Skip to content

Recent Comments



    when in fact, many of us did, or do, or will.

    Punch a subway conductor? I think a complete freakout including assault over an accidental bump counts as “unhinged”.



    I’d like to see “unhinged” struck from the “Chaos Ensues” headline. To me it’s a slightly insidious word (you see it sometimes in Post or News heds characterizing a particularly egregious dangerous driver) that subtly implies that “the rest of us” would never do that … when in fact, many of us did, or do, or will. The perp was an off-duty cop, period. (With a history of violence, as it happens, but “unhinged” doesn’t speak to that.)



    Do you think pedestrians (sorry, people) leave their homes with the intention of getting run over?



    What surprises me about the Citi Bike station in Prospect Park is that it appears to be _in_ Prospect Park (only barely, though). I don’t think Central Park allowed itself to be begrimed with any Citi Bike stations! (I’m not counting the ones on the peripheral sidewalks.)

    Will the NYPD harass people for using that station after 1 AM?



    You hear about it when NYPD officers assault women who work for the MTA because they have special legal protections and a strong union backing them. Don’t forget this incident from 2015:

    It makes you wonder how many other women are victimized by the NYPD that we never hear about…



    RE “Borough Park Driver” – The article says “The victim, who witnesses said veered into the Lexus’ lane…” Since Dahill Rd. is a one lane road, you can’t veer into another lane. The Lexus clearly passed the cyclist without due care.


    Greg M

    The terrifying fact of this law not mentioned in the article is that it now mandates pedestrians to jump into the path of moving vehicles, says the dancing monkey in Jack’s head.



    The Citibike and taxi trip data is the time and location of when the trip started and the time and location of where the trip ended. This gives you the distance between the start and stop locations as well as the elapsed time.

    The Citibike data can be downloaded from their website. Anyone can verify the calculations. The trip speed is the straight line distance between the start and stop locations divided by elapsed time.

    The analysis categorized trip distances. The 7.5 mph figure was based on a weekday for trips greater than 2.0 miles. Trips between 1.0 and 2.0 miles averaged 7.8 mph. Trips under 1.0 miles averaged slightly lower speeds.

    I’m sure one can come up with examples that would lead to misleading speed calculations. However, such examples are rare and would be lost in the averaging over large numbers of rides.





    I think Citi Bike decided to assume a speed and multiply it by trip time because that’s more likely to give a plausible estimate of distance for recreational trips (I don’t know the fraction those trips represent, but at least on weekends it must be significant). One such trip might look like this: 1) bike undocked at Central Park South & 7th Ave. 2) bike docked at Central Park South & 7th Ave 45 minutes later. Distance of zero? Probably not. Most likely, the user took a spin around the Central Park loop.

    I do agree that odometer info would be nice to have.


    Joe R.

    All this is certainly true but as I mentioned to Steve it doesn’t make sense to base e-bike regulations on worst case scenarios of the most narrow paths at peak times. If need be you can even ban e-bikes from these paths at peak times. In most of NYC most of the time e-bikes with speeds in the 20 to 25 mph range can coexist just fine with regular bikes. The higher speeds actually make it feasible to take the traffic lane in the many cases where you don’t have any bike infrastructure.


    Joe R.

    We’re talking here about potential bike use if the L train is shut down. That may well mean a lot of the former train riders would need to go 5 to 10 miles.

    I take those Citibike speed numbers with a huge grain of salt because they also include the time to dock and undock the bikes. Point of fact, the Citibike site itself ( ) has the following qualifier:

    Milage estimates are calculated using an assumed speed of 7.456 miles per hour, up to two hours. Trips over two hours max-out at 14.9 miles.

    It seems they don’t even really know how long the trips are. They’re just assuming an average speed of 7.5 mph and using the trip time to calculate distance. It’s a pity the bikes don’t have odometers which upload the mileage every time a trip is taken. Or they could use the start and end points, and assume the shortest possible route, in their calculations. Either way would give us numbers which are closer to the real-world numbers.


    Joe R.

    The federal regulations consider an e-bike a regular bicycle if the motor is rated at 750 watts or less and the top speed is 20 mph or less. States are allowed to exceed these numbers for e-bikes if they wish but not to go lower. I think the numbers are reasonable. You shouldn’t be using choke points like the paths over bridges as the basis for e-bike regulations. There are plenty of streets in NYC where an e-bike going even 25 mph is just fine. On crowded paths with no room for passing e-bike users will have to slow down just like faster cyclists already do.

    Also note that even with your preferred 15 mph top speed the issue of e-bikes being faster than regular cyclists would still exist. With up 750 watts of power the e-bike will be capable of going 15 mph all the time, even up a 10% gradient which might reduce a regular cyclist’s speed to 3 or 4 mph. The only way to fix that is to severely limit motor power, but then you’ve essentially eliminated the only reason for using an e-bike in the first place.



    I have to agree with Steve here. In spite of almost zero bike infrastructure in Northeast Queens, I know I can ride much faster for longer distances. In Manhattan if you have two slower riders riding abreast, the existing protected lanes will not facilitate passing



    Any good bike infrastructure should have room for safe passing. In the Netherlands you have 60 kph velomobiles and 10 kph child cyclists coexisting just fine on the same bike infrastructure.

    The bike infrastructure we are likely to get in NYC will not fit your definition of “good.” Our infrastructure will be most likely resemble the Brooklyn Bridge Promenade or Central Park’s lower loop. That’s why the e-bikes speed must be closer to the 10 kph child rather than an elite cyclist.

    Incidentally, it only takes about ~100 watts to maintain 15 mph on a level road. That’s about what the average cyclist can put out on a continual basis.

    My assertion that 15 mph on a continual basis wasn’t far off. So long as e-bikes are relegated to bicycle status, they should have pedal cycle characteristics.

    BTW, add a 5 mph headwind from your calculator link. That 100 watt speed is reduced to 12.25 mph. Add a 0.5% grade and it’s down to 10.99 mph.



    On the range/speed thing, the issue is the number of people willing to bike increases dramatically when the trip takes 30 minutes or less.

    For 12% of people who live and work in NYC , the travel distance is under 1 mile. They will most likely walk to work.

    For 31% of the people who live and work in NYC, the straight line travel distance is between 1 and 4 miles. The Citibike trip speed is 7.5 mph or 8 min/mile. That comes to a maximum trip length of 32 minutes. N.B. the Citibike speed is faster than a taxi.

    These figures are based on the US Census LEHD 2014 data for private sector jobs.



    I’ve worked in two buildings regularly that have “indoor” bike parking.
    One is in the built in parking garage, the other in a HUGE paved courtyard in a tiny shed (its always nearly full on sunny days).
    While neither are ideal, both were clearly results of the existing law, and 100% better than having to lock up on the street.
    So it’s progress. These changes will push the needle a bit further.



    This just isn’t literally true. There are frequently empty side streets in Manhattan with the light on the Avenue red.



    That is never a case in Manhattan. Something is always coming.



    when they’re not supposed to.

    It seems like you don’t know how the law works or have not read this article about this law.



    Maybe the government should give out to each citizens, a padded cell then, make sure that they don’t hurt themselves.


    Joe R.

    No, just behaviors which aren’t inherently harmful, like allowing pedestrians or cyclists to pass red lights when nothing is coming.



    That was your argument, I was just inflating your logic so you can see the issue with it.


    Joe R.

    Actually, you can avoid the need for traffic lights if you limit vehicle speeds to about 20 mph. Most 30 kph (18.6 mph) zones overseas do away with traffic signals and stop signs. The only key is you need good lines of sight at intersections (but you need that at 15 mph anyway). I’m fully onboard getting rid of traffic signals in NYC but I doubt all that many others are. Net result is we’ll be stuck with them for now, and you’ll make a lot more lights on a bike at 20 to 25 mph than you will at 15 mph.

    On the range/speed thing, the issue is the number of people willing to bike increases dramatically when the trip takes 30 minutes or less. I’m not sure if the same numbers hold with e-bikes, or if longer trips would be tolerable, but if not then a faster e-bike gives you a larger commuting radius in those 30 minutes.



    Seems to be exactly what I said about Manhattan, and I doubt very much this new law will help. All it will do is encourage pedestrian to run across the road when they’re not supposed to.





    So in your logic, if people go around punching each other, we should also legalize is because people are already doing it.



    What did people do before the countdown? They waited right? I’m certainly sure that countdown wasn’t added until a few years ago. I’d be curious to know how many of these accidents are caused by pedestrian not paying attention to the road. I don’t have any real data on that to cite it right now, but when I do I will be sure to post.



    Maybe we should outlaw all motor vehicles then, since the MTA bus takes up more space than my car.

    You get it. Cars are fundamentally incompatible with cities. Glad we finally agree on something.

    [Edit: I have no idea what this statement means. Buses carry a lot of people whose time is worth no more nor less than yours but whose cumulative time is certainly worth more than yours individually. Are you saying the MTA should ban buses? Should the MTA also ban the subway and pave over the tracks so you can drive there?]


    Joe R.

    We actually should outlaw private automobile use, at least in Manhattan. Again, this is about giving space to the most space efficient users.



    Maybe we should outlaw all motor vehicles then, since the MTA bus takes up more space than my car. That will solve the problem for you? While we’re at it we should also get rid of homes, they take up more space than anything else.


    Joe R.

    We’re prioritizing the most space efficient users (pedestrians, cyclists, bus riders) over single occupancy private automobiles. The time of a bus full of 50 people is most certainly more important than your time. Same thing when a dozen pedestrians have to wait to cross so you can save two seconds.



    Actually, I would argue that protecting people’s lives is a much higher imperative of government than making it easier to make a right turn.



    Just because pedestrians neglect to follow simple rules of the road, doesn’t mean drivers should pay for it.

    The rules have changed. If you see enough time left on the countdown to cross, do you really stand at the curb and wait for the next cycle?



    Yeah but here’s the problem with your logic. Of course your time isn’t worth less than other people’s time. But because your car takes up way, WAY more space than my bike or my body, your car ends up gaining you a lot of time, just for you, at the expense of a lot of other people. So the time cost to others is much greater than the time benefit to you. That traffic jam caused by your car (carrying only you) is delaying a bus (carrying many people who are not you).


    Joe R.

    What stopped them before? Perhaps a desire not to get ran over? You seem to think because of one change in a law which basically just legalizes what pedestrians already do there will be chaos.

    I hear the same nonsense whenever someone proposes letting cyclists treat red lights as yields. Again, that’s basically legalizing what many already do. The end result won’t be chaos there, either.



    Nor is it the government’s job to make life of pedestrians easy. We don’t cater for some Americans while others are left out cold. You know life, liberty and justice for “ALL” not “SOME”



    Here’s the problem with your flawed logic, if my time isn’t as important as others, their time isn’t as important as mine either.. get it?

    All of the congestion problems you listed above will only be amplified by the new bill. If you’re wondering how so, see the original post.


    Joe R.

    Have you ever considered that “your convenience” to drive into Manhattan comes at an enormous cost to everyone else? All those private automobiles delay buses, bikes, and pedestrians. That’s why we should impose restrictions on private car use. Even if you hypothetically saved an hour each way compared to public transit, which is doubtful given traffic speeds during peak hours, you likely impose a cumulative delay of several hours on other road users. Your time isn’t more important than anyone else’s. NYC isn’t Nebraska. Private automobiles don’t scale here. At best they’re inherently elitist because they can only serve a tiny fraction of the population but that convenience comes at a terrible price to everyone else.

    Get used to a NYC where it becomes increasingly more difficult and costly to get around by private car as the city reapportions street space to other users. Free will doesn’t mean you have the right to unfettered car use in the nation’s most densely populated urban area.



    And what will stop them from now crossing when they’re not supposed to? I’m curious how many of these accidents were really caused by a driver deliberately running someone over. Lets see here, do you really think a person leaves their home with the intention of running over pedestrians? I’m sure they’re more worried about their driving privileges and insurance and want to avoid that problem at all costs. Just because pedestrians neglect to follow simple rules of the road, doesn’t mean drivers should pay for it.



    Sounds like you just had an epiphany. Choices are always constrained.



    It’s not the governments job to make driving as easy as possible, nor is them doing so an example of enabling free will.



    I said nothing about enforcement. I’m talking about legalizing the way people already cross so that they don’t get screwed over by the legal system in the event of a crash.



    It is no longer a “convenient option” nor free-will when new imposed restrictions makes it more difficult than mass transit.



    You think jaywalking is enforced in NYC? Clearly you must not live in NYC. Maybe they should start hitting those crazy people who are so busy on their phones and not paying attention with crazy fines for causing accidents.



    What actual numbers

    How many of the 8-9am 28K Canarsie Tunnel riders will bike over the Manhattan Bridge?

    I’m simply trying to scope the problem/solution. If you’re interested in my contention (in Crain’s last month) that Move NY tolling would cut vehicle volumes on the ERB’s by 25 percent,

    I’m not so sure. Compare the 8-9 am peak hour figures for the 3 Brooklyn Bridges vs. the Battery Tunnel. Inbound it’s: 4K for the BB; 3.3K for the MB and WB; and 3.0K for the Battery Tunnel. At two lanes the Battery Tunnel has the least capacity – i.e. it’s the most crowded.



    What does that have to do with this law? It’s still jaywalking to cross on a red light.



    If you’re saying that the only convenient option you have to get to Manhattan is by private car, then it sounds like you have a free will problem.



    So you’re saying you’re okay with not having free will? Have you tried commuting from say, Howard Beach to Manhattan by means of mass transit? Try it sometimes, when you spend 3 hours to get where you’re going, in which would otherwise take 40 minutes, there’s a problem there.

    Mass commute isn’t a problem, but when you strip all other choices from people and hike up fares as you like, then that is a problem.



    What does voting for Trump or Hillary have to do with this? You can’t stay on topic huh? In case you’re wondering, I think both of them are unfit to be president, if that helps.