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    BRT is probably technically impossible in that streetcar corridor. But it’s apt to say the corridor isn’t attractive with any transit mode, at least not worth doing.

    The city has been making a push in that direction for years, and Woodhaven always seemed like the most BRT-friendly corridor to me. Too transit-dependent for just cars, lanes already there, and not transit-dependent enough for rail. (And there is a perfectly shovel-ready rail ROW a few blocks away.)


    Tyson White

    The additional loading zone parking is something that was needed anyway and has little to do with the bike lanes.



    The North Shore ROW really doesn’t seem great, but it does seem prudent to tie it into one of the other rail systems in or around the city. That could be SIRT, the subway, PATH, or HBLR.

    Otherwise just leave it fallow until it’s ready to be used.



    That description of SI pols is hilarious. Fits my perceptions, but I confess to not paying much attention because I don’t live there.



    Fascinating: why do parked cars need 13′ ? and why foes a bus lane need to be so wide?


    Kevin Love

    I must disagree with the headline. Cy Vance did not “win” a conviction. The criminal pled guilty.

    This is important, because the reluctance of Mr. Vance to prosecute criminals is a serious problem.


    Bernard Finucane

    That Valentine Ave intersection is a complete mess. It should be a roundabout.



    Yup. Triboro RX is way more important for the overall city. This is for the rich developers who fund campaigns.



    Yes – it is one of the worst bottlenecks. It also adds to the problem of asthma (through truck pollution) and helped lead to the demise of the southern half of the borough… But most elected officials don’t care. That includes “Tale of two Cities – Deblasio”.



    I agree… Though I’m curious where into Mount Vernon that ROW exists. I know you can find remnants of the old railroad that ran from The Bronx into Mount Vernon. You see them at Kingsbridge Road (Mt. Vernon – not the Bronx) and remnants along Claremont Ave. as well as near the intersection of East Lincoln Ave. and the Hutchison River Parkway.



    The best way to prevent double parking is narrow lanes. People are not as likely to jam up a road if others cannot go around, especially a busy road.

    It happens, usually for quick drops, but it does discourage most.



    Another possible solution, but would probably require a traffic signal because of eastbound traffic from E 124th St opposite 2nd Ave.



    Does eastbound E 124th St even need a slip onto the RFK? Why not just close the eastbound E 124th slip and make that traffic take E 125th St if they want to reach the bridge. Westbound E 124th St could keep its slip for traffic coming from 1st Ave but push the stop lines to the bike path and move the island up, closing the gap.

    Why encourage automotive traffic to take East 124th St, which is predominantly residential, narrow and should not serve as an artery.


    Joe R.

    In the context of the time it was built, the location of the park probably made sense. Not all that many people lived north of where the park began. Nobody could have anticipated the tremendous growth of upper Manhattan in the years which followed, or the tremendous increases in traffic. Probably even as late as the 1950s, the traverses would have been fine for biking across the park given the relatively low traffic levels. I’ll bet at the time the park was built, the main traffic the traverses saw was sightseers on horse-drawn carriages.

    Times change. It might be nice if we could just move the entire park to border on one of the rivers but that wouldn’t even be remotely feasible. For what it’s worth the park isn’t the only thing which seems a bit out of place in the modern context. The grid layout in Manhattan is also. At the time it was laid out, the average speed of travel was by horse carriage at 5 or 6 mph. That meant roughly 30 seconds to go one block. In the world of 30 or 40 mph motor vehicles it makes no sense to have a grid this fine. Arguably we need to make the grid for motor traffic with 1/4 to 1/3 mile spacing. The spacing of the avenues mostly fits that bill. We should probably close off most of the minor cross streets to motor traffic. They’re just not needed from a transportation perspective. Doing that would make Manhattan an infinite more pleasant place to walk or bike.



    I don’t have the whole answer. Part of the answer is clearly connected to the repeated efforts to resuscitate the failing Teleport suburban office park in the West Shore; it comes up in seemingly every community board meeting and has, I believe, contributed to the nonsensical routing of the foolish BRT project—extending ultimately to the West Shore Plaza strip mall— which is literally on the wrong side of the (freight) tracks, with walking access to nothing else, and gets most of its current traffic because the DMV branch is located there.

    The biggest obstacle is that the existing right-of-way isn’t very useful to many people in any case. It would be more useful if connected as an extension to the SIR but this idea never seems to come up. If somebody was on the ball they could have pushed for this kind of alignment when it came to a post-Sandy rebuild but clearly there were other concerns at the time.

    The bigger picture is that Staten Island is politically occupied by an aging clique who are obsessed with preserving their property values, with the unintended consequence of driving out any young people. There does not seem to be one pole in control either; more like a junta of the Democrats (including Savino who is IDC), Republicans aligned with Conservative Party faction (represented by BP Oddo) and Lanza (Republican but at least used to be on the outs with the Conservative Party).

    All of these share the same basic suburban windshield mentality. Except for Lanza they are not necessarily hostile to transit, they just see it as a lower priority. The Republicans in particular campaign on a North Korean-style oppositional us-vs-the city mentality to justify all bad things (Oddo is actually a vast improvement over what came before him in this regard) and the inherent legitimacy of the suburban environment itself, against urbanization.

    The Conservative Party faction is the most powerful and is aligned with the SI Advance editorial page, which has become noticeably more right-wing and hysterically anti-urban in the last ten years or so in tandem with the decline and elderly-pandering rightwingery in local newspapers in general. The aforementioned North Korean attitude has led to an inability or unwillingness to build coalitions in New York City for the most part, leading to weird behavior like Lanza aligning with upstate Republicans to screw the city. It’s dead-end behavior to please voters who want a physically impossible suburban lifestyle. “Everyone drives” so transit is a nice-to-have, not a necessity.


    Jonathan R

    The park itself is the problem. Who decided it would be a good idea to separate the East and West Sides with an imitation landscape? As Dr. Bones points out, crossing the darn thing on bicycle involves long detours or inconvenient walking or both.

    Even on foot, there are really only seven transverse routes: W 63 to E 60, along the north side of Hecksher PG and south of the zoo; W 67 to E 69, along the north side of Sheep Meadow and crossing south of Rumsey Playfield; 72d St; W 81 to E 79, past the Delacorte, along the south side of the Great Lawn, and out south of the Met; W 85 to E 84, along the north side of the Great Lawn, and north of the Met; 96th along the path marked for bikes, or 97th by the tennis courts and bathrooms (on opposite sides of the transverse road); and 102d via the shortcut road.

    The four routes south of the reservoir are usually very crowded with people on foot, and are kind of windy and poorly marked as crosspark routes. I did use to go around the north end of the Great Lawn after dark back 10 years ago and that was never a problem, but perhaps it has gotten busier now.

    The notion that the transverses could be made tolerable for bicycling is seductive, but who wants to ride in a jersey-barriered lane in a ditch? It lacks appeal as anything more than an expedient shortcut.



    SI seems to be in this vortex of unreasoning bumblefuckery where they simultaneously want transit and don’t want the implications of transit (walkability, etc.). The North Shore is probably getting BRT, wrecking the chance for subway integration or HBLR integration forever (urban mutilation). Some pols and business groups want LRT on the *west shore*, which seems empty-ish and may arguably be one of the rare cases in NYC suitable for BRT, assuming it should get anything at all yet. Red Hook has been clamoring for a streetcar for 20-30 years, maybe longer, and might supposedly get it as long as all these places that didn’t want a streetcar also get it.

    Just who is in charge around here?



    This is excellent. I always look over my right shoulder when entering the existing lane, or just ride in the left-turn car lane, because it just doesn’t feel safe to blindly cut into it when cars are speeding crazy speeds to rush onto the bridge.



    I’ve never lived in San Francisco, but have followed events in The City for many years. The term “glutton for punishment” comes to mind when I think about what it must be like to work for the City/County government.


    Joe R.

    Funny but I was thinking the same thing. I will go out of my way by a mile or two or three for a route which is better or safer. When you bike around Queens, the miles just have a way of adding up. I guess it makes us somewhat jaded when people might complain about going 1/2 a mile out of their way. Then when I hear about things like crosstown buses in Manhattan, I think to myself why? A worst case crosstown trip is about two miles—easy walking distance for me. Most trips are far less.

    I do agree though if we want more people to bike, then we can’t have these types of detours. Really, any part of Central Park which can be traversed by cars should also have parallel, safe bike lanes.



    That’s not really true. Certain specific neighborhoods would be vastly helped by reactivating the North Shore branch. The problem is that MTA sandbagging of he project and a windshield perspective of the elected officials means that what success would look like is very unclear to most people. The fact is that most Staten Islanders are not addicted to heroin.



    After the entire Staten Island state delegation abetted the property tax cap pandering led by Lanza, and at best stood idly by while state government announces its intent to dump CUNY and extra Medicaid funding on the city, while failing to get the MTA capital plan funded, AFTER de Blasio increased the SI pacing budget to an unprecedented amount, DB would be justified in halving the ferry budget to make up some of the difference.



    I actually just feel like it’s an endless act of squandering. People say we can’t spend money. But we do spend money. We’re spending a lot on stuff. And most of the outcomes blow. What “we can’t afford that” really means is “I like how things are, got mine, and fuck you for wanting stuff.”

    Subsidized daycare is probably exactly what pre-K is, but I’m not sure that’s in the same league (agree with it or not). Even 2-parent households are expected to have both parents working. And, in our socially dysfunctional communities, pre-K actually measurably improves later outcomes in schools. Not that the idea isn’t flawed though, because it is on many different levels.



    This is great though the Bronx side needs a lot of work.

    Create a physically protected bicycle lane along Willis Ave to the Hub. It’s wide enough!


    Don Wiss

    Presumably Shanley left the scene with the expectation that his mother could help him. When he left the scene, as noted, he left his cellphone in the car. It was not a stolen car. They knew who the driver was from right after the crash. Then nothing happened. Charity Hicks was still alive. The crash was not taken seriously.

    Charity died on July 8th. On July 25th the officers that had responded to the crash, and their lieutenant, learned for the first time that she had died. One week later Shanley was finally arrested.


    Dr. Bones

    You are right….I have to admit I am a spoiled Manhattanite!



    When initially saw this headline, I almost jumped for joy.

    Then I whimpered.

    Painted lanes and sharrows on East Tremont Ave?


    It’s a speedway when it isn’t gridlocked.

    I honestly would love to see parking removed and real BRT implemented along East Tremont Ave with the authorization of bicycle usage within the bus lanes.

    Getting across town in the Bronx is a huge problem because of congestion. We need to create efficient bus routes, low stress bicycle lanes, and later rapid transit connections.



    If the driver of the red SUV opened their door at the wrong time this girl could have been knocked to the ground in front of that minivan and injured or killed. This is not Vision Zero appropriate. Note that the cross-sections in the presentation also show cars passing about 1′ from people cycling, which is apparently to be encouraged.

    A prominent NYC safe streets activist just today called the placement of sharrows in the doorzone “malpractice”:

    Sharrows are not an appropriate treatment for main roads, but if they are going to be used at all they should be in the center of the lane. This is what all relevant standards and guidelines from the likes of the FHWA and NACTO recommend.



    I wonder why nobody so far mentioned the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway when talking about the streetcar. In terms of connectivity, the BQE is the streetcar’s biggest direct competitor – it connects Sunset Park with Astoria via almost all the same neighborhoods. Any plan to fund the streetcar should at least acknowledge how much money we waste patching up the BQE every year (although as a state highway there is probably little NYC can do to get rid of it).


    Alexander Vucelic

    you can also cross at approx 91st. there is a paved link Between the park drives



    Is the city going to continue to utilize bus mounted or fixed use cameras for SBS in the future. I thought the latter was prefered.


    Alexander Vucelic

    in order for this to have a referent effect, we need Allan Riosrn and Mark Zweig to interview Him and the News, Post, and NYOne to feature the story


    Ben Fried

    No carrot needed. The building boom started a long time ago. No new upzoning is on the table as far as I know.


    Larry Littlefield

    Real people on Staten Island…

    are worried about heroin, not any of this.



    Our construction costs are out of control, no surprise to anyone here. These small projects would really bring NYC to the forefront of population equity. Unfortunately, our economic system, our culture, and our will to change these things does not enable that.



    Well then we have an issue. This obviously will not surprise anyone but we need to find a way to keep costs down. Infrastructure construction is so outrageously expensive that it is preventing us from building a city for the people.

    And I strongly agree with a covering of some type as well.


    Joe R.

    It’s worth noting here those two decades of prosperity came at an enormous price. People borrowed the equity in their homes as prices rose to fund living beyond their means. Now the primary thing of value most people leave to their children is essentially worthless. End result is upward mobility will suffer. Usually it takes a few generations to climb out of poverty. Often the only way you can only do it when the previous generations leave something to the future ones.

    On all levels of government, we squandered this prosperity further by reducing taxes on the wealthy, along with giving away a good part of any revenue gains (and future revenue) to public employee unions in the form of wage or benefit increases. We should have kept tax rates flat, at least on the wealthy. We should have invested any surplus revenue in infrastructure or R&D.

    The coming generations will suffer. It was a 2-decade night on the town. For those coming after, it’ll be a multi-decade run living out of cardboard boxes.

    Crony capitalists can’t innovate, but they can take a dump in a box and call it artisan chocolate.

    Love this line. Sad but true. These people know how to polish turds but they can’t come up with original ideas if their lives depended on it.


    Ferdinand Cesarano

    It is true that crosstown lanes above 59th Street are of limited value if they take you only to Central Park’s edge.

    And, while I would love to have as many crossings of the park as possible, the need to use 72nd Street has never struck me as all that onerous. If I may hazard a guess, I think that your perception that a detour from 86th Street to 72nd Street constitutes a long way might indicate that you spend a majority of your time in Manhattan. To someone who lives in Queens, Brooklyn, or the Bronx, that one-mile distance is nothing; it’s the equivalent of the distance between Jamaica Avenue and Union Tpke. on Woodhaven Boulevard.

    Still, as I said, none of this should be taken as a lack of support for a good crossing in the 86th Street Transverse. We certainly should have a lane there; and it could happen if the political will existed to do so.


    Alexander Vucelic

    UES Is hotbed of employment – Restaurants, full Service buildings, schools, Massive Medical Industry.

    BTW – Screenline counts are useles. They undercount by 30-40%



    They are attempting to apply solutions they saw/imagined worked elsewhere under (perceived?) similar circumstances, often ignoring/obfuscating severe differences between situations. Taking charter schools, they work at superficially well in terms of outcome for the students they serve, at least no worse than traditional public schools in many cases. But then charters do things like refuse to take students who need the most help, so their results can automatically look better. You can make a pro or con case for charter schools as you please, but you can’t compare outcomes between charter schools and conventional public schools without a lot of qualifications. An observer who looks at charter school outcomes, perceives they work well, and therefore concludes charter schools should be imposed in place of traditional public schools is thinking heuristically.

    Neither BRT or streetcars – or necessarily charter schools or even broken windows,* perhaps – are necessarily crap from the perspective of sometimes being useful tools under the right circumstances, but imposing any of them as a one-size-fits-all solution or without regard for the needs of riders or communities or the wider city is crappy. Not to artfully smear, but conveniently someone often seems to make money on consulting fees for that stuff too. :-O

    * my take on BW is it’s a valid predictor-criterion relationship, one that probably has little or no applicability to violent antisocial behavior


    Dr. Bones

    Exactly. And the political will, which seems to be the missing part.



    There are definitely a few ways they could have provided access to the 2nd Ave lane without having people ride on the sidewalk.


    Dr. Bones

    What I’m hoping for is not the kind of splitting hairs here about details, but just to make the simple point that Central Park is a big obstacle for bicycle riders who want to go from East to West and back again. It has a number of good ways for cars to get across, and is a paradise for walkers wanting to get across, but for bicyclists it forces us to make some really tough choices between safety, convenience and risking a ticket. Crosstown lanes are helpful, but what’s the point of them if when you hit Central Park, you are forced into this conundrum?



    That can be fixed with an additional curb cut and moving the stop line back to where the bike lane ends.



    With a little bit of design and $$, they could re-do the surface paths in Central Park to accomodate bikes safely. There’s no shortage of space, after all…



    Crosstown bike lanes have never gotten me too excited. I suppose their biggest benefit is they (sometimes) make it easier to pass all the cars queued up at the light.

    As for new bike routes across Central Park… that’s badly needed.


    Dr. Bones

    I guess I was reading your mind. What I want to emphasize is that Central park is 2 and a half miles long. One legal and safe way to cross the park is an insult and a travesty that I feel every time I make commute and have to make the choice between going miles out of my way or risking my life.


    Dr. Bones

    I unfortunately live on the West side and teach part time on the East Side, and my commute, three days a week, is such that none of those other “bike-approved” paths are convenient..they mean going either two miles out of my way through the one way hilly loop of central park or nearly a mile south on 5th avenue with crowded traffic and no bike paths.
    Plus, the so-called crosstown paths at 96th are only partial—there are portions where you have to walk your bike or risk a ticket, even if no-one is on the path (and does anyone know how much that ticket would be and if it’s enforced by summons?)
    It didn’t used to be this way. They didn’t used to have signs everywhere warning bikers to walk their bikes on all paths. I guess it bothered some people, and those are the ones that won out. And while I get it that there is a small risk to pedestrians in shared paths with bicycle riders, that risk is small compared to the risk they expect us to take whenever we want or need to cross Central Park safely and legally. They are basically throwing us to the wolves.
    While we’re on it, that one way loop drive is pretty strange too…making it two ways for bikes would go a long way towards solving some of these logistical problems in getting across the park and in designing legal paths for bikes through the park. But one thing at a time, I guess.


    Brian Van Nieuwenhoven

    Really? That’s a lot of commercial office space above 50th. Coming from 22nd to 45th, they’d miss my daily commutes, too.


    Ferdinand Cesarano

    You call the 86th Street Transverse “the only legal way for bikes to cross the park”. But this is wrong, as you implicitly acknowlege later with your mention of 72nd Street, which is the actual only legal way for bikes to cross the park.