Today’s Headlines

  • No End in Sight to America’s Obesity Epidemic (NYT)
  • Marty Markowitz to Tea Party: No One’s More Paranoid About Bikes Than Me (NY1)
  • Monserrate Refuses to Relinquish Parking Placard (Post)
  • Missed This From Last Week: Observer Reviews Jay Walder’s Tenure So Far (via 2nd Ave Sagas)
  • Another Overlooked Gem: Cap’n Transit Has a Nice Petition to Show the Working Families Party
  • Cell Service on Subway Platforms: Yea or Nay? (Post Says "Nay")
  • Must Have Been a Slow Transit News Day (NY1)
  • New Haven Completes a Complete Streets Manual (MTR)
  • Prediction: Buses-on-Stilts-on-Guideways Will Never Work (HuffPo)
  • I’m Half Dreading, Half Looking Forward to This Bike Messenger vs. Corrupt Cop Flick (News)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • “Cell Service on Subway Platforms: Yea or Nay? (Post Says “Nay”) ”

    That is such an inanely Manhattan-centric editorial that it boggles the mind. Has The Post ever ventured to the above-ground areas of the subway where cell service doesn’t interfere with some made-up peace of mind? “Raised tempers” and “confrontations” don’t happen in the parts of the system that are already cell-equipped.

    And anyway, have they ever listened to a train pull in with its air conditioner humming and brakes squealing? It’s not like it’s quiet down there in the first place.

  • JK

    Marty Markowitz is entitled to his opinions and values. He can deeply value using a car and assert it is more American, spiritual, whatever. But he seems permanently confused over the difference between facts (things which can be measured by everyone) and his opinions. Whether it is East River Bridge tolls or PPW bike lane, Marty is unable to produce any objective or measurable analysis to support his opinions. He is a govern from the gut, slogan addled Brooklyn Democratic mirror image of George W Bush: counter-factual, ignorant, parochial, and proud of it. He should go back to Albany where he belongs.

  • Markowitz doesn’t bother me too much. Whatever his rationale to opposing the project to begin with, at this point in the game, he’s just being stubborn and refusing to admit that he was wrong. It just sucks that he happens to be in a position of power. My diagnosis: Human.

    I do, however, get a kick out of his recurring comments about JSK, always along the lines of, “I truly believe that her goal is to get people out of their cars and to start riding bikes.” Tragedy! Let’s hope he doesn’t find out about Bloomberg’s evil plan to get us to eat less salt and trans fats! “I truly believe that his goal is to get people to stop eating junk food and eat healthier.” The horrors, the horrors of a progressive policy agenda!

    I truly believe that Markowitz’s goal is to get us to keep driving cars and designing infrastructure accordingly. What a car zealot!

  • J. Mork

    It’s too bad that there’s no Republican party in NYC, because it’s forcing Democrats like Markowitz to fill the conservative vacuum which results.

  • re: “Marty Markowitz to Tea Party: No One’s More Paranoid About Bikes Than Me (NY1)

    Yes Marty, you are not funny any more.

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/08/04/colorado-tea-party-candidate-dan-maes-bike-sharing-is-a-well-disguised-effort-aimed-at-converting-denver-into-a-united-nations-community

    Colorado Tea Party candidate Dan Maes: Bike-sharing is a “well-disguised” effort aimed at “converting Denver into a United Nations community.”

  • #3 Jeff,

    Really good stuff!

  • Marty’s right about one thing: this isn’t Amsterdam.

    It’s New Amsterdam. And maybe we can even improve upon the original.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Well to be fair, perhaps one might say that Marty is particulary opposed to the PPW bike lane because he drives on PPW between Borough Hall and Windsor Terrace, and I am particularly in favor because I want to ride between Windsor Terrace and several destinations to the north and west, including work.

    But how do both of our uses of the street affect everyone else, in terms of air quality, noise, risk of injury, and competition for parking and street space elsewhere? And given that, why is it just one lane on an underutilized street is the battle of Armageddon?

  • JK

    PP neighbors should invite Marty to a public walk around PPW bike lane to see for himself. What is he afraid of?

  • CE

    I think he might be afraid of his limited views on transportation.

  • Re: “Rider Catches MTA Booth Worker Snoozing On The Job”

    The rider/photog would need to bring an extra-large memory stick to document all the snoozing on the job in Albany.

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    The one thing I wish people like Marty and others would do is to watch my video about Cycling in Copenhagen from a few weeks ago. Let’s just say for instance that NYC’s goal is to be what it is like in Copenhagen for cycling. (That would be great with me, even half of what they have.) Anyway, if you look at the video, there are still PLENTY of cars, PLENTY of room for vehicles, PLENTY of people still driving and getting where they need to go in their cars.

    We don’t want to take over the world and make it impossible to drive. We just want a balanced playing field and safer streets to ride a bike. After all, I was on two mini vacations the past two weeks in a car (yes, rare, but I was) and I wouldn’t want to be prohibited from doing that. If Marty just realized there is a big number of people who ride bikes the majority of the time, but also drive cars and rent them….

  • Pete

    “PP neighbors should invite Marty to a public walk around PPW bike lane to see for himself. What is he afraid of?”

    JK, I think Marty’s afraid of *walking*.

  • Marc

    *walking* or waddling?

  • Peter Engel

    First of all, Joseph Gordon-Levitt seems like a very cool guy. He acknowledged the incident was his fault. I did the same thing in Koreatown a few years ago. Funny – there were no cameras around to document my stupidity!

    As for Marty, I’m not laughing at this buffoon’s schtick any more. Let’s not forget who Marty is really indebted to. This is the guy that’s spent the past decade as Bruce Ratner’s fluffer for Atlantic Yards, a very auto-centric project.

    JK calls Marty “slogan-addled.” I’d say he’s addled in general.

    But that’s OK. The thing we all have to remember is that change is occurring rapidly in politics, healthcare, medicine, the environment, energy and transportation. Encountering resistance is to be expected. Dinosaurs still roam the earth.

  • Bill

    I just came back from RAGBRAI. I could proabably count the obese people I saw on one hand…

  • MK

    Marty Markowitz is stealing Veronica Moss’s thunder. Marty, improving bicycle infrastructure across the city is not about being courteous.

  • Red

    Agreed, Ben. I take buses in Manhattan almost every day and it’s rare that cell phones are a problem.

  • Geck

    Elsewhere in the interview (in a separate clip) Marty said some good things about encouraging and accommodating diversity and a verity of ideas and activities. Funny that he does not apply that logic to ones transportation choices.

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    MK: Not only Marty, but Mr. Maes also. Thanks for the idea, I tweeted it!

  • J:Lai

    Cell phone service in underground stations (and hopefully in tunnels eventually) would be good. In addition the convenience of being able to make calls, send emails, texts, etc, it would also allow a 3rd party to provide real time arrival info along all subway lines. This application, to me, is the main reason to do it. A 3rd party phone application could provide far more information, in a much more useful way, than the mta countdown clocks.

    As others have pointed out, there are large segments of the subway network that already have cell phone service since they are above ground. Given the level of background noise, I have observed that phone conversations are relatively uncommon, and when they do occur they are usually brief (“let xyz know I’m running late today”, etc.) Anyway, I don’t see how hearing one side of loud, obnoxious conversation is any worse than hearing both sides.

  • Shemp

    Actually, Marty is not in a position of power. He is the borough president.

  • Peter Engel

    I love that it takes a guy named Shemp to point out that Marty’s nothing but a cheerleader.

  • ChrisCo

    I despise Markowitz more and more with each passing day.

    It SHOULD be difficult for someone to use a car you moron. Move to the 99.9% of America that is completely car dependent if that’s the lifestyle you want.

  • Attempt no. 3:

    I am too frustrated with Marty and Brooklyn drivers to make a coherent comment….

  • What might an American climate change “Pearl Harbor” event be like? Perhaps we should look to the latest from Russia.

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/08/05/russia-medvedev-global-climate-change-drought-heat-wave-grain-harvest/

    Russian President Medvedev: “What is happening now in our central regions is evidence of this global climate change, because we have never in our history faced such weather conditions in the past.”

    Russia is being devastated by extreme weather — and their leaders aren’t silent on what they think the cause is. On Thursday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev spoke to a Russian Security Council meeting on the ongoing threat of wildfires associated with the country’s heat wave and drought:

    ” . . . our country has not experienced such a heat wave in the last 50 or even 100 years . . . I want to say that this is, of course, a severe trial for our country, a great trial indeed. But a the same time, we are not alone in facing these hardships, for other countries too have gone through such trials and, despite all the difficulties, have managed to cope with the situation. . . . Overall, we need to learn our lessons from what has happened, and from the unprecedented heat wave that we have faced this summer.

    None of us can say what the next summer will be like. The forecasts vary greatly. Everyone is talking about climate change now. Unfortunately, what is happening now in our central regions is evidence of this global climate change, because we have never in our history faced such weather conditions in the past. This means that we need to change the way we work, change the methods that we used in the past.”

  • Larry Littlefield

    “What might an American climate change “Pearl Harbor” event be like?”

    Would it matter? We’ve had multiple “Pearl Harbor” events exposing the economic and national security consequences of our petroleum based transporation system. These have been outweighed by people’s desire to do what is easy for themselves right now.

    1) 1973 Arab Oil Boycott, and subsequent deep recession.

    2) The oil price explosion in the aftermath of the Iranian revolution.

    3) The oil price spikes in the wake of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, subseqent war and deep recession.

    4) 9/11.

    5) The soaring price of oil and gasoline in 2007 and early 2008.

    If Americans wouldn’t respond to those events, how would they respond to a heat wave? Turn up the AC.

  • #26 Larry Littlefield, Yes, you are right and this country has been waiting way too long to act but unfortunately there will be more desperate times and action inevitable.

    And, there have been even more pressing recent events than those you mention such as the 27 tropical cyclones during the year of Katrina, the European heat wave that killed between 35,000 to 70,000, the current heat wave and fires in Russia and relatively modest one in the US Northeast and the long term one in Australia forcing manmade expensive water production on massive scales, the BP Gulf oil environmental crisis including the largest Gulf “dead-zone” to date, oil predicted to go over $175 per barrel in the next few years, fisheries collapse and marine eco-systems near collapse, ice-free Arctic predicted within 3 to 9 years . . .

    There is a sense of the unreal hearing people plan for the future in all business-as-usual modes when extremely dramatic change is inevitable quite likely in the extreme short term.

    Those Noble-prize winning IPCC projections for the future is “consensus science” and much too conservative based on very complicated computer models — maybe not quite as corrupt as derivatives but possibly much more complicated — and international agreements consistently trailing by large margins observed changes in the environment and the traditional way to do science.

    When the air conditioner does not work anymore, and or especially when people can’t pay for them and or get around, stuff will happen; unfortunately a very dangerous, risky, and difficult way to do things also known as being stupid and or crazy.

  • The very recent finding of 40% reduction in global phytoplankton should be a climate change “Pearl Harbor” event on every front page of this country.