Today’s Headlines

  • Driver Injures Woman on FiDi Sidewalk, No Charges; Neighbors Say It’s a Regular Problem (DNA)
  • Joe Borelli Wants Right-on-Red, Fewer Car Inspections, Tax Break for Car Commuters (Advance)
  • Bayside Parking Study Shows Space Is Tight — Will BID, Electeds Price Parking or Build More? (TL)
  • Texting-While-Cycling Bill: Gothamist Goes with Facts, Post Falls Back on “Hipster” Headline
  • De Blasio’s Jamaica Plan Includes Streetscape Fixes, Redeveloped Parking Garages (Capital, Crain’s)
  • Dromm Appoints Diversity Plaza Champion Ageh Saleh to Queens CB 3 (Q Gazette)
  • Marcia Kramer Found a Bus Bulb on First Avenue That’s Been Under Construction a Long Time (WCBS)
  • Nicole Gelinas Flags Labor Rules as Another Factor in High Construction Costs (Post)
  • City Breaks Ground on Plaza and Scenic Overlook at Belden Point on City Island (News 12)
  • Gowanus Alliance Calls for Bike-Ped Bridge Across Canal at Fifth Street (DNA)
  • NJ Transit’s Coming 9 Percent Fare Hike Is Probably Just the Beginning (WSJ via 2nd Ave Sagas)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • WalkingNPR

    “…her son darted into the street away from the car”

    There is so much disturbing about that sentence.

  • Enough

    A woman is hit by a car on the sidewalk outside a school on the same day the City Council debates Mark Treyger’s ban on texting while cycling, a “problem” which as injured no one. That tells you everything you need to know about how seriously this city takes traffic safety.

  • Pat

    If using a phone on bikes was such a purvasive problem, why did The Post have to run with a guy using his phone while stopped and pulled to the curb?

  • Jonathan R

    Re: Bayside parking

    Great Neck is 18 minutes away from Bayside by car, who is going to spend 36 minutes driving because they can’t find a parking spot immediately?

    As usual, no discussion of building dense apartment buildings near the LIRR station whose residents would be able to walk to all the Bell Blvd stores.

  • Jesse

    Isn’t the texting while biking thing just another generational issue in the livable streets debate? I defy the Post to find anyone under 50 who gives a crap about it.

    The “good” news is that, like the gay marriage debate, there is a lot of.. um.. attrition in the older generation. Of course they seem to be in a race to wipe us out first with their cars.

  • Mike

    I’m not a fan of cycling behind or next to somebody who is texting while biking, and I’m under 50. It’s just stupid behavior. People should pull over for a moment to do their texting. It’s probably not worth wasting enforcement resources on, but it’s not something I like to have around.

  • D’BlahZero

    I LOL’d at the windshield perspective of this piece on potholes as I bicycled* through the decrepit streets of NYC.

    http://www.wnyc.org/story/got-potholes-dont-just-blame-weather/

    *one ear-bud only, hands on the handlebars, CM Treyger. No need to send me to a safety class.

  • Jesse

    Exactly. “Oh no I’m so sorry about your rims!” says the cyclist lying flat on his face after flipping over the handle bars. You need a full-suspension mountain bike to ride in NYC now. Plus, instead of actually fixing potholes now they’re increasingly just covering them with those awful steel plates which might work fine if you’re in a car but are dangerous if you’re on a bike.

    Many things that are inconvenient for drivers are deadly for cyclists. Driver convenience always trumps cyclist safety. But this case is a catch 22: if you resurface the roads they will be both more convenient for motorists and safer for cyclists. How can you fulfill the two imperatives of both serving every minor desire of motorists while also killing cyclists?! WHAT’S A CITY TO DO!? Oh wait… metal plates that turn to ice with the slightest bit of moisture and that have gaps to catch bike tires… whew.

  • Maggie

    The sidewalk hit-and-run on Beekman Street in the financial district: on those streets it’s pretty impossible to believe that wasn’t captured on camera. Hope NYPD’s investigation is swift and effective.

  • BSPABNY

    Agreed, there are so many problems with the Great Neck comparison/red herring. Great Neck is not an area that Bayside BID should be envying. Their 2,000 off-street municipal spaces, built at the expense of commercial or residential infill, would make Great Neck a great contender for our own regional parking madness competition. Besides, Bell Blvd. businesses are competing with shopping plazas at Bay Terrace, Fresh Meadows, and Douglaston, all much closer and with ample parking. What’s wrong with Bell Blvd. as a neighborhood-oriented shopping and dining strip? Why does it need to be a regional destination? Maybe they need to look west, to Flushing, to get a sense of what that outcome looks like, positive and negative.

    Or maybe look south? I note in another article in today’s list a similar (and maybe more realistic) desire by Councilman Daneek Miller of Jamaica to “attract others from outside” to new development in Jamaica. I’m not going to presuppose what kind of development he’s referring to, but hopefully “others from outside” means newly-created firms that employ workers from around the region, not businesses (and customers) simply coming in from other city neighborhoods at the expense of existing commercial centers.

  • com63

    I thought the same thing. I think last week they ran an article about red light cameras, but took a picture of something that wasn’t even a camera.

  • com63

    Especially if they got on the Brooklyn Bridge right afterwards. Let’s hope the NYPD’s ring of steel is effective.

  • Joe R.

    That’s a great article. Ricchio is on the right track about keeping roads in good condition but he could go one step further. NYC needs to get away from asphalt in favor of concrete. Concrete is a much better material for streets. It lasts far longer and has a much smoother surface. You also need proper subroads or concrete will fail premature as well (look at those concrete bus stop blocks which regularly get misaligned). Keeping streets in good repair is one of the primary functions of local government. It’s also one area where NYC has been failing miserably for decades.

    I think we might need to change the business model here. Let’s stop paying companies to fix streets. That encourages shoddy repair so they can get paid over and over again for fixing the same potholes. Instead let’s pay a company x amount per year to keep a given street up to a certain standard of repair. If the street doesn’t meet this standard, the company doesn’t get paid until it does. You have the street regularly tested by driving over it in a special vehicle which measures irregularities. This way the test for compliance is objective, not subjective. My guess is under this business model a company will rebuild a street once to the highest possible standards so that street will meet the standards for the next 40 years without being touched.

    Of course, utility repairs are another issue. Perhaps when the street is rebuilt the utilities can be permanently relocated in trenches with access plates, perhaps in the curb lane, so that the street never needs to be broken up again for utilty repair. Or you can just require the street to be completely rebuilt to the original standard, not patched, each and every time it’s broken up for utility repair.

  • Joe R.

    Agreed. It’s the addiction to texting which probably bothers me more than the act itself. Seriously, is this so important that it can’t wait 5 or 10 or even 30 minutes until you get where you’re going? I’ve taken longer than that to get back to people on important business matters without any apparent issues. For all the talk I hear about making streets pleasant places where people want to be, what’s the point if you’re not even going to enjoy the ambiance because your head is buried in your phone all the time? I guess every generation had its stupid addictions but this is the first generation where that addiction has become so pervasive as to be done nearly all the time.

  • Some Asshole

    Right on red. Because nothing makes for an awesome pedestrian envrionment quite like having to dodge cross traffic when crossing a street with the light.

  • Andres Dee

    Agree. I spend enough time in places outside NYC where “Right on Red” rules seem to exclude waiting for people who walk, even if they are already in the process of crossing. For that matter, drivers seem to regularly act like the STOP sign means “cut across the crosswalk and poke into the intersection, then stop”.

  • Andres Dee

    Wonder if it was a city employee.

  • Andres Dee

    Do you think cops will really let you go if you have only one ear covered? Ha!

  • ahwr

    They’re worried about people driving to Bay Terrace or Great Neck because they’re worried about parking, not about people going there after they get to Bayside and realize they’ll have to circle the block a couple times to find a spot. If you need 0-10 minutes to find a spot in Bayside, or 0 minutes at bay terrace even if it’s further you might want to go there instead.

  • ahwr

    The mix of stores doesn’t look conducive to only serving locals. Too many restaurants, no supermarket etc…

    It would be nice to see customer surveys though, see how they arrived.

  • ahwr

    I guess every generation had its stupid addictions but this is the first
    generation where that addiction has become so pervasive as to be done
    nearly all the time.

    Your generation didn’t have chain smokers? Car addicts? Everyone thinks the generation(s) younger than them are the worst.

  • Joe R.

    Name one thing any past generation has been largely addicted to which they were pretty doing every minute of their waking hours. Maybe some in my generation were addicted to those handheld video games like that but it wasn’t common. It seems to me quite a large fraction of people these days under about 30 have their heads buried in their phone nearly all the time. And to be fair, you have a good number of people even as old as 60 doing the exact same thing.

    Car addiction wasn’t something which afflicted a large number even in my generation. As for chain smokers, that’s probably more my mother’s generation than mine. Most of my friends in high school and college didn’t smoke. Besides, unlike texting, smoking is an actual substance addiction which ends up controlling the person instead of vice versa. All the texting generation has to do is decide to collectively put their phones away when they’re out, especially when they’re working. I see cashiers these days looking at their phones all the time, even to the detriment of serving the customers who are the reason they have their job in the first place.

    Everyone thinks the generation(s) younger than them are the worst.

    I’ll grant there are much worse things people could be addicted to than texting. Maybe my thoughts are more with what this generation is missing out on by having their heads buried in their phones all the time. There’s a lot of little things you see outside every day which give the urban landscape its own unique beauty.

  • Staten Island politicians Joe Borelli, Nicole Malliotakis, Vincent Ignizo, Steve Matteo, and James Oddo shamelessly pander to the part of their constituencies that drive cars everywhere they go.

  • Some Asshole

    I particularly enjoyed the quote that Staten Island is a suburb and should behave like one. If that’s the case, they can show themselves out of the city.

  • Cold Shoaler

    This phenomenon could be mitigated by removing parking that is so close to the intersection. Sight lines are terrible at most stop-sign regulated intersections in NYC.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Name one thing any past generation has been largely addicted to which they were pretty doing every minute of their waking hours.”

    TV. I guess the whole smartphone thing is that you can do TV all the time.

  • Joe R.

    I was thinking of watching TV also except that it wasn’t something people could do while walking or biking or on public transit. That said, my father and many in his generation were rabid TV addicts. I guess when something new comes out, the first generation exposed to it indulges in it to the point of excess. With my generation, it may have been PCs and the Internet, or maybe Walkmans. Those were nearly as pervasive back in the 1980s as texting is now but at least they didn’t require you to look at them.

  • Andres Dee

    I see this outside NYC, where parking is set back from the intersection.

  • Bolwerk

    One thing? Television.

  • They just think they want to secede to Jersey. When they start paying Jersey property taxes they’ll be screaming to come back.

  • D’BlahZero

    I totally agree. I do think it’s worse in NYC because of our idiotic SUV storage policies.

  • Some Asshole

    This.

    I currently live in the Twin Cities, where turns on red are a-okay and even encouraged by culture (just listen to some guy lay on the horn because the person in front of him had the audacity to stop). I now envy New York’s pedestrian environment, warts and all. Even the most walkable places here are problematic and you’ll frequently see folks trying to push their way through a group of pedestrians crossing the street on their way to the local sports game, what have you. When you add in the frequent turn lane cut-outs and slip lanes, it sucks. Being able to cross the street without someone nosing into, and beyond, the crosswalk is a godsend.

    Staten Island will eventually face greater density. Their pedestrian policies should reflect it, though, maybe the point is to keep people away. They won’t be away forever and residents will hate the greater car traffic more than having to actually sit at a red light.

  • Some Asshole

    Doesn’t make a difference, in my experience. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have parking bans during traditional business hours in their downtowns extending to many blocks within it. The driver is usually looking at car traffic, to the point where they may not see you even if you’re right in front of their eyes.

  • Some Asshole

    The NYPD what now?

  • Well, Staten Island is far, far less walkable/bikeable than Manhattan and Brooklyn. I know exactly what you’re talking about regarding Twin City problems. Pedestrians dodge cars in crosswalks constantly in SI, the police have increased enforcement but cannot do enough or sustain it.

    You’re correct about the higher density we’ll eventually face, our population has doubled since the 1950’s. But South and Mid Island SI is very suburban, I think most of the high density growth will be on the North Shore. I live North, I’m waiting for us to become the next Hoboken or Williamsburg…hopefully without rents as high as those places !