Today’s Headlines

  • Well, Weiner Has Probably Peaked (NYT, WSJ, News, Post, CapNY)
  • NYC EDC Signs Off on Fresh Direct’s Move to Asthma-Plagued South Bronx (MTR)
  • Alison Arieff Weighs the Implications of RoboCars (NYT)
  • Insatiable Demand for Citi Bikes at Penn Station (WNYC)
  • Credit Card Info for 1,174 Citi Bike Customers Was Compromised (WSJ)
  • Hit-and-Run Driver Seriously Injures Cyclist in Woodside (DNA)
  • 2nd Ave Sagas: Mayoral Contenders Focused on Ferry Gimmicks, Not Transit Solutions
  • Once Bay Ridge Merchants Got a Taste of Car-Free Events, They Came Back for More (Bklyn Paper)
  • MTA to Install Remote-Control Gates and Intercoms at Unstaffed Stations (News)
  • Amtrak Tests Out Bikes on Board Ethan Allen Route (Times Union)
  • Mini-Jim Walden Sighting at de Blasio Presser About LICH Closing (Bklyn Eagle)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Ian Turner

    Alta is looking like a worse and worse choice every week.

  • krstrois

    It will be left to Chris Quinn to tear out our motherf*cking bike lanes, then.

  • Reader

    She will replace them with ferry landings.

  • Theyre not a good choice at all, but to be fair, they probably didnt have final say in the number of docks around the transport hubs. Of course, if they hadnt screwed up not one, but three times, thered be many more stations out there right now.

    What Penn and Port Authority need is a more innovative bike station designed for high capacity locations. The current stations are not space effective for that kind of scenario. They need a high capacity bike dispensing machine that can hold more bikes in the same space. A couple models exist in Europe, but Alta isnt one to innovate.

  • Anonymous

    The fact that Weiner and Spitzer are running have allowed the media to turn this into yet another referendum on Stupid Male Politicians and Their Sexual Habits. We’ve been having those for nearly twenty years. I’d like an election to be about something, please.

    Please, you two rich jokers, just drop out and go away forever and ever and ever.

  • Brick

    This is unrelated to the headlines, but I figure it may be the best place to ask:

    Is anyone aware whether or not bicycles are allowed in the 25th street plaza just outside of Baruch?

    It’s part of my daily commute and I’ve ridden through many times, often times with CUNY security there, making sure cyclists are riding slow, but otherwise allowing them through.

    Today there was a pretty gruff security guard that tried to take me off my bike, physically, saying that bicycles weren’t allowed.

    Can anyone clarify this, or point to something that does?

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    New plan:
    Anywhere there is an on-street parking space, we install a bikeshare kiosk and anywhere where there is currently a bikeshare kiosk, we allow street parking.

  • tyler

    Credit card companies have really done a good job at brainwashing the public to freak out about credit card fraud… ALL of the liability is between the Credit Card company and the merchant. All of it.

    Is there a bit of hassle when you have unauthorized charges? Sure. A phone call and a form or two. But it’s not *your* money being stolen… it’s the credit card company’s. The stress is theirs, not yours.

    All of the fraud protection things they promote as “protecting you against fraudulent charges” don’t do anything of the sort… these things protect the credit card company. They are there to reduce *their* losses, not yours. You are already protected (as long as there is a Visa, Mastercard or Amex logo on your card…. plain bank debit cards are pretty risky and don’t have these protections)

    Now, should you pass out photocopies of your credit card at the subway station? No. There is still the hassle when your info is stolen, but don’t buy into the hype. This is almost entirely an issue between the merchant and the bank.

  • It seems to be what was intended. I’m putting in a request to the DOT about their research for the City Hall bike cut-through to suggest to community advocates that a slow-bike-zone be put here. Otherwise the circumnavigation requirements here are dangerous and unnecessary, and there are FOUR Citibike docks just off that street (from First to Madison)

  • Bolwerk

    Good riddance to Weiner, but the obsession with his junk over his bad policy ideas is galling. Quinn supports letting the police throw black people against the wall for a frisking when they dare to step outside in an impoverished neighborhood. Sorry, but that’s way more evil than a poorly considered sext.

  • Bolwerk

    AFAIK, the school administers the plaza, so they may have the right to set the policy. I have no idea who to ask there though.

  • tyler

    CUNY peace officers tend to be extremely inconsistent… they don’t do well with not having clear directives for everything. If they have to make a judgement, half will be reasonable and the other half will immediate invent worst-case-scenarios in their head that require a harsh “crack down.” I have lots of experience with these folks at several campuses.

    A clear policy would have to be determined by the adminstration — otherwise you’re going to keep experiencing this… No problem some days, absolutely the cause of all societies ills the next.

  • Brick

    Thanks for the responses guys. I’m going to keep a “better to ask forgiveness than permission” attitude for this one.

    It’s a shame though, 25th is a breeze to bike on now because there’s no real through traffic.

    If anyone has more info please feel free to chime in =)

  • tyler

    When I was 21 or so, my daily bike commute brought me through the Public Garden in Boston… a strict dismount location (unlike the adjacent Boston Commons). It was quite empty most mornings, so it wasn’t a big deal. But as they started recognizing me, the parks officers definitely starting ramping up from the disapproving look to blocking the path and forcing me to dismount… wonder if they could issue tickets? It was such a nice way to bike on the way to work, but I was a good boy and eventually reformed my scofflaw ways and rode around the garden.

  • Anonymous

    Most of the Alta problems have been with the initial deployment, whcih is a project in which Alta has to hire a load of temp workers well over 10 times the payroll they expect for daily operations. I doubt there is a bikeshare contractor that doesn’t suck at that stage.

  • Anonymous

    The Citi Bike credit card story is the poster child for computer security theater. They force users to provide passwords that must comply with absurd and unnecessary requirements (“8-14 characters with one lower case letter, one upper case letter, one digit and one special character”) and yet they don’t store the sensitive information properly.

  • tyler

    So… the down vote…

    (a) you disapprove of my naughty behavior when I was 21.
    (b) you don’t like boston
    (c) you don’t like that I characterized my biking through the park as being a scofflaw
    (d) you don’t care for anecdotes

  • Brick

    As far as I know the CUNY peace officers are glorified security guards, maybe they’ve got a direct line to the NYPD, but I’m not terribly concerned about being issued a ticket.

  • Brick

    Fantastic!

  • Bolwerk

    Don’t you worry about that? Quinn isn’t terribly hostile to alternative transportation the way Weiner is, but she is a lizard and would probably cheerfully horsetrade anything away if she thought it helped her poll numbers. Depending how the electoral winds blow, it’s quite possible that Quinn will horsetrade away SBS lanes, bike lanes, and ped plazas to appease a right-wing Democrat that Bloomberg wouldn’t bother appeasing.

    Basically, Quinn is Bloomberg. Except more wishywashy. And Weiner is Cuomo. Cuomo with a compulsive need to send women pictures of his penis.

  • Bolwerk

    Upvoted. Every prosocial violation of the law deserves at least that!

    When you downvote, you buy karmic points for protecting your sacred cow, or something. Or, in rare cases, someone said something really stupid. In your case, I’m going to guess it’s the former.

  • Ian Turner

    My understanding: Most of the CUNY Public Safety folks are civillians and are not authorized to do much of anything. Some of them are actual peace officers, however, and can make arrests, carry firearms, etc. Most of these latter category wear clothing with the word “police” somewhere.

  • tyler

    Only a portion carry firearms, but they are all New York State Peace Officers (of various ranks and levels)…. none are police, though some campuses have NYPD presence at different times. They can arrest and are authorized to use force including deadly force, when necessary…. though, I’m thinking tackling a cyclist on 25th Street may be considered excessive force. 🙂

  • Brooklynite

    BDB is looking better and better every day.

  • Ex-driver

    It’s even easier than that. I think someone here suggested yesterday that there should be extra bikes stored somewhere nearby so that the docks could be manually restocked as needed. There’s so much wasted space on that MSG superblock that there’s bound to be someplace they could stash bikes securely.

  • Anonymous

    And then where will people park the bikes when they get to their destination? Will you put a warehouse and a storage crew next to each popular station in midtown?

    What we need is not only more bikes, but also more docks.

  • Ex-driver

    If there’s room for more docks, all the better. But anyway, judging from the NY Times article, I think it’s safe to assume that the fresh bikes would be quickly checked out, leaving ample empty docks. I’m certainly not suggesting this be done at every popular station – just at stations where huge demand comes in bursts, i.e., at the commuter terminals.

  • Daphna

    There are four docking stations around Penn Station at: 7th Ave & 33rd St, 7th Ave & 31st St, 8th Ave & 33rd St and 8th Ave & 31st St. By the DOT map count there are 232 docks altogether. Alta’s map shows 222 docks total among those four stations. If each of those four stations were nearly full at the start of each morning, that would help alleviate some of the bike shortages. But I think that at best each station is only half full each morning prior to the rush. In a case like this where the majority are taking bikes out and few are coming to dock, very few empty docks need to be at those stations prior to morning rush hour.

    But even using the 232 docks around Penn Station more appropriately will likely still not be enough since Penn Station serves a staggering 500,000 people a day. Maybe there need to be eight docking stations surrounding Penn Station instead of four. Maybe those 51 to 67 dock stations should each be twice as large. This is clear case where more street space needs to be dedicated to bikeshare and away from car parking.

  • Driver

    I don’t know of much if any street space dedicated to car parking around Penn station. Almost all available parking around this area is dedicated to commercial delivery vehicles during the day, which can then be used by cars during night hours. While there may be a need for more docks, eliminating commercial parking will just increase the existing problem of illegal truck parking that causes traffic problems.

  • Daphna

    Yesterday was another record for the number of rides in a single day on Citibike. Their blog is not updated yet, but the turnover per dock is higher than any previous day (https://sites.google.com/site/citibikestats/). It is going to show over 34,000 rides on July 23rd when the blog is updated. As much as Alta might be falling short, to their credit, they are handling a per bike usage (average number of rides per day per bike) that is far higher than most bikeshares in other cities. The total number of available bikes yesterday was 3,980 and there were over 34,000 rides. This is 8-9 trips per day per bike. This is more than double most bikeshare programs. In some ways it is amazing that Alta is keeping the system running well enough to allow for this volume of usage.

  • Daphna

    I agree that commercial vehicles need their loading spaces and that should not be reduced in areas where it is needed. However, there is some metered parking around Penn Station. Also on 33rd and 31st between 8th and 9th Avenue it is not commercial loading on the side of those streets by the post office. So there are places around Penn Station for more docks that do not compromise the space that commercial vehicles need.

  • Ian Turner

    I was actually referring to the credit card issue, BTW.

  • Ian Turner

    I was actually referring to the credit card issue, BTW.

  • Ian Turner

    This is still a real issue for those whose information was leaked, because the lead did not only include credit card numbers: It also had names, usernames, e-mail addresses, passwords, dates of birth, etc., with which a malicious person can do a lot of damage.

  • Ian Turner

    This is still a real issue for those whose information was leaked, because the lead did not only include credit card numbers: It also had names, usernames, e-mail addresses, passwords, dates of birth, etc., with which a malicious person can do a lot of damage.

  • Ian Turner

    Maybe the thing to do is double-decker, or triple-decker docks. Some kind of dry cleaners’ system for bikes.

  • SteveF

    No, DeBlasio is anti bike – pro driving.
    He’s on record saying the public planning process that lead to PPW bike path was severely flawed. That’s despite the 6 or so years of Community Board and DOT meetings and discussions held right in his home district. He does not understand the deadly issues that the PPW path fixes. As Advocate, BDB has done zip about NYPD incompetence and deliberate malfeasance towards cyclists and pedestrians assaulted, injured and killed by motor vehicles. Never questioned why there are no crash investigations. why crash data is hidden from victims families, why there is no enforcement of serious driver violations, and why there is aggressive cyclist harassment, that Kelly pushes to the point of forcing his cops to lie in court to make convictions stick.

  • Greg

    So the blog *is* updated now, and it looks like we still have July 17th as the peak (33,996), with July 23rd at 30,710.

    The “usage per dock” stats on my site show a pretty close call – July 17: 5.02 usages / dock vs. July 23: 5.12 (it also shows 5.06 on the 21st).

    The discrepancy could have many causes: possible greater bike redistribution on the 23rd, mutually cancelling withdrawals / returns between sample intervals, how many docks are working, and so on.

    So obviously take with a grain of salt. 🙂

  • Greg

    I have a “theme report” for Penn Station & Grand Central zones to try to intuit these patterns: https://sites.google.com/site/citibikestats/themereports#TOC-Grand-Central-and-Penn-Station

    Over the last work week, it looks like 33rd & 8th had 2.1x the usage of the Manhattan average, 31st & 8th had 1.8x, and 33rd & 7th had 1.9x.

    Interestingly, their “per dock” usage is much closer to the Manhattan average (~1.2x). But all of these stations have far more docks than the average station.

  • tyler

    Hey look! You got a down vote for your upvote! And I got another down vote… and a downvote for the comment about the downvote! 🙂

  • car free nation

    And he’s in the pocket of the taxicab owners, having worked to kill the borough taxi plan. It’s too bad, because he’s a nice guy, and might champion Brooklyn, but I can’t vote for DeBlasio because he’s anti-complete streets, and pro some old school look at Brooklyn, where the middle class all own cars.

  • Daphna

    Previously high per dock usage translated to high trips per day. I made an assumption and I stand corrected. But even with over 30,000 trips instead of over 34,000 trips that I had assumed, that is still a lot per day given the number of bikes.

  • Brooklynite

    That’s all true but many of the people around BDB in his inner circle are big livable streets advocates and I think he is likely to be brought along in the right direction. Thompson is terrifying: His biggest backer is Randy Mastro, who is running the PPW law suit. Quinn — she might be OK too but it’s hard to know. She is also in the pocket of the taxi industry.

  • Bolwerk

    “HURR! HURR! NOT LIKE! NOT LIKE HERESY!”

    “Like” and “Dislike” buttons are instant gratification for people who don’t want to bother thinking. Just one more way DISQUS actually retards discourse.

  • Joe R.

    If nothing else, Disqus (and every other type of commenting software) should get rid of the down vote button. I come from the school of thought where if you have nothing good to say, then don’t say anything at all. That applies to rating comments. I’m fine with seeing how many people approve of a comment, but I don’t need to see how many disapprove. If you don’t like a comment, why not just respond to it and say why you don’t like it? Even worse, Disqus gives the names of who up votes (which I’m fine with), but not who down votes. I’ve had some comments down voted. Besides wanting to know why (because in my mind what I wrote wasn’t *that* offensive), I’d love to have known who.

    Incidentally, the only time I down vote is when someone is obviously trolling.

  • Bolwerk

    +1 to that, Joe!