Today’s Headlines

  • Yesterday Was the Hottest October 9 on Record (NOAA)
  • Energy Companies Tap the Polar Frontier (NYT)
  • Stockholm’s New Green Suburb: Buses Run on Sewage Gases! (Building)
  • Bloomberg: We Need Transit That is Faster, Better, More Pleasurable (News)
  • More Highway Travel Lanes = More Greenhouse Gases (Planetizen
  • Cities See Cycling as a Mode of Transportation (USA Today)
  • Sadik-Khan Message to Hedge Fund Guys: "Bike is the New Golf" (AP)
  • Obama Proposes Deep Greenhouse Gas Cuts (NYT)
  • Westchester Considers Bike Helmet Law (Newsday)
  • Albany Senate Republicans Wonder if its Time to Get to Work (Sun)
  • Yankee Stadium Parking is Expensive: Councilman Wants Investigation (Sun)
  • No Charges Likely for Taxi Driver Who Killed Ped (Sun, News)
  • NYFD Chief’s Father Killed by Drunk Driver in Queens (NYT, News)
  • Larry Littlefield

    Yesterday didn’t just break the record high temperature, it obliterated it.

  • gecko

    Nice AP article of sadik-khan.

    $1Million does seem even close for making bicycle and pedestrian travel really safe which will not only save lives but make transportation a lot better being a great multiuse of funds and much more bang for the buck.

    Real change has been accelerating compared to the past, but the faster the better as the start has been from a relative dead stop.

  • alex

    Is it really an “accident” if the taxi was speeding?
    Investigators could easily use the same cameras that showed he was “cut off” to determine if he was speeding. If he were driving the speed limit I doubt he would have hit 3 people and killed 1.

  • Ali

    Of course it’s not an “accident.” It’s a “crash.”

    The NYPD has more empathy for the speeding motorist than the pedestrian walking on the street.

  • gecko

    Oops! $1Million does NOT seem even close for making bicycle and pedestrian travel really safe.

  • ddartley

    Yes, the AP article on Sadik-Khan was nice, but I wish Noah Budnick hadn’t sounded so bleak and discouraging about bike parking on the street.

    He says you just can’t park on the street all day.

    I know this isn’t perfect, but if you have good lock(s) and chain(s), in a lot of places you can. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but I’ve been doing it for two of the four years I’ve been commuting. Yes, I’ve gotten some dings, and some pieces of #$% have tried to steal it, but never successfully.

    If there are people out there who MIGHT be willing to carry heavy chains, etc., around with them, we’d have more bike commuters and subsequently safer streets.

    (But yes, of course I support an indoor parking law and more bike racks)

  • ddartley

    Sorry-accidentally omitted something:

    Those cyclists who MIGHT consider carrying a chain around them–with them in mind, people like TA should avoid discouraging words like Noah’s quote in the AP/Sadik-Khan article.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    I agree, D. I’ve bike commuted off and on and been a regular rider in NYC for about seven years. I’ve always keept the bike inside my apartment, but locked it up outside wherever I went, and never had a bike stolen. Maybe it’s because I ride old, beat-up looking bikes that nobody felt like stealing, but it’s true.

    I sympathize with people who have had bikes stolen, I’m sure it’s a deterrent, and I support more secure bike parking, but I think Noah went overboard in saying, “You just can’t park your bike on the street all day in New York.”

  • drose

    I just started bike commuting this summer, and one of the reasons I did it is because my employer installed a Saris rack that completely locks one’s bike – frame and both tires. It’s probably too expensive for the city to provide these, but perhaps more forward-thinking businesses could be asked to pony up money – voluntarily or otherwise – to provide better, more secure racks for their employees.

  • Agreed with Angus and D.

    Though it’s a skill one must learn, it is by no means a foregone conclusion that one will get one’s bike stolen in New York City.

    * have a very good lock to secure the frame to the thing you are locking to
    * and a secondary lock or other means (security bolts or locking skewers) to secure the wheels and seat.
    * make sure it’s not locked where a shop owner will have it removed
    * or a truck will back in to it
    * or where it will fall over and be run over by a parking car.

  • re: the AP story, i really disagree that the #1 reason people don’t ride is because of bike theft. amongst the people i know who won’t consider riding a bike in NYC, safety is BY FAR the #1 consideration.

  • Jonathan

    I agree with Angus, D. and Jim. I’ve been parking my bike on the street during the day (It’s parked in the apartment when I’m home, however) for seven years, using a heavy chain and U-lock, and never had it stolen.

    I would like also to remind people leery of bike theft that an ordinary renters-insurance policy covers theft of your bike (and your iPod, your camera, your cellphone, your fur, any of your possessions) no matter where you park it.

  • JK

    It is inaccurate to characterize the recent bike improvements as coming from a “relatively dead stop” as Gecko does in #2. Over the last 10 years the critical backbone of bike infrastructure was painstackingly put in place: East River Bridge paths and the Hudson River Greenway in particular; though many other buffered on-street lanes as well. Commissioner Sadik-Khan’s enthusiasm for cycling,willingness to try new things and embrace of Danish innovator Jan Gehl are very exciting and deserve applause. But the new DOT regime has been in place only since May and the apparent surge in cycling is based in improvements and demographic changes that have occured over years, not five months.
    As for Noah’s comments, they are based on a number of large surveys of people identified as the most likely to ride to work if certain changes were made. Among this group, secure bike parking is consistently the most important obstacle cited. I believe cycling in NYC would double within months if workplaces provided easily accessible, secure parking.

  • Ian D

    Anne (#11):

    My findings are much different, but that may be reflective of our neighborhoods. In my area, Greenwich Village and SoHo, where most of us live in tiny spaces, everyone complains that they’d have a bike if they just had somewhere to keep it. That issue kept me from having a bike for years – it’s only because I do a lot of work around my building that I now have access to the basement and a place to keep our bikes in relative safety.

  • Ian D

    And re: #1 — no kidding! Notice that JFK exceeded their previous record by 15 deg. – that’s unheard of! Bridgeport set their record by 11 degrees – also astounding.

    These locations, and several others, also set their October all-time records. You did get the memo that autumn has been cancelled this year, right?

  • Spud Spudly

    I don’t understand why being “cut-off” is an excuse for that cabbie who ran up on the sidewalk and killed the guy. Maybe when you’re cut-off and have a choice of hitting another car or going up on the curb and taking out an entire family you should HIT THE OTHER CAR! In fact, you should do everything possible to avoid going up on the curb where people are standing, even if it means hitting something else.

    Just a thought.

  • steve

    I think Anne and JK are both right–there are many occasional/recreational bicyclists who might begin daily bicycle commuting if secure parking materialized. There is also a relatively distinct group of bicyclists and non-bicyclists that are deterred more by concern for safety than theft.

  • seriously

    Further, if the cabbie who got cut off was going 31 mph, he’s got to be held partly repsonsible. Speed really does kill. This incident demonstrates once again that urban driving is not a game.

  • Spud Spudly

    Seriously, seriously. I’ve been driving in this city for over 23 years and I’ve been cut off countless times, and I have never once driven up onto the sidewalk. This cabbie’s in the country for 17 months and already has killed a pedestrian. So what if he was “cut-off?”

  • steve

    The press account linked above says police suspect the cabbie hit the accelerator rather than the brake after being cut off and that was the cause of him going up on the curb. Maybe with an 85 y/o motorist I would buy it, but not with a cab driver. He would have had to have his foot on the accelerator for an extended period–at least a few seconds–to build sufficient speed to jump the curb with enough force remaining to kill once there.

  • gecko

    jk, not to belittle the long hard slog required to get to the current point and those dedicated people who heroically moved things forward, it “seems” that the expectation levels are really low because it’s been so difficult in the past and things won’t really start taking off until there are 500,000 daily cyclists just like during the last transit strike where a 400% increase happened overnight and can happen again.