Today’s Headlines

  • Ped Plaza Dropped From 34th Street Transitway; Other Elements in Doubt (Post, News, WSJ, SAS)
  • Times Credits Nonsensical Post Rants for Thwarting “Unorthodox” Sadik-Khan
  • This Prescient Dispatch From Cap’n Transit Finds Input Process Designed for Failure
  • City Planners Move Ahead With 130-Block Rezoning in Sunnyside, Woodside (News, Observer)
  • News: Target-Anchored Mall in the Works for East Bronx
  • Investors Plan Retail/Hotel/Residential Development at American Stock Exchange Site (NY1)
  • DWI Killer Gets 3.5 to 10 Years for 2010 Death of Long Island City Deliveryman (NY1)
  • Teen Hurt in Hit-and-Run on Great Kills Street Without Sidewalks; Advance Mostly Blames DOE
  • Placard Reform Yet to Catch On at Office of Court Administration (News)
  • Upstate Republicans More Enlightened on Cycling Than Michael DenDekker (CapCon)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    Let’s see what the plan is before jumping to conclusions. Perhaps there is a better plan.

    Is there enough room for a two-way busway in the middle of the street, with fixed “stations” shielded from traffic? And other traffic at the curb to enable deliveries?

    That’s common in Europe, and JSK would certainly be aware of that option and others. So let’s see.

    http://world.nycsubway.org/perl/show?27364

  • Funny that the Daily News says the plaza plan would create “an oasis for walkers and bikers.” There’s never been any dedicated space for biking in this project.

  • Marty Barfowitz

    R.I.P.

    NYC Streets Renaissance

    May 14, 2007 – March 2, 2011.

    “It’s really wonderful to live in a city where every day when you wake up in the morning you realize that the city is a little bit better than yesterday.”

    — Jan Gehl.

  • It takes 15 minutes, including walking, to get from the Waterfront Commission office to NYU law school via the A train. I can’t imagine that the commissioner needs anything more than a laptop for the presentation, which he could easily bring with him on the subway.

    How can these public-sector representatives be so out of touch with the ordinary New Yorker?

  • Number of non-emergency vehicles I observed flagrantly violating red lights–last night plus this morning: 3

  • Chris

    btw, finally some coverage (though not much) in the NYT on Friday’s attempted murder in Brazil:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/world/americas/03brazil.html?_r=1&ref=world

  • So now that the DOT and JSK have “responded to community criticism” and “public input” and scrapped the plan, how long will it be before Peyser and Cuozzo write columns accusing the DOT and JSK for operating in total scheming secrecy with no regard for the put-upon, car dependent, hoi polloi?

    I give ’em both a week.

  • Andrew

    Your headline about Sunnyside/Woodside is incorrect. The rezoning was certified by the Department of City Planning; it has yet to make its way though the approvals process to the City Planning Commission.

  • I saw the bit on the cover of the News about the placard abusing guy. Its sort of a yawn in the SB world, no one is enforcing it, so is this a surprise? But it struck me, how the front page story is supposed to leap out at the “average driver” and spark disgust, but isn’t this what so many put upon “middle class drivers’ do for themselves? Stretch the rules, double park, etc? I know that West 4th is a choice Village location, but, this rag is writing to appeal to people who very likely do that alt side double parking BS every week. Assuming the story is not meant to resonate with non-car owners who probably don’t care about this stuff. (i.e. the majority of the City)
    It seems to me, that the News is saying “Hey look at this scofflaw’, while it’s car driving readership is guilty of the similar abuse of parking rules. I guess I was struck by a story expecting certain amount of line-toeing, for certain populations, but not others. (I suppose I see them all as selfish drivers, placards or not) Same with the treatment of bike riders, it seems that “Once cyclists obey all traffic laws, they will be respected”, yet, cars aren’t doing that at all, in fact, they literally get away with murder. But we must respect driver’s desires to park wherever and drive however, no matter how it effects any of us.
    I know this guy is abusing his official placard, but this seems like a convenient double standard.
    I hope I explained the connection I saw clearly, not sure I did.

  • Andrew

    @Larry

    At 50 feet, 34th Street isn’t wide enough to do two-way BRT in the median and preserve curbside access. It would have to look something like this at the stations:

    10′ auto|1′ buffer|11′ bus|6′ station|11′ bus|1′ buffer|10′ auto

    and then like this the rest of the time:

    13′ auto|1′ buffer|11′ bus|11′ bus|1′ buffer|13′ auto

    It just doesn’t leave enough room at the edges for parking, unless you remove sidewalk space.

  • Headline tweaked. Thanks, Andrew.

  • dporpentine

    What Marty Barfowitz said. The news about where the city is headed does seem to be getting worse every day.

  • Daphna

    I think the majority of New Yorkers actually want a pedestrian plaza between 5th and 6th Avenue on 34th Street. Unfortunately, the people who the DOT hears from, the minority who speak up, and who cause the DOT to adjust their plans, are against it. The majority who would like it are just not vocal or involved, but they would probably love and use the plaza once it was there.

    I wish the city would do what it did with the pedestrian area on Broadway: create it on a temporary basis and then evaluate it and see if it works. It’s likely it would work, but saying it is temporary might get the political support needed to try it. It is such a shame the scrap the street change before it is tried out.

    People are resistant to change and that’s so frustrating. They can’t envision that the flow of people and goods on our streets might work better. They have learned to cope with the streets as they are and are fighting to keep them that way, since it is what they know. They are afraid of the unknown and don’t have vision.

  • Pete

    The absolute inability of the Mayor’s office and the DOT to control the message in the last few months is really starting to show, and it does not bode well for the future.

    Say what you want about Robert Moses, but one thing he did extremely well over his tenure was control the message, and do so vigorously. Immediate responses, with evidence, strong backers from other quarters, pressure, etc. No threat or slight was every ignored, no matter how small.

    These last few months have seen almost no activity whatsoever from the Mayor’s office, JSK, or the DOT in general on any of the various eruptions, allowing blowhards like Cuzzo and NBBL to spout off. This is extremely bad.

    I’m sorry, but you can’t let statistics make the arguments for themselves. You need to go out and fight, sell, and push every step of the way. Brad Lander’s defense of the PPW bike lane at the CB6 meeting and the week after are the closest thing I’ve seen recently to a pushback from anyone in city government.

    People need to stop being policy wonks, and go out and fight for what they believe in.

  • J:Lai

    Pete, do you think the administration is fatigued now that it is well into the third term? Or just another example of Bloomberg’s usual tone-deafness to media and publicity (e.g. Manhattan as “luxury product”)?

  • Larry Littlefield

    The Mayor is being sunk by the gutting of public services to pay for retroactive pension enhancements and debts. He is consumed with fighting the battle over who will be blamed for this.

    Everything else is pretty much out the window.

    The skirmishes over this are nothing compared with the propaganda war being fought by Wall Street and the public employee unions, justifying how much they have taken at everyone else’s expense (in soaring compensation and retroactive pension enhancements respectively). A war of the guilty against the guilty they will both surely win.

  • William Reilly

    City Hall is on the defensive. Both Bloomberg and Sadik-Khan were roundly — if not always rightly — battered by the press for the city’s difficulties following this winter’s snowstorms. Bloomberg learned an eternal lesson in snowstorms and big city politics. He seems chastened as a result, though I don’t expect that will last. For the time being, however, JSK and her boss may have to struggle just to hold what ground they have already gained.

    So Pete is right. Time to fight, especially if City Hall won’t. I read the archives here and at TA and I see so many names I recognize. Thanks to one and all for your hard work through the years. It has made NYC a better place. And as I may possibly be the only regular reader of this site not already fighting, I’m off to enlist.

  • Ydanis Rodriguez, District 10 council member, drives his daughter to school. link to dnainfo story