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    Larry Littlefield

    I can’t blame state DOT for wanting to repair the state’s bridges, rather than allow that aspect of the infrastructure to fall apart. I mean come on!

    Pedestrian and bicyclist safety and infrastructure is the responsibility of Mayors and County Executives. The question is, does the state get in the way or get out of the way? It needs to get out of the way.


    Rideline Car and Limo Service

    Agree with you, however, it need to watch once the plan finally executes then how much the situation improves overall


    Ian Turner

    Looks like average trip length is just under 10 miles.

    According to one random site, total road subsidies are $0.447/mile.

    That gives you about $4.35 per trip.



    But NYC transit subway riders do cover the operating costs with their fares.

    How do you figure?

    Subway fares (or at least how the MTA assigns revenue to subways – not sure how they split the cost when someone transfers or uses their unlimited on bus and subway, but the subway gets 4% more per unlinked trip) cover ~63% of operating costs, NYCT buses cover 34%. Add in capital costs and that goes to 41% and 31%.

    What ferry cost $35? Rockaway? It isn’t running anymore. And doesn’t the express bus from there cost just as much to run? SI ferry costs ~$6.60 per trip

    Commuter rail subsidy varies a lot by line. In 2009 the Port Washington line covered the same share of operating costs that the subway did ~67%.



    It was wonderful to see all the students from George Washington High show up and say they wanted the protected bike lanes.



    Not correct. After the bonus is taken into account (formerly 5%, now 11%), the effective subway/local bus fare went up from $2.38 to $2.48, or 4.2%. The express bus fare went up a measly 2.6% (far too low, in my opinion). The unlimiteds went up 4.0% (30 day), 3.3% (7 day), or 4.1% (7 day express bus).

    The only people who pay 10% more are the ones who either pay in coins on the bus or add one fare at a time to their MetroCards (the bonus kicks in at two fares). SingleRide ticket users came close, with a 9.1% increase. All together, that’s 6.4% of fares paid – the remaining 93.6% saw a hike of 4.2% at most. (Source: page 137)



    Some of bridges need replacing. But many of them just need a coat of paint and some minor repairs. Instead we spend hundreds of millions of dollars lining political donors’ pockets. Witness the Tappan Zee, with a current budget of 3.9 billion. All it needs to be safe is a minor road diet plus a inspect, paint, and repair job that would have been south of $0.5 billion. The road diet would simply be to remove one lane and change the direction of the center lane depending on time of day with zero impact on capacity, but giving you room for modern safety equipment. — It is in a terrible location to build a bridge, but unless you do something monumentally stupid like replace with a completely new span this is a sunk cost. Of course, since we have Cuomo and a feckless media that is exactly what we are doing.



    Wow, $343 million for South Ferry Terminal reconstruction. Nice.



    This is pretty bad. For cyclists with the slip lanes always seem to result in unnecessary fatalities. And this is terrible for pedestrians who will need to cross 6 to 7 lanes without a pedestrian refuge with this plan, in addition to the two service roads. If they had gone with a more sensible center running design there would be a wide center refuge for pedestrians which doubles as bus waiting areas and they wouldn’t need the slip lane death traps. This plan will continue to leave the elerderly and the disabled, who can’t make it across 7 lanes in 20 seconds, standing in the middle of a highway when they lose the walk signal. It’s like the NYC DOT stepped into a 1960’s time warp when Ms. Trottenberg took the helm.

    What is most distressing is that we’re talking about spending $200 million dollars on a pouring concrete that will need to be torn up and replaced with something reasonably safe once we’re rid of this retrograde DOT management. $200 million could pay for a whole lot of neckdowns and other sensible street improvements.



    Dismantle the Sheridan Expressway!


    Tyson White

    Actually, you can simply close the bridge before it collapses (when engineers deem it too dangerous) and no one dies. Even if engineers make a mistake, the number of deaths probably won’t be as many as the annual state death toll. So, certain death vs. remote risk…. hmmm



    Also, given the essential truck traffic over that span and the substantial construction jobs involved is it really q shock that this project has an important place in line, if not the front?



    I agree. Would have been nice to see taller buildings with a school.



    They should name it “Hipster” Crossing, because that’s where it is for transit and bicycles. It straddles subway lines heading to Williamsburg and Bushwick (JMZ) with young hipsters, and FiDi (JMZ) and Greenwich Village and Park Slope (F) with old hipsters. Then add all the bike lanes connecting it to Williamsburg, East Village, Soho, etc. These apts will see huge demand without parking.



    The whole point of cuffing people under custody is to protect accused and officers from further incident. This is standard operating procedure as outlined in the patrol guide. It isn’t a moral judgement.



    This perspective is a little foolish. It’s really important to replace infrastructure BEFORE it crumbles. Even John Oliver knows that:

    Also, the Kosciusko Bridge is slated to get a bike lane as part of it’s replacement, so it IS a bike/ped project.



    For one development?? That’s a ton for one development.


    Kevin Love

    This is so much theatre of the absurd. If bus drivers (or anyone else) don’t want to be handcuffed, the solution is simple: Don’t run down people in the crosswalk.
    Problem solved!


    Larry Littlefield

    Yes, that’s huge. In particular, since the developers seem to have changed sides.

    I hope someone will go out and collect some data on traffic conditions and parking difficulty in the area before its built. And repeat it afterward.

    My prediction on the parking difficulty? Before: kvetch. After: kvetch. Might make a good Streetfilm.

    Hopefully they’ll have some bicycle parking and room for a few Zipcars or equivalent.



    The bill refers to “Omnibus,” which I believe means: “Any motor vehicle used in the business of
    transporting passengers for hire, except such a motor vehicle used in
    the transportation of agricultural workers to and from their employment.” Dosen’t this law excempt all TLC drivers from immediate arrest for misdemeanor?



    So you’re suggesting that the solution to Albany’s abdication of
    responsibility to the MTA is to just let them keep doing what they’re
    doing? That is a horrible idea, even if partially in jest. The state is responsible for many of the systemic problems at the MTA. The governor is the one that has the power to come in and say, “OK, no more of this overpriced construction.” The governor is the one who has the ability to put the screws on regarding maintenance, cleanliness, and reliability.

    Yes the MTA has its issues, but the governor and Albany are the ones with the power to bring change. You want to “punish” the MTA but in reality you would be punishing the riding public of NYC by letting Albany completely off the hook for its responsibilities. I cannot think of a worse way to deal with the problems.



    Maybe, but we have a great opportunity here, and the RBB is still at least a decade away. Is there a good reason not to design this as the best transitway possible?


    Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    With no parking? Huge!



    1,000 apartments isn’t very much.



    What is the subsidy per trip on driving?


    joe shabadoo

    Hey Streetsblog, have you been keeping a tally of Governor raids on the MTA funds? I know you usually report on it when they happen but it would be great if you had a definitive list for the past 5-10 years or so.



    Seriously kicking myself for missing the QCB5 meeting on Tuesday. It sounds like everything they’re proposing is sharrows, which is nonsense: Metropolitan Av would be a disaster with sharrows (I can’t think of another four-lane road in the city where that’s the case) and Central / Cooper both have plenty of room for striped lanes or–even better–parking protected lanes on both sides.

    Central, on the other hand, doesn’t meet up with the existing 69th St / Catalpa lanes unless they put sharrows on Cypress Hills Av; otherwise, you’re kicking people out to Myrtle for half a block. But Cypress HIlls would actually make sense with sharrows–it’s narrow (easy to take the lane) and generally traffic is slow enough to be safe already. (It would also make an easier connection to the BQG for those heading SE from Ridgewood.)

    I really need to start paying more attention to this stuff…



    LIRR and Metro North both get about $7 per ride subsidy. Each local NYC transit bus ride is subsidized an average of over $2. Each express NYC transit bus ride is subsidized an average of over $4. Access-a-ride subsidy is huge per ride, as are the subsidy for many ferry rides, both around $35. But NYC transit subway riders do cover the operating costs with their fares.



    Busplus: Even Albany has a better name for their BRT. BRT sounds like a pounderous monster that scares little children: “if you do not eat your soup, BRT will come and take you away!” Call it Surfway, breeze, buzzy, bizbus, flyway, la gondola….whatever.. Let’s start a contest to rename it to something customers actually want to ride!


    Rough Acres

    Applause, applause! Great to see a) protected lanes reach Uptown; b) engaged Uptown students; c) community support for cycling.


    Andy B from Jersey

    I like everything about the Washington Heights / High Bridge project except the “door zone” “squeeze by me” sharrows in those 13ft lanes. Put those more in the center of those lanes and then you got a near perfect project.



    Thanks to CB 12 for a great decision. The increase in bicycle traffic created by the opening of the High Bridge and increased traffic to Highbridge Park will require the extra protection afforded by the protected bicycle lanes. For all the latest on developments on the High Bridge, Highbridge Park and the neighborhood see



    North Shore BRT is such an aggressively stupid idea, it’s perfect for Staten Island’s ideologically incoherent, shamelessly pandering politicians. Albany has no trouble doing horrible things like standing up for unlicensed drivers’ right to kill people, but Staten Island shines when it’s time to come up with an idea that wastes state money on a project exclusively for Staten Island, makes an enthusiastic headline and editorial in the Advance, and then quietly fails two years later. This one is as close to real life as we’re going to get to the Antiplanner’s dream of replacing New York subways with BRT.


    Larry Littlefield

    This also comes up, bigger and uglier.

    Recall that in January 1991 NYC lost about 200,000 jobs in one month, double the usual number post-christmas, crime was through the roof, 1 million people on welfare, thousands showed up in Harlem to apply for jobs at a new McDonalds, etc.


    Larry Littlefield

    It would take some research, but it was early 1990s. A much deeper recession that we’ve had since in the Northeast. Dinkins and Cuomo one did it, sort of as an emergency measure. Along with Cuomo having the state sell the Thruway to the Thruway Authority with the Thruway Authority borrowing to pay for it, in a budget known as the “Big Ugly.”

    Then Dinkins and Cuomo lost their re-election campaigns, and Pataki and Giuliani just kept up the policy of zero regular tax funding for the MTA capital plan. I’m not sure Google searches go back that far, but I did find this.

    I also compiled historical data from the National Transit Database and posted it on Room Eight a few years ago showing this, but links to that site no longer work.



    Plus, what a crazy Steve Cuozzo column. I guess I agree with his main argument, kinda sorta maybe. But in a $75 bbbbillion budget for New York City, the only example he can throw out for unneeded spending is $35 million to prevent prison violence at Rikers? Really?!?!? Stay classy, New York Post.



    Depends. If ten years from now the MTA is better funded and can send the M or R down the RBB then it would be better to have a bus service on Woodhaven oriented towards local trips less likely to switch to rail. If this is the only transit improvement along the corridor for the next thirty years then it would be different.



    I guess this comes down to a basic question of project goals: Is this going to be a project to improve local bus service, while accommodating rapid buses, or will this be a project to improve rapid bus service while accommodating local bus service?

    Seems like the former to me, which is unfortunate.


    Len Maniace

    Ben, BRT has been a long time coming to Queens, but this has line could be the best in NYC, coming closest to replicating rapid transit.
    Should be very popular with beach goers, commuters and help make safer a very dangerous road. I had an aunt killed in a two-car collision crash there 5-7 years ago. And it will have trees!!!


    joe shabadoo

    larry, can you link me to a source to read about that tax cut off? I’m sure i read about it at the time but need to refresh. thanks


    joe shabadoo



    Great to see some protected bike lanes linked to other protected bike lanes. Maybe DOT is starting to think about networks.

    Also, it’s fantastic to see student pushing for safer streets! Great job, George Washington Educational Campus students!!



    Limited/Select Bus service on Woodhaven, while frequent, is not so frequent that a few cars crossing slip lanes would disrupt bus service greatly. It helps that a good portion of the road mostly fronts parks, graveyards, or low-density residential anyways.

    (I’m assuming that local and express bus service would operate as they do now, since both stop every two blocks give or take.)



    You can absolutely have center running BRT with only right-side doors. SF is planning one now on Van Ness.



    You can absolutely have side stations, which only require right-door buses. SF is planning one now.



    BRT + Bike upgrades on Route 119 in Westchester would be great.


    Andres Dee

    “MTA employee Edward Rivera, 45, hit Alex Guzman, 17, while he was bicycling on Lexington Avenue and East 105th Street with a 2011 Hyndai Accord about 2:40 p.m. Sunday, sources said.”

    So Alex Guzman was bicycling on Lexington with a “2011 Hyndai Accord”?


    Larry Littlefield

    It was a long time ago, but remember that both the city and state committed to the pre-Pataki MTA Capital plans. They cut off tax funds together.

    Now the Mayor and Governor are in effect pointing fingers at each other, while the City Council and State Legislature say nothing.

    When the (last?) MTA Capital plan expired, people said it was not a big deal. What happens when the state budget passes with no resolution? I’ll bet Cuomo is happy his budget will provide nothing first, so that the city will actually make the final non-decision.






    Meanwhile on the east side:

    I’m wondering if NYPD has had enough training on the right of way law.