NYC Gets its First Pedestrian Countdown Timer

ped_countdown.jpgYesterday, the Department of Transportation installed New York City’s very first pedestrian countdown timer at the intersection of Coney Island Avenue and Kings Highway in Brooklyn. Gothamist, as usual, does a nice treatment of the story and roundup of the coverage.

The thing I found most interesting about yesterday’s news was the fact that Mayor Bloomberg actually showed alongside DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall at yesterday’s press conference.

The New York Times story gives a bit of insight into the Mayor’s thinking on these matters and some back-and-forth within the Administration:

Mayor Bloomberg has been a fan of the countdown signals, but Iris Weinshall, the city’s transportation commissioner, had some doubts. "The mayor for a number of years has talked to me about countdown signals," she said at the news conference yesterday. "He saw them in other cities. It was, I think, a very good exchange back and forth as to whether we should put them up or not."

In some cities where the countdown signals are used, officials have noticed that elderly people, in particular, tended to underestimate the length of time it would take them to cross. The mayor acknowledged that concern but said: "I’d rather give people information and then let them make decisions. Hopefully most of them will make intelligent decisions."

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

DOT Culture: Stifling Innovation on NYC’s Streets?

|
Upon re-reading this morning’s Times article on the new pedestrian countdown timers, I think it’s worth taking a closer look at this statement DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall made at yesterday’s pedestrian countdown press conference. As reported: Mayor Bloomberg has been a fan of the countdown signals, but Iris Weinshall, the city’s transportation commissioner, had some […]

NYC DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall Resigns

|
Commissioner Iris Weinshall is leaving New York City’s Department of Transportation for a job as Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction and Management at the City University of New York. The Department of Transportation press office says that Weinshall will stay on for another ten weeks. Her last day on the job will be Friday, […]

The Iris Weinshall Renaissance

|
DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall’s speech was, for many long-time Livable Streets advocates, the single most remarkable aspect of yesterday’s Manhattan Transportation Policy Conference. As Jon Orcutt at TSTC noted, Weinshall’s speech "laid out an array of measures to improve New York’s pedestrian and bicycling environments, soften the quality of life impacts of heavy traffic, and […]

Good Riddance to the Prospect Park West Bike Lane Lawsuit

|
The people suing to remove the Prospect Park West bike lane have given up, more than five years after initiating a lawsuit that nearly sank New York City’s bike program. In a statement, Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes and Seniors for Safety (“organizations” that, to the best of my knowledge, now stand in for two people — former […]

The NBBL Files: PPW Foes Pursued Connections to Reverse Public Process

|
Editor’s note: With yesterday’s appellate ruling prolonging the Prospect Park West case, Streetsblog is running a refresher on the how the well-connected gang of bike lane opponents waged their assault against a popular and effective street safety project. This is the fifth installment from the six-part NBBL Files. This piece originally ran on November 10, 2011. This is […]

Pedestrian Interference

|
  Left to right: New York City Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner/Senior Policy Advisor David Woloch, Commissioner Iris Weinshall, a procurement and technical servicea aide and City Councilmembers John Liu and Gale Brewer. As I saw it, the three big bullet points to come out of yesterday’s City Council Transportation Committee hearing on Intro. 199, […]