Today’s Headlines

  • It’s Primary Day in New York — Get Out and Vote (News, MTR, NYT 1, 2)
  • On Election Eve, NYers Are Clueless About Causes of MTA Woes (2nd Ave Sagas, Transit Blogger)
  • Two-Year-Old Shamira Zaman Struck and Killed By SUV Driver in Queens Village (Post)
  • Clyde Haberman: Maybe Voters Should Get Mad at Themselves (NYT)
  • Rider Resignation at First MTA Fare Hike Hearing (NYT, News)
  • More Service Cuts Off the Table Til 2014, Promises MTA Exec (Post)
  • Samuelsen Lobs Bombs at MTA Over Hiring of New Bus Drivers (News)
  • Dooring Victim Jasmine Herron Was Just Getting Started in NYC (Post)
  • Will NYC Streets and Bike Culture Catch Up to Montreal in a Few Years? (Transpo Nation)
  • Kruger-Backed CB 18 Will Be Living the Dream — Dedicated Parking at New City-Financed HQ (Post)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    The MTA is in no position to make a promise of no more service cuts.

    What are they promising — to borrow as much money for operating costs as necessary until then, even if it means shutting the system down after that year?

    How do they know:

    That an arbitrator won’t award 20 percent raises to the TWU?

    That Sheldon Silver won’t push through the 20/50 pension plan — or that the legislature won’t bill allowing everyone to retire immediately at double their pay and then skip town themselves?

    That the Republicans won’t repeal the payroll tax, with Silver blocking congestion pricing?

    That the New York State United Teachers and Local 1199 won’t cut a deal to use 100 percent of the “dedicated” MTA and other transportation taxes for otehr things?

    That the U.S., as a result of its debts, won’t experience deflation, causing the wages of its riders and government tax revenues to fall in a downward spiral even as MTA labor costs (particuarly retirement) rise?

    That the U.S., as a result of those same debts and printing money, get hit with massive inflation and dollar declines, sending the interest on the MTA’s (ahem) variable debts soar, along with energy prices and the cost of any traded or potentially traded goods?

    It’s not that any of these disasters would be due to “circunstances beyond our control.” It is that the non-decisions and deals have been made to make many or most of these possible if not likely.

  • Shemp
  • sue Adrian Benepe

    Parks Dept. bike ban – Signs and park cops on 72nd Street access route from Riverside Drive to the greenway. Parks runs one of the busiest bikeways on the continent but has no suggestion for reaching it other than “must dismount.” Great to see government driven by complaint instead of solutions. Anyone who gets hit trying to fight their way through HHP traffic at the 79th Street roundabout should sue Adrian Benepe.

  • New Report: Climate Change and Bicycling

    It is absolutely unreal that Streetsblog and Transalt have not initiated major advocacy around Climate Change and Bicycling.

    August 4, 2006 I called I spoke to Michael Bloomberg during his Friday radio talk show and recommended that he have town hall meetings on Global Warming and Transportation. He obviously took the call since he was thinking along the same lines.

    Several months later PlanNYC was announced with town hall meetings and several months later still Sadik-Khan was made commissioner of NYC DoT and the rest is history.

    Still, rapidly accelerating environmental devastation caused by climate change is remains down played in the advocacy. Why?

    This will be the major driver of change as it taps into reality-based survival instincts.

  • HuffPO Reader

    Do PPW critics really think a PPW type lane can’t or won’t be built on the UWS or UES, like HuffPo guy says? DOT just installed a protected lane on UWS Columbus Ave and it works fine. Next month the new bus and bike lanes open on First and Second Avenue. The First and Second Ave reconfigurations are a much bigger deal than PPW. Those streets carry far more buses, cars and people than PPW in a much denser neighborhood.

  • #4 HuffPO Reader, “The First and Second Ave reconfigurations are a much bigger deal than PPW. ”

    Absolutely! It is long overdue. Used what exists so far yesterday.

  • One obvious reason why we’re not likely to see a two-way protected bike lane on Central Park West, anytime soon, is because Central Park West is still a two way street, which is almost by definition, a much calmer traffic environment.

  • BicyclesOnly

    I do think the two-way bike lanes pose special design/safety challenges, and the likelihood of seeing them on the Manhattan grid will hinge in large part on the PPW experience.

    Gecko, as important a reason for modal shift to cycling as global warming is, unfortunately most people view it as one of the more abstract, mediated reasons to get cycling (as opposed to speed, efficiency, cost, health, fitness and near-elimination of traffic crash risk posed by cyclists to others). I think the advocacy groups think they can get more folks cycling by stressing those benefits.

    “Sue,” anyone who cares about the cyclist dismount policy in Riverside Park should attend the Community Board 7 Parks Committee meeting this Monday, Sept. 20th, at 7 pm. Details to follow in SB event listing.

  • “It is absolutely unreal that Streetsblog and Transalt have not initiated major advocacy around Climate Change and Bicycling.”

    The education program affiliated with Streetsblog which we call StreetsEducation has centered our work with students, parents and teachers around the effects of cars on the environment and the importance or walking, biking and transit to combat this. We use CO2 readers, particulate matter boards and average vehicle occupancy counts to aggregate data around these issues. Then we help youth and schools make these connections for their communities. Check out our website by clicking on top bar of this blog.

  • Huff Po

    The Huff Po writer is referring to ignorant comments by Marty.


  • #8 Kim Wiley-Schwartz, “Check out our website by clicking on top bar of this blog.”

    Please direct me to the place where it is said that cycling is 3 to 4 times more efficient or faster (or covers 9 to 16 times the area) than walking and has about 1% the enviromental footprint of cars?

    And, some the excellent statistics by Lester R. Brown in Plan B 4.0 (Earth Policy Institute) concerning extremely dramatic advantages of cycling.


    The Return of the Bicycle, Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute, Jul 6, 2010


    Cars and People Compete for Grain, Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute, June 1, 2010

  • #7 BicyclesOnly,

    “global warming is . . . most people view it as one of the more abstract . . .”

    It is not terribly abstract for many people in positions of power and in the know including Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, Richard Branson, Ted Turner, Durst, The Academy, high-level retired military officers, the president, insurance industry, finance industry which must address risk based on climate change, and etc.; and a large segment of the population.

    Of course, special interests devalue the importance of cycling and typical mobility solutions less than one percent the environmental footprint of cars just like they devalue or completely deny the extremely serious problem of climate change.

    The New York Panel on Climate Change has written a risk assessment for New York regarding climate change released this year published by Wiley Press and available from the New York Academy of Sciences.

    Again, PlanNYC including all the new bike infrastructure has come out of Bloomberg’s understanding of the serious of climate change.

    What you have said makes absolutely no sense in this regard.

    If the advocacy got behind the considerable advantages of “one percent transportation” (one percent the environmental footprint of cars) and how it is crucial to the future there would be a lot more innovation and things would likely move a lot faster.

    So far the advocacy has been clueless in this regard. Deutsche Bank invests about $7 billion outside the US in new energy and innovation addressing climate change and a small fraction here. Extremely efficient one-percent transportation is by far one of the most cost-effective and dramatic ways to mitigate climate change.

  • BicyclesOnly

    Gecko, I expect you and I are in broad agreement as to the fact and importance of global warming and the possibilities that transport modal shift could address it. I tried to explain why some advocacy organizations working to develop grassroots support for cycling don’t focus on global warming as their leading rationale for modal shift. It’s nice that Bloomberg, Soros et al care about global warming (and in particular that Bloomberg has gone as far as he has to encourage cycling in NYC), but I don’t think that’s the basis of a grassroots movement toward modal shift. In my opinion, concrete changes that make non-polluting modes more safe, convenient and attractive today is the better strategy. Which is not to say I don’t appreciate those doing activism and education on global warming, or that I don’t look for opportunities to teach my kids about it.

  • Moser

    Danish bike advocates who have surveyed cyclists there say the reason people ride bikes is because it is fast and convenient – health & environment barely register.

  • Global warming and complete streets have a relatively small intersection. The reasons are that,

    1. GHG is just a small part of the externalities of cars and sprawl; air pollution is much larger, as are military protection of oil sources and the higher cost of transportation.

    2. Conversely, the most important single source of GHG emissions is electricity generation, not transportation. Abolishing the coal plant is more important for global warming purposes than abolishing the internal combustion engine.

    3. The political alliance for complete streets is much broader than that for reducing GHG emissions. There are a lot of conservatives who dislike sprawl and auto-centric development on the belief that they cause communities to fracture; Ray LaHood seems to be one. While their numbers may not be large, they help turn this into a bipartisan movement, making it less dependent on who won the last election.

  • garyg

    Gecko, I expect you and I are in broad agreement as to the fact and importance of global warming and the possibilities that transport modal shift could address it.

    The potential for reducing global warming through passenger transportation modal shifts is negligible. Walking, biking and mass transit are not a realistic alternative for more than a small fraction of the almost 5 trillion passenger-miles of travel in America each year by automobile. And the passenger transportation sector in total accounts for only about a third of total U.S. GHG emissions. And the U.S. accounts for only a small and shrinking share of global GHG emissions. The only realistic way to achieve substantial reductions in GHG emissions from the passenger transportation sector is through cleaner automobiles (and, to a much lesser degree, cleaner airplanes).

  • Absolutely hilarious! Yes, the deniers would have you believe that.

    It’s just like the beginning of Iron Man 2 where Bob Downey, Jr. declares he’s “privatized world piece!”

    They’ve privatized human mobility

    They’ll just have to learn to relinquish their stranglehold on civilization so we can all move to the next level of utopia!

  • What a living theater we live in.

    Repeat after me: You cannot travel without a passport.

  • God will bleed.

    And, when there is blood in the water the sharks will come.

  • Absolutely hilarious!

  • Walking, biking and mass transit are not a realistic alternative for more than a small fraction of the almost 5 trillion passenger-miles of travel in America each year by automobile.

    garyg, what is “realistic” is often simply a function of what things cost. As long as motorists enjoy free parking, cheap gas, plentiful and mostly free roadways, and impunity from most of their negligent traffic conduct, private automobile traffic will seem like the only “realistic” option to most people. If the real costs of the parking, gas, roadways and negligence of motoring were imposed directly and exclusively on motorists, I believe other alternatives would start to seem more “realistic,” at least for folks who live in urban areas (which I believe are approximately half of people living in the United States). If large numbers of urban dwellers switched modes, it would improve political conditions for broader changes, nationally and internationally, that could hasten the campaign against global warming.

    But even if none of that was true, as a person living in New York City, alternate modes are clearly an option for me. So there is no excuse for me to rely on a private automobile for transportation, given the negative impact of that activity on street safety, local transportation policy, national foreign and economic policy, and the crisis presented by global warming. Not to mention the personal physical and mental health benefits. Compared to most choices an individual can make, switching from private automobile to walking, cycling or mass transit does a whole lot of good for one’s self, and the community, society and planet. I can’t see why anyone would argue against it, unless they have a a direct interest in expanding automobile use.

  • With a little imagination and googling on the likes of technologies demonstrated by e-Quickie, Shweeb, Challenge Alize recumbent bikes and trikes, electric bikes etc. and you just might see that we are rapidly emerging with optimum mobility solutions as pervasive and positively disruptive as cellular communications and completely sustainable.

    Things will start moving real fast when the entrenched industries perpetuating the local monopolies of transportation systems based on cars get out of the way.