Today’s Headlines

  • Driver Critically Injures 34-Year-Old Cyclist in North Corona (WCBS)
  • Dromm, Lander Join Advocates Urging City Hall to Tweak, Not Scrap, Plazas (Gotham Gazette)
  • DOT Seeks 400 Drivers for High-Tech Study of Motorist Behavior (News)
  • Port Authority Has Spent $1.75 Million on Lawyers in Probe of NJ Road Funding (Record)
  • Essex Market Street Seat Won’t Be Installed This Year (Bowery Boogie)
  • Parking Attendant Smashes Forest Hills Wall, Sending Bricks Raining Down on Pedestrians (DNA, WCBS)
  • Matteo Wants DOT to Install More Left Turn Signals as Street Safety Solution (Advance)
  • NY1 Visits New 3.3-Mile Greenway Along Eastern Edge of Fresh Kills Park
  • 13 Hours, One Swipe: WNYC Sends Reporter on Longest Possible Non-Repeating Subway Ride
  • Reader Letter to Times Newsweekly Dials Rhetoric Against Queens Blvd Bike Lanes Up to 11

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • armyvet00

    I generally like left turn signals, but I’ve noticed pedestrians use it as a time to cross instead of waiting until they get the walk. The signals unfortunately tend not to work in ped heavy areas.

  • A cursory Google search indicates that the crazy woman who wrote that anti-bike lane screed-to-the-editor is a paraprofessional at a public school in Queens. She literally works with the children who are getting killed by drivers every day and yet somehow thinks the bike lanes are the problem.

  • BBnet3000

    She also writes in typical pearl-clutching conspiratorial tones that the Queens Blvd bike lane might be for the benefit of Citibike, despite being miles from any Citibike stations.

    The letter also has the common refrain that there was no outreach even though there were multiple community meetings. The sad irony is that you hear people at these types of community outreach sessions complaining about a lack of community outreach!

  • com63
  • com63

    This is also why the barnes dance crosswalks don’t work well at traditional two street intersections. Pedestrians will cross anyway if their route is relatively traffic free.

  • Jonathan R

    The Corona crash is right at the eastern end of the 34th Avenue bike path. Need one of Joe R’s flyover bikeways there to avoid the grade crossing of the GCP interchange ramps.

  • Maggie

    I hope the cyclist is okay. Incredible s/he was struck and critically injured by a meteorite? a bullet? flying plywood? coyote? a dangerous, savage bird? I couldn’t really tell from the CBS News reporting.

  • armyvet00

    It’s frustrating to wait at the corner and then see other pedestrian just go anyway.

  • djx

    I was reading that piece and thinking “Well-written, no strange rush to judgement absolving the motorists or anything.” And then noticed it didn’t say who hit the cyclist, as you point out.

  • djx

    Wow.

    I lived in China way back in the day, and rode a lot. Few people had private cars at the time. There are so many more cars now.

  • Bluewndrpwrmlk96

    In response to the woman’s comments regarding Qns Bl, I simply disagree. Community outreach was already conducted, the DOT presented their findings to local residents at a school cafeteria in PS 11. Even Jimmy Van Bramer was there; I was there and I don’t even live in Woodside anymore. This had nothing to do with Citibike; it is the DOT addressing dangerous road conditions for vulnerable road users and properly allocating cyclists their lane (as well as an increase in pedestrian space), where vehicular lanes represent a disproportionate amount. This is nothing new, as this has been a problem with Queens Blvd since at least the late 90s. Other than a fence, this is the first time the DOT is actually making a significant change in addressing this problem. Other than the evening rush, I haven’t noticed the traffic getting worse as a result of these changes.

  • JoshNY

    Huh, wow. Don’t they teach people that you’re not supposed to write in the passive voice like that?

  • JoshNY

    Would I be a bad person if I signed up for that DOT study and then drove like a crazy person in an effort to skew the results to demonstrate to the DOT that people drive recklessly and they need to do something about it?

  • WalkingNPR

    I visited Vietnam once in 2009 and then again this past winter. The traffic was always nuts, but 6 years go it was bikes and motorbikes and it was actually relatively easy to cross the street if you just walked slowly and steadily–they all just streamed around like a school of fish. This time, with the cars in the mix, it was really pretty terrifying and at times limited where I was willing to go. If I had to cross too many big streets it just wasn’t worth it or I’d reluctantly take a taxi. It was the first time I really understood how self-perpetuating the arms race on the streets is. I like to walk. I’d rather walk. But get enough cars on the road and I have to get in one, too, just as self-defense.

  • WalkingNPR

    I understand the impulse, but I also have full confidence in even “good” NYC drivers to do that aaaaaall on their own…

  • com63

    I always cringe when I see someone oblivious step off the curb and start crossing as the left turning vehicles are approaching. I’m just hoping I don’t see them get hurt. For all of the bad drivers out there, there are hundreds more who know how to drive in the city and watch out for badly behaving pedestrians. I’m frankly surprised more people don’t get hurt in this city.

  • djx

    Part of a problem for me on the rare instances when I drive in midtown is that I’m too careful/appropriately careful, and at times I can’t get anywhere due to pedestrian being in the way, when I have right of way. So I end up sitting in the car stopped, with no where to go, and drivers behind me honking.

    Can’t win….

  • Joe R.

    It continually amazes me that countries which developed long after the Western world realized the negative effects of the automobile are still embracing it. China, India, Vietnam all had a chance to just bypass the automobile era completely. Hopefully, cars won’t become as entrenched there as they are here, and getting rid of them once the public complains about the downsides won’t be as difficult as it is here. With even a small minority driving in China’s cities, they’re already having huge congestion and air quality issues. Hopefully someone will make the connection that this is not the way to go. Having the masses aspire to car ownership is not a good thing. It never was even in the western world.

  • Joe R.

    Me neither. I’ll go with a massive horde of huge cocaine addicted mutant cockroaches as the cause.

  • WalkingNPR

    Yeah, it really pains me to see that. There was opportunity to skip auto-centric infrastructure and go straight to something better (and I think gain an economic advantage over the US and others by skipping the drain on resources and human health/life that cars are).

    In HCMC, they are building a train network, but it’s still a few years off. Seeing how quickly cars have risen in just 6 years in Vietnam (along with aggressive, bullying driving and So-Cal looking McMansion suburbs) was not encouraging.

  • djx

    There has been massive increase in car use in China over the time I’ve been going there (a couple decades). Which is not great overall. And also massive increase in train infrastructure too. Which is nice and makes the US look very very bad in comparison.

  • BBnet3000

    I suspect this is more about looking at where these behaviors happen and how they can be mitigated than about proving that they happen – we already know that.

  • urbanresidue

    You see this when left turning vehicles get their green arrow before pedestrians get the walk signal. This is generally the result of poor engineering.

    When you let the pedestrians go first and hold the left turning vehicles to the end of the cycle, the pedestrians pretty much stop with their countdown and then the motor vehicles can proceed without conflict.

    The reason this is often not done is the need for a dedicated left-turn lane. If you put the turning phase at the beginning of the cycle, you don’t need a dedicated lane because the turning vehicles don’t block through vehicles behind them. More often than not, a turn lane can be created within the existing right-of-way, but often requires eliminating some parking spaces.

    Sometimes they could move the turn phase to the end of the cycle without any difficulties, but just haven’t bothered.

  • Matthias

    From the Advance article:

    “In many intersections across the city, pedestrians have the right of way
    in a crosswalk at the same time that drivers have a green light to make
    a left turn into their path,” [Councilwoman Debi Rose] said.

    Sorry to see that people are still pushing this misunderstanding of traffic law. A green light is not “to make a left turn”.

  • Matthias

    Her lack of respect for all the people who have been killed is inexcusable.

  • Matthias

    I’m curious what effect selection bias and observation bias might have.

  • WalkingNPR

    I agree. I suspect selection bias wouldn’t have that much, since, what, 80% of drivers rate themselves better than the average driver? And we certainly know that not to be true….observation bias could be interesting. The tool itself seems unobtrusive enough that you’d set it and, after perhaps a short period of being very aware of it, quickly forget it. But if it’s constantly providing feedback as described, I think it could be a constant reminder and perhaps increase the likelihood of observation bias.

  • Simon Phearson

    I once had to out-race one of those while biking through Greenpoint.

  • WalkingNPR

    And yet, if they’d gotten you, the only thing that would have been reported is whether or not you were wearing your helmet…

  • Simon Phearson

    It was not immediately clear whether the cyclist had come to a complete, one-foot-down stop at a stop sign prior to being overtaken by the frenzied horde. No criminality was suspected.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “At least it is not this bad in New York.”

    Or this good, depending on your politics.

  • JamesR

    I think this bears repeating. I own a car and typically only use it to get out of the city. Never for intra-city trips. That said, if you, as a driver, try to be one of the “good drivers” – i.e., showing peds and cyclists courtesy, not bullying peds in the crosswalk, not blocking the box, etc – other drivers will sh*t all over you. Horn honking, aggressive moves to get around you, fingers, you name it.

    As a result, the road environment is brought down to the level of the most brutal among us.

  • BBnet3000

    There is actually a place where people cycling and people driving have a conflicting green light, and neither party can see that the other has that green light. Corner of Dahill Rd and Caton Ave in Brooklyn. It’s a crash waiting to happen.

  • JoshNY

    I came to post this link. Horrifying.

  • JoshNY

    Except that saying “the Western world realized…” is wishful thinking about the U.S. in particular.

  • Andrew

    This is one of the reasons I sold my car and now keep driving to a minimum. I was fed up with not only the stresses of trying being a careful driver but the additional stresses of trying to be a careful driver in the face of other drivers who did everything they could to have me give up that caution. No thanks – I don’t need that nonsense.

  • Joe R.

    Same thing when my mother was able to drive. She might be yielding to people crossing while turning and all the idiots behind would be honking. She also tended to drive at 20 to 25 mph on most streets. You can imagine the line of impatient, honking drivers right behind. I’m glad she stopped driving. Big source of stress for her, and me as a passenger screaming curses at all these morons.

  • fdtutf

    THIS. Exactly.

  • Matthias

    Good points. I remember reading about a study that put cameras in participants’ cars, and at first they were better-behaved, but quickly went back to their bad behavior (cursing, nose-picking). Constant reminders that you’re being observed could change that.