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  1.  

    DukeGanote

    Zero vision has had its day. Ten years after the Norwegian authorities launched its zero casualties objective for road safety, statistics have not improved.

    So says Trond Åge Langeland, staff engineer at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration and a PhD graduate from the University of Stavanger. He based his thesis on interviews with 30 experts on road safety, and his conclusion is less than encouraging.

    Since the mid-1990′ies, the number of people killed in road accidents has not decreased significantly. 560 people were killed in traffic accidents in 1970. Fifteen years on, the was less than 300. The National Transport Plan 2002-2011 was launched in 1999, and the zero vision with it. Since then, the number of fatalities has remained largely unchanged.

    “The zero vision has drawn more attention to road safety, but it has not yielded any significant short-term gains so far,” Langeland says.

    SOURCE: Aiming to reduce fatal traffic accidents: Zero vision, zero results?
    Date: January 22, 2010

  2.  

    Eric McClure

    Aggregate U.S. newspaper circulation peaked 30 years ago, and the Daily News is still doing its best not to let go of 1984.

  3.  

    Tabloid watcher

    Streetsblog should allow Josh Greenman some space to support his editorial and debate Ben’s take. I doubt he’d do it, but it would be interesting to learn what he’s thinking other than just “page views.”

  4.  

    Ben Fried

    Maybe the Post is just hibernating. They’ve run some really good Nicole Gelinas pieces on their opinion pages but the editorial board, whoever that is, hasn’t really said much about street safety since de Blasio got to City Hall.

  5.  

    SteveVaccaro

    Very well-written Ben! It’s interesting how the Daily News ed board has proven more die-hard in its resistance to livable streets than the Post’s.

  6.  

    Kevin Love

    The Daily News is so profoundly unprofessional. To state that under JSK:

    “…the facts were cherrypicked to retroactively justify all decisions.”

    This is a gross falsehood, and a blatant forked-tongue lie. These lying liars should be profoundly ashamed of themselves for their lying lies.

    Notice that these lying liars are totally unable to provide any facts or examples or evidence of any kind whatsoever to support their drive-by smearing of JSK’s integrity.

  7.  

    Bolwerk

    The lights were less bright than headlights, and were impossible to confuse with emergency vehicles. The flashing was subtle. If anyone is blind or stupid enough to confuse the two, they should not be driving.

    And, yes, the lights were helpful.

  8.  

    Kevin Love

    How about a transparent measurement of the deaths and injuries caused in New York by car drivers’ lethal cancer pollution? There exists one for the City of Toronto:

    440 people poisoned and killed by car drivers every year.

    1,700 people poisoned by car drivers and injured so seriously they have to be hospitalized.

    1,200 acute bronchitis episodes in children due to being poisoned by car drivers.

    68,000 asthma symptom days in children due to being poisoned by car drivers.

    Source:

    http://www.smartcommutetoronto.ca/media/uploads/TPH%202007%20Rerpot%20-%20air_pollution_burden.pdf

    So where are the numbers for New York? The scientific methodology used does not look that difficult to repeat for New York. The harm done to children by being poisoned is truly heart-breaking.

    Car drivers poison and kill over four times as many people as they crush and kill. If we really want transparency, then that far greater threat is what we should be tracking.

  9.  

    Searcher

    Is the Daily News aware that this thing called Google exists? Data on Times Square traffic flow is available to anyone with an Internet connection.

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/2013-dot-sustainable-streets-lowres.pdf

  10.  

    Actual NYer

    The Daily News opinion editors have, essentially, become livable streets truthers. No amount of evidence will convince them that Obama is a US citizen, evolution is real, Planet Earth is round, and bike lanes and public plazas are beneficial to New York City. They will always need to see more evidence. They simply can’t be satisfied.

    I just wonder how a seemingly intelligent person like Josh Greenman shows up to work every morning at that place. Perhaps he is not intelligent at all. I’d be deeply embarrassed if I were him.

  11.  

    Albert Finsterbottoms

    The Daily News bit seems to have been written by a 12 year old intern with a 10 minute deadline. Every sentence is generic, every fact can be disproven if they go back in the record and look at NYC DOT data reported. It’s quite incredible even in this day and age of horrible reporting that Daily News would let the Daily News get away with such an opinion of nothing.

  12.  

    Jonathan

    Yes, I too am all for next step. The same stretch of Amsterdam is the interchange between the East Coast’s busiest stretch of highway and Manhattan’s major north-south truck route, viz:

    Amsterdam x 175, offramp from I-95 eastbound.

    Amsterdam x 178, on- and offramps to the Harlem River Drive downtown (and shortcut downtown to 155th St and the Macombs Dam Bridge).

    Amsterdam x 180, onramp to I-95 westbound

    Amsterdam x 181, intersection with the Washington Bridge (functionally onramp to I-95 eastbound and offramp from I-95 westbound).

    I humbly suggest that any realistic next step would have to involve some kind of reduction in motor vehicle volumes along any of these routes.

  13.  

    87 Turbo T

    What a shame, but the District Attorney has no problem pulling out all the stops to crucify drag racers at 2am on back streets.

    You should be ashamed of yourself Richard Brown and the NYPD.

    God bless the families.

  14.  

    Aunt Bike

    In the minds of State Senator Andrew Lanza and City Council member Vincent Ignizio, it’s got nothing to do with the lights. It’s the bus lanes.

    They get complaint after complaint from Staten Island drivers who see something that takes away a traffic lane they want to fill up with cars. They tried to block the bus lanes, they carry on about the bus lane camera enforcement, in fact they complain about every little thing that has to do with SBS. And as petty as it is, one of those things is little flashing blue lights.

    Staten Island politicians are noted for throwing monkey wrenches into every attempt to improve Staten Island’s public transit and street safety.

  15.  

    qrt145

    “set up a deal with a different bike manufacturer”

    Aren’t the bikes and docks patented by Bixi? I thought I read that somewhere, probably in the NYT. If that’s true, I don’t think they can cut Bixi out of the loop entirely (at least they’d have to pay Bixi for licensing), unless they replace both the bikes and the docks.

  16.  

    J

    My point was not to disparage your advocacy, but to point out some long term issues that DOT continues to neglect, which is bicycle facilities that have gaps in the places that most need protected infrastructure. In this case, Amsterdam between 173 & 186 needs protection the most, but gets sharrows. If anything, Im pushing DOT to go further than what they’ve proposed for the neighborhood.

    It’s a big big win, but its part of an overall tend of only putting high quality bicycle connections in the places where traffic and parking are only impacted slightly. The result is a disjointed bicycle network that isn’t very effective at getting many people to bike.

    I get that this is the first step, but im already looking for more. Bravo for the win! Let’s take it to the next step.

  17.  

    RunningWriting

    Alta had announced a new partnership with 8D earlier this year. They said that they would provide updated and improved bike stations for existing and new bikeshare systems this year.

  18.  

    RunningWriting

    PBSC is not the same company as Alta. Alta obtained bikes and stations from Bixi, until Bixi filed for bankruptcy. Earlier this year, Alta and 8D announced a new partnership, which seems to be designed to cut Bixi out of the loop. Bixi did not produce the software or the bikes for existing bikeshare systems. Alta and 8D can handle the software and the stations. They can contract with the Bixi partner to obtain bikes or set up a deal with a different bike manufacturer.

    Bixi’s bankruptcy does present some challenges, but Alta and 8D can move on from Bixi.

  19.  

    ddartley

    azab, I live above one of these stops and use the SBS buses and the local buses on the same line often, and deal with light and sound pollution where I live, I can tell you from real experience with these buses, from living near them before, during, and after the times the lights were active, and from many conversations with others, it is not a nuisance to bystanders and it was extremely useful to bus riders. They weren’t so bright they lit up the street like an ambulance’s lights. They did not project light; they were just noticeable if you were looking for buses far away.

    I was recently at a “quality of life” townhall in CB6 and an elderly woman got up and asked what happened to the SBS lights that had been so useful. The crowd started applauding. This is not tangential nonsense, thanks very much.

  20.  

    Charles

    The difference between now and when the flashing lights were introduced is that now Bus Time is live. So, if you have a phone, you can use it to find out when the next bus is coming. As a next step, how about putting Bus Time displays at the SBS stops?

  21.  

    Emmily_Litella

    Interestink. I had not heard that one before.

  22.  

    Emmily_Litella

    No not kidding. When waiting for a bus or deciding to wait for a bus, looking far down the street and seeing those lights is very reassuring. Anyone that used SBS when the lights worked would understand this. Anyone that has used transit in Canada and Western Europe would understand SBS is a just a first baby step toward having a real bus service that attracts people the hell out of the cabs and cars that are what congestion is made of.

  23.  

    azab

    Do we have to defend every nonsense because it’s somehow tangentiallly related to public transport?

    Light is pollution, flashing lights are obnoxious pollution, and when we put random lights on vehicles like buses for terrible reasons (permanently flashing lights on a bus to tell riders (not other vehicles) some intricate payment detail? Are you kidding?) it diminishes the visibility of those that need lights most, which would be emergency vehicles and everything with two wheels.

  24.  

    Andres Dee

    Here are a few laws that the city “de facto” does not seem to enforce:
    - Yield to pedestrian in crosswalk before turning
    - No honking, except for emergency
    - Using car alarms and personal sirens to clear traffic for non-emergencies

  25.  

    Brian Van Nieuwenhoven

    Could they make it any more fucking convoluted

  26.  

    Eric McClure

    Jesus, tree NIMBYs. What next?

  27.  

    MattyCiii

    That’s brilliant.

    Maybe target the effort. Stake up all parking spots in an ‘n’ block radius of the CB meeting for the hours before and through the CB meeting… those with the windshield perspective are cruisin’ for parkin’ while those who walk or cycle are votin’…

  28.  

    JamesR

    Bingo… I’m on a CB in a different borough, but the battles are the same. It’s all about bodies in the room and if you want positive change, get out to these night meetings, dreadfully drawn-out and excruciating as they may at times be. This is the process, and clicktivism on Streetsblog is worth very little in the end.

  29.  

    Teresa Toro

    That’s okay, Doug, because then the community can still document/demonstrate the support when it appeals to DOT directly; makes it easier to achieve that happy ending after the CB defies the will of the majority. I agree we shouldn’t always need a huge community turnout but it should happen often enough for board members to realize that we’re here, we steer… get used to it. They need regular reminding.

  30.  

    Doug G.

    I don’t disagree, but I’ve also seen instances where the advocacy community turns out in droves and a CB ignores them anyway. The CB6 Fourth Avenue saga comes to mind. Huge turnout at the committee meeting, near-unanimous vote by the committee, and the board voted it down. (Though it had a happy ending, thanks to some wrangling.) Look at Mount Morris Park West in Harlem and many other examples where deep community involvement and big turnout at meetings were ignored by CBs.

    The process can turn people to cynics and affect whether they show up the next time.

    And it shouldn’t always take huge community turnout. One would hope board members would be intelligent and selfless enough to be able to place evidence over their own inconvenience.

  31.  

    Teresa Toro

    For what it’s worth, the transportation committee recommended yes. And the full board had a low representation that particular night of its more bike/ped friendly members. Regardless, if bike/ped advocates showed up in numbers at the full board meetings, members would be much more strongly reminded of their accountability. You’ve got to fight for your right to… park-y.

  32.  

    Teresa Toro

    DOT can’t listen to the community when there’s barely any community turnout for critical votes like this one. The process is fine; it’s when the bike/ped community becomes apathetic that this happens. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of showing up, showing up, showing up.

  33.  

    Bobberooni

    Good thought. But is this response just an excuse to do nothing?

    One should insist that the bike parking spaces are needed, that there is demand (demand that would otherwise be driving), and that this is good for business (it is).

    Then we can get into a real conversation on where ON THE SIDEWALK the bike corral will go. Because they’re right, in one way — as a biker, I don’t really care whether the bike corral is on or off the curb. But I suspect that may people who say “you can park on the sidewalk” haven’t really thought through how this is really going to work, and are just hoping for the status quo. One might point out that they are insisting that the bikes be parked in a place where they can’t legally be driven. Putting bike parking on the sidewalk encourages sidewalk biking.

    We can point out that anything that encourages more bikers frees up road and parking space for drivers, making it a win-win for everyone.

  34.  

    qrt145

    The typical response is “yes, but you can park your bike on the sidewalk taking zero car spaces!”

    So you also have to mention the additional benefit of having a more usable (and even prettier) sidewalk for people to walk on. But of course we know how much people who only care about parking their car care about that…

  35.  

    ocschwar

    Spend as much on the lock as on the bike.

  36.  

    Bobberooni

    If you want to win this argument in the court of public opinion… point out that the proposal is to convert parking that will serve ONE vehicle to parking that will serve TEN. Clearly, that is good for business. And it puts you in a good position to paint those who vote against it as “elitist.”

  37.  

    Doug G.

    I’m fine with CB’s making decisions *I* don’t agree with when the decisions are based on evidence and the general will of the community. If 200 people show up to a meeting and don’t want a bike corral that has the support of only 10 people, the CB would be 100% right in voting it down, as much as that might disappoint people here. But in making its decision, it should also weigh the statistics and note that only 44% of the people in the neighborhood own cars.

    What it should not do is weigh personal inconveniences or perceived offenses over a “war on cars” into its decisions. CB1′s vote, like many others, seems to be a case of a CB ignoring both the will of the community and the evidence. That’s not okay, no matter which side you’re on.

  38.  

    Wi Cho

    It is still slow mainly the traffic and boarding and de-boarding process.

  39.  

    Hilda

    Within the NYC Dept. Of Buildings, there is a means to protest a requirement if it is not necessary for safety, if it proves to be a hardship to a business. Given the amount of space that the bike corral is taking, perhaps if there is a way to show that the majority of the customers at this business are arriving by bicycle, not having parking could be a hardship. If this is not metered parking, the argument would appear to be simple. F this is metered parking, it may get turned around by a different business owner.
    A simple graph of the number of bike that can be parked vs. the number of cars that can be parked might refute any opposition.

  40.  

    Yourboy

    Uh get a better bike lock?

  41.  

    anon

    Can’t have it both ways – You can’t applaud the CB’s when they do right and the call for them to be dissolved when they go a different direction. You can’t say DOT should ignore them for your projects and then say they don’t listen to the community when their work doesn’t meet your goals.

    Democracy ain’t always pretty. The Community Board processes does need to be reformed, but that doesn’t mean things will always err on the side of livable streets. Only more and better organizing can realistically do that.

  42.  

    Joe R.

    Those are my feelings as well. Even my “junker” bike, which is an old Huffy with an improved drivetrain, is not something I would feel comfortable chaining to a sign or a bike corral.

  43.  

    Joe R.

    Sure, some stores may not have room for a rack inside but based on my observations 95% of stores have room for at least a rack holding a few bikes near the front entrance. Most big box stores have enough room for a virtual bike parking lot in front.

    Outside is good also if adequate security exists.

  44.  

    Eddie

    I would not park my bike in one of those corrals. I want it as far away from moving traffic as possible. Mishaps do happen, like the truck that recently backed up on the sidewalk and knocked my rear wheel out of true (my bike was locked to a street sign).

  45.  

    Keith Williams

    If you parked bikes inside most NYC stores, there would be no room for customers.

  46.  

    Mark

    I definitely agree with banning the poorly aimed, owner installed ones.
    Factory HIDs usually aren’t an issue, but people who install their own usually don’t follow the regulations for brightness and aim. Existing laws would allow for ticketing most of them.

  47.  

    Joe R.

    I agree that more bike parking near businesses is needed BUT I think it should be off-street parking. The best place is a small bike rack inside the store near the front door where the security guard stands. There’s nothing preventing these businesses from doing this. I personally wouldn’t lock my bike to outdoor bike parking, even right in front of the store, for fear it would get stolen. Oudoor bike parking is fine if you’re on a Citibike or your bike is a real POS, but not if you have a decent bike. Bike theft has been rampant in NYC for decades, yet nothing is ever done about it.

  48.  

    Joe R.

    Most of the HID lights you see which blind people aren’t factory installed. Rather, they’re done by car owners to make their cars look “kewl”. The worst ones use HID lamps in headlights designed for regular incandescent lamps. Of course, the optical requirements for both differ, so these mods throw glaring light all over the place. Stock factory lamps, whether HID or incandescent or LED, have to meet certain guidelines in their spatial intensity distribution so as not to blind other road users.

  49.  

    Ian Turner

    Select Bus Service is 15-20% faster: http://web.mta.info/nyct/sbs/

    Much of the improvement is in dwell times, which take over 25% of travel time for normal bus routes.
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/brt/downloads/pdf/201111_1st2nd_progress_report.pdf
    http://web.mta.info/mta/planning/sbs/docs/Bx12-SBS-OneYearReport.pdf

    Sad to say your experience does not seem to match the data.

  50.  

    qrt145

    Can we outlaw sociopathic high-intensity discharge headlamps then, please? :-) Whoever came up with that monstrosity must have thought “yes, let me see better even if I blind everyone else on the road. Brilliant!”