Today’s Headlines

  • State Budget Throws a Bone to NYC With $1.5B for 2nd Ave Subway (2ASNYT, PoliticoPost)
  • Center for an Urban Future Maps How Long Your Long Commute Is (Gothamist, DNA, Crain’s)
  • Tony Avella and Ron Kim Say City Should Delay Flushing Rezoning Until Transit Improves (News)
  • Port Authority Entertains Eminent Domain for Bus Terminal (Crain’s)
  • Former City Officials Back Plan to Overhaul Waste Carting Zones (Politico)
  • Cop Who Nearly Ran Over Postman He Arrested Loses Gun and Badge for Now (Post)
  • Driver Charged With Murder for Killing MTA Bus Driver Rejects Vance Plea Offer (News)
  • Nassau Nanny in a Coma After Saving Baby From Turning Driver Who “Will Not Be Charged” (AP)
  • The Post Ran a Column Lambasting New Jersey’s Inane “Distracting Walking” Bill
  • Reality Intrudes on Fantasy at the Car Show (Post)
  • The MTA Is Doing Whaat? (MTR)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • djx

    Look at the comment on the nanny story: “If the drivers not being charged with striking a pedestrian, then that tells me the nanny was crossing the street either illegally or attempted to cross the street when she shouldnt have.”

  • Guest

    People are shocked the government would consider buying a little property to build a transportation facility that serves hundreds of thousands of people a day? I suge get the opposition to throwing people out of their homes to build a sports stadium, but to say that the government shouldn’t even consider targeted property acquisition for a true public benefit seems a little nutty, doesn’t it?

  • bolwerk

    It really depends on the imperative here. Moving the terminal west seems nutty to me. Scaling it up seems wasteful.

    It all seems like their obsession with monument building playing out again, like the Calatrava PATH station. Like the porcupine, the new terminal adds little new capacity.

  • ohnonononono

    The reason they want to move the terminal west is to sell the development rights to the current station. We’re getting a less convenient location for a bus terminal. That’s not a public benefit.

  • Michel S

    Re:Flushing Rezoning – You don’t wait to rezone and correct faulty land use until after transit is in place, you do it BEFORE, so you can FUND the expansion of transit with the new tax base! How are you supposed to pay for the expansion if the need isn’t there? By all means make plans, but get the ball rolling on the other end first.

  • kevd

    Someone should inform them the the MTA is a state, not a city agency and if they are going to ask someone to “fix the 7 train” that person should be Cuomo.

  • AMH

    That piece on distracted walking is one of the best op-eds I’ve seen in the Post.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Rush Hour in Copenhagen – observe still Many motor Vehicles and the paradox of cycling success: Motor vehicles travel smoothly while the bikes are congested. Allan Rosen & Steve Cuzzo take note, increase cycling and your beloved motor trip to CostCo Is faster LOL

  • sbauman

    Here are four of the are many problems with using the additional tax base from the West Flushing development to pay for transit improvements.

    1. most developments receive tax abatements, so revenue from the additional tax base fails to materialize.

    2. what additional tax base monies that are available get siphoned off for projects outside the region, e.g. the Brooklyn-Queens Connector street car project.

    3. the Downtown Flushing area is extremely crowded. More than 5000 MTA buses stop there on an average weekday. There’s a bus stopping in Downtown Flushing every 10 seconds during the peak hour. N.B. two Nassau County bus routes have not been included in this total. Improving service on the 7 Line will not address this problem.

    4. There are 291,000 people within NYC, for whom the Main St. is their closest subway stop. By contrast, the figure for the 86th St-Lex on the 4,5 and 6 is only 71,000. The 86th St-Lex residents rate an additional subway line to reduce their over-crowding. That solution has not even been proposed to reduce the demand on the Main St. station.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    the question is what better use could $12 billion be spent instead of a new PABT ? $12 billionaires buys an awful lot of new PATH, NJ Transit, and NJ light rail which might benefits millions and eliminate the need for expanding the PABT entirely.,

  • ahwr

    Does it replace the need for PABT entirely? The existing terminal is falling apart. The cheapest option they put together costs 7.5 billion for a new terminal that doesn’t meet current needs, and is an avenue west of the current location.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Their core forecast is growth from 250k to 500k daily users. They did not examine alternative methods of moving those additiional bus users.

    I’d argue that there was are very likely big areas of NJ which currently are using buses but are dense enough to support heavy or lIght rail. Buses work efficency at relatively low densities.

    When I read 250k more daily passengers, that sounds to me like users are best Served with expanding rail.

    The existing PABT could be renovated at a cost the of a couple billion. Capacity in a renovated PABT might be increased by 5-10% to 275,000.

    Take the other $10 billion and divide up this way – 10 miles from of PATH ($3billion), 20 miles of NJ Rail ($3 billion), and 15 miles of expanded NJ last light rail ($3 billion), and 500 miles of ‘last mile’ protected bike lanes ($1 billion)

    this approach would provide mobility for “millions” instead of 250k. Bus service to Manhattan would continue for areas with lower density. Higher density areas of NJ would greatly benefit by having the existing rail network expanded.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    flushing has an opportunity to become a job hub in its own right. This would reduce demand on the 7. The challenge with reducing congestion in Flushing is to eliminate car dependence.

    Many areas of Manhattan have walk-bike commute shares of 30%. Get Flushing to those levels and congestion goes away.

    Two cheap & easy ways – 1) Create Complete Streets to encourage Walking and protected bike lanes. The main drag of Flushing should have no private cars from 0700-1900, buses only. 2) Start charging market clearing prices for parking.

    Make walking enjoyable and more will walk. Improve perception of cycling safety and more will cycle. The Flushing area is perfect for active transportion – huge streets and short distances. Quite a few streets in Flushing Center could be transformed into Pedestrian Zones, increasing property values & mobility.

    I rode 5 miles yesterday from Main Street Flushing to Cardozo High, amazed at how easy it would be to get people out of motor vehicles and into active transport.

    West Flushing rezone is a great idea, it will help reduce transit congestion since it creates nearby jobs and it is easy cycling distance to the core of Flushing.

    The Pols should be asking for 1) Complete Streets in Flushing – they’d transform their district for a mesely $50mm. 2) Even higher zoning in West Flushing & Flushing Center. Make Flushing even more of a job hub than it already is.

  • Joe R.

    Even without bike infrastructure, huge numbers of people were using bikes to get to downtown Flushing maybe 15 or 20 years ago. People started bitching how ugly all the bikes chained to virtually every immovable object looked. That pretty much ended Flushing as a bike-friendly hub. In a saner world we would have just swapped a lot of car parking in the municipal lot for bike parking. I walk 3 miles to downtown Flushing due to lack of bike parking. It’s a shame because a 40 minute each way walk could instead become an 11 or 12 minute bike ride but not without a safe place to put my bike.

    You have good ideas there, but any way you look at it Queens in general needs more subways in addition to more bike infrastructure. That’s part of the reason for the excessive amount of car dependency.

    Yeah, 5 mile bike trips in Queens are mostly pretty fast and easy, depending upon time of day and route. Saturday you had less traffic. Doing what you did yesterday on a weekday would be a PITA.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    I observed plenty of bikes parking on Main Street in Flushing. You need to get a beater bike with fat tires and a cheap Ulock 🙂 🙂

    $50 million a year for 5 years on complete streets and Flushing would be transformed into a paradise. It’s tragic that people are driving 1-2 miles to go shopping and being tortured by motor traffic when they could cycle or walk faster if only the infrastructure supported it.

    outbound r Parsons to 47th ? down 53rd then a bunch of suburban residential streets to Cardozo High. I rode about 3/4 mile on a sidewalk next to a cemetary or golf course and thought of your defense of sidewalk riding.

    Inbound – Northern Blvd to Roosevelt to Skillman to 59th Bridge. I throughly enjoyed Riding the entire length of Roosevelt during the peak of Saturday shopping what tremendous civic life.

    I even stopped at some chinese/Philipino ? supermarket and bought some groceries. Beautiful fresh Ginger root 99 cents a lbs. bought 3 lbs. , Kabocha squash for soup, and a big whomping mystery cold water fish (2.99/lbs)!we ate for dinner.

    There are dozens of opportunities along Roosevelt for creating more pedestrian space. It’s going to happen, just a matter of time.

  • ahwr

    Their core forecast is growth from 250k to 500k daily users.

    ~337k in 2040, not 500k.

    The existing PABT could be renovated at a cost the of a couple billion.

    The 7.5 billion dollar (cheapest) replacement option that builds a new terminal one avenue west accommodates 73% or current commuter demand, 53-59% of projected 2040 demand. If this price is inflated, then so are the more expensive versions.

    Renovating the existing facility without first building a replacement might save money, but it would require several years of service disruptions. That option isn’t being considered at this time. The 115k west of Hudson commuters that use the terminal to commute to Manhattan earn ~$9.5 billion/year. The economic damage of a major service disruption to NY and NJ could easily outweigh any cost savings.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    of course the existing PABT could be renovated with minimal
    disruption to service

    thanks for clarifying how small the Growth in rides is exoectated by 2040 – less than 150k

  • Joe R.

    I’m still puzzled why they even let private autos into downtown Flushing. I’d say everything within 2 or 3 blocks of Roosevelt and Main should be off limits to private autos. Just that one thing would likely reduce traffic substantially.

    I used to ride in that area a lot back in the 1980s and 1990s. You’re right about the activity along Roosevelt. You can see it from the 7 train also. Funny thing is Flushing was town in its own right before it and Queens were incorporated into NYC. There’s huge potential for all sorts of jobs growth. With 300K to 500K people within easy biking distance we could show the rest of the city how its done. Flushing could become an Amsterdam of sorts.

    Lots of good shopping there as you discovered. That’s one reason I seldom venture into Manhattan these days. I pretty much get most of what I need locally. It sounds like you had a good time. I’d get out more myself if only we started taking steps to reduce the horrendous auto traffic in my area.

    Sidewalk riding is sometimes par for the course here. It’s usually necessary next to places like cemeteries or gold courses where you have a single narrow traffic lane with no shoulder plus speeding traffic. You hardly every see anyone walking on the sidewalks in those places anyhow.

    Already have a beater bike. I’m still afraid of it getting stolen.

  • sbauman

    There are 71,919 jobs whose closest subway stop is Main St. It ranks 3rd in that category, just 3K behind 47-50 St – Rockefeller Ctr and 3K ahead of 51st St & Lex stations. It’s already a job as well as a population center.

    Despite the 5000 daily scheduled bus trips, over 70% of the traffic in Downtown Flushing is on foot. Foot traffic is the major cause for bus delays, not cars. The foot traffic will only increase, once the Flushing Commons development is completed.

    Banning private car from the Flushing’s “main drag” isn’t viable because there aren’t many alternatives. Flushing Meadow Park and the Flushing River block east-west travel. The LIRR blocks north-south travel. Vehicular traffic is channeled into very few through streets. Two are Roosevelt Ave (east-west) and Main St (north-south).

    The Main St. subway station already the 13th busiest weekday subway station on the system in terms of passengers. The 12 busier stations serve multiple lines in two directions. Main St has only a single line and trains enter/leave in only one direction. It’s difficult to see how the increased traffic generated by the Flushing West project would reduce transit congestion.

    BTW, Cardoza HS is closer to the 179th St station than it is to Main St.

  • Joe R.

    College Point Blvd. parallels Main Street two blocks west and Northern Blvd. parallels Roosevelt Avenue three blocks north. Those should be the through routes for private autos. There’s no reason for private autos to go through the “downtown” part of Flushing. Both are faster routes besides.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    induced demand

    oedestrians cause congestion ? – LOL

  • Alexander Vucelic

    your beater bike is more tricked out than my nice bike 🙂

    get a true beater bike, one that you don’t mind getting ripped off

  • Michel S

    These are all very good points. It’s clear you all know much more about the situation than I do; hopefully someone in a position to influence decisions is paying attention, or that this discussion is also happening elsewhere.

  • AMH

    Wow. That person must not be from around here.