Skip to content

Recent Comments



    What happened to De Blasio’s 6% mode choice goal? What is the current mode choice goal anyway? What are we doing to get there? There is no strategy or plan for a comfortable cycling network, just new sharrows on more and more irrelevant routes. Also about half of the Class 2 bike lanes are always blocked and/or have worn off the road. These need a redesign.

    Something needs to change.


    Simon Phearson

    I wish the NYPD had the self-awareness or intelligence to recognize that this kind of “street justice” is the direct result of granting drivers impunity when mowing down pedestrians. They are, in essence, creating crime.


    Joe R.

    My educated guess is it would probably cost less to just put a viaduct for cycling above the existing path rather than widen the existing path by extending it over the water. Any time you do anything involving landfill in a river, costs are astronomical. On the other hand, the costs of a viaduct are well know. You can even put it mostly above where cars go if shading the path would be an issue. Once the viaduct is built, the existing path would be repurposed for peds only.

    Everyone wins with this solution. Cyclists end up with their own space free of pedestrians. They also avoid any conflicts with pedestrians crossing, and also avoid the traffic signals which exist in some parts of the greenway now. Pedestrians get more space. More importantly, they’re not sharing that space with speeding bikes.

    The major downside obviously is the cost. However, as the most heavily traveled bike trunk route in the US, the cost is easily justified given the number of users it has (and the number it would attract if improved in this manner). Long term you might even have this viaduct loop around lower Manhattan, then up along the East River, and connect with one or more of the bridges via flyover junctions. On the other end, you might extend the viaduct into the Bronx, perhaps have it connect to the trial going upstate. In theory a cyclist could go from lower Manhattan, perhaps eventually from Queens or Brooklyn, nonstop all the way upstate.

    Everyone benefits from this, not just fast recreational cyclists.



    “Abused by following the laws they fought so hard to defend”. It pisses me off so much that I get called the entitlement generation, when I hear statements like this, which is a belief that one has the right to break the law and not suffer consequences. I don’t think you can be more entitled.



    Tony Romans is a chump. He should have run the guy down in his car, no charges for that.



    Buried in the Daily News article was evidence of some ‘street justice’.

    “The 35-year-old driver, identified by sources as Reginald Auguste, was punched in the face after the collision by Tony Romans, of Staten Island, who knew the child and had witnessed the crash, according to police sources.”

    “Romans, 25, was arrested at the scene and charged with assault. The driver was taken to a hospital for evaluation and was not immediately charged, according to police.”

    “Residents said the driver lived on the block and was known for having a lead foot.”



    this is enough !Opafiets below is right : 5 pedestrians could still be alive if DOT had installed a split phase signal. Why not point that out? this is a first tenet of Vison Zero: engineer the roads to prevent mistakes Installing split phase signals at the most dangerous intersections ( left turns on two way streets) is the most effective way to reduce deaths and it is not even expensive to do !..we cannot continue to beat on NYPD for justice – which is good but does not bring people back to life, when DOT is not doing its job to prevent deaths in the first place – … DOT is our friend – so it is very important we tell them the truth…


    Simon Phearson

    Of course I have concern for the way that our parks are designed to create conflicts between multiple uses. That’s why I’m arguing that they should be designed not to create those conflicts. Your moralizing on the inherent inferiority of cyclists to pedestrians isn’t a solution. Creating a car-free space that channels fast cycling away from places where pedestrians want to be and gather is.

    I’m not sure what the best solution at this particular spot is. But as long as it’s expected to be not just a multi-use path but a primary corridor for safe cycling (at least for transportation), an investment to segregate cycling traffic serves everyone – local residents, commuters, and exercisers of all types.

    You talk about being in favor of livable streets and parks serving local communities, but your rationales are so bizarrely parochial I’m convinced you can’t have thought them through. If neighborhoods shouldn’t be shaped to serve the needs of those coming from far afield, period, then there’s really no justification for bike infrastructure anywhere – in streets or in parks. If vulnerable road users should never have to sacrifice space for cycling, then it would be virtually impossible currently to bike between the boroughs. If we were to take your statements seriously on the Greenway, the best way we could address your concerns would be to cut off the Greenway periodically to prevent through bike traffic. This can’t be correct.

    Livable streets are the right goal to have in mind, and I agree that parks should generally prioritize serving local residents. But we have to think about those goals holistically, against our city’s approach to transportation infrastructure and livable streets. There is a tremendous amount of cycling pressure on the Hudson River Greenway because it provides a straight, relatively uninterrupted corridor to bike safely up and down the island. Wherever you have conditions like that, you’re going to attract fast cycling – both commuters with a long way to go, and exercise cyclists. Moralize about it if you like, but that’s just how humans work. So if you want to stop conflicts along the Greenway, you have to provide those cyclists an attractive alternative. Maybe that’s a cycletrack carved forcefully out of Riverside Drive. Maybe that’s a platform suspended over the water along the park.

    It’s certainly not ideal that our parks have become a de facto place to put effective bike infrastructure for commuting and cycling, but trying to push fast cycling out of the parks against a backdrop of no safe alternatives to go means very clearly putting cyclists in danger – which, in turn, means lower bike modeshare and undermining the very goals you claim to espouse.



    I am not talking about pushing slower users out of car-free spaces to accommodate fast cycling.

    Go back to where this thread started. A toddler was hit by a reckless cyclist on a path where pedestrians have priority. You’re worried about inattentive drivers ruining your ride? No consideration for inattentive cyclists ruining a walk of someone who goes to a park for a stroll? You claimed the path should be redesigned, with dedicated space for cyclists. That it would be easy if we just put some thought into it. It’s not wide enough for that. For this section that means spending tens of millions to extend into the water to widen the path (I’m basing this ballpark cost on the published estimates for filling the gap in the east river path in the vicinity of the UN), tear down a line of mature trees, significant excavation to flatten the terrain where those trees sit, and construction of concrete retaining walls to keep everything above it intact to widen the path, or to significantly narrow the space available for other users. With the existing footprint if there’s room for two fast cyclists to pass each other without slowing down (one north one south), then there won’t be room for a bench with a toddler playing in front of it and still have room for two people to walk next to each other in each direction. You are either talking about taking away from other recreational users in the immediate vicinity, or think given the extensive backlog of capital projects in the city’s parks that a significant share of the budget should be dedicated to accommodating fast cyclists along this stretch of the Hudson river, in which case you are effectively taking away from the recreational uses of some city residents elsewhere in five boros.

    I don’t understand, in the end, why the recreational desires of some users outweigh the recreational desires of others.

    The main issue I have is that park space allocations should always be biased to the needs of those who live or work nearby. That fulfilling a role of neighborhood park is more important than the role of regional destination. A recreational cyclist who wants miles of space necessarily is asking for a great deal of space far from their home. Their desired use should be subordinate to that of those who live or work along the proposed cycle corridor. I see this as a natural extension of the fight for livable streets. That public space should be biased to those who live in the immediate vicinity, not those coming from miles away who want to travel through as fast as possible.

    The central park loop is a far more appropriate place for recreational cycling than the narrow parts of the waterfront paths that this thread started on. Having walked around the park a lot (and ridden the loop) though I do think some cyclists don’t appreciate the utility of some of the at grade pedestrian crossings of the loop, or the costs of grade separating them (there are of course other priorities in the city’s underfunded parks), but there is likely significant room to improve conditions for recreational cyclists there.


    Tal F.

    If I’m reading this right, then Uber is already paying more to the state than yellows (the MTA is just a state agency). If the state wants Uber to pay more to the MTA, it is very easy to measure total sales tax revenue from Uber and earmark that directly for the MTA. No change in tax policy needed.

    On the other hand, if there is a political appetite for completely changing the tax structure for both yellows and Uber (and I’m not so sure there is), then the proposals in this article make a lot of sense.



    I was unaware that having served in a war makes your car actually float over any obstructions (say, pedestrians with the right-of-way…other cars with the right-of-way….) when you run a red light, rendering it harmless. Of course floating cars shouldn’t be ticketed!



    Interesting article about the new taxi app, which sounds really great. It claims that integration with the taxi’s payment system sets it apart from previous taxi apps, but the reason those previous apps failed was that they were deemed illegal. I wonder how this one gets around the fact that it is still against the law to arrange a yellow taxi ride by any method other than a street hail.



    “I did it for the people who come back from war and get abused by these
    cameras,” he wrote. “I did it because senior citizens are getting
    these, the same ones that went to war for us.”

    A brave man wants to protect veterans from the scourge of red light cameras.


    Simon Phearson

    Given the minor uproar when they closed off Central Park’s northern loop to drivers, I get the sense that he quite earnestly wants drivers to be able to continue to “enjoy” the drive along Shore Boulevard. I don’t think he’s talking simply about accessibility to the park. I think that he really is contemplating breaking up Shore Boulevard into two or more segments with a signalized pedestrian crossing.

    Personally, I wouldn’t characterize anyone as enjoying the park based on how they got there. You could take the subway to get there, for instance, but it wouldn’t make sense to describe subway riders as “enjoying” the park.



    Assuming you’re talking about Shore Blvd, does he necessarily take that off the table in this letter?

    Also it depends on what we mean by “drivers enjoying the park”. If I ride my bike to Astoria Park and lock up and take a stroll or sit on the grass, am I a “cyclist enjoying the park”? If so, then yes, drivers can and do enjoy parks. The fact that they reach said park in a way that is detrimental to the safety and quality of life of others is a whole different story.


    Doug G.

    “We can all agree that drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike…”

    No, we actually don’t have to all agree on this.


    Aunt Bike

    Well, looks like somebody’s got Staten Island figured out. I don’t.


    Aunt Bike

    There is an issue of lack of enforcement on Staten Island, one of our precincts, the 120th, leads the entire city in a traffic ticket decline. By more than twice that if all other precincts. You have to scroll down (or why not read the whole thing?) to get to the info.

    Logically, saying as the Midland Beach and local politicians are saying, that there is no point to lowering the speed limit because it’s not enforced points to an enforcement problem, not a speed limit problem. And neither Staten Island’s drivers or politicians seem to care much to advocate better enforcement.


    Simon Phearson

    Re Astoria Park: Predictably, the first option taken off the table is closing off streets to car traffic. Who actually thinks that “drivers” enjoy parks? Instead, the discussion turns to adding traffic control devices. We just keep replicating the same mistakes, over and over.






    DOT, MTA Tour Woodhaven Blvd With Elected Officials Whose Constituents Fear SBS

    Are they doing systemic desensitization therapy, slowly bringing them closer and closer to a MetroCard machine?


    Benjamin Kabak

    Please note the NYPD Police Captain in the comments to Rosen’s piece stating he has no sympathy for those run over by city buses. This is what the NYPD is.

    FWIW, Welsome was at the 113th Precinct in Jamaica at recently as 2010. It’s not clear if he’s still there.



    If there’s pedestrian congestion, doesn’t that argue for making more space for pedestrians?


    Joe R.

    Central Park should be open 24/7. Not just to accommodate fast cyclists, but to allow anyone who might happen to enjoy being in a park at 3AM to do so. Besides removing the stoplights, you’ll probably also need to grade separate the few busiest crossings, as well as those near the bottoms of any hills. Given the volume of users, this certainly is feasible despite the cost. Moreover, the grade separated crossings really benefit all users, not just fast cyclists.

    That said, any cycling infrastructure the city builds in the five boroughs should be usable at a minimum of 20 mph, better yet 25 mph or 30 mph. Infrastructure designed for higher speeds is safer for any cyclist at any speed. Such designs imply wider lanes, ample room for passing, good pavement, wide curves, and minimal/no need to stop. Those things only make the cycling experience better for everyone.


    Larry Littlefield

    Perhaps the fee should be automatically waived during the next strike for a 20/50 pension.

    In any event, this is about finding someone less politically powerful to make pay. All vehicles should pay.

    Perhaps the problem is the state legislature likes hidden graft. How about the MoveNY plan, with with toll exemptions for state legislators and their top ten campaign contributors?


    Simon Phearson

    It’s possible to ride “safely” on the street, but that’s always going to be only relatively so. There’s always going to be the risk of inattentive drivers, scofflaw drivers, incompetent drivers, etc. Pushing fast cyclists out of car-free spaces places them at that risk, which as I said, is an unfair and unnecessary imposition.

    I am not talking about pushing slower users out of car-free spaces to accommodate fast cycling. A place like Central Park could easily accommodate fast cycling; all it would need is some tweaks to the road design, removal of stop lights, physical separation of walking/running paths from cycling paths, and earlier hours. There are probably places along the riverfronts where you could do the same. It really doesn’t require that much space, and whatever we would build would be able to accommodate fast and slow cycling.

    I don’t understand, in the end, why the recreational desires of some users outweigh the recreational desires of others. In your view, even the slightest change to a design that stands to put a pedestrian one or two feet farther away from the riverfront, or that might involve taking down a single tree, is unacceptable to accommodate a group of cyclists who otherwise would be forced to contend with the city’s streets. This reflects an extreme anti-cycling bias that’s simply absurd. That’s not how we think about what infrastructure to build, where, for any other transportation or recreation need or desire.


    Bernard Finucane

    This is horrible. Nobody cares.



    If you don’t know how to ride safely in the street then you can and should slow down and ride in the park. But kicking out people who want to walk, or who can’t ride as fast as you want to go, or who want to sit on a bench, or who want to look out at the river, or rip out mature trees to widen the path to let some cyclists ride faster should not be an acceptable solution.

    Unless you’re talking about riding on a velodrome racing cyclists need a lot of space. That’s not something that can necessarily be accommodated in a city without great impacts on others by reducing the park land available for recreation that does not require as much space.


    Max Power

    There’s a pedestrian refuge island there – in the DOT and NYPD’s view, is it legal for someone to leave a pedestrian refuge island once the “don’t walk” signal starts flashing? Maybe that’s the tortured logic of them to let them not charge the driver.


    Simon Phearson

    Yeah, I get it. For whatever reason, you’d rather cyclists die in traffic than build park facilities that accommodate existing demand for varying uses. Is there a reason I should take you seriously?



    My comment is a direct quote from 1951. When the Pacific Electric rail service to San Marino (an affluent suburb south of Pasadena) was replaced by buses in Oct. 1951, a businessman who would occasionally drive his car into Los Angeles, but normally took the PE Red Car was seen heading for his garage on Monday morning. His wife commented “You’re taking your car this morning”, “Yes, the PE line quit running.” The wife said, “I saw the article in the paper. They’ll be running buses on Huntington Dr. Couldn’t you take the bus?” “Certainly not! Buses are for poor people!”
    (from a lecture about the rise and fall of Pacific Electric by Dr. William A. Myers.)



    The notion is that the street is the domain of cars and that crossing the street is a privilege. Any slight infraction by a pedestrian that leads to their being hit puts the onus entirely on them. Of course, it’s a complete double standard. When drivers plow onto sidewalks they are rarely punished, even when they hit people. So cars have domain of the streets and if they run up onto pedestrians’ domain well it’s just an accident. It’s lose/lose for pedestrians.



    I don’t know, but I don’t think that should rule out progressive/expansive transit policies. Politicians love their cars in France, Switzerland, and Germany too. TBF, you have to commend LA for its expansive transit policies. They’ve done amazing work recently.

    New York is just ass backwards when it comes to transportation policy.


    Eric McClure

    Some people think this would be more acceptable if the driver were behind the wheel of a bus or cab…



    What, no one from the NYPD said “They both had the right of way” yet?


    yongky sunyoto

    abolish uber, and all ppl who want to get medallion must drive it, so there will be no more cartel, i think its will be the solution


    Kevin Love

    How about the fee in transit-rich areas being set as the subway cash fare. That way when transit fares go up, taxi fees automatically go up also.



    Since Bratton can’t seem to keep pedestrians safe, maybe he should rip out the streets.



    As you say, we’re talking about people who don’t care, period. Do any of them, at the state or city level, ride transit even once a week on average?



    Is it wide enough for two people walking side by side to pass two people walking the other way? And for cyclists to do the same? And for a bench so someone can sit? And a little room in front of the bench for a toddler to play? And then still enough room for a fifth cyclist who wants to speed by? There’s limited space, and you can’t accommodate every use. It isn’t rocket science, it’s politics. Your use (that of the speeding cyclist) is more space intensive and appeals to fewer users. It shouldn’t be the top priority in a park. It’s better suited to existing transportation corridors. If for whatever reason space is not re-appropriated from general traffic lanes to dedicated high speed bike facilities the response should never be to remove precious park land to expand transportation facilities.



    Well, he may have a point, though I’d still say there was a tendency for non-bus-riders to sneer at bus users in LA, at least until the past decade or so. Customarily these were drivers. LA might be a little odd in that it actually always did have a notable bus mode share even historically.

    Thing is, I don’t know that NYC buses exactly fail to attract significant numbers of whites. Our politicians ignore us, but I’m not sure we’re sneered at.


    Simon Phearson

    Separate paths for bike and foot traffic. It isn’t rocket science.



    But it makes perfect sense to try to build our riverside greenways and
    parks to accommodate that kind of activity, and it could be done easily,
    if we just put some thought to it.

    Put some thought into it and take space away from slower users, right? What redesign do you propose for the riverside greenways that accommodates faster cycling without taking away space from people who want to sit or walk? Or bike at a more leisurely pace so they don’t reach their destination sweaty and tired?



    I’d suggest a fee structure where Uber drivers are charged by the mile for when they have the app active (whether or not there’s a passenger in the car). That would accurately capture the traffic impact and genuinely price road space. Something like $0.10/mile in Manhattan below Central Park would probably be about right, and a lower rate for everywhere else.


    Alex 3speed

    I had to read this really quickly and think it’s a good idea. I’m curious about a few things.
    Who pays the sliding fee? If it’s the user it will not favor outer boroughs as far as the driver is concerned. Fares will be higher and they will continue to make CBD centric trips for much higher percentage tips. If we see a decline in users of cab service, cab and FHV drivers will need to coast more for fares. And without a cap or reduction of cabs, there will be ever increasing numbers.
    What I want to know is whether yellow cab hails are decreasing because of replacement/encroachment of market by black cars, or because they can’t get to customers because of the congestion. I think FHV’s role in replacement is overstated, their role in congestion is understated, but that a study will show that BOTH continue to grow.



    I don’t understand why it seems to be so politically difficult to level the playing field for all for-hire vehicles:

    * Drivers should pass the same licensing, and vetting requirements.
    * Taxes and surcharges should be the same.
    * Any quantity limits should apply to all equally. I agree, setting market-based surcharges to limit congestion is a better approach than the (now-brown) direct approach of limiting medallions.
    * Any minimum wage or employment laws should apply the same.

    Beyond that… my guess is that a large part of Uber’s popularity is its ride-hailing app, which people find more convenient than standing on a street corner in the rain, raising their arm. The yellow cabs would be well advised to offer something similar, and pronto!


    Mark Walker

    An op-ed in today’s Times suggests that the state’s power over the city in this and other issues is an antiquated vestige of times when city government was more corrupt than it is now. He suggests that a solution may begin with the referendum that automatically occurs every 20 years to determine whether there should be a constitutional convention to amend the state constitution. The byline on the piece might raise an eyebrow. But it does offer a potential solution to the state overriding city initiatives to install more speed cameras.


    Kevin Love

    No criminality suspected!



    Jarrett Walker made the case that bus stigma was not particular to or ever real in LA:

    “All of this came to mind in reading Amanda Hess’s recent Atlantic Cities article, “Race, Class and the Stigma of Riding the Bus in America.”
    Hess argues that the predominance of minority and low-income people on
    the bus is evidence of an American bus “stigma.” “In Los Angeles,” she
    writes, “92 percent of bus riders are people of color. Their annual
    median household income is $12,000.”

    The reference to race is a distraction. The service area of the Los
    Angeles MTA is well over 70 percent people of color. What’s more, whites
    are more likely to live in low-density areas with obstructed street
    patterns where effective bus service is impossible. So people of color
    in L.A. may be over 80 percent of the residents for whom the MTA can be
    useful, which means that the number of white bus riders is not far off
    what we should expect.”



    I’m not sure I buy that meme fits in NYC. We never had the bus stigma LA has – and I hear it’s fading there.

    The political class here almost doesn’t do transit at all, except for photo ops.