Monday’s Headlines: Busway, We Hardly Knew Ye Edition

Yeah, not happening. Image: DOT
Yeah, not happening. Image: DOT

Well, today was supposed to be the first day of the rest of 14th Street bus riders’ lives — thanks to a city plan to get cars off 14th Street — but the transit improvements were scrapped by a state judge on Friday, putting everything in limbo for at least a month.

All the major outlets were on the surprise victory by Arthur Schwartz and his West Village/Chelsea NIMBYs, who claim (perhaps rightly, we must point out) that the city support for bus riders would likely send a lot of drivers onto local streets. But as Gothamist and Streetsblog pointed out, it’s hard to call yourself a Village progressive yet sue the city in hopes of blocking a transit improvement.

The next court date is in August, but supporters of the “busway” plan will be out in force this morning to stand up for the long-suffering bus riders who got screwed in the legal battle.

The Times played it straight (though Azi Payvbarah’s New York Today added a bit more attitude).

Meanwhile, here’s the rest of the news:

  • Activists will rally tonight to mourn Ernest Askew, a cyclist who was killed last week in Brownsville. It’s an important vigil for a neighborhood that Vision Zero has forgotten (if it ever even knew it in the first place). (Streetsblog)
  • Clayton Guse had a nice scoop on Sunday, reporting that Gov. Cuomo may finally succeed in forcing NYC Transit President Andy Byford to quit — by taking away half his job and cutting his oversight over major construction. (NYDN)
  • The Times offered an overview of the city’s beefed up speed-camera system (though why reporter Winnie Hu quoted someone advocating for the right to drive 35 in a 25 mile-per-hour zone is beyond us).
  • Move over, @placardabuse! There’s a new way to crowd-source anger over blocked bike lanes! Meet the new Instagram account, @onthebikelane. (amNY)
  • Former Streetsblog Senior Reporter David Meyer continues to make a big splash for the NY Post, albeit this time just by being his wonderful old self.
  • It takes a long time to fix a cracked sidewalk in this town, Comptroller Scott Stringer found. (NY Post)
  • Car carnage in the Bronx. (NY Post)
  • It looks like Gothamist is getting closer to solving the mystery of the Keano ads on the subway (though it’s odd that reporter Paula Mejia didn’t just visit the address on the ad!).
  • Apparently, more debris fell from an elevated train. (NY1)
  • Morris Park Avenue now has its crosswalks back — even as the legal case against a city road safety plan continues. (The City)
  • In case you missed it, it’s hard for cyclists even in Berlin! (The Guardian)
  • And, finally, Friend of Streetsblog Brian Howald had an epic Twitter thread that is worth reading about his experiences as a cyclist on Atlantic Avenue after he participated in a memorial ride in honor of Asif Raman, who was killed on Queens Boulevard in 2008.

  • thomas040

    So now 14 th street will continue to be a clogged artery in the network of our city.

  • eastphilliamsburg

    Good grief. I would expect Streetsblog, of all outlets, to be familiar with basic concepts of induced demand, aka Braess’s Paradox.

    Removing an element of the road network like 14th Street will not push traffic to other streets, and making transit trips faster will shift people to transit.

    When 5th Avenue was closed through Washington Square, the traffic disaster predicted didn’t materialize. Same with closing Broadway through Times Square.

    The so-called science behind Schwartz’s measure of climate denialism stands up to as much scrutiny as flat-eartherism, and Streetsblog should know better to give it any sort of acknowledgment.

  • Andrew

    All the major outlets were on the surprise victory by Arthur Schwartz and his West Village/Chelsea NIMBYs, who claim (perhaps rightly, we must point out) that the city support for bus riders would likely send a lot of drivers onto local streets.

    Not rightly. This was studied:

    This does not take into account shifts in travel mode. In fact, improving bus service and making it harder to drive will induce shifts from driving to transit, so the actual impacts on traffic congestion will be lower than modeled here.

    Stop giving credit where none is due.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Probably from taxi/app to bus, not individual private vehicle to bus.

    It’s hard to imagine someone who has a private car in Greenwich Village, with all that fixed cost, ceasing to use it because the bus is a little faster. It’s still filled with serfs. And are there government facilities proximate to 14th Street, with placard parking?

    This kind of makes one wonder who Schwartz’s allies are.

  • BKBusRider

    Arthur will likely be back in court this week on another matter: his son faces sentencing for his child pornography conviction.

    Improving the safety and quality of life for West Village residents starts at home Arthur.

  • BronxEE2000

    Good that 14th St continues to be a street for all vehicles.

  • Wilfried84

    So sad that NIMBYs care more about vehicles than they do about people.

  • CJ

    May you perpetually be stuck in traffic for the rest of your life.

  • AMH

    Are we missing a link to Azi Payvbarah’s New York Today?

  • AMH

    “The cameras also provide a false sense of reassurance because they do not eliminate dangers from other obstacles, such as jaywalkers or cyclists running red lights.”

    Talk about misdirection!