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    Fordham Road/Inwood is a major cross town route that eventually deserves a subway. However, I do agree that right now 125th St should be prioritized because it would effect more people.

    The city needs to upgrade the SBS 12 to full BRT along Fordham Road and Pelham Parkway and widen the sidewalks.



    The eastern half of Fordham Road was recently rezoned to promote dense, mixed-use, transit oriented construction. Those automotive businesses are going bye-bye.

    As for those more powerful institutions, I agree.



    Attracting the 60% of the population that are interested but concerned involves making their entire route low-stress. One-off low-stress street projects that are not complete routes tend to not fair much better in getting people to use it on a daily basis than conventional bike lanes.

    Here’s a study that discusses low-stress bike networks:

    In the 2011 and 2013 Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition bike counts in the city of Los Angeles there was on average a doubling of bike counts on streets that had conventional bike lanes installed. In the 2013 counts there was a 134% increase in bike counts on mostly residential streets that had sharrows installed. I’d venture to guess that the sharrows are a form of directional tool that encourages people to use that street for riding.

    Contrast that with mostly 30-60% increases in cycling on streets that had protected bike lanes installed in cities around the country. That’s not as good a return in increased cycling as the conventional bike lane installations that Los Angeles is getting. Again, that may be due to incomplete low-stress routes for the interested by concerned to ride on.



    It’s just grotesque that car drivers can kill children and adults and not face criminal charges. What must these families feel knowing that the person who murdered their child received a slap on the hand and a nominal fine, if anything.



    With limited resources, it’s important to get the priorities straight.

    About 75% or 6 million NYC residents live within 1/2 mile of a subway entrance. We should spend our scarce capital dollars on providing better service to the 25% or 2 million NYC residents who live further than 1/2 mile from a subway entrance. That better service could be subway extensions, improved bus service or bike share.

    NYC has been investing its dollars in areas already served by existing subways. Just about all the people who will be within 1/2 mile of the 2nd Ave Subway or West Yards extensions were already within 0.5 miles of a subway entrance.

    There are priorities. About 1.2 million live between 0.5 and 1.5 miles from a subway entrance. This should be prime territory for improved bicycle facilities. It’s the least expensive way to provide these people with the fasted access to a subway. This means secure parking facilities at the stations for residents and bike share for visitors. Buses cost $500K to purchase and about $200/hr to operate. A lot of bike infrastructure can be purchased in lieu of conventional public transit for these people.

    That leaves 200K people who live between 1.5 and 2.0 miles from a subway entrance and 500K who live beyond 2.0 miles from one. These are the people who should be targeted for improved bus service.

    Consider the proposed Woodhaven-Crossbay Blvd SBS project. Virtually all the residents already live within 1/2 mile of an existing subway entrance. The talent and energy being expended to design and sell this project would have been better spent on projects designed to serve the 700K city residents who live more than 1.5 miles from a subway entrance.



    Without so much as flexible delineators this is likely to be driven on and worn off the road just like in many similar locations where identical or similar designs have been done before. If people are driving on it how well is it really working, and when it wears away, how long will it take to be replaced?

    Has anyone from DOT cycled on the Addabbo bridge between Howard Beach and Broad Channel, or at the end of Caton Ave before it meets Fort Hamilton Parkway in Brooklyn? (two examples of many) Is there any process by which the functioning of existing facilities feeds back into the design of new facilities?

    The lanes on the 39th St Bridge used as an example for this are a year old. The Streetview available from Oct 2014 shows cars driving with the right tires on the outer line. Anyone want to take bets on how fast they’ll wear off the road and how long it will take to repaint them?


    Aunt Bike

    They just think they want to secede to Jersey. When they start paying Jersey property taxes they’ll be screaming to come back.



    Yes. I was just thinking about that this morning.



    Assuming that no bike-specific light is coming to this location, this raises the question of whether people cycling can use leading pedestrian intervals. This is a common practice already, but as far as I know is not currently legal.

    DC legalized it recently, and it would be great if New York were next.



    Saw the roadway last night…and they’ve moved the double yellow line back to the center of the roadway. Based on the fact the road existed like that for a few days, have to assume one northbound traffic lane must be enough. Now that there are two, seems like it should be easy to return the bike path to the street. I’ve emailed Luis Sanchez again about this. Plenty of room to keep cyclists out of the park.



    I got a similar message, but with an important added phrase: “Additional signage was installed to direct bicyclists onto the esplanade’s shared bike path. “

    Apparently they actually did do something in response to our messages (the thing they should have done in the first place).



    The danger lies in the vehicles attempting to make the left onto the eastbound lane of the LIE. When the light changes from red to green at this intersection, many drivers try to jump onto the expressway on-ramp before the northbound traffic moves through the intersection. As a cyclist, I’ve had many close calls with drivers turning onto the on-ramp trying to sneak past northbound traffic instead of yielding. Perhaps DOT would consider adding a leading interval for pedestrians and cyclists.


    Simon Phearson

    No easy solution? Toll the Queensboro already!



    Drivers win again!


    Tyson White

    “I’m not against …. It’s just the way it was done….”

    We’ve heard that song before too many times.


    Jonathan R

    Great point. If you look at the directions page on Monte’s website, however, they list the subways first. I suspect that the orgs’ staff are all for better subway access, but the board members (who are probably 90% from the suburbs) discourage ‘unfocused’ projects like better community relations and better subway access.



    It probably is, certainly for now with the MTA already so depleted on capital funds.

    Still, it is disheartening that these cultural institutions don’t seem to have any dreams beyond the new parking garage, er, um, “multi-modal center.”

    The Bronx institutions really need more vision:



    With limited resources, you gotta make the case for Fordham Road over other competing priorities. I’d think 125th St offers better crosstown bang for your buck. Obviously it’s of less use to somebody going from Pelham Parkway to Washington Heights, but if uptown gets a crosstown I don’t really see Fordham being the pick.

    Also, it should obviously be woven into an existing line, as has been proposed by a number of groups with the 125th St curve of the 2nd Ave subway.

    As to the big Bx institutions– yeah, I think their leadership mostly drive to work and don’t have a great grasp of transit issues. Look at how the Botanical Garden spent millions (including public money!) on that big parking garage next to the Metro-North station.



    Its called a bid system. Taxis and Limos have been dispatched in the matter for decades and is just a hypocritical push by a desperate industry.

    Livery Cabs who used radio dispatch would put an announcement out on the radio that included the job location. The drivers would then race to key up the radio, transmitting their ID’s, first one to transmit would get the job.

    Limo’s (Black Cars) would use Mobile Data Terminals running data over their radio. A job announcement would go out on a very tiny hard to read display in the car and a driver would still have to bid on accepting the job.

    However, most of the industry with the move to cellular dispatch have abandoned the bid system and are now completely algorithmic.



    Prove me wrong, but I think a cross-town subway along Fordham Rd is a pipedream. The terrain is challenging, to say the least.



    This problem can be fixed with good app design, in-car bluetooth connections, etc. Maybe we need regulations for the car-service apps used by drivers.



    Here’s a clarification: SBS is a bus getting roughly the kind of treatment surface transit deserves. The buses that work how buses are not supposed to work are called local, express, and limited buses. The first are too slow, the second are too expensive/wasteful, and the third are better than the first but still subject to the whims of idiots in SUVs who think they own the street.



    Reducing stops does speed things up. A lot. Each stop takes at least 30 seconds, probably closer to 45, and stop times can be extended greatly by any number of: alighting passengers, wheelchairs, or large boarding queues. Stops every quarter mile mean nobody directly along the route has to walk more than 1/8 of a mile (660′) to a bus stop. By your estimate, that’s about 2.5 minutes of walking time.


    Steve O'Neill

    Or even if they can’t/won’t do a display, they could just release the raw data. I asked for that in September, but DOT declined.

    I don’t see what the point is of keeping the numbers secret.


    Tyson White

    I’m actually not 100% certain on this one. I was once pulled over several years ago while driving upstate on a highway, and told the cop I was trying to use the GPS navigation on my phone and asked him what the rule is about that. He said it’s ok if it’s mounted and then he let me go.

    In hindsight, he should have ticketed me. Just warning drivers and letting them go is a waste of time and public resources. I understand cops want to be nice and not punish people, but being extracted from a car with a hurst tool while you’re bleeding to death because another driver was texting isn’t nice either. But I digress.

    I was trying to read the NYS law online to learn if texting on a mounted phone is legal. The legalese is not easy to read. Any help would be appreciated!


    Andres Dee

    The car service companies raise important points about the potential hazards of drivers using apps. That said, I predict that in 5 years, most “car-service” will be ordered via app rather than by voice.



    What is most surprising about that letter for a subway shuttle across Fordham Road is the absence of the Four Bronx Institutions Alliance (FBIA) – Fordham University, Montefiore Medical Center, The New York Botanical Garden, and the Bronx Zoo. Why not extend the last bit from MetroNorth to the Garden and the Zoo? Do their business models rely that heavily on parking revenue? Or are they really just have such a staid, auto-centric leadership culture that they don’t even see the value of having their own subway station?


    Larry Littlefield

    “Bronx, Uptown Electeds Call on MTA to Add Fordham Road Subway Line to Capital Plan.”

    What capital plan? You mean the last one? The one that just expired? If the MTA can finish all the projects in that plan, I’ll be surprised.

    Meanwhile, the members of the NYC Council should talk the members of the state legislature. About retirement property in Florida and South Carolina, which is what they have been aiming for for themselves and their crowd for the past 20 years.

    The MTA should be thinking about what subway lines and stations to abandon as ongoing normal replacement comes to an end. Either now or in five years, after another $20 billion is borrowed by Generation Greed.


    Brill Cream

    The traffic on Riverside Drive is a direct result of the congestion on the West Side Hiway, which is caused by poor exit ramps to the GW, the Cross Bronx and the Deegan. Which means that if buses or cabs – as well as private cars – and ambulances and fire trucks need to get up and downtown quickly, some thought must be given to how Riverside remains traffic free. None of this lives in isolation.



    But exercise is good for you.


    Brill Cream

    because most apartment buildings in Manhattan were built before car ownership was so widespread, and when El’s and trams made it easier to get around the city.



    You have to start somewhere.



    All excellent points. My research and chart was based largely on the findings of Dutch engineers over the past 40 years and what they have found works and doesn’t work.

    I think that in the U.S. given our extremely low transportation bicycling that any valid measurements will take years. The majority of the people who ride a bikeway in the first few years are people who already ride. They may increase how much they ride with a safer facility and may encourage a neighbor to do so occasionally but it’s mostly the same people who have already been riding. Getting many new riders will take several years. First is simply a mindshare issue — they need to have the thought that riding to dinner instead of driving is an option. Then they need to have a bike to do it on. While many people might have bikes they rarely have bikes that work for transportation (and too many shops only sell recreational bikes that don’t work so well for transportation).

    People also need a connected network that gets them from A to B safely and comfortably. The facilities going in now will do it for some people but not others. Some people will be happy if 40% of the worst of their route is improved, some will need 90%.




    Simon Phearson

    So, SBS is faster for some riders (those close to the stops) and time-neutral for others (those further away). Got it.



    Fewer stops and less boarding time may make the service faster for the MTA. It does not follow that the service will be faster for the rider.

    Each extra 264′ city block the rider has to walk to/from the fewer bus stops adds a minute to the entire trip from the rider’s perspective. That walking time eats up most, if not all, SBS’ advertised time saving.



    “Rasoulinejad questioned whether the Q44, which serves more than 28,000 passengers daily, attracts enough people to merit investment.”

    The 28,000 figure is misleading because the Q44 serves a much larger area than the Flushing-Jamaica corridor. In round numbers, the route is 14 miles long, of which only 6 miles are the Flushing-Jamaica corridor. Until there is an accurate boardings/exits breakdown for this route, corridor ridership totals are sheer speculation.



    Your making a lot of assumptions.

    One way to see the difference in how many more people will ride in a city when buffered bike lanes or cycle tracks are installed versus conventional bike lanes is to compare the results from two closely matched cities. Of the ninety biggest cities in the U.S. the city that most closely matches the amount of bike lanes and paths per amount of population and bicycle commuting mode share that Los Angeles had in 2009 is Chicago.

    It turns out that Chicago started installing its goal of 100 miles of buffered and protected bike lanes over four years in mid 2011. Also in mid 2011, Los Angeles started installing a large amount of bike lane miles and added 244 miles of mostly conventional bike lanes by mid 2014.

    Measured by miles of bike lanes per square mile of land, Chicago will have added 44% bike lane miles per square mile of land. Los Angeles has added 52% bike lane miles per square mile of land.

    The first bicycle commuting mode share increase for Los Angeles as a result of these bike lane miles installed was in 2013, grabbing an additional two tenths of one-percent of commuters in the 2013 Census Bureau American Community results. Chicago dropped two tenths of one-percent (that’s within the margin of error) in its share of bicycle commuters. The difference could be that most of the additional bike lane miles in LA were finished by the end of 2013 and Chicago still has almost a third of its 100 miles of bike lanes to be completed this year. It also takes time before a bicycle commuting share increase happens after installing additional bikeways.

    I would expect Chicago to advance in the 2014 results and Los Angeles also may. So far, there is no sign that the buffered and protected bike lanes that Chicago installed has increased bicycle commuting as much or more than the conventional bike lanes that LA installed. Chicago also installed a large bicycle sharing system which will have a positive effect on the rate of bicycle commuting.


    Miles Bader

    I assumed the pre-comment-section ads were somehow related to disqus, as I see the same things on other sites using disqus (always the same super-slimy low quality stuff).

    The ads on the side and top, by contrast seem more targeted and much less horrible….


    Miles Bader

    Hmmm, they say the damage to the roadway is proportional to the cube of the weight or something like that…. So how about making the tax similar?


    Miles Bader

    Come to Japan you can see bicyclists browsing the web with one hand, holding an umbrella with their other hand, smoking a cigarette with their other hand, and somehow managing to steer the bike through crowds of pedestrians with whatever appendages are left. Luckily they can hang the bags of groceries from the handlebars, so they don’t interfere…too much…. oO;



    How much less frequent are the stops than a limited bus?

    On Woodhaven the proposal adds a stop at Piktin, and replaces the stop at Atlantic with two, one at 91st and a second at 101st.



    My point is that when they move to contactless payment, they should implement Proof of Payment systemwide, just as San Francisco has.

    SBS is barely BRT as is, and definitely wouldn’t be considered BRT without an exclusive lane.

    How much less frequent are the stops than a limited bus? Because that’s all that this line would offer over a limited bus with POP, which, to reiterate my point from my original post, would bring up the question of why the SBS branding exists in the first place.


    Joe R.

    Obviously if it’s very crowded speed limits tend to be self-enforcing. A general rule like “speed safe for conditions” makes more sense than a blanket 10 mph speed limit. Most cyclists, even fast ones like myself, have no problems slowing down when things get crowded. Heck, I do this even on regular city streets in places where jaywalking is common.

    Isn’t the TZB about 25 miles from the GW? So the round trip to the TZB and back adds about 50 miles to the trip. Of course, if you’re already heading up that way anyhow, you’re not adding any mileage to the trip.

    As for making the bridge wider, if it needs to be done for some reason other than just to make a cycling path, then it’s not taking money from other cycling facilities. For example, we could probably use some sort of railway on that bridge, if for no other reason than to provide redundancy in case the Amtrak tunnels going to NYP get flooded or otherwise put out of service. If that’s done, there’s probably only a minor impact on costs adding a lightweight deck somewhere for cyclists.



    Are you familiar with the routes between White Plains and Manhattan?

    Not really. I’ve only done the ride a handful of times. The dirt trail in Van Cortland to the paved South County trail to route 119, take that to the county center. The reverse is a little annoying 40 miles into a ride, 119 has a better elevation profile heading east on that segment – it’s steep for a couple blocks, could always walk on the sidewalk if I’m tired, then mild downhill the rest of the way. Either for an expo or up to Kensico dam. Tried the Bronx river trail once. At least part of it heading south from the convention center wasn’t paved, it was discontinuous, and a bit of a pain to use. Gave up and hopped on the train at some point.



    Asking people how they feel is a particularly bad way of determining loading.

    Here are “the charts”:



    The GWB is pretty flat. Off the bridge you might have hills where you want a wide path. But you don’t have cables there holding up the bridge, so you can widen them for less than a hundred million a mile it costs on the bridge.

    Enforcement? Put up some signs. Some will follow the spirit of the rule, with not that much room to pass, slows others down. Have some cameras, plus take complaints from users. If some people are misbehaving on a regular basis then have a couple PA cops give out warnings to the guys who are being reckless. Forget about the speed limit, you can call it something else. If that isn’t enough, then give out tickets. Crowded shared paths sometimes have a small share of cyclists who ride like asses. Targeting them for enforcement is analogous to a 95 percentile speed limit.

    The congested times impact recreational riders. Time is less of an issue.

    If you are going from NYC to Nyack, a popular weekend ride and the example mentioned, how does using the TZB add 50 miles?

    Making the bridge wider would cost a lot of money. If there is so much money available to improve cycling facilities it’s most likely better spent elsewhere.



    The MetroCard replacement isn’t POP, it’s contactless payment. Chicago, which uses the same type of Cubic fare system, has already made the switch. There is no POP element involved.

    SBS is Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). It has fewer stops than Limited buses. The combination of fewer stops and POP via receipts from off-board payment make SBS service faster than Limited service.


    Joe R.

    Maybe the NYC e-bike ban has something to do with the lack of momentum on the e-bike front. Most people don’t want to ride an e-bike if there’s a chance the NYPD will impound it.

    And how exactly would your proposed 10 mph weekday speed limit work, starting the fact bikes aren’t required to have speedometers, and hence have no reliable way for the rider to determine speed? Besides that, freewheeling speed on the downslope of any bridge is well above 10 mph. How exactly then do you keep to 10 mph going down? Riding the brakes is asking for trouble like blown tires. It’s also a stupid waste of free potential energy. The real solution on any bike infrastructure where riders on the downslope are likely to be going at high speeds is physical separation of both directions. Not just on bridges, but really on any fairly steep hill. In many cases, albeit not in the case of the GWB, cyclists build up speed on the downslope to help carry them up the next hill. Any unnecessary speed reduction means more time and energy to get up that next hill.

    If we want to grow biking, then we seriously have to consider energy use and travel time. The fact that car traffic may take 40 minutes to cross the bridge doesn’t make cyclist’s complaints about weekday traffic moot. Bikes are already slow compared to cars in most situations. That’s exactly why we shouldn’t do anything to slow them down even more. We could use the same logic as you saying the bridge is only a mile for other parts of the trip. One the next leg of the journey maybe those who planned that infrastructure will say it’s only 1.5 miles. and so forth. Soon you’re looking at a serious amount of time lost. Even over a mile 10 mph instead of 15 mph equals 2 minutes each way, 4 minutes round trip. In commuting terms that’s a serious amount of time. Look at all the people who rightfully bitch when NJ Transit adds 2 minutes to a train schedule. Travel time suddenly doesn’t cease to matter when you switch from a train or car to a bike. In fact, it probably matters more. Unlike a train or car, a bike can’t just speed up and make up time delays when the road clears. Cyclists have a hard limit on their maximum sustained speed. If you lose 3 or 4 minutes crossing the bridge, that time is typically gone.


    Neile Weissman

    The Cyclists’ Proposal calls for a facility that conforms to national guidelines for high use (AASHTO); can support increased demand by all users well into the century (FHWA); and fulfills USDOT expectations that transportation agencies upgrade bicycle-pedestrian facilities on bridges during major renovations.

    Not even Port Authority disputes the need, benefits or feasibility. They know what has to be done, they just decline to spend the money.