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    No disrespect to victims who’ve been pushed onto the tracks, but you can just as easily be pushed in front of a truck or bus or even a car. The idea that the subway is the “biggest death trap out there” is laughable.



    I agree, but it may be difficult to convince people to transfer even if their overall travel time is improved.


    Joe R.

    You’ll certainly get some people willing to ride 10 miles each way but it’s not really a mass solution, at least not unless we get lots of non-stop bike infrastructure.

    Ironically, you probably will have more non-poor people able to do long bike commutes for two reasons. One is they typically have less physical jobs, and therefore have the energy to bike commute. Two, their diet is probably better (and that gives them more stamina). I remember back in my days of being among the working poor my job was too strenuous to have enough energy left to bike commute 8.5 miles each way. My diet of Ramen soup (all I could afford) didn’t help, either.


    Kevin Love

    10 miles is about a 3/4 hour ride. There are many non-poor people I know who take that long commuting.



    Transit providers benefit from unused fares when people don’t calculate the optimal fare purchase in advance. A capping system could dramatically reduce revenue. That’s the biggest obstacle to implementing such a system here.


    Joe R.

    And your idea is? I have other ideas besides this, but as I mentioned they’re either politically or financially unfeasible in today’s climate. The sidewalks along most arterials in the outer boroughs are close to empty much of the time. They could function OK as a defacto shared path. And if it turns out there are pedestrian complaints, that might put pressure on politicians to build real bike infrastructure. Too many politicians just fail to see the need for bike infrastructure because they neither walk nor ride.




    Joe R.

    I give you credit for riding under all conditions for as long as you did. I mostly gave up riding during the day years ago on account of the atrocious behavior you mention. I’m content to ride at something like 2AM when almost nobody is around. It’s a pity the streets couldn’t be like that 24/7.

    Or maybe they will be soon. If NYC keeps up the incompetent governance, high taxes, over-the-top policing, and lack of basic infrastructure maintenance this city will eventually be a ghost town. Honestly, in many ways it feels like the early 1970s all over again.


    Joe R.

    The problem with this is most of the working poor by definition live far from where they work. That’s where housing is least expensive. It’s hard to imagine all that many people being willing or able to bike from places like the Rockaways, the Bronx, or East New York all the way into Manhattan. In many cases these people travel well over 10 miles each way. Quite a few people are physically unable to bike that far. Even more are just plain unwilling.

    That said, I was enthusiastic about the plan until I read it. It’s not going to help the working poor at all. A single adult making only $6 an hour is already over the income guidelines. If this is a serious proposal to help the working poor, we need to extend it to at least incomes in the $30K range. As things stand now, the proposed $3 fare would be equal to roughly 7% of the take-home pay of a worker making $30K. That’s a lot of money to spend just getting to work. It’s equivalent to the FICA tax the worker pays.

    Considering that service is getting worse, the MTA should really consider rolling back the fare to something like $1. That’s about all the service is worth these days.



    Behavior on the streets in this city is atrocious and after years of riding at all times and in all conditions, as of last night, I’m finally giving up on riding at night in the rain. I’ll still ride at night or in the rain, but last night the number of close calls (especially failure to yield despite my fairly bright front light) and an incident of harassment was way over my risk threshold.

    If Chuck Schumer is afraid of a truck approaching his car from behind, I encourage him or Iris to try this sometime. Or Polly Trottenberg, who condones the harassment inducing lane-edge sharrows installed here, about a block from where her car was towed a few months back.



    It would be neat if you could make a second version of that map sketching out a proposed network.



    The Transit Center page seems to have disappeared. The Google cache is working for me, currently, however:



    It’ll work fine.

    For cyclists. Not for pedestrians.

    Like I said, it’s not a great solution,

    It’s not a solution at all.



    De Blasio is completely full of shit. NYPD is full of shit. They don’t give a god damn about safety, and their actions show it loud and clear.

    “Asked by a reporter whether police will be actively policing themselves when it comes to parking in bike lanes, the NYPD’s Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan said the department has issued 60,000 parking summonses to cars committing that particular transgression, and that he anticipates “that we’re going to continue to do so.””



    $200 million annual subsidy ? Instead create 400 miles of PBLs with 1 single year’s subsidy.

    Imagine what 400 miles of PBLs would do to increase mobility ? Allocate say 50 miles to Manhattan and remainder between Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens.

    Imagine what 115 miles of PBL in Queens would do to increase mobility ?
    and 115 miles in The Bronx ?
    and 115 miles in Brooklyn ?

    cycling is the least expensive method of transport for the working poor – because for $50 anyone can get a used bike and then travel is forever FREE.

    Sure, only 80% of the population can use cycling as a normal mode of transport, but serving 80% of the population for a one time cost of $200 million is a more efficient use of funds than a annual cost of $200 million to subsidize 15% of the population.

    Look at this map of existing PBLs. Imagine adding 400 miles of PBLs to it.



    The comparison of Con Ed’s franchise to the rights given Citibike is really day and night. A better example might be the limited-area transportation franchises. Did you ever see the full budget of Queens Surface Corporation?


    Joe R.

    They’re not crowded. This isn’t midtown Manhattan. I used to ride on the local sidewalks all the time when I first started riding in the late 1970s. It’ll work fine. Remember those too timid to ride in traffic generally don’t ride all that fast. Like I said, it’s not a great solution, but it’s really the only one which will exist until there is a sea change in attitudes about motor vehicles.



    Bikes don’t belong on crowded sidewalks.




    Nathan Rosenquist

    Does ConEd disclose every aspect of their budget and operations?


    Bobbi Koval

    Yeah what a farce


    Bobbi Koval

    My son is a victim and is blamed for being in the crosswalk when he was struck and killed July 31. There is a serious problem with the investigations and the resulting blaming of the victims.


    Joe R.

    Not every arterial is totally unbikeable without bike lanes. Besides, the more timid cyclists could just use the sidewalk until we get political support to build better infrastructure. It’s not a great solution, but it’s probably the best we’ll get for now given the twin political aversions to spending serious money on bike infrastructure and taking space from cars for it. My solution to the problem would obviously be bike viaducts complete with bike share docks near the entrances/exits. Good luck getting that funded or approved nowadays.



    Bike share along the feeder bus lines that run on arterials that you’ve said have no room for bike lanes? If it’s politically feasible to reduce room on those streets for private autos, are you proposing to put in bike lanes instead of bus lanes?


    Joe R.

    If you look at feeder bus lines in Queens or Brooklyn, you’ll see they are heavily used in both directions for much of the day. That bike which gets ridden to the subway for the morning rush might get ridden back by a student with an early schedule at 11 or 12. And it might go back to the subway an hour later by someone working an afternoon shift. Then it’ll get ridden the other way by someone coming home during the evening rush. After that it might go to the subway again by someone on the graveyard shift, then get ridden the other way by an afternoon shift worker returning home. I find it hard to believe the bikes would only be used once a day.


    Larry Littlefield

    I think people have the wrong idea about what makes bike share doable. If everyone is riding in one direction in the morning, and the other direction in the evening, they the bikeshare bike will only be used twice. Either that or you’ll need to pick them up in trucks and move them around. That’s is a big money loser.

    In outlying locations, if the goal is to go big, it would be cheaper to rent people their own simple bikes and locks at a low cost with a low downpayment.

    That, combined with a big outreach/training program starting at age 12, would be a more effective use of public $ to expand the use of bicycles for transportation.


    Joe R.

    Even better was the “I won’t be coming back anytime soon.” Good riddance. Someone who drives in to shop costs the city far more than whatever sales taxes they pay. I love how these people think they’re doing us a favor.


    Joe R.

    You’re right. Downtown Flushing and downtown Jamaica are perfect places to put bike share. Put several huge bike share racks there, and put lots of smaller ones along the feeder bus lines within a few miles of both downtown areas. They WILL see heavy use.


    Joe R.

    That’s apples and oranges. Eastern Queens is a place which is arguably already dense enough for a few subways, bike share, etc. Adding these things will only help it become denser and lower car use.

    Putting money into rural or exburban areas which are economic basket cases is pointless. The core industry is Appalachia, naming coal mining, dried up. It’s not coming back despite what Trump says. Given that, might as well let the area return to nature in the long run. Same with a lot of exurban housing tracts which never should have been built in the first place. The outer boroughs of NYC, even Staten Island, are largely economically sustainable. The same is true of the inner ring suburbs. It makes sense to invest money in them, perhaps even help make them denser. They serve the function of providing housing for those working in denser areas. Everyone and everything can’t be in Manhattan.


    Joe R.

    Just look at the numbers using feeder bus lines. That’s a logical place to put bike share stations for a start. There may be demand for them elsewhere but at least on the bus lines we know there are established travel patterns.

    Or better yet start having more secure bike parking so more people can use their own bikes. By secure I mean either indoors or outdoors with a security guard.



    And most of NYC’s outer boroughs are far denser than many cities.

    And most of those cities don’t have bike share systems. And the ones that do, don’t have them in far flung areas. Population density is less relevant than travel patterns. Your argument would be stronger if you could show that travel patterns, geography, bike facilities etc…in eastern Queens are more conducive to bike share than travel patterns in other cities with successful bike share systems.



    How well are most bike share systems other than citibike doing?



    I think the sad thing in this entire discussion is we are forgetting that Downtown Flushing is a major business destination and seriously dense in its own right. It’s the fourth largest business district in the city, (after FiDi, Midtown and Downtown BKLN). It’s streets and sidewalks are some of the busiest in the city as well.



    I agree 100% – PBL is a very important part of the solution



    let me make a slight emendation then:
    “I bet that’s still fairly dense compared to many places in country with have bike share.”



    Let’s hope Citibike and DOT do a full court press on the housing projects of Astoria, using all the latest learnings on building equitable bikeshare systems. The Astoria and Ravenswood projects are huge, and they can use at least 2 Citibike stations each. Plus the projects are pretty far from subway stations. Now if only there were Protected Bike Lanes….



    I bet that’s still fairly dense compared to most of the country.

    Is most of the country dense enough to support a bike share system?



    The best way to increase tax receipts is to invest in infrastructure. That’s the very reason Manhattan became an economic powerhouse in the first place. But you seem unwilling to do that. It’s basically a case of we got ours and fuck everyone else.

    Isn’t that your approach to the rest of the country? Your posts seem to view as equitable taking the wealth of Manhattan and sending it to eastern Queens, but it’s a problem if it’s sent to Appalachia.



    a bitter lol at the SUV driver with no license crashng into the short bus after running a stop sign and getting SUMMONSES. even if the law didn’t allow harsher punishment, where are the crooked cops to sprinkle crack in the car when you need them?



    Too bad there won’t be the cashless tolling machines installed on the East River Bridges. Maybe if they installed them now under the rubric of Homeland Security? 😉



    And the web interface also has existed since the late 1990s…



    true but 85% =of population feels terrified unless on a PBL



    Where do they find these web designers?



    Meanwhile, just north of Toronto, the York Regional Police get smart in the name of safer streets. They ride the bus to flag distracted drivers, i.e. texters:

    Nice strategy by @YRP to catch distracted driving.(Also, another reason not to cover bus windows with ads.)— Michael Druker (@m_druker) November 24, 2016

    I bet we could kickstart a MetroCard or two for the NYPD if they’re, you know, a little cash strapped at the moment.


    Joe R.

    I think bike share in the outer boroughs would tend to be most useful for strictly local trips. As much as I like the idea of using it to replace the subway into Manhattan, you’ll probably find few takers there. I might do it, you might do it, but not a whole lot of people would. And I probably wouldn’t be keen on doing it unless we had bike infrastructure which let me go mostly nonstop all the way. It would just take too long otherwise compared to the subway.

    On the other hand, bike “highways” and “velomobile-share” could make this idea work. If you can be in midtown in 30 minutes from the outer fringes of Queens doubtless you’ll get quite a few people interested.


    Joe R.

    1) Infrastructure in NYC in general is terrible. It’s a little less terrible in Manhattan. My “gold-plated” argument refers more to Manhattan getting things like bike share, more bike infrastructure, and so forth. Bike share is nonexistent in most of the outer boroughs. Bike infrastructure is nothing to write home over, either.

    2) I was comparing NYC property tax levels on homes to the rest of the country. The east is an anomaly in that we have very high property taxes compared to the rest of the country. Yes, it’s true property taxes are higher in Nassau and Westchester but consider they don’t have a local income tax. Once you factor that in, overall tax levels are likely about the same.


    Joe R.

    I think you’re talking about the very fringe of eastern Queens, which might as well be Long Island. Once you’re about 2 or 3 miles from city limits, you have more density, and probably would have support for a subway. Point of fact, it was a tiny minority of vocal residents who killed the subway expansion plans. Like the present community boards in NYC, they didn’t speak for the majority then, who doubtless would have welcomed more subways.

    As for Staten Island, there are a few parts of it which are at least amenable to being more urban. Keep them in NYC, build a subway to them, give the rest of Staten Island to NJ at the same time you give the eastern 2 or 3 miles of Brooklyn/Queens to LI.


    Joe R.

    A big part of the problem here is WHAT the money is spent on. A lot of the infrastructure funding for Queens and Brooklyn go for roads that benefit relatively few residents. A good example is the $1.7 billion being spent to fix 1.5 miles of the BQE. I can’t help but think that money would be better spent on 5 to 10 new subway route miles. We could extend the E, F, and #7 to city limits.

    And then you have the school spending. I think if Queens were freed from NYC per student school spending would drop dramatically. We would be free to ditch the unions and their contracts given that the schools would no longer be under NYC Board of Education control. Same thing with the police. We could cut the police force in half. Lots of things Queens could do to reduce costs once its no longer under NYC control.

    There’s also the fact both businesses and governments can become too large for their own good. You’ll have efficiency gains at first from consolidating duplicate functions but eventually as bureaucracies get too large it becomes easier to dead wood to hide. I recall reading a story about an employee pulling down a six figure salary in a big company who came in at 11, spent 2 hours in the company gym, and went home at 3. This went on for 17 years. It would have been impossible for this to happen in a very small company where every employee will be noticed if they don’t pull their weight. Arguably, municipalities start to see negative benefits when they get too large. NYC may have passed that point once the population exceeded 2 or 3 million. In other words, don’t underestimate the potential efficiency gains which could occur if NYC broke up into a few pieces.



    Gotta hop off, but will only say that

    1. if you think that Manhattan is getting “gold-plated” anything when it comes to infrastructure, I’d beg to differ. Streets are in terrible shape.

    2. NYC’s overall property taxes are actually quite low, if you compare to surrounding areas (Westchester, Nassau). I’m not questioning the overall level, but rather the balancing. Property tax should be based on the value of the property.


    Ferdinand Cesarano

    Speaking as someone who grew up in eastern Queens (but who happily escaped from there thirty years ago), I don’t think that the use of bike share in the outer boroughs would make sense just to get to the subway. I think that the best use of it would be as an alternative to the whole bus/subway thing; bike share should be positioned as another means to get to Manhattan. Looked at that way, the yearly fee is extremely cheap.

    But for bike share to be useful as a means to get to Manhattan from the far-flung areas of the City, you’d need the 45-minute limit extended. For riders in the remote sections of Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, you’d realistically need to double the limit to 90 minutes. I understand that it would be hard to sell the idea that bikes rented in Manhattan (and in the nearby sections of Brooklyn and Queens) can be taken for 45 minutes, while the bikes rented in eastern Queens, in southern Brooklyn, and in the northern Bronx can be taken for 90 minutes; but that is what equity demands.

    Finally, the fact that this programme needed to be privately funded in order to get going is a sad measure of just how backwards we are as a society. In a sane world, bike share would be part of the public transport system, and would be run by the local transit agency. And the entire system would be supported entirely by taxes, with an additional bike-share fee structure that functioning mainly to disincentive the hogging of a bike.