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    Ferdinand Cesarano

    Well, it’s true that, if you have a machine in your apartment, you can do a single load every day if you want.

    But I also do whatever I want while the clothes are washing and drying. Bringing the clothes to the laundromat and back entails about the same effort as would be required to bring them to a laundry room in my building’s basement, if it had one. In Woodhaven, laundromats abound; there’s one on just about every block. So I just walk back upstairs to my apartment and go online or watch TV while the clothes are doing. Sometimes I walk around and do grocery shopping.

    (There is no fear of people stealing your clothes! What kind of talk is that? If you are late coming back to the laundromat, the owner might remove the clothes and leave them in a basket in order to free up a machine for another customer. But I have never experienced nor heard of clothes being stolen from a laundromat.)

    And I could easily have faaaaar in excess of four loads. Before I started commuting by bicycle, I typically went six weeks or more between laundries. I’d have three or four big bags stuffed full of clothes, which translated into something like eight loads.

    Now with all my riding, I go through shirts several times faster than ever before, as I wear multiple layers every day. This necessitates a trip to the laundromat every weekend, or at the most every other weekend. If you consider the amount of clothes needing washing after two weeks, and then throw in the bed stuff (three comforters, eight pillow cases) and the towels, this can easily make four loads.



    You are correct, while the total area is 34 square miles, the land area is 22.7 square miles, which makes my point about the density of subway stations even stronger.



    Thanks for the clarity. Like I said, “glancing.” I didn’t realize one article used cars as the metric and the other used trains. I was using 468 stations in NYC but your point is correct.



    I understand the complaint about DCP, but why SIEDC? SIEDC seems to actually be saying the right things about transportation. Did they object to TOD?


    Joe R.

    Not only that, but you can do something else while the clothes are washing/drying. I just pop them in the washer, do whatever (post on Streetsblog, watch TV, do work), put them in the dryer when I get a chance, and fold them when the dryer is done. All told maybe 5 minutes of my time actually spent to do a load, and most of that is to fold the clothes. A laundromat involves bringing the clothes there, bringing them back, and sitting there while they’re washing. Technically maybe you could shop or something while the clothes are in the machines, but I wouldn’t chance having my clothes stolen. You can also do a load whenever it suits you with your own machine. I tend to do laundry late nights. That’s probably more desirable to the power company as there is excess capacity off-peak.

    I don’t even have enough changes of clothes to make four loads. Usually by the time I have enough for one load, I’m pretty much out of clean stuff.


    G.d. Verrazzano

    Why is it up to the MTA to help foster economic development along the north and west shores of Staten Island? Why isn’t the editorial board not taking DCP and SIEDC to task for squandering the opportunity for transit oriented development along the Staten Island Railway? Or S79 SBS? Or in St. George near the SI Ferry?

    Again, we get the tired refrain about the money spent on the 2nd ave subway – a project that will provide relief to the city’s (nay, country’s) most congested transit line and one of the densest part of the city. All while SI does without. Transit is more than just a subway. Advance editors and SI politicians would get better results to push that existing investments are fully utilized.



    Yeah, but if you have laundry in your apartment, you don’t have to wait until you have four loads; you can just do one load on the day it’s ready to wash.



    You’d think the current state of the Democratic Party would have made the Conservative Party completely obsolete by now.


    Sohaib Ahmed

    If you drive drunk twice in three years? How about at all?

    Meet and Greet parking Gatwick


    Joe R.

    Chances are if traffic was so heavy that there were no gaps to cross a traffic signal or a pedestrian bridge would be installed. Besides, I’m not aware of anything like you described in NYC.

    Andrew’s supposition is that cyclists/drivers need to wait for someone still on the sidewalk who is about cross even when there is no curbside travel lane (as is the case with just about every street in NYC) on the idea that if they don’t the right-of-way of the pedestrian is interfered with. The problem with that idea is you typically can’t see someone on the sidewalk until you’re fairly close to them because your view is blocked by parked vehicles. And said person still has to cross the parking lane before they would even be in conflict with vehicles. By the time a driver/cyclist is close enough to see a person on the sidewalk, that person couldn’t possibly end up in the vehicle’s path before it passed unless they were running. Therefore the pedestrian’s right-of-way is not interfered with. At normal walking speed the vehicle will be long gone by the time a person crossing reaches the travel lane. You also have the fact that a person standing on the corner may not even be crossing at all. People driving/cycling don’t have the luxury of playing guessing games and slamming to a stop every time they see someone on the corner on the theory the person may cross.

    What it comes down to is this is an idea Andrew got into his head. It’s not supported in either law or practice, nor would it even be remotely practical to do so. He also got into his head the idea that I often usurp people’s right-of-way when passing red lights. I don’t even see pedestrians the times I usually ride, much less have them crossing in front of me. I can do 10 or 20 rides before I might have one time where a person is crossing a street while I’m passing a red light. I might do 1000 rides before a person crossing in that scenario and myself would get to the same spot at the same time, meaning there would be a conflict if I didn’t change speed or direction. Of course, in those very rare instances I yield before passing the red light.


    John Z Wetmore

    The videos have moved to YouTube:

    National Bike Summit – Blumenauer:

    National Bike Summit – Matsui:

    National Bike Summit – Lipinski:

    National Bike Summit – LaHood:



    If there is a crosswalk with a curbside travel lane and a continuous flow of traffic, cars have no obligation to yield to the pedestrian trying to cross since he is still on the sidewalk, correct?


    Joe R.

    First off, oncoming vehicles are in the street, not on a sidewalk where view of them may be blocked. Second, and this should be obvious, pedestrians move a heck of a lot slower than cars or bikes. A motor vehicle which has not yet entered the intersection may enter it before the left turn can be completed. Specifically, from this link ( ):

    For any left turn, the law requires you to yield to any traffic headed toward you that is close enough to be a hazard. The decision about when traffic is too close takes experience and judgment. If you have any concern, wait for traffic to pass before you turn left.

    A motor vehicle (or bike) turning right is almost always able to complete its turn without cutting off pedestrians if no pedestrians are present in the crosswalk when the turn is started. Same thing with a bike passing a red light. If a hypothetical pedestrian hasn’t stepped off the curb when the bike is nearly up to the crosswalk, the bike will be long past by the time the pedestrian reaches the place where the bike was traveling. Anyway, for turns the law (N.Y. VAT. LAW § 1111 ) is as follows:

    Such traffic, including when turning right or left, shall yield the right of way to other traffic lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk at the time such signal is exhibited.

    For unsignalized intersections we have N.Y. VAT. LAW § 1151:

    (a) When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk on the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, except that any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overpass has been provided shall yield the right of way to all vehicles. (b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield. (c) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.

    I see nothing about yielding to pedestrians on the sidewalk. Your supposition that motorists and cyclists should do this is ridiculous for two reasons. One, in most cases the vehicle is long gone before the pedestrian would potentially cross its path, and hence there is no conflict. Two, and much more importantly, drivers and cyclists already have enough to do processing things on the street. You can’t expect them to start playing guessing games as to which people on the sidewalk may cross and which ones won’t. That will distract them from things right in front of them, making a crash much more likely.

    I boldfaced part b on purpose as maybe this is what you’re thinking when you say a person still on the sidewalk might be cut off by a turning vehicle. Sure, if they’re running it could conceivably happen, but guess what, the part I bold-faced puts the pedestrian at fault if it does. A turning vehicle can’t reasonable be expected to stop if an idiot runs off the sidewalk right in front of it. If we’re talking pets or young children who don’t know any better, the onus would on their owners or parents for not keeping them leashed or controlled.

    For all your talk about asshole cyclists and drivers, you sound like an asshole pedestrian with totally unrealistic expectations. Keep your complaints to when people don’t yield to you in a crosswalk. I’m happy to back you up there as those are valid complaints.



    Whenever I hear the term “real New Yorker” I think Archie Bunker stuck in traffic on the B.Q.E. on his way to a community board meeting to bitch about some bike lanes.


    Ian Turner

    I recommend fighting it.



    That’s an absurd assumption, and it’s one that as far as I know is not grounded in law. Would you also say that drivers making left turns are only required to yield to oncoming vehicles that have already entered the intersection, and that they can assume that any motorist who has not yet entered the intersection has no intent to proceed across it? Of course not – anybody who drives like that isn’t yielding to oncoming traffic. Similarly, any motorist or cyclist who is required to yield to crossing pedestrians (while turning, or at a stop/yield sign, or at an unsignalized crosswalk) but does not take into account, and cuts off, pedestrians who are about to step into the crosswalk has not yielded.

    Of course, like most other traffic laws, this is rarely if ever enforced, and plenty of motorists are assholes about it, delaying pedestrians by thousands of person-hours per day and occasionally injuring or killing a pedestrian who made the simple mistake of crossing the street with in the crosswalk as the law specifies.

    If you’re so concerned about what’s required by law, I’ll remind you that cyclists are required by law to stop for red lights and to remain stopped until they turn green. If you’re going to break that law, please don’t be an asshole about it.


    Hilary K

    I got a ticket at 26/6 for running a red light supposedly when absolutely no cars or pedestrians were coming. Should I fight it or pay it and how much should it cost? Thanks



    It’s crappy, but I’d think the platforms are wider and the train frequency per platform is significantly lower than busiest prewar BRT/IRT stations. So even that is probably at best a flawed excuse, if indeed it is the reason.



    I don’t know how you counted the number of stations, but the ratio is closer to two to one. 195 in Mexico City, 421 in New York. And comparing the number of trains in one city with the number train cars in the other is like comparing apples with apple trees. The right ratio again is closer to two to one.

    From personal experience, the Mexico City subway runs more frequently, is quieter, cleaner and faster than New York’s (at least than the local trains). On the other hand, it doesn’t have A/C (although the weather is nicer there), it doesn’t run at night, and, as you say, has fewer stations.



    I had meant LIRR/NJTransit, Amtrak might have closer to 200 per train. Pedestrian circulation is a real problem at Penn. Maybe this is the best way for them to do it even without a security issue.

    On page 22 it lists platform clearance times. Some are pretty high. They could use some more staircases.



    Manhattan isn’t 34 square miles, the island is 22.7 miles. And there are many trips that are poorly served by transit.



    quibble aside, the car2go service will introduce another way for people in the service area to avoid owning a car. If more people shift away from private ownership, it reduces the overall number of vehicles, as 1 shared car can substitute for multiple privately owned ones.
    Paying by the trip also encourages people to drive less, as they have to evaluate each trip on the basis of marginal cost.
    How they end up using metered parking spots seems like a minor concern.



    Mexico City has a subway that is clean and cheap, but it covers only a limited part of the city and does not have much overnight or off-peak service.
    Sao Paolo has a subway that covers even less of the city.
    If New York only had 3 subway lines and none of them went outside of Manhattan, and late night service was severely limited or nonexistent, it might be comparable.



    Maybe, but that’s unlikely. What is Amtrak’s typical capacity? ~60 seats/car? Maybe six cars?



    Really that probably means it’s utilized more of the day, which is great. AFAIK, it’s a good system. I just don’t buy broad qualitative comparisons in general. Good systems meet the needs of their respective cities and good in one place may be problematic in another.



    Not sure. Don’t use Amtrak much. Those are the only two I hear people complain about though.

    If you have a thousand people getting off suburban rail do you want people milling about the platforms or heading down the stairs instead ofof waiting somewhere else ? There might be a legitimate issue there. Maybe you can add staircases to help.



    Glancing at the Mexico City Metro Wikipedia, I see it has one quarter of the stations of New York’s and one twentieth the number of cars, and yet it somehow crams in 80% of New York’s ridership. Yeah, I’m sure it puts NYCTA “to shame.” On the plus side, the fare is 24 cents!



    I know Mexico City does, but does SP even have a subway?



    New York could learn from other places in the USA and abroad. Operating rules and the labor regime are antiquated as hell. Maintenance is deferred as a result, even basic cleaning. Planners here swig so much of Enrique Penalosa’s Kool-Aid that an existing railroad ROW might be turned into a busway and another ROW prime for subway expansion might be turned into a park. Even the cheap, low-capacity stuff like BRT balloons to have insane costs.

    It’s not all bad either. Good frequency, excellent reach, laudable late night service. As much as naysayers complain, NYCTA rail is at least pretty financially lean when you consider outcomes. New York has a lot going for it. Walker’s complaint is so unqualified that it probably is just mindless kvetching, but NYC transportation definitely has its blemishes, and sometimes pointlessly galling shortcomings.


    Chris Mcnally

    I’m in favor of reserving parking on every block for these car2go and other true car share systems. In Brooklyn the curbside is occupied for days by cars that never move or get used until street cleaning, then they move them and put them right back to sit for days more. This is such a waste of space.

    I think that people will be less likely to buy a car if they have this service available to them. The problem with Zipcar was that they did not rent cubrside space and instead used garages (which I think makes it more expensive) and that they do not support one way trips.



    Sao Paulo? hahaha. I lived there all my life. MTA puts SP to shame, not the other way around.



    I know it’s fun to bash the MTA, but, really.

    147 subway stations in a land area that measures 34 square miles is the best transit coverage you’re going to find anywhere in the world. On top of that you have the hub of the country’s biggest and busiest bus fleet, another subway (PATH), four railroads.

    You must be a New Yorker, because people everywhere tend to think that their own public transit system sucks, while everyone else’s is awesome. That’s why transit advocates in the rest of the country will usually say they wish their own system was more like New York’s.



    Not in metered parking. That’s for high turnover parking where parking demand is highest, not storing rental cars.



    I dunno, you really think it matters that much? I mean, urban transit tolerates people waiting on the platforms for their respective trains, and presumably it can be much more crowded than Amtrak or even a commuter train.

    You’re right, it’s probably is inane security concerns. Do any other stations, besides Union (D.C.) and Penn, even in the USA have these waiting requirements?



    You can even park a car outside the home zone, but you have to keep paying for it by the minute, and follow all regulations (such as paying at the meter and following the time limits) if you do that.



    Tracks 1-4 are NJTransit only, 5-12 are amtrak+NJTransit, 13-16 NJTransit+LIRR+Amtrak, 17-21 LIRR only.

    But the platforms generally serve two tracks. So even if no train pulls in in front of your amtrak train you might have an LIRR or NJTransit train served by the same platform, so 15 minutes before the train arrives on the platform might be tough. Something less than that would probably be doable though. Except I think part of the issue for them is they want to clear the platform of all people before letting anyone down to the train because of inane security concerns. If they let people down before the platform is clear then someone could get on the train after hoping off the LIRR or NJTransit train across the platform.



    You can certainly leave the service area during your reservation, but parking outside the service area is your problem.



    Car2Go uses a “geofence” and so each car needs to be returned within the limited area. I’m not sure if they don’t allow you to briefly be outside of that area, but when you are paying a high rate per minute, you’re probably better off using a taxi if you plan to stay at a destination outside the zone anyway. This is similar to round trip carsharing, where you pay for the time reserved, so for longer trips out of the city, getting a standard car rental for the weekend is likely going to be cheaper.



    I haven’t seen a study on the impacts of one-way systems like this, but round trip carsharing reduces car ownership by a factor of 15 in most cities. If anything, having more options that cost less than car ownership is likely to only free up parking.


    Doug G.

    I get that. But since they will take “precious” parking spaces from “real” New Yorkers, I’m wondering what input, if any, CBs will want in the process.



    They are “placed” where the last user leaves them.


    Doug G.

    Will the placement of these cars have to go through a community board approval process? Edit: I mean, I know they don’t get dedicated spaces, but since they will start showing up on Brooklyn Streets, will CBs want to or be asked to offer their input?



    Now go to any other country. Even developing-world cities like Mexico City and Sao Paulo put the MTA to shame, to say nothing of Singapore or Hong Kong or Seoul.



    except, compared to essentially 100% of the rest of the country. MTA offers better overnight service than many other big cities offer at peak hour.


    Tal F.

    What about car trips from Manhattan to Brooklyn, or vice versa? What about commuting cross-town in areas far from the relatively few cross-town subway lines? These trips can still be rather cumbersome without a car.



    “…where transit coverage is superb…”

    Not sure it’s accurate to refer to any aspect of the MTA as “superb.”



    Very interesting.

    Regarding parking at meters: assuming another user takes the car shortly after it’s parked in a meter zone, that seems reasonable. If not, then we have a problem. But the problem is only as big as the number of Car2Go cars in the service area.

    Another thing: many commercial streets with metered parking also have daily street sweeping. According to the 24-hour rule, those spots would be off limits. Will Car2Go users be able to park in those spots?



    This should be viewed with extreme skepticism by the livable streets community. It appears to be a big set-back from the rational parking policies introduced under ParkSmart. Metering curb parking is foremost for encouraging turnover to make more spots available to reduce danger and delay from double parking and cruising. It will exacerbate parking problems to have Car2Go vehicles in any metered spots in which they park longer than other parkers. What matters is turnover, not whether a car rental company pays DOT the going — artificially low meter rate. If DOT is stupidly intent on eliminating the connection between curb metering and parking availability, and is essentially privatizing curbside parking, it should at least auction off the curbside spots. What might Zip, Avis, and Hertz pay?



    10 then? 5? Just about anything is better than queuing up until the last possible second.

    (Doesn’t Amtrak have a few dedicated platforms anyway?)



    15 minutes before a train arrives? For a decent chunk of the day another train is going to use the platform in that time.