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    Jonathan R

    In New York, there are many limiting factors to bicycling other than safety. The paradox that the filthy and disgusting subway is far more popular than healthy and joyful bicycling should be kept in mind. It makes sense for DOT to focus on safety for people on foot since everyone is a pedestrian as they walk to and from the subway station or bus stop. It’s peevish for Mr. White to complain now about Vision Zero not including bicycling when his organization has been banging the drum for Vision Zero since January 2014.



    Well, it *wasn’t* obvious. There are plenty of people who would write what you wrote with a completely straight face, and I don’t know you, so.


    Simon Phearson

    Sorry. I thought the sarcasm would be obvious, since another of the headlines was about how bus drivers shouldn’t be held responsible for driving over pedestrians because they can’t see out of their buses.

    Well, it *was* obvious. I mean, I’m sorry I didn’t write at your level of understanding.


    Ferdinand Cesarano

    To find your leadership problem, look farther up. The problem is the current mayor, who has none of the commitment to livable-streets issues that the last mayor did. Never forget that de Blasio as Public Advocate denounced Sadik-Khan.

    The DOT can bring about no improvements to the streets without assurances of strong backing on the part of the mayor against the entrenched interests and against the idiot media. Sadik-Khan would have achieved nothing without Bloomberg’s unwavering support; and even she woud be ineffectual under the current mayor.

    So, when fixing blame for the current ineffectuality of the DOT, don’t blame Benson, Trottenberg, or anyone at the DOT. Blame their boss.

    If de Blasio had been interested in livable streets, he could have retained Sadik-Khan. If this guy can hire Giuliani’s police commissioner, he certainly could have hired Bloomberg’s DOT commissioner. The fact that he didn’t even consider doing this told us all we needed to know about his priorities, and signalled the definitive end of the Bloomberg-era golden age during which our quality of life consistently improved.



    Aren’t those islands in the slip lanes non-ADA compliant? Someone should sue CB3.



    Please recalibrate Simon Phearson’s sarcasm generator.



    Please recalibrate your sarcasm detector.



    “Tenth Avenue moves beautifully”

    On what planet? I can’t remember a time I’ve crossed 10th ave on foot or ridden up it on my bike in which I didn’t fear for my life.



    That’s not true because Automobile.



    Well, you can’t really be responsible for hitting something you can’t see outside your SUV, particularly if your SUV has been designed in a way that’s exceptionally hard to see out of.

    Bullshit. You are responsible for the consequences of your driving. If you can’t see in a particular direction, you have no business moving your vehicle in that direction.


    Simon Phearson

    Well, you can’t really be responsible for hitting something you can’t see outside your SUV, particularly if your SUV has been designed in a way that’s exceptionally hard to see out of.

    Given the story’s description and where the body apparently fell, it seems as though the woman was trying to cross at the crosswalk, while the driver was trying to reverse into the intersection.


    Brad Aaron

    Don’t know. Downtown Express reported that, while they were able to see it, NYPD told the guy who took it he couldn’t share it. Not sure how that worked but it made it seem like police basically confiscated it.



    Can you get the video, streetsblog?


    Andres Dee

    I’m waiting for the reports from unnamed sources of what 76 year old Galina Shibayeva might have been doing wrong when she was hit by a self-driving SUV running in reverse.



    Thanks. This is the next Vision Zero law we need. If you are breaking any law (especially speeding) and kill someone it should be a crime. (Of course we’re still dealing with the backlash from the shockingly revolutionary idea that you can’t hit someone who has the right-of-way, so not holding my breath.)



    To me, all of that speaks to leadership. Josh Benson did a great job pushing through some big bike projects under JSK, but is now giving this political doublespeak under Polly Trottenberg. The only thing that’s changed is the person at the top. Josh isn’t going to act more forcefully if the person or people above him don’t have his back.


    Jonathan R

    After returning to my regular commuting route after two weeks away, I noticed that East Tremont Avenue between Webster and West Farms has been provided with new 25-mph speed limit signs. When I left they had 30 mph speed limits. So that’s a positive.


    Brad Aaron

    Not counting police chase crashes, I know of three cases in the last four years where a sober driver who killed a pedestrian and remained at the scene was charged with a felony.


    Robert Wright

    I moved from London to New York in August 2012 and I find it amusing how often people on both cities say, “Look over there – they do things much better there.” There are still people in London banging on about how London needs to start making the kind of progress on cycling that New York has. They tend not to look at the fact that New York’s initiatives have brought the proportion of commuting trips by bike up to 1 per cent, while London’s initiatives have brought the figure to 4 per cent. (I know, before anyone points it out, that the figures are for the whole of New York and levels in some parts are much higher – there’s the same issue in London, though, so I think the point’s valid).

    I was initially very skeptical when Streetsblog and others wrote about London’s new cycle superhighways. Under Boris Johnson, the current mayor, there was a program called Cycle Superhighways that consisted of putting blue paint down arterial roads and calling them cycle routes. These superhighways were absolutely deadly and often terrifying to ride on. As a fairly experienced cycle commuter, I avoided most of them. A lot of people sadly died riding on them.

    It does, nevertheless, now appear that London is finally – if, tragically, because of the death toll on the original cycle superhighways – building decent cycle infrastructure. It is absolutely a program from which New York should learn. As other posters have pointed out, there remain huge gaps – such as those on 1st avenue and 2nd avenue – in New York’s provision. Cycling won’t start growing properly, taking strain off subways, highways and the city’s environment, until those issues are addressed in New York.



    I’m glad to see this hit-and-run charged as felony assault. Have there been any hit-and-stay cases of reckless driving that resulted in the same? Because hitting someone should be considered at least as bad as running.





    Josh Benson is former NYC DOT czar during the Sadik-Khan bike push. He has been championing bike infrastructure for a long-while, and has spent more late nights being subjected to imbecilic community board attacks on bike projects than everyone else here combined. He has huge bike cred. This said, it is really unfortunate to see Vision Zero framed as, one: the end all for all street planning — which is a total fiction since DOT is allowing plenty of traffic sewers to go unsolved or Two: a choice between bike initiatives and pedestrian safety. There will be no progress on bike projects without complaints. NYC motorists are the ultimate entitled class and they will fight and complain forever about paying for their share of public space or for the violence and environmental ills they inflict on the broader public.


    Mathew Smithburger

    I’ll show you in the next several months. Check back for updates.



    Yeah! How dare people walk around their own neighborhoods without expecting to be run over? What selfish assholes.


    Joe R.

    I’m happy to see this BUT regardless of whether or not the charges stick she should lose her driving privileges permanently. Why can’t that be automatic in cases like this? In fact, driving on the sidewalk, period, should merit permanent loss of your license even if nobody is hurt.


    Andres Dee

    This is insane. AFAIK, the way crosswalks are striped seem pretty arbitrary. A few feet narrower, a few feet wider. Thin stripes. Zebra stripes. Do a walking person’s rights to walk and to live truly end where the paint stops, or does the law apply a “reasonable person” approach: If a person is crossing in the vicinity of the crosswalk, s/he has ROW?



    It’s such a relief to see this. Strange that it comes as a surprise when charges are actually filed for such dangerous behavior. Thank you to Cy Vance for appearing to get this right.



    Pedestrians are the absolute worst in Manhatten… they walk through don’t walk signs, don’t bother looking where they’re going because they think everyone else should do it for them… if you wanna be a wreck less idiot be one by yourself don’t bring me into it… rudest most obnoxious people in the world people in Manhatten are.


    Ben Fried

    Josh Benson does really good work and is most definitely not an asshole. Do I agree with how he framed street design policy in this response? No, and I think it reveals a lot about how the current leadership at DOT has squandered good opportunities to build better bike infrastructure.

    But if anything, the problem is that Josh isn’t enough of an asshole. An asshole for bike lanes.



    Doesn’t this DOT public servant read his own agency’s reports and look at the data that has been collected over the years? Bike infrastructure improves safety outcomes for ALL street users. Anyone who doesn’t know this, or who for some other unknown reason speaks publicly against complete streets, should not be employed by the City of New York.



    What’s changed, he suggested, is that bike lanes aren’t getting as much public attention as they used to.

    No, what’s changed is that we’re hardly building any high quality bicycle infrastructure like we were in 2007-2010. A bunch of sharrows applied with little regard for traffic volumes that are going to wear off in a year anyway just don’t warrant attention that real bike infrastructure does.

    They still haven’t closed the gaps on 2nd/8th/9th Avenues, or created real low-stress routes to ANY East River Bridge, even in the parts of Brooklyn that supposedly have a 4% cycling mode share. Still no bike boulevards, though locations such as the 6-lane part of 4th Avenue in Brooklyn are yellow “signed routes” on the bike map.



    Benson’s response is so narrow! In addition to compartmentalizing ped safety and bike safety as separate ideas, it takes cycling out of the discussion about NYC’s long-term transportation goals. There’s no question that the city should be protecting peds with curb extensions, speed humps, and other strategies, but that stuff won’t help people get out of their cars or make space on the subway by biking three or four miles to work. Transform an arterial and you can kill two birds – safety and transportation options – with one stone!

    Such myopia! Where’s the leadership at DOT? Why are they holding back?



    Very typically polite British response. Allow me to be a New Yorker: You are an asshole Benson. You do not need to choose between pedestrian and cyclist safety. Their interests are not opposed; in fact they are very much aligned. There is no lack of resources — be it street space or money or whatever; there is only a lack of leadership and a willingness to allocate those resources to things that actually save lives.

    By qualifying this issue as some kind of tradeoff of one group versus another you are allowing people to die.


    Some Asshole

    *slow sarcastic clap*

    It’s good that there will be an investigation into this matter. The only true way to decrease this is to make sure people know that this type of reckless behavior will not be tolerated.



    True though that’s traffic dependent isn’t it? Whereas POP ought to be universal.



    So, basically, for every 1 person injured/killed on the street, NYPD gives out 3 failure to yield summonses. That is clearly not enough preventative medicine.



    Ahem, separation from other traffic is best practice too. :-p


    Tyson White

    I have an idea: Move 10 of the most douchey velvet-rope clubs in Manhattan to Brooklyn. You won’t hear from them anymore.



    Yeah, having to go around those buildings brings you right through a truck loading lot which is not just annoying, but dangerous. Hate it.


    Tyson White

    Depends where you put them. If you put them at the intersection and block the whole street off for cars, you will only need 2 bollards. A lot cheaper than putting many of them along the whole street.



    Offboard fare collection and Proof of Payment have pretty much the same effect on speeding up service, and the latter is a best practice for all transit, not a BRT feature. Thus the SBS you’re talking about actually has no BRT features at all and is really just regular bus service.



    If you want to see these stats updated daily. You can check this site I’ve made out.



    Something less than 15% of Nassau+Suffolk workers commute to Manhattan. 60-70% by rail in Nassau, 50-60% in Suffolk. There are plenty of jobs in Nassau and Suffolk, many of them good paying middle class jobs. But you aren’t getting high paying finance, insurance, and real estate jobs out there. Face time matters. Can’t eliminate commutes.

    Remember, a big reason they moved to LI in the first place was to own a home with a big yard.

    Some just got priced out of a decent home in the city. Something like 180k units in multifamily dwellings, another 40k in single family attached. Not everyone has a big yard.



    NJT on the whole seems like an example of an agency specializing in car-encouragement. It lets people get to peak hour jobs by transit, while they live lifestyles that otherwise encourage cars.

    There are exceptions – HBLR, Newark LRT, River Line, even many suburban buses near NYC and Philly, but on the whole NJT seems like a mixed bag. (MNRR and LIRR are to some extent like that too.)



    He said it was a couple commuting together, so it’s probably not too financially taxing to do what they do.

    Plus parking at suburban rail stations is often restrictive and/or expensive anyway.

    So, again, it’s a bit hard to blame them.



    Thanks for writing on this. It seems like TSP is sold as a benefit of SBS but then basically everybody forgets about it once the SBS rollout happens.

    Will they at least use this on the M86 SBS? With no dedicated lanes and no TSP, SBS now basically just means off-board fare collection. It’s getting watered down to the point where it has no other “BRT”-like elements…


    Joe R.

    I’d much rather have TOD around rail stations in lieu of parking. In fact, if we could get rid of all these parking lots near commuter rail stations and build apartment buildings surrounded by retail that might be a great thing. That said, you still have all the people living in single family homes on LI who will drive all the way in if they can’t find parking near the LIRR. What to do about that? You’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. Build more parking and you can’t build TOD. Don’t build it and you get more people driving into NYC. You could try to create more good jobs on LI so these people can drive locally to work I suppose but that’s a longer term answer.

    Not sure how many of these people would live in outer Queens. Remember, a big reason they moved to LI in the first place was to own a home with a big yard. I’m not seeing these people moving to a Queens apartment unless it was really cheap (which it won’t be unless housing prices crash). You might get them to move to a smaller house with a smaller yard if the house was similar in cost to their LI home, but that’s not really the kind of development you would like to see in Queens anyway.

    In the end there aren’t any easy answers. We developed much of LI in the 1950s or later using the assumption gas would always be cheap and roads would never be clogged. I would very much like to see a lot more traditional suburban development like towns centered around railway stations. Ironically, that’s not even incompatible with the existing tracts of single family homes further out from the train stations. If we provide good bike infrastructure and bike parking near train stations then the single family home owners can have ample parking to commute using the LIRR, and we can still have TOD near train stations. That’s the nice thing about bike parking. You can fit 10 or more bikes in the space of one car. Maybe then that’s a good answer. Lose the car parking near train stations, replace it with a combination of bike parking and TOD. At the same time build safe bike routes to the single family housing tracts.



    building massive parking complexes near some rail stations where demand
    for parking exceeds supply is a net positive if it reduces traffic
    coming into the city.

    Net positive for whom? Locals have killed some parking garages because they’re ugly and don’t want more commuters driving in their town. I thought you wanted TOD around suburban stations? Can’t do that if you use the land for parking lots. Some of those driving in might be willing to live in outer Queens areas and take transit if they were cheaper, but for that to happen you need to build more, which you don’t want because you’re worried that some of them will drive some of the time.

    If there’s room for a few thousand more commuters during peak on LIRR or MNR, then lower fares in city and have more trains stop on the way to Penn/GC. Might help more non driving city residents than cutting down on traffic from suburban commuters which just encourages more city residents to drive more often, leaving you with minimal to non existent reduction in traffic. If you want to accommodate a more substantial amount of people then you need large scale improvements in organization, electronics, and physical infrastructure, so you don’t have anything approaching a quick fix.


    Joe R.

    Yeah, I’m aware of that but a relatively quick fix would be multistory parking garages near stations, combined perhaps with increasing the price of permits. I’m generally not a big fan of car parking as you know, but building massive parking complexes near some rail stations where demand for parking exceeds supply is a net positive if it reduces traffic coming into the city.

    The LIRR frequency is limited by the infrastructure. They probably could have used a third, maybe even a fourth, track years ago. It would be expensive to build now, given that the only place to put it would be above the existing tracks, but it might be worthwhile in the long run.

    The Hudson River tunnel is the obvious bottleneck for NJT. Killing the ARC project will probably go down in history as one of the most shortsighted decisions ever.



    Repairs, maintenance, gas and motor oil is ~40% of spending on cars according to BLS consumer expenditure surveys. Gas+motor oil is ~78% of that. Some of the rest is repairs, and maintenance can be time based as much as mile based. Thirty miles each way might be $5-10 worth of gas, less than the $12.50 toll ($7-10.50 off peak, or $6.50 peak with 3+) and $10-20 a day for parking (after tax dollars, a lot of the cost of parking is paid pre tax.) Figure $30. Maintenance is maybe $1-3 on top of that. It’s not a huge share of the cost.