Today’s Headlines

  • New York Times: City Needs Congestion Pricing, Especially Below 60th Street
  • The Best Way to Get Trucks Out of Bike Lanes? Parking Reform (Alpie)
  • Water Taxi Suspends South Brooklyn Service (Post, Curbed)
  • Ted Kheel Talks to Metro About Free Subways
  • Five Intersections in Hipster Williamsburg Get New Stoplights (Metro)
  • Subway Surveillance is Over Budget, Behind Schedule (Post, News, AP)
  • TLC Secret Agents to Keep Cabbies in Line (Post, News, City Room)
  • Cop Who Mowed Down Fellow Officer Gets Reduced Sentence (Post, News, AM)
  • Related’s Pier 40 Proposal Will Add Traffic, Harm Bikeway (Villager)
  • Proposed 125th Street Rezoning Inflames Passions (Curbed)
  • US Ranked Last Among G8 Nations in Environmental Performance (NYT)
  • BRT Better for Kansas City Than Light Rail, Say Libertarians (KC Star)
  • moocow

    “Best way to get trucks out of bike lanes?”

    I am beginning to believe that there are three things that won’t cost the city billions but will get our desired ‘Street Renaissance”:

    1. Enforcement. Yeah right, I don’t believe the NYPD can change it’s revolting self, but if they actually did the job they are commissioned to do, like ticket cars that break laws, then the streets would be safer and more livable.

    2. remove private vehicle parking from many commercial areas. That is where the money is being lost it seems, in traffic and delivery delays. If people really need to double park somewhere, does that car that is on the inside, often just left there, reaping the benefits of ‘Free Car Storage”, need to be there? i.e. Ride down 5th ave in Bklyn and look at the double parked trucks with the personal cars at the curb.

    3. Lower speed limits for non human powered vehicles to a crawl, and enforce it. Again, yeah right.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (Lower speed limits for non human powered vehicles to a crawl, and enforce it. Again, yeah right.)

    Or just signal timing for slower speeds and red light cameras.

    I actually liked the CP suggestions in the NY SUN. Essentially a bridge toll plan, but with one free trip per month for those with NY plates, and free trips for those going to the doctor or hospital.

    The latter would be ripe for massive abuse. But the former is a good idea, as it gets rid of the criticism of those who HAVE TO drive to Manhattan for health care, entertainment or shopping by car.

    Perhaps there could be two free trips per month.

  • moocow

    I believe many lights are timed to limit speed at or below the citywide limit, and yet you still have people running them, and you can still get moving quite fast within one block length. If NYC could make it an anomaly to see a car moving at 30 or 20mph, (unless on the outer highways [which should be the next target for change]),I believe we would see less cars and we would all be safer on the sidewalks and streets.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I have the impression that after the one-way brouhaha, the signal timing on 8th Avenue in Park Slope was slowed.

    I base this on driving the avenue from time to time. It seems that 20 to 22 mph will allow you to keep up with the lights on a day with limited traffic (which is when I’m likely to be driving). That wasn’t true before. Anyone else agree?

  • lee

    i’m pretty sure the sequencing speed is not uniform throughout the city. IIRC Queens Blvd is at 25mph. There are other streets in brooklyn and manhattan that are set to 40mph – I’m pretty sure I read that on streetsblog.

    the light progressions are set at whatever speed will move the most traffic, not what is safest for peds and cyclists.

  • Eric

    Larry, you are correct. DOT and CB6 held a meeting in Park Slope last Thursday, and they talked about the changed timings on 8th Avenue. They did slow the progressions, and according to DOT, the average speed on the stretch has dropped from something like 26 mph to 22 mph (I didn’t jot down the figures, so someone please correct me if I’m wrong — Chris Hrones, are you out there?).

    There’s still too much speeding, though, since someone behind the progressions can drive well above the speed limit to catch up. But it is an improvement.

  • Ryan

    Does no one else think free subways invite a whole other host of problems? I’d be in favor of a dramatic cut in subway ride costs (maybe a $1/ride, $30 monthly unlimited cards), but I don’t think I can say “free subway? that’s amazing!”

    I can see more people making the subway their home or safety becoming more of an issue without the turnstyles to turn away those who want to just troll the subway platforms.

  • Ace

    Ryan: I had the same thought. The stop and enter allows time for safety checks. A nominal fee might cut down the number of people not using the subway for travel.

  • Josh

    From the NY Times CP article:

    “There are other duds, including the idea — sure to die in Albany — of putting tolls on toll-free bridges over the East and Harlem Rivers.”

    Tolling may or may not be the way to do it, but they need to come up with a way to correct the traffic flow imbalance that leads to huge amounts of congestion at the free bridges and unused capacity at the Battery Tunnel, Midtown Tunnel and Triborough Bridge. (Forgive my ignorance – the Queensboro Bridge is toll-free, right?)

  • Larry Littlefield

    (The average speed on the stretch has dropped from something like 26 mph to 22 mph There’s still too much speeding, though, since someone behind the progressions can drive well above the speed limit to catch up.)

    I wonder what would be the effect if, hanging next to the stoplights, there were signs that said “Lights Timed For 22 MPH” or “Lights Timed For 38 MPH.”?

    I see several benefits.

    Auto advocates wouldn’t object, at least not at first.

    Drivers would know what speed to drive, and would be more likely to slow down to keep going. Other drivers would be less likely to honk at those at those failing to jack-rabbit to the light in front of them.

    Bikers would know what streets they could ride on and take the lane. I’d say 16-18 mph is more like it for that purpose.

    And neighborhoods with faster lights on narrower streets would lobby for reductions.

    I lived for a while in Tulsa OK. The speed limit there was 25 on side streets, and 40 on the arterials. Here it is 30, period. Tulsa’s distinctions made more sense to me.

  • Jonathan

    Josh, following up on your thoughtful point, maybe they can do pico y plata on the free bridges but let anyone through the TBTA crossings for a toll.

  • Josh

    What does “pico y plata” mean?

  • Jonathan

    PyP is the Spanish phrase for “rationing traffic by license plate number.”

  • Josh

    Ugh. License plate rationing is a terrible idea.