Today’s Headlines

  • Parking Ticket Issues Drop in Brooklyn and the Bronx (News)
  • Angry Motorist Says Placard Abuse Rampant on Roosevelt Island (News)
  • Some Wonder If Yankee Garages Were Intended for Park-and-Ride (City Limits)
  • Are Stadium and Mega-Mall Evidence of ‘Booming’ Bronx? (News)
  • Speeding Drivers Terrorize Windsor Terrace (Brooklyn Eagle)
  • Federal Panel Recommends Gas Tax Hike to Pay for Roads, Transit (Post)
  • Cato Institute Guy Recommends Fee for Cyclists (LA Times
  • Congestion Pricing Approved for Area Airports (News)
  • MTA Looks at High Speed Tolling (MTR)
  • Delhi Cyclists Determined to Counter Auto Invasion (BBC)
  • Nissan Executive Says Car Culture Is Fading (Fortune via Carfree USA)
  • Jonathan

    The City Limits article is weirdly written; the author spends most of the words discussing potential effects of opening the garages year-round in terms of park-and-rides and congestion pricing, then buries Sen. Serrano’s hard-to-argue point that adding parking in that neighborhood will encourage workers there to drive instead of taking mass transit.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Hey Brennan, one reason drivers back up along Prospect Park Southwest and Prospect Park West, crawl through Park Circle, etc. rather than just staying on the Prospect Expressway is…

    They are on their way to the free bridges, and trying to avoid the BQE back-up at the split for the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and entrance to the BQE, full of people trying to avoid paying for the tunnel.

    If all the bridges had tolls, you’d have more people taking the Brooklyn-Battery, Queens Midtown Tunnel and Triboro, and fewer jamming up the Harlem River and East River Bridges.

    Anyone who drives knows that the northbound BQE always backs up as five lanes of traffic tries to squeeze into two lanes heading for the free bridges, as the toll plaza for the Brooklyn-Battery is mostly empty. Even on weekends. There is a second back-up at the exit to the Brooklyn Bridge, one made more spine-tingling by the blind curve.

  • Jonathan

    You’d think for a local paper, the Brooklyn Eagle could at least get the names of the affected streets right. That’s Caton Avenue they’re talking about, which is also eastbound NY 27 through to Linden Blvd, and Prospect Park Southwest. The article mentions “Canton” and “Prospect Park West.”

    As to your point, Larry, what I find most spinetingling on the eastbound Gowanus is watching big trucks barrel down the second lane from the left (tunnel-bound), then merging to their right onto I-278 toward the free bridges. Heaven help the poor driver who fails to yield. The traffic around the exit lane for the Brooklyn Bridge is mild in comparison, I’ve found.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (What I find most spinetingling on the eastbound Gowanus is watching big trucks barrel down the second lane from the left (tunnel-bound), then merging to their right onto I-278 toward the free bridges.)

    You must drive during times of low traffic. I’ve often found that the FAR LEFT lane is often jammed with people trying to squeeze right at the last moment, backing up access to the tunnel even for those willing to pay. So it’s better to head for the tunnel on the local streets.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Oh, and the same thing works in reverse, as three lanes of the Southbound FDR back up due to people trying to squeeze on the Brooklyn Bridge tunnel approach, blocking access to the BBT.

  • Jason A.

    re:Cato Institute Guy Recommends Fee for Cyclists

    Why are all “libertarians” (Cato, Reason Magazine…) such staunch defenders of personal automobile travel? For a political philosophy that supposedly promotes “individual liberty” and “independence,” I’d be hard pressed to think of anything (non-military) more demanding of government support than our nations’ over-reliance on the automobile.

    For a group that never lets up over the ghosts of “big government,” they sure do belly ache quite a bit over the need for more government support of roads, bridges infrastructure etc…

    What’s more, I’d think cycling would be considered the natural friend of libertarianism. Human powered transport is a more honest expression of individualism. As a commuting cyclist, I’m free from the controlling hand of: insurance companies, car payments, garage fees, gas prices etc…

    To me, car ownership is a pretty obvious form of servitude – something “libertarians” supposedly abhor.

    As for road fees for cycling? I’d be all for it if the fee was based on vehicle weight and applied uniformly on the road. I’d gladly pay a few dollars a year to ride my bike, if it meant asphalt chewing SUVs and big trucks finally paid for their fair share of road upkeep.

  • Jonathan

    Larry, I don’t mind so much when people merge out of my lane, so it’s not such a problem when I’m heading to the tunnel, but you are definitely correct on both counts; I’m a non-rush-hour Gowanus driver, and imprudent, cheapskate motorists jam the tunnel lanes while intending a late merge onto eastbound I-278.

    A while back on Streetsblog someone suggested closing off the BQE exit ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge in order to put in a bike lane there. An excellent idea if CP is implemented, otherwise folks will just drive counterclockwise around Cadman Plaza to get on the bridge at Tillary Street.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (A while back on Streetsblog someone suggested closing off the BQE exit ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge in order to put in a bike lane there. An excellent idea if CP is implemented).

    I see it more as a poltical backlash idea if CP is NOT implemented.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Re: BB issues. I have heard anecdotally that the Brooklyn Bridge does not have all that long a future for vehicle use. There are apparently engineering issues that may limit its use to pedestrians and bicycles, conceivable with trolleys to prolong its life span and retain its landmark value.

  • Nic, that’s some anecdote you heard. I hope they start with enforcing the prohibition on larger SUVs that exceed the weight limit. Nothing would please me more than Hummer owners being kicked off first.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Those are the present regs and should be followed, its not just the Hummers. I would love to see it closed to vehicles but if it becomes a cash cow that would raise additional issues.

  • Jonathan

    Nic, JSK mentions work on the Brooklyn Bridge scheduled for 2010 here, but nothing about “engineering issues that may limit its use.” Your story seems false to me; even the Williamsburg Bridge was only closed to traffic for a couple months at most back in 1988 when they thought it was unsafe, but then they reduced traffic volume and repaired the bridge.

  • anonymous

    the deck of the brooklyn bridge is being replaced.
    the travelers were recently repaired making for better inspection access. and the towers are as solid as when they went up.

    that rumor is bogus.

  • drewo

    #6 Jason A: I’m a libertarian and I support your message! I try to explain these ideas to my fellow libertarians, who grouse about proposed congestion pricing or tolls on the East River crossings. I think the big problem is that most of them have bought into car culture, and have not been on a bicycle for decades. Many of them don’t understand that their “freedom of movement” in their automobiles is an imposition on others.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    One of the best things that happened to bridge repair and inspection, and road building in general, was that bridge collapse up in Minnesota. Unfortunately, it has also become another arrow in the quiver of those in the “donor” states, who pay more in per capita in fuel taxes than they get out, who want to redirect funds from mass transit to roads. Unfortunately again, lots of them are Democrats.

    Sorry I brought it up, I try to stick to the facts. Nice thought though.