Today’s Headlines

  • As Planning Dept Re-Evaluates Parking Policy, Garage Industry Feels "Under Attack" (WSJ)
  • Ominous Signs That BP Well Cap Won’t Hold Up (NYT, News)
  • Matt Harvey Follows in the Anti-Bike Troglodyte Footsteps of Steve Dunleavy (Post)
  • But Wait, There’s More Bike Hate From the Editors at the Post
  • The Times and the Journal Take a Look at the Next MTA Fare Hike
  • Rise of the Custom Cargo Trikes (City Room)
  • Are Car-Owning NYers Too Stubborn for Car-Sharing to Take Off Here? (NYT)
  • Susan Dominus Wises Up to the Health Benefits of Walking + Transit (NYT)
  • Dan Garodnick Is Out to Reform NYC’s Corporate Street Fair System (News)
  • Building a Better Fulton Street for Tomorrow Is Squeezing Peds and Cyclists Today (Bklyn Paper)
  • HUD-DOT-EPA Honchos Talk About Their Joint Sustainable Communities Initiative (CityFix)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    “In the ’80s we did several focus groups and we tried to find out what made them drive. And a very common theme is that they felt they were smarter than the people down in the tube. They’re the Brahmins. They deserve it.”

    The mindset of a generation, which applies to just about every other aspect of public policy as well. Sheldon Silver’s people. George Pataki’s people. They deserve everything.

    They should redo the study, and stratify it by age and whether someone just happened to be born here or made a decision to live here.

    “Given the paucity of street parking, the expense of garage parking, the traffic, the insurance costs and the toll to vehicle and psyche, New York car owners who aren’t motivated by true need must be motivated by some very strong force of will.”

    For everyone else, it’s force of habit. They’ve simply never tried living otherwise, or actually thought about how they live and why. They just do as their peers do. Just as bicycle commuting didn’t seem doable to me, until I actually did it.

  • Loved the subhead in the Matt Harvey piece: “No matter how many lanes we build, they make New York City more dangerous.” He was talking about bike lanes, but there’s car infrastructure in a nutshell.

  • ddartley

    The Harvey piece: I believe two things that counter this “building more bike lanes = more dangerous streets because they invite more cyclists” theme, which has been said at least a few times in the papers before this stuff in the Post.

    I’m not the biggest fan of the sophisticated new bike lanes (generally, they’ve slowed me down a bit (even though I’m no “warrior”)), but having ridden in them a lot, I always notice that they GREATLY reduce the potential for bike/ped conflict. One reason is that bikes and peds can now see each other much better than in the old bike lanes and on streets without them.

    Also, even though I don’t love them, they are almost the first safe bike infrastructure ever on the city’s internal streets. I think that now that there is finally safe infrastructure, you’re going to see a lot less of the behavior by cyclists that non-cyclists carp about.

  • ddartley

    Hmm, the world would be safer if all these people got themselves killed:
    http://www.1010wins.com/Poll–More-NJ-Drivers-Are-Texting-Behind-the-Wheel/7720761

  • JK

    The irony is that the parking garage industry has the most to gain from true parking reform. You only have to look at pre-war, pre-minimum parking requirement, New York City to see why. Take the Upper West Side. There, the vast majority of cars are garaged in private garages for a monthly fee. This is exactly what transportation advocates want: parking costs unbundled (separated) from housing costs. Sadly, this is the exact opposite of what City Planning is doing by demanding more parking built into the cost of new housing.

  • Matt Harvey builds his case against bike lanes via anectode in the most half-baked manner. First we get the story of Larry Rispanti, who was viciously attacked by a pair of violent (unnamed) cycling zealots, who happen to be married. “Fists flew,” says Harvey. Huh? Where was this reported? I can’t find news about it anywhere. Is there a police record of the incident? Or did Harvey just make it up, or talk to someone who made up the incident?

    Then he quotes the owner of a deli along the Second Ave bike path. The deli owner vows that the bike lane isn’t even used (“I only see about 12 [cyclists] go by during my 12-hour shift.”) — proving what a waste it is for the city to have implemented them in the first place. Again, this is lazy journalism. Harvey could easily visit Second Ave at just about any time of the day and count more than 12 cyclists in a five or ten minute stretch of time.

  • From the Susan Dominus piece:

    “When presented with an option, people change their routine and they get healthier,” he said.

    That’s in a nutshell the main case against the auto-centric culture in most of America. Rinse & repeat.

  • brent

    Harvey- love the way he keeps stressing how dangerous cyclists are, yet the only example of an injury he can come up with is when a cyclist gets doored by a car!

  • In response to the Matt Harvey piece, I’m headed to the Little Pakistan Deli on Second Avenue right now, where I will count the number of cyclists using the bike lane in a five-minute stretch. Stay tuned.

  • Peter Engel

    I personally know at least 5 people who ride down 2nd Avenue by the Little Pakistan deli every day. The guy’s probably right about losing some of his cabbie/black car trade, but everyone needs time to adjust to the new lanes, including riders.

    As for the NY Post piece, why bother? I lost all patience with them last week for calling the 5BBC “Bike Bozos” in reporting on Judge Kaplan’s ruling. Today’s follow-up Op-Ed from their ministers of hate propaganda labels us “car-hating anarchists” for daring to stand up for people’s rights.

    I guess it’s kind of flattering that they’re noticing, and getting angry about it. Change doesn’t come when you make friends.

  • MinNY

    “Driving through the narrow, pedestrian-heavy intersection of Spring and Crosby streets, Larry Rispanti had his first encounter with the “two married warrior cyclists” who were about to cut short his evening commute to Jackson Heights. He had just tapped his horn to nudge some tourists away from the box, when the cyclists surrounded his Jeep Commander and rode alongside it. Screaming expletives, the male cyclist rapped at the driver-side window and pulled at the door handle. With the female cyclist tapping on the passenger side, Rispanti’s girlfriend got “really scared.””

    Well, clearly, since there’s no bike lane there, the city should install one, so that the cars and bikes know where each other will be at the intersections.