Today’s Headlines

  • Second Ave Subway to East Harlem? Maybe Not, If Capital Plan Falters (NYTCrain’s2nd Ave Sagas)
  • On Filling Gap in MTA Capital Plan, De Blasio Tries to Keep Focus on Albany (NY1)
  • Driver Arrested Under Right-of-Way Law After Jeanine Deutsch, 85, Dies of Injuries (DNANews)
  • MTA May Seek to Cut Down on Turns in Bus Routes to Reduce Pedestrian Collisions (News)
  • Golden, Brook-Krasny, Malliotakis Grandstand on VNB Tolls, Ignore Move NY (Bensonhurst Bean)
  • Meanwhile… Drivers Might Get Charged for Trips to Connecticut, But Not Midtown (WCBS)
  • Capacity at the Port Authority Bus Terminal Is Grim, and About to Get Grimmer (Capital)
  • TA and Families for Safe Streets Plan March and Rally for Safer Queens Boulevard (DNA)
  • De Blasio’s PlaNYC Update to Focus on Equity, Include More Agencies, Seek More Feedback (Capital)
  • Plan to Distribute Trash Burden Has Big Implications for South Bronx Truck Traffic (NY Environment)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • BBnet3000

    MTA May Seek to Cut Down on Turns in Bus Routes to Reduce Pedestrian Collisions”

    As opposed to doing it to improve the speed and reliability of service?

    This is an example of why I’m skeptical of Vision Zero and why we’ll never see another decent bike lane (even though they greatly improve safety). The Bloomberg era interest in creating a better, more comfortable, more livable, more sustainable city seems to have gone almost completely out the window in favor of a single-minded focus on safety (and only for people walking) that seems to eschew other positive outcomes that could happen at the same time.

  • Jonathan R

    Yes, and it’s my opinion that many high-profile bicycle advocates too have switched and become safety advocates instead.

  • Komanoff

    Fine if you guys (BBnet3000, Jonathan R) want to debate tactics. But the overall *strategy* of advancing safety, bike/walk infrastructure, cycling and walking, and livable streets simultaneously and synergistically should be beyond debate. It’s all indivisible.

  • stairbob

    “A Queens school bus driver was charged with failure to yield after a woman he hit two months ago died this week, police said Wednesday.” (News)

    WTF. Why would the driver not be charged immediately at the time of the crash?

  • Jonathan R

    The goal of Vision Zero is not to remove motor vehicles from the
    streets, but to create an environment where motor vehicles can interact
    safely with people on foot or bike. This kind of environment is always
    going to be more favorable to motor vehicles because their spatial
    requirements are so much greater; cars are much larger and take up much
    more street area than bicycles or people on foot. Committing to Vision
    Zero goals means accepting an environment that is not particularly
    favorable to people on bicycles, an environment that does not
    necessarily devote more space to bicycles, but asks people on bicycles
    to share the space they need with newly tamed motor vehicles.

  • r

    True bicycle advocates have always been safety advocates.

  • BBnet3000

    Yes but they were not *just* safety advocates, they were also advocating for measures to allow more people to cycle, which has completely lost steam in NYC since 2008.

    Measures to increase cycling are speeding up in other cities which are already ahead of NYC in cycling, while NYC is slowing down!

  • Joe R.

    Vision Zero is doomed to failure precisely because the goal hasn’t been to remove motor vehicles from the streets. Any place which has drastically reduced (not even eliminated as is the supposed goal of Vision Zero) motor vehicle fatalities has also curtailed motor vehicle use. It’s fallacy to try and separate one from the other. So long as they’re under human control, you can’t have an environment where large numbers of motor vehicles interact with large numbers of other users. Statistically, people will make errors. Some of those errors will be fatal. Maybe you can cut the death rates by 25% or more, but that’s still unacceptably high.

    Vision Zero is just more of the feel good politics this country has already seen enough of. We think we can reach a desirable end goal without hard work or sacrifice. In this case-we tell people what they want to hear-don’t worry, you can still drive everywhere but we’ll find ways to make it safe for everyone. You just can’t safely have what amounts to large numbers of poorly trained novices operating heavy machinery in a place like NYC. Maybe self-driving cars will save us from ourselves before its too late but even there I have my doubts. They’ll surely be safer than the human-driven variety, but still unacceptably dangerous.

  • r

    Not because of bicycle advocates. That’s the fault of City Hall and a timid DOT.

  • Jonathan R

    Your point is stronger than mine, which is pretty much that people on bikes don’t like to share the road with motor vehicles, no matter how ably they are operated.

  • BBnet3000

    I’d add: not even in 20mph “slow zones”. 20mph is faster than most people can bike on a non-downhill, particularly for any sustained period of time. Having a car up your ass does help you pedal faster though, I can tell you that with certitude.

  • BBnet3000

    I agree that this is due to the city itself, but I haven’t heard much from TA or anybody else about the huge decline in new bike infrastructure. All I see is feel-good messaging.

    Whereas in cities with 2-3x as much biking as here the advocates are hounding their DOTs for more, we get “go to the public meeting to support another 2 miles of sharrows!”

  • Joe R.

    The thing is even a fast cyclist in a 20 mph zone can’t maintain 20 mph under all circumstances, like uphill or with a headwind. That’s why it’s better if cars and bikes just don’t mix, at least not in a way which requires bikes to ride as fast as cars, or to have one up your ass if you don’t.

  • 94110

    San Francisco has been eliminating bus turns for speed: http://sf.streetsblog.org/2014/10/02/new-muni-only-lanes-streamline-buses-on-haight-lincoln-at-19th-avenue/

    Both of the changes profiled there eliminated one right and one left.

    Next up (a year from now) another contra-flow bus lane eliminating two more turns:

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/2014/08/01/sfmta-to-create-sansome-street-contra-flow-lane-for-munis-10-12-lines/

  • Bolwerk

    They have no incentive to care about reliability. If anything, they have incentive to not care. Less reliability means more work. Now they have incentive not to be arrested too.

  • Larry Littlefield

    People I know who know I bike to work say they don’t travel by bicycle because they are afraid.

  • Cold Shoaler

    I hear this ALL the time.

  • Point taken, but it’s not clear to me how consciousness-raising marketing campaigns like Vision Zero are going to make people feel safer. Exclaiming, “Bicycling! Now safer than ever!” is not going to get more people in the saddle.

    Bicycle advocacy to me means the protected lane on Prospect Park West; Vision Zero to me means forcing drivers on Eighth Avenue to slow down to 15 mph so when they bump into bicyclists they won’t injure them seriously.