Today’s Headlines

  • De Blasio Notes Cuomo’s Screwy Transpo Priorities, Gov’s Flacks Lose It (Politico, @2AS, News)
  • Assembly Member Robert Carroll: Enact Road Pricing and Shift BQX Budget to the MTA (Eagle)
  • New Yorkers Say State and City Should Boost MTA Funding (WSJ — Paywall)
  • Straphangers Vent to WNYC About Their Subway Commutes
  • News Endorses Rail Reactivation on Rockaway Beach Branch
  • People Are Complaining About East River Ferry Service (DNA)
  • July Penn Station NJ Transit Derailment Blamed on “Track Defect” (NYT)
  • Rory Lancman Wants NYPD to Publicize Data on Fare-Beating Arrests (Politico)
  • Motorist Critically Injures Child in Mariners Harbor; Victim Accused of “Darting” (Advance, DNA)
  • Port Authority Truck Driver Critically Injures Senior on Sixth Avenue in Midtown (DNA)
  • DOT to Install a Traffic Signal After a Driver Killed a Senior on Broadway in Riverdale (News 12)
  • The Daily News Published a Seth Pinsky Advertorial for the Suburbs

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Bob

    Anyone know timeline for protected 5th avenue bike lane?

  • Larry Littlefield

    Looks like the guy the machine appointed to be my new Assemblymember is stepping out a little.

    Hey Carroll, just remember your job is to protect your crowd from the consequences of 25 years of their future-selling decisions, and you’ll be fine. Otherwise you’ll find yourself back on the subway with the rest of the serfs.

  • mfs

    “advertorial for the suburbs”? C’mon. Isn’t that kind of upzoning around major suburban transit nodes exactly the kind of thing we need in the region?

    This is the key passage:

    “Instead of packing everyone who
    wants an urban lifestyle into the five boroughs, we must create vibrant
    islands of urban life at transit nodes regionwide — simultaneously
    reducing upward price pressure in the city, while spurring economic
    growth and enhancing quality of life in communities outside the city.”

  • reasonableexplanation

    Interesting article in reason today on curbing traffic stops (by moving to speed cams instead):

  • Larry Littlefield

    I agree.
    Note the problem — the article is about New Rochelle, one of a few pre-suburban cities in Westchester than was engulfed by suburbanization. So you might get approval for multifamily there.
    Not so elsewhere. And there is no place like in on Long Island. The attempt to create one — the Nassau Hub — was shot down by suburban parochialism and race/class fears.

  • AC

    Yeah, that is a bizarre way to describe it. Returning dense, walkable, mixed use neighborhoods to cities like Yonkers, New Rochelle and White Plains would be a huge benefit to the region, relieving upward pressure on rents and sales in the five boroughs and broadening the tax base in Westchester. I grew up in Yonkers and believe me, you could DOUBLE the population there without breaking a sweat. For example, drive along Broadway south of downtown and it’s block and after block of single story retail, you could add huge amounts of housing within a short bus ride to the Metro-North and the 1 train. Or look at the enormous amounts of land given over to roadspace and parking lots along Central Avenue. There’s huge scope for positive change there. Will it happen, probably never because of our obsession with cars and NIMBYism.

  • Brad Aaron

    TOD should be encouraged. But that particular piece reads like an ad for the company Seth Pinsky went to work for after years of trying to suburbanize NYC.

  • JudenChino

    A little surprised to see that in Reason though I don’t disagree w/ the points they’re making. Would just think a Libertarian rag would be most concerned with “Big Brother” automated ticketing. I know I am as I fear red light cameras eventually being applied to bicycles, as power is almost inevitably wielded to protect the powerful and target the weak.

  • Komanoff

    Commenters mfs and AC are exactly right. The Pinsky-Bramson D News op-ed is spot-on in urging a development influx at regional nodes already well served by transit. That’s precisely the model RPA has been urging for decades, and which TSTC built into its founding “Citizens Action Plan” nearly a quarter-century ago (I was an author).

    By some kozmik koincidence, I was in New Rochelle last night, speaking at a carbon tax forum at NR City Hall organized by Sustainable Westchester. Mayor Bramson was on hand, and his intelligence, energy, and, yes, charm, were unmistakeable. I also endured the soul-killing walk up North Ave from the Metro-North station, over I-95 and past dingy storefronts with few trees to relieve the heat. (No bike … I’d had to chain it at Grand Central, since my train trip was during peak hours.) As I trudged on, I mused about whether and how to reinvigorate the area — not knowing about Mayor Bramson and his ideas.

    I read S’blog religiously, esp’ly the daily a.m. heds, and everyone who reads the comments knows I’m a huge fan. But Brad’s hed for the Pinsky-Bramson op-ed was mean, gratuitous and uninformed. Let’s save our snark for the snarkworthy — lord knows there’s more than enough to go around.

  • Jesse

    That is interesting. My Reason-reading friends typically regard traffic cams as government intrusion and an insidious plot for municipalities to milk their citizens.

  • Jesse

    You beat me to it. I had the exact same reaction. The scarcity of good urbanism has a lot to do with the housing shortage.

    There are still two big open questions in my mind: (1) will infill suburbs become big employment centers and (2) how will the politics shake out?

    On the first question: even if you have a nice walkable downtown, if people still have to commute to the city in order to work, it doesn’t completely eliminate the premium on living in the city (though it does relieve some of the price pressure). You may be going home to a nice walkable bedroom community, but a two-hour commute is still a two-hour commute. For the suburbs to really compete with NYC they’ll need high-end employers as well, which I know are out there but they tend to be sparsely distributed among isolated corporate campuses surrounded by parking lots.

    On the second question: isn’t zoning the big barrier in a lot of these places? The suburbs are low density by design. And the low residential density benefits those who already own property there by creating artificial scarcity. Not to mention the older folks who simply enjoy the quiet of their community and want to keep it that way. New Rochelle was able to overcome these entrenched interests, in some small way, but it’s hard for me to imagine this happening on the scale that it needs to in order to fix the half century of planning mistakes that got us into this mess.

  • reasonableexplanation

    As long as the data on which cars were where at any given time isn’t kept for purposes beyond ticketing, it should be okay. Throw some cameras on the highway (after measuring the 85th percentile speed) and I’ll be okay with them.

    I really dislike legislated speed limits (on highways). It’s pretty common for traffic to move 15mph faster than the limit around the tri-state area. So as a compromise: raise the speed limit to what it should be, and put speed cams in. Win-win, and frees up cops to focus on things that matter more.

  • reasonableexplanation

    The heartland project on Long Island looks like it will be built, which would be a nice urban center there in the future.

  • AC

    You can add a lot of housing in the “downtowns” of New Rochelle, White Plains, Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Portchester and other towns without touching the leafy suburban areas that NIMBYs will really get into a lather over. Not that there isn’t opposition to density in what were previously built up areas. I said before about downtown Yonkers and single story retail, look at White Plains too, if you take the areas east of the train station, the city was devastated by six lane roads, mall and office redevelopment. Try walking from the train station to White Plains hospital, it’s a waste land. If you narrow the streets and broke up the super blocks, you could add thousands of units of housing, no need to touch single family homes.

  • JudenChino

    Too bad he spent his years at NYCEDC trying to pack a suburban lifestyle into urban life.

  • HamTech87

    That stretch of Broadway in Yonkers going all the way from downtown to the Bronx boarder was rezoned for taller buildings years ago. The reason nothing has happened is the minimum parking requirements. Ironically, the parking minimums have been reduced near the MetroNorth stations, but ridership at those stations is far lower than the ridership on the Bee-Line Bus lines going down Broadway.

  • HamTech87

    Agreed, but it would be helpful if developers would push back against these cities on their minimum parking requirements. Believe me, these cities are desperate for investment and would abide by these big developers’ wishes if the developers would just make a strong and unified case for reducing parking.
    Also, the community benefits mentioned should include $$$ for the Bee-Line Bus system, especially increasing frequency and span on nights and weekends. MetroNorth is sort-of ok going to NYC, but it is not a real transit system within Westchester. That role can only be filled by Bee-Line, and right now, all those bedroom apt residents in places like New Rochelle use a car for most trips while home.

  • AC

    Doesn’t help that too many of the developments, Yonkers is really bad with this, are basically designed to be a mini gated community and not interact with the neighborhoods around them. There’s no natural street life in downtown Yonkers for example where the new developments are, there’s no shops, no dry cleaner, no grocery within walking distance, etc. They are commuter towers, to run errands you get in your car. New Rochelle has built like this too. Until the city or the developers come around to the idea that they need to design and build for a real urban environment like what’s available about 15 miles south of them, you are going to have total car dependence. Bee-line needs a major improvement I agree, but you also need to give people neighborhoods so they don’t want or need their cars.

  • JamesR

    There are huge opportunities for genuine urbanism in the inner ring NYC suburbs. Places like Yonkers and Newark are bigger, denser cities than the majority of what you’ll find between the Mississippi River and the west coast. There are parts of Yonkers that are well over 10,000 people per square mile – this is dense by any standard. They’ve got transit, there are pockets of walkability, and there are areas within these communities that provide an opportunity to go car-lite, if not totally car-free due to the spatial mismatch of residential vs retail.
    It takes years to put a deal together and get through the entitlements process for a single project. Densification in these communities has been happening, and will continue to happen, but will play out over the course of a generation.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I grew up in the area until I was 10, on Nodine Hill. I took a bike ride around Yonkers a couple of years ago, and New Main Street, where my grandparent’s generation grew up, is in sad shape. The redevelopment looks good from the train station, but it only goes up two blocks. Riding down to Kingsbridge, and seeing how vibrant it is, was quite a contrast.

    The main reason is that Yonkers is the city that gets no respect. But given how trendy Brooklyn is now it sort of makes me nostalgic for SW Yonkers.

  • kevd

    in Manhattan?
    I noticed spray painted markings for a protected bike lane there, today.
    didn’t even know it was in the works. it is sorely needed.

  • Vooch

    reason is most certainly NOT libertarian. It’s statist to the core

  • Larry Littlefield

    Yonkers is half city, half suburb, and the suburban tail wages the urban dog.