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    I’m nauseated that an elected official at a vigil for a pedestrian who had clear right-of-way (crosswalk + green light) when she was struck and killed would push an agenda giving the same weight to “more ticketing for jaywalking” and “more ticketing for cyclists” as to “more ticketing for speeding and other traffic violations.” Has this official learned nothing from the spate of traffic murders in her backyard?



    I like this a lot. It’s open-ended enough that driving itself could be the bad choice they’re cautioning against.



    This is so sad. My condolences go out to his family, friends, and coworkers. I am a cyclist in NYC and this is yet another reminder that we need to constantly be on guard and alert. I’ve rode on that bike lane many times. For the most part, it is very safe and the bike lane is separated from the street. There is one section, however, going east, just past the intersection of Jay and Sands (as you go under the overpass where it is darker) where the bike lane suddenly veers on the the sidewalk. If you miss the turn, you will suddenly find yourself on the onramp for the BQE with the concrete barrier between you and the bike lane. A car could easily whip around the corner without seeing a cyclist there.

    Every time I go over the Manhattan bridge into Manhattan, I always wonder why the city hasn’t made that bike lane easier to find. Sigh…what a tragedy.



    I’d like to see something featuring the drivers so people see that ‘Your choices matter’ is targeted at them, not the reckless _____ group.



    I love the add. “A drivers choice”. The vehicle is a natural killer when it hits a pedestrian or vehicle! We ALL need to protect ourselves. When people drive irresponsible they cause collisions and take lives. I don’t want those drivers to do time, I WANT MY DAUGHTER BACK!!! Please sign and share my petition to stop all collisions.



    Each span is 4 lanes with a left and right shoulder, and an emergency access lane. I’m thinking they are counting the emergency access lane. If traffic gets bad they’ll probably just turn it into a 5 lane bridge anyway.


    Joe R.

    Does this project just keep adding capacity?

    That seems to be the reasoning here-if we keep adding lanes we’ll have even more cars to pay for the bridge. Of course, the fatal flaw is that adding lanes increases costs enough to offset the (theoretical) increased revenues. With the kind of logic being floated here, it wouldn’t surprise me if the bridge eventually had 10 lanes in each direction.



    The Crain’s article suggests that the TZB will have ten automobile traffic lanes. Is this true? I believe previous plans had mentioned four traffic lanes in each direction. Where did the extra lane in each direction come from? Are the bus lanes going to be HOT lanes, or some such? Does this project just keep adding capacity?



    This is hands down, the best DOT ad campaign I’ve seen. The ones under JSK often scolded victims for not watching out and instilled fear in people on bike and on foot, while generally ignoring the bull in the china shop, so to speak. This one, however, puts the focus exactly where it needs to be: at the people piloting 4,000 lb hunks of metal at 30+ mph right next to unprotected human beings.



    A step in the right direction. I actually like that these are not “Speeding killed my son” what have you, and instead emphasize that it was not some abstract act but a human driver and the active choices he/she made. I hope they’ll be able to expand this even further.



    Does anyone else get the sense that the LIRR showdown was all staged in order to make Cuomo look good? It seemed like there was an inordinate amount of media coverage of the lead up to the potential strike and then Cuomo steps in and saves the day. I don’t remember media coverage being as much before past NYC Transit threatened strikes.
    It reminds me of the Cuomo-Christie bridge and tunnel toll scheme where the PA raised the tolls very high and the governors stepped in to lower them and look like the good guys.


    Jonathan R.

    Collecting data only on the number of people crossing between from borough to borough, but not counting “local” bicyclists, privileges people who are traveling longer distances, and the bike infrastructure necessary to encourage them, viz. better bridge crossings, greenways, and protected bike lanes along direct, arterial roadways.

    Bicycles, however, are used for more than just traveling between areas. It is a canard that many car trips are just a mile or so and can be replaced by bicycle trips without having to confront issues of fatigue or fitness, thus reducing motor vehicle traffic in busy neighborhoods. This is the philosophy behind DOT supported bike share, and the DOT neighborhood slow zone program, and it is therefore a little surprising that DOT researchers are still using screenline methods to collect data that does not inform the policy initiatives of the organization.



    Since the term is mentioned about 75 times: what is a “screen line”?


    Joseph E

    Yes, Portland (and other cities) use this system for their permanently-installed bike counters on bridges.


    Kevin Love

    You are right. That will teach me to rely upon my memory rather than Google, which is saying that there were two doctors. Drs. Lesniewski and Ajemain were convicted of fraud and each sentenced to eight years in prison.

    Also, 30 other people, ranging from “railroad retiree consultants” to some of the retirees themselves were convicted of fraud and handed out lesser sentences.

    But I will stick to my main point, which is that the “attitude” of greed is common in contemporary American society.



    And unlike other reforms (like street redesign that might drop a few parking spots) you don’t have any enemies when you’re making progress.

    Any perceived or actual increase in enforcement of driving violations will incur the wrath of a very vocal minority of whiny motorists.

    But I certainly agree with your overall point.



    I never met Matt personally but knew him from for his DJing and also from his love of bikes. He enjoyed his time here in the UK and I would send him Sainsbury’s biscuits and the like, from time to time. Everyone in the US that knew Matt had nothing but great things to say about him. I am truly gutted to hear about the way he passed.

    I knew that he was a pretty experienced cyclist, and as the article mentions, worked as a courier for some time – a job that makes you pretty alert to the perils of urban riding. Something doesn’t add up in the story here.

    Matt was a great guy.



    Well he certainly has a lot of opportunity to make things better. If he can turn things around, it could be a major win for him and the entire NYPD, especially since the public is so focused on street safety right now. And unlike other reforms (like street redesign that might drop a few parking spots) you don’t have any enemies when you’re making progress. Best of luck in the new role to you and to New York. We need some big change and quick.



    It is truly a tragic accident. That area has some of the most protected bike lanes as well, on Sands Street, phased traffic lights to cross the intersection and the bike lane onto the Manhattan Bridge. I ride that area all the time and if he was new to the area he may have either missed the entrance to the protected bike lanes on Sands Street or possibly the car could have hit him at the crosswalk and carried him all the way to the onramp.



    I live off Queens Boulevard, and when I drive, I avoid it and take alternative routes because of the heavy pedestrian prescence. There are alternative routes like the highway that folks can take if they had to to get Manhattan. . DOT should strictly enforce speed limit, and perhaps that will push people to NOT to use Queens boulevard as a highway. I also hate crossing it when I am walking, and am always nervous when my kids have to cross it. The boulevard from hell.



    The Harlem and Bronx River crossings would be a great place to count.



    I’m voting for the other candidate.


    Larry Littlefield

    It’s a big problem. What you said is exactly what the LIRR disability apologists said — anyone complaining is doing so out of envy. Wouldn’t you do the same thing? Everybody does it.

    I wouldn’t, but too many in the era of Generation Greed would. Which is why our public and private institutions are in the situation they are in. Put more in to save them, and those who control them simply take more out.

    Which is why I’ve come to take a despairing view of our existing organizations, and place my hopes in their replacements. And am glad I have the option of telecommuting, and generally get around by bike. Relying only on one of several competing small business bike shops for mobility.

    BTW, it wan’t just one doctor. You don’t get up to 97 percent disabled with one doctor. Another profession people relied on, that sold out ( or enough did to wreck the system).



    Only the doctor committed fraud, not the ‘disabled’ retirees?



    If DI AMERI can’t accomplish these few reforms then no one can! And if he does then he has done the almost impossible! GOOD LUCK!



    I cycle/commute less often on the greenway because it’s just too crowded to do it enjoyably on many days. For example, I used to ride my Inwood-to-Midtown commute from Dyckman/Riverside to 54th Street. Once they put down stripes for the wider bike lane in Central Park so that jockeying around runners in the old bike lane was no longer necessary, I started cutting up through Riverside Park at 90th Street to avoid the jogging/dogwalking/biking crowds below there (some days it’s fine, others, it’s not). So while I agree that better on street choices might be part of the decrease (and we might not even be talking about the same section of greenway), I bet some of its people like me who have a little less tolerance for the crowded greenway conditions, which generate a lot of jerky behavior on the part of every kind of greenway user.



    I have noticed increased Citi Bike ridership in the Bronx.

    Time for expansion? Lol!


    Kevin Love

    The disability scandal was due to fraud on the part of one doctor, who was duly punished. In my opinion, the “attitude” is “I am going to take whatever I can get away with.” This attitude is widely prevalent in American society, particularly in NYPD and definitely the 1%.


    Kevin Love

    Every screen count is inherently imperfect, but I have seen a lot of disrespect of delivery cyclists from NYC politicians, tabloids and others. Yes, delivery cyclists are “real” cyclists making “real” trips. They should be counted.


    Kevin Love

    Yes, I am kind of curious about what Ben considers to be “the same basic talking point.” Its been over a week since I mentioned the Dutch and over two weeks since repeating the death and injury toll of the lethal poisons from car drivers.

    I believe that death, injury and a child-hostile (and adult-hostile!) urban environment are bad things. And that there are proven solutions to these problems that can be seen to work in real life in The Netherlands and many other places around the world.

    Are these issues not why Streetsblog exists? If I have been unduly emphasizing some part of this problem… sure I’ll dial it down.



    Thanks for writing this article. Yes the screen line counts are unreliable. If it happens to rain on a day the counts are recorded totals will be down. Each individual year can’t really be looked at to figure out trends, but looking at Many years is very useful. Do people actually believe that cycling went down in 2012 after about a decade of consecutive increases? It seems unlikely, particularly when we see that 2013 also shows an increase.


    Ryan Brenizer

    I almost did that the first time I was trying to take Sands in that direction. If you’re used to just being in that area to go on the Manhattan bridge, you don’t really know about the separated bike lane, and it’s out of the sight lines of your normal path. So if Google says “take Sands St. in this direction,” you say “OK … WOAH, WAIT, NO!” I’m always looking out for possible causes of my death on a bike so I immediately realized that I’d gotten something very wrong, but it’s a lot more possible than people used to the Sands St. path would think.



    The city used to do such counts on all avenues but stopped because they felt that the large number of delivery cyclists going back and forth on the avenues across the screenline was skewing the results.



    The data you show is completely public and available on the DOT website:

    Here is the page with the link:



    It’s great to have 30 years worth of data from the same source, but other than that, the screenline is seriously flawed. It actually really much of a screenline at all and should be called something different. Those of us who ride in from uptown and the Bronx are severely undercounted. So, it’s a great measure of cyclists from Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, but it’s a terrible measure of cyclists from uptown and the Bronx. To actually be a screenline, there would need to be counts done at West End Avenue, Columbus, Fifth, Park, Lex, Second, Sutton Place/East Side Greenway, and Central Park Loop @ Seventh Avenue. At a minimum, the West Side Greenway count point should be moved from 50th Street up to 59th Street. There are plenty of CBD-bound cyclists who get off the greenway before 50th Street.



    I have to wonder if the slight decrease on the Hudson River Greenway is a good sign. Might it show that people are feeling safer cycling on city streets, and are less likely to go out of their way to avoid them?

    That said, you are right, there is still plenty of work to do. Even in Manhattan there are missing links in the bike lane network on every non-greenway route between Midtown and Brooklyn.



    They also need to start those counts now to have a few years of useful data for comparison by the end of De Blasios first term.

    Can they use those things theyre already using for car traffic counts (with the rubber hose) to also count bikes seperately? I have heard that is possible (with the right counting unit). If thats the case bike counting can piggyback on traffic counts that are already happening.


    Robert Wright

    I wrote a little while ago about coming across a scene where the NYPD were fishing a body out of the Hudson. When I came back later, there were two cops sitting at a table playing cards, with the body just lying on the ground under only a thin sheet, next to them: I guess it’s hard for cops to stay constantly in touch with the horror of what they’re seeing. But the NYPD doesn’t always seem to react with appropriate compassion.


    Larry Littlefield

    LIRR workers are already paid more than workers other MTA services (or New Jersey Transit), are less productive, and have already been offered larger raises than the TWU got.

    As a question of fairness, who should have to pay the difference? Long Island commuters, in worse service and higher fares? Those who use other MTA services, such as the NYC subway? Other MTA workers, in lower wages increases than they would have otherwise had? Taxpayers throughout the MTA service area?

    Or the easy solution — nobody, because all the related sacrifices are deferred until those people who matter are no longer around to suffer them? So the two are disassociated.

    You saw that disability scandal. You can’t tell me that the associated attitude toward the rest of us suddenly arose on the date or retirement, rather than being present from the first day on the job.

    Meanwhile, if the next capital plan does not include Phase II of the Second Avenue Subway, why is that?



    It’d be incredibly helpful if information like this was publicly available for every crash. Understanding how these crashes happen is the first step toward increased safety for everyone – pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. You can’t fix something if you can’t see it.



    That was straight out of The Onion.



    Yes. I hope so… but there’s only so much “lead by example” you can do in an elite squad, separated structurally and operationally from the rest of the police force. I can imagine lots of “Yeah yeah, whatever Mike, you worry about the highways and we’ll do the ‘real work’ our way.”



    So, Michael Ameri starts to strip away some of the corruption and above-the-law entitlements in the police force directly involved with the community… Let’s move him to the purely windshield-view part of the police force!!

    Let’s make sure he’s not actually a model for or have any influence on local precinct behavior!! We seem to have a leader that’s willing to push back against the entrenched (and toxic) culture of the NYPD… I guess not anymore.

    (I don’t deny he’ll probably do a great job in his new post, but the traffic on the BQE and escorting heads of state to the U.N. does not exactly influence the vast majority of the NYPD and their interaction with the community.)


    Eric McClure

    Teachout 2014.


    Eric McClure

    I’m personally sorry to see Deputy Inspector Ameri leave the 78th Precinct, but I do believe he has an opportunity to make a big difference citywide if he continues to implement change the way he did at the precinct level, and continues to value the relationship with advocates that he really came to embrace at the 78.



    Remember when he got the bright idea to cut rail off the bridge? That’s when this should and maybe could have been stopped. It was years ago.


    Ian Turner

    Interesting, any word on whether Ciorra’s departure was voluntary? According to LinkedIn he is now “Anti-Terrorism Branch Chief” at the NY national guard.



    My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Matthew. I do not know anything about him, but my instinct is he may very well have been trying to do something generous at the time of the collision. I have often seen things in the middle of the road that could cause damage to a vehicle or a person that I will try to stop and pick up or move.
    And thanks to Braden for the image. It seems that an image like this, if created for investigation purposes by the C.I.S. could be vitally important for understanding what happened in situations like these, and preventing them in the future.


    Ian Turner

    It’s OK, we shake our heads in disbelief at your cycling helmet policies. ;-)



    More bad news in this article; bike and pedestrian path is being shelved.