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    Preempting lights doesn’t work so well on some of these roads where the pedestrian walk phase is five seconds or so before it starts flashing don’t walk. Until it stops you can’t give buses a green.



    Aren’t the central park lights too old to run on timers when cars are in the park, and pedestrian actuated with a minimum fifteen second green for bikes when cars are not in the park? They could replace them, but then you need someone to come up with the few million it would cost. Parks department isn’t all that well funded.



    I was there the other day (one table over in top image, out of view) and it’s not an exaggeration when they say every representative from every table mentioned a desire to implement some form of a Complete Streets idea. Which is a great thing, especially since I immediately knew the purpose of the workshop: the DOT wanted to only focus only on a particular area with a high concentration of injuries and fatalities. However, nearly any and all “short-term” fixes to re-mediate past issues are in place now and the DOT still cites high injuries and fatalities. Meaning, the only way forward is for the DOT to treat Queens Blvd as a capital project and schedule it for a major revamp from Jamaica Av to Jackson Av. Obviously there are issues, such as underneath train trestles and maintaining a level of vehicular flow indicative of a state route, yet as one other person mentioned, they want Queens Blvd to be a source of pride for the Borough, and it rightly should be. A roadway nearly 200′ wide, arguably wider than any one of the major highways that cross it, there should be no excuse now not to implement the highest degrees of safety, “intermodality,” and sustainability, and to be truly in line with Vision Zero, take into account human error and re-engineer the roadway accordingly.

    The flood gates are opening…



    SBS routes should not just absolutely get a dedicated lane that private vehicles have to stay out of. Wherever possible, they should have two lanes that private vehicles have to stay out of–so that they can pass each other and the frequent invaders. With only one dedicated lane, bus riders still get the shaft, massively (try the 2nd Ave SBS some weekday afternoon), even though by every ethical measure imaginable, they should get more consideration, accommodation, and space than occupants of smaller, private vehicles.


    Joe R.

    Funny but I remember saying to people when they arrested Bruno they only solved half the problem-Sheldon Silver belongs in jail too. I’m glad I was right. This guy smelled of crooked, smoke-filled backroom politics from day one.


    Joe R.

    These buses get caught at a lot of lights besides the ones crossing the LIE which slow them down. Traffic light priority would help a lot in that regard. During heavy traffic times so would a dedicated bus lane.

    According to the presentation this evening (Jan 22nd), the Q44LTD operates in excess of 20 mph in Kew Gardens Hills. It does not need a separate bus lane there – remember the speed limit is 25 mph.

    Is the speed consistently that high all day long, including during peak hours? Moreover, are they talking about average speeds over 20 mph, or just cruising speeds in between stops? The latter doesn’t matter if the bus still stops every block or two for passengers or traffic signals. As for speed limits, I personally feel certain vehicles operated by well trained professionals, particularly public transit buses, should be either exempt from them, or subject to a higher speed limit. I want bus travel in this area to consistently average at least 20 mph so it would be on par with a subway. In order to do that we need dedicated lanes, full traffic signal preemption, sanely spaced stops, and a speed limit between stops of at least 40 to 45 mph (not a problem if the bus preempts traffic signals well in advance of reaching an intersection).



    “In 1999, Silver was instrumental in the repeal of New York City’s commuter tax, which taxed non-resident workers similarly to city residents. This was a great benefit to those commuting to work in the city from surrounding areas, but came at a tremendous cost to his own NYC constituents. Silver was criticized by city leaders for removing the tax, and though after 9/11 he has suggested he would support reinstating it, he has taken no steps to do so.”



    I doubt realtors and developers are pro-car, more like forced to accommodate automobiles due to parking minimums. That’s one of the biggest issues in this city right there. Eliminate the parking minimums, discourage parking. We need better mass transit and this is a great place for BRT,


    Andres Dee

    Funny (and seriously), back in my early 20s and I owned a car “because that was the thing to do” and joined AAA, I was horrified by their anti-transit rhetoric and that’s the same flaw I saw in their position.



    The only ridership figures the MTA gives out are by line. Here’s a link to the data.

    You are asking for on/off statistics for every bus stop. It’s a logical request for analyzing what’s going on. If the MTA does take such measurements, they don’t publicize it. The best they have for some of the SBS presentations is is a graphic that shows a daily count. There was such a graphic at the presentation. That’s how I came up with the ratios. A breakdown by time of day would be better.

    There’s another estimate I’ve used, in the absence of hard data. How much scheduled time is spent inside and outside the region of interest? Assigning passenger counts based on this proportion yields similar results.



    It’s a red herring both ways. According to the presentation this evening (Jan 22nd), the Q44LTD operates in excess of 20 mph in Kew Gardens Hills. It does not need a separate bus lane there – remember the speed limit is 25 mph. That’s the area that’s complaining about losing a lane.

    The slow zones are Jamaica and Downtown Flushing. There isn’t the road space to put a dedicated bus lane in these areas. None would have been proposed despite the slow speed.

    There is one small problem crossing the LIE. The problem is due to a lack of synchronization between traffic lights at the LIE west bound service road and 60th Ave. It’s a short block. They both have to be green simultaneously – otherwise traffic backs up. They usually are not.



    Is that kind of ridership breakdown available for other buses anywhere?

    edit: And is there any estimate for how many riders don’t touch the flushing-jamaica corridor – how many who board in the bronx get off before flushing etc…?



    How did you come up with the figure of 68K? I know that’s the figure quoted by DOT. It’s based on the Q20 – 13,609; Q25 – 19,324; Q34 – 7,054 and Q44 – 28,689. The problem is these buses also go outside the Flushing-Jamaica corridor. The Q20, Q25 and Q44 get 1/3 of their riders between Flushing and College Pt or Whitestone. The Q44 gets 1/2 of its riders between Flushing and Bronx Park. This brings the number within the corridor to 41K.

    This illustrates one of the problems with this project. DOT and the MTA are proposing solutions before quantitatively defining the problem.



    Wasn’t one of those guys quoted as saying that he dislikes road diets etc because they make it harder for him to reach the tunnel on Friday afternoons when he’s on his way to his house in the Poconos or someplace like that?


    Simon Phearson

    Yes – but! For those people, buses are “vehicles that can more compactly carry the people who are making you sit in traffic.” We need to tell carheads that no one’s coming for their cars; we’re just trying to get people out of their way.



    Weiner’s idea in NYDN re: expanding current AirTrain to LGA (over Van Wyck) is actually a pretty darn good idea. That connects everything to LGA: JFK and main LIRR line (including BK line). I’d imagine it would be at least double the price, but seemingly more helpful. What about making the LGA AirTrain station at N stop right next to the GCP – build the AirTrain over the GCP to LGA. More direct



    (pipe)dreaming about those renderings (found on this site) from a few months ago showing QB in rego park – taller buildings, more room to walk and bike, bus lanes. QB is so darn ugly too, residents should want a change for property value alone (nevermind their own safety)



    Has anyone drawn up a bill of attainder against Alpert and Zweig? I’d like to write to MBPrez Brewer urging her to not reappoint them, and a fairly comprehensive list of their obstructions and exceedances would be really helpful.



    People are rightly angry? How many pedestrian and bicycle safety projects have Andrew Albert and Dan Zweig delayed or obstructed in their decades on CB 7? A dozen, two dozen? It is simply astonishing that people like this have a major say over the safety of UWS streets in 2014.



    Make that on the board for 25-30 years and co-chair for at least 15 of those, probably more.


    Bill James

    A JPods network, privately funded and operated would be radically faster than the Governor’s train.


    Larry Littlefield

    So Cuomo didn’t mention the MTA Capital plan in the state of the state. The budget is next.

    If Sheldon Silver falls, the last of the people who put us in this situation will be gone. Will Cuomo, Skelos and whoever would replace Silver step up and impose sacrifices on taxpayers, straphangers, toll payers, contractors, union members etc. to keep ongoing normal replacement going even as that massive debt is services?

    Or will they just do nothing in the hopes of moving away before deferred maintenance causes the system to collapse.

    “Mr. Cuomo ended his speech with almost the exact words his father had uttered to end his first inaugural address in 1983: “For all the ceremony, and the big house, and all the pomp and circumstance, please don’t let me forget what makes New York New York,” he said.”

    Hey Andrew, in a physical sense guess what that is?



    Here’s hoping that they tame the Boulevard of Death and that it finally has an impact on the car obsessed culture of the city that can help build some momentum for city-wide changes.



    Community Board members should eventually rotate off. The Committee Chairs particularly need to be refreshed. “Longtime” Board Member and Transportation Chair Zweig has been around for 5 years, or more. Time for him to go move his parked car and then just keep on moving.


    Sean Robertson

    Why the hell are CBs appointed and not elected in the first place? That’s the real fail here. Make them like DC’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission and make them elected positions. And do it yesterday.


    Andres Dee

    Some people don’t see transit as a solution to their problems. “The bus” is something no one they care about takes and certainly not something to waste tax dollars on.



    Some of the commercial stretches on main seem to have pretty good churn on the curbside parking, I think they limit you to 60 minutes. You could minimize the impact by putting meters during the day on some side streets,

    (re-)Synchronizing lights was probably to minimize the impact on general traffic if they took away a travel lane, not for buses.



    There have been deaths! And still there’s glacial process. Time for Albert to go. NOW.


    Andres Dee

    Constituents =
    Car dealers
    Car repairers
    Car services

    “Caaars! Must. Sell. Caaars! Hooomes! Must. Sell. Hooomes! Pededestrian! Must. Sell. Car. To. Pededestrian! Must. Sell. Home. To. Pededestrian! Pededestrian no buy car? Pededestrian no take loan? Eat. Pededestrian. Brain! Make. Pededestrian. Disappear! Nooo. Crimininality. Suspecteded!


    Appalled Upper West Sider

    ”These things, unfortunately, unless there’s a death, move very glacially in the city.” Thanks to obstructionists like you, Mr. Albert.



    Go big or go home!



    If public representatives are not accountable to the public they represent, there is a serious problem. Put it to a vote, and Zweig would be quickly voted out. There is no vote, though, so people must resort to alternative means of making their voice heard.


    Mark Walker

    Zweig should go and Albert should be next. They’ve had enough second chances.



    Yes, transit should be preempting lights.

    If you ask me, most bus routes should simply borrow from old streetcar practice: run in the center, stop in the center. When the bus stops, traffic behind waits. For modernity’s sake, bus bulbs can come out and meet buses at stops. Parking, if necessary, can be behind the bulb. Buses then set the pace for all traffic. A faster pace than is probably averaged now. Even carheads might buy into it because it ironically means more parking space, except at the bulb.

    Making buses pull out of the flow of traffic to stop was truly one of the dumbest ideas in the history of transit.



    I think he’s generally right about accessibility. Some people aren’t able-bodied, or some trips are short enough that huffing up subway stays doesn’t lend itself to constructive use of time. Most subways in the city have parallel bus services, and many of them are routes that were originally streetcars.



    Just because the Community Board system sometimes gives good results doesn’t mean it isn’t fundamentally flawed. The majority of voters in this city support expanding protected bike lanes and other improves for pedestrians and cycling. We talk a lot about “electeds”, but that is exactly what Community Board members are not.



    Shuttle buses with baggage compartments work pretty well for airport service, but transit buses really don’t. Baggage takes up a lot of space on a relatively small, narrow vehicle, and is disruptive to other passengers.



    Going by that, most of the regular JFK transit bus services are still intact. The 6, 7, 3, 10, and 15 are all in more or less the same place. I don’t remember what the Q10A was, but it looks like an express service given its expressway route, and likely had little value to begin with.

    The LGA routes all seem to have low to medium ridership. But that doesn’t mean the airport has much to do with that ridership. Either way, if they’re kept, running them to the airport probably costs less than finding them new termini.



    I think Zweig and Albert are right. It’s pointless to keep vilifying them. They aren’t going to change.

    The keys are in the electeds’ hands, most notably Gale Brewer’s. Yet in April 2014 she said the best approach to change at the community board was to just wait for people to “eventually come around.” We’re still waiting, even though more people have been injured and killed. Let’s not wait for any more dead children and then pretend to be so impressed when everyone springs to action to institute another round of half-baked safety “improvements.”

    The number one improvement we could see is for these politicians to show some courage, clean out these committees, and stand up for young kids who don’t get a seat on community boards.

    “I don’t take people off just because they have — you know, they’ve been going to meetings and they have good attendance and they work well, I don’t take them off. But we can talk to them. I’m very conscious of what you’re talking about. And I think eventually people will come around to the fact that what TA and others know, which is that bike and pedestrian and car safety is better when you have cars going slower.”



    “As for particular members of the community board, I actually think it’s inappropriate to discuss that in this venue,” Rosenthal said during last night’s panel. “If anybody wants to talk with me about particular community board members, reach out to me.”

    I mean, my goodness! The NERVE of voters to hold people accountable in public for the devastation their irresponsible decisions have caused. If we unelected power mongers aren’t constantly petted for defending our own narrow interests, how will anything good ever get done?


    Brad Aaron

    Here’s why Brewer’s spox gave a date instead of a commitment:

    Brewer is generally amenable on livable streets but her CB friends have done more than enough to cancel her out.


    Jonathan R

    Can’t speak for others, but hefting heavy bags up stairs (or down stairs) is one of my least favorite things to do. And hunting for the single elevator on a crowded train platform is right up there as well.



    Who represents those 68,000 daily bus riders? Lancman and Simanowitz have a very narrow definition of “constituents.”



    What’s the advantage of street level boarding? And how does it apply when you need a train to get to the bus?


    Simon Phearson

    How can we more effectively educate these lawmakers (and community boards, while we’re at it) so that they can understand that sharing roadspace is not a zero-sum game?

    What SBS means for underserved portions of Queens is: the ability to work and shop farther from home; fewer drivers as some of them opt for efficient transit over driving their personal vehicles; and a boost to land values as people choose to live closer to efficient, reliable transit. Among other things!

    The person who is driving on these streets to park in front of a business along them is not necessarily a person who would continue to drive if you make it easy and relatively fast to get through or to the same places without a car. Absolutely everyone who is driving and trying to find parking in these neighborhoods expects it to be more or less of a hassle. The only people who aren’t taking transit when they could are people for which the hassle of transit is greater than the hassle of driving. Lower the hassle of transit, they’ll leave their cars at home.


    Jonathan R

    In the 1980s the Q3 and Q10 went to Kennedy airport, the Q10 took a more direct route from Union Tpke, the Q3 I think from 179th St.

    The Q48 went to LGA along the same route it does now, to Main St, and the Q33 went to LGA from 74th St. I took the Q33 fairly often and remember it as a 20-minute trip. It left from a bus bay behind the IND station building.


    Jonathan R

    Yes, but stairs count at the margin, not overall. Trust me, I push a stroller.


    Dolph Dingbat

    They are opposed to anything that will make their personal car trips slower by even 2 seconds. They should be serving their constituency and not themselves.


    Joe R.

    The stuff about parking is a red herring. Most of the businesses where a significant number of customers come by car already have parking lots. Most of the parking which might be lost is private vehicle storage, something which at best is a privilege granted by NYC, not sacrosanct. It’s high time the needs of other users besides private automobile owners were considered.

    I really don’t see how synchronizing lights will help, either. Bus boarding times are so variable chances are good any synchronization scheme won’t be any better or worse than what exists now. We need traffic signal priority for the buses, period. It shouldn’t take 20 to 30 minutes for a bus like the Q65 to go the ~3.2 miles from where I would get it to downtown Flushing. Adding in the usual 10 to 20 minute waiting times and I can typically get there as quickly by walking, which is exactly what I do all the time.



    Unless you’ve already dragged your bags up or down some stairs to get to the train you need to take to get to the bus.