Source: Leach84 / Flickr

Source: Leach84 / Flickr

THE COMMUTE: Have things really changed that much since I went to school? The way it used to be was, you first identified a problem. Then you did a study to gather data, which included soliciting opinions from those affected. You looked at the past, at what was and what was not tried. You developed some alternative theories. Using the data collected and studying the advantages and disadvantages of each through a cost benefit analysis, you eventually identified the best short- and long-term solutions. Then you investigated ways of getting the funding needed to implement those solutions. That made sense to me.

The process today is more like the following: Identify available federal money since you will not get anything from the city or state. Try to grab that funding before another city beats you to it. Quickly decide where you can use that funding even if it makes little or no sense. Announce that the project is proceeding. Hold some meetings to give the illusion of public input, although you already know what your plan is. Implement the program. Collect and make public only data that shows your program is a success. Take the appropriate political credit. Result: Problem not solved.

Vision Zero

Last week, I wrote about Vision Zero. One of the first major steps in this crusade is to lower speed limits on Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue — a major arterial and the only truck route in the area — from 30 MPH to 25 MPH. Other arterials (probably Ocean Parkway) will soon follow. Speed has been declared the villain. Let’s look at DOT’s own statistics to see how serious a problem speed really is, as it relates to pedestrian accidents.

As Table 1-4 on Page 25 of DOT’s Technical Supplement of the New York City Pedestrian Safety Study & Action Plan shows: Driver Inattention is the major factor for crashes where pedestrians were killed or severely injured (36 percent); followed by Pedestrian Error/Confusion (21.5 percent); then failure to yield the right of way (20.6 percent) finally followed by Unsafe Speed (8.3 percent). Yet, DOT is targeting excessive speed when nowhere has it been shown that 30 MPH for a major arterial road is too fast or unsafe. (On page 26 of the main report, speed is combined with other factors to hide that the number is only eight percent).

The DOT first made the decision that speeds have to be lowered. Since they cannot lower the city speed limit on their own, they decided to pick the arterial with the greatest number of pedestrian fatalities in Brooklyn, which happened to be Atlantic Avenue, with 10 between 2008 and 2012. That is an average of two deaths per year. Now, tens of thousands have to be inconvenienced, with greatly lengthened trip times, resulting in a negative effect to the economy, because a problem has been identified as major when it only is responsible eight percent of the time. Most likely the several unfortunate fatalities had nothing to do with speed as a factor.

The Federal Funds Problem

This is what happens when we identify solutions independent from the analysis. Trying to get access to as much federal money as possible also leads to poor decisions. A public bathroom in Brighton Beach was demolished two weeks after Superstorm Sandy, before any outsider could assess the damage to determine if in fact the facility was beyond repair. A quick demolition ensured that federal money could be obtained to build a new one, although the repairs needed may have been minor but would have incurred city funds. Poorly thought out federal requirements had to be met, which led to widespread protest and no bathrooms at all, for at least one season and possibly two.

When I was in Florida earlier this winter, I noticed that the shoulder of a major arterial road was doubling as a bicycle lane without any physical barrier. This seemed dangerous, with the vehicular speed limit being 50 MPH. No one was crazy enough to use the bike lane when right alongside was a heavily-used, protected, off-street bicycle roadway. My cousin surmised that there probably was federal money available to designate the shoulder as a bike route. There is no other logic. So this community deprives another more deserving one from federal funds because they were able to write a successful grant application for something they did not need just to get the funds and give the illusion that transportation was improved.

Select Bus Service

Select Bus Service (SBS) is no different. It is all the rage because federal funds are available for it. Cities had to be quick to identify potential corridors and submit their applications. Is it the best way to solve a particular problem? We do not know because no one is looking at alternatives to try to find the best short and long term solutions. SBS was the predetermined solution just like DOT independently made the decision to lower speeds. Extending subways and utilizing existing right-of-ways have automatically been removed from the equation.

In Queens, SBS along Woodhaven Boulevard was decided as the solution to better connect northern and southern Queens by saving bus riders a mere 10 or 15 minutes of what is now a 90-minute or two-hour trip. The possibility of reactivating a parallel right-of-way a half mile to the east for SBS or rail, which could cut trip times in half, was not included as part of the study. SBS is being pushed through by holding public meetings at times that conflict with other transportation meetings to limit attendance. This is no way to plan.

Let’s Look At The Facts

The population is increasing, with more jobs moving away from Manhattan. The transit system, by and large, is remaining stagnant. No rapid transit lines are being built other than three new stations in Manhattan. Bus routes that should have been modified 60 years ago remain unchanged. Crowding is getting worse. No new highways are being built and little attention is being given to removing traffic bottlenecks. Bus service is not becoming more reliable. SBS will only be a slight help for a few, and in some cases an inconvenience more than it will help. No one is looking at the negatives, only the positives.

If speed limits are lowered, SBS will not make buses any faster in some cases, but will only result in more summonses and more traffic congestion. Bus routes will just get more inefficient as land use changes and population shifts between neighborhoods continue if routes remain stagnant. Buses will only become more frequent and reliable if the MTA wants to invest more in operating the system, which, thus far, they have been unwilling to do, implementing new services at 30 minute headways.

We need objective, comprehensive and fair studies comparing the advantages and disadvantages of each option — not piecemeal political solutions that do not address real problems, or draw our conclusions beforehand independent from what the data show, like we are doing now. The only way our transportation system will improve is when our elected officials realize how important an efficient and effective transportation system is to our city’s economic health and future development, and demand proper funding.

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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  • Amanda Greg

    great piece . speed is not the main problem it is aggressive driving(changing lanes when not needed) and pedestrians not looking where they are going and not following the law.

    • Allan Rosen

      Thank you. But those who don’t care about the facts and already have their mind made up will think otherwise.

      In all my 40+ years of driving, I have seen anyone ever get a ticket for aggressive driving. You have to be a good driver to drive that way, but all it takes is a single mistake for disaster to occur on the highway. Even if the aggressive driver drives perfectly, he never knows if the car he is about to pass or just pass will change his speed at that very moment. That’s why it is so hazardous to pass at 50 mph or more leaving less than a foot of leeway in front or in back.

      As far as pedestrian accidents, aggressive driving is less of a factor. We must target driver inattention and pedestrian/error confusion which combined account for over half of all pedestrian deaths and severe injuries. Not devote the majority of our attention to what causes a very small portion of deaths.

  • Amanda Greg

    We can already see that the Debalsio Administration will be another Obama administration where they look for a reason to do what they wanted to to in the first place regardless of the facts. Obama just ran a victory lab with 8 million sign up for his costly, low quality health plans. The facts are that many of those people where dropped from better employer paid plans and that many middle class people have seen there health care costs sky rocket. My sister premiums are up $9000 a year and her now pays $65 every time she goes to the doctor up from $25.

  • fdtutf

    “Driver Inattention is the major factor for crashes where pedestrians were killed or severely injured (36 percent); followed by Pedestrian Error/Confusion (21.5 percent); then failure to yield the right of way (20.6 percent) finally followed by Unsafe Speed (8.3 percent).”

    Are you a professional point-misser, or is this just a hobby? Excessive speed may not frequently be the primary *cause* of accidents in which pedestrians die, but IT IS THE PRIMARY FACTOR THAT DETERMINES WHETHER THE PEDESTRIAN IS KILLED IN A GIVEN ACCIDENT. The faster the car is going when it hits the pedestrian, the more likely the pedestrian is to die.

    • Allan Rosen

      By that logic all speeds should be no greater than 10 mph. Why even sacrifice a few more lives by having a 20 mph limit which you favor all over? HOW ABOUT THAT LOGIC?

      • fdtutf

        Have you ever heard of a cost-benefit analysis?

        Any situation like this ultimately comes down to measuring costs vs. benefits. And essentially, you end up assigning a dollar value to human lives.

        There is a very, very good chance (I don’t have hard numbers) that the dollar value of the lives saved by lowering the speed limit from 30 mph to 20 mph outweighs the dollar amount of loss due to time lost. This is particularly likely to be true in New York, where the average actual speed is probably below 20 mph.

        Lowering the speed limit from 20 mph to 10 mph would probably be the reverse situation for two reasons: (1) the gain from lives saved would be much lower because fatality rates at 20 mph are already so low; (2) the dollar loss due to lost time would probably be higher because speeds would much more frequently be below current actual speeds than they would with a 20 mph speed limit.

        Again, these are guesses; actual data is welcome.

        • Allan Rosen

          I wasn’t serious about the 10 mph of course, but just wanted to show that you are willing to accept a certain number of fatalities and Vision Zero is just impossible to achieve. There is no cost benefit analysis because no one is considering the lost time and converting that to money. No one is equating a human life to money. Twenty was just picked arbitrarily.

          The actual average speed on city streets is already no more than 20 mph. A maximum speed of 20 mph would lower the average speed to only about 10 mph. When you consider that an average person can walk at 3 mph, an average motor vehicle speed of 10 mph is riduculous for any trip over a few miles. If you are just driving a half mile to go to the store, it woudn’t make much of a difference, time wise, but significant numbers of non-highway trips are much longer and adding 20 to 30 minutes to thousands of trips daily on a single street is ridiculous when speed isn’t even te factor

          • Allan Rosen

            causing the accidents but driver inattentiveness and pedestrian error.

          • fdtutf

            And again: No, speed isn’t the root cause of these accidents, but IT’S WHAT MAKES THEM FATAL. Preventing deaths (by making accidents less likely to be fatal) is at least as worthwhile a goal as preventing accidents.

          • Allan Rosen

            And if more pedestrians and drivers paid more attention through better education we wouldn’t have to focus on speed, because tree would be fewer accidents in the first place. Just merely lowering the speed limits all over or on selected arterials will have minimal to zero effect, and will have very wide reaching impacts.

          • Local Broker

            You can also show that more people die every year from accidental falls than any type of car accident. Why is no one doing anything about the falling problem in NYC?
            page 8

            http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/vs/vs-executive-summary-2012.pdf

          • Allan Rosen

            Good question. Maybe because there is no group pressuring the city to pass some more ridiculous laws that won’t solve the problem.

          • Local Broker

            Makes you wonder what their motivation really is when the facts are right there. It took less than a minute to find that info.

          • RIPTA42

            Like the one passed in 2011 making window guards mandatory? http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/downloads/pdf/Local-law-57.pdf

          • fdtutf

            By what mechanism would lowering the speed limit to 20 reduce average speed to 10 mph, particularly if the average speed is currently no more than 20?

            Let’s say, for the sake of argument and simple math, that at any given moment 1 million cars are in traffic in New York. And let’s say that 250,000 of them are moving at 30 mph, 500,000 of them are moving at 20 mph, and 250,000 are moving at 10 mph. That averages out to 20 mph across all vehicles.

            Assuming it were obeyed, which is itself not a safe assumption, lowering the speed limit to 20 mph would lower the speed of the 250,000 cars currently going 30 to 20. You’d have 750,000 cars doing 20 and 250,000 cars doing 10. That’s an average speed of 17.5 mph.

            Obviously the actual traffic situation is much more complex, but I’m just trying to show that lowering the speed limit to 20 is unlikely to reduce actual speeds to anywhere near 10 mph.

          • Guest

            You skipped math in elementary school didn’t you?

          • fdtutf

            Sort of, but not really (I skipped two entire grades). More to the point, I took plenty of math in college. Would you care to be more specific in your criticism?

          • Allan Rosen

            How stupid of me? I was actually assuming that cars on local streets have to stop at traffic signals, stop signs, wait for pedestrians to cross the street, slow down at speed bumps, etc. That accounts for up to half of the time cars spend driving. You just did a highway speed analysis for local streets.

            Since a 30 mph limit results in average speeds no greater than 20 mph, a maximum speed of 20 would mean that the average speed would be somewhere between 10 and 16, like about 13. But closer to 10 since the streets would become more congested since fewer vehicles would be able to get through any given intersection.

          • fdtutf

            How true! So why are you complaining that reductions in the speed limit will significantly reduce average speeds? You’ve just pointed out that average speeds are already well below the current speed limit. Lowering the speed limit from 30 to 20 would have a marginal effect on average speeds.

            “Since a 30 mph limit results in average speeds no greater than 20 mph, a maximum speed of 20 would mean that the average speed would be somewhere between 10 and 16, like about 13. But closer to 10 since the streets would become more congested since fewer vehicles would be able to get through any given intersection.”

            LOLWUT? The average automobile can’t reach a speed much higher than 20 in the width of an intersection anyway unless the driver guns the accelerator, which is an unsafe practice in city traffic.

          • Allan Rosen

            When someone drives they don’t only go through intersections. You should always slow down at intersections. But 90% of driving is midblock when it is perfectly safe to do 30 unless the street is exceptionally narrow with parking on both sides. For those streets, 20 would be a good speed. But those are streets built before 1900 which are perhaps 10% of the streets in the city.

            On wide streets especially where there is no parking or pedestrians, 30 and 35 is perfectly safe. That’s why a limit of 20 or 25 is dumb and even dumber where the blocks are long. But you see nothing wrong with an average speed of 10 or 12 mph for a five mile trip. I do. We complain when the average bus speed is under 5 mph. A car doesn’t have to stop every other block to pick up passengers like a bus, that’s why an average car speed that is only twice the bus speed is way too slow. But tat is what you are advocating because in your mind cars are evil and shouldn’t be on the roads at all.

          • fdtutf

            As I made clear by quoting part of your previous comment, I was responding to your assertion that with a lower speed limit, fewer vehicles would be able to clear the intersection. That’s BS because the speed limit isn’t the factor that actually limits how fast vehicles travel through an intersection after a stop.

            As usual, you responded with something completely out of left field.

            “On wide streets especially where there is no parking or pedestrians, 30 and 35 is perfectly safe.”

            Well, no, it’s not, because driving at that speed leaves you unable to respond to hazards in time, especially pedestrians that you were counting on not encountering but who had the audacity to want to use the city, just like you want to. And, again, at that speed, you’re much more likely to kill a pedestrian if you hit one.

          • Allan Rosen

            “…the speed limit isn’t the factor that actually limits how fast vehicles travel through an intersection”. Yes, it is usually traffic. However, if there is little traffic and you are traveling at the speed limit because it is safe to do so, it will take you longer to clear the intersection going at a slower speed especially when crossing a wide intersection such as Woodhaven or Queens Boulevard.

            Driving at any speed may leave you unable to stop in time if in fact an object could just suddenly appear out of nowhere like a meteor hitting your car. The reality is objects only appear out of nowhere when your vision is obstructed, and in those cases you shoud be driving more slowly. However, we do not design a speed limit for the occasional instance that an object may appear. We design them for normal driving conditions and there is no law requiring you to always drive at the speed limit.

            If the road is clear ahead of you and there are no parked cars or any pedestrians anywhere in sight, and the road conditions are fine, a pedestrian is not going to suddenly appear in front of you causing you to have to stop unless he falls from the sky. How often does that happen

          • fdtutf

            The reality is that objects SEEM to appear out of nowhere when you’re not paying close attention, and paying close attention is much harder to do when you’re moving faster, regardless of conditions; also, when objects SEEM to appear out of nowhere because you weren’t paying proper attention, the faster you’re moving, the farther your car moves during your reaction time, and the less likely it is that you’ll be able to avoid an accident. This is all Driving 101.

            “If the road is clear ahead of you and there are no parked cars or any pedestrians anywhere in sight, and the road conditions are fine, a pedestrian is not going to suddenly appear in front of you causing you to have to stop unless he falls from the sky. How often does that happen”

            It’s extremely rare, of course. And if the pedestrian falls from the sky, he or she is likely to die no matter whether he or she falls into the path of your car or not.

            As I mentioned above, pedestrians often SEEM to appear out of nowhere because drivers don’t pay proper attention for a number of reasons. Slowing down (1) makes it easier to attend to what’s happening outside the car, and (2) lessens the severity of the consequences of any accidents that DO happen.

            PS Pedestrians are not “objects.” Your language is telling.

          • Allan Rosen

            You hit the problem on the head. “Drivers not paying

            attention.” So you attack the problem. Better education so they realize that even one second of inattention can cost them their lives or the lives of someone else. Yes, driving slower lessens the severity of the consequences of accidents. That is also true. But as I have stated numerous times, you have to consider all the variables and not base your policy on a single fact. You have to consider all the consequences and effects, both short and long term when deciding to change a speed limit.

            I never implied anything about pedestrians being objects. I just used the example of pedestrians falling out of the sky to show that they just suddenly do not materialize as in Startrek if the driver is paying attention and the pedestrian is also paying attention.

            If I isolate the statement in your first paragraph and base all my logic just on what you stated: “the faster you’re moving, the farther your car moves during your reaction time, and the less likely it is that you’ll be able to avoid an accident,” we should never allow anyone to drive fast anywhere, not even at 50 mph on the highway since accidents at that speed are more severe than on local roads. If cars were only to allowed to drive at 30 mph on highways, the severity of accidents would be less.

            However, it makes no sense to consider that statement without considering other factors like the extra time involved to get anywhere. The truth is that highway driving is safer than street driving with far fewer accidents, although the ones that do occur are more severe because of the higher speeds.

            Quite often there are no parked cars on both sides and there is no one driving around you in certain parts of the city. If your entire experience is driving in Manhattan or Williamsburg, for example, it is not something you can even envision, but when you get away from the city center, it is not as infrequent as you may think.

          • fdtutf

            “Better education so they realize that even one second of inattention can cost them their lives or the lives of someone else. Yes, driving slower lessens the severity of the consequences of accidents. That is also true. But as I have stated numerous times, you have to consider all the variables and not base your policy on a single fact. You have to consider all the consequences and effects, both short and long term when deciding to change a speed limit.”

            I so wish you would do that. As I mentioned before, I would love to see you do a proper cost-benefit analysis with actual numbers. This would entail, among other things, assigning a dollar value to lives lost and to serious injuries, and analyzing the *actual* traffic impacts of a lower speed limit, and then determining whether the economic loss due to the traffic impacts would outweigh the dollar value of lives saved and injuries avoided, or whether the reverse was true.

            Instead, as I’ve mentioned before, you’re just bitching indignantly about the very idea of lowering the speed limit, with only the vaguest idea of what the actual impacts would be on both sides of the equation. I cannot take that seriously.

          • Allan Rosen

            You actually expect me, one person, to do that that type of cost/benefit analysis. That is the city’s job before they rush into half-assed solutions.

            As a driver, mass transit user, and planner for over 40 years, I believe I have more than just “the vaguest idea” of the impacts. Now Andrew will come along and state I was only a planner for six months. I won’t even answer that again.

          • fdtutf

            “You actually expect me, one person, to do that that type of cost/benefit analysis.”

            Well, no, not seriously.

            What I *do* expect is for you to refrain from spewing unsupported assertions about changes in travel time and accident rates and a hundred other things without having any kind of analysis to back them up. And please figure out that assertion and proof (or even support) are two different things.

          • Allan Rosen

            Yes they are only assertions. However if you look at my track record you will see that every single one of my predictions regarding the B44 SBS from as long as three years ago came true. I don’t talk when I don’t know what i am talking about.

          • Andrew

            I don’t know exactly how many months it was, but it certainly wasn’t anywhere close to 480.

          • Allan Rosen

            I don’t know what you are referring to. I would never say “480 months”. If I did, it was a typo.

          • fdtutf

            Um, you did say “40 years.” How many months are there in a year? Maybe I’m not the one who skipped elementary-school math after all.

          • Allan Rosen

            I still don’t know you are referring to. Where did I say 480 months?

            Also, I wasn’t the one who questioned your math. It was someone else.

          • Andrew

            OMG

          • Andrew

            40 x 12 = 480

          • Allan Rosen

            But I never said anything about 480 months. If I did show me where. And what is the point anyway?

          • Andrew

            “planner for over 40 years”

            40 years x 12 months/year = 480 months

          • fdtutf

            W.
            O.
            W.

          • Allan Rosen

            So what? Why is the conversion to months so important?

            I never made any such conversion? You are now just wasting time.

          • Andrew

            Who said that the conversion to months is important, and who “accused” you of making the conversion? You don’t have 480 months of planning experience, and you don’t have 40 years of planning experience either – use whichever units you prefer.

            Yes, I’ve been wasting quite a bit of time in these parts lately. I’m not sure why you’re bringing it up now.

          • Allan Rosen

            Guest accused fdtuff of skipping math.

            Then I said I have 40 years of planning experience and fdtuff said “Um, you did say “40 years.” How many months are there in a year? Maybe
            I’m not the one who skipped elementary-school math after all.”

            Then you said “I don’t know exactly how many months it was, but it certainly wasn’t anywhere close to 480.”

            For your information, I have been doing planning continuously since 1973 and am still doing it today. That is over 40 years. Yes, I only got paid for nine of those years. I don’t know where you got “months” from. I never heard that only paid experience counts. I guess anyone who works for Doctors Without Borders is not really a doctor. I believe they volunteer their services.

          • RIPTA42

            Doctors Without Borders are paid.

          • Andrew

            For your information, I have been doing planning continuously since 1973 and am still doing it today.

            I don’t know what you were doing 1973, but what you’re doing today bears little resemblance to planning.

          • Allan Rosen

            You are not a planner, and weren’t trained in planning so you wouldn’t even know what constitutes good planning which is evident from your comments which only defend everything the MTA does in that regard.

          • Andrew

            So how many of your plans have been implemented in the past 30 years, O Expert Continuous Planner Since 1973?

          • RIPTA42

            “However, we do not design a speed limit for the occasional instance that an object may appear.”

            Yes we do. Stopping sight distance is often the controlling design criterion for a roadway’s design speed.

          • Allan Rosen

            Yes if there is a turn in the road or a hill, the advisory speed is lowered at that point. You may be a traffic engineer, but I know enough that a limited sight distance at one point of a ten mile road does not determine the speed limit for that entire road which is what you are trying to imply.

          • RIPTA42

            Advisory speeds are primarily based on driver comfort, but they could be used for an isolated sight distance deficiency. I wouldn’t want to be the lawyer defending an agency where someone was killed at a spot where the stopping sight distance wasn’t adequate for the posted speed limit, though.

            In any event, arterials in New York tend to have pretty consistent development patterns – closely spaced intersections and buildings along the back of sidewalk – and few if any significant vertical or horizontal curves. I picked a random spot on Atlantic Avenue where a stop-controlled street intersects with buildings up to the back of sidewalk – Agate Court, a block west of Albany Avenue. A vehicle coming out of Agate Court would be visible to a westbound driver at about 115 feet. That’s a 20 mph design speed. I tried it again at Atlantic and Waverly Avenue and got 175 feet, or 26.65 mph (which rounds down to 25).

          • Allan Rosen

            Exactly how many dead end Agate Courts along Atlantic Avenue are there and how many accidents have there been in the past ten years for cars coming out of Agate Court? If that block is a problem, you lower the speed limit for the block, not for the entire ten mile avenue.

            As far as some of the other narrow short one block streets, many coud have their direction reversed so no cars are ever entering Atlantic Avenue. There are other solutions that could be investigated.

            From what I understand the vast majority of accidents have been west of Flatbush Avenue, so lower the speed there. The other problem locations are Flatbush Avenue, probably due to additional traffic being funneled onto Flatbush Avenue due to Fourth Avenue being made a one way north of Atlantic and because of Barclays Center, neither of which have to do with speeding cars. The other problem intersection is Pennslvania Avenue. So you study what is happening there and make necessary changes.

            You just don’t punish everyone by lowering the peed limit

          • Allan Rosen

            the speed limit along the entire street.

          • fdtutf

            “If that block is a problem, you lower the speed limit for the block, not for the entire ten mile avenue.”

            Frequently changing speed limits are almost as annoying to drivers as speed limits that are too low. You may think that the speed limit at every point should be as high as is safe, but frequent speed limit changes are annoying. They also make it more difficult for drivers to keep track of the current speed limit, making it more likely that they will exceed the speed limit.

          • Allan Rosen

            We are not talking about frequent speed limit changes unless there are other similar blocks and all are located far apart. Have you ever driven on curvy country roads? If you have, you will see frequent speed limit changes like every couple of minutes at each hill with limited sight distance and each curve. Every three or four minutes, the speed limit will change from 55 to 40 to 55 to 35 to 55, etc. Also each time you hit a town it goes down to 30 and 20 for school zones.

            I never heard anyone compain about that. The changes are much more frequent than what might be required on Atlantic Avenue. It would be much more annoying if on these roads someone decided that since you should go 40 around the curves, let’s make that te speed for the mire road, or that since three towns are close together, let’s make it 30 mph from town 1 all the way to town 3. Yet that is exactly what you are proposing for Atlantic Avenue.

          • RIPTA42

            I’m not talking about punishing anyone; I’m talking about design speed. I used those two as examples of any unsignalized intersection where there are buildings along the back of sidewalk. These streets and adjacent land uses were not laid out with a 30 mph design speed in mind. The solutions to meet design standards are one of the following: signalize the intersection, reduce arterial speeds, or tear down the buildings. Reversing the direction of streets isn’t always practical and only helps reduce crashes of cars with other cars.

          • Allan Rosen

            The fact is that if there are other solutions which as you point out there are, the least costly being adding traffic signals if warranted.

            That makes more sense than reducing the speed for the entire ten mile roadway to accommodate the needs of a few blocks and inconveniencing many.

            And as I said, DOT’s plan isn’t to only reduce the speed limit by 5 mph, they also intend to add a bicycle or bus lane and perhaps widen sidewalks that would in effect slow down speeds much greater than by 5 mph.

          • Andrew

            The fact is that if there are other solutions which as you point out there are, the least costly being adding traffic signals if warranted.

            The least costly? Speed limit signs are far less costly than traffic signals!

            That makes more sense than reducing the speed for the entire ten mile roadway to accommodate the needs of a few blocks and inconveniencing many.

            A few blocks?!

          • Allan Rosen

            Speed limit signs are not less costly when you consider the long term effects of speed reduction on increased travel times for buses, trucks and cars. Higher bus operating costs lead to higher fares. Higher trucking costs lead to a higher price for goods and services. When you multiply all the minutes lost, and convert them to dollars for every trip taking longer over a year, you have a considerable cost. The cost is not only for the fabrication and erecting of the speed limit sign.

            Along most of Atlantic Avenue, the blocks are 600 feet apart. Where the streets are closer, they only go through Atlantic Avenue every 600 feet or less frequently. That’s why Atlantic Avenue is an arterial. It makes a lot of sense for the speed limit to be lowered to 25 mph while narrower streets alongside it have a speed limit of 30 mph. Yes, you want those lowered to 20 mph so every trip takes forever.

          • RIPTA42

            Additional traffic signals would increase delay and congestion along arterials much more than reduced free-flow speeds.

          • Allan Rosen

            I beg to disagree.

            Not if the signals are synchronized in the peak direction as they are. They would just change in line with the others around them. In the reverse direction, maybe there would be a slight delay.

            Reducing the speed and retiming the signals woud cause a greater delay because of the reduced throughput through intersections during each cycle unless you managed somehow to reduce the total amount of cars. You certainly won’t do that by reducing a lane which is also part of the plan.

          • Andrew

            The guy who took one traffic engineering course in the 1970′s is, once again, arguing traffic engineering with a practicing traffic engineer.

            I love it!

          • Allan Rosen

            And the guy who has no qualifications at all except that he loves to argue, put words in other people’s mouths, and distort the facts has to continually put in his two cents.

          • fdtutf

            Wait a minute…hold the phone. Are *you* actually accusing *Andrew* of putting words in other people’s mouths? Because that’s amazeballs.

          • Andrew

            Wait a minute…hold the phone. Are *you* actually accusing *Andrew* of putting words in other people’s mouths? Because that’s amazeballs.

            He does it all the time.

          • Allan Rosen

            I can cite dozens of examples but won’t waste my time doing so.

          • Andrew

            You and I have the exact same traffic engineering qualifications – except that I’m willing to learn from actual traffic engineers, while you continue to insist that you know better.

          • Allan Rosen

            So one is never allowed to disagree with a traffic engineer?

            Transportation Alternatives wants the speed limit on Queens Blvd to be reduced to 25 mph. DOT engineers are maintaining that 30 mph is the proper speed for the street. So I would have to assume you agree with the engineers and disagree with Transportation Alternatives.

          • Andrew

            Disagree with all the traffic engineers you like, but don’t expect your vacuous traffic safety pronouncements to be taken seriously if you do.

          • Allan Rosen

            Like it or not, I am being taken very seriously.

          • RIPTA42

            Synchronization only helps so much, and, as you pointed out, usually only in one direction. Even if all signals are perfectly synchronized for a 30 mph green wave on the arterial, what about cars turning onto the arterial from intersecting arterials? Those turning movements can be significant, and they’ll have to stop at a signal where there wasn’t one before. That reduces throughput.

            I haven’t seen anything about a lane reduction being part of the plan for Atlantic Avenue, but eliminating a lane doesn’t necessarily mean reducing capacity, either. Signal retiming and other geometric improvements (like improved striping and eliminating sudden lane drops and merges, which you cite often as problems) can improve traffic flow with a reduction in the number of lanes.

          • Allan Rosen

            Those streets where signals woud be added are only one block long so very few vehicles would be affected by them since there would be very few turning movements.

            As far as reducing a lane and not affecting capacity, that would only be true if there are significant left turn movements at nearly every intersection and one of those lanes were to become a left turn lane. But what I heard was a bicycle lane or bus lane where they operate and widened sidewalks in places. I have no problem with widened sidewalks at intersections if it improves pedestrian crossings and doesn’t disrupt traffic flow.

          • fdtutf

            “I have no problem with widened sidewalks at intersections if it improves pedestrian crossings and doesn’t disrupt traffic flow.”

            This is a good example of why several of us say you put motorists’ interests above all else. What about the possibility that widened sidewalks are badly needed at an intersection, but will interfere with traffic flow? Is the reduction in traffic flow ever an acceptable price to pay to improve conditions for pedestrians?

            Hint: Pedestrians are traffic too. “Traffic” and “motor vehicle traffic” aren’t synonyms.

          • Allan Rosen

            You can have widened sidewalks at intersections without disrupting traffic flow because all you do is extend the sidewalk over the parking lane. If the parking lane is needed for right turns, you would be disrupting traffic flow and should look into other alternatives like banning right turns altogether if they can be moved to a nearby intersection which is less pedestrian trafficked. You may also be able to reverse some street directions.

            The point is that you investigate all options so that traffic flow is not unnecessarily disrupted while other needs are also being met. But if you were in charge, the first thing we would look to do is how we can disrupt traffic the most so that we can give the pedestrians all the priority. That is hardly a balanced view.

          • fdtutf

            “You can have widened sidewalks at intersections without disrupting traffic flow because all you do is extend the sidewalk over the parking lane. If the parking lane is needed for right turns, you would be disrupting traffic flow and should look into other alternatives like banning right turns altogether if they can be moved to a nearby intersection which is less pedestrian trafficked.”

            Do you really not realize how you sound? You make it sound like the First Commandment is “Thou shalt not disrupt traffic flow,” and everything else takes a backseat. If that’s not what you mean, you need to learn to better convey what you *do* mean.

          • Allan Rosen

            I think I said it quite clearly. That before you decide to disrupt traffic flow because that should not be your goal, you first look at all available alternatives. You as a traffic engineer should know that.

          • fdtutf

            I don’t think that disrupting (automobile) traffic flow should be a last resort, even. It certainly is a negative effect, but it is not an overriding factor.
            So now I’m a traffic engineer? Great! News to me.

          • Andrew

            We have two traffic engineers here? I thought we only had one.

            What happens when the only way to achieve the desired goal happens to reduce vehicular traffic flow? Do we automatically call the whole thing off, or do we accept that there might on occasion be a greater priority than maximization of vehicular traffic flow?

          • RIPTA42

            I’m talking about vehicles turning from existing signals onto an arterial and encountering a new signal – which would be red – along the arterial. Plus, new signals may not be option at many one-block-long streets because traffic volumes wouldn’t meet warrants for a signal.

            Wider sidewalks at intersections improve traffic flow because a narrower roadway requires shorter pedestrian crossing times.

          • Allan Rosen

            As I said, I’m usually for wider sidewalks at intersections.

            As far as one-block-long streets, that was the problem you brought up. Aside from Fort Greene and east of Broadway Junction where those streets don’t cross Atlantic Avenue, the predominant block distance is over 600 feet.

            There was a recent post on Streetsblog about 2 recent pedestrian fatalities on Atlantic Avenue in Queens. One is still under investigation and there was no evidence of speeding or any driver wrongdoing, thus far. In the other case, the pedestrian stepped in front of a moving car. The headline read that the NYPD has to tell cars to slow down on Atlantic Avenue. That is typical biased Streetsblog reporting blaming speed where there is no evidence that it was even a factor. How about a headline that the NYPD has to tell pedestrians to pay attention?

          • RIPTA42

            You brought up one-block-long streets to somehow demonstrate that adding signals wouldn’t add delay. I brought up design speed for an urban arterial with the building line at the back of sidewalk using two examples of intersecting streets. One is a block long and the other is over a mile long.

            All reports say both incidents are still under investigation. The specifics of each crash aside, do you know how fast vehicles in general are going at those two locations?

          • Allan Rosen

            First of all, you were the one who first brought up one block streets by using the unique example of the dead end Agate Court as if it were somehow representive of streets crossing Atlantic Avenue.

            The point isn’t if I know how fast vehicles are traveling at two locations. The point is that if someone is speeding at 50 mph when there is a 30 mph speed limit, he still will be speeding at 50 mph at a 25 mph speed limit. That is what you either fail to understand or don’t want to understand. You can put speed cameras in at 30 mph to catch him, or you can put speed cameras in llat 25 mph to catch him. The results will still be the same.

          • RIPTA42

            I didn’t bring up “one block streets.” I picked two examples to illustrate sight distance constraints where the building line is at the back of sidewalk. One was dead end Agate Court, the other was mile long Waverley Avenue. It’s the same case at St. James Place, Howard Avenue, Sackman Street, and plenty of other long streets.

            And no, the point isn’t whether you know how fast they’re going or not; the point is how fast they are going. I completely agree that simply changing the speed limit does nothing. That’s where true traffic calming measures come in.

          • Allan Rosen

            Measures like putting in bike lanes, bus lanes, widening sidewalks, malls and trees in the center of the street, all aimed at causing traffic congestion.

          • Andrew

            Bike lanes, bus lanes, and widened sidewalks primarily serve to improve bike accessibility, bus accessibility, and walking accessibility. They also are often installed to curb dangerous speeding. For instance, the Prospect Park West bike lane reduced speeding from 74% to 20% (speeding by 10+ miles per hour was reduced from 47% to 2%). It managed to do this without making a measurable dent in car throughput and without increasing travel times by car.

            Crosswalk medians are installed both to halve the street width that pedestrians have to cross at once (they can safely stop in the middle to wait for traffic coming from the other direction) and to encourage drivers to take turns slowly enough that they bother to see and yield to pedestrians.

            How about addressing his point that he didn’t bring up “one block streets” and his list of three additional long streets where the same situation applies?

          • RIPTA42

            Not only are signals expensive up front (I’d estimate $200k for a relatively simple location in Brooklyn) and increase vehicle stops and congestion (especially for buses, which can’t really take advantage of a 30 mph green wave), they also have much higher maintenance and operation costs than signs and striping.

            If Fulton Street is less congested than Atlantic Avenue, then encouraging traffic to divert to Fulton Street isn’t a bad thing. Pacific, Dean, and Bergen already have capacity-killing bike lanes, so no worries there.

          • Allan Rosen

            I never was a fan of signals. I only suggested it as an alternative to taking away a lane. Perhaps new large signage before those small streets warning drivers of an upcoming intersection would be better than a signal. Signs like hidden driveway ahead or stop ahead would be similar. Only these would warn of cars entering or leaving.

            Fulton Is probably less congested before 10 AM, but not after that once the stores open. But even if it is, the travel time is probably greater because it lacks synchronized signals. If traffic slows on Atlantic because of the slower speeds, and Fulton becomes more competitive, then certainly some traffic would shift there. All that would mean is tat everyone’s trips would take longer.

            If Pacific, Dean, and Bergen already have bike lanes, it would be totally ridiculous to add them to Atlantic also. Since most of Atlantic doesn’t even have a bus, of course a bus lane isn’t possible. Where a bus does operate they only operate like once every 10 or 15 minutes, not enough to justify one. Widening the sidewalks under the LIRR makes no sense either, since there is little pedestrian traffic. So I can’t imagine how they intend to screw it up.

          • RIPTA42

            I would hope DOT plans on doing more than just reducing the speed limit, because reducing the speed limit does nothing to reduce speed.

          • Allan Rosen

            Yes, if excessive speed is even the problem. If so, there needs to be proper random enforcement, not a one-day ticket blitz and then try forget about it which the mois operendi of the police. But more congestion is not the answer either.

            Excuse me, it’s not called traffic congestion any more. It is now “traffic calming”. Why don’t we also rename “murder” to “systemic over-population control” and consider that a good thing also?

          • Andrew

            I’m not talking about punishing anyone

            Of course you are! Don’t you understand that motorists are endowed with the basic rights to high speed and parking? Any attempts to reduce speeds or to fail to supply oodles and oodles of parking are pure punishment.

          • Allan Rosen

            Thirty mph is not “high speed”. The only motorists who believe are endowed with the basic rights of parking are police officers. It would be an insult for them to use mass transit or pay for parking. It must be free and on the sidewalk. Other motorists expect to and do pay for parking. No one views it as a right to have free parking all over. They expect to pay in commercial areas within the city.

            You believe everyone who owns a car has no right to park it on a public street at all unless they pay an exorbitant amount of money. What was the amount you think is fair to park overnight on a residential street in a low density area? Twenty Dollars? How much for a day on a commercial street? One hundred dollars?

          • RIPTA42

            Well, in Manhattan, average rent for a commercial property is $65.33 a month. That translates to $12.57 to lease 144 square feet of space on a commercial street in Manhattan for one hour :).

          • Andrew

            Seriously? You’re telling a practicing traffic engineer how to do his job? How about leaving the traffic engineering to traffic engineers?

            Then again, in not sure why I’m surprised.

          • Allan Rosen

            Do you just blindly accept everything your doctor tells you or do you question him? I question mine and have every right to question a practicing engineer, an accountant, and whatever profession I want to if something they say does not sound right. Everytime I used an accountant to prepare my taxes, I found errors and had to file an amended return and received a refund from the IRS. When I once sold a house, the accountant estimated my following year’s taxes as if I sold a house every year. I trusted him and didn’t check his work. I learned my lesson then. Accountants make mistakes and so do engineers, no offense to RIPTA42. So yes, I will continue to ask questions and doubt suspicious sounding statements even if someone claims to be an expert in their field.

          • Andrew

            Do you just blindly accept everything your doctor tells you or do you question him?

            I might ask my doctor for detailed information about a specific issue, or I might seek the opinion of a second doctor.

            But I wouldn’t tell my doctor that I know how to do his job better than he does.

            You’re doing the latter.

          • Andrew

            a pedestrian is not going to suddenly appear in front of you causing you to have to stop unless he falls from the sky.

            If you believe the NYPD’s crash analyses, it happens quite often.

          • Andrew

            You should always slow down at intersections.

            Seriously?

            On wide streets especially where there is no parking or pedestrians, 30 and 35 is perfectly safe.

            Based on your gut feeling, or based on an engineering assessment? If the latter, kindly present it.

            Which city streets (as opposed to highways) have no pedestrians?

            But yo u see no thing wrong with an average speed of 10 or 12 mph for a five mile trip.

            Great news! Nobody’s proposing that.

            But tat is what you are advocating because in your mind cars are evil and shouldn’t be on the roads at all.

            I see it’s not just my mouth that you put words in.

          • Allan Rosen

            I meant that you shoud always slow down at intersections if you are going over the speed limit. As a driver with 44 years of driving experience and an excellent safety record, I think I know by now what a safe speed is. Maybe someone like you who only occasionally rents a car for an occasional trip does not have the experience to know.

            If you ever left your yuppie neighborhood you woud know that in the outskirts of the city you can drive a half a mile without seeing a pedestrian.

            As I stated, a 20 mph speed limit will result in average peers of only 10 -15 mph, even less if you lose the ability to take advantage of synchronized traffic signals due the te increased congestion resulting from lower throughput through intersections.

          • Andrew

            I meant that you shoud always slow down at intersections if you are going over the speed limit.

            I’d suggest that you perhaps should not go over the speed limit in the first place.

            By the way, a city block is typically about one-twentieth of a mile. Do you really slow down and speed up twenty times each mile? That seems both pointless and uncomfortable.

            As a driver with 44 years of driving experience and an excellent safety record, I think I know by now what a safe speed is.

            As was reported in the New York Times a few days ago, “Among Americans, for example, 88 percent consider themselves above-average drivers.”

            Maybe someone like you who only occasionally rents a car for an occasional trip does not have the experience to know.

            I love the assumptions. In fact, I owned a car for many years, and I drove many, many miles, both in the city and long-distance.

            If you ever left your yuppie neighborhood you woud know that in the outskirts of the city you can drive a half a mile without seeing a pedestrian.

            My yuppie neighborhood? Ha! Again, I love the assumptions.

            Of course, if you’re not looking for pedestrians, you may well not notice that they exist. Doesn’t mean they’re not out there.

            As I stated, a 20 mph speed limit will result in average peers of only 10 -15 mph, even less if you lose the ability to take advantage of synchronized traffic signals due the te increased congestion resulting from lower throughput through intersections.

            As I stated, you’re no traffic engineer. You can state it all you like, but that doesn’t make it true.

          • Allan Rosen

            There is one street where I actually do slow down at each intersection because it is known that drivers frequently blow through stop signs on the crossing streets. It is called defensive driving.

            Speed limits are designed so that it is safe to go above them in certain instances. That is why you will rarely see anyone doing 50 on a highway where that is the limit when traffic permits. Studies have shown if virtually everyone is doing 55, the car doing 50 is more of a hazard.

            If there are no pedestrians, there are no pedestrians. I’ve walked home many times and did not encounter another pedestrian late at night. There are many isolated long sections of sidewalks with few pedestrians such as along Marine Park or Flatbush Avenue south of Avenue U. Just because you never visit such neighborhoods, don’t assume every street is like Williamsburg.

            And you have no qualifications at all other than to argue, and distort facts.

            And of course as a driver you never ever drove over the speed limit? You actually expect me to believe that.

          • Allan Rosen

            You call lowering the average speed from 20 to 10 or 12 mph “marginal”? That’s a nearly 50 % decrease in speed.

          • fdtutf

            (1) You’ve already said yourself that current average speed is below 20 mph.
            (2) I’m disputing that the reduction would be that much. Pay attention.

          • Allan Rosen

            (1) There is a difference between average speed on typical roadways which includes starting and stopping and the average speed on an arterial with synchronized signals where it is possible to travel nearly at the speed limit for the bulk of the trip, providing traffic permits, and you can hit 15 or 20 green signals in a row.

            (2) See my response to Andrew below.

          • Andrew

            Lowering the average speed from 20 to 10 or 12 mph? I must have missed that math. Would you mind running it by us again?

          • Allan Rosen

            You have a major arterial where the speed limit is 30 mph and you have the signals synchronized in the peak direction of travel. Traffic is at the level where you can make most or all of the green signals without having to stop, like 15 or 20 signals in a row. Your average speed will be between 25 and 30 mph.

            Now you lower the speed limit to 25 mph and retime the signals for the new speed. Unless you also reduce the volume of traffic on the street fewer cars will be able to pass any given point within any defined time period. So if previously you could hit 15 green signals in a row, even with the signals retimed, with the same volume, now you will now hit only about 12 green signals. If you previously hit 10 green signals in a row, the number will now be reduced to 7 or 8. That means your trip will necessitate at least two extra stops unless the green cycles are lengthened for your street to the detriment of cross traffic.

            Since there will now be more cars waiting at these two signals, your chance of getting through the intersection on the first green light is lessens. That means you will have to wait for a second cycle each time you stop. That’s an additional 90 seconds you are spending waiting for the traffic ahead of you inch it’s way to the intersection and another 30 seconds waiting for the signal to turn green again.

          • Allan Rosen

            So if you stop three additional times, that’s six extra minutes not including the extra travel time by traveling slower. Not so bad. But a lowering of speed from 30 to 25mph on Atlantic Avenue is not all that is proposed. DOT also wants to eliminate a lane of traffic by replacing it with either a bus or bicycle lane. Never mind that a bus will only pass once every 10 or 15 minutes and there will be only a handful of bicycles. The reduced road capacity and additional cars caused by a lower throughput will make it impossible to travel anywhere near the 25 mph speed limit, so it will no longer be possible to benefit from the synchronized signals. You will not stop every seventh signal but every second signal forcing you to make not three additional stops but perhaps eight additional stops for traffic signals with no guarantee you will make the first cycle. That’s 8 stops at two minutes each if you can’t make the first signal or 16 extra minutes just from additional stops. Add more minutes by traveling slower and your travel time can easily double and your average speed can be reduced from 20 mph to 10 mph. When that happens, soe traffic will divert to parallel residential streets which will be moving faster. That will increase the number of pedestrian accidents on those streets w

          • Allan Rosen

            due to the increased traffic. To remedy that, the city will then lower the speed limit on those streets too forcing more traffic back to Atlantic Avenue since those streets will also be traveling slower. Result: the overall number of pedestrian accidents will stay the same and all traffic will be moving slower.

          • Andrew

            And you bought your traffic engineering degree from where?

            (Hint: An actual traffic engineer has been commenting here. Why don’t you ask him how this stuff actually works? Have you noticed that he hasn’t been generally taking your side?)

          • Allan Rosen

            Any traffic engineers are free to comment. And the one you are referring to doesn’t disagree with me as often as you think.

            I also have a friend who is a traffic engineer who reads my articles and we have lunch monthly. So far he hasn’t disagreed with anything I have said. He is the one who consulted for the city on the Vanderbilt Avenue narrowing whose firm recommended scrapping of the bike lanes because of the havoc they caused after the data came in. DOT decided to just ignore the data and the recommendation. In fact I have not seen any public traffic data regarding before and after travel times during rush hours on that street. Have you? The data was all aggregated over a 24 hour period to hide what was really happening.

            I may not have a traffic engineering degree, but I do have a planning degree and I took one traffic engineering course as part of it. Meanwhile, you don’t have any degrees that we know of, other than a degree in willingness to argue and only considering data that supports your preconceived notions.

          • Andrew

            Lowering the speed limit from 30 to 20 would have a marginal effect on average speeds.

            This is plainly obvious. When the prevailing speed of traffic is below 20 mph, it makes no difference whatsoever whether the speed limit is 20 or 30 (or 80).

          • Allan Roaen

            But not when the prevailing speed is 30 mph.

          • Andrew

            When the prevailing speed is higher than 20, a speed limit of 20 (if enforced) will slow traffic. When the prevailing speed is lower than 20, a speed limit of 20 will have no effect.

            If the average speed was 20, a speed limit of 20 certainly won’t bring the average speed down to 10-12!

          • Allan Rosen

            An average speed includes the time spent slowing down, accelerating and waiting at traffic signals. The design speed which is the speed the synchronized signals are designed for only works when the volume does not exceed a certain capacity. With a lower speed limit, the throughput is reduced, so in order not to increase traffic congestion so as to still benefit from the synchronized signals, the volume of cars must be reduced. That will not happen on Atlantic Avenue, for example, without soe other transportation improvements.

            The plan also calls for narrowing the roadway to include a bus or bicycle lane. Together with a lower speed limit, and the elimination of a travel lane, the speed most certainly will not exceed 12 mph during the rush hour. No one will switch to the bus since there only are buses on two short segments of Atlantic Avenue, and if you think people will start leaving their car at home to switch to a bike, then you are plain nuts.

          • Andrew

            The design speed which is the speed the synchronized signals are designed for

            That’s not what the term ‘design speed’ means.

          • Allan Rosen

            So you are now the traffic engineer?

          • fdtutf

            You don’t have to be a traffic engineer to know what “design speed” means. I know what it means, I’m fairly sure, and as I’ve pointed out before, I’m not a traffic engineer.

          • Andrew

            I guess this is why he didn’t understand <a href="http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/2014/04/whatever-happened-fair-studies/#comment-1359040123“>RIPTA42′s discussion of design speeds on Atlantic Avenue.

          • fdtutf

            One would think. But apparently the obviousness is lost on some people.

          • Andrew

            You’re just making up numbers.

          • Allan Rosen

            No. I am predicting which I have done in the past with a fair amount of accuracy, like all my SBS predictions which came true.

          • Andrew

            Your predictions of how much everybody hates SBS have most certainly not come true.

          • Allan Rosen

            You are relying solely on the MTA’ one time biased studies of a few hundred riders if that many. Go and ask the riders what they think and don’t forget to ask the B44 riders still waiting 30 to 45 minutes for a bus or the SBS riders waiting 15 minutes or more. The results may surprise you.

          • Andrew

            Actually, I’m relying primarily on the major year-over-year ridership growth on the four SBS corridors that have been in operation for over a year. (Not that you’ve demonstrated a particularly strong understanding of survey techniques – you just don’t like the results.)
            If you have any data to support your assertion that B44 service is less reliable than it was one year ago, please go right ahead and present it.

    • insanityoftotalitarians

      No one needs to travel faster than a slow jog. In the name of safety cripple everyone, tear up every road. No one must die for speed! Electricity s dangerous too, ban electricity!. Fire is dangerous, no more fire, no cooking, no heat. Everyone is so much safer living in a dark cave.

      In the name of safety ban everything dangerous and rob anyone that dares endangers us!

      • fdtutf

        If I have to choose between “in the name of safety, lower the speed limit” (no one is suggesting we “tear up every road”) and “in the name of speed, kill hundreds of pedestrians every year,” I’ll take the lower speed limit and leave the bloodthirst to you.

        • sonicboy678

          Blowing things out of proportion much, especially since a very large chunk ultimately had nothing to do with speed in the first place?

          • fdtutf

            For the eight hundredth time (approximately), while speed was not the primary cause of most pedestrian accidents, it is the main reason for fatalities.

          • Allan Rosen

            Not according to DOTs statistics which shows speed by itself accounting for 8% of the pedestrian fatalities/serious injuries, and 20 something percent when combined with all other factors such as wet pavement. We do not design speed limits as if the streets are wet all the time.

            A serious injury such as being put into a coma is almost as bad or maybe even worse than a fatality which is why DOT lumps it into one category.

          • fdtutf

            For the eight hundred and first time, they’re talking about THE PRIMARY CAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT ITSELF. 8% of the accidents resulting in fatalities and serious injuries would not have happened at all but for unsafe speed.

            Lower speeds would result in fewer fatalities for two reasons that have been made amply clear to you at this point:
            - The faster a car is going, the less time the driver has to react to the unexpected.
            - The faster a car is going when it hits a pedestrian, the more likely the pedestrian is to die.

            GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD.

          • Allan Rosen

            GET THIS THROUGH YOUR HEAD. Even if we consider the cases where speed wasn’t the primary cause but only a contributing factor, the number is STILL only 21%. Compare that number to the three prime causes of pedestrian fatalities / severe injuries which are driver inattention, pedestrian error/ confusion, and failure to yield the right of way. Together those three factors account for over 78% of pedestrian fatalities / severe injuries.

            Which would you say demands more attention? SOMETHING THAT CAUSES 8% OF THE ACCIDENTS OR THE THREE FACTORS THAT COMBINED CAUSE 78% OF THE ACCIDENTS?

          • fdtutf

            AGAIN, they mean a contributing factor to THE ACCIDENT HAPPENING IN THE FIRST PLACE, not to the fact that there was a fatality or severe injury.

            “Which would you say demands more attention? SOMETHING THAT CAUSES 8% OF THE ACCIDENTS OR THE THREE FACTORS THAT COMBINED CAUSE 78% OF THE ACCIDENTS?”

            SOMETHING THAT WOULD MAKE ALL PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS LESS LIKELY TO RESULT IN FATALITIES AND SEVERE INJURIES.

          • Allan Rosen

            If you read the chart, you would see that the only types of accidents even being considered are those where there were fatalities/ serious injuries.

            I am not saying that you ignore excessive speed as a cause, just that you don’t devote the majority of your resources attacking only that problem. You treat it in proportion to its factor in causing accidents which is 8% being the sole cause and 21% being a contributing factor.

            And stop yelling!

          • RIPTA42

            The problem trying to be solved here is the effect (fatalities), not the cause.

          • Allan Rosen

            And as I repeatedly stated, you don’t make a decision based on a single factor. You consider all the variables.

            You wouldn’t require garbage bins under every window just because your survival rate is greatly increased after falling from an open window if you fall on a garbage crate rather than on hard concrete.

          • fdtutf

            If you heard me, I wouldn’t have to yell.

            See RIPTA42′s response below. Eliminating accidents is one thing (and much more difficult to do); making accidents less frequently fatal is another (and easier to accomplish).

          • Allan Rosen

            I heard you quite clearly. See my response to RIPTA42 above.

          • fdtutf

            Your repeated replies to me make it clear that you’re not getting my point, and I’ve tried stating it several different ways. Oh well.

          • Allan Rosen

            I have heard you quite clearly. You believe that since the likelihood you will die if hit by a car at 20 mph is less than if hit at 30 mph, it makes sense for the speed limit throughout the city except on limited access highways to be only 20′mph beause fewer people will die.

            I disagree and have explained a number of times why I disagree, once using what I thought was an excellent analogy. Despite my best attempts, you don’t not understand why I said what I said. So I guess we will just have to agree that we disagree.

          • fdtutf

            The likelihood that a pedestrian will die if hit by a car going 20 is SO MUCH LESS than the likelihood that the pedestrian will die if hit by a car going 30 that yes, a speed limit of 20 makes sense.
            Not for the first time, your willingness to accept pedestrian deaths as the price for saving a few minutes on your automobile trips is noted. Morally bankrupt, and noted.

          • Allan Rosen

            For the nth time, there are other factors to consider. I guess you also believe we should require garbage bins under each window since more die from falls than being hit by a car. How much greater is your chance of surviving a fall from a fifth story window if you land on a heap of garbage than if you and on concrete. Would you say 90 percent? So let’s make it the law then. What? No? Then you must also be morally bankrupt. Duly noted.

          • fdtutf

            Okay, let’s see.

            You’re unwilling to sacrifice time to save lives; I said that that unwillingness is morally bankrupt. Note that you are engaging in an inherently dangerous activity that you don’t want curtailed or even made somewhat less convenient.

            I think requiring garbage bins under every window is a stupid idea, mainly because while *falls* are common, *falls from windows* are not. Note that as I’m not going around shoving people in tall buildings with the chance that some of them may fall, I’m not engaging in a dangerous activity, so my opinion doesn’t make me morally bankrupt at all.

          • Allan Rosen

            Here we go again with the implication that all drivers are murderers. You are not shoving people from buildings and I am not driving the streets killing anyone either.

            We’ve just been over the same points too many times. I already stated my position numerous times. This is never ending with you. For the last time, responsible decisions are not made based on a single factor, as you are doing. Period.

          • fdtutf

            I’m not shoving people at all. You’re operating a motor vehicle, an activity which has the potential to kill people, whether that is your intention or not. (Which I trust it is not.)

            “For the last time, responsible decisions are not made based on a single factor, as you are doing. Period.”
            Correct. You wouldn’t want to make a decision by, say, ignoring everything except automobile traffic flow.

          • Allan Rosen

            Or by a single statistic that pedestrians have a greater chance of survival if hit at 20 mph instead of 30 mph, while calling someone darting out from between cars without even looking “sharing the road” and condoning cyclists flagrantly breaking the law.

            Sorry, pedestrians do not have the right to dart out between parked cars and step directly in front of a car traveling at the speed limit who cannot possibly stop in time. It’s called suicide, and is in no way the fault of the motorist.

            I wouldn’t believe anything someone says who has those beliefs. You have totally lost all credibility.

          • Andrew

            You have totally lost all credibility.

            Spoken like a true expert in the topic!

          • Allan Rosen

            That means you support Fdtuff in the belief that pedestrians have the right to dart out between parked cars and step directly in front of a car traveling at the speed limit who cannot possibly stop in time (although it is against the law too) and it is the fault of the motorist if the pedestrian is struck.

            Congratulations! You now have as much credibility as he does.

          • fdtutf

            Are you a professional conclusion-jumper, or is this just a hobby?

          • Andrew

            That means you support Fdtuff in the belief that pedestrians have the right to dart out between parked cars and step directly in front of a car traveling at the speed limit who cannot possibly stop in time (although it is against the law too) and it is the fault of the motorist if the pedestrian is struck.

            Actually, I believe that, while pedestrians should be cautious while stepping into the street mid-block, they also shouldn’t be killed if they make a mistake. The law states that “Notwithstanding other provisions of these rules, the operator of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian.”

            A motorist is more likely to be able to stop in time from a slower speed than from a faster speed – and, if he doesn’t stop in time, the result is considerably less likely to be lethal.

            Although he can speak for himself, I suspect fdtutf agrees.

          • Andrew

            Here we go again with the implication that all drivers are murderers.

            Who said that?

            You are not shoving people from buildings and I am not driving the streets killing anyone either.

            No, you personally are not (although you came pretty close with that cyclist). But drivers injured 16,059 pedestrians and cyclists and killed 178 pedestrians and cyclists last year.

            http://www.streetsblog.org/2014/01/31/nypd-16059-pedestrians-and-cyclists-injured-178-killed-in-traffic-in-2013/

            For the last time, responsible decisions are not made based on a single factor, as you are doing.

            That’s right. According to you, responsible decisions should be made based on two: vehicle speed and vehicle throughput. Nothing else matters.

          • Allan Rosen

            “Who said that?”

            Fdtuff: “You’re unwilling to sacrifice time to save lives; I said that that unwillingness is morally bankrupt.”

            That’s equivalent to calling me a murderer. And according to you, I am guilty of attempted murder.

            Last week a cyclist hit a pedestrian and he was in critical condition. I have never seen you blame a cyclist for anything. Why is that do you think?

            No, it is more than just two factors that I am considering. I also stated that there are many long range economic impacts that are not being addressed such as increased trucking costs reflected in the higher price of goods, etc.

          • fdtutf

            “Fdtuff: ‘You’re unwilling to sacrifice time to save lives; I said that that unwillingness is morally bankrupt.’

            “That’s equivalent to calling me a murderer. And according to you, I am guilty of attempted murder.”

            Um, no, it’s not. By any means. Saying you’re careless of the consequences of your actions, and that that is morally bankrupt, is not the same as saying you’re a murderer. Get real.

            Note, again, that I did not say *you* are morally bankrupt; I said your conduct on this particular issue is morally bankrupt.

          • Allan Rosen

            Driviing at the speed limit or slightly above is not “careless of the consequences of your actions”. Just because I and many others do not beleve in lowering all the speed limits as you do, does not makes us “morally bankrupt” or any other label you wish to apply to us. We just disagree.

          • fdtutf

            In an environment where there are numerous pedestrians, driving at the speed limit is not necessarily safe. Motorists may perceive it as safe (and it may be sufficient to keep *them* safe), but it is not always safe for pedestrians.
            If you’re not willing to adjust your speed to keep pedestrians safe, then your conduct is morally bankrupt.

          • Andrew

            He said that the unwillingness to sacrifice time to save lives is morally bankrupt. He didn’t call you a murderer. Do you seriously not see the difference?

            By “a cyclist hit a pedestrian and he was in critical conditon” are you referring to this incident (which states that the pedestrian was in stable, not critical, condition)? Of course I blame the cyclist.

            Meanwhile, just yesterday, a motorist (who I’m sure was driving at a speed that he considered safe) killed Felipe Castro Palacios. Then, only a few hours later, another motorist injured a boy while driving into a barber shop.

            I share your concern about trucking costs. That’s why I’m strongly in favor of congestion pricing. You, last I checked, are not.

          • Allan Rosen

            All you do is cite every new pedestrian accident and distort what I say, just to keep these threads going., forcing me to respond. Other readers are getting upset, so I will no longer be responding on this subject since you have nothing new to state. I am also upset about all these accidents and if anyone wants to read the daily carnage, they can go to Streetsblog. I am not getting into a new debate with you here about congestion pricing, but charging truckers more will certainly not reduce trucking costs. That makes about as much sense as your other arguments.

          • fdtutf

            “I am not getting into a new debate with you here about congestion pricing, but charging truckers more will certainly not reduce trucking costs.”
            Charging all drivers, including truckers, more is extremely likely to reduce overall trucking costs, because the resulting decrease in congestion would improve the efficiency of trucking operations, reducing truckers’ costs far more than the congestion charge would increase those costs.

          • Andrew

            Actually, I’ve simply been citing a few recent pedestrian crashes (not accidents) to make the point that they are simply so common.

            I am not “upset about all these accidents.” I am angry that a group of selfish motorists kill and injure pedestrians, through their lawless and careless driving habits, and I want them to stop.

            You, on the other hand, encourage drivers to break the law and demand that no safety improvement be made if it has any possibility of causing even the slightest inconvenience to motorists.

            Crocodile tears.

          • RIPTA42

            Yet window guards are mandatory.

          • fdtutf

            Indeed, as that is a relatively low-cost, low-impact method of reducing the danger.

          • RIPTA42

            And it doesn’t increase traffic congestion.

          • fdtutf

            Which means it fulfills The One Criterion for whether we should ever do things. I’m glad it was implemented.

      • Allan Rosen

        And if Vision Zero were the goal when approving drugs, there would not be a single drug on the market. Isn’t there a warning for most every drug that taking it could result in death?

  • fdtutf

    “Yet, DOT is targeting excessive speed when nowhere has it been shown that 30 MPH for a major arterial road is too fast or unsafe.”

    http://humantransport.org/sidewalks/SpeedKills.htm

    There you go. Keep in mind that those are actual speeds, and where the speed limit is 30, many vehicles will go 40 when the road is clear.

    • Allan Rosen

      But they don’t show 10 mph where the death rate is even less, do they? Because they already have their mind made up that 20 should be the speed. When speed limits are set unrealistically low, no one listens anyway. (No one does 30 on Queens Blvd if they can help it.) The only way to lower speeds is to narrow the road and create congestion when traffic was previously free-flowing. That is exactly the plan for Atlantic Avenue. Add bus and bicycle lanes forcing all traffic into one lane.

      What do you think will happen then? Traffic will shift to parallel residential streets and to Fulton Street and to Eastern Parkway. The increased traffic there will increase accidents there and DOT will brag about a lower accident rate on Atlantic Avenue and ignore the increase in travel times and increase in accidents on parallel roadways and alternate routes. Except they will cite the increased number of accidents on Eastern Parkway due to the extra traffic from Atlantic Av, and lower the speed there also and the traffic and accidents will just move elsewhere. Meanwhile nothing will be done to improve mass transit to give people other choices.

      • fdtutf

        “When speed limits are set unrealistically low, no one listens anyway. (No one does 30 on Queens Blvd if they can help it.)”

        Which is probably why Queens Boulevard is notorious as a road where pedestrians get killed in large numbers.

        • Allan Rosen

          However, the other safety measures taken like putting up fences to prevent jaywalking and increasing walk length times, so that it is no longer Queens most dangerous roadway. If certain 45 degree intersections were redesigned so that pedestrians could only cross at 90 degree angles, pedestrian injuries and deaths could be cut even further. But that would inconvenience pedestrians by requiring slightly longer walks. We can’t have that. Motorists are the only ones who must be inconvenienced. Again speed is only a minor problem and shoudn’t be treated like it is the major cause.

          If there are a few problem intersections on Atlantic Avenue, like at Flatbush and at Pennsylvania, deal with those problem intersections by making them safer. Don’t lower the speed on the entire ten mile road.

          • fdtutf

            “If certain 45 degree intersections were redesigned so that pedestrians could only cross at 90 degree angles, pedestrian injuries and deaths could be cut even further. But that would inconvenience pedestrians by requiring slightly longer walks. We can’t have that. Motorists are the only ones who must be inconvenienced.”

            Your “slightly longer” is often the pedestrian’s “takes twice as long,” whereas the inconvenience to motorists is generally considerably less than a doubling of trip time.

            “Again speed is only a minor problem and shoudn’t be treated like it is the major cause.”

            Again: SPEED KILLS. It may not be the underlying cause of many pedestrian accidents, but it’s the reason they tend to result in deaths rather than injuries.

            Good to know you’re okay with pedestrians dying so you can get where you need to go three minutes faster.

          • RIPTA42

            Moving crosswalks to be perpendicular inconveniences motorists more than it does pedestrians. The intersection itself becomes wider, so the all-red time has to increase. The crosswalk could be pushed so far off the intersection that vehicles turning right won’t see a pedestrian in the crosswalk, necessitating an exclusive pedestrian phase.

          • fdtutf

            “The crosswalk could be pushed so far off the intersection that vehicles turning right won’t see a pedestrian in the crosswalk, necessitating an exclusive pedestrian phase.”

            Of course, you could always just not worry about that and let the carnage continue. I’m sure some elements here would be fine with that.

          • Allan Rosen

            Perhaps you don’t understand what I am suggesting. I’m talking about intersections such as Queens Blvd and 51 Avenue. A ninety degree crosswalk would necessitate additional traffic signals and some barriers to prevent diagonal crossing. Pedestrians would be able to cross the street in two thirds the time allowing for shorter pedestrian signals and more green time for motorists. I fail to see how motorists would be inconvenienced. It would make turning movements much safer and easier to see pedestrians.

          • RIPTA42

            What you’re suggesting was already done to some degree at Queens Boulevard at 51st Avenue in 2008. Right turns from Queens Boulevard to 51st Avenue were prohibited, the right turn channels were turned into sidewalk, the crosswalk across the southern 51st Avenue leg was made perpendicular, and the northern terminus of the crosswalk across the western Queens Boulevard leg was moved about 60 feet to the west, shortening the crossing distance from 375 feet to 325 feet. If that crosswalk were made perpendicular (the fact that it would end in the McDonalds driveway notwithstanding), the crossing distance would be only 165 feet, but the stop bar for eastbound Queens Boulevard would be 130 feet before 51st Avenue.

            I wonder what the through traffic volume is on 51st Avenue. It may make more sense to close the median, force all 51st Avenue traffic to turn right, and divert through traffic to Broadway. That would give more flexibility to configuring crosswalks and pedestrian signal phasing. The NYSDOT Traffic Data Viewer shows a total hourly peak of 275 cars in both directions on 51st Avenue southwest of Queens Boulevard.

          • Allan Rosen

            Next time I am in the area I will take a closer look at the intersection. I do not recall any changes being made to the crosswalks. As far as diverting traffic to Broadway, that part of Broadway is hopelessly slow and congested. You wouldn’t want to put any more cars there.

  • insanityoftotalitarians

    In the name of safety lower the speed limit on all NY Highways to 20. No one needs to go faster than that!

  • insanityoftotalitarians

    Fine everyone $10,000 for every mph over the new 15MPH limit! Seize their cars, their homes and every penny they have! We will all be safe then!

  • Mat50

    how can lack of driver attention or competence be enforced? We have an increasing # of elderly, of pedestrians, of bicycle use for various reasons, all in a finite space. Something’s got to give, and on residential, heavily foot trafficked, or near schools and small businesses, the big shots need to slow the F down.

    • Allan Rosen

      We need more signage at problem locations to make drivers and pedestrians more aware. I like the signs that warn drivers and pedestrians that someone was killed there. But that costs money if it is done right. Just easier to make one blanket rule and post a few signs.

      DOT placed decals at crosswalks that said LOOK. That was a great idea. But three months later they were already wearing away. Do you think the city would care to put them on correctly so they would last longer or renew them when they needed to be renewed when lines are not repainted for 30 years on some streets? Of course not. Just do what is cheapest and the simplest, not what is most effective that costs time, manpower and money.

      • Mat50

        There are signs, they are ignored. Would PSA’s work? I don’t think so, only the already responsible would consider them. Cameras that would not generate points on a license, only $ fines, might be a compromise, but some drivers need the truck with the crane to sidle up to them and hoist them in their cars right onto the flatbed. Period. I’ve seen old women give me the “so what?” gesture as they run stop signs along a park near a junior high school. They drive with a sense of invulnerability: it’s not just the testosterone crowd.

        • Allan Rosen

          You couldn’t have cameras that generate points because you would have to prove who was driving. It may ave not been the owner. That’s why there are only fines and no points now. It’s a matter of education and enforcement.

      • sonicboy678

        I happened to see a good stretch of Flatbush Avenue this afternoon. The lines were either disappearing due to age or altogether GONE. This is an even more pressing safety issue, yet it’s being overlooked in favor of something stupid that usually doesn’t have to do with the drivers actually driving too quickly.

        • Allan Rosen

          This is what I have been yelling about for years. We have unsafe conditions all over that are being ignored. The Belt Parkway has had its lights out for almost two years in one place. Even the signage does not reflect your headlights. But rather than address these issues properly, DOT takes a single issue such as speed and thinks it can solve the problem of accidents by changing a few signs rather than doing the necessary work like repainting lines on some streets for more frequently than every 30 years or resurfacing streets more often so they do not become littered with potholes making them unsafe to drive on.

  • RIPTA42

    There’s a difference between the two types of studies you describe – one is a long range planning study that has a “wish list” but no real pot of money to accomplish anything, and one is a smaller scale, shorter term study to see what can actually be accomplished to reach the goals of a longer term study once a specific funding source and amount has been established. The difference between the latter type of study now versus when you were in school is that the pot of money is usually a lot scarcer and a lot smaller. And you don’t get the money first and figure out what to do with it later; you identify the amount available, come up with a plan, submit it along with lots of other agencies’ plans, and hope you get the money.

    Most what mean ol’ Kings Bloomberg and DeBlasio and their minions Jeanette Sadist Khan and Polly [epithet to be determined] are implementing are directly out of long range planning studies done in the 1990s.

    • Allan Rosen

      What they are doing is caving into the demands of Transportation Alternatives which so much power that they can virtually dictate city policy although their viewpoint represent a small minority of citizens mainly transplants who live in neighborhoods with narrow streets and good public transportation. To them, that is the entire city. Long time residents of the outer boroughs know what the entire city is and its needs which doesn’t include biking to all your destinations.

      Yes you come up with a plan to spend Federal money although it doesn’t solve the problem that needs solving. You just have to give the illusion that you are doing something positive.

      What long range study of the 1990s said the way to solve our transportation problem was to create SBS lines?

      • fdtutf

        (1) I find it funny that you think Transportation Alternatives has that much power.
        (2) I find it funny that you think native and long-time New Yorkers don’t want to be able to use a variety of modes of transportation. Long-time residents of the parts of the outer boroughs that don’t have good public transportation make up a small minority of long-time New Yorkers.

        • Allan Rosen

          (1) In all my years of attending meetings held by the city, I have never been to one where a private group was invited to share the dais with city appointed and elected officials on equal footing. That speaks POWER.

          (2) When you say “a variety of modes of transportation” it sounds like you are primarily speaking of bikes, ferries, skateboard, walking, etc. Other than for recreation, those modes for regular commuting are primarily for transplants living in Manhattan or near Manhattan. The rest of us prefer the train, use the bus, car service, or drive.

          It’s interesting that you consider the entire eastern half of Queens, the entire southeast Brooklyn, and the entire Staten Island, “a small minority” of New Yorkers, (unless you consider the bulk of them to be new immigrants and not long-time New Yorkers which would not be true). It shows where your head is at and what you consider to be New York City.

          • RIPTA42

            Population density in New York City: http://ajrae.staff.shef.ac.uk/img/nyc_popdens_2010.png

          • Allan Rosen

            Actually, the map is a little misleading. Density isn’t the only factor to be considered. Although Manhattan is te most dense, Queens is actually the second most populous borough, I believe, after Brooklyn. Manhattan, though the densest in population is actually the third mst populous borough. So eastern Queens and southeast Brooklyn isn’t as unimportant as the map makes it appear.

          • Andrew

            Nobody said that they’re unimportant. But the city’s transportation policy should not be based upon their desires only, without also considering the needs of the rest of the city.

          • Allan Rosen

            Who said anything about basing the city’s transportation policy only upon the desires of southeast Brooklyn and Eastern Queens? Putting words in my mouth again?

          • Andrew

            I don’t know, maybe it’s the repeated assertions that most New Yorkers get around by car, or maybe it’s the repeated insistence that the ability to drive quickly on city streets is paramount.

            The fact remains, however, that most New Yorkers do not get around by car. It’s a big city, and not everybody uses it the way you do.

          • Allan Rosen

            For journey to work trips you are correct. Something like 80 percent are made by mass transit. However, for all other trips, especially not during peak hours, and certainly for at least 12 hours out of the average day, more are in cars than on buses and trains at least outside of Manhattan which is what, the third most populous borough?

            Cars are not as unimportant as you would like everyone to believe? How many more would you say choose cars over bicycles? Of course I realize that if every street had a protected bikeway, the numbers would be equal. LOL.

          • Andrew

            Need I remind you so soon that most New York City households do not even own a single car? And I think it’s pretty darned obvious that there are far more non-car trips made by members of car-owning households than there are car trips made by non-car-owning households.

          • Allan Rosen

            The non-car trips made by car owning households are primarily to Manhattan and a few areas where parking is at a great premium and as I stated, for nearly half of the day between 10 PM and 6 AM, I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t more car trips than mass transit trips especially for trips that do not begin or end in Manhattan.

            And there is something called a taxi for those who don’t own a car. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. And there are car rentals and zip cars too. You don;t have to own a car to use one.

            Yes, just consider trips to Manhattan that are made within 4 hours of the day, and assume that represents everything. I guess if 51% of the trips are made during the rush hour and 80% of them use the subway or bus, that accounts for a majority. So we can just forget about the other 49% of trips since they are only a minority in Andrew’s world of statistics.

          • RIPTA42

            Your argument against lane reductions and lower speeds is that congestion will increase due to reduced throughput, yet you’re saying that most people take transit during peak hours and cars during off-peak hours. Between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., traffic volumes are significantly less than during peak hours and reduction in capacity wouldn’t be an issue.

          • Allan Rosen

            It is irrelevant that most take transit during peak hours. More use the A and C than Atlantic Avenue, I am sure, but Atlantic Avenue still has major traffic volumes. At night the problem isn’t capacity, it’s the extra time being added to everyone’s trip every single day (like at least 10 minutes) because of something like 5 fatalities during the entire year on the entire roadway, most of which could probably be eliminated by making changes at Flatbush and Atlantic and at Flatbush and Pennsylvania where many of the accidents occur.

            I bet the increase in accidents at the former is due to the additional cars going through the intersection because of changes made at 4th Avenue, so the accidents ay just have moved from one intersection to another and not increased at all. There are also more cars at that intersection because of Barclays. There is no evidence at all that the 30 mph limit on Atlantic warrants a speed limit reduction on that street.

          • RIPTA42

            The map is by census tract, not by borough, so it’s a lot less misleading than representing its entire borough by its entire population. Notice there are parts of Queens (Flushing and Corona stand out) and Brooklyn (especially Flatbush) that are nearly as dense as Manhattan, while much of southeastern Brooklyn and eastern Queens have the density of Staten Island.

          • Allan Rosen

            We were talking whether the least dense parts of the city represented a “small minority” of New Yorkers. I stated that a density map is misleading because it shows density, not numbers of people. Looking at it you would get the impression that nearly everyone lives in Manhattan.

            I merely made the point that Manhattan was the third most populous borough not the first. After you subtract, the dense parts of the other boroughs, there are still very significant numbers who live in the eastern half of Queens and southeast Brooklyn. Its not that its all one and two family homes. It may not be a majority, but it sure as hell is not a “small minority.”

          • fdtutf

            “When you say ‘a variety of modes of transportation’ it sounds like you are primarily speaking of bikes, ferries, skateboard, walking, etc. Other than for recreation, those modes for regular commuting are primarily for transplants living in Manhattan or near Manhattan. The rest of us prefer the train, use the bus, car service, or drive.”

            That’s your bias showing. When I say “a variety of modes of transportation,” I mean exactly that: subways, buses, walking, cycling, driving. Ferries and skateboards are marginal in the sense that they are only useful for a small share of trips in New York.

            You are the one who obsessively thinks all New Yorkers want to drive their cars. Guess what: Nope.

          • Allan Rosen

            Now you are just making things up. First of all, where did I state that native and long time New Yorkers do not want to use a variety of modes of transportation. I never said that. You only accused me of saying that and I should have caught that last time.

            Second, you can define variety anyway you like. What are to trying to prove?

            And where did I ever say or imply that “all New Yorkers want to drive their cars.?”. It is a known fact that mass transit accounts for 80% of journey to work trips and a high percentage of all other trips. But you don’t take that single fact and conclude every heavily utilized route should have SBS and any wide street needs exclusive bus lanes. Just like you don’t just blindly decide to lower the speed limit on all major arterial roadways. You do objective studies weighing all pertinant factors considering both short and long term affects.

          • fdtutf

            I quote you from earlier in this thread: “What they are doing is caving into the demands of Transportation Alternatives which so much power that they can virtually dictate city policy although their viewpoint represent a small minority of citizens mainly transplants who live in neighborhoods with narrow streets and good public transportation. To them, that is the entire city. Long time residents of the outer boroughs know what the entire city is and its needs which doesn’t include biking to all your destinations.”

            You concluded, in the absence of evidence, that the entire city’s needs don’t include biking to all your destinations. The entire city’s needs do, of course, include biking to all your destinations…for some people, and more people than you think.

            “Second, you can define variety anyway you like. What are to trying to prove?”

            Umm…that you don’t know how to read and interpret what you read? You made a huge jump in asserting that when I referred to a variety of modes of transportation, I was including marginal modes like skateboarding and excluding mainstream modes like mass transit and automobiles.

            “And where did I ever say or imply that ‘all New Yorkers want to drive their cars’?”

            I get the impression that that’s what you think because so much of this column, week in and week out, is devoted to defending the interests of motorists against the possibility that users of other modes, particularly cyclists and pedestrians, might be helped if motorists would suffer the slightest inconvenience as a result. If you don’t want to give that impression, change your focus.

          • Allan Rosen

            The percentage of people in this city who use a bike to meet most or all of their transportation needs is extremely small. How many daily subway riders are there? How many daily bus riders? Then ask yourself how many daily cyclists are there? Then tell me it’s more than I think. The numbers are nowhere even close.

            I’m not going to argue about the “variety of modes” because I don’t even remember how that entered te discussion or the relevance of it.

            Before you start accusing, I have written about 200 articles thus far, count up the number that deal with mass transit vs the number that deal with cars. You can omit ones where I discuss cars and mass transit equally. Then come back and tell me that most of the articles represent the viewpoints of motorists. I think you wil be surprised. I even stated early on that there will not be much of a focus on pedestrians and cyclists, because that is Streetsblog prime concern. If that is you interest, by all means spend your time there. There is no reason for metro duplicate what others are already doing. I write about what interests me most and that is bus routes. I try to stay away from financial matters when I can help it. Second Avenue Sagas has that area covered. I am filling a need by discussing subjects I don’t see being discussed elsewhere.

          • fdtutf

            Many of your articles dealing with mass transit are about SBS, and devote substantial space to complaining about the loss of motor vehicle capacity that results from exclusive bus lanes. That may be “about” mass transit, but you sure manage to sneak in your pro-motorist complaints along the way.

            If you think there’s a severe lack of writers complaining about motorists being wronged and put upon, you are sorely mistaken.

          • Allan Rosen

            Even if you omit all the SBS articles, you will still find more are about mass transit than about autos. And as I stated somewhere my chief complaint about SBS has not been the exclusive lanes which on the B44, I only opposed in Sheepshead Bay, but the way corridors were chosen, the fact that other local routes were not considered and the misleading and inadequate studies designed to prove only positive aspects of SBS ignoring the negative aspects. In other words, they were not objective.

            Although I said some negative things about the exclusive lanes on Nostrand and Rogers, I also said that those negative factors could be overcome with proper enforcement of no parking in curbside lanes where prohibited and additional parking restrictions on parallel roadways. So to say I devoted substantial space arguing against the exclusive lanes on the B44 isn’t even correct.

          • Allan Rosen

            You are dead wrong. I just did a count of all the articles I wrote since you wouldn’t and here are the results: 141 mostly about mass transit excluding SBS, 15 just about SBS, 22 about the roadway or cars, and 8 that do not fall into any of the above categories.

            It’s not even close. Three times as many about mass transit, not including SBS than everything else combined. I don’t have to change my focus unless I want to write more about cars. Who else is writing about motorists being wronged except the AAA?

            Vision Zero is currently in the news so that’s why I am writing about it. Last year I wrote many articles about the fare since that was a hot topic then. It’s called news, although every article contains commentary.

          • Andrew

            I try to stay away from financial matters when I can help it.

            Anything that costs money is a financial matter. You don’t stay away from financial matters; you merely ignore the financial side and pretend it doesn’t exist.

          • Allan Rosen

            Totally untrue. I have mentioned and discussed many financial matters. I just don’t go into great detail or perform in depth analyses. Your financial analyses go no further than it can’t be done because there is no money.

            I realize that there always is money when there is the will to do something. The money can be found just like Bloomberg did for the #7 extension.

          • Andrew

            You have repeatedly claimed that planning should take place without regard to fiscal constraints and that bus service should simply be added without worrying about how to pay for it.

            Real planners call that fantasy planning, since budgets are in fact very, very real.

          • Allan Rosen

            I have never ever once stated that planning should take place without regard to fiscal constraints and bus service should merely be added. A prime consideration of the southwest Brooklyn proposals and why many were accepted by the MTA was because they were so fiscally responsible. The MTA never has made another such widespread improvement to the system as far as bus routes are concerned.

            Make up all the lies you want but the fact remains, what I did was real planning, not dinky little shuttle routes serving very few that the MTA is passing off for planning today. They discontinued routes in 2010 serving more riders than these new shuttle routes serve today.

          • fdtutf

            “Make up all the lies you want but the fact remains, what I did was real planning, not dinky little shuttle routes serving very few that the MTA is passing off for planning today. They discontinued routes in 2010 serving more riders than these new shuttle routes serve today.”

            And why did they do that?

            BUDGETS. If you ain’t got the money, you ain’t got the money, simple as that.

          • Allan Rosen

            You can always find the money for projects you want to embark on. History has proven that. The MTA saw no reason to extend the #7 line and were even opposed to it. But Bloomberg made it happen because he wanted it bad enough and figured out a way o do it.

            Regarding the bus routes, there is one thing called penny-wise and pound foolish which the MTA and the city has proven over and over again try are guilty of. It woud ave made far more sense to invest a little more in those bus routes by terminating them at transfer points a block away and operating them at 20 minute headways instead of 30. They might find out there is a demand for those routes and eventually increase service to every 30 minutes.

            If that doesn’t happen, there is always time to cutback the route and reduce service to save money. At least they tried. Beginning the service at 30 minute headways and making transfers difficult, they are dooming the routes to failure. They can say that they tried, but did they really try?

          • fdtutf

            “It woud ave made far more sense to invest a little more in those bus routes by terminating them at transfer points a block away and operating them at 20 minute headways instead of 30. They might find out there is a demand for those routes and eventually increase service to every 30 minutes.”

            I must have missed something there. If the initial headway is 30 minutes rather than 20 (per your first sentence), how is service every 30 minutes (per your second sentence) an increase? This is not a dig; I just think you might want to try that example again.

          • Allan Rosen

            It was a typo. The last few words should have said, increase service to every 15 minutes. Thank you for spotting that.

            If they start at every 30, it is highly doubtful that demand will ever materialize so that service will increase to every 15.

            That only happened once when the B13 was extended to Gateway and the service had been previously running at every 30 minutes, so there already was some clientele and a major new shopping center was such a big draw that more people used the bus even at 30 minute headways. These new routes have no such anchor at either end that would cause the same result and are starting from zero riders since they weren’t extensions as the B13 was.

          • fdtutf

            I figured you must have meant something like that. Thanks for clarifying.

          • Andrew

            You can always find the money for projects you want to embark on.

            That is absolute nonsense, and if you actually believe it, I firmly understand why you were relieved of your duties as a planner in 1981.

            In the real world, funding constraints are very real. Somebody has to decide what to fund and what not to fund, even if you disagree with some of those decisions (I certainly do).

            But Bloomberg made it happen because he wanted it bad enough and figured out a way o do it.

            Bloomberg found a way to fund it.

            Regarding the bus routes, there is one thing called penny-wise and pound foolish which the MTA and the city has proven over and over again try are guilty of.

            The MTA has to live within its means. It cannot operate a service that it can’t afford to operate. Again, funding constraints are very real.

          • Andrew

            I have never ever once stated that planning should take place without regard to fiscal constraints

            http://www.subchat.com/buschat/read.asp?Id=238648

          • Allan Rosen

            And that link does not state that at all. What it says is that Operations Planning is very limited in what they can propose to improve service because of unrealistic guidelines placed on them by the budget people which dictate that any service improvement must be balanced by a service cut when planning bus route changes when considering additional operating costs. That type of planning results in someone being inconvenienced for everyone who benefits.

            That is not how to make improvements to the system especially when you consider operating costs in a vacuum with no consideration of increased demand a service improvement will cause if any demand exists for the new service.

            In no way does my comment state fiscal constraints should be ignored. Just continue to misinterpret everything I say.

          • Andrew

            What it says is that Operations Planning is very limited in what they can propose to improve service because of unrealistic guidelines placed on them by the budget people which dictate that any service improvement must be balanced by a service cut when planning bus route changes when considering additional operating costs.

            That is utter nonsense. There is no such guideline.

            There is, however, an absolute need to pay for the service that operates. That means finding funding for service changes. Handwaving is fine for a blogger but it doesn’t cut it for a real planner who designs services to operate in the real world.

      • RIPTA42

        TA doesn’t dictate policy, they support good transportation policy for an urban environment. I think you’re way off base with your assessment of TA’s membership, but more people live in those parts of “the entire city” that have those narrow streets and good public transportation. You claim to advocate for some nebulous improvements to public transportation as an alternative to SBS, but it always comes down to whining about inconvenience to motorists. And, just to beat the dead horse some more, the majority of people in the rest of “the entire city” DON’T HAVE CARS.

        The Feds don’t come to you with money and ask how you want to spend it. It’s a rigorous application process that requires a demonstrable problem and solution.

        I would say the beginning of “SBS” was the creation of bus lanes on Madison Avenue in 1981 (weren’t you Director of Planning then?). It isn’t BRT, but since your primary beef with SBS is elimination of travel lanes and that project eliminated two, I’d say it qualifies. You might recall that BRT itself was first tried in Lower Manhattan in 1992 with buses borrowed from Curitiba. The M15 was identified as a corridor in 2002, and selection of additional corridors Citywide began in 2004.

        • Allan Rosen

          It is debatable whether lowering the speed limit on 25 major arterial roads is good transportation policy.

          I don’t call advocating specific local bus route improvements and utilizing unused or underutilized rights of way for mass transit purposes nebulous at all. That is very specific and I have advocated for those ideas repeatedly.

          And here we go again, since less than half the population drives, we must only listen to the opinions of the majority and ignore everyone else. We do not do that for any other issue, only when discussing drivers of motorized vehicles.

          How come I do not hear you saying about ignoring the needs of cyclists? I believe less than half the population cycles to work. Or do you believe that if there were a protected bike lane on every single city street, more than half the population would choose to cycle to work instead of riding the bus, train, or driving? Get real!

          It is actually not that difficult to receive federal money. My first task at the MTA in the early part of 1981 was to write an application for an additional $250,000 in federal funds to complete our Brooklyn study wafter previous federal monies received had been misspent. The application was approved right away although I had no previous experience in this grant writing.

          The Madison Avenue bus lanes had absolutely nothing to due with SBS, so it was not the beginning of SBS as you allege and I do not remember if they were created in 1981 or before or after. They were created for an entirely different purpose.

          The subways were falling apart due to deferred maintenance. When I say falling apart, I mean that a train only had a 50% chance of leaving one terminal and arriving at the other one without being taken out of service. The most frequent cause for removing a train from service was door problems. The riding public was fed up and had enough. They even staged rebellions by refusing to get off trains when ordered to. Some trains were put back in service, although against MTA policy. Other passengers were taken to the subway yards.

          That was the beginning of the creation of express bus routes at a premium fare. The midtown routes were all designed when in Manhattan to use Fifth and Madison Avenue since that was the most central location since 8th and 9th Avenue bypassed the heart of midtown and Sixth and Seventh Avenues dead end at Central Park.

          The problem was that there was no room for the buses because there were too many cars and traffic was not moving at all. Exclusive lanes was the only answer. The buses would be able to move and the cars would be displaced to other avenues. It worked, and I never opposed those exclusive lanes. (So much for me being pro-car!)

          The purpose of SBS is to speed local buses, a totally different objective. In theory, it is also a good idea. It’s the execution and selection of routes that I have a problem with and the fact that the routes are being planned in isolation without regard to the rest of the bus system.

          • RIPTA42

            I agree that simply lowering a speed limit without also providing physical changes to the roadway is poor transportation policy. Using that as the only example of what TA advocates is poor discussion policy.

            I don’t believe that only the majority should have say; I believe that to the best practicable extent, no one group should be favored over another. Bike lanes and traffic calming aren’t the same thing, despite what some motorist advocates seem to think. I only keep pointing out that the majority don’t have cars because you keep arguing that the motoring “masses” are inconvenienced by the “small minority” of non-motorists.

            I didn’t say the Madison Avenue bus lanes were “the beginning if SBS”; they were the beginning of displacing car traffic to speed up surface transit. *Local* bus performance improved by 34 percent (express by 42 percent).

            While that project may have been in response to poor conditions on the subway, several of the SBS routes are along existing heavy-ridership routes that do not have a subway as an alternative. SBS is a way to add capacity while fitting into existing physical and financial constraints, just as adding express bus capacity in Manhattan was in 1981. You may have valid arguments relating to the planning and implementation of SBS, but it frequently comes off as complaining about the loss of capacity for cars.

          • Allan Rosen

            You might have meant the other but don’t try to change what you said. Your exact words were ” the beginning of ‘SBS’ was the creation of bus lanes on Madison Avenue in 1981.”

            My chief complaint regarding SBS is not the loss of capacity for cars. It is the lack of a fair study to consider the total impact for all users, both mass transit users and drivers. Data collection and analysis is all geared to show that SBS is a success. There is no consideration given to users of other modes, and every negative of SBS is being ignored.

            Just look at the DOT exclusive bus lane signs. The words “Right Turns Only” are in so small a typeface that they are difficult to read even when standing still. They are totally illegible at any speed above 10 mph.

          • Allan Rosen

            That is just a small example of how DOT now regards drivers. If my only interest was cars, I would be harping about the loss of parking spaces due to the longer bus stops, but I don’t think I even mentioned that even once other than stating CB 15 brought that up as a problem.

          • fdtutf

            “My chief complaint regarding SBS is not the loss of capacity for cars.”

            Really? Because your columns about SBS have revolved around two complaints: (1) loss of capacity for cars; (2) less service at local bus stops. It might be hard to say which of those has been your *chief* complaint, but combined with the rest of your writing, one could be forgiven for thinking that the loss of capacity for cars was your chief complaint about SBS.

          • Allan Rosen

            The loss of capacity for cars as I stated is not my chief complaint. It is my second complaint. As I stated my chief complaint is the biased studies and data regarding SBS showing only the positive effects and ignoring all negative effects like extra time due to longer walking distances. Bus travel times are the only times that are considered.

            Also, making erroneous statements based on faulty surveys that state 99% of M15 SBS riders are satisfied with service. The implication is that anywhere SBS will be placed the statistic will also be around 99% and that is justification to expand SBS citywide.

            The truth is that to be considered a satisfied user you just had to feel slightly above neutral about the service when rating it good or bad. If 10 people liked SBS a lot, one person hated it, and the other 89 people felt just slightly positive about the service, then it gets a 99% satisfaction rating. Also, it was a one time survey taken at one specific moment in time using a very small phone sample

          • Allan Rosen

            on one single route over three years ago. We have no idea how riders feel about the service today. And it only includes SBS riders, not anyone who was waiting for an SBS bus that decided to use the local instead because the SBS never arrived. Yet Transportation Alternatives quotes that 99% in the literature it is using to promote SBS all over the city. The B44 SBS met with much negative criticism and is still not viewed favorably by many, but no one talks about that. It’s only the 99% figure that matters.

            That is the type of stuff that is my chief complaint. Where are the traffic numbers that shows how much traffic was slowed on Nostrand Avenue and adjacent avenues where traffic was diverted? How much extra time is being spent walking to and from bus stops? Are bus trips taking longer or less time including walking, waiting, and transferring, in other words, complete trip passenger times, not only how much quicker buses traveled between terminals. The only numbers we will see is how much time the buses saved and the impact of traffic on Rogers and Nostrand Avenues. If traffic is severely delayed during the rush hours, we will only see 24 hour aggregate numbers to hide that fact. That is my chief complaint.

          • Andrew

            The loss of capacity for cars as I stated is not my chief complaint. It is my second complaint.

            Thanks for making his point!

            As I stated my chief complaint is the biased studies and data regarding SBS showing only the positive effects and ignoring all negative effects like extra time due to longer walking distances. Bus travel times are the only times that are considered.

            A large majority of SBS riders use the same stop to board the SBS as they previously used to board the limited. For them, the walking distance is unchanged. (I have pointed this out to you many times; let’s see if you ignore it again.)

          • Allan Rosen

            The loss of capacity for cars is a real issue that has to be considered. Just because you don’t beleve it is an issue because the majority of people don’t driver doesn’t make it go away.

            A large majority? Yes if you ignore that the B44 SBS uses a different street than the limited did, and only consider SBS riders and ignore those who have switched to the local because one of their stops was removed, or ignore the fact that stops had to be added after numerous complaints.

            Yes, when even more stops have to be put back and former limited riders return to SBS, then perhaps the additional walking distance won’t be a factor. But right now at least on the B44SBS where most of my complaints have been, it certainly still is a factor that you continue to ignore.

            Now you will say they can always transfer for a crosstown bus instead of walking ignoring tat for some

          • Allan Rosen

            that for some that requires an additional fare because for most, an unlimited does not make financial sense.

          • Andrew

            The loss of capacity for cars is a real issue that has to be considered. Just because you don’t beleve it is an issue because the majority of people don’t driver doesn’t make it go away.

            Yes, it has to be considered. That doesn’t mean it will always outweigh the potential for improved bus service.

            A large majority? Yes if you ignore that the B44 SBS uses a different street than the limited did, and only consider SBS riders and ignore those who have switched to the local because one of their stops was removed, or ignore the fact that stops had to be added after numerous complaints.

            I’m not ignoring anything. The shift of five northbound stops on one SBS route to a different street doesn’t change my original statement that “A large majority of SBS riders use the same stop to board the SBS as they previously used to board the limited.” Nor am I ignoring local riders. Nearly all of the busiest limited stops became SBS stops.

            Yes, when even more stops have to be put back and former limited riders return to SBS, then perhaps the additional walking distance won’t be a factor. But right now at least on the B44SBS where most of my complaints have been, it certainly still is a factor that you continue to ignore.

            I never claimed that it isn’t a factor for anyone. All I said was that “A large majority of SBS riders use the same stop to board the SBS as they previously used to board the limited.” Some stops – mostly the less busy ones – were dropped, and, obviously, the people who used those stops are inconvenienced. But those aren’t the stops that most riders used.

            Now you will say they can always transfer for a crosstown bus instead of walking ignoring tat for some

            Many B44 riders already transfer to a crosstown bus. Whether they transfer on New York Avenue or on Rogers Avenue does not have an impact on walking distance.

          • Allan Rosen

            But the loss of capacity for cars is not being considered for Woodhaven Blvd. The street is already over capacity as evidenced by the banning of left turns for a half dozen blocks in a row at least. Yet DOT is contemplating removal of two to four lanes for general traffic.

            “But those aren’t the stops that most riders used.”

            That doesn’t even make any sense. No stop is a stop that most riders used.

            The fact is that some stops are still placed way to far apart causing too many to rely on the local. One mile apart is just too far.

            And riders will not transfer to a crosstown bus for two avenues when they have to wait 15 minutes for the bus. They will just walk the extra six minutes which will cancel out the six minutes they may have saved on the SBS, and since the average rider only saves 4.4 minutes, most likely that walk will make his trip longer than if they just kept the limited.

          • fdtutf

            “But the loss of capacity for cars is not being considered for Woodhaven Blvd. The street is already over capacity as evidenced by the banning of left turns for a half dozen blocks in a row at least. Yet DOT is contemplating removal of two to four lanes for general traffic.”

            That doesn’t mean the loss of capacity for automobiles is not being considered. It may simply mean, as Andrew wrote, that the potential for improved bus service outweighs the loss of capacity for automobiles. I realize that in your world nothing can possibly outweigh a loss of automobile capacity, but the rest of us, thankfully, don’t live in that world.

            “The fact is that some stops are still placed way to far apart causing too many to rely on the local. One mile apart is just too far.”

            I’m not saying you’re wrong here, but I would like to know how you assess “too many.”

          • Andrew

            But the loss of capacity for cars is not being considered for Woodhaven Blvd.

            I’m sorry? What gives you the idea that the SBS planning process isn’t going to include traffic simulations, as i believe all other SBS implementations have included?

            Note: “considered” is not synonymous with “overrules all other considerations.” It is not beyond the realm of possibility that a traffic simulation might show a negative impact to car traffic yet the stakeholders will nonetheless decide to go ahead with the project – because, while ease of driving is evidently your highest priority, it isn’t everybody’s.

            That doesn’t even make an y sense. No stop is a stop that most riders used.

            I said stopS. Plural. Not one stop.

            The fact is that some stops are still placed way to far apart causing too many to rely on the local. One mile apart is just too far.

            Pull up the bus maps and look at the six SBS corridors. How many stop pairs are more than a mile apart? At this point I believe the answer is two, and one of those incorporates the Verrazano. If this is a problem, it’s a very minor one in the broader scheme.

            And riders will not transfer to a crosstown bus for two avenues when they have to wait 15 minutes for the bus.

            Did I ever state that they would? No, what I stated was that riders who already need to ride a crosstown bus anyway can just as easily make the transfer to or from the B44 at Rogers Avenue as at New York Avenue.

          • fdtutf

            “It is actually not that difficult to receive federal money. My first task at the MTA in the early part of 1981 was to write an application for an additional $250,000 in federal funds to complete our Brooklyn study wafter previous federal monies received had been misspent. The application was approved right away although I had no previous experience in this grant writing.”

            And nothing has changed since 1981, right?

          • Allan Rosen

            You are alleging that it is more difficult now? Then prove it.

          • fdtutf

            You’re the one who alleged, “It is actually not that difficult to receive federal money.” Maybe you should explain how the process works based on recent experience.
            Anybody who’s been paying attention knows that the federal budget is tighter now than it was in 1981 in most categories, including transit funding.

          • Andrew

            That is historically incorrect. The Madison Avenue bus lanes were intended to speed both local and express bus service. Express bus service was in operation well before 1981.

            http://www.nytimes.com/1981/07/14/nyregion/madison-ave-bus-lanes-pass-a-test.html

            “The average time for a bus to travel the 15-block route during the peak period from 5 P.M. to 6 decreased from an average of 18 minutes to 10 as a result of the lanes, a department analysis showed. It also showed that there was no appreciable change in the time it took automobiles to travel the avenue.”

            In other words, the Madison Avenue bus lanes had about as much impact on general traffic as did the more recent First Avenue bus lane.

          • Allan Rosen

            I am not historically inaccurate. I never made any statement saying express bus routes began in 1981. Of course, the city rarely reacts immediately to a problem. I said the express routes were stalled in traffic because more and more were added over the years, all on the same two streets, so something finally had to be done. The local routes by themselves did not warrant exclusive lanes, but with the express buses also, something had to be done. Of course the lanes also helped the locals, but they were put there primarily for the expresses.

            As far as no change in automobile travel time on those avenues, that would be true, because they were moving so slow before, they couldn’t go any slower. But just like First and Second Avenue, nothing is said regarding traffic slowing down further on neighboring avenues. Just like water seeks the path of least resistance, cars will shift to the avenue that is moving the fastest even if it means increasing their travel speed of only 2 or 3 mph.

          • fdtutf

            “As far as no change in automobile travel time on those avenues, that would be true, because they were moving so slow before, they couldn’t go any slower.”

            Math: For any number x that is greater than zero, there is another number that is less than x and greater than zero.

          • Allan Rosen

            Okay, I will be more specific. They were going so slow before like 3 mph, so if that average speed is reduced to 2.5 mph, it is negligible. They are still virtually standing still.

          • RIPTA42

            A reduction from 3 mph to 2.5 mph increases your travel time by the same factor as a reduction from 30 mph to 25 mph.

          • Allan Rosen

            A reduction in speed even of that amount will cause you to seek for streets that are moving faster just as a reduction in speed to 25 mph will do.

          • fdtutf

            3 mph is walking pace. It’s not fast for a car, but neither is it “virtually standing still.”

          • Allan Rosen

            Sorry. Any reasonable person will tell you that any speed at or below walking speed for a motor vehicle is virtually standing still because at that rate, a six mile trip which should take about 15 minutes on a city street or seven minutes on a highway, would take 2 hours.

            We complain when a local bus averages only 4 mph. But when a car does 3 mph, you consider it okay and acceptable, just “not fast.” I think you have explained where you stand regarding automobiles quite adequately.

            You just have no use for them. To me that does qualify as a car hater.

          • fdtutf

            I’m sorry, where did I say that automobile speeds of 3 mph were “okay and acceptable”? I objected to the characterization “virtually standing still.” That doesn’t mean I think a speed of 3 mph is adequate for cars.

          • Andrew

            I am not historically inaccurate. I never made any statement saying express bus routes began in 1981.

            You claimed that the Madison Avenue bus lanes were installed in conjunction with “the beginning of the creation of express bus routes at a premium fare.” Except that express bus service started in 1968 while the Madison Avenue bus lanes were installed in 1981, so there was a 13-year lag!

            Of course the lanes also helped the locals, but they were put there primarily for the expresses.

            That’s not what the New York Times article implies.

            As far as no chang e in aut omobile travel time on those avenues, that would be true, because they were moving so slow before, they couldn’t go any slower. But just like First and Second Avenue, nothing is said regarding traffic slowing down further on neighboring avenues. Just like water seeks the path of least resistance, cars will shift to the avenue that is moving the fastest even if it means increasing their travel speed of only 2 or 3 mph.

            If you have any evidence to suggest the Madison Avenue bus lanes slowed traffic elsewhere, please go right ahead and present it.

          • Allan Rosen

            As long as you just continue to change everything I say and I just have to waste my time debating you just to correct the record, I may request that you be banned from this site if you continue. PLEASE STOP IT!

            I never stated that exclusive bus lanes in Manhattan began in conjunction with express buses in 1981. Everyone knows that all the express bus routes did not start the same day but evolved over a period of time.

            What I stated was that with all the express routes concentrated on Fifth and Madison Avenue, after a time the buses started to move at a crawl as did all other traffic as more and more express buses were added. Something had to be done and DOT had little options but to add exclusive lanes.

            Since other traffic could hardly move any slower, the impact on them was minimal and some traffic was diverted to parallel avenues because of the reduced capacity on Madison. And of course since since it is isn’t easy to find thirty-five year old studies if they were even done, as usual you are asking the impossible.

          • Andrew

            As long as you just continue to change everything I say and I just have to waste my time debating you just to correct the record, I may request that you be banned from this site if you continue. PLEASE STOP IT!

            What have I changed?

            You can request whatever you like.

            I never stated that exclusive bus lanes in Manhattan began in conjunction with express buses in 1981.

            No, you stated that exclusive bus lanes were instituted at “the beginning of the creation of express bus routes at a premium fare” – which was in 1968.

            Everyone knows that all the express bus routes did not start the same day but evolved over a period of time.

            But the basic structure was fully in place by the mid-1970′s, yet the Madison Avenue bus lanes weren’t implemented until 1981 (and Fifth didn’t come until even later).

            What I stated was that with all the express routes concentrated on Fifth and Madison Avenue, after a time the buses started to move at a crawl as did all other traffic as more and more express buses were added. Something had to be done and DOT had little options but to add exclusive lanes.

            Perhaps that’s what you intended to say, but that’s not what you said. You were so busy deflecting criticism that I guess you didn’t notice.

            Since other traffic could hardly move any slower, the impact on them was minimal and some traffic was diverted to parallel avenues because of the reduced capacity on Madison. And of course since since it is isn’t easy to find thirty-five year old studies if they were even done, as usual you are asking the impossible.

            Your assumptions are incorrect. (For a close-to-home example, read the discussion of the West Side Highway on the bottom of page 3 and top of page 4.)

  • guest

    We need to rip up many of these bike lanes, widen the roads to how they were before the prior administrations tempertantrum, sync the traffic lights and up the speed limit. We need to punish the individual NOT the population like so many of these transportation alternative nutjobs seem to think. Motor vehicle traffic is not going anywhere and sorry, argue all you want, but it completely outnumbers the bicycle riders on the road. We need to return to the days of common sense.

    • Allan Rosen

      We need more people like you to speak up. The problem is that DOT only hears from the cyclists and the pedestrians. The motorists are silent. DOT believes that the opinions they hear are typical of population which isn’t true. It’s the small minority who are most vocal. Unlike the previous commissioner, I believe the current commissioner is willing to listen to all sides. The motorists out there just need to speak up.