Today’s Headlines

  • Woodhaven SBS Could Feature Physically-Separated Bus Lanes (News via 2nd Avenue Sagas)
  • Hit-and-Run Driver Kills Man Working in Street at Gowanus Auto Body Shop (News, DNA, NY1)
  • Two Hit-and-Run Drivers Kill Cyclist on Rockaway Blvd in Ozone Park (News, WNBC, WPIX)
  • U-Turning Livery Driver Injures Child on Sidewalk, Smashes Barber Shop (News, Gothamist, News 12)
  • Blocks Away, Driver Flips Car, Injures Six, Flees, Gets Arrested (Post, NewsWCBS, WABC, News 12)
  • Confused Flushing Merchants Complain About Traffic, Ask for More Free Curbside Parking (TL)
  • Paul Vallone Bill Would Require DOT to Post “No Trucks” Signs on Some Streets (Queens Gazette)
  • Citing WTC PATH and Non-Transportation Projects, News Offers Its Own Port Authority Reforms
  • No One’s Proposing It, But Lanza and Titone Intro Bill to Prohibit Tolls on SI Expressway (Advance)
  • Even Albany Has to Go to Albany for Red Light Cams (TU 1, 2) and Parking Permit Renewal (TU)
  • Obama’s NY Visit Will Highlight Tappan Zee Bridge on Wednesday (LoHud)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Sunny Zheng

    That SI toll bill…ugh I can’t stand them. I hope it doesn’t ban tolls on the free bridges, since that’s a lot more likely than tolling the expressways. And it may have an implication for the CBD tolling plan….

    Flushing parking: This is a strange situation. I’m against parking minimums and free parking, but I’ve seen personally a significant parking problem in the area, with the big DOT garage filling up fast and early on weekends, with midday arrivals often forced to sit and wait in the aisles for someone to leave (not good for anyone) This is why the demolition of the garage has faced such an outrage…I feel like raising the rates is something that can be tried, though, to try to bring parity with the private garages. The fact that Flushing is the subway terminal doesn’t help either. Surveys might also be a good idea, to see why people aren’t taking the bus. That said, that proposal is certainly the wrong way to go about it.

  • Larry Littlefield

    For those interested, I’ve been working my way through data from the employment phase of the 2012 Census of Governments on “Saying the Unsaid in New York,” and the latest post and charts is on infrastructure. A
    couple of highlights.

    NYC public transit employment fell from 646 workers per 100,000 residents in 1992 to 598 in 2002 to 551 in 2012, as a result of productivity gains and rising population, despite the fact that what were once private bus lines are now part of the MTA with public employees. We’ve filled the subway trains, but haven’t necessarily run more of them. The ratio of public transit workers to population was relatively flat in the Downstate Suburbs from 2002 to 2012,
    despite those no longer counted as public workers in the latter year due to the privitization of Long Island Bus.

    The ratio of local government employment in the highway and street function to population, while falling slightly in the U.S., the Downstate Suburbs and the Upstate Urban Counties from 1992 to 2012, decreased significantly in New Jersey and plunged in New York City. For New York City, the figures are 161 highway and street workers (more than the U.S. average) per 100,000 residents in 1992, 79 in 2002, and just 61 in 2012. For New Jersey these figures are 155, 125, and 102 respectively. EZ Pass, which reduced the number of toll takers, likely explains much of this.

    http://larrylittlefield.wordpress.com/2014/05/11/infrastructure-census-of-governments-employment-and-payroll-data/

  • carma

    why arent ppl taking the bus?
    because buses generally speaking are SLOW, have painfully long headways, have bunching and are congregated with the general problem of traffic.

    im all for dense development. but development without the right transportation infrastructure is a disaster. example flushing.

    until you get more TRAINS meaning extend the 7 beyond main st. (near impossible im afraid), traffic is not going to ease up.

  • Bolwerk

    @carma is right. When you see a subway station, like Main Street, with such a high ridership over what is normal along the rest of the line, it strongly implies people are coming from far afield to use the station. It would make a lot of sense to expand the 7 in the direction those people are coming from, and it would probably reduce the burden on the local surface transit.

  • carma

    flushing is a food mecca. it replaced manhattan’s chinatown with all the new development within the last 6 years. unfortunately it overdeveloped.

    there is no real infrastructure so everybody drives. look at the huge municipal lot that now turned private. stilll huge demand for parking. even if you address the parking issue aside, you have too many cars. you still have traffic to deal with and buses still will be clogged.

    you cant build some bus separated lanes either as the roads simply dont have enough lanes to support a separated bus infrastructure.

    the only real solution is a rail solution. the LIRR would be a temporary solution if you allow fares to be reasonable within city limits. but other than expanding the subway which i said would be a near impossible solution. you are stuck with flushing just being a mess to navigate.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Bike parking garage? It’s a long ride from Whitestone to Manhattan, even to Midtown let alone points south. It is a shorter ride from Whitestone to Flushing.

  • Joe R.

    You’re right about the buses. I’m 3 miles from downtown Flushing. When I go there it typically takes about the same amount of time to walk as it does taking the bus. The bus is usually a 15-20 minute wait, and the ride is another 15-20 minutes. At best then the bus saves me about 20 minutes over walking, and that’s if it comes right away. It usually doesn’t. On average I’d say it saves 10 minutes. It’s not worth it to me to pay a fare to save 10 minutes unless I’ll also be transferring to the subway.

    Bike parking in Flushing would be a boon. I would love to take my bike there. It could replace a 35 to 40 minute walk with a 10 to 12 minute ride, but without safe bike parking I won’t do it.

  • Bolwerk

    I’m sure the cultural amenities count for something, but commuting is a big part of it. Main Street is probably the busiest subway station outside of Manhattan. And it serves one line, not ~7 like Times Square.

  • Bolwerk

    Ever tried to walk around there? The traffic is murder. It needs a road diet first and foremost, but that’s the exact opposite of what people expect would help.

    The locals tried to blame the few elements of good planning that were attempted on immigrant-h8,

  • lop

    It is. Next two biggest outside of Manhattan are 74 Broadway/Jackson heights-Roosevelt avenue for 7 EFMR and EJZ Jamaica center.

  • lop

    Which roads with heavy bus ridership to flushing don’t have at least one parking lane and one travel lane in each direction? Why can’t you improve surface transit there? And which way would you expand the subway? East to parallel the LIRR? South to Jamaica? North to Whitestone?

  • Brompton

    You need a folding bike!

  • carma

    let me give you an example. Take Main St.
    its a unstriped two (or one) lane each direction, with bus stops on most of the stretch between roosevelt and northern.

    traffic is usually held up even with the no left turn signals they put in. yes, it has improved, but its a mess still.

    forget about even attempting to bike on main st. its cluster-f’ed up with potholes. if it breaks an axle on a car, can you imagine what it would do to you on a bicycle?

    to better flow traffic, im thinking maybe it would be better to make Main Unidirectional Northbound and Prince St unidirectional southbound.

    but face it. the whole area is just too developed. and until you get trains in there. surface transit will NOT improve.

    to expand, it would help to expand parallel eastward and southbound towards jamaica. north to whitestone is not that bad. (yet)

  • Joe R.

    I’m not sure a folding bike would help much here. There would still be no safe place to park it where I wouldn’t have to worry about theft or vandalism. And I certainly wouldn’t want to be lugging around a folding bike while I’m going shopping.

  • Wi Cho

    lol, folding bike won’t help if you want lug the bike around if you cant find a safe spot to lock.

  • Wi Cho

    No duh. It is a hub.

  • lop

    Bromptons are pretty compact and easy to carry around, plenty of people do that when they go shopping, or tuck it under the table at a restaurant etc…instead of worrying about where to lock up a bike.

  • lop

    ‘Take Main St.its a unstriped two (or one) lane each direction, with bus stops on most of the stretch between roosevelt and northern.’

    Main from Roosevelt to northern is about a quarter mile. Get rid of parking, or make the street one way or what have you and you have room for a bus lane. Move the bus stops that start or finish around the train station to side streets to minimize bus congestion, so the q44 and q20a/b don’t get delayed. What’s the problem? And speeding up a quarter mile isn’t huge, what about the rest of main south to QB? Or northern east of main? or the other big roads that have buses on them? I don’t understand why you don’t think putting in bus lanes is an option. You have tens of thousands of bus riders on each of a handful of roads. If there isn’t money right now to branch the 7, why do nothing for the tens of thousands who currently take the bus to main st?

  • Andrew

    What’s the problem?

    The problem is the elected officials who believe that maximizing parking (preferably free parking) is the holy grail. Slow buses can’t possibly be their fault; just blame the MTA.