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  1.  

    Joe R.

    Even better was the “I won’t be coming back anytime soon.” Good riddance. Someone who drives in to shop costs the city far more than whatever sales taxes they pay. I love how these people think they’re doing us a favor.

  2.  

    Joe R.

    You’re right. Downtown Flushing and downtown Jamaica are perfect places to put bike share. Put several huge bike share racks there, and put lots of smaller ones along the feeder bus lines within a few miles of both downtown areas. They WILL see heavy use.

  3.  

    Joe R.

    That’s apples and oranges. Eastern Queens is a place which is arguably already dense enough for a few subways, bike share, etc. Adding these things will only help it become denser and lower car use.

    Putting money into rural or exburban areas which are economic basket cases is pointless. The core industry is Appalachia, naming coal mining, dried up. It’s not coming back despite what Trump says. Given that, might as well let the area return to nature in the long run. Same with a lot of exurban housing tracts which never should have been built in the first place. The outer boroughs of NYC, even Staten Island, are largely economically sustainable. The same is true of the inner ring suburbs. It makes sense to invest money in them, perhaps even help make them denser. They serve the function of providing housing for those working in denser areas. Everyone and everything can’t be in Manhattan.

  4.  

    Joe R.

    Just look at the numbers using feeder bus lines. That’s a logical place to put bike share stations for a start. There may be demand for them elsewhere but at least on the bus lines we know there are established travel patterns.

    Or better yet start having more secure bike parking so more people can use their own bikes. By secure I mean either indoors or outdoors with a security guard.

  5.  

    ahwr

    And most of NYC’s outer boroughs are far denser than many cities.

    And most of those cities don’t have bike share systems. And the ones that do, don’t have them in far flung areas. Population density is less relevant than travel patterns. Your argument would be stronger if you could show that travel patterns, geography, bike facilities etc…in eastern Queens are more conducive to bike share than travel patterns in other cities with successful bike share systems.

  6.  

    ahwr

    How well are most bike share systems other than citibike doing?

  7.  

    van_vlissingen

    I think the sad thing in this entire discussion is we are forgetting that Downtown Flushing is a major business destination and seriously dense in its own right. It’s the fourth largest business district in the city, (after FiDi, Midtown and Downtown BKLN). It’s streets and sidewalks are some of the busiest in the city as well.

  8.  

    van_vlissingen

    I agree 100% – PBL is a very important part of the solution

  9.  

    van_vlissingen

    let me make a slight emendation then:
    “I bet that’s still fairly dense compared to many places in country with have bike share.”
    better?

  10.  

    HamTech87

    Let’s hope Citibike and DOT do a full court press on the housing projects of Astoria, using all the latest learnings on building equitable bikeshare systems. The Astoria and Ravenswood projects are huge, and they can use at least 2 Citibike stations each. Plus the projects are pretty far from subway stations. Now if only there were Protected Bike Lanes….

  11.  

    ahwr

    I bet that’s still fairly dense compared to most of the country.

    Is most of the country dense enough to support a bike share system?

  12.  

    ahwr

    The best way to increase tax receipts is to invest in infrastructure. That’s the very reason Manhattan became an economic powerhouse in the first place. But you seem unwilling to do that. It’s basically a case of we got ours and fuck everyone else.

    Isn’t that your approach to the rest of the country? Your posts seem to view as equitable taking the wealth of Manhattan and sending it to eastern Queens, but it’s a problem if it’s sent to Appalachia.

  13.  

    Flakker

    a bitter lol at the SUV driver with no license crashng into the short bus after running a stop sign and getting SUMMONSES. even if the law didn’t allow harsher punishment, where are the crooked cops to sprinkle crack in the car when you need them?

  14.  

    HamTech87

    Too bad there won’t be the cashless tolling machines installed on the East River Bridges. Maybe if they installed them now under the rubric of Homeland Security? 😉

  15.  

    mfs

    And the web interface also has existed since the late 1990s…

  16.  

    Vooch

    true but 85% =of population feels terrified unless on a PBL

  17.  

    Jeff

    Where do they find these web designers?

  18.  

    RyanMcShane

    Meanwhile, just north of Toronto, the York Regional Police get smart in the name of safer streets. They ride the bus to flag distracted drivers, i.e. texters:

    Nice strategy by @YRP to catch distracted driving.(Also, another reason not to cover bus windows with ads.)https://t.co/p8I54EApAx— Michael Druker (@m_druker) November 24, 2016

    I bet we could kickstart a MetroCard or two for the NYPD if they’re, you know, a little cash strapped at the moment.

  19.  

    Joe R.

    I think bike share in the outer boroughs would tend to be most useful for strictly local trips. As much as I like the idea of using it to replace the subway into Manhattan, you’ll probably find few takers there. I might do it, you might do it, but not a whole lot of people would. And I probably wouldn’t be keen on doing it unless we had bike infrastructure which let me go mostly nonstop all the way. It would just take too long otherwise compared to the subway.

    On the other hand, bike “highways” and “velomobile-share” could make this idea work. If you can be in midtown in 30 minutes from the outer fringes of Queens doubtless you’ll get quite a few people interested.

  20.  

    Joe R.

    1) Infrastructure in NYC in general is terrible. It’s a little less terrible in Manhattan. My “gold-plated” argument refers more to Manhattan getting things like bike share, more bike infrastructure, and so forth. Bike share is nonexistent in most of the outer boroughs. Bike infrastructure is nothing to write home over, either.

    2) I was comparing NYC property tax levels on homes to the rest of the country. The east is an anomaly in that we have very high property taxes compared to the rest of the country. Yes, it’s true property taxes are higher in Nassau and Westchester but consider they don’t have a local income tax. Once you factor that in, overall tax levels are likely about the same.

  21.  

    Joe R.

    I think you’re talking about the very fringe of eastern Queens, which might as well be Long Island. Once you’re about 2 or 3 miles from city limits, you have more density, and probably would have support for a subway. Point of fact, it was a tiny minority of vocal residents who killed the subway expansion plans. Like the present community boards in NYC, they didn’t speak for the majority then, who doubtless would have welcomed more subways.

    As for Staten Island, there are a few parts of it which are at least amenable to being more urban. Keep them in NYC, build a subway to them, give the rest of Staten Island to NJ at the same time you give the eastern 2 or 3 miles of Brooklyn/Queens to LI.

  22.  

    Joe R.

    A big part of the problem here is WHAT the money is spent on. A lot of the infrastructure funding for Queens and Brooklyn go for roads that benefit relatively few residents. A good example is the $1.7 billion being spent to fix 1.5 miles of the BQE. I can’t help but think that money would be better spent on 5 to 10 new subway route miles. We could extend the E, F, and #7 to city limits.

    And then you have the school spending. I think if Queens were freed from NYC per student school spending would drop dramatically. We would be free to ditch the unions and their contracts given that the schools would no longer be under NYC Board of Education control. Same thing with the police. We could cut the police force in half. Lots of things Queens could do to reduce costs once its no longer under NYC control.

    There’s also the fact both businesses and governments can become too large for their own good. You’ll have efficiency gains at first from consolidating duplicate functions but eventually as bureaucracies get too large it becomes easier to dead wood to hide. I recall reading a story about an employee pulling down a six figure salary in a big company who came in at 11, spent 2 hours in the company gym, and went home at 3. This went on for 17 years. It would have been impossible for this to happen in a very small company where every employee will be noticed if they don’t pull their weight. Arguably, municipalities start to see negative benefits when they get too large. NYC may have passed that point once the population exceeded 2 or 3 million. In other words, don’t underestimate the potential efficiency gains which could occur if NYC broke up into a few pieces.

  23.  

    BubbaJoe123

    Gotta hop off, but will only say that

    1. if you think that Manhattan is getting “gold-plated” anything when it comes to infrastructure, I’d beg to differ. Streets are in terrible shape.

    2. NYC’s overall property taxes are actually quite low, if you compare to surrounding areas (Westchester, Nassau). I’m not questioning the overall level, but rather the balancing. Property tax should be based on the value of the property.

  24.  

    Ferdinand Cesarano

    Speaking as someone who grew up in eastern Queens (but who happily escaped from there thirty years ago), I don’t think that the use of bike share in the outer boroughs would make sense just to get to the subway. I think that the best use of it would be as an alternative to the whole bus/subway thing; bike share should be positioned as another means to get to Manhattan. Looked at that way, the yearly fee is extremely cheap.

    But for bike share to be useful as a means to get to Manhattan from the far-flung areas of the City, you’d need the 45-minute limit extended. For riders in the remote sections of Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, you’d realistically need to double the limit to 90 minutes. I understand that it would be hard to sell the idea that bikes rented in Manhattan (and in the nearby sections of Brooklyn and Queens) can be taken for 45 minutes, while the bikes rented in eastern Queens, in southern Brooklyn, and in the northern Bronx can be taken for 90 minutes; but that is what equity demands.

    Finally, the fact that this programme needed to be privately funded in order to get going is a sad measure of just how backwards we are as a society. In a sane world, bike share would be part of the public transport system, and would be run by the local transit agency. And the entire system would be supported entirely by taxes, with an additional bike-share fee structure that functioning mainly to disincentive the hogging of a bike.

  25.  

    Ferdinand Cesarano

    This is correct.

    Furthermore, there was always a plan to extend the subway to the City line in eastern Queens. Those plans were delayed by World War II; and then they were killed by the yahoos of eastern Queens themselves, who equated the coming of the subway with invasion by black and Latin people into their suburban-like zone.

    Simply put, people who want to live in a suburban setting do not belong in a city, because they perceive their interests in a manner that is incompatible with the interests of us urban people. If the worst (read: most suburban) parts of eastern Queens wanted to secede from New York City, I’d be all for it, just as I am 100% in favour of Staten Island secession. We’d have a better City if this were to happen. (Point of evidence: if we had let Staten Island go when they voted for it, we wouldn’t have had to suffer through Giuliani.)

  26.  

    Joe R.

    Those subsidies exist even within boroughs. Doubtless the wealthier parts of Queens subsidize the poorer parts. My complaint is that the poorer parts rarely get adequate services. They may well be getting back more in spending than they pay in taxes but they still have substandard streets, schools, and public transit. Point of fact I live in what is one of the better neighborhoods in Queens. The streets are mostly in third world condition and local public transit is pretty lousy. It’s even worse when I ride through poorer areas. Like I said, I don’t care how much we spend in Manhattan for gold-plated everything so long as the outer boroughs get at least adequate services. Right now we’re just not getting that.

    I don’t see any reason why one million dollar residential property should pay much less in taxes than another million dollar residential property.

    The problem here isn’t that single family home owners pay too little but that large apartment buildings pay too much. I’ve looked at what NYC’s property taxes for homes are compared to other places. They’re more or less in line with most other places. If you want fairness, look at lowering the taxes on apartment buildings, at least on buildings where most residents are middle class. Luxury apartment buildings (and McMansions) probably should both be taxed at higher rates.

    A large of the problem here isn’t how much money NYC gets, but how it spends it. School spending for example is out of control across the board but we really have little to show for it in terms of results. Spending on police is way too high also. I’d rather see much more of our tax receipts go to infrastructure. That includes repairing existing infrastructure as well as building new infrastructure.

  27.  

    BubbaJoe123

    “Queens can easily fund itself.”

    Not in the manner to which it’s become accustomed. Nassau has 2x the household income of Queens. Total Nassau income is 50% higher than Queens, even though the population’s lower. It’s a much larger pool to draw from.

    “Why would you need more bike balancing here?”

    Presumably, a much higher amount of traffic would be “home to subway stop” type traffic, essentially a park and ride model. In Manhattan, there’s quite a bit of that, but there are also people going places FROM subway stops outside of Midtown, and FROM/AMONG Midtown locations during the workday.

  28.  

    Joe R.

    I might use “lack of viable transportation options” as a criteria. Bike share just adds to the range of available transportation options in areas which are walkable and/or have good transit coverage. In areas where driving is the only viable option it can literally open doors for those unable to afford a car. Or in layman’s terms, it can empower the poor at a lower cost than any other type of transportation system.

  29.  

    BubbaJoe123

    I’m fine with taxes being progressive. NY’s taxes are already HIGHLY progressive. I don’t see any reason why one million dollar residential property should pay much less in taxes than another million dollar residential property.

    I’m not ranting, by the way. This is a respectful discussion. I certainly don’t agree with the “freeloading losers” argument.

    It’s entirely find for someone to say that “taxes should be MORE progressive,” or “Manhattan should do MORE to subsidize the outer boroughs,” or “NYC should do MORE to subsidize upstate.” That’s a reasonable policy position.

    It’s not reasonable, or fact-based, however, to argue that those subsidies don’t already exist, or that the subsidy flows the other way.

  30.  

    Joe R.

    Taxes can only be as high as people can afford. If people in the outer boroughs earn less, then they pay less. That’s one of the reasons for what you call an “unfair” property tax system. People have to live somewhere. Most workers can’t afford to live in Manhattan, or to pay high property tax rates. If wealthy Manhattan residents with businesses want fairly cheap labor, cheap nannies, and so forth then you end up what we have now. Your rant reminds me of people complaining “50% of the population doesn’t pay income tax so they’re a bunch of freeloading losers”. Yeah, they don’t pay because they hardly make anything. Can’t get blood out of stone.

    The best way to increase tax receipts is to invest in infrastructure. That’s the very reason Manhattan became an economic powerhouse in the first place. But you seem unwilling to do that. It’s basically a case of we got ours and fuck everyone else.

  31.  

    sammy davis jr jr

    Which is why cameras are so successful at reducing deaths and serious injuries.

    Asking people to drive at the legal speed limit isn’t “overzealous”, it’s just that for the past 100 years we have not had the technology to actually enforce it. But I get it. It’s hard for people to let go of decades of freedom to speed and risk lives, so their last hope is looking for “errors” to block the inevitable change and progress that’s coming.

  32.  

    Joe R.

    Queens can easily fund itself. Long Island and NJ have far lower population densities, and yet they manage to fund decent roads and good schools. A side benefit of Queens seceding would be freedom from a plethora of Manhattan-centric rules and regulations which hurt businesses and individuals here.

    Why would you need more bike balancing here? Travel patterns would typically involve going to a destination (typically either a subway station or a commercial area), and then returning. You just need to have enough bikes/docks to take care of peak periods. In fact, that’s probably the case just about anywhere. If you need to frequently rebalance you’re doing something wrong.

  33.  

    Boeings+Bikes

    Note that the Riders Alliance event is on *WEDNESDAY* NOV. 30 – not on Thursday as suggested by the above post. The RSVP link contains the correct information.

  34.  

    ItsEasyBeingGreen

    I would wager that JC has much lower traffic volumes than most of the dense parts of NYC.

  35.  

    BubbaJoe123

    “Last I checked Manhattan has fewer residents than Queens but far more subways in terms of both route miles and coverage. That’s hardly “less than their population proportionate share”. Same thing with schools, and basically most other city services. “

    1. Route miles of subway are higher in Manhattan, but those benefit both Manhattan and outer borough residents – route miles in Queens minimally benefit Manhattan residents. Also, population density is higher, making subways a more economical choice.

    2. For other city services, Manhattan gets in line to lower funding per capita, Manhattan schools certainly don’t get more per student (probably less overall, since schools with more poor kids and underperforming schools get more city funding, Manhattan’s lower crime rate means less police resources, don’t know about fire, etc.

    Of course, this doesn’t get into some of the other outer borough subsidies, such as the highly unfair property tax system, which applies much higher effective rates to apartments in larger buildings vs. small apt buildings and single family homes.

  36.  

    BubbaJoe123

    $480M is far from a drop in the bucket or rounding error. It also wouldn’t cover the increased operating costs of rolling out Citibike everywhere, particularly to lower-density areas which would probably require a lot more rebalancing.

    “There is a growing perception among those in the outer boroughs that we don’t matter to City Hall other than when it comes time to collect taxes from us.”

    The way to fix that perception is for people to realize that their perception is wrong. Or, if people in the outer boroughs think they’re getting a raw deal, I would be more than welcome to have them secede from NYC. Queens is welcome to fund its roads, schools, police, fire, etc. on its own.

    This perception that the outer boroughs are getting a raw deal vs. Manhattan is very similar to the (equally inaccurate) perception upstate that they’re subsidizing NYC, when the reality is the exact opposite.

  37.  

    Daniel S Dunnam

    Re: Gothamist piece about Citibike expansion: $6,000 per bike!? Really? I thought it was much less than that. Anyone know how they arrived at that figure? Like what are they including besides the actual price of the bike to get that high, particularly when “that doesn’t include operational and maintenance costs”?

  38.  

    Joe R.

    In terms of NYC’s total budget we’re not talking huge amounts of money. At $6,000 per bike, and assuming 80K bikes, you’re talking $480 million. NYC’s 2017 budget is $82.2 billion. $480 million is literally a rounding error. In fact, since we couldn’t roll out bike share everywhere at once that $480 million would be spent over a few years at least, making it an even more miniscule portion of the budget.

    The fact is people in the outer boroughs need transportation options. I realize for now subways are hideously expensive but bike share can provide another option to many people for a fraction of the cost of any other option. That’s even the case if you want to include a few billion in bike infrastructure as part of the deal. Still a tiny percentage of the budget, but it provides enormous bang for the buck.

    Politically it’s also a good move. There is a growing perception among those in the outer boroughs that we don’t matter to City Hall other than when it comes time to collect taxes from us. A few crumbs in the form of bike share and bike infrastructure could help mitigate that without busting the budget. Obviously, long term we also need more subways, but maybe we can get the feds to foot most of the bill under Trump’s proposed infrastructure plan.

    I’d eliminate free street parking in all of NYC tomorrow if I could.

    At least we agree on something.

  39.  

    Joe R.

    If you’re looking for services proportional to contributions then just make everything market-based. Charge tolls for streets, tuition for all schooling, fares which cover both the operating and capital costs of public transit, and so forth. That’s a republican’s wet dream, actually. The obvious end result of this will be significant portions of the population having no education, no medical care, and walking on dirt roads. Doesn’t seem like a great model to me.

    So, those who contribute more get, at very best, a population proportionate share of the services, and, in most cases (education, police protection, transportation, social services, etc.), far less than even their population proportionate share?

    ??????

    Last I checked Manhattan has fewer residents than Queens but far more subways in terms of both route miles and coverage. That’s hardly “less than their population proportionate share”. Same thing with schools, and basically most other city services. Frankly, I don’t care if Manhattanites get more services since on average they pay more in taxes. My objection is that much of the outer boroughs don’t even have what amounts to minimal services. No subways, streets in bad repair, poor schools, no bike share, lousy bus service, etc. It has nothing to do with NYC not having the money. They money is there. Too much of it is spent giving Manhattan gold-plated everything at the expense of the outer boroughs. For what the over-priced three stations of Second Avenue subway cost you easily could have built 10+ miles of new subways in Brooklyn or Queens. Unlike in Manhattan which already has great subway coverage, these subways would be providing something which plain doesn’t exist now.

    Same with bike share. In Manhattan it just adds to a plethora of options. In parts of the outer boroughs where driving is often the only viable option it could provide a real alternative.

    Remember, the outer boroughs are already heavily subsidized when it comes to transport, due to (a) tax funding for transport, and (b) the single fare system, where shorter rides are higher priced to keep longer rides lower priced.

    This is patently BS. The subway system was expressly designed to provide quick trips from the outer boroughs to Manhattan. By definition heavy rail systems are made for longer trips, not shorter ones. The biggest subsidies per passenger are due to heavy reliance on buses in the outer boroughs. That could easily be fixed by building more subways. The capital cost is more, but subways have lower operating costs than buses, move more people, and tend to attract riders who would never think of using a bus.

  40.  

    BubbaJoe123

    Hey, I have no issue with taking up parking spaces (I’d eliminate free street parking in all of NYC tomorrow if I could). The issue with rapidly expanding Citibike is who will pay for it? In the US, there’s a democratic process, and people can complain about how the gov’t spends money. Not exactly true in China.

  41.  

    BubbaJoe123

    So, those who contribute more get, at very best, a population proportionate share of the services, and, in most cases (education, police protection, transportation, social services, etc.), far less than even their population proportionate share?

    Remember, the outer boroughs are already heavily subsidized when it comes to transport, due to (a) tax funding for transport, and (b) the single fare system, where shorter rides are higher priced to keep longer rides lower priced.

  42.  

    ohnonononono

    They should be required to disclose every aspect of their budget and operations because they’ve been granted monopoly rights as the sole bike share operator for NYC. If I don’t like CitiBike’s services, I can’t choose another bike share provider.

    Nor would it really make sense at this point for the city to grant bike share rights to multiple operators. The idea that because they’re not directly subsidized by the city they shouldn’t have to disclose their full budget is nonsense. They aren’t just any private business. They’re basically private operator of a utility.

  43.  

    Jass

    The bikes cost around $1,000. The cost of the package (including the docks) is why the per bike is cited as $6,000. Thats also why the folks in Hoboken said no to Citibike and went with a system that doesnt require the docks.

  44.  

    ohnonononono

    Right, and more PBLs across the 5 boroughs mean more people feel comfortable biking across the 5 boroughs, which makes CitiBike expansion more financially feasible.

    CitiBike’s business model relies on casual users buying day passes. Casual users are far more likely to pick up a CitiBike if they see an obvious safe route to bike.

  45.  

    Joe R.

    Most side streets in the outer boroughs are perfectly bikeable as is. The only problems are that they often don’t provide continuous links, and are often in poor condition. The latter can be fixed by repaving them. The former can be mitigated by providing bike-only paths to connect discontinuous side streets (not always possible but it could be done in quite a few cases).

    Sadly, many outer borough arterials just don’t have room for PBLs. Typically you have two lanes each way and a parking lane. Even if it were politically possible to remove the parking lane, there would be no “protection” from traffic unless you installed jersey barriers.

  46.  

    Joe R.

    We’re talking about putting docks on streets. You don’t need to bulldoze buildings or get anyone’s permission. A great place to put the docks is in what are currently parking spots next to crosswalks. It would provide the added benefit of daylighting intersections. Since it’s already public space, there’s no need to use eminent domain or get anybody’s permission. I’m sure the parking preservation boards will complain, but honestly who cares? They have no real veto power.

  47.  

    Joe R.

    No, in general higher income households pay more in taxes than they get back in services, and business districts pay more than residential districts. Never has any attempt been made to equalize spending in any area, or for any one taxpayer, to equal the taxes they pay. Our system never worked that way. Richer areas pay for poorer areas. CBDs pay for residential areas. Some parts of Manhattan are poor (notably much of upper Manhattan) and receive net subsidies. Others pay far more than they receive but still get enough spending to provide good schools, subways, streets in reasonable good repair, and so forth. Those things shouldn’t be considered amenities. All of NYC should have them.

    If you’re complaining that some areas of NYC pay less even than what little spending they get then it’s because incomes are low. And the reason for that may well be because NYC failed to invest adequately in necessary infrastructure. As strange as it may seem to you, investments in things like subways, bike share, smooth streets, and so forth pay dividends in the form of higher taxes. And for a long time NYC has neglected much of the outer boroughs in terms of paying for these things.

  48.  

    van_vlissingen

    I recently rode a CitiBike in Jersey City. There were no bike lanes (protected or unprotected) where I was riding and it was still completely doable. JC reminded me a lot of any outer borough TBH and I felt riding a city bike was completely doable.
    Certainly PBL would make things better, but I don’t see this as an either/or.

  49.  

    Joe R.

    Right, that’s exactly my point. In most of the world where bike share exists the cities are far less dense than Manhattan. And most of NYC’s outer boroughs are far denser than many cities.

    The reason for no bike share (and many other things Manhattanites take for granted) is due to the Manhattan-centric focus of city government.

  50.  

    van_vlissingen

    What is the optimum population density for bike share? Even relatively sparse Eastern Queens neighborhoods like Bayside, Cambria Heights, etc were developed almost 60-75 years ago. I bet that’s still fairly dense compared to most of the country.