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Thread: 34th Street Transitway

  1. #61
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Unless he's planning on running for a 4th term he's got less than three years to accomplish that. Not likely. But by then he'll have invested so much money in reconfiguring the streets that it will be difficult for a new mayor to undo. Bet it will be an issue in the next election.

  2. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by milleniumcab View Post
    He is going to succeed on making the Island of Manhattan impossible to drive on by taking lanes away from traffic without decreasing the volume of cars. And he isn't going to stop until he gets his congestion fee..
    Well, if he succeeds in making Manhattan impossible to drive in, a congestion fee is moot.

    Does anyone remember that a primary driving force behind the need to do something along 34th St is Hudson Yards?

    People resist change, but change is going to happen whether or not streets are reconfigured. If nothing is done, it will still get more difficult (eventually impossible) to drive in Manhattan as the population increases.

  3. #63
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    The question is also this:

    Regardless of the base motivation for the scheem, laudible or nefarious, does that change the actual need and resultant effect of doing it?

    Maybe Bloomberg is pissed off at cabbies and wants to do anything to ruin their lives.....but if this particular "scheme" actually makes mass transit work better and, if done properly, actually increases flow because of elimination of a major traffic bifurcation..... Does it really matter?

    People tend to point out motivations that may or may not have any real importance on the end result. What matters here is simple: Will it give what it promises? Is what it promises something we want and will benefit the general public?

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by milleniumcab View Post
    He is going to succeed on making the Island of Manhattan impossible to drive on by taking lanes away from traffic without decreasing the volume of cars. And he isn't going to stop until he gets his congestion fee..
    Could be worse.

  5. #65

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    There is no need whatsoever for anyone to drive their personal car in Manhattan. If you chose to do so, you should be heavily taxed by a congestion fee. Similarly, I used to live in Manhattan but now live in the suburbs. Therefore, my opinion is not one of a Manhattan resident.

    Congestion fees could fund the expansion of bus routes and perhaps even light rail in boroughs that are underserved by the MTA.

  6. #66
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    City Drops Plan for 34th St. Pedestrian Plaza

    By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

    In an abrupt concession to community complaints, the Bloomberg administration said Wednesday that it would scrap a plan for a pedestrian plaza on 34th Street in Manhattan that would have banned automobile traffic on the block between Herald Square and the Empire State Building.

    The plaza had been the centerpiece of an ambitious reimagining of the Midtown thoroughfare, a plan that included dedicated bus lanes separated by a concrete barrier from other traffic. Cars on either side of the plaza would have traveled in a single direction, outbound toward the edges of the island.

    But the project, proposed in 2008, received sharp criticism from some of the area’s residents and business owners, who complained that the bus lanes would block access to their buildings and that cars seeking a route across town could clog up surrounding side streets. Some residents said they had considered the project a fait accompli.

    Not so, said Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner. “The design has evolved as we continue to work with the community,” she said Wednesday. “We want the public process to play itself out.”

    The decision to abandon the plaza plan is a stark contrast to the fate of previous unorthodox ideas put forward by Ms. Sadik-Khan, who has banned cars from parts of Times, Herald and Union Squares. The 34th Street plan came under sustained attack this week in The New York Post, where one columnist deemed the project a “budding Titanic.”

    A revised plan will be unveiled at a public forum on March 14. Ms. Sadik-Khan declined to say whether other elements of the project, like the separated bus lanes, had also been changed. But she said the new plan would expand curbside access for parking, deliveries and drop-offs.

    Some supporters of the plan said they appreciated how the city’s Transportation Department responded to the concerns of the public.

    “It shows a new era at the city D.O.T.” compared with past administrations, said Veronica Vanterpool, associate director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a nonprofit policy group that supports the plan.

    Tim Hughes, who lives on 34th Street and helped organize a group of residents opposed to the project, said he was pleased to hear about the elimination of the plaza. But he said he wanted to see if the city addressed other concerns, including curbside access to apartment buildings like his own.

    “I am trying to the best of my ability to take them at their word that this is not a prebaked issue,” Mr. Hughes said.

    A final design is expected in the fall, after the city completes studies on the project’s effect on traffic patterns in the area.

    The plan had been expected to be put in place by the end of next year.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/ny...l?ref=nyregion

  7. #67

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    This sucks.

  8. #68
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Meow.

  9. #69

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    Weak. I'm not shocked because it seems Americans & Canadians just don't get the value of pedestrian streets, lanes, or plazas. There is a fear there, a negative viewpoint that can't seem to look at the positives of such developments.

    Just shows how far behind European cities we are.. They should show them countless photos of places like Copenhagen, Amsterdam, or even Nanjing road in Shanghai, with countless families sauntering down the car-free streets enjoying their free time. Maybe then they'd see the greater good is more important than a quick curbside drop-off. Selfish as hell!

    The city needs to put up a better fight for their vision.
    Last edited by futurecity; March 3rd, 2011 at 02:32 PM.

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge View Post
    Meow.
    Woof.

  11. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    Could be worse.
    Right on man. That is exactly what will make Manhattan a more livable place. I agree with you 100% and this is the right way to go. Sorry cabbies are worried, but the whole city's livability index can't be held hostage by one self-interested group. It may be difficult for them to accept, but fewer cars = better city.

  12. #72
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    Thank god this idiot plan got axed. I can understand picking apart broadway, it's a diagonal street that messes with the grid and is by design difficult for traffic flow. But Jesus, don't mess with the crosstown streets!! That's the biggest problem with the grid, it's impossible to go east-west in an efficient manner. If you want to kill a street, do it with one of the small one ways. 34th should be a one way avenue with every lane in use for vehicles, and 42nd should be the same in the opposite direction.

  13. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by GordonGecko View Post
    If you want to kill a street, do it with one of the small one ways.
    Typical of the misunderstanding of "the need."

    It's not primarily to create a pedestrian zone. That's just a byproduct.

    That's the biggest problem with the grid, it's impossible to go east-west in an efficient manner.
    Hello!

  14. #74
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    34th Street Has Changed Before, And It Can Change Again

    by Noah Kazis


    Around 1928, streetcar tracks ran down Broadway and 34th Street. When they were ripped out of 34th Street in 1936,
    it was a major event attended by Governor Al Smith and Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. Photo: New York Public Library.

    In the media hyperventilating over plans for 34th Street that led up to last night’s cancellation of the pedestrian plaza between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, the biggest constant was the fear of change. An editorial in the Observer on Tuesday summed up the strange preference for the status quo: “From river to river, 34th Street moves cars, trucks, buses and pedestrians as efficiently and quickly as humanly possible in one of the world’s most crowded pieces of real estate.”

    There was no indication that improvement is achievable, nor any understanding that the least efficient modes on 34th Street — private cars and taxis — slow down the far greater number of people who take the bus, and make the street more dangerous and unpleasant for the even greater number of people on foot.

    What the naysayers never seem to acknowledge is that 34th Street has changed and changed again over the course of New York City’s history. To argue that 34th Street should never change again is to argue that at some point in the mid-20th Century, the city’s planners hit on a solution that was perfect for all eternity.

    Since then we’ve learned a lot about how traffic works. We know that traffic volumes are not constant, and that when streets change, drivers adjust their decisions and their behavior. We know that on 34th Street and other major crosstown streets in Manhattan, traffic is strangling transit service, slowing buses to walking speeds. And we know that other cities have successfully created transit malls in their central shopping and business districts.
    So we’re posting some photos of what 34th Street once looked like, not because we want to return to the good old days, but to show that there’s nothing sacred about the current design of the city’s streets.

    Looking back, it’s clear that at least until painted bus lanes were installed along 34th Street in 2008, the current configuration of the street gives more space to the automobile than any before it. In 1911, for example, the city took seven and a half feet from each sidewalk on 34th Street in order to widen the street. 34th Street has changed a lot, and it will have to change again to work well for New York City in the 21st Century.


    In 1931, elevated railroad tracks shadowed the east end of 34th Street, taking New Yorkers to the ferry terminal.
    Photo: New York Public Library.


    A clearer look at how much of the width of 34th Street went to streetcar tracks.
    Photo: New York Public Library.


    In the 1890s, Herald Square was dominated by the el, with horse-drawn trolleys ferrying passengers along 34th Street.
    Photo: New York Public Library.


    Pedestrians on 34th Street no longer have to worry about Greyhound buses crossing the sidewalk north of the old Penn Station.
    Photo: New York Public Library.

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/03/0...-change-again/

  15. #75
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Herald Square's "Hidden" Building





    http://gothamist.com/2011/03/03/hera...in.php#photo-2

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