Sunday, June 29, 2008

White lines

"Hey Crappy,

Can someone explain the rationality of turning hundreds of parking spots along Vernon Boulevard into a bicycle lane?

Earlier this week, without notice, the west side of Vernon Boulevard, from approximately 45th Avenue all the way passed the Costco on Broadway, became a No Standing Anytime zone and bike lanes are being painted on both sides of the street, moving the center lane divider 3 feet over. Previously there were either no parking restrictions or a street sweeping restriction for just a few hours on Mondays on this mile and a half long strip. Hundreds of cars were regularly parked in these spots by power plant workers, area residents and park visitors. The competition for parking spots in the neighborhood had already increased with the loss of dozens of spaces next to and under the Roosevelt Island Bridge when restoration work began on the bridge last year, this latest move will only ratchet things up even further.
Why was this done? Why was it deemed more valuable to have an infrequently used bike path for leisure activity instead of vital parking spaces for workers and residents? Despite the claims of Mayor Bloomberg, Al Gore and the rest of the Eco-Gestapo, a car is a necessity if you live, work or want to shop outside of Manhattan. Why do bicycles suddenly need their own lane on these surface streets when I’ve seen bicycles happily pedaling along Vernon Boulevard without a problem for years? One more dumb question, why weren’t the parking spaces between Borden Avenue and 45th Avenue similarly effected since the white markings of the bike path seem to extend for most of that strip of street? Oh that’s right, there are parking meters on those spots.

Please tell me this is only temporary. Please tell me this isn’t part of Gioia’s “green-line” plan because perhaps he should come tour the area and see the beautiful industrial plants and brick wall that cyclists will be enjoying."

- Anonymous

This is the "if we build it, they will use it" mentality, which is pretty stupid thinking. We have a mayor who sees cars as evils while the vast majority of people in Queens know they are necessities because our public transportation sucks. You can't haul your groceries home or take your kids to school by bike. If Mayor Bloomberg left his SUV home and made a trek out to Queens once and awhile by transferring to an overcrowded bus after enduring a hellish train ride, maybe he'd understand. Unfortunately, this decision seems to be permanent for the duration of the Bloomberg administration.

Please don't vote for yet another Manhattan-centric asshole next year. That's really all I can say.

114 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've lived in Queens for 12 years and never owned a car. It is not a necessity. Get on the bus or subway.

Anonymous said...

My friends do take their kids around by bike, so I am glad they have a safer conduit now. When the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway is in place, it will be terrific to have a safer commute too. Queens deserves the kind of bike infrastructure that Manhattan enjoys. Segments don't seem to make sense, especially to people stuck in the old automotive mentality, but the completed and comprehensive system will be easier to grasp. As a Queens native and LIC resident, I am thrilled.

Anonymous said...

Viva La Bicycle


zero polluting vehicles are wonderful

Anonymous said...

This mayor doesn't care about Queens residents, we've already established that fact. He absolutely abhors anyone with a job that is not white collar or catering to white collar patrons. The fact that Queens was a liveable place before his royal highness took office, where you could afford a house and park your car are over. It is clear that he wants us out of here. He is killing this city. "Get on the bus or subway." That sounds nice on paper, but we NEED our cars in Queens. I work as a carpet cleaner, my wife works as a radiologist and we live near Vernon. We need to drive cars and park. How the hell are we supposed to lug our equipment onto the bus or strap it to our backs and ride bikes?

Phil said...

I live on Roosevelt Island and work on Long Island. I can't afford to park in the garage, but up until now, I was finding parking along Vernon by the bridge. Now it's a nightmare.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it was a little hard to find parking in Queens at times before Bloomberg, but not impossible.

- The first wave of illegal apartments made it more difficult.
- The sanctuary city policy has made it even more difficult.
- The upzoning of quiet neighborhoods made it damn near impossible.

Thank God there is only one more year left to this man's agenda. Plan 2010 should end in 2010. All it's been good for is driving hard working middle class from this city. But I guess that's what he wants.

Anonymous said...

In many Queens neighborhoods, the buses run once an hour or not at all at night. That's when I come home from work. I guess I should ride around in darkness on a bike.

Some people in government are so damn clueless about life in Queens, it's frightening.

Anonymous said...

How the hell can they call Vernon Blvd a "greenway"? Have they been up Vernon Boulevard? This is just more stupid-talk from the Bloomberg administration.

Anonymous said...

Actually a car is not a necessity. Ours was parked from one side to the other on cleaning days.if you need a car for a few ours there is Zip Car, quite affordabe. We sold car, got two scooters. Easy to park. Tie down and cover and you are done!

I agree though that the mayor is useless when it comes to us of limited income, can't wait to see him gone! I quit getting upset by his stupidity a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

Zip Car can be helpful but is not practical if you use your car every day, which many Queens people do.

Anonymous said...

I guess I should tell my elderly grandmother that I have seen the light and can't take her to doctors appointments or grocery shopping anymore. I'll get her Access-A-Ride because we've all heard how safe those drivers are and how convenient the service is!

Anonymous said...

>>>Segments don't seem to make sense, especially to people stuck in the old automotive mentality<<<

I enjoy biking, I don't drive, and have used a bike and mass transit for years.

But you know what -- a lot of people have the "automotive mentality" because they're not in good enough shape to go everywhere by bike, or you can't bring your PLOTSK Ikea cabinet home on a bike, or they're 65 years old and don't have the energy anymore.

Drill for more oil, run cars on sugarcane like the Brazilians, or build nuclear plants, but plopping everyone on a bicycle is not the answer.

www.forgotten-ny.com

Anonymous said...

There is no reason why it couldn't have been a shared lane all the way up Vernon Boulevard as it is through the commercial district at the southern end.

Anonymous said...

Bicycle riding although healthier is not for everyone. I have three young kids that I must drive to different schools. I then go to work, before returning home I go to the supermarket, fruit store and many nights to the laundromat.Try carrying five loads of wash on a bicycle. Having less parking will truly infringe on my quality of life.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's fair to say there was no notice. there just wasn't much. DOT released a plan and presented it to CB 1 & CB 2 in April 2008 detailing changes to Vernon.
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/vernonblvd.pdf
As for no one bikes in Queens etc. I disagree, I ride to work (at St John's) when i can. I find it quite enjoyable, however its not for everyone. The few times I've driven into New Town/LIC, Queens lately I've seen more bikers than i can remember so something is changing.
As regards parking spots it makes it more difficult, yes. But I think it's silly to expect stuff like this to be free.
No matter how you cut it, Free Parking is a Government Subsidy. (You're using the governments land for free) I wouldn't expect that it will stay, when budget gets really tight over next few years, with the next mayor, expect munimeters to pop up everywhere. (or they could raise taxes for everyone)

Anonymous said...

This mayor doesn't care about Queens residents, we've already established that fact.
------------

The community board, Team Gioia, the the local papers went along with this.

Why do you people always blame some shadowy father figure when the culprit is the jerk in front of you?

Nitwits.

Anonymous said...

How the hell can they call Vernon Blvd a "greenway"?

The same way local developments tout that Queensbridge Park is a local waterfront park perfect for that evening stroll with your honey.

Foreign money doesn't care.

Anonymous said...

Bikes are great, the problem are bike riders.

Streets are bad enough with some drooling knuckle dragging neaderthal driving a TLC, SUV or construction vehicle, now we have to dodge these bums who grew up in countries where macho men regard 'traffic rules' as 'traffic suggestions'.

Anonymous said...

Oh, with a series of 20 and 50 story buildings cutting off our waterfront from the community, everyone knows that Vernon will be totally inadequate for the traffic.

This is the first step to making it a four lane limited access road to serve the development.

The bike riders can go up 11th Street, its wide with little traffic, but instead, the all the other Green Groups and Boating Groups and the waterfront parks, the whole scene seems to have fallen into the hands of the developers.

Anonymous said...

Oh, with a series of 20 and 50 story buildings cutting off our waterfront from the community, everyone knows that Vernon will be totally inadequate for the traffic.

This is the first step to making it a four lane limited access road to serve the development.



I think someone needs to publicly ask both the community boards, and all the elected officials about this and for their long term view of the waterfront.

Anonymous said...

i do not understand why everyone is going crazy over a remote part of astoria and a warehouse at that steel equities place on 19th avenue and yet says nothing about the rest of the waterfront.

a few trucks are bad, thousands of people are insufferable.

Anonymous said...

Because Vallone is pushing that and its north of Astoria Blvd.

If it was off Broadway, they would not give a shit.

Anonymous said...

my wife works as a radiologist and we live near Vernon. We need to drive cars and park. How the hell are we supposed to lug our equipment onto the bus or strap it to our backs and ride bikes?

---

So your wife is hualing a x-ray machine into work each day? Get metrocard.

Anonymous said...

I live on Roosevelt Island and work on Long Island. I can't afford to park in the garage, but up until now, I was finding parking along Vernon by the bridge.

--
You my friend are exactly why I do not feel sorry. Park on Rosevelt Island where you live. Why are you taking spots in LIC?
There are hundreds of you guys who decent on our neighborhoods each day to find cheap parking. If the conestion tax went through we would have resident parking permits guaranteeing local residents a spot in their own neighborhood, but no one had the forsight to see that that was a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Remind me again why there is such opposition to the introduction of Residential Permit Parking? Why isn't it actively being pursued as a very-watered down version of Congestion Pricing?

Restrict parking, citywide, on residential streets to two hours unless you live, register your car and pay taxes locally. Stop the 60% of commuters into NYC who park for free on the streets; stop the illegal registering of cars outside the city (a law which is never enforced); increase tax revenues by forcing residents to play local taxes if they want to park for free.

What are the objections to permit parking? I can't think of any that hold water, especially if we pander to the poor and don't charge for it (which we should).

Anonymous said...

The greenway that they are refering to in the waterfront parks and esplanade that will extend from the QB bridge to brooklyn. At large swath of it is already in place or being developed currently. This is being made possible by all the development revitaling the long neglected waterfront and opening it up to the publc.

Anonymous said...

"So your wife is hualing a x-ray machine into work each day? Get metrocard."

Yes, asshole, as a matter of fact, she does. Next question?

Anonymous said...

The greenway that they are refering to in the waterfront parks and esplanade that will extend from the QB bridge to brooklyn. At large swath of it is already in place or being developed currently. This is being made possible by all the development revitaling the long neglected waterfront and opening it up to the publc.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Yes, putting a bike path on Vernon past the warehouses is opening up the waterfront. Oh, thank you, developers! The city could have made a real waterfront greenway, like there is in Bay Ridge, but this is much better.

Once again, HA HA HA HA HA

Anonymous said...

"How the hell can they call Vernon Blvd a "greenway"?"

Because if repeat anything over and over people will eventually start to believe it. Kind of like the "million more people" mantra.

Queens Crapper said...

Here's the thing about residential parking permits: Most of the city is so overdeveloped, that even with a residential permit, you wouldn't be able to park in your own neighborhood a lot of times.

This stretch of Vernon is pretty industrial, which allowed for the workers at the power plant and Roosevelt Islandlers to find parking. Now, there's an impractical bike path there. This is just dumb.

Anonymous said...

yeah, I can see the residential permits being rationed and handed out unfairly. Just as they do with everything else.

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing about residential parking permits: Most of the city is so overdeveloped, that even with a residential permit, you wouldn't be able to park in your own neighborhood a lot of times.

---

So how do the people from outside of our neighborhoods find parking every day? Your logic is flawed.

hooverfactory said...

I'm surprised to see these bike lanes popping up, and curious as to who'll actually bother to use them, since most of the cretins around here ride their bicycles on the sidewalk. Oh, for a stick to jam in all of their spokes.

Queens Crapper said...

"So how do the people from outside of our neighborhoods find parking every day? Your logic is flawed."

Well, the people in my neighborhood have jobs and drive their cars to work, which allow people from outside the neighborhood to park when they are gone. The fun comes round 4-5pm, when the residents come home and the competition is between the locals for a place to park. I thought this was pretty obvious.

Anonymous said...

The 6 MILLION DOLLAR Greenway did need public input.

So they had a bike ride in Febuary a few years ago. Yes, the middle of winter.

It snowed. So they had it the next week. It snowed again. So they had it the next week. Four or five people took it, all dedicated bike people.

They then were able to take public testimony. Needless to say, the 'public' raved about it.

I like how the machine does business, don't you?

Anonymous said...

Crappy says:

Most of the city is so overdeveloped, that even with a residential permit, you wouldn't be able to park in your own neighborhood a lot of times.

But then goes on to say:

Well, the people in my neighborhood have jobs and drive their cars to work, which allow people from outside the neighborhood to park when they are gone. The fun comes round 4-5pm, when the residents come home and the competition is between the locals for a place to park.

Well which is it? First there no parking for resident, but them magically there is? Hope your head does not explode trying to answer this.

If we had congestion pricing those spots would be waiting for you at 5pm, because only residents would be able to use them.

Queens Crapper said...

My statement is consistent with previous statements.

Those spots would not be waiting for you at 5pm, because there are now too many residents and too few parking spaces. If you don't come home until 6pm or later, you're out of luck, now; with a parking permit, there would be no difference. This is not the answer.

Anonymous said...

The fact is that with zoning being the way it is, you have 3 and 4 family houses with one parking space in front, is what Crappy is saying. So when all those people come home, there is no parking. Get it?

Anonymous said...

My statement is consistent with previous statements.

Those spots would not be waiting for you at 5pm, because there are now too many residents and too few parking spaces. If you don't come home until 6pm or later, you're out of luck, now; with a parking permit, there would be no difference. This is not the answer.

-----

I'm confused. Where were the cars parked to begin with? Stay with me here: 1 parked car at night belonging to a resident - 1 car when said resident goes to work + 0 outsiders parking due to residential parking permits = 1 spot availible when said resident comes back... unless they buy a new car and come back with 2 cars what is the issue. Can you explain?

Anonymous said...

There are more cars than parking spots on most blocks, so you have a situation where you are forced to either park in an area that is nowhere near your house or in a dangerous location, like next to a cemetery or park where they'll break in. Great for quality of life!

Anonymous said...

If you have 4 units in a house and only one parking spot (or in some cases no parking spots) in front, what do you think will happen?

Anonymous said...

The city planners in this city really need to be shot.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if we could persuade businesses that are closed at night to leave their large parking lots open, it would alleviate the parking problem. But that would represent a liability for them. They could make a lot of money off of it, though.

Anonymous said...

I hope one of you pecker head bike riders don't get in front of my car.

Anonymous said...

Whoever keeps asking these questions obviously never came home late and drove around looking for a parking space.

Anonymous said...

Typical politician solution for limiting access when too many people want something:

TAX IT!

wrong side of the river said...

Anyone who thinks residential parking programs mean there are enough parking spaces has their head up their ass.

I used to live in Hoboken which has such a program. It does nothing about the fact that there are way too many people and not enough parking. Like Queens, its getting worse as more development occurrs.

Anonymous said...

I am an avid bike rider and there are many in this city who are.
It will not go unused.

Frank Lloyd Crap said...

For anyone who thinks zipcar is the answer, looks like they serve exactly four neighborhoods in Queens. How many do we have, more than 80?

ZipCar

Great idea, but not a permanent answer for most of us.

Anonymous said...

If people need to have a car, they're going to have one. Taking away hundreds of spaces isn't going to make them all go out an buy bikes, its just going to make them more miserable.

City planners should not be shot, since its relatively painless. They should be burned at the stake.

Anonymous said...

If people need to have a car, they're going to have one. Taking away hundreds of spaces isn't going to make them all go out an buy bikes, its just going to make them more miserable.

City planners should not be shot, since its relatively painless. They should be burned at the stake.

Mr. Angry said...

Vernon used to be the safest surest route to or from Astoria / LIC going north south. Not a huge amount of traffic, and wide lanes.

Now all of that has changed. I drove up this way sat. night and was appalled at what they have done. One bike lane would have been more than enough here, but they've put in two - squeezing that lanes very narrowly and creating an even more dangerous situation - particularly at that curve by rainey park. I foresee either people driving in the bike lane there or more accidents - neither of which do anyone any good.

Anonymous said...

52 comments and counting

this is great and i bet it's all gallagaher's fault.

LOL.

take public transportation or just freaken leave this city all-ready you crybabies..

Anonymous said...

I have lived in the LIC/Astoria area for 5 years and have no need for a car.

I praise the city for the bike lanes and can only hope for more and more to come!

To quote anonymous from above: "Viva La Bicycle, zero polluting vehicles are wonderful."
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I have lived in the LIC/Astoria area for 5 years and have no need for a car.

I praise the city for the bike lanes and can only hope for more and more to come!

To quote anonymous from above: "Viva La Bicycle, zero polluting vehicles are wonderful."
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
----------------

So why dont you SAY SOMETHING about the waterfront developer landgrab. If this was Manhattan they would have a big park on the WATERFRONT with plenty of space for bikes.

Instead you will get block after block of monster 20 50 story buildings.

Your bike lanes are being used by the developers to get ammenities. Once they are in place, you will be treated like the rest of the community.

Anonymous said...

They will say nothing because the bike guys are getting money from the politicans and the boro president.

They represent themselves, not the community.

Ridgewoodian said...

I think this is great. I’ve been a resident of Queens (two different neighborhoods) for going on 14 years now and I’ve never owned a car. In that entire time I’ve taken public transit or, when absolutely necessary, car services. During the transit strike I rode my bike to work (I work in Greenwich Village). I’d like to do that more except the ride is terrifying: while the bikeways on Vernon won’t help me much I hope they’ll be expanded.

Cars, especially in this city, are a really, really bad idea. They’re massively inefficient as transport, they pollute the air, and their fuel contributes to terrorism and war. Oh, and they’re quickly becoming too expensive to operate in any case. They’re not going to disappear tomorrow but it is in the City’s interest to plan for the day when they become simply untenable. And the Vernon bikeway is part of that. If it encourages a few people to forego cars or to even get rid of the ones the already own then it’ll have done its job.

It’s funny that most of the posts here haven’t been about driving, per se, but PARKING. Where in the Bible or the Constitution do you find a right to free on-street parking? Isn’t that a massive taking of public space for private, unproductive use? And isn’t that just as bad, if not worse, than taking private property for public use? Here are some solutions: If the public transit in you neighborhood is bad, lobby to get it improved. If a bus comes once an hour and you need it more frequently, get on the MTA to improve its frequency. Yes, I know they’re unresponsive, but organize your community and it can work. The local Ridgewood Property Owner’s Association has been successful in getting some much needed changes in bus service, is working on others, and may be on the verge of upgrading the train service. If that doesn’t work, move to a neighborhood with transit. If you don’t want to do that and you absolutely have to drive get yourself some off-street parking. If there’s none around, consider it a business opportunity and build a parking garage for you and your neighbors, you could well make a bundle.

Anonymous said...

Another great post ridgewoodian!

Anonymous said...

"Where in the Bible or the Constitution do you find a right to free on-street parking? Isn’t that a massive taking of public space for private, unproductive use?"

Where in the Constitution or Bible does it say you have the right to any kind of service? Parking lanes have been provided by the city since the turn of the last century. Guess what? I am responsible for cleaning the parking space in front of my house and business. There are a lot of things public monies pay for private, unproductive use, like food stamps and housingprojects; that's the way it is. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

People in Queens need cars. The bus system is rather inconvenient for a lot of people and doesn't go where you want it to go in many cases without 2 or 3 transfers, and subways all seems to be concentrated in certain areas but not in others. Unless I want to be sweaty all day and get my bike stolen, pedaling to work is not an option, either.

Julie said...

Why does the city of New York own so many cars if "green" public transportation is the way to go? When they give up their cars and go everywhere by MetroCard, I'll give up mine and do the same. I'm sick of hearing that I am the problem, when I can easily point to a million things the city is doing to waste money and be eco-unfriendly.

Anonymous said...

Why do they need bike lanes in both directions? What a waste!

Anonymous said...

Many parking spaces generate revenue for the city. Cars pay tolls. How much money do bike lanes and their users generate?

Ridgewoodian said...

ANONYNMOUS: So we're agreed that there's no particular basic human right to free on-street parking. Not like life, liberty, etc. Excellent! Just because the city has allowed the practice for so long doesn't mean that it should continue to allow it, especially when the social costs of cars become more and more apparent every day. Again: We're not talking about banning cars or driving or parking, we're just talking banning free parking on public property. And only on one avenue of public property. I'm sorry, but I can't cry sincere tears for your loss.

As for unproductive things you pay for, like food stamps and public housing: while there are many, many problems with both programs as they have historically been administered the basic ideas behind them is hard to argue with: the hungry should eat, the homeless should have a home. I wouldn't define either of those as "unproductive" at all.

Queens Crapper said...

And if the government is going to allow building of multi-unit buildings without requiring on-site parking and not provide expansion of mass transit, then they need to provide space for the cars of residents who are the lifeblood of this city.

Anonymous said...

Besides, according to some, if a person lives in a place, then it is a "home"! And people will probably soon be living in their cars with the price of housing in this city.

Ridgewoodian said...

CRAPPER: We're almost agreed. There certainly does need to be more mass transit. How about this: on those streets where onsite parking is allowed, auction off the spaces and charge a monthly fee. If you’re the winner of the auction only you will be allowed to park in the spot you've reserved. If it's worth it to you, you'll pay. If not, you'll make other arrangements for yourself. Proceeds to go to improving and expanding the mass transit system. This is just an idea off the top or my head and I have no idea if it's been tried anywhere or how it would work in practice but it seems to me a thoroughly capitalistic solution to the problem of allocating a scarce resource.

Queens Crapper said...

I don't think that will work because there are many people who choose to rent instead of buy because they need to pump money into a car in order to get themselves to work. I don't think they'd be able to afford to bid on an auction. There are also a lot of legal issues with taking a lane of a public street and privatizing it and a lot of parking spaces in areas that are pretty desolate.

Ridgewoodian said...

CRAPPER: I'm not married to the idea but something like it will probably become necessary in the future. And I think it would be reasonably fair, given enough lead time; it'd just be part of the price of owning a car in the city. Maybe there could be breaks for motorcycles or scooters, which take up less space and are usually more fuel efficient. Anyway, something has to be done or the freeloading will continue and I'm sure you don't condone that. End parking welfare!

Anonymous said...

No notice? The Vernon Blvd bike lane has been on the drawing board for months. There was only "no notice" for people who don't pay attention to what's happening in their community:

http://www.streetsblog.org/2008/04/08/dot-presentation-to-queens-community-board-2-on-vernon-boulevard-bike-and-pedestrian-improvements/

Ridgewoodian said...

Also, and perhaps I wasn't clear about this, I don't envision the streets being privatized - they would still be public property. But the right to park in certain spots would be auctioned off. Sort of like buying season tickets at the ballpark - you don't buy the seat itself, just the right to occupy it.

Anonymous said...

And get used to bicycling, folks. We're entering the world of permanently expensive gasoline and NYC is an easily bikeable town once we reduce the number of private motor vehicles currently hogging our streets. We're lucky. The suburbs are going to be in a lot of trouble.

georgetheatheist said...

A legal question. Are pedicabs permitted in bicycle lanes?

Also, what is with the (for want of a better term) "semi-bicycle lanes" newly drawn on the streets of Woodside: a bicycle "lane" with the left stripe missing. E.g. the vicinity of 37th Avenue & 59th Street. Parking is permitted neighboring this so-called "lane". It definitely is something new.

Roberto said...

"Anonymous said...
And get used to bicycling, folks. We're entering the world of permanently expensive gasoline and NYC is an easily bikeable town once we reduce the number of private motor vehicles currently hogging our streets. We're lucky. The suburbs are going to be in a lot of trouble.

Monday, June 30, 2008"
-----------------------------------

Have fun riding your bike in the winter.

Anonymous said...

Q: Why are there lanes on both sides of Vernon?
A: Bikes are legally considered vehicles in NYC and should always ride in the same direction of traffic, whether they are in a bike lane or not. Thus, lanes on both sides of the road so that cyclists can travel north or south on Vernon.

Q: What are these bike lanes without the left stripe?
A: These are called "sharrows," or "shared lane markings." They're used on roadways that are too narrow to accommodate both a full striped bike lane and car travel lane. They encourage safe passing of bicyclists by motorists (which, by the way, we always appreciate - sharrow or not).

Happy bicycling, everyone! And remember: be predictable and visible!

Anonymous said...

yeah, i wish we still had winters in nyc, roberto.

climate change is another reason to get our obese asses out of our cars for local trips.

Anonymous said...

When gas hit $6 a gallon and it costs you $200 a week to fill up (as I predict it will) the bikes will rule the streets. All the people here making arguments about how a car is an necessity will soon find ways of making public transportation work. This is one good side effect of high gas prices. People will start cutting back, sell the extra cars, stop driving in these tanks posing as cars and get on the bus. If you think the price of gas will go back down to $1 and change you are in for an unpleasant surprise. If you are nice I will hold the subway door open for you. Be thankful that you live in NYC, you could live in LA or in one of the flyover states where there is no public transportation at all.

Truman Harris said...

Not everyone who drives or parks along Vernon lives in CB2 or reads Streetsblog. In fact, I would say the vast majority of people don't.

CJ said...

"But the right to park in certain spots would be auctioned off. Sort of like buying season tickets at the ballpark - you don't buy the seat itself, just the right to occupy it."

Sort of like owning land in Queens...You don't really own it, you just have the right to ocoupy it until some developer wants it.

"The suburbs are going to be in a lot of trouble."

Yes, and they'll all come back to Queens to live. Now you know where Bloombug's 20 million figure comes from.

If that's what you will accept, that's what you will get.

Chiquita said...

I got it, I got it, I got it!

City should work with Con Ed to install curbside docking stations at each parking spot which you will pay like parking meters. Then everyone can own an electric car! No more polluting vehicles and without resorting to the inconvenience of bicycling. All those gas stations will go out of business and that will free up land for parks within a 10 minute walk, fulfilling the Bloomberg promise. The city will make money, and people will save money on gas. It's a win-win-win-win!

Anonymous said...

Yes, and not only that, the excuse that we need congestion pricing in order to reduce pollution would go right out the window!

Ridgewoodian said...

Chiquita -- Not sure if you're serious or not but it's a hell of an idea. Alas, it wouldn't really solve the problem of CONGESTION since those cars still take up a fair amount of space. But who knows, maybe we'll see something like that before we're in diapers again.

Mr. Angry said...

if bicycles are vehicles that are suppose to follow all traffic laws, why do so many cyclists run red lights, ride on sidewalks, etc? Why aren't cyclists required to register their bikes? get license plates? get insurance? I can't think of one person that I know that's worked in Manhattan that hasn't been nearly knocked over by idiot cyclists who do not obey traffic laws - and what's worse, they ride off and you can't even get a plate number to report them with...

I'd feel a bit different about you pro-bike people if your fellow riders weren't a bunch of sodding morons and outlaws menacing the streets. Until cyclists are required to meet the same standards that motorists are held to, I have zero respect.

On Vernon blvd, having 2 bike lanes is senseless and downright dangerous. The pavement isn't wide enough even with the parking lane gone. That is due to the DOT doing a terrible job painting the lanes. There's just plain too much buffer space wasted. And the curves by Rainey, Con Ed, and the astoria houses is just going to be a death trap for everyone.

There's a single bike lane on 20th ave and it doesn't disrupt traffic flow at all. A single lane on vernon would have been fine.

PS: if anyone is all that worried about your carbon footprints, there's always the suicide option. Eliminate your carbon footprint entirely. suicide is calling you.

Anonymous said...

"Please don't vote for yet another Manhattan-centric asshole next year. That's really all I can say."

GO TONY AVELLA!

Anonymous said...

where does electricity come from? why it comes from the burning of fossil fuels!

Ridgewoodian said...

ANONYMOUS: That's true. But it's much easier to regulate the emissions of a few power plants than millions and millions of cars. Also, hopefully, we'll develop some alternate energy sources. (If we don't we're doomed.)

Anonymous said...

The Car Haters are posting like mad! How dare you not attack cars and embrace bicycles?

Ridgewoodian said...

ANONYMOUS: I took a look at that site and here’s the deal – as the old adage says, your right to punch ends at the tip of my nose. Or as our touchy-feely pagan friends like to put it, “so long as it harms no one, do as you will is the whole of the law.” If driving were a solitary vice that had no affect on me – if it was like other people’s sex lives, say – I wouldn’t give a hoot about it; knock yourself out. But that’s not the case. It pollutes my air. It congests my streets. It causes terrorists to attack me. I’m not okay with any of that. Luckily, unlike most Americans, we live in a city were cars are not absolutely essential for survival. I applaud any effort to make them even less necessary and to discourage their use.

Queens Crapper said...

"Luckily, unlike most Americans, we live in a city were cars are not absolutely essential for survival."

If there were no cars, the economy of this city would collapse. The loss of cabs alone would destroy it.

Anonymous said...

Let's not inject logic into this argument, Crappy. Let's remember that the Streetsbloggers called yellow cabs a form of mass transit back during the CP debate days.

Lauren said...

s to work from astoria to greenpoint, and this bike lane helps people like me tremendously. This is certainly a well-used path for cyclists. A bike lane makes our route much safer. I always dread what I face in the morning because during rush hour everyone is driving all crazy. I feel a lot more confident with the bike lane and now look forward to riding to work. People with cars should have options as well, but its not fair to say this is useless or a waste because for those who do choose to ride and ride responsibly.. which is many of us.. deserve this.

Anonymous said...

90% of car owners in Queens shouldnt have been issued licenses in the first place judging by the poor quality of driving that I see on a regular basis. Surely if you can afford that new Escalade or S-Class you can afford to park it.

Viva La Bicycle indeed.

Ridgewoodian said...

CRAPPER: If there were no cars, the economy of this city would collapse. The loss of cabs alone would destroy it.

Sure, if all cars were raptured into heaven tomorrow that would be a real problem for those of us left behind. But that’s not going to happen. Like I said, we’re lucky in that they’re not absolutely, 100%, gotta have one or you’re gonna DIE necessary here, as they are in most of the rest of the country. And hopefully they can be made even less necessary as time goes by.

Even though I only hire one every couple of years I actually have less of a problem with cabs than I do with private cars for the simple reason that cabs DO move a lot of people around. I have no idea how many people the average cab moves on the average day but I’m sure it’s many, many times the number that average private car does. Now, if we could just convert the fleet to low or zero emissions….

Anonymous said...

When a private car is not in use, it is turned off and not burning fossil fuels. When a cab doesn't have a fare, it is driving around empty looking for someone or idling somewhere empty.

Ridgewoodian said...

ANONYMOUS: Yes, but cabs don't go very long without fares. If they did they would pretty quickly go out of business.

Although, as I wrote before, I DO look forward to the day when they convert to a low or zero emissions fleet.

There are proposals to reduce the number of medallions. Supposedly doing so would free up traffic and actually increase service to passengers. I don't know if that's true - I haven't actually seen the math - but it bears looking in to.

Anonymous said...

#1 - I love the people who have lived in Queens beginning with the prosperity of the largest economic expansion in US history. They have not seen Queens through good times and bad, understanding the impact of crime on the sense of security of its residents. They'd be the first ones to scream bloody murder if they got robbed at knifepoint at 2am on the subway.

#2 - A bike is not the answer for everyone. Those that are in ill health and/or disabled can still use a vehicle modified for their needs. Much more difficult to do with a bike.

#3 - Not all areas of the city are mass transit accessible / bike friendly. Eminent domain needs to be a two-way street, and sorry, there are more cars than bikes. We are a selfish lot and how many of you would be upset if your material goods couldn't be delivered because of street restrictions for bike lanes?

#4 - Bloomie's version of NY is great until you realize that we don't have the infrastructure to support all this development. Are you willing to pay 40-60% of your salary or more in taxes to support the repair and development of such necessities? I didn't think so.

Queens Born and Bred

Robert Moses said...

Crapper,

You're off your rocker. Do you think it's 1963 or something?

Our over-dependence on the automobile is what's holding back NYC's economy, making development so intolerable, and helping to turn our city -- your borough into particular -- into something that looks a lot like a third world backwater.

In many NYC neighborhoods, we could easily shift about 15% of our local trips from automobiles to bikes. We can wait until a $7 gallon forces us to do it. Or we can start planning for it. These Vernon bike lanes are a small start.

You want a city that's convenient for cars and parking? How about moving to Detroit? Go see what the automobile has done to that city, or what's left of it...

Fred said...

"Our over-dependence on the automobile is what's holding back NYC's economy, making development so intolerable, and helping to turn our city -- your borough into particular -- into something that looks a lot like a third world backwater."

HA HA HA HA Development is intolerable? Automobiles are making Queens a third world backwater? I haven't seen one development project held up because of cars. In fact, quite the opposite. Providing no parking seems to be in vogue right now. I have seen nice neighborhoods turned into slums because of rampant building and overpopulation, however. Until the city decides to address the fact that public transportation in Queens sucks because Queens was not developed like Manhattan and is more spread out, then people in Queens will continue to drive. Mass transit is not convenient if you live in Whitestone, Queens Village or Maspeth. Time to deal with it and stop blaming residents for doing what they have to in order to survive. You'll notice they aren't putting bike paths in neighborhoods that are lacking mass transit.

Anonymous said...

Which neighborhoods look the shittiest? Flushing, Corona, Elmhurst and soon, Astoria. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but public transportation is great there and they are the worst when it comes to overdevelopment. So that theory has pretty much been disproven.

Anonymous said...

give me a break. you only get mass transit if you have the density to support it and pay for it. you tony avella clowns are all so busy trying to downzone your neighborhoods and fight development that you end up with the worst of all worlds -- crappy development, more density and no transit improvements -- essentially an unplanned, third-world environment. you guys are sitting around whining about bike lanes while you watch your borough turn into a third world traffic sewer. amazing.

rather than just being a bunch of nimbys trying to preserve your fake tudors and convenient, free on-street parking, queens residents need to start a community-based planning process that gets you the development and transportation that you need.

continuing to just oppose and bitch about development about it will get you nothing but more of the same crap.

the long island city planning process is the example of what you should be seeking borough-wide.

but it first involves an acknowledgement that there is going to be development and tall buildings in places like flushing and forest hills, around the transit hubs that you do have. as long as you continue to refuse to acknowledge that, you end up being shut out of the process and you end up with crap.

Truman Harris said...

"you only get mass transit if you have the density to support it and pay for it."

Density to support it? Have had that for decades.
Mass transit? Nope.

Ridgewoodian said...

And every time a proposal is made to increase the amount of transit - e.g. the Queens "Super Express" in the 80's which would have connected Maspeth and other unserved and underserved neighborhoods to Midtown - the NIMBYs come out of the woodwork to defeat it. Don't want to make it too easy to get to the 'hood or dark hued people might show up. *BLETCH*

Anonymous said...

These bike nuts should be ignored but they are using our taxes that can be used for more useful things like schools and hospitals and sanitation, to say nothing about making a mess of the streets.

They have to be stopped. Feel free to write to letters to the editors, speak to your representative, and community boards.

Enough of this silliness.

Anonymous said...

I agree, they are taking up far too much time and attention to justify our discussions on this.

Their numbers are too small and are made large only because the city thinks (for some reason) they are important.

Reason enough for us to ignore them.

Truman Harris said...

"Queens "Super Express" in the 80's which would have connected Maspeth and other unserved and underserved neighborhoods to Midtown"

The Queens Super Express was to use existing subway lines, none of which go through Maspeth.

Anonymous said...

There are professionals who have purchased condos by the waterfront.
I am one of them and need to carry equipment,groceries,etc. I also help my family move items such as trips to Ikea and Home Depot. Older people and those with responsibilitie need to have a car. Environmentalist,activist,factions,phalange groups do not need cars because they are too busy making life for working people difficult. If they worked and had certain responsibilities their outlook would be different

Ridgewoodian said...

Truman Harris: My understanding is that the "Super Express" was supposed to run through the 63rd Street tunnel, down to the LIRR Montauk branch tracks - which would have become part of the subway system - and from there out to Jamaica. But a hue and cry went up and instead the 63rd Steet was connected to the Queens Blvd. lines. If I'm not mistaken Maspeth would have been one of the neighborhoods that would have benefited. In any case, it would have helped fill in that giant subway void in the middle of Queens.

If you have any other or different information - especially documented - as something of a budding metrophile I'd love to hear it.

Anyway, my point remains the same: additions to the system have been proposed and the transit situation in Queens COULD have been better than it is, more neighborhoods could have been served, but almost every time there's been community opposition. Somewhat shortsighted, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

There is no way they would have had a subway line running at grade every 3 or 4 minutes through industrial Maspeth, which is where the tracks are.

Not to worry, Hemmerdinger will make the Montauk Branch a commuter line so he can have a stop at Atlas Park. And he'll raise the fare to $5 so he can do it.

Anonymous said...

Anyway, my point remains the same: additions to the system have been proposed and the transit situation in Queens COULD have been better than it is, more neighborhoods could have been served, but almost every time there's been community opposition. Somewhat shortsighted, in my opinion.

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

Wake up kid. Its been that way for decades!

Anonymous said...

Look at what fantastic public transportation has done to Flushing, Corona, Jamaica and Elmhurst.

They become slums and then the city decides to upzone them to make them slummier. That's why there's opposition.

Ridgewoodian said...

ANONYMOUS: There is no way they would have had a subway line running at grade every 3 or 4 minutes through industrial Maspeth, which is where the tracks are.

IS it at grade? In Ridgewood it's below grade.

ANONYMOUS: Hemmerdinger will make the Montauk Branch a commuter line so he can have a stop at Atlas Park.

Well, seeing as how they cut local service on it - what? - ten years ago that might be better than nothing. But not as good as it COULD have been.

ANONYMOUS: Wake up kid. Its been that way for decades!

Just because a mistake has been perpetuated in the past doesn't mean it should continue on into the future.

ANONYMOUS: Look at what fantastic public transportation has done to Flushing, Corona, Jamaica and Elmhurst. They become slums...

I lived on the Corona/Elmhurst border for many years. I wouldn't exactly call the transportation there "fantastic." More like "barely adequate." And I wouldn't call it a slum, either. Not a rich area, no, but not squalid, either.

Anonymous said...

The bicycles lanes are fine since I am a biker. Taking away the parking is not good for the growing residents of the area

Anonymous said...

You can keep the parking and still have the bike lanes

Anonymous said...

There is a petition to bring back the parking. Visit Yahoo Groups and search for Hallets Cove