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

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

City to Unveil ‘Look’ Bike Safety Campaign

|
The New York City Department of Transportation will announce its anticipated new bike safety initiative at noon today in the South Plaza of Union Square.  From Transportation Alternatives:  Transportation Alternatives is proud to be part of New York City’s first citywide education campaign targeting cyclists and motorists, which will be officially launched later today. Developed […]

Are “Directional Miles of Bike Lanes” a Good Metric?

|
Monday night I attended Manhattan Community Board 8’s pedestrian and cycling safety forum. There was an All-Star cast of panelists. Former DOT Commissioner Sam Schwartz, Manhattan DOT Commissioner Margaret Forgione and Director of Street Management and Safety Ryan Russo, Matthew Bauer of the Madison Ave BID, Traffic Enforcement Agents as well as other transportation experts. There were the usual complaints […]

On the Way Home, Ride for a Protected Bike Lane on Delancey

|
This evening, Adopt-a-Bike-Lane and Transportation Alternatives will launch a campaign for a protected bike lane on Delancey Street by leading escorted "bike commuter pools" across the Williamsburg Bridge. Reads a TA press release: "The thousands who ride on Delancey every day shouldn’t feel like they are taking their lives in their own hands," says Marin […]