Today’s Headlines

  • Jim Dwyer Traces the MTA Debt Spiral to the Bottom of the Sea (NYT)
  • Meanwhile, PANYNJ Itches to Give Cuomo’s AirTrain Boondoggle a Blank Check (AMNYNews)
  • Transit Users in Wheelchairs: A Brief History of MTA Neglect (Voice)
  • Bus Riders Talk to NY1 About Transit Signal Priority — Spoiler: They’re For It
  • Full Council Passes Ydanis’s Hit-and-Run Text Alert Bill (News)
  • Treyger and Deutsch Want Bollards for Coney Island Boardwalk (News 12)
  • News Profiles Adrian Blanc; Cops Locate Vehicle Used to Kill Him
  • That This Driver Broke the Law Just By Getting Behind the Wheel Is a Footnote to the Post
  • Count the Systemic Failures That Led to This Brooklyn Vehicular Killing (News)
  • Sunday Is World Day of Remembrance for Traffic Violence Victims; Here’s the TransAlt Schedule

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The public has shelled out 45 percent more money to use and support New York’s mass transit over the last decade in the form of higher fares, tolls, taxes and fees. What looks like a bounty, though, is an illusion. Less and less of that goes to actual transit operations.”

    “Instead, a growing share pays down loans, including some taken around the turn of the century to pay off earlier loans. Avoiding politically fraught tax or fare increases, Gov. George Pataki and state legislators in the early 2000s employed the ill-advised trick of using one credit card to pay off another.”

    OK, so let’s be honest about this. People today are screwed. Who benefitted? DIFFERENT people yesterday. People who didn’t care about those who would be around today. Are the beneficiaries going to be called out?

    Russianoff was certainly in favor of that big cut in effective fares. Pataki and Giuliani signed off on the 2000 pension increase for the TWU. I benefitted from lower taxes, except (as is the case at the federal level) I KNEW taxes weren’t being cut. They were being deferred until Generation Greed was either retired and collecting tax-free pensions of moving elsewhere, and no longer on the subway. At the expense of my future, and my children.

  • Vooch

    solution:

    take $100 million and create 200 miles of PBLs

    75% of mobility at 1/10,000th the cost

  • Larry Littlefield

    Not quite. I ride 9 miles to work. That’s about the max. I live in the “inner” neighborhood of Windsor Terrace. Those further out aren’t going to be able to ride to the job center of Manhattan.

    Electric bikes? Where are you going to store one million of them in the CBD?

    I don’t want to hear from the NY Times that what has happened is a failure. It is a success.

  • Vooch

    PBLs are 75% of the solution at 1/10,000th the cost.

    what NYers need are alternatives.

  • Hilda

    It is so disturbing to read about the hit and run at Union Square. My condolences to family and friends. What a terrible thing to have to hear; “Your son did nothing wrong,” although perhaps in some way it is easier to hear than than having to drown in red tape and fight to keep the NYPD from blaming the victim.

    Does anyone know:
    What are requirements for Zipcar to produce name of driver that rented the car?
    What is accountability of Zipcar for this type of incident?
    What are insurance terms for the family of victim under Zipcar contract, and NYS requirements?
    As the push is for more and more car share programs, what are the overall protections for victims of crashes in incidents with car share vehicles?

  • reasonableexplanation

    Regarding bollards for the boardwalk; good luck!

    Half the problems with the boardwalk come down to the cops and parks staff refusing to stop driving on it. The whole debate with the fancy wood used to make it failing prematurely was due not to weathering, but due to the fact that the police and parks staff drive over it regularly.

    Back when that debate was happening, they refused to stop driving or even to move to golf carts. It seems unlikely they’ll agree to bollards that they’ll have to move each time to get their cars on the boardwalk.

  • c2check

    »Those further out aren’t going to be able to ride to the job center of Manhattan.«
    Maybe not, but those who live closer in could bike and leave more space on the train for folks further out, while also allowing people to more easily get across the borough where subway connections are lacking. Or you could ride to/from a less-crowded or more convenient line more easily. Or ride more easily to downtown Brooklyn, where more jobs may be migrating.

    »Electric bikes? Where are you going to store one million of them in the CBD?«
    We do have a lot of space we dedicate to cheap or free on-street parking that could be rededicated to better uses…

  • Vooch

    exactly

    let‘s provide mobility alternatives that can be built in months rather than decades that cost pennies rather than billions.

    200 miles of new PBLs

  • redbike

    from the News 12 story re: the Coney Island Boardwalk: “install retractable barriers at the entry points along the boardwalk like the ones just added along the Hudson River Park bikeway”

    Hmmn … what’s currently on Manhattan’s West Side pedpath doesn’t seem very “retractable” to me.

  • Joe R.

    No reason people can’t store the bikes in their workplaces other than the stubbornness of their employers or the building owners. A bike hardly takes up any space. If you hang above your cubicle, it takes up no floor space at all.

    Or better yet, let’s have wholesale incentives for telecommuting so those whose jobs can be done at home don’t have to bother commuting at all. It always seemed like such a waste to travel just to sit at a computer all day.

  • reasonableexplanation

    “Hang a bicycle above your cubicle”

    Ok Joe, I know you’ve been working working from home for a long time, but come on dude, you know that can’t fly.

    The only way you’re going to get bike storage in a workplace is if there’s an attached garage in the building basement that they can make a deal with, or some other ground level room that can be re-purposed (expensive). Nobody will let you take bikes into an elevator in a typical office environment.

  • Joe R.

    Wheelchairs and mobility scooters take up more space than bikes, and yet they’re allowed. It’s more a cultural thing than a logistics thing. The space is there for bike storage in office buildings. Even if not if offices themselves, there are always seldom used storage rooms or conference rooms where you might keep bikes.

    I biked to one of my jobs. Since we had to travel to other locations I wasn’t there most of the day to keep an eye on it. The boss let me keep it in his office. You ask nicely, and they might accommodate you. There’s even something in it for them. If you bike to work, you’re more likely to be on time. You’ll also probably save them money of health insurance.

  • We already have a bikes-in-buildings law that requires any building with a freight elevator to allow bikes to enter, and to provide for secure bike parking. Now we need a law that requires each company to allow bikes to be brought into the company’s space.

    And no special arrangements are needed. Cubicle workers (such as myself) can keep bikes within their own cubicles. I have a cubicle in which the space that is not taken up by the desk measures 4 feet x 4 feet. If I have room for a bike in that space, then people with even bigger cubicles would have no problem.

  • Joe R.

    Exactly. Bikes take up hardly any space. I’m just not seeing that allowing them in company space is the problem many make it out to be. Bikes may cause issues on crowded elevators if allowed on regular passenger elevators. However, even there the solution is easy. The cyclist just waits for an elevator with space on it.

  • Guest

    Car share is just another name for car rental, and Zipcar is actually owned by Avis. So this is no different from any other hit-and-run involving a rental car. Presumably Zipcar/Avis must be involved in the investigation since the company is the owner of the vehicle. However, one must bear in mind that the car might not have been driven by a legitimate renter. It could have been stolen.

  • HamTech87

    Can’t the NYPD use bicycles?

  • reasonableexplanation

    Funny enough, bikes are banned on the boardwalk after 10am.

  • JarekFA

    The only way you’re going to get bike storage in a workplace is if there’s an attached garage in the building basement that they can make a deal with,

    My office garage has free bike parking for employees. They must’ve worked out a deal. But everyone in the building can use it (30 stories). I love it.

  • reasonableexplanation

    Wheelchairs and mobility scooters are something you need to get around all the time, totally different. All of us can always lock up our bikes outside.

    Maybe if you work in a casual office, bikes in cubicles are okay, but for a good chunk of us that have the business dress code, it’s not really an option, nor are our cubicles large enough to fit a bike in.

    It’s either going outside or there has to be room on the ground floor, which often times, there isn’t.

  • qrt145

    Not necessarily. My office has an area for bikes in what would otherwise be an underutilized space which is conveniently located next to the freight elevator.

    That said, this area is only good enough for half a dozen bikes. If everyone commuted by bike, we’d need a different solution.

  • AMH

    Typical NY stupidity. Bikes are dangerous, but cars are fine!

    All the more reason to bollard that baby up!

  • Joe R.

    Wait, there’s still a business dress code beyond just not wearing something casual like shorts to work? I haven’t worked outside home for a long time, but I thought offices were trending away from formal dress.

    Keeping bikes outside isn’t a good option given how easily they’re stolen or vandalized. I wouldn’t trust keeping my bike outside for 5 minutes, let along for an entire workday.

    As Ferdinand said, the solution here is to have a law. It’s funny when the law requires something how they’ll magically find a way. We heard the same naysay about wheelchairs and mobility scooters until the ADA required offices to accommodate them. Bikes are actually way easier to accommodate.

  • In an earlier response I mentioned that my cubicle’s space, apart from the desk, measures 4 feet x 4 feet. And there is room for a bike in that cubicle.

    A dress code doesn’t enter into it. I am very fortunate in that I don’t have to wear a suit. But I still change from my bike clothes into the clothes that I wear at the office. If I had to wear a suit, that would be no different.

  • kevd

    a law was passed some years ago.
    That’s why you (and I) have free bike parking in our garages.
    its very convenient.

  • reasonableexplanation

    I have never seen anything but government cars on the boardwalk. If you want to convince them to give those up, good luck.

  • kevd

    they only have to allow us of the freight.
    And if the freight shuts down at 4pm, well you’re shit out of luck after that!
    And if they provided covered bike parking elsewhere they don’t need to let you use the freight.
    which frankly, is fair enough. we can leave our lock in our lock up area in the parking garage, which the new building manager (a cyclist) recently doubled in size. What was parking for 1 car now fits 15 bikes.

  • Joe R.

    Just wondering how many places outside of law firms, or perhaps banks, are requiring suits these days, much less ties? Even for some positions where you meet clients a suit isn’t necessarily seen as a plus any more (i.e. you see a guy in suit and you think you’re being audited by the IRS).

  • It is not true that you’re out of luck when the freight elevator shuts down. In that case they have to let bicyclsts use a passenger elevator.

    In 2016 the Administrative Code was amended to fix loopholes in the original 2010 law. So AC §28-504.3 [2.2] requires buildings to establish “[p]rovisions allowing bicycles to be brought in or out of such building using one or more designated passenger elevators that the building owner may designate as temporary freight elevators at any time when no freight elevator…is operational”.

    https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/buildings/local_laws/ll107of2016.pdf

  • I think that most of the financial firms require suits, as do advertising firms. When I am using my vacation days to ride around Manhattan on hot summer days, I see plenty of suited douchebags running around.

    I am just thankful that I don’t have to wear a suit. I do not own a tie; I have a revulsion to ties. I didn’t wear a tie to my wedding. Ted Williams had it right.

  • Joe R.

    Yes, I have the same revulsion to ties myself. I can tolerate a suit for one day for special occasions but I can’t stand to wear a tie even for 5 minutes. Besides being a totally pointless piece of attire, it feels like my neck is in a sling.

    Didn’t know you were married. I was under the impression you were a perpetual bachelor like myself.

  • I am not married now. That was a mistake from long ago. The marriage lasted from 1994 to 1997; whereas the actual relationship spanned 1990 to 1995.

    I was lucky enough to get out without any permanent damage — no kids, no debt. And I am still friends with my ex-wife. Hell, we should have just stayed friends from the beginning!

    We enjoyed being together most of the time. But, despite our having the same favourite television show (The Odd Couple), and despite her agreeing to have our wedding invitations printed in English and Esperanto, we just weren’t compatible enough to be partners. It was good that we broke up when we did.

  • Joe R.

    Yes, good thing you got out of it early enough once you both realized you weren’t compatible enough to remain partners. My sister was married for 17 years before she got out of it. Had to refinance her house which would have been paid up around now had they stayed together. Also paid for most of her daughter’s college. He was actually fooling around for a while before he moved out.

    I was never in any relationship which even got close to marriage. In fact, the only time I was really in love was back in college. That was way too young to contemplate anything long-term. I wish we would have kept in touch, perhaps continued where we left off when we were both older, but that never happened. As far as I know, she never married either. I wonder what might have been thinking about it.

  • Vooch

    I keep my bike locked up at GCT for a week once. No biggie.

    You got to get a beater bike that no one wants 🙂

  • Joe R.

    Seriously, I have perennial bad luck with just about everything. I’ll bet I could lock up a beater bike in a place with a bunch of other beater bikes, and mine would end up getting stolen. Besides that, real beater bikes are unrideable for someone like me. I like all the bells and whistles. 🙂

  • kevd

    Oh, I need to forward that to friends who have been told that after the freight closes at 4:30, they’re out of luck.
    The building actually started fining them for bringing bikes down the passenger elevator.

    I do wonder if “closed for the night” qualifies as not operational under that administrative code… Any experience getting that enforced?

  • kevd

    lots of places still have dress codes, though for men slacks and button down shirts tend to suffice. i’m still glad I don’t work as such a place.
    Of course, nothing about slacks and a button down would rule out some light cycling most days.

  • kevd

    suits are almost unheard of in advertising.
    jeans and tee shirts are far more common. and there are plenty of people in jeans and tee shirts that are just as douchey as the unfortunate ones still forced to wear suits.

  • I ride my bike on Madison Avenue quite a bit; I would call that my favourite non-bike-laned avenue. And I see men in suits all up and down that avenue in Midtown.

    Of course, not everyone who works on Madison Avenue is in advertising, and not all advertising work is done on Madison Avenue. But that’s where I got my impression that suits are still prevalent in that field.

  • I don’t have any experience with fighting with a building over the bike access law, because, when the new law came in, my building revamped its policies. The freight elevator had formerly closed at 5pm; it now closes at 9pm. And in the basement they built a bike storage room that even has showers. (I don’t need to use that room for storage because I keep my bike either in my cubicle or else in the office of someone who is not in on any given day.)

    Presumably, I would be able to bring my bike on the passenger elevator on weekdays after 9pm or on weekends. But I have not had the occasion to test this.

    You’re supposed to be able to report buildings that are not in compliance with the law by contacting the DOT with this form.

  • kevd

    there’s very little advertising on Madison avenue these days.
    the NY agencies are all over manhattan south of 59th street.

  • kevd

    I’m actually quite happy with my building’s bike access. even though we can’t bring them into the building.
    we go in the parking garage, and right next to the door to the lobby from that garage there is room for at least 45 bikes – 1/2 in what was one parking spot and 1/2 in low ceilinged space under the ramp up to the second level of car parking. But, having a building manager that rides to work makes a big difference. Before he came in there was room from 25 bike and in the summer it might get very crowded.
    it really isn’t much worse than my old office where I could bring it up the automatic freight 24/7 and leave it in the back hallway of my company’s office. Working at a company founded by a cyclist and former bike mechanic made a big difference there. With a likely move coming up, I’m not excited about possibly having to be the squeaky wheel agitating for compliance with the law.

  • Joe R.

    Slacks and button down shirts are tolerable even though like you, I’d prefer to not have to wear them. I couldn’t deal with wearing a suit all day, especially in a place which chintzed on the A/C in the summer. A tie, forget it. Ties had to have had their origins in the Spanish Inquisition.

  • kevd

    the offices I’ve been in are more likely to BLAST the ac in the summer.
    so much so that many times I’d keep a sweatshirt at work (a hoodie, we casual like that) and women in the office would need even more.

  • Joe R.

    I’ve heard the same, though I never actually worked in an office to experience it first hand. On the cool side might actually be better for productivity, so long as it’s not refrigerator cold. I’ve been known to keep my bedroom or workroom at 55 to 60 at times, especially when I’m riding a lot outside in the heat. I figure I need that cold to get my core temperature down after long rides in hot, humid Queens weather.