Today’s Headlines

  • City Council, Supportive of Concept, Will Hold Hearings on Bike Share (NYT)
  • Frank Bruni Just Plain Nails It On Cycling and Sadik-Khan (NYT)
  • New York’s Bike Boom Sends Cost of Used Bikes Soaring (WSJ)
  • Chelsea Advocates Want One Parking Space Per Block to Become “Micropark” (DNAinfo)
  • Lower Manhattan Sees Spike in DWI Arrests (DNAinfo)
  • MTA Board Member Charles Moerdler, NIMBY (Crain’s)
  • Growing Number of Women Break Into Boy’s Club of Bike Mechanics (NYT)
  • Queens Assembly Candidates Want to Scrap Payroll Tax and Get More Buses (Gotham Gazette)
  • Good Samaritan Killed While Assisting Motorist on Verrazano (SI Live)
  • L.A. Firefighters Bike Cross-Country to Honor 9/11 First Responders (DNAinfo)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • fj

    re:  City Council, Supportive of Concept, Will Hold Hearings on Bike Share (NYT)

    NYC has the capability to build a bikeshare system and ultimately zero carbon transit capable of becoming the global standard. 

    Unfortunately, expectation levels and thinking remain way too low, small, and entrenched in a stifling conventional wisdom supporting legacy methods and apparatus.

  • The City Council really should lead, follow, or get out of the way. Bikeshare is such an obvious Alexandrian solution to things like Manhattan crosstown travel, that it’s an embarassment that NYC doesn’t already have it. 

  • I don’t think I’d say Bruni “nails it,” he comes across sounding like a David Brooks who’s finally gotten religion on bikes, but doesn’t see road reforms as a necessary piece for creating safer streets for all New Yorkers, and can’t help but try to get a kick in for the other side, because Journamalism requires false equivalencies and nonsense like this:

    > By many credible accounts Sadik-Khan has brought some of this misery on herself, with a style that can be impatient, intolerant, moralizing.

    Please. That’s just complete nonsense. The bike backlash was political, it was about policy, and lots of people’s fee-fees were hurt when they felt that they were no longer entitled to drive everybody else off the road when they’re in a hurry. It had nothing to do with her personality.

    This line really bothers me, though:

    > remaking city streets so that they’re a little less friendly to cars and a lot more hospitable to bikes

    The point isn’t to make the streets “less friendly” to any constituency, the point is to make them SAFER for the people in the cars, and SAFER for the people outside of the cars. The point isn’t to create a new class of voters that prefers bike lanes to car lanes and might bag you more votes (or canvassers) for the next election, but I think some people can only see through that prism. We tend to call them “centrists.” 

    Who needs a column like this advocating for their cause? It will just anger people coming from the windshield perspective, people you want to convince (your life may depend up on it!) People who tend to listen to a lot of conservative talk radio and hate snobby “elites” who they think look down on them as “obtuse” and behind the times. 

    But JSK is the “moralizing” one. Uh-huh. Frank is just telling it like it is. Somebody hire this man for the WaPo opinion pages, he has the complete lack of self-awareness required for the job.

    Not once is street safety mentioned in that column. Not once the numbers of pedestrian deaths. Not once the marked observed evidence showing how well the redesigned streets are serving their role as mediators between all New Yorkers. 

    I’d say he definitely doesn’t get it.

  • Ed Ravin

    The snipe against Charles Moerdler is uncalled for.  The construction started back during the real estate boom when banks were lending money in spite of business plans that might not succeed, and this developer, who couldn’t make any money if he didn’t beat the rezoning of that street, didn’t have his act together.  More information here: http://www.riverdalepress.com/stories/Giles-Place-development-goes-on-despite-zoning-,49039?sub_id=49039&print=1

  • dporpentine

    @billygray:disqus Exactly.
    Bruni’s a horrible, lazy writer who is in no small way responsible for helping Bush get elected–his campaign coverage in 2000 was a model of who’d-you-drink-a-beer-with BS–and on principle he should be shunned by all decent people. But what’s especially appalling about this piece in particular is that business about losing parking spots on PPW. Nominally true, but trivial (how many were lost, under half a dozen, right? over the course of 19 blocks?) by comparison to how much the redesign has allowed the street to become a model for the city, guiding *everyone* who uses it through a public area that’s managed for safety, not speed.

  • car free nation

    Wow! @billygray:disqus @c661ddb94bcffdc2c6124e349eafdc77:disqus  Your standards are way too high!
    I thought the Bruni piece was awesome. The first truly pro-biking pro-bike-lane piece the Times has ever put together. Sure it’s not perfect, but it’s really positive, and for once, someone on the Times Editorial Board is on our side.

  • dporpentine

    @c532664ee53360b077c1c21f04fb7920:disqus Can’t speak for @billygray:disqus but it’s the “just plain nails it” that I’m partially responding to. A not entirely hostile write-up from someone who benefits from the changes to biking infrastructure is a pretty low standard for “just plain nails it.” (Plus, as below, the Bush business. Everything that guy writes is poisoned for me.)

  • @c532664ee53360b077c1c21f04fb7920:disqus You’re right, it is WAY better than what we usually see. I think messaging is important, and I want guys like Bruni to start getting the message, and you can only accomplish that through critique. I fear that the kind of message he is delivering can be harmful because it’s not substantive or accurate; the column is mostly a political hay-maker in which he’s throwing his lot in with City Hall. Is concern for the safety of New Yorkers a kind of “moralizing” that has no proper place in governance and public policy? It’s hard to read his column another way, but perhaps I’m a little too sensitive to a piece that reads like typical neoliberal coverage of national politics.

  • fdr

    When several anti-bike articles are written, people here start talking about a Chuck Schumer behind the scenes conspiracy. Two nice articles about Sadik Khan in the same week, first the Observer and now the Times. I see the hand of Howie Wolfson pulling the strings.

  • fdr, you’re a “people here” too, especially below any post that contains the letters J, S, and K. Why put yourself down?

    When an opposition group hires a PR firm and anti-cycling articles start to come out in concert, to suspect that the money spent on PR is actually having some effect is not exactly crazy-talk. In fact, the people paying for the PR must have the same suspicion—or hope, rather—unless they like throwing away money. And that *would* be loony.

    Bruni rides a bike. He has an obvious interest in supporting those who build bicycle infrastructure that he uses. Apparently now is a safe time for people to voice that support. I’m open to any explanation for it; the obvious one to me is that the cycling public is growing and growing, unfazed (or even unaware) of the hateful editorials, the baseless lawsuit, the police “crackdown”, and whatever else they threw at us this year.

  • nice collection of posts..