Today’s Headlines

  • Big News: De Blasio to Announce Central Park Car Ban Today (News, NY1Post)
  • Electeds Suddenly Fed Up With Out of Whack Bridge Tolls (NYT)
  • DOT Releases 2018 Bike Map/”Official Free Parking Guide” (Bike Snob/TransAlt)
  • TransAlt Leads Rally for Improvements to Boston Road (Bx Times)
  • A Police Chase in Staten Island Last Week Could Have Easily Killed Several Bystanders (Advance)
  • What NYPD Does When Not Investigating Traffic Injuries and Deaths (Advance 1, 2)
  • NYPD Highway Vet Who Killed 2 Stole From Department to Trick Out Personal Car (NewsPost)
  • Court Says Trump Can’t Withhold Public Safety Grants From Sanctuary Cities (AP)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • reasonableexplanation

    Reading through the NYT article on the Verazzano bridge toll: usually I kind of scoff at the sentiment of “without car drivers people won’t frequent our businesses!” But actually, in this case, for me and my circle of friends, it’s true:

    There are a ton of great bakeries and restaurants in Staten Island, and as a south Brooklyn resident, I’d love to go more often, but I don’t, chiefly because with the toll, might as well go to a more expensive place in Brooklyn/Queens/Manhattan, and end up with the same final cost.

    This is chiefly at night too, when there’s no traffic on the bridge. This situation isn’t helping anybody. Tolls, whether this one or the proposed MoveNY cordon, should absolutely have peak/off-peak pricing.

  • iSkyscraper

    So I’m all for the car ban in Central Park, but the real issue for years now has been the cyclist-rollerblader-jogger interaction with pedestrians trying to cross the loop roads. The traffic signals are ignored by 99% of loop users, for understandable reasons of physics, but the herds of slow-moving tourists do still need to cross somehow.

    With cars gone, there is no need for the signals anymore. I suggest replacing them with California-roll type signage, so that loop users slow and yield to crossing pedestrians but are not committing a moving violation if they keep their inertia.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Electeds?”

    They have elections in North Korea too.

    “Tolls, whether this one or the proposed MoveNY cordon, should absolutely have peak/off-peak pricing.”
    I’d agree with that, and it is the extra money at peak that should be used for transit. “Rent” paid to those who have an equal right to the road but give it up. At 4am, drivers might say, if you want to drive too go ahead and make my day.

    It might affect trucks, although most of them try to get in before rush hour anyway.

  • bolwerk

    Retail aside, I could see how such an irrational tolling system is wrecks havoc on commerce in all kinds of ways.

    But then, Staten Island should have a subway link.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Not if they don’t want denser housing. The cost would be monumental, and few people would use it.

    Tired of fighting against Staten Island to give them more money.

  • crazytrainmatt

    PSA: the east river greenway reopened this week from 60th through 88th. I think they are still working on the collapse in the 90s for a couple months, but I don’t go up there much. They redid the pavers in the bad spots under the new Rockefeller building. It’s no more bucolic than before but what a relief to get off 2nd Ave for that stretch!

  • crazytrainmatt

    Even switching existing lights to flashing yellow / flashing red upon beg button would be much better than the current mess. But taking the lights out would make it much easier to convert the road to a 2-way walking/bike/bike/walking configuration.

    Ultimately PBLs on CPW and 5th would also take some load off commuters going through the park.

  • guest

    Thank you; this is helpful to know. Would be great if Streetsblog had an occasional update on the status of some of these major bike route closures, perhaps after soliciting updates from readers.

  • bolwerk

    Perhaps true, though how many people would use it would probably turn heavily on the service pattern. And they should accept denser housing regardless of rail.

  • crazytrainmatt

    The 2018 bike map is inexplicably missing the green PBL on 2nd Ave between 74th and 69th. It was marked properly on the 2017 map. I think there’s a bit of construction in this area but they used plastic bollards to maintain a separate bike lane.

    Of course the gaps between 69th and 59th and 43rd and 34th haven’t changed!

  • iSkyscraper

    It’s not commuters, it’s the weekend warriors blazing through the loop at high speed and weekend event goers/tourists being unable to cross.

    I like your flashing yellow/red idea as a quick fix.

  • MatthewEH

    Nah, the loop drives are more efficient for commuting than 5th or CPW are, or would be even with PBLs. Particularly on the west side, which has no significant uphills from 95th Street down.

    Even if you were to observe all the traffic lights scrupulously, there are many fewer on the drive than on city streets. If you’re not so scrupulous, the red lights on the drive will call for stopping for safety’s sake only occasionally, especially with the loop drive being grade-separated from all of the transverse drives. Getting stopped at just the wrong time on CPW or 5th where the transverses come out of the park can make for a long wait.

  • MatthewEH

    That’s extremely helpful to know! Especially with the ramp from Carl Schurtz Park down to river level finally open, that path is now useful!

  • JarekFA
  • MatthewEH

    Ooh. We actually used this train stop last August — there are Zipcars a shortish walk away parked at the Union campus. Good to know!

  • MatthewEH

    Prospect Park has had the flashing-yellow becomes red when peds hit a crossing button configuration for a while. (Used to switch that way during car-free hours, now obviously it’s just the prevailing state of affairs.) When I’ve been there it… sorta worked? I’ve still seen some jacked-up-Fred-types go through reds even when there were pedestrians obviously itching to cross. And contrariwise pedestrians who just go even before the signal changes over.

    On the balance it did seem a bit more civil than before. FWIU, Prospect Park’s lights were more modern; easy to change to this configuration. The goal is to do this in Central Park also but the signals there are more antiquated and need to be replaced on a capital-project sort of basis.

  • Vooch

    no exceptions for placard holders and gov’t employees

  • Vooch

    add a bit of roadway texture at the crossings to slow speeding Freds down and your solution is a winners

  • Vooch

    why not walk to your neighborhood place ?

  • Jesse

    I think that’s exactly what the business owners are afraid of.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Staten Island is as big as Brooklyn. So unless you are also going to build a subway network as large as Brooklyn’s to feed a tunnel, it would still be bus to subway or drive to subway for most.

    The bus network could be reorganized, and a bus station added in Brooklyn with bus lanes on the Verrazano, for less money.

  • bolwerk

    It’s already mostly SIRT/buses/drive to the Staten Island Ferry, with 65,000 daily riders, many of them simply transferring back onto the subway in Manhattan. Potential is there.

    Building out the transit network in Staten Island is another matter, probably best addressed with light rail and bus improvements.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Sounds like a deal breaker.

  • reasonableexplanation

    Because me and my group of friends like going to new places.

    There are some people that like being locals in the same old place. I’m not one of those people.

  • reasonableexplanation

    I don’t think Staten Island business owners are afraid of Brooklynites walking to local restaurants instead of driving to Staten Island. They’re two entirely different classes of activities.

    Sometimes you’re in the mood for local, sometimes you want to try new things. The large toll means those new things are more expensive in Staten Island, and their prices have to be lower to compete despite being a similar distance away.

  • Larry Littlefield

    No one seemed to like my idea of turning expanded sidewalks around large cemeteries into bike loops.

    Pedestrians seldom use those sidewalks, which are poorly maintained and often fouled by dog poop, and walk on the populated side of the street instead.

    And cemeteries have relatively few entrances where conflict between speeding bikes and everyone else would have to be regulated.

    Seems like the perfect place for sport biking. A cheap sports and recreation amenity.

  • AnoNYC

    So the city is wrapping up concrete medians on Webster Ave in the Bronx. There goes my hope of future center running lanes.

  • AnoNYC

    So the city is wrapping up concrete medians on Webster Ave in the Bronx. There goes my hope of future center running lanes.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e8e66e3cfaced8f7fc458edf013178c50ae6793faf1f3bf80cb43f5f58e5e543.jpg

  • AnoNYC

    I was surprised to find the E 81st St bridge open a couple weekends ago. Surprised Streetsblog didn’t cover it. There was also a closure south of E 96th St, not sure how far down it goes (is that the collapse?), I re-entered the greenway near 81st to check on the bridge.

  • Vooch

    and you want to be subsidized to try new adventures ?

  • Larry Littlefield

    The picture didn’t show up at work, so I’m just getting to see it.

    I checked out an article, and read it is expected to be finished in the fall.

    The bad news (or depending on your view of life on dialysis with other health problems not so bad news) is that it is unlikely that I will have reason to be a frequent visitor to Schenectady anymore at that time. But I am glad they are getting a new train station.

  • crazytrainmatt

    It’s the Rockefeller and HSS renovations that have finished. They had caused the closure to through traffic between the 63rd and 78th St bridges. They are actually still doing finishing work on the greenway underneath Rockefeller and have set up scaffolding for the building above but the university construction status page says the greenway will remain open from now on.

    The 81st St bridge opened finally in December, right after the lower section closure started.

    96th through 90th is still closed (the south end is fenced off right before the incline down from Carl Schurtz).

  • Urbanely

    I’m with you. Half the fun of NYC is/was supposed to be the ability to get out and exploring or trying different things. If that’s not an option, then we might as well just live in anywhere, USA.

    My neighborhood in Queens has been described as a “bedroom community”, so I’m always on the lookout for other good places.

  • reasonableexplanation

    Eh? It’s not subsidized any more than any other driving in the city, but the toll funnels me into queens/brooklyn/long island, and away from staten island, even when distances are identical.

    Is that a good thing? Depends who you ask. I’m fine not crossing the bridge, but those businesses don’t get my money either. I’d imagine they’d want it.

  • Vooch

    maybe those business could offer to pay the toll

  • Vooch

    of course it’s a hours thing, crossing a massive bridge carries a massive cost