Today’s Headlines

  • Quinn: Human-Powered Vehicles "Never Going to Be the Answer" (Voice)
  • Subway Ridership Up, Bus Numbers Dip (AMNY)
  • Mixed Reactions to Subway Congestion Pricing (News)
  • Markowitz Will Replace Dolly Williams on Planning Commission (News)
  • Objections Arise to ‘Forced’ Tree Plan (Sun)
  • Weakening US Economy May Not Affect Oil Prices (NYT)
  • San Fran Moves on Bike Sharing Program (Chronicle)
  • ABC’s New Carpooling Show in Trouble (TV Decoder)
  • Commutes Negate ‘Green’ Building Positives (Planetizen)
  • gecko

    Excellent article in the Voice about Speaker Quinn and the suppression of pedicabs.

    Human-powered vehicles should be a major portion of transportation agendas including the one at CUNY (Bronx) today.

    With climate change, any vehicle that moves more than a half ton of steel and glass to move a single person is not sustainable. The vehicles are unsustainable and the infrastructures required to support these vehicles are unsustainable and if things continue the way they are going they will likely end up as spare parts in a future of real “Road Warrior” scenarios.

    Besides being completely unsustainable and extremely wasteful, current transportation and systems do not work, or work well with automobiles as the poster child killing 1,250,000 annually — the greatest cause of death to people under thirty — and a major contributor to the rapid destruction of an environment capable of supporting life on earth as we know it.

    Immediately prior to 911 there were people “with their hair on fire” warning about the potential for disaster and the current administration did nothing.

    With climate change the situation is infinitely worse with many times more people in-the-know with their “hair on fire”.

    Yet, this conference is business as usual and does not speak to the extreme urgency of climate change.

    None of the vehicles at this conference’s website come even close:

    Even worse, this conference by all appearances will be quite boring.

    No mention is made of human-scale and hybrid human-electric transport and transit which can provide the type of positive disruptive change to developed world transportation and systems and being fully scalable to use in the developing world will greatly mitigate its disastrous roll in the accelerating climate change crisis.

    One-half billion people used human-scale transport in China to bring it into the twentieth century. Copying the disaster of developed-world transportation threatens to set it back further than from where it started and along with the rest of the world.

  • Quinn really is out of touch. Her hostility to pedicabs is so unbelievable and irrational.

  • greg

    she’s gonna run for mayor
    is trying to win the cabbie vote

  • ddartley

    re Quinn: Those accusations about her closeness to that lobbyist, Emily Giske, certainly backfired at least a little in that she got to act righeously indignant, and it all probably closed her mind even more to sensible transport advocacy.

    Nevertheless, she is so destructively wrong on this issue, and I hope to see a huge intelligent movement opposing her candidacy, should she run for mayor.

  • ddartley

    Great job, streetsblog earning the (uncredited) shout out in the Daily News story on Dolly Williams!

  • ddartley

    And if I’m going to talk about “uncredited,” I should also commend Uncivilservants and the “knowledgeable tipster” who submitted the pictures of Williams’ car there.

  • gecko

    On his weekly radio show today (October 5, 2007) Bloomberg was asked to encourage the use of bicycles and walking, especially as a real impact on global warming.

    He said he agreed with the caller and described the Paris bicycle system using 10,000 public bikes and that he thought that there should be no limits on pedicabs in New York City.

    An archived version of the radio broadcast has been posted at:

    “Live from City Hall with Mayor Mike and John Gambling”
    Friday, October 5, 2007 (30 minutes and 10 seconds into the show)

    An MP3 copy of the radio broadcast can also be downloaded from this location.

  • Ian Turner


    Not irrational, just cynical.

  • gecko

    It is difficult to fathom the magic of these simple machines coupled with the tenacity and depth of human power.

    NYTimes: Just a Bike Race, You Say? Think Again
    “David Gordon Wilson, an emeritus professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of “Bicycling Science” (MIT Press, 2004), calculated that Tour riders generate 400 watts of power when they are riding up mountains or trying to break away from the pack. An average person riding a bicycle and working as hard as possible puts out 150 to 200 watts, he said.”

    Scientific American July 2007 page 34:
    Data Points
    Tour de Energy
    Each day Tour de France cyclists expend
    incredible amounts of energy, especially
    during the mountain stages. We asked
    mechanical engineer David Gordon
    Wilson of the Massachusetts Institute of
    Technology and author of Bicycling
    Science to calculate energy output and
    other intriguing statistics associated
    with this year’s grueling stage 14, which
    takes place on July 22. On the following
    day, during stage 15, the riders will do as
    much work again. —Mark Fischetti

    Elevation: 338 meters
    Mount Everest
    Elevation: 8,848 m

    Tour de France STAGE 14
    Start: Mazamet
    Elevation: 338 meters

    Segment distance: 100 kilometers
    (46.5 km after start to 146.5 km)

    Pedal rotations: 17,000

    In joules: 4 million
    In stairs climbed: 34,400
    In Empire State Buildings walked up: 18.5

    In calories: 4,000
    In 16-oz. bottles of Mountain Dew: 18

    Stage distance: 197 kilometers

    In ascents up Mount Everest*: 1

    By Tour de France rider: 1.2 kilowatts
    By four-slice toaster: 1.1 kilowatts

    Finish: Plateau-de-Beille
    Elevation: 1,780 m

  • gecko

    Planetizens’ “Commutes Negate ‘Green’ Building Positives synopsis of complete coverage at “Driving to Green Buildings” further affirms the importance of cities mitigating climate change and that green buildings require green transportation.