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Anti-car Democrats are a Road Hazard


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Exactly.  When we have a bunch of fundamentalists calling for further parking elimination, closing or restricting more streets to cars, and lowering the already-overzealous speed limit even more, it's difficult not to reach the conclusion that their ultimate agenda is to ban personal automobiles from the city entirely.  Meanwhile, as you accurately observed, when pressed for details on how to make public transit a viable enough incentive to get people out of their cars voluntarily, they're all opaque on the details.

In the case of Andrew Yang, not only does he not come out and acknowledge the hard truth- that we need to pick up the pace from the IND days and build more subways- he flat out has thrown his support behind the Queensway proposal, instead of supporting rail reactivation on the Rockaway Beach Branch. 'Do as I say, not as I do' seems to be the name of the game with some of these candidates.  Meanwhile, the end result will be an escalation of what we've seen since 2014; people will be forced out of their cars, will try the subway and bus but become disillusioned by the lack of capacity to absorb new ridership and the inadequate quality of service, and turn to Uber/Lyft or biking instead (or leave the city altogether).  Meanwhile the City will milk the cash-cow that is the traffic camera for all its worth.  A vicious cycle perpetuated by nonsense, overblown rhetoric, a lack of real solutions, and overall dishonesty.

Personally, I think the disappointing results we're seeing in the runup to November are a side-effect of a larger problem; there's no third or fourth party in New York City strong enough to challenge the status quo and offer better alternatives.  It's not much of a choice when people have to decide between elitist limousine liberals, or a bunch of right-wing nutjobs.

Edited by R10 2952
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I thought DeBlasio was bad, but it looks like which ever Democrat gets in will be even worse. And of course the liberal media won't blame them for the gridlock, increased traffic deaths and air pollution. They will blame those selfish people who insist on driving and going faster than 20 mph which is why the speed limit must be lowered from 20 mph to 15 mph to stop the increased deaths of cyclists and that 250 miles of protected bike lanes is not enough. We need 500 miles. 

Pray for a miracle that a Republican is elected.

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1 hour ago, BrooklynBus said:

I thought DeBlasio was bad, but it looks like which ever Democrat gets in will be even worse. And of course the liberal media won't blame them for the gridlock, increased traffic deaths and air pollution. They will blame those selfish people who insist on driving and going faster than 20 mph which is why the speed limit must be lowered from 20 mph to 15 mph to stop the increased deaths of cyclists and that 250 miles of protected bike lanes is not enough. We need 500 miles. 

Pray for a miracle that a Republican is elected.

I agree with the first part of what you said, but as far as Republicans are concerned, they have the opposite problem.  If they had a free hand, they'd go full-speed Robert Moses, ramming highways through any neighborhood they don't like and dismantling mass transit.  I honestly believe it will take an independent or third-party candidate to end the circus.  Or at the very least, voters need to be less passive and actually scrutinize the folks jockeying for Gracie Mansion.

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14 minutes ago, R10 2952 said:

I agree with the first part of what you said, but as far as Republicans are concerned, they have the opposite problem.  If they had a free hand, they'd go full-speed Robert Moses, ramming highways through any neighborhood they don't like and dismantling mass transit.  I honestly believe it will take an independent or third-party candidate to end the circus.  Or at the very least, voters need to be less passive and actually scrutinize the folks jockeying for Gracie Mansion.

That's exactly what it'll take to fix this everlasting nonsense...independent free-thinking politicians for the American people. And voters need to do the same, and stop being such kiss-ass "yes" people. This Democrat/Republican nonsense is just a way to keep us divided, two wings of the same evil bird. 

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8 hours ago, XcelsiorBoii4888 said:

That's exactly what it'll take to fix this everlasting nonsense...independent free-thinking politicians for the American people. And voters need to do the same, and stop being such kiss-ass "yes" people. This Democrat/Republican nonsense is just a way to keep us divided, two wings of the same evil bird. 

I agree.

8 hours ago, R10 2952 said:

I agree with the first part of what you said, but as far as Republicans are concerned, they have the opposite problem.  If they had a free hand, they'd go full-speed Robert Moses, ramming highways through any neighborhood they don't like and dismantling mass transit.  I honestly believe it will take an independent or third-party candidate to end the circus.  Or at the very least, voters need to be less passive and actually scrutinize the folks jockeying for Gracie Mansion.

Where is your proof that that Republicans would ram highways through any neighborhood and would be anti-mass transit. 

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The liberal New York Times also had an article on the Democrats positions on mass transit last week, but omitted 90 percent of the points I mentioned. They made it seem like they would save mass transit by building busways and bus lanes and installing signal prioritization everywhere. It doesn't even work in conceited areas. They didn't even mention Republicans like it is impossible for us to have a Republican mayor when we gave had three in my lifetime. 

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You can also add bikes to this nonsense. I understand that more people are wanting to bike and whatnot, but adding bike lanes to streets that are ALREADY overcrowded and a traffic nightmare is seriously not needed, like why are adding a bike lane to the Brooklyn Bridge out of all places?? Also, most bikes don't even USE the bike lane and disregard all rules of the road, going through red lights, etc etc but when there's an accident, everyone blames it on the person who was driving the car.

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23 minutes ago, Lawrence St said:

You can also add bikes to this nonsense. I understand that more people are wanting to bike and whatnot, but adding bike lanes to streets that are ALREADY overcrowded and a traffic nightmare is seriously not needed, like why are adding a bike lane to the Brooklyn Bridge out of all places?? Also, most bikes don't even USE the bike lane and disregard all rules of the road, going through red lights, etc etc but when there's an accident, everyone blames it on the person who was driving the car.

Wait. What. Bike lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge. Oh, hell no. I could see major accidents as a result. 

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16 minutes ago, Lawrence St said:

You can also add bikes to this nonsense. I understand that more people are wanting to bike and whatnot, but adding bike lanes to streets that are ALREADY overcrowded and a traffic nightmare is seriously not needed, like why are adding a bike lane to the Brooklyn Bridge out of all places?? Also, most bikes don't even USE the bike lane and disregard all rules of the road, going through red lights, etc etc but when there's an accident, everyone blames it on the person who was driving the car.

It's not only the Brooklyn Bridge. And there is proof they know adding a bike lane to the bridge will increase congestion because that is what they want. Several weeks ago on the BQE, there was a sign to expect delays because a lane in the bridge is closed due to road work. So what do they think will happen when the lane is closed permanently. And do you know that because of a hit and run on McGuiness Blvd, the city will now install a protected bike lane cutting road capacity in half. And there are also plans to reduce Meeker Avenue to two lanes when it used to be six. They will replace two lanes with with bike and pedestrian lanes in addition to the sidewalks they already have. And Stringer wants to rebuild the BQE by the promenade for trucks and buses only. They think cars will just disappear if they eliminate capacity and parking. The middle class will also disappear. 

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1 hour ago, BrooklynBus said:

It's not only the Brooklyn Bridge. And there is proof they know adding a bike lane to the bridge will increase congestion because that is what they want. Several weeks ago on the BQE, there was a sign to expect delays because a lane in the bridge is closed due to road work. So what do they think will happen when the lane is closed permanently. And do you know that because of a hit and run on McGuiness Blvd, the city will now install a protected bike lane cutting road capacity in half. And there are also plans to reduce Meeker Avenue to two lanes when it used to be six. They will replace two lanes with with bike and pedestrian lanes in addition to the sidewalks they already have. And Stringer wants to rebuild the BQE by the promenade for trucks and buses only. They think cars will just disappear if they eliminate capacity and parking. The middle class will also disappear. 

Sadly that's what happens when you give people the mentality. I feel bad for any bus driver that has to operate a bus next to a bike lane, they simply do not care about the rules of the road. I had a bike on the M101 cut across 5 lanes of traffic and almost caused a massive Collison, and they simply do not care. There was also a bike that crashed into a group of people in Times Square last year, but was that person ever charged for reckless endangerment? Not at all.

And the city want's to install that bike lane on the bridge because then it'll cause a major traffic jam and force drivers to use the Battery Tunnel. It's all a game to them so they get more money from tolls.

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13 hours ago, BrooklynBus said:

Pray for a miracle that a Republican is elected.

What a dumb statement. Have you seen the Republicans running? They are clowns. One of their proposals is to remove Citibike? Are you kidding me? Those two can remain in the circus. They don't even understand or believe in transit, and it's embarrassing to have that opinion on this transit-based forum.

By the way, traffic speeds have fallen because of congestion and the rise of rideshare services like Uber etc. clogging the roads. Lowering the speed limit from 30mph to 25mph had essentially 0 effect on most of Manhattan and Brooklyn where the average speed on arterial roads was determined by traffic anyway, and people still drive at the same 30mph when the roads open. 

 

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2 hours ago, Lawrence St said:

Sadly that's what happens when you give people the mentality. I feel bad for any bus driver that has to operate a bus next to a bike lane, they simply do not care about the rules of the road. I had a bike on the M101 cut across 5 lanes of traffic and almost caused a massive Collison, and they simply do not care. There was also a bike that crashed into a group of people in Times Square last year, but was that person ever charged for reckless endangerment? Not at all.

And the city want's to install that bike lane on the bridge because then it'll cause a major traffic jam and force drivers to use the Battery Tunnel. It's all a game to them so they get more money from tolls.

and this part in bold I agree. You should see the afternoon rush getting into Manhattan via the Battery. 1 lane to go inbound to Manhattan.  I read that article about the Brooklyn Bridge getting bike lanes and all I see is pissed drivers trying to navigate which already is a tight bridge. Now, more traffic to be forced on the Manhattan Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge.

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1 hour ago, MHV9218 said:

What a dumb statement. Have you seen the Republicans running? They are clowns. One of their proposals is to remove Citibike? Are you kidding me? Those two can remain in the circus. They don't even understand or believe in transit, and it's embarrassing to have that opinion on this transit-based forum.

By the way, traffic speeds have fallen because of congestion and the rise of rideshare services like Uber etc. clogging the roads. Lowering the speed limit from 30mph to 25mph had essentially 0 effect on most of Manhattan and Brooklyn where the average speed on arterial roads was determined by traffic anyway, and people still drive at the same 30mph when the roads open. 

 

Who proposed to remove Citibike? Nobody. Typical lies and distortions by you a Democrats. Sliwa has said nothing and Mateo asked that citibike stands that took away parking should be removed. Many Citibank stands are on the sidewalk. He didn’t ask that those be removed. And you don’t think that Stringers position to force all cars off the BQE into Downtown Brooklyn isn’t dumb? He thinks with a BQE on,y for trucks, the cars will just disappear. What a fool! Lowering the speed limit from 30 to 25 has greatly increased travel time by causing unnecessary missing of green signals. Of course it makes no difference when cars can only do 10 mph anyway. But there are many times and places where that is not true. When there isn’t a single car, bike or pedestrian in front of you for a quarter mile, going at 25 mph (and now the dems want 20 mph) is just ludicrous. 

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39 minutes ago, BrooklynBus said:

Who proposed to remove Citibike? Nobody. Typical lies and distortions by you a Democrats. Sliwa has said nothing and Mateo asked that citibike stands that took away parking should be removed. Many Citibank stands are on the sidewalk. He didn’t ask that those be removed. And you don’t think that Stringers position to force all cars off the BQE into Downtown Brooklyn isn’t dumb? He thinks with a BQE on,y for trucks, the cars will just disappear. What a fool! Lowering the speed limit from 30 to 25 has greatly increased travel time by causing unnecessary missing of green signals. Of course it makes no difference when cars can only do 10 mph anyway. But there are many times and places where that is not true. When there isn’t a single car, bike or pedestrian in front of you for a quarter mile, going at 25 mph (and now the dems want 20 mph) is just ludicrous. 

I believe they were referring to Mateo’s issue with the times CitiBike took over parking spots. I wouldn’t be completely against removing some bike stands completely, because there are A LOT. But yeah putting them on the sidewalk would be better then removing the parking spots. I really can’t stand the attitude a lot of these Democrats have being so pro-transit and pro-bike at the expense of car owners. Every day it just seems like the are making mistake after mistake and they don’t realize it. They want 25% of street space to be for non-private cars and talking about adding 200+ miles of bike lanes. They talk about wanting to get people to stay in NYC and then propose stuff like this plus their big tax hikes on the wealthy. What will they be talking about next when all that can afford it leave and their progressive plans fail? I have no hope for anything good in November.

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Everyone knows that transit gotten worse, especially the buses. I wish there were more comprehensive plans for bettering mass transit, just like everyone else here.

 

But I have to disagree with many people here on making the city more car-friendly.

The last thing we need is car drivers turning the city into Delhi, Beijing, or Los Angeles.

I am not fundamentally against cars. I've driven before. I am not fundamentally against raising the speed limit. Buses benefit from higher speeds and less traffic. And when it comes to bike lanes, I wish New York could find a better way to implement them. Not every cyclist is a self-absorbed speed-freak. I don't bother biking anymore because there are too many cars on the road. I've been hit by a car while biking, it's the closest thing to death besides COVID that I've experienced, and the mf-er saw me a mile away. It's not fun at all. I personally don't care for Vision Zero anyway. It seems like poor planning.

 

Short-term, if those pesky bike lanes and pesky pedestrian plazas were removed, and the speed limit was lifted, that might lead to a reduction in traffic. Why? More space. Speeds would be higher.

Alright. Cool. Now car drivers are happy.

But in the long-term, as weeks and months and years pass, as more people figure out that driving in Manhattan, Queens, or Brooklyn is easier, and everyone starts to think they can get it easy by driving, you know what will happen?

The roads are going to get more crowded, and buses will have to slug it out. Again.

Remember, car ownership in NYC has gone up during the pandemic. Now there is a whole new block of car owners that want pro-car policies.

I understand many are getting to the age where having a car and driving everywhere is nice. It is. But don't pull that stunt in the city and expect to be the only one. Because when one does it, everyone else will.

We will be back at square one, with all the noisy traffic, but without the bike lanes or pedestrian plazas. Then what?

Making the speed limit 30 again isn't a problem for me. Shoot, I'm for it. But that just simply won't solve the inherent problem of more cars.

 

Astoria has seen an uptick in traffic for the last 3 years. It used to be quieter, but now the main streets are starting to look like Midtown.

The worse bike lane that people point to is the one on 20th Avenue where the Q100 runs. That bike path is a protected bike lane. It reduced lanes. But it's the only protected bike lane that is of any consequence in Astoria. There's another one by Shore Blvd and another on Vernon but traffic isn't bad over on those. In fact, they stopped letting cars on Shore during the Pandemic. It's been great because people love walking along the river. And Vernon is Vernon, it doesn't see a lot of traffic.

23rd Avenue just received a shared lane a couple of weeks ago. But traffic on it has been bad for years. In fact, ask any driver from Astoria and the first thing they will tell you is that traffic has been getting worse. And that was pre-pandemic, before open restaurants, before street closures.

Yet one bike lane alone cannot explain why traffic in the other Astoria streets is getting worse. Ditmars, Steinway, 30th Ave, Broadway do not have their own separate lanes, but they are seeing more traffic.

The more drivers there are, the lower the standard gets for what a good driver is, too.

It was only a month ago when some asswipe sped up a residential street above 50 mph. They plowed through an open restauant and killed a deliveryman only 2 blocks from where I live. The driver had 4 speeding violations and 15 other violations. Yet when speaking to the police, they insisted they had a clean record. I wonder how many cases there are like that, and how many unenforced ones are floating around.

Some years ago I was driven home by a friend at around 2 AM. He complains all the time about bad drivers. Yet, here we are, at 2 AM, with no cars in sight and he blows through a couple of red lights. At 2 AM. I understand there is no one on 31st Street, but drivers still have to obey the law. Some of his other friends are the type that "acquire" placards or take off their license plates to avoid getting tickets.

But of course, the drivers that complain the most are the same ones that love it when they get the roads for themselves, but God forbid when drivers from other neighborhoods come to visit. Then it's the fault of the other drivers, never themselves. And that extends to every driver in the city.

The car driver can do no wrong. It's always someone else. It's always the newer car drivers that are responsible, or the jackoffs from New Jersey that don't know how to drive. It can't be the simple math of more cars = more traffic, regardless of who it is.

 

I'm fine with bus lanes. But that reminds me of the San Salvador BRT in El Salvador. A judge ruled that the BRT lane for buses was unconstitutional, so he opened it up for cars. What happened next is one of the most dumbest things I've seen.

For the first week, everyone drove on the BRT corridor but not the regular street. Everyone legit thought they were going to be super fast or express or some shit. The photos were surreal. The BRT lane was filled bumper-to-bumper, but the regular lanes were empty. And in the end, both the regular lanes and the former BRT lane became crowded. And traffic returned to being crappy.

The car drivers had a Pyrrhic victory. The bus riders had a real loss.

 

All of this leads to the law of induced demand. All you gotta do is take one look at Los Angeles or Texas, and see that opening more space for cars leads to more cars. And with more cars, there's more traffic. Texas was actually about to widen the I-45 highway smack in the middle of Downtown Houston before it was paused. That alone would have displaced hundreds of homes in predominantly low-income neighborhoods. LA wants to widen even more highways in their city of highways.

The Moses spirit is still strong. Moses insisted that all his projects would decrease traffic. Not once did that ever happened. He actually had the media pocketed, and they never questioned him about the figures until it was too late. The same happens in these two locations, with different politics. They always say an extra lane and an extra highway decreases traffic. It never does.

 

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Restructuring the bus system would be great, if done correctly. But it is not a silver bullet. There has to be more to it. There have been the countless discussions of management, time keeping, frequencies, reducing bunching, etc. I'm on board with all that.

One specific thing I've noticed is the number of buses in the city has fluctuated between 5,700 to 5,900 for each of the last 12 years. I wouldn't be surprised if that range has been the normal for 20-25 years. It kinda flies under the radar, too. I rarely see any transit fan mention buying an extra 500-600 buses for more and better service, partly because the MTA is very stingy and therefore it's not realistic. I don't even know if they are allowed to. But that is something the MTA should be looking into. More buses, more space for depots, etc.

London, with is Underground, Overground, and plethora of other rail lines still has almost 10,000 buses.

The city of Rio de Janeiro, with a lower population and lower population density, has about 8,000 buses and more than 1,500 bus lines.

Sao Paolo, the most populous city in the Western hemisphere, has 16,000 buses, a metro, and some 15 new subway lines planned!

If the MTA weren't cheap, it might be better off buying more buses to expand frequencies and services, because this thing the MTA does of robbing Peter to pay Paul doesn't cut it. Or God forbid we can't have restrict the number of cars in the city and therefore less situations where bunching occurs (not saying bunching would be solved, just saying there would be less opportunities for it). Then there's New Jersey Transit and their buses coming into the PABT.

.........But if you add more total buses to the streets, then car drivers are going to complain about them clogging the streets.

This is where car restrictions in specific areas need to come in place. But that's not going to fly with the car owning electorate either.
 

Once people leave transit for cars, there really is no going back. That's it.

The people who would stop driving and start taking transit again just simply does not outnumber those who would never touch trains and buses again after losing their car virginity. People are being too pie-in-the-sky about getting cars off the road.

One extra person riding a train is marginal.

One extra driver with a couple of cars is not marginal at all. That is much more physical space being taken up in the city.

 

Are we also forgetting the "unique" New York and American problems with building a new subway line? I want a new line as much as everybody. But those are not quick fixes. They take 30 years (or 5 years in the rest of the world).

 

Jeez, I also forgot about Uber and taxis. Isn't all the rising traffic in 2021 without the taxi fleets that were shut down? God, I can't wait to see how full the streets are when they come back.

Edited by GojiMet86
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2 hours ago, BrooklynBus said:

Who proposed to remove Citibike? Nobody. Typical lies and distortions by you a Democrats. Sliwa has said nothing and Mateo asked that citibike stands that took away parking should be removed. Many Citibank stands are on the sidewalk. He didn’t ask that those be removed. And you don’t think that Stringers position to force all cars off the BQE into Downtown Brooklyn isn’t dumb? He thinks with a BQE on,y for trucks, the cars will just disappear. What a fool! Lowering the speed limit from 30 to 25 has greatly increased travel time by causing unnecessary missing of green signals. Of course it makes no difference when cars can only do 10 mph anyway. But there are many times and places where that is not true. When there isn’t a single car, bike or pedestrian in front of you for a quarter mile, going at 25 mph (and now the dems want 20 mph) is just ludicrous. 

Buddy, read his own press releases before going on about 'lies and distortions.' https://www.mateothemayor.com/post/evict-citibike-street-docks-restore-parking His exact words are "EVICT CITIBIKE."

Anybody with eyes can tell you that removing the Citibike stands on streets would take away about 70% of all Citibike locations, especially since there are specific rules about which sidewalks are and aren't wide enough to fit bike parking. The vast majority are not and there's not a single reasonable interpretation of his unreasonable plan that doesn't make it clear how much this would neuter Citibike capacity in the city.

The Stringer plan is dumb, he is dumb, I agree.

What is this 'unnecessary missing of green signals?' If anything, more streets are actually timed now to allow for you to make all the lights if you cruise at 25. I just enjoyed this myself a week ago – made every single green light up Amsterdam from 58th to 96th St. at around 5pm by averaging 25mph (sometimes 20, sometimes 30). It's pretty nice. If you're speeding too much, yes, you will miss the lights. But what you're describing is not consistent with the timing of the lights.

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31 minutes ago, MHV9218 said:

Buddy, read his own press releases before going on about 'lies and distortions.' https://www.mateothemayor.com/post/evict-citibike-street-docks-restore-parking His exact words are "EVICT CITIBIKE."

Anybody with eyes can tell you that removing the Citibike stands on streets would take away about 70% of all Citibike locations, especially since there are specific rules about which sidewalks are and aren't wide enough to fit bike parking. The vast majority are not and there's not a single reasonable interpretation of his unreasonable plan that doesn't make it clear how much this would neuter Citibike capacity in the city.

The Stringer plan is dumb, he is dumb, I agree.

What is this 'unnecessary missing of green signals?' If anything, more streets are actually timed now to allow for you to make all the lights if you cruise at 25. I just enjoyed this myself a week ago – made every single green light up Amsterdam from 58th to 96th St. at around 5pm by averaging 25mph (sometimes 20, sometimes 30). It's pretty nice. If you're speeding too much, yes, you will miss the lights. But what you're describing is not consistent with the timing of the lights.

That's IF they tuned how long the yellow lights stay on. I know for a fact there are certain lights they don't change so that they can catch people with red light cameras and force them to pay a fine.

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2 hours ago, GojiMet86 said:

I'm fine with bus lanes. But that reminds me of the San Salvador BRT in El Salvador. A judge ruled that the BRT lane for buses was unconstitutional, so he opened it up for cars. What happened next is one of the most dumbest things I've seen.

For the first week, everyone drove on the BRT corridor but not the regular street. Everyone legit thought they were going to be super fast or express or some shit. The photos were surreal. The BRT lane was filled bumper-to-bumper, but the regular lanes were empty. And in the end, both the regular lanes and the former BRT lane became crowded. And traffic returned to being crappy.

The car drivers had a Pyrrhic victory. The bus riders had a real loss.

 

All of this leads to the law of induced demand. All you gotta do is take one look at Los Angeles or Texas, and see that opening more space for cars leads to more cars. And with more cars, there's more traffic. Texas was actually about to widen the I-45 highway smack in the middle of Downtown Houston before it was paused. That alone would have displaced hundreds of homes in predominantly low-income neighborhoods. LA wants to widen even more highways in their city of highways.

The Moses spirit is still strong. Moses insisted that all his projects would decrease traffic. Not once did that ever happened. He actually had the media pocketed, and they never questioned him about the figures until it was too late. The same happens in these two locations, with different politics. They always say an extra lane and an extra highway decreases traffic. It never does.

------------

Restructuring the bus system would be great, if done correctly. But it is not a silver bullet. There has to be more to it. There have been the countless discussions of management, time keeping, frequencies, reducing bunching, etc. I'm on board with all that.

One specific thing I've noticed is the number of buses in the city has fluctuated between 5,700 to 5,900 for each of the last 12 years. I wouldn't be surprised if that range has been the normal for 20-25 years. It kinda flies under the radar, too. I rarely see any transit fan mention buying an extra 500-600 buses for more and better service, partly because the MTA is very stingy and therefore it's not realistic. I don't even know if they are allowed to. But that is something the MTA should be looking into. More buses, more space for depots, etc.

The vast majority of people who tend to tend to favor the car over alternate modes either fail to realize the induced demand point. They always assume that more car space would make it better for everyone currently on that roadway, but fail to consider how such an action would impact behavior of those using nearby roadways. You provide more space, eventually that space fills up, and you're back to the same exact conditions as before. I mean this happens with our highway system. Virtually every single expansion to mitigate traffic has eventually led to more traffic, and bringing congestion similar to before expansion. Also, this is just unsustainable, especially in a city like ours which is already pretty much built up in most areas, and has geographical barriers which put a constraint on our land use. 

If one wants to criticize the MTA for not being innovative, not providing sufficient service (bus or subway), and having poorer connectivity the further out you get from Manhattan, that's fine and all, I have no problem with that. Our buses tend to be slow throughout most of the city, I don't think anyone would find that debatable.  We are going to need both route and infrastructure improvements to improve bus service in this city (which includes bus lanes and subsequent enforcement, signalization, etc. ). Of course that doesn't mean that bus lanes are inherently good or bad, you have to look at things individually, and on their own merits. You also can't just paint bus lanes and call it a day either. However, when we have opposed to every single set of improvements, of course nobody benefits. Like you can't both complain that buses are slow/need to be faster and reliable but oppose the same things that would help improve speeds.

You want to improve car speeds for those who have to rely on a car for whatever reason, well then you need to target those who would use public transit if was more attractive. You're obviously not going to get everyone, but if it's down correctly, it can make an impact. NYC does the bare minimum (and still f**ks it up), so of course the results aren't going to be as noticeable as they could. Outside of bus improvements, the calming measures and bike lane implementations have been mixed at best, and I feel I'm being generous with that. Personally I feel it's been somewhat of a disaster. 

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The vibe I get from the article is definitely that of a pro-car person, and with some of his comments afterward, feel that his anger is misguided quite frankly. Near Democrats or GOP will have a viable policy, as virtually all of them are beholden to some special interest group and their policies will reflect that. I'm not surprised that Ray McGuire for example, doesn't support the Transportation Alternatives plan (he has an extensive Wall Street background). I don't have an official opinion on that particular position since I don't know the specifics of that, but some of the other plans such as lowering speeds and closing parts of the BQE I just don't agree with. The Woodhaven Boulevard bus lanes have improved speeds, but more could have been done (such as improving signals even more, having TSP, having enforcement on bus lanes, as vehicles use the lanes to park and whatnot).

Also, yeah, you're going to have bicycle fatalities increase if bicycling use goes up, with the way the city has implemented bike lanes. Personally I don't even see the point of bringing that up, because anyone would tell you that's a given (given existing conditions). If auto use increases, you'll also see more auto fatalities as well. Additionally, most bicycle fatalities are because of bike collisions with autos, trucks, or buses. Whether it was the fault of the person in vehicle or the bike, that will vary in each particular case. But our current street design is just not optimal for bikes in many areas, regardless if bike lanes exist there or not.

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
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1 hour ago, MHV9218 said:

Buddy, read his own press releases before going on about 'lies and distortions.' https://www.mateothemayor.com/post/evict-citibike-street-docks-restore-parking His exact words are "EVICT CITIBIKE."

Anybody with eyes can tell you that removing the Citibike stands on streets would take away about 70% of all Citibike locations, especially since there are specific rules about which sidewalks are and aren't wide enough to fit bike parking. The vast majority are not and there's not a single reasonable interpretation of his unreasonable plan that doesn't make it clear how much this would neuter Citibike capacity in the city.

The Stringer plan is dumb, he is dumb, I agree.

What is this 'unnecessary missing of green signals?' If anything, more streets are actually timed now to allow for you to make all the lights if you cruise at 25. I just enjoyed this myself a week ago – made every single green light up Amsterdam from 58th to 96th St. at around 5pm by averaging 25mph (sometimes 20, sometimes 30). It's pretty nice. If you're speeding too much, yes, you will miss the lights. But what you're describing is not consistent with the timing of the lights.

I read the press release and it says exactly what I said. He specifically asks that citibike be removed from where they took away parking spaces and suggests they be put in parks instead. He never called for abolishing citibike which is what you say he said. 

You want to talk about liars, then talk about deBlasio who despite the facts still claims Vision Zero has made the streets safer. He wants to make 7 and 8 Avenue in Sunset Park one way. He claims that cutting road capacity in half will help traffic. People will have to walk much further for a bus, up to 3/4 of a mile, not only one avenue block further for southbound riders, but also further to get to bus stops. All this just as an excuse to install protected bike lanes. And the community is not even given a say. They were told the information we give you is for information purposes only. A hand selected commission will approve it, not the community board who won’t get a vote. 

Very few streets have synchronized timing. I was talking about the others where they change in groups of five, meaning the slower you have to go, the fewer green ones you get. On most streets to two green lights, then a red, then two greens and a red again. If someone is double parked and you have to switch lanes, then it’s one green and one red. Not good when you need to travel five miles down one street. 

 

3 hours ago, GojiMet86 said:

Everyone knows that transit gotten worse, especially the buses. I wish there were more comprehensive plans for bettering mass transit, just like everyone else here.

 

But I have to disagree with many people here on making the city more car-friendly...

Short-term, if those pesky bike lanes and pesky pedestrian plazas were removed, and the speed limit was lifted, that might lead to a reduction in traffic. Why? More space. Speeds would be higher.

Alright. Cool. Now car drivers are happy.

But in the long-term, as weeks and months and years pass, as more people figure out that driving in Manhattan, Queens, or Brooklyn is easier, and everyone starts to think they can get it easy by driving, you know what will happen?

The roads are going to get more crowded, and buses will have to slug it out. Again.

Remember, car ownership in NYC has gone up during the pandemic. Now there is a whole new block of car owners that want pro-car policies.

I understand many are getting to the age where having a car and driving everywhere is nice. It is. But don't pull that stunt in the city and expect to be the only one. Because when one does it, everyone else will.

We will be back at square one, with all the noisy traffic, but without the bike lanes or pedestrian plazas. Then what?

Making the speed limit 30 again isn't a problem for me. Shoot, I'm for it. But that just simply won't solve the inherent problem of more cars.

 

The more drivers there are, the lower the standard gets for what a good driver is, too...

The car driver can do no wrong. It's always someone else. It's always the newer car drivers that are responsible, or the jackoffs from New Jersey that don't know how to drive. It can't be the simple math of more cars = more traffic, regardless of who it is...

All of this leads to the law of induced demand. All you gotta do is take one look at Los Angeles or Texas, and see that opening more space for cars leads to more cars. And with more cars, there's more traffic. Texas was actually about to widen the I-45 highway smack in the middle of Downtown Houston before it was paused. That alone would have displaced hundreds of homes in predominantly low-income neighborhoods. LA wants to widen even more highways in their city of highways.

The Moses spirit is still strong. Moses insisted that all his projects would decrease traffic. Not once did that ever happened. He actually had the media pocketed, and they never questioned him about the figures until it was too late. The same happens in these two locations, with different politics. They always say an extra lane and an extra highway decreases traffic. It never does.

Restructuring the bus system would be great, if done correctly. But it is not a silver bullet. There has to be more to it. There have been the countless discussions of management, time keeping, frequencies, reducing bunching, etc. I'm on board with all that...

Once people leave transit for cars, there really is no going back. That's it.

The people who would stop driving and start taking transit again just simply does not outnumber those who would never touch trains and buses again after losing their car virginity. People are being too pie-in-the-sky about getting cars off the road.

Some of what you say is true and some isn’t. NYC is too dense to solve the traffic problem by building more highways to increase capacity. Yes more capacity will cause more cars. But it doesn’t mean you do nothing. If you have a bottleneck that can be eliminated with an extra lane, that may only have to be 100 feet long, that you should do. Instead, where we purposely build bottlenecks to slow traffic. 

Traffic has gotten worse directly because of steps deBlasio had taken, like the elimination of parking and traffic lanes and unnecessary traffic channelization. If you have two lanes and 80 percent of the traffic needs to turn left and there are two lanes available on that street, it makes no sense to force everyone in the right lane turn right and everyone in the left lane turn left instead of letting you turn left or right from the right lane. The result is one lane is empty and the other has a long queue so that it takes two or more cycles to get through the light. Lead walk signals for pedestrians also cut green time and may not be necessary where there are few pedestrians. Bike lanes and bus lanes have also removed traffic lanes. Protected bike lanes also mean whenever someone needs to park, all traffic must stop, when drivers could previously just shifted lanes. Also, restriction left turns sometimes makes you drive up to a mile further. All of this affects traffic. 

Nothing is being done to improve transit. Bus lanes, busways, TSP, and rear door boarding are all no panaceas and are limited in what they can do. Better frequencies is key, and the only way this will happen is if coverage is severely cut. The increased walking time will wipe out the benefit from increased frequencies. No one wants to make the necessary investments in improved bus service, even when the demand is there like going to the beach. Congestion pricing monies will be spent bike lanes, bus lanes, wider sidewalks, more elevators, and fixing potholes. No money for better frequencies and increased coverage. 

 

1 hour ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

The vibe I get from the article is definitely that of a pro-car person, and with some of his comments afterward, feel that his anger is misguided quite frankly. Near Democrats or GOP will have a viable policy, as virtually all of them are beholden to some special interest group and their policies will reflect that. I'm not surprised that Ray McGuire for example, doesn't support the Transportation Alternatives plan (he has an extensive Wall Street background). I don't have an official opinion on that particular position since I don't know the specifics of that, but some of the other plans such as lowering speeds and closing parts of the BQE I just don't agree with. The Woodhaven Boulevard bus lanes have improved speeds, but more could have been done (such as improving signals even more, having TSP, having enforcement on bus lanes, as vehicles use the lanes to park and whatnot).

Also, yeah, you're going to have bicycle fatalities increase if bicycling use goes up, with the way the city has implemented bike lanes. Personally I don't even see the point of bringing that up, because anyone would tell you that's a given (given existing conditions). If auto use increases, you'll also see more auto fatalities as well. Additionally, most bicycle fatalities are because of bike collisions with autos, trucks, or buses. Whether it was the fault of the person in vehicle or the bike, that will vary in each particular case. But our current street design is just not optimal for bikes in many areas, regardless if bike lanes exist there or not.

How is my anger misguided? The Democrats all seem to be beholden to Transportation Alternatives TA) who have been determining city policy for eight years. 

As proof, when the city lowered the speed on Queens Blvd from 35 to 30, TA asked for 25. The DOT commissioner publicly stated that their engineers believe 30 is the correct speed. Then 3 months later without explanation, lowered it to 25. Why? It was never explained. Now they want 20 when it never should have been lowered from 35. 

The Woodhaven bus lanes improved bus speeds during rush hours, but made travel much slower for cars. They were totally unnecessary during most of the non-rush hours. (could have started at 3 PM instead of 4). But 24 hour bus lanes benefits no one. Buses were often traveling at 35 mph without bus lanes during the non-rush hours. Now they will be traveling at 20 mph when the speed limit is lowered again to 25 and then to 20 with bus lanes. So tell me how is that an improvement?

What you say about bike fatalities going up with more bike riders is obviously true, but the city is insisting that with more protected bike lanes fatalities will go down. It will come to the point where passing anyone on any city street will not be possible because every street with more than one lane will either have a bike lane or a bus lane (even if the bus operates every 20 minutes). It will be impossible to get anywhere. 

Also why rebuild highways at a design speed of 70 mph, but only allow 50 mph? So you can give summonses. That’s why. 

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1 hour ago, BrooklynBus said:

How is my anger misguided? The Democrats all seem to be beholden to Transportation Alternatives TA) who have been determining city policy for eight years. 

Well, when you reply with "Pray for a miracle that a Republican is elected", that to me says that you don't actually understand the full picture. The Republicans are generally going be more pro-car, and be against most road spaces that take away from cars. While that wouldn't marginally change traffic conditions, it wouldn't change the transit situation either, as buses will still be subjected to the same conditions as they are now. If you think they're going to improve transit the way you feel is necessary, think again. They'll just cave to the same numbers arguments that the MTA will make as to why we can't do anything. The frequencies wouldn't be improved, connectivity wouldn't be improved, etc. So be careful what you wish for. 

BTW, this happens on the national level too, Dems do an abysmal job at trying people to vote for them, and fall back to culture war issues or identity politics, which are cringe in multiple instances. Then voters hear Republicans talk about how ineffective they are, and that they don't fight or serve working people (again, in the cultural lens). Not only do those people agree with Republicans, but because they agree with them, they also start believing they have their best interests economically. Dems don't fight for working people, but Republicans would work against them. They agree on a lot more than what people would like to think, but the propaganda has people drinking the kool aid and defending either "team", as if this was a sport.  At this point, trying to infiltrate either party would not work, it's a lost cause. What' @XcelsiorBoii4888 said earlier about being two evil wings on the same bird is right. Now shoot the damn bird down already.

1 hour ago, BrooklynBus said:

As proof, when the city lowered the speed on Queens Blvd from 35 to 30, TA asked for 25. The DOT commissioner publicly stated that their engineers believe 30 is the correct speed. Then 3 months later without explanation, lowered it to 25. Why? It was never explained. Now they want 20 when it never should have been lowered from 35. 

Well I don't think 20 mph is going to improve much in terms of safety, and it would just make travel worse. IINM, two of them have proposed such, which is not a majority (or even a noticeable minority) in the Democratic field. 

2 hours ago, BrooklynBus said:

The Woodhaven bus lanes improved bus speeds during rush hours, but made travel much slower for cars. They were totally unnecessary during most of the non-rush hours. (could have started at 3 PM instead of 4). But 24 hour bus lanes benefits no one. Buses were often traveling at 35 mph without bus lanes during the non-rush hours. Now they will be traveling at 20 mph when the speed limit is lowered again to 25 and then to 20 with bus lanes. So tell me how is that an improvement?

What you say about bike fatalities going up with more bike riders is obviously true, but the city is insisting that with more protected bike lanes fatalities will go down. It will come to the point where passing anyone on any city street will not be possible because every street with more than one lane will either have a bike lane or a bus lane (even if the bus operates every 20 minutes). It will be impossible to get anywhere.  

Well, if we want to improve surface transit (with having frequent and reliable service), we are going to have to prioritize road space for buses on the most utilized corridors. Otherwise, we're just not going to achieve more reliable service. Additionally, if you prove service which is attractive (primarily decent frequencies, but also perhaps other amenities), then those who travel by car might shift onto the bus. One person in a personal vehicle takes up a lot of space compared to one person on a bus, so in the long run, you would have less vehicles on the road. Public transit can't meet everyone's needs, and in some instances isn't ideal. But on heavily traveled corridors, getting more people on buses would justify having more frequent bus service, and would benefit those who need to travel by car, because they experience less congestion. 

As for the justification of bus lanes, the bus lanes does not benefit cars. But for riders, the service is a little more reliable. It's not perfect, there could still be signalization improvements that can be done as well. The section south of Liberty Avenue may be less utilized, but everything north isn't a cruise either outside of rush hours. There's sections where traffic builds up, so the bus lanes are absolutely necessary during the daytime hours. Regarding overnight hours, yes service is less frequent and all, but at the same time, traffic is much lower too. I haven't encountered any type of congestion occurring during those hours on the corridor. 

2 hours ago, BrooklynBus said:

Also why rebuild highways at a design speed of 70 mph, but only allow 50 mph? So you can give summonses. That’s why. 

Posted speed limits tend to be lower than the speeds they are designed for, and it's not a NYC thing either.  It's done as a safety measure, as there will always be reckless car users who will want to push the limit. There's certain criteria that goes into selecting the posted speed limit too, with some variations between cities and states.

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1 hour ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

Well, when you reply with "Pray for a miracle that a Republican is elected", that to me says that you don't actually understand the full picture. The Republicans are generally going be more pro-car, and be against most road spaces that take away from cars. While that wouldn't marginally change traffic conditions, it wouldn't change the transit situation either, as buses will still be subjected to the same conditions as they are now. If you think they're going to improve transit the way you feel is necessary, think again. They'll just cave to the same numbers arguments that the MTA will make as to why we can't do anything. The frequencies wouldn't be improved, connectivity wouldn't be improved, etc. So be careful what you wish for. ..

 

Well I don't think 20 mph is going to improve much in terms of safety, and it would just make travel worse. IINM, two of them have proposed such, which is not a majority (or even a noticeable minority) in the Democratic field. 

Well, if we want to improve surface transit (with having frequent and reliable service), we are going to have to prioritize road space for buses on the most utilized corridors. Otherwise, we're just not going to achieve more reliable service. Additionally, if you prove service which is attractive (primarily decent frequencies, but also perhaps other amenities), then those who travel by car might shift onto the bus. One person in a personal vehicle takes up a lot of space compared to one person on a bus, so in the long run, you would have less vehicles on the road. Public transit can't meet everyone's needs, and in some instances isn't ideal. But on heavily traveled corridors, getting more people on buses would justify having more frequent bus service, and would benefit those who need to travel by car, because they experience less congestion. 

As for the justification of bus lanes, the bus lanes does not benefit cars. But for riders, the service is a little more reliable. It's not perfect, there could still be signalization improvements that can be done as well. The section south of Liberty Avenue may be less utilized, but everything north isn't a cruise either outside of rush hours. There's sections where traffic builds up, so the bus lanes are absolutely necessary during the daytime hours. Regarding overnight hours, yes service is less frequent and all, but at the same time, traffic is much lower too. I haven't encountered any type of congestion occurring during those hours on the corridor. 

Posted speed limits tend to be lower than the speeds they are designed for, and it's not a NYC thing either.  It's done as a safety measure, as there will always be reckless car users who will want to push the limit. There's certain criteria that goes into selecting the posted speed limit too, with some variations between cities and states.

When I said pray that a Republican is elected was said not to praise Republicans that they would do anything good. It was to stop the Democrats from causing disaster. As I said in the article, the choice is between bad transportation policy or no transportation policy. If there aren’t going to be any improvements, let’s not at least make things worse. 

Five out of the seven favor a 20 mph speed limit, not two of them. 

DOT promised SBS on Woodhaven would cut travel time by up to 30 percent when in fact it cut travel time by up to 3 percent only for trips greater than three miles. That amounts to spending $200,000 to save three minutes for bus riders only if they travel longer than three miles (and much longer trips, up to 20 minutes longer for autos). How can that be considered a success? 

As far as bus lanes being needed on heavily utilized corridors, I agree, but the thing is most of the corridors where bus lanes are needed are already in effect. Extending hours is not necessary and bus lanes where buses operate every ten or 20 minutes benefits no one and hurts much more than it helps. We don’t need every street that has two lanes reduced to one lane which is what will happen. 

Speed limits are supposed to be 20 percent lower than the design speed, to account for speeders. The differential is much greater here. 

 

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3 hours ago, BrooklynBus said:

Some of what you say is true and some isn’t. NYC is too dense to solve the traffic problem by building more highways to increase capacity. Yes more capacity will cause more cars. But it doesn’t mean you do nothing. If you have a bottleneck that can be eliminated with an extra lane, that may only have to be 100 feet long, that you should do. Instead, where we purposely build bottlenecks to slow traffic. 

Traffic has gotten worse directly because of steps deBlasio had taken, like the elimination of parking and traffic lanes and unnecessary traffic channelization. If you have two lanes and 80 percent of the traffic needs to turn left and there are two lanes available on that street, it makes no sense to force everyone in the right lane turn right and everyone in the left lane turn left instead of letting you turn left or right from the right lane. The result is one lane is empty and the other has a long queue so that it takes two or more cycles to get through the light. Lead walk signals for pedestrians also cut green time and may not be necessary where there are few pedestrians. Bike lanes and bus lanes have also removed traffic lanes. Protected bike lanes also mean whenever someone needs to park, all traffic must stop, when drivers could previously just shifted lanes. Also, restriction left turns sometimes makes you drive up to a mile further. All of this affects traffic. 

Nothing is being done to improve transit. Bus lanes, busways, TSP, and rear door boarding are all no panaceas and are limited in what they can do. Better frequencies is key, and the only way this will happen is if coverage is severely cut. The increased walking time will wipe out the benefit from increased frequencies. No one wants to make the necessary investments in improved bus service, even when the demand is there like going to the beach. Congestion pricing monies will be spent bike lanes, bus lanes, wider sidewalks, more elevators, and fixing potholes. No money for better frequencies and increased coverage. 

 

The streets in Astoria don't really suffer from any of the things you outline, though. There's that one protected bike lane and that's it.

They can only go so far in explaining why traffic is worse. Many drivers don't even like to adhere to bus lanes. They just simply drive on them. I see it many times on 34th Street. I took the M60 in the rush hour recently. Not once did it run on the bus lane because of parked cars. The enforcement isn't even there.

The more I hear about bus and bike lanes, the more I get the impression that these are not the root causes, but rather secondary factors. And they only apply in some cases, not all.

At the end of the day, more cars on the road simply means more cars on the road, and therefore more traffic.

There has been an increase in car accidents at the intersection down my street. It's an intersection with a stop line but no stop sign, but I recently learned that there will be a traffic light installed soon. There are car accidents there every other week. I've witnessed one already. And two years ago another delivery guy was killed there.

No bike lanes, no bus lanes, no removal of parking space there. That intersection is simply busier than it was 10 years ago. So are the nearby intersections. The only explanation there is that there's more traffic. There have been too many drivers speeding up. And the drivers are getting worse.
 

This is the crap we deal with in Astoria every day. You think better frequencies are going to get these guys to hop on a bus? Are these guys really the type that want to follow any speed limit?

A bit of a side note, but there's the 114th Precinct. Their cars are constantly parked on the sidewalks. It was pretty dangerous in the recent snowfalls. You either have to be skinny to go behind the cars and between the wall, or you have to brave it on the street. It's a problem that has existed forever. But I guess it's okay if they have placards.

Everyone can agree that the subway and bus services have been substandard. I want as much investment into the bus network as everyone here. But the solution of building new subway lines is a long term solution that takes money, decades, and political will.

I don't know if you've noticed or not, but the MTA is not going to change overnight.

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