Today’s Headlines

  • City May Reverse Plan to Add Bike Lanes to Greenpoint Avenue Bridge (Bklyn Paper)
  • Atlantic Yards Might Just Be a Stadium + Parking Lot Forever (Post, Gothamist) …or Not (AYR)
  • Florida’s Loss = New York’s Gain? Amtrak and Cuomo Apply for HSR Funds (Transpo Nation)
  • Long-Time SI Advance Copy Editor Killed By Drunk Driver on Garden State Parkway
  • Groundbreaking SFPark Ready for Prime Time Later This Month (SFChron)
  • TWU Internal Audit Turns Up Some Fishy Car-Related Expenses (News)
  • The Brooklyn Waterfront Is Booming “Like Soho on Steroids” (News)
  • Jim Brennan’s PPW Survey Turns Into a Rare Pro-Bike Headline in the Post
  • On Bike Lanes, Kirsten Gillibrand Is as Verbose as Chuck Schumer (Observer)
  • More Legislation From David Greenfield: Surprise, It’s About Parking (News)
  • The Times Prints Two Letters About Bike Lanes, and the Top One Calls for Licensing All Cyclists

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • J

    Apparently printing a pro-bike story has caused the Post’s server to crash. I can’t read it yet.

  • moocow

    We should license and insure cars and trucks, because then no one would speed, run lights, flip U turns or park and drive on the sidewalk. And we should take all the money from this wealth enhancing idea and form a group of dedicated individuals to patrol and enforce these laws. We could call them, I dunno, the New York Patrol Department. People could make tv shows about their heroism and there could be activity leagues and …..

  • Here’s the cached version, which I guess the Post doesn’t want you to see.

  • MRN

    Good to see that, a year and a half after getting all the credit, SFPark is finally ready to begin their experiment. All the cute videos in the world aren’t as important as, you know, executing the project.

  • Pete

    Not surprised by the Ratner/Atlantic Yards parking-lot development, but this is a potential disaster for the neighborhood – is there any way at this point to lean on Ratner to do something other than create a parking lot there? Adding massive lots would be a disaster for the neighborhoods.

  • Has Sally Goldenberg gone rogue?

  • The Times letter is hilarious!

    When all bicycle riders — like drivers of any other vehicle subject to traffic laws and capable of causing injury — are required to wear vests with visible identity numbers…

    I, for one, had no idea that car drivers were required to wear vests with visible identity numbers!

    (yes, licensing, which means more revenue for the city)

    Yes! Revenue! Like the massive amounts of revenue Long Beach, California took in through bicycle licensing! Oh, wait… they cancelled their program because “the cost to administer the bicycle license program greatly exceeded the revenues received.”

    …when bicycles are required to have front and back lights, and a noise-emitting warning device…

    …which are all already required by law.

    …then I, like most New Yorkers, will support bike lanes.

    What is he saying here? That most New Yorkers support bike lanes (see: last month’s Q poll)? Or that “most New Yorkers” are like him – too ignorant to do a little research before writing a seething letter to the paper of record?

  • J:Lai

    Regarding the Greenpoint Ave bridge bike lane, I think it would actually be a better solution to leave this bridge alone, get rid of the bike lane on greenpoint ave between the bridge and manhattan ave, and instead do the following.
    Remove one (or maybe even two) car travel lane on the Pulaski bridge (currently there are 6) and expand the protected lane so that there is ample room for 2 way bike and 2 way pedestrian travel.
    The Pulaski Bridge, which connects Long Island City to Greenpoint, is more heavily used by bikes and pedestrians already.
    Greenpoint Ave could then be a designated truck route, and conflicts between motor vehicle traffic and bicycles on that stretch of road could be eliminated. (Currently, the bicycle lane between the bridge and McGuinness Ave is mostly used as a passing lane for cars.)

  • J:Lai

    Regarding the Atlantic Yards ongoing fiasco, while this is hardly a surprise, it is revolting and just another example of why any right-thinking person should oppose eminent domain.

  • fdr

    The driver who killed the Staten Island Advance editor is free without bail “because in New Jersey, drunken driving is a traffic violation, not a criminal offense.”
    http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/04/alleged_drunken_driver_in_fata.html

  • Wkgreen

    I agree with Chris O’Leary. The letter is a hoot. It seems that if the writer really wants everyone who is “subject to traffic laws and capable of causing injury” to wear vests with identity numbers why stop at cyclists (or motorists as it seems to include). While on a bike I’ve had enough people jump out from between parked cars at mid block to worry about my personal safety forcing me to veer suddenly and unexpectedly into traffic. I could see us tagging every pedestrian. Time Square will be awash in a fluorescent sea of yellow vests! Think of the revenue!! We could balance our budgets!!!!

    Seriously, does the Gray Lady bother to read these things before it prints them? It seems to have pulled a random anti-bike screed from the bag.

  • J:Lai, if you want people to come from anywhere east of 43rd Street, you need to have good bike access across the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge. This was my commuting route for over a year, and without the bike lane it was really unpleasant coming across the bridge.

  • rlb

    Well, as a frequent traverser of this route, I couldn’t disagree more. The two bridges serve completely different purposes, and suggesting that beefing one up and letting the other rot is an improvement goes against every aspect of American Progress I’ve ever heard of.
    The reality is that the half mile stretch of Greenpoint from McGuinness to the bridge is ideal for a physically separated lane. On the north side, there are only three intersections, two of which are hardly used. Additionally, the only public transit along Greenpoint, the lowly B24, doesn’t run on the weekends. Also, on the Queens side of the bridge, Greenpoint’s southside runs for about half a mile with only three intersections as it runs along the cemetery. So a bike lane along Greenpoint Ave would be an ideal way to connect Sunnyside and Greenpoint.
    Finally, traffic on Greenpoint for this stretch is light and easily accomodated by one lane each way.

  • moocow

    That is a major route to woodside/greenpoint-willburg. And the bridge is misused as it is laid out now.
    I don’t think much has changed since I took this:
    http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/29453408@N07/3044086419/in/search_QM_q_IS_greenpoint+ave_AND_prefs_photos_IS_1_AND_mt_IS_all_AND_w_IS_29453408@N07

    J:Lai is right that the Pulaski needs major changes. It is absurd cyclists in the number that are crossing now, are doing so next to the peds that are there too

  • J:Lai

    rlb –

    I believe that these 2 bridges serve almost the same purpose. It is less than a 1 mile detour to use the Pulaski bridge instead of the Greenpoint Ave bridge, even assuming that your destination lies directly on Greenpoint Ave.
    What I suggest is not to “beef one up and let the other rot”, but rather to design one as a bike-friendly route and the other as a truck-friendly route.
    While there may not be many intersections along that stretch of Greenpoint, it is also a major truck route due to the LIE ramp at the eastern end of the cemetary, and the industrial character of the neighborhood in both northern Greenpoint and Long Island City that it runs through.

    It makes sense to designate certain routes as preferred routes for bikes, and likewise have other routes as preferred routes for trucks and cars. Such a solution is better for all road users. As a biker, I would rather have one good bicycle route (protected lane with ample space) than 2 semi-ok ones.
    I would accept a detour of less than a mile in order to access a better, safer travel route, especially during rush hour or other times of high volume motor vehicle traffic.

  • Getting from the Pulaski Bridge Queens side to the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge Queens side is a mile of threatening riding along Borden and Laurel Hill. Not much fun, especially late at night.

    Trucks also have the Kosziusko.

  • Eric McClure

    Pete, we’ve been trying for more than seven years now to lean on Ratner, to no avail. If you have ideas, please take a crack at it. He seems to care a lot more about his bottom line than he does the neighborhoods.

  • J:Lai

    If you are coming from east of 43rd street (as I often do) you can proceed directly on Greenpoint ave, across the bridge, and up to Manhattan Avenue. You will have to cross the various LIE entrances and exits, share the bridge roadway with speeding cars and trucks that rarely are looking out for bikes, and travel another half mile on Greenpoint Ave in a bike lane that is more frequently used as a passing lane for speeding cars.

    OR … you could turn down Hunters Point Ave (a lower volume local road) just before you get to the LIE exits, follow it down until you reach the Pulaski bridge, and travel across that bridge on a lane separated by concrete and metal from the motor vehicles. You can then turn right and arrive at Manhattan Ave.

    The total detour is just under a mile, which I think is less than 5 minutes even if you are riding on the slow side of average biking speed.

    The only drawback is that the shared bike/ped lane on the Pulaski Bridge is too narrow. Given that there are 6 lanes for mv traffic on this bridge, I think it would make a lot of sense to take 1 or 2 of those lanes away and expand the bike/ped separated walkway / bikeway.

    The larger issue here is that not every road or bridge should have a bike lane. Some roads should be optimized for bikes,while others are optimized for cars or trucks.

  • J:Lai, there are no “various LIE entrances and exits” in Brooklyn.

  • J:Lai

    Jonathan R., that is true, but there are in Queens. I was addressing the specific point about riders coming from east of 43rd street, meaning they would be traveling through Sunnyside and/or Long Island City.
    The Greenpoint Ave bridge does connect Brooklyn and Queens, after all.

  • Aha, I misread. I thought you had already crossed the bridge in the first sentence. Thanks for clarifying.