Today’s Headlines

  • Box Truck Driver Kills Cyclist Yan Jindee on Broadway at Walker — No Charges (News, @RightofWayNYC)
  • MTA Tried to Blame Thursday Subway Delays on Riders … (NYT, Post, NY1News, Gothamist)
  • … Then Lhota Blamed New Yorkers for Not Paying Enough Into the System (News)
  • Daily News Editorial on Yesterday’s Subway Meltdown Is Suitable for Framing
  • MTA Says Cuomo’s Pretty Bridge and Tunnel Towers Are for Security (News, WNYC)
  • Renovation Work Will Shut Two Astoria N/W Stations for Eight Months (DNA)
  • Easy “Climate Week” Win for de Blasio: Direct DOT to Speed Up Buses (NYT, Politico)
  • Malliotakis Draws Attention to DDC Dysfunction (Post)
  • Livery Driver Critically Injures Cyclist in East Flatbush; NYPD Blames Victim (DNA)
  • NYPD Still Looking for SI Driver Who Broke Child’s Leg and Fled the Scene (Advance)
  • Eight Years of Chris Christie Has Broken the Spirit of New Jersey Voters (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • sbauman

    Availability is the key to any shared asset, be it Citibike or Car2Go. It’s much easier to achieve availability through rebalancing a bike than a car.

    There are destinations at the Eastern Queens subway terminals like colleges but the number of daily bike share uses will be closer to 2 than 5. The potential demand is huge because most of the bus-to-subway commuters live within 2.5 miles of the subway station. Figure on the order of 10,000 such individuals for the 3 main terminals: Main St-Flushing (7); Jamaica Center (E) and 179th St (F).

    Each self-service parked bike takes up about 12 sq. ft. What’s the cost of 120,000 sq. ft. near the subway station for parking individual, 10,000 personal bikes? Condo costs near the Flushing station are going for $1000/sq ft for purchase and $3/sq ft for monthly maintenance. That comes to $120 million for purchase and $360,000 monthly maintenance for the 10,000 bikes. Nobody will build anything there, if the return won’t match this return.

    At this point, bike share with the expense of moving bikes to/from a warehouse that’s just beyond walking distance, looks like a bargain. The idea of re-circulating bikes between subway and home locations is really a pipe dream. Shuttle the bikes between warehouse and subway station and eat the 2 uses per day.

  • crazytrainmatt

    Not sure I understand how opening a second co-equal HQ is worth the hassle but it doesn’t seem they are bluffing. The Bay Area is probably the only place with a deeper pool of top-end tech expertise, but that region is even higher cost. While Amazon is starting to dominate the Seattle commercial property market, the region itself has a much broader engineering employment and property base (Microsoft, Boeing, UW, and the surrounding ecosystem of smaller tech and aerospace).

    But the difference between Amazon and the other tech companies is that in addition to the engineering sides which can tolerate high cost areas for access to top performers, Amazon also runs a massive low-margin logistics business. So I suppose they could derive advantages from some of the large mid-country cities where you can locate white collar staff in a lower-cost city and the warehouses out in the surrounding burbs. I believe they’ve explicitly said public transit is a consideration.

  • Elizabeth F

    Joe, I think your analysis is correct, the cyclist ran a “very late” yellow / red light. I still cannot condone any red-light running beyond the Idaho stop.

    Notice a cyclist in the video on the same street as the cab, but going the opposite direction. The idiot on a bike also imperiled his life.

  • Joe R.

    I do Idaho “yields”, which are basically similar to Idaho stops, except I reduce my speed as much as necessary so I can stop within the lines of sight. Moving towards the middle of the intersection, if possible, also increases lines of sight (at least the cyclist got that part right). Obviously the cyclist was going too fast to stop, and frankly when I see a lot of traffic ready to go on the cross street I’m going to be a lot more conservative than usual. People do jump lights sometimes. Most of what I do is at times like 1AM when there’s just about zero traffic. I’d be operating a lot differently in the situation here.

    That said, we still need a lot more bike routes free of traffic signals. Even if all cyclists were totally law-abiding, these traffic-signal free routes would make bike travel much more pleasant and efficient.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Not sure I understand how opening a second co-equal HQ is worth the hassle.”

    There have been calls to break up

    With a second headquarters, Bezos could create a second competing company, also with him as a major shareholder. The two together could become bigger than one could be.

  • Larry Littlefield

    That might become an option as I get older. But I’d have to lift it up and down a set of stairs to get it out of my house.

  • Vooch

    amazon has 8 million sqft of office space in seattle

    the entire seattle office market is 80 million sqft

  • E-bikes do nothing to increase the mode share of bicycles because e-bikes are not bicycles; they are motorcycles. A bicycle is powered 100% by human muscle power.

    Ride an e-bike if you like; but don’t claim that it is a bicycle. More important, stay the hell out of bicycle lanes on streets and bridges. E-bikes belong in regular traffic lanes alongside csrs, just as do gas-powered scooters (which, like e-bikes, also top out at 20 miles per hour).

  • Vooch

    it’s a little 1 million sqft building to start then might grow to 10 million sqft over 20 years.

    1 million sqft is one sixth ave 1960s tower.

    it ain’t a big deal

  • Vooch

    wrong my dear friend

  • Elizabeth F

    There’s no glory in increasing the mode share of bicycles per se, so I’m not going to get into semantics there. There IS glory in using street space and energy more efficiently than automobiles, both of which e-bikes do in spades. E-bikes — and yes, also electric scooters that can go up to 35mph — have great potential as the basis for sustainable mass transport.

    If you ever see me riding my e-bike in bike lanes on streets and bridges, I will kindly request that you keep your mouth shut and stay the hell out of my face. I think Vooch said it well, I’m not going to rehash why you’re so wrong. But maybe the obvious… that following your advice would be both dangerous and, in some cases, illegal.

  • What’s dangerous is the presence of motorised vehicles on bike paths.

    You’re right that e-bikes use street space efficiently. The same goes for gas-powered scooters. Both of these types of vehicles are far preferable to cars.

    But that doesn’t make them bicycles. Therefore, they have no legitimate place on infrastructure meant for bicycles.

    When I see anyone endangering me and other cyclists by inappropriately using a motorised vehicle in bicycle space, you can be sure that I will admonish that person as loudly as I can to get onto the road, where such a vehicle belomgs.

  • Vooch

    Trans Alt has a new video supporting their #MoveMidtown Campaign

  • crazytrainmatt

    It looks Seattle CBD Class A space is about half that 80M figure, so Amazon is ~20% of that. The suburban space only indirectly contributes to the city tax base.

    People remember when Washington Mutual went bust or the Boeing recession in the 70s and start to worry when the city relies so much on a single tenant.

  • Vooch

    good data – thanks

    guessing that another screen will be a office market of >40 million sqft

  • AnoNYC

    They are getting lighter and lighter.

  • Elizabeth F

    It’s people like you who make commuting so miserable in NYC. Save your vigilante justice for the Wild West. Class 1 e-bikes aren’t even illegal.

    By using the term “motorised vehicle” for a 60-lb 1/3HP 2-wheeled vehicle as well as a 3000lb 300HP SUV, you are abusing the language to create a false equivalence between the two.

  • Commuting by bike in New York is most definitely not miserable. This activity has exploded over the past decade because it’s generally very pleasant, especially in the summer.

    The people who make bicycling in the City worse than it needs to be are mainly drivers. An automobile operated illegally (which is the norm here) is as deadly as any firearm. But even the few drivers who drive in a legal manner represent a significant threat to bicyclists’ well-being, because the existing laws give cars too much space and allow them to go far too fast in the streets.

    Another major group which degrades the quality of life of New York’s bicyclists (whether commuters or recreationalists or both) are the bicyclists who break the law. These people put other bicyclists in danger — I myself have on two separate occasions been hit and knocked off my bike by bicyclists who were blowing a red light or were riding in the wrong direction. What’s more, these rogue bicyclists compound the harm that they do by causing anger and resentment in witnesses to their antics, thereby turning an already hostile general public further against us. This complicates the act of advocating for improvements to and expansion of our bike infrastructure.

    Also contributing to bicyclists’ problems are those who abuse our bike infrastructure. This group includes people who walk or skateboard in bike lanes and bike paths, as well as people who ride motorised vehicles in bicycle spaces. (Please note that this represents an entirely correct use of language. If a vehicle has a motor, then it is a motorised vehicle. No amount of sophistry can negate this plain fact.)

    The only hope for the remarkable growth of bicycling in our City to continue is for bicyclists to demonstrate to the rest of society (who are, after all, the ones who will determine the future of our bike infrastructure) that we can properly use the infrastructure that we have. Contentious bicyclists thus have the responsibility to set a good example with their safe and legal bicycling behaviour, while at the same time tirelessly denouncing and calling out the various bad actors such as drivers, law-breaking cyclists, and bike-lane abusers.

  • Flakker

    Incorrect. This survey only concerned the actual city, not the metro area. It’s there on the first page.

  • Elizabeth F

    OK, I’m looking at the report, p.3 (of 37):

    The ‘% of bike commuters’ number is the proportion of people WORKING in NYC who commuted there by bicycle. People working in NYC INCLUDES many coming from an hour away or more by NJ Transit bus/train, Metro-North, LIRR and other means, almost none of whom are able to bike to work. But they still count as “commuters,” and therefore dilute the overall ‘% of bike commuters’ number. It also includes people coming from the outer reaches of the subway system, where for most people an e-bike would be the only reasonable bike-to-work option.

    If you looked at ‘% of bike commuters who both live and work in NYC’, you’d see higher numbers. If you looked at ‘% of bike commuters who both live and work in Manhattan,’ the numbers would be even higher.

    As I said before… a smaller urban core draws from a smaller region of people living around it, increases the overall commuter bike share. That’s why places like New Orleans, Albaquerque, Chicago and Tuscon all have higher bicycle mode share than NYC, even though they’ve done little or nothing to encourage cycling.

  • Elizabeth F

    Commuting by bicycle can be quite pleasant — until some ignorant jerk starts mouthing off at you. Not because there’s actually anything dangerous or illegal going on, but because he doesn’t personally approve of your vehicle of choice. The is not so different from ignorant jerks in SUV’s telling you to “get on the bike path” when there is none, or it’s blocked, or etc.

  • Flakker

    whoops I was wrong and you were right on the facts of the report, though I still don’t necessarily agree with your interpretation. Basically you’re saying commuters travel farther (and yes NJ is practically inaccessible by bike from Manhattan so there is that) but the facts don’t seem to back you up on that: