Today’s Headlines

  • Brooklyn Boy Struck and Killed by Postal Truck While Biking (NY1)
  • News, Post: Dump Sheldon Silver, Vote for Paul Newell
  • Albany Incumbents on Edge About Tomorrow’s Primaries (Post)
  • Eric Gioia Wants to Pick Up the Pace of Safe Routes to School Program (News, Post)
  • Cure for Highway Speeding: Don’t Build Cars That Can Exceed the Limit (NYT)
  • Motorcycle Jumps Curb on Ninth Ave, Injuring Four (News)
  • NYT: City, State Must "Dig Deeper to Keep Mass Transit Moving"
  • MTA Touts New Hybrid-Electric Bus Model (City Room)
  • Riders Give City Bus System a C-Minus (NY1)
  • NJ Turnpike Authority Unveils Its Plan for Raising Tolls (Gothamist)
  • Novelist Imagines "Brooklyn Circle," "Chelsea Spur" and Other New Subway Lines (NYT)
  • Car Free Nation

    Every school day, I ride with my daughter (9) past the intersection where the event described in this article took place: “Brooklyn Boy Struck and Killed by Postal Truck While Biking” So I feel especially sad for the father and the family. My heart goes out to them.

    I take issue with the wording of your link headline. Although the link headline gives some rough approximation of truth (in that the driver of the mail truck was immediately responsible for the death), the real culprit is not the driver. It’s the DOT. How about “DOT kills boy in Brooklyn, through poor intersection and street light engineering.”

    That this intersection is dangerous is without doubt. Unlike best practices in street design, which call for a leading pedestrian interval, this intersection has a period when cars can turn left before the pedestrians get the walk sign. Many times, my daughter and I have to thread our way through stranded cars, stuck in traffic, who’ve been given a head start into the intersection.

    And for what, so drivers coming off the bridge can get to work or to home a few seconds faster?

    The DOT, just recently put a bike path here, but it’s a sad excuse for a bike path, with no protection from the highway of cars going 40-50 miles an hour down the street.

    This is such a symbolic intersection in that it goes directly to the Brooklyn Bridge pathway. There needs to be a safe, car-free path to the Brooklyn Bridge.

  • anon

    Silver and Newell are on Brian Lehrer now. WNYC.org

  • gecko

    Not directly related to any article posted in “Today’s Headlines”, but perhaps, the best place to say it; after having spent time cycling and walking around the city in the last few weeks, just want to mention the personal sense of amazement that became apparent yesterday on what seemed to be the accelerating street improvements, advances, and the tremendous work of the Department of Transportation and Commissioner Sadik-Khan in what can be a very difficult town.

  • Gecko, couldn’t agree with you more. I love how the TA Century route was designed to expose participants to many of the changes, such as the Time Square pedestrian mall, the Madison Square “re-squaring, and all the new miles of lanes in eastern Brooklyn and western Queens. Can’t help but believe that these improvements and events like Summer Streets are behind the growing numbers of “non-traditional” bicycle commuters I see each <a href=http://www.flickr.com/photos/bicyclesonly/2839985684/day.

  • Car Free Nation

    I take issue with the wording of your link headline for this article: “Brooklyn Boy Struck and Killed by Postal Truck While Biking”. Every school day, I ride with my daughter (9) past the intersection where the event described in the article took place. So I feel especially sad for the father and the family. My heart goes out to them. Although the link headline gives some rough approximation of truth (in that the driver of the mail truck was immediately responsible for the death), the real culprit is not the driver. It’s the DOT. How about “DOT kills boy in Brooklyn, through poor intersection and street light engineering.”

    That this intersection is dangerous is without doubt. Unlike best practices in street design, which call for a leading pedestrian interval, this intersection has a period when cars can turn left before the pedestrians get the walk sign. Many times, my daughter and I have to thread our way through stranded cars, stuck in traffic, who’ve been given a head start into the intersection.

    And for what, so drivers coming off the bridge can get to work or to home a few seconds faster?

    The DOT, just recently put a bike path here, but it’s a sad excuse for a bike path, with no protection from the highway of cars going 40-50 miles an hour down the street.

    This is such a symbolic intersection in that it goes directly to the Brooklyn Bridge pathway. There needs to be a safe, car-free path to the Brooklyn Bridge.

  • “This is such a symbolic intersection in that it goes directly to the Brooklyn Bridge pathway. There needs to be a safe, car-free path to the Brooklyn Bridge.”

    There’s a deadly paradox in the bridges being themselves safe and separated pathways for pedestrians and bicycles—yet they deposit us in some of the city’s most dangerous environments. Streets and traffic lights near bridges are designed to move cars faster, and so they do move faster and with an even greater sense of road-entitlement than usual. A few blocks further in, the intersection with Atlantic makes itself needlessly dangerous for pedestrians by allowing right on red towards the bridge. There is no safe time to cross Boerum there, so I avoid it entirely even though I live on the block (we must be neighbors, cfn!). Is facilitating car traffic crushing into a free bridge worth the human cost to the neighborhood, DOT?

    BHB has some heartbreaking pictures: http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/3585

  • The Times endorsed Newell over Silver. Now the News and Post have followed suit. Two of the three editorials share Streetsblogger outrage over the smothering of congestion pricing. And all three deplore Silver’s leading role in the country’s worst state legislature. It’s becoming apparent that the concerns of the livable-streets movement are becoming the concerns of a developing mainstream. Check this quote from the News:

    Nor is it any wonder that Silver peremptorily buried Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion-pricing plan, along with $350 million in federal mass transit aid – without putting the highly debated proposal to a vote.

    His high-handedness was all the more outrageous, representing, as he does, a district overrun by traffic from the three lower East River bridges and the Battery and Holland tunnels.

  • Larry Littlefield
  • Max Rockatansky

    Re: Child killed by Postal Truck – tragic story, I feel so sorry for the family. If anyplace called for protected bike lanes it would be the paths coming off the bridge. That whole stretch when you cross Tillary is really scary. Cars rocket down that side street and although there is a bike path it is routinely blocked by buses. It really calls for a protected bike path on the other side of the street, and then just run it right down Adams to Atlantic.

    Doc – that right on red is bad, the other one that gets me is the left from Atlantic to Court. They get a turn signal after the cross traffic goes through, which I’ve never seen before. So pedestrians start crossing early and get surprised by the cars turning. Really bad idea.

  • gecko

    Might be worth considering TA advocacy, DOT support, and suitable emergency interventions for Zero Death Zones at places where people have been injured and worse.

  • Re. Max Rockatansky’s point about the area on the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, you’re absolutely right. I’m right in that area and people drive WAY too fast going onto and off of the bridges.

    Another thing that I recently noticed: remember how the DoT recently rerouted traffic heading onto the Brooklyn Bridge, so that if you’re coming East on Tillary you can no longer make a left turn onto the bridge, and that you’re supposed to turn left onto Jay, up and down the hill, and make the left turn at the bottom onto the bridge approach on Sands Street? What I’m seeing is large numbers of cars making a U-turn at Jay Street and then making a right turn onto the bridge, even though that approach is routinely backed up past Jay Street and almost all the way to Flatbush Avenue during rush hour. As a result, people who are crossing Tillary have a harder time because of all the u-turning cars. What they really need to do is put up a no u-turn sign there.

    (OK, what they REALLY need to do is implement either congestion pricing or bridge tolls so that you don’t have so many cars coming off the BQE onto those two bridges rather than taking the Battery Tunnel or the Midtown Tunnel, but we all know that’s crazy talk.)

  • I’ve been thinking about bridges a lot and I wonder if the separated nature is almost a part of the problem. the environment for cars on bridges is often very highway-like. This is why so many bikers bike over bridges on the sidewalk even though the law says they should be on the street. You’ll get honked at.

    Because the bridges are so much like limited access roads cars coming off of bridges are not in “driving in an area with pedestrians” mode when they exit. Bad intersection design at the exits only make this worse.

    I have been honked at, yelled at and harassed more times than I can count at such intersections by motorists who essentially thought that I was trying to cross a highway on foot. When I look at the way the intersections look and the dearth of signs and crosswalks (I’m talking about the Madison Ave. Bridge in Bronx and the Macombs Dam bridge) I can’t blame them! It looks like a highway interchange, but there are a lot of people on foot there too and not much to guide you from the bridge to safety.

    If you care about this issue please join the NYC bridge wiki group:

    http://www.livablestreets.com/projects/nyc-bridge-wiki

  • Max Rockatansky

    Jay Street and Tillary are both messy. I remember looking at crashstat a while ago – pretty dangerous too.

  • Actually, I don’t recall seeing this report about highway revenue shortfalls here. A government bailout, perhaps even taking from the mass transit fund, is being considered.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/06/us/06highway.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=highway%20fund&st=cse&oref=slogin

  • I don’t know if crashstat is the best way to tell if an intersection is dangerous or not. Yes, it’s helpful, but it can’t account for the fact that people simply stop using some intersections because they are too scary– So there are not a lot of people getting hit by cars in those places.

    When a street is hard to cross people will bypass it and go around to the safer spot.

    As an example lots of people crashes happened at 149th street and grand concourse, and yes that site needs a LOT of work– but the more dangerous intersection is at the Madision Ave. Bridge at the base of the concourse– it’s so dangerous people avoid it. Even though there is a subway stop there.

    Am I making any sense with this?

    I just worry if the DOT makes it all about “where are the most people being hit” they will miss a lot of other issues– like places that people are just to scared to even use.