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    Why can’t cones or a couple of cops split the marchers around a 6 foot wide median for a few steps? Its not about the floats, but the people marching alongside. The stench of dead fish permeates this entire matter.



    Whoa, that’s a little unfair. The city of New York does not engage in city planning by any reasonable definition of the term.



    Years of advocacy and public debate and process wiped away in an instant via a backroom deal. How can you possibly trust such an institution to do what they say?



    1000 pedestrians an hour crossing streets

    I meant the combined number crossing Northern between arterials, say in the half mile between Francis Lewis and Utopia. Not at any given street.

    If we want significant bike usage

    Some of those people will switch to bikes but most will switch to buses

    The volume of cyclists isn’t going to be high

    Most of the time [the bike lane]’s empty

    The bike lane could move over 1000 people an hour at comfortable levels, perhaps over 3000 an hour at capacity.

    Make up your mind. You want people to bike, but few will so the bike lane will be easy to cross, but the six foot bike lane could handle a bike going by almost every second?

    Many of the lights where arterials intersect with minor streets are there only to allow pedestrians to cross.

    And when a car is stopped next to the bike lane visibility is poor, cyclists have to slow to 5 mph, sometimes less, and prepare to stop for the pedestrians they can’t see behind the stopped cars.

    Also, it’s not just average speeds which matter. It’s the fact that biking and repeatedly stopping is strenuous and unpleasant.

    That problem doesn’t go away when you get rid of traffic lights if you aren’t also getting rid of cross traffic, pedestrians included. Ride at a moderate pace instead of going all out and the issue is reduced dramatically.

    Look what you wrote elsewhere:

    I also feel “mixed use” paths need to disappear yesterday in crowded cities. The fact they might work fine in some backwater doesn’t make them a good idea in crowded cities.

    It’s the same thing with uncontrolled crossings. They don’t work well at high traffic levels, even if they work great in small dutch towns. If the bike lane gets enough use to be worth putting in then it’ll have enough cyclists using it for conflict with turning vehicles and cross traffic, pedestrians included, to be substantial. If it’s barely used then it’s not worth putting in, the space would be better used for transit, expanded sidewalks, or even auto lanes/parking. And improvements to the nearby side streets would be a better way to accommodate the small number of cyclists.


    dave "paco" abraham

    @akidinafrica:disqus used the phrase “cycling faggot” in only 5 of 6 tweets. Wonder why he/she missed one during their ramble of idiocy.


    Disqus NYC

    I saw three EMS/ambulance vehicles on Wyckoff Avenue between Myrtle and Gates Avenue within a ten minute period heading to the hospital on Stockholm Street. The city wants to change this? I wonder if the DOT ever spent ten minutes looking at this intersection? Can’t do it from an office in New York.


    walks bikes drives

    Oh man, I totally missed that the driver followed a law. No criminality suspected! There are so many laws about driving out there, who could expect everyone to know them. Especially since so many of them aren’t real. Next you are going to hear drivers will have to start taking classes and actually be expected to pass a test before they can exercise their God given right to drive a car.


    dave "paco" abraham

    Either the mayor doesn’t believe in his own Vision Zero program or there is gross mismanagement at DOT… or more likely BOTH are true. Either way, stuff like and last week’s mess in Marine Park makes me think DOT is actually it’s own worst enemy. Really hard to trust their intent much at all anymore. #ExasperatedAdvocate



    I dunno. The article made it sound like they were dumping them, but I long ago learned to take NYT articles on transportation with a grain of salt.

    It would make perfect sense to use them in on other routes. Guess there aren’t many options though. The electrification thing. Overall they’re even nice trains.



    Come on, isn’t it good enough that the driver complied with one law? You can’t seriously expect a driver to comply with everything, can you?


    Doug G.

    It is outrageous that the precedent never works the other way. If someone dies on a street, DOT doesn’t make it safer overnight without community consultation. It still takes years.


    walks bikes drives

    They were also quick to point out that the car was parked legally, but not quick to point out that the driver opening the door is legally at fault.



    plenty of middle class people take cabs.
    plenty of poor people take cabs.
    Not every day, but occasionally, or even regularly.
    an 5 mile cab ride will set one back, what? $20?
    Thats a few hundred yards in a pedicab.
    They are not even remotely the same thing.


    Larry Littlefield

    All that is required is to fence off the part of the park inside the roadway and ban people from going there by crossing the road.



    To be fair, sometimes they include two or even three ped islands/bulbouts in the same proposal. At this rate, assuming they don’t keep removing them, there should be comprehensive high quality pedestrian treatment citywide by the year 2100.


    Eric McClure

    I get that the West Indian Day Parade is a big deal. But the idea that the floats can’t just go around the islands, or straddle them, is ridiculous. This sets a terrible precedent.


    Joe R.

    Just note there’s a major difference between the way the NYPD treats cyclists and pedestrians. It’s certainly true both are routinely blamed for their own deaths, regardless of what the driver was doing. The difference is that the NYPD typically responds to cyclist deaths with a ticket blitz—on cyclists. And they regularly set up dragnets to ticket cyclists as well. Obviously neither of these things helps much with safety.

    The point here isn’t that I want a jaywalking blitz whenever a pedestrian gets killed. Rather, I want any enforcement efforts done fairly. Yes, give pedestrians a free pass for jaywalking if they’re not cutting off cyclists or motorists. Yes, do the same thing for jaybikers. However, ticket dangerous, loutish behavior be either party when warranted. Cyclists rightly complain about ticket blitzes in places like Central Park where cyclists get a summons for passing an empty red light, but pedestrians can cross against the light all day long in front of bikes without so much as a glance from the police.

    I’m not 100% sure enforcement would stop all unpredictable behavior, but it might at least get people to think about what they’re doing.

    I also feel “mixed use” paths need to disappear yesterday in crowded cities. The fact they might work fine in some backwater doesn’t make them a good idea in crowded cities. You can’t legislate or enforce something most people are lacking, namely common sense.


    Ferdinand Cesarano

    This is wonderful. When you include the bike lanes parallel to Queens Boulevard on 43rd and Skillman Avenues, we now have an all-bike-lane route from Manhattan all the way to Woodhaven Boulevard.

    The only problem is eastbound at 65th Street. There the cars from the centre roadway have an exit to the service road, crossing the bike lane. There is a signal that alternately stops the cars exiting from the centre roadway and the bikes in the bike lane. (The light does not cover the cars on the service road.)

    The problem is that bicyclists don’t stop at this light. Every time I am stopped there, I see other bicyclists just zooming through, not even slowing down. This is a spot where cyclists’ unfortunate default inclination to blow lights could really have some tragic consequences. I don’t say this lightly: I am afraid that someone is going to get killed there.

    Anyway, each cyclist will decide whether or not to follow the the rules. When used correctly, this bike lane changes the nature of riding in Queens.


    Elizabeth F

    I’ve been wondering that too. The Amtrak copy claims these trains are “30% lighter” and “20% more efficient.” Which would mean they have made them lighter, but probably not with an FRA waiver.

    I’m also wondering if they’ll manage to NOT build these trainsets 4″ too wide, which had disastrous effects on the NYC-BOS travel time of the current Acelas (American Flyers).

    I agree… why do the American Flyers need replacing, when the old Amfleet is still doing just fine? I get the sense the American Flyers are a white elephant. But it looks like these will only be marginally better:



    The situation:

    Simon didn’t know what someone was doing, he was concerned and dinged his bell to try to chase the person out of the way. This was ineffective, and because he didn’t slow down initially (perhaps compounded by limited bike handling skills), he wasn’t in a position to stop safely, tried to panic stop, and crashed.

    An analogous situation could be you’re biking on northern, a driver sees you apparently swerving around nothing and honks, but doesn’t slow down. Because the driver chose to maintain his speed, and you responded to the horn by swerving back and forth in a panic, the driver was left in a situation where he was unable to avoid a crash. If he crashes into you, if he slams on the brakes and gets rear ended, if he swerves and crashes into someone else, he would absolutely be partially responsible for the resulting injuries/damages.

    Or put another way, if we’re going to hold pedestrians blameless

    I never said the person Simon crashed while swerving to avoid was innocent or blameless. Merely that Simon was not innocent or blameless. As described, he was partially responsible for his injury.

    Heck, why not give me a free pass to fly through red lights without looking or slowing down, and blame the motorists if the hit me because they choose not to yield to me?

    If there is an intersection where a driver would have time to stop for you when you run a red, but instead just blares his horn when he sees you, then the driver would share responsibility for the crash he could have avoided. Just because you could have avoided the crash too does not make him innocent. How do you feel when NYPD casts all blame for a crash on a pedestrian or cyclist for doing something illegal with no mention of what the driver was doing wrong?

    However, at the same time it’s not unreasonable to expect adults aren’t suddenly going to decide to scoot 15 feet over on a whim.

    It’ll happen from time to time. When it does, slow down or swerve to avoid a crash as appropriate. Don’t maintain your speed and blare a horn/bell.


    Joe R.

    It’s more a combination of unable to and not seeing much point. Cabs are actually slower than the subway most hours of the day. They’re not fast enough even off hours to make them worthwhile to me given how much they cost compared to subway fare.

    The poor certainly don’t use cabs or car services on any kind of regular basis. For a lot of the working poor, the subway fare takes a big bite out of their income.



    Come on, she probably did that once. Let’s not get carried away with the news quote from some random person on the street and think that this is something people generally do.


    Joe R.

    OK, but now let’s try the same thing but with cyclists and motorists. If I ride my bike on, say, Northern Blvd. and decide I feel like weaving back and forth across both lanes of traffic whenever I get the urge, do you consider it the motorist’s fault if they fail to slow down and crash into me, or mine for riding like a mentally handicapped 5-year old?

    Or put another way, if we’re going to hold pedestrians blameless for erratic, unpredictable behavior when they know better then why not extend that to cyclists who behave likewise among motorists? Heck, why not give me a free pass to fly through red lights without looking or slowing down, and blame the motorists if they hit me because they choose not to yield to me?

    So long as we’re talking about adult pedestrians, it’s not too much to ask that they not act like children. I don’t expect either pedestrians or slower cyclists to tow an arrow straight line. That’s why I give them a wide berth when passing (or slow down if I can’t). However, at the same time it’s not unreasonable to expect adults aren’t suddenly going to decide to scoot 15 feet over on a whim. Or if they do, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask them to look to see if it’s clear. I expect erratic behavior from young children and animals. I act accordingly around them. Dogs especially can be very unpredictable. Older children and adults I expect to behave at least semi-predictably when they’re in mixed company. That applies whether they’re on foot, on skateboards, on bikes, etc. Keep in a reasonably straight line. If you want to move over have the courtesy to at least look before doing so.

    If I wanted to assign blame in the instance Simon described, I’m putting 90% on the pedestrian and 10% on him. I’m not even sure slowing down would have helped. The person might have moved into his path when he was 5 feet away, once again not giving him all that many options.



    Just because you are not willing to pay for a cab does not mean you cannot afford to take one. There are plenty of livery cab services based in and serving traditionally poorer areas of the the city.



    Yes, that’s why my point is that it’s safest to slow down in the situations when many just turn to their horn/bell to try to chase someone out of their way. Simon chose not to slow down and crashed as a result.



    A situation analogous to the one he described that led to his crash would be one where the driver decided not to slow down upon seeing the pedestrian step out, and instead decided to just honk his horn and try to chase the person out of the way, then at the last moment swerve out of the way in a panic and cause a crash. The driver, and Simon on his bike, could have slowed down. By deciding not to, they contributed to an avoidable crash.



    POST: ““We are looking at ­potential replacement treatments in the area and for the long term,” said DOT spokesman Scott Gastel, who refused to address questions about the cost of installation — and removal — of the barriers.”

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is what corruption sounds like.



    DOT hosts a series of public meetings to install EACH and EVERY ped island, but there is ZERO public process for removing them. This is the current state of Vision Zero in NYC.


    Simon Phearson

    You weren’t riding in a prudent manner.

    Kindly fuck off.


    Joe R.

    I’m all for converting one of the highway lanes for permanent use by bikes. Obviously this would need a separate set of on-off ramps but in the interests of fairness I think it’s an appropriate thing to do. Car highways are mostly useless to NYC residents who don’t own cars. At least devoting part of them to bikes makes them somewhat useful to more city residents.


    Joe R.

    My point is in Brooklyn or Queens the alternative (driving) is faster the biking. In Manhattan it usually isn’t. That’s why you have more bike usage in Manhattan. If we want significant bike usage in the outer boroughs then we have to make it closer in speed to the alternatives. Also, it’s not just average speeds which matter. It’s the fact that biking and repeatedly stopping is strenuous and unpleasant. Even when you’re only stopping once or twice per mile it’s very annoying.

    In a world without traffic lights but just as many people moving around in private vehicles (bike+car) or on foot when biking I’d have to slow down to 5mph or so every block to check for cross traffic, including pedestrians.

    It’s usually arterials with heavy traffic. Many of the lights where arterials intersect with minor streets are there only to allow pedestrians to cross. In the absence of pedestrians stop or yield signs on the minor street work just fine.

    Now visualize that NYC does things to discourage private car use. Some of those people will switch to bikes but most will switch to buses (or the subway if it exists), particularly for commuting. Buses will suddenly become more attractive given that they won’t be delayed by private cars. Overall the number of vehicles on the arterials will likely drop dramatically, perhaps enough to get rid of traffic signals on at least minor streets altogether, certainly enough to allow cyclists to pass reds. The volume of cyclists isn’t going to be high enough to present an issue to people crossing if they pass reds, nor are you going to have 1000 pedestrians an hour crossing streets except maybe in downtown Jamaica or downtown Flushing. By me even during the day you’re lucky if 100 pedestrians an hour use the crosswalks on arterials.

    Another factor here is you can make streets narrower once most of the users are bikes or buses. A Northern Boulevard redesigned for such a scenario might have (in each direction) a bus lane and a bike lane. Restrict deliveries to late night and the trucks can use the bus lane. They can use the bike lane as a loading zone. Total width goes from 70′ down to maybe 40′. Despite that, you could move more people. A bus lane with buses once a minute could move ~3000 people an hour. The bike lane could move over 1000 people an hour at comfortable levels, perhaps over 3000 an hour at capacity.

    As for crossing, remember about 28′ of this 40′ street is either bus lanes or a buffer. The bus lanes at most have a vehicle every minute, so they don’t represent an obstacle to crossing. The buffers obviously don’t. You just have the 6′ bike lane on each side. Most of the time that’s empty enough so cyclists and pedestrians don’t interfere with each other. There might be brief times when pedestrians leave a bus that you’ll have a surge of people crossing. Big deal. This delays cyclists for about the same amount of time a red light cycle on the old Northern Blvd. configuration would. Most of the rest of the time there are few conflicts. Of course, the one thing missing here is private automobiles. If NYC stops trying to accommodate private autos, then it can improve things dramatically for everyone else.


    Bernard Finucane

    It’s funny how in “bad neighborhoods” in America the public infrastructure is bad. Corruption is the only possible explanation.

    The corollary is that people worry the infrastructure improvements will harm the poor via “gentrification”. Corruption has become so ingrained in American consciousness that people have come to believe that poor people need bad infrastructure so they’ll have a place to live.

    It’s hard to get out of a dead end like this.



    Busy, pedaling about, begriming our neighborhoods and thoroughfares



    Seeing the annoying Eastern Parkway concrete news, nice to see this continued progress. Safe streets for all users!


    Joe R.

    To me blaring a horn or bell is pointless. If it captures a pedestrian’s attention at all, it’s just as likely to cause them to dart unexpected in the opposite direction you want them to go. In fact, the same thing is often said about motorists honking at cyclists. Almost invariably, this causes the cyclist to move into the car’s path.


    Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    Perhaps the next time Bike New York uses highways for either of their NYC rides we can take the opportunity to remove some highway on ramps for cars?





    Kevin Love

    Where is the All-Powerful Bicycle Lobby when we really need it?


    Kevin Love

    The attitude towards the countless thousands it endangers is, “Good enough for the likes of you.”


    Joe R.

    He’s talking about hitting a pedestrian who suddenly darts out from in between parked cars when you’re almost on top of them. In this case, there’s literally nothing the driver can do.



    While I agree that cabs are not an option for most people for daily trips, they are used by plenty of non-rich people for some trips, and are in a completely different league than pedicabs in terms of price. The cab equivalent of the $50 pedicab trip mentioned above might cost $10. It depends on conditions of course, but consider that the marginal rate for taxis in slow traffic is $0.50 / min, while pedicabs typically charge $3-$5 / min.



    Cross street green + the occasional turn phase isn’t a 60 second red for traffic on northern. Probably closer to half that. You don’t hit every light biking on the street, there are only lights every 3 blocks typically. Your memory from trying it briefly decades ago is flawed or inapplicable to the situation on the ground today. Riding at a moderate pace I can average about 8-12 mph around Queens and Brooklyn depending on route/time stopping at lights during the day without exerting myself too much. Pushing myself it usually doesn’t get over 12 mph, maybe 14 mph if a lot of the route was on a greenway, because I get caught at a lot of the same lights or the next one down to let cross traffic go. So I ride at a moderate pace. 8-12 mph is far faster than walking. With traffic lights/stopping for cars and bikes that don’t yield to me in the crosswalk walking is only about 2-3mph anyway. Get a beater bike and use it for errands, riding at a moderate pace, it’ll save you time if you take a good route and you won’t have to wait for the city to install a network of viaducts. This is a big city with a lot of people. In a world without traffic lights but just as many people moving around in private vehicles (bike+car) or on foot when biking I’d have to slow down to 5mph or so every block to check for cross traffic, including pedestrians. I’m not sure that would end up any faster.


    Joe R.

    Pretty much the same thing is true of taking a regular cab. Cabs and car services are something which exists mostly for the upper middle class and the wealthy. Regular middle class people can’t afford to take them on a regular basis. Last time I rode a cab was over a decade ago, and then only because the person I was working for paid for it.


    Joe R.

    So then that just bolsters my case for a bike viaduct. To me the primary issue with putting one on Northern Blvd. (or most other NYC arterials) would be cost. Aesthetics are mostly moot because these are ugly commercial streets anyway. In fact, properly done a bike viaduct could enhance the street, shelter sidewalks (if built over them), carry utility lines and street lights, etc.

    You’re exaggerating the number of lights that exist, and how often you hit them if you’re on a bike too.

    It’s not just the lights. Cyclists in a protected bike lane would be delayed by turning vehicles, pedestrians intruding into the bike lane, probably delivery trucks unloading, and so forth. That means missing lots of lights a cyclist might otherwise make at their normal riding speed. I’ve ridden Northern Blvd. at peak times. Back when I was a strictly law-abiding cyclist, I often couldn’t go more than 3 blocks without hitting a light. Figure maybe 40 seconds to travel 3 blocks. By the time I’m up to speed I’m hitting a light just as it’s flipping from yellow to red. Slam on the brakes, wait 60 seconds, repeat every three or four blocks. About 100 seconds to go 3 blocks, which equates to a whopping average speed of 5.4 mph. It’s not much slower for me to walk, which is partially an answer as to why I often walk errands rather than bike them.

    Back when I used to religiously stop for red lights, it was difficult to get average speeds higher than about 10 mph no matter what routes I took. This was when my area had perhaps 1/3 the number of traffic signals it has now. The bottom line here is if NYC won’t reduce the number of traffic signals, won’t let cyclists legally pass reds, or if it’s unfeasible to do either on account of pedestrian volumes, then we need off-street alternatives. Cycling just doesn’t work on city streets as they’re configured now. It’s unpleasant, dangerous, tedious to have to deal with myriad obstacles plus repeated starting and stopping. Bikes don’t work in such environments.



    Ha. Guess what the population at large does? The overwhelming majority drives and does not bike. So if you want all laws to cater to majority, simply outlaw biking. Problem solved.


    Philip Neumann

    And I’ve heard from many cyclists who live in Queens (eastern/middle of Queens chiefly) that it’s quicker for them to take the Williamsburg or Manhattan Bridges to get to work, than to traverse over to the Queensboro and cycle down 2nd Ave.

    Truthfully, I’d like to see the South Outer Roadway given to cyclists, year-round. Very few motorists actually take that entrance on 59th Street in Manhattan (from 1st Ave or York), it’s closed off entirely in the evenings, and the ramp on the Queens-side has been the site of some very serious crashes in recent years. Plus, if it was only for cycling, it dumps right out onto an already marked bike path at 59th.



    Seems like an appropriate reason to file a FOIA request.



    Good point, forgot about the raised path in 2018. I’m nervous since flex delineators just tend to disappear, and I don’t think it’s because of out of control cyclists…



    No specific insight. Maybe, with plans to build out in concrete as a raised bike path in 2018, DOT wants to keep cost of install install down? Also either Qwick Kurb bollards or Jersey barriers, while providing more protection, would be less permeable to bikers entering and exiting the bike lane to access side streets, perhaps DOT was concerned with that?



    I guess the pedicab is an option if you are incapable of walking and have lots of money to throw away. Given their rates, a short ride might cost $50 or more.