Skip to content

Recent Comments


    Philip Neumann

    And those Brooklyn Bridge numbers don’t factor in that no sane cyclist would ever venture across that bridge during peak tourist hours. Image if those sections were fully separated, like the Polaski. I’d love to see something done to the Queensboro Bridge, because cars get the upper and lower road decks, and we’re sharing a 10 ft wide space with pedestrian commuters, joggers, and east/westbound cyclists. We deserve something like what the Williamsburg Bridge has, especially with the increased development in Western Queens – we’ll just see a massive influx of cyclists in the coming years.



    The sad thing is a lot of them are going to get vastly better facilities than Jay Street (and the Manhattan Bridge itself actually) despite the latter having many, many times the usage (100x?).



    Fine, I take it back. You’re right about that.



    Are you saying that waiting in the right lane of the highway when the exit ramp is full is wrong? Not sure if I misunderstood you, but assuming I got that right: What?

    It’s called traffic, that’s how it works. You move as far to the right and forward as possible, and that’s all you can do. The exit doesn’t become closed just because there’s a backup at the light.

    As for people blocking other lanes to try to cut in at the end, they should indeed be ticketed.



    What a good question.



    Heh. This is just me splitting hairs, in any case.

    I think the way the post was originally phrased was “6 bridges that connect Brooklyn to Queens over Newtown Creek”. If that’s the criterion I stand by my original count. Grand goes over two branches of Newtown Creek, but only one of those is at the borough border. Similarly with the rail bridge others have noted; that’s Queens on both sides.




    It doesn’t seem to be everyone at DOT though. I talked to some of the planners at a workshop a couple months ago and they were very pro-bicycle/transit and wanted to try some innovative things. They did state however that the community boards were often an obstacle.



    When this project was first suggested, DOT made all sorts of excuses about why it couldn’t be done (traffic, bridge weight, etc.). When the politicians applied a bit of pressure, DOT figured out how to do it pretty quickly.

    Today, DOT continues to throw up road blocks and excuses for not pursuing all sorts of projects, citing parking, double parking, and traffic as their primary reasons. Why can’t our Vision Zero-espousing DOT be pushing for progress instead of pushing back against it?



    when I plug the same exact address, the times are completely different

    That’s weird. I just tried it again (340pm), and i’m getting 50 driving/73 transit. pretty close to the numbers before.

    In general, driving is pretty fast unless there’s a pretty terrible accident, just like transit is what it is unless there’s a train delay. The vast majority of the time though, driving between boros (not counting manhattan) is a lot faster than transit. I grew up in Brooklyn, and the vast majority of my life I used transit exclusively. I have to say, my life changed completely once I started driving. Queens, Bronx, and SI are not out of reach anymore the way they used to be for me. Where before I hung out near home or in Manhattan, I now have favorite spots all throughout the 5 boros (and beyond). I feel it has made me, a more …complete… new yorker I guess?




    Jonathan R

    To circle back to Manducatis’ restaurant’s particular plea, diners can much more easily get to and from similar Manhattan establishments on the subway, so her Queens location’s competitive advantage is in having available on-street metered parking or valet parking for those who would like to drive. She is annoyed that the brownies are ticketing her restaurant’s patrons and not others.


    Ben Fried

    Actually, scratch that. The bridge count doesn’t really work, it’s been cut from the post.


    Danny G

    Grand Avenue crosses the creek twice: once when it combines with Metropolitan Avenue, and again when it crosses the Brooklyn-Queens border. Bridge number six must be the rail bridge at the very southern end of Newtown Creek.


    Ben Fried

    Grand crosses two forks of Newtown Creek. There’s also a rail bridge at the very end of one fork, not sure if the city is counting that.



    I would agree with you that “Lifestyle Centers’ like Ridge Hill are not befitting projects to be located within the five boroughs, in the densest conurbation on the continent. There is seemingly a lot of bleed-over in development typology from Westchester into the North Bronx. In Kingsbridge, near where I live, multiple strip-style plazas (at least one of which was an EDC project) have opened along Broadway in the last few years. This is a transit-rich area – the 1 train is literally right there. Each of these developments is set way back from the street, with “lakes” of parking in front as the lots are not large enough for the true oceans of parking as you’d get in a greenfield development upstate.

    I am convinced that this is all being driven by REIT-backed developers who couldn’t care less how these developments integrate into the fabric of urban spaces. This is a working class area, and they’d never build something so gross in areas of the city that have more money because the residents would raise living hell. The new plaza that is home to a BJs and Buffalo Wild Wings is particularly atrocious.


    Simon Phearson

    I *have* been using Google, and when I plug the same exact address, the times are completely different, showing far less of a differential. The only conclusion I can draw is that driving may be as fast as you suggest it is, or it can often prove to be just as slow as taking a circuitous route by transit. It all depends on traffic conditions.

    My comment about South Brooklyn was in jest. But suffice it to say, it’s not South Brooklyn eaters that are sustaining a business like Manducati’s.



    6 bridges? I count Pulaski, Greenpoint, Kosciuszko (two spans current, perhaps as many four temporarily as construction of the replacement bridge proceeds, but long-term, 2), and Grand Ave. Even if we count the Kosciuszko double that comes out to 5. 😉


    Simon Phearson

    Well, I don’t know what to tell you. Google is giving me a completely different set of numbers. 42 or 50 minutes vs. an hour to an hour ten.

    You’re right that I hadn’t considered driving on the return trip. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that, after a visit to an Italian restaurant, I’d expect to have had a fair bit of wine…



    And, one might even argue, it is fair that someone choosing to drive should have to take into account expense and time spent on finding parking when making that calculation of whether to take the train or drive. We’ve had a system biased towards making driving the fastest, easiest, and cheapest option for so long that it seems unfathomable to some that the driving option should meet any sort of inconvenience, but it’s a good step back towards balancing the transportation picture. Some might even *gasp* choose that longer period on the subway when faced with anything beginning to resemble the true costs of driving.


    Jonathan R

    From 86th St & 14th Ave, Bklyn, to that corner in LIC, right now, is 40 min driving and 74 min transit. That’s a daytime trip. Coming back at 10 pm on a Saturday night is 76 min transit, 24-40 min driving, according to g-maps.

    It’s the return from the restaurant that makes the difference; driving after rush hour is a lot quicker than transit.

    Left unasked is the question of why the diners aren’t eating Italian food in Bensonhurst instead of schlepping to Queens. That makes no sense whatsoever.



    Great to see elected officials at a ribbon cutting ceremony for new bike infrastructure! Wonder where the Queens BP was?



    Not at all! My numbers come right from google maps.
    For southern brooklyn, I picked a place 5 mins from the train, and not close to any highways. For riverdale I just picked the center of riverdale.

    Try it yourself; play around with google maps; their time estimates for cars and transit are pretty spot on. The only times car travel gets to be really terrible is at rush hours, the rest of the time, even with traffic, it’s not bad outside of manhattan.

    This is for southern brooklyn; as of this writing (2:46pm; well within the expanded friday rush), I’m getting 72min train/ 48min drive

    You say that like anyone in South Brooklyn wants to go to LIC.

    As for this comment; dude, really?


    Simon Phearson

    You say that like anyone in South Brooklyn wants to go to LIC. Anyway, your numbers to LIC are just false. You have to contrive a very specific set of circumstances to find cases where driving is twice as fast as transit, when traveling to LIC, and nowhere in Brooklyn seems to fit the bill. Basically, you have to choose places in Eastern Queens or Northern Bronx that are right next to highways and far from rails to get anything like the differential you cite.



    Like I said, a nice sentiment, but do you notice the motorcade behind him? Symbolic things like this are pretty pointless, especially considering the two 707s he used to fly everywhere:


    Simon Phearson

    I don’t understand why every last neighborhood needs to be designed to accommodate drivers from the remotest corners of the city, with the concerns of residents who actually live in those neighborhoods being only of secondary concern.

    You want to drive to LIC? Cool. Give it a shot. But we shouldn’t have to design the neighborhood like it’s a WalMart parking lot in order to accommodate the oh-so-coveted driver. Make the streets livable first.



    Yes, transit often takes longer than driving. A lot of us use it anyway.



    Median distance for trips made on foot in Paris: 0.4km.

    Median distance for combined walk/other non motorized trips made in Manhattan: 0.2 miles. Rest of NYC 0.2 miles.

    You need short trips to get people to walk, even when the paths are ‘parisian pleasant’. Both sources calculate distances as the crow flies.


    Ferdinand Cesarano

    Jimmy Carter walked to his inauguration.



    One small piece of the giant puzzle. It’s a nice start



    Maybe the Parisian 60% walk to work share

    Is completely made up and the actual walk to work mode share is about 15%.



    What about Paris + La Petite couronne, the three departments surrounding it? Combined area a bit under 300 square miles, combined population ~6.7 million. Think of it as Manhattan + the outer boroughs.


    Joe R.

    Not, it’s not, or at least it shouldn’t be. Driving to a congested urban area affects lots of people outside the vehicle. It delays delivery vehicles, emergency vehicles, cyclists, transit buses, and pedestrians just for starters. It also pollutes the air, plus we have the attendant carnage. I’m starting to liken unnecessary driving in an urban area to doing target practice with a pistol on a crowded sidewalk. We don’t allow the latter because it’s highly likely to affect lots of people if the shooter screws up. Even when they don’t, the noise and dangerous environment they create affects the quality of life. Driving in a place like LIC is no different.



    Wikipedia is not reliable. Like I said, the source listed doesn’t backup the 61% claim.



    FTY? I’m not familiar with that acronym… for the yeti?

    But what do you disagree with? Are you trying to say that you think people exceed 25 (or even 20) on turns?
    Or that 25 is too fast in a straight line for a pretty typical urban 2 way street?



    I can’t fathom why anyone would want to drive all the way there anyway.

    That’s the beauty of it, you don’t need to; it’s their call.



    Eh, how’s that?

    LIC is actually a great example of some of the issues the city has with it’s transit. NYC has great transit… if you want to get to/from manhattan. Iterboro is not so easy:

    A trip from south brooklyn to LIC is a 2 seat, 70 min trip. (by car it’s 33-43min)

    From Riverdale it’s a 2 seat, 80 min ride (29-37min by car).


    Joe R.

    People who live outside the city should park there vehicles outside city limits and take transit in. Traffic in and near LIC is horrible. I can’t fathom why anyone would want to drive all the way there anyway.



    Is the name of the Baychester developer, Grid properties, supposed to be ironic? They’re building a mall, not laying a traditional street grid down and building traditional street development. Even worse, they’re citing as a model the Ridge Hill mall in Yonkers. Putting aside that Ridge Hill’s creation, for which people went to jail, it is a failed New Urbanist development:
    * Workers have horrendous bus trips to reach it, and the County bus system has to run infrequent special routes from transit-rich population centers like Getty Square;
    * traffic into it is awful, and there are few sidewalks from nearby areas to reach it. So poor workers have to mingle with backed-up cars or high-speed highway on-ramps;
    * and the housing does not really make it ‘mixed use’, but instead feels like an afterthought on the side.

    Like Ridge Hill, Baychester will really just be another car-centric mall. Ridge Hill is a ghost town on weekdays, and only gets much activity on weekends. The addition of a medical office building has helped a bit, but now all those patients who could have taken a bus to their MD now drive.

    Can’t the City force Baychester to lay out a traditional grid and zoning — stores on the bottom, housing/offices up top — and integrate into nearby street networks? Why look to a suburban model in Westchester when NYC has a pretty successful development model? And if they are married to a suburban model, at least look at West Palm Beach’s City Place, where apartments exist over the stores?



    Because when he criticized the cops all hell broke loose



    A great idea that unfortunately was dead on arrival (on the arrival of some uninformed NIMBYs that is), but these lanes did indeed come from the “street scans”. People are apparently laboring under the delusion that these are going to be upgraded to protected lanes. Can we run a pool on when that’s going to happen?

    The sad thing is that these would make ideal bike boulevards.



    Yes, we can push the traffic burden away from the wealthier areas, and onto the less affluent. Way to go Streetsblog supporters.



    The only shred of legitimacy to her interminable whining was that traffic cops should be enforcing the law, not breaking it and robbing the city of parking revenue. As said above: you want parking, build it. This is analogous to a scrap metal company demanding a highway spur be constructed to their business at public expense because they want the prestige and convenience of being on an interstate. It doesn’t matter how much transit exists, actually, she chose to locate there first.


    Simon Phearson

    Yeah, but no one’s coming from outside the city to visit an Italian restaurant in LIC with the expectation that they’ll park right in front of it. The point is, most of the people that are being drawn to these LIC restaurants can get there by transit, and any employees who choose to live somewhere where they can’t take transit to work are making a very clear choice to take on that burden.


    Ben Fried

    The advocates wanted a protected lane on 72nd Street.



    As for the topic of this Slosson Ave. exit article, it’s exactly as stupid as it seems. They just rebuilt that offramp, the least they could do is try adjusting traffic light timing before committing to more storage space for cars to wait for the light. Not to mention: I know this will come as a shock to New York City drivers, but you don’t have a right to block a traffic lane while waiting to get to an exit, much less a second traffic lane as you try to sneak into the actual line. If our traffic cops weren’t all blocking metered spaces in LIC and costing the city money, maybe they could be out enforcing the law.


    Frank Kotter

    Sorry, but I can’t separate ‘FTY’ from speed. They are two sides of the same coin. And about the speeds through some of the most densely populated residential streets in America, we’ll have to disagree on that one.


    Ferdinand Cesarano

    There is actually no place in this City that is not served by transit.



    Though a nice sentiment, the secret service is pretty strict as to how the US president travels.



    and you can get there from practically half the city by transit.

    Agreed! But then you know, there’s the other half of the city… Also, people from outside to the city too.


    new yorker