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    Citation for the 98% or cars being below 96th St? Or are we making things up again Vooch?



    A more significant link would be Vanderbilt itself. Using Clinton is requiring all cyclists traveling NW, to the bridges, or SE, back from the bridges, to detour a block each way to continue their journeys past Gates. (Admit that it’s a educated guess that more people travel NW-SE to/from the city than NE-SW to/from Williamsburg and Queens).

    Meanwhile Vanderbilt provides those connections without the detour and probably will remain the main bike route of choice since no one – pedestrians, cyclists or drivers – is usually keen to go out of their way to get to their destinations.



    They really need to take this all the way down to Atlantic and make a protected connection on Atlantic to Underhill Ave and give Underhill the same treatment as Clinton. This would make a great north/south connection between the Brooklyn Greenway and the Eastern Parkway greenway (and thus Prospect Park).



    That’s great and all, but if you do this at intersections, you’re putting yourself at increased risk. Again, defensive driving/cycling/etc is key.

    Drivers are required to do a shoulder check when they change lanes, but I still don’t hang out in their blind spots, you know what I’m saying?



    Clinton path will connect to the Greenway in the North, and South of Gates, Vanderbilt has bike lanes (they are not protected, but the function pretty well in my experience) that connect to Grand Army Plaza/Eastern Parkway/Prospect Park/PPW. Hard to imagine a more significant link connecting high quality Brooklyn lanes/paths.


    Opus the Poet

    Cyclists are not required to yield to cars making left turns while the cyclist proceeds straight, even if the turning vehicle is signalling. The turning vehicle must yield to all through traffic and wait until the way is clear before proceeding.



    The more I learn about this proposal, the more ambivalent I feel. Until recently I was under the mistaken impression that Clinton continued south of Atlantic Avenue- if that was true, then I could understand its utility by connecting the waterfront with Prospect Park or Eastern Parkway. But by dead-ending at Gates, I don’t see how it will contribute to building a cohesive bike network.



    Hell, Borough President Adams is a refreshingly step up from State Senator Adams.



    If cost were less constrained, the highways could all be in tunnels.

    I wish that were true! Remember, the west side highway tunnel was killed partially due to the environmental impact on fish in the river.

    And as we saw recently, there’s no room under downtown Brooklyn for a car tunnel due to the water tunnel.

    As for “makes no sense to try and make car trips in an urban area faster” I just fundamentally disagree.



    Via sharrows, I presume. Seems like you could extend the one-way section another block and make a real connection.



    Well, if your concern is freight, timeliness becomes somewhat less important. As for freight on expressways, it’s often banned anyway.

    The best way to spend money is to spend it to reduce needs for roads, not bury roads.



    Hope for better results than the SBS bus I just took on First Ave at 2:30 pm. Local youths out of some secondary school commandeered the middle part of it for their loud horseplay. Driver did nothing about it, nor summoned cops by the time I got off 50 blocks later. Bus had nearly emptied of regular passengers by then.



    Local streets *could* be faster than highways. This depends on the trip and the conditions on the highway, which any driver knows varies considerably.

    Put them nowhere in cities. We don’t need them and never did. They aren’t even helping drivers.


    Joe R.

    Things like that could be prevented entirely with a few bollards blocking the entrances to the bike lane at intersections. Since the NYPD doesn’t seem to want to enforce bike lanes (except when bikes are out of them even though that’s legal) we need physical enforcement.



    Inconsiderate assholes will do things like that but entrances are no longer appropriate for regular traffic. Manhattan bound traffic would have to merge through an intersection crosswalk, up a curb ramp, around a narrow pathway and a quick right through a narrow entrance. There would be collisions constantly.



    Gates Ave to connect to Vanderbilt if I am not mistaken.



    How about calling it the Lauren Davis memorial bike lane.


    Joe R.

    If cost were less constrained, the highways could all be in tunnels. At that point it pretty much doesn’t matter where you put them. They won’t affect anything above ground (other than at the entrances or exits).

    I think bolwerk’s argument here isn’t local streets are faster but rather that it makes no sense to try and make car trips in an urban area faster since it only encourages more car use. I kind of agree there but at the same time I feel we need some highways in a city as large as New York purely for commercial traffic to get anywhere in a timely manner.


    Joe R.

    Human-powered transport could fill that role also within urban areas with proper infrastructure and equipment. Bike highways and velomobiles could offer average door-to-door speeds of 20 to 30+ mph, depending upon rider strength, for a much smaller investment than subways.



    Is there ever going to be more details about the actual design? Where is the connection supposed to be made in the N/S directions to/from Vanderbilt for those traveling south of Atlantic Ave?

    Also, a protected lane on (what ought to be) a side street? Somewhere a Dutch traffic engineer is laughing (or crying).


    Joe R.

    For what it’s worth I think highways should be primarily commercial traffic. I pretty much agree private automobiles in urban areas are a horrible idea. This issue here is NYC is 20 miles across. In order for commercial traffic to get anywhere in a timely manner, you pretty much have to have expressways. You also want commercial traffic to do as much of their travel as possible on those highways. Ideally, I’d put the highways all underground so they wouldn’t impact the city at all. Practically speaking, drivers as a group are too cheap to pay for that.

    Long term you would ideally try to get most freight delivered to NYC by rail. You could use the subways at night for a lot of last mile delivery from the freight rail depots. Or use trucks going from multiple freight rail depots, perhaps one or two in each borough. That will reduce, perhaps mostly eliminate, any need for highways from a commercial perspective. At that point you could probably seriously consider getting rid of motor vehicle highways. I’d still want bike highways though. They wouldn’t have any of the negative impacts car highways have, but they make bike travel around a large city so much safer, faster, and more useful. Whatever my misgivings about all of Robert Moses’ expressways, it annoys me no end we don’t have something similar for bikes. Trying to ride more than a short distance on congested NYC streets with stoplights every block or two quickly becomes a lesson in futility and aggravation.



    Hahaha that’s awesome. I definitely would have just stopped and stood astride my bicycle blocking the vehicle’s path indefinitely. I mean, why is it a motorist’s business what I, as a cyclist, do with my bicycle, on a bicycle path? As long as I’m not blocking the way of any bicyclists or pedestrians surely there is nothing wrong with standing still in a bicycle and pedestrian area.



    Re waze: …I’m not understanding your point I think? Are you arguing that local streets are often faster than highway trips, or something else?

    Limited access highways on our waterfronts are simply theft of the waterfronts

    I disagree! Short of removing road space altogether, a separated (often elevated or sunken) structure is better than an at-grade one. Compare the west side highway around canal st with the west side highway where it becomes an elevated highway again. One is smelly, loud, and full of turning cars, the other has the cars far enough where all you hear is the occasional rumble. Both have waterfront parks. I prefer the latter, don’t you?

    Also, bringing it back a little; if you were to put highways somewhere, where would you put them? cutting through the middle of town like the cross bronx, or around the periphery like belt/west side/fdr/etc? That’s still an issue today.

    Back then the was another: the waterfront was disgusting, and considered bad real estate; so it was a natural place to put car highways. They were elevated to allow access for ships to be unloaded back when NYC was actually full of small ports. Those days are past now and we have container ships unload in jersey and trucks drive the goods in.





    And if you’re a speed demon, the way to get around is by properly developed intercity rail, not highways.



    Limited access highways get clogged and add to local congestion. They also induce demand for their use. They also divide neighborhoods and add noise (slow cars are quieter than fast-moving cars on grade-separated arterials).

    The preferable regime is indeed fewer cars with price signals to control usage, but anyone with a destination in the city will ultimately end up using local streets, probably extensively. The place for arterials, those that should exist at all, is in the suburbs for traffic that needs to go intercity or around cities.



    Crash bar could be set up overnight.



    There’s also one at E 90th St on the FDR. couldn’t find a photo online though.



    Cheap solution:



    Waze reports conditions. It doesn’t effect [sic] a change in those conditions or the reliability of your trip.

    Limited access highways on our waterfronts are simply theft of the waterfronts from people who should be enjoying them. Even if they did speed drivers’ trips up, I don’t see how that can be justified.


    Joe R.

    The problem is indeed too many cars. If NYC had a sane tolling policy and congestion charges to enter the densest places, the highways would probably be free-flowing all the time. In areas where space is limited, you need to charge for driving. Keep raising that charge until traffic is free-flowing. Once you do that, it becomes desirable to attract as much of the now limited traffic volume as you can to limited access highways. Having large numbers of private automobiles on the local street grid adds absolutely nothing positive to the urban experience.



    No, only the overpass will be raised for the Hutchinson River Pkwy. Trucks will still be prohibited.



    They wouldn’t close it this time around. The entrance on the Queens side is in a curbed plaza with a very tight bend now. Manhattan side has a very tight bend too which would lead to traffic conflicts with the regular automotive exit.



    good point – we need to advocate to keep active transportation on Queensboro during repairs. More than 8,000 people use that 6′ lane each day.


    Joe R.

    Let’s see then if the police file charges against her for giving a false statement. I highly doubt it, but you never know.



    Sometimes they’re faster, but they’re far from more dependable.

    I’ll disagree with you here. I drive around here a lot, and I use waze, which is pretty spot on as to actual travel times, whether highway or local. It offers local streets as an alternative for any really distance so rarely, as not even be worth mentioning; even 10mph traffic on a highway is better than waiting at red lights.

    The west side highway is a good case study actually, and I’d argue it points to keeping highways vs the alternative. Although traffic volumes did dip for a while after the original highway collapsed, they did everywhere else too: NYC kind of had other bigger problems then.

    The current west st, however has roughly the same volume as the FDR (another N/S limited access highway), and if you include 10th ave (a popular alternative for N/S thru travel, the numbers are even better.

    I’d argue that the FDR situation is preferable to the West St situation. given that the volumes are roughly equivalent, I want cars separate and away from me rather than right next to me. If you go far enough north where the west side is elevated again, isn’t it overall a nicer place to walk/bike/relax than the southern part?


    Joe R.

    I just hang back until they either turn or clear the intersection. That’s also one reason I prefer to avoid being in an intersection soon after a light goes green. You have motorists making all kinds of maneuvers, typically without bothering to check for something as small as a bike. I like to hit intersections either long after the light has gone green, or pass on red when there’s a gap in traffic (I know the second thing goes against your philosophy). Either way avoids conflicts with motor vehicles.


    Joe R.

    There’s also the importance of leaving yourself an out. My standard operating procedure on a bike is to assume everything will do the worst possible thing at the worst possible time. The only thing I need to do is to make sure I have a plan B when that happens. In a nutshell, the key is to never box yourself in. So long as you have someplace to go when something happens you can avoid most mishaps.



    Maybe it’s just that there are too many cars period, but limited access highways have a pretty horrendous record of getting clogged up and then causing traffic jams on local streets with egresses to the limited access highways. Sometimes they’re faster, but they’re far from more dependable.

    Alternatively, look at when the BQE is closed due to a bad accident; what do the local streets that cars use in that instance look like?

    That’s expected. But also look at what happens when an arterial route is closed down entirely. Traffic tends to improve. This was perhaps most famously observed with a West Side highway collapse in 1973.* Why? Probably ’cause people find (on average) more efficient routes to where they’re going.

    * This may be one of the incidences that gave rise to the induced demand concept.


    Robert Wright

    My argument (which I made in greater detail here: ) is that there’s a shared paradigm among police officers in many places and the media about what causes crashes. There’s an idea that they typically result from the carelessness of feckless pedestrians or cyclists and that drivers are hapless in the face of these silly individuals’ responsibility. It’s the idea that underlies lots of pedestrian and cyclist education initiatives too. It leads (I think) many police officers and reporters to sift evidence in a misleading fashion, putting the blame on victims. The critical point is that statistics and common sense suggest the paradigm is entirely wrong. People don’t generally put themselves in obvious danger. Invulnerable drivers are not sufficiently careful. I think it’s critical to tackle this mistaken understanding of crashes head-on.



    Which, when you think about it, is even scarier. A conspiracy you might have hopes of bringing to light and dismantling. This is just the baseline mindset of the NYPD (and many others in NYC). They don’t even realize they have this mindset or that there are other possible ways of thinking about it. Makes change even more challenging.



    That’s not necessarily a bike only thing; NYC tickets are notoriously difficult to fight sometimes; here’s an example of one that I got recently (as a motorist);

    I got a ticket for being less than 15 ft from a hydrant. Which seemed odd, since it looked like I had plenty of room; so I got out a tape measure and measured how far away I was: 15.5ft. I sent in the photo as proof, and I got back the response that, “well, you could have moved your car after the fact. The ticket stays.”

    So, at least we’re all in this together.



    Very much agree with this. When I started driving I was taught to drive as though every other driver is actively trying to kill me and that all pedestrians are suicidal and will dart out between cars for no reason. When I started motorcycling I was taught to ride as though no driver will ever see me or will actively trying to plow me off the road. Hence, when I cycle, I assume nothing and behave the same way i do as when I ride or drive.



    As do I, but why do you think there will be less traffic jams on a street grid with lights and pedestrians and other conflict points than on a limited access highway with exits where cars don’t need to stop?

    I mean, take almost any highway in NYC that has roads paralleling it; it is faster to take local streets or the highway? Alternatively, look at when the BQE is closed due to a bad accident; what do the local streets that cars use in that instance look like?



    Conspiracy is a strong word, and not quite right. What it is is a culture that values drivers over other users, due in part to many officers preferring to travel by car when off-duty and using cars all the time when on-duty. PLUS very little support/incentives from the top to care about pedestrians. The message is “Street safety doesn’t matter, don’t waste time on it, don’t deal with it professionally.”

    Not a conspiracy – just a clear message to not care and not spend time on it.


    Doug G.

    If DOT won’t do it, I believe advocates and others should get out there and paint one themselves. Enough waiting for big institutions to act. It gets people killed.



    Okay, that metaphor sucked. More like his 478th tentacle doesn’t know what the 767th is doing.



    Speaking of BQX, the Queensboro Bridge is probably one of the most condign potential LRT corridors in the city. Relief for two busy subway crossings, one stupidly stupidly busy.

    I take it de Blasio’s left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing.



    I have an irrational dislike for traffic jams I guess.



    The lawless, in-your-face road culture is one of the last vestiges (maybe THE last?) of “Bad Old Days” NYC. I think some of it may be because so much of the force lives in the suburbs and thinks that this is how it always was for them growing up in and around the city and thus “why should it ever change?”