Today’s Headlines

  • Interim Org Formed to Get Gateway Going; Schumer Hopes to Start Digging in 2018 (Post)
  • While Cuomo Spends Lavishly on Upstate Roads, He’s Squeezing NYC Medicaid (Politico)
  • Crain’s Editors Cautiously Optimistic on de Blasio Ferries
  • Happy Talk Notwithstanding, DOT Budget Is Stretched to the Max (Post)
  • A Thousand Citi Bikes Will Be Taken Out of Circulation for Maintenance (NY1)
  • 20th Precinct Says It Can’t Figure Out How to Ticket Speeding Drivers (DNA)
  • TLC Looks to Tighten Rules Against Sexual Harassment of Taxi Passengers (Gothamist)
  • Water Street Property Owners Want Covered Sidewalks Opened to Commercial Use (WSJ)
  • If You Think Sandy Was Bad, Wait Until This Lower East Side Gas Station Closes (DNA)
  • It Is What It Is (Politico@ShellySilver)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Alexander Vucelic

    perhaps we are going about this all wrong. Thinking the simplest solution might just be eventual elimination of all Gas Stations in the City. The DNA article is illuminating. Drivers are hysterical that they might need to drive a entire mile to fill up instead of 5 blocks. It’s really funny to read.

    Imagine advocates pushing for special increased zoning density to encourage development of ‘low value’ auto related sites in transit districts. Include Auto Depair shops, Gas stations, car dealerships, and auto parts stores. The property owners would love it.

    Regarding the tight budget of DOT; simple solution also presents itself. DOt cureently generates about $200 million from charging for street parking. Guessing if DOT started charging market clearing prices, they’d easily generate $2 billion. DOT would double its budget.

  • Guest

    Not sure how a lack of gas stations would affect efficiency of the taxi fleet. They are the main customers I seem to see at Manhattan service stations, and making extra bridge and tunnel trips to fill up doesn’t strike me as a positive.

  • ohnonononono

    A lot of the low-density industrial zoning in NYC basically exists to protect auto-oriented uses these days… the gas station at 23rd St behind the FDR is in an M1-1 district (1.0 FAR, required off-street parking, etc), which makes it hard to redevelop into much. It will probably remain a gas station for a long time, although it’d be nice to see the East River Esplanade continue up there.

    What’s a shame is that in a lot of cases our industrial zoning is a legacy of industry needing to be on the water to ship things in and out, while today so many of the uses are auto-oriented and don’t use the water at all. So we have waterfront self-storage, waterfront gas stations, and waterfront school bus parking lots, in what are officially termed “manufacturing” districts, where little manufacturing occurs. No one would agree that these are the best uses for this land.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    a pefect opportunity for special bonus zoning – auto oriented properties in Transit overlay areas. Could match the same map.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    the cabs the typically fill up every 12 hours and they prefer to fill up away from the CBD if at all possible. They love filling up as part of a airport run. Surely it’s also possible to transition over 8 years to Cabs that only need to fill up every 24 hours.

    The reduction of Gas Stations is happening. The only question is how to best manage the transition.,

  • Reader

    Since they’re not allowed and would cause massive carbon monoxide poisoning problems if they were, I’m assuming the number of people who use gas-powered generators in apartment buildings in Manhattan below 14th street is somewhere around zero.

  • ahwr

    Surely it’s also possible to transition over 8 years to Cabs that only need to fill up every 24 hours.

    Don’t they drive to Queens or Brooklyn at the end of their shift to go home for the night, have the cab cleaned/serviced if necessary, give it to the next driver etc…what advantage is there to having cabs fill up with gas every other shift instead of every shift?

  • Bobberooni

    The typical NYC cab drives 180 miles on a shift, and 70,000 miles/year. These are high-mileage vehicles. Once affordable electric cars have this kind of range, taxi fleets will rapidly adopt the new technology because the per-mile costs are so low. Tesla-style super charging will be an important enabler as well, allowing quick turnaround of cabs between shifts.

    OK, there are a lot of questions on how it would work, but I think it will happen. And once it does, no one will give a hoot about the gas station at 23d and FDR.

  • Joe R.

    Unlike gas cars, electrics actually do better at the low speeds typical of city driving. We can easily get 200 to 300 miles city range right now. That’s especially true in something like a taxi where you can spend more on the battery, knowing the gas savings will more than pay for it. Taxi fleets likely already would have adopted electric technology if electric cars suited for taxi service were made. Incidentally, once this does happen it’ll drive down the costs of electrics for everyone. One reason the price remains high is due to quantities not being high enough to benefit from mass production. For example, the cells in batteries are often still hand-soldered because it’s not cost effective to set up machines to do it given the low production volumes. When you have hundreds of taxi fleets nationwide each ordering tens to hundreds of cabs, that picture changes dramatically. I’ll bet in the long term electrics will cost less than gas cars. That will pretty much seal the fate of gas cars, regardless of gas prices.

  • Joe R.

    The elimination of gas stations is already happening, even in car-oriented parts of the city. Near me I’ve seen at least four gas stations go in the last ten years. As real estate becomes more valuable, the land owner can make more building retail or residential where a gas station is. Or if the gas station owner owns the land, it’s often more profitable to just sell the land instead of continuing to run what is a marginal business. Sooner or later the lack of gas stations will result in two things—less car ownership, and mass adoption of electrics by those who continue to own cars. People aren’t going to want to drive to NJ or LI every time they need to fill up. Besides that, home recharging is so much more convenient. Pull in your driveway, plug your car in, have it “topped off” by the next day.

  • Bobberooni

    TCO of electrics is already less than gas cars. Consider the Nissan Leaf, for example. The problem is range.

  • Joe R.

    Range is only an issue because manufacturers are choosing to use smaller batteries. For example, the EV1 back in the early 1990s was already getting ~150 miles range with NiMH batteries having half the energy density of today’s batteries. Tesla uses up to 85 kW-hr battery packs to get 300+ mile range. Other manufacturers could follow suit. Yes, a bigger battery increases initial purchase price but TCO is still less than gas cars. The larger battery will also last longer before needing replacement since life depends upon the number of recharges. A larger battery needs to be recharged fewer times for any given amount of miles.

    Note also quick charging will probably negate any range anxiety in the long run, regardless of how much battery capacity is installed.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    charging at home might work for you in the inner ring suburbs with the bountiful luxury of free off street car storage :)… but what about the zillions of poor NYC drivers who are FORCED to use free parking on the street ?

    It’s unfair ! Perhaps Allan Rosen or that Cuzzo fellow can start a demand for curbside electic chad chargers ? it’s only fair !

  • Joe R.

    I forgot about how entitled car owners will start whining if there’s no curbside electric chargers. And they’ll probably want those free to go along with their free parking.

    That said, it seems to me the parts of the city where a car might be more necessary are exactly the parts where most car owners do in fact have off-street car storage. Places where you only have curbside parking are places where a car is more a want than a need. Of course, don’t tell that to the car owners. In their minds it’s often “necessary” to drive three blocks for groceries.

  • WalkingNPR

    But, of course, these curbside electric chargers will not be nearly the eyesore/danger to children/portal to Hell that Citibike stations are, so they should easily be installed on sidewalks all over the city.