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    And those in non market rate apartments, more than 50% of renters.



    I take your point, and can verify that the repaving had already started as of this morning. However, the point of this post is that DOT gave not a jot of thought to cyclists when doing this work, and thereby created unsafe conditions that were *entirely preventable*. Since the milling work there have been many cyclists expecting to use a contraflow bike lane who ended up salmoning either toward other confused cyclists and motorists, or took to the sidewalk. The agency that fails to even acknowledge that cyclists are legitimate users of their infrastructure when undertaking a repair job that includes one of the most well known protected bike lanes is the city clearly demonstrates that it is not on board with Vision Zero.

    The existence of sharrows as bike “infrastructure” and their
    fading everywhere in this city are also examples of that. IMHO, if they’re going to put them off to the side of the roadway creating the expectation among motorists that bikes belong in the door zone, we may all be better off if they don’t bother repainting them.



    I think there may be a transitioning problem with NYC. Easy enough to live here, but if you lose your job, it’s probably hard to find another that meets all your needs. Likewise, the price pressure on apartments is basically always upward, so eventually you have to move, and that’s expensive.

    Not sure if that can be extrapolated to the entire northeast though.


    Joe R.

    NYC has above-average rent, but it also has below-average transportation costs.

    The total cost of transportation plus housing always seems to be lost in any discussion of housing costs anywhere in the country. I’ve had this discussion with relatives who try to justify moving out in the middle of nowhere. They just don’t get it when I tell them you need to factor in car expenses. Of course, their answer is “but you would have the car regardless”. They don’t realize it’s quite feasible to live in some places like NYC without a car. When a car falls into the category of “must have”, then you need to count car expenses into any decision to move. When it’s in the “nice to have but not 100% necessary” category, you don’t.


    Joe R.

    About the only people NYC is affordable for are those who bought their own home before the prices went crazy. My parents bought their home in 1978 for $52K. The mortgage was paid in 2003. Dad passed on in 2006. I’m living here with mom. Housing expenses are basically real estate taxes and utilities. That’s well under $1000 a month. In most neighborhoods you can’t even get a studio for that. Needless to say, I’m staying in this house until they carry me out. No real reason not to as I work from home, so relocating for a job will never be an issue.



    That’s probably above market rate for Jamaica. It’s an attempt at “luxury.”

    Anyway, it doesn’t give you a very realistic rent picture, with average rents in that area probably being <$1500. NYC has above-average rent, but it also has below-average transportation costs.

    I'm not disagreeing heavily with Krugman, but I think he's oversimplifying the effect of the housing issue.



    so let me get this straight: PPW will temporarily lose the bike lane while the repaving job takes place. Meanwhile, up where I live in the Bronx, the few bike friendly corridors we have (all of which use sharrows on the main roadway surface – that’s it, no separation infrastructure, not even a painted bike lane) have almost no pavement markings left due to damaged thermoplast from this past winter that was never repaired.

    Sorry, I just can’t find it in me to feel bad for those who use the PPW lane. You’ll have it back in no time, and honestly, you don’t even know how good you have it. And Streetsblog, how about a little reporting on the vast majority of the city outside of Manhattan and gentrified Brooklyn that make due with a pitiful level of bike infrastructure?



    And: just what does Krugman think has de Blasio done to make housing more affordable? :-

    He’s talked about it a lot.

    That’s pretty far out, not sure it’s still Jamaica, and 1600 for a 1 bedroom. Market rate in NYC isn’t affordable for many. You either find a regulated unit or moving starts to look attractive.



    How about trailers that are portable docking stations that can be moved around to add capacity to permanent docking stations (empty or full) where needed.



    More saturation of the already-served area is also needed to reduce the imbalances. Expansion gets all the talk, but increasing saturation is very important for balancing purposes–and even more important, if and when expansion actually happens.



    They need trucks or trailers that open on the side, like a beer truck. Then bikes could be taken off quickly, right onto the sidewalk or directly into docking stations.



    Interesting to see these! One problem is Citibike’s method – those big box trucks with ramps – is so time-consuming. They offload *one bike at a time* by rolling it down the ramp from the truck to an open dock. The ones you show here could definitely cut down on the time it takes to rebalance, getting more bikes to the places that need them.



    That’s a good point. And the really shitty education systems in red states suggests their solution is to not really bother, which of course cuts local costs in the near-term.

    OTOH, transportation in the northeast outside NYC is actually really expensive. The commuter rail is expensive, and the local transit is all slow, lumbering bus. Car ownership is unusually expensive.



    In the suburbs, downtowns especially around train stations are severely constrained from new development. A lot of the resistance to new development is related to fears of additional children in the local public schools.

    Has anyone written about this relationship?



    Re Teachout, she will be in Brooklyn in tomorrow at a happy hour. Might be a good time to ask her or her acolytes questions about Streetsblog-related policies.

    (Don’t take this as an endorsement, as I really have no idea what her opinions on street issues are. From what little I heard, she does seem at least interested in improving transit though.)



    Even Krugman’s explanation is at best incomplete. Take away prime neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Park Slope, or most of Manhattan below 110th, and living in NYC is relatively cheap when you add together transportation and housing costs. Maybe it really does boil down to a housing supply problem, but the magnitude of the ongoing exodus still suggests something else is going on. Yes, the northeast is more productive and generally wealthier, and the jobs are probably better, but is it easier to land a job if you already don’t have one? How about two, one for you and one for your spouse?

    And: just what does Krugman think has de Blasio done to make housing more affordable? :-



    In NYC, I think the rebalancing problem is going to require trailers that hold far more bicycles. Those small rebalancers, whether motorized or not, are insufficient. Look at the larger capacity of rebalancers in Montreal:


    Joe R.

    Except it’s not an absolute. There are the exceptions Ferdinand mentioned. And it’s legal if you’re under 14. If the law were sane it would be legal all the time under the conditions I wrote.

    You’re using a great example of a really, really awful law which never should have seen the light of day to justify your absolute viewpoint. The problem here is free societies don’t make laws against something unless that something is demonstrated to be dangerous most of the time by studies. Sidewalk cycling doesn’t even remotely fall into that category. You and others may sometimes find it personally annoying. I find lots of things annoying, but I’m not asking legislators to make laws against them. That’s the slippery slope which ultimately leads to totalitarian societies like North Korea. Maybe that’s where you should be if you feel it’s a good idea for the state to try to engineer order or safety, except it’s been tried and failed miserably every time. In a free society we accept a certain amount of chaos in return for a set of laws which is only as restrictive as it needs to be. Since you seem to love absolutes, there’s absolutely no reason for a blanket prohibition on sidewalk cycling. It’s safe 99.9999% of the time. People like you are dangerous-extremely dangerous. Unfortunately in a free society you’re free to speak. I’m also equally free to show others how wrong your type of thinking is as it can only eventually lead to one thing. Today it may only be sidewalk cycling but eventually the law will catch up and you’ll find lots of things you formerly could freely do prohibited in the name of “safety” or “order”. Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

    You might want to read this since you seem to think laws against things you find annoying are good things:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


    Ferdinand Cesarano

    Just to be clear — it’s illegal except where specifically indicated. Some examples of legal sidewalk riding are: the Brooklyn entry to the Williamsburg Bridge; Flatbush Ave. south of Ave. V; the spot where St. Nicholas Ave. crosses Amsterdam Ave.; several small bridges (Third Ave., Willis Ave., Washington).

    But the point is that an adult nay not ride on the sidewalk, unless this is specifically provided for. We can argue that there should be more places where sidewalk riding is allowed; but we don’t have the right to take it upon ourselves to go ahead and do it wherever we like.



    Going through red lights takes good judgement. I see too many cyclists, often inexperienced ones, riding through red lights as if they just don’t apply to them at all. The real solution would be a police force capable of exercising the good judgement to only issue tickets when they observe bad judgement when breaking certain rules and not have everyone making an issue of it. I’ll keep dreaming!



    Sorry Joe R. but I disagree. And so does the law. It’s illegal to ride a bike on NYC sidewalks. And that IS an absolute.


    Joe R.

    Uh, you’re making a mountain of a single sentence. Here’s where you’re 100% wrong-”Congratulations on not hitting them, but that’s presumably because they see an asshole cyclist coming along fast enough that they feel the need to wait for you to pass.”

    Do you see the contradiction here? If I can’t see them, they can’t see me either. Therefore, they won’t break their stride or stop to wait for me.

    Let’s do some math. First off, unless there are no parked cars at all, there’s always going to be some point at which I won’t be able to see people until they step off the curb. In fact, strictly speaking there will be some distance where I can’t see them until they step into the traffic lane. All that concerns me is what distance will that be. It could be when I’m 100 feet away from the crosswalk, 75 feet away, or in a really bad scenario 20 feet. Anyway, I’ll typically be approaching a red light at 10 mph, give or take. At that speed it takes me less than 2 seconds and less than 15 feet to completely stop. Obviously then I have plenty of time to react to pedestrians after the step off the curb in most instances, including the really bad situation where I only see them step off the curb when I’m 20 feet away from the crosswalk. I can stop with 5 feet to spare if I’m going 10 mph. However, typically when I have lousy lines of sight such that I can’t see people step off the curb until I’m 20 feet or less from the crosswalk I won’t be going 10 mph. I’ll be going even slower because I want to be able to stop in time if someone suddenly darts into the crosswalk. There’s no situation where I’m passing red light that I’ll be going too fast to stop if something pops up within my line of sight. In fact, there’s no situation where I’m riding, period, where I can’t stop if a car or person unexpectedly appears in my line of sight. And note that if I’m on a street with two or more lanes, I can and do swing left before the intersection to increase my line of sight.

    The bottom line is there’s never a hypothetical situation where I won’t see anybody stepping off the curb until I’m almost on top of the crosswalk. I’m sorry if maybe poor wording on my part gave you the impression otherwise. In the rare situation where a large vehicle is parked adjacent to the crosswalk, I’ll either swing to the left to increase my line of sight to at least 20 feet, or if that’s not possible I’ll nearly stop (as in going 1 or 2 mph) and carefully look before passing the red light. Even in that extreme situation, I can see people at least 5 feet before they would cross my path. As I’ll be going extremely slowly in this situation, I wouldn’t startle anyone or cause them to wait. Remember even here, I’m not yet in the crosswalk when they would see me. I’ll still be 5 or 10 feet away, barely moving. If I see anyone crossing, I would completely stop prior to the crosswalk.

    But that doesn’t mean that it’s in any way excusable for a cyclist to run a red light without first establishing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he isn’t so much as inconveniencing anyone else who has the legal right-of-way.

    And going by what I wrote above, isn’t that exactly what I’m doing? If I give myself enough room to stop within my lines of sight, by definition I’m not violating someone else’s right-of-way. Remember I’m not talking about giving myself barely enough room where I’ll screech to a halt inches away from a crossing pedestrian. I give enough room so I can do a nice, slow controlled stop before the crosswalk if someone comes into my line of sight. That’s the key here. In practice, this means my speed is proportional to my line of sight.

    Joe, I’ve been strongly opposed to every cycling crackdown that we’ve seen. They are, to put it simply, a gross misallocation of limited resources.

    Of course they are. The silly jaywalking crackdown earlier this year was an even bigger misallocation of resources. As I mentioned, I walk more than I ride, so I’m pretty aware of what it feels like when a motor vehicle cuts me off mid stride to turn. I won’t subject a person to that while I’m riding. Unfortunately, maybe I didn’t explain myself clearly and/or you took a one sentence out of context. All I meant by it was that when you ride (or drive), things you may need to avoid colliding with don’t come into view until you’re a certain distance for them. A good cyclist (or driver) will drive in such a manner that they can avoid these obstacles, not be taken by surprise. People crossing the street don’t just come out of nowhere. If they seem to, then it’s only because you’re driving too fast for the conditions. That doesn’t happen with me.



    Joe has explicitly stated that he will run a red light when a pedestrian is about to step off the curb into the crosswalk, because he can’t see that pedestrian.

    His words, not mine: “First off, in general I can’t even see people until they step off the curb thanks to parked cars, nor can they see me. I can’t very well yield to someone I can’t see.”

    There is no possible way that he can know that none of those pedestrians have to yield to him – he can’t even see them!

    I’m not sure why you’re getting personal.



    Joe, you can’t possibly know for sure that you aren’t delaying people you can’t even see. Congratulations on not hitting them, but that’s presumably because they see an asshole cyclist coming along fast enough that they feel the need to wait for you to pass.

    When the walk sign is on, pedestrians have free reign over the crosswalk. They can walk, jog, run, dance, crawl, or perform somersaults to get to the other side, and no cyclist or motorist has the right to interfere with that crossing activity.

    Joe, I’ve been strongly opposed to every cycling crackdown that we’ve seen. They are, to put it simply, a gross misallocation of limited resources. But that doesn’t mean that it’s in any way excusable for a cyclist to run a red light without first establishing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he isn’t so much as inconveniencing anyone else who has the legal right-of-way. It’s not acceptable when motorists violate pedestrian right-of-way, and it’s not acceptable when cyclists violate pedestrian right-of-way either. Remember that what you’re doing is illegal already – if you want the public at large to accept your illegal behavior as acceptable, I’d suggest you not brag on the Internet about running red lights without even first being sure that you aren’t cutting anybody off.



    Very interesting!



    If cameras are being turned on bikes and pedestrians, they’re being used wrong.



    For that matter, let’s stop conflating car and bike bad behavior. Cyclists can reasonably make a mistake without a gargantuan risk that someone will get killed. A driver has no room for error.



    How reliably do the cameras pick up bikes and pedestrians?

    The benefits may outweigh the costs but they can’t ever pay for themselves if they don’t produce revenue.

    Loop sensors have their problems but they are or at least can be conductive not magnetic, so you don’t need iron, aluminum is fine, and you don’t dig up the road you just need to make a cut in it, a much smaller operation.

    The inefficiencies come from disparities in per lane traffic levels. As those reduced as traffic levels increased NYC turned off the dumb sensors (and pedestrian buttons) it had at thousands of intersections citywide because they couldn’t work part time. There are limited hours where timed lights are reliably not needed, where they would cause problems at worst only occasionally, and few travelers at those times to benefit, so a system just based on time of day would benefit few for the cost.

    Unnetworked sensors are as much a dinosaur technology as time lights. Just having a sensor at one location doesn’t help during the day. You want a networked centrally managed solution to manage traffic as part of a large system, not just improve throughput at one single intersection. And guess what, midtown is a testbed for that sort of system. It can be expanded, and maybe at night you could make use of the system to leave the light green on one street until cross traffic appears, but it’s not clear you’d want to without installing speed cameras.



    The park side
    bike lane was ’40 miles of bad road’ as they say- so bumpy it jiggled my dental work! I rejoice that it’s being repaved-THANK YOU DOT.



    Genuflect before the automobile gods. Pay homage before them, sacrifice a bicyclist or pedestrian to appease the automobile gods.



    It’s not for many blocks it’s for one block.


    walks bikes drives

    Where? Here in NYC?


    Joe R.

    Can we please stop with the absolutes? More mature societies have nuanced shades of gray, not absolutes. It’s this childish “you’re either with us or you’re against us” absolutist philosophy many people in the US adhere too which causes much of the rest of the world to rightfully hate us. There are plenty of places in the world where bicycles and pedestrians share space uneventfully. The three key factors are to ride slowly (i.e. 5 to 10 mph) when the sidewalk has people on it, ride as close to the curb as possible, and to not expect people to get out of your way. A bike riding on the sidewalk is by definition an interloper. Therefore, the onus is 100% on the cyclist to go around people, slow or stop as needed so people don’t have to change speed or direction, etc. If a cyclist does all those things, then they should be allowed on the sidewalk. A bike being slowly ridden on the sidewalk is no faster than most electric wheelchairs/scooter but a heck of a lot more manueverable. I don’t know about you, but I would rather share the sidewalk with a cyclist carefully going 10 mph or less than with some 300 pound senior citizen who can barely see or hear operating a scooter at the same speed.

    Your statement should have been more like “There is ABSOLUTELY no excuse for a cyclist to RIDE their bike recklessly on a sidewalk, or to ride on a sidewalk at all if parallel bike infrastructure exists.”

    I personally just about never ride on sidewalks. It’s much slower than street riding for one thing. I only do so in rare instances where the parallel road just isn’t safe to ride on, and then for only as long as that condition exists.

    Walking a bike is not the answer if you’ll need to be on the sidewalk for many blocks. It’s not really a good answer at all because a bike being walked takes twice the space of one being ridden, and the pedals can easily clip people. It’s also occupying space on the sidewalk for 2 or 3 times as long as it would if it were being ridden.


    Joe R.

    Actually, modern signal sensors are based on cameras and digital image processing:

    The ones based solely on magnetic sensors embedded in the pavement are going the way of the dinosaur. In the not too distant future, even cars may not have enough ferrous metal to trigger those, so we’re going with cameras, ultrasonic/radar sensors, etc.

    The nice thing about this technology is not needing to dig up the street. It can be installed relatively cheaply. In fact, typically the cameras pay for themselves very fast in terms of cumulative time savings.

    There’s little reason in this era we should have timed signals only. They cause huge inefficiencies in terms of time and traffic capacity.



    I don’t know how reliable they are but I have definitely seen sensors on the road for bikes. Other places they are expected to use a pedestrian actuator if they want a green.


    walks bikes drives

    Sadly, the sensor situation is not realistic as cost will hinder it. Also, I don’t think sensors are good enough yet to sense bicycles and pedestrians. My understanding is they are the same technology used for red light cameras, which are magnetic sensors imbedded in the asphalt that pick up the magnetic signature of a car or truck.



    Just to be pedantic: the law has an explicit exception that allows children under 14 years of age to ride bikes on the sidewalk. Also, the law has a quite detailed definition of what it means by “bicycle” which excludes wheelchairs, kick scooters, roller skates, unicycles, tricycles, and even pennyfarthings. (The definition says it must have at least two wheels and be driven by a chain or belt.)

    That hasn’t stopped the NYPD from issuing unsubstantiated tickets for unicycling on the sidewalk, though.


    walks bikes drives

    By the way, all of the enforcement I have seen has been against mostly recreational and commuting cyclists. I have yet to see an officer stop a delivery person. On all of my years in the city, the only times I have ever had any close calls with a cyclist as a pedestrian has been with delivery riders. And I have several of them a year.


    walks bikes drives

    You are out $190. See Steve Vaccaro’s post on the DMV surcharge.


    walks bikes drives

    I’m not. I’m saying most salmoning is reckless unless you are on an empty street where you are able to ride down the middle. If you are salmoning on a road with any traffic, you will be on the side like any other cyclist, which will make the action inherently unsafe for the reasons I stated above.


    wronged biker

    I just received a ticket for running a red light on my bike on an almost deserted Flushing Avenue near the Navy Yard on a Saturday. The ticket is $278. It is the same fine as running a red light in a car. Good thing that I didn’t have my Driver’s license on me because the cops said it would count as points on my license. This is outrageous! Although the law states that a bike is the same as a car, it is not… It is human powered and weighs 2000lbs less, By that city’s logic, wheelchairs should also be treated the same as motor vehicles and should not be allowed in sidewalks and bikes shouldn’t be allowed in bike lanes if they are the same as motor vehicles. You must be licensed to drive a car, but not a bike, so how can you be ticketed and fined the same. This is unbelievable! If you go by the letter of the law then children should be ticketed also for riding a tricycle on the sidewalk, skateboarders and rollerbladers should also be ticketed also for running red lights, because in the eyes of the law these are also the same as motor vehicles…what’s the difference with a bike, they have wheels and are human powered. I blame the politicians for all of this…the NYPD is just following the ridiculous orders of the lackey superiors. I hope theyre realizing they are ticketing mostly upstanding tax paying voting citizens who I’m guessing are as incensed as I am at this political theater. I generally support the NYPD and City for the broken windows policy, but I don’t see this as the same thing. I have now lost faith in this administration for the petty pandering to special interests which will blow over after they determine that blitz should end and in the mean time I’m out $278 of my hard earned money.



    You can salmon recklessly. Just like you can run a red recklessly. You can’t compare examples of reckless salmoning to safe red light running to ‘prove’ that salmoning is inherently dangerous and running a red is not.


    Eric McClure

    I don’t think the 78th Precinct has a lot of interest in handing out bogus tickets to cyclists.

    As for conspiracy theories, this is a needed milling and repaving, no more, no less. And not a surprise, either. I heard it was coming weeks ago. As for community notice about bike lanes, that applies to implementing or removing them, not milling-and-repaving work.

    That said, the failure to plan for some temporary accommodation for safe bike passage was not NYCDOT’s finest moment.


    Larry Littlefield

    There are reasons to assume that repaving this road when they are is a benefit for all street users to be grateful for. The work is being done at a time when many (though not me) are out of town, at a time of low traffic, and not when Celebrate Brooklyn is going on. So if I were inclined to be optimistic, I’d say they were doing us a favor.

    But after observing NY city and state government for a few decades, I’m not inclined to be optimistic. I’m inclined to be cynical and smell a rat.


    walks bikes drives

    The police forces were merged to eliminate duplicity. The housing police are still in existence: their vehicles are marked PSA. The transit bureau is also still in existence: their vehicles are marked TB. They are just like additional precincts added to the NYPD ranks. As long as the number of rank and file are still proportionate, it makes sense for them to me merged.


    walks bikes drives

    Steve, I don’t think the website is not set up for it. I think it is more willful. When I emailed them to have them fix the amount and points, they did. I went back into the online system after being told it was fixed and the violation was then clearly a bicycle infraction with no surcharge and no points. They can do it if they want to.


    Joe R.

    Thank you. I really wish Andrew was with me on my rides. Not just one ride, but many of them so he could see a pattern. The pattern would be that I just don’t usurp other people’s legal right-of-way, period. And guess what? Doing so while still cautiously proceeding through red lights has never been overly burdensome in terms of either time or energy. I’ll estimate it takes a lousy 2 mph (at most) off my average speeds, and hardly increases my average power level. It sounds like you’re a safe, considerate rider as well. In fact, if people bothered to look they would realize about 95% of the cyclists on the road are like us. It’s those 5% bad apples that give us a bad rap.

    the Italian guy over there must be in the mob…

    Well, not true of me personally, but I know some people in the family….



    It’s probably best not to give legal advice on a blog :) You should contact the Law Office of Vaccaro & White:



    It’s probably best not to give legal advice on a blog :) You should contact the Law Office of Vaccaro & White:



    Transportation Alternatives, StreetsPAC, Times Up!, WEBike, the Five Borough Bicycle Club, and the New York Cycle Club, and Bike New York have all done good work for better biking in NYC. Check out their websites!