Today’s Headlines

  • NYC Lives and Dies by the Subway (NYT)
  • Cuomo May or May Not Invoke Road Pricing in Today’s SOTS (NY1, WSJ)
  • Either Way, Marcia Kramer (CBS) and the Times Are Hot to Stoke Outrage
  • More SOTS: Cuomo Expected to Propose Red Hook Subway Line (PoliticoPost)
  • Presumptive Council Speaker Johnson Talks MTA, Road Pricing, Development (NYT, Voice, Politico)
  • Gateway: Trump Threatens to “Kill the Hostage” (NYT, Politico); PostNews: Right On
  • Every Subway Station Finally Has a Countdown Clock (News, Post)
  • More Coverage of de Blasio’s Bollard Announcement: NYT, News, Post
  • Driver Arrested for Union Square Hit-and-Run Killing of Adrian Blanc (AP)
  • Marty Golden Is Still Abusing His City Hall-Issued Parking Placard (NY1, Post)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Larry Littlefield

    A mile-long underwater tunnel to one station in an area likely to be increasingly flooded?
    Meanwhile, phase II of the SAS, which would provide some service from 125th and Lex when the Lex is shut down for repairs/fails due to deferred maintenance, is not funded.

    Hopefully Cuomo is only insulting our intelligence.

  • qrt145

    The WSJ link points to the NY1 story.

  • Brad Aaron

    Fixed. Thanks.

  • Tooscrapps

    Even if the nearest subway station was 10 miles from Glen Oaks (it’s not), there are multiple LIRR stations within 2-3 miles.

  • Maggie

    I finally read this article and it was worse than I’d imagined. Stunned that in an article focused on a single commuter, the Times reporter and editors didn’t catch a wildly misleading reference to his transit options.

  • reasonableexplanation

    I support the MoveNY plan.

    Gut feeling; whatever we end up with through Cuomo won’t have the toll swap portions of moveNY, and won’t have off peak pricing. A plan that has neither of those I’d steadfastly oppose.

  • Tooscrapps

    The best nugget is saved for last:
    “He said there were other ways to reduce congestion in Manhattan besides tacking on a new fee, such as by, say, eliminating bike lanes on major thoroughfares that are lightly used in cold months but contribute to year-round gridlock or by reducing fares on the Long Island Rail Road, which runs through Queens (AND RIGHT BY GLEN OAKS), to the same areas as the subways.”

  • qrt145

    The fact-checking department is too busy working on Trump’s Twitter feed…

  • JarekFA

    He’s right about the LIRR. As a city resident, he’s paying more into the LIRR than he’s getting in return that’s for sure.

  • Larry Littlefield

    And the proceeds will be spent elsewhere, because “money is fungible.”

  • Tooscrapps

    Yah, pretty typical of city stations for commuter rail. Doesn’t seem like he’d use it anyway.

    Also, he says he drives 3 times a week. I wonder what he does the other days.

  • HamTech87

    In an article about airport construction in Salt Lake and around the country, a NYT reporter ignorantly parrots the Cuomo line by saying the new Airtrain will “connect the airport more efficiently to public transit”.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/02/business/salt-lake-city-airport-renovation.html?_r=0

  • reasonableexplanation

    Probably works from home

  • HamTech87

    I just google mapped it. Seems about an 50-1:05 from Glen Oaks into Penn Station. Driving about the same in rush hour traffic.

  • ahwr

    He’s probably walking distance from at least one express bus too.

  • HamTech87

    I would have liked to see the N train extended to LGA, providing service to neighborhoods on the way. And unlike Red Hook, they didn’t flood in Sandy. But that said, I’d settle on just putting the money into basic upkeep and repair.
    http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2012/1120-sandy/survey-of-the-flooding-in-new-york-after-the-hurricane.html

  • Vooch

    PBLs are going to be the cheapest and quicklest solution to the subway crisis. We could double the current network of PBls for $50 million in 24 months.

    It’s only a partial solution for sure, but doubling the PBL network would provide alternatives for millions of NYrs. As one streetsblogger wisely said:

    “ My bike left on time this morning “

  • Larry Littlefield

    So did mine. I don’t expect to use it Thursday/Friday, however. Not easy to work off those holiday pounds this year.

  • ahwr

    If you have 40k people an hour moving in the subway under the road, bike lanes on top aren’t a real solution to the subway falling apart. Do rush hour (peak 60 minute during commute times) two way counts on the Hudson Greenway even regularly break 2k? A large scale rollout of bike lanes can do more to replace subway lines shut for repair in the outer boros, but even then it’s only a modest part of any comprehensive solution. An option for “millions of NYers” overstates the potential utility, you have to keep a realistic view of just how few people are likely to switch from subway to bike, even with good bike infrastructure.

  • Vooch

    It’s a partial
    solution for sure, but given the full solution is billions plus a decade in the future, spending $50 mill to double our PBL network in 24 months seems worth it.

    BTW – latent demand for commuter cycling is simply off the charts.

  • Joe R.

    The potential solution for millions of NYers is non-stop trunk bike routes which are roofed over for all-weather protection, coupled with legalizing e-bikes capable of up to 30 mph (i.e. treating them the same as regular bikes).

    Granted, this will cost far more than PBLs but still far less than major subway expansion. And it addresses three issues preventing more widespread bike use—inclement weather, physical inability of some people to pedal very far, and lack of speed. Non-stop bike routes with 30 mph e-bikes will be faster, cheaper, and more convenient than any other option out there.

  • AnoNYC

    The closest subway station to Bob Friedrich’s home in eastern Queens is 10 miles away, so he drives to work in Manhattan at least three times a week.

    Geographically impossible.The farthest point in Queens from a subway station is like 4 miles, and is the rarest circumstance in this city. There are also other options, LIRR, buses (local to subway station or express to Manhattan), and biking (to subway or Manhattan).

  • Joe R.

    See my post above. PBLs are more of a “last mile” solution but the real answer is non-stop trunk bike routes and widespread use of e-bikes. Of course, those in charge only want transportation solutions which do one or more of the following:

    1) Provide ongoing income streams to government in the form of fees, taxes, or fines.

    2) Provide large numbers of ongoing jobs to union members.

    3) Provide large numbers of jobs to contractors on a continual basis.

    4) Require ongoing purchases from politically-connected private corporations.

    Obviously bikes or e-bikes, and their associated infrastructure, at best provides a temporary, fairly small number of construction jobs, and a relatively small of taxes, mostly when users purchase the bikes for the first time. There is no ongoing revenue stream, nor all that many jobs once the infrastructure is built. Hence, there is no political interest in such solutions. I think a lot of the anti e-bike rhetoric is out of fear that people will realize this is a viable transportation option which can largely replace both private cars and much public transit.

  • Joe R.

    Amen to that. I’d say by quickly looking at a map the furthest anyone is from a subway in Queens is 5 or 6 miles. That’s if you’re right on the Queens-Nassau County border. Most of Queens is within three miles or less of a subway.

  • AnoNYC

    I just checked myself on a map because I thought it’s impossible. The farthest you could be from a subway station in Queens would be along the border in Bayside, and even then it’s still a max of 4.5 miles to the Main St station in Flushing. Or Rosedale, which is about the same from Jamaica.

    10 miles is about the distance between JFK and Laguardia Airports.

  • Joe R.

    So it’s even less than I thought. More importantly, all the areas furthest from subways are mostly detached, single family homes. Hence they represent a very small fraction of the population.

  • AnoNYC

    Exactly. The overwhelming vast majority of New Yorkers, visitors, and businesses are located within one mile of a subway station.

  • AnoNYC

    The Queens-Nassau city limit is 5 miles from the nearest subway station in Glen Oaks. It’s the farthest neighborhood in Queens from a subway station, but half as far as quoted in the times (in fact, the neighborhood itself is less than 5 miles from the 179 St station in Jamaica). It’s also an ultra rare circumstance. Most people who live in Glen Oaks work in Queens, and of those who travel into the Manhattan CBD, the majority use mass transportation.

  • Joe R.

    Or a local bus which stops at a subway station.

  • Ken Dodd

    re: “Every Subway Station Finally Has a Countdown Clock” – the Post has a follow up story in which they talk about how inaccurate and badly placed some of the clocks are:
    https://nypost.com/2018/01/03/the-mtas-new-arrival-clocks-dont-really-work/
    The part about them placing clocks right behind exit signs where nobody can see them is a classic example of the kind of general MTA incompetence which we can pretty much assume infests the company from root to branch and no doubt results in hundreds of millions of dollars of waste every year. Which is why my blood boils every time I hear they’re thinking about a fare increase.

  • AnoNYC

    The vast majority of residents, visitors, and businesses are located within one mile of a subway station citywide.

    “Before he retired last year as a hospital administrator in the Bronx, Mr. Forrestal used to drive to work because the alternative was a long commute involving a bus, three subways and lots of walking. “The subway system is really not accessible to everybody,” he said.”

    Super rare circumstance.

    “Mr. Friedrich, who serves as president of his co-op, Glen Oaks Village, which has about 10,000 residents, said there was growing worry about a congestion fee, especially among older people on fixed incomes and young families just starting out. “It’s real money for me, and certainly real money that can make or break someone not as fortunate,” he said.

    He said there were other ways to reduce congestion in Manhattan besides tacking on a new fee, such as by, say, eliminating bike lanes on major thoroughfares that are lightly used in cold months but contribute to year-round gridlock or by reducing fares on the Long Island Rail Road, which runs through Queens, to the same areas as the subways.

    “People are struggling and this adds to the stress,” he said. “We don’t have a choice. We need to take the bridges.””

    Choices:
    -Bus to train
    -Bike to train
    -Express bus
    -Bike whole trip
    -Bike/Bus to LIRR (Maybe best choice from Glen Oaks).
    -Drive and pay toll
    -Move closer to work
    -Find new job closer to home

  • AnoNYC

    My top subway expansions:

    -Triboro RX (My #1)
    -N to LGA with stops at Steinway and Haven.
    -SAS to E 149th St/Third Ave with stops in East Harlem and East 138th St in Mott Haven (eventual expansion to replace Third Ave el).<-Tons of development potential, can build large (10+ story) buildings along corridor on underused lots as of current zoning unlike south Brooklyn extension proposals.

  • I know that I should just leave this alone. But the mere suggestion of a roof is so offensive that I have to say: get the f out of here with that!

    Even though no one is ever going to build such a thing (thankfully!), to know that even one cyclist would seriously propose It is a bit disturbing. Missing a handful of days a yeat due to rain or snow is a small price to pay for being able to see the actual sky!

    This roof idea, and the related (and even more demented) idea of elevated bikeways that are entirely apart from the street, reveal a tragi-comically thorough misunderstanding of the actual interests of bicyclists.

    OK, I feel better now. Back to reality.

  • kevd

    even “properly” placed there are one per platform and a decent walk down the platform to find.
    luck for me, they were smart enough to put on outside the turnstiles at my station, but I’ve found that is pretty rare.

  • qrt145

    What are the actual interests of bicyclists? While some may want to look at the sky or the street life, I suspect most just want to get somewhere.

  • Joe R.

    Exactly. If cost were no object, and it didn’t conflict with existing underground infrastructure, I’d be even happier with a system of bike tunnels instead of a roofed, elevated bikeway. Sure, I couldn’t see the sky, but I could get where I’m going faster and more safely. More importantly, a tunnel would not only protect me from rain and snow, but also from temperature extremes.

    If I’m interested in seeing the sky, or street life, nothing is stopping me from riding in the street even if a system of bike tunnels or viaducts existed.

    Subway riders don’t see the sky but I hear few complaining as most just want to get from point A to point B. Same with the majority of cyclists.

  • Joe R.

    I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the whole concept. All the things I propose are merely a supplement to the existing on-street bike network, not a replacement. They’re roughly analogous to car highways in that they provide non-stop travel for most of the trip, with the remainder done on local streets. Nothing is preventing any cyclist who prefers local streets from using them for the entire trip if that floats their boat. That said, I don’t really see how sharing crowded streets with motor vehicles and pedestrians adds anything positive to the cycling experience, except for the occasional pretty girl. Then again, I’m sure I’d see lots of pretty girls on bikes on my proposed bike viaducts anyhow.

    A retractable roof solves the sky issue you mentioned, albeit at greater cost and complexity.

  • AMH

    Exactly, he’s probably 2 miles from a LIRR station. Really sloppy reporting.

  • Cycling is not just about the utility of getting somewhere. It is just as much about maintaining physical fitness. What’s more, it is about the immersion in the environment of the place where you’re riding.

    More than any other mode of transport, bicycling fosters a sense of place. The cyclist has a uniquely privileged point of view, with the ability to drink in surroundings in a way that is not possible for the driver (who is moving too fast) or the pedestrian (who is moving too slow). 

    A bicyclist, moving at about the speed of a horse, sees the world in a way that would be recognisable to humans of any period since the horse’s domestication more than 5000 years ago. It is a vantage point that our species is evolved to find comprehensible and pleasant.

    Bicycling certainly is a means of getting from place to place, as I and all other bike commuters can confirm. But it is also a means of connecting with the Earth — and, indeed, with the rest of the universe, as one feels on a downhill that one is sailing on the universal forces.

    The place to have this experience is on the street, where we naturally belong.

  • We sure should have bike highways. They should be adjacent to the auto highways, such as on sections of the Belt Parkway, the Cross Island Parkway, and the Wantagh Parkway. Such long-distance bike lanes could be placed next to every highway at very little cost.

    But please understand that talk of constructing  a network of elevated structures just for bikes is madness. The awful visual pollution that such monstrosities would cause on the landscape cannot be explained away.

    The way to make bicycling in a city better is to engineer the streets with appropriate space given to bikes. And, owing to the fact that bike infrastructure doubles as traffic calming, such infrastructure serves the interest of pedestrians as well. Also, by reducing the frequency and severity of car crashes, thereby saving lives and minimising repair costs, on-street bike infrastructure benefits drivers.

    So please drop the talk of absurd dystopian networks of grade-separated flyovers, and concentrate on real-world measures that are in the interest not only of all bicyclists but of every single city-dweller.

  • AMH

    The QM5, QM6 and QM8.