Monday, June 30, 2014

City to hold a bunch of pointless meetings today

There's one about providing more traffic safety in Maspeth hosted by Liz Crowley. (Except that CB5 already gave a bunch of safety suggestions to DOT and they did nothing about them.)

There's one about the butchering of the Ridgewood Reservoir in Glendale (but Parks seems to think St. Pancras is in Ridgewood).

There's one about the surprise Pan Am homeless shelter which is already full.

Attendees should be prepared for a bunch of bureaucrats to spew a bunch of bullshit.


Anonymous said...

What safety suggestions did CB5 give?

Were they actually good ideas, or were they the typical community board trying to micromanage an issue when the board members have a limited if not negligible understanding of the field?

Queens Crapper said...

There's always some Streetsblog fanatic that thinks whatever comes out of the DOT is genius and people who actually live in the community don't know dip about traffic issues.

Dangerous intersections, requests for stop signs, speed bumps and traffic lights, two way streets changed to one ways have all been suggested by CB5, at times by invite of DOT. Nothing happens. And then there's this.

Anonymous said...

Streetsblog posted that the Vision Zero meeting tonight is in Flushing. Morons.

I think the reservoir meeting is more important.

Bugleg said...

I live here and welcome the Vision Zero meeting, and plan on attending to learn more about what DOT is doing and make some suggestions about issues near my house.

I don't think DOT has all the right safety answers every time, but I have seen some solutions decried as the end of times by CB's that turned out to be just fine as near as I can tell.

The planners have a bunch to learn about local conditions from the communities, but I think it's a bit reactionary to assume just because someone works for the city they can't have any knowledge or ideas that are useful.

If you really think it's that hopeless and pointless, what is one doing paying taxes and living here?

Missing Foundation said...

If you really think it's that hopeless and pointless, what is one doing paying taxes and living here?

I think you have things backass. Government exists to serve the public and if the public thinks something government is doing is stupid and a waste of time then it is stupid and a waste of time.

End of discussion.

Bugleg said...

I'm missing you Missing...

I'm a member of the public, and I don't feel it's a waste. I'm not alone. So where does that leave us?

Anonymous said...

Well hopefully something positive comes out of these meetings. And hopefully the future of Queens includes community's and residents get involved and are active!

Anonymous said...

Crapper I don't think DOT is genius in the slightest, they do a lot of awful stuff. I just think the community boards are often somewhat schizophrenic. They'll say they want safer streets, but refuse to assent to narrowing roads, eliminating some parking, or reducing the number of traffic lanes, even if that's the only way to get the safety the community board says they want. Sometimes stop signs, traffic lights, and speed bumps make matters worse, sometimes they offer no real increase in safety, and sometimes they do make the street safer, but only marginally so.

As for the link you posted, Eliot is fine to bike as long as no car tries to pass me. It doesn't curve much, so cars can see me. It's a short stretch of road, if you get stuck behind a bike for a bit it wouldn't be a big deal. Cars see they don't have room, and know it won't take a minute before they have a chance to pass, so they wait, and lose 30 seconds of their day. It's not ideal at all. And it's not comfortable, in a car, on foot, or on a bike. But that doesn't mean it's not the best of a set of bad options.

The CB member mentioned going down Metro instead. That road is more dangerous for bikes, unless you are getting rid of some parking, or by the mall, a travel lane. It looks better from a car because it's wide enough to pass a bike. But that's only if the bike is right next to the parked cars, a dangerous place to be with drivers throwing their doors open without looking, and pedestrians stepping into the street. And because it's wider, cars will go faster, increasing the danger for bikes. By the mall where the road opens up I'd be shocked if half the cars on the road go less than 40. That would not be a safer route for bikes.

Queens Crapper said...

But they are putting a bike lane on Metro! And not just CB5 members objected to the Eliot route, but bikers from within the community and Queens TA members.

Sending bikers down Eliot is sending them to their deaths. I've never seen one there not use the sidewalk,and I can't say I blame them.

Anonymous said...

The route on metro is a few hundred feet, where again, if someone is stuck behind a bike it's just for a moment until they pull to the side to wait for the light to change so they can turn left onto eliot or Harman, probably getting on Metro when the lights along metro are red, minimizing the risk for bikes and inconvenience for drivers. Riding along the road for ten times as long would be another matter. Unless you meant the stretch further west by the bridge, but that's only where the road opens up and gets a lot wider isn't it? So they can put in a bike lane without taking away a parking lane.

I'm not saying the stretch on Eliot isn't bad. I'm saying that unless you take parking spots away there isn't a better route, and sharrows on Eliot is much better and safer than on Metro for bikes. Just more inconvenient for motorists if bikes go that way.

Queens Crapper said...

You seem to have much more faith in the patience of local motorists than I do. This may be a first.

Bugleg said...

At the last CB5 Transportation committee meeting when DOT presented on bike lanes, they indicated they are reconsidering how to configure the lanes they were considering, including more lanes on Metro as a way to avoid the cemetery--and some sort of traffic calming on Metro to make it safer to bikes and cars to share the road.

There are already many bikers using Metro, so even through it is sketchy by the mall, there is a certain logic to adding lanes on roads bikers already favor.

DOT isn't perfect (who is!) but my impression was they were taking community board and cyclists concerns seriously.

Anonymous said...

Crapper most crashes aren't from motorists trying to hit someone. Riding in the middle of the lane on Eliot, a road that doesn't curve enough to seriously impact visibility, keeps cars from trying to pass, because it doesn't seem safe for them to pass, and with a light on my bike I'm visible enough that they won't hit me from behind. They might honk or ride my ass, but moving to the side would be dangerous, so I stay where I am. A sharrow in the middle of the road and some share the road signs might decrease that aggressive behavior.

Riding on wider Metro (and Eliot before and after the cemeteries) where cars won't be discouraged from passing is more dangerous. I know NYPD doesn't geocode crash data - this was their excuse for not publishing it for a while, although for some reason they also said there was no reason to geocode their data - but have there been any bike-car crashes on Eliot? I know there have been elsewhere on the road, and a bike lane could help with that, but I mean specifically on this section that the CB members brought up. I didn't see any on crashstat, but I'm not sure they could show up there if there were any, since they might not have an address to tag it to.

This was my point crappy. What road users think is or is not safe is not necessarily correct. Sometimes what is safer feels safer. Sometimes what is safer feels more dangerous. Wide roads like Metro by the mall are dangerous, and there have been injuries there before, and sending more bikes down that stretch to avoid Eliot would lead to more injuries, unless space is taken from cars which I donn't think the CB was endorsing. Riding down Eliot is not at all comfortable, but roads like it are safer than roads like Metro by the mall, and there seem to be crashes before and after the stretch that feels dangerous, that Holden complained about, but not on it.

Queens Crapper said...

Ok well now you and Bugleg seem to be in disagreement. The main problem with Eliot between the graveyards is that there's a hill, drivers accelerate and if there's a cyclist ahead of them they may not see them in time, especially the way some of the speed demons drive. There's only a option to hop the sidewalk in one direction, which, if they were to go ahead and put the lane there, would be safer than as harrow in the street. They did the same thing on Cooper Ave and I have heard of no issues. Although I think the Cooper underpass sidewalk is wider..

Anonymous said...

Crapper I haven't meant to say that a route on Metro couldn't be better than sharrows on Eliot. Eliot isn't a good setup. But I think it would be better than what would show up on Metro.

Because Metro has a lot of problems over there. The pavement is hell west of Mount Olive. That's annoying (and potentially expensive) for cars, but dangerous for bikes. There are a lot of curb cuts. A lot more traffic than on Eliot. Metro and 69th, where bikes would be sent to get back to Eliot, are local truck routes, and metro is very heavily used, don't know 69th well. Metro has more buses than Eliot. If a bike route on Metro meant eliminating on street parking and a travel lane depending where on Metro you were, would it happen? I biked along Metro from Kew Gardens to the Williamsburg Bridge, and to parts of Brooklyn, on a regular basis for 6 months. The road is bad, and not for the faint of heart. Making it better than sharrows on Eliot would require a major road design, and would have an impact on cars, trucks, and buses, and I don't see the support for that. If I'm wrong and Metro can be done right, great. I just expect CB5 to denounce any DOT plan to put adequate cycling facilities on Metro. I think a substandard route on Eliot would be better than the halfassed compromise on Metro that CB5 might support.

Cooper under lower Montauk LIRR? That one wasn't great, but actually seemed better than Eliot since you go downhill first.

Bugleg said...

The bull-head entrances and exits to the cooper underpass and the sign post in the middle of the path at the bottom of the underpass make it a weak effort for me.

Maybe it would be better if connected to lanes that went somewhere so the entrances and exits made more sense.

I don't have a strong preference between Metro and Eliot--Eliot is a lovely wide street with less traffic, but it makes bikers skew north. I think the section through the cemetery would be challenging, but I would probably use it.

Anon's larger point is spot on--alot of these improvements are capital projects that require street redesigns, and loss of some on street parking or other compromises.

Anonymous said...

That Liz Crowley meeting was beyond painful.