Friday, September 30, 2016

Residents petition city for changes at Kew Gardens' "Intersection of Doom"

Photo credit:  DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

Residents in Kew Gardens are petitioning the city to make some major changes to a corner they've nicknamed the "Intersection of Doom." The intersection, located at Park Lane South and Metropolitan Avenue, has been the site of nine injuries resulting from crashes from 2012- 2016. Petitioners are asking for a red light camera on Metropolitan Avenue, lane separators on Park Lane South, and extra time for crosswalk signals. 

“On a daily basis, pedestrians are faced with cars speeding well above the 25MPH limit along Metropolitan Ave., dangerous drivers who turn against the left-turn light on Park Lane South with no regard for pedestrians who have already entered the crosswalks, and cars and motorcycles who have taken to racing along Metropolitan Ave. at night as though it was part of the Grand Prix course,” residents wrote in the petition.

Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz contacted the Department of Transportation and the agency plans to conduct a study of the intersection.

The DOT is already working on a larger safety project for the Park Lane South corridor which includes the Metropolitan Avenue and Park Lane South intersection.  The proposal will be presented to the community this fall.

Monday, September 19, 2016

75 miles of new bike lanes coming to NYC

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According to Curbed, Mayor de Blasio announced this week that Vision Zero plans to add 75 miles of new bike lanes (including 18 miles of fully protected lanes) by the end of this year.  Although the city will be adding more bike lanes this year than any prior year, critics of the plan say the city is not acting quickly enough or doing to enough to protect cyclists.  

The list of new protected bike lanes is available on the Department of Transportation's website.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Vision Zero is not preventing cyclist deaths

Photo courtesy of

According to the Daily News, Vision Zero's cyclist fatalities have already exceeded those of 2015. 16 people have died so far this year while biking - the latest incident occurred last week on Northern Boulevard, which has already been identified by Vision Zero as one of the most dangerous streets in the city for pedestrians and bikers.  

The goal of Vision Zero is to end all traffic fatalities, and has so far resulted in a lower speed limit, stricter penalties for drivers who injure pedestrians and cyclists, and redesigning streets and medians to maximize safety.  The city has seen a substantial drop in pedestrian fatalities since 2013.

Transportation Alternatives. an advocacy group for pedestrians and cyclists, will be holding a Ride for Mayoral Action on September 15 to ask the city for more improvements in bike safety.  

Monday, July 25, 2016

How will L train shutdown affect NYC drivers?

Photo Credit: JoesphBarbaro for Wikipedia
According to Gothamist, the L train shutdown is officially happening in 2019.  The MTA plans to shut down service completely to and within Manhattan for 18 months, which raises the question - what will happen to subway commuters and how will motorists be affected? Several alternative modes of transport are expected to be offered, including shuttle bus service, expanded ferry service, and some lawmakers are calling for 14th Street to be completely car free during the shutdown.  

While the 18 month shutdown seems extreme, it was actually the overwhelmingly favored plan, as the MTA had also considered a three year, limited service option.  “We think it is better to have a shorter duration of pain than a longer more unstable process - and risk unplanned closures - by leaving one track open during construction,” Veronique Hakim, president of New York City Transit, said in a statement. "Approximately 80 percent of riders will have the same disruptions with either option. Throughout our extensive outreach process and review, it became clear that the 18-month closure was the best construction option and offered the least amount of pain to customers for the shortest period of time."

Friday, June 3, 2016

Could these bridges solve NJ's transit problems more effectively than the Gateway Project?

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Credit:  Tevebaugh Associates Architects

A transportation consultant who worked on the cancelled ARC Tunnel project believes a faster and better alternative to the Gateway Project is actually a pair of suspension bridges that would run from New Jersey to Manhattan to Queens.  

The $20 billion Gateway Project is the plan to construct two new tunnels under the Hudson River to help ease NJ Transit and Amtrak congestion.  However, the tunnels are expected to take at least 15 years before they would be in service.  Consultant Scott R. Spencer believes the solution lies in building twin bridges, the first of which could be in service in just 5 years.  The tri-level bridges would carry two rail lines on the lower levels, while carrying buses on the middle levels, and pedestrian/ bike traffic on the upper levels.  

Spencer proposed the project at a public hearing on the tunnels last month and plans to send concept drawings and documents to the Federal Railroad administration.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

NYC Open Data reveals millions in parking tickets should have never been issued

According to ABC News, data analyst Ben Wellington has discovered that the NYPD has issued upwards of $12 million in invalid parking tickets over the past several years. Combing through the NYC's Open Data portal, Wellington noticed a large number of summonses were issued for blocking pedestrian ramps that are located in the middle of the street and not connected to crosswalks.  However, the city made those parking spots legal in 2009. 

The NYPD has since admitted the tickets should never have been issued and stated, "Mr. Wellington's analysis identified errors the department made in issuing summonses... The department has since sent a training message to all officers clarifying the rule change."

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Defective meters in the Bronx resulting in headaches and tickets

According to CBS News, defective muni meters in the Morris Park section of the Bronx are causing problems for drivers and businesses along White Plains Road.  The malfunctions range from meters saying credit cards are invalid, to saying transactions were cancelled but still charging users' credit cards.  Other drivers are being ticketed while parking to look for a working muni meter.  Out of 8 muni meters CBS News tested on the stretch of road in question, only two out of eight were working correctly.  

NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg says all the meters in the city are inspected once a month and if you find a defective meter, call 311 to report it.  
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