Cast Your Vote For the 2010 Streetsies


Even after 51 weeks of reporting on NYC’s sustainable transportation and street safety scene, it’s still somewhat stunning to sit back and pore over the sheer volume of news that happened in the past year. 2010 was an epically bad year for transit riders, leavened by some important flashes of innovation. New York also saw historic progress on making streets safer for biking and walking, tempered by political pushback and a barrage of negative press.

To commemorate the best and worst of 2010, soon we’ll be posting our fourth annual year-end awards, the Streetsies. Right now we’ve got eight people’s choice categories for you to vote on — the polls are open until midnight on Sunday, December 27.

Before we sign off for the holiday weekend and get to the nominations, a few updates about developments that will help Streetsblog crank out your livable streets fix in 2011 and beyond:

  • Our first pledge drive is in full swing until December 31 — just a few more days! Have you given yet? Your tax-deductible donation will provide invaluable support for Streetsblog NYC, directly funding high-impact reporting that sets the agenda for sustainable transportation and street safety policy.
  • A big shout-out to the fine people at Bicycle Habitat for sponsoring our coverage. Check out the Bike Habitat ad on our sidebar and visit their shop on Lafayette Street — they’re open tomorrow and on Christmas Eve, in case you’re searching for something to give the cyclists (or prospective cyclists) in your life. If you’re interested in advertising on Streetsblog NYC, send an email to Vanessa Hamer at vhamer [at] openplans [dot] org.

And now, without further ado, your nominees for the 2010 Streetsies.

Best Livable Streets Moment

Total Voters: 521

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Best Pedestrian Project

Total Voters: 329

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Best Bicycle Project

Total Voters: 331

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Most Encouraging News for Transit

Total Voters: 342

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NIMBY of the Year

Total Voters: 323

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Nadir of the Year (Transit Division)

Total Voters: 306

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Nadir of the Year (Street Safety Division)

Total Voters: 309

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Urban Abomination of the Year

Total Voters: 294

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  • Mike

    I wanted to vote for all four of the candidates for “Urban abomination fo the year”.

  • Barb

    I don’t see where/how to vote.

  • Eric

    You missed a category, best song of the year. Surely Marty Markowitz would win that one.

  • Shemp

    Yeah, I’m not seeing any vote facility in either IE or Chrome, but it is showing me the running tally, which may not be desirable pre-voting.

  • Mike

    Voting works just fine for me in Chrome, on both Mac and Linux.

  • My best guess about the tech problems is that the poll software will not allow two votes from the same ip address. If you’re having trouble at work, I think voting at home may solve it. Unless you live with a streetsblog reader.

  • tom

    Why are you picking on Joan Millman? Did she personally sponsor the raids on the transit money? Did she advocate or twist arms to make sure it happened? She was one of many who voted for those measures. Didn’t she sponsor a penalty for parking in bike lanes? This seems to be personal to someone at Streetsblog.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Did she personally sponsor the raids on the transit money? Did she advocate or twist arms to make sure it happened? She was one of many who voted for those measures.”

    She stood out for the reason mentioned. She showed up and criticized the state government she oversees for the problems caused to other people by decisions she assented to. She didn’t do more damage than anyone else, but she stood out for hypocrisy.

    I don’t write for Streetsblog, but this drives me nuts too. As we face an institutional collapse due to the deals, favors and debts of the past coming due in recession, the last thing I want to see is state legislators kept in office by those who benefitted by those deals, favors and debt showing up to criticize those presiding over the collapse while trying to minimize the damage. Shut up, take your winnings, and move to Florida with your supporters.

  • Marcia Kramer’s Eyebrow

    What? No Streetsie category for me? Marcia Kramer’s Worst Accessory? The nominees are:

    A – Marcia Kramer’s Microphone
    B – Marcia Kramer’s Cellphone
    C – Marcia Kramer’s Newsvan
    D – Marcia Kramer’s Eyebrow

    OH PLEASE – let it be me! Let it be me!!!

  • Shemp

    That was it (the conflicting IP address) – thanks.

    Will Iris move up the charts now that she has signed that letter in today’s NYT?

  • NattyB

    Re: East Side bikeways north of 34th Street

    UGH, will they complete this f—er already!

    Like, I work in midtown and live in the LES, so the 1st avenue bike lane just dies at 34th street.

    Whereas the bike land allows me to just cruise, I end up sweating up a storm to keep up with traffic from 34th til 42nd. This is 1st ave, they have the space, even with the tunnel.

  • chuck

    Write-in vote for “Urban Abomination of the Year” — Atlantic Yards

  • Write-in vote for transit nadir: Chris Christie – twice – declares transit unnecessary by massive fare hikes, service cuts, and cancellation of ARC, all to appease drivers so he doesn’t have to raise the gas tax.

  • Marty Barfowitz

    I love the Streetsies.

    It’s great that you guys finally got the People’s Choice voting option up and running.

  • Marty Barfowitz

    Why are you picking on Joan Millman? Did she personally sponsor the raids on the transit money? Did she advocate or twist arms to make sure it happened? She was one of many who voted for those measures. Didn’t she sponsor a penalty for parking in bike lanes? This seems to be personal to someone at Streetsblog.

    Joan Millman represents a district that should, without question, be sending someone to Albany who is the Assembly’s leading advocate for mass transit, livable streets and congestion pricing. Instead, we get Joan Millman who not only does not lead on these issues, she actively works against them. For this reason, Millman absolutely deserves to be singled out for scorn, derision and criticism when it comes to this set of issues. She ought to be held to account for the fact that transit service in her district has been decimated during her watch.

  • Chris


    I hear you about the east side bike lanes. I live in Spanish Harlem and I cut across to HRGW to bike down to SoHo, an additional 3 miles out of my way just so I can be safer. and I only do that once or twice a week, the rest of the time I just take the subway. Build it and they will come.

    East side has no access between 34th and 125th. Or 34th and 62nd (East River Greenway), and I wouldn’t want to be riding on the ERG late at night.

    Connecting 34th to 125th would open up so many more commuters and general biking usage on the east side, I think as far as biking infrastructure goes, that’s the single best thing the city could do in manhattan. Heck, even just extending the bike lanes to 62nd street would be better than what is there now.

  • NattyB

    @ Chris,

    Wow, you go all the way along the HRGW from Spanish Harlem, mad respect.

    I used to have a similiar commute. Yorkville to FiDi. At first I’d just cut through the park to take the HRGW, but, as you mentioned, it is a several mile detour.

    So then, I would just take Lexington all the way downtown and then Park briefly and then Broadway to FiDi. I took Lexington b/c 2nd ave = death, and lex was fairly slow such that I never got too scared.

    But yah man, closing the gap and having a true network, oh man, sooo many more people would commute. So many people I know are on the precipice of bike commuting and completing the gap would be huge towards those ends.

    Like, what’s the purpose of having a half-ass bikelane. It’s unconscionable that they have them end 12 blocks short of midtown (from the south).

  • The incomplete and uncertain Bikeway north of 34th definitely has to win street safety nadir of the year–we won it and then they took it away! Until it’s built, for relatively calm routes through Midtown East I use Lexington and Park. For a protected ride, I take West Drive to Broadway headed downtown and detour all the way to the HRGW only for uptown.

    Best Livable Streets moment is really tough. The PPW rally was so well attended, had a great feeling, was lots of fun. But the CB7 vote on the Columbus Avenue bike path that carried by only one vote was an incredible nail-biter and represented a remarkable culmination of years of sustained effort, and the statements by the various speakers summed up everything the livable streets movements stands for.

    And I wasn’t at the Jax Heights march for the play street, but the video made it look awesome.

    And the submission of the 2,500 letters to Bloomberg was pretty awesome, too.

  • The cancellation of ARC is a highlight. The lowlight is that the money was directed to road projects.

  • Re: Today’s letter in the Times — There seems to be less daylight between Iris and NBBL with each passing day. Maybe I should have melded them into one nominee in the NIMBY category.

    In the end I think Iris deserves some sort of personal recognition for the role she’s played in fighting against what seems to be the most beloved street redesign of 2010.

  • Great job Ben and Noah. No surprise that I voted for the Jackson Heights march on the Community Board for the 78th Street. I’m happy to see all the other worthy projects that deserve #2. Happy New Year and keep up the good work.

  • Wow, thrilling competition for “best moment.” Gonna come down to the wire.

  • del

    the jackson heights ”march” was total bs. it was fronted and headed by the local councilman’s chief of staff, WHO LIVES ON THAT STREET–this is a perfect example of an ”astroturf” community movement. undeserving of consideration.

  • So, Del, what if the people on that street really want a play street? Do they have to ask the chief of staff to move in order to be “deserving of consideration”?

  • Len Maniace

    I have to respectively say Del is wrong. Councilman Dromm did participate in the event and brought a long a bullhorn along, but I came up with the idea for the march and organized the march which attracted at least 150 people. No one has eve disputed that.

    It’s hard to be more grassroots than Friends of Travers Park and The Green Agenda for Travers Park, committees that I head which belong to the Jackson Heights Beautification Group. The GA4JH attracted at least 400 people to some 15 sessions.

    My experience in working on many environmental/park events in JH over the last 15 years, it’s clear there are always a few people who will find something negative.

    In any case, we have a great list of competing events. I’m especially looking forward to the day when bulldozers demolish the Sheridan Expessway and it’s turned into a park.

  • Anthony

    I know this is random, but I like to look towards the future!

    Can anyone here tell me if there has ever been a concerted effort to pedestrianize St. Mark’s Place? (I know that many residents would like to see sidewalks widened again, which would be a good start…)

    I imagine a redesigned Astor Place – currently a disaster of roads – transitioning to a beautiful pedestrianized St. Mark’s Place all the way to Tompkins Square Park. The avenues, of course, would be kept open to traffic, but St. Mark’s would be pedestrianized on each block with retractable bollards installed to allow for cleaning, late-night deliveries and perhaps early morning (i.e. 4 AM when deliveries would also be occurring) taxi service from clubs/bars.

    It wouldn’t be hard – just widen the sidewalks dramatically and remake the carriageway with some sort of attractive paving block. I imagine the whole set-up would operate similar to many of the streets in the center of “Old Amsterdam” over in the Netherlands.

    What do you think? Any tweaks you guys would make? Am I being impractical? Can you post any links to serious studies?

  • Interesting, Anthony. Where would the M8 bus/trolley go?

  • Anthony

    That’s a nice proposal – I didn’t know it existed! I would love to see more light rail/modern streetcar in NYC as I think it would help to “civilize” surface transport in NYC (I’m very disappointed, of course, that there are no serious plans for light rail to take over for buses on the 34th ST Transitway…), discipline cars and just make the streetscape more interesting.

    Hmmmmm – the M8 totally slipped my mind. Two options:

    1.) Widen sidewalks on St. Mark’s and adopt a “transit mall/plaza”-style approach ala Denver ( Sensors on the M8 bus would automatically bring down retractable bollards (a trolley or light rail vehicle, of course, would obviate the need for bollards as you’d have a track running down the middle of the new mall/plaza).

    2.) Shift the M8 bus down to E. 6th ST for St. Mark’s Place portion of route and adjust remainder of route accordingly. Enact more elaborate pedestrianization of St. Mark’s given absence of transit.

    Of the two, option #1 would probably be more realistic for the culture of NYC and most welcomed by businesses seeking a compromise between enhanced public space and consumer access to stores/restaurants. And option #1 with a quiet, sleek, and clean modern streetcar would, of course, be better than a bus. Again, I think Amsterdam provides a great example of running light rail/modern streetcar through crowded pedestrian areas.

  • Anthony, there actually are informal plans for light rail to take over from buses on 34th: the extended 42nd Street LRT would loop around and run back on 34th. But said plans have a cost projection in line with that of fully underground subways in comparable first-world cities outside the US, so they have no chance of materializing.


The 2010 NYC Streetsies, Part 1

We’re kicking off this year’s NYC Streetsies with the good stuff — the best street redesigns, transit enhancements, policy innovations, and advocacy moments of 2010. Tomorrow we’ll round up the bad stuff. And on Thursday we’ll recognize the people and personalities who shaped the past year. Streetsblog will be back on our regular publishing schedule […]