Today’s Headlines

  • Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against EDC’s South Bronx FreshDirect Subsidies (Crain’sDNANews)
  • Driver Falls Asleep, Rear-Ends Garbage Truck; Sanitation Worker May Lose Leg as Result (PostWCBS)
  • Traffic and North Shore Transit High on List of Concerns at S.I. Ferris Wheel and Mall Hearing (Advance)
  • Dozens of Candidates Ask MTA to Use Unexpected Funds to Restore Service Cuts (AdvanceNews)
  • Nicole Gelinas on Bike-Share’s Benefits and Risk Posed By Large Truck Operators (City Journal)
  • Throwing Trash on Bike-Share Docks? That’s How One Brooklyn Heights Building Rolls (Post)
  • Meanwhile, Bike-Share Closes in on 30,000 Annual Members (Citi Bike)
  • This Daily News Opinion Piece Is So Wrong (Factually and Otherwise), It’s Hard to Know Where to Start
  • Paul Krugman: NYC’s Anti-Bike Elite Are “Members of the Modern Carriage Trade” (NYT)
  • A Look at Senator Frank Lautenberg’s Transit Legacy (WNYC, MTR)
  • Electeds Laud Kosciuszko Expansion; Markowitz: Drivers Should “Get the Respect They Deserve” (News)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • ADN

    Who are the members of Jack Brown’s “Coalition?” Anyone know?

  • Anonymous

    NYT blog entry makes the dubious claim that cycling is the top “sport” for head injuries: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/03/really-the-claim-cycling-is-the-top-sport-for-head-injuries/

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    Driving is a sport too by this logic. I’d imagine it has more head injuries.

  • CARR Watch

    Jack Brown, Jack Brown, and Jack Brown.

    And Arthur Browne.

  • Jeff

    As far as that statement taken literally is concerned, I believe it. I went to the Philly bike race last weekend, as I do every year, and I can never get over how terrifying the sport looks.

    As far as this article linking the sport of cycling to cycling as a mode of transportation, I don’t even know where to begin. Does the National Institute for Highway Safety share data with NASCAR?

  • Anonymous

    You are right, it’s still actually possible that cycling is the top sport for head injuries; it’s the argument itself that doesn’t make any sense and does nothing to prove the assertion in the headline.

  • Anonymous

    I love that Rabinowitz’s bat shit insane video managed to get bike share coverage to jump from primarily NYC/tabloid/transit coverage to national political pundits.

    Not just Krugman and Fallows, as here’s Conor Friedersdorf speaking to the paranoid ravings of bike haters: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/06/the-paranoid-style-in-bicycle-politics-a-bicoastal-freak-out/276514/

  • Bolwerk

    Markowitz thinks I should politely step aside when I nearly get run over?

    Krugman is spot-on about the class thing.

  • Mark Walker

    An eventful PIX11 newscast last night. Greg Mocker did a Citi Bike piece in which he actually rode one and minimized the mockery. And Jacoby & Meyers aired a new ad soliciting business from cyclists hit by cars and trucks. I’m not sure how long J&M has operated in this area; there’s something about bikes on its website. But this is the first time I’ve seen a major law firm aiming a TV ad at injured cyclists. The ad finished with the sound of a ringing bike bell.

  • PB

    Driving isn’t just the sport with the most head injuries, it’s the sport with the most full-on death.

  • Anonymous

    17-year-old driver tries to flee cops, kills a 4-year-old child when he pins her and her grandmother against a building with his SUV: http://gothamist.com/2013/06/04/4-yr-old_fatally_struck_on_upper_we.php

    Thank god he wasn’t on a rented bicycle, or he might’ve killed everyone on the whole block!

  • PB

    Apropos of nothing, today is the very first day of Bike Share that hasn’t heavy rain or blistering heat at some point in the day. I can’t wait to see what the usage numbers are for today!

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    Neurologists released the study, they have a bit of a subject bias.

  • I will tollerate Fresh Direct if they keep their promise to use natural gas trucks. But how will they be held accountable?

    Their trucks often idle on the sidewalk all over the city this isn’t just a Bronx problem. When I lived downtown it was a joke how many parking tickets they had, scores of them pinned to the windshield and the truck with it’s engine always on fowling the air and making noise.

    Dense cities can’t function without trucks and I realist in that regard – however we ought to be thoughtful about their impact.

    The Bronx cannot tolerate anymore air pollution. These MUST be zero emissions vehicles!

    But I have no confidence that the promise will be kept!

  • A separate issue is the extra trash from FreshDirect boxes. Why can’t they use recyclable plastic bins and have a deposit (they could pick up the bins when customers make their next order) like other deliver servies? I see the boxes on the curb all the time– they do seem to get recycled but it’s a waste of energy.

  • John

    The potential for head injuries is there in cycling, no question. However, the most likely scenario in a “sport” crash is a painful case of road rash from other parts of the body (hands, hips, legs, elbows) landing first. When compared to the total number of bicycle trips taken, head injuries are still relatively rare. “In New York City, 75 percent of all fatal bike accidents involve a head injury.” I’d say most of the riding in the city is not strictly “sport”, but yeah, getting run over by a trash truck will result in a head injury (among other things).

  • John

    The potential for head injuries is there in cycling, no question. However, the most likely scenario in a “sport” crash is a painful case of road rash from other parts of the body (hands, hips, legs, elbows) landing first. When compared to the total number of bicycle trips taken, head injuries are still relatively rare. “In New York City, 75 percent of all fatal bike accidents involve a head injury.” I’d say most of the riding in the city is not strictly “sport”, but yeah, getting run over by a trash truck will result in a head injury (among other things).

  • Mike

    There were a ton of people on the Hudson River bike path on Citibike’s this morning.

  • Mike

    There were a ton of people on the Hudson River bike path on Citibike’s this morning.

  • Driver

    Probably because having to store a bunch of plastic bins in a NYC apartment would be a deal breaker for many, if not most, customers.

  • Joe R.

    And knowing New Yorkers, they would end up “repurposing” those bins in novel ways, including using them as litter boxes. And then when they saw a Fresh Direct truck in the area, they might return those repurposed bins to get back their deposit. So putting aside any practical issues, there would be a huge sanitary issue. Unlike glass milk bottles which were routinely reused in the years when milk was delivered, plastic containers really can’t be sterilized in a cost effective manner. That would probably require more energy than recycling cardboard boxes.

  • Joe R.

    There should be a movement to eventually get all local delivery vehicles (and garbage trucks) to be zero emissions EVs. Natural gas vehicles may pollute a lot less, but they still add noise pollution. Studies have shown that noise pollution compromises people’s health in the long term. Besides, from an operating cost perspective, electric vehicles are a natural for vehicles in urban delivery service which frequently start and stop. Regenerative braking can recover and reuse a good amount of energy which would otherwise be wasted just heating up brakes.

  • Ian Turner

    FWIW, Peapod used to deliver in reusable plastic bins. There was no deposit, but you were supposed to return your old bins with every new delivery.

    In their post-bankruptcy reincarnation, though, I think they also switched to cardboard.

  • Driver

    I found this from 2009.

    “Next year, the company will stop using cardboard boxes altogether, Mr.
    Ackerman said. It will pack the orders in paper bags and pack the bags
    in reusable plastic boxes that will keep the bags from getting crushed
    on the trucks. At a customer’s apartment, he said, the driver will take
    the bag out of the plastic box and take the box back to FreshDirect to
    be cleaned and reused.”
    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/27/delivering-more-groceries-and-fewer-boxes/
    I don’t order from them, but I do see the delivery guys on the streets, and I think they do use plastic bins, but I’m not sure to what extent.

  • Joe R.

    That’s a good way to deal with the issue of unnecessary waste. With the produce in paper bags, it will remain clean. And there’s no chance of the plastic bins being rendered unsanitary by remaining in customer’s apartments for long periods.

  • Anonymous

    The noise you generally here from Fresh Direct, is not the engine idling, but rather the compressor that is used to refrigerate the truck. It’s automatic.

  • Stacy Walsh Rosenstock

    Re: Trash in the Citi Bike docks. Isn’t trash disposal the responsibility of the building’s superintendent? And isn’t trash supposed ti be placed on the curb rather than in the street? I saw a similar situation on LaGuardia Place where large black trash bags had been placed between the slots of the bike station where CitiBike riders would have to move the trash to return bikes if the station starts to fill up. This only inconveniences riders rather than the DOT or Citi Bike. Sanitation should start issuing heavy fines to those buildings that dispose of their garbage improperly.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously. Talk about the sense of entitlement. We’re going to dump our trash on this? What the fuck is the matter with these people. Wah, someone moved our garbage chute. And BK Heights is a heavy usage area too. These people are just nuts.

  • Bolwerk

    It’d be nice if we started looking into the concept of tram freight. The advantages over trucks are similar to the advantages of light rail over buses, though the initial upfront investment is a similar concern. Not sure how the FRA would play into the idea, but other first world countries have done it with some success.

  • To have the reach and flexibility of trucks this would need to be combined with local delivery vehicles such as solar electric-assist tricycles. This requires an extra transfer and could only be justified on small streets where trucks cannot move easily or are banned. But there would need to be local depots and – as you allude to – huge infra. investments for tracks.

    As I understand it all the crosstown streets of Manhattan were supposed to facilitate cargo transfer from the Hudson and East River — but now land along the river shore is so valuable.

    Manhattan gets enough cargo everyday that if it was required to transfer cargo from barges on either side in conjunction with the aforementioned small vehicles – with most trucks banned except ones carrying very big things, and then only allowed at certain times – the cost of construction of one or more intermodal cargo centres could be justified. This system would not require major changes on the streets as the e-tricycles could do 20mph, but it would require a lot of piers and whatnot on the island edges.

    Definitely within this system in addition to the trucks for moving big objects, there would need to be space for various utility trucks, emergency vehicles and so on.

    It would also create a huge amount of jobs — ideally within a (new) union.

  • BUT the trucks would still be big and cumbersome. They need to be smaller and/or e.g. separated signal phases need to be implemented all over to protect both peds and cyclists. See my comment above.

  • jrab

    It would also make everything in Manhattan hugely expensive.

  • Joe R.

    Isn’t that already the case?

  • Isaac B

    What did these buildings do with their trash when the spaces that now carry bike racks (and supposedly block trash pickup) were occupied by parked cars?

  • Bolwerk

    I really don’t know where this transpo “flexibility” meme came from, but it stinks of thinktank-speak. The best transportation, no matter the mode or cargo, beelines between source and destination on a route clear of obstacles. It doesn’t go around obstacles that shouldn’t be there anyway because this wastes time.

    In the case of tram freight, palettes of freight can be unloaded just like a truck. It doesn’t need an additional last-mile solution of fantastical tricylces because it is the last-mile solution.