Today’s Headlines

  • If Past Is Prologue, Cuomo Is All Talk on Road Pricing (Politico, Gothamist, News)
  • Commuter Vans Won’t Save L Train Riders (Gothamist)
  • Citi Bike Surpassed 50 Million Trips This Week (NewsPatch, KCP)
  • De Blasio’s NYPD Hates New Yorkers Who Bike, and the Mayor Is OK With That (Voice)
  • 10th Precinct, Where Bus Drivers Killed 2 Cyclists, Is Ticketing Cyclists for Speeding (Chelsea Now)
  • AMNY Talks to Experts, and Malliotakis, About de Blasio’s Transportation Record
  • Companies That Rushed to Build de Blasio’s Ferries Blame NYC for Financial Troubles (NYT)
  • Straphangers Need More Trains, Not Fewer Seats (News)
  • Think Any of These Drivers Was Speeding? (Rag, Advance)
  • Motorist Puts TEA in the Hospital After Getting a Ticket (DNA)
  • Does Dan Doctoroff Regret Flooding NYC Neighborhoods With Parking? (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Larry Littlefield

    Flooding NYC neighborhoods with parking? Perhaps more perspective is needed.

    Recall this debate over city-mandated parking. I pointed out that savvy developers could easily get around such requirements, and the Hasidm always did. The developers wanted the parking.

    Then some time after the market changed, the developers caught on, and they didn’t want the parking. Doctoroff, perhaps, caught on later. Perhaps that Yankee Stadium Parking garage convinced them.

    Now the only people behind the curve are the politicians and community boards.
    But add it up. How many people has NYC added? How many jobs has NYC added? How many housing units has NYC added?

    Net, how many parking spaces has NYC added? And how does that compare with anyplace else in the U.S.

    I think we’re doing OK. We’re a heck of a lot closer to getting Generation Greed thinking out of government at the city level than at the state and federal level, though we’ll still be stuck with the debts, diminished economy, and degraded infrastructure they will leave behind.

    And we’re going to need off street spaces. For shared vehicles, rented vehicles, service vehicles and, of course, bicycles.

  • sbauman

    Removing seats to cram more people into subway cars will make a bad situation worse. The goal is to transport more people per hour. This is the product of three factors:

    people/car x car/train x train/hour = people/hour.

    The problem with the more people per car strategy is that it decreases another factor: trains per hour. The net result will be excessive station dwell times, slower and less reliable service.

    More people in each subway car means more people will be getting on and off each car door. More people passing through each car door means it will take longer for the train to unload and load at each station.

    Loading time would be proportional to the number crossing the car door threshold, if the passenger flow were unencumbered. This is only true, when cars and stations are uncrowded. This isn’t the situation that this strategy is supposed to address. If the platform and cars are crowded, then there is conflict between exiting and entering passengers. Loading time increases at higher than a linear rate. This means that dwell time, will increase at a greater rate than the increase in passengers per car. The final result will be fewer passengers per hour, not more.

    The choice of removing seats on the R46 is especially ill advised. The 75 foot cars have notoriously long dwell times. This is because their designers increased car size while keeping the same number and width of car doors. The 60-foot cars (R42) have 4 doors per side with a total door width of 16′ 8″. The total door width for the R46 cars is also 16’8″. However, the R46 cars hold 25% more passengers due to their extra length. The seat removal retrofit will further reduce the R46’s ability to provide reliable service for crowded service.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The problem with the more people per car strategy is that it decreases another factor: trains per hour.”

    Packing more people into the subway might help pay for more trains per hour on the LIRR, despite featherbedding. So there is that.

    “The choice of removing seats on the R46 is especially ill advised. The 75 foot cars have notoriously long dwell times.”

    I’m more interested if the trainsets that replace them will have the exact same door positions as the R143s and up, despite also having open gangways. Andrew says ABSOLUTELY. We’ll see.

  • Reader

    This far out from the L Train closure, it’s amazing to see that De Blasio and Trottenberg are just throwing up their hands and are going to let the whole idea of a meaningful traffic management plan collapse. It’s going to be a god-awful mess. The block associations on 14th street who are opposing bolder action deserve whatever kind of honking and chaos they get. It’s just too bad that so many other people will have to suffer.

  • Vooch

    Question from a few days ago – how many subway riders/trips commute manhattan to manhattan ?

  • AMH

    They should be looking at ways to reduce dwell, like opening doors a fraction of a second before the train stops (instead of 4-5 seconds after it stops) and closing all doors simultaneously (instead of shutting everyone out of the rear half for the 30 seconds it takes to get the front closed). Saving 5-10 seconds at every stop would add up fast.

  • AMH

    Ticketing cyclists for speeding? Now I’ve heard it all. I don’t think I’ve EVER seen a cyclist exceeding 20mph, let alone 30mph (the presumed threshold for ticketing a motorist) so I’m assuming that this is yet another made-up violation like riding outside the bike lane or biking while female.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Could be electric bikes.

  • Simon Phearson

    I ride in excess of 20 mph with some regularity, but certainly never in a Manhattan PBL or Chelsea.

  • redbike

    Considering the speed at which I ride, if I got a speeding ticket on a bike, I’d frame it and display it with pride.

  • Joe R.

    I usually get up to at least 30 mph at some point in every ride on downgrades, although it’s only for short periods. And like Simon, I ride in excess of 20 mph pretty regularly on level roads. When I have tailwinds I’ve ridden much faster, like the time I was holding 60+ kph (37 mph) for many blocks on Union Turnpike going east one winter. It was fun keeping up with motor traffic.

    Back in college I was pulled over (but not given a ticket) for speeding in a 25 mph school zone by a NJ cop. Most of the road was posted for 45 or 50 and apparently the 25 mph school zone was likely used as a ticket trap for motorists as there were no signs indicating the lower speed limit. Anyway, this was on a long downgrade. The cop said he had me on the radar at 45 mph. It was probably under reading me as I recall the speedo hovering closer to 50. He let me off with a warning and also said the guys at the station aren’t going to believe this.

    My fastest speed on a bike, ever, was also in NJ. I hit 65 mph down a long, steep hill with a tail wind. First and last time I ever go that speed on a bike. It scared the crap out of me. It felt like an Indycar at 200 mph.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Unless I’m somewhere without either pedestrians or motor vehicles — which basically is the Manhattan Bridge bike path when there are no pedestrians on it — I don’t ride at a speed faster than I’m prepared to hit the pavement.

  • kevd

    “815 summonses this year to speeding and other unlawful bicyclists”
    I doubt many of those 815 were for speeding.

  • djx

    It’s easy to ride a bike over 20mph downhill. Many people can do it

    More athletic cyclists can cruise over 20mph on flat roads no problem. I’ve gone almost 40mph on flat roads with tailwinds/drafting, and over 50mph down hills. I think I did 100 miles in about five hours of pedaling time with a big tailwind in Kansas when I was younger. And I’ve done 100 miles in less than four hours in big groups (racing).

  • Larry Littlefield

    Skip stop reduces dwell time, but unless there is enough service, you lose more in waiting than you gain in speed.

  • Joe R.

    I haven’t hit the pavement since 1996. Prior to that, 100% of my falls have been either due to potholes or dooring. I’ve since learned to avoid both.

    I don’t recall getting any injury worse than road rash in any of my falls, including the time I hit a pothole at 37 mph. In fact, the pros crash at speeds like that all the time but it’s rare to see anything beyond minor injury.

  • Joe R.

    You’re a kindred spirit! I occasionally draft large vehicles to keep up with traffic, sometimes at speeds exceeding 50 mph. Tailwinds which let you go 35 or 40 on level roads are awesome. It feels like the bike has a motor.

    I did 10 miles in 25 minutes once solo. That was in NJ. Hard to average 20+ mph in NYC given the potholes and all the traffic control devices but I can average 16 to 17 mph when I have a good ride. A few years back when I was riding more I was doing 40 miles in 2.5 hours pretty consistently.

  • kevd

    the force with which you impact the pavement is the same, whether you’re going 5mph or 25mph. Actually the centripetal force of the faster spinning wheels would slow a sideways fall (if you remain attached to the bike)

    Now, the time it takes you to slow to a stop while skidding across that pavement will be very different.

  • Joe R.

    Exactly. In general road rash is worse from falls at higher speeds, but any impact injuries from the fall itself tend to be the same regardless of speed.

  • JarekFA

    In English please?

  • JarekFA

    I haven’t hit the pavement since Wed.

    Though I can’t remember the last time before that. I got lifted by an Acura in the bike lane
    on Lafayette in around 2011. Though I didn’t hit the ground. I also had my foot slip off the pedal while standing and pedaling on Park Ave in around 2010 and landed with my junk on the top tube. Still hurts thinking about that one . . . I was able to maneuver to the side without much fan fare.

  • They aren’t ticketing cyclists for speeding. My guess is that the word “speeding” is cop/NIMBY for things they perceive as reckless.

  • Joe R.

    Ouch! You sound just like me when I go down. My preferred choice of words is “f*ck me”.

  • sbauman

    They should be looking at ways to reduce dwell, like opening doors a fraction of a second before the train stops (instead of 4-5 seconds after it stops)

    The reason for the 4-5 second delay after the train stops is due to the conductors’ “high” level skill setl. They cannot be trusted to open the doors on the correct side of the train and cannot be fired for opening them up on the wrong side. NYCT came up with a set of procedures to overcome this situation. It added several seconds to station dwell time with the subway rider being the loser.

    Opening the doors a couple of seconds before the train comes to a complete stop is dangerous. People leaning against the door would be thrown out of a moving train. The Paris Spragues had a variation on this. However, passengers opened the doors manually.

    closing all doors simultaneously (instead of shutting everyone out of the rear half for the 30 seconds it takes to get the front closed).

    The reason doors close in sections is that the conductor must make sure that all doors are clear before closing them. He can look in only one direction at a time. Otherwise, doors would close on customers.

    The strategy to minimize door closing time would be to close each door individually, when no more passengers are crossing the door threshold and not reopen it. This way each door would close in the minimum amount of time. Here are two ways to accomplish this: have a conductor at every door (not been done for 60 years) or permit passengers to keep doors open while crossing the door threshold. The New Technology Trains have this last feature. It isn’t used.

    Pulling seats away from doorways would also improve entrance/exit circulation (I believe the new articulated design does this).

    That’s not a good strategy. All it would to is encourage standees to wait at the door and interfere with passengers entering/exiting the cars. The BMT had a better idea: their cars were designed to discourage standees from congregating around the doors.

  • BubbaJoe123

    It’s often the case that one set of doors is stuck open because someone’s in the door. Never been clear why, when the conductor reopens that door so the stuck person/item can get clear, all the OTHER doors reopen too. Should be set up with three buttons: “open all doors,” “close all doors,” and “open doors that aren’t already closed.”

  • AMH

    Opening the doors a couple of seconds before the train comes to a complete stop is dangerous.

    Not a couple of seconds before, a fraction of a second before. By the time the door actually opens, the train is stopped. This is standard practice in many places (London, Paris, etc.) without causing injury.

    Another way to improve board/alight circulation is by separating the door panels or placing a railing in the middle, ensuring that they are used two abreast.

  • Vooch

    in civilized countries the passengers open the doors – faster

    saves on heating & cooling too

  • kevd

    Something falling from 3 feet hits the ground with the same force, regardless of its velocity parallel to the pavement.

    better or no?

  • Andrew

    All post-1999 cars have that third button. (Some conductors use it; others don’t.) Older cars don’t have it.

  • Andrew

    In principle, I agree with you – except that I don’t see how removing seats will significantly increase the number of people that will realistically fit into a car.

  • sbauman

    The MTA’s brain trust believes they can fit 25 more passengers per car.

    That’s an increase of 20% increase over the 145 passengers per car for the R143 service guidelines. It’s not viable because of the extra dwell time that comes with the increased passenger load per car.

    There’s another problem that comes with increasing the standee to sitting passenger ratio within a car. Another factor in determining how fast exiting passengers can get to a door is the number of standees in their way. Seated passengers don’t interfere with exiting passengers. Standing passengers do. The same effect holds for entering passengers. Nothing moves an entering passenger away from the doorway more quickly than the sight of an empty seat.

    Car designers knew this 80 and 100 years ago. The original 1932 IND cars sat 56 passengers, had a service guideline of 145 passengers and had the same dimensions as the R143 cars on the L. The 67 foot long 1914 steel cars on the BMT sat 75 passengers. When these cars were finally replaced by the R32’s in the middle 1960’s, seating capacity decreased 33%. This is one reason the TA was able to handle 30 tph and the MTA cannot. It’s called progress.

  • Andrew

    Come on, isn’t it obvious when something comes from the “MTA’s brain trust” and when it comes from Cuomo? The two rarely coincide.