Archive for the tag ‘nyc department of transportation’

The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round... Source: Lempkin / Flickr

The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round… Source: Lempkin / Flickr

THE COMMUTE: Last week, we discussed the MTA’s recent attempts to fix problems with the local bus system such as newly-designed routes that suffer from the same problems plaguing the rest of the system. An example is the B67 extension to the Navy Yard, which is circuitous and not conducive to transferring to other bus routes since it terminates short of Williamsburg Bridge Plaza. It misses vital bus connections and operates with extremely poor headways of 30 minutes. Yet, the MTA visualizes routes such as this as a partial solution to fixing gaps in the routing structure.

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Source: bebo2good1 / YouTube

Source: bebo2good1 / YouTube

THE COMMUTE: Last August, I critiqued the 23-page MTA planning outline, entitled “Looking Ahead.” Last week, the MTA released the full report — a 142-page “MTA Twenty-Year Capital Needs Assessment 2015-2034.” Most of my previous comments still apply. I will try not to repeat myself. Rather than summarize this document or critique it as others have already done, here and here, I will just mention where this ‘Needs Assessment’ is deficient.

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THE COMMUTE: Every time we look around, a new street is co-named. Often, we have no idea who the individual was. Okay, if it is for Police Officer X, or Firefighter Y, we can conclude they died in the line of duty. How about the others? Their names will only be known to family and friends, unless the person was famous or a local community activist. So what does honoring the vast majority of these people accomplish? Absolutely nothing. It wastes scarce city funds and causes confusion to motorists, possibly even resulting in accidents.

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Muslims observe the conclusion of Eid al-Fitr with sweets. Now: Where da Reese's peanut butter cups at?  ReeseSource:

Muslims observe the conclusion of Eid al-Fitr with sweets. Now: Where da Reese’s peanut butter cups at? ReeseSource:

Alternate side of the street parking regulations for the purpose of street cleaning will be suspended Wednesday through Friday, August 7-9, in observance of Eid Al-Fitr. All other regulations, including parking meters, shall remain in effect.  You can download your own 2013 Alternate Side Parking Suspension calendar — in English, as well as in ChineseHaitian CreoleItalianKoreanRussian or Spanish (all PDFs) — from the NYC DOT’s website.

Photos by and courtesy of Allan Rosen

THE COMMUTE: In early 2012, we reported on confusing Department of Transportation (DOT) parking and traffic regulations and on confusing and outdated signage mentioning the taxi stand on Brighton Beach Avenue. That stand is not even listed in DOT’s database of taxi stands so apparently they are unaware of its existence.

In January 2013, DOT — realizing the problems with existing signage that were causing unnecessary confusion — unveiled a new format for parking regulatory signs, which shortly thereafter began to make their appearance in Manhattan. A consultant was hired who devised what you see here.

Click here to see the photo and continue reading.

Runners on Ocean Parkway during the 2012 half marathon. Photo by Allan Shweky.

The Brooklyn Half Marathon takes place this Saturday, and the event is expected to be bigger than ever. Over 20,000 runners have already registered and the 13.1-mile run is expected to feature heavy security and closed streets. Here is a list of what is closed, according to the NYC Department of Transportation. Please note the last three, which are all local streets, and which we’ve added emphasis.

The following streets will be closed Saturday from 7 am to 10:30 am for the Brooklyn Half Marathon event as permitted by the Mayor’ Street Activity Permit Office (SAPO).


  • Washington Avenue between Eastern Parkway and Empire Boulevard
  • Empire Boulevard between Washington Avenue and Flatbush Avenue
  • Flatbush Avenue between Empire Boulevard and Grand Army Plaza
  • Grand Army Plaza (Entire Circle)
  • Ocean Avenue between Flatbush Avenue and Parkside Avenue
  • Parkside Avenue between Ocean Avenue and Park Circle

Route: (In Prospect Park)

  • West Lake Drive between East Drive and South Lake Drive
  • South Lake Drive between West Lake Drive and East Lake Drive
  • East Lake Drive between South Lake Drive and East Drive
  • West Drive between East Drive and West Lake Drive
  • Park Circle between South Lake Drive and Ocean Parkway Entrance Ramp
  • Ocean Parkway between Ocean Parkway Entrance Ramp and Surf Avenue
  • Surf Avenue between Ocean Parkway and West 12th Street
  • Boardwalk between West 10th Street and Stillwell Avenue

Also note that there will be several bus detours because of this. Make sure to check the MTA website if you plan to take a bus that crosses Ocean Parkway this Saturday.

Here is hoping that the event gets good weather and that everybody has fun and stays safe. For more information on the run, you can visit the New York Road Runner’s website by clicking here.

“This MTA budget not only lacks accountability, but is also most certainly not elementary, my dear Dr. Watson!” Source: The Gentleman Blog

THE COMMUTE: This can only happen in government. Governor Andrew Cuomo announces that he is making $358 million more available for the MTA in next year’s operating budget. The following week, the MTA announces it is deciding how to spend the new $40 million it will be receiving, while other analysts are claiming the amount is closer to $20 million. Just as the governor’s “new” money can disappear in only one week, so can the additional monies raised by a fare increase. Is it any wonder why transit riders and taxpayers are so frustrated?

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The Jackie Gleason Bus Depot. Photo by Erica Sherman

THE COMMUTE: Governor Andrew Cuomo, who I once said was “not a friend of public transit“ after he cut MTA funding, now has increased MTA funding by $358 million in the 2013/14 fiscal year budget. The question is what will the MTA do with this money? There are several alternatives. The MTA could:

  1. Return subway service crowding guidelines to what they were prior to the 2010 service cuts, thereby increasing subway service and reducing overcrowding.
  2. Restore all the 2010 bus service cuts. Some cuts may have been justified, but the MTA data presented at the time never conclusively proved that was the case. Routes with low ridership were eliminated, such as the B71 in Park Slope, when there were no suitable alternatives.
  3. Finally restructure the bus system to reflect land use changes made during the past 70 years. In many areas, needed bus route changes were never made because the MTA claimed they could not afford the added operational costs. Changes — such as the ones I mentioned here. I say “claimed,” because the MTA never considered increased revenue that would result from improved services, always assuming that additional service would not result in additional ridership or revenue.
  4. Provide new bus routes or extensions at minimal 30-minute service levels, attracting very new few riders.
  5. Provide managerial increases to managers who have not received a raise in five years and also not insist on a zero wage increase contract for the TWU.

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The federal government awarded a $1.4 million grant to the New York City Department of Transportation for the Jamaica Bay Greenway Implementation Plan, local Congressman Bob Turner announced on Tuesday.

According to the DOT, the grant will provide for research resulting in an implementation plan for the Jamaica Bay Greenway. The project is aimed at improving parts of the greenway and the connections between them, as well as its access to local communities, transit, and popular waterfront sites.

Just this past week, the RPA sponsored the 4th Annual Brooklyn Waterfront Epic Ride, a bicycle ride along the 14-mile Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, and parts of the 30-mile Jamaica Bay Greenway. This ride coincided with the RPA and the Jamaica Bay Greenway Coalition’s distribution of the second edition of the Jamaica Bay User’s Guide, which has information about the parkland, as well as a map highlighting the greenway’s bike and pedestrian routes.

Perhaps the implementation plan will help enhance future greenway rides, and create a need for another updated Jamaica Bay User’s Guide, to indicate changes.

While announcing the news of this federal grant, Turner expressed the importance preserving and improving national parks and their surrounding transportation, facilitated by grants such as this one.

“National parks and other federal lands are a time capsule that provides visitors a look into our nation’s history and a safe environment for outdoor activities and education for all Americans to enjoy,” Turner said. “This grant will help fund critical improvements to Flatbush Avenue, the Marine Parkway Bridge, Beach Channel Drive, Veterans Memorial Bridge, Cross Bay Boulevard, Shore Parkway, and several smaller connector streets. I am excited for the improvements these funds will create in Queens and Brooklyn.”