Today’s Headlines

  • What Happened to Cuomo’s Emergency MTA Shake-Up Plans? (Politico)
  • Meet the Upstate Lawmakers Who Help Decide Whether the Subway Gets Funded (NYT)
  • IBO: City Employees Alone Have Lost 17K Hours of Work to Transit Delays in 2017 (NewsNY1)
  • Try Not to Clench Your Jaw as Bill de Blasio Touts Ferries as Fix for Crowded Trains and Streets (DNA)
  • Citi Bike Considers Dockless Bikes (Post)
  • Taras Grescoe: Ease of Weaponizing Vehicles Another Argument for Car-Free Urban Spaces (NYT)
  • WNYC Spoke With de Blasio Primary Challengers Who Aren’t Sal Albanese
  • MTA Driver Fails to Secure Bus, Is Critically Injured Trying to Stop It From Rolling Away (Post, NY1)
  • Classy: Port Authority Cops Ticket Cyclist Risking His Life to Deliver Food (News)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Larry Littlefield

    The 30 day state of emergency was idiocy. If he really wanted to do something, it would be take a year and understand what is really going on.

    1) Was scheduled maintenance cut? Then why, according to MTA budget documents, were where 17,201 subway maintenance personnel in 2016 compared with 15,940 in 2006, before the recession?

    2) Have workers stopped doing the work, because managers have stopped overseeing it? Go back to 1,000 to 2,000 parts that were supposed to be replaced, on trains and ROWs, according to the schedule, and see if they were replaced.

    3) Are the new parts more likely to be defective?

    4) Are systems overaged and in need of replacement because the MTA debt has caused ongoing normal replacement to stop? Why all the problems on lines with more recently-installed signal systems, and falling MDBF on more recently-purchased trainsets?

    5) Is there less service than before the recession despite higher ridership?

    6) Was there an “early retirement incentive” that allowed everyone who knew what they were doing to retire early? There was one at the state level. How did that apply to the MTA?

    Something has happened. They aren’t saying what. Perhaps they do not know. Perhaps Cuomo and DeBlasio do not care. Perhaps there are too many guilty parties, and they are all in on Omertà together.

    “City Employees Alone Have Lost 17K Hours of Work to Transit Delays in 2017.”

    I haven’t lost any. If I’m late, I stay later until the work gets done. Probably true of most non-city employees.

  • jr195

    “Classy: Port Authority Cops Ticket Cyclist Risking His Life to Deliver Food”

    While I don’t doubt their jobs are difficult, and I empathize with them as fellow bikers, I don’t understand why this blog makes delivery cyclists out to be unsung heroes. I can’t count the number of times I’ve nearly been hit by them, and constantly see them at full speed, WITH MOTORS, blowing through crosswalks full of people, red lights, sidewalks, and narrow bike lanes, often the wrong way, and often with headphones on oblivious to their surroundings.

    If I can ride my bike like a decent human being, so can they.

  • AMH

    How is ending up in the Lincoln Tunnel not its own punishment? Someone drives onto the greenway and it’s a harmless mistake, but someone bikes through the tunnel and it’s “defiant trespassing”? WTF?

    This is the same stupidity that drives the strict bag search at the Verrazano during the Five Boro Bike Tour. As though the thousands of motor vehicles that drive across the lower level on every other day aren’t more capable of carrying contraband.

  • crazytrainmatt

    “Carl Marcellino, a Republican from Long Island, who said the subway was generally “a good way to go,” although he did not take it on his last trip to the city, after the birth of a grandchild about a month ago. He said he rode the Long Island Rail Road to Pennsylvania Station and then took a taxi to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center on the Upper East Side.”

    That’s a one-stop ride plus walking 4 blocks over and 5 up.

  • Spot on about the disparate treatement of a driver on the Greenway and this cyclist in the tunnel, and also about nonsensical bag checks on the Five Boro tour (which puts me completely off of that ride).

    But I wouldn’t necessarily call ending up in the Lincoln Tunnel its own punishment. What this shows is that bikes should be accommodated there. If the ventilation is good enough to dissipate the exhaust (which it clearly is), then there’s no good reason that bikes should not be allowed in the tunnel.

  • AnoNYC

    Up To 500,000 Cars Could Be Totaled From Hurricane Harvey Damage

    https://jalopnik.com/up-to-500-000-cars-could-be-totaled-from-hurricane-harv-1798580690

  • AMH

    If I were that cyclist I would have been pretty shaken by the experience even before the bogus summons. (Riding around Randalls Island, I nearly ended up on the Triboro Bridge highway, and when I backtracked in search of the bike path, a cop car swerved in front of me, and told me to turn around and ride the “right” direction. I opted to walk, since that was not the right direction for me.)

    I would not have guessed that ventilation would be good enough to ride in the tunnel, but there’s clearly a need for bike crossings to NJ. The Holland Tunnel is even better since it connects to local streets.

  • Joe R.

    Totally agree no good reason bikes shouldn’t be allowed in the tunnel.

  • Joe R.

    I actually did end up on a highway in early 1980s. I think it was the Cross Island but I’m not sure at this point. I recall going down a nice long hill, thinking this is fun, then all of a sudden I see a highway merge in front of me. First words out of my mouth were “f*ck me!”. Cars were right in back, so no option of hitting the brakes and turning around. I was lucky to be drafting a large van which accelerated rather slowly getting on to the highway. I was actually able to keep up. Saw at least 58 mph on the speedo, might have gone a few mph faster but I was too preoccupied keeping the bike on the road to notice. I was so relieved when the next exit came up. Once I was out from behind the van my speed dropped like I’d hit a sand pit. I vividly recall seeing a “1/2 mile to next exit” sign and covering the distance in ~30 seconds. No cops fortunately, although getting stuck on a highway was its own punishment.

  • It is can be very easy to get mixed up when in an unfamiliar location. There is the tragic case of Matthew Brenner who was killed at the entry to the Manhattan Bridge on Sands Street in Brooklyn when he mistook an entry for the BQE for the entry to the bridge’s bike lane. This was well before the current configuration was in place.

    A few weeks ago when I was riding on Francis Lewis Boulevard through Cunningham Park, I saw the entryways to the park that look just like the on ramps to the Grand Central Parkway. If I hadn’t grown up in that area, I could easily have become confused and taken the wrong entry.

    This reminds me of an incident from when I was about 15 or 16, and had not yet filled out my mental map of Queens and the rest of the City. I knew that the L.I.E. had a service road on the east side of Flushing Meadow Park, and that it had one on the west side of Flushing Meadow Park. But (and you surely see where this is going) what I didn’t know is that you couldn’t get from the east side of the park to the west side of the park purely on the service road.

    I rode westbound on the service road past College Point Boulevard, only to find myself on the L.I.E. proper. So, of course I took the first exit — which put me on the Grand Central Parkway. I had no choice but to ride on that highway until the first exit into Flushing Meadow Park. I was lucky that nothing bad happened during my impromptu bike ride on two highways — unless you count the flat tire which made me have to walk the six miles back home.

  • sbauman

    There’s a sight distance problem in a tunnel that does not exist on a bridge.

    Bikes and cars will go faster on the descent and slower on the climb. Remember those “maintain speed” signs in the tunnels. A tunnel is a descent followed by a climb. A rider or car in a tunnel will descend fast and then encounter a slow moving cyclist just beyond bottom. Unlike on a mountain descent, the sight line is cut off by the tunnel ceiling.

    A bridge works the other way around. The car or bike is climbing slowly when it crests. Any descending bike, beyond the crest, is not in the climbing cyclist’s sight line. However, the bike is going slowly and the descending bike is going fast. There’s plenty of reaction time.

    This doesn’t mean that bikes cannot go in tunnels. It means that ride organizers for special events must take special precautions. I’ve helped organize two events that went through tunnels (Bklyn-Battery and Holland).

    The precautions were to strictly enforce a minimum distance requirement between bikes on entering the tunnel and have plenty of marshals urging riders to slow down on the descent. Even with that precaution, one rider was rear ended on the climb and suffered a broken wrist.

  • Joe R.

    Same thing nearly happened to me. The only thing which stopped me was a vague feeling that something wasn’t quite right. When I got home, I looked at a map, and realized there was no continuous westbound service road.

    About five or six years ago I was riding in Whitestone. Nearly got on to the highway here:

    https://www.google.com/maps/@40.7887532,-73.7821868,3a,75y,23.03h,65.16t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1slowrZ_dQ64HNXXmUvr5-aA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    It was night, and was riding north (hence I didn’t see the sign). About halfway up the entrance ramp I realized I’d made a wrong turn.

  • AMH

    That’s what I love about Queens. It’s so human-friendly.

    I was in a similar situation years ago while riding with my dad in PA. There are lots of two-lane roads that abruptly become expressways in areas with no alternate route. In this case, construction crews were actively widening what had been a local two-lane road, and would not let us ride the shoulder even though traffic was at a standstill. Thankfully we found our way around via a private lane and adjacent RR tracks, since the nearest back-road detour would have been an extra 30 miles over a mountain, and we were 50 miles from home (and this was before everyone had a cell phone).

  • Joe R.

    I can see the point of a minimum distance but why urge riders to slow on the descent? They can use that momentum to carry them faster on the uphill portion, mitigating the issue you mentioned.

  • sbauman

    If everyone keeps the same speed on the downhill, they will be the same distance from the bike ahead when they reach bottom. Also, any crash won’t be as severe.

  • Komanoff

    Ferdinand, I think the resolution (such as it was) of Matthew Brenner’s cycling fatality in 2014 was that a *driver* got disoriented on/near Sands St and texted a friend, distracting her from the road and causing her to drive into and kill Matthew.

    Perhaps a little closer for this thread is the death in 2007 of Sam Hindy, who mistakenly cycled onto the Manhattan Bridge roadway (from Manhattan) and, IIRC, fell through a section of roadway that was being rehabbed, probably after realizing he was in peril and trying desperately to make his way out.

  • Thank you for the clarification. Evidently I was mixing up the two tragedies.

  • Good points. Thanks for adding them.

  • Andrew

    A one-stop ride on which line? The best I can think of is four stops on the Q.