Polly Trottenberg, the city's new DOT commissioner.

Polly Trottenberg, the city’s new DOT commissioner. Source: Transportation for America / Flickr

THE COMMUTE: On the day before he took office, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he was appointing Polly Trottenberg as Transportation Commissioner. She replaced the controversial Janette Sadik-Khan who held the position for the past six years.

Trottenberg was the under secretary for policy at federal DOT for the past year and assistant secretary for policy for the three years prior. She was a former aide to U.S. senators for 12 years. She worked for Charles Schumer and Daniel Moynihan, and Barbara Boxer of California (who graduated from the same Brooklyn high school as Marty Markowitz four years earlier). You can read more of Trottenberg’s resume here and here.

The new commissioner, of course, has to follow her boss’ lead. We already have an idea where the new mayor stands on transportation issues. He has stated that he supports a “vision zero“ traffic fatality goal and will expand Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as well as the use of bicycles. Trottenberg intends to differ from her predecessor by promising a more collaborative process with communities before constructing more pedestrian plazas. She stated one of her priorities would be improving outer borough bus service.

Trottenberg really can’t make much of a difference in that regard since bus service is under the domain of the MTA. Even if de Blasio gets the 20 additional BRT or Select Bus Service (SBS) corridors he desires, it will barely make a difference since the city operates more than 300 local bus routes throughout the five boroughs. Speeding up 20 routes is a drop in the bucket. What is needed is a compete study and restructuring of the entire local bus network, improving bus reliability on all routes, as well as studying the need for BRT and SBS. Probably one in five bus routes could benefit from some type of restructuring to improve connections and providing more direct travel.

The MTA’s idea of improving bus service is adding 30-minute shuttle buses, making no changes that involve more than a zero cost, converting limited service to SBS, and not expanding our rail system in the outer boroughs. Unfortunately, the transportation commissioner has no say in MTA policy, other than as it relates to SBS.

Of course, safety is most important. However, “vision zero” for traffic fatalities is a desirable but unattainable goal, unless we close all streets to motor vehicles. Until the last few administrations, the goal of the Department of Transportation was to maintain the system’s infrastructure of roads and bridges, and reduce traffic congestion. Although there was much deferred maintenance on the roads and bridges during previous decades, we have thus far avoided a major catastrophe such as a bridge collapse.

Traffic congestion was reduced in the 1960s and earlier through the widening of streets, the building of new highways, the conversion of two-way avenues to one-way, permitting the synchronization of traffic signals on those streets (as well as on two-way roadways), thus greatly speeding up travel. Safety was always an important consideration but it never was the number one consideration. Lane markings are not replaced until they are totally worn out. There are many dangerous areas with poorly placed signage too close to the point of decision, causing unfamiliar drivers to make erratic lane changes. Finally, stretches of highways remain dark for years. The stretch along the Belt Parkway that has still has not been repaired since Superstorm Sandy, for example. Prior to the storm, other sections were dark for months at a time.

However, when the city speaks about safety, those are not the issues they address. Safety to the city means placing “School Xing” signs on seemingly every other corner, and adding traffic signals near every city school, which are in effect 24 hours a day, when more crossing guards at school arrivals and dismissals would be just as or more effective. The addition of all these traffic signals to appease communities has greatly slowed down traffic over the years and increased air pollution as well, with unnecessary stops and starts.

In the 1960s, slow travel was considered a bad thing. Now, slow traffic is considered desirable. It is interpreted as less speeding and with creating increased safety. Traffic congestion has been renamed “traffic calming.” We only consider faster trips, as it applies to buses, as a good thing, as if slow truck and auto trips do not matter.

Drivers who speed are considered villains. However, no distinction is made between speeders who are a menace to safety and those traveling a few miles over the speed limit. In most cases, the latter, though illegal, causes no danger to anyone. Speed limits are designed to be lower than what the safe speed really is because it is known that some will always speed. What needs to be addressed are proper police investigations of so-called accidents that cause serious injury and death, and lowering of speed limits on very narrow streets where drivers do not have the sense to travel under 30 mile per hour.

Conclusion

The priorities of the new commissioner should be to make sure that our bridges, highways, and streets remain structurally sound and safe, that lane markings are properly maintained, poor signage is corrected, and streets and highways remain lit at all times. Her first test will be how efficiently next March’s potholes are repaired. In the past, trucks were dispatched to fix potholes based on 311 complaints. Is that the most efficient way when there are three potholes on a block but the truck only fixes the one that received a 311 complaint, bypassing the other two?

As long as the mayor and commissioner have the ear of bicycle advocates and automobile haters, I don’t expect the priorities of the previous administration — the narrowing of streets in order to slow down travel — to change. The narrowing of Fourth Avenue, which was widened in the 1970s, is currently under consideration. Congestion along Emmons Avenue, which was also widened in the 1970s, has already increased by new lane markings.

De Blasio, in his campaign, has already promised more red light and speed enforcement cameras and expansion of the bicycle network. I believe we can also expect higher fines with the justification that speeders deserve what they get with no analysis of why cars ignore speed limits. That happens because in some instances speed limits are set so unrealistically low that they have become a joke. I am speaking primarily of inconsistent work zone speed limits of 35 or 40 mph in so-called highway work zones that never end.

One change the new commissioner could make would be to make speed limits realistic, so that motorists begin to take them seriously. Work zone speed limits need to be installed when work actually begins, not three months before, and removed as soon as highway work ends, not three months later, or never.

The end of a work zone needs to be clearly marked at the place where the work actually ends, not a mile later. We must not keep reducing speed limits on major arteries, such as Queens Boulevard, in response to accidents, when other measures are necessary such as intersection redesign to keep the street safe. And the goal when reducing speed limits or placing cameras should always be increased safety, not increased revenue.

The Commute is a weekly feature highlighting news and information about the city’s mass transit system and transportation infrastructure. It is written by Allan Rosen, a Manhattan Beach resident and former Director of MTA/NYC Transit Bus Planning (1981).

Disclaimer: The above is an opinion column and may not represent the thoughts or position of Sheepshead Bites. Based upon their expertise in their respective fields, our columnists are responsible for fact-checking their own work, and their submissions are edited only for length, grammar and clarity. If you would like to submit an opinion piece or become a regularly featured contributor, please e-mail nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

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  • user1092873

    Ah, Allan Rosen. Ever the optimist claiming failure out of the gate. Why bother with doing anything if she’s going to fail, right? Let’s keep everything the same…NIMBY NIMBY NIMBY.

    BdB’s appointment is from US DOT which is more progressive in its policies than NYC has been in the last 6 years. What misogynistic nicknames are you and the rest of the DOT hater’s planning to give her when she implements policies that you don’t agree with because she’s got transportation engineering education that’s 3-4 decades more up-to-date than you?

    • Allan Rosen

      Who said she shouldn’t be doing anything? What do you have against clearer and better placed signage or removing work zone speed limits when work is completed as I suggested?

      I don’t criticize someone for implementing policies I don’t agree with without having good reasons for not agreeing. I guess in your opinion one should not be a DOT “hater” but you have no problem with those who are automobile “haters.” Good transportation policy is considering all modes of travel fairly, not promoting one mode while unnecessarily harming others.

      I have not criticized her yet, and certainly am willing to give her credit when she deserves it. I also did not make any predictions that she will mess up. I posed the question of how she will handle pothole repair. I do not consider that being a DOT “hater” and I never proclaimed failure. I just stated that I do not expect much of a change from the previous administration because all indications show that little will change.

      • user21936

        Trottenberg really can’t make much of a difference in that regard since bus service is under the domain of the MTA

        Read what you wrote, and read what I wrote.

        • Allan Rosen

          What is wrong with what I wrote? Promising to improve outer borough bus service is a mighty big promise. I stated that even if she gets all the SBS routes the mayor is asking for (20), it will not make a major difference in improving local bus service when you consider there are over 300 local bus routes. She would make some improvement but it would be relatively minor when you consider what is needed. That was my point. It wasn’t to say that she will be a poor commissioner or portray her as negative. I was just saying she was promising more than she can deliver.

      • fdtutf

        “Good transportation policy is considering all modes of travel fairly, not promoting one mode while unnecessarily harming others.”

        My irony detector is ringing loudly. You pay lip service to other modes (including buses), but when the chips are down, you consistently prioritize automobile traffic over all other modes, which is particularly inappropriate in New York, where relatively few people use automobiles (relative to other cities in the U.S., particularly). You promote automobile use to the detriment of other modes, even opposing the conversion of automobile lanes to bus lanes.

        • Allan Rosen

          I pay lip service to buses? Excuse me. How many articles have I written about the need to improve local bus service? A dozen perhaps? I have written far fewer articles about improving automobile travel. In fact, I can’t think of a single one that I have written where I promoted automobile travel.. I haven’t called for more highways or widening any streets. What I have complained about was the unnecessary narrowing of streets that would make automobiIe travel more difficult.

          You put in bus lanes where they are necessary and then you enforce the ones you put in to make sure they are working. We have had them for years in Downtown Brooklyn, but they are frequently blocked with little or no enforcement.

          You don’t merely look at a map and conclude that any wide street can be successfully narrowed and bus lanes put in even if the frequency of bus service provided does not warrant an exclusive bus lane with no negative impacts on traffic.

          You also can’t automatically conclude that improving one bus route will take people out of their cars and put them on buses. The goal is to make bus travel faster and more convenient,not to slow down car travel so much and make parking so expensive that you eliminate that modal choice altogether and force everyone onto mass transit. Citizens just won’t stand for that. They will just move elsewhere if living in NYC becomes too difficult.

          • fdtutf

            “What I have complained about was the unnecessary narrowing of streets that would make automobiIe travel more difficult.”

            You’ve complained about the conversion of automobile lanes to exclusive bus use, even part of the time. I don’t know if that’s what you mean by “narrowing” or not, but in any case, those complaints ignore the fact that the result is a benefit for bus riders because they can now travel faster on the bus.

            Street space is a limited resource that needs to be effectively shared among modes, yet your thinking and writing betrays a position where the default is to devote all street space to private cars, with other modes divvying up what’s left. That’s not fair to the people who use those other modes — again, especially in a city like New York, where a substantial fraction of the population never drive cars.

          • Allan Rosen

            Not true. I opposed the bus lanes in Sheepshead Bay because I didn’t feel they were necessary there.

            I did not oppose the bus lanes on Nostrand and Rogers Avenue north of Flatbush Ave.. My only problem with those (especially between Empire Blvd and Eastern Parkway).is that they were looked at in isolation. I think they could work well by revising parking regulations on adjacent avenues by prohibiting more parking and turning parking lanes into travel lanes to handle diverted traffic when additional capacity is needed. My problem was that no one was looking at the traffic affects on adjacent avenues, not the bus lanes, per se.

          • fdtutf

            “I think they could work well by revising parking regulations on adjacent avenues by prohibiting more parking and turning parking lanes into travel lanes to handle diverted traffic when additional capacity is needed. My problem was that no one was looking at the traffic affects on adjacent avenues, not the bus lanes, per se.”

            You’ve made my point. Your complaints don’t mention the positive effects for bus riders, instead focusing on how the bus lanes affect automobile drivers, as if their needs are paramount. It’s a consistent theme in your writing, and if you’re not aware of it, I think you need to go back and review some of the things you’ve written.

            Additionally, automobile traffic is not a given simple function of a certain number of people or cars. It will vary as conditions change. If the conversion of a travel lane to bus-only use reduces the hourly capacity of a street from, say, 3,000 vehicles an hour to 2,000 (and I’m assuming that capacity is actually reached), there’s no natural law that says those other 1,000 trips must continue to be taken, nor that they will necessarily be taken on adjacent parallel streets. Drivers will react to the capacity reduction in various ways depending on their own personal situations and preferences: they may change the times of their trip to avoid congested periods, they may change their route (not necessarily to use adjacent parallel roads, either), or they may abandon the particular automobile trip altogether, either choosing to use another mode for the trip or simply giving it up.

            Yet your writing presupposes that because automobile trips are currently being made, they are not only given, but *justified*, and must not be impeded.

          • Allan Rosen

            An automobile trip is just as justified as a trip by mass transit. To assume most drivers have the option of traveling at a different time is overly simplistic. The ability to take a trip at a different time or not make the trip at all depends on if it is a discretionary trip or not. That difference applies equally to mass transit trips and those made by private automobile.

            This article was about the Transportation commissioner, not about buses, so naturally I will focus more on our roadways than on mass transit here. That is why I didn’t talk about “positive effects for bus riders”.

            I am quite aware of what I have written and nowhere do I suggest that the needs of automobile drivers are superior to the needs of bus riders. I’ve fought for bus riders for over 40 years. But drivers have rights to which those who hate cars seem to forget. A car is still a necessity for someone such as myself who will not make a 2 hour bus and train trip, late at night, when I can make te same trip

          • Allan Rosen

            when I can make the same trip by car in 35 minutes. There is no way mass transit can compete with that. As far as not mentioning the positive effects on bus riders, that is not true either. In my SBS articles, I often stated that SBS will help those making long SBS bus trips like between 5 and 9 miles. The problem I had with choosing the B44 SBS is that the average bus trip on that route is only 2.3 miles which is what it is on most other routes. It woud be much longer on the S79 and on Woodhaven Blvd. I never said it was a bad idea on the S79. Only that drivers have complained about increased congestion. That was a fact, not my opinion. The problem I have on Woodhaven is that a better alternative may exist with the reactivation of the Rockaway Beach Line or building BRT along that right of way instead of Woodhaven, where you would have to remove traffic lanes. You seem to be of the opinion, who cares about cars and trucks? It’s only the bus riders who matter. The street is wide, therefore tey can afford to lose traffic lanes. It’s not that simple.

          • RIPTA42

            Capacity for automobiles typically isn’t a problem late at night. Converting some of that pavement width to bus lanes during peak hours helps make the duration of the transit trip competitive with the car trip and encourages people to use transit.

          • Allan Rosen

            What is your point by stating capacity for automobiles isn’t a problem late at night?

          • RIPTA42

            You’re arguing that converting travel lanes into exclusive bus lanes is a bad idea because a 35 minute car trip late at night takes two hours by bus. You would still be able to make your 35 minute trip late at night, and bus riders during peak hours would benefit from shorter trip times.

          • Allan Rosen

            No that is not what I was arguing at all. I was merely making the point that for many a car is a necessity in response to those who believe that no one needs to drive. I was saying there are some instances where you can’t do anything to make mass transit complete with the automobile. The comment had nothing to do with exclusive bus lanes.

          • RIPTA42

            Your only argument that “a car is a necessity” is “[I] will not make
            a 2 hour bus and train trip, late at night, when I can make the same trip by car in 35 minutes.” Late night travel is irrelevant to the discussion of what can be done to make mass transit competitive when it matters.

          • Allan Rosen

            Late night travel is not irrelevant to why people own and need cars which was the point I was making.

          • fdtutf

            Nobody’s arguing that people shouldn’t *own* cars. The discussion is about how to allocate limited street space between modes. You seem to be saying that just because people need automobiles for certain trips, they should then be entitled to use those automobiles for all their trips and expect no competition for street space from (users of) other modes, which doesn’t follow.

            I am well aware that most of the costs of car ownership are “sunk” costs and that the marginal cost per trip is very low. Frankly, that’s a disadvantage of automobiles that somebody might work to creatively overcome, but it is not a reason to allocate automobiles a disproportionate share of street space.

          • Allan Rosen

            How are automobiles being allocated a disproportionate share of street space? Should be take all streets with high levels of pedestrians such as Fifth Avenue and turn them all into pedestrian malls? Where would you put the express buses or don’t we need them? It’s great to talk generalities, but it’s the specifics that matter.

            And no one said anything about people with cars using them for all their trips. Most people do not take their car into an area were parking is scarce if they have a decent alternative.

          • RIPTA42

            If the sidewalks are well over capacity and the roadway is well under, then yes, the street space is not allocated correctly. Of course that isn’t the case on Fifth Avenue, but it was in Herald and Times Squares a few years ago.

            Allan’s only argument for people “needing cars” so far is the length of time for a late night trip, without acknowledging that the same person might use a different mode of transportation during the day.

          • Allan Rosen

            People often do use a different mode during the day. It depends on where you are going. If the trip is short enough and the weather is good and I have the time, I will often walk, rather tan take the bus or drive.

            And there are other reasons for needing cars like when the bus routes are too inconvenient to take you where you want to go and driving is the better option, because a subway is not available either. A late night trip isn’t the only reason. A car also cuts down on the frequency of trips to the supermarket. I can’t carry home $150 worth of groceries on the bus and I don’t want to shop every three days either. You also can’t take 50 pounds of calcium chloride home with you from Home Depot on the bus. So don’t say it is my only argument.

          • flatbush depot

            Have you considered using a rolling suitcase and/r a backpack to transport that $150 worth of groceries groceries on mass transit?

          • flatbush depot

            Sorry about the repeated word. I would attempt to do what I mentioned there if I had to transport that amount of groceries.

            I have never tried it, but I am sure it would work for me without a problem. I know it may not work for others though.

          • Allan Rosen

            You can’t fit that much into a suitcase and you still have to problem with the stairs on the buses. When I had no car for a while I used a shopping cart and getting it on an RTS bus was very difficult and I was too embarrassed to ask for the wheelchair lift. I also felt guilty about delaying everyone else. I would just pray for a low floor bus.

            As you get older, you want to be more comfortable in life. The inconveniences you are willing to put up with as a college student, you no longer want to accept in your sixties. Take it from one who has been there.

          • flatbush depot

            I hope I do not get to the point where I need to depend on personal automobiles for any reason, including age. But if it does happen, it is what it is. I would feel defeated.

            Wait, one cannot even fit much in a large suitcase? I also said a backpack. One could use two suitcases and a large backpack. I think this would be less cumbersome and occupy less space on the mass transit vehicle than a shopping cart. (Also I think I would have more carrying capacity with two large suitcases than with one shopping cart.) While it is true that this may be less convenient, at least it does not have to be done very often.

          • Allan Rosen

            i never got in the habit of using backpacks and they are most annoying to other passengers when vehicles are crowded. Two suitcases on a high floor bus is a nightmare. I did it once in Israel in 1979, and still remember how difficult it was maneuvering them on. I don’t remember getting off though.

          • flatbush depot

            -First statement depends on how crowded the vehicle is.

            -As time goes on, high-floor buses are decommissioned and replaced by low-floors.

          • Nick

            You’re joking, right? Perishables in a backpack in the summer, waiting for a bus. And where in the supermarket would you pack up that suitcase. In places like SW Brooklyn, Staten Island and most of Queens a car is a necessity for things just like grocery shopping. A car is part of the middle-class lifestyle in many neighborhoods.

          • flatbush depot

            -The trunk of a car never gets hot and one never spends time sitting in traffic while driving or searching for a parking space while perishables are in the trunk?

            -What if the wait for the bus/train/trolley is short? What about the climate control system in the bus/train/trolley?

            -The suitcase can go in the bottom rack of the shopping cart (at least the ones at Costco) and then packed after paying for the items. What about middle-class neighborhoods that have supermarkets (not Costco or any warehouse) within walking distance of housing?

          • flatbush depot

            I meant “be packed after paying for the items.”

        • Guest

          Maybe in the city it is true there are less cars. There are still people that drive and many that need too for a variety of reasons. But the city is more then just Manhattan. Many in Brooklyn,Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx rely on a car to get around. One reason being that many areas are grossly under served by mass transit.

          • Allan Rosen

            And that’s why we can’t act as if people who drive don’t matter and every bad thing we do to them is perfectly okay.

          • RIPTA42

            We can’t act like people who don’t drive don’t matter, either.

          • RIPTA42

            Less than half of households in Brooklyn and the Bronx own a car, and only 64 percent of households in Queens do. For comparison, 65 percent of households in Boston and 71 percent of households in Chicago own cars.)

          • Allan Rosen

            Here we go again with the car ownership numbers. So what is your point?

            We know that NYC is the least car dependent of other major cities due to our extensive mass transit system. But you don’t mention that the need to travel longer distances to get where you need to go is also greater and mass transit isn’t as effective when the distances become great or that the subway is Manhattan oriented so it is usually difficult to make any subway trip where Manhattan is not in the path.

            When I was in Boston I was surprised that wherever I needed to go, the beach, the airport, downtown, my friends house, etc. were all a half hour away by mass transit so I never needed a car. Here, an average trip unless it is to the local drugstore takes a half hour by mass transit with most trips taking 45 minutes, an hour, or two hours by mass transit.

          • RIPTA42

            Mass transit not being as effective than a private vehicle doesn’t change the fact that a majority of the population doesn’t have that option (and yes, I’m aware that 64 percent is a “majority” of households, but as you indicated farther down this thread, that doesn’t mean every individual in a car-owning household has access to it). One way to make it more effective is by distributing street space a little more equitably to serve that portion of the population.

            I’ve found transit in Boston is much more challenging than in New York, and that includes a commute from Flushing to Bushwick. Walking tends to be faster than the subway anywhere near downtown Boston, and the one time I tried to get the four miles from Northeastern to City Point took more than an hour and a half. And I have to laugh whenever a New Yorker complains about 20 minute off-peak headways; the MBTA bus to my office runs once an hour.

            Better land use planning is also needed – a trip to the drugstore or grocery should be a walking trip, not a transit trip – but that’s a separate discussion.

          • Allan Rosen

            If by distributing street space more equitably, you mean more bus lanes, that is a case by case discussion. There are no general rules. A trip to the drugs store or grocery, certainly can be a mass transit trip depending on how far away it is. NYC is much more than Manhattan and other high density areas.

          • RIPTA42

            I lived in Kew Gardens Hills, and a trip to the drug store grocery was a walking trip. I realize there are parts of the city where it is not the case, but it certainly is in more than just Manhattan. And, as I said, we need better planning to make it the case more places (even outside NYC).

            By distributing street space more equitably, I mean analyzing what the actual needs are and planning accordingly.

          • sonicboy678

            “Only 64% of households in Queens”…
            You may as well have left that part out; also, what are the Manhattan and Staten Island statistics?

          • Nick

            “According to the data, only 1.4 million households in the City out of the total 3.0 million owned a car. Within the five boroughs, ownership is lowest in Manhattan, with only 23% of households owning a car, followed by Brooklyn and the Bronx, with 44% and 46% respectively. In contrast, a large majority of households in Queens (64%) and particularly in Staten Island (84%) own at least one car.”

            source: http://www.nycedc.com/blog-entry/new-yorkers-and-cars (April 05, 2012)

          • Allan Rosen

            People forget that transit is still needed even where auto ownership rates are high because ownership rates do not tell the entire story. It’s access to an auto that is a more important number than ownership rates. Often spouses or teenagers in the home have no access to that car while the breadwinner is at work if he takes his car to work. That’s why some households have two and three cars.

          • sonicboy678

            Thank you for the numbers. They show that Manhattan’s traffic is more influenced by surrounding areas and Staten Island’s buses and trains are less effective than they should be.

          • RIPTA42

            Why would I have left that out? It’s slightly less than Boston and way less than Chicago, both of which are successfully converting vehicle lanes into bike lanes and bus lanes.

          • sonicboy678

            In essence, you were withholding information. The percentages partially reflect the effectiveness of public transportation, with Staten Island and Queens having >50% car ownership reflecting how underserved they are as opposed to Manhattan, which sees <25% ownership, reflecting how it's relatively easy to get a bus or train.

          • Andrew

            That seems like a good argument to improve bus service in underserved areas.

          • RIPTA42

            64 percent of households is not a large proportion. As Allan already pointed out, not every member of a car-owning household has access to the car, meaning more than half of the population *even in “underserved” Queens* is dependent on something other than driving themselves.

          • dacomentr

            If you look at maps of car ownership in NYC you cannot simply go by percentages, you can see the rate of car ownership increase as you get further away from subway stations. So most of the car ownership is in Eastern Queens. Most of Brooklyn Car Ownership is in Flatbush/Flatlands/Canarsie,, etc

          • RIPTA42

            And it’s about 25 to 60 percent of households in the congested parts of Brooklyn where bike lanes and SBS are going to ruin “everyone’s” commute.

            http://www.nycedc.com/blog-entry/new-yorkers-and-cars

    • ekelks

      ‘…misogynistic nicknames…’? Talk about cynical. ”…you and the…haters…” I’ve never read anything by this writer that deserves these spurious accusations.

      • Wi Cho

        They do suck up to JSK & Bloomberg for a crazy reason.

  • guest

    Torn here. He got rid of the bike nut. There has to be a reason. I am hoping he is only saying what he says to keep her old fans quiet. We need to widen lanes and increase speed. Lights need to be brought back to be in sync. Most of the bike lanes need to be demolished and then reexamined when space permits. Ease traffic calming, then worry about the cycling elitist. Those that speed to cause danger need to be dealt with without penalizing the entire motorist population. Broadway in the city needs to be reopened to traffic. 4th avenue needs to be widened again. B44 SBS needs to go away. The population is increasing and even though many would have you believe not many people drive in this city you just need to look around. I have no problem with normal sane people riding bikes. But roads are not for playing in.

    • Lincoln

      I am happy to say that you will surely be disappointed by this commissioner.

    • flatbush depot

      -Reopening Broadway to traffic means induced demand means more automobiles means more potential for motor vehicle accidents.

      -If you think the B44 SBS needs to go away, I suppose you do not know the (2) train and its scheduling problems weekdays after 20:30 and all day Saturdays and Sundays, which have been happening for decades and will happen for more decades.

      -I also wonder how much you ride the B44 local, B44 SBS, or the (2)(3)(4)(5) trains.

      -It is unrealistic to make accommodations for an increase in personal automobile use in cities such as this one. People already illegally park all over the place (and I am not talking about ASP); now they should have more accommodations? All that will happen is that the induced demand theory will be proven once again because whatever new parking spaces are created will be occupied by newly present cars and then whatever cars were already present will continue to illegally park all over the place, delaying bus service and other moving road vehicles. And creating dangerous situations by hampering driver visibility if double-parked.

      -An increase in population cannot come with an increase in personal automobile use in cities such as this one.

      -What about learning to do things for which society/culture claims personal automobiles are needed, without a personal automobile?

      -Society and culture may want people to believe in whatever ‘reasons’ for personal automobile use it comes up with, but a lot those ‘reasons’ can probably be shot down easily.

      -So if it is not true that not many people drive in this city, do you recommend more roads or widening roads? Have you heard of induced demand? Or rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?

      -Notice how now that society and culture have created 80 billion ‘reasons’ for using personal automobiles, it is very hard to get them out of society.

      -Just how many personal automobiles that are on the road in this city actually need to be there?

      -Why should more accommodations be made for personal automobiles when there can never be enough accommodations for them in large cities like NYC? They are always illegally parked somewhere, always double parked on Nostrand Ave encroaching or causing other unauthorized vehicles to encroach on bus lanes, they do the same thing on Rogers Ave, they dart in front of buses (which carry many more people in less space than personal automobiles do), and these actions delay bus service when buses have to keep schedules (while dealing with unhelpful traffic signals) and make multiple stops to pick up/drop off people, and stay on fixed routes regardless of traffic conditions unless authorized by NYCT to make detours.

      -If more accommodations are made for personal automobiles, double parking will either happen more often or as often as it does now. Parking follows the induced demand theory just like traffic does. You add more parking spaces somewhere, people will use those parking spaces, and those who want to use their cars but cannot find legal parking will continue to double park, so double parking will not stop.

      -Traffic signal improvements will also probably lead to induced demand…

      -…As will widening lanes and increasing speed.

      -Traffic law enforcement, which is ineffective, costs taxpayer money.

      -I think making traffic law enforcement top-notch would be an enormous drain on taxpayer dollars.

      -Driving has a lot of external impacts, and the more cars there are on the road, the worse the external impacts are. And the more accommodations are made for cars, the more cars there will be, and the more external impacts everybody not using a car must deal with.

      • Allan Rosen

        I am not for widening roads, but I am against narrowing them to slow down auto travel and not removing bottlenecks so that it takes forever to get anywhere. It is also simplistic to assume that if you create an additional parking space or two that someone will see that spot and go out and by a car. The decision to buy a car is a highly personal one involving multiple considerations.

        Much of the congestion we have in the outer boroughs where cars are necessary, is due to overdevelopment of replacing one and two family homes with six family condos without providing parking for those new cars so you have more and more cars circling the block looking for a parking space. You improve transit by improving transit, not by making life difficult for everyone else. Why is no one fighting to ensure that during non-rush hours trains and buses aren’t jam packed as if it were still rush hour. People want comfort while they travel and that’s why some insist on driving. They don’t want to wait 20 minutes for a bus or stand when they shoudn’t have to stand. That doesn’t make someone evil.

        • RIPTA42

          It doesn’t make them evil, but it also doesn’t make them more deserving of a share of the public right of way than someone who uses a different mode of transportation, whether by choice or by necessity. Sometimes “improving transit” inherently means “making life difficult” for someone else, because there is a limited amount of space for everyone to use.

          • Allan Rosen

            No argument with that but every decision needs to be made on a case by case basis. Simply looking at a map and seeing a six lane roadway doesn’t automatically mean that two of those lanes are not necessary . Not saying you believe that as a traffic engineer, but there are many out there who believe exactly that.

          • RIPTA42

            Those who actually implement such plans don’t believe that.

        • flatbush depot

          -If the overdevelopment occurred in a transit desert such as southern Brooklyn, then I kinda understand the need for cars and the resulting congestion.

          -If the overdevelopment occurred somewhere like Flatbush near Brooklyn College, where it does not really make sense to own or use a car, then it is different.

          -Which are some of the neighborhoods in which this overdevelopment of which you speak occurred? I do know of at least one (central Riverdale in the Bronx, where a lot of people believe they ‘need’ cars to live well, which is at least somewhat valid in such a neighborhood, unfortunately). The parking situation has worsened there.

          -If everybody gave up their cars tomorrow and used mass transit (and evacuated neighborhoods where they beleived they ‘needed’ cars to live well), then the next time MTA reviewed ridership, MTA might realize that more people are using mass transit and add service as needed. Then buses could be emptier and the people riding them could be more comfortable.

          -Look at the massive burden to society caused by people seeking comfort by driving personal automobiles (think external impacts), which can be construed as running away from mass transit problems in certain situations. As long as the personal automobile is so easily available to so many people, all those people will use personal automobiles to circumvent or run away from mass transit problems, and there will continue to not be enough pressure on MTA to improve the transit system.

          -Waiting more than 15 minutes for a train or bus to come is a problem that only exists in certain neighborhoods, and people who want to avoid this can move to affordable neighborhoods where this happens less often. The neighborhood does not have to be a place like Park Slope or Crown Heights or Downtown Brooklyn or LIC or Williamsburg.

          -I get the impression that using a personal automobile makes some people become so accustomed to such comfort that when they wind up having to wait for a train or a bus in extreme weather conditions, they lose patience and give up on mass transit much more quickly than they would have if they had stuck to mass transit and bicycles (pretty much anything other than a personal automobile or taxi or car service).

          -If a person does not want to stand or wait for a bus or train, what about riding a bicycle? I like to think of the bicycle as my alternative to mass transit when I do not want to deal with mass transit and would never want a small automobile to by my alternative because of all the external impacts it has.

          That reminds me of an argument I had with my parents a few months ago when I wanted to start riding my bicycle to/from school every day and they said not to because I always come home from school late and they were scared that I would be struck by an automobile while riding my bicycle. They said “drivers are not looking for cyclists on the road at night.”

          Most of the danger while riding a bicycle is caused by cars, and that danger can be removed if there are only like two cars on the whole road, or driver education improves. Even if driver education improves and everybody suddenly becomes saintly and obeys traffic laws to a tee and is always careful, alert, and responsible, innocent human error can still lead to accidents. It also would cost tons of money to implement programs to accomplish this, which programs may not even be successful.

          Notice how even the mere presence of automobiles on the road that are driven by people who do not operate them for a living, several of which have a tendency to be aggressive and irresponsible while operating, can make the bicycle so unattractive because of safety issues. And the bicycle helps a person save money if the person uses it to go to work 5 days a week instead of using mass transit 5 days a week.

          I also think that many large packages that people think need to be transported by car can be transported by train or bus without delaying service (too much or at all) or otherwise inconveniencing others. I am willing to go through a list of examples.

          • flatbush depot

            I meant “would never want a small automobile as my alternative,” not “would never want a small automobile to by my alternative.” This is the 5th to last section of the post.

          • Allan Rosen

            There is over development all over. I have nothing against development if the infrastructure can support it, but we are constantly increasing development without making any improvements to the infrastructure. And the MTA’s response to development is pathetic.

            When the Spring Creek Shopping Center was built they extended the B13 at 30 minute headways. Buses were so crowded even at that crummy headway that they had to increase service. The day it opened there should have been two or three routes to serve it from all directions, not one and they should have operated 10 to 15 minute service not 30 minute service.

            If everyone abandoned their cars, the MTA would not automatically increase service. They would still provide the minimal amount of service they could get away with. Look at what happened when Bloomberg proposed congestion pricing. They had to be directed by the mayor to come up with a plan to increase service. So what did they do? They took the route that operated the least frequently, the B71 and proposed to extend it through the Battery Tunnel at 30 minute headways. That was supposed to handle all the people from southern Brooklyn who drive into Manhattan who would shift to mass transit because they didn’t want to pay the congestion pricing. And if they weren’t directed to come up with something, they would have done nothing.

            You mean to tell me that even without congestion pricing there is no demand for a B71 through the Battery Tunnel to Manhattan? That rout would be so jammed, the MTA would have to operate ten minute service, not thirty minute service.

            Waiting 15 minutes or more for a bus depends on the route, not on the neighborhood.

            Try riding a bicycle today in 7 degrees. Your parents were 100% right about riding a bicycle late a night. It is very dangerous.

          • flatbush depot

            I would like to know who gave your post a thumbs-down; I do not really understand that. But anyway…

            Good points about the B13 and B71.

            To clear up some possible confusion, I should tell you I was actually thinking about people moving into a neighborhood such as Flatbush, where the bus routes have generally stayed the same for many years and are quite frequent (all the bus routes that serve JCT, except perhaps the B11 at times). So hopefully accounting for a population increase would just be a matter of increasing existing service.

            (I mean, if we still had trolleys instead of buses, the trolley lines could not be modified as easily as the bus lines. I often wish we had trolleys instead of buses because the fact that people who operate buses needed to have regular driver’s licenses first presents quite an impediment to a personal automobile-independent society. Also because trolleys have more interior room and are probably less stressful to operate than buses. Definitely simpler and I like the fact that they enable the operator to stand while operating and probably make operator reliefs faster.)

            But to get back on topic, the problem with MTA not responding to development the way they should by creating new bus lines with good headways is annoying. This is a political battle.

            I am inclined to believe that it would be less of an issue if the personal automobile were not available to as many people as it currently is, effectively forcing them to become more aware of mass transit issues and press the MTA to be more responsive. But I may not be 100% on target with that.

            Admittedly my idea of making improvements to surface mass transit focuses more on increasing bus speeds, implementing light rail and trolley lines (although very difficult), and increasing existing service levels than on creating new bus services, partially because of the nonsense MTA pulls when it creates services running every 30 minutes..sigh.

            I am beginning to think that protests will have to be organized to get MTA to do the right thing when it creates new services.

            I have ridden a bicycle in this kind of weather. I would very much like to save money by using a bicycle instead of mass transit 5 days a week. Or at least as much as possible. I do not like being impeded by anything, including single-digit temperatures, so I would probably go ahead and ride my bike in this weather if I were going to work.

            The wait time for the bus depends on the route, but I thought the route’s whose service levels mostly depended on the neighborhoods it serves; neighborhoods with lower density housing and higher rates of car ownership (a lot of southern Brooklyn, and Riverdale and Woodlawn in the Bronx) have less service than neighborhoods with higher density housing and lower rates of car ownership (most of northern and central Brooklyn).

          • Alan Rosen

            Yes, you are correct, density usually means bus lines are spaced closer together, but in many instances the routes have not kept up with development. Much of the eastern part of East Flatbush and Georgetown and Canarsie were built up in the1950s and sixties and the only bus changes there ave been the B100 and B103, both of which were privately operated. The MTA only added one full time route, the B78 (now B47) and a rush hour branch of the B17. That was it in a neighborhood where the population doubed or tripled. There were no changes to east west routes except for the B50 in 1978, about 15 or 20 years late.

            There were actually frequent changes to trolley routes and early bus routes of the 1930s. Did you know that there were separate summer trolley routes? For some reason the frequency of bus route changes since the 1930s severely declined so that there are hardly any more today except for cuts and restorations.

          • flatbush depot

            Good to know. Thank you.

          • RIPTA42

            “When the Spring Creek Shopping Center was built they extended the B13 at
            30 minute headways. Buses were so crowded even at that crummy headway
            that they had to increase service. The day it opened there should have
            been two or three routes to serve it from all directions, not one and
            they should have operated 10 to 15 minute service not 30 minute service.”

            Then why do you keep bringing up shopping as one of the reasons people in the outer boroughs *need* to drive?

          • Allan Rosen

            It depends what you are shopping for. Buses are fine for a few items. Even with all the bus passengers that use Spring Creek, I would still say that 80% of its users arrive by car. It is still inaccessible by bus or an inconvenient and slow trip from most areas. That’s why I think it should have been Brooklyn’s first candidate for SBS.

          • Andrew

            Do you mean the Gateway Center, a large, suburban-style shopping mall situated just off the Belt Parkway and lined with a huge parking lot?

            If so, I’m not sure why you’re surprised. Suburban-style shopping malls are designed to be easy to reach by car. Access by transit or foot or bicycle is always an afterthought and it is virtually always extremely inconvenient.

            People without cars generally prefer to do their shopping in dense settings, maybe even in walking distance of home, or if not then easily accessible from many directions by transit. Stores near busy transfer points are especially useful, since people who have to get off the bus or train to transfer can do their shopping without having to make a special trip to the store. There is a good reason that the Targets at Atlantic Terminal and at the Junction are so busy: they are extremely transit accessible and are at locations that many people have to transfer at regardless.

          • Allan Rosen

            Where did I say I was surpised? Putting words in my mouth again?

            Don’t tell the MTA that riders are doing business at transfer points. They give free transfers just to change modes not to accomplish other purposes. The two hours they allow for a transfer is just in case you have to travel from one end of the system to the other, not to spend an hour shopping. They consider that cheating the system. My God, maybe they are even going home with an alternate route and paying a single fare for a round trip. Those damn passengers.

          • Andrew

            Really?! They consider that cheating the system?! I take it you have a source for that claim?

            You conveniently ignored my point, which had nothing to do with fares. (One of the two examples I gave was at a location that primarily functions as a subway-subway transfer point. And, besides, most regular transit riders have unlimiteds, so the details of the transfer policy are irrelevant to them.)

            My point was that transit riders find it especially convenient to go shopping at locations where they’d be getting off of one train or bus and onto another train or bus anyway – the access time is essentially zero. That’s unlike Gateway Center, which requires a special trip for essentially any transit rider. Bus access to a suburban-style shopping mall will never be attractive to anyone who has other options – that’s why the transit mode share at Gateway is, and will always be, so low.

          • Allan Rosen

            Here we go again with the statistics. You say “most” as if it’s something like 80%. I think the number is like 54%, just slightly more than half. And what do you consider a regular rider? Don’t most riders just make one round trip a day for five days a week. Does a monthly pass even pay for them? You act like 46% of the riders don’t count.

            Would you consider Kings Plaza a “suburban like” shopping Center? It is served by half a dozen bus routes and all are very well utilized. How is that any different from Gateway?

            As far as a source for that claim, I can point to the fact before MetroCard when there were paper bus transfers, you had to make transfers at specific points, usually the first point of intersection even if the routes paralled each other for a mile or two? Why do you think that was? It was because the TA wanted to limit the amout of business you could do at a transfer point. Since MetroCards can’t distinguish which stop you have to get one, it was abandoned. When it was in effect if you started walking home because the bus didn’t come, you couldnt give the driver the transfer one or two stops later. You had to pay another fare.

          • Andrew

            Here we go again with the statistics. You say “most” as if it’s something like 80%. I think the number is like 54%, just slightly more than half. And what do you consider a regular rider? Don’t most riders just make one round trip a day for five days a week. Does a monthly pass even pay for them? You act like 46% of the riders don’t count.

            I use “most” to mean “most,” no more and no less. I was simply clarifying my earlier statement about transit riders preferring to do their shopping at transfer points: it’s the time savings, not the fare savings, that’s the big issue. (One of the two examples I gave was at a location where most transfers are subway-to-subway, so I clearly wasn’t focused on taking advantage of free transfers to go shopping.)

            Would you consider Kings Plaza a “suburban like” shopping Center? It is served by half a dozen bus routes and all are very well utilized. How is that any different from Gateway?

            Kings Plaza is not adjacent to a highway, is not surrounded by a sea of free parking, and is adjacent to an established residential area. It is at an important point on the grid, at Flatbush and U, just south of the end of Utica. It doesn’t fit the traditional urban model, but it certainly doesn’t fit the traditional suburban model either. (In ways it’s similar to Queens Center Mall, although there are obviously several critical differences.)

            Gateway is at a Belt Parkway exit in proximity to nothing much. The only housing within half a mile postdates the mall itself. It’s not on the grid at all. If you’re in a car and want easy highway access and free parking, it’s a great place to go. If you’re not in a car, it is almost by definition out-of-the-way.

            As far as a source for that claim, I can point to the fact before MetroCard when there were paper bus transfers, you had to make transfers at specific points, usually the first point of intersection even if the routes paralled each other for a mile or two? Why do you think that was? It was because the TA wanted to limit the amout of business you could do at a transfer point. Since MetroCards can’t distinguish which stop you have to get one, it was abandoned.

            So … you’re using a transfer policy that was abandoned in 1997 as evidence of what the MTA considers “cheating the system” in 2014?

            When it was in effect if you started walking home because the bus didn’t come, you couldnt give the driver the transfer one or two stops later. You had to pay another fare.

            In my experience, drivers didn’t care in practice where you used the transfer, and certainly if there were multiple transfer points, they were unofficially accepted at all of them. Maybe you encountered the sticklers for the rules.

          • RIPTA42

            But if buses are impractical for most shoppers, routes serving Gateway are *not* a candidate for improvement. Which argument are you trying to make?

          • dacomentr

            Shopping centers should always be a candidate for improved bus service. First , many employees use the bus to get to these shopping centers, secondly everyone going shopping is not buying a big ticket item. However many prefer to drive because they may go to several stores and take home things that are to much to take on a bus. But those people with a car would not take the bus to those locations anyway, the bus improvements for for people who don’t have access to a vehicle..Gateway is “Suburban style” but it has access to the subway and a dense development by bus as well.

          • Allan Rosen

            There are very few bus routes that directly serve Gateway and it has taken the MTA 13 years to make changes to bus routes serving Gateway and still more routes are needed. They all should have been in place the day Gateway opened. The MTA used the excuse that a new shopping center wasn’t enough of a reason for major bus route changes and they were waiting for the area to also be developed with new housing. Just nonsense. Of course a shopping center by itself was enough reason. The MTA is just extraordinarily slow when it ones to making needed changes. It took the MTA three years to extend the B46 to Kings Plaza when it was built in 1971. For the first three years they just ran a shuttle from Avenue N to Avenue U.

          • dacomentr

            I agree with you Sometimes they have no foresight

          • Allan Rosen

            Buses are not practical if you are shopping for heavy or bulky items or are doing a lot of grocery shopping. However, a significant amount of non-grocery shopping is just shopping for an article or two of clothing or picking up something for the home at Bed Bath and Beyond. There are many stores that you don’t go into with a long shopping list. There are also restaurants where you might only bring out a doggie bag. So there are indeed many trips that you could use a bus for to shop at Gateway. Right now only one end of the Center is served by buses. You have to walk a half mile to reach some of the stores. Those stores also need bus access as does neighborhoods such as Canarsie where three buses and two fares can be required to make that short trip.

          • Andrew

            There are three Bed Bath & Beyond branches in Manhattan, and one in Queens, that are very easily reached by subway. Many Brooklyn residents already spend time in Manhattan or Queens (for, e.g., work), and I suspect that transit-reliant Brooklyn residents generally prefer to shop at those four branches when they happen to be in the area anyway than make the trek out to Gateway by bus. Even if they rarely leave Brooklyn for other reasons, most Brooklyn residents probably have a shorter transit trip to one of the Manhattan stores than to Gateway.

          • Allan Rosen

            You are really grasping at straws now. So you are saying there is no need for a Bed Bath and Beyond, or a Target or whatever stores there are at Gateway because people can go elsewhere. Of course they will go elsewhere if you make it so inconvenient to go there. I would say that only one or two out of a family of four works, and less than half of those work do so in Manattan or a part of Queens convenient to a regional shopping center which is what Gateway is. Then there are all the retired people who don’t work at all and rarely venture into Manattan. So you are really talking about a small percentage of people who have the option of passing a Bed Bath and Beyond or a Target, during another part of the day. The point is if you can get there by driving, you should also be able to easily get there by mass transit. Canarsie is five or ten minutes away by car, but two fares away by bus from Gateway. That just isn’t right. Gateway is no different than Kings Plaza and also needs to be served well.

          • Andrew

            You are really grasping at straws now. So you are saying there is no need for a Bed Bath and Beyond, or a Target or whatever stores there are at Gateway because people can go elsewhere.

            Pardon? Where did I say anything like that?

            What I believe I suggested is that transit-reliant Brooklyn residents who have reason to venture into other boroughs generally prefer to shop at the four BB&B branches easily reached by subway rather than make the dedicated trip to Gateway.

            Of course they will go elsewhere if you make it so inconvenient to go there.

            Whose fault is it that the developer decided to place a mall in the middle of nowhere? It’s quite convenient to get there by car, but it is not and cannot be convenient to get there by transit. It’s a transit-hostile development in a transit-hostile setting.

            I would say that only one or two out of a family of four works, and less than half of those work do so in Manattan or a part of Queens convenient to a regional shopping center which is what Gateway is.

            How many family members need to “pick up something for the home at Bed Bath and Beyond” (to use your language)? If I happen to take the subway into Manhattan every day, and my family needs something from BB&B, I’ll pick it up on my way home from work.

            Then there are all the retired people who don’t work at all and rarely venture into Manattan.

            Yes, there are some people who rarely venture into Manhattan. And therefore … ?

            So you are really talking about a small percentage of people who have the option of passing a Bed Bath and Beyond or a Target, during another part of the day.

            Actually, no, I’m not.

            The point is if you can get there by driving, you should als o be abl e to easily get there by mass transit.

            Is that what they taught you in grad school? Because it flies in the face of basic transportation and land use planning.

          • Andrew

            If everyone abandoned their cars, the MTA would not automatically increase service. They would still provide the minimal amount of service they could get away with. Look at what happened when Bloomberg proposed congestion pricing. They had to be directed by the mayor to come up with a plan to increase service. So what did they do? They took the route that operated the least frequently, the B71 and proposed to extend it through the Battery Tunnel at 30 minute headways. That was supposed to handle all the people from southern Brooklyn who drive into Manhattan who would shift to mass transit because they didn’t want to pay the congestion pricing. And if they weren’t directed to come up with something, they would have done nothing.

            I’m sorry, where did you come up with any of that?

            The MTA’s plans to accommodate the increased demand due to the congestion pricing program proposed in 2007 are discussed here. The specific bus plans are given in Table 1. There’s lots of stuff listed there, but the B71 is conspicuously absent.

            Completely separate from congestion pricing was a large package of proposed service enhancements (scroll to page 57), subway and bus, all across the city. They ultimately went nowhere, but they included extensions of both the B71 and the B77 to South Ferry via the Battery Tunnel.

            Just because you said it five years ago doesn’t make it true. You were mistaken then and you are still mistaken today.

          • Allan Rosen

            I was not mistaken. The B71 and B77 extensions may have not been part of the original 2007 congestion pricing plan, but they were added later. This is the only proof I could find. I did not make this post. Was this person also mistaken? http://www.subchat.com/buschat/read.asp?Id=92922.

            The MTA must have been criticized for their original plan which only included extension of Metropolitan Avenue service over the Williamsburg bridge and a new shuttle from Canarsie to the Junction and a new express bus route from Bay Ridge. The other Brooklyn route appears to be the then private B103. Those few changes in Brooklyn were supposed to handle all the new mass transit riders from Brooklyn plus adding a few buses to existing routes? Even with the added B 71 and B77, in no way were these adequate revisions to handle all the thousands of auto users diverted to buses as a result of congestion pricing which was the original point I was making.

          • Allan Rosen

            Also, the planned B71 and B77 extensions were dropped right after congestion pricing was defeated. That was no coincidence. I was not mistaken.

          • Andrew

            Actually, the planned B71 and B77 extensions were dropped, along with the rest of the service enhancement package, about a week and a half before congestion pricing was defeated.

          • Allan Rosen

            You are splitting hairs again. You think the MTA didn’t know a week before that it was going to be defeated? The point is that the MTA proposed extremely minimal improvements to handle the thousands of drivers who would have been diverted to mass transit because tey want to provide the least possible amount of service Ty can politically get away with. If the mayor woudn’t have directed them to come up with something after the public asked hw will more riders even fit on an overly crowded system already, they would have offered nothing. Their map just shows lines on a map. They didn’t even distinguish between new routes and routes where they proposed to add a few buses, just to giveaway misleading impression of a map crowded with lines. If they would just have shown where new service was proposed, te map would have appeared virtually empty. They figured no one would read the report and would be convinced by lines on a map. Of course you wouldn’t admit tat I was

          • Andrew

            You are splitting hairs again. You think the MTA didn’t know a week before that it was going to be defeated?

            A week before Shelly Silver killed congestion pricing, the City Council voted to approve it. It already had support from the Governor and the State Senate by then. So, no, I don’t think the MTA, or anybody else (except perhaps for Silver himself), knew a week in advance that it would be defeated.

            The point is that the MTA proposed extremely minimal improvements to handle the thousands of drivers who would have been diverted to mass transit because tey want to provide the least possible amount of service Ty can politically get away with.

            “Successful implementation of the City Plan will require a significant effort by MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) and MTA Bus (MTAB) to accommodate the motorists who will divert to transit. The number of daily auto diversions to transit from within NYC is estimated by the City to be approximately 78,000. This includes both diversions to transit from the outer boroughs and northern Manhattan to the congestion zone as well as diversions within the congestion zone. Most of these new trips are estimated to originate in a relatively small number of areas of the City with fewer connections to the existing subway and/or bus network. These areas, such as far eastern Queens or southeastern Brooklyn, currently generate a larger share of daily auto trips in the City. The corridors recommended for additional transit services have been defined by MTA working with New York City based upon modeling efforts by both to identify the neighborhoods and areas of the existing transit network most likely to be affected.”

            I don’t think an additional 309 buses and 46 subway cars is “minimal.”

            If the mayor woudn’t have directed them to come up with something after the public asked hw will more riders even fit on an overly crowded system already, they would have offered nothing.

            The mayor didn’t direct them to do anything. You made that up.

            Their map just shows lines on a map. They didn’t even distinguish between new routes and routes where they proposed to add a few buses, just to giveaway misleading impression of a map crowded with lines.

            That must be right. They just took a bunch of crayons and drew lines on a little map. Then they made up a bunch of numbers and put them into a table. Is that right?

            It’s inconceivable that there might have been some more work behind those colored lines and numbers – after all, they didn’t consult with Allan Rosen first, so it couldn’t possibly have happened!

            If they would just have shown whe re new s ervice was proposed, te map would have appeared virtually empty. They figured no one would read the report and would be convinced by lines on a map.

            Incredible sleuthing skills on your part!

            Of course you wouldn’t admit tat I was

            All I’ll admit here is that your keyboard seems to be having major problems.

          • Andrew

            I provided you with links to two documents. One gave a detailed list of service increases that would be required to handle increased ridership due to congestion pricing. The other was a completely different list of proposed service enhancements that had nothing to do with congestion pricing. The B71 and B77 were on the second list, not on the first.

            Did you seriously counter my two official documents with an anonymous post to a message board? (Does this mean that the Second Avenue Subway will never open either? That’s what it says in the anonymous post!) Yes, I would say that he was mistaken, given that the proposal to extend the B71/B77 had already been canceled a week an a half earlier.

            Most of the new mass transit riders from Brooklyn would have been handled on the subway, which has generally had spare capacity between Brooklyn and Manhattan since 2004 (and recall that, in 2008, the M still ran to Southern Brooklyn). The plan also included a 25% increase in capacity on all C trains.

            The B103, by the way, was operated at the time (as it is now) by MTA Bus – Command stopped running it in 2005. New York CIty Transit certainly wasn’t proposing to take it over from MTA Bus! And if you look at the next page, MTA Bus was proposing to add 13 buses to the BM2.

            The service enhancement package that included the B71 and B77 had nothing to do with congestion pricing. Many of the items included were enhancements to off-peak service, when congestion pricing wouldn’t have even been in effect.

          • Allan Rosen

            I believe he was referring to a full length Second Avenue Subway which we will never see in our lifetime, not three new stops which still could take another four years, then another five years for the next three stops. You make it sound like it already opened.

            But that has nothing to do with the B71 and B77 anyway. And with all the needed changes to our bus system, why would the MTA just propose to new bus extensions to Manhattan if not for congestion pricing?

            Are they and you saying that those routes to Manhattan would still needed without congestion pricing? If so, the MTA last year announced that their finances were in better shape than expected, so why weren’t some of those changes revived as part of the service enhancement package or were they just playing games, dangling some improvements to take away the sting from the fare hike that they has no intention of implementing in the first place?

            There is no capacity on the IRT, yet the MTA was proposing additional service from Canarsie to the Junction. It wasn’t even clear what they were proposing because on the map it just looked like the B103 which they were already running.

            Also, they said there would be a new express bus from Bay Ridge which looked just like the X27 that was already operating.

            And since when was congestion pricing only for the peak? It was to be in effect from 6AM to 7PM as I remember. So off-peak enhancements also needed to be included.

            Anyway, the point of this entire discussions was that the MTA provides as little service as they can politically get away with. With or without the B71 and B77, what they were proposing was in no way adequate to handle the thousands of new riders the system would have received if congestion pricing were put in effect. All they did was hastily put together an illegible map with a lot of spaghetti bus lines on them mixing new routes and routes where a few buses were added to give the impression they were revamping the system. They were counting on no one reading the text. If they only showed new services on that map, it would have been virtually empty. The new routes they proposed are indecipherable.

          • Andrew

            I believe he was referring to a full length Second Avenue Subway which we will never see in our lifetime, not three new stops which still could take another four years, then another five years for the next three stops. You make it sound like it already opened.

            Um, it was a random SubChat post, with no backup. It was somebody’s uninformed speculation. (Do you realize that some sources are more reliable than others?)

            But that has nothing to do with the B71 and B77 anyway.

            Neither did congestion pricing.

            And with all the needed changes to our bus system, why would the MTA just propose to new bus extensions to Manhattan if not for congestion pricing?

            I’m not sure I understand your question. The MTA proposed 35 NYCT service enhancements, 13 LIRR service enhancements, and 7 MNR service enhancements. These proposals were completely separate and independent from the proposed changes to accommodate congestion pricing.

            Are they and you saying that those routes to Manhattan would still needed without congestion pricing? If so, the MTA last year announced that their finances were in better shape than expected, so why weren’t some of those changes revived as part of the service enhancement package or were they just playing games, dangling some improvements to take away the sting from the fare hike that they has no intention of implementing in the first place?

            Some of the changes proposed in 2008 are, in fact, being implemented in June: increased G service and the M extension to Manhattan on weekends jump out as obvious examples. Others have already been implemented, including increased hours on the B and 3 and the M9/M21 restructure (albeit without the proposed M13). Most of the top 9 items (except, of course, for 5 and 6) are simple guideline changes, so they’ve presumably also been implemented.

            But in general, what made sense in the context of 2008 to the NYCT and MTA leadership of 2008 is not necessarily what made sense in the context of 2013 to the NYCT and MTA leadership of 2013.

            There is no capacity on the IRT, yet the MTA was proposing additional service from Canarsie to the Junction. It wasn’t even clear what they were proposing because on the map it just looked like the B103 which they were already running.

            There is plenty of capacity on the IRT from Brooklyn! (Based on the MTA’s actual loading guidelines, that is, not your own personal preferences.)

            Also, they said there would be a new express bus from Bay Ridge which looked just like the X27 that was already operating.

            Look again. The X27 runs along Shore Road. This proposed express bus appears to run along one of the avenues.

            And since when was congestion pricing only for the peak? It was to be in effect from 6AM to 7PM as I remember. So off-peak enhancements also needed to be included.

            The proposed 2008 enhancements included many late evening, overnight, and weekend service enhancements. There was no connection to congestion pricing.

            Anyway, the point of this entire discussions was that the MTA provides as little service as they can politically get away with. With or without the B71 and B77, what they were proposing was in no way adequate to handle the thousands of new riders the system would have received if congestion pricing were put in effect. All they did was hastily put together an illegible map with a lot of spaghetti bus lines on them mixing new routes and routes where a few buses were added to give the impression they were revamping the system. They were counting on no one reading the text. If they only showed new services on that map, it would have been virtually empty. The new routes they proposed are indecipherable.

            “The number of daily auto diversions to transit from within NYC is estimated by the City to be approximately 78,000. This includes both diversions to transit from the outer boroughs and northern Manhattan to the congestion zone as well as diversions within the congestion zone. Most of these new trips are estimated to originate in a relatively small number of areas of the City with fewer connections to the existing subway and/or bus network. These areas, such as far eastern Queens or southeastern Brooklyn, currently generate a larger share of daily auto trips in the City. The corridors recommended for additional transit services have been defined by MTA working with New York City based upon modeling efforts by both to identify the neighborhoods and areas of the existing transit network most likely to be affected.”

            The map and the tables on the next two pages are obviously a summary. Do you seriously believe that what you see here is the sum total of the work that goes into this sort of analysis?

            The idea was to provide capacity for the 78,000 daily diverted riders to transit, not to revamp the system. I’m not sure where you got the notion that the goal here was to revamp the system. It wasn’t.

          • dacomentr

            If everyone abandoned their cars, buses wouldn’t be “Emptier” they’d be more packed Also NYC bus system doesn’t always promote easy transportation, they simpley get you to a train station. But many trips made in the outer areas are MUCH quicker and simpler by a vehicle. Eastern Queens network is designed to get you to Jamaica, if you want to travel between other area’s, as many do by vehicle, the trip would be much much more of a hassle.

        • fdtutf

          “I am not for widening roads, but I am against narrowing them to slow down auto travel and not removing bottlenecks so that it takes forever”

          (for automobile drivers)

          “to get anywhere.”

          Here is an excellent example of you ignoring the needs of users of other modes. You’re all for mass transit improvements as long as they never, ever, ever have a negative impact on automobile drivers.

          ” It is also simplistic to assume that if you create an additional parking space or two that someone will see that spot and go out and by a car. The decision to buy a car is a highly personal one involving multiple considerations.”

          Planners proceed on the (very reasonable) assumption that many people have mode choice, i.e., that (at least in large cities like New York) they can select from a number of different modes when making a trip. The idea of induced demand rests on the idea, not that people will rush out and buy cars (although some will), but that people will begin to make more use of the cars they already own, if roadway capacity is expanded. Automobile trips then become more attractive. This is, shall we say, not necessarily beneficial for the city and society as a whole.

          • Allan Rosen

            I am not disagreeing with your last paragraph. However sometimes some of the modal choices that people have are not feasible, like a 90 minute mass transit trip vs. a 45 minute trip by auto if they own one. And some people, perhaps not you, do make that simple assumption.

            Your second statement is just not true. I was all for the Fulton Street transit mall that removed cars from the street. I also support the bus lanes on Livingston Street. It’s just that they aren’t enforced. I remember when I used the B46 how when it is not violated, the extra right hand lane which wasn’t even only for buses, would save five whole minutes although it was only three short blocks long. I even think that lane should be in effect for longer than just the morning rush hour. So to say I never ever ever want to inconvenience drivers is just not true. I also did not oppose the B44 SBS lane on Nostrand and Rogers north of Flatbush. I stated it would work if planners would also change regulations

          • Allan Rosen

            would also change parking regulations on adjacent avenues.

          • fdtutf

            But you’re talking about mode choice in terms of people switching from cars to transit. I was talking about mode choice in the opposite direction: people switching trips from using transit to using automobiles because of road improvements that make automobile travel more attractive.

            Your bias was visible in the sentence I quoted and added three words to. The fact that you simply wrote “…so that it takes forever to get anywhere,” with no explicit indication that you were referring only to the experiences of automobile drivers (by definition, users of other modes would see *improvements* in their trip times), exemplifies that bias.

          • Allan Rosen

            No users of other modes would see improvements by definition is incorrect. It is very true that some passengers especially long distance passengers would see improvements, and I’ve often acknowledged that, but with the elimination of so many limited stops and the extra walking time to SBS stops for some and the switching of some Limited passengers to the local may have actually increased travel times for them. We simply do not have enough data to conclude one way or the other if more were helped or hurt by SBS, so it is not “by definition”, so I am not exhibiting any bias.

            Also, what massive road improvements are you referring to that have been made recently that might have caused a modal shift from buses to driving?

          • fdtutf

            So bus riders don’t benefit from bus lanes? Cyclists don’t benefit from bike lanes? What planet does that happen on? You’re talking about the specifics of SBS implementation; I’m talking more generally about reallocation of street space.

            I wasn’t referring to any actual road improvements; here is what I said: “The idea of induced demand rests on the idea, not that people will rush out and buy cars (although some will), but that people will begin to make more use of the cars they already own, if roadway capacity is expanded. Automobile trips then become more attractive. This is, shall we say, not necessarily beneficial for the city and society as a whole.” This was in response to a previous post from you that was equally general in its argument.

          • Allan Rosen

            Where did I say that bus riders don’t benefit from bus lanes? Of course they do. I only spoke against bus lanes when the needs of other users of the road are ignored as if bus riders are all that matters. And where did I state that cyclists don’t benefit from bike lanes? Stop putting words in my mouth. I know you are talking about reallocation of street space and my point is that any reallocation has to consider the effects on everyone else. You can’t automatically conclude that since bike lanes help cyclists, every street needs one and the hell with everyone else.

            As for your second paragraph, there is a big difference between expanding roadway capacity, which I only advocate to eliminate bottlenecks, and reducing roadway capacity which you apparently believe is a good idea in all cases. You don’t help transit by making auto trips more difficult.

          • fdtutf

            Geez.

            I said: “…by definition, users of other modes would see *improvements* in their trip times…”

            You said: “No users of other modes would see improvements by definition is incorrect.” I assumed that was in response to my words that I quoted above, although I’m not sure your sentence was correctly punctuated (should there be a comma after “No”?), so I may have misunderstood it. I assumed that there was supposed to be a comma after “No,” so I was responding to “users of other modes would see improvements by definition is incorrect.”

            I don’t love having to spell all this out, and it would be a lot less necessary if you would proofread better.

            “As for your second paragraph, there is a big difference between expanding roadway capacity, which I only advocate to eliminate bottlenecks, and reducing roadway capacity which you apparently believe is a good idea in all cases. You don’t help transit by making auto trips more difficult.”

            Um, you do if the space freed by reducing capacity for autos is used for transit purposes, as it sometimes is (bus lanes, for instance).

            Also, eliminating bottlenecks for automobile traffic has the effect of making automobile travel more attractive, which tends to hurt transit (where transit is an option).

          • Allan Rosen

            So I am correct. You want automobile travel to be as difficult as possible in order to promote transit. Sorry, but I don’t agree. You help transit by improving it, not by looking for ways to make auto travel more difficult unnecessarily. I can think of several instances where bottlenecks have been created by improper lane striping. Those can be easily corrected and is inexcusable. You say leave them to unnecessarily increase auto travel time to encourage mass transit.

            There should have been a comma in that sentence. It is not by definition. If a bus lane is in effect when it is not needed because there is little or no congestion, the bus doesn’t travel any faster with a bus lane, but everyone else is now traveling slower because they are forced into fewer lanes.

          • fdtutf

            Putting words in my mouth? Where have I said that I “want automobile travel to be as difficult as possible in order to promote transit”? I don’t want automobile travel to be “as difficult as possible”; unlike you, I also don’t want it to be as easy as possible. I want it to be on an equal footing with other modes, and there’s a long way to go in this country, even in New York City, before we get there.

            “You help transit by improving it, not by looking for ways to make auto travel more difficult unnecessarily.” I think you and I have different definitions of what’s necessary.

            ” I can think of several instances where bottlenecks have been created by improper lane striping. Those can be easily corrected and is inexcusable. You say leave them to unnecessarily increase auto travel time to encourage mass transit.”

            I’m pretty sure I didn’t say that. What I did say is that eliminating bottlenecks makes automobile travel more attractive, and that that tends to hurt transit. Do you deny that connection? I’m just asking that all roadway changes be looked at in terms of their total effects, not just their effects for people who happen to use motor vehicles.

            I’m also pretty sure that most road bottlenecks aren’t caused by anything as cheaply and readily correctable as improper lane striping.

      • Guest

        Why on earth should a whole lane be given to a greedy corporation that doesn’t give a damn about the people they are supposed to serve? There are many people that are inconvienced by the SBS buses that replace local and limited service.

        Trains are running local today. Which for the B/Q will mean longer wait times. Make your paying customers freeze waiting on the platform. But they can cause unless one has a car or money for a cab you’re screwed otherwise.

        Funny about the B44 SBS driving home last night, I spotted one just blocking the right lane on Shore Parkway and Knapp Street. He/She was just sitting there BLOCKING traffic. No passengers. Everyone that wanted to turn right on Knapp had to merge into the left lane causing backups. This happens way too often.

        Automobile drivers pay an MTA surcharge just like everyone else on their electric and gas bills. They also pay for the privilege of driving over bridges. Some of which like the Verrazano should not have any tolls on them. Where is all that money from the surcharges going?

        I’ve read it here before and agree. There would be much less problems with the 2 and 5 if the line had been completed like it was supposed to be. You have issues because Flatbush Ave/Brooklyn College was never intended to be the last stop.

        • flatbush depot

          -Why on earth should a whole lane be left available to personal automobiles that transport measly amounts of people given the large amount of space they occupy, and to add insult to injury, delay bus service by simply being on the road (buses have to slow down when the other vehicles make turns and dart in front of them) and by double parking?

          -Why do you look at it as a lane being given to “a greedy corporation” instead of a lane being given to the passengers riding the buses that use the bus lane, about which you claim MTA does not give a damn?

          -If you are the same person who made the post I replied to, you did not answer my questions about the B44 or the (2)(3)(4)(5). (Do you ride them?)

          -The (2) has problems because it is shorter than it was intended to be? Why should it be extended if it has so many scheduling problems? Extending it without fixing its problems first sounds like somebody trying to live beyond their means.

          -I know MTA could have done a better job implementing the B44 SBS. I take issue with some of the things they did while implementing it as well. This does not mean it serves no useful purpose or does not help many people.

          The B44 SBS would be much faster if parking for personal automobiles (keep loading zones for trucks) were entirely removed from Nostrand Ave (or at least the west side of it between Flushing and Flatbush Aves), so that the worst illegal parking anybody could do anymore were curb-parking in the no-parking zone instead of double-parking next to legally parked automobiles along the curb, but at the moment this is a pipe dream.

          And there are too many people who still ‘need’ or think they need automobiles for such a proposal to garner much support, I suppose.

          The B44 SBS would also be faster if the bus lanes were formally in effect during all hours of SBS operation and fewer non-buses used them. If it were faster, more people would appreciate it.

          -The MTA’s paying customers, including myself nearly every day since I never use cars or taxis (because of their external impacts, not because of the out-of-pocket costs), pay very low fares.

          -There are enclosures in the BMT Brighton stations for people to wait, right?

          -How does running local result in a longer wait time at express stations? All running local means is that every (B) train will reach each Brighton EXP station a few minutes later than it normally does, and if every (B) train is doing this, then the spacing between each (B) train does not change.

          -If the (B) is running local, then wait times at Brighton LCL stations are shorter because the (B) does not normally stop at those stations but is today, if I understand you correctly.

          -I wonder if that money from surcharges is enough to pay for more enforcement, which increase in enforcement may not even significantly reduce the illegal/double parking problems.

          -If the B44 SBS is blocking traffic on Shore Pkwy, I am sorry to hear that. I will soon go out there and see for myself what is going on.

          -Although, the number of personal automobiles on the road is part of the problem. Fewer personal automobiles = less traffic congestion.

          • Allan Rosen

            Just to address a few of your points. The reason more parking isn’t banned in commercial areas because the merchants would scream they would lose business. Yes more parking should be banned to keep traffic moving and the parking should be replaced by the city buying up empty lots and using them for parking where the land is available. But we feel that every inch of land as to be developed. The City causes much of the congestion it complains about. When I was in Seattle I was surprised to see a third of downtown devoted to parking and there was no traffic congestion or subways, but there were many high rises.

            One law that should be made is that cars must give the right of way to buses pulling out of bus stops. I don’t know why no oe has thought of that. It makes no sense for a bus to wait a minute or two, just to squeeze Into traffic. That woud save more time than all the SBS routes together.

          • flatbush depot

            The merchants do not understand the struggles that bus riders deal with. Of course they would complain despite the fact that for most of them, the buses probably carry more of their customers than cars do, and if parking were eliminated the driving customers they lost would probably be replaced entirely by non-driving customers. This would be especially likely if enough parking were removed to give the buses more room to travel at higher speeds, making them more attractive to the public and encouraging bus ridership.

            Whatever. Let them continue to struggle until the government changes the way road space is allocated, for whatever it is worth.

            I do not know how you could expect a law that cars must give buses the right of way to be enforced or how you could expect people to obey such a law without officers being present at bus stops. Officers and cameras both cost taxpayer money. Not to mention safety issues with impatient drivers piling up behind each other while waiting for a bus to pull out, horns blaring, and so on.

            I would much rather have SBS stops with curb extensions (like those along the B44 north of Flatbush Ave) so that the buses do not have to go in and out of traffic than what you propose. Using the B44 north of Flatbush Ave as an example, I would just have the SBS use curb extensions while the locals pull in and out of bus stops. But in addition I would have the bus lane in effect more hours than now so that the locals would just be pulling out into a bus lane free of unauthorized vehicles.

          • Allan Rosen

            The law doesn’t have to be enforced all the time. Just the threat of a summons in case a police officer is nearby, should be enough of a deterrent. Drivers pull over for ambulances although there is no enforcement. They wait for school buses with a stop sign on without any cameras around. They could do the same for buses pulling out of bus stops. I always give buses the right of way anyway, even without a law when I see one wants to pull out of a bus stop. Others just need to get into that habit also.

          • flatbush depot

            -I think a bus’s ROW should be clear of obstructions as often as a subway train’s ROW is. The threat of a summons will not get everybody to leave the bus’s ROW clear, much like it currently does not get everybody to stop double parking in bus lanes or otherwise occupy them (while in motion). Same goes for any road a bus uses that lacks a bus lane. This is entirely unacceptable, especially when it causes a bus to miss green signals.

            -What about situations where a limited/SBS bus wants to pass a local that wants to pull out of a bus stop, and the limited/SBS bus gets held up by cars in front of it that have stopped to let the local bus out of the bus stop? If there are no cars in front of the limited/SBS bus but a local bus wants to pull out, should the limited/SBS bus still have to wait? I do not think it should.

            -What you stated towards the end of your post is much easier said than done.

          • flabush depot

            I only think it is ok for a bus’s ROW to be obstructed if it is because of an emergency or utility work or something like the Labor Day Parade or any other parade (pretty much. I could get into parades I think are controversial, but not now).

          • flatbush depot

            When I originally responded to Allan’s 21:52 post, the post actually said the author was sonicboy678, then I refreshed the page and it said it was Allan Rosen. That was really weird, Disqus……………………………….

          • Allan Rosen

            There is no reason for a car to leave an ROW clear for buses since the car accelerates and travels faster than the bus anyway. But it is important at bus stops and would make a big difference at bus stops. I think the law would succeed in being adhered to. I didn’t think anyone would listen and pick up after their dog when Koch changed that law and it worked. You never walked on the Upper East Side before that law took effect. You were constantly cleaning off your shoes. People’s habits can and do change.

            As far as SBS and local buses, that would be up to the MTA and its bus drivers if they want to give SBS buses the priority over local buses when leaving bus stops.

          • RIPTA42

            The reason for having a separate ROW for the bus is so the bus doesn’t get stuck in the same traffic the cars are stuck in.

          • Allan Rosen

            We were talking about cars letting buses go first and I was responding to something Flatbush Depot said. I know the purpose of separate ROWs for buses. Their need depends on the frequency of bus service and the amount of inconvenience caused to other traffic.

          • Andrew

            And on the degree to which bus lanes would help bus riders. A bus lane on a congested street is a lot more useful for bus riders than a bus lane on an uncongested street.

          • Allan Rosen

            A bus lane on an uncongested street makes no sense at all. On a congested street it depends on the frequency the buses are running at the the availability of alternate routes for displaced vehicles. The headway should at least be every five minutes for a bus lane to make sense. Otherwise you might want to consider a combined bus/HOV lane.

          • Andrew

            On a congested street it depends on the frequency the buses are running at the the availability of alternate routes for displaced vehicles.

            And on the time savings that bus riders would enjoy during the hours that congestion is commonplace. And on the comparative number of bus riders vs. number of motorists and car passengers.

          • Andrew

            It’s pretty amazing (or amusing) that you have to spell that out.

          • Allan Rosen

            He didn’t have to spell that out. He chose to do so.

          • flatbush depot

            No reason for a car to leave an ROW clear for buses?

            What about when so many cars are piled up in front of the bus at Nostrand/Linden Blvd or Nostrand/Flatbush, two locations where Nostrand gets little green time, that the bus has to wait a long time to make the next green signal because the presence of too many small automobiles in front of it caused it to miss the green signal?

          • flatbush depot

            My mistake. I was thinking about bus lanes too much. I am sorry for whatever confusion I may have caused. I really meant that the bus lane should be left clear for buses at all times.

            I want the bus lane to be used to help the bus make green signals more often, especially at Linden Blvd and Flatbush Ave. The double parking people always do on Nostrand by Linden makes this harder.

            And the lane on Nostrand by Flatbush going southbound is often not respected.

            But I was unclear because I was thinking about bus lanes too much. You do not have to respond to this post or my 21:02 post.

          • BrooklynBus

            They need to allow time for deliveries since merchants refuse to pay for nightime deliveries. Also the buses run less frequently during the midday.

          • flatbush depot

            What is your point?

          • flatbush depot

            I mean, what is the relationship between your comment and mine?

          • Alrosen2@msn.com

            You stated that the bus lanes should be in effect all day long. I was explaining why that is not a possibility to accommodate deliveries.

          • flatbush depot

            You must be referring to curbside lanes then, like the one on the HSBC block of Nostrand. Using that lane for deliveries during weekday middays is ok in my opinion.

            I do not think that bus lane should be used by any vehicles other than buses during weekends though, because the B44 SBS needs to be fast so that it can be used to circumvent (2) train problems. During weekday middays this is less important because the (2) is more frequent and there us also (5) service at those times.

            To deal with deliveries on weekends without parking (trucks) on Nostrand and leaving the bus lane available to buses only, I would eliminate parking from the HSBC block of Flatbush Ave and have the workers carry the goods from their trucks parked on FB to the stores on Nostrand (the Golden Krust, the fish store, etc).

          • Allan Rosen

            I don’t understand why stores even need to have deliveries 7 days a week, and can’t schedule them for 5 days a week. As for having the bus lanes in effect for seven days a week, I don’t think that a bus every four or five minutes is frequent enough to justify the entire bus lane to be in effect. Perhaps a compromise coukd be to find out which sections of the street has the most traffic congestion and institute the bus lane on weekends only for those blocks if buses are traveling to slowly.

            From what I know of Rogers Avenue, that would be between about Tilden Avenue until about Winthrop Street. Between Eastern Parkway and Empire Blvd instead of the having the bus lane in effect, they could ban parking on the left side of the street from about 10 AM to 7 PM on weekends.

          • Andrew

            Many if not all of the curbside bus lanes implemented with SBS include designated off-peak downtime to accommodate deliveries. (Offset bus lanes don’t need downtime as long as the curbside parking regulations themselves include adequate provisions for truck loading.)

          • Allan Rosen

            Why are you replying to me? Did I say anything to the contrary? Shoudn’t you have replied to Flatbush Depot?

    • RIPTA42

      “The bike nut” merely continued implementing NYCDOT’s own Bicycle Master Plan from 1997.

    • fdtutf

      “Ease traffic calming, then worry about the cycling elitist.”

      This must be the only country where people using vehicles that cost several thousand dollars, minimum, can refer to people using vehicles that can be had for well under a thousand dollars as “elitists.” Wow.

    • dacomentr

      Many of the signals in Manhattan are now in sync, NYCDOT seems to have come out of their daze of ignorance

      • Allan Rosen

        Many don’t realize the huge difference that can make. On the few days that the computers malfunction, free flowing traffic can become a parking lot when signals are meant to be synched.

      • guest

        This is truly good news and way overdue. Good to hear that we are beginning to undo the complete FU’s made to drivers of all kinds by the Bloomberg administration. Let’s hope this extends to our neck of the woods and the rest of our city as well.

        • Kriston Lewis

          The mayor has said that the new commissioner will for the most part keep doing what Kahn was doing. The only thing that may possibly change is the placement of pedestrian plazas, and that’s a big “if”.

        • dacomentr

          Even Bushwick Ave and Linden Blvd in Brooklyn have signals in sync now. It’s spreading to the outer boroughs
          A good road to check would be King’s Highway, the last time I was over there, TWO consecutive green signals were the most you could get through at a time, and they’re virtually at every intersection. I feel sorry for any rider on the B82 or B7 bus.

          • Allan Rosen

            Signals on some streets were purposely out of sync to prevent speeding. It’s very annoying to have a light turn green just as the one right in front of it turns red, and then that happens three times in a row.

          • dacomentr

            Right, when that happens that prompts people to accelerate ASAP to get through the next light. Out of sync signals actually encourage speeding

          • Allan Rosen

            Correct. Maybe DOT finally realized this.

          • guest

            Their big test will be Broadway in the city. Need to get those potted plants, chairs and blockades out of their ASAP. Need to get traffic of all kinds moving again.

          • guest

            Bingo sir.

          • guest

            Absolutely. It solved nothing. If anything it had the opposite effect of making the idiots on the road even worse.

          • guest

            For many years you could get from the circle on Kings Highway to Bedford Avenue without speeding. When Khan came in that was erased. This certainly should be taken care of as well.

  • arnietheK

    I, for one, would like to see the city remove bike lanes. From what I see, there just isn’t enough bicycle traffic to justify their continuation or expansion . But this just my opinion.

    • lai7se87

      Its hard to justify a bridge by the number of people swimming across a river.

      • flatbush depot

        Before I refreshed the page, it said that the author of this post (which was posted at 22:06) was sonicboy678. That was really weird, Disqus……………………………….

      • Allan Rosen

        Bridges were justified by frequent ferry services that preceded them. You seem to be saying that if we build bike lanes, they will come, but some are barely used.

        I believe the bike network needs to be expanded but not at the expense of everyone else. There needs to be more bike lanes on side streets where traffic moves slow anyway. The proposed one in Canarsie was stopped simply because locals didn’t want outsiders to travel through their neighborhood to reach the shore. That was wrong. The streets belong to everyone and they are not owned by NIMBYs. What they did was wrong. I could possibly have seen their objections if traffic capacity was reduced, but the lanes were proposed for like East 93rd and East 94th Street which was perfectly logical.

        • fdtutf

          “I believe the bike network needs to be expanded but not at the expense of everyone else.”

          Since all space is occupied, how is this possible?

          “There needs to be more bike lanes on side streets where traffic moves slow anyway.”

          Um, so you think we should relegate cyclists to side streets, away from their destinations? I don’t. They have as much right to use major streets as automobile drivers do, as you acknowledged later in this comment:

          “The streets belong to everyone and they are not owned by NIMBYs.”

          They’re also not owned by automobile drivers.

          • a_driver

            Cyclist do not pay taxes to ride in the street. If they paid their fair share, you probably wouldn’t have as much opposition from people. Drivers of all kinds pay extremely high taxes to be able to drive on top of paying very high prices to buy any sort of car. Cyclist in contrast pay nothing and aren’t even required to have a drivers license. That is wrong. If you ride in the street, you should be required to have a registered vehicle, a drivers license. (Yes, you are driving your bicycle.) and insurance.

            For years cyclist got along fine without their own special lanes. It’s only wanted now for the pure and simple reason of bitter hatred for whatever reason of automobile traffic.

            Or in the Bloomberg administrations case, not getting tolls for east river crossings. Don’t kid yourselves, Bloomberg never gave a damn about safety for cyclist. It was all about milking drivers of any private or personal automobile not directly owned by the city as a penalty for the above mentioned.

            But if you are going to insist on having your own painted lines, side streets make much more sense for bike lanes then major streets. There should be as little contact with major thoroughfares as possible. For everyones safety and to keep everyone moving. Allan is correct,

          • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

            Cyclists don’t pay taxes? Huh?

          • Kriston Lewis

            Hot damn, I’m buying a bike!

          • fdtutf

            The streets aren’t sized for cyclists (if they were, they would be considerably smaller and, thus, less expensive to build and maintain). And cyclists do extremely minimal damage to streets, unlike motor vehicles. The fair share of road costs that would end up being allocated to cyclists would be extremely small.

            And, as Ned Berke points out, cyclists do pay taxes (other than road taxes) that are used for road maintenance. I’d be willing to bet that those taxes cover cyclists’ fair share.

          • Andrew

            And, as Ned Berke points out, cyclists do pay taxes (other than road taxes) that are used for road maintenance. I’d be willing to bet that those taxes cover cyclists’ fair share.

            City streets, at least in NYC, are funded out of general city revenues. They are not funded by road taxes. Martin Motorist, Bob Busrider, Paul Pedestrian, and Carl Cyclist all pay for the streets equally.

          • RIPTA42

            The only purpose of NYCDCP/NYCDOT’s 1997 Bicycle Master Plan was to have something in reserve for Bloomberg to use as a backlash for not getting congestion pricing during his future tenure as mayor? OK.

          • Andrew

            Bike lanes take up a fraction of a percent of the city’s street space. Stop being such a hog.

            People take up a lot less space when they’re traveling by bike or bus or foot than when they’re traveling by car. It’s in your own self-interest as a motorist to persuade other motorists to shift to other modes, leaving more space on the street for you and your car.

          • Allan Rosen

            I wouldn’t call it a fraction of a percent of street space when you are talking about removing an entire lane of traffic just to serve bicycles. That is significant street space like half the roadway capacity if you are turning a four lane road into a two lane road with bicycle lanes.

          • Andrew

            Citywide, it’s a fraction a percent of the street space. That’s a mathematical fact.

            As of 2011: http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/03/01/there-is-no-war-on-cars/

          • Allan Rosen

            How I love it when people play with statistics. What would you say is the percent of the population that is murdered or raped each year across the US? Is it also a fraction of a percent and therefore insignificant?

          • RIPTA42

            Yes. Murders and rapes are rare, and we can go outside every day with the reasonable expectation not be murdered or raped.

          • Andrew

            Play with statistics? I stated a simple mathematical fact about the state of the street network. You questioned it, so I provided a source. If you disagree with the inputs to the calculations in that source, you’re welcome to recalculate based on your own inputs.

            Perhaps you consider the reallocation of street space to be akin to murder or rape. Perhaps you consider preservation of every square inch of street space for automobiles to be a worthy goal. Personally, I consider it greedy and piggish, and I think your comparison to murder and rape is in incredibly poor taste.

          • Allan Rosen

            Yes, playing with statistics. Because the fraction of a percent is not what is important. It is the impact the change on one street makes and that’s what needs to be looked at.

            The relation to the murder or rape rate was perfectly appropriate because as RIPTA42 pointed out, both are relatively rare. You would never hear anyone say that we need not pay attention to either because only (and I’m making up this statistic) only .03% of the population is raped or murdered so we don’t have to try to reduce the murder or rape rate.

            Yet you feel that since only .5% of the roadway (or something like that) has been converted to bike paths, the effect of other traffic on any one of those roads is insignificant and if traffic for other vehicles was significantly worsened, that doesn’t matter. After all we are talking about a fraction of one percent of all roads. .

          • Andrew

            Pinch me, please. Am I actually conversing with someone who considers reallocation of street space to be in any way comparable to murder and to rape?

          • Allan Rosen

            No one said they are comparable. Put words in my mouth again. We are talking about using statistics to distort the truth. That is the relation.

          • Andrew

            Nobody’s using statistics to distort the truth, and you apparently don’t even recognize that your comparisons are in highly poor taste.

          • RIPTA42

            A bike lane is half the width of a vehicle lane or less, so that space can be repurposed for something – like a turn lane, a parking lane, a bus lane, a wider sidewalk, etc.

          • Allan Rosen

            That depends on the specific width of the street in question. In many cases you are just left with half a lane which is used as a buffer between the bike lane and the cars, so in effect the bike lane takes away a full lane of traffic.

          • flatbush depot

            That last sentence is just too funny.

          • RIPTA42

            They’re raping the motorists by murdering lanes!

          • Allan Rosen

            Now that’s funny.

          • Allan Rosen

            And who said that side streets are away from their destinations? Even if using a side street involves riding several blocks extra, they are more compatible for bikes since the speed differential is not as great, so therefore side streets are safer. And all space is not occupied on side streets. On many side streets it is quite easy to paint a bike lane without impacting everyone else. Look at Utica Avenue and East 53 Street, three blocks away. Where does it make more sense for bicycles to travel? On congested Utica Avenue, or on empty and wide East 53 Street?

            You don’t care what is sensible. You just hate cars so you wouldn’t think twice about bringing traffic to a complete halt just so you can have a bike lane on any street.

          • fdtutf

            “And who said that side streets are away from their destinations?”

            Side streets are side streets for a reason. The likelihood that a cyclist’s destination will be on a side street is about the same as the likelihood that an automobile driver’s destination will be on a side street.

            “Even if using a side street involves riding several blocks extra, they are more compatible for bikes since the speed differential is not as great, so therefore side streets are safer.”

            I’m touched by your tender concern for cyclists, but I don’t know that it makes sense to force them “several blocks” off the main streets, where their destinations are more likely to be, for safety reasons.

            “And all space is not occupied on side streets.”

            All space in a city is currently dedicated to some use, which is what I meant by “occupied.” You’re going to be inconveniencing somebody no matter where you put bike lanes.

            “On many side streets it is quite easy to paint a bike lane without impacting everyone else.”

            Ah, and here’s the REAL reason you want to push cyclists onto side streets, and it has exactly nothing to do with safety.

            “Look at Utica Avenue and East 53 Street, three blocks away. Where does it make more sense for bicycles to travel? On congested Utica Avenue, or on empty and wide East 53 Street?”

            I’m looking, and seeing that Utica Avenue is a commercial thoroughfare while East 53rd St. has very little commercial activity. Cyclists are more likely to need to travel to places on Utica Avenue, and I’m not seeing a good reason to push them three blocks east, out of their way, so that automobiles can move unimpeded.

            This comment is a particularly clear example of your pro-car bias.

          • RIPTA42

            “I’m looking, and seeing that Utica Avenue is a commercial thoroughfare
            while East 53rd St. has very little commercial activity. Cyclists are
            more likely to need to travel to places on Utica Avenue, and I’m not
            seeing a good reason to push them three blocks east, out of their way,
            so that automobiles can move unimpeded.”

            Not to mention making cyclists cross more heavily traveled streets at unsignalized intersections, and dumping them out onto Remsen Avenue, Kings Highway, and Flatbush Avenue, none of which are side streets.

          • Allan Rosen

            There is virtually no commercial activity on East 53 St, but why should that matter? In fact the lack of commercial activity and double parking which is a big problem on Urica Avenue is what makes E 53 St a safer route. Going three short blocks out of your way is nothing for a bike, it takes only a minute or two. Besides who said the commercial activity along Utica where it parallels E 53 would be usefull to cyclists anyway? As I already pointed out it is mostly auto related uses. And if someone plans his trip beforehand, no one is “dumped” onto major streets. Of course the use of major streets is sometimes unavoidable.

          • fdtutf

            But you’ve already demonstrated with admirable clarity, whether you intended to or not, that safety is not your primary motivation for wanting to keep cyclists off Utica Avenue, so stop pretending you care about it. The only reason you want cyclists to use East 53rd is that over there, they won’t be in the way of motorists on Utica.

            “Going three short blocks out of your way is nothing for a bike, it takes only a minute or two.”

            It’s even less for a car. Hey, let’s shuffle all the cars over to East 53rd and convert all of Utica Avenue into bike lanes!

            “Besides who said the commercial activity along Utica where it parallels E 53 would be usefull to cyclists anyway? As I already pointed out it is mostly auto related uses.”

            Looking on Google Maps, I’m seeing an interesting mix of uses, many of which are auto-related (body shops, auto dealers), but many of which are not. There’s plenty of reason for cyclists to want to get to destinations on Utica.

            ” And if someone plans his trip beforehand, no one is ‘dumped’ onto major streets. Of course the use of major streets is sometimes unavoidable.”

            East 53rd ends at Remsen. How is a cyclist supposed to continue a trip other than by using Remsen? That’s “dumped” because the cyclist doesn’t have an alternate route available.

            East 53rd is interrupted at Kings Highway in a rather nightmarish-looking intersection. Continuing on East 53rd after traversing that intersection (in either direction) would require a left turn.

          • Andrew

            Going three short blocks out of your way is nothing for a bike, it takes only a minute or two.

            Is adding a minute or two to a motorist’s trip also OK with you?

          • Allan Rosen

            Yes.

          • fdtutf

            One would never know it by reading your columns and comments and seeing the endless kvetching every time there’s any mention of taking street space away from automobiles.

          • Allan Rosen

            FYI, I’ve written far more often about the need to improve bus routes and service, than I have about automobiles. What new highways and roads have I proposed?

          • fdtutf

            That’s not responsive to what I wrote: “endless kvetching every time there’s any mention of taking street space away from automobiles.” No mention of proposals for *new* roadway capacity, just the incessant moaning and groaning when roadway capacity is reduced.

          • Allan Rosen

            Yes, I will complain when roadway capacity is taken away without any good justification and when traffic is slowed to a crawl because of it like what they did to Vanderbilt Avenue during peak hours.

          • fdtutf

            You complain even when roadway capacity is taken away with AMPLE justification (benefits for transit users and/or cyclists).

            Get it through your head: There’s NO right to drive a car, and there’s certainly NO right to move at your preferred pace in your car. Those are privileges.

          • Allan Rosen

            Who said the justification is AMPLE? Can you tell me that more cyclists benefited than the number of drivers greatly inconvenienced on Vanderbilt Avenue? DOT’s own consultants told them the lane was a mistake and should be removed. (I spoke to one of them.) but DOT wouldn’t listen.

            And why is your right to ride a bicycle any more than my right to drive a car? If driving is a privilege, cycling is also a privilege. You are not superior to anyone else.

          • fdtutf

            “And why is your right to ride a bicycle any more than my right to drive a car? If driving is a privilege, cycling is also a privilege. You are not superior to anyone else.”

            Neither are automobile drivers superior to cyclists, yet drivers have been given that superior status de facto for so long that they’ve internalized it and assume they are entitled to as much street space as they care to use. As I said in a separate comment, I think all users of street space — pedestrians, cyclists, automobile drivers, and transit users — should be on an equal footing (no pun intended). The default in this country for almost a hundred years has been to give as much space as possible to the private automobile, and any leftover scraps to other modes. That needs to stop ASAP.

          • Andrew

            You are (fortunately) not the arbiter of what is ample and what isn’t ample.

          • Andrew

            You do realize that one of the objectives of the Vanderbilt Avenue bike lane project was traffic calming (i.e., to reduce speeding)? And that another objective was to create a bicycle link to Prospect Park?

            Traffic wasn’t slowed to a crawl. You are, as usual, exaggerating.

          • Allan Rosen

            You obviously do not use it during rush hours or know how traffic moved before the change. I know a traffic engineer who works for a consultant hired by the city who recommended to the city that the removed lanes be restored because of the extra congestion. Of course the city ignored the recommendation.

          • Andrew

            I will respond by simply quoting myself:

            You do realize that one of the objectives of the Vanderbilt Avenue bike lane project was traffic calming (i.e., to reduce speeding)? And that another objective was to create a bicycle link to Prospect Park?

            Traffic wasn’t slowed to a crawl. You are, as usual, exaggerating.

            Feel free to address those points, or not, as you choose.

          • Andrew

            Glad to hear it. So a street configuration that only delays motorists by a minute or two is fine with you?

          • RIPTA42

            “Look at Utica Avenue and East 53 Street, three blocks away. Where does it make more sense for bicycles to travel?”

            Utica, because it actually connects to things. The extra-wide part of East 53rd is only a mile and a quarter long and doesn’t have any destinations along it besides PS 268.

            “On many side streets it is quite easy to paint a bike lane without impacting everyone else.”

            Who is “everyone else”?

          • Andrew

            Motorists.

          • Allan Rosen

            Don’t forget trucks.

          • Andrew

            Unless I am sorely mistaken, trucks are operated by motorists. I didn’t forget them, and I have no idea why you think I did.

          • Allan Rosen

            Actually Utica Avenue doesn’t connect to much either. It is mostly auto related uses. But who said the destination had to be on the same street? People use buses for destinations within a quarter mile. A quarter mie seems much shorter by bike than by walking so the service area of East 53 Street is much greater. Also, the length where it is one way is 1 1/2 miles and it continues as a two-way street for another 2 miles. That’s a total of 3 1/2 miles, hardly insignificant.

            On the two-way portion, they could either paint bike sharing marks and replacing the solid yellow with a broken yellow to permit passing. Or they could restripe the street to allow one way bike traffic on E 53 Street and one way on East 56 Street.

            I’m sure there are similar instances all over where bike lanes can be promoted without inconveniencing anyone. It’s this attitude of let’s make driving as difficult as we can that annoys me and what I think many bus riders want just because tey are jealous

          • Allan Rosen

            because they are jealous that cars travel faster than bikes. They want cars to go as slow as they do.

          • Allan Rosen

            That’s “many bike riders” not “many bus riders.”

          • Andrew

            I certainly do think jealousy plans an important role here. Look in a mirror.

          • Allan Rosen

            Jealousy certainly does play a role for some. I certainly am not jealous of bike riders. No mirror is necessary.

          • Andrew

            RIPTA42 correctly attributed the obvious jealousy.

            Bus riders and cyclists and pedestrians are every bit as entitled to street space as motorists. Deal with it.

          • Allan Rosen

            And they have that street space. What you are talking about is exclusive street space. Cars do not have exclusive street space and cyclists and buses should get it only when it is deserved, not all over. Cyclists want bike lanes on every street and some believe that any street with a bus line deserves an exclusive lane. Deal with that.

          • Andrew

            Nice game you’re playing there. A large majority of the vehicles on the streets are cars. Bike lanes exist to provide cyclists with safe spaces to travel in without having to jockey for space with motorists (although they still have to watch out for motorists illegally making turns without yielding). Bus lanes exist to provide bus riders with faster trips, not subject to the traffic jams caused by excessive cars.

            But I’ll play along. Bicycles are not permitted to travel in the middle lanes of multilane streets (except to prepare for turns and to avoid obstacles) or at all on controlled access expressways and parkways. Most streets in the city do not see any regular bus service. Pedestrians are legally restricted to sidewalks and crosswalks (and, like cyclists, are barred from controlled access highways). Motorists have access to far more street space than do cyclists, bus riders, or pedestrians – and will continue to have access to far more street space than do cyclists, bus riders, or pedestrians even if Trottenberg pursues a major expansion of bike lanes, bus lanes, and pedestrian plazas.

          • Allan Rosen

            I am not playing any game. But I like the way you mention how cyclists have to watch out for motorists illegally making turns without yielding, but conveniently do not mention how pedestrians have to watch out for cyclists who are constantly breaking the law by cutting off pedestrians by not giving them the right of way and illegally riding on sidewalks. It cuts both ways. Nice game you are playing.

          • Andrew

            You do realize, I hope, that bike lanes reduce sidewalk riding, for obvious reasons?

            I raised the issue of motorists illegally turning without yielding because you’re one such motorist, as you’ve so proudly announced.

          • RIPTA42

            There isn’t room for a bike lane on the two-way portion without making it one way or eliminating parking. It isn’t the “wide, safe” alternative to Utica Avenue you’re trying to sell and has no advantage over East 52nd or East 51st. Bike sharing marks aren’t a bike lane.

            In your last paragraph, “anyone” means motorists again. It seems more like motorists are jealous that they aren’t getting as disproportionate an amount of roadway space as they’re used to.

          • Allan Rosen

            The two way portion of East 53 St is currently striped so it is wide for a bus. If the two-way traffic line were offset, there would be room for a bicycle lane.

            There is also the option to convert it to a one way if necessary and then add bike lanes. I never understood why the northern portion of the street was converted to one-way and the southern portion wasn’t. That makes no sense to me. Either it should all bel one way or all two way. Probably half the community wanted one thing and the other half wanted the other.

            So your solution is to put a bike lane on every street to reduce the “disproportionate” amount of space motorists are used to even if the bike lanes are used once per hour or less, while auto traffic is continuous? I call that giving a disproportionate share of the roadway to bikes.

          • RIPTA42

            Seems to be 42 feet via Google Earth. Keeping two 7 foot parking lanes and adding two 5 foot bike lanes leaves space for 9 foot travel lanes. That’s too narrow.

            Converting a two-way street to a one-way would inconvenience more motorists than reconfiguring an arterial. There’s still the problem of having no destinations on East 53rd, plus the fact that the street itself is interrupted at Kings Highway and ends at Remsen. Let’s make *all* the bikes turn left onto arterials!

            “My” (meaning the reasonable traffic engineering) solution is to safely and efficiently accommodate everyone without favoring one mode over others. That includes a continuous arterial network for bicycles to be able to function as actual transportation from an origin to a destination, not just as a leisurely three block neighborhood excursion. I also see bike lanes as a convenient pavement filler when the real goal is to diet the roadway.

            As far as bike volume goes, one traffic count I was able to find, from September 2010, shows 40 bicycles at Utica Avenue and Empire Boulevard between 5 and 6 p.m. It’s not enormous, but it’s far more than one. I assume you never chose not to route a bus along a particular street because there were no people already waiting at bus stops.

          • Allan Rosen

            Nine feet is too narrow for travel lanes? Well how wide do you think travel lanes are currently on most multi-lane streets. They are not ten feet wide. How wide is the lane currently on the two-way portion of Bedford Avenue in Midwood and Sheephead Bay? I doubt it if it is any wider than 9 feet. And East 53rd Street is not as major a street as Bedford Avenue which even has a bus on it through Brooklyn College.

            As far as Remsen Avenue is on concerned, although it is wide, it is perfectly safe for cyclists because traffic is light virtually all the time. It is nowhere as heavily utilized as Utica Avenue. As far as the other end at Kings Highway, a bike line could be added on the service road of Kings Highway for the one block that bikes woud use it. Cyclists could walk their bikes for the few feet as the road passes under the LIRR or part of the sidewalk could be converted to a bike lane, or is walking a bike or narrowing a sidewalk under any circumstances unconscionable, when it is so much easier to cause a bottleneck and inconvenience motorists?

          • fdtutf

            “Cyclists could walk their bikes for the few feet as the road passes under the LIRR or part of the sidewalk could be converted to a bike lane, or is walking a bike or narrowing a sidewalk under any circumstances unconscionable, when it is so much easier to cause a bottleneck and inconvenience motorists?”

            Is narrowing automobile lanes under any circumstances unconscionable, when it is so much easier to cause bottlenecks and inconvenience bus riders, pedestrians and cyclists? That argument cuts both ways, and God knows bus riders, pedestrians and cyclists have gotten the short end of that stick for decades. The point several of us are trying to make is that it’s well past time to pay some attention to the needs of those road users, instead of just automobile drivers.

          • Allan Rosen

            The lanes on Kings Higway have to be wide enough to handle buses and trucks. They are not overly wide and really can’t be narrowed anymore. Under that bridge the road is especially narrow.

          • fdtutf

            I thought it was obvious that I was talking about the broader principle, not the specific case of Kings Highway.

          • fdtutf

            But again, this just shows your pro-car bias. “The lanes on Kings Highway ‘have’ to be wide enough to handle buses and trucks.” Why do they “have” to be wide enough? There’s no natural law that says that buses and trucks have to travel exactly right there. And I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that that requirement prevents giving any space to the cyclists you hate so much, right?

            You take the requirements of automobiles as a given, and other modes just have to take the leftovers, of which there are frequently none. That’s the bias I’m objecting to.

          • Allan Rosen

            So now you are proposing to either get rid of the B7 and the B82 or to move them elsewhere to accommodate bike lanes. So where would you move those routes that thousands of people depend upon daily to serve a few hundred cyclists?

          • Andrew

            Actually, I think he was proposing a bike lane on Utica Avenue. You’re the one who suggested an alternative that required cyclists to walk their bikes.

          • guest

            Stop getting so angry, sit back and think rationally for a second. You could technically by all means ride your bicycle on Kings Hwy right this second. Nothing is stopping you. You don’t need your own special lane that takes away a traffic lane. Just don’t be one of those clowns that rides directly in traffic.Stay in the service road, be aware of your surroundings.

          • Allan Rosen

            Exactly.

          • fdtutf

            As a cyclist (which I’m actually not currently, though I have been in the past), I’m entitled to use the streets on the same basis as automobiles. Legally, I’m operating a vehicle (although not a *motor* vehicle), and I have almost exactly the same rights and responsibilities as a motor vehicle operator. If riding “directly in traffic” is what makes sense for my journey, that’s what I’m going to do.

            For your edification: http://www.nybc.net/online-resources/nybikelaws

          • Allan Rosen

            But cyclists want it both ways. When traffic is moving, they want the entire lane although they may be delaying cars behind them, but when traffic is stalled, they drive between the lanes to pass cars.

          • fdtutf

            End result: cyclists move faster than cars! Jealous much?

          • Allan Rosen

            Certainly not jealous because I am more comfortable in my car than you on your bike. I am just pointing out your hypocrisy.

            You stated that cyclists have almost the same rights as drivers of motor vehicles. Yet motor vehicles have no right to use the shoulder of a highway when traffic is stopped or moving very slowly, but you have no problem with bikes breaking the law by traveling between lanes of slowly moving or stalled traffic because you consider bikes to have more rights than cars, not almost the same rights.

          • fdtutf

            Motorists also have no obligation to use particular lanes of a roadway (except in certain very limited circumstances), whereas cyclists do.

            And “you have no problem with bikes breaking the law by traveling between lanes of slowly moving or stalled traffic”? Where did I say that? Putting words in my mouth again? Please stop.

          • Allan Rosen

            You asked me if I was jealous when I mentioned that practice. You said nothing about it being illegal or you don’t condone it. That’s why I said you have no problem with it. It was a fair conclusion from your comment. I was not putting any words into your mouth.

          • fdtutf

            So if I don’t explicitly say I don’t approve of a specific practice as soon as it is mentioned, you’re just going to go ahead and assume I approve of it? That’s definitely putting words into my mouth, you’re not entitled to do that, and stop it right now.

            For the record, I think it’s unsafe and unwise for cyclists to ride between lanes of slow or stopped automobile [1] traffic because of the obvious potential for an accident when the automobiles begin to move again.

            [1] Quoting this again: “[Y]ou have no problem with bikes breaking the law by traveling between lanes of slowly moving or stalled traffic[.]” Cyclists aren’t a foreign presence on the streets; cyclists ARE traffic. Your bias is showing…again.

          • guest

            If someone can’t understand that a 2 ton vehicle is significantly heavier then a cyclist and their bike combined, there is nothing more to discuss. There are always idiots on the road be it, motorist, cyclist or pedestrian. Common sense needs to prevail.

          • Andrew

            And that’s exactly why cyclist and pedestrian safety are important goals.

          • fdtutf

            If the operator of a two-ton vehicle can’t understand that the vehicle is significantly heavier than a cyclist and bike combined, and operate the two-ton vehicle accordingly, there is nothing more to discuss.

            Unfortunately, that kind of common sense seems to be rare among motorists.

          • Andrew

            I don’t think you’re being entirely fair. In my experience, there are plenty of motorists who understand the potential for damage and therefore responsibility that their cars give them.

            Unfortunately, there are still far too many who don’t, including, apparently, many people who comment here.

            Fortunately, the new mayor appears to be taking Vision Zero seriously.

          • fdtutf

            The word “rare” might have been an overreach, but I would argue, as you imply, that that kind of common sense is rare among the motorist advocates who comment here.

          • Andrew

            Agreed, although not every motorist is what you describe as a “motorist advocate.”

          • fdtutf

            No indeed, I agree. I think perhaps it’s just those who comment on the Internet, who are a small subset of motorists.

        • RIPTA42

          Then replace “bridge” with “ferry service.”

          • Allan Rosen

            I don’t understand what you are saying. Surely you are not proposing to take us back to the 18th century.

          • RIPTA42

            I was rephrasing lai7se87′s comment. “It’s hard to justify a _ferry service_ by the number of people swimming across a river.”

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