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    Yeah, this is a big point…

    Including too much parking is bad for the Return on Investment of developers. They WANT to avoid the parking minimums.

    So if they can avoid the parking minimums by including, say, 20% affordable units, *THEY WILL*. Cheap way for de Blasio to get massive amounts of integrated affordable housing built…



    If you’re a police officer and you “accidentally” shoot innocent bystanders dozens of times, apparently you are *not* held accountable. There are famous examples of this from both LA and NY.

    Of course, this is why most citizens consider the LAPD and NYPD to be dangerous criminals. Because they certainly SHOULD be held accountable. Unfortunately, right now, they aren’t being held accountable.



    First the no parking requirements should apply to all housing that has an affordable component. This would encompass all new housing since we understand that Diblasio is going for a certain percentage of mandatory affordability.
    Second there should be incentives for market portions of the programs to build at a lower parking ratios.
    Third the plan still does not address surface parking that definitely should be banned.



    Ugh, sets a bad precedent.



    Gah, yes, this 15 block section of Broadway is terrible. I’ve never been hit by a car while biking, but my two closest calls in NYC were both on this stretch of Broadway. In both cases traffic on the main roadway was stopped, but the service roadway outside the pillars was clear. I was proceeding slowly in the service road when someone in the main roadway suddenly decided to switch up, abruptly and without looking. Both times.

    I don’t ride it any more — I always make a point of using the designated bike routes on Tibbett Avenue, etc., instead now.

    As an aside, if even just a crossover catwalk could be built that allows access to either side of Broadway from either platform of the 225th Street 1 station, that’d be a tremendous improvement on its own.

    As for the Broadway Bridge, I simply ride there on the sidewalk. Some pedestrians will yap at you as the signs say not to ride there, but most are sympathetic. New York Cycle Club riders agree with this choice: apparently in multiple past rides people have lost control on the grating surface, crashed, and required hospitalization.

    I would imagine the surface is a metal grate to make the roadbed lighter, btw. The bridge (including the elevated 1 train tracks!) is occasionally raised to let large boats through.



    Absolutely. I wonder how speeding rates during hours of ticketing compare to speeding rates the rest of the time.



    I asked DCP’s Kober about that specifically. “While the extent of the subway system is a good measure of where car ownership is relatively low, there are some areas where the car ownership characteristics are more like the areas outside the transit zone,” he said. “We tailored our map to take that into account.”

    Not much of an answer, really.



    At least on the map here (called out in the comments by Larry Littlefield):



    Is Bay Ridge seriously getting omitted from the elimination of parking minimums proposal for affordable units? That’s no good and could repeat itself elsewhere.



    I once heard that this is the approach Volvo took to accidents involving their cars in Sweden back in the 70s and 80s when they were very safety minded when everyone else was not.



    Last week I read on strong towns an idea that we treat every car crash like airlines and governments treat airplane crashes.

    Every airplane crash is an opportunity to analyze what went wrong, and make sure it never happens again.

    It’s not just rolled under the rug as an oppsie.

    So it seems like usually traffic violence is written off as a mistake. What we are advocating for now shifts the blame to the driver.

    What we need to do is make systems that don’t try to shift the blame, but instead make sure traffic violence doesn’t happen.

    I am happy to support criminalizing traffic violence if only that I think it is a stepping stone to realizing accidents aren’t accidents, they are preventable.



    That is why DOT will work closely with communities in [Borough] to expand a bicycle network that improves safety for all road users, including constructing an additional 5 lane miles of protected bike lanes per year

    Some tricky wording IMO, but you are correct. They are working with the community in each Borough in order to do 5 miles of protected lanes citywide each year. The 30 miles total isn’t actually mentioned, my mistake.

    The problem remains: what are the 5 miles for 2015, and is the DOT going to make any progress in creating a connected network for comfortable cycling or are they just adding more tiny green lines to the map? What is the longest distance that someone can bike in this city today while remaining on comfortable streets, other than some Greenways on the waterfronts and in the Bronx?



    Corrected. Thank you.


    Aunt Bike

    Correction please, Joe Borelli of Staten Island is an Assembly member, not a state Senator.

    Worthy to note that he has been making noise lately about red light cameras on


    Liam Griffin

    If your job is to carry a gun, and you accidentally kill or maim somebody with that gun, are you held accountable even if “it was an accident” or you “didn’t see them”?

    How is driving a vehicle any different? Where is the sense of personal responsibility? When are people going to stop calling these things “accidents” instead of “avoidable collisions”?



    Fantastic piece, Ben!

    I’d add one thing: the power of advocates to support DOT has never been stronger. Even in the JSK years, advocates were still seen as a fringe constituency. Today the people who want safe streets, expanded sidewalks, ped plazas, Citi Bike, and bike lanes are just regular New Yorkers. TA, Families for Safe Streets, Make Queens Safer…the advocacy movement is huge.

    Whatever is holding DOT back, it should realize it has the support of far more people than ever before. No one is going to come out to a community board meeting speak up for wide parking lanes, but if DOT proposes big, bold designs, there are plenty of people who will show up in force to help make those designs a reality.



    They didn’t increase the promise. If you read the text of the plans carefully, the mileage targets are always described as part of a citywide total.


    Ben Fried

    Good eye. Fixed it.



    Think you’re missing a word here: “De Blasio has not committed additional city funds to the MTA, which is a state authority whose budget Albany has repeatedly [ed: raided] in recent years.


    Eric McClure

    New York City bus-route maps identify all the turns that drivers have to make. NYC DOT and the MTA can work together to modify routes, if possible, to streamline turning movements, and where it’s not possible, DOT can take steps, such as installing leading pedestrian intervals, to reduce conflicts. This should be a priority for both agencies, and the TWU.



    A driver spent 20 minutes in cuffs for breaking destroying a girl’s life and Pete Donohue is ON IT.



    Any mention of the Move NY plan?



    Is Golden the reason the plan to eliminate parking minimums near subway lines (which is only for non-market housing anyway) excluded Bay Ridge? This guy is single-handedly an anti-urban monster tearing at our fair city.



    I totally agree with this. What is to stop DOT from putting up lots of speed cameras all over NYC and simply mailing non-penalty notices to speeders? “We caught you speeding at this location.”

    Even without the fine, it would send a strong message to drivers that they are being observed and held to some account. I think even without the financial penalty it would compel a lot of NYC drivers to be a lot more careful. Granted, without the fine, this system would cost money. But if you saved some lives and prevented a bunch of crashes, wouldn’t that be worth it?



    Without a huge change I really doubt we will be seeing the 5 miles of protected lanes per year/30 miles of total lanes per year promised by the Commissioner. Not sure why they upped the ante to that mileage PER BOROUGH in the Vision Zero plans, a five-fold increase in promise without any obvious changes in the project pipeline.

    50/50 chance Christie or Jay Street get touched even in a second De Blasio term but they certainly won’t get the quality of infrastructure their auto traffic, bike traffic, or importance to the bike network demand. Likewise they won’t close the gaps on the protected lanes in Midtown, not that most of the existing protected lanes in Manhattan are actually high quality infrastructure anyway. They’re too narrow and functionally a real mess for much of their length.

    Meanwhile the messaging coming from DOT is “look at the percentage increase in cycling from nearly the lowest baseline in the United States!”.



    Even though tickets cannot be issued, the DOT really should operate the cameras 24 hours a day 365 days a year and publish statistics about nighttime, weekend and summer speeding. This would make for some good local news stories.

    They should even go so far as to mail out notices to drivers who are observed to speed outside of the camera operation hours to let them know that they were speeding even if a violation cannot be issued.

    Collecting all of this data would help to push Albany to expand the enforcement hours. I’m not a student, but I want to be protected too.



    Even though tickets can’t be issued, the DOT should operate the cameras 24 hours a day 365 days a year and publish statistics about nighttime, weekend and summer speeding.

    They should even go so far as to mail out notices to drivers who are observed to speed outside of the camera operation hours to let them know that they were speeding even if a violation cannot be issued.



    (Not that Larry needs any of this explained, hah. Just making conversation.)



    This post could’ve been titled “Six Reasons Why Culture is Ready to Eat a Hearty Policy Breakfast.” Is Polly in the kitchen?



    Violated rule of two; probably would’ve gotten second degree murder in NYC
    (on PCP and 60mph on H street NW (that’s like going 60 mph on West 8th Street))



    Meanwhile in DC, a pedestrian was struck by a car and killed, and the driver was charged with second-degree murder:



    Excellent. Someone please forward to de Blasio & Trottenberg. It’s crazy how timid DOT is acting, despite all this political support.


    Eric McClure

    Ben, you’re killing it lately. Great piece and an excellently reasoned call to action.

    cc: NYCDOT, Mayor de Blasio, NYC Council



    Everyone should be in touch with the Bronx DOT to voice their complaints:



    It’s awful, and I reported this intersection a couple of weeks ago. You can easily contact the DOT to ask for improvements:

    Maybe if enough people raise this issue, something will be done about it.



    Further review of images shows the bus labeled as “HASC Transportation Corp”, a likely subsidiary.



    The bus is used (not sure if they are the actual operator) by HASC (Hebrew Academy of Special Children), which deals with mentally handicapped and developmentally disabled. At the time, the bus had twelve passengers that had been moved into a funeral services home during the accident investigation.



    If we have $100 to spend, please let’s not waste our money or our time on more cops and more tickets. Like you, I don’t think it’s very effective.

    Let’s go for broke on better infrastructure, more pedestrian islands, narrower lanes for traffic, more protected bike lanes, etc. We know for sure that stuff makes a real difference.



    I frequently note that imposing a residential parking permit program, even with a rate well below market, would almost immediately eliminate the people who keep a car here but register it out of state to save on insurance. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard a NYC car owner say, “Oh I keep it registered in ________. I couldn’t afford the insurance here.”


    Ian Turner

    If someone is caught driving without a license, then:
    1. If they were authorized to drive the car, it should be seized and forfeited.
    2. If they were not authorized, they should be charged with auto theft.



    Bay Ridge loves its cars. Of course, on the western side you have the terrible combination of lots of dense apartment buildings and a complete lack of retail due to 1960s zoning. Once you get passed 3rd Ave, there’s not even a bodega to be found. People would rather deal with parking than have to walk 15 minutes just to get a quart of milk.

    That and the R train has notoriously long headways and is a very long slog into Manhattan. It’s that feedback loop problem of people not taking it because it’s infrequent, then when ridership sags the MTA reduces the frequency.



    Looks like Bay Ridge, Howard Beach, and Broad Channel are the only neighborhoods where you’ll still be required to build off-street parking for subsidized affordable housing even if you’re right on top of a subway station. What do these 3 neighborhoods have in common. Hmmmmmm…



    The problem then is that the “unaggravated” killing is not being treated seriously enough, not with the idea of treating the lack of license as an aggravating factor. I think it is right to treat it as an aggravating factor, because it makes the crime all that more heinous: people can no longer argue that “accidents happen to good people” when their license was revoked because the state considered them a menace to society when they drive, and yet they chose to drive anyway.

    Note that I would only consider it an aggravating factor when the license was revoked due to driving violations, not due to silly administrative stuff. The case of drivers who have never had a license is more complicated because the state refuses to license some people for reasons that have nothing to do with driving ability (e.g., immigration status).



    “370 tickets for unlicensed driving…” how about arresting these assholes and crushing their cars?



    “But only for subsidized units”

    You can’t make this shit up.


    Jeremy Lenz

    I’ve always thought that a protected bike lane would be such a good use of the space between the pillars holding up the elevated train and the curbs. I never really thought about it before but that area really could use a good redesign to make it safer for pedestrians and more bike-friendly.



    Parking minimums are always the wrong way to deal with a parking problem. They are only popular because the costs are hidden and perceived to apply to someone else. In congested areas of the city there should be a parking cap, like they have applied in Zurich and active traffic management. The active traffic management could take the form of timing the lights (Zurich) or it could be in the form of congestion pricing (many places). And of course in those areas on-street parking near businesses should be dynamically priced so there is always a spot available every 50 ft or so. Outside congested areas, and yes there are lots of such areas even in NYC, there are a whole range of solutions. Two popular solutions are issuing zone based (and priced) parking passes (done in many places) or you can require that a car have an off-street parking spot available to it before issuing a car registration (Japan). — All that said, I’m glad the mayor is at least acknowledging we have a problem and moving in the right direction, even if this is a baby step.


    Joe R.

    I wasn’t familiar with this bridge so I googled it. Yikes! Not only does it look like a free for all for cars, but it has the old school metal gratings which used to be on many other city bridges, including the Queensboro. Not a place I’d care to ride on, either.



    I see this as a bridging strategy towards where we want to be. As long as drivers (aka “jurors”) see themselves in the eyes of a killer driver, we lose. When there’s a reason to see that killer as “the other” – whether it’s because he was drunk or she was unlicensed – those jurors can say to themselves “I’d never do that, that’s not me” and are less likely to (conscious or not) exonerate a person whom the state otherwise proves guilty beyond reasonable doubt.



    I drive this stretch of Broadway a couple times a year – to skip the Henry Hudson Bridge toll and to gas up a rental car before returning it – and I find it nearly impossible to feel safe driving here too. I don’t think this stretch of Broadway works well for anybody.

    Condolences to Mr. Cabrera’s family – this is so sad. I wish Columbia would speak up more strongly for pedestrian safety and vision zero.