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  1.  

    lop

    They’ve mentioned new wider, landscaped medians, bike lanes, bus lanes, bus loading platforms (extended sidewalks), pedestrian safety advancements. What’s the condition of the road? Do they need to do any roadwork like repaving, utility work, or road bed reconstruction over the next ten years? Maybe they want that done now as part of the project. It’s the most dangerous road in Queens right? Maybe before adding more pedestrians (transit riders) to it they want to make what road design changes are necessary to make it safer to cross.

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/nyc-dot-select-bus-service-report.pdf

    Earlier SBS project costs were substantially lower. Woodhaven SBS seems to be part of a larger road redesign. Hard to say though, since they haven’t said what they plan to do with the money just yet. But based on the costs of previous SBS projects it seems reasonable to assume this is buying more than just a bus lane.

  2.  

    Gueset

    Wow, if only there were a parallel, above-grade right-of-way where a subway line could run. Oh wait, there is — the Rockaway Beach Branch.

    I’m all for BRT on Woodhaven, but a separated Right-of-Way that doesn’t have to deal with cross-streets and traffic lights is far better transit. Far more valuable than another High Line.

  3.  

    Joe R.

    I doubt such data even exists but from purely the standpoint of attracting tenants, I tend to think a building which either allowed washing machines, or at least had a laundromat on premises, would win. Competition would force other landlords to follow suit.

    Why exactly are washing machines prohibited in some apartments anyway? Unless the wiring is still at 1950s standards, I’m not seeing why they would need to be. Then again, in that case air conditioning wouldn’t be possible, either.

  4.  

    Bolwerk

    What are they planning? Studding the roadway with gold? $14 million/mile dollars is insane to take lanes that are basically service-ready. Utah barely spent more per-mile on a crude light rail line, and that presumably required far more new infrastructure.

  5.  

    nycadmin

    Today was a total cluster#$%^& on PPW. DOT just doesnt care or know how to manage its projects. Today, there was repaving in the vicinity of 3rd Street. The 3rd Street bike lane simply dead-ended at PPW with no place to go as hot asphalt was being poured. The crew at work suggested that I “go to the end of the work zone” to get into the park. No signs, no help.

    Also, DOT simply set up cones and barrels near Montgomery or Garfield with no advance warning of the work ahead, so that all traffic traveling southbound on PPW had to turn down the narrow one way street. Chaos ensued with cars backing up the wrong way down PPW or attempting u-turns. There were no Traffic Agents or NYPD in place to direct traffic.

    This is Vision Zero?

  6.  

    lop

    Well that’s why you want mixed use development. Laundry, corner stores etc…work great without much parking (one-two on street spots) if it’s on the ground floor of a mid rise residential building on a block full of that sort of density.

    As an alternative what plenty of places do is offer delivery service.

  7.  

    Jonathan R

    My lease says no washing machine. My building has laundry in basement; buildings on either side do not. There are two busy storefront laundromats within two blocks of my apartment.

    The attraction of the large laundromat (often with parking area) is that there are always enough machines to run your family’s entire wash. My family of 4 does 8-10 loads of laundry a week, which would overflow our heavy duty shopping cart. Clothes are not as dense as groceries.

  8.  

    Jonathan R

    Kids who were born when the congested corridor report was produced are entering kindergarten this year. Is there any sense of urgency here?

  9.  

    J

    Will the designs for the 2nd phase replace this? Will they include the entire corridor? The first phase is a part-time, curbside bus lane, not BRT; and definitely nothing even close to “World Class BRT”. With 126′ of ROW (10 travel lanes + 2 parking lanes + 3 medians) and $200 million dollars to work with, let’s hope phase 2 is significantly better than this.

  10.  

    BBnet3000

    “When the inevitable pressure to water down the Woodhaven BRT plan surfaces”

    Any more and it will be homeopathic. Lets hope the plan that comes out this fall is a lot more ambitious.

  11.  

    qrt145

    “Most apartment buildings which don’t allow tenants to have a washing machine tend to have a laundromat on premises.”

    This doesn’t fit my experience, but I’m very interested in seeing data. My impression is that most leases are very restrictive, often unnecessarily so.

  12.  

    Joe R.

    We had a washing machine even back in the time I was a kid in a housing project in the 1960s. There are few apartments these days where it’s not possible to install a washing machine. Indeed, you have those stackable washer/dryer combos if you’re short on space. It’s mostly that residents either don’t want to, or can’t afford a decent machine. Most apartment buildings which don’t allow tenants to have a washing machine tend to have a laundromat on premises. Frankly, I’m surprised commercial laundromats these days get enough customers to stay in business. In fact, if loss of a few parking spots drastically affects your business, then it was probably a marginal business which was going to fail eventually anyway.

    All that said, a nice size heavy duty shopping cart can easily carry a lot of laundry or anything else quite a distance. I use mine to lug up to 100 pounds of groceries from stores about 3/4 mile away.

  13.  

    Jonathan R

    One thing you can say in defense of single-family home ownership: it is trivial to install a washing machine on your own premises,
    .

  14.  

    qrt145

    I used to haul my clothes to the laundromat (a granny cart also helps), but that was in a Manhattan neighborhood where laundromats were plentiful and this one was half a block away (I now have my own washing machine).

    I imagine around Ozone Park laundromats density is less, either because population density is lower, or a larger fraction of the people have their own washing machine (or at least washing machines in their building).

    If we want walkability and less dependence on parking, I guess we need to find ways to maximize the density of laundromats or alternatives to laundromats, but that’s not easy to retrofit. But it’s hard too to expect people to walk half a mile hauling their laundry.

  15.  

    SauronHimself

    Or just start wearing a helmet cam. The upfront expenditure will save you a ton of grief down the road.

  16.  

    nycbikecommuter

    Well, to be entirely honest, I only go laundromats that have convenient parking. I can’t carry my laundry on a bike, car is the only option. Carrying two large bags of laundry is not the same as carrying couple of shopping bags. These laundromats are thriving while the ones without nearby parking are usually not doing well. So that one business may have a point.

  17.  

    SauronHimself

    Fellow cyclists, you can avoid most of these tickets altogether if you start strapping action cams to your helmets and/or bikes. In a hearsay battle the cop’s word almost always wins. A camera removes any doubt as to who was right, and it keeps the cops honest. Plus, it’s great evidence if you’re ever struck by a motorist because, as you all know, cyclists often get pittance for justice when it comes to car-bike collisions. A $200-300 expenditure now on a camera will save you an untold amount of headaches later.

  18.  

    SauronHimself

    In NY a cyclist is only classified as a pedestrian if he/she is injured by a motorist. While you’re operating the bike and are free of danger you are another vehicle.

  19.  

    qrt145

    Is Operation Harassment Cycle officially over? Any stats about how many people were successfully harassed?

    Yesterday, I ran a red light in front of an unmarked police car. They were probably not looking for cyclists to ticket, but luckily I didn’t have to find out because the officer was too busy texting while driving to notice.

  20.  

    com63

    Read the last article.

  21.  

    Eric McClure

    Next time, The Advance should bring a speed gun AND Staten Island’s driver-coddling elected officials to the streets.

  22.  

    Joe R.

    I never once said I couldn’t see pedestrians by the time I got to the crosswalk. Not once. Not being able to see people until I’m some distance from the crosswalk doesn’t matter operationally unless that distance is less than the stopping distance at the speed I’m traveling. However, I don’t tend to go faster than my lines of sight allow, so I can always stop within the distance I can see.

    As a general rule, people crossing the street with the walk signal only tend to wait for something which is in the crosswalk, or nearly in the crosswalk and moving at a good rate of speed (i.e. they don’t wait for bikes or cars slowly rolling up to the crosswalk). They’re not going to glance 30 feet or 40 feet down the street, see me slowly approaching the red light at 10 mph, and wait until I pass on the assumption that I’m not going to stop. That would be stupid for two reasons. Their assumption may be wrong, in which case they will have needlessly waited. Or if they stay in motion, they may very well be well past the point in the crosswalk I’ll be riding through by the time I get there (that’s almost a certainty if I’m 30 feet or more away from the crosswalk when they first see me). Again, they will have waited needlessly. Most people crossing with or against the light have a good sense of when an approaching vehicle will reach the intersection. I know I do. When I jaywalk I can see a car approaching at 40 mph, start crossing, and time it so I’ll be at least a few feet past their traffic lane when they pass the intersection (assuming they don’t see me and slow down, which they often do, in which case they pass me with an even wider berth).

    Since we’re talking about rules, legally I’m not breaking any rules whatsoever until I enter the crosswalk at a red light. If it were within the capabilities of my brakes and myself, I could legally approach a red light at up to the speed limit, and decelerate from 30 mph down to a stop in 2 inches, so long as I stopped prior to the crosswalk. Of course, that’s not physically possible but I’m using it as a hypothetical for what I could do without breaking any laws whatsoever. I’ll grant that a person crossing with the light who sees a car or bike down the road approaching the intersection at a high rate of speed may indeed wait because they’re not sure if the vehicle will stop, but remember there are absolutely no laws beyond the speed limit governing how rapidly you may approach a red light, so long as you stop prior to the crosswalk. And as I said several times already, I don’t approach red lights at such a speed that people crossing may think I won’t stop.

    Whether I see people or not when I’m far from the crosswalk shouldn’t matter. Operationally I’m not affected by those people until I’m a certain distance away. And chances are good nobody is going to break their stride to wait for a bike approaching the intersection when it’s still 10 or 20 or more feet away, unless maybe it’s going 25 mph, but that’s not applicable in my case. On the other hand, I have seen people walk right in front of a moving bike, as in when it’s 5 feet away, to cross against the light. That’s telling me people in general won’t wait for bicycles to pass if they have the walk signal when they don’t even do it when they don’t have the walk signal.

    Can you clearly explain exactly the set of circumstances you mean here because frankly nothing you’re saying makes any sense at all? When I say explain, I mean using distances, speeds, etc., not general terms. It sounds like you think if I’m approaching a red light and can’t see people step off the curb I should come to a dead stop right where I am, even if it’s 100 feet from the intersection, on the assumption that a person crossing will see me in motion, think I’m going to blow the light, and wait. Legally I don’t have to do that. Neither do motor vehicles approaching the red light. By definition everyone can remain in motion until they reach the crosswalk. It also sounds like you think I approach intersections at speed even if I have no view whatsoever of people stepping off the curb until I’m on top of the crosswalk. I never said that. To refresh your memory:

    “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 see no mention of distances or speeds there. It’s a very general statement which is true nearly all the time. At some distance from the crosswalk I can’t see pedestrians until they step off the curb. However, does it really matter if that distance is 100 feet, 50 feet, or even 10 feet? The exact distance is irrelevant so long as I adjust my speed so I’m able to stop prior to the crosswalk once I can see someone step off the curb. That’s the case 100% of the time.

    My statement was in response to what you said, namely: “Why should a pedestrian who is approaching the crosswalk and is about to cross but has not yet stepped off the curb be forced to wait for an impatient cyclist?”

    So now drivers and cyclists are supposed to react to people still on the sidewalk? Nothing in the law says they have to. For example, drivers must yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk when turning, not pedestrians who have not yet stepped off the curb. Suppose someone standing on the corner isn’t crossing, but just watching girls, or maybe waiting for someone? That’s why the law is written as it is. It’s assumed a pedestrian has no intent to cross the street until they’ve actually stepped off the curb. In the real world it’s not feasible for people to start guessing what the intentions of someone still on the sidewalk may be.

  23.  

    1ifbyrain2ifbytrain

    I would just like De Blasio to take public transit and walk or bike as much as possible and encourage every city worker to do the same.

    Should we be paying for his personal (not city business related) transportation? No, but as has been pointed out he has to have a security detail with him all the time and tax payers should pay for that.

  24.  

    WalkingNPR

    Why would Council members be on two wheels? Based on the police response to it, I’m pretty sure that sort of behavior is only for deviants and miscreants of the worst sort…

  25.  

    Guest

    I get how car-guy Cuomo would support this. But Congressman Engel? He is all about reducing US dependence on foreign oil-producing countries, even chairing a House caucus on the issue. Why would he support a mall that incentivizes more driving?

    Here’s the caucus:
    http://engel.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=112

  26.  

    HamTech87

    RE: Adding lanes for Bronx Malls. Adding more cars to our roads.

    According to this press release from the Governor, the taxpayers have already spent $3.4Million on additional I-95 access completed in July. That comes to about $1,900/per job created. Who knows what other non-road taxpayer subsidies this mall was given?

    So now pols wants to provide more subsidies for road access? Remember, this is a mall with big box stores owned by huge corporations. The jobs are undoubtedly low-wage and unskilled. And the consequences of all those cars to the environment, increased energy usage, poor health, and competitive pressures on local neighborhood businesses are not even considered.

  27.  

    Tyler

    I think it would be nice if the Mayor did some symbolic things like buying/using a personal MetroCard, but let’s not get too crazy here… The Mayor of NYC has a continuous security detail not much different than the head of state of most countries. I work for a government bureaucracy — I’m pretty sure a little *less* tracking of expenses and a little *less* reimbursement for x, y, and z would actually SAVE the city money. Remember folks, this is the type of organization that requires processing by 8 people and probably 2 hours of labor to buy a box of pens.

    I’m all for accountability, but not this kind. He’s the Mayor. He needs to go places (both officially and personally). Those drivers, police and other security personnel are already on payroll… they’re already working and assigned 24 hours per day… This doesn’t increase because he goes out to dinner or visits his sister.

    The personal trips fall within the baseline. The “expensive” trips are going to be events where security is beefed up and would fall under the official category anyway.

  28.  

    Bolwerk

    De Blasio went from being mini-John Lindsay to mini-Mitt Romney and hardly anyone blinked.

    I wonder if Council members on two wheels will be harassed by the polizei just like us. Or do they get special placards?

  29.  

    Jeff

    I think you accidentally linked a Bronx Times article from the 1960s. There are several quotes about “doing everything we can” to improve access to the new mall, but they only mention adding additional automobile capacity–there’s nothing in there about increasing transit service or ensuring a pedestrian/bike friendly design that stitches the mall into the surrounding community.

  30.  

    Andrew

    A single sentence, but a telling one. You justify blasting through crosswalks against the red light with your strange assumption that, if you don’t notice a pedestrian, all is good.

    You have no way of knowing how many pedestrians see you coming and wait for you to violate their legal right of way. “I didn’t see the pedestrian” doesn’t cut it for motorists, and it doesn’t cut it for cyclists either.
    Not only are you breaking the law, you’re refusing to do so in a way that respects the needs and rights of those whom the law is intended to protect. Pedestrians who you don’t notice still notice you and wait for you. Pedestrians crossing with the light should never feel the need to wait for anyone – they have to wait long enough when the light is red.

  31.  

    lop

    But then you have all those cars turning in front of you when you cross west st, you may end up needing to put in a separate light phase for bikes and turning cars.

    Better would be to throw up some jersey barriers on either side of the bike lane. There are two travel lanes before that block, so one turning lane for each direction, let cars go straight from one or the other, and a jersey barrier protected bike lane shouldn’t mess traffic up too horribly. Just make sure it’s narrow to start so cars never try to use it.

  32.  

    AnoNYC

    I find it hard to believe that the loss of a couple of parking spaces is killing business. Wouldn’t those cars be mostly sitting there on the long term or were there muni-meters and loading zones? I’m not to familiar with this area.

    Also, how long has that lot of Liberty and Drew (SE corner) been vacant? Looks like a pedestrian oriented business in that location could do wonders to improve activity in the area.

  33.  

    lop

    http://furmancenter.org/files/publications/HVS_Rent_Stabilization_fact_sheet_FINAL_4.pdf

    The difference is much smaller outside the Manhattan core, but is growing in inner ring and other desirable neighborhoods. Almost 60% of renters (market and regulated) pay 30% or more of income in rent. If you don’t have frequent reliable transit to get you to everything you can’t walk to moving can start to look very attractive.

  34.  

    John Z Wetmore

    “Perils For Pedestrians” Episode 94 has now moved to YouTube at:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX7wB8PoxFI

  35.  

    Kevin Love

    Don’t forget repairs and maintenance.

  36.  

    Bolwerk

    Hmm, wow. That surprises me.

    I really have no idea how common it is, but it doesn’t seem that abnormal outside Manhattan. Perhaps that’s why this is framed as it is: Manhattan indeed apparently has a big gulf between stabilization prices and market prices. That doesn’t mean the rest of the city necessarily does.

  37.  

    Guest

    Krugman’s main mistake is to assume that the reason for the constrained housing supply in the northeast and California is due to regulatory factors like zoning. There is plenty of zoning in the south, too. Okay, maybe not Houston, but even it has its share of land development regulations and restrictions.

    The basic difference is quite simple: availability of land. The Southern metros largely lack geographic constraints. It is still easy to find buildable land without too many NIMBYs nearby within commuting distance of major centers. In the coastal metropolises that generally is not possible. All the good land in the coastal California metros has already been built on. The northeast megalopolis has sprawled so much for so long (well over a century, really) that there are no true greenfield sites of any scale left anywhere nearby. As a result, development has hit geographical and human walls on the coasts. There is nowhere cheap to turn to.

  38.  

    lop

    They don’t count if they don’t mention that they would have gone elsewhere if the plaza wasn’t right outside

  39.  

    Kevin Love

    What? Do you think that those people are real human beings? Not in New York City they aren’t.

  40.  

    wklis

    I guess pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users don’t count.

  41.  

    Eric McClure

    As long as they don’t care about winning.

  42.  

    lop

    If you are in a stabilized unit then the rent guidelines board decides every year the maximum rent increase. What was it this year? 1 percent for one year leases, 2.75 percent for two year leases? It takes a while for the maximum rent to get too high in those units. Where in the city is the legally permitted rent well above the market rate in a substantial share of units? (and what’s well above) Somewhere that’s near good transit, doesn’t have horrible crime etc…getting back to the issue of whether nyc housing+transportation is affordable.

    And yes they can jack it up to the legal maximum rate if they’ve worded everything right – if they don’t tell you it was a preferential rate a good lawyer can help you get what you were getting set to the new legal maximum rate or something.

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/downloads/pdf/HPD-2011-HVS-Selected-Findings-Tables.pdf

    Table 3

    Rental Housing Inventory by Rent Regulation Status

    New York City 2011

    Rental Units

    Number Percent

    All rental units 2,172,634 100.0%

    Rent controlled 38,374 1.8%

    Rent stabilized 986,840 45.4%

    Pre-1947 stabilized 743,527 34.2%

    Post-1947 stabilized 243,313 11.2%

    Private non-regulated

    units(a)

    849,800 39.1%

    All other rental units(b) 297,620 13.7%

    All other includes publicd housing, mitchell-lama, In Rem, HUD-regulated, article 4, municipal loan, and loft board units.

  43.  

    Reader

    “Ali’s business partner, Ahmad Ubayda, said shop owners will be hiring an attorney to fight the plaza.”

    Paging Jim Walden!

  44.  

    Bolwerk

    Pardon, below the regulated rent, not below the preferential rent.

  45.  

    Bolwerk

    Where are you getting that number from? Many are in “stabilized units.” but even then the market rate is often well below the regulated price ceiling. When that happens, it’s called preferential rent. And, if I’m not mistaken, a landlord can jack the rent up as high as he wants below the preferential rate.

    I rather doubt even adding together stabilized + controlled + projects brings the total to 50% of the city falling under the category of “aren’t…market rate units.”

  46.  

    lop

    Do those averages count the more than 50% of renters citywide who aren’t in market rate units? 1600 is a jump over the current market units there, but smaller than you think, and typical of what you’ll see in the area 5 years from now.

  47.  

    lop

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

  48.  

    whererrow?

    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.

  49.  

    Bolwerk

    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.

  50.  

    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.