Today’s Headlines

  • Bill Hammond: If Cuomo Has a Better Way to Fund the MTA Than Move NY, He’s Not Telling (Politico)
  • Proposed Brooklyn Bike-Share Stations Are Few and Far Between (Brooklyn Paper, DNA)
  • Unlicensed Driver Critically Injures Senior on SI; NYPD: Victim “Outside the Crosswalk” (Advance, News)
  • Elizabeth Crowley Wants Light Rail Between Glendale and LIC … With Park-and-Ride Lots (Politico)
  • Legislation From Jumaane Williams Aims to Legitimize and Reform Dollar Vans (Post)
  • Some Green Cab Drivers Don’t Want to Deal With Lower Manhattan Congestion (Post)
  • Post Says de Blasio Ordered NYPD to Issue Fewer Tickets to Hasidic Drivers
  • South Bronx Residents Reimagine a Park, But Bruckner Expressway Still Looms (NYT)
  • Times Writer Doesn’t Like the LED Street Lights DOT Chose, Urges City Council to Intervene
  • Check Out the Manhattan Street Grid in 1811, Before Bikes Ruined It (Post)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Jonathan R

    Certainly ‘safe distance’ depends on how fast you are going, however personally I would like to go faster than walking speed. I find it super difficult to see people wearing dark clothes, especially on multiuse paths, and especially when there are sporadic car headlights shining in my eyes.

    Generally I see the feet first, so I would suggest to anyone doing a lot of walking during hours of darkness that they wear light-colored shoes or reflective ankle bands or both.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Good point – I’d argue there would be a transition period of 24-36 months before the positive effects of MoveNY are realized. I’d also argue that there are enough plans already in place ( Protected Bike Lanes 2/5/6 Avenues, Smart Meters, Increased Ped Plazas all over, Central Park Loop south of 72nd, daylighting, and more ) that the momentum would increase to create these quickly.

    cycling is austonishingly popular in Manhattan. Latent demand is huge. For example, Citibike stations on UES were being used the day they opened. A few weeks after a dozen stations open and there are Citibikes everywhere on UES. The latent desire to cycle exists.

    Therefore, I’d argue that cyclists will quickly fill the void once MoveNY is implemented. Cycling in the CBD will grow even faster than currently with a Reduktion in CBD motor traffic.

    I Admit it Is a question of how fast cyclists and pedestrians will Fill the void.

  • Joe R.

    Same feelings regarding street lighting. In my home, it depends. My basement electronics workshop can be lit up like an operating room ( 10,800 lumens in a 7’x11′ area ) but sometimes I need it when dealing with tiny parts. Usually in my bedroom a few hundred lumens is enough, maybe more if I’m reading.

  • djx

    It is a valid in rare cases, it’s just way, way overused. If someone runs out mid-block, from between parked cars in dark clothes in front of a car/driver that was driving reasonably and get hit, it can be valid.

    I mean, I guess I could drive at 5mph all the time and avoid that, but that’s not reasonable. That’s the only way to make it foolproof. Or really, not drive at all where pedestrians might possible be in the street…..

    We definitely shouldn’t be asking pedestrians to wear special clothes to use public space at night, but I also don’t want the streets lit up like day time. It’s disturbing. There has to be a balance between light and safety. The dark has inherent value itself. I guess if somehow streets could be lit up like daytime but that light did not spill onto sidewalks or buildings that’d that be OK. But that’s not possible.

  • Joe R.

    I honestly think noise in NYC is a much larger problem with more wide-ranging psychological consequences than any type of bright lighting. That said, the benefit of brightly lit streets is being able to see other street users. It’s no coincidence a disproportionate number (i.e. relative to the number of people on the street) of NYC’s pedestrian and cyclist fatalities take place after dark. I chalk that up to using lighting with a spectrum which is awful for seeing things to start with, then often failing to maintain this lighting so it’s dimmer than it’s supposed to be. LED streetlights are a big win here. The spectrum is much better for seeing. And they’re starting out much brighter than their HPS counterparts. Even if NYC fails to clean them or maintain them, the likelihood of dangerously dark streets is radically decreased. I get it that some people might not care for being in a more brightly lit environment. Indeed, we’ve had similar complaints about the new subway trains. Unfortunately, it’s hard to please everyone in a city of over 8 million. In this case, safety concerns have to trump people’s personal preferences. It may be that there are glare or light trespass issues here which should be addressed but those are probably just teething pains with new technology.

  • In my living room I have a bright overhead light with filament bulbs that I wind up using maybe once a month for a particular need, like, let’s say, searching for something. But I really dislike the harsh yellowish hue.

    From the standpoint of aesthetics, I prefer the cool bluish glow of energy-saving flourescent bulbs in an array of desk lamps and clip-on lamps.

  • Joe R.

    Yep, I dislike yellowish light myself, to the point I put flourescent lighting in most of the house decades ago just to rid myself of it. The few remaining things with bulbs (some chandeliers) were converted to LED screw-in bulbs last year. No more yellow light. If you’re ever in the market for LED replacements for your overhead light, just look for 4000K to 5000K LEDs. Those should give the type of light you want.

  • ahwr

    You seem to have a bigger problem with noise and air quality than most NYers. But you seem to dismiss concerns from others that have a problem with lighting you would find acceptable. Might you just be less sensitive to lighting that can disrupt a person’s circadian rhythm because you seem to keep a schedule that has you up at off hours anyway? No sympathy for those who would be hurt by this?

    If safety is the justification for the lighting then put it on high crash corridors. That’s a small share of the streets in the city. Do the rest have to be lit up like a highway?

  • qrt145

    I wonder how people manage to survive the summer in Norway, Iceland, Alaska, etc. if bright light outdoors at night makes life so “unbearable”.

    I’ve visited Norway during the summer and loved it. I say bring on the lights!

  • Joe R.

    I did in fact say if light is going in people’s windows that’s a valid complaint. It’s also one which could be fixed fairly easily. Complaining about light levels on the street disrupting one’s circadian rhythm seems like grasping at straws to me. Chances are nearly 100% anyone walking at night has recently been in either a store, office, bus, or subway train with lighting levels far higher than anything on the street. Also, most home lighting is somewhat brighter than a “brightly lit” street. Then you also have nearly everyone walking looking at cell phones with bright screens.

    The fact is in much of the city a large portion of the streets are now under illuminated. This probably wouldn’t matter if there were no pedestrians or no potholes but there are. Everyone has their idea of too bright but so far I’ve yet to see any artificial lighting anywhere which I might call overly bright, meaning painfully bright. There may be some issues with glare and light trespass which need to be addressed. However, the lighting is no brighter than lighting I’ve seen in parking lots or gas stations which people in adjoining residences have lived with for decades. If anything, LEDs are much more controllable, so in theory the street can be brighter while everything else is dimmer. In any case these are a massive improvement over HPS in terms of both light levels and spectrum. They’ll be even better once the kinks are worked out.

    Finally, as a poster mentioned elsewhere, there seems to be no issue with people sleeping in northern countries where the sun is up 24 hours a day in summer.