Planes Trains & Automobiles
Could a bench make the city more pleasant?
New Yorkers are so often rushing around to-and-fro, there is no time nor place to stop and rest those weary legs. For those looking for a little sidewalk respite, the Bloomberg administration has created the CityBench. Designed by local industrial designer Ignacio Ciocchini, director of design for the Chelsea Improvement Company, the city just announced plans to install 1,000 of these new benches in locations across all five boroughs.
Planes Trains & Automobiles
While she may not have won the full embrace of New York City’s driving masses, Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan has still done more for drivers than anyone in a generation. Adding to her record infrastructure investments and safer streets, the city launched a new web-based program today help coordinate road maintenance among public and private entities. Known as the Street Works Manual, the system aims to have city and state agencies and private contractors share their projects so roads can be excavated less frequently, saving time and money and cutting down on congestion.
The city has been in the thrall of a bicycle backlash for the past year, after the city’s Department of Transportation ran lanes through the East Village, Upper West Side and, most controversially, along Prospect Park West, which led to a lawsuit filed by neighbors living on the thoroughfare.
Things seem to be finally calming down—the lane lawsuit was defeated, recent polls have put bike lane support north of 60 percent—but how will the city react when the Department of Transportation and its love-her-or-hate-her Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan roll out a massive bike sharing program across Manhattan and Brooklyn next summer?
In this week’s profile of the bridge-building, car-loving exploits of Transit commish Janette Sadik-Khan, there was not time or space to include the insights of Tom Vanderbilt, the cleverly counter-intuitive author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us). Still, he had an interesting take we’d like to share here.
This week, The Observer looked at the Department of Transportation’s $4.3 billion capital campaign over the past for years. Despite all the attention paid to bike lanes and pedestrian plazas, like those at Prospect Park West and Times Square, those account for less than 1 percent of the entire budget. There have been Read More
For the past year or so, The Observer, along with the rest of the press corps, has been chronicling the city’s, and the press corps’, reaction to our burgeoning bicycle culture. The Post, obviously, has been highly critical, to say the least, if not downright damnatory. The News has, understandably, followed suit. Even The Times has been playing against type, turning its back on its pinko-brownstone readership to criticize everything from a–gasp–European-style bike share program to streets czarina JSK (rhymes with DSK!).
Education: 10th best middle school in NYC is in the Bronx and it’s not a charter school. [Jonathan Mahler]
Mario on Andrew: “I asked Cuomo whether Andrew was a different kind of Democrat from his father. He paused for a long moment. ‘I think . . .,’ he began, then stopped. ‘What’s a Read More
A look at the forces working against NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, from Matthew Shaer:
Bike-lane opponents are now hoping that the Prospect Park West bike lane could be the place where … the “unstoppable force” of Sadik-Khan meets an “immovable object.” The immovable object in this case is Iris Weinshall. The knock on the former Read More
“I see people who buy $25 mac-and-cheese on both sides of this argument,” Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, told The Observer last week as he finished dinner at Rachel’s Burritos in Park Slope and prepared to hop on his bike for the 1-mile trek home. “And yet I do think it’s true. Read More
In her four years atop the city’s Department of Transportation, Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan has masterminded a re-engineering of the city’s streets that not so long ago would have been impossible. Bike lanes proliferate, parking spaces have been transformed into cafes, and Broadway, the most famous road in the world, has been almost entirely closed Read More