertion that, coming from Brooklyn Heights, the Brooklyn Bridge entry is “way closer” very curious.

    Presumably you’re coming up Clinton Street to the two-way bike lane on Tillary Street. Then you just turn left off of Tillary to get onto the Brooklyn Bridge.

    Whereas, in order to get to the Manhattan Bridge, surely you know that you could stay on Tillary to Jay Street and turn left there to go up to Sands Street. A quick measurment on Google Maps reveals that this additional ride adds about 1900 feet, or about 1/3 of a mile.

    To use even the full mile that separates the bridges on the Manhttan side as a basis to call one bridge “way closer” to anything than the other would be a stretch. The small fraction of a mile which separates the two bridges in Brooklyn is negligible. For all practical purposes, they are right next to one another.

  • AMH

    They’re also still wasting money guarding the stupid Charging Bull.

  • “…[New York Times] editors announced they don’t see Bronx children dying in fires as worth their coverage…”

    What’s was this? What did they say?

  • ohnonononono
  • Shemp

    Yes, it very much depends on whether you’re going to the East or West Sides.

  • Ah, I see.

    Well, the comment about children dying not being worth the Times‘s coverage is not exactly fair. The editors seem to have decided that what is not worth covering is purely local stories (whether or not these stories involve people dying).

    Public editor Liz Spayd writing this piece referred to “reporters parked in courthouses and police stations all day”; and veteran columnist Jim Dwyer (a subway specialist) mentioned the shutdown of the L train.

    All these, as well as a fatal fire, constitute the kinds of local stories from which the Times‘s Metro section will be retreating. Spayd approves of this; Dwyer seems to disapprove. I’m with Dwyer; the everyday gritty local stories matter a great deal.

    But even if the turn away from what editor Wendell Jamieson calls “small” stories is a wrongheaded move, this is not because the editor has decided that deaths in the Bronx are worthless; the piece also mentions a long series in the Metro section on murders in a South Bronx precinct. It’s wrongheaded because it removes the Times from covering the daily fabric of New York life.

  • Joe R.

    Unfortunately with the NYPD’s penchant for giving bogus tickets like “not riding in bike lane”, or riding with no helmet, riding legally is no guarantee of not getting a ticket.

    A cyclist is well served intentionally avoiding any areas where the police are known to be altogether, whether or not they ride legally.

  • Joe R.

    It’s disappointing we’re not having traffic signal preemption on every single bus route. If we’re going to have all these traffic signals, then we might as well use them intelligently to speed up buses. The same signal preemption could be used for emergency vehicles.

  • JudenChino

    For Manhattan Bridge to HRGwy, isn’t it more direct to go:
    Christie-Rivington-Bowery (half a block)-Prince-Greenwich-Houston ?

  • ahwr

    only six feet of lane for each direction of cycling is still inadequate

    And people here talk about taking a single car lane for a two way bike path instead of the proposed expansion. Up that to the inside lane in each direction, put in a jersey barrier on one side, shy distance from the fence on the other, leaves you with ~7 feet in each direction.

    Has nobody at DOT ever heard of induced demand?

    With cars, a good hint that the latent demand for travel is high and that a wider road would fill up quickly is that off peak travel is a high percentage of peak travel. These are people who are purposefully traveling offpeak to avoid the poor travel conditions during peak hour. Improving peak hour conditions will cause them to shift when they travel closer to their desired time. In 2014 on the Brooklyn Bridge 6AM-10PM the two way hourly volume was lowest between 12-1PM, at 83% of peak hour volume. The same hour on the Manhattan bridge hub bound gives bikes at 25% of peak hour volume.

  • HamTech87

  • Maggie

    I guess my point is “The editors seem to have decided that what is not worth covering is purely local stories” – but then here we are, reading Ian Alterman’s quotes about a sidewalk on Broadway.

  • Simon Phearson

    You know, every time I’m stopped at a light with no cross-traffic but with a huge truck rumbling behind me or a car edging menacingly towards me, knowing that I’m going to have to haul ass if I don’t want them to pull a close pass that could end up with me under their rear tires, I think of you. I don’t have anything else to do with that time, after all.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I’m going to the center, not the east or west side.

  • Jonathan R

    Of course, but not as direct as Canal Street straight across the island, and almost as hair-raising.

    Chrystie Street has no protected bike lane. The left turn across downtown traffic at Prince off of Bowery involves waiting and caution for downtown vehicles blowing the red and turning right. Prince Street itself does have a bike lane, but there are always vans and trucks parked in it between Broadway and 6th Ave. And crossing onto the Greenway at Houston requires either placing yourself in the middle lane, surrounded by motor vehicles anxious to get onto West Street, or going with the walk signal and hoping the drivers yield to you.

  • JudenChino

    All true. It’s funny that you’re describing a route as hair-raising that literally has bike lanes for the entire duration. But yet, right on, it doesn’t really feel safe (I mean, I ride it but I’m pretty experienced). So true about crossing Bowery and that bike lane on Houston by West St, in which you’re sandwiched between car lanes — man, they could at least paint in green. And going left from Christie — which will have a protected lane soon I believe, isn’t pleasant at Rivington.

    Interestingly, in doing research on this, I realized that it actually saves .5 miles to get to the Greenway via the BK Bridge. For trips North, I usually take the Manhattan so as to avoid the cluster fuck on the BK Bridge. However, if you take Chambers across, you save half a mile, which isn’t insignificant and Chambers isn’t a particularly scary road.

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