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  1.  

    Jonathan R

    Just saying, Hudson River Greenway is a very nice path which I use quite often, but it is not optimal for biking because it is all the way on the edge of the island. I would much prefer a bikeway straight down Seventh Avenue-Varick St from Central Park to the World Trade Center.

  2.  

    CheshireKitty

    “The concern of some small businessmen [re Western Queens Transportation Study} – that the improvements will drive up their rents, I can relate to. I began thinking that this improvement effort may be a nice way to bring gentrification to this (forgotten/gritty) part of Queens; displacement will result. I’m not automatically opposed to streetscape improvements, plantings, and definitely am for anything that will make cycling safer, more places to park bikes, etc.”

    Yes, displacement does result – sometimes displacement into homelessness.

    An article in the Gawker says it all: “Brooklynites Demand Removal of Homeless to Make Park Safe for Dogs.” http://gawker.com/brooklynites-demand-removal-of-homeless-to-make-park-sa-1647737361

    Especially note the comments of Black Peter Brady: “What also has bummed me out is all of the sidewalks, roads and parks that have gotten an uplift in the past 5 years. Why the fuck didn’t that happen before? You only get neighborhood improvements if you can’t afford to live your neighborhood any more. My neighborhood has turned into a trend, a movie set and a commodity. I long for the days when it was just a neighborhood.”

  3.  

    Cold Shoaler

    Those fines for running people over are just a conspiracy of our government overlords masquerading as a “safety initiative” to make roadways safe. It’s their newest cash cow — an alternate form of taxation, raising enormous sums of money for the city.

  4.  

    Aunt Bike

    Such dreck is good for circulation. Anyway, I took the issue to be ignorant rants about speed enforcement, including Mr. Friedrich’s.

  5.  

    Cold Shoaler

    I suspect that I enjoy experiencing this city by bike as much as anyone, and frequently ride for no other reason than to see new/interesting parts of it. However, I can honestly say that the infrastructure designed to accommodate bikes (without having to sop every block or so) in this city absolutely makes my daily commute feasible. Without access to the Hudson River Greenway for instance, I would not be able to ride as often as I do. It probably saves me about an hour a week in commute time.

  6.  

    Evil Cabbie

    But I enjoy running over cyclists and pedestrians. If it’s not illegal, how come motorists haven’t been hit with any serious charges? The city must want us to run over everyone. At most it’s a $500 fine for running over and killing an old man. A bargain compared to other methods of murder!

  7.  

    Joe R.

    I’m aware that you commute daily. Even here though you mention adjusting your route to ride more interesting streets. As you’re enjoying yourself, time is less important for you than it is for many people. If we want to make cycling more attractive to the average person, it must be made safer and faster. People won’t ride if riding is significantly slower than other modes. If it’s at least as fast, or only a few minutes slower, some will consider it if they have a safe route. If it’s a lot faster, many will consider it.

    It’s not just about speed, either. As a cyclist, I find riding on many surface streets during daytime to be an extremely stressful, frustrating experience. You have double-parked cars, jaywalking pedestrians, a gazillion traffic lights, buses pulling in and out of stops, etc. Anything which removes me from that is welcome. To me that’s NOT an enjoyable part of the urban atmosphere. I don’t enjoy playing dodge-em with 2-ton metal boxes. I don’t enjoy hitting my brakes every 30 seconds to stop at yet another red light. I don’t enjoy sitting at red lights (unless a pretty girl happens to be crossing), knowing I could cover 5 or 6 blocks in the time I’m sitting there. I don’t enjoy being run off the road by motorists turning, or taxis picking up passengers. I don’t enjoy having crap thrown at me from cars. I don’t enjoy breathing exhaust fumes. It just goes on and on. There’s a reason I restrict most of my rides to after 9 PM. The reason is the streets are a clusterf*ck before then. I might be nice to ride in daylight unfettered by all the typical things which make riding in NYC very unpleasant.

  8.  

    Ferdinand Cesarano

    “Basically, when you think like that people won’t see bicycle infrastructure as a useful part of our transportation network. Rather, they’ll see it as a place where cyclists mosey along on sightseeing tours.”

    I’d like to point out that I am not only a summertime pleasure rider, but also a daily bike commuter who is closing in on 6000 miles for the year.

    Even during my commute I am enjoying the atmosphere of the City. Indeed, I have several times adjusted the route of my commute in order to ride more interesting streets. And, even during commuting I am aware that maximisation of speed can never be the number one criterion for riding in the City.

  9.  

    Joe R.

    Bike advocates also tend to lose a lot of support from the general public with comments like “Riding in our City (or in any big city) is not primarily about speed; it’s about basking in the atmosphere of city life.” Why? Basically, when you think like that people won’t see bicycle infrastructure as a useful part of our transportation network. Rather, they’ll see it as a place where cyclists mosey along on sightseeing tours. As such, it will be optional in most people’s minds, not necessary. We’ve even heard derogatory comments like the protected Manhattan bike lanes are “toy infrastructure”, or “playpens for cyclists”.

    On the other hand, everyone is quite familiar with the concept of local streets and expressways. I think a system of elevated bikeways would increase public support for surface facilities as well. The elevated bikeways would be the analog to highways, the surface facilities the analog to local streets. People will rightly say as great as the bike highways are, we can’t do trips on them if the last part of the journey off the bike highway is unsafe. Therefore, you’ll have broad support to build a complete system with a course grid of bike highways, and a finer grid of surface facilities on streets which are not conducive to cycling.

    As a bike-lane proponent, I have to concede that this is indeed a problem to some extent (and it’s a problem which bike advocates exacerbate when they complain that any given bike lane is “useless” if it doesn’t cross with another bike-laned street).

    Yes, that’s another issue. At the same time we build this grand network of bike highways and surface level facilities, we also need to get the word out that the vast majority of streets, particularly side streets in the outer boroughs, are just fine for biking as is, no special bike infrastructure needed. Bike advocates lose support when they expect special bike lanes on every single street. They’re largely not necessary. We only need separate facilities on streets with heavy motor traffic and/or many signalized intersections. And we only need elevated bike highways on a fairly course grid, perhaps 1 mile square. Our existing road system as is will do just fine to fill in the remaining gaps. Let’s just please get DOT to keep these roads in better repair. That’s really the biggest hazard for cyclists on quiet side streets-the poor surface condition.

    Having ridden to Philadelphia recently, and having traversed a vast swath of nowheresville New Jersey between South Amboy and Trenton, I can say that I’d have liked some kind of “bike highway” facilities out there, where the places themselves have virtually no character.

    I agree but at the same time I also think it would be great to have intercity bike highways connecting with urban ones. Why shouldn’t someone be able to ride from far-off suburban Long Island or NJ all the way to Manhattan on bike highways?

    But in a city such a thing would be highly inappropriate. Here in our City, I have ridden the Shore Parkway (Belt Parkway) Greenway and the Hudson River Greenway many times. Sure, I can go a bit faster on there than I can on regular streets, and with fewer stops. But those paths are so remote from the buzz of the City that I often feel frustrated by being on there; I feel like Iike I am missing out on being in the City, and I yearn for the streets.

    The problem here isn’t the concept of bike highways, but the fact that the few the city has were only built where topography made it convenient (i.e. along expressways or waterways). By definition those places are isolated. If we built viaducts above bustling city streets, you’ll be able to take in the atmosphere. In fact, you might enjoy it better from 15 feet up, sort of like how I enjoy looking at busy streets from a second floor window.

  10.  

    Ferdinand Cesarano

    I as a citizen would oppose a grand network of elevated bikeways on the grounds that they’d blight the landscape.

    But even as a bicyclist I’d oppose it because such a thing would create a powerful impression that that’s where bicyclists “belong”. It’s true that some people have made a similar argument about bike lanes, saying that they create the impression that cyclists may only use the streets with bike lanes. As a bike-lane proponent, I have to concede that this is indeed a problem to some extent (and it’s a problem which bike advocates exacerbate when they complain that any given bike lane is “useless” if it doesn’t cross with another bike-laned street). But the extent to which this problem affects bike lanes is tiny as compared to the extent to which it would affect some imagined network of newly-built bike skyways.

    Also, the idea that such a scheme would improve the enjoyment of bicycling in New York is fishy, to say the least. Riding in our City (or in any big city) is not primarily about speed; it’s about basking in the atmosphere of city life. And that city life takes place on the streets.

    Having ridden to Philadelphia recently, and having traversed a vast swath of nowheresville New Jersey between South Amboy and Trenton, I can say that I’d have liked some kind of “bike highway” facilities out there, where the places themselves have virtually no character. But in a city such a thing would be highly inappropriate. Here in our City, I have ridden the Shore Parkway (Belt Parkway) Greenway and the Hudson River Greenway many times. Sure, I can go a bit faster on there than I can on regular streets, and with fewer stops. But those paths are so remote from the buzz of the City that I often feel frustrated by being on there; I feel like Iike I am missing out on being in the City, and I yearn for the streets.

    A few Sundays ago I rode on the Bronx River Parkway in Westchester. Again I had the same thought: I could go faster on the parkway than I could go the streets; but the ride on the parkway was a lot less interesting than the ride through Yonkers and Bronxville to get there. I went there figuring I’d do two circuits on the section of the parkway that had been opened to bikes; I wound up doing only one, because I preferred to spend my time on the streets.

    Where there exists a park corridor that is suitable for a long stretch of highway-like bike riding, then a dedicated bikeway should definitely be put there. But any notion of fanciful “elevated bikeways” on ordinary City streets runs counter to our interests. We New York bicyclists need all infrastructure-based efforts concentrated on getting more on-street bike lanes such as those that we have on 1st Ave., Kent Ave., Vernon Blvd., etc.

  11.  

    Joe R.

    You’re probably right but I also think the problem is there just aren’t enough places with separate bike/ped facilities, so people here aren’t used to the concept. People tend to overlook signs and markings on the relatively few places (mostly bridges) with separate bike/ped spaces, assuming instead if they can physically walk there, then they must be allowed. If you have a bunch of viaducts, each with separately marked bike/ped spaces, people would be more familiar with the system, hence more likely to go where they should. Or so I can hope.

  12.  

    r

    In any rational world, a doubling of cyclists deaths from one year to the next would cause DOT to double down on improving the infrastructure to prevent more tragedies. Instead, we get extra-wide parking lanes and calls to wait for the “community” to get used to things.

    DOT needs to get its mojo back when it comes to bikes. But if preventing dead cyclists doesn’t cause it to happen, I don’t know what will.

  13.  

    Cold Shoaler

    “Just completely separate the bike/pedestrian parts, and make it clear who belongs where.” Unfortunately there’s not a lot of precedent of this working in NYC. I bet it would end up full of joggers wearing earbuds.

  14.  

    Tom

    …..or football players and helmets. No cars involved by head injuries galore.

  15.  

    Joe R.

    I personally wouldn’t support any idea which restricted cyclists from regular streets. Even on streets with elevated bikeways, you still need to get to your final destination once you exit. If the exits are close enough, I suppose it would be feasible to just walk your bike, or ride slowly, on the sidewalk for that last block or two, but nevertheless you couldn’t banish bikes to the skyway on such streets.

    Of course motor traffic should be limited first but the city has no belly for that. If we limited motor traffic enough the entire need for a system of elevated bikeways, except maybe in a few strategic places, would vanish.

    Interestingly, one of the comments mentioned this being NYC, pedestrians would walk on them even though they’re not supposed to. Well, if they did, then to me this would just indicate that perhaps a similar parallel walkway for pedestrians wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. If you’re already building the thing, why not add another 5 or 6 feet to give people walking the same option as people biking? Just completely separate the bike/pedestrian parts, and make it clear who belongs where.

  16.  

    Matthias

    As long as cyclists are free to ride anywhere they choose, then there shouldn’t be a problem. When I hear proposals for creating bike-only routes though, it’s usually accompanied by an argument to remove them from the public right-of-way. Of course motor traffic needs to be limited before human-powered traffic, if the latter should even be limited at all.

  17.  

    Joe R.

    The article mentions building about 50 to 100 miles of elevated bike lanes in NYC. Basically, he has the same idea I have-making elevated trunk routes so cyclists can do 95% of their trip without slowing or stopping. Regular surface streets would serve for the remainder of the trip.

    There was no talk of banishing cyclists to elevated bikeways on every street. I don’t know why that always comes up every time this idea is discussed.

    I would personally welcome this with open arms. I’ve had it with sharing space with two ton vehicles driven by psychopaths, broken down streets, f-ing traffic signals, double-parked cars, etc. Unless you banish yourself to riding after about 9 PM, riding around this city, even in the outer boroughs, is often a lesson in frustration. I went for a ride yesterday at around 6. By the amount of traffic you would swear it was rush hour, not late Sunday afternoon. There’s far too much motor traffic in this city but nobody in charge is showing any courage for drastically reducing it. If we won’t do that, at least put cyclists above the fray.

  18.  

    BBnet3000

    Cyclist numbers remain extremely high relative to the number of people cycling.

    This is a serious concern if we want cycling to be a viable mode of transportation for many people in this city, not to mention the fact that human lives are actually being lost due to design (DOT) and non-enforcement (NYPD).

  19.  

    Matthias

    Interesting article about elevated cycletracks. If I am reading it correctly, they use as an example Copenhagen’s bike bridge that was built to provide a direct route that was missing from the network, to argue for banishing cyclists to elevated bikeways on every street?

  20.  

    r

    The issue isn’t Friedrich, but the Daily News giving him a soapbox. Why are they publishing such unsubstantiated dreck? This would be a safer city without the Daily News.

  21.  

    Aunt Bike

    Re “Ignorant Rants About Speed Enforcement Have a Home on the Daily News Editorial Page”. Writer Bob Friedrich makes the same mistake other anti traffic safety advocates do… they claim speed cameras are a failure even though the program isn’t ten months old, too soon to make an educated judgement.

    Staten Island has a counterpart to Mr. Friedrich in a certain Michael Reilly. According to the Staten Island Advance, “Reilly, a retired police officer, has built an impressive social media presence around traffic-related posts on the Island. In February, an illegal speed zone camera near Hylan Boulevard and Burbank Avenue was taken down with the help of Reilly’s prodding”.

    Although Mr. Reilly says “I’m in favor of these speed cameras, but they must be implemented properly — in accordance with the law”, for some reason he also publicizes the locations of those that are legally placed.

    One has to question the motives of someone who must think speeding drivers who kill others are less of a problem than cameras meant to save lives.

  22.  

    neroden

    The PBA is a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization and should be banned.

  23.  

    neroden

    The problem is that this gives law enforcement an incentive to FAKE THE NUMBERS. To claim that people weren’t really killed, etc.

    “Pay for performance” is always bad and it’s bad for this reason: the corrupt, lazy swine will spend much more work faking the numbers than they will doing their job.

    Instead, you have to simply sack them when they don’t do their job. Firings work.

  24.  

    neroden

    Most significantly, people hit at lower speeds generally survive. If you get hit by a car at 15 mph, you often just get bruised. So crashes just aren’t so bad in that case.

    If the car’s going 40 mph, you usually die.

  25.  

    neroden

    There is very close to no work which “requires the presence of a motor vehicle in a location that interferes with the right of way of a pedestrian”.

    I suppose there’s blocking/closing a road, and there’s certain utility work where you need to move the cherrypickers or digging machines into the ROW (which usually means blocking/closing the road). That’s it.

  26.  

    neroden

    Thanks for starting to track down *exactly which corrupt cops* are aiding and abetting the criminal conspiracy to commit manslaughter with cars. Only by naming individual commanding officers who are responsible for these illegal coverups can we make progress.

  27.  

    neroden

    If any police officers signed on to the NYPD expecting that they were joining a paramilitary force, they need to be fired immediately. Fired *for cause*, no severance pay, no benefits, no defense from the so-called “union” permitted.

  28.  

    neroden

    It should be illegal for currently-serving NYPD officers to live outside the city.

    It is a basic requirement for any police force that it be composed of *locals*. Failure to enforce this means that you have an *outside military occupation force*. How do people usually respond to outside military occupation forces? They, quite rightly, kill them. NYC citizens have been *very restrained*.

  29.  

    neroden

    Good for Chin. And…. what precinct is this in? Because the precinct captain is blatantly violating the law by refusing to report this crime.

  30.  

    neroden

    Good for the 20th precinct!

    Last I heard, *some* precincts were taking “vision zero” seriously… and others were driving their police cars on the sidewalk. I think it’s worth keeping track of the situation on a per-precinct basis.

  31.  

    neroden

    This is a completely inaccurate history of police in New York (though it’s pretty much an accurate history of police from New Jersey southward, which were slave states).

    In New York, the police descend from the Dutch “night watchmen”.

    http://www.nleomf.org/museum/news/newsletters/online-insider/2012/April-2012/early-days-american-law-enforcement-april-2012.html

  32.  

    neroden

    I have seen bad situations get better when the police showed up — in some cities.

    But never in NYC, never in LA, never in Oakland,… well, you get the picture. Some departments are NO GOOD, they’ve developed a corrupt culture, and they need to be replaced.

  33.  

    neroden

    No, he’s actually substantially worse than average for the Democratic Party — maybe the 25th percentile.

  34.  

    neroden

    They have no political power over the federal government, which is why an ADA lawsuit is probably the correct way to attack this.

  35.  

    neroden

    If you can prove NYPD involvement, I advise suing the NYPD for the ADA violation. You should be able to get several million dollars, very easily, and an injunction to force them to cut it out. If they disobey the injunction, more money each time they disobey it.

    I bet United Spinal would be interested in supporting such a case.

  36.  

    neroden

    The NYPD is completely corrupt and most NYPD officers belong in prison for 25-to-life. I’m sure there are a few good ones, but yeah, in NYC, the police do not enforce the laws anymore.

  37.  

    neroden

    Since they’re not supposed to be driving on the holidays anyway, the illegal parking is completely unjustifiable. NYPD involvement is official corruption and should result in hard time, 25-to-life.

  38.  

    neroden

    The ADA is likely to be the correct hammer to use against sidewalk-blockers (like certain NYPD precints, and like these people). Advantages:
    (1) Private cause of action in civil court; doesn’t matter what the DA thinks
    (2) Federal court; corruption in local courts is irrelevant
    (3) injunctions and fines both available

  39.  

    neroden

    Naw, we just need a fleet of tow trucks which will drag these illegally parked cars away to the impound yard.

    Oh, wait, NYPD has one of those, they’re just shirking their duty.

  40.  

    neroden

    Cars have nothing to do with Hasidic culture. Absolutely nothing at all.

  41.  

    neroden

    Only way to get jail time is to remove Cy Vance (who supports killing people) from the DA’s office.

    Since there are five elected DAs in NY, you have to go through this separately for all five boroughs. The new Brooklyn DA may be OK; it’s not clear yet. It seems quite clear that Cy Vance in Manhattan is simply in favor of killing people without consquences. I haven’t looked into the other three DAs.

    I think the ads against Cy Vance (“Cy Vance lets killers walk free”) would write themselves. I suppose the problem is paying for ads in the expensive Manhattan media market.

  42.  

    neroden

    Yes, absolutely. In particular, it is quite common for killer motorists to be driving without a license. How do we stop them?

    Only way I can think of is to lock them in a cage where they have no access to their murder weapon of choice (the auto). In short, this is exactly what prison was invented for.

  43.  

    neroden

    Cy Vance approves of motorists killing innocent pedestrians. There is no other possible conclusion.

    Unfortunately, under current legal precedent, district attorneys literally have the power to get away with murder. If Cy Vance personally went on a killing spree with a machine gun in Manhattan, he could simply “decide not to prosecute” himself. (Obviously this is a very bad set of precedents, but that’s the state of our corrupt “legal system” these days.) The only option I see to get justice is to fire his ass at the next election.

  44.  

    r

    “Would someone cognizant of the law explain to this layman why he was not charged with, say vehicular manslaughter?”

    One would think Cy Vance could explain it to you, but I guess not.

  45.  

    Philip Neumann

    His point is that the Hasidim don’t own South Williamsburg anymore than you own your neighborhood, regardless of the shady real estate practices they like to pull (See: issues with S. Williamsburg residents and Bed-Stuy community). Being politically connected and having the police in your pocket doesn’t make their behavior legal or correct – in fact it’s the watermark of corruption.

    And when this is their behavior towards cyclists, it’s difficult to give a shit about their parking needs on a holiday

    Group of People Harassing and Restraining a Cycli…: http://youtu.be/VQ19lJkU-Xg

  46.  

    Tal F.

    I went with my family to RI by bike (from Manhattan, took QBB to Queens first). I would say it was worth it for a change of scenery, as we had never been there before, but we probably would not go again. We did have a bit of a difficult time getting on to the island. My wife was afraid of the metal grates on the bridge and she walked her bike, and our bike trailer with the kids didn’t fit in the elevator so we had to take the car helix. These were both a bit scary, but neither were nearly as bad as the midtown traffic we went through in Manhattan on our way to the QBB.

  47.  

    Joe R.

    On the LEDs, remember NYC has something like 300,000 streetlights. We’re limited by manpower as far as changing them faster. Yes, they’re more costly than sodium vapor lights, but at this point not much more costly. I think the newest ones pay for themselves in energy savings in about a year, so it would be in the city’s best interested to change them all out ASAP. NYC ironically took a really long time to change over to LEDs. Los Angeles finished installing LED streetlights last year ( http://www.forbes.com/sites/justingerdes/2013/07/31/los-angeles-completes-worlds-largest-led-street-light-retrofit/ ). They only had to change 141,089-less than half the number in NYC. I also suspect NYC waited a bit on this because they wanted to see if other cities had any issues. The first LED streetlights had issues of shorter than expected life, glare, and in some cases lousy light color. LED was also on a steep improvement curve until recently, so it made no sense to install lights which would be obsolete a few years later. As I recall, efficiencies went from 15 lm/W (about the same as an incandescent bulb) in the early 2000s to 60 lm/W (the same as a CFL) by the mid 2000s to over 100 lm/W (as good as linear fluorescent tubes) by 2010. I know all this because I tested quite a few of them ( http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?89607-White-LED-lumen-testing ). Now they’re at around 150 lm/W and still improving, but much more slowly, so it makes sense for NYC to install LEDs. We’ll probably get past 200 lm/W for production LEDs by 2020. We’ve hit 303 lm/W in the lab. That’s close to the theoretical limit-nearly 100% of the input power was being converted to light energy.

    LEDs have also come down drastically in price, particularly in the last few years. High-power emitters went from over $10 to $5 a few years ago to under $1 now. They’ll undoubtedly drop in price even further.

  48.  

    lop

  49.  

    Maggie

    Yup, +1000. I have no idea what country is on Komlani’s passport, but why should this matter? He killed a kid on the streets of New York City; he’s subject to the exact same laws and legislation as anyone else who killed a kid here.

    No one questioned whether he was hard-working, but when you’ve killed a kid, that becomes pretty irrelevant.

  50.  

    walks bikes drives

    I am very confused. I have been trying so hard to find, in our traffic laws, which make our system, where it requires a cab driver to kill a kid. And why are there 60,000+ other TLC drivers that keep breaking the rules and are NOT killing kids? I mean, “the problem is the system that requires the driver to act as he did.”