Is a 1.3 mph Increase in Crosstown Traffic Speed “Innovative?”


The Staten Island Advance reports on Monday’s press conference outlining the qualities that leading City Council members would like to see in the next DOT Commissioner. The Bloomberg Administration
responded to the Council with the following statement:

The Mayor will appoint a commissioner who will carry out policies to meet the sustainability challenges he outlined in his ‘2030’ speech and will continue [outgoing DOT] Commissioner Weinshall’s work reducing pedestrian fatalities and increasing safety for all New Yorkers through the implementation of innovative programs like Thru Streets.

The Advance also notes: 

Bloomberg, who with Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden pushed through the unprecedented bans on smoking and trans fats, should take that same intrepid approach with the next transportation commissioner, said Gene Russianoff, attorney with the Straphangers Campaign.

Meanwhile, a source inside DOT Commissioner Weinshall’s office says that Deputy Commissioner for Traffic Operations Michael Primeggia, who is often credited by Weinshall as the architect of DOT’s Thru Streets program, is "being considered" for the commissioner’s job.

  • gelston hinds

    Re the idea of Primeggia as the next commissioner
    Does anyone else share the concern that DOT is excessively PROJECT-driven — that is, by the transportation construction industry — and that it would be a good idea to bring in someone from outside the agency (even the city) to get rid of this?

    Is the commissioner the only appointed position in the agency?

  • Thru Streets

    Primeggia aside, Thru Streets bans turning on green — which is good for pedestrians. NYC is only city to have no right on red. Thru Streets is no right on green or red.

    That source at Weinshall’s office is busy yanking a lot of chains.

  • Thru Streets is a fine thing. It’s an improvement. When it’s enforced by NYPD, it helps both peds and traffic a little bit, it seems.

    But “innovative?”

    Someone in city government tell me this: Does City Hall and DOT really believe that Thru Streets is a major innovation for NYC transpo policy?

  • someguy

    I guess in an atmosphere where innovative and creative policies are discouraged, nay feasted on by reactionary, philistine politicians, it’s all relative, Aaron 🙂

  • JK

    Thru Streets is an “innovation.” Is it “major?” No. It’s a decent idea, not something to list first. Lots and lots of Thru Streets level innovations added together would add up to major changes. (See Jan Gehl again.)

    But even small innovations are not coming nearly fast enough to create the sense that the city is coming to grips with tremendous traffic issues that are seriously crimping the quest to become a more livable city. City Hall seems far behind public expectations. It’s not 1990 when 300 plus pedestrians a year were getting killed and subway tracks were on fire. It’s 2007, London is years into congestion pricing and major pedestrianizations, and the mayor of Paris aims to cut traffic by 40% in a couple of decades!

  • James

    What would be innovative? Letting go of a hundred year’s worth of unplanned catastrophe and asking a few pertinent questions:
    How many vehicles do we need to allow through/into/out-from each neghborhood a day (along with the obvious; Which vehicles have precendence?) city-wide?
    Should the Public-ways of NYC be the sole domain of one agency? If so, why not Fire or Public Health or Taxi?
    Where do we put origination points of essential street-mobile public services [mass-transit access, FDNY, Sanitation, schools, [hospitals], and to a lesser degree NYPD, still lesser degree the others] and from those choices decide parametrically how to use our roadways?
    Private concerns ought to be consulted but not drive the decision-making, of course we want cement and boxed-goods to be delivered “on time” but these streets belong to us citizens and the next NYers not to the businesses and certainly not to the commuters (n.b., even according to the recent news titled the other-way-around, nearly half the Manhattan daily traffic is from non-city-resident non-taxpayer drivers).
    I’d never for an instant think a business-person has the interests of this city at heart when it comes to questions of this scale so I’m not surprised that we’re still asking the old questions with this otherwise (somewhat) progressive administration. It is not a matter of how to serve the individual vehicle — this city was a chartered city with damn near 6 million in population and Mr. Roebling had the Brooklyn Bridge in the works before anyone here owned an internal combustion personal vehicle — so don’t tell me it is about serving the vehicle, this city needs to reclaim its soul.
    New York City is a people city, of neighborhoods spread-out and neighborhoods in-a-block, but all about the neighborhoods.


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