Today’s Headlines

  • Grading Jay Walder, One Year In (News)
  • Cuomo Promises to Unveil Urban Agenda (NYT)
  • Ravitch To Write Transportation Funding Report Before Leaving Office (Crain’s)
  • Though Over 80% of Residents Use Bus, Murray Hill Organizes Against 34th St. Transitway (DNAinfo)
  • Lots of Demand, Little Progress as East Side Lobbies for a Real Greenway (News)
  • Remembering Westway: “NY Won” When $1.4B Shifted From Highways to Transit (News)
  • TWU Should’ve Stuck With Commuter Van Service, Says News
  • Queens Boulevard Alley Cat Race Calls Attention to Borough’s Need for Safe Cycling (News)
  • Unlicensed Driver Leaves 84-Year-Old Staten Island Woman in Serious Condition (Post)
  • Police Initiate “Wild Chase” in East New York (News)
  • Without Any Outdoor Space, Chelsea Middle School Takes Over the Street for Lunch (DNAinfo)
  • Jay Walljasper Explores Cycling in the Netherlands (Citiwire)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    A WSJ article on Brooklyn’s Fourth Avenue implies that developers were not forced to add parking, but some who did so anyway now agree they should have chosen otherwise.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704082104575516083892033688.html?mod=WSJ_NY_MIDDLESecondStories

    “In July, a new building site sold at Eighth Street and Fourth Avenue—”the only development site on Fourth Avenue that has traded in probably two years,” says Ken Freeman, senior vice president of sales for real-estate firm Massey Knakal.”

    “The price was about $65 a buildable foot, he says—roughly half what it would likely have sold for before the recession began.”

    (And before the 421a abatement was ended in this area, I might add, so now we can see who actually profited from that abatement — not the future resident or even the developer.)

    “Gregory Rigas, whose group plans to develop the site, says it is being excavated. His two other new-construction properties on Fourth Avenue—rental buildings at Baltic and 16th streets—have parking garages on the ground floor.”

    “It was a mistake,” he says now. The new building, he says, will have ground-floor retail. “

  • MRN

    For a long time, i’ve wanted a ‘horsepower tax’ as a gas-saving measure. As many of us know, there have been many advances in automotive efficiency tech, but it’s been eaten-up by increased horsepower in most level cars (my old 1986 Honda Civic got 45 mpg + on the freeway at around 68 mph; it had 60 HP. You likely can’t buy such a low-powered engine nowadays, but they ran forever and went fast enough for 99% of all driving).

    A similar thing ought to be done for NYC cops. Seeing as how they have a “moratorium” on high-speed pursuits that the officers seem to ignore, how about replace cruisers (on the normal vehicle replacement schedule) with smaller-enginged vehicles. They’d save a ton on gasoline, the vehicle cost may well be less anyhow, and the police, without superchargers and 200hp+ engines, would be less likely to engage in pursuit in the first place.

  • TKO

    Alley cats? Why not race over at the velodrome? Poor pedestrians with those losers cycling like fools about.

  • J. Mork
  • J. Mork

    Grading Jay Walder:

    “Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers campaign socked Walder with two big fat F’s – one for sour relations between Transport Workers Union Local 100 and management, and the other for scaling back bus and subway service.”

    So that’s an F for trying to reduce labor costs and and F for not reducing costs enough to avoid service cuts?

    I give an F to Gene Russianoff for incoherence.

  • Peter from Stuy Town

    MRN – A horsepower tax was an idea that made some sense a few years ago. I think it’s now unnecessary because of marketplace forces. If there’s to be a Federal tax, shouldn’t it really be on gasoline itself?

    Most sales of the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry — the two best-selling passenger cars — are for 160-hp 4 cylinder cars; the more-powerful V-6 models languish. Ford is introducing a six-cylinder engine for its F-series truck. The Federal mileage standard of 35mpg by 2020 means the next generation of cars must be lighter, smaller and propelled by less powerful engines. That’s why we’re getting a huge wave of new small cars, smaller than the current Civic and Corolla.

    I’m not sure what your beef is with cop cars, at least here in NYC. More of the new precinct cruisers are hybrid 4-cylinder models. The more powerful Hemi Charger and Caprice go to highway patrols, not street cops.

  • Bah.

    I’m a Murray Hill resident and I wrongly assumed my neighbors would be cheering support for the 34th St transitway… it would be the very first bit of improvement brought to our part of town by our wonderfully progressive new DOT. This is the same community board that rightfully opposed widening our side streets towards the Tunnel… I’m ashamed of them here and was shocked to hear the opinions voiced at this meeting.

    Murray Hill is traffic-snarled Midtown Tunnel runoff, we haven’t a single bike lane, it’s the only part of Manhattan without a waterfront greenway, and we’re serviced only by the overcongested 4/5/6 subway line. Our buses sit in traffic, our crosswalks are blocked by gridlock. This part of town needs a LOT of work.

    There are two main types of people that live in this neighborhood: 1) young couples getting their first place, and 2) crabby folks who’ve been here for half a century that squawk at anything progressive. The latter are being replaced by the former for obvious biological reasons, but take a look at the photos of this meeting and tell me who you think was represented here. Maybe they’re glad it takes longer to ride the bus to Penn Station than it does to walk, but I for one would welcome ANY kind of improvements to this area. (East side bike lanes? Hello? Where’d they go? Anything? Help us, DOT and ignore the crabby old people!)

  • JamesR

    What’s up with the demographics of that crowd in the photo for the 34th St Transitway piece? I’m a little shocked that a public meeting in NYC could draw a crowd that is so, umm, un-diverse. Is Murray Hill really that much of a monoculture?

  • Peter from Stuy Town

    @JamesR: I’ll be more blunt than you about it. MH is suburbia with taxis. Except for the housing projects by Second Avenue, the area is an urban haven for white people, especially the post-collegiate crowd who whoop it up at Tonic East Thursday-Sunday. They don’t go to community meetings, though. That’s for retirees. Mostly white retirees.

  • New Yorker

    Hey! I live in Murray Hill and work for a living. I walk to my job in Midtown, walk from Penn Station to my apartment after Amtrak trips, walk to Grand Central for subways and commuter trains and — gasp! — often take buses. (I even own a bike!) As a New Yorker, I know how to schedule my time and modes of transport so that I arrive everywhere on time. It’s not that hard to do.

    Almost no one takes the 34th Street bus river-to-river, so at most the Busway will shave a minute or two off commuting times. (After all, the DOT Commissioner was quoted in the Times as saying that it didn’t matter that Times Square’s re-engineering slowed other bus routes because so few people take buses for the lengths of their routes!)

    If a couple of minutes is so necessary, then institute TSM, which provides bus clearance during rush hours — without blocking apartment lobby and business door behind Busway concrete barriers, forcing people to pay higher maintenance fees to cover off-hour building deliveries and services, and turning 34th Street into another failed Chestnut Street (Philly) or State Street (Chicago) or K Street (Sacramento) Transitway.

  • turning 34th Street into another failed Chestnut Street (Philly) or State Street (Chicago) or K Street (Sacramento) Transitway.

    Hey back to you! The State Street busway in Chicago succeeded in shortening transit commutes, and it succeeded in bringing customers to businesses in the Loop. The only reason people say it “failed” is that it attracted poor Black people, and the stores that those people couldn’t afford didn’t do very well. It was a success the same way the Fulton Mall in Brooklyn is a success.

    Now if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like poor Black people getting off buses in your neighborhood, you might not be encouraged by this. But don’t worry: most of the buses that would use the Transitway don’t come from Black neighborhoods.