Today’s Headlines

  • vnm

    Riverdale residents previously could take the Bx20 to the A train. Now during off-peak hours, riders must take the Bx10 to the Bx7, and then pay an additional full fare to board the A train.

    Or, you could take either bus to the 1 train (free transfer), and then transfer to the A (for free of course).

  • When Park Slope Neighbors began collecting signatures on our Prospect Park West traffic-calming petition back in March 2009, the first person my colleague approached coming past the corner of Union Street and Prospect Park West was a woman carrying shopping bags. As he asked “would you like to sign a petition to help calm traffic on Prospect Park West?,” she went deaf, dumb and mute, and passed him by without blinking an eye.

    After she had walked a few feet past us, I said to him, “do you know who that was?” When he said no, I told him.

    “Iris Weinshall.”

  • Larry Littlefield

    I’m got a message for Weisenthal and Grinker. Regardless of what you have done in your own life, you are members of Generation Greed, and while opposing a bike lane because it might slighthly inhibit your hyper-mobility by automobile, you might want go consider what life will be like for younger generations.

    They won’t be able to afford as many automobiles, because they will be paid less at every stage of their careers, particularly in non-wage benefits, in public service as a matter of law and contract, with particular harm when they become older themselves.

    They won’t have as much fuel for private motor vehicles, because your generation steadfastly refused to pay more in the short run to develop alternatives to environmentally and internationally problematic oil.

    They won’t have nearly as good a transit system, because of debts caused by fare cuts, excess contractor payments, taxes cut and tax revenues diverted elsewhere, pension enhancements, and pension underfunding. None of which they will benefit from as fares and taxes soar as services collapse.

    What younger generations can do is ride a bicycle in a stretch of street where it is more difficult to run them down in you motor vehicle. Given all your generation has taken, is that too much to ask?

  • Weinshall’s opposition was related to the Daily News through an anonymous source, and her only comment: “I have nothing to say about that”.

    Why not say something? You’re the former DOT commissioner, married to a United States Senator, and it looks you are organizing to kill a major traffic-calming green initiative in your own neighborhood. Why not just go on the record? I’d love to hear your reasons for opposing the lane.

  • The SI Advance editorialized against the fence you covered yesterday.

  • Geck

    Thanks goodness Iris is not the Commissioner anymore. We now have a Commissioner who understands a good urban environment is not just about moving traffic.

  • Why give Weinshall any press? Thanks to her “Williamsburg Bridge Speed Bumps” the City spent millions in settling injuries. Thanks to JSK, if the stats are right, half of present day NYC cyclists don’t know what those were, bc they weren’t riding when Iris was wasting time as head of DOT- now they are.
    I don’t care if she really didn’t say much about the PPW lane, or that her husband Bike-Salmoned me on Tillary, I care that the path is there. PPW was underutilized by everyone, cars included.
    I know I am preaching to the choir, but I find it so infuriating that these people are just pushing back on change, without a reasonable or well thought out position, they are simply afraid of progress.

  • My sincere gratitude goes to Commissioner Sadik-Kahn for not just sticking to her guns, but firing them (rhetorically) at this bloated bureaucrat who blighted our streets with 100-year-old transportation dogma for far too long. “This is no longer the wild West”–damn straight.

    But this is just a taste of what we’re in for under a successor administration at the DoT. Right now, it’s a sprint to 2012 to build out as many miles of complete streets, parks and accessible shorelines as possible. After that, get ready to wage a marathon defense to keep those gains in place.

    This is another reason why I prefer the concrete-island, tree-planted design of the Chelsea cycle tracks, rather than the paint-only “cycle track lite” design–it means cyclists will have allies in pedestrians and local residents who don’t want to see their refuges and trees ripped out.

  • I wonder if Weinshall is thinking of attaching herself to one of the candidates who will become the next mayor in hope of getting her old job back? If that happens, livable streets improvements could become an issue in the next mayoral campaign, and maybe not in a good way. That and demonizing the MTA.

  • Iris will turn 58 years old in 2012. I suspect the automobilists-first faction can find a younger, more dynamic cat’s paw. I love Eric’s story above.

  • fdr

    Iris spent most of her time at DOT looking for another job and finally found a better paying one at CUNY. Not likely she’d want to go back.

  • I think people overestimate the degree to which things will get worse under future administrations. I certainly agree that we’re unlikely to see a progressive force like JSK at DOT in the future but that hardly means that every cycling project is going to get ripped out the day Mayor Bloomberg leave office. People get used to new things really quickly. Remember how Times Square was going to be a huge disaster? There were tons of stories in the local papers filled with reactionary quotations from aggrieved “small business owners” and motorists. Everyone went a little nuts. And now, there are no stories, no pontificating blowhards ranting about our bleak horrible future and no serious effort to turn back the clock. Not every project has that kind of power over people, but I think you’d be surprised how little the cranks at CB meetings care once things are quiet for a few months.

    The “complete streets” movement needs to understand that it’s basically working towards a tipping point when ideas like cycle tracks and turning lanes for bikes won’t be weird experiments, but a part of everyday city life. There will always be things to fight for and bad projects to oppose, but the goal ought to be to create the space for good planning to become the status-quo. People are just more comfortable with things that already exist.

  • Dan, I hope you’re right. I agree that Times Square will probably be viewed as part of the status quo by 2012. But projects put in this year and next may not be–they may instead become political issues in the next mayoral race.

  • Re: Weinshall Watch, is she already back from the dead? She was a real carpet tack on the bicycle wheel of progress.