Today’s Headlines

  • Eights Blocks of ACP Blvd. to Get Safety Upgrade With or Without Julius Tajiddin’s OK (News)
  • Riders and Politicians Agree: Bike-Share Is Great, But They’d Like a Little Info on Start Date (NYT)
  • One in Four Staten Island Bus Riders Have Used Real-Time Transit Info (DNAinfo)
  • PATH Ridership Is Busting Through Records (The Record)
  • Metro-North Expects Ridership Records Every Year Through 2016 (LoHud)
  • Donohue: Give a Discount for Reusing MetroCard, Not a Penalty For Buying New One (News)
  • Soho’s Sean Sweeney: Bike-Share Will Turn NYC Into Ho Chi Minh City (Villager)
  • De Blasio Sues Mayor to Protest Rising Fines, Including Parking Tickets and Moving Violations (NYT)
  • Why Transpo-Minded Aliens Would Think Staten Island Is the Center of the World (Transpo Nation)
  • (Gentrified) Brooklyn’s Seven Scariest Bike Lanes (Bklyn Paper)
  • The MTA Keeps Churning Out Data, and People Keep Mapping It (Atlantic Cities)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    One more for the “damn cyclists” file.  This makes at least eight incidences in July in NYC of cars crashing onto sidwalks:

    Oh, and a headline correction suggestion:  unlike Sean Sweeney, I don’t pretend to speak for Soho, but that said, Sean Sweeney is not “Soho’s.”

  • I’m going to put Google Alerts on Sean Sweeney and Julius Tajiddin just so that I get the crazy delivered fresh to my inbox. 
    Are they on the auto industry’s payroll? At least that PR guy from AAA who told outright lies on NY1 has a paying job to do. What do these guys get out of their delusional ranting? Parking spaces? A 30 second reduction in commuting time between home and Costco?

  • Larry Littlefield

    DeBlasio:  against revenues but for spending.  What a great guy.  Unfortunately, Mr. DeBlasio, those who held power before you have already bankrupted the federal, state and local governments by being just as dishonest.

    It won’t get you in the newspaper like a lawsuit will, but if he really wanted to know the big picture he could have just downloaded the data from the Governments Division of the U.S. Census Bureau that I posted on my blog.

    For all local governments in NYC, including NYC transit, and including the huge housing authority and health and hospitals corporation, all services most places don’t have, charges for services totaled $36.76 per $1,000 of the personal income of NYC residents in FY 2009, up just slightly from $36.71 in FY 2002, the last non-Bloomberg budget.  The U.S. total was $29.46 per $1,000 of personal income, up from $27.39.

    For NYC local governments, fines, rents, royalties and other misc. revenues increased slightly to $9.23 per $1,000 of personal income from $9.14.  The U.S. average fell to $7.65 from $8.34.

    What type of revenue went up in NYC?  Local taxes went from $73.50 per $1,000 of personal income in FY 2002 to $88.47 in FY 2009.  The U.S. average also increased, from $41.54 to $45.43.  NYC’s state and local taxes as a percent of its residents’ personal income went from 34.4% higher than the U.S. average in FY 2002 to 53.2% above the U.S. average in Fy 2009.  As a right wing think tank would measure it, per capita and thus with no adjustment for the higher incomes/cost of living here, the differences would be greater.

    I suppose I’ll compile the same data for FY 2010 when it comes out.  If anybody cares about the boring old facts.

  • A person who can’t come up with a better argument than comparing NYC to “Ho Chi Minh City” does not deserve a seat at the grownup’s table.

  • moocow

    So Bikeshare is going to make it tropically warm year round? Can Sean Sweeney explain that?

  • Anonymous

    Re: Soho

    No joke.  I think half of it should be shut off to cars.  Seriously. Or at least on the weekends.  There are just so many peds there.  I feel like there are a ton of other cities that have certain downtown areas, shut down to cars, on weekends and holidays.  And soho should be one of those places.

  • Sean Sweeney

    Why am I not surprised that the knee-jerks who infest this site can’t seem to get it right?

    Rave on all you want, rave on, while ignoring these four facts:
    1) DOT was trying to commercialize SoHo’s only green space – a half acre  park – into a bike depot for 30 bikes.
    2) This site is a memorial park commemorating the sacrifice of four fallen heroes who gave their lives that others might live. 
    How many of the knee-jerks here would risk their sorry-ass to run into a burning building?
    3) CB2 and its bike-friendly Transportation Committee UNANIMOUSLY agreed with me
    4)  So did DOT.

    Meanwhile, my little minions, read the whole story, not the pablum that streetsblog excuse for a news editor feeds you, who apparently would support putting Citi Bank’s enterprise down at the WTC Memorial Site.

  • Guest

    Is there a meaningful difference between “reward for reusing a metro-card” and “penalty for buying a new one”? Either way, you’re paying more for a new card then you are for reusing. Why get all bent up about semantics?

  • kevd

    I have to say that I do agree about not re purposing limited park space for Bike Share. In general it would be far better to use excess sidewalk space and street parking space for docking stations.
    CitiBike is a transportation program, not a leisure activity and placing docking stations in former street parking spaces signals this. Placing them in parks not only decreases useable park space, but gives the implication that CitiBike is there for fun and leisure, not as a serious transportation option.

    Several spaces at 6th and Prince could be given over to bike share, which would also improve driver sight lines.

    Also, I think a guiding principal of bike share should be more and smaller docking stations.
    I’d rather see 2400 smaller stations, than 600 stations.

  • krstrois

    Red terror aside, Ho Chi Minh City is actually way easier to get around in than Soho so let’s not even assume that Soho stacks up favorably there.  Far better street food, as well.  Bring it on, I say. 

  • Driver

    A price increase vs a discount is not semantics. The meaningful difference is that you will be paying more than the current price for a new card.
    If the metrocard was a long lasting tap card, I would have no problem keeping it for a long time.  Unfortunately the current metrocard becomes useless over time stored in my wallet with my other cards.  Eventually it doesn’t scan anymore, and if this happens when I want to board a bus, I am SOL.  The expiration dates don’t make any sense either.  What purpose does the expiration date serve?  As an occasional transit user, if I fill a $20 card it could last me for a long time, and by the time I need more money, the expiration date is not long enough to justify another $20 fill.  Although I gave up on refilling metrocards because they get damaged in my wallet over time. 

  • kevd

    Though, Sweeney’s (intended, though as pointed out by krstrois, infective) dig that bike share will turn NY into Hanoi, shows what Sweeney’s real motivations are – not preserving park space, not honoring firemen’s memories, but simply in preventing bike share any way he can.
    He just happens to be right in this case – not unlike a broken clock.

  • Sean, all great points. They become illegitimate when you demonize DOT and use hyperbolic language.

  • CheapSkate

    Houston and Sixth Ave would be a great place for a BikeShare station if the City had put in a Houston Street Bike Lane when they spent millions of dollars reconfiguring the street. As it is now, it’s one of the more dangerous throughfares in the South Village/Soho area with three cyclists killed in 15 months – certainly not a recommended route for cyclists. The intersection already has a large portion of turning cars and limited time to cross. Adding a BikeShare station at this intersection will only make it even more difficult for pedestrians to cross.

    Unfortunately the City chose Prince Street for the bike lane so public plazas. like Father Fagan Park,  would seem like an ideal location given the circumstances. Father Fagan Park already has a 24/7 deli and an antiques shop so the argument against commercialization just doesn’t wash.

    One obvious compromise would be to limit the number of bikes available in Father Fagan Park which would preserve the remainder for the summer campers and all night beer drinkers who favor this area.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, Mr. Sweeney, I do feel a little bad about joining in (starting?) today’s pile-on, not only because I think you’re right about Fagan Park.  But your Ho Chi Minh bit is really not a serious-minded contribution to a discussion.  And that Times piece that featured you a few months ago made it sounds like you’re a real, uh, let’s be gentle here:  meanie.

  • Anonymous

    @a6931516df74d466ef1904656ec4dc90:disqus Uh, what’s wrong with Ho Chi Minh City? Compare it’s economic growth in the last ten years to NYC’s and then get back to us.

  • Ian Turner

    Street food takes on a whole different meaning in Vietnam.

    Though to be fair, that photo is from Hanoi.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve answered my own question: “The two most dangerous activities in Vietnam are crossing the street and driving or riding in traffic,” says the US Department of State.In other words, Ho Chi Minh City is bad because it’s like . . . New York. If only there were a way to put less dangerous vehicles on the road. You know, the kind that doesn’t have a motor but is still really fast and serves especially well in dense urban environments. Thinking, thinking . . .

  • Shut your trap Sweeney.

  • Andrew

    You missed a good one:

  • Ben Kintisch

    Cross-posted to the Daily News website:
    Mr. Tajiddin,I’m guessing that the families of the three Harlem residents killed in the past year along this deadly stretch of roadway will not sign your petition opposing the DOT safety imrpvements. It is a great shame that the people of Harlem have among the most dangerous streets in all of Manhattan because you and your fellow Community Board members have successfully derailed nearly every livable streets proposal that DOT has brought to this neighborhood. A better way to honor the history of Harlem would be to respect and protect the lives of those still alive today. Sincerely,Ben Kintisch

  • Ben Kintisch

    Mr. Sweeney,
    You seem really angry. I recommend you take a spin on a bike – it usually helps me relax some.
    But, regarding the particulars of bike share – it sounds like you got your way about the bike share stations, and the little blurb in the Villager had to do with your choice of language re: NYC becoming like “Ho Chi Minh City”…Yes, NYC is very crowded, that’s true.  When bike trips replace car trips, that’s good news for everyone – less traffic, less noise, less pollution. I don’t see how that makes us more like Vietnam.
    But again – go ride a bike – it feels good, honest!

  • Ben Kintisch

    Re: Brooklyn Paper “Seven Scariets Bike Lanes”
    Nice to see a story that focuses on safety instead of the tired cars versus bikes business. Maybe they’re realizing how that narrative is getting more stale than the cheerios I just fished out of my daughter’s stroller.

  • Ben Kintisch

    Cross posted to the Atlantic Cities site:
    I can’t wait to see the kind of data we’ll see about bicycle travel in NYC once bikeshare goes live. With 10,000 bicycles, and GPS on every bike, it’s going to be incredible to see where all of those bike trips start and stop.

  • Anonymous

    Bike Share station at Prince & MacDougal Streets, adjacent to 6th Ave; Park or Parking?

    When I lived there in the 1960’s, the pavement of MacDougal St ran straight south to 6th Ave, leaving only a small triangle of traffic island.  This street was strictly for car parking.  The same as the other odd triangles left over from the 1920’s IND subway dig that widened 6th Ave.  It wasn’t until the 1980’s that DOT closed off the odd roadway sections to turn those tiny traffic islands into passable park-plaza areas.

    Sean Sweeney is spouting revisionist history that these 6th Ave triangles were parks from time immemorial.  Nor is he correct that a bike station is incompatible with street park uses.   For example, a single ice cream vendor’s cart takes up as much space as bike share.

    The bike share station will be placed on space that was, until recently, car driving and parking space – and even if not exactly on the roadway footprint, bike stations will take up at most the area of only one or two of those former parked cars.

    The same applies to the Chambers – Hudson – West Broadway triangle.  The expanded park there
    was recently taken (by that insensitive DOT) from driving and parking space.  Bike share stations
    in place of “public car parking” are a public benefit.

    Washington DC Bike Share locates many stations at the wider block end triangles where DC’s diagonal street name avenues cross the rectangular street grid.  These bike stations don’t intrude into the pedestrian walking space at all, yet are very convenient for all users.  They don’t create a problem, they add an amenity to the community.

  • Anonymous

    Saigon, 1969: traffic was mostly motor scooters and light (45-90 cc) motorcycles, and some bicycles.
    Ho Chi Minh City, today: traffic is mostly motor scooters and light motorcycles, and some bicycles – though even fewer than 1969.
    Been there, done that, got the OD T Shirt and jungle fatigues.

    Bike Share is providing us with schleppy bicycles, and not motorcycles.
    This program is neither Saigon nor Ho Chi Minh City traffic.  Embrace it.

  • Sean Sweeney

    “Sean Sweeney is spouting revisionist history that these 6th Ave triangles were parks from time immemorial…It wasn’t until the 1980’s that DOT closed off the odd roadway sections to turn those tiny traffic islands into passable park-plaza areas.’
    Wrong, wrong, wrong!

    First, to you and the other factually-challenged individuals on streetsblog:  
    I am not opposed to bike share.  
    However, the stations should be sited in a sensible location that will not provoke opposition to the program, a scenario that is counterproductive to its success. Who would disagree with that, except a self-hating cyclist?
    Why place them in SoHo’s sole park – less than half an acre – a memorial park dedicated to four selfless heros?
    Why not simply place them a few feet away – on Sixth Avenue – where cars currently park, which is what I respectfully suggested to DOT?
    Tell me why you would oppose that reasonable solution to the problem?

    Secondly, I never, ever claimed Fagan was a park from “time immemorial”. (your hyperbolic words)
    I only said it was a “memorial” park.    
    Memorial is not the same as immemorial.

    Getting confused with your words, old boy?  
    Better visit a good neurologist asap: Hyperphasia is a precursor of dementia.

    Thirdly, to help clear up your apparently fading recollections:
    From Parks Dept. website:
    “It was named in memory of Father Fagan by local law in 1941 and was one of several properties along Sixth Avenue and West Houston Street improved and rehabilitated by Parks in 1960.’
    It’s been a memorial park since 1941. and improved by the time you claim it was a parking lot.
    Perhaps you are getting a bit forgetful in your old age.  We understand, poor baby.

    Fourth,”Washington DC Bike Share locates many stations ”
    Washington also has many memorials,
    If you think bike depots belong in memorial parks, like Fagan, what would you say if a bike depot were placed in the Vietnam Memorial, right next to your fallen comrades?

  • fj

    Yay for $0.5 trillion to $1 trillion in fossil fuel subsidies, lots of cars, owners, and vast zombie populations passive & otherwise effectively fighting tooth and nail against rational mobility solutions!

    Chevron’s Second Quarter Profits Top $7 Billion

  • fj

    In agreement with JarekAF entirely.  The faster neighborhoods and communities start banning cars from their public spaces the better for everyone.

  • Soho business guy

    Sean, while I agree with you that Father Fagan Park is too small for a big bike share station, your current concern with the lack of open space in Soho is somewhat undermined by your past opposition to very reasonable solutions to that problem, such as pop-up parks which replaced one or two parking spaces per location.  Can you really not understand why people aren’t willing to take your opposition to this specific location at face value?

  • Soho business guy

    Sean, I also think that if you had started from a place of “Hey, here’s a reasonable compromise to this problem” and not “DOT wants to turn NYC into Ho Chi Minh City!” you probably would have convinced a few more people that your motives were pure and wouldn’t need to be so defensive.

  • Joe R.

    @a6931516df74d466ef1904656ec4dc90:disqus While your goal of siting stations in places which won’t provoke community opposition is a noble one, the hard facts are no matter what you do in this city, you’re going to piss some people off. In case you haven’t noticed, over the last two years we’ve had a minority delay or otherwise compromise numerous projects which would have made the streets safer for all users. In many cases this opposition was based more on anecdotes than on hard statistics. That’s a downright awful, ignorant way to make policy, and it frankly makes NYC look like a laughing stock to the rest of the world. That being the case, quite a few people on sites like this are at the limits of their patience. We’ve been reasonable and fair with people who want to preserve the status quo at all costs because they benefit from it and/or are just afraid of change. Change is the one constant in the universe. NYC sorely needs to get people out of automobiles and into other modes, including but not limited to bicycles. In the end this repriorization will make things less convenient for the minority of automobile users but the majority will be far better off. It’s a simple fact that when things change, there are losers and winners. Sad to say, from where I stand I see the most opposition to change in the wealthiest, so-called “progressive” areas of the city. Now normally I wouldn’t care since I don’t live in these areas and rarely travel to them, but NYC politics being what it is, nonsensical NIMBYism and regulations which start in these areas frequently end up spreading to the outer boroughs. This is why I keep a keen eye on what’s going on in places like the Village, the Upper East Side, Prospect Park, and so forth. We need to nip some of nonsense going on in these places in the bud before it affects places like Eastern Queens, where I live. I hope you can appreciate that. If what went on in your neighborhood stayed there, then I really wouldn’t care but that’s sadly not the case. Just for one great example, some Upper East Side nimbys are seeking to ban electric bikes. While the operators of these bikes may cause some issues there, fact is they’re a great transportation alternative, especially in places like where I live where distances might be too far for an average person to pedal. Now if the proposed bans only applied to the Upper East Side, I wouldn’t care but that’s not the case. Bottom line-do what you want in the Village but make sure to keep any local policies and NIMBYism there as well. I’ve had it with Manhattan dictating what goes on in the rest of the city.

  • Sean Sweeney

    Hi, Perhaps you read my comment too rapidly and missed the salient point: We did ask DOT politely and DOT consistently refused to compromise.

    In June, not only I, but the pastor of St. Anthony’s, the CB2 chair, the CB2 district manager, the chairs of both the Transportation Committee and Parks Committee, all respectfully asked DOT not to locate the bike rentals in Fagan, but simply to move them onto the  nearby street or sidewalk. We even supplied reasonable alternative locations, to make it easy for them.

    DOT refused, not once, but twice.  DOT is the one who refused your “reasonable compromise”, not us. Further, DOT has other Citibike locations planned for SoHo that I support.

    After several weeks of patience and the July placement date imminent, a press release was issued, a portion of which The Villager quoted regarding “Ho Chi Minh City”.

    Now, I would never tell you how to run your fine business.  However, if you ever choose to be a community organizer, I would advise that if you want an effective press release, you add a quip that will get people’s attention.  Mine got yours, didn’t it?

    I also would urge you to read Saul Alinsky’s classic on community organizing: Rules for Radicals, particularly Rule 5, regarding the effectiveness of ridicule by the disenfranchised when dealing with those in power. 

    As for the pop-ups, one more time:
    Sidewalk cafes were expressly prohibited in SoHo by City zoning regulations since at least 1976 – at the specific request of the SoHo community.  
    “Pop-ups” were a semantic end-run against the expressed wishes of the community.  I have no regret that upholding our zoning protections interfered with DOT’s plans.

  • Guest

    @a6931516df74d466ef1904656ec4dc90:disqus I never would have believed that anybody would ever think to refer to businesses in SoHo as “the disenfranchised.”  (Perhaps you should check the dictionary? It does not mean that they’re not franchisees.)
    In seriousness, appropriating real problems that other communities have suffered to try excusing your own incivilities is just cheap and vulgar.

  • Guest

    More to the point, @a6931516df74d466ef1904656ec4dc90:disqus , your quip not only ridiculed the DOT, but everybody who supports a bike share system for NYC.  

    When it comes to the streets of New York, it is the cyclists who are disenfranchised.  You clearly were not speak for their interests.

  • Soho business guy

    Sean, you issued a press release with the Ho Chi Minh City line in there.  Anything else is bound to get overshadowed when you talk like that.

  • Soho business guy

    Sean, you should certainly issue a press release that has a quip in it.  Quips get attention.  But quips shouldn’t overshadow your message.  Yours was an insult, not a quip.  Please, for the sake of people who live and/or work in Soho, please act more mature the next time you think of a “quip” that you think advances your position.  Clearly it didn’t work this time around.

  • fj

    From the NYC Dept of Design & Construction
    Active Design Guidelines