Today’s Headlines

  • Turning Motorist Kills Jacob Bavdaz, 84, in Riverdale (Press)
  • Staten Island Driver Fleeing Police Critically Injures Child, Flees Scene (Advance, DNANews)
  • De Blasio Must Remove Community Boards From Transportation Planning (Voice)
  • New Yorkers Reject Felder Ploy to Make Ocean Parkway More Deadly (Bklyn Paper, @ohlukeson)
  • Albany Lawmakers Already Dividing the Spoils From Uber Expansion (Politico)
  • Court Ruling Keeps NYPD Disciplinary Records Under Wraps (NYT)
  • That Manhattan-Bronx Greenway Extension Cuomo Promised? He Lied (Press)
  • Jury at Standstill in Murder Trial of Truck Thief Who Killed MTA Bus Driver (Post)
  • Bloomberg: Trump Can’t Undo Climate Progress by Himself … (NYT)
  • … But He Can Kill Your Neighborhood Garden (WNYC)
  • Walking in NYC: Reality (Gothamist) vs. Sensationalist Media Tripe (MTR)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    There’s some chance for high quality infra to connect an extended Putnam trail to Inwood and the Hudson River Greenway, but I’m not holding my breath. My guess is the Empire State Trail remains a discontinuous, hard to navigate mess for the foreseeable future.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Well it is something Cuomo has become interested in. Will the new Tappan Zee have a bike-ped path?

  • Elizabeth F

    As someone who lives in Westchester County and uses the bicycle
    network daily for transportation, I have mixed feelings about this. It
    would clearly have been a really beautiful path. However, as a means of
    transportation it would have suffered a number of problems: (1) the Old
    Cronton Aqueduct is in terrible condition, and barely bikeable.
    Until/unless that path is upgraded, a Hudson River alignment would be a
    path to not much more than downtown Yonkers. (2) For access to the rest
    of Westchester County, this alignment is less than ideal. To head east
    from Yonkers, there are currently NO marked bicycle routes, and the
    hills are intense. It is not a “bike friendly” area.

    The plan to use the Henry Hudson Bridge and connect through Van
    Cortlandt Park has many positives. It connects directly with the Old
    Putnam Trail / South County Trailway, which is hands down the best bike
    trail in the region; it makes sense to funnel more traffic to this
    facility. South County Trailway is the best way to access all the river
    towns north of Yonkers. It also offers a good connection to the Bronx
    River Parkway path at Palmer Rd, providing safe and pleasant bicycle
    routes to central Westchester communities all the way to White Plains
    and Valhalla. The planned routing through Van Cortlandt Park should
    spur action to remedy the deplorable condition of the Putnam Trail,
    whether with asphalt or crushed stone.

    From Dykman St at the Greenway, I currently access the Putnam Trail
    in one of two ways: (a) Bailey Ave from 225 St (usually), or (b) along
    the route currently suggested, via the Henry Hudson Bridge and
    Riverdale. The view from the bridge is breathtaking and the ride
    through Riverdale quite pleasant; and far more relaxing than the grind
    along Seaman Ave, the Broadway Bridge and then Bailey Ave. That route
    is marred only by some terrible stairs over the railroad tracks, steps
    on the Riverdale side of the HH bridge, and an excessively narrow bike
    lane on the HH bridge (next to a wide-open, unused automobile shoulder).
    Official designation of this route could lead eventually to all of
    these problems being fixed.

    A third alternative would be to extend the Putnam Trail south of Van
    Cortlandt Park to 225 St, and combine that with a protected bike lane
    across the Broadway Bridge. This would not be as pretty as either the
    Hudson River or HH Bridge alignments; but if executed right, it would be
    a safe and efficient way to move bicycles from Dykman St. to Van
    Cortlandt Park and beyond.

  • Elizabeth F

    Extended Putnam Trail is something I would like too, but I’m not holding my breath either. Problems involve (a) the security of a potentially secluded, depressed bike route with underpasses alongside Bailey Ave. For that reason alone, protected bike lanes on Bailey Ave might be a better idea. (b) the Broadway Bridge, 225 St and a couple of blocks of Broadway proper; with enough PBL, maybe they can be made serviceable, but I can’t imagine them being pleasant. (c) Seaman Ave is still a PITA.

    For all these reasons, I find the proposed route through Riverdale to be much more pleasant; and it pops you right into Van Cortlandt Park.

  • Elizabeth F

    Yes, that’s been a solid part of the plan for years. The only debate has been how the path terminates in Nyack. Apparently, that issue has been settled with “Option F”, which will connect directly with the (gravel but decent) path along the river, all the way to Piermont.

    http://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/tappan-zee-bridge/2016/03/29/schumer-path-tappan-zee/82394444/

  • Larry Littlefield

    The neighborhood adjacent to the lower Putnam Division is not bad, and if it were cleaned up with facilities in addition to the bike path added, it might attract more people. And connections could be added to the commercial area, which is worth visiting.

  • JudenChino

    This shit makes me sick http://abc7ny.com/news/nypd-cracking-down-on-aggressive-bicyclists/1826827/:

    NEW YORK (WABC) — There’s a warning to bicyclists in New York City, police are cracking down on dangerous riding.

    It’s all part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” pedestrian and traffic safety campaign.

    Those who speed on bikes, or use unregistered electric bikes, are now on the radar of the NYPD.

    If you are busted, it could cost you.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “There’s a warning to bicyclists in New York City, police are cracking down on dangerous riding.”

    The NYPD has shown a complete incapacity to crack down on dangerous riding. It just cracks down on riding, period, until it makes its quotas and the brass gets off its back and the whole thing goes away.

    Unless there has been some significant training, including police officers on bicycles, that is what you can expect.

  • Vooch

    agreed the Van Cortland connection is most desirable route – I’ve used it many times to cycle to various places into Westchester.

    I am, however, ambivalent about paving the Van Cortland section. I’d rather it be properly graded and drained, then pea gravel used.

    It’s simply amazing how fast it is to get into Westchester via Van Cortland

  • Elizabeth F

    I carefully avoided the word “pave” with respect to the Putnam Trail. This fight has gone on too long, and I no longer care whether it’s asphalt or pea gravel. Anything is better than what we have now, which is nothing. I sometimes find myself commuting through a river and nearly falling on mud slicks — which are as slippery as ice.

    Don’t forget that pickup trucks regularly travel the route as well; whatever surface is chosen needs to not be be able to withstand them. Otherwise, we will get deep mud ruts, as has happened on parts of the Greenway.

  • Reader

    Can’t blame the news writers for this kind of copy when a lot of what we’ve heard from City Hall is about everyone doing their part and how we’re all in it together, neither of which are what Vision Zero is about. There’s been a real failure from the top to properly explain and define this program.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I wonder if someone could start selling cheap fake GoPros like the fake placards that are so common. If they think you are taking video, at least you will be less likely to get a ticket for running a green light.

  • AMH

    If pickup trucks are contributing to the mud problem, then the surface that is chosen DOES need to be be able to withstand them, or else they need to be banned.

  • Kevin Love

    I will second this. The behaviors that are actually dangerous, such as salmoning, are ignored. However, even this “actual danger” is insignificant compared to what car drivers do every day.

  • Simon Phearson

    What even is “speeding” on a bike?

  • Joe R.

    Exactly. Fast cyclists, me included, rarely even go over the 25 mph speed limit, much less by enough to merit a speeding ticket by the same standards police use for motorists (usually at least 5 to 10 over the limit).

    Besides that, I’m not even sure a radar gun can reliably pick up a bike with all the background traffic typical in NYC. On top of that, you also have the fact bikes aren’t required by law to have speedometers. Hence, the cyclist has no legally required accurate way of knowing their speed.

  • Joe R.

    While salmoning has long been one of my pet peeves, I’m not even sure it’s all that dangerous. Maybe at night if the salmoning cyclist has no lights, but most of the rest of the time it falls into the category of “annoying but not particularly dangerous”.

  • Kevin Love

    Has any cyclist in NYC ever actually got a speeding ticket?

  • Simon Phearson

    The only place in this city I’ve ever managed to go that “fast” has been downhill on the bridges – and typically only if foot/bike traffic is very light. I wouldn’t put it beyond the NYPD to crack down on the handful of places in this city where cyclists can ride like they’re not in constant peril, given that they’re not above ticketing cyclists for bells on the Manhattan Bridge.

  • Vooch

    data indicates salmoning is a nuisance

    not a danger

  • Vooch

    mud ?

  • I once realised that I was exceeding the speed limit on my bike. It was near the Javits Center, and I was booking, having come down from Riverside Drive up in Washington Heights, then onto West End Avenue, then staying on Eleventh Avenue. (Incidentally, the bit from Washington Heights down to 72nd Street on Riverside Drive is one of the great Manhattan rides, much better than on the Greenway.)

    If I remember correctly, the speed limit was 20, and I was going in excess of that. I immediately slowed down; and I have not taken Eleventh Avenue in that section of town very much since then. I jump off of Eleventh Avenue at 44th Street.

  • Joe R.

    Other than in Central Park, I’ve never heard of it. Oddly enough, back in my college days I was pulled over by a cop in Princeton for speeding. He claimed with a look of disbelief that he had me on the radar gun at 45 mph. Probably right. It was a long downhill and my speedometer indicated I was closer to 50 than to 45. Most of this road was posted for 45 or 50 except the school zone where I happened to be going through. I talked my way out of a ticket but in truth I don’t think he was going to give me one anyway. I think he was more interested in protecting me from myself. This was back when most police had a bit of common sense. He left saying “wait until the guys at the station hear about this”.

  • sbauman

    I am, however, ambivalent about paving the Van Cortland section. I’d rather it be properly graded and drained, then pea gravel used.

    A properly graded gravel road requires a crown (aka cross-slope) of 4 degrees or more. ADA requirements call for a maximum crown of 2 degrees. This pretty much rules out gravel for shared use paths, such as the Put.

  • Joe R.

    Actually, I did that ride virtually in Google Maps and the speed limit is 30 mph, except for the last block or two before 72nd Street where it’s posted at 25 mph.

    It’s a pity we’re beholden to the gods of parking. I was thinking what a nice bike route this would make if you put a 2-way protected bike lane on the river side of Riverside Drive. Not enough room to protect it with parking, so you would need jersey barriers or fences instead. You could design it like the PPW bike lane—the traffic signals don’t apply to the bike lane (no need for it since there would be no motor traffic across the bike lane). Just put up a flashing yellow yield to pedestrians, same as the PPW lane. This would make it a great run from Washington Heights to 72nd Street.

  • Vooch

    no it doesn’t

    All over Europe are pea gravel bike paths that are merely decently graded dirt tracks with a inch or so of pea gravel on top. And the current path isn’t ADA either.

  • Just to be clear, it’s down in the 30s where the posted speed limit on Eleventh Avenue was 20.

    Anyway, Riverside Drive is a significant hill; I wouldn’t recommend riding it going north. So that might not be the best place for a two-way bike lane. (There are some nutty cyclists who actually seek out climbs; for them Riverside Drive going north might be fun. But I wouldn’t want to induce ordinary cyclists to take that street in that direction.)

  • sbauman

    So far as I can tell, all parts of the Put within Van Cortlandt Park lie within the United States. As such, its construction is subject to the rules set forth in this country. The Put expansion in Van Cortlandt is being financed by a grant from the USDOT and must obey FHWA guidelines. Moreover, the grant is for a shared use path which means the section within Van Cortlandt must be ADA compliant.

    Here’s a link to what the FHWA expects for gravel roads:

    https://www.mdt.mt.gov/publications/docs/brochures/research/toolbox/FHWA/gravelman.pdf#page=13

    This section describes the problems encountered with badly designed crowns. Here’s the link to the 4 degree specification

    https://www.mdt.mt.gov/publications/docs/brochures/research/toolbox/FHWA/gravelman.pdf#page=22

  • Vooch

    just a trifle pendantic today aren’t we