Today’s Headlines

  • Will CB 6’s Vote Against Safety Dictate the Future of Fourth Avenue? (News)
  • Meanwhile, the Region’s Other Most Dangerous Roads Are Improving (MTR)
  • LIRR Train Derails Near Penn Station, No Injuries; Effects Linger to Morning Commute (WSJ, NYT 1, 2)
  • MTA in Talks to Pay for Citi Bike Expansion During G Train Sandy Repair (News, 2nd Avenue Sagas)
  • More Coverage of TA Report Showing Rampant Speeding, Little Enforcement in Brooklyn (News, WNYC)
  • Norm Oder Crunches Numbers, Estimates 1,000+ Drivers Seek Free On-Street Parking at Barclays (AYR)
  • Judge: Port Authority Retirees Can Keep Free Tolls and Airport Parking for Life (Post, News)
  • Manhattan CB 5 Votes Down Midtown East Upzoning, Saying Public Realm Fee Is Too Low (Crain’s)
  • Bloomberg’s “Seaport City” Proposal Gets Tepid Reaction From Planners, Waterfront Advocates (WSJ)
  • Car and Driver Races Subway, Pedestrian, and Bentley From Bronx to Battery
  • WSJ Won’t Stop With Inane “Bicycle Lobby” Videos

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • normanoder

    Also see what was obscured in the Barclays Center transportation report: likely 1000+ cars seek free parking near arena.

    http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2013/06/obscured-in-barclays-center.html

  • Curious meta: WSJ basically put an apprentice-level staffer on the “bike lobby” article and video beat. Poor kid looks like he’s still looking for the coffee machine. Doesn’t seem like it was his idea to report on this. So we know that the higher-ups are pushing the story downward to the writers, just like at their sister publication.

    Of course, knowing where the motives are coming from doesn’t necessarily make it easier to make an appeal for our position.

  • Anonymous

    Cops out patrolling the bike lanes on Prince St this morning. Overheard him chatting with another rider, seemed to be implying that there was another ticketing crackdown against cyclists coming in the next few days.

    Just a head’s up for everyone.

  • tyler

    Also, it should be noted… confirming the existence of a “bike lobby” is hardly shocking and it was the LEAST odd aspect of Dorothy Rabinowitz’ batsh*t crazy rant. So, this poor intern… err… journalist didn’t exactly redeem Ms. Rabinowitz. I wonder if the WSJ think they accomplished that? (I have a feeling that was the goal)

  • There were six officers on Chrystie Street stopping cyclists going through the intersection at Rivington. At least two squad cars from what I could see.

    If you want to protect pedestrians from the scourge of cyclists, this is probably the least effective place to do it. It’s a T intersection with very little pedestrian traffic and zero crossing automobile traffic.

  • Daphna

    I thought cyclists could legally proceed through T intersections even on the red light.

  • tyler

    But it’s a perfect place to give tickets! This is like an intersection near my dad’s house in (uggh) Florida — well, it’s not an intersection. It’s a FUTURE intersection, but currently just a 90-degree bend in the road WITH a stop sign. Cop stationed nearby to pounce on anyone would would DARE role through a non-intersection without stopping!

    The police are well-trained throughout the country to focus on quantity rather than quality.

  • tyler

    No. Only if there is a separated bike path like Prospect Park West. (But that’s because it’s really a separate roadway.)

  • Jesus, what is that kid at the WSJ talking about? Do they even cover the “car lobby” that made the streets as inordinately unbalanced in favor of the car? No. They talk about TA as if it’s some counterculture movement. It’s like our ATA in Chicago. They’re so level-headed about biking and their goal is just to get more people biking, walking, taking transit, and rightsizing streets. The WSJ is going to drag this out as long as possible, it seems.

  • that should be the case, and Paris is going to start allowing this in some intersections: http://transitized.com/2013/06/03/paris-is-walking-the-walk-with-pedestrian-priority-projects/

  • Daphna

    Late at night the 14th precinct (Midtown South – 9th Ave to Lexington, 29th to 45th St) likes to trail and ticket cyclists who are in the 8th Avenue protected lane for red light violations. Even if the cyclists slows down and looks first before proceeding, even if there are no pedestrians crossing, even if there is no cross traffic, even if the bicyclist is proceeding slowly and carefully, even if all the pedestrians are crossing in the same directions against the light as the cyclist, even if it is raining – the NYPD of the 14th precinct will ticket cyclists with those $270 red light tickets. This precinct also does cyclist stings on 6th Ave with a lot of police and vehicles that they use to cite cyclists for every possible violation – handing out many expensive tickets in a single stop.

  • Daphna

    That kid is thinking about keeping his current job but he might want to think about his future. No one needs to go to a physical library anymore to use a card catalog or to look up old newspaper articles on microfiche anymore. Instead, articles stay on the web for easy access and simple searches being them up. Public sentiment is in favor of bikes. Common sense and reality show that T.A. is just a non-profit group with a very modest budget trying to do what they can and have as much voice as possible – but which is miniscule compared to the voice and power of auto ads and the money involved in that industry both with lobbying and advertising. What he wrote will look more and more foolish as time passes and his name will forever be attached to it and easily accessed.

  • Daphna

    I would like to get a two-way jersey barrier protected bike lane on the northbound side of Central Park West (8th Avenue) against Central Park from 60th to 110th Street. All it would take is removing the curbside parking along Central Park. Or a travel lane could be removed instead and have floating parking. Central Park West is perfect for a Prospect Park West style bike lane. Central Park closes at 1am and even when open, the uptown side is three avenue blocks further east by 5th Avenue so a bi-directional safe (aka protected – either with floating parking or concrete barriers) bike lane would serve a need there and would make a lot of sense.

  • carma

    ugggh.. i go through that intersection almost everyday. the only cars are turning towards the direction of the holland tunnel. i dont see any danger at this intersection other than cars carelessly turning and banging into pedestrians

  • Jesse

    fwiw, if you to the traffic court to pay the ticket in person, they will reduce it to $190. (I guess that’s worth exactly $80) The ticket for running a red light is $190, and there is an $80 surcharge for doing it in a motor vehicle. Shockingly, cops don’t seem to know this and they often give cyclists $270 tickets.

    Dear NYPD,

    If you have a ticket quota, you could fill every budget gap in the city by ticketing speeders, gratuitous horn-honkers, and people double-parked in bike lanes. Oh, and, you might just make this city a little nicer place to live and save some lives in the process.

  • Jesse

    WSJ is trying to save a little face after Dorothy-gate but they just keep looking stupider and stupider.

  • Jesse

    I kept waiting for him to say “boom goes the dynamite”.

  • Anonymous

    We really need to raise the issue at their Precinct Council Meetings. I’m not opposed to the NYPD issuing tickets to scofflaw cyclists, but it seems that they’re completely unwilling to do it in areas where cyclists actually endanger people. Take some of this morning’s instances of ticketing: an empty three-way intersection and a cobblestone street with no pedestrian traffic.

    How about places like Union Square, where cyclists whip off Broadway onto the 17th Street lane with no regard for crossing pedestrian with a signal? Or 2nd Avenue at 14th, where I invariably see one dumb cyclist every light cycle cut through an active crosswalk against the light? Or 6th Avenue, where I face salmon that regularly force me into traffic in an already narrow bike lane?

    If these ticket blitzes really are about safety and not harassment, the NYPD is doing a horrible job showing it.

  • Anonymous

    We really need to raise the issue at their Precinct Council Meetings. I’m not opposed to the NYPD issuing tickets to scofflaw cyclists, but it seems that they’re completely unwilling to do it in areas where cyclists actually endanger people. Take some of this morning’s instances of ticketing: an empty three-way intersection and a cobblestone street with no pedestrian traffic.

    How about places like Union Square, where cyclists whip off Broadway onto the 17th Street lane with no regard for crossing pedestrian with a signal? Or 2nd Avenue at 14th, where I invariably see one dumb cyclist every light cycle cut through an active crosswalk against the light? Or 6th Avenue, where I face salmon that regularly force me into traffic in an already narrow bike lane?

    If these ticket blitzes really are about safety and not harassment, the NYPD is doing a horrible job showing it.

  • Anonymous

    Apparently, that’s what the angry cyclist behind me at a red light on 20th Street thought last night, too, since he incessantly rang his bell while I was stopped in front of him.

  • Eddie

    I got a ticket a couple of weeks ago for riding outside the bike lane on First Avenue (I was on the right side of the avenue). Even if riding outside a bike lane in NYC is illegal, which is debatable, I had a perfectly justifiable reason for doing so: I was about to make the next right turn east towards Avenue A. The cop was an ignorant jerk, and as a result I have to take off time from work to appear in court.

  • Jeff

    This whole discussion about expanding bike share to mitigate subway service changes is the most pragmatic public discussion about bicycles I can recall since I started actively following transportation news in the region. It’s not framed as a question of how progressive we should be, who has a right to the road, the efficacy of the bicycle as a transportation mode, etc. It simply takes bicycles as a legitimate transportation mode as a given, and weighs in how it can be applied to meet this specific challenge. I, for one, think this speaks volumes about how far we have come.

  • The car and driver article is a bit funny, if depressing (there are still people who insist on driving through Manhattan?). Of course, he excluded what would certainly be the fastest mode of all: bicycling. To go from the Botanical Garden to Battery Park, Google Maps claims 1:25, but if he’s dressed for a good ride and has a decent bike I bet it’s doable in a bit over an hour. A stop for a drink may add 10 minutes to that trip. Plus he wouldn’t have to endure any odd smells, and would get better views than any of the other modes he chose.

  • Daphna

    NYPD ticketing seems to be based on making a quota in easiest way for the officer – not based in any way on protecting and serving NYC citizens.

    There should be no ticketing of cyclists at all until the NYPD addresses motorist violations. Only when the NYPD have gotten the chronic dangerous driver behaviors (speeding, double parking, blocking the box, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks when turning, honking) under control, should they then move on to ticketing of cyclists. Even the most egregious cyclist behavior poses less of a threat than common motorist lawbreaking.

  • Daphna

    It is not illegal to bike outside of a bike lane. Since you were turning right, you could not have been in the bike lane which is the left-most lane. It should get dismissed if the judge has any sense. Go with a copy of the law to court. But this kind of thing is infuriating and wrong. The NYPD should know the law. The NYPD should be using their resources to make our city safer, not perpetrating harassment of law abiding bike riders.

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    It is my understanding, and it is murky law, that it is a violation in most circumstances to bike outside of the bike lane when the lane is unobstructed, safe, etc. unless you are preparing to make a turn on the opposite side of the road.

    The preparing to make a turn issue presents a huge enforcement problem because the only person who knows if a cyclist is preparing to make a turn is the cyclist and there is no prescribed distance you can prepare. This problem of enforcement is the law’s fault, not the cops’ fault.

    The NYPD should have better priorities, but as long as there is a percentage of people who think that cyclists are the most dangerous thing to ever happen to New York, a percentage of the NYPD resources will be devoted to enforcing bad laws.

    Lucky for us, there is a court which ultimately decides guilt of any offense cited by a police officer so you will likely only face the penalty of time lost to go to court.

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    It is my understanding, and it is murky law, that it is a violation in most circumstances to bike outside of the bike lane when the lane is unobstructed, safe, etc. unless you are preparing to make a turn on the opposite side of the road.

    The preparing to make a turn issue presents a huge enforcement problem because the only person who knows if a cyclist is preparing to make a turn is the cyclist and there is no prescribed distance you can prepare. This problem of enforcement is the law’s fault, not the cops’ fault.

    The NYPD should have better priorities, but as long as there is a percentage of people who think that cyclists are the most dangerous thing to ever happen to New York, a percentage of the NYPD resources will be devoted to enforcing bad laws.

    Lucky for us, there is a court which ultimately decides guilt of any offense cited by a police officer so you will likely only face the penalty of time lost to go to court.

  • Anonymous

    I had to sit through an ad for Chevron Oil. I’m glad to hear that there IS a bike lobby.

  • Anonymous

    I had to sit through an ad for Chevron Oil. I’m glad to hear that there IS a bike lobby.

  • Anonymous

    I had to sit through an ad for Chevron Oil. I’m glad to hear that there IS a bike lobby.

  • Anonymous

    This after the TA disclosure of rampant speeding by cars in our fair city. Good to hear that NYPD is ‘on’ it.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think even that one exception is true. There are yellow lights that cyclists have to adhere to at all the T intersections on PPW that are Ts. (One is a normal four-point intersections with a normal light that cyclists also have to obey.) If those were red, we’d have to stop.

  • tyler

    Yield to pedestrians is the law period… that doesn’t change the overall exception of PPW. If there are pedestrians in the crosswalk, you have to yield for the. Even if a person is jaywalking and just standing in the middle of a street, it’s not legal to run them over.

    Also, there are no 4-point intersections on PPW anymore. 3rd Street was closed to cars.

  • carma

    its absolutely absurd that the nypd would ticket NON dangerous “scofflaws”. a bicycle will never be as dangerous as a motor vehicle. if there are no pedestrians, bicycles or other moving objects at a red, especially at a T intersection. i really find little harm in getting a head start on a red.

    with that said, i DO want the nypd to ticket dangerous bicycling such as salmon, and running reds when there is present pedestrian traffic or other traffic.

    but of course, the easy fruit to pick are ALL bicyclists. most of which are not a danger to anybody.

    as a motorist myself, i do find it ridiculous that the nypd doesnt ramp up enforcement on the numerous dangerous things other drivers do.

  • Eric McClure

    Re the WSJ: “Tikvah Fellowship seeks to cultivate a community of serious inquiry and practice around the pressing ideas and challenges facing the Jewish people.” http://tikvahfellowship.org/overview/

    “Serious inquiry?” Yeah, right.

  • Anonymous

    There is no exception. If those lights were red, we’d have to stop.

    And the intersection at 3rd is still four points. Regular cars aren’t allowed in the park there but the intersection itself remains open (just with mobile metal barriers) and cops go in and out of there all the time. Bikes also exit there–hence the stop light.

  • tyler

    “If those lights were red…” Umm… that’s why it’s an exception. It’s a separate roadway with different lights. Like the West Side bike trail or whatever it’s called.

    Oh and no, the 3rd Street intersection is no more… There is signage. No Turns + a Yield to Pedestrians sign + A Do Not Enter sign… The fact that police and ambulances can drive on the sidewalk if they need/want to doesn’t make the sidewalk a road.

  • Bronxite

    I read that Car and Driver article,

    The trip time to Battery Park from what looks to be Bedford Park Blvd and Webster Avenue.

    •Realistically, that ride on the subway is about an hour (from that location). I don’t know how it almost took him two (Straight shot on the 4 to Wall St).

    •If he took the Metro North to Grand Central and transfered it would have been a little faster. Maybe 45 minutes (?)

    •It’s roughly a 45-60 minute drive during rush hour. Good luck finding free curbside parking down there. Expect to pay for a garage.

    •Bicycling would take roughly 1.5 hours for the average person. I think if your quick+road bike you can do it in about an hour. 16 miles so you be the judge.

    I noticed the driver bragged about speeding and reckless driving, lol.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not an exception and it’s not a separate roadway. We’re bound by the same laws, etc.

    And it’s not a sidewalk, it’s a road. It’s still a four-point intersection, with traffic limited primarily to NYPD vehicles and bikes. End of story.

    http://goo.gl/maps/MhvLw

  • tyler

    Regardless of the 3rd street… the PPW Bike Lane IS AN EXCEPTION in the sense that it is a separate roadway. Yes. A separate roadway. A separate roadway. It does not have the same signals as the rest of PPW. The stop lights on PPW do not apply to the bike lane. What signals do? The flashing yellow yield lights!! Are those lights for the cars? NO!! They are for the bike lane. So, the bike lane is a separate roadway. Are roadways that do not have stop signs or stop lights exempt from yielding to pedestrians? NO!! They are not. Arrgh! End of story. Cars and bikes are bound by the same laws… sure. Who is disputing that!?! If there is a road with a flashing yellow light, do cars have to stop? NO. They have to yield. Get it? Two parts of PPW, two sets of signals/signs, two SEPARATE sets of rules.

  • Daphna

    Will Manhattan Community Board 5’s vote against the midtown east upzoning stop that plan? Or will it proceed anyway since community boards are advisory only?

  • Daphna

    Citibike usage at Battery Park City is off the charts!!! https://sites.google.com/site/citibikestats/ I guess there was a lot of pent up demand for bikeshare there.

    I like seeing people riding citibikes. I look forward to the times when I am riding around in the covered area so that I see the citibike riders. I wanted bikeshare to be a success and thought it would be, but at the same time I am a little surprised at how much demand there is. I would think that if someone wanted to ride, someone could have just bought a bike. One can buy a used bike and set it up to be a comfort bike like a citibike without it being too expensive. Yet this was clearly an impediment. People either did not want to spend money on a bike, did not have a place to store it, did not want to worry about locking it, or did not want to have it with them in case they preferred to take another method of transportation for one leg of their trip. Whatever it was, there was some impediment to biking and citibike has solved it and given all these riders a way to ride.

    Citibike reminds me of the pedestrianized Times Square. One day it was a road. The next day it was a plaza with tables and chairs. No sooner were those tables and chairs put out than they were completely filled with people. New Yorkers saw something new, useful and enjoyable in the former street space and they took to it immediately. The same thing is happening with bikeshare. With citibke, New Yorkers saw something appear in the public realm that was useful and pleasurable to them, and they starting using it immediately.

    When something is a good idea, New Yorkers take to it immediately once it is available to them. They do not need to be persuaded or to have a lengthy adjustment period. The problem is that the new idea has to be physically implemented for it to be popular. You see it all the time. As soon as a curb bulb out or a pedestrian island is created, pedestrians use it. Bus riders get on SBS whenever they can once they see it works. But it is such a struggle to get the initial community board approval to let these physical changes take place since it is hard for many people to envision how something new could work.

  • Andrew

    There are a few disturbing bits in that article.

    “Driving in Manhattan is a sport. At times it resembles a series of eighth-mile drag races. Jousting with cabs, playing chicken with pedestrians, and processing the city’s sensory overload require a race driver’s concentration and offer similar psychological rewards. In New York, everyone is engaged, and even the bad drivers are paying attention. And when the traffic opens up on FDR Drive, the joy of stomping on the throttle and hitting triple digits in that concrete canyon is more thrilling than on any interstate.”

    and later:

    “The solution: Pay the valet to watch the Mulsanne while it was parked ­illegally on the sidewalk.”

    And why would the bus-plus-subway ride cost $5.00? Is Mr. Sabatini not aware that there have been free bus-to-subway transfers since 1997?

  • carma

    while i have a decent bike, i would never use it on my commute to work. here are my reasons.

    1. i work in jersey, live in queens. biking across the lincoln tunnel is not very pleasant with bus fumes. also its illegal.
    2. after work i pick up my child from school and we hop on the train. my wife drops off in the morning. train rides are actually productive since it becomes homework time.
    3. hauling the bike and locking it everywhere becomes a chore. a lot less so than looking for a parking space with a car, but still a chore. citibike solves that problem.

  • Ridgewoodian

    Agreed! Personally, I live out in Queens, where the (M) is shut down practically every other weekend every summer and everyone is forced onto crowded, infrequent shuttlebuses. Citi Bike would go a long way towards ameliorating that situation. Now that it’s being considered for Greenpoint and the (G) shutdown I’m hoping we’ll get it out in my ‘hood.

  • Shojib Ashrafi Na Ashrafi

    My thoughts exactly… you’d think people who either own or plan to ride in a limo would like to know that information!