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