Today’s Headlines

  • Cuomo Pledges New Penn Station by 2020 (PoliticoNYT, Crain’s, GothamistAMNY)
  • De Blasio Plan to Cut Carbon Emissions Includes Transit, Biking, Walking, EV Charging Stations (Politico)
  • Ydanis Bill Would Require DOT to Rethink NYC’s Most Cramped Sidewalks (AMNY)
  • ATU Wants to Unionize Uber and Lyft Drivers (Crain’s, News)
  • Paul Vallone, Principals Get DOT to Install Slow Zone Where Flushing Driver Hit Kids (QNS)
  • DOT to Paint Bike Lanes in Ridgewood and Middle Village (Ridgewood Times)
  • Suffolk Prosecutors Obtain EDR Data to Help Convict Hit-and-Run Killer (AP)
  • Suspect Fleeing Cops Drives Toward Officer on Bed-Stuy Sidewalk, Is Shot (NYT, Post)
  • SUV Driver Crashes Into MTA Bus in Williamsburg, Critically Injuring 1 (DNANews, NY1)
  • Felony Charge for Staten Island DMV Employee Who Rang Motorist for a Date (Post)
  • Kabak Explains Why the Second Avenue Subway Might Not Be Ready in December (2AS)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • HamTech87

    I was originally dubious as to the rationale for Moynihan Station. Being so far west made the large hall too far to go. I guess Hudson Yards users will be there a lot.

  • Joe R.

    I hope the drivers trying to unionize realize it’s a complete waste of time. Uber and Lyft will replace them with autonomous vehicles as soon as the technology is ready. If they unionize, then both companies will likely accelerate their efforts to do so. The hard fact is automation is about to make quite a few jobs obsolete.

    The plans to cut carbon emissions are a start but I’d personally like to see NYC pass a NEV mandate which is effective no later than, say, 2025. Once ICE vehicles can no longer operate within city limits the air will be much cleaner. We’ll also need to get rid of the gas-powered lawn tools which present a major source of noise pollution. All that said, nobody yet has a plan for either recapturing the CO2 already in the air or cooling the planet. That’s crucial if we are to avoid the worst effects of sea level rise. I’ve toyed with the concept of floating massive numbers of golf balls on the oceans to reflect back sunlight ( this is actually being tried on a small scale ), or covering large parts of the land surface with white plastic for the same effect.

  • Guest

    Hasn’t NJT made more substantive recent investments in the 7th Ave end of the existing building?

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    Because Cuomo can’t order NJ Transit to move there. Hopefully they can take over the far superior LIRR or Amtrak concourse when those railroads move, as a stepping stone to combining the concourses into a real train station again.

  • AMH
  • urbanresidue

    It seems a bit worrisome there is never any mention of Metro North when they talk about the new Penn Station.

    In conjunction with East Side Access, they are supposed to be constructing new stations in The Bronx and bringing service into Penn via the Hell Gate. Presumably the MTA companies will share the LIRR space, but there seems to be little coordination happening. There is certainly far too little discussion about it.

  • ohnonononono

    As far as I know, there’s no indication that plans for the new Moynihan and Penn stations involve moving any track (other than possibly reactivating the old diagonal track that was previously used by the post office to load mail directly on trains? but that seems unlikely/further down the line), or even removing the existing stairwells to the subways and streets, right?

    This is really all about adding additional passenger waiting area capacity and boarding entrances to the west. Am I being too hopeful about the vagueness of plans for what happens to the east end of the tracks? It seems that if you’re an existing Penn user who walks in from 7th Ave or transfers from the 1/2/3, not much will really change, other than a great mass of people currently huddled in your way will be spread further west out of your way. The people who’ve never been to NYC before who are at the station two hours early to board the Amtrak train to Chicago will be over in the grand hall in Farley at the ticket counter, but you’ll still be able to use the same boarding areas you always have to run into the station 10 minutes before your train leaves. At least that’s my hope?

    The move to mobile ticketing makes the location of ticket counters and other “support” office space even less important in the future. Farley will mainly just be a mall, like Union Station in DC.

  • Geck

    It is not entirely clear, but I get the impression that the LIRR is not really being moved, but that its concourse will be upgraded and additional LIRR facilities will be added in the new building.

  • JudenChino

    Gowanus Gets Upgraded Bike Lane as Cyclists Increase, DOT Says

    Which is on balance a good thing but a few thoughts:

    (i) They removed about 13 parking spots and on the east side of the street and a whole lot more on the west side. They did create 5 additional spots as consideration. While I’m not sure “finding” more free parking spaces is necessarily a good thing. Like, why weren’t those places already free parking? Was it a safety/visibility reason? But I think it’s still good that they didn’t try for a 1 for 1 type replacement.

    (ii) “There are no plans to upgrade the sharrow route on Bond between Douglass and Wyckoff, but a DOT spokeswoman said locals are “always” invited to work with DOT on getting such upgrades installed.”

    I don’t think those are sharrows but actually a bike lane there. I just don’t like the “onus” being put on locals. There should be a master plan and network and you build it out from there. None of this ad-hoc shit. It’s nice that they’re putting in curbside lanes with green paint. But that’s just for a few blocks and then it’s back to doorzone bike lanes. But some of us have lives ya know and we don’t want to live it bombarding CB meetings and fighting with NIMBYs who expect suburban convenience in densely populated brownstone Brooklyn.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Gold leaf on the rot seems to be the response to 35 years of future selling at the federal level and in the private economy, and 25 years for NYC, NY State and New Jersey.

    A new Penn Station, etc. always has to be viewed from the perspective of opportunity cost — what is not done.

  • ohnonononono

    Why is the LIRR concourse far superior to NJT? LIRR handles a 3x as many riders at Penn as NJT does. The LIRR’s official waiting room is the size of a postage stamp so everyone stands around congesting the east concourse as everybody coming from the 1/2/3 fights to push through. NJT did a great service by building their new entrance at 31st and 7th, a relatively quiet oasis and quick exit compared to the chaos of the LIRR areas.

  • ohnonononono

    My question is whether anything is really “moving” — the tracks aren’t being moved, the existing stairs to those tracks aren’t being removed (I hope?) so most regular users of all 3 railroads can continue to do what they’re doing, right? Unless you need to speak to a ticket agent, which even fewer will in the future than now.

  • Pat

    Regarding crowded sidewalks:

    Was in Zagreb last week and was impressed how they actually hang streetlights from wires anchored to buildings.

    Could eliminate a lot of poles that way I would imagine, but I don’t know what limitations there are in terms of street width.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    The NJT waiting room is even smaller, as is their concourse in general. Its split onto two levels, has a lot less food options, and poorer access to many tracks. It is a quiet oasis compared to LIRR but only because it has 1/3 as many riders.

  • nanter

    “The legislation, sponsored by city councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, would require the city’s Department of Transportation to study and identify the 10 locations with the highest pedestrian volume in the city and develop strategies to improve safety and traffic flow for pedestrians.”

    “Develop strategies”

    I’m no traffic engineer, but this seems like a pretty easy one to answer! Remove one or more lanes of traffic and expand the sidewalks accordingly. Voilà !

  • Vooch

    Zagreb also has Many good examples of pedestrian zones, Promoting ped Space ( ie blocking Cars ), and struggles with cycling Infrastructure. And of course Tramways.

  • Vooch

    über drivers unionizing will only Accelerate Adoption of Self driving Cars

  • ohnonononono

    There is very little discussion about East Side Access itself. Considering that it’s a hugely expensive project that will supposedly change everything for LIRR riders, LIRR hasn’t been upfront about what the new service patterns will look like. Are they going to double the amount of service to Manhattan now that they have double the terminals, or split the current amount of service between Penn and GCT? One assumes the outcome will be somewhere between the two extreme alternatives, and it’s unclear to me how much service other choke points in the system (Jamaica?) could handle. If you had 1 train an hour on a Sunday afternoon from Penn to your home station on LI, will you now only have a train every 2 hours because they’re alternating between Penn and GCT? On the other hand, during rush hours, if you miss a train at Penn will it make sense to try to sprint to GCT to catch the next one?

    The mere suggestion of Metro-North’s Penn Station Access plan has already spurred some minor opposition from small-minded Long Island politicians, so I think both railroads have been avoiding talking about it. It seems to be a Cuomo priority, but not internally something anyone wants too badly. There are two components of the plan: Hudson Line service to Penn over the Empire Connection currently used by Amtrak for service to Albany and Montreal, and New Haven Line service via Hell Gate. The latter is exciting mostly because of the proposed new Bronx stations, but a minor negative for existing New Haven Line customers who will see trip times maybe increase a minute or two. There doesn’t seem to be any reason MNR couldn’t start running Empire service on the Hudson Line to Penn next year at very little cost– the proposed stations on the far UWS and W 125th would probably get about as much ridership to Penn as MNR 125th to GCT currently gets (almost zero, because it’s no faster than the subway). The biggest beneficiaries of both new branches would be reverse-commuters to the suburbs. There doesn’t seem to be any urgency to do any of this.

  • ohnonononono

    Above 14th Street, most of the major Manhattan avenues should have a lane of traffic removed and the sidewalks widened.

    Below 14th Street, it’s time to seriously talk about pedestrianizing streets. Make FiDi “Shared Streets” permanent on weekdays. Many streets in SoHo, the Village, LES would be good candidates for making pedestrian-only on weekends. Obviously work with local businesses to allow for exceptions for deliveries etc. But the pedestrian volumes clearly warrant it.

  • ohnonononono

    How did they convince the building owners to have streetlights hung from their buildings? Do they pay them?

  • Geck
  • AMH

    It’s very common in Europe. Not sure why it’s not done here.

  • ohnonononono

    Interesting that they want to close the subway entrances for the upscale stores’ security. Back in the day, each store had its own security closure in the form of gates that went down over the storefront, that we’ve now deemed too ugly. Upscale stores get beautiful full-length glass windows that are easy for kids to smash at 3am. Now we close off subway accessibility for their interests?

  • guest

    Munich has this too.

  • Vooch

    agreed – start Pedestrianizing Many streets during Weekends. Also Summer Streets should Fun all weekend Every Weekend from 4th July to Labor Day.

    Language Police – don’t propose ” removing ” motor lanes instead “reallocate” ?

  • Vooch

    it was done in the 1890s about 9 regimes ago

  • Pat

    Ya, you probably didn’t have a choice.

    The buildings facades are all very uniform so it doesn’t stand out and the wires don’t take away from their charm.

  • ohnonononono

    Hmm, so might not be too applicable to NYC in 2016…

  • redbike

    > Remove one or more lanes of traffic and expand the sidewalks
    > accordingly

    Functionally, that’s what’s been done on 8th and 9th Avs. We call the result a “Bicycle Lane”. Not.

  • Andrew

    This will get me in trouble here, but perhaps that demonstrates that the demand for a wider sidewalk is greater than the demand for a bike lane.

  • Vooch

    you Are sooooo in Trouble 🙂

  • AMH

    It certainly demonstrates the need for wider sidewalks. Pedestrian overflow makes it difficult to use the bike lane, but doesn’t obviate the need for it.

  • redbike

    I agree with you. In broad swaths of NYC, alive with pedestrians, we need wider sidewalks. My objection is to sneaking sidewalk widening in by installing “bike lanes” that are, in fact, sidewalk extensions. (e.g.: Manhattan’s 8th and 9th Avs between 33rd St and the mid 50’s) I don’t care how they’re signed. Look at how they’re used. They’re not bike lanes. They’re sidewalk extensions.