Today’s Headlines

  • Reverse Backlash: Bklyn CB10’s Pro-Bike Faction Votes for Sharrows on Bay Ridge Parkway (Bklyn Paper)
  • 300 Free Parking Spaces Disappear in Park Slope, and the Universe Doesn’t Collapse (FiPS)
  • There Seems to Be Agreement on How Cops Should Exercise “Discretion” in Central Park (Transpo Nation)
  • More From Yesterday’s Big HSR Presser at Penn Station (City Room, DNAInfo, MTR, Transpo Nation)
  • Security Theater for Rail? No Thanks, Senator Schumer (2nd Ave Sagas)
  • Let’s See If NYC Can Have a Serious Discussion About Adopting an “Idaho Stop” Law (Gothamist)
  • Inside Andrew Cuomo’s Suburban Routine (WSJ)
  • Scheduling Deliveries for Off-Peak Hours: More Feasible Than Many Businesses Let On (MTR)
  • Downtowners Want City to Let Them Cross West Street at Grade Near WTC (DNAInfo)
  • Sunday Is the Grand Opening in Brooklyn for Streetsblog Sponsor Bike Habitat (Brownstoner)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    Regarding the “Fucked in Park Slope” article, a couple years ago they installed a new natural gas pipe under the street. 10-20 parking spaces were blocked off for more than a week. There was no aparkolypse.

  • Brooklyn by Bike

    Check out the anti-bike lane logic in south Brooklyn:

    “Bike lanes are dangerous because cyclists can get doored or hit by
    cars,” said CB10 board member Larry Stelter. “And if that happens, the
    cyclists have no obligations; it’s the drivers who are always at fault.”

    1. The first part of Larry’s quote could just as well read: Bikes are dangerous. People shouldn’t ride bikes in NYC because car owners and drivers are complete slobs and idiots who can’t be counted on to drive their vehicles or open their doors safely.

    2. The second part of Larry’s quote needs to be flipped around for factual accuracy: Drivers have no obligations; it’s cyclists and pedestrians who are always at fault when they are killed and maimed on NYC streets.

  • So, who’s aiming to challenge Schumer in the primary? I want to send him some dough.

  • carville

    Larry Stelter — of bicyclists get drivers in trouble fame — has been on CB10 Bklyn since at least 1995. That’s 16 years. How about term limiting the CBs to the same limit as electeds? Seems like 12 years is plenty for a CB term. CB’s need to reflect the dynamism of the city. Why is it that so many of the transportation chairs have been around for decades? Let’s get some new people and new thinking into the CBs.

  • carville

    Larry Stelter — of bicyclists get drivers in trouble fame — has been on CB10 Bklyn since at least 1995. That’s 16 years. How about term limiting the CBs to the same limit as electeds? Seems like 12 years is plenty for a CB term. CB’s need to reflect the dynamism of the city. Why is it that so many of the transportation chairs have been around for decades? Let’s get some new people and new thinking into the CBs.

  • It is hard to have an honest discussion about the “idaho Stop” law in the city because cyclist ignore traffic laws on the whole at their own discretion. As a biker who obeys traffic laws I can tell you just from this mornings commute from Downtown Brooklyn to the West Village. I counted about 100 bikes commuting. About 45 broke traffic laws as I rode. Whether stopping at red lights, going the correct direction of the street or riding on the side walk. I did not even factor in hand signals for that would only be me and two other folks who used them.

    You have to ask yourself is it that important on my commute to not follow or obey traffic laws? Are you in that much of a hurry?

  • M to the I

    My commute from Prospect Heights, Brooklyn to the Grand Central area takes about 4 minutes longer if I stop at all red lights. Thats 4 minutes on top of a 35-40 minute commute, so about 10% longer. I don’t mind it and it gives me time to space out and take in my surroundings while I wait. Its also fun to watch other cyclists as they check for a car, wait for a car, and check again while going through an intersection. It looks stressful and the light usually changes a couple of seconds after that whole performance.

  • Joe R.

    Interestingly, if we passed a law allowing cyclists to treat reds as yields, I would be pretty close to 100% law-abiding (once in a blue moon I might go opposite traffic for half a block, or ride on sidewalks if the road is impassable, but I’m talking about doing these things once every few months, if that). But yes, I tend to agree with you that before we start talking about Idaho stop laws, we really need to have more predictable cyclist behavoir in other areas. It’s not so much a question of following laws as it is of riding in such a way that people don’t have to guess at your actions. For example, if a pedestrian is crossing and they have the light, it should be a given that you’ll slow or stop as needed to give them a wide berth ( 5 feet is good, better yet 10 or more ). Same with vehicles in an intersection which have the green. If we were to pass an Idaho stop law, then we need to educate cyclists on exactly when it is and isn’t appropriate to pass a red light. We also need to examine sight lines. Some intersections have great sight lines. A cyclist can safely determine if it’s safe to pass at 20 mph. Those however are rare. Most intersections you’ll need to slow to 5-10 mph in order to see if the coast is clear, and stop if it isn’t. As such, perhaps coupled with an Idaho stop law, we should start posting these reduced speed limits which a cyclist will need to adhere to when passing the intersection on red, or face a fine if they don’t. And interestingly, there’s already an analog to this, on the subways no less. A train operator can pass certain red lights by “keying by”. In order to do this, they slow to generally 5 mph or less, and then the emergency trip cock goes down so they can pass the red without the emergency brake tripping. The rationale behind this is to allow things like letting trains partially creep into a station while another train might be leaving. In short, it increases track capacity and reduces trip time when there is congestion. Same thing allowing cyclists to do such a thing. By passing reds, they won’t hold up cars waiting for them to accelerate back up to speed when the light changes. And depending upon the light timings, the amount of time saved can be HUGE. On some local roads, passing a red now and then makes the difference between 3 – 4 minutes a mile versus 9 or 10. Even on a short 5 mile trip, you’re talking about saving half an hour. It should be noted in closing however that an Idaho stop is really a bandaid to what amounts to a lazy approach to traffic control. NYC should use traffic lights far less, and things like roundabouts far more. If we had under 1000 signalized intersections instead of well over 10,000, I doubt anyone here would even be talking about an Idaho stop.

  • Driver

    2 out of the 25 businesses continued off hour deliveries? That doesn’t sound like it worked out too well. Off hour deliveries are easier to make, but can be a burden for the businesses receiving the deliveries, particularly if only some of the deliveries are received during off hours. Having two receiving shifts is definitely more costly than having only one during the day. There is also a noise problem in neighborhoods that have mixed residential and commercial, which is much of Manhattan. Trucks and delivery operations are inherently noisy, and generate complaints. I make some off hour deliveries, and have have several businesses put an end to overnight deliveries because of neighbor complaints.

  • Driver

    2 out of the 25 businesses continued off hour deliveries? That doesn’t sound like it worked out too well. Off hour deliveries are easier to make, but can be a burden for the businesses receiving the deliveries, particularly if only some of the deliveries are received during off hours. Having two receiving shifts is definitely more costly than having only one during the day. There is also a noise problem in neighborhoods that have mixed residential and commercial, which is much of Manhattan. Trucks and delivery operations are inherently noisy, and generate complaints. I make some off hour deliveries, and have have several businesses put an end to overnight deliveries because of neighbor complaints.

  • carma

    how about hours like 8PM –> midnight. i agree after midnight would be a burden, but most businesses in ny are still open well after 8PM.

  • Speed limits are set by whatever 85% of drivers are doing (everywhere outside NYC).

    Why not set all laws that way? If 85% of cyclists dont stop, then the law should be changed.

    Thats engineering logic after all

  • Driver

    Right, but you need a full working shift for it to work. 5 pm to 1 am or 7 pm to 3 am are horrendous hours for anyone to live and work. Sure some do it, but it is not for everyone, as trying to maintain any kind of family or social life with those hours is beyond difficult.