The Week in Review

  • The city launched its first ever cyclist/motorist safety campaign on Tuesday. Inspired by the 2005 death of cyclist Liz Byrne, ads will appear on bus shelters, buses and taxis encouraging cyclists to "Look" for one another while sharing the road. At the same time, Transportation Alternatives and the New York City Bicycle Coalition — which helped develop the "Look" campaign — called on the city to step up enforcement of driving laws and to implement more effective bike lane designs. Shortly thereafter, in the spirit of tougher enforcement, officers in Central Park began issuing warnings to commuters — bike commuters, that is.
  • Two days later, DOT unveiled plans for a new physically-separated bike lane, or "cycle track," to be installed along seven blocks in the Meatpacking District. This turned out to be the week’s hottest thread, with some commenters weeping for joy — including StreetFilms’ Clarence Eckerson, who wrote: "Okay, look folks let’s debate it, constructively criticize it, offer up
    suggestions but let’s give it a shot. We have a DOT which is thinking
    outside the box and is finally willing to experiment … If DOT is talking to Gehl, that means they’ll be open to evaluating how
    it works when they (hopefully) try it out in some other places in the
    future." Red Hook got new bike lanes, and more are coming (though not of the cycle track variety), while citizen groups offered up a plan for improvements to Myrtle Ave.
  • Streetsblog published an extensive conversation with Rohit Aggarwala, NYC’s Director of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability and lead author of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC. Aaron Naparstek posed to Aggarwala many of the questions that critics of congestion pricing keep asking, regardless of how many times those very same questions are addressed. Said Aggarwala: "I’m kind of used to it at this point." Find your favorite congestion pricing question and response in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 or Part 4 of our interview.
  • An expected vote on the Yankee Stadium parking garage subsidy was not on the agenda of the Bronx Borough Board, which is legally required to vote on the item before the Industrial Development Agency can make a final decision on issuing that $225 million in tax exempt bonds. Also, in order to make money on the pollution-ridden South Bronx decks, operators plan to keep them open year-round, perhaps drawing traffic from a newly identified car-happy set of young suburban transplants.
  • The week ended with National Park(ing) Day, a tradition whose roots can be traced to Oklahoma City in 1935, when motorists protested the installation of newfangled Park-o-Meters. Over two dozen public space reclamations were set to take place across the boroughs, though it is unclear if participants reached their ultimate goal, as articulated by @alex: "Ideally, Park(ing) Day should get enough overwrought press that people
    will decide not to drive in(to) the city at all, for fear that all the
    parking spaces will be occupied by a bunch of crazy eco-hippies." And in this corner, representing the overwrought contingent, will be Dude, via Curbed: "These stupid hipster stunts have got to stop! They don’t prove anything and were a total inconvinence to drivers. NYPD needs to round these "artists" up and start to bust some heads."

Image: Park(ing) Day postcard, with illustration by Tom Keough, courtesy Transportation Alternatives

  • JK

    This is an excellent new feature. I continue to be impressed by Streetsblog and way it conveys an immense amount of information in a easy to follow way. While you jump from the neighborhood to the national to the global, it all makes sense and fits together. The newsmaker interview with Rit Aggarwala was fine journalism and included a wide range of good questions. Fine work all around.

  • momos

    A “week in review” is a great idea. This week there were so many important stories and fantastic posts that if readers let too much time lapse between logging on they might’ve missed something. This is a great way to recap and alert people to something they may have missed.

    I’ve been really impressed with Streetsblog this week. You’ve been in top form, from the Aggarwala interview to breaking the 9th Ave bike track story… wow! Keep it up, Streetsblog!

    (I’m still in shock and trembling with joy at the bike track news… this is a story you have to keep tabs on.)

  • epc

    City and MTA agree to fix the traffic signals along Park Avenue above the Grand Central railyard: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/22/nyregion/22walkdontwalk.html

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    That’s great news, Epc! I remember complaining about this at least ten years ago, and getting the same answer. But that answer didn’t explain why they couldn’t stick walk/don’t walk signs on the existing poles. Sander and Sadik-Khan deserve a big round of applause for breaking through the bureaucratic nonsense.

  • epc

    The MTA’s earlier objections seem odd since the control boxes are above ground (I understand that the city’s standard standards may need more than 24 inches of depth, but as you wrote why not place pedestrian signals on the existing poles).

    I just spent two weeks in Australia where pedestrian signals are audible (louder during the day, quieter at night) and pedestrians get a head start across the intersection before traffic gets a green. It’s standardized at the Federal level, so it’s the same in Sydney, Melbourne, etc. A side effect is that there’s no long queue of cars waiting to make a turn since the pedestrians have usually cleared the intersection by the time traffic gets a green.

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