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Thread: Biking in New York City

  1. #451

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    You can stand at one spot on the HRP bikeway and quickly gather evidence that all three transportation groups routinely break the rules.

    Vehicle speed limit on route 9A is 35 mph. Enough said.

    Runners and pedestrians should not be on the bikeway.

    Bicycle riders are supposed to stop at the crosswalks when pedestrians have the walk signal. At uncontrolled crosswalks, pedestrians always have the right-of-way.

    Of all the times I've been at a crosswalk on the HRP bikeway, I remember only one instance where a bicycle rider stopped. I was standing here, but near the seats. A woman on a bicycle stopped, thinking I was going to cross, but I was dialing a number on my phone. I waved her on, and noticed she was riding a rental bike. Figures. From someplace else.

    Meanwhile, look who's on the bikeway in the distance.

  2. #452
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    The discouraging thing for cyclists is that there are no bike highways. Every single path officially requires you to stop at regular intervals.

    The HRBP is seemingly the dream they've been waiting for, but ends up being just a big tease with so much pedestrian and rollerblade traffic

  3. #453

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward View Post
    The bikes replace automobiles, not neighborhood parks. This is a choice between being able to get to Central Park on your lunch break or breathing automobile fumes and getting lung disease.
    The bikes do not replace automobiles. They replace MTA riders.

    Nobody is giving up their car commute for a citibike pass, because anyone who moves around in short distances (when biking makes sense) is someone who also uses the bus/subway, since that too, is ideal for short distances.

    Citibike will have zero impact on vehicular volume in NYC. none. especially when you consider all the trucking, taxis, private car services, city vehicles (emergency, utility, etc) and busses that make up the majority of the traffic in the areas that citibike populates (midtown, downtown, north BK).

    data from other existing bike share programs, like the one in DC, proves this.

  4. #454

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    The Brooklyn Bridge is a grand example of bicycle v pedestrian madness. Knee-meet-wheel is the order of the day.

  5. #455

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    Quote Originally Posted by LemSkroob View Post
    The bikes do not replace automobiles. They replace MTA riders.
    True, but the bike stations replace parking spaces. Along with other initiatives like street closings and bike lanes themselves (9th Ave for example), parking availability is steadily reduced. As it becomes more difficult and costly to drive into Manhattan, a percentage of car-commuters will switch to mass transit.

    I think the long-term strategy is more to change commuting behavior away from private vehicles, but not necessarily onto bicycles. Make Manhattan less car friendly.

    This is really what makes people like Miss Dorothy go ballistic.

  6. #456
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    parking availability is steadily reduced. As it becomes more difficult and costly to drive into Manhattan, a percentage of car-commuters will switch to mass transit
    If you told me that the percentage of private car commuters who park on the street is more than the single digits, I would find it hard to believe. The vast majority of car commuters have a reserved monthly spot in the garage of their choice and the decrease in public parking spots has almost no effect on them. To really curb car traffic, you need congestion pricing and East River tolls (which I would favor for both ONLY non-weekend/holidays and during typical working hours ~8 to 6).

    I also agree that bikes do not replace private automobiles, but they absolutely do replace taxi cabs. I'll be curious to see any statistics showing decreases in taxi ridership since the launch of citibike. Of course cabs will still be king during poor weather & cold temperature days

  7. #457
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    "poor weather & cold temperature days" will be a real test of this bike share plan. Will DOT publish those numbers?

    DOT keeps saying that "no public funding" has been used to put the bike share program into effect. Pure BS. Dozens of publicly-paid DOT workers have been involved in this plan for over three years. Maybe those salaries don't fall under the bureaucratic definition of "funding" but the planning, implementation & operation all require our tax dollars to get it up & keep it going.

    And if you want to know the real basis of this bike share plan, aka marketing scheme, read the Crain's article that explains it's basically a propaganda opportunity to burnish the brand of self-maligned CitiBank, all facilitated by a former Deputy Mayor who is now VP of Global Public Affairs (aka marketing) at CitiBank, who has a cozy & profitable relationship with former co-workers & pals at Citi Hall ...

    How the financial crisis spawned Citi Bike

    The roots of Citigroup’s sponsorship of New York’s new bike share program grew from the 2008 financial crisis and a Bloomberg official’s call to Ed Skyler, a former deputy mayor.

    CRAIN'S NY
    By Annie Karni
    May 28, 2013

    New York City may have the financial crisis to thank for its new bike share program.

    In late 2008, some feared Citigroup might be headed toward a Lehman Brothers-like demise. But after two federal bailouts, the bank is now on the tip of every New Yorker’s tongue as the long-awaited bike share program bearing the company’s name gets rolling.

    It’s no coincidence. Since the financial crisis, it has been a top priority at Citi to fix the bank’s image in the consciousness of New Yorkers and to undo any perception that banks are more interested in serving themselves than their clients.

    “One of the mandates has been to increase our visibility in New York, the entire U.S. and globally—and to do it creatively,” said Ed Skyler, executive vice president for the bank’s global public affairs and a former deputy mayor under Michael Bloomberg. “We have about 20,000 people in New York City, which makes us the second largest private employer. We’re the largest employer in Queens. If you thought about Citigroup a few years ago, you might not have experienced our presence the way we thought you should for a company as big as we are here. We have done a lot to fix that since the crisis.”

    Citi has made a $41 million commitment to bike share over six years. That’s a sliver of the reported $20 million to $25 million annual price tag for its Citi Field naming rights, but arguably much more cost-effective. With 10,000 logos roaming the streets and on thousands of fobs in New Yorkers’ pockets, Citi is hoping to attract new customers.

    “Hopefully we’ll see an uptick in New York City,” Mr. Skyler said. “Visually [the bikes are] eye-catching. They really pop in the urban landscape that tends toward darker, grayish tones. Our consumer marketing team and [program vendor] Alta’s NYC Bike Share worked hand-in-glove since signing the deal to make sure it reflected Citi’s branding.”

    Mr. Skyler, a former deputy mayor for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left the administration in 2010, but has maintained an open line of communication with City Hall. Mr. Skyler served as the original point person for the public-private partnership.

    “The Department of Transportation commissioner initially reached out to me,” said Mr. Skyler, referring to Janette Sadik-Khan. “I recommended the program to our consumer marketing team and they ultimately decided to do it. Among other things, we looked at the experience Barclays had in London [sponsoring bike share], where they are known as ‘Barclays bikes.’”

    As for glitches and complaints surrounding the roll-out, Mr. Skyler—who served as the mayor’s press secretary in 2003 when the city passed its initially contentious smoking ban—said he’s not worried. “I think a little bit of controversy isn’t a bad thing. It means people are talking about it. Time will show it’s a successful program.”

    If it indeed is, Citi figures to have competitors for naming rights come 2019. “In a sense, it’ll be a good proxy for whether it’s successful or not,” Mr. Skyler said. “If it’s really successful, which I think it will be, you’ll have a competitive field [for naming rights] in six years.”





  8. #458
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    East river tolls during rush hours = less cars.

    These bikes will not remove cars.

    As for rules? People are arseholes. They will ride bikes on jogging paths and not call out when they overtake you. They will walk blindly texting across active lanes, they will blade on anything.

    The thing is, the paths are not for SERIOUS bikers or bladers (or even joggers...really). They are for casuals. You have to stop too often and avoid slow moving people so often it is not a practical exercise loop. For that you need to go to the boroughs or along the river in NJ.

  9. #459

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    That article in Crains seems to be suggesting that Bloomberg's former deputy mayor and Citibank executives are all 'cronies' - I am shocked by the news. LOL

    My personal observation is that the citibikes are going to be greatly underutilized and therefore never will be able generate the revenue needed to make it financially self sustaining.

    The citibike program is currently funded (if indirectly by the DOT) by public tax dollars; it will utiimately become further subsidized by the city in the future in order to keep this 'money loosing' enterprise in full operation.

    Citibank will continue to pay for the sponsorship, but the massive Citibank advertising campaign will effectively be the beneficiary of public funding.

    I do not doubt that this is the intended 'end game' for Bloomberg and his 'cronies' - Bloomberg is the biggest scoundrel city hall has hosted since Boss Tweed. lol

  10. #460

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    Quote Originally Posted by GordonGecko View Post
    If you told me that the percentage of private car commuters who park on the street is more than the single digits, I would find it hard to believe.
    Considering the volume, single-digit percentage isn't significant?

    Also, the culture changes as time passes. You forgot about the street bike routes that have taken away traffic lanes (like Broadway). Prospect Park drives are now effectively closed to traffic, except one lane in one direction for a few hours on weekdays; and Prospect Park SW has been narrowed. Stuff like this was impossible 15 years ago because there was little public support.

    To really curb car traffic, you need congestion pricing and East River tolls (which I would favor for both ONLY non-weekend/holidays and during typical working hours ~8 to 6).
    That didn't work, did it? But if people get used to the idea of bicycles on the street, there may come a time when there would be majority support for dedicating one lane of the BB to bicycles. That would also solve the congestion problem on the bridge walkway.

  11. #461

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    Quote Originally Posted by infoshare View Post
    The citibike program is currently funded (if indirectly by the DOT) by public tax dollars; it will utiimately become further subsidized by the city in the future in order to keep this 'money loosing' enterprise in full operation.

    Citibank will continue to pay for the sponsorship, but the massive Citibank advertising campaign will effectively be the beneficiary of public funding.
    Infoshare, you should do even a minimum of research before posting errors.

    Citibike is a privately owned (for profit) company. Citibank's basic involvement is advertizing. The same as in Boston, where the advertizing money comes from New Balance.

    If they lose money, they will go out of business, although I figure that Citibank would increase their contribution to keep it rolling.

  12. #462
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastMillinocket View Post
    Oh wow, I'm sure there are already 10,000 comments on Streetsblog blaming the SUV for daring to exist!
    Wouldn't surprise me , sometimes when blogs or websites get too big they development a one sided or slanted agenda. Second Ave Sagas has yet to say anything positive about NJT or the PATH instead its been your typical New Yorker bashing fest on the 2 agencies while treading lightly on the MTA. I'll admit both agencies have their issues but treading lightly on the MTA or anything in NY clearly shows you have an agenda. Streetsblog seems slightly anti-Rail along with overreacting to many incidents are blaming the driver or pedestrian for the Cyclist fault.

  13. #463

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post
    I'll admit both agencies have their issues but treading lightly on the MTA or anything in NY clearly shows you have an agenda. Streetsblog seems slightly anti-Rail along with overreacting to many incidents are blaming the driver or pedestrian for the Cyclist fault.
    I never tread lightly on the MTA - worst transit system in the world, bar none.

    Once a particular individual has posted a sufficient amount of commentary it becomes quite obvious if there is an 'agenda' and if so 'what it is' : it is often no more of an 'agenda' than - this is MY town and I a proud to be a New Yorker or whatever.

    It is a bit like playing an internet forum version of 'wheres waldo' - one could call it "spot the agenda".

    That being said, you'll get no NYC boosterism from - I see as much that is bad here, as is good here in NYC.

    As for citibike share; good for me - but a 'net' loss for NYC. The program is totally nuts IMHO, and somewhat corrupt in both it's inception and execution: which I have elaborated on in reference to the Crains article posted below.

  14. #464

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    That was unintelligible.

  15. #465

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