Skip to content

10 Comments

Today’s Headlines

  • EPA: Cuomo Administration Jumped the Gun With Tappan Zee Bridge Loan (LoHud)
  • Keith Wright Presses Court to Reinstate License of His Top Staffer After DWI Arrest (Post)
  • Cement Truck Driver Runs Over Cyclist, Crushes Her Legs in East Williamsburg (Gothamist)
  • Driver Seriously Injures Woman in Williamsburg; Witness Says Driver Was Turned Around (WABC)
  • Hit-and-Run Motorcyclist Critically Injures Teen Crossing Grand Concourse (Post)
  • Crowley Bill Would Allow Workers to Spend Pre-Tax Dollars on Bike-Share (Observer, Post, WCBS)
  • TLC’s Joshi: Bending NYC’s Regs to Lyft’s Desires “Not Up for Negotiation” (CapNY)
  • New Plaza Is Central to Douglaston’s Plan to Revive Area Near LIRR Station (WSJ)
  • Eric Adams Talks Rezoning Brooklyn for More Housing With YIMBY
  • Crain’s Continues Its Campaign Against Installing Countdown Clocks at Bus Stops

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

Streetsblog USA No Comments

Study: People Living Near Biking and Walking Paths Get More Exercise

Walking and biking activity increased for people living near new facilities, in three U.K. communities examined. Connect2 is the name of the nonprofit group that helped install the infrastructure. Image: American Journal of Public Health

New bike/ped infrastructure in three UK communities (labeled “Connect2″ — the name of the nonprofit group that helped install the infrastructure) led to more physical activity. Graph: American Journal of Public Health

People who live near safe, high-quality biking and walking infrastructure tend to get more exercise than people who don’t, according to a study published last week in the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers surveyed randomly selected adults before and after new bike/ped infrastructure was built in three communities in the U.K. Two of the selected communities opened bike and pedestrian bridges with well-connected “feeder” infrastructure. The other community upgraded “an informal riverside footpath” into a boardwalk during the study period.

Over three years, about 1,500 people responded to annual surveys about their walking and biking habits as well as other exercise behavior. During the first year of the survey — before the bike/ped improvements had been completed — there was no difference in biking and walking levels between people living close to the project areas and people living farther away. But by the final survey year, after the new infrastructure had been built, a disparity began to emerge.

Researchers found that people living within 0.6 miles of a protected bikeway got about 45 minutes more exercise biking and walking per week than people living 2.5 miles away. For every kilometer (0.6 miles) closer respondents lived to the infrastructure improvement, they exercised roughly 15 minutes more per week. People without access to a car were most likely to exercise more in response to the infrastructure improvements.

Read more…

17 Comments

Watch the NYC Bike Network Grow and Evolve Over 120 Years

Prepare to be mesmerized. Betsy Emmons has mapped the history of New York City’s bike network using the platform MapStory, where she’s currently a summer fellow. Watch the city’s greenways, bike lanes, and bridge paths expand over 120 years.

You can see the first designated bike routes — promenade-style parkways designed by Olmsted and Vaux in the pre-automotive era — crop up on Ocean Parkway and Eastern Parkway. Bike access via bridges and ferries is visible early on — these are labeled “Class L” in the data, says Emmons, which means they were designated as bike routes but did not necessarily include dedicated space for cycling.

While Robert Moses was remaking the city’s transportation system to move car traffic, most additions to the bike network seem to have served primarily recreational routes near the water. Then in the late 1970s, the first on-street bike lanes in the Manhattan core appear on Broadway and Fifth Avenue. More on-street routes show up in the 80s and 90s, and you can see the Hudson River Greenway take shape segment by segment.

As the on-street routes become a more cohesive network with the proliferation of bike lanes in the Bloomberg/Sadik-Khan years, you have to zoom in to get a better feel for all the changes. Though protected bike lanes are not differentiated from unprotected infrastructure in this iteration of the map, in a future version the underlying data could be used to show how those bikeways have recently become more common.

Read more…

2 Comments

Crashes Highlight the Hell’s Kitchen Bus Crunch

Last Monday, a left-turning coach bus driver struck two Spanish tourists in the crosswalk at 47th Street and 10th Avenue in Manhattan, sending them to the hospital with critical injuries. On Thursday, another bus driver crashed into scaffolding a few blocks away, causing minor injuries to passengers. The local community board chair says that without adequate bus facilities, neighborhood streets are getting overwhelmed.

The topic came up at a hearing last week where regional transportation leaders weighed New York’s big transit challenges, but only piecemeal solutions seem to be in the works at this time.

The bus driver in last Monday’s crash, 37-year-old Richard Williams, rolled over the leg of 62-year-old Maria Bagona and critically injured Maria Aranzazu Madariaga-Fernandez, 50 in the crosswalk. The women, relatives visiting New York from Spain, had planned to return home on Tuesday but were hospitalized.

The Post reported that the turning driver had a green light, neglecting to mention that the pedestrians would have also had a walk signal. In an interview from the hospital with the Daily News, the women set the record straight. “We were waiting to cross,” said Madariaga-Fernandez. “When the light turned, we started to cross. Suddenly, there was a bus… and it hit us.”

Read more…

Streetsblog.net No Comments

Will Texas DOT Gouge Another Highway Through Dallas?

A proposal for the $1.3 billion Trinity Toll Road in Dallas. Image: North Texas Tolling Authority

A proposal for the $1.3 billion Trinity Toll Road in Dallas. Image: North Texas Tolling Authority

The Trinity Toll Road embodies Texas’s destructive compulsion for expanding highways.

The proposed $1.3 billion highway project will likely increase sprawl and weaken central Dallas. It’s part of a $5 billion package of road projects to ostensibly reduce congestion. Because tackling congestion by building always works out well.

If you need another reason to feel leery of the Trinity Toll Road, here’s a good one: The Dallas region can’t afford it. But while it looks like local agencies may never put together the money to make the project happen, now the state — which also can’t afford it — may get involved, reports Brandon Formby at the Dallas Morning News’ Transportation Blog:

TxDOT’s involvement could move the long-delayed and consistently divisive project closer to completion if the [North Texas Tolling Authority] and the city can’t come up with the money needed to build it. So far, a source for the bulk of construction costs hasn’t been identified. But TxDOT chipping in would also push the project farther, once again, from the narrative city leaders sold to voters who narrowly approved the project seven years ago. The road was portrayed in 2007 as a project that would largely be paid for by the drivers who would eventually use it.

Read more…

6 Comments

Today’s Headlines

  • NYC DOT Prepares to Implement 25 MPH Speed Limit Citywide (AMNY)
  • Cabbie Critically Injures 13-Year-Old Cyclist on UWS; Cops Blame Victim (Post, News)
  • City Pleading With State For Permission to Save on Construction Costs (Crain’s)
  • After Much Handwringing, SI Advance Concludes the Benefit of Speed Cams “Cannot Be Questioned”
  • Lyft Has Another Week to Work Out How to Comply With NYC Rules (DNA)
  • The Post Finds Connections Between Uber and Lyft and Bloomberg
  • Five-Week G Train Construction Shutdown Starts This Friday (AMNY)
  • More Coverage of Street Safety Vigil for Jean Chambers at NewsDNA, Gothamist
  • Take a Look at the New Hartford-New Britain Busway (MTR)
  • For Forth Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Biking Is a “Great Way to Connect With People” (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

No Comments

July 25: Meet NYC’s New Ultimate Utility Bike + Benefit Streetsblog

bike_design_project

Come out to DUMBO next Friday for a bike design party where all proceeds from beer sales will benefit Streetsblog and Streetfilms.

The new bike at the center of the party is the NYC entrant in Oregon Manifest’s 2014 Bike Design Project. Allow me to explain a bit more: The non-profit Oregon Manifest is putting on a bike design competition, inviting teams from five different cities to design the best urban utility bike they can. The winner will be decided via online voting and could get a production contract with Fuji (here are the criteria for the competition).

At the DUMBO Loft next Friday, you can get up close and personal with the prototype from NYC-based design firm PENSA and Horse Cycles. Plus, you can feel really good about visiting the bar repeatedly, because all beer sales will be donated to Streetsblog and Streetfilms.

We’re looking for a few good volunteers who can help out at the event. If you’d like to donate your time, email Kelly Donohue with the subject “bike party.”

The venue is a special landmark in NYC livable streets history — it’s right next to the Pearl Street Triangle, one of the first parking-to-public-space conversions in the NYC DOT plaza program. Here’s where to go:

The Dumbo Loft & Dumbo Triangle
155 Water Street

6 – 9 p.m.

Streetsblog USA No Comments

Contraflow Bike Lanes Finally Get Nod From U.S. Engineering Establishment

Contraflow bike lanes -- of bike lanes that are directed the opposite way of vehicle traffic, look to be on their way to the nation's leading traffic engineering guide. Photo: NACTO

Contraflow bike lanes could soon be included in an influential traffic engineering guide. Photo: NACTO

Buffered bike lanes have been used in some American cities for decades now, and an increasing number of cities are implementing contraflow bike lanes. But only just now are these street designs getting official recognition from powerful standard-setters inside the U.S. engineering establishment.

Bike lane markings in the intersection space may soon be part of important engineering guidance. Image: Bike Delaware

Bike lane markings through intersections may soon be part of important engineering guidance. Image: Bike Delaware

Late last month, the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices gave its approval to 11 treatments, including these two bike lane configurations. Committee members also, as anticipated, approved bike boxes and bike signals, which had been considered “experimental,” as well as bike lane markings that continue through intersections.

This opens the way for these designs to be included in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Without recognition in the MUTCD, engineers in many cities are reluctant to install these treatments. Official acceptance in the leading design manual would help make these treatments more widespread — and that will help make American streets safer for biking.

That’s still not a done deal. The committee approval is advisory, and the group’s recommendation will now be sent to the Federal Highway Administration for potential inclusion the the MUTDC. To get final approval, the new guidelines must undergo a rule-making period where they are reviewed by other engineering institutions that have historically been averse to change, like the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

3 Comments

The Weekly Carnage

The Weekly Carnage is a Friday round-up of motor vehicle violence across the five boroughs. For more on the origins and purpose of this column, please read About the Weekly Carnage.

Sokhna Niang was killed crossing the stretch of Flatbush Avenue between Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Image: Google Maps via Gothamist

Fatal Crashes (3 Killed This Week; 106 This Year*)

  • Downtown Brooklyn: Matthew Brenner, 29, Struck on Bicycle on Sands Street, Dies from Injuries; No Charges (Streetsblog)***
  • Prospect-Lefferts Gardens: Sokhna Niang, 49, Hit Crossing Flatbush Avenue (DNANewsWCBSNews 12)
  • West Brighton: Woman Crossing Street Struck by Dept. of Sanitation Truck Driver (Advance, DNA)
  • Morris Heights: Man Attempting to Cross the Cross Bronx Expressway Struck by Box Truck Driver (DNA)

Read more…

12 Comments

At Jean Chambers Vigil, Urgent Pleas for Action Before Another Life Is Lost

John Chambers addresses last light's vigil for his wife Jean, killed last week by a turning driver at West End Avenue and 95th Street. Photo: Stephen Miller

John Chambers speaks at the vigil for his wife Jean, who was killed last week by a turning driver at West End Avenue and 95th Street. Photo: Stephen Miller

Yesterday evening, more than 100 people gathered on the corner of 95th Street and West End Avenue to remember 61-year-old Jean Chambers, killed last week by a turning driver while she had the “walk” signal. Jean’s husband and other traffic violence victims spoke at the vigil, and Council Member Helen Rosenthal announced that in the wake of this latest death, DOT will soon redesign at least 10 blocks of West End Avenue.

Jean Chambers is the fourth person killed in traffic within a two-block radius on the Upper West Side since January. After two nearby deaths at 96th Street and Broadway, DOT quickly implemented recommendations that had been developed last year. But it took yet another death to bring more street safety changes to the neighborhood.

“Jean came to 95th Street expressly to avoid 96th Street, because 96th Street and West End is especially treacherous,” said John Chambers, Jean’s husband. “There’s an irony there. She was very conscientious.”

Last night, Rosenthal said DOT has committed to a redesign of West End Avenue, a wide street with ill-defined lanes that handles lots of car traffic going to and from the West Side Highway. ”It will be at least ten blocks, and I think it’s going to be longer,” she said, adding that DOT will be making big changes soon. ”It’s going to be faster than you’ve ever seen,” she said. DOT said it hopes to work with Rosenthal and Community Board 7 to develop the project in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, there are a number of smaller changes DOT is making. Another speed hump on 95th Street between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive is planned, and a leading pedestrian interval at 95th Street and West End Avenue will be installed next week, DOT says. A ban on left turns from 95th to West End, the maneuver made by the driver who killed Chambers, was approved just days before Chambers’s death and implemented very recently [PDF]. The ban is only in effect from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on weekdays, however. Rosenthal hopes DOT will make it around-the-clock and install signs reminding drivers coming off the West Side Highway at 95th Street to drive carefully.

Many of these changes have been requested for years by parents at PS 75, where Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled his Vision Zero action agenda in February. John Decatur is a father of three and has two children at PS 75, where he serves as co-president of the PTA. “Many parents have told me about nearly getting hit by cars. At the crosswalk where Jean was killed, I had my kids in the crosswalk. A driver leaned out and said, ‘Get your fucking kids out of the crosswalk,” he said. “I had the light.”

Read more…