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BrooklynBus

Politics Comes Before Our Transit Needs

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I agree and disagree with parts of this.

The subway and bus network is in a bad state; that's obvious. But to in some way pin part of that blame on the encouragement of other transportation modes is disingenuous and wrong. We should be encouraging cycling and redesigning roads to encourage more trips being done by cycle or by bus - both of which are more efficient in terms of number of people transported versus space available than cars are. This is especially true for short journeys, like the majority of intra-city trips.

You're right, SBS has been a failure for the most part at speeding up buses. That's because it never goes far enough in really giving buses the priority they deserve on our streets. The MTA published street designs for Webster Avenue, 34th Street, and Woodhaven Blvd that would have qualified as proper bus rapid transit. The center-running busway designs for Webster and Woodhaven, and the 34th Street transitway model would have done worlds of good in speeding up buses. Time and time again, though, the MTA allow their proposals for SBS to be watered-down into extreme compromises: part-time only bus lanes, no turning or parking bans, et cetera. The MTA and DOT give in every time to a minority of people - that is, those who use cars to get around the city.

Instead of becoming a tool to truly speed up busy bus corridors, SBS, like many American BRT projects, has become mostly about form (branding, specially wrapped new buses) instead of function (physically-separated bus lanes, transit signal priority). This, as well as the absurd amount of time it takes to get one of these very basic SBS projects done, is what has led to the failure of SBS.

Congestion pricing works because it ensures that people using the least efficient way to reach the CBD (driving) have to do so at a cost equal to the congestion which they are causing and the resources which they are using. One person in a car is taking up far more space than one on a bike, one on a bus, or one on a train - and do so for no upfront cost. When you choose to drive into the CBD instead of choosing a better means of transportation, you should have to pay for the space which you are taking up. Bus lanes and bike lanes aren't causing congestion. More people using single-occupancy vehicles (this includes Uber, Lyft, and car services) are causing this. When you're in a traffic jam, you're not "stuck in traffic". You're part of the problem; the people next to you on the bus are not. The money raised from this scheme go in to providing better alternate means: better bus service, expanded and more reliable subway service. It's time that drivers payed their way in this city.

Now, with that being said, do we need to control costs for subway expansions? Yes. Do we need to focus our attention on long-proposed projects, not on the pet projects of elected officials? Absolutely. Is that a reason not to have congestion pricing, or not to encourage and prioritize the use of buses, bicycles, and walking? No, it shows that it's high time we started pushing our representatives on these issues.

7222830472_0d610cc975_z.jpg

This is what SBS could have, and should have, been. Motorists, who are in the minority, might not like the idea of not having a speedway to themselves, but the majority (those on public transportation and on foot) will benefit.

Edited by officiallyliam
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22 minutes ago, officiallyliam said:

I agree and disagree with parts of this.

The subway and bus network is in a bad state; that's obvious. But to in some way pin part of that blame on the encouragement of other transportation modes is disingenuous and wrong. We should be encouraging cycling and redesigning roads to encourage more trips being done by cycle or by bus - both of which are more efficient in terms of number of people transported versus space available than cars are. This is especially true for short journeys, like the majority of intra-city trips.

You're right, SBS has been a failure for the most part at speeding up buses. That's because it never goes far enough in really giving buses the priority they deserve on our streets. The MTA published street designs for Webster Avenue, 34th Street, and Woodhaven Blvd that would have qualified as proper bus rapid transit. The center-running busway designs for Webster and Woodhaven, and the 34th Street transitway model would have done worlds of good in speeding up buses. Time and time again, though, the MTA allow their proposals for SBS to be watered-down into extreme compromises: part-time only bus lanes, no turning or parking bans, et cetera. The MTA and DOT give in every time to a minority of people - that is, those who use cars to get around the city.

Instead of becoming a tool to truly speed up busy bus corridors, SBS, like many American BRT projects, has become mostly about form (branding, specially wrapped new buses) instead of function (physically-separated bus lanes, transit signal priority). This, as well as the absurd amount of time it takes to get one of these very basic SBS projects done, is what has led to the failure of SBS.

Congestion pricing works because it ensures that people using the least efficient way to reach the CBD (driving) have to do so at a cost equal to the congestion which they are causing and the resources which they are using. One person in a car is taking up far more space than one on a bike, one on a bus, or one on a train - and do so for no upfront cost. When you choose to drive into the CBD instead of choosing a better means of transportation, you should have to pay for the space which you are taking up. Bus lanes and bike lanes aren't causing congestion. More people using single-occupancy vehicles (this includes Uber, Lyft, and car services) are causing this. When you're in a traffic jam, you're not "stuck in traffic". You're part of the problem; the people next to you on the bus are not. The money raised from this scheme go in to providing better alternate means: better bus service, expanded and more reliable subway service. It's time that drivers payed their way in this city.

Now, with that being said, do we need to control costs for subway expansions? Yes. Do we need to focus our attention on long-proposed projects, not on the pet projects of elected officials? Absolutely. Is that a reason not to have congestion pricing, or not to encourage and prioritize the use of buses, bicycles, and walking? No, it shows that it's high time we started pushing our representatives on these issues.

7222830472_0d610cc975_z.jpg

This is what SBS could have, and should have, been. Motorists, who are in the minority, might not like the idea of not having a speedway to themselves, but the majority (those on public transportation and on foot) will benefit.

As long as encouraging cycling increases cycling fatalities, it is the wrong approach. We should be encouraging bus ridership instead, and SBS has been ineffective and should not be the only measure used to do this. 

The people who are using cars in midtown are not making short trips which could easily be made by bicycling. They are already paying exorbitant fees to use a car. Why are there fewer vehicles in Midtown and more congestion if it is not for all the elimination of vehicular lanes and banning of turns? And supporters of congestion pricing act as if all traffic congestion occurs in Manhattan and all of it occurs on weekdays. There is much traffic congestion outside of Manhattan that congestion pricing does not address. And what benefit is gained from slightly reducing congestion in Manhattan only to move it to the already congested BQE and spill more of that traffic onto local streets? There are many problems with congestion pricing. 

You make it sound like those who drive are getting a free ride. Just saw a story on TV where someone stated that off-street parking near the Brooklyn Hospital costs $13 a half hour. Isn't that expensive enough? Not everyone can ride a bus. 

You say Woodhaven should have a center busway. Guess what? It does for half of Woodhaven Blvd. why should we spend $230 million more to move the curbside lanes to the center roadway in Rego Park? Utterly ridiculous. 

 

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6 minutes ago, BrooklynBus said:

As long as encouraging cycling increases cycling fatalities, it is the wrong approach. We should be encouraging bus ridership instead, and SBS has been ineffective and should not be the only measure used to do this.

Encouraging cycling doesn't increase cycling fatalities, provided it's done the right way. Cycling is a way of life in many European countries, and it isn't carnage there. Why? Because they design complete streets that ensure the safety of all and the prioritization of more efficient methods of transportation. Our bike lane designs are nowhere near this state because motorists want all the space that they can get, and the city bows to that pressure every single time.

23 minutes ago, BrooklynBus said:

The people who are using cars in midtown are not making short trips which could easily be made by bicycling. They are already paying exorbitant fees to use a car. Why are there fewer vehicles in Midtown and more congestion if it is not for all the elimination of vehicular lanes and banning of turns? And supporters of congestion pricing act as if all traffic congestion occurs in Manhattan and all of it occurs on weekdays. There is much traffic congestion outside of Manhattan that congestion pricing does not address. And what benefit is gained from slightly reducing congestion in Manhattan only to move it to the already congested BQE and spill more of that traffic onto local streets? There are many problems with congestion pricing. 

How can you be sure of the journey length of everyone driving through Midtown? This about replacing as many car journeys as is possible with subway, bus, or bike trips. As for the point about congestion not solely existing in Manhattan below 59th on weekdays, I agree. Look at Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City - very congested areas which are CBDs in their own right. Congestion pricing should be dynamic to adjust for time (weekday or weekend, day or night) and should also include more dense areas close to Manhattan. But to the point that the congestion will immediately spill over, I disagree. Other cities that have done similar traffic controlling schemes have shown that traffic adjusts to the shape of its container - in other words, limiting traffic results in less traffic in general, not the same traffic spilling over to surrounding areas. For once, people will ask themselves if their single-occupancy car journey is really necessary considering the charge, or if they could walk, bike, or take the subway instead.

29 minutes ago, BrooklynBus said:

You make it sound like those who drive are getting a free ride. Just saw a story on TV where someone stated that off-street parking near the Brooklyn Hospital costs $13 a half hour. Isn't that expensive enough? Not everyone can ride a bus. 

Everyone who drives in the city isn't getting a free ride - this is true. But in most instances, drivers are not paying the real cost of their choice to essentially take up as much space as possible. They're not paying for the lost time and productivity due to delayed buses and deliveries, or for the slow police, fire and EMS response times which are exacerbated by chronic congestion. This is what congestion pricing seeks to address. The cost of parking clearly isn't a deterrent to enough people who are driving in to the city - that's why we're in this situation to begin with.

33 minutes ago, BrooklynBus said:

You say Woodhaven should have a center busway. Guess what? It does for half of Woodhaven Blvd. why should we spend $230 million more to move the curbside lanes to the center roadway in Rego Park? Utterly ridiculous. 

When I said center busway, I meant a busway aligned to the median of the road, such as the photo of the Webster Avenue proposal I posted above. Cities around the world have proven this to be the best layout for bus rapid transit where the space allows. I think that the utterly ridiculous part of this whole thing might be the fact that it would cost hundreds of millions to make this change in the first place, regardless of whether it should or shouldn't be done.

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31 minutes ago, officiallyliam said:

Comments in italics:

Encouraging cycling doesn't increase cycling fatalities, provided it's done the right way.

But here the more bike lanes we build, and as citibike is expanded, fatalities are increasing.

Cycling is a way of life in many European countries, and it isn't carnage there. Why? Because they design complete streets that ensure the safety of all and the prioritization of more efficient methods of transportation.

But Amsterdam has traffic congestion from bicycles. 

Our bike lane designs are nowhere near this state because motorists want all the space that they can get, and the city bows to that pressure every single time.

So we should even take away even more street space from cars? And that will decrease traffic congestion?

Quote

How can you be sure of the journey length of everyone driving through Midtown?

Because someone isn't going to drive a mile or two and bother looking 30 minutes for an on-parking space or spend $10 for a half hour in a garage for that short of a trip. They will take a cab or should we charge them $50 a mile?

This about replacing as many car journeys as is possible with subway, bus, or bike trips. As for the point about congestion not solely existing in Manhattan below 59th on weekdays, I agree. Look at Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City - very congested areas which are CBDs in their own right. Congestion pricing should be dynamic to adjust for time (weekday or weekend, day or night) and should also include more dense areas close to Manhattan.

You can't always predict when and where traffic congestion will occur. Many years ago I took my car into Manhattan at 6 PM during the evening rush hour and sailed along a street like 62 Street from First to Sixth Avenue in less than 5 minutes. On a Saturday evening at 10 PM, a few years ago, I was stuck on Second Avenue between around 67th and 68 Street for 45 minutes. On a Monday morning at 8 AM last year, I drove across Canal Street from Manhattan Bridge to the Holland Tunnel in 10 minutes. Driving across Delancey on a Saturday afternoon took an hour. 

But to the point that the congestion will immediately spill over, I disagree. Other cities that have done similar traffic controlling schemes have shown that traffic adjusts to the shape of its container - in other words, limiting traffic results in less traffic in general, not the same traffic spilling over to surrounding areas. For once, people will ask themselves if their single-occupancy car journey is really necessary considering the charge, or if they could walk, bike, or take the subway instead.

If someone is going from Queens to New Jersey and they presently use Canal Street for a short distance and you are now going to charge them $16 for doing that, they will either take the BQE to the Verrazano or the BQE to the RFK to avoid that increasing traffic on the BQE for example. 

Quote

Everyone who drives in the city isn't getting a free ride - this is true. But in most instances, drivers are not paying the real cost of their choice to essentially take up as much space as possible. They're not paying for the lost time and productivity due to delayed buses and deliveries, or for the slow police, fire and EMS response times which are exacerbated by chronic congestion. This is what congestion pricing seeks to address. The cost of parking clearly isn't a deterrent to enough people who are driving in to the city - that's why we're in this situation to begin with.

You have it a little backwards. It not the cars that are delaying the deliveries but deliveries that are allowed at the most congested times of the day that are delaying the cars and buses. 

When I said center busway, I meant a busway aligned to the median of the road, such as the photo of the Webster Avenue proposal I posted above. Cities around the world have proven this to be the best layout for bus rapid transit where the space allows. I think that the utterly ridiculous part of this whole thing might be the fact that it would cost hundreds of millions to make this change in the first place, regardless of whether it should or shouldn't be done.

DOT rejected the center roadway as you proposed on Woodhaven on their own, not because of any community protest. And why would that have worked better than what was chosen along the center roadway? I could only see what you proposed if they bought special vehicles with doors on both sides. Otherwise the design would have been very cumbersome with constant lane shifts to accommodate the pedestrian islands. 

Also from the picture of Webster it looks like most of the parking would have had to be eliminated. Not feasible unless if it were replaced elsewhere. 

Edited by BrooklynBus

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In regards to your points: Amsterdam has traffic congestion, yes, but Amsterdam also moves more people through a given street segment than we do given equivalent width. All those solo drivers are terribly inefficient for people thoroughput. The main issue is that New York will never be uncongested. Congestion is partially a function of design, but also a function of economic vitality; Detroit is uncongested because nobody is trying to go there, whereas everyone is always trying to go to Manhattan. The question is, then, how do we manage that congestion, and what do we want it to look like? If you want to do people thoroughput per hour, the most efficient methods are walking, then biking, then buses (dependent on how many buses you run, of course), then cars.

Bike fatalities have gone up, yes, but bike fatalities per capita have gone down; as more people have been riding, bicycling has gotten safer for the average person as more drivers have become accustomed to seeing and dealing with bicyclists. This is a known trend.

All those drivers should be taking the Verrazano and RFK and the GWB; those are designated interstate highways meant to speed travelers quickly past the city. Having drivers slog through city neighborhoods full of residents and choking them with air and noise pollution is not good for anybody concerned.

Re: deliveries; the main issue is that there are not designated places for trucks to do deliveries. Most of the recent bike and bus lane plans have included delivery zones to get those cars out of the way.

Center bus lanes are useful in that violating them is much more deliberate since it's easy to ban left turns. Given that most of New York operates on a grid, finding alternate routes to a direct, congestion causing left turn is not hard, and on top of that isn't all that time inefficient since all the major delivery services specifically avoid left turns unless they have to for reasons of fuel efficiency; if it was actually that much slower, why would they do that? But that being said, I would actually rather prefer parking-protected bus lanes, the same way there are parking-protected bike lanes; it stops cars from weaving in and out and is much easier to enforce.

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3 minutes ago, BrooklynBus said:

So we should even take away even more street space from cars? And that will decrease traffic congestion?

Yes. Congestion pricing examples from London and Singapore tell us that congestion is reduced when we give up less of our city space to cars, and make it more difficult for people to drive in to the city center. Copenhagen showed us that it's possible to have entirely car-free streets and areas without strangling the rest of the city with traffic - and it's a model that more and more cities are following. So yes, taking away street space from cars will reduce traffic congestion. As I said above, traffic will take the shape of its container.

25 minutes ago, BrooklynBus said:

If someone is going from Queens to New Jersey and they presently use Canal Street for a short distance and you are now going to charge them $16 for doing that, they will either take the BQE to the Verrazano or the BQE to the RFK to avoid that increasing traffic on the BQE for example. 

If congestion pricing is done right, it should actually decrease traffic. A good pricing plan will introduce toll parity for all the crossings, meaning that crossing via Canal Street and the Holland Tunnel will cost the same as crossing via the BQE and the Verrazano. This will distribute the traffic in a way that isn't done right now because of the extreme disparity in toll costs between some crossings on the same corridor (i.e. Verrazano versus Holland, or Queensboro Bridge versus Midtown Tunnel).

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On 2/23/2018 at 8:03 PM, bobtehpanda said:

In regards to your points: Amsterdam has traffic congestion, yes, but Amsterdam also moves more people through a given street segment than we do given equivalent width. All those solo drivers are terribly inefficient for people thoroughput. The main issue is that New York will never be uncongested. Congestion is partially a function of design, but also a function of economic vitality; Detroit is uncongested because nobody is trying to go there, whereas everyone is always trying to go to Manhattan. The question is, then, how do we manage that congestion, and what do we want it to look like? If you want to do people thoroughput per hour, the most efficient methods are walking, then biking, then buses (dependent on how many buses you run, of course), then cars.

Bike fatalities have gone up, yes, but bike fatalities per capita have gone down; as more people have been riding, bicycling has gotten safer for the average person as more drivers have become accustomed to seeing and dealing with bicyclists. This is a known trend.

All those drivers should be taking the Verrazano and RFK and the GWB; those are designated interstate highways meant to speed travelers quickly past the city. Having drivers slog through city neighborhoods full of residents and choking them with air and noise pollution is not good for anybody concerned.

Re: deliveries; the main issue is that there are not designated places for trucks to do deliveries. Most of the recent bike and bus lane plans have included delivery zones to get those cars out of the way.

Center bus lanes are useful in that violating them is much more deliberate since it's easy to ban left turns. Given that most of New York operates on a grid, finding alternate routes to a direct, congestion causing left turn is not hard, and on top of that isn't all that time inefficient since all the major delivery services specifically avoid left turns unless they have to for reasons of fuel efficiency; if it was actually that much slower, why would they do that? But that being said, I would actually rather prefer parking-protected bus lanes, the same way there are parking-protected bike lanes; it stops cars from weaving in and out and is much easier to enforce.

First of all New York is not Amsterdam. I am certain that average trip lengths in Amsterdam are much shorter than in NY because it is more compact. The need to travel longer distances is not done by nearly the same numbers of people. So to compare moving more people within a given street segment is meaningless. 

Your second fallacy is your conclusion that walking then bling are the most efficient methods of travel. That all has to do with the area you are looking at. If it is a compact area like a mile by a mile, yes you are correct. But that is not what we are talking about. We are talking about New York City. Are you actually trying to say that to make an average trip from say Flatbush to Midtown, the most efficient way is walking, and bike would be second? That would be totally incorrect. The most efficient way would be subway, then bus, then car, then biking and finally walking. So your two most efficient methods are actually the two least efficient methods. 

And as for your bike fatalities per capita data, It is ten years old. A lot has changed in the past ten years. Bike lanes and bike ridership has skyrocketed.  My statement that bike fatalities have increased was based on last years data. 

I also guess you never heard that the shortest distance and sometimes time between two places is a straight line. But you have no problem in suggesting that so done desiring to get from say Maspeth to Weehawken go 50 miles or so out of their way to avoid a two mile segment of Manhattan by using the RFK, GW or RFK Bridges conveniently ignoring the increased congestion on those already congested routes which is the supposed purpose of congestion pricing, to reduce congestion. Tell me why reducing congestion in midtown is more holier than reducing congestion on those other congested routes? Isn't the harmful affects of air pollution the same everywhere? But according to you moving the congestion elsewhere solves the problem. 

You ask why major delivery services prefer right turns. They have determined that right turns are safer. But first of all that doesn't apply to all vehicles. Large trucks and buses find left turns much easier to make so they prefer those turns. And actually the most frequent accidents with local buses are caused by vehicles making right turns and colliding with buses. You noticed I said right turns, not left turns. So the advantages of right turns are not all that it's cracked up to be. There are many factors to consider. As for the time savings, it is quicker to make a single left turn than three right turns especially for places like midtown where three right turns can take as long as 20 extra minutes. Why do delivery services prefer right turns if they take so much much longer? First of all, the extra time is different for an individual with a single destination than it is for a truck making multiple stops. Perhaps it takes no longer to make a right turn instead of a left turn when you are planning a route with multiple stops or perhaps the cost of a single accident caused by a left turn when you are driving for the entire day outweighs the extra time disadvantage when you are looking at dollars and cents. Who know what went into their analysis or if it contains fallacies coming to the wrong conclusion. We often hear of studies negating conclusions of previous studies when many variables need to be considered. 

Your car comment about protected bus lanes also makes no sense because it would prevent cars from making any right turns unless you had special right turn cycles at each intersection which would greatly slow down all traffic, but that would probably be a good thing in your mind because if we make it all but impossible to drive anywhere, everyone would be biking 25 miles a day to get anywhere or be on the bus. And of course the bus would never have to make a left turn, they could always make three rights instead, so protected bus lanes just make perfect sense in your mind. 

On 2/23/2018 at 8:03 PM, officiallyliam said:

Yes. Congestion pricing examples from London and Singapore tell us that congestion is reduced when we give up less of our city space to cars, and make it more difficult for people to drive in to the city center. Copenhagen showed us that it's possible to have entirely car-free streets and areas without strangling the rest of the city with traffic - and it's a model that more and more cities are following. So yes, taking away street space from cars will reduce traffic congestion. As I said above, traffic will take the shape of its container.

If congestion pricing is done right, it should actually decrease traffic. A good pricing plan will introduce toll parity for all the crossings, meaning that crossing via Canal Street and the Holland Tunnel will cost the same as crossing via the BQE and the Verrazano. This will distribute the traffic in a way that isn't done right now because of the extreme disparity in toll costs between some crossings on the same corridor (i.e. Verrazano versus Holland, or Queensboro Bridge versus Midtown Tunnel).

I just love the way people automatically conclude that just because it works elsewhere it has to work here when in fact each place is different. In London, for example where you claim it works, are there places for people not near transit to park their cars where they can switch modes to get to the central city. In NYC, park and ride is virtually non-existent. In fact we have communities who are trying to make it more difficult for outsiders to park or even drive through their communities. 

First before you institute congestion pricing here, you need to determine the exactly who is driving inside the area to want there to be congestion pricing, at what times are they driving, what economic groups do they fall into, how often they drive, why they drive, what alternative means they take, what is their time savings if any, are they doing it for convenience, comfort, or necessity, etc. I have not seen any of that data. All we hear is that they are more affluent, can afford it and can switch to alternate ways of travel. We hear nothing about what increases in capacity for the other modes would be needed and how quickly it could or would be implemented. The MTA currently shows no desire to increase capacities at all other than by removing subway seats.

Your second point talks about toll parity which on the surface seems to make sense. But no one is proposing that. But how much would that actually reduce congestion? Or would it just result in increasing costs? Those for tolling the free east river bridges claim that everyone is drawn to those facilities over the toll facilities and that is what is causing the congestion. If that were true, there would get no congestion at the toll facilities and the free facilities would be flooded with traffic. In actuality, all the facilities both toll and free are equally congested. And if you examine the number of free lanes into Manhattan across the East River, vs the number toll lanes, you will find there are only six toll lanes if I counted correctly, and around 15 free lanes. So if you make them all toll lanes, very few would actually switch their routes because of that. The only way congestion would be significantly reduced if if traffic demand would drastically decrease and that could not happen without dramatic increases in capacity of our subway and bus system. Remember Bloomberg only proposed a few new shuttle bus routes at 30 minute headways to absorb the supposed number of people who would stop driving into the city if the bridges were tolled. That would have been totally inadequate to actually get people out of their cars. 

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8 minutes ago, BrooklynBus said:

...Why do delivery services prefer right turns if they take so much much longer? First of all, the extra time is different for an individual with a single destination than it is for a truck making multiple stops. Perhaps it takes no longer to make a right turn instead of a left turn when you are planning a route with multiple stops or...

I remember years ago - either in an article or that training class I was in to work for UPS in Atlanta - that they prefer right turn routings because 1) they’re more fuel efficient because most locales allow right on red so less idling at red lights and 2) left turns require idling in a queue then idling while waiting for oncoming traffic to clear, combined with the hard acceleration needed to complete the turn when there is an opening wastes more fuel.

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38 minutes ago, Deucey said:

I remember years ago - either in an article or that training class I was in to work for UPS in Atlanta - that they prefer right turn routings because 1) they’re more fuel efficient because most locales allow right on red so less idling at red lights and 2) left turns require idling in a queue then idling while waiting for oncoming traffic to clear, combined with the hard acceleration needed to complete the turn when there is an opening wastes more fuel.

Thanks very much for that comment. It makes perfect sense.

Of course much of UPS's conclusions doesn't apply in NYC since we don't allow rights on red. But people who have an agenda like proving left turns are inherently bad and should be banned, will take UPS's conclusions and wrongly apply it to NYC.

The same people will say if congestion pricing works in London, or if BRT works in South America, then it has to work here, or if cycling is the way to go in Amsterdam, we also must encourage in in Midtown Manhattan.

The truth is we can't just blindly take conclusions from other places without studying all the variables that led to those conclusions and jump to erroneous assumptions that those solutions also must work here. 

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40 minutes ago, BrooklynBus said:

First of all New York is not Amsterdam. I am certain that average trip lengths in Amsterdam are much shorter than in NY because it is more compact. The need to travel longer distances is not done by nearly the same numbers of people. So to compare moving more people within a given street segment is meaningless. 

Your second fallacy is your conclusion that walking then bling are the most efficient methods of travel. That all has to do with the area you are looking at. If it is a compact area like a mile by a mile, yes you are correct. But that is not what we are talking about. We are talking about New York City. Are you actually trying to say that to make an average trip from say Flatbush to Midtown, the most efficient way is walking, and bike would be second? That would be totally incorrect. The most efficient way would be subway, then bus, then car, then biking and finally walking. So your two most efficient methods are actually the two least efficient methods.

Amazing ability to put words in other peoples' mouths. Of course biking is less efficient in the subway, I've never said otherwise, because we were talking about streets, and if the (F) train is running on the street then we have bigger problems to be worrying about.

Depends on how you define "efficient". Most people, when talking about efficiency, are talking about the amount of vehicles or people you're moving through a given segment. After all, congestion is when you have too many vehicles doing this, which determines speed and travel time through a given segment and all of that wonderful business. I never said anything about total trip speed, or anything like that. And this matters, because there is a finite amount of street space in New York, and we are not about to go all Robert Moses and turn every street into a six or eight lane road.

Your average car trip may be fast when you're in motion, but perhaps not so fast if you end up spending 20 minutes circling the block or the lot for parking. (And average bike speed is 9.6MPH - given that average bus speed in NYC is 7MPH, the bike is actually faster than the bus!) Either way, one person sitting in a sedan or an SUV is easily the most space-inefficient, or capacity-inefficient mode.

As far as "compact" goes, sure, Amsterdam is more compact than New York. But Paris and London and Berlin are all just as large and also coming to the same conclusions.

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And as for your bike fatalities per capita data, It is ten years old. A lot has changed in the past ten years. Bike lanes and bike ridership has skyrocketed.  My statement that bike fatalities have increased was based on last years data.

More up to date data from 2014. Citi Bike launched in 2013, has had 50 million rides since its inception, and 1 total recorded death.

More people are dying because more people are riding, but that doesn't mean that the rate of people dying is increasing. Those are two separate statements.

I can find data that the number of people on bikes dying is increasing, but not the rate. If this data exists, I'd be happy to change my tune on this particular point.

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I also guess you never heard that the shortest distance and sometimes time between two places is a straight line. But you have no problem in suggesting that so done desiring to get from say Maspeth to Weehawken go 50 miles or so out of their way to avoid a two mile segment of Manhattan by using the RFK, GW or RFK Bridges conveniently ignoring the increased congestion on those already congested routes which is the supposed purpose of congestion pricing, to reduce congestion. Tell me why reducing congestion in midtown is more holier than reducing congestion on those other congested routes? Isn't the harmful affects of air pollution the same everywhere? But according to you moving the congestion elsewhere solves the problem. 

How many people using the Holland or Lincoln Tunnels do you think are actually using the roads like that? There are supercommuters going from PA and Montreal into Manhattan, should we accommodate them to the fullest extent as well? I'm not really concerned with what New Jersey taxpayers' concerns are when it comes to the day-to-day running of this city.

The harmful *effects of air pollution are the same everywhere assuming the same amount of people are affected. Manhattan, LIC, Downtown Brooklyn's daytime population is far higher than the amount of people living among the highways; in fact, a good chunk of those people are in Manhattan during the daytime! Moving congestion to the highways, which already have higher road capacity than a stop-and-go street grid, will affect less people with air and noise pollution.

Finally, the untolled trip using the QB is not actually that much faster than the GWB in the worst traffic conditions - Google Maps, which uses historical data from people using their phones to navigate, gives me a worst case scenario of 1h20 on both routes.

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Your car comment about protected bus lanes also makes no sense because it would prevent cars from making any right turns unless you had special right turn cycles at each intersection which would greatly slow down all traffic, but that would probably be a good thing in your mind because if we make it all but impossible to drive anywhere, everyone would be biking 25 miles a day to get anywhere or be on the bus. And of course the bus would never have to make a left turn, they could always make three rights instead, so protected bus lanes just make perfect sense in your mind.

This is beyond asinine. If a car is parked next to the crosswalk, which is totally legal, are you unable to make a right turn? No, you pull up to the end of your lane, make sure everything to the right of you is clear and that there's no conflicting movements about to happen, and then you make the turn. You can do literally the exact same thing with a parking-protected bus lane, the same way you do it with a parking-protected bike lane. In fact this is what you're told to do in Drivers' Ed.

You're also assuming that I believe that every inch of bus lane should be a protected bus lane, which is not what I said. I said they should be considered, where appropriate. Even today we do not put bus lanes on every inch of bus route, and we certainly don't put them where they are not usable.

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1 hour ago, bobtehpanda said:

Amazing ability to put words in other peoples' mouths. Of course biking is less efficient in the subway, I've never said otherwise, because we were talking about streets, and if the (F) train is running on the street then we have bigger problems to be worrying about.

Depends on how you define "efficient". Most people, when talking about efficiency, are talking about the amount of vehicles or people you're moving through a given segment. After all, congestion is when you have too many vehicles doing this, which determines speed and travel time through a given segment and all of that wonderful business. I never said anything about total trip speed, or anything like that. And this matters, because there is a finite amount of street space in New York, and we are not about to go all Robert Moses and turn every street into a six or eight lane road.

Your average car trip may be fast when you're in motion, but perhaps not so fast if you end up spending 20 minutes circling the block or the lot for parking. (And average bike speed is 9.6MPH - given that average bus speed in NYC is 7MPH, the bike is actually faster than the bus!) Either way, one person sitting in a sedan or an SUV is easily the most space-inefficient, or capacity-inefficient mode.

As far as "compact" goes, sure, Amsterdam is more compact than New York. But Paris and London and Berlin are all just as large and also coming to the same conclusions.

More up to date data from 2014. Citi Bike launched in 2013, has had 50 million rides since its inception, and 1 total recorded death.

More people are dying because more people are riding, but that doesn't mean that the rate of people dying is increasing. Those are two separate statements.

I can find data that the number of people on bikes dying is increasing, but not the rate. If this data exists, I'd be happy to change my tune on this particular point.

How many people using the Holland or Lincoln Tunnels do you think are actually using the roads like that? There are supercommuters going from PA and Montreal into Manhattan, should we accommodate them to the fullest extent as well? I'm not really concerned with what New Jersey taxpayers' concerns are when it comes to the day-to-day running of this city.

The harmful *effects of air pollution are the same everywhere assuming the same amount of people are affected. Manhattan, LIC, Downtown Brooklyn's daytime population is far higher than the amount of people living among the highways; in fact, a good chunk of those people are in Manhattan during the daytime! Moving congestion to the highways, which already have higher road capacity than a stop-and-go street grid, will affect less people with air and noise pollution.

Finally, the untolled trip using the QB is not actually that much faster than the GWB in the worst traffic conditions - Google Maps, which uses historical data from people using their phones to navigate, gives me a worst case scenario of 1h20 on both routes.

This is beyond asinine. If a car is parked next to the crosswalk, which is totally legal, are you unable to make a right turn? No, you pull up to the end of your lane, make sure everything to the right of you is clear and that there's no conflicting movements about to happen, and then you make the turn. You can do literally the exact same thing with a parking-protected bus lane, the same way you do it with a parking-protected bike lane. In fact this is what you're told to do in Drivers' Ed.

You're also assuming that I believe that every inch of bus lane should be a protected bus lane, which is not what I said. I said they should be considered, where appropriate. Even today we do not put bus lanes on every inch of bus route, and we certainly don't put them where they are not usable.

"Amazing ability to put words in other peoples' mouths. Of course biking is less efficient in the subway, I've never said otherwise."

This your exact quote: 

"The question is, then, how do we manage that congestion, and what do we want it to look like? If you want to do people thoroughput per hour, the most efficient methods are walking, then biking, then buses (dependent on how many buses you run, of course), then cars."

You don't even mention subways. I am not putting any words into your mouth. And if you only meant the surface, you are still saying walking and biking are more efficient than buses which is still totally ludicrous. 

You claim that what makes bikes more efficient than buses is that you say the average bus speed in NYC is 7 mph and buses are 9.6 so that makes them more efficient. First of all I don't believe that 7 mph includes express buses so 7 mph isn't the true figure. Then I question how the 9.6 mph speed for bicycles was derived. Does it include all the red signals that most bikers just ignore? Don't you think the average bus speed would be higher if bus drivers also avoided red signals? 

And speed alone is not the only determine of efficiency. A bus loaded with passengers takes up much less street space than 80 or so bicycles which need space between them to travel at 9.6 mph. When you talk about autos you always talk about street space but when comparing bikes to buses, all of a sudden street space is not an issue. Then there is the issue of practicality. Bikes cannot be used comfortably during all types of weather where as snow is really the only weather factor limiting buses. You can also comfortably ride a bus for a much longer period of time than you can a bike. 

And as far as someone in a car not being space efficient as compared to someone in a bus, I have never denied that. 

Regarding the rate of people dying on bikes versus the actual number, it's amazing how the city can come to opposite conclusions using the same data. Regarding Vision Zero, the city line is "even a single pedestrian fatality is one too much" and we should try to prevent every one. But when it comes to bikes it doesn't matter that fatalities will continue to increase the more we encourage cycling. All of sudden, it is the "rate" that is the important factor. Well, if it is the date that is so important, when we look at so-called dangerous intersections, why don't we consider the number of safe pedestrian crossings versus the number of crossings that end with an injury or fatality? We don't because we would find that the success "rate" without incident for crossing any street is something like 99.9999999999 percent. So instead we jus count fatalities over a 15 year period to show an intersection is not safe. Bottom line-- you can find and select data to pretty much prove anything you damn well set your mind on proving. 

As far as the tunnels, are you saying that no one needs to go through Manhattan without actually stopping in Manhattan or the numbers are negligible? I beg to differ. And I have no idea what you are talking about when you say "super commuters" from Montreal coming to NY? You say they are doing this on a daily basis or three times a week? That is what would make them a commuter. Tell me do they also bike from Montreal to NYC. 

"Finally, the untolled trip using the QB is not actually that much faster than the GWB in the worst traffic conditions - Google Maps, which uses historical data from people using their phones to navigate, gives me a worst case scenario of 1h20 on both routes."

Exactly what is the trip you are talking about because I do not follow?

"This is beyond asinine. If a car is parked next to the crosswalk, which is totally legal, are you unable to make a right turn? No, you pull up to the end of your lane, make sure everything to the right of you is clear and that there's no conflicting movements about to happen, and then you make the turn. You can do literally the exact same thing with a parking-protected bus lane, the same way you do it with a parking-protected bike lane."

No it is not the exact same thing. There are many differences. First of all a protected bus lane would not permit one bus to pass another. Bus bunching is reduced and bus speeds increase when two bunched buses keep leap frogging each other. Faster buses would just be stuck behind slower buses. Could that be a reason why we don't have them? But your point is regarding traffic. When you currently make a right turn, you do it when the light turns green. If you had a protected bus lane you would have to first pause to let one or more buses go first if you are both trying to move on the same signal cycle. That would delay all moving traffic behind you. But you aren't concerned with how well traffic moves are you? With a protected bike lane it is quite different. A bike passes in far less time than a bus does and you usually do not see packs of bikes together like you do buses. 

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