Today’s Headlines

  • Two Cyclists Killed in Separate Crashes (Post, AP)
  • NYT to Congress: Don’t Shortchange Amtrak With Privatization Requirement
  • Prioritizing the MTA’s Mega-Projects (AMNY)
  • Funding for Second Ave Subway, East Side Access Moves Through Senate Committee (NY1)
  • Some Downtowners Object to Proposed Bike Path Through City Hall Park (NYT)
  • Alternate Side Parking Rules Return to Park Slope (NYT)
  • Complaints About Gas Stations Rise, But City Inspectors Find Little Evidence of Price-Gouging (NYT)
  • 90 NYC Gas Stations Shuttered in Past 18 Months (News)
  • Pedicab Regs Remain Unenforced During Court Battle (Post)
  • What Can the MTA Learn From Ikea Shuttle Buses? (2nd Ave Sagas)
  • Larry Littlefield

    On news radio this morning, I heard about a Cantor Fitzgerald bond trader who has been commuting from Darien to Midtown by bike since March.

  • d

    Neither driver was charged or issued a summons in either one of the accidents cited in your first link. Obviously there are a million details that are not in the news reports, but it’s sad to read yet another story of another cyclist’s death end with “…and the driver was not charged.” If a driver hit another driver and killed him, or if a driver struck a pedestrian, those stories would not end the same way.

  • Spud Spudly

    The Times story on the gas pump inspectors isn’t about price gouging, it’s about making sure the pumps are dispensing accurately. Big difference.

  • Re. the Second Avenue Sagas post about the Ikea shuttle:

    What makes anyone think people would be willing to pay more for better service? The general sentiment people seem to have is that we want 24-hour service like we have here, reliability on par with Berlin, courteous service on par with London, air conditioned platforms like they have some places in DC, but we want the fares to go back down to $1.50 per ride. Nobody is willing to pay for anything they use.

    In any case, the Ikea buses are free, so I’m not sure how they prove what people are willing to pay for.

  • Spud Spudly

    America’s scenic highways being clogged with commuters:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25662917/

    An interesting national story that mentions the Bronx River Parkway, the Taconic Parkway and the Merritt Parkway. It could have also included the Saw Mill in Westchester.

  • Fascinating story, Spud! Of course, if the primary purpose of these roads is recreational, redesigning them exclusively for the use of biking and hiking would be an excellent way to return them to their originally intended function.

  • I’m glad to know the path through City Hall Park is open to bikes, since I’ve been going around it, but I wish the Times could have reported the news without a ten thousandth journey through the oral history of NYC’s agressive bikers. That noise is getting boring.

    Their Amtrak editorial is also pretty weak. If they want to chastise Republicans, they could point out the oddness of “privatizing” something that’s already been privatized (multiple treatments required?), or the inconsistency of begrudging public funding to Amtrak while putting out a request for bids (to receive barrels of public money) in a so-called privatization effort. It’s a bunch of happy nonsense, and by playing along with inapplicable old-time Republican lingo the ed board is losing a battle that has already been lost.

    The real policy question is if it’s better to have one national, monopolistic and heavily regulated train system (with real benefits in interoperability and public control) or a collection of competing companies. Either way, generous public financing is required for success. In practice, it’s unitary systems like France’s SNCF that have pioneered high speed rail and continue to lead, while systems based on competing companies like in the UK lag far behind. (A WSJ editorial glorifying the fact that “Richard Branson [is] building private high-speed train service in Britain” misses the irony that the SNCF’s high speed system has been BUILT—for decades—and is always expanding.)

    And in saying that “the cost of land alone to build a parallel set of tracks would be prohibitive”, the NYT is confidently leading the liberal calvary in exactly the wrong direction. Thanks, guys. What we is to do is create a railroad system the public can have enough confidence in to throw sufficient funds at, whether it’s a regulated monopoly or companies competing for subsidies. As long as Amtrak keeps trying to compete with airlines in completely stupid security procedures, my support form this particular national railroad incarnation is tepid. Can we import the SNCF, please?

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Fascinating story, Spud! Of course, if the primary purpose of these roads is recreational, redesigning them exclusively for the use of biking and hiking would be an excellent way to return them to their originally intended function.”

    The opposite has occured on large stretches of the Taconic. The roads were designed with lots of curves through the landscape, so drivers would have vistas instead of tail lights in front of them. They were also narrow and intended for low speeds.

    But large-scale construction has straightened and widened sections of that road. Fortunatley, the southern section of the Bronx River is unchanged, as the Sprain Brook was created to replace it.

  • The story of the overly used Parkways provide another illustration of the tragedy of the commons. In a car-addicted culture like ours, if you build for traffic, traffic will come…and then some.

    I love Mark Walker’s idea of putting the “park” back in parkways by redesigning them for biking and hiking only. Automobilists as a class have proven themselves incapable of using the parkway’s resources wisely, so they should no longer have access to them.

  • Max Rockatansky
  • >>>I wish the Times could have reported the news without a ten thousandth journey through the oral history of NYC’s agressive bikers. That noise is getting boring.

  • See quoted comment above…

    Really, Doc Barnett? I’m far from bored. As more and more bicyclists — many of them aggressive — share pedestrian pathways such as on the Brooklyn Bridge, the Hudson River path north of West 72nd Street, and now City Hall Park, the threat of accidents becomes more and more probable.

    I believe we need some sort of permanent barricades, or dedicated paths for bikes and peds — to separate pedestrians from bicyclists.

    http://www.forgotten-ny.com

  • Sad to See Amelia is Dead

    One of the bike riders that was killed and mentioned in the post is Amelia Geocos who I would see here at our apartment all of the time… I agree with the poster that cannot believe another bicyclist is killed with no charges.
    Killing someone, is killing someone. If the intent was not to kill we have a word for that in our country, manslaughter. A charge of some sort has to be issued… If an automobile ran into the back of another automobile, a citation would be issued, no? If a car ran past the red light or over an intersection when a light was red, a ticket would be in order, yes?…as such when a car runs over and kills someone certainly this is greater than the other mentions, certainly a charge is in order? No?

    Sometimes it helps to put a real person behind a name…watch Amelia who was killed on First Avenue at 49th street dancing in this video she co-produced and posted on YouTube here
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olcB9UkW-I8 are some pictures of 24 year old Amelia… and a video she posted/co-produced from YouTube.
    video she added April 3 of this year… that is just a few months ago.

  • “Really, Doc Barnett? I’m far from bored.”

    I don’t doubt it, I’ve noticed you grinding that axe in the comments. You’ll help keep the NYT’s agressive cyclist beat writer in business I’m sure.

    If you want to build a “barricade” to separate pedestrians from bicyclists, you’ll have to cut a lot of bodies in half to do so. I have no problem sharing space with people whether I’m on a bike or off one, even on famously narrow Brooklyn Bridge path (far too narrow for any physical divider). Patience and a smile go a long way, it turns out!

  • “Patience and a smile go a long way it turns out.”

    Would that were true. But especially on the Brooklyn Bridge and on the Hudson River path, I always feel, as a pedestrian, that I’m an inch from disaster. I have biked the Brooklyn in the past but only in early morning, when no one else is around.

    Let me ask a question: on the shared paths, why the need for speed?

    As a bicyclist on the West Side path, I’m dictated to by the speeders, who will not permit leisurely biking. As a walker I’m dictated to by all bicyclists, whose presence forces a wariness I’d rather not have.

    Frankly I’d be for banning bikes from the Brooklyn Bridge at certain hours. Bicyclists have a dedicated path on the north side of the Manhattan.

    http://www.forgotten-ny.com

  • Ian Turner

    Kevin,

    Streetsblog has covered the allocation of space on the brooklyn bridge before. To run the faux-pas af quoting myself, I will repeat what was noted there:

    This is a classic case of pedestrians and bicyclists fighting over the scraps. The current 7% of roadway space allocated to pedestrians is clearly inadequate, but the problem is not that bicyclists get their own 7% but rather that motor vehicles get a whopping 85%.

    Why should motor vehicle drivers get the lion’s share of the roadway space when pedestrians exceed them in numbers? It makes no sense; the right solution is to take a lane from motor vehicles and give it to bicycles. If that still leaves inadequate space for pedestrians, then we can look at other options, such as giving the current pedestrian roadway completely over to bicycles and assigning two vehicle lanes to pedestrian traffic.

    As has been pointed out elsewhere, these changes could be permanent or done only during peak hours. From a political perspective, any such changes (peak or otherwise) should be initially sold and signed as a temporary study, to avoid vehicular backlash.

  • “Let me ask a question: on the shared paths, why the need for speed?”

    You’ll have to find someone to ask that rides fast on them.

    “Frankly I’d be for banning bikes from the Brooklyn Bridge at certain hours. Bicyclists have a dedicated path on the north side of the Manhattan.”

    That would hardly work out for my commute from Brooklyn to the financial district. I don’t know what hours you want to ban, but it’s still pretty crowded when I go home from work. It just takes a little extra care and, yes, patience. I can’t speak for or be held responsible for bicyclists that don’t have that, any more than I can for pedestrians not paying attention, or stopping and crowding in bad spots. (Usually, tourists who are relaxing and having a good time—good for them!) So I just look out for people.