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    One concern with the rush to build curb extensions or neckdowns is that they can impede the city’s ability to add protected bike lanes down the road. Even medians can get in the way of center-running bike lanes, like Sands Street. If concrete is poured now it can be very expensive to change that later.

    This is great news, of course, but one would hope DOT can take a holistic approach to these dangerous streets that improves them for all current users and plans for the future at the same time.



    This is fantastic news.

    It is my understanding, though, that NYC doesn’t need Albany’s approval to lower the citywide speed limit to 25. Why not just lower the citywide limit, then push for 20mph in Albany?

    Also, this 25mph is a no-brainer on pretty much all major arterials in NYC, especially the avenues in Manhattan. Lowering the limit, even slightly, would make the signal timings much more favorable to cycling, whereas the current signal phases, set to 30mph, actually punish cyclists for going slower.


    Gretchen Spitsfire

    Im interested to see the accident reconstruction. Id like to know the science behind this conclusion.



    In Malmo Sweden, car pools (AKA car shares) are provided for residents of Westen Harbor and other neighborhoods. They are offered free membership and pay only when using a car. Why doesn’t NYC give this sensible affordable consideration? – see #8 here:


    Tal F.

    So long as I don’t see the club cars with Hudson River Park personnel getting out and pushing their little cars, I feel no need to dismount. Actually, one of those club cars almost ran me over this morning within the detour zone.



    If it’s a pun, in other words if it’s deliberate, then the penalty should be $5000. There’s no excuse for inflicting that kind of clichéd “cleverness” on the reader.



    The problem is that without a parking mandate, NIMBYs will fight twice as hard, for fear of losing their free on-street parking spot. This is a problem everywhere and why weakening parking requirements is so hard to do.

    The only place that solved the problem is Japan. They have solved the problem by demanding proof of off-street parking as a requirement to register cars and getting license plates. So potential car buyers have to either own a parking spot or rent it from someone else before they can register their car. That has created a market for renting parking and allowed the local governments to reduce parking minimums to nearly zero. It also means that the people who have cars need to pay at least for the residential parking. Developers only build as much parking as car owners are willing to pay for.

    So you can increase density as much as you want, people don’t fear losing their parking spots since they know that the newcomers will have to find their own spots in order to buy cars.

    It also helps tremendously to keep Japan’s narrow streets clear of parked cars, since every car that stays parked overnight in a residential area should have its own off-street parking spot.

    You’d probably need support from Albany to implement the same system, which I’m highly skeptical of. So you’d need some creativity to apply the system in New York. In the meanwhile, implementing residential parking permits, with a limited number per block and reserved parking from, say, 6 PM to 6 AM would be best. And you’d give them out in a first come, first served basis, so current residents could buy them and then know for sure that they will always have parking spots for their cars no matter how many people move into their neighborhoods.



    If this guy doesn’t do time for this…



    “I was going to throw up. I’ve never seen anything like that, it’s not something that happens every day.”

    The sad thing is, this DOES happen just about every day.



    Your max accumulation metric leaves me cold. I don’t see why a stat consisting of 156K vehicles which are somehow (how, exactly?) split between CBD-based and not, should trump a painstaking set of calc’s based on the Hub-Bound’s ~750K entries. Maybe you should follow my invite to walk through my numbers?

    Btw, elsewhere you say that your max accum metric is now 33% below its 1984 peak. Check your math: it’s 23% off. And you sure cherry-picked your 1984 figure.

    Steve, IIRC, you were caviling over CBD tolling in 2007-08. What’s your beef, really? And could you take a moment to explain why you seem unmoved by the many features of the MNY plan intended to make it more equitable and efficient? (Feel free to contact off-line. Thx.)


    Jonathan R

    There are plenty of people on bikes already using this route. Adding a protected bike lane will only make it more appealing, especially as an alternative to using Broadway.



    That accident reconstruction “expert” should find a new line of work.



    Please, please, please incessantly call and meet with your city and state representatives to get the law changed.


    Jym Dyer

    There’s a photo that used to be on the Time’s Up! website, taken from this same vantage point in April, 2005, during the height of the city’s suppression of Critical Mass. It’s only about 1/2 to 1/3 as many bikes as seen in this photo.

    They would never impound cars to this extent, because people “need” them.



    ” What percentage of Manhattan-bound traffic through the Bronx does that[Westchester et al]
    comprise? Granted, it’s probably less than 50%. But it’s certainly way
    higher than 6.5%.”

    You can derive that directly from the data I stated. The answer is 40%.

    Another question is what percentage of Bronx trips originated in Westchester? I believe that number is around 10%. I’m too lazy to run a query. That’s the impact of Westchester traffic on the Bronx.

    There are limits to the data I’m using. It gives only trip start and destination. It’s also only trips by interviewed households. There’s a lot of inference needed to use this data to answer route specific questions. That’s assuming the respondents answered the queries honestly.



    ” Less than ten percent (I estimate 6-7%) of weekday CBD VMT (Central
    Business District vehicle miles traveled, i.e., motor traffic) is by
    cars and trucks that didn’t cross into the CBD on that day. Nearly 45%
    is yellow cabs (less during a.m. and p.m. peaks, more off-peak). The
    remaining ~50% is by cars and trucks that did cross into the CBD.”

    That appears to be at variance with the vehicle accumulation data in NYMTC’s Hub Bound Survey. The numbers of maximum accumulation for 2012 are:
    81,359 accumulated; 75,404 CBD Based; 156,762 Total; 1pm hour of max accumulation. That’s 48% of the maximum accumulated traffic. Percentage-wise that’s also the minimum of total accumulated vehicles within the CBD. Table 4 of the report has yearly max accumulation data going back to 1971. The percentage of CBD-Based Vehicles has not varied much.

    The caveat for CBD-Based Vehicles is:

    “CBD resident and vehicle figures for 2004-2012 are estimated based on the most current data available.”

    I also ran a trip count on NYMTC ‘s 2010-2011 Regional Household Travel Survey. Only unlinked trips to the CBD were included. I did add taxis and limos to private vehicles. The percentage of unlinked trips that originated in Manhattan rose to 50%. Of those that originated in Manhattan, 70% originated within the CBD.



    Fair enough for the downhill part of the route. I doubt the uphill section will get much use, though, without a bike escalator thingy.



    Thanks for the actual data. So let’s estimate 6.5% of unlinked private car trips ending in Manhattan originate in Westchester, Putnam, Fairfield & New Haven counties. What percentage of Manhattan-bound traffic through the Bronx does that comprise? Granted, it’s probably less than 50%. But it’s certainly way higher than 6.5%.

    I think my point still stands that the Move NY plan would have a non-trivial reduction of traffic through the hard-hit South Bronx communities. And those still causing the traffic would at least be contributing to the solution.



    Let’s see: if an incompetent/reckless driver kills someone while sober, it’s not treated seriously because he wasn’t drunk. And if an incompetent/reckless driver kills someone while drunk, it’s not treated seriously either, because hey, he was already incompetent/reckless! The alcohol didn’t “contribute”!



    While I like (and want to keep) off-board fare collection, I think there should also be a way to pay the fare on-board SBS buses. There are too many times I’ve missed a bus because I had time to board the bus, but not enough time to buy a ticket, too. Several times I’ve run past 3 open doors to reach the TVM only to find the bus pulling away after I have my receipt in hand.

    On the other hand, I’ve been on many SBS buses where somebody boards with a MetroCard or coins and has to be directed to the TVM while everybody on the bus waits. (Why is it that I’ve never encountered drivers willing to wait when I need to buy a ticket?)

    The solution is putting a TVM onboard SBS buses. These on-board TVMs should charge a small penalty–perhaps 25¢ or $1; I would gladly pay $1 to avoid waiting 10 minutes for the next bus. Onboard TVMs would also be used (without penalty) whenever the bus detours (like for street fairs) and curbside TVMs aren’t available.

    Another suggestion would be to no longer require weekly or monthly pass holders to use the TVMs at all. Fare inspectors would carry MetroCard readers to validate MetroCard passes. This would speed service for passholders and reduce the amount of paper used.


    Jonathan R

    It’s ‘peddling’ in the print version I picked up this morning.



    Earlier today it said “peddling”, I swear. One of the advantages of web publishing is that you can fix mistakes, after all!



    “Pedaling uphill”? That’s used correctly.



    Sometimes it’s a pun. Sometimes you may stretch it and interpret it as a pun, but it’s questionable. But in my experience it’s most often an unintentional misspelling akin to “principle” vs “principal”.

    Is the example in today’s AMNY article supposed to be a pun? Maybe, but I have my doubts.



    But it’s usually a pun, so you can’t really call it incorrect.



    I propose a new funding scheme for Citibike. Each time someone publishes an article that uses “peddle” instead of “pedal” (or “peddling” instead of “pedaling”, etc.), they shall pay a fine of $1000 per offense. Soon we’ll have coverage from Newark to New Haven!



    Uh-uh, Steve. Less than ten percent (I estimate 6-7%) of weekday CBD VMT (Central Business District vehicle miles traveled, i.e., motor traffic) is by cars and trucks that didn’t cross into the CBD on that day. Nearly 45% is yellow cabs (less during a.m. and p.m. peaks, more off-peak). The remaining ~50% is by cars and trucks that did cross into the CBD.

    The upshot is that the Move NY plan will toll well over 90% of the trips that contribute to CBD traffic — the CBD-crossing trips will pay $5.33 (w/ E-ZPass) coming in, and the same leaving; yellow cab trips within the CBD (actually, up to 96 St) will pay a surcharge calibrated to capture their congestion causation, rather than the entry/exit fee. While “free riders” are to be regretted, the 6-7% in this case is small enough to be tolerable.

    These figures are in my BTA spreadsheet model, which you can download (find link by Googling “BTA 1.1″.) In case you were wondering, the model assumes, and reflects, that intra-CBD travel by those free riders will increase somewhat, as those drivers take advantage of the faster speeds resulting from the CBD toll.

    Note that even counting the sizeable (5-10%) drop in CBD entries since 2006-07, the congestion relief (saved travel times) from the Move NY plan will be enormous, for both drivers and straphangers. Please take a look.


    Brian Van Nieuwenhoven

    Yeah, DOT better get to work on those signs that say “do not drag race down a dead end street”, how’s anyone gonna know unless there’s a big ol sign?



    Eh, it’s not ideal, but it’s not crazy. The ramps up to the East River’s tall bridges have the same setup.


    Larry Shaeffer

    here’s a little something on that issue: from the Victoria Transport Policy Institute’s Congestion Reduction Strategies. “A vehicle’s road space requirements
    increase with speed, because drivers must leave more shy
    distance between their vehicle and other objects on or beside the roadway.
    Traffic flow (the number of vehicles that can travel on a road over a
    particular time period) tends to be maximized at 30-55 mph on highways with no
    intersections, and at even lower speeds on arterials with signalized
    intersections. When a roadway approaches its maximum capacity, even small Speed Reductions can significantly increase flow rates.”



    Wow, thanks for such warm support of our neighborhood advocacy. Let me know when there’s a meeting to discuss infrastructure improvements in your neighborhood, where you start and end each trip, so I can come and argue that DOT should rather pay attention to these midtown locations.



    I disagree. The Fort George Hill lane is a great concept.

    First of all, there are only three ways today to legally get downhill from the top of the hill on the East side of Broadway; West 187th down to Broadway from St Nicholas, Fairview Ave down to Broadway from St Nick & W 193, and the path through Highbridge Park from W 190 and Amsterdam down to 10th Ave & Dyckman.

    The park path is not lit, sparsely traveled, and appears like a good place to get mugged. W 187th is six blocks south of the northern end of St Nicholas, so it’s going backward to go forwards. Fairview is poorly designed, with lots of curves and speedy auto traffic.

    Whereas, Fort George Hill heads pretty directly north-south and is already a popular (if not legal) route downhill.

    As for the uphill trek, when you are biking slowly uphill is when you want a protected lane to avoid having speeding cars coming up fast behind you.



    It’s insane when you are riding along a bicycle lane that is interrupted exactly where you need it most. But I think the problem is worse than that. The DOT knows, or should know, that the sidewalks on Canal St are way to narrow to accommodate the foot traffic on them, yet the problem is continually overlooked. They could go out there tomorrow and eliminate parking on Canal, replace the parking with painted sidewalk and place flexible barriers between the pedestrian traffic and the motor vehicles. It’s insane to me that we treat parking as a sacred cow in this city. When word got out on the 150 spot parking lot being built on top of Breeze Hill in Prospect Park my neighborhood mailing list had an avalanche of people who were aghast and just one curmudgeon who wanted a giant parking lot and road widening in the park.



    I wouldn’t call these lanes unusable. They aren’t wide enough to allow easy passing and they could be, but I’m pretty sure they will make cycling there more fun and less stressful for a lot of people.



    There were parts of the path that were screwed up by Sandy (again according to the NYC bike map), but as of last summer they were working on them and had actually put asphalt detours over the grass around where they were working on them.



    Maybe there _is_ less congestion than in 1984, but it can still be reduced further? That is a good question.



    Levine’s idea of REDUCING density in the already-served bike share area is terrible. Bike share does not work unless the bikes are everywhere. There are already fewer stations than there should be in the already-served area. YES to expansion, but even expansion should be paired with increasing the density of the already-served area or the system will be far less useful and balancing problems will worsen.



    A few feet after the pavement ends heading east there’s a gap in the metal railing, there might be a fire hydrant there or something, or maybe there was at one point, the hole is in that sense ‘supposed’ to be there. And yea cyclists will take that onto the highway, most of the way to the Plum Beach exit is the exit lane for it, so it’s probably one of the better places to ride a bike on a highway I guess.

    I haven’t been around there in a while, there’s a gap east of the Verrazano from Sandy? Where? Before Sandy it didn’t continue past the Toys R Us if that’s what you meant.


    Bike rider

    I reported this to the Borough Chief for the Parks Dept. who happens to live not far from the location. I think my note to him went into another sink hole at the parks dept.



    The only hard numbers I know are NYMTC’s Hub Bound Statistics. It’s a cordon count for Manhattan south of 60th St. All vehicles are included. One measure is the number of accumulated vehicles ( garbage in minus garbage out.)

    One important aspect of this data is that the vehicle accumulation peaked in 1984. It’s down significantly (33% in 2012).

    There’s a lot less agreement on how to measure “congestion.” However, if congestion has persisted despite a 33% drop in vehicle volume, how is congestion pricing supposed to reduce congestion?



    I get as frustrated with the CBs as anyone. But you can’t just have someone at the top sweep in and gut them. That will only serve to alienate the people in those districts.

    As hard as it can be to stomach the anti-street safety votes coming out of various CBs, to say that they should just be ignored is incredibly myopic.



    I’m not an expert on lane width, but is 36′ for a moving/angled parking lane standard? That seems insane.



    Do you have a source for that? (I’m not doubting it, but I’d be interested in seeing whatever backup you have.)



    One of the measures being proposed is tolling Manhattan south of 60th St. I wonder what fraction of private car trips in that area originate in that area as opposed to the rest of Manhattan.

    Also, non-private vehicles would also have to pay, and they definitely contribute to congestion too. When I look at the streets of midtown during rush hour, most vehicles on the road seem to be “non-private” (mostly taxis and delivery vehicles). I’m curious what the hard numbers for that are.



    They say they are going to put a protected bike lane on 2nd ave once the subway construction is completed



    “The Bronx is plagued by motorists from well-off areas to the north of
    the borough who come in to Manhattan for various reasons. They sit on
    the Bruckner. They sit on the Deegan. They drive onto local Bronx
    streets to avoid the existing bridge tolls. They actually do contribute
    to the Manhattan and overall NYC economy, but for the Bronx, they
    contribute nothing.”

    That’s not borne out by NYMTC’s 2010-2011 Regional Household Travel Survey.

    42% of unlinked private car trips ending in Manhattan also originate in Manhattan.
    9.5% of unlinked private car trips ending in Manhattan originate in the Bronx.
    5.7% of unlinked private car trips ending in Manhattan originate in Westchester.
    Putnam, Fairfield and New Haven Counties account for less than 1% total.

    The majority of cars sitting on the Deegan and Bruckner on their way to Manhattan, originated in the Bronx.

    Similarly private car congestion in Manhattan is caused by car trips originating in Manhattan. Therefore, any “solution” designed to reduce Manhattan congestion by limiting cars originating from outside Manhattan is avoiding the principal source of congestion.


    Eric McClure

    Holy cow.


    Sean Kelliher

    When NYC’s DOT wins the prize for largest low-quality bicycle network in North America, I wonder what the trophy will look like?

    In the meantime, when Jon Orcutt visits maimed residents in the hospital or grieving families after a fatality has occurred he can explain how he wishes there was something that could have been done to prevent this, but “prohibitively high traffic volumes” just got in the way. Then maybe Seth Solomonow can jump in with the agency’s “safety is our highest priority” chestnut. I’m sure this will all provide some comfort in a time of need.



    My guess is that he is in “Driver World,” and seeing everything from the perspective of the put-upon driver. MoveNY is seen through the lens of Bronx Drivers vs. Manhattan Drivers, and he wants to even the score with those drivers in Manhattan with their fancy, and heavy, Range Rovers and chauffeured Suburbans.

    Politicians are now mainly drivers, or driven by chauffeur. Some academic needs to write a paper on how this skews their politics and worldview.