Today’s Headlines

  • Port Authority to Begin Comprehensive Study of Bus Terminal (NYT, 2nd Avenue Sagas)
  • News: NYPD Ticketing Cyclists More, But Won’t Admit to Sting Operations
  • Judge: Teen Driver Who Jumped Curb, Killing Ariel Russo, “Has Strong Community Ties” (PostDNA)
  • MTA Moving From Midtown Headquarters, Generating $600 Million (DNA)
  • More Coverage of Public Polling on Citi Bike from WNYC
  • How Speed Cameras Helped Cut Traffic Deaths in France (CapNY)
  • Citi Bike’s Health Benefits Might Be the Only Thing the Post Doesn’t Hate About It
  • Manhattan CB 5 Committee Supports Principles of Move NY Toll Plan (DNA)
  • Brooklyn Bridge Path Too Crowded to Bike? One Cyclist Takes the Road (Gothamist)
  • Dockblocked in DUMBO (Gothamist)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Daphna

    AMNY also covered the quinnipiac poll and mentions the latest citibike stats. http://www.amny.com/urbanite-1.812039/late-in-his-final-term-bloomberg-finds-much-support-for-new-plans-1.5584154

  • carma

    the very funny thing is the post is actually right.

    on my own bike which is relatively light weight, i can easily do 26 round trip miles within 2 hours or less.

    now after riding citibike almost every day, when i get on my own bike, i feel i can go even faster thanks to grueling task of riding a heavy framed bicycle, which by the way is actually VERY comfortable to ride, (just not fast).

  • Daphna

    Regarding dockblocked in the Gothamist: Dumbo docking stations need to be larger. The docking stations in Dumbo are small with only 23, 24, 27 or 30 docks per station. Although the author refers to a station as “large” with 23 docks, that is very small. By comparison, one of the four docking stations surrounding Penn Station has 67 docks. The Pershing Square docking station outside of Grand Central has two 59 dock stations back to back for a total of 118 docks. Dumbo likely does not need such large docking stations, but does need something more than the 30 and under size that’s there now. Then there needs to be frequent rebalancing of those docks since their location is at the bottom of a hill.

  • Daphna

    Regarding the Daily News article about NYPD ticketing cyclists more: Brooklyn cyclists seem to have it rougher than Manhattan cyclists. I hope ticketing cyclists goes the same way as ticketing pedestrians for jaywalking in NYC – meaning that it stops. People recognize that the laws do not make sense for walking as a transportation mode; pedestrians disregard the laws and are accepted for doing so and not ticketed. The laws also do not make sense for cycling as a transportation mode and until the laws are changed, it needs to become the same cultural norm as walking – where tickets are not given for safe behavior that is technically illegal. I hope there is sufficient public outcry about these ridiculous tickets to stop the NYPD from giving them. That NYPD resources go to ticketing safe cyclist behavior that is technically illegal is a travesty given that nearly a person a day dies on NYC streets from motorist behavior that goes unchecked and unticketed.

    12 Manhattan precincts with bikeshare gave cyclists 484 tickets from May 27 – June 23, an increase of 7% from last year.
    7 Brooklyn precincts (3 without bikeshare, 4 with) [76, 77, 78, 79, 84, 88, 90] gave 510 tickets to cyclists May 27 – June 23, an increase of 81% over last year (which was 282 tickets in same 4 weeks). Brooklyn NYPD were already giving 26% more tickets to cyclists in 2013 than in 2012 before this 81% increase this month.

    These 994 tickets given by these 19 combined Manhattan and Brooklyn precincts have done nothing to make NYC streets safer and instead clog up the criminal and traffic court systems. If the time spend writing those 994 tickets last month had instead been devoted to ticketing motorists exhibiting dangerous illegal behaviors, that would have been police resources well spent!

  • Anonymous

    Agreed! I haven’t been on a road bike since I started riding Citibike (I don’t own one, but rent occasionally in other places for long rides), but I have a feeling when I do again, I’m going to fly.

    Also, I started tracking calories burned on a Citibike with Strava less than ten days ago, and I’ve already burned 5,000 calories in 80 miles of riding.

  • Daphna

    June 20-24 NYC bikeshare installed 11 new docking stations. They have 9 more stations to install that are still orange/planned on the Alta/citibikenyc map (but look like they exist as per the DOT map at nyc.gov). This would bring the number of stations up to 330, the amount the system was supposed to have at launch but didn’t. I was hoping that Alta would continue their docking station installation and am disappointed no new stations have come online since June 24th.

  • KillMoto

    RE: Brooklyn Bridge riding:
    Motorist: “I was afraid for her”
    Motorist: “As I finally passed her…”

    Motorist, if you’re afraid for a cyclist on a dangerous stretch of road, the best thing you can do is slow down, keep the cyclist in sight, match speed, and don’t fall so far back that some other aggressive motorist passes recklessly. Use your brains, and your 3000lb car as a shield for this cyclist you are so concerned about.

    Act on your concern. If you slowed a bit and didn’t pass, you would have gone through the left turn lane at the exact same time as you did having passed her, amiright?

  • Daphna

    Because the docking station was moved from on 8th Avenue at 35th Street to 33rd Street just west of 8th Avenue, Penn Station now has four docking stations around it, one at each corner. These four stations total about 230 docks (226 as per Alta, 232 as per DOT). Given that Penn Station handles 500,000 people per day, even more than 230 docks may be needed in the future as bikeshare grows. However, I am excited that this transit hub has this high number of docks; that shows good planning.

  • mike

    Broke my shoulder when a pedestrian veered into the bike lane and my handlebars on the Brooklyn Bridge a few weeks ago. Wish I’d thought to bike on the roadway instead. What are the odds of a short fence or other barrier replacing the painted white line between bikes and pedestrians.

  • Jim M.

    Why do any commuters ride over the Brooklyn Bridge in the first place? Just take the Manhattan. BB is clearly the realm of tourists and pedestrians, which makes it more annoying (and apparently dangerous) than convenient.

  • Bluewndrpwrmlk96

    Sorry to hear about your experience. I always thought a garden chain-link fence should do the trick, like the follow:

    http://www.nationalplastics.co.uk/external/commerce/1/gfx/hires/FC60_black.jpg

    Otherwise, I would suggest the Manhattan Bridge as an alternative. Unless you’re in Plumb Beach near the Belt, it’s not worth the risk to take the Brooklyn Br. roadway.

  • Greg

    As a regular BB bike commuter, my personal answer is that it’s far easier for me to access on both the Manhattan and Brooklyn sides (at least where I’m coming from and going). I’m not particularly enthused about the roadways I have to take to go the extra distance to the Manhattan Bridge (especially the horrible intersection at the start of the Brooklyn-side on-ramp). And I don’t think it really saves me any time, in spite of the slower travel speed on the BB.

    I’m definitely hyper-aware when traversing the BB and do sense how tight the under-construction parts are. But I feel it’s not *that* hard to take it at a safe, cautious, yet still-moving speed. And there are many times, particularly later in the evening, when the BB is practically empty and just a joy to ride.

    I used to sympathize with the idea of just giving it over to tourists outright, but I now believe it’s role as a viable cross-river route matters and deserves sustained consideration. While we always *can* take the Manhattan Bridge, that sounds to me like saying automobiles *can* take 1st Avenue instead of 3rd Avenue. The infrastructure is there and we should exploit it, and thank the fact we have that redundancy.

  • mike

    Yeah, I almost always take the Manhattan Bridge on the way home (though the Brooklyn Bridge is fine in the morning). I just spaced out thinking about stuff on the ride down the Hudson River Greenway, missed the turn on Clarkson, and figured that it wouldn’t hurt to use the Brooklyn Bridge for one day. Oops.

  • Anonymous

    If I were to commute by bike to my office in the Financial District, I would take the Brooklyn Bridge because going over the Manhattan Bridge and winding up by Canal Street is a longer trip.

  • Peter

    Jim: Getting to / from the West Side Greenway is extremely problematic & somewhat hazardous from the Manhattan Bridge. Until the DOT finds a way to make the the West Side Greenway safely accessible from the Manhattan Bridge I will continue to use the Brooklyn Bridge.

  • Daphna

    The detour to Manhattan Bridge adds time and distance that some riders rightly reject. The Brooklyn Bridge should be an option for cyclists, not the non-option that it is now due to lack of space.

    One vehicle travel lane needs to be reclaimed and dedicated to bikes on the Brooklyn Bridge. Then the whole elevated bike/ped section can be pedestrian only. This is the solution.

    Queensboro Bridge is about to need the same as soon as bike volumes climb a little more. The outer roadway on the south side of the Queensboro Bridge needs to be claimed from motorists and dedicated to pedestrians. Then the outer roadway on the north side which is currently a shared bike/ped path can be for bikes only.

    Also, the expansion joints on the bike path on the Manhattan Bridge need to be filled in because they are too bumpy. Especially if cyclists are all being routed to the Manhattan Bridge because the Brooklyn Bridge is too crowded, then the ride across the Manhattan Bridge should be made more comfortable.

  • SteveF

    When I worked at the foot of the BB, I would return home via the south side of the MB, not the north path. Direct access from Bowery up from Worth St, better view, especially sunsets, and few enough pedestrians that we can share the path. However, the construction sheds on the south path do make it more difficult to share right now.

  • SteveF

    There is still a possibility of adding a pedestrian path OVER the roadway on one or both sides of the current path. Cyclists would stay down in the center, the peds would be up with a better view. Problem is that the extra path may be too heavy a load for the BB.

    Queensboro – the two outer roadways could be set up for one way bike flow on each side – concurrent with car flow. Pedestrians would still share the space, but (almost) no more two way bikes plus peds. European cycletracks are typically one way in the same direction as motor traffic. Possibly makes approaching and leaving the bridge easier.

    This is different from the Manhattan Bridge setup, which is your suggestion. Not sure if it works better or worse, but ought to be thought about.
    Regardless, it’s time to provide two non-motorized lanes on the QBB. The demand is there.

  • Daphna

    I understand your suggestion for the Queensboro bridge and I would support that design but regardless of my opinion, it will not work because of two reasons:
    1) Pedestrians tend to demand greater separation with bikes. (Not all pedestrians but a few vocal ones who know how to get heard by high levels of government.)
    2) The Economic Development Corporation already built the landscaped bike path that connects to the north outer roadway on the Queens side of the Queensboro bridge. Also, with the new protected lanes slated to go in on 2 blocks of 1st Avenue – the DOT is putting in infrastructure that is geared around cyclists using that north outer roadway (the current shared bike/ped path). I doubt they would want to make additional infrastructure for bikes at the bridge approaches to a (theoretical) south outer roadway path.

    But no matter how the north outer roadway and the south outer roadway on the Queensboro are divvied up between bike or pedestrian, that south outer roadway needs to be reclaimed from motorists and given to bike/ped use soon. The way the south outer roadway is made lends itself to becoming bike/ped. It is only one lane and is completely physically separated from all the other lanes. The off ramp on the Queens side from the south outer roadway would not need much to make it workable – a slightly different position of an island and an additional crosswalk. The pedestrians exiting would not be in conflict with any motorists exiting. The ramp to the south outer roadway from the Manhattan side is more tricky but planners could study it and come up with something.

    This change needs to happen. The Queensboro does not have to be stuck with the bike/ped lane being over-crowded like the Brooklyn Bridge because on the Queensboro there’s an easy way of expanding the bike/ped area.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not crazy about the south path because of the shared space with pedestrians, but also because of the stairs when you’re coming off the Brooklyn side (though I haven’t taken that path in a while and maybe that’s changed). Personally, for where I live in Cobble Hill, it’s also more convenient to come off the Brooklyn Bridge path right onto Adams Street than to wind up at the bottom of the hill on Sands.