You Want A Real "Transportation Alternative"?

David Goldsmith

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Would you like to see a real "Transportation Alternative"?

Today it was announced that an inbound lane on the Brooklyn Bridge would be closed and turned into bike lanes starting June 21st.

This article from a cyclist propaganda website says there are 125,000 car trips a day vs 2,600 cyclist trips on Brooklyn Bridge. Reducing inbound traffic by 1/3 would mean about 30,000 passengers according to this source. Bicycle traffic would need to go up over 1,100% to make up for that. What is also left out is the increase in pollution the extra congestion will cause - but that is always left out when Transportation Alternatives advocates causing congestion purpose.

I think it's fairly obvious that kind of increase in bicycle traffic is a utopian fallacy. But how about this as an alternative?

There are undeveloped sites near the Brooklyn Bridge - including the city owned parcel which appears to be unused at the foot of the bridge and used to be a $3/day lot which I parked at often during the time I was consulting at Brooklyn Union Gas Montague St. The state could take some of these sites be eminent domain (just like Cuomo wanted to do around Penn Station) and create parking structures and a trolly depot. Then use that same lane for a free trolly across the bridge to some destination (yes more eminent domain for a turnaround on the Manhattan side, but with the Soho/Noho Rezoning there's a bunch of buildings which will be going away anyway).

I think it's a lot easier to imagine 30,000 computers a day coming over the bridge in this manner than switching to bicycles (especially on a snowy day in January).
#realestate #transportation #parking


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Brooklyn Union
Wouldn't you need to take over two traffic lanes, though? So you could have trolleys traveling in each direction? Could you get the volume of ridership you're talking about with only one lane?

Also, you could achieve the spirit of the idea (free public transportation over the bridge) much quicker/easier/cheaper by using buses we already have on the roads that already exist. Pickup/dropoff could be at parks/transportation hubs that already exist like Brooklyn Bridge Park and/or Atlantic Terminal on the Brooklyn side, Battery Park City/Fulton St on Manhattan side. We could get this up and running in a matter of months rather than years. No need to build additional parking since it would be close to so much public transportation (most subway lines, PATH, LIRR, SI Ferry).

But then we'd still be left without doing anything about the problem that the existing plan is trying to solve, which is that there's no room for people on bicycles to travel across the bridge, given the narrow shared space with pedestrians.

David Goldsmith

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Thanks to Transportation Alternatives, Polly Tractenberg and all the other "congestion on purpose" advocates have made New York City Number #1! ...When it comes to Worst Traffic in the entire United States.

If you want to cause congestion on purpose it's fairly easy to do so. For 3 decades that's what has been advocated by Transportation Alternatives and been heavily bought into starting with the Bloomberg administration. So now that we have it we see blame on all the evil cars. But it was by design from alleged "transportation advocates." How's that working out so far? Just look at this headline. They got exactly what they wanted. But they never mention the increased pollution lays at their own doorstep.

NYC has been diminishing bus services for decades exacerbating transportation deserts in various parts of the outer boroughs. Close to no one is going to spend 4 hours round trip commuting 20 miles each way by bicycle. The continued proliferation of bicycle lanes and various euphemistic "traffic calming measures" has vastly increased congestion and pollution despite various claims of the strategy being "environmental."

So how do we battle congestion and it's byproduct air pollution? Actual transportation experts have known a solution for quite some time:
shift truck deliveries to off hours. NYDOT’s pilot program of off-hour deliveries conducted in 2009/2010 identified improvements in travel speeds (customer-to-customer) and service time (time spent at delivery) as compared to deliveries performed during congestion periods. Benefits include more efficient deliveries, reduced transit time and fuel costs, fewer parking issues (including greatly reduced costs for parking tickets), more predictable delivery windows, improved truck utilization, and reduced delivery costs.

We need to use the resource of city streets more efficiently, not waste them by turning the most heavily utilized streets into busways which are 95% unused. We need to smooth traffic, not jam it up in the hopes that drivers with abandon their vehicles. Congested traffic isn't "calm": frustrated drivers tend to act in less safe manners and congestion increases pollution it dissolve it. It also wastes millions of hours in commuter's time and damages businesses.

i understand the argument that small businesses will be inconvenienced by having to staff at off hours to accept deliveries. My answer is twofold: firstly if that's what it takes to solve this issue which in my opinion is choking off commerce in NYC then it's a necessary evil. Secondly, if you look at the rents small businesses are paying these days having one employee around after hours to accept deliveries doesn't seem to be a huge expense. When rents were $800/month I could see the issue. But when you're paying >$10,000/month in rent hiring outside contractor for $200 a few times a month to accept deliveries doesn't seem that big a burden.

David Goldsmith

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Staff member
Mommy, please tell me the fairy tail again where when they close down 14th Street to cars they are all going to disappear instead of just going over to 13th Street.
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