Today’s Headlines

  • Will Simcha Felder and Senate Republicans Let NYC Save More Lives With Speed Cams? (NYT)
  • Five Years and Counting for Citi Bike — What’s Next? (NY Mag) Who Rides the Most? (AMNY)
  • Always Remember How Stupendously Wrong the Bike-Share NIMBYs Were (Gothamist)
  • Jump CEO Envisions Scaling to 50,000 Bikes Outside Citi Bike Zone in Three to Five Years (Post)
  • No Solid Timetable Yet for Replacing “Temporary” Security Barriers on West Side Greenway (AMNY)
  • The Parks Department Wishes You a Happy Bike Month (West Side Rag)
  • If Cuomo’s Not Serious About Fixing Transit, How Long Will Andy Byford Stick Around? (2AS)
  • MTA Finally Adding Elevators and Rehabbing Decrepit Chambers Street Station (NY1)
  • Yu Mein Chow, 56, Fifth Financially Strapped Cab Driver to Commit Suicide in Five Months (NYT)
  • Memorial Day Weekend Motor Mayhem (Post, News)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Komanoff

    The NY Mag story on Citi Bikes (Citi e-Bikes, actually) is terrific.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Always Remember How Stupendously Wrong.”

    We’re going to hear a lot of “mistakes were made” over the next few decades, as the consequences of the past 25 years come due.

    Don’t accept it. Those weren’t mistakes, they were strategies. Generally winning strategies, though not in this case.

    Bloomberg was smart enough to see that future workers would have to find a way to provide transportation to themselves, without any public funding, while paying high taxes for the public services and benefits that Generation Greed pillaged at their expense and that they will not receive.

    Generation Greed wouldn’t even give people that. It’s like old age benefits. Later born generations will be lucky to get medical marijuana and legal assisted suicide instead of Social Security and Medicare, but earlier born generations won’t even want them to get that. “Cause they have needs.

  • ddartley

    From the easy standpoint of the right side of history (i.e., having supported, rather than opposed, NYC bikeshare from its conception), I think we can take a lesson from looking at how “we” (if I may) treated the Petrosino Square people. Yes their press release was stupid and yes some of them who made media appearances were uncool, and no, bikeshare didn’t take away *all* of the art space in the Square, AND the space wasn’t currently being used for any art I don’t think (I think that’s a point I in particular argued), or at least nothing very space-consuming. But like we all agreed then and still do, bike infrastructure belongs more in the roadbed than in pedestrian or similar space, and there was such a space very nearby that got proposed as an alternative. But as I recall, the Petrosino Square people became “our” main target for ridicule, and I think it was a little unnecessarily mean-spirited. Just saying I hope that in the future when we know we’re right about something we can improve our honey/vinegar ratio. Clarence I know I already posted this comment elsewhere but I’m so self-important I have to do it again.

  • vnm

    The crazed driver in the Post piece who spun out of control and then floored it down the sidewalk was apparently unlicensed. What are they going to do, take his license away harder this time? But seriously, if someone doesn’t feel it’s necessary to have a license to get behind the wheel, and then they pull something like what’s in the video, what can you do with that person? You can’t take away their license since they don’t have one, but not haven’t one hasn’t proven to be a barrier. Why wouldn’t he get right behind the wheel again?

  • Guest

    Five cabbie suicides + unabated weekly carnage –> out-of-control taxicab industry still allowed to operate with impunity.

    One rich Upper West Sider whines about e-bikes –> confiscation of restaurant workers’ means of making a living.

  • Tooscrapps

    Also, how about the 4-5 cars parked on the sidewalk in the video? Like not just mounting the curb, but on the sidewalk against the buildings. Par for the course according to Google Maps.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/75034faf600def78dbdbce02071f5db6f3f4632f10fc08ede2a81c5cc38d23ef.png

  • Larry Littlefield

    Eh, I’ll always be willing to mock them because they get the last laugh.

    They got cheap, prime location housing by engaging in zoning arbitrage — moving into housing that was cheap because no one was allowed to live in, and then getting legalized. So they get to laugh at those moving in now and living six to an apartment and two to a room.

    And the debts of their generation may very well turn the rest of this city back into what it was back in the 1960s and 1970s when they moved in.

  • Joe R.

    If you’re caught driving without a license, the vehicle you’re driving should be confiscated and either auctioned off or crushed (if it’s an SUV or pickup). Most people can’t afford to keep buying another car every time the lose the one they’re driving.

    And do the same thing if you’re caught driving drunk. First offense you forfeit the vehicle.

  • ddartley

    I should have been more precise. I was talking specifically about very few people I’m saying were excessively ridiculed fall into that class you identify. Now Sean Sweeney and the Soho Alliance, with whom they evidently partnered, may contain more such people, and they’re jerks anyway.

  • cjstephens

    Might I suggest… jail time?

  • cjstephens

    While I don’t disagree with your underlying message, you should know it’s not just one rich Upper West Sider. E-bikes are among the biggest complaints at the local precincts on the UWS and UES, the efforts of many, many people complaining (not me, as it happens). Whether confiscation is the right solution is a different question, but your characterization of the problem is incorrect.

  • JarekFA

    But the complaints are not rationally based. Objectively speaking, the failure to yield right turning car across pedestrians crossing is exponentially more dangerous. We’ve internalized it as common and instead want to take out our frustration on the lower class delivery guy.

  • cjstephens

    If you want to play class warfare, that’s your business. But when someone as pro-bike and anti-car as I am still gets apprehensive when I see an e-Bike delivery guy zooming the wrong way down a one way street, maybe something other than rich vs. poor is going on.

  • AnoNYC

    “That’s because Citi Bike and its 12,000 regular old foot-powered bikes have the exclusive right through 2029 to serve most of Manhattan and select parts of Brooklyn and Queens.”

    This is some real B.S. right here.

    Just like the yellow/green cabs, making two systems in one city is STUPID. NYC is a fragmented mess.

  • Joe R.

    What JarekFA seems to be saying is that at the same time you’re getting apprehensive at the person on an e-bike going the wrong way, it probably doesn’t phase you to see motorists failing to yield while turning because that behavior is so common it’s just so much background noise these days.

    I also don’t know why the delivery guy going the wrong way should bother you. I DO understand people who complain when e-bikes zip down crowded sidewalks at 20 mph. In the end though, the problem is behavior, not the type of vehicle they’re riding. If we took away their e-bikes and they drove, doubtless they would still be going against traffic and driving on sidewalks, except it would be exponentially more dangerous in a car.

  • Joe R.

    In some ways the city was a lot better in the 1960s and 1970s. Yes, we both know the subway was a mess and crime was way up. However, you had affordable housing, you didn’t have relentless enforcement of all sorts of petty rules by the NYPD (in fact, a lot of these idiotic rules didn’t even exist back then), and the city had a more interesting mix of both stores and people. Now you have banks/generic chains everywhere, and you have generic yuppies/hipsters in many gentrified areas.

    I’d personally be happy if NYC lost about 1 to 2 million people. I’d be even happier if policing went back to what it used to be, which was the police focusing on dangerous criminals, not ticketing cyclists rolling red lights at T-intersections.

  • Joe R.

    I kind of agree. It was being a bit pigheaded to insist the rack should be there when there was more suitable space not far away. In the business we’re in, we can’t afford to make enemies of people who could potentially be allies.

  • kevd

    While I think that in the street (currently parking spots), on the other side of Cleveland Place and Lafayette are better locations for CitiBike racks, Minerva Durham invited a degree of derision with her Rabinowitz-like hyperbole.

  • Simon Phearson

    Sure. Simple racism, then.

    I encounter e-bike delivery guys on foot and on bike. I’m not the least fazed by them. Citibikers? Yes. But I regard the delivery cyclists the same way I regard taxi drivers. Dangerous-seeming, but pros.

  • cjstephens

    Nope, not everything is racism. And the difference between eBikers and Citibikers? A motor, to start with, and speed. You just can’t go that fast on a CitiBike.

  • cjstephens

    We agree that the problem is the behavior, not the vehicle. And at least on the UES and UWS, the complaints have always been about behavior – these are the same complaints people were making about reckless delivery guys even before e-bikes existed.

    And I worry about the delivery guy going the wrong way down the road because, while I was raised to look both ways before I cross the street, even a one way street, I can’t honestly say that I always do. Plus, if the driver of an e-bike is so flagrantly flouting the most common sense of road safety rules (don’t ride against traffic!), I doubt that he is going to care about such niceties as yielding to pedestrians.

  • Joe R.

    My logic on looking both ways before crossing a one-way street is that people might be backing into parking spots. In fact, that’s why I look both ways when crossing any lane on a two-way street as well. You can never assume traffic will be moving forwards only. Delivery trucks, garbage trucks, and so forth regularly reverse direction.

  • Simon Phearson

    I didn’t say everything was racism. I was just saying that your selective perception of the dangers posed by e-bike riders could be explained by racist sentiment, if not by classist sentiment.

    And the difference between eBikers and Citibikers? A motor, to start with, and speed. You just can’t go that fast on a CitiBike.

    It’s not speed that makes Citibikers dangerous. It’s their lack of predictability and experience. Every bridge traversal I do, I pass several cyclists of both types. The e-bikers can pass by me quickly and unannounced, but are otherwise predictable and easy to avoid. Citibikers are weaving, on their phone, and you never know which way they’ll veer as you’re trying to pass them on their slow-ass climbs. They’re also just as likely to come salmoning down the bike lane with little sense of situational risk. There’s one blind turn in particular I can think of, in WB, that I take all the time, with a Citibike station a couple blocks down. Some day I’m going to take that turn and slam right into a salmoning Citibiker. I just know it.

    And edited to add: I would like to think of taxi drivers as dangerous-seeming, but pros, but a lifetime in New York has shown me too many taxi-involved collisions to support that idea.

    I ride the same streets, buddy. I’d rather a taxi driver to my left than an MTA bus, trailer truck, or any other kind of vehicle larger than a typical sedan. Liveries are kind of the same deal. I’ve been edged over by an unobservant taxi driver, but never buzzed like I have been by several private car drivers. The time I faceplanted on First Avenue, it was a private car driver who caused it. Etc.

  • cjstephens

    So, you’re calling me a racist? Gee, thanks for playing. Eventually you may learn that simply dismissing everyone you disagree with as a racist isn’t a sustainable way to effect change (cough, 2016 election).

  • Simon Phearson

    Yeah, you’re not less of a racist just because racists don’t like being called out. Citing the 2016 election is just some weak-ass shit nowadays. Get some new material.

    Keep in mind we’re only at that juncture in this discussion because you can’t proffer any more plausible support for your position. If, at any point, you’d like to explain why (predominantly poorer and browner) e-bikers actually are more dangerous than (predominantly wealthier and whiter) Citibikers, please feel free. So far you’ve cited only their speed; but, of course, as I’ve pointed out, speed is not the sole factor to consider. Do Citibikers not salmon? Do they not ride on sidewalks? Really, what do e-bikers do that Citibikers do not, besides travel at somewhat higher speeds, with a greater degree of experience and skill?

    I mean, maybe you just don’t bike anywhere and you don’t actually know what you’re talking about. Is generic ignorance a better explanation, in your view?

  • cjstephens

    I already explained: eBikes go faster. There’s a direct correlation between speed and the amount of damage done to the person getting hit (remember all those discussions here about why lower speed limits for cars in dense areas are important?). That makes them more dangerous. Period. Do I like it when people (regardless of race or income) ride CitiBikes recklessly? Of course not. But in my experience, I see more reckless behavior from eBikers, whom I see salmoning in bike lanes much, much more often than Citibikers. It seems like every time I try to ride in a bike lane, I’m involuntarily drawn into a game of chicken with some delivery guy who won’t go the one block east or west he would need to go to be riding with traffic.
    Are they actually more dangerous? I don’t have the statistics either way to prove that case, and, I expect, neither do you. Luckily for all of us, the number of bicycle vs. bicycle and bicycle vs. pedestrian collisions is small enough that meaningful comparisons can’t be made.
    But when you go out of your way to defend reckless riding (by eBikers, Citibikers, or just regular bikers), you do a disservice to all of us who want safer streets. And playing the race card just strengthens the stereotype that bike advocates are really just whiny SJWs on two wheels. You’re not helping our cause.

  • Simon Phearson

    You’re not attending to the difference I’ve noted, which is not that e-bikers break the law less, but that their behavior is less predictable, than Citibikers. I’m less afraid of riding past ten e-bikers salmoning down a bike lane, eyes set dead-ahead, refusing to make any kind of eye contact or visible adjustment that they’re avoiding me, than I am facing a single salmoning Citibiker, chatting away contentedly on the phone he’s holding against his ear.

    I don’t have the time or patience for your juvenile whinging about the “race card.” No, you don’t get to play the “race card” card to get me to shut up about your curiously selective perception of risk on the streets. Nor do I much care to spend time on your accusation that I am defending reckless riding when all I was doing here was commenting on your disparate perception of risk.

    To be clear, I am not a huge fan of scofflaw e-biking either, and I wish e-bikers would behave in a way that made it clearer to me that we were at least successfully avoiding one another. But I have never felt like I was in genuine danger around an e-biker, like I have around Citibikers. Biking around Citibikers is like riding around small children or unleashed dogs. If you don’t recognize that, then you’re oblivious to genuine risk, and I have to wonder why that is.

  • cjstephens

    Your experience is different from mine. I just don’t see as much reckless behavior by Citibikers as I do from eBikers. What’s ticking me off is that you keep suggesting that my observations are colored by racism. Could it possibly just be that your biking experience is more concentrated in, say, touristed areas where you are more likely to see Citibike newbies rather than commuters? And maybe my riding experience takes me to neighborhoods where the Citibikers are regular commuters and we have a lot of eBiker delivery guys who ride against traffic? Can you at least try to imagine that as an explanation for a differing viewpoints? Or is it just easier for you to say that anyone who doesn’t have exactly the same opinion as you must be racist?

  • Simon Phearson

    Could it possibly just be that your biking experience is more concentrated in, say, touristed areas where you are more likely to see Citibike newbies rather than commuters?

    Nope. I live and do most of my biking in Queens.

    And maybe my riding experience takes me to neighborhoods where the Citibikers are regular commuters and we have a lot of eBiker delivery guys who ride against traffic?

    UES?

    Can you at least try to imagine that as an explanation for a differing viewpoints?

    The subjectivity of experience being, I suppose, the last refuge for a person having difficulty with the stubbornness of reality. That’s why we have Trump, natch.

    Or is it just easier for you to say that anyone who doesn’t have exactly the same opinion as you must be racist?

    Is it easier for you to whine about strawmen than it is to defend your own position?

  • cjstephens

    I didn’t really think that CitiBike had much penetration in Queens, and I’m pretty sure that, deservedly or not, Queens doesn’t get as much tourist traffic as Manhattan or even Brooklyn, so I’m going to have to discount your encounters with CitiBikers. And, yes, I’m UES.

    I _have_ been defending my position (eBikes go faster and therefore are more dangerous) but you still haven’t addressed that. It sounds like you would rather retreat to shouting “racism”. And given that Trump really did get elected president, I would argue that those who are #resisting are the ones having difficulty with the stubbornness of reality.

  • Simon Phearson

    I didn’t really think that CitiBike had much penetration in Queens,…

    I guess you can tell that to the Citibikers riding throughout the neighborhoods that do have it, as well as over the QB and Pulaski bridges. I take it you don’t get over here as often.

    …Queens doesn’t get as much tourist traffic as Manhattan or even Brooklyn, so I’m going to have to discount your encounters with CitiBikers.

    LOL. Okay, so what you had previously said was that my impression of Citibikers was likely weighted towards the inference that they’re inexperienced and dangerous because they were predominantly inexperienced tourists traveling through tourist hubs, and not regular commuters. Once I pointed out that, yes, it would seem that most of the Citibikers I see are experienced commuters in western Queens and Brooklyn, you decided to “discount” my experience anyway. So you’ll just kind of think whatever it is you need to think in order to support your desired conclusion, is that right?

    And, yes, I’m UES.

    Hey, buddy, I know the type.

    I _have_ been defending my position (eBikes go faster and therefore are more dangerous) but you still haven’t addressed that.

    I certainly have. A couple comments ago, I noted that the fact that e-bikers are faster is not, in itself, dispositive of the question whether e-bikers, generally speaking, are more dangerous than Citibikers. I myself ride faster than most e-bikers. Does that make me more dangerous still? Would the NYPD be justified in a crackdown on in-shape cyclists like me, riding road bikes for our daily commutes?

    Think about how you have to answer that question. You just don’t have the information you’d need. That’s because speed isn’t enough.

    It sounds like you would rather retreat to shouting “racism”.

    And it sounds to me like you would rather retreat to shouting, “stop playing the race card!” than seriously defend your, again, curiously selective perception of the risk posed by e-bikers. I really haven’t spent much time at all accusing you of racism or classism. I have just been harping on this one point: that you only cite the speed of which e-bikers are capable, in explaining why they’re more dangerous than other cyclists. I have pointed out that what makes cyclists dangerous is not simply their speed, but the way they conduct themselves.

    You’ve asserted that the Citibikers you see are the “real” ones, and the ones I’ve seen are just not to be credited, thereby assigning greater weight to your subjective experience. Which is a curiously selective approach in itself – in other words, you’re saying Citibikers are safer because, once you select out the inexperienced tourists and people Citibiking in neighborhoods with less dense Citibike networks, and basically anyone else who isn’t riding up and down First and Second Avenue every day from the UES – they are basically pretty safe.

    And given that Trump really did get elected president, I would argue that those who are #resisting are the ones having difficulty with the stubbornness of reality.

    Which is ironic, because it requires a certain kind of blind spot to so easily confuse a movement of people trying to maintain some semblance of our democratic institutions in an age of Trump with some kind of denial that he actually ever won. Anyway, your contempt for the people trying to uphold American values is duly noted. My remark was more intended to insinuate that Trump’s appeal as a candidate and a president is explicable only once one substitutes for reality the man’s own characterization of it.

  • cjstephens

    I didn’t really think that CitiBike had much penetration in Queens,…

    I guess you can tell that to the Citibikers riding throughout the neighborhoods that do have it, as well as over the QB and Pulaski bridges. I take it you don’t get over here as often.
    >
    Finally bothered to check the Citibike station map: there are stations in, what, 10% of the borough? If that? I’ll stick by what I said: “…Queens doesn’t get as much tourist traffic as Manhattan or even Brooklyn, so I’m going to have to discount your encounters with CitiBikers.”

    LOL. Okay, so what you had previously said was that my impression of Citibikers was likely weighted towards the inference that they’re inexperienced and dangerous because they were predominantly inexperienced tourists traveling through tourist hubs, and not regular commuters. Once I pointed out that, yes, it would seem that most of the Citibikers I see are experienced commuters in western Queens and Brooklyn, you decided to “discount” my experience anyway. So you’ll just kind of think whatever it is you need to think in order to support your desired conclusion, is that right?
    >
    I’m being consistent. You’re the one saying that most of the Citibikers you see are inexperienced tourists and also most of them are experience commuters. Which is it?
    >
    And, yes, I’m UES.

    Hey, buddy, I know the type.
    >
    Nice stereotyping, bro!
    >
    I _have_ been defending my position (eBikes go faster and therefore are more dangerous) but you still haven’t addressed that.

    I certainly have. A couple comments ago, I noted that the fact that e-bikers are faster is not, in itself, dispositive of the question whether e-bikers, generally speaking, are more dangerous than Citibikers. I myself ride faster than most e-bikers. Does that make me more dangerous still?
    >
    Yes, of course it makes you more dangerous. How can you not see that? If some toddler runs out between parked cars to chase his ball, your ability to avoid a collision is that much more difficult the faster you go. If you’re barreling along at 20mph because you’re in such good shape, your reflexes might not save you (or said toddler).
    >
    And it sounds to me like you would rather retreat to shouting, “stop playing the race card!” than seriously defend your, again, curiously selective perception of the risk posed by e-bikers. I really haven’t spent much time at all accusing you of racism or classism.
    >
    Um, just in every reply to my original comment?
    >
    I have just been harping on this one point: that you only cite the speed of which e-bikers are capable, in explaining why they’re more dangerous than other cyclists. I have pointed out that what makes cyclists dangerous is not simply their speed, but the way they conduct themselves.
    >
    Speed _is_ how they conduct themselves. How is that so difficult to understand? Do you think it’s OK for some drivers to exceed the speed limit on dense streets because, well, they’re pretty good at driving?
    >
    And given that Trump really did get elected president, I would argue that those who are #resisting are the ones having difficulty with the stubbornness of reality.

    Which is ironic, because it requires a certain kind of blind spot to so easily confuse a movement of people trying to maintain some semblance of our democratic institutions in an age of Trump with some kind of denial that he actually ever won. Anyway, your contempt for the people trying to uphold American values is duly noted.
    >
    “trying to uphold American values”? Isn’t ginning up a fake Russian conspiracy the historic definition of Un-American Activities? Ugh.

    Look, at the end of the day we probably share a lot of the same opinions (we’re both reading Streetsblog, right?). We both dislike it when cyclists (motorized and non-) break the rules. But you seem to want to give the eBikers a pass because… they’re mostly non-white? And anyone who doesn’t agree with your assessment of their ability to break the rules safely must be racist? This doesn’t get us to a place where the streets are safer (and, again, in the long run, this is also how you get more Trump).