Today’s Headlines

  • City Deploys Sensors and Cameras to Ease Midtown Gridlock (NYT, News, Post, NY1, DNAinfo, WSJ)
  • For the Best Congestion-Busting Results, Turn Back the Clock 100 Years (DNAinfo)
  • The Post Laps Up Latest NBBL Press Release: 2 Days Before Court Hearing, Markowitz Puts on a Show
  • Watch the NBBL Effect in Action in This Errol Louis Interview With JSK (NY1)
  • Cuomo Signs Crossover Mirror Bill (NY1, News)
  • Could a 7 Train Extension Leave Trans-Hudson Bus Service Worse Off? (MTR)
  • Lew Fidler Raising Heaps of Cash to Run for Carl Kruger’s Seat; The More Things Change… (CapTon)
  • So You Saw Something, And Said Something. Then What Happens? (2nd Ave Sagas)
  • Parking Laws Have Ceased to Apply — Even More Than Usual — Near the Atlantic Yards Site (AY Watch)
  • In the Subway Series of Transit Riding, Yankees Fans Lead Mets Fans (Transpo Nation)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • vnm

    City Hall News has a piece entitled “New Hope for Congestion Pricing?” 

    The piece reports this:

    Planners have been quietly working on a new version of the idea since last year, believing it has an inevitable place in the future of New York City’s regional transportation policy even though it has never won political support in Albany.

    Argh!  “Never won political support”?  Bridge tolls were endorsed by the Assembly, Governor and Lieutenant Governor and the State Senate minus four obstinate Democrats, two of whom are now out of office in disgrace and one of whom is under indictment.  In that august body, Republicans in the majority are calling for bridge tolls as a way to eliminate or reduce the suburban payroll tax burden. And of course, congestion pricing was backed by the City Council and the Mayor.  And polls show that the majority of New Yorkers favor bridge tolls and/or congestion pricing if the proceeds are linked to support for transit. 

    So to summarize all of this, this has tons of political support. The phrase the reporter was probably looking for, had he thought this through, would have been “Never passed the full legislature.”

  • Anonymous

    So, Markowitz is directly contradicted what was revealed in his emails published on Streetsblog the other day? Is he dumber than he looks?

    I hate myself for giving the Post another page view, but if it saves anyone else the trouble I’ll say this: it completely misrepresents the facts, conflates issues, and repeats Markowitz’s lie about the DOTs statements.  Nice work all around.

    I bet they could have shoehorned something in about evolution not being a real thing, or “up” being “down,” but that would have involved more than just copy-pasting a press release.

  • Matlock

    I really hope someone pursues a perjury case against Marty Markowitz and his staffers.

  • Streetsman

    Sounds like these new hi-tech congestion-busting tools will make the option of driving your car through the densest urban environment in North America a little bit more inviting. Yaaay!

  • As a pedestrian in midtown Manhattan during rush hour nothing bugs me more than a traffic cop  waving cars through the intersection after the light turns red and we have the “walk” sign.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll be curious how useful the traffic controls in Midtown are, given
    that traffic management is one of the classic examples of unbounded,
    nonlinear optimization that has been an elusive goal of highly complex
    mathematics and computer science for decades.

  • Daphna

    The problem with easing congestion through technology (changing the length of the lights) is the same problem with adding highway capacity to reduce congestion.  Adding capacity induces demand so the congestion remains the same even after the added lane because more people choose to drive or the same people choose to drive more.  Technology to move traffic better with have the same effect as adding capacity: it will induce demand.  With traffic flowing better, more people will choose to drive or the same people will chose to drive more.  Congestion will reach the same levels as before but with even more vehicles on the road.

    This is a problem when traffic planners look at the amount of traffic as if it is a static number.  They do not realize that the amount of people driving is not static.  People will tolerate a certain amount of congestion before they choose not to drive.  When there is less congestion, more will choose to drive and congestion will reach the same level it was before.

  • Daphna

    From DNAinfo: “Officials hope the date will allow engineers to better respond to changing street conditions….”

    Unfortunately pedestrians gathering in high numbers at a street corner waiting to cross is not likely to be one of the street conditions to which the officials and engineers want to respond.

  • Daphna

    I am impressed with the journalism on the Atlantic Yards Watch website.  The article shows clearly with descriptions and many pictures all of the parking abuses by the construction workers, and some by the 78th Police Precinct.  It is awful that the NYPD make not attempt to enforce parking laws and that they break the law themselves when it comes to parking.  The NYPD should not be allowed to pick and choose which laws they will enforce and with ones they will ignore.

  • Station44025

    You both identify the problem: by changing any variable, you induce changes in all the other variable in ways that are difficult or impossible to predict. And there are always more cars. It’s like turning a Rubik’s Cube that keeps adding more and more squares as you approach a solution, and any solution causes chaosmsomewhere else. Realistically, reducing the number of cars is the only thing that will ease traffic.

  • Kaja

    > The NYPD should not be allowed to pick and choose which laws they will enforce and with ones they will ignore.

    If every law on the books were thoroughly enforced, we’d have a lot more than 3% of our adult population behind bars. It’d be closer to 100%.

  • Daphna

     People will tolerate a certain amount of congestion before they choose not to drive.  If lengthening/shortening the traffic light cycles at certain intersections alleviates some congestion, the volume of people choosing to drive will increase until the amount of congestion reaches the same tipping point as prior to the technology.

  • Jay

    I would like to believe that this will allow DOT to continue adding bicycle lanes and pedestrian improvements, without prompting too much backlash because those folks in their cars can no longer claim they are being made worse off.

  • Anonymous

    @88b32fb69e499718d95067da9d3d7b03:disqus  You’re correct, but I doubt it will even get that far.  The likelihood they’ll be able to noticeably ease congestion by adjusting the lights is virtually nil.

  • Anonymous

    Memo to Marty:

    I know you’re not paid to think. I know all the money from Ratner, et. al. is
    in a Cayman Islands account. You SHOULD be OK. But let’s face facts: you’re only a borough
    president and very expendable. Now is not the time to start thinking you’re smarter than your puppet-masters.
    Do you
    really want to risk a perjury conviction?
    Because I don’t think you’re the kind of guy that will enjoy being someone’s prison bitch. Toodles. 

  • Anonymous

    Memo to Marty:

    I know you’re not paid to think. I know all the money from Ratner, et. al. is
    in a Cayman Islands account. You SHOULD be OK. But let’s face facts: you’re only a borough
    president and very expendable. Now is not the time to start thinking you’re smarter than your puppet-masters.
    Do you
    really want to risk a perjury conviction?
    Because I don’t think you’re the kind of guy that will enjoy being someone’s prison bitch. Toodles.