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    “set up a deal with a different bike manufacturer”

    Aren’t the bikes and docks patented by Bixi? I thought I read that somewhere, probably in the NYT. If that’s true, I don’t think they can cut Bixi out of the loop entirely (at least they’d have to pay Bixi for licensing), unless they replace both the bikes and the docks.



    My point was not to disparage your advocacy, but to point out some long term issues that DOT continues to neglect, which is bicycle facilities that have gaps in the places that most need protected infrastructure. In this case, Amsterdam between 173 & 186 needs protection the most, but gets sharrows. If anything, Im pushing DOT to go further than what they’ve proposed for the neighborhood.

    It’s a big big win, but its part of an overall tend of only putting high quality bicycle connections in the places where traffic and parking are only impacted slightly. The result is a disjointed bicycle network that isn’t very effective at getting many people to bike.

    I get that this is the first step, but im already looking for more. Bravo for the win! Let’s take it to the next step.



    Alta had announced a new partnership with 8D earlier this year. They said that they would provide updated and improved bike stations for existing and new bikeshare systems this year.



    PBSC is not the same company as Alta. Alta obtained bikes and stations from Bixi, until Bixi filed for bankruptcy. Earlier this year, Alta and 8D announced a new partnership, which seems to be designed to cut Bixi out of the loop. Bixi did not produce the software or the bikes for existing bikeshare systems. Alta and 8D can handle the software and the stations. They can contract with the Bixi partner to obtain bikes or set up a deal with a different bike manufacturer.

    Bixi’s bankruptcy does present some challenges, but Alta and 8D can move on from Bixi.



    azab, I live above one of these stops and use the SBS buses and the local buses on the same line often, and deal with light and sound pollution where I live, I can tell you from real experience with these buses, from living near them before, during, and after the times the lights were active, and from many conversations with others, it is not a nuisance to bystanders and it was extremely useful to bus riders. They weren’t so bright they lit up the street like an ambulance’s lights. They did not project light; they were just noticeable if you were looking for buses far away.

    I was recently at a “quality of life” townhall in CB6 and an elderly woman got up and asked what happened to the SBS lights that had been so useful. The crowd started applauding. This is not tangential nonsense, thanks very much.



    The difference between now and when the flashing lights were introduced is that now Bus Time is live. So, if you have a phone, you can use it to find out when the next bus is coming. As a next step, how about putting Bus Time displays at the SBS stops?



    Interestink. I had not heard that one before.



    No not kidding. When waiting for a bus or deciding to wait for a bus, looking far down the street and seeing those lights is very reassuring. Anyone that used SBS when the lights worked would understand this. Anyone that has used transit in Canada and Western Europe would understand SBS is a just a first baby step toward having a real bus service that attracts people the hell out of the cabs and cars that are what congestion is made of.



    Do we have to defend every nonsense because it’s somehow tangentiallly related to public transport?

    Light is pollution, flashing lights are obnoxious pollution, and when we put random lights on vehicles like buses for terrible reasons (permanently flashing lights on a bus to tell riders (not other vehicles) some intricate payment detail? Are you kidding?) it diminishes the visibility of those that need lights most, which would be emergency vehicles and everything with two wheels.


    Andres Dee

    Here are a few laws that the city “de facto” does not seem to enforce:
    - Yield to pedestrian in crosswalk before turning
    - No honking, except for emergency
    - Using car alarms and personal sirens to clear traffic for non-emergencies


    Brian Van Nieuwenhoven

    Could they make it any more fucking convoluted


    Eric McClure

    Jesus, tree NIMBYs. What next?



    That’s brilliant.

    Maybe target the effort. Stake up all parking spots in an ‘n’ block radius of the CB meeting for the hours before and through the CB meeting… those with the windshield perspective are cruisin’ for parkin’ while those who walk or cycle are votin’…



    Bingo… I’m on a CB in a different borough, but the battles are the same. It’s all about bodies in the room and if you want positive change, get out to these night meetings, dreadfully drawn-out and excruciating as they may at times be. This is the process, and clicktivism on Streetsblog is worth very little in the end.


    Teresa Toro

    That’s okay, Doug, because then the community can still document/demonstrate the support when it appeals to DOT directly; makes it easier to achieve that happy ending after the CB defies the will of the majority. I agree we shouldn’t always need a huge community turnout but it should happen often enough for board members to realize that we’re here, we steer… get used to it. They need regular reminding.


    Doug G.

    I don’t disagree, but I’ve also seen instances where the advocacy community turns out in droves and a CB ignores them anyway. The CB6 Fourth Avenue saga comes to mind. Huge turnout at the committee meeting, near-unanimous vote by the committee, and the board voted it down. (Though it had a happy ending, thanks to some wrangling.) Look at Mount Morris Park West in Harlem and many other examples where deep community involvement and big turnout at meetings were ignored by CBs.

    The process can turn people to cynics and affect whether they show up the next time.

    And it shouldn’t always take huge community turnout. One would hope board members would be intelligent and selfless enough to be able to place evidence over their own inconvenience.


    Teresa Toro

    For what it’s worth, the transportation committee recommended yes. And the full board had a low representation that particular night of its more bike/ped friendly members. Regardless, if bike/ped advocates showed up in numbers at the full board meetings, members would be much more strongly reminded of their accountability. You’ve got to fight for your right to… park-y.


    Teresa Toro

    DOT can’t listen to the community when there’s barely any community turnout for critical votes like this one. The process is fine; it’s when the bike/ped community becomes apathetic that this happens. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of showing up, showing up, showing up.



    Good thought. But is this response just an excuse to do nothing?

    One should insist that the bike parking spaces are needed, that there is demand (demand that would otherwise be driving), and that this is good for business (it is).

    Then we can get into a real conversation on where ON THE SIDEWALK the bike corral will go. Because they’re right, in one way — as a biker, I don’t really care whether the bike corral is on or off the curb. But I suspect that may people who say “you can park on the sidewalk” haven’t really thought through how this is really going to work, and are just hoping for the status quo. One might point out that they are insisting that the bikes be parked in a place where they can’t legally be driven. Putting bike parking on the sidewalk encourages sidewalk biking.

    We can point out that anything that encourages more bikers frees up road and parking space for drivers, making it a win-win for everyone.



    The typical response is “yes, but you can park your bike on the sidewalk taking zero car spaces!”

    So you also have to mention the additional benefit of having a more usable (and even prettier) sidewalk for people to walk on. But of course we know how much people who only care about parking their car care about that…



    Spend as much on the lock as on the bike.



    If you want to win this argument in the court of public opinion… point out that the proposal is to convert parking that will serve ONE vehicle to parking that will serve TEN. Clearly, that is good for business. And it puts you in a good position to paint those who vote against it as “elitist.”


    Doug G.

    I’m fine with CB’s making decisions *I* don’t agree with when the decisions are based on evidence and the general will of the community. If 200 people show up to a meeting and don’t want a bike corral that has the support of only 10 people, the CB would be 100% right in voting it down, as much as that might disappoint people here. But in making its decision, it should also weigh the statistics and note that only 44% of the people in the neighborhood own cars.

    What it should not do is weigh personal inconveniences or perceived offenses over a “war on cars” into its decisions. CB1′s vote, like many others, seems to be a case of a CB ignoring both the will of the community and the evidence. That’s not okay, no matter which side you’re on.


    Wi Cho

    It is still slow mainly the traffic and boarding and de-boarding process.



    Within the NYC Dept. Of Buildings, there is a means to protest a requirement if it is not necessary for safety, if it proves to be a hardship to a business. Given the amount of space that the bike corral is taking, perhaps if there is a way to show that the majority of the customers at this business are arriving by bicycle, not having parking could be a hardship. If this is not metered parking, the argument would appear to be simple. F this is metered parking, it may get turned around by a different business owner.
    A simple graph of the number of bike that can be parked vs. the number of cars that can be parked might refute any opposition.



    Uh get a better bike lock?



    Can’t have it both ways – You can’t applaud the CB’s when they do right and the call for them to be dissolved when they go a different direction. You can’t say DOT should ignore them for your projects and then say they don’t listen to the community when their work doesn’t meet your goals.

    Democracy ain’t always pretty. The Community Board processes does need to be reformed, but that doesn’t mean things will always err on the side of livable streets. Only more and better organizing can realistically do that.


    Joe R.

    Those are my feelings as well. Even my “junker” bike, which is an old Huffy with an improved drivetrain, is not something I would feel comfortable chaining to a sign or a bike corral.


    Joe R.

    Sure, some stores may not have room for a rack inside but based on my observations 95% of stores have room for at least a rack holding a few bikes near the front entrance. Most big box stores have enough room for a virtual bike parking lot in front.

    Outside is good also if adequate security exists.



    I would not park my bike in one of those corrals. I want it as far away from moving traffic as possible. Mishaps do happen, like the truck that recently backed up on the sidewalk and knocked my rear wheel out of true (my bike was locked to a street sign).


    Keith Williams

    If you parked bikes inside most NYC stores, there would be no room for customers.



    I definitely agree with banning the poorly aimed, owner installed ones.
    Factory HIDs usually aren’t an issue, but people who install their own usually don’t follow the regulations for brightness and aim. Existing laws would allow for ticketing most of them.


    Joe R.

    I agree that more bike parking near businesses is needed BUT I think it should be off-street parking. The best place is a small bike rack inside the store near the front door where the security guard stands. There’s nothing preventing these businesses from doing this. I personally wouldn’t lock my bike to outdoor bike parking, even right in front of the store, for fear it would get stolen. Oudoor bike parking is fine if you’re on a Citibike or your bike is a real POS, but not if you have a decent bike. Bike theft has been rampant in NYC for decades, yet nothing is ever done about it.


    Joe R.

    Most of the HID lights you see which blind people aren’t factory installed. Rather, they’re done by car owners to make their cars look “kewl”. The worst ones use HID lamps in headlights designed for regular incandescent lamps. Of course, the optical requirements for both differ, so these mods throw glaring light all over the place. Stock factory lamps, whether HID or incandescent or LED, have to meet certain guidelines in their spatial intensity distribution so as not to blind other road users.


    Ian Turner

    Select Bus Service is 15-20% faster:

    Much of the improvement is in dwell times, which take over 25% of travel time for normal bus routes.

    Sad to say your experience does not seem to match the data.



    Can we outlaw sociopathic high-intensity discharge headlamps then, please? :-) Whoever came up with that monstrosity must have thought “yes, let me see better even if I blind everyone else on the road. Brilliant!”



    Insert just about any other law here and let me know if you still think that’s a good precedent to set.



    Yes. There are fairly specific laws regulating what lights vehicles may have. Essentially, non-emergency vehicles are limited to the standard lights you see on a passenger car, and they have to be wired to operate in the standard way. Most modifications are illegal, especially changes to the standard colors (red, white, amber)



    If the MTA didn’t use ridiculously brighter lights on the S79, this never would have been an issue in the first place. The lights they implemented on the Hylan route WERE extremely distracting to everyone else on the road, and looked nothing like the ones on the M34.

    I fully admit that this is based on my own observation rather than hard data, so there could be other factors in play, but the S79 lights as they were did not work.



    I haven’t had any good experiences with SBS. I’ve tried the 1st Avenue, 2nd Ave and the 34th St SBS and they are no faster than a regular express bus according to my observation. Boarding is faster, yes, but that’s maybe a minute or two tops, usually less. The buses still sit in traffic forever and cars still park in the bus lane all over the place, forcing them to move in and out of traffic. Until they upgrade that aspect, to me, it’s just not worth it to take those buses except late at night when traffic is reduced… and in those cases, you’re not waiting long to board anyway. Does anyone know if there are any plans for improving SBS or is this the best it will get?



    Perhaps it’s time to change the process.



    Well, apparently the loss of three parking spaces is enough to throw the whole parking equilibrium into a tailspin, so I guess we only need three participants to unleash carmageddon.



    There is a widespread misconception that car owners have an inalienable right to store their private property on public property free of charge. DOT is the agency charged with deciding the best use of public street space. It should simply treat this vote as it would the opinion of any other group with a vested interest and make its own determination of what would best serve the neighborhood.


    Doug G.

    Eh, I think advocates are doing a lot of what you say. Many sit on community boards or committees (I do!) and others are regular faces at meetings. These corrals were supported by petitions and multiple letters of support, so the idea that they just got presented to the committee without advance organization but lots of post-game complaining is false.



    You’re right, just (un-elected) 12 people shouldn’t decide. But that’s how it’s set up now. Rather than complain about the process, advocates should do more organizing to persuade them. Just think how many more proponents would come come along if you can convince some stodgy CB members?


    Doug G.

    How would this be different from, say, today?



    I’ve made this suggestion with regards to congestion and roadway capacity, but I think it applies to parking, too. These people want to live in a fantasy world where everyone drives cars and the public space needs to be configured to accommodate it? Great. Let’s give them that fantasy world in the form of a “reverse critical mass”. We pick a day on which everyone in the cycling advocacy community rents/borrows a car, and we park them for free on neighborhood streets. Then they’ll see just how much free parking is left over for them in their fantasy, and maybe the idea of trading in three car parking spaces for 24 bike parking spaces won’t seem so bad.


    Brian Van Nieuwenhoven

    Someone else counterbid! BREAKING…





    Why do they need a law to use purple lights? Is there a law against it?