Monday’s Headlines: Our Editor is in L.A. Edition

This week, I’ll be at the National Association of City Transportation Officials convention in sunny Los Angeles, to report on street design innovations, to hear from the bus lane experts, and, of course, to get you all that good gossip from the Peoria DOT that you crave. Check back all week for updates on my effort to spend four days in L.A. yet never use a car.

Here now, the news:

  • The Times does a helicopter job on the important State Senate race between Democrat Andrew Gounardes vs. Republican and street safety pariah Marty Golden in Bay Ridge. Most telling part of the story? It offered nothing positive about Golden’s record except that voters “know him for his omnipresence at scholarship dinners and senior citizens’ birthday parties.” You know, we could hire a clown for that.
  • I like public transit from airports, but I also like Flushing Bay, so I’m torn by the legendary Lisa Colangelo’s story in amNY about the pros and cons of the AirTrain plans from LaGuardia.
  • Ben Fried and I knew this day was coming from the day the co-founder of Lyft told us off the record a month ago: Jay Walder is leaving Motivate, the parent company of Citi Bike. (Damn those off-the-record interviews!) (Crain’s)
  • The weekend mayhem: Car crash kills one in the Bronx (NBC4 and NYDN); a hit-and-run driver kills another man in the Bronx (NYDN); and a drunk driver injures five in Long Island. (NY Post)
  • Bike lanes need smooth pavement, too, you know! (QNS)
  • Advocates ramping up demands to fix Northern Boulevard, which I wrote about two weeks ago. (TimesLedger)
  • Death penalty will be sought for the terrorist who turned the Hudson River Greenway into a killing field last October. (Reuters)
  • Tom Vanderbilt offered a deep dive on the Citi Bike “angels” for Outside magazine.
  • And in the very thick “In Case You Missed It” file, CityLab traced the Dutch-Swiss origins of the scooter; two School of Visual Arts students put up fliers in the subway on Friday asking New Yorkers why they didn’t report sexual abuse against them, a timely and pithy takedown of our entire culture (Gothamist, amNY); and Mayor de Blasio, in Texas last week, said he might use his veto power on the MTA board to force it to fix the subway. (NY Post)
  • Elizabeth F

    > I like public transit from airports, but I also like Flushing Bay

    So we spend $4b for a transit system to LGA that is SLOWER than what we currently have? And in the process we destroy a promenade along the bay? How many more reasons do we need to NOT build this?

    Instead, let’s focus on BRT from the subway in Astoria, along the Grand Central Parkway?

  • HamTech87

    Extend the N!

  • HamTech87

    De Blasio has veto power on the MTA???

  • redbike

    As I understand it (a little help here?), the mayor’s representative can veto NYC-related capital plans, but I don’t see how that could lead to anything good.

  • AMH

    “Dhruv Boruah, an engineer from London, rode his specially equipped bicycle on the water to pick up plastic.”

    That sounds like a story!

  • AMH

    That was news to me! Why didn’t he veto the ESI boondoggle?

  • Good coverage of the problems in the bike lane on Woodward Avenue. From Stanhope Street up to Troutman Street, this lane is practically unusuable. There was street work in which a strip of pavement was dug up right in the bike lane. The gap was filled with tar, but in a haphazard way that left the surface terribly bumpy. The white lines for the bike lane were repainted; but the surface is treacherous.

    I have been talking to the person from Council Member Reynoso’s office who is in charge of affairs in Bushwick and Ridgewood. This staffer has spoken to the construction company, and tells me that there will be no more fixes on that street until the whole thing is repaved. So, if a Council Member’s office cannot get any action on these unsafe conditions, then ordinary people have absolutely no chance.

    When I ride up Woodward on my way to work, I typically ride outside the bike lane for that stretch between Stanhope and Troutman. As cars are coming up that narrow street behind me, I drift over to the bike lane; but then I have to slow down dramatically, because the normal riding speed on this downhill run is unsafe on the shoddily-laid pavement in the bike lane.

    Recarding Onderdonk, I didn’t even know that there were issues with that bike lane, because I have abandoned that street for my ride home from work. There are just too many cars parked in the bike lane, especially at the Domino’s Pizza between Putnam and Cornelia Streets. These are scumbags who will tell you, when you complain about their cars in bike lane, that they have the right do it because they are working (as though working confers the right to break the law), or else they claim that the police have given them permission. Every 104th Precinct cop whom I have spoken to denies that the police have given this permission; but at the same time, the police show no real interest in making these criminals move their vehicles. There was a period during which I called 311 every day about this, for months on end. I even visited the precinct. But nothing changed. So I switched my ride home over to Cypress Avenue.

    So these are two bike lanes that have effectively been lost to a combination of neglect and lack of enforcement. This is why we need cops riding around on bicycles. If bike cops had to experience these conditions every day, we’d stand a much better chance of getting these problems rectified.

  • What story is that from?

    Is the bike in question anything like the one rigged up by Judah Schiller?

  • AMH

    It’s from the Flushing Bay story.

  • JarekFA
  • Ah, very nice! Good for Jessica.

    I hope she still plans to go forward with bringing that water bike to market.

  • crazytrainmatt

    I rode on Onderdonk a few months ago and it looked like someone dug a trench for a number of blocks to access a gas line or something and then did a spectacularly bad job of covering it up. It was fine taking the lane on a Sunday morning but it’s an uphill section so probably lousy with traffic behind you.

  • Joe R.

    Half the streets by me look like that. They’ve been doing massive amounts of utility work. Unfortunately, it seems once the work is done the street isn’t rebuilt as it should be. They consider the half ass patches put in by Con Ed to be sufficient to restore the street to “satisfactory” condition. I guess satisfactory means a car won’t end up falling in a hole. NYC streets have always resembled those in third world countries but in the last 10 years it’s gotten even worse.

    It’s not rocket science keeping streets in good repair. Why is it seemingly impossible to do that in this city?

  • Elizabeth F

    Hey, you’re giving me ideas…

  • Rider

    The city is never going to fix these kinds of problems in a timely fashion. Just go to any subway station, or any park that doesn’t have a conservancy, and you’ll see how incapable the local government is at taking care of public space. What we need is a foundation, like Bike New York, to create a fund and raise money to maintain and enhance bike lanes.

  • Absolving our municipal government from doing its job sends the wrong message. The government is the means by which we manage public space; members of the public need to put pressure on elected officials to fulfill their responsibilities.

    Most New York City parks are in excellent condition. If bike lanes could get the level of attention and maintenence from the City that parks get, we’d be in fine shape.