Today’s Headlines

  • Lhota, de Blasio Face Off For First Time in General Election Debate (NYT, News)
  • What’s in Store for NYC’s Bike Network After Bloomberg Leaves Office? (WSJ)
  • Gotham Gazette Looks at How the Next Mayor Could Bring More Revenue to the MTA
  • NYPD Touts Murder-Free Week (Post), But Doesn’t Talk About the Three Kids Killed by Drivers
  • Sarah Goodyear: “We Need to Move Forward From Fatalism” Over Traffic Deaths (Atlantic Cities)
  • Bike-Share Court Case Has Jim Walden Arguing for Cycling as Transportation (News, Post, Bklyn Spoke)
  • SI North Shore Electeds Defend BRT Funding After Borelli Questions Sandy Connection (Advance)
  • Atlantic Cities Talks Paid Street Parking Permits for NYC; Ditmas Park Corner Running a Poll on It
  • Uptowner Uses Inwood Precinct’s Lack of Speeding Enforcement to Question Need for Slow Zone
  • First Avenue Repaving in East Harlem and UES Wraps Up (WNYC)
  • Metropolitan Diary Has a Story of an Injured Cyclist Returning a Good Samaritan’s Favor (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    De Blasio in 2012: JSK is a radical; StreetsPAC in 2013: DeBlasio for mayor!

    Old news, perhaps, but I still believe it sends a poor message re: governance (as opposed to campaigning)

  • She is indeed a radical, compared to the status quo of transportation planning.
    The question is, why would anyone who is well-informed see that as a bad thing in this case?
    I think de Blasio’s words were well chosen last year, because it acknowledged the perception of JSK by her opponents, but it also failed to say anything substantially negative about the current situation other than “well, some of us are not used to this.” Not every politician can be a deep transportation expert at all times, and de Blasio has at least shown an ability to grow into a politically reasonable position while maintaining an activist core. It helps me to trust him on many of the other issues that need the same attention, including NYPD reform. (It’s just a shame that he’s been bought out by the taxi lobby and the teachers’ unions, so we may not get a ton of happy progress in related initiatives, but I think we can handle that by pushing for compromises)

  • Anonymous

    Ugh. Jim Walden and the Petrosino Square people. Chuckling over Walden’s “joke” about bikes as transportation. I need to take a shower.

  • Ars Gratis Artis

    The “joke” is on Sadik-Khan and Transportation Alternatives.

    Walden is rightfully defending public art from the whims of the Philistines at DOT and TA. God bless him!

    The location where the bike rentals are now located had for thirty years been a dedicated public art space.

    Then DOT comes along, claims a park is not a park but a”roadway”, and displaces an art space for a bike rental franchise for CitiBank. Imagine all those people enjoying lunch, sunbathing and planting bulbs in a “roadway”. Right, Janette.

    Despite pleas from the community board, every local elected official and numerous neighborhood and arts groups to simply move the bike rack into the Lafayette Street roadway, the same kind of roadway where some 90% of the bike rentals are sited, the Empress stubbornly refused to listen to them. Rather, she wastes tens of thousands of our dollars defending the indefensible.

    Finally, shame on TA for spending good money to hire petitioners to get signatures from the public and CitiBike users at Petrosino opposing the art installation and demanding the CitiBike franchise remain.

    Of course, few signed. After a couple of days, the paid petitioners scurried away, leaving the Philistines at TA with their tail between their legs and egg on their face.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for proving my point. One shower just isn’t enough.

  • Reader

    If you step away from the computer or put down the newspaper and actually look outside at how many people are riding, much of the concern over what’s going to happen next year is overblown. The toothpaste is out of the tube, folks.

  • Danny G

    I remember that the city expanded that park a few years ago. I’m glad they did so, it used to be smaller.

    You can see it here in 1996:,202247&c=GIS1996

    And again in 2010:,202247&c=GIS2010

    It seems to me that the bike station is located on sidewalk which used to be street a few years ago. Is that true?

  • Anonymous

    Yes, the DOT gave them that part of the street for a park. And then decided that a portion of it would be a good spot for a bike share station. At which point DOT suddenly became history’s greatest monster.

  • ToastPatterson

    When DeBlasio’s spox says that he’ll take a “deliberative approach” to improving bike infrastructure that means no new lanes anytime soon, correct?

  • Ars Gratia Artis

    “Danny G: Is that true?”
    Partly. Yes, DOT handed over the street to Parks.
    But that is why it is no longer DOT property and why DOT has no jurisdiction over it.
    Even Parks Dept administrators agree with that simple concept. Just not DOT control freaks.

    @dporpentine: “DOT gave them {Parks Dept.} that part of the street for a park.”

    Thanks for proving my point.

    DOT gave it away for a park. They no longer control it, despite JSK’s grandiose and delusional claims.

    That area is now called a park, has Parks signage on it, is cleaned by Parks personnel, is administered by Parks, is heard at the Parks Committee of the community board, has been used as a park for years, if not decades, etc. It is a park. Capice?
    DOT has NO jurisdiction over parks. Parks Dept does.


  • Brownstone2

    You lie about the 30 years.

    Sorry, you hate bikes and will fabricate “facts” to kill them.
    This Petrosino Square opposition has had a stench from the beginning, and the odor gets no better.

  • Phyllis Tine

    Yes, shame on TA for spending money to hire people to work for them! They should have reached out to a white shoe law firm to get pro bono representation. Do you have Jim Walden’s phone number?

  • jksdflauiop

    To the naive onlooker, it might look like the bike racks are on the sidewalk surrounding the park and the park is the fenced area with green stuff in it.

  • Ars Gratis Artis

    The only lies here are coming from you, brownnose2.

    Here are the facts: a 1984 photo of art in Petrosino, and specific reference to art exhibits there in 1985, 1988, 1990, 2007 and 2012, et alia.

    Stench from the opposition?: You mean opposition from world-renowned artist, Claes Oldenberg, or the community board, or the Friends of Petrosino Sqaure, of the Sons of Little Italy, or EVERY elected official for the district?

    Pray tell us whom you refer to or else be quiet, little one.

    Apology due, but not expected from the bigoted Philistines of the world.

  • Ars Gratis Artis

    Sound a tad jealous, Phyllis, don’t you?
    Or is that just your normal bitterness?

  • Ars Gratis Artis

    Thanks for talking sense, unlike some of the other commenters.

    Yes, it might look that way to a naive onlooker, except Sadik-Khan, Corp Counsel, TransAlt and DOT are not “naive onlookers”.

    But, thinking about it, perhaps they are, if they really think they have a chance of winning their frivolous claims (paid for with our taxdollars.)

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think you know the definition of the word “partly” (it’s completely true) or “decades” (that space was turned over to Parks less than a decade ago). Or, as usual, you’re trying to obscure the truth.

    In what world did the DOT ever suggest it had jurisdiction over parks? Some Citibike locations were sited in parks, and DOT and the Parks Department worked together to choose those locations. If the Parks Department had an issue with this location, it wouldn’t be there. Period.

    The only place that the DOT claims ownership of this space is in your head.

  • Guest

    Times I have visited Petrosino Square after buying lunch nearby while in that part of town for business or recreation: countless

    Times I have visited Petrosino Square to use Citi Bike: 1

    Times I have visited Petrosino Square and been unable to enjoy it due to Citi Bike: 0

    Times I have visited Petrosino Square to see public art: 0

    Times before this manufactured controversry that I visited Petrosino Square and noticed public art (despite being a fan of public art): 0

    What I saw the one time I noticed any public art at Petrosino Square: a fake skeleton hanging off a Citi Bike.

    Number of members of the public whose enjoyment /use of Petrosino Square is diminished by the presence of Citi Bike users: very few

    Number of members of the public whose enjoyment/ use of Petrosino Square is enhanced by the presence of Citi Bike: 90,000 members of Citi Bike (does not include day pass users 🙂

    Chances I am far, far from alone: A million to one. (p < .05)

  • Phyllis Tine

    Nope. I just believe you get what you pay for.

  • Anonymous

    A naive onlooker may also get the impression that *you’re* the ones wasting our taxpayer dollars with frivolous claims.

  • Anonymous

    Funny that all but one of the public art displays pictured in The Villager article you cite were installed in spaces not occupied by the Citibike station, and the one that was occurred in 2012.

    Nice try, though.

  • Reader

    It’s like the Tea Party caucus members shutting down the government and then complaining about all the money that’s being lost by the government being shut down.

    The New York word for it is “chutzpah.”

  • Ars Gratia Artis

    @: Duh-oh leary

    The park had little greenery prior to the recent renovation. The $2 million renovation added much more green and seating areas, preventing future art exhibits.

    However, in the RFP at the time, Parks and Gerson made it clear that the art in the future was to be placed OUTSIDE the green fenced-in space and at the apex of the expanded PARK. That is where the art exhibits took place until DOT thought CitiBank more important than public art.

    Fact, the entire triangle is under Parks Dept jurisdiction,not just the fenced-in area. Parks has stated so in emails!!

    Listen, buddy, do us all a favor and do not respond until you get your facts in order.

  • Ars Gratia Artis

    @duh-oh leary: “I don’t think you know the definition of the word “partly””

    You’re partly correct about yourself: the “I don’t think” part.

    To educate the uneducated or the willfully ignorant:

    This plot of land has been owned by the NYC Parks Department since 1912,
    and it opened as a park in 1913, then called Kenmare Square. Prior to
    that it had been a ash pile until the local politicians allocated $6,000
    or so to clean it up.

    **** Even at that time, the Parks Department envisioned “the apex” or
    northern triangle for a “monument” or “statue”: this is the space that
    DOT/Citi Bike has usurped was and is intended for large public sculpture
    and other three-dimensional art installations. This was stated
    emphatically in the 1913 Parks Dept RFP, which obviously you have never read or likely even know about. Isn’t that true?

    Around the same time, Elm Street was widened and Lafayette Street
    extended south by DOT. DOT, naturally, controlled the road bed. That street was re-named Lafayette Street

    About 5 years ago, at the urging of the Friends of Petrosino Square,
    then-councilmember Alan Gerson gave some $2.1 million to PARKS Dept..
    (not DOT) to enlarge and improve the original space. (Gerson is a
    plaintiff on the current suit, btw, because he is upset at the
    disingenuousness and duplicity of the current DOT regime and its

    DOT WILLINGLY surrendered the roadbed space on Lafayette to Parks for the enlargement of Petrosino. Parks Dept took Gerson’s money, did the construciton project and enlarged the park.
    It is now no longer Lafayette Street, it is now part of Petrosino Square. Why is that so hard to comprehend, duh-oh leary?

    So, DOT, an Indian giver, or, more accurately, a control-freak annoyed at us
    plebians’ request to simply move the rentals onto Lafayette Street,
    choose to fight our simple and noble request in court.

    They will lose, since the judge has already referred to the area as a “park”

    The only people who think otherwise are DOT, TA, and some losers on the internet.

  • Anonymous

    Do you have a reading comprehension problem? I admitted that the space was under the jurisdiction of Parks, not DOT. I was challenging your claim that the DOT claimed ownership of it.

    But thanks for the long, rambling history lesson that you’ve posted and re-posted all over the Internet. And for proving that your ilk are good for nothing more than pointless name-calling and condescension.

  • Ars Gratia Artis

    Defending art is “frivolous”, my Philistine friend?
    That’s one of the most pathetic comments I’ve heard in ages. So indicative of your myopic mentality.

    We’ll see how “frivolous” when the judge rules – as she has already stated – that it is a park.

  • Ars Gratia Artis

    Gee, Godwin’s Law so soon?


    When the opposition compares a sound legal argument to Rightist extremists, I know they are desperate and grasping for straws.

    Poor babies

  • Ars Gratia Artis

    We’ll see if you feel that way when Justice Kern sides with Walden. LMAO

  • Anonymous

    So, how, exactly, do you explain the art installations that have taken place since the Citibike station was installed? If your claim is that the station is inhibiting them, they shouldn’t be happening at all, right?

  • BornAgainBicyclist

    Your hostility and condescension make it hard to understand which of your arguments, if any, have merit.

  • Ars Gratia Artis

    I get it!

    It’s all about YOU!


    Listen up.
    Petrosino was a derelict, blighted homeless encampment until Friend of Petrosino cleaned it up, planted flowers, and lobbied hard to get $2.1 million to make it the beautiful spot you have enjoyed lunch “countless” times.

    They are the main plaintiff in this legal battle.

    So, what kind on egotistical ingrate are you who does not support the people who provided you your delightful lunch spot, and instead side with some facelss, career bureaucratic Philistines at DOT?

    File under: Let No Good Deed Go Unpunished.

  • Anonymous

    No one gives a shit about the “art” at Petrosino Square except for a bunch of old cat ladies. Y’alls are like the rural white folk shutting down our government because “they no longer recognize this America anymore” so instead of accepting progress and a better way of life, you have to wage jihad over something, which on balance, benefits the most people.

    Philistines? Are you Dorothy Rabinowitz?

    Though legally, I think they might actually have to move the station because Parks didn’t sign off.

  • Anonymous

    This isn’t about defending art. This is about activists trying to usurp a public process that they were invited to participate in and chose not to.

    It’s a shame that you live in such a world where you have to come here to call your opponents names rather than have a rational discussion. I think there’s plenty of common ground we could find, but your tone is so distasteful that you’re doing your own movement a disservice.

    I’m a fan of public art. I’m also a user of bikeshare. I believe the two can co-exist. It’s a shame you don’t.

  • BornAgainBicyclist

    I continue to find myself confused by your arguments. Is this not a public park? Is there not room for bike share and public art? Is it a requirement to side with FOP to use this public park or be viewed as an egotistical ingrate? Are people who use other public parks and do not pay proper due to the hyperlocals (no pun intended) who no doubt are more involved with the public space than those who merely visit from “out of neighborhood” from time to time?

  • Anonymous

    What’s really funny is that there’s so much anger and hate over a… drumroll… bike rack!

    You should get in touch with the producers of the Daily Show. I’m sure they would be happy to interview you; they always seem to be looking for comically angry people to make fun of.

  • Anonymous

    What’s really funny is that there’s so much anger and hate over a… drumroll… bike rack!

    You should get in touch with the producers of the Daily Show. I’m sure they would be happy to interview you; they always seem to be looking for comically angry people to make fun of.

  • Reader

    Says the man who compares the DOT to the Taliban at every available opportunity.

    Sean, keep being you!

  • Ars Gratia Artis

    Please provide links to where my “long, rambling history lesson” is “posted and reposted all over the internet”

    Until then, I repeat:”Listen, buddy, do us all a favor and do not respond until you get your facts in order.”

  • Ars Gratia Artis

    How amusing. Activists are now the enemy? Gee, and I thought this was a blog for activists.

    And for you to so hypocritically accuse me of “name calling” when you intiiated the insults to my initial benign comments really shows how desperate you are.

  • Ars Gratia Artis

    Again: Buddy, don’t embarrass yourself with further erroneous comments.

    Name one public art installation or performance that has taken place since CitiBike was installed there.

  • Anonymous

    You used the word “philistines” in your very first comment on this thread to describe TA members, of which many commenters in this thread are. You are not only a horrible debater, but a bold-faced liar.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps our definitions of “performance” or “public art” are different, but the remaining space has certainly been used by the public for other purposes – including protests on your behalf.

  • Brownstone2

    The other word is mashugana.
    A perfect fit.

  • Joe R.

    So, DOT, an Indian giver, or, more accurately, a control-freak annoyed at us plebians’ request to simply move the rentals onto Lafayette Street, choose to fight our simple and noble request in court.

    Let me explain something. DOT controls the streets and can reapportion space as it sees fit. For example, it can remove parking if it feels there is better use of that space, and there is no legal recourse for those who may have wanted the parking to remain if it does so. It sounds here like DOT allowed use of part of the street to expand Petrosino Park for as long as it felt there wasn’t a better use of that part of the street. There are parallels where NYC might allow local residents to use an empty lot for a garden, but if a developer decides to build there, the land must be surrendered. In this case, DOT didn’t take back the entire space, but only a small portion for a bike rack. I’m fairly sure it’s allowed to do this, which is why it’s going to court.

    It’s important going into the future to look at the fine print in deals like this. All too often, people think something is forever when the fine print says otherwise. They then act surprised or indignant when the other party exercises its legal right to alter the deal. In this case, I’m reminded of Darth Vader’s famous quote-“I’m altering the deal. Pray I do not alter it any further.”

    I personally don’t have a horse in this race. I don’t go to Petrosino Park, and I don’t use Citibike. I’m just pointing out what is likely the reason why DOT was allowed to put the bike rack there.

  • Guest

    There is no truth in this whatsoever.

    You cannot produce a ULURP action that remapped this section street as parkland. BECAUSE IT NEVER HAPPENED.

    DOT may have allowed Parks to use a portion of the street, but it NEVER stopped being a designated street.

    To state otherwise is to be either confused or dishonest. Either way, it’s just not true.

    DOT absolutely has jurisdiction over this legally designated street.