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  1.  

    MatthewEH

    Is the victim now dead? Headline just says critically injured as of its writing.

  2.  

    Ferdinand Cesarano

    Because then you stir up the local idiot goofballs who’d characterise that as making “sitting ducks” out of people waiting for the bus. Those people would only add to the retrograde element that opposes using street space for anything but cars.

    So, my assumption is that curbside placement of a bus lane is an easier (better to call it “less difficult”) sell, as there is one less layer of moron to get through.

  3.  

    MatthewEH

    What’s the official Streetsblog-reader-on-the-street position on cycling in bus lanes, btw?

    My office is now in a building stretching from 22nd Street to 23rd Street (we just moved this weekend from 19th Street). Coming west from the greenway, the best way to approach it is now often 23rd Street, though I switch to 22nd by 7th Ave to get to the service entrance properly. Coming away, the best way to go westbound is clearly 23rd Street, at least from the building to 8th Ave, if not further.

    At least it’s the clear winner in this new world where the outside lane is a bus lane and usually clear.

    I’m always conscientious about whether there are buses in the lane, and I take care not to obstruct them. (Usually, this would mean passing them at a juncture just before they’d pick up some speed; otherwise, I’m just much faster than the buses usually are, often by a factor of 2.) Clearly it’d be a problem if there were Greenway, Kent Ave, or Flushing Ave levels of bike traffic on this road, but there aren’t; just the odd cyclist here and there, including yours truly. Is this morally defensible riding?

    I understand it is ticketable behavior, and I’d certainly take my lumps if I were ticketed for it.

  4.  

    Andrew

    You seem to be the one with the swollen ego (and I’m not even a cyclist).

  5.  

    nanter

    I don’t know about that. I’ve parked a bicycle outside for about three years now. I have pretty much everything locked down on it, but the brake pads could be removed. One day I came out of the apartment to use it and thankfully I noticed that the brake pads were gone!

    I also parked my girlfriend’s bike outside. I had locked everything down including the seat post but had not yet gotten to the saddle clamp. Well, someone came along and unbolted the saddle clamp and stole the saddle. Not like it was a great saddle either.

    This happened on the UES.

    If you park a bike outside, you’d have better invested in a very high quality lock and lock down every component on the bike you don’t want to disappear. Otherwise it will.

  6.  

    mfs

    The construction for the Jay Street lane was causing a huge backup this morning that led to turning, stuck trucks blocking every entrance to the protected N/B lane. A temporary condition, hopefully? I’m personally skeptical that this design does anything in the actual pain points on Jay Street, but hope that it works out.

    This is such a promising corridor to ban private parking and driving from.

  7.  

    ahwr

    Get a cheap bike ($50) whenever you run into a store. You’ll find that bike theft/vandalism isn’t nearly as big a concern as you think it is. You’re the equivalent of the suburban guy that won’t come to NYC because they’re afraid they’ll get mugged or murdered. Sure it happens, it’s just a massively overblown concern. You’ve said you walk a few miles for errands. Worst that happens is you’re out a cheap bike, a good lock, and you have to walk a trip you would have walked anyway.

  8.  

    J

    Why can’t DOT figure out what the rest of the world already knows: curbside and offset bus lanes are ineffective, as people park in them to make right turns, deliveries, drop-offs and pick-ups. It’s bad design. Put the damn bus lanes in the middle and add a mountable curb. Yes it costs a little more, but the greater expensive is more than offset by the actual improvement in speed and reliability from an effective dedicated bus lane.

  9.  

    ahwr

    No, signs should be used for bike parking — saves space. Another example is the protective bars around the street trees in Germany. They double as bike parking.

    Sounds nice in theory, but is dependent on signs and protective bars having been placed in a manner that allows bicycles to be locked to them without obstructing pedestrian traffic. I don’t think that’s a reasonable assumption to make.

    Why try to cheap out on this? Have the city conduct a block by block bike parking study, come up with a way to mark signs and other fixed objects where it’s acceptable to lock bikes, and remove car parking at corners to install bike corrals where more bike parking is needed.

  10.  

    Cramped Quarters

    I’ve lived in situations where it’s impossible to bring a bike inside. Three roommates, tiny rooms, small living room. Our landlord didn’t allow bikes in the hallway.

    Outdoor bike parking was our only option! And that’s just for roommates.

    Providing outdoor bike parking means that families with multiple generations under one roof can all rely on a bicycle for transportation. Many of my neighbors wouldn’t be able to fit bicycles inside.

  11.  

    rao

    What about the mounds of rusted locks that pile up around the bases of bike racks? DSNY never seems to remove those.

  12.  

    ddartley

    Anyone have commentary/observations on how Shared Streets went? Didn’t get to Summer Streets at all this year, was especially interested in finding out how the Shared Streets experiment downtown went. Perfectly fine, I bet! Am especially interested in hearing about driver behavior (if any drivers even bothered entering the area).

  13.  

    Joe R.

    I seriously can’t believe all that many people leave their bike chained outside on a public sidewalk when they’re not using it. Putting aside the high probability of theft or vandalism, the bike rusts away doing that. I know NYC apartments are often tiny, but they have ceiling-mount bike racks. Any bike I care about would get stored inside, either in my residence, or a secure, locked storage area.

  14.  

    Bernard Finucane

    No, signs should be used for bike parking — saves space. Another example is the protective bars around the street trees in Germany. They double as bike parking.

    That said, I agree that stray bikes should be cleared away quickly. They are a nuisance.

  15.  

    Ollie Oliver

    Strictly enforcing a ban on locking to street signs would effectively mean there is almost no legal place to lock your bike in NYC. By your interpretation of the rules, all of NYC has to share the 3 racks within a block of Bryant park as one example.

  16.  

    Shemp

    That’s what the tagging period is for. Plus let’s not debate incredible scenarios where the City arrives at the site of a damaged bike within hours of the damage occurring

  17.  

    AnoNYC

    Not enough bicycle parking to ban locking to street signs.

  18.  

    Julia

    That would be too strict – imagine, for example, you went out of town for a few days with your bike locked in public (because millions of New Yorkers don’t have bike parking inside their building, or live in high-floor walk-ups, or simply don’t have space to bring a bike into their apartment). If some idiot backed their car into your bike, damaging it, the city could potentially junk your bike before you had a chance to get to it. That would be a perfectly repairable bike lost to you.

  19.  

    DMH

    Reduce it to just one criteria in order to remove. Why wait for the bike to deteriorate? Also add the following test, attached to government sign. I believe it is illegal to attach to road signs and structures anyway.

  20.  

    Joe R.

    You’re looking at things from an extremely narrow perspective—namely one where all workers are interchangeable cogs in a wheel. This may have applied back when large numbers of people worked in manufacturing but it’s no longer true. People have increasingly diverse job functions, even those with the same title. A one size fits all union or union contract can’t possibly be of much use. More often than not more people are hurt rather than helped by union membership.

    Here’s some reading about why unions in the traditional sense are less and less relevant these days:

    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2015/04/14/Why-78-Million-Millennials-Are-Choosing-Non-Union-Jobs

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/06/unnecessary-and-political-why-unions-are-bad-for-america/258405/

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/11/us/union-power-analysis/

    http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-trouble-with-public-sector-unions

    http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2011/03/08/5_reasons_unions_are_bad_for_america

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2014-02-19/is-the-u-s-better-off-without-unions-

    Nowadays something like works councils described in the last article seem to make the most sense. They give workers a united voice in their company, but at the same time they generally don’t collect dues or get involved in politics.

    Another good model is one where workers are all part owners of a company. They don’t get pay or benefits in the strict sense, but rather get a share of the profits each year. That gives both workers and management a common goal. It’s actually how I would run a company if I needed workers.

  21.  

    Ferdinand Cesarano

    A vanishingly small percentage of individual workers have enough clout to force improvements at a company simply by threatening to leave. To suggest this as a broad-based solution hints at your being rather seriously out of touch with realities beyond your own circumstances. Collective strength is workers’ only strength. Unions have been, are, and always will be the only means by which justice in the workplace can be achieved.

    The American working class has indeed let this slip to a dangerous extent; and virtually all of us are suffering the consequences — even those of us who are lucky enough to still be represented by a union. Without the ability to act collectively, workers’ interests (and, therefore, the interests of the general society in terms of safety and in terms of distribution of wealth) get trounced; and it’s just a race to the bottom for working conditions and compensation.

    Furthermore, a company’s government contract is not a perpetual guarantee. When the period of a contract is up, any given company may or may not meet the requirements for the next round of contracts.

  22.  

    Joe R.

    Lots of problems with that sort of reasoning. For starters, suppose a company’s only business is contracting for government. And suppose the government suddenly inserts this rule about requiring unions. Furthermore, let’s suppose the workforce is happy with things as they are (as hard as it seems to be for you to believe, some ununionized workers are quite happy with their situations). At that point the company has two alternatives—go out of business, or force something upon their workers which they don’t want. And while we’re at this, would the government consider an in-house union sufficient to meet its criteria, or do the workers have to join one of the big national labor unions? An “in-house” union might not be so bad. The workers just sign a paper saying they’re in the union. The union doesn’t even need to perform any functions beyond that, or collect dues. But my guess is big government types will only be satisfied if workers join one of the major unions, aka rackets, like the Teamsters. And have their pockets picked for dues and fees every paycheck.

    American workers have voted with their feet against unionization, at least the big, intrusive kind. As strange as it may seem to you, workers can put pressure on their employers for a better deal. I did that several times. If their terms aren’t met, they’re free to go to another employer who meets their terms.

    As for safety, it’s pretty hard these days for companies to skirt things like OSHA regulations. I’ve already suggested one way NYC can ensure sanitation trucks are driven safely. In fact, nowadays with hidden cameras it’s pretty hard for employers to get away with major safety violations, unions or not.

    Another point is that a rule requiring unionization likely violates contract law. When I enter into a contract with anybody for a good or service only two things concern me as a customer—the price and what the contractor agrees to do for that price. Their internal labor arrangements aren’t my concern, nor am I legally privy to them. The same applies if the customer is the government. I’ll bet one day the Supreme Court finds government contracts requiring union labor unconstitutional. The latitude for abuse here is staggering. I’m sure the politicians who pass laws like this get kickbacks from the unions just for starters.

  23.  

    ahwr

    Also ~75% of reported injuries.

  24.  

    Ferdinand Cesarano

    And a government has a right to limit its search for contractors only to those companies which meet that government’s criteria. One criterion could be that the company have a unionised workforce. As stated by @chekpeds:disqus, unionisation correlates with improved safety; so a government would have a good policy reason to espouse this condition.

  25.  

    bolwerk

    You haven’t even told me what you mean by “FRNs”!

  26.  

    bolwerk

    Why not? You say this currency would “float,” so that would imply what foreign goods you can buy in other currencies and what domestic manufacturers export would by definition be subject to constantly fluctuating currency prices. Those fluctuations could be limited, but they could not be eliminated.

  27.  

    ItsEasyBeingGreen

    So 1/3 of people killed by big bad drivers were also in cars?

    I suspect that a more inclusively messaged Vision Zero free of bike/ped identity politics could have been a lot more successful. After all, people in cars are the largest percentage beneficiaries of most street changes that I have seen data for (such as all of the protected bike lanes).

  28.  

    Vooch

    NYC import – export ratio would not change one tiny bit if NYC were independent and used FRNs as a medium of exchange

  29.  

    Vooch

    the 700 car parking garage in Brooklyn will cost more than $100,000 per car storage space and 50 housing units will be destroyed. All via government theft

  30.  

    Vooch

    Just use FRNs

  31.  

    bolwerk

    I wasn’t trying to say there was anything terribly wrong with bitcoin, or other cryptocurrency, as an idea, but as a basis for a national currency that kind of instability would be brutal. Exporting would be difficult and risky for merchants. But set that aside and consider it’s an even bigger problem in a country that would not have the physical resources to produce its own commodities. If, say, a large economy like India or Argentina has a currency subject to large exchange rate swings, its citizens aren’t going to suffer as much because they buy many basic needs domestically; their farmers out in the country will still accept their currency. An independent New York would need to import a lot of basic resources. Even places like Hong Kong and Singapore are faced with that dilemma, which is a major reason why they try to keep their (IIRC free floating) currencies stable.

    And you just can’t ignore that a lot, not all but a lot, of our prosperity is dependent on us being national and international brokers for securities denominated in dollars. That could be overcome, perhaps, but it can’t be disregarded. Firms that want to engage in trade with the rest of the USA would need to buy dollars and hold them on reserve.

  32.  

    Joe R.

    The safety issue can easily be tackled by perhaps requiring any companies bidding for zones to require cameras and speed recording devices on their trucks. If an incident occurs, those recordings would be pulled. If they don’t exist, the company would be heavily fined. And the city would reserve the right to randomly pull recordings even if no incidents occur just to ensure the trucks are being operated safely. Those things would end the incentives for companies to give drivers routes which they can only complete on time by driving recklessly.

    We shouldn’t be using zoned bidding as a back-door way to increase unionization. In fact, having union requirements for workers engaged in government contracts may well be unconstitutional.

  33.  

    Joe R.

    https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/why-bitcoin-value-doesnt-matter/

    I’m not saying bitcoin is the best answer here, only that I’m not seeing the lack of a dollar in a hypothetical independent NYC as all that big of a showstopper. There are a bunch of reasons why financial firms might not choose to leave. One of them could be that overall tax levels would drop quite a bit once we no longer had to support federal or state governments.

  34.  

    CHEKPEDS

    in the construction industry, safety is much much higher in companies using union workers. there are training on safety etc.. I think it is a good idea all around .

  35.  

    bolwerk

    I can come up with more if you want, but the chart on the right is one very damn good reason not to even consider bitcoin.

  36.  

    bolwerk

    Not sure what you mean by FRNs. Federal reserve notes? I guess we could in theory make our own currency similar to the USA’s, but the USA has the advantage of being a massive economy with the most trusted currency in the world. To sell US$-denominated products, we’d need to buy reserves of US dollars, and that by itself is risk exposure we currently don’t have. Not saying it’s impossible to overcome, but I would not call it “trivial.” Floating rate notes? AIUI those are bonds and they are typically based on baseline money market rate like LIBOR.

  37.  

    bolwerk

    There’s a fairly good chance they’re not leaving, and at least for now educated opinion the subject seems to be that they are not going to leave the single market either way – and that, in turn, means they will probably keep free movement.

    However, so far, doom-and-gloom predictions have not shown many signs of coming to pass (that article is from June 25). The worst damage so far seems to be the weakened pound, and that may have been a blessing in disguise if it boosted exports.

    Ironically, much of London’s current advantage over New York may be traceable to Sarbanes-Oxley.

  38.  

    bolwerk

    Hmm, I know NYS had to pass legislation to explicitly permit the S89, but if political will is mustered for the kind of bonds and eminent domain a 7-to-Secaucus requires, I’d guess that a clause making it legal to operate would be easy enough to insert somewhere in the legislation. I’ve seen the FRA issue raised before. WMATA may be instructive, but it’s also an explicit federal creation(?), so maybe it’s not instructive because the feds obviously can create their own rules. Regardless of the FRA, I suppose it’s conceivable that interstate operation creates additional exposure to federal authority/oversight. But I don’t see why taxation could be a problem.

    Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t assuming the integration would be financially a wash, but at least it’s easy to quantify how it could be (barring new problems anyway, like worsening rush hour crowding). Most fare hikes seem to be because of pretty predictable cost increases for the agency, so it indeed rarely makes sense to lower fares unless a big cost-saving measure occurs or more financial support comes from the government.

  39.  

    bbqr0ast

    3 tons per vehicle?

    Probably the issue of a number of vehicles sitting in traffic next to each other (ie similar weight of a old train I’d guess), or hitting the structure at high speed.

  40.  

    ahwr

    given how much more money we send out of the city than we get

    How much of that comes from the financial industry, and how many of those jobs would remain in your independent NYC?

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-a-brexit-could-kill-london-as-a-top-financial-hub-2016-06-01

    The U.K. exit from the European Union risks costing the City of London billions of pounds, thousands of workers and its spot as the world’s top financial center.

  41.  

    Ross Guthrie

    Since pricing is left in check by competition, what would it look like with no competition? What would be the driver in keeping the prices down if the hauler is a de facto monopoly?

  42.  

    Vooch

    Bitcoin even better than FRNs

  43.  

    Andrew

    Is it your concern that crossing state lines would place the NYCTA under FRA authority? There is at least precedent for rapid transit crossing state lines with the DC Metro.

    I honestly don’t know what effect it would have. FRA issues? Taxation issues? Union issues? Other legal issues? To what extent is the New York City Transit Authority permitted by state law to operate in New Jersey? (As I hinted, this wouldn’t be its first foray into New Jersey – the S89 bus serves Bayonne and several express buses run nonstop through New Jersey – but there might be different issues when it comes to subway service.)

    Seems to me with free transfers to/from PATH, the cost to honor each other’s fares as transfers might at least be a wash if it induces more rides to each system than use the transfer already.

    It always sounds nice to assume that a transit agency can make up for a fare reduction with newly induced ridership (but without raising expenses in order to handle the ridership increase), but it doesn’t often work out that way in practice. That’s why transit agencies periodically raise fares and rarely lower them. (Fare drops are typically politically motivated and, even when they’re a good idea, they’re costly to the agency.)

  44.  

    Joe R.

    Or even bitcoin. I’m not seeing it as a big issue, either.

  45.  

    Vooch

    a independent NYC could easily use FRN as a medium of exchange. it’s a trivial issue

  46.  

    Chicken Underwear

    Two years, three months and two weeks ago I walked into my doctor’s office and was told to go to the hospital because I had Guillain-Barré syndrome. Yesterday, I just walked 9 miles. http://whatyourdonotknowbecauseyouarenotme.blogspot.com/2016/08/perfect-timing.html

  47.  

    Vooch

    developers also love current zoning restrictions – it makes their project super valuable

    blanket upzone entire city 2x and NYrs will finally see housing prices drop to realistic levels

  48.  

    bolwerk

    Really cheap micro-transit would be possible that way. “The bus” could be a 6-seat van or something.

    Hopefully that finally breaks the unspoken proscription against operator-free transit. Rail could probably have begun being reliably operator-free in the 1970s.

    Ironic bonus: BRT worshippers would finally have a plausibly credible case that BRT is cheaper than light rail! Though, being operator-less, both could see their costs drop significantly.

  49.  

    bolwerk

    Is it your concern that crossing state lines would place the NYCTA under FRA authority? There is at least precedent for rapid transit crossing state lines with the DC Metro.

    Seems to me with free transfers to/from PATH, the cost to honor each other’s fares as transfers might at least be a wash if it induces more rides to each system than use the transfer already. Assuming it induces riders, I would expect they’d be induced with approximately a 1 PATH ride to 1 subway ride ratio* because most trips would involve a return trip.

    * accountants could work out the details, like how much revenue goes to PATH for using an NYCTA unlimited on PATH. Plus the agency with the higher fares could always charge and keep the difference between the two fares when a transfer occurs.

  50.  

    bolwerk

    Having men with middling IQs, arbitrary power, and guns walking around looking for problems raises, uh, issues. Where they come from is one tree in the forest.