Today’s Headlines

  • City Motorists Contemplate $5/Gal Gas; Many Turn to Transit (Post, News)
  • Assembly Republican Jim Tedisco Takes Gas Tax "Fight" Online 
  • Bike-Share Coming to Convention Host Cities (USA Today)
  • DOT Bike Coordinator Takes Questions (City Room)
  • Staten Islanders Talk Cycling Safety (SI Advance)
  • Vehicular Cycling Advocate Blames Lanes for Fatalities (BikePortland
  • Bloomberg and Schumer Spar Over West Side Development (Crain’s, AMNY)
  • Far Rockaway-Lower Manhattan Ferry Service Resumes (NYT, News)
  • Maritime Building Ferry Terminal Features David Byrne-Designed Organ (Post)
  • MTA Offers Cash to Survey Straphangers (Post
  • Web Site Helps Drivers Fight Parking Tickets (Post)
  • Larry Littlefield

    So who is Tedesco fighting against? Who will be worse off if he gets his way?

    Younger generations if infrastructure maintenance stops.

    Younger generations if money is borrowed and infrastructure maintenance continues.

    Younger generations if other taxes rise, because retirement income is exempt from state and local income taxes.

    Younger generations if all those pension enhancements (more and more and more) for those with seniority working their way through the legislature are passed.

    It this fight was in a boxing ring, and competent referee would have stopped it by now.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Among them were Mary Brady, who works on Wall Street and previously used the car-subway combination to get to work, and Paula Reich, who relied on the bus-subway relay. They are almost the commuters that New York Water Taxi is seeking. ‘The real target is not getting people off the subway or express bus, but to get them off the car,’ Mr. Fox said.”

    Well then you might as well slash bus service in Bed Stuy and use the savings to make the ferry free.

    Because the East River Bridges are free, and if you have a placard, parking is free too.

  • Larry Littlefield

    And how much is that placard worth?

    http://www.colliers.com/Content/Repositories/Base/Corporate/English/Market_Report_Corporate/PDFs/colliersparkingratesurvey2007.pdf

    For the public subsidy in taxes foregone, take one third of the annual cost.

  • Vehicular cycling: The tired old “vehicular vs. segregated bicycling debate.” The linked article strikes the right balance and transcends the needless either-or thinking by recognizing that (1) vehicular cycling is not for everyone, it requires the strength, skill and nerve to merge and accelerate as part of motor vehicle traffic; (2) painted lanes are not inherently dangerous especially if users are moving at slower speeds and willing to occasionally yield to cars as the trade-off for using them; (3) most well-written bicycling regulatory schemes (like NYC’s and apparently that in Oregon) allow bicyclists to leave the bicycle lane to avoid perceived dangers or delays attendant to yielding for turning motor vehicles; (4) the cause of bicycling is best served when bicyclists’ options are maximized, which means building out the separated bike path and on-street bike lane network while allowing bicyclists to mix with vehicular traffic to the extent they are comfortable and able to do so.

    Anyone who thinks that on-street lanes are inherently dangerous has to explain why only 7 out of 225 bicyclist deaths in a ten-year period in New York City were caused by a motor vehicle colliding with a bicyclist in or near a bike lane.

  • lee

    yesterday morning the traffic reports were talking about a bicylist riding on the LIE. Can’t find any mention of it today though.

  • Mark Walker

    The San Francisco Examiner supports congestion pricing:

    http://www.examiner.com/a-1386452~Congestion_based_toll_a_sound_idea.html

  • Josh

    Regarding the Hudson Yards development, can anyone explain why we really NEED the 7 line extension?

  • Josh, I think the #7 extension would encourage people to use it, and other transit options, instead of driving. The question I have is why we really need the Hudson Yards development, especially in a recession.

  • ddartley

    I propose a new movement, a catchy name to be invented later: SLOW Vehicular cycling.

    Although to my limited knowledge there’s only been one NYC cyclist fatality that can be fairly chalked up to the design of the Class II lane in which or next to which it took place, I still say that most NYC Class II lanes contribute serious hazards for cyclists and foster road culture seriously dangerous to cyclists.

    Ideally, make everyone go slower on NYC streets BECAUSE THEY’RE &@%&$%%$#&@@ CITY STREETS (see my more civilized comment (63) on the Josh Benson NYTimes feature).

    And separately, whether cars have been slowed down or not, cyclists should take up a whole car lane in New York City, no matter how slow the cyclist goes.

    Because that’s the speed that cars should travel in this city anyway, and besides, in most conditions, cars can’t average speeds much higher than that anyway.

  • dartley, your position has its merits and is the right way to go for some bicyclists in some situations, but as a general approach to bicycling it is at bottom a plan to turn bicyclists into traffic-calming devices and to maximize bicyclist-motorist conflicts. I don’t disagree that is perfectly legal for a bicyclist to ride up the middle of a single lane road at 3 mph with a line of cars stuck behind. And there are certain situations (steep hills, nightime precipitation) where doing so is necessary for safety. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t inconsiderate and needlessly confrontational as a general practice, or that most people feel comfortable doing it.

  • gecko

    Vehicular cycling is life-threatening cycling making this method of transportation for only a select few for whom perhaps, better venues would be extreme sports, competitive track cycling, etc.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The question I have is why we really need the Hudson Yards development, especially in a recession.”

    Because taxes on the buildings to be built on the West Side are expected to pay back the bonds the city is floating to give the MTA the money to build the Flushing Extension. No buildings, no additional taxes, higher taxes or service cuts for everyone else.

    NYC has far less office space than it did before 9/11, and it is hurting our economy. Any office buildings that get underway now would not be finished until the recession is over sometime in 2011 or later. They wouldn’t even begin construction until the residential market has crashed and construction prices decreased.

    The new office buildings would be a far better investment than much of what is out there — stocks, bonds, real estate — IMHO, but I don’t have a couple of $billion sitting around. Unfortunately, intermediaries who were recently shoveling out cash at low rates of return for anything that moves, now won’t invest in anything but Treasuries.

  • ddartley

    bikesonly, yeah, points taken,

    And lately I’ve not been bothering to state cases clearly here in streetsblog comments.

    Still, like I commented about the other day, the way I ride recently put me within inches of saving the lives of two toddlers carelessly crossing Lexington Ave.

    Yeah, you’re right, I’m pretty much suggesting that cyclists calm traffic themselves with their mere presence.

    Official speed limit of 30 mph on city streets = lots of unnecessary deaths.

  • ddartley

    And in line with the recent carelessness of my writing, an addendum:

    I made the practice sound more confrontational than it really is:

    I don’t deliberately go slow. But I do take a lane, and I don’t go all that fast either. And most importantly, very rarely do motorists around me make any indication that I’m being confrontational.

    And riding this way, I am generally making the street safer for everyone around me.

  • Car Free Nation

    Why is the speed limit 30 anyway? Shouldn’t the citywide speed be 25, which would save lives.

    The most ludicrous example of this is that when cars coming off the Manhattan Bridge need to make a hard right (a 90 degree turn), there’s a yellow suggested speed limit sign of 25 mph.

    Or how about the sign that says “share the road, watch out for cyclists.” Couldn’t it say “speed limit 15.”

  • ddartley

    30 mph is a problem because it is the speed at which and above which increasing numbers of injuries INSIDE cars turn fatal, rather than non-fatal. Obviously much worse for pedestrians.

    -Pedestrians have always vastly outnumbered occupants of cars in NYC, and always will. Our streets teem with human beings 24/7. Why can’t we govern the streets to maximize everyone’s safety?

    -in many (most?) suburban areas around the NYC metro area, the default speed limit for residential streets is 25 mph. And there are hardly any friggin’ pedestrians there. (Are their lives worth more, maybe?)

    -Motorists routinely go ten mph and more above the posted* speed limit. An illegal 35mph would still be better than an illegal 45mph.

    -Speed limits are posted almost nowhere in Manhattan.

    I know, there’s a lot more to improving safety than changing the books. But still, there is NO REASON for 30 mph to be the default speed limit in NYC’s interior streets. Cut it!

  • Mark Walker

    Crude oil hit another new record today, two pennies below the $127 mark.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080513/ap_on_bi_ge/oil_prices;_ylt=Ap46VI8Z9v..K1r_mg1P1CKs0NUE

  • Josh

    Cap’n Transit, I’m unclear who these people are who aren’t using public transit now but would with the addition of one more station on the 7 line. I recognize that the Javits Center is in a shitty location for transit access but are a lot of people really driving there from areas where their transit access will be improved by the 7 extension? (As opposed to people who’re headed to the Javits from NJ who will, realistically, probably drive in any case.)

  • Josh, let me reassure you that I’m not trying to defend or endorse the extension. In fact, it’s on my spreadsheet o’ boondoggles (further nominations welcome):

    http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pJaFSnR0iG0ZVbkztPcwzJw&hl=en

    I’m just trying to clarify the thinking behind it, as I understand it. It’s not so much about the people currently driving to the Javits Center, but about the buildings planned for the western end of the Yards. The city wants people to get there by transit. Of course, last we heard they’re also hedging their bets by trying to build lots of parking.

    If the city were to build the Hudson Yards development as a totally pedestrian-hostile landscape with lots of parking and bad transit, it could become a car-dependent enclave. Apparently this is what happened in Boston:

    http://www.transit.stunningabsurdity.com/?p=104

    Given that option, I’d prefer a subway extension. But at this point I don’t see the need for/value of the Hudson Yards development. Larry, the argument you articulated (not sure whether you’re endorsing it or not) is pretty circular: we need to build the office buildings to pay for the bonds that we raised to dig the subway extension to get people to the office buildings.

    Maybe in a boom it would be fun to convert that area to office space. Not in a recession.