Today’s Headlines

  • Team de Blasio Says Federal Transportation Package Is a Win for NYC (Politico)
  • IBO Report Recommends Congestion Charge for Cab Rides in Manhattan CBD (Crain’s)
  • NYPD: “No Criminality” When Driver Hits 85-Year-Old in Graniteville Crosswalk; Victim Critical (Advance)
  • Melinda Katz Joins Queens CBs in Prioritizing Car Storage Over Housing for People (Times Ledger)
  • De Blasio Set on Affordable Housing at Willets Point Regardless of Litigation Outcome (Times Ledger)
  • Parks Department to Present Revised Putnam Trail Plan to Bronx CB 8, Specifics TBA (R’dale Press)
  • If DOT Knows a Traffic Signal Won’t Slow Drivers Near a School, Why Not Do More? (R’dale Press)
  • Impaired Unlicensed Driver Who Hit Five People on Midtown Sidewalk Pleads to Assault (Post)
  • The MTA and EDC Released a Request for Expressions of Interest for “Lowline” Terminal (Politico)
  • Tri-State: Toll-Free Bridges and Free Parking Make Every Day a Gridlock Alert Day

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Joe R.

    Banning left turns actually increases traffic throughput. When you eliminate the left turn phase, you have that much more time for a green phase. That can offset some of the capacity decrease you’re worried about. While on this subject, left turns in an urban area are problematic. In my opinion they should be banned citiwide, other than for buses and bikes. With careful route planning you can get where you’re going with lefts, and without adding “miles to their trips”.

    Also, as Alexander mentioned, if losing cars lanes to bus lanes is a concern, why not eliminate car storage on Woodhaven? Curbside parking causes all sorts of conflicts and delays to traffic. It’s something NYC either shouldn’t allow at all, or should charge heavily for. In any case, when there is any concern about roadway capacity, parking lanes should be free game to convert to traffic lanes.

  • Joe R.

    You might adjust the per mile charge based on traffic volumes. That would have the effect of discouraging more roadway users when the road is starting to get congested. You probably should charge commercial users as well since they’re a primary beneficiary of uncongested roads. If it costs $8.25 to drive the length of Woodhaven, that $8.25 is spread among a good amount of cargo. The additional cost per pound might be under one cent. That would have a negligible affect on sales prices.

  • Andrew

    My link was to a specific comment of yours, in which you claim to speak about Streetsblog:

    If you want the answer to that question, just go to Streetsblog. They write about every pedestrian fatality caused by the “murderers” who drive cars and are not prosecuted in NYC, because it was just an accident.

    Here’s another gem:

    Just go to their site and say one thing to defend drivers. Within a few minutes, you have to defend yourself against ten people who then call you a murderer. That’s why I rarely visit their site anymore.

    I challenged you (multiple times) to back up or retract your claim of having been called a murderer by ten people (within a few minutes, yet!), and you refused to do either.

    But if you’re going to “proudly stand by” your “article,” then congratulations, you still don’t get the point. As I have pointed out to you many times, more than half of pedestrian fatalities in New York City take place on the 15% of city streets classified as arterials, and any serious desire to reduce the pedestrian fatality rate must tackle the problem of high speeds on arterials. As I have also pointed out to you many times, pedestrians struck by drivers at 25 mph are considerably less likely to die than pedestrians struck at 30 mph, let alone 35 or 40 mph, so 25 mph makes particular sense as a target.

    The point of reducing the speed limit is to improve safety. Reducing the speed limit to 25 mph only on streets where nobody exceeds 25 mph accomplishes nothing. Which is apparently your goal, since as you made so brilliantly obvious in your next-to-last piece on Sheepshead Bites, you’ve prioritized your desire to quickly get from Manhattan Beach to Woodside via city streets ahead of the need of the residents of the many neighborhoods along those city streets to safely use and cross those streets.

    If you seriously believe that de Blasio will be voted of office because of a 25 mph speed limit, you are severely out of touch with the needs of most of his constituents. At this point I would be happy to vote de Blasio out of office because he hasn’t done nearly enough to preserve the lives of pedestrians.

  • Andrew

    If it costs $8.25 to drive the length of Woodhaven, that $8.25 is spread among a good amount of cargo. The additional cost per pound might be under once cent. That would have a negligible affect on sales prices.

    A cost of $8.25 would likely be more than offset by a reduction in traffic congestion, leading to a net reduction in sales prices.

  • bolwerk

    You’d think, with the entire commercial driving industry, the wages of the driver to sit in traffic would pretty much always greatly exceed any possible toll or congestion fee. $8.25 is close to minimum wage, and I think most licensed commercial drivers make more than that. So, even ignoring productivity gains, which are some multiple bigger than the feel, the fee already saves them more money if it saves an hour a day of the worker idling in traffic.

    That’s a very visible cost. A little harder maybe is the cost of wasted fuel, which may actually dip into rates of gallons per mile with the largest cargo vehicles. It doesn’t take much time wasted in traffic to get up to $8.25 in wasted fuel, in any case.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    everyone,

    you are all most correct – a charge of 58 cents per mile to drive on Woodhaven is a absolute bargain.

    correct that the cost should vary based on time of day etc, but trying to keep it Simple

  • BrooklynBus

    Guess you haven’t seen deBasio’s latest popularity ratings which are now below 50 percent.

    And you are correct about the need to reduce high speeds on arterials. We keep reading about pedestrians being run over by someone doing 50 mph on city streets. Even the recent incident in Sheepshead Bay in which you commented on was most certainly caused by someone going sone ridiculously high speed, not by someone doing 26 mph. So show me the proof how lowering the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph has lessened the number of speeders doing 50 mph killing people. The fact is if someone is intent on speeding, they will still speed whether the limit is 25 mph or 30 mph. The only difference is that many more will now be paying fine for ignoring this ridiculously low limit. A few months ago, I was on Ocean Parkway with every car doing a comfortable now illegal speed of 30 mph when all of a sudden the traffic is now slowed to only 20 mph causing congestion and much air pollution. Why? A police officer was standing on the side of the road aiming a radar gun at the cars. Well, on the following block, everyone returned to doing 30 mph and traffic moved again smoothly. So is your answer to post an officer on every corner on every street or to put a speed camera on every corner?I know you prefer the cameras.

    Yes I prioritized my need to get to Woodside at a reasonable speed because I have some common sense and realize that going 30 mph does not jeopardize anyone’s need to safely use and cross those streets. I also realize the pedestrian has a responsibility to safely and legally cross the street and not to intentionally jaywalk and break the law as you do because you beleve it is safer to jaywalk than cross at the corner because of turning vehicles as you previously stated. Motorists must follow all the laws but pedestrians can do whatever they want and cyclists shouldn’t have to stop at red lights. We should just change the laws to accommodate them as this site has recommended.

  • BrooklynBus

    The bottlenecks are certainly being increased, not removed. It would make sense to eliminate the left turns if everyone only needed to drive straight. The fact is that left turns are a necessity. Due to the street grid, it is not always possible to make three straight rights instead of a left. DOT just hasn’t thought out this proposal, Tell me how someone is supposed to get to the Stop and Shop going south from Woodhaven after the left turn is banned onto Union Turnpike.

    Many left turns are already banned on Woodhaven to keep traffic flowing. Banning 23 more left turns will allow you to make a left turn only about once a mile. That will increase the demand to turn left at the remaining intersections where they will be allowed.

    Northbound, left turns will be banned at Furmanville, 64 Rd, and Penelope Ave. The next left turn that will be allowed will be 63 Ave which currently has a left turn lane. There are no plans to lengthen it. So the number of cars wanting that left turn will most probably triple. So instead of say five cars waiting in the left turn lane, there now will be 15 cars wanting to make a left. Since te left turn lane can only hold about eight cars, that means that cars will queue in one of the two remaining lanes designated for through traffic, leaving you with only one moving lane northbound at all times. Currently during the off-peak there are now four moving lanes northbound for through traffic. And you say this will not cause a bottleneck? It is only one of the many bottlenecks this plan will cause.

    And increasing car trips to 40 minutes and reducing bus trips to 75 still accomplishes nothing toward the goal of getting someone to switch from the car to the bus. And since people in cars and trucks outnumber bus riders by 4 or 5 to one, you would be causing much more harm than good for your $231 million spent. That just doesn’t make any sense no matter hw you slice it.

    Someone from Transportation Alternatives testified at City Hall that one of their members has a 2 hour trip from Woodhaven to Kings Highway. It is perhaps only 30 minutes by car which is how probably 95 percent of the people now make that trip. Let’s say for argument sake her trip is reduced to 1hour 45 minutes, and the same car trip now will take 45 minutes to an hour, you would consider that a positive step although no one who makes that trip switches to the bus, and 95 percent of the people are now hurt by the exclusive lane.

  • BrooklynBus

    See my reply to Alexanderr Vucelic above. The irregular street grid does not always give you the option to make three rights instead of a left. You also have to consider the additional traffic impact that has.

    I agree with your last point that when there is concern about roadway capacity, parking lanes should be free game to turn into traffic lanes. The problem is that is not always possible because sometimes taking away parking still does not provide the ample width necessary for a traffic lanes because parking only requires 6 feet and te minimum for a traffic lane is 8 feet. If there are large trucks on the road, it has to be at least 10 feet wide, 11 for tractor trailers.

  • BrooklynBus

    Great. Now you want to toll city streets as well as eliminate all free parking in the city. There are no limits to what your hatred for cars will propose.

    And what would you consider a “frivilous” car trip? Visiting a sick friend in the hospital? Car travel involves much more than journeys to work. In fact anyone who can conveniently use mass transit who owns a car, already does that. Cars are used mostly when mass transit isn’t convenient and until that changes, cars are here to stay, like it or not.

    And your made up number of one person per car is just fictitious. 1.6 is definitely more realistic and is even much higher on weekends when more families are traveling together.

  • BrooklynBus

    And exactly where would that traffic be rerouted to the “uncongested “Van Wyck” so as to reduce traffic congestion on Woodhaven? I hope you realize you are talking pure nonsense, but I am afraid you are serious.

  • BrooklynBus

    After BRT is installed and traffic comes to an absolute halt, no truck driver will pay 59 cents a mike to sit in traffic, when they can already sit in traffic on the Van Wyck for free.

    And if you try to deny that will happen, just read all the complaints about the newly installed bus lane which still allows three contiguous lanes. After the islands are installed it will get three times as worse.

    I forgot Streetsblog readers do not know about that because it refuses to print any of the negatives about SBS.

    And as for those being anecdotes, Andrew, show me some DOT data and I will stop relying on anecdotes.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    why should street parking be free ?

    can I store my furniture or other stuff for free curbside ? I promise to move it every couple of days.

    why not charge for driving on Woodhaven ? One of the reasons it is so congested (according to drivers ) is because druving on Woodhaven is free. Anything free will be overused and in short supply.

    I thought you would welcome a market clearing price to drive on Woodhaven. Charging would get rid of all the freeloaders whose trips aren’t important enough to pay a mesely 59 cents a mile.

    Your trips are naturally important enough to easily justify the payment. Think how much time you’d save once all those freeloaders would get off the road.

  • fdtutf

    When you have no point to make, you pick on grammar.

    And when you have no point to make, you nitpick about the difference between SubChat and BusChat. So you guys are even. (You’re not really even because only one of you makes sense, but anyway.)

  • Andrew

    Some of that traffic would shift to other routes (the Van Wyck is not the only other option).

    Some of that traffic would shift to other times of day, when the street is less congested and the charge is lower.

    Some of that traffic would shift to other modes.

    Some of that traffic would shift to other destinations.

    Some of that traffic would shift to other origins (i.e., somebody who works in Woodside might move closer to Woodside rather than make the long drive up from Manhattan Beach every day).

    Some of that traffic would trip-chain (visit multiple destinations on one trip rather than making multiple separate trips) or would become less frequent (e.g., go shopping half as frequently and buy twice as much stuff each time).

    And some of that traffic would simply evaporate – namely, the trips that the driver values at less than the lowest cost of the available alternatives – i.e., the trips that never made sense in the first place, if not for our driving subsidies.

  • Andrew

    Guess you haven’t seen deBasio’s latest popularity ratings which are now below 50 percent.

    His popularity ratings are low because the speed limit is 25 mph?! AsI said, I’m not terribly happy with de Blasio either – but my dissatisfaction is not because the speed limit is too low.

    And you are correct about the need to reduce high speeds on arterials. We keep reading about pedestrians being run over by someone doing 50 mph on city streets. Even the recent incident in Sheepshead Bay in which you commented on was most certainly caused by someone going sone ridiculously high speed, not by someone doing 26 mph.

    Citation needed.

    And in case you hadn’t noticed, speed enforcement is never done at 1 mph over the legal limit. Speed cameras, which (despite their relatively small quantity) perform most of the speed enforcement in the city, never issue tickets at speeds within 10 mph of the limit. Police officers rarely do either. If the speed limit is 25 mph, pretty much nobody’s getting tickets for less than 35. If it’s 30, then 40. And nobody has any business ever driving anywhere near 40 mph on city streets that carry pedestrians or cyclists.

    A few months ago, I was on Ocean Parkway with every car doing a comfortable now illegal speed of 30 mph when all of a sudden the traffic is now slowed to only 20 mph causing congestion and much air pollution. Why? A police officer was standing on the side of the road aiming a radar gun at the cars. Well, on the following block, everyone returned to doing 30 mph and traffic moved again smoothly.

    Nonsense. Nobody slows to 20 mph due to a speed limit that’s higher than 20 mph. If traffic slowed down to 20 mph at that point, it was for another reason. And in my experience on Ocean Parkway, traffic usually moves much faster than 30 mph.

    So is your answer to post an officer on every corner on every street or to put a speed camera on every corner?I know you prefer the cameras.

    My answer is to seriously enforce traffic laws. How that enforcement is accomplished is secondary, but without serious enforcement by whatever means, laws are meaningless.

    You’ve spoken out against traffic enforcement cameras many times, and you just spoke out against police officers as well. So thank you for stating quite clearly that you believe that traffic laws should simply not be enforced by any means whatsoever.

    Yes I prioritized my need to get to Woodside a t a reasonable speed because I have some common sense and realize that going 30 mph does not jeopardize anyone’s need to safely use and cross those streets.

    No, you prioritized your desire to get from Manhattan Beach to Woodside over the need of the residents of the many neighborhoods along those city streets to safely use and cross those streets.

    It was your choice to live in Manhattan Beach. You don’t get to threaten other people’s lives because you chose for yourself a long commute. Don’t want a long trip? Then move closer.

    I also realize the pedestrian has a responsibility to safely and legally cross the street and not to intentionally jaywalk and break the law as you do because you beleve it is safer to jaywalk than cross at the corner because of turning vehicles as you previously stated. Motorists must follow all the laws but pedestrians can do whatever they want and cyclists shouldn’t have to stop at red lights. We should just change the laws to accommodate them as this site has recommended.

    As you well know, most pedestrian fatalities are caused by wrongdoing on the part of the motorist, not the pedestrian, yet you repeatedly bring up this red herring. Was Victoria Nicodemus jaywalking?

    As you well know, not only is it legal for pedestrians to cross at unsignalized crosswalks, but motorists are also required to yield to pedestrians crossing at unsignalized crosswalks. Do you drive slowly and carefully enough to notice pedestrians standing at corners waiting to cross so that you can slow down and if necessary stop to let them cross, as the law requires of you?

    As you well know, it is even legal for pedestrians to cross mid-block at most locations, and while motorists aren’t required to yield, they are nonetheless required to exercise due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians. Do you exercise due care?

    You’ve already reported that you don’t watch for cyclists in bike lanes when turning. You didn’t yield then and you didn’t exercise due care then, and based on your writings I doubt anything has changed since.

    It doesn’t take a three-headed monster to kill a pedestrian. It simply takes a careless driver who worries only about how quickly he can get to his destination – the sort of driver who thinks he can set his own speed limit and who forgets to look for cyclists in the bike lane before turning across it.

  • Andrew

    Great. Now you want to toll city streets as well as eliminate all free parking in the city. There are no limits to what your hatred for cars will propose.

    Expecting people to pay for the resources that they consume is not “hatred” of any sort, even when those people happen to be motorists.

    And what would you consider a “frivilous” car trip?

    Here’s one possible definition: a trip that is worth less to its maker than it costs to provide.

  • Andrew

    Very pretty numbers you pulled out of a hat there. You are obviously as skilled at traffic engineering as you are at bus planning.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    approx. 30% of Typical traffic Is induced by zero price roadway

  • fdtutf

    a hat

    Nice euphemism.

  • Alicia

    After BRT is installed and traffic comes to an absolute halt,

    How will traffic come to a halt with BRT? BRT, as long as it’s properly enforced, will mean tens of thousands of bus riders get where they’re going much more efficiently. It’ll speed up traffic for them.

  • bolwerk
  • Andrew

    You win.