Today’s Headlines

  • DOT: After Street Reclamations, Traffic Less Gridlocked in Manhattan South of 60th (NYT)
  • Alleged Drunk Driver Faces Up to Seven Years for Police Chase That Injured Seven (Advance)
  • Man Charged With Leaving Scene After Driving Into Staten Island Home (Advance, WABC, Post)
  • Ray Kelly Says NYPD Will Track Down Speed Demon Who Circled Manhattan (Post, WCBS)
  • Council Candidate John Ciafone Wants Grace Periods for Astoria Drivers (NY1)
  • Daily News Continues Its Series of Interviews on Citi Bikes With John Liu
  • Queens Courier Picks Up Story of Community-Led Bike Planning in Maspeth and Middle Village
  • Chris Ward: NYC’s Next Mayor Must Continue Waterfront Work, Including Ferry Expansion (News)
  • CapNY Recaps Candidates’ Rejection of East River Tolls; 2nd Avenue Sagas Despairs for the Future
  • BAM Unveils Mural and David Byrne-Designed Bike Rack (WNYC)
  • Meet Some of NYC’s Bike-Share “Power Pedalers” (Citi Bike Blog)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    Re: traffic south of 60th: if that is the case (and, walking and riding on the streets with protected lanes, I can see the turning lane has made a huge difference for cars), why haven’t the changes been made on all avenues? Why haven’t they been made in all boroughs? If the administration can make this argument, what is the argument against making the changes everywhere?

  • Anonymous

    Matt Flegenheimer has no idea what “average speed” means. You can have an average speed of 10 mph and still drive like a maniac between stops. (Although, admittedly, in the most congested parts of Manhattan, the top speed is sometimes not that much higher than 10 mph too…)

  • Joe R.

    If we got rid of the traffic lights and all other intersection controls in Manhattan, along with implementing a borough-wide 20 mph speed limit (enforced mainly by street design), my guess is average speeds would rise to about 15 mph. Motorists may feel like they’re making faster progress accelerating to 50 mph between lights, but in reality streets which allow slow but steady progress will work better.

    Regardless, the study shows the insanity of taking an automobile around Manhattan. 9.3 mph is a joke. A novice cyclist can do better. A decent cyclist can go twice as fast. This just makes the case for reprioritizing streets away from automobiles while also implementing a congestion tax. The problem is autos at best will serve 5% of travelers in Manhattan. At the same time though, they don’t even fulfill that function particularly efficiently, while at the same time making things miserable for the majority who don’t use autos. In a true democracy private autos and taxis would simply be banned in places like Manhattan where the supermajority don’t use them regularly.

  • Anonymous

    There is no good argument against making these changes Universal. However, the problems isn’t whether the administration can make the argument, the problem are all the ignorant, stuck-in-their-ways opponents to the idea who cannot accept bicycles as transportation vehicles and so insist on obstructing these changes and demonizing their proponents at every step. It should be no surprise that adding protected bike lanes, and in the process narrowing travel lanes and creating more order and more predictable traffic patterns doesn’t hurt, and likely helps traffic flows. Most backups aren’t caused by a physical blockage, they are caused by people suddenly changing lanes causing the cars behind them to slam on the brakes with a Domino effect slowing down the surrounding traffic. Calming traffic lessens the number of lane shifts, gives people more time to get in to the correct lane ahead of time and significantly decreases those types of backups. This data really proves that. So the problem isn’t the argument. The problem is the large number of people unwilling to accept it.

  • Anonymous

    No doubt. I guess my point is, however, this: the Mayor did not take a dollar in campaigns donations; he does not have another election to win; he clearly believes these improvements have helped.Why, then, does he not add further improvements. He can pretend to consult the community boards, then make the additions either way (I believe DOT make changes on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd without/before community board approval). There would be zero consequences to him putting a protected bike lane and bus-only lane on every avenue in Manhattan. I must be missing something

  • Anonymous

    No doubt. I guess my point is, however, this: the Mayor did not take a dollar in campaigns donations; he does not have another election to win; he clearly believes these improvements have helped.Why, then, does he not add further improvements. He can pretend to consult the community boards, then make the additions either way (I believe DOT make changes on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd without/before community board approval). There would be zero consequences to him putting a protected bike lane and bus-only lane on every avenue in Manhattan. I must be missing something

  • Matthias

    Thanks, Ray Kelly. Now how about tracking down the speed demons in my neighborhood?

  • Joe R.

    He may not have unilaterally implemented more changes because he feared a backlash might result in the next mayor undoing them. Unfortunately, some people are creatures of habit, so if you change too much, too fast they complain, even if the changes are for the better. That said, I really wish we had someone like Robert Moses in charge of transit and bike infrastructure. Yes, we all agree here that in the end Moses caused more harm than good, but it wasn’t because of his methods. Rather, it was because of the mode he favored. Had he favored transit and cycling, he doubtless would have been a hero to many here. I think a large reason many infrastructure projects take so long and cost so much is you need consensus, noise/disruption mitigation, etc. There’s a lot to be said here for the benevolent dictator model where someone can unilaterally ram projects through which they deem beneficial to the city as a whole. The key is getting the right person in charge. I’ve little doubt JSK would have done a lot more if she had the clout of Robert Moses. If nothing else, hopefully we learned that for citiwide projects the present model generally doesn’t work. Community board input is fine for strictly local things like where to put businesses, parks, new housing, but for transportation arteries used by everyone, sometimes you just have to build them regardless of how the local community board feels.

  • Bolwerk

    I usually like Chris Ward, but his waterfront ideas seem far-fetched. There is probably a place for a freight system in Brooklyn, but I seriously doubt our future will ever be that tied to the maritime industry again. Ferries are hardly proving to be much more than marginal transit options. I think recreation makes a lot of sense, but the Bloomberg policy of building big ass condos and luxury apartments along the waterfront only set the future up for problems, and there is no matching commitment to provide modern transit to these new developments.

  • Safe Sidewalks
  • Anonymous

    You don’t need to ban them, and they are an important part of the transportation network. However, the cost of driving in Manhattan, and probably NYC in all 5 boroughs, should be much higher. There are a lot of drivers who would be willing and able to pay much higher fees to drive in the city (many commercial vehicles, and rich people.) If the result was a reduction of 10+% in vehicular traffic, driving in NYC would become fast, convenient, and expensive, just as it should be.

  • Joe R.

    I think the goal should be at least a 50% reduction in vehicular traffic, better yet 90%. Once we reduce traffic levels enough, most of the traffic signals will no longer be justified. Get rid of those, and you make things much better for pedestrians and cyclists. Without traffic lights, the idiotic red light ticketing blitzes on cyclists will be a thing of the past.