Today’s Headlines

  • Union Square Traffic Redesign a Success: Speeding Down, Biking Up, Businesses Happy (DNAinfo)
  • MTA Management — Without Raise for Four Years — Wracked With Dangerously High Turnover (Post)
  • Straphangers Want Next MTA Chief to Be Politically Savvy Transit Expert (News)
  • Southbound Cortlandt Street Station Reopens Before 9/11 Anniversary (Post, 2nd Ave Sagas)
  • Kabak: Are Subways Safer Now Than Ten Years Ago?
  • Staten Island Lobbies for Special Discounts on Tolls (Advance)
  • Brooklyn Paper Reports Death of Cyclist Nicholas Djandji
  • ConnDOT Forcing New Haven’s Historic Highway Teardown to End With Autocentric Street (MTR)
  • Downtown Alliance Hopes Public Art Will Make Walking By Holland Tunnel Traffic Bearable (DNAinfo)
  • Latest Rain Storm Closes Irene-Soaked Highways Again (LoHud)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • DNAinfo on Union Square:

    “Of the 27 cyclists DNAinfo counted over twenty minutes one recent evening, only two were observed riding legally in the well-marked lane.”

    Aside from wrong-way cyclists, that is ENTIRELY because pedestrians overrun the green bike strip. Not that I blame them; the design induces it. But I myself have had to swerve my bike into the adjacent tan pedestrian lane. (Even so, it’s totally not a fast or dangerous move, mind you!) Also, there’s no reasone that the bike lane shouldn’t be bi-directional. For that reason, I don’t fault the wrong way cyclists as much I do in most places.

  • macstukuls

    The Post cries when management does not get raises but gets mad when workers do. I notice that unlike union stories which always post one outrageous salary or two I notice no salaries of management.

    Don’t want regular folks to get angry.

  • Eric McClure

    From the Union Square story:

    “It is a major accident waiting to happen,” she said, adding that she’d witnessed seven or eight near-misses in recent months.

    Livable Streets opponents have an uncanny knack for observing the almosts while having been blind to the actual car-on-ped or car-on-bike incidents which prompted the redesigns in the first place.

  • Driver

    I have one issue with the Union Sq redesign.  Those large leafy plants along 17th st prevent drivers and pedestrians from seeing each other.  Eventually someone is going to get hit walking out from behind one of those plants.

  • Driver

     Two issues actually.  They should allow left turns at 14th St for trucks coming from Union Sq West.  Trucks delivering to Union Sq and needing to go south or east must turn right on 14th St, and go all the way to 6th Ave to 18th St (technically they should be going to 23rd St) to get back around to 14th st east or Broadway south. It’s a pretty ridiculous and time consuming detour.

  • Speaking of well-marked lane defiance, on my ride home tonight I noticed a salmon who had come up Mulberry turn *left* onto Bleecker, rolling in the wrong direction for a half block before turning onto Lafayette. He knew he was going the wrong way, because he was tapping his horn the whole time—safety first! This “salmon” was driving a car.

    Of course, a motorist driving the wrong way is not something you see every day in New York; more like every week. If you want witness 25 out of 27 motorists blithely defying straightforward traffic laws, you must travel to Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Cyclists are the only people actually riding the length of Jay; motorists use the over-engineered speedway of Adams for thru-travel. Jay is for driving to a municipal destination, parking in the bicycle lane for however long your important visit requires, and then pulling a screw-u-turn to head back to your point of origin. I have seen this many hundreds of times now, and never once have any of the ever-present police done anything about it.

    It shouldn’t be a surprise that if we make it illegal for people to go where they want and do nothing to enforce the law, people are going to break it. A city that cared about fairness and law would abandon unnecessary red lights we have and make *all* of the remainder camera enforced. Why even have a signal that you do not expect motorists to obey? And half the one-ways should be two-ways, with most of the rest open to counterflow cycling (“salmoning”) as they are in cities with much lower traffic fatality rates in northern Europe. Pedestrians should be able to legally do whatever they want.

    It’s not so hard to imagine. We could grant a great deal more legal freedom to motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists, if only we would stop condoning fatally negligent behavior. If you kill or gravely injure someone there should be a trial where negligence is determined, whether you are operating a helicopter, bicycle, or automobile. I can’t fathom what the argument is for less freedom and more accidental death (the status quo), but it seems to have taken root in the darkest and most craven parts of our social subconsciousness. If that were repaired, we could lightly regulate our streets as a place of normal human interaction instead of the violent, legally schizophrenic horror show that they are right now.

  • Nathan, to my mind the big issue underlying what you describe is whether streets are public spaces. Obviously, there are many interests who would like to retain streets as the exclusive domain of motor vehicles, for parking, making “screw-u-turns,” or for alternate use in case other thoroughfares are congested.

    Great post.

  • Nathan, to my mind the big issue underlying what you describe is whether streets are public spaces. Obviously, there are many interests who would like to retain streets as the exclusive domain of motor vehicles, for parking, making “screw-u-turns,” or for alternate use in case other thoroughfares are congested.

    Great post.