Today’s Headlines

  • Three Out of Four NYT Debaters Have Ideas That Make Sense for NYC Transportation
  • Seven Injured After Taxi Driver and Police Collide at Spring and Broadway (Post)
  • Man in Critical Condition After Tractor-Trailer Driver Hits Him on West Shore Expressway (Advance)
  • TPL Unveils QueensWay Planning Team: WXY and dlandstudio (News)
  • NJ Transit Disregarded Its Own Storm Plan During Sandy Prep (WNYC 1, 2, 2nd Ave Sagas)
  • New Yorker: Bloomberg Commissioned Poll to Get Ray Kelly to Run for Mayor (Post, News, CapNY)
  • Renderings Show Vanderbilt Avenue Plaza in East Midtown Rezoning Plan (Untapped Cities)
  • High School Students Create “Green Wall” in Downtown Brooklyn Plaza (DNA)
  • Downtown Brooklyn Street Vendor Claims He’s Getting Pushed Out By Street Furniture (WCBS)
  • Hell’s Kitchen Co-Op Wants Street Seating Removed After Street People Take Up Residence (DNA)
  • How Hamburg, NY, Bucked a State DOT Plan to Widen Main Street — and Flourished (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Leave it to a Staten Island resident to suggest that “new and alternative transportation options” mostly consist of replacement for aging (but functionally capable) highway bridges. Ms. Baran’s contribution is almost entirely car-centric. Unlike Staten Island, the other outer boroughs at least understand (in some part) that their best means of participating in the economy in Manhattan is to have world-class mass transit connections, not better highways to Midtown.

    I agree that Staten Island should have better transit infrastructure! But any such plan should probably include higher tolls on the entry bridges, in order to compel use of transit rather than car commuting.

  • vnm

    There is also this gem from over the weekend: Upstate town, slated for a road widening, gave it’s main street a road diet instead. And got an economic boost. “We’ve gotta get the traffic through” became “it will be a gathering place for people.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/17/nyregion/widen-main-st-community-had-other-ideas-and-thrived.html?pagewanted=all

  • Brad Aaron

    “Bench removal is a big drain on our funds.”

    Must have been more money in the infra removal budget when it came time to take out the bike shelter on Dyckman Street.

  • vnm

    Oh, it’s in the stack. Did I miss it? Whoops.

  • vnm

    Actually all four of the debaters have ideas that seem to make sense. The fourth rep seems to be working toward, but not explicitly mentioning, Gridlock Sam’s fair plan.

  • R

    And if there were better transit and bike lanes for people who lived close to the CBD, it might be easier for Staten Islanders who need to drive to Manhattan to do so. Outer borough drivers shouldn’t be mad at cyclists. They should be mad at people who live in Brooklyn Heights or Park Slope who drive to work when there are far better options available.

  • Bolwerk

    Which idea doesn’t make sense? Gelinas’? Bikes probably don’t reduce congestion that much, not by themselves anyway, and Gelinas’ idea that 10,000 people could just stop using the Lex because of bikeshare is probably bunkum. If anything, I’d be worried about the opposite effect: that bikeshare will make it possible for people in periphery areas to access crowded subway lines. Not saying that will happen, but it’s at least as likely.

    I’m not sure what Baran is even getting at. She seems as muddled as anyone who works for a “Chamber of Commerce,” but she does at least seem to nominally support “alternative transportation,” whatever she thinks that means.

    Obligatory anti-police state comment: does Bloomberg really lack faith in the authoritarian cred of his pet suburban soccer mom Speaker? She will probably keep Ray Kelly on.

  • Bolwerk

    Yeah, that’s really cool. Someone needs to create a database of these success stories.

  • Anonymous

    It would be interesting to have some real data about how bikeshare use affects other modes. My guess is that it won’t replace any long subway rides, but it might be replacing lots of short-to-medium taxi and bus rides, and a few short subway rides.

    Bikeshare can also replace “long” walks, or actually enable trips that wouldn’t have been made otherwise. For example, I might take bikeshare during my lunch break to go to a place 15 blocks away, that I would be to lazy (or not have time) to walk to, and that wouldn’t be worth the cost, wait, or detour of taking transit.

    “Short”, “medium”, and “long” are deliberately left vague…

  • Joe R.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here, and say bikeshare largely replaces either walking, or enables trips which otherwise wouldn’t have been made. In fact, I think the latter category comprises the bulk of bikeshare trips.

    Here’s my reasoning behind this. Even in Manhattan, the subway is seldom used for short haul trips unless the origin and destination both happen to be near subway stations, and also if the number of transfers between lines is small. Indeed, even a “short” subway trip might be 4 or 5 miles, well above the length of a typical bikeshare trip. So bikeshare probably isn’t being used much to replace subway trips.

    I doubt bikeshare is being used to replace bus trips, either. Bus travel in most of the areas served by bikeshare is no faster than walking, often even slower. As such, buses really only appeal to people who can’t walk that far due to age or disability. These wouldn’t be people who would use bikeshare. Bikeshare I think has the potential to replace a lot of the trips made on feeder bus lines, but those mostly exist in middle and eastern Queens/Brooklyn, neither of which is served by bikeshare.

    Taxi trips? One appeal of bikeshare is the low cost, especially with an annual membership. I highly doubt all that many bikeshare users could afford to get around by taxi before. Moreover, like buses, taxi travel in the areas served by bikeshare isn’t much faster than walking most times of the day.

    That leaves walking, and here I think bikeshare replaces a good number of trips. Often, these might be trips involving fairly long walks to subways. The subways are then used to make the longer leg of the journey. Or it could be trips made entirely by walking which are a mile or two in length. Bikeshare enables such trips to be made faster.

    That takes care of replacement trips. I think the last category-enabling trips which otherwise wouldn’t be made, is the largest. Let’s say you’re contemplating a trip of two or three miles, perhaps more, but the origin and destination aren’t near public transit. That will make the trip take inconveniently long, perhaps even up to an hour. Taxi is generally too expensive, and if it’s an “optional” trip, usually not worth it. Walking may be viable, but walking several miles isn’t something most people are willing to do with any regularity. Therefore, these trips probably aren’t made 9 times out of 10. I think this is how it would be for me. I might sometimes like to go to downtown Flushing or Queens Boulevard, but the walk is usually too long, the bus is too slow (and I don’t like spending $5), and there’s no safe bike parking. End result is the trip usually doesn’t get made. However, a bikeshare station near both ends of the journey would suddenly make most of these potential trips very attractive.

    I’d love to hear other people’s opinions on this.

  • Anonymous

    I doubt bikeshare is being used to replace bus trips

    Bikeshare has, for me, almost entirely replaced bus travel. That might have a lot to do with my particular needs, but just thought I’d note that it can happen.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t you remember that only yuppies would use bikeshare? 😉 They can afford taxis, and while they might not use a taxi for the main daily commute, they sure use taxis for short rides that are too inefficient with transit (diagonal trips in Manhattan, for example). Even if they can afford it, they might be tempted to save the taxi fare and ride the bike. Especially since it’s about as fast as the taxi anyway.

    Not everyone likes to walk longish distances even if they can. Lots of physically able people take the crosstown buses, even if it’s not faster than walking, because they just don’t want to walk a mile or more. (Would they ride a bike? Maybe, maybe not, but a mile on a bike is a piece of cake even for the laziest IMHO.)

    Me, I’ve used bikeshare as a substitute for walking, for subway rides, and to make trips that I wouldn’t have made otherwise. And even once to make a trip for which I considered taking a taxi (it was that or walk+subway+walk, and I was in a hurry).

  • carma

    me too.. i stopped taking buses in manhattan completely. they are just too slow, inefficient, dwell time, etc…

    i love having found this new mode to get around quickly and may i add even comfortably.

    i love bikeshare.

  • Anonymous

    Bikeshare’s the best thing ever.

  • Anonymous

    Bikeshare’s the best thing ever.

  • Anonymous

    Funny NYT article about people taking Citi Bike instead of taxis to go to and from bars. While drunk! http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/22/fashion/riding-away-from-a-bar-crawl-with-citi-bikes.html