Like all six-lane urban highways scattered with years of pulverized wreckage—nary an inch of shoulder for breakdowns, center lines that weave like spaghetti, out-of-control speeders passing each other on curves designed to be rounded by wooden subway cars, long-haul truck drivers pounding the roadway to pieces and blatantly nonsensical subverbal signage essentially declaring to the Read More
These last few weeks, to hear some people tell it, you’d think that New York’s streets have been endangered by one of the greatest threats to public safety that the city has ever seen (not to mention the worst aesthetic blight since the Ugg craze). Comparisons have been drawn between the Department of Transportation and the Taliban. There have been impassioned pleas, there have been fits of yelling and, of course, there have been lawsuits. But now, perhaps, we’ll finally get some respite from all the bike rack hatred as New Yorkers shift their hatred to the bikes themselves.
Citi Bikes will be arriving in the next few days—some 800 of the 6,000 bikes are already docked at stations—and New Yorkers will be able to take them out for a spin starting Memorial Day. It’s just too bad that the incessant whining over the bikes is likely to sound very much like the incessant whining over the racks, led first and foremost by the chorus of sanctimonious ninnies going on about public safety. Read More
At today’s press conference unveiling the new and improved parking signs for Midtown, quite a few reporters questioned the actual need for redesigning the street signs. Both Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and City Councilman Dan Garodnick said they had received complaints about the old signs and agreed they required “a PhD in traffic” to decipher.
Among those flunking out on their TCATs? None other than the brilliant Louis C.K. Read More
Twitter has changed the way we communicate, and now it may change the way we drive, at least around Midtown.
This morning, the Department of Transportation unveiled new parking signs that greatly simplify and clarify on-street parking regulations. As Tranportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan joked, “We used to have signs with 250 character on four different signs in three different colors. Now we can say it in about 140 characters on a much clearer sign.” Read More
It is clear by now, if it has not always been, that the opponents of the Prospect Park West bike lane do not trust the city’s Department of Tranportation.
They have insisted the project was “trial” with virtually no proof that this was ever the city’s position. They have dismissed city-run studies of traffic data that show the lane has improved traffic flows and reduced injuries. And they have sneered at the considerable majority of their neighbors who have voted time and again in favor of the project. Still, the efforts of Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes persist, especially now that their lawsuit against the lane has been returned to court on a technicality. The group’s response has been to offer the city a settlement that essentially amounts to little more than a barroom dare. Read More
While it seemed like the bicycle backlash of a year ago had finally cooled off, and those larcenous lanes were here to say—won’t someone think of the motorists!—the cold war is back this winter. The Columbus Avenue bike lane expansion was rebuffed by the local community board, bike share has been delayed a few extra month, Steve Cuozzo thinks bikes are a cancer on the city (O.K., so what else is new?), and now opponents of the Prospect Park West bike lane have finally won a court case.
After complaints over the lane were ignored in court in the spring, Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes appealed the results to a higher court, which today ruled that the lower court had to reconsider the case on technical grounds. The Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court ruled unanimously that judge Burt Bunyon erred in dismissing the case as lacking merit, and now a hearing must be held over the lane (you can read the one-page decision here). Read More
One of the victims of Superstorm Sandy was the city’s CitiBike bike share program. After the program was delayed last summer due to computer problems, many of the bikes and stations that were awaiting deployment were warehoused at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Much of the yards flooded when the East River burst its banks Read More
All East River Bridges Will Be HOV Starting Tonight, Vehicles Will Need 3 or More Passengers to Enter Manhattan
Mayor Bloomberg just announced at his first press briefing today that due to bumper-to-bumper traffic in Manhattan today, all East River crossings will be HOV-restricted starting tonight at 6 p.m. This means any vehicles wishing to enter Manhattan will have to have at least three passengers inside. The restrictions will be in place all day Thursday and Friday.
“We need to reduce the number of cars coming in. The streets cannot handle all the traffic,” Mayor Bloomberg said. He said the city would try and figure out a way to allow people to arrange for rides, either at the crossings or elsewhere, but no details were given.
“I know it’s inconvenient for a lot of people, but the streets just can’t handle it,” the mayor said. Read More
Cycling in Central Park has gotten a lot of attention of late following a few nasty accidents and a campaign by the Daily News—repeated every few years—where intrepid reporters venture into the park, speed guns in hand, to make a stink about scofflaw bikers breaking the 25 mile per hour speed limit. (Hell, if you can get going that fast, that is pretty impressive.)
This is not to suggest that unsafe cycling is ever acceptable, but as more people take to bikes, and the city’s population continues to grow, park pathways are bound to get busier. Action by users is important, but also be operators.
As it has done with Prospect Park, following another spate of high-profile injuries, the city’s Department of Transporation and Parks Department have reached an agreement to change the arrangement of traffic lanes to make more room for bikes and runners and less for vehicles. The measure is meant to make everyone safer. Read More