May 30th, 2019: Construction Ahead

Today looks like a repeat of yesterday, with rain more likely the later it gets:

Thursday Weather

Thursday A chance of showers between noon and 2pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 75. Light and variable wind becoming southeast 5 to 9 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Thursday Night Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 2am, then a chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 63. South wind around 6 mph becoming west after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Sunrise: 5:28am

Sunset: 8:19pm

Plan accordingly for your return commute.

Rockaway is getting better bike connections to the Cross Bay Bridge:

Staten Island is getting more dockless bike share and the DOT wants your feedback:

And the days of your bike lane being subsumed by construction are numbered:

The DOT has already updated its construction stipulations accordingly:

Next we need this:

New York City has installed what it calls “Leading Pedestrian Intervals” at thousands of its traffic intersections. The intervals give pedestrians a crossing "green light" several seconds before parallel traffic gets the go-ahead. The idea is that the extra time makes those walking more visible to turning drivers. The safety measure was also extended to cyclists at 50 intersections around Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens as part of a pilot program, according to a new city study obtained by amNewYork.

Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration is now backing a City Council bill that would turn the pilot concept into law at the 3,494 intersections where the "Leading Pedestrian Intervals" have been installed as part of the Vision Zero safety initiative. (There are about 13,300 intersections with traffic lights in the city.)

In Manhattan, note that 8th Ave. is being resurfaced:

And here's why we need more cops on bikes:

That's what happens when there's not a ton of sheet metal between you and the rest of the world.

Of course, with all these changes afoot we could use a Bike Mayor to help coordinate things, but the mayor's office says we already have one:

The Mayor’s already the Bike Mayor. Under his administration, cycling has exploded in popularity. With a half-million rides per day, cycling is now growing faster than any other mode of travel. He has also installed a record number of protected bike lanes and dramatically expanded Citi Bike. We will review this legislation.

Now that he's running for president de Blasio doesn't seem interested in being the regular mayor, let alone the Bike Mayor, but either way I'm pretty sure that in order to qualify for the position you should have to, you know, ride a bike.

Finally, it could be a long time before we need a scooter mayor:

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is known to work out on a stationary bike at the gym, has scoffed at the idea of riding a scooter.

“I just don’t like the idea personally, because I’m like, ‘If you’re going to move around why are you not getting some exercise?’” the mayor told reporters last fall. “It seems really passive to me.”

This from a guy who doesn't even turn his own steering wheel.

Of course, while e-scooters are illegal, plenty of people still use them:

Although the devices are banned, some people own private scooters and flout the rules. Sarah M. Kaufman, an urban planning professor at New York University, said she often sees electric scooters in Manhattan. She has used a Bird scooter, which the company gave her to try out, without getting in trouble.

“I’ve ridden it past police and they haven’t said anything,” she said. “It doesn’t seem to be something that’s being enforced.”

No, they only say something if you're riding an ebike and your livelihood depends on it.

But of course no e-scooter story would be complete without invoking the specter of injury:

Safety concerns have been an issue in other places. A recent study of scooter accidents in Austin, Tex., found that nearly half of the 190 riders injured there had suffered head injuries. Less than 1 percent of riders were wearing a helmet when they were injured and nearly a third had been drinking alcohol, according to the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local officials. The authors recommended that the city educate riders about helmets and safe speeds.

This almost sounds like something to worry about until you consider that this study looked at nearly one million scooter trips.  But when it comes to discussion of bikes and scooters it's all about emotion, not facts and context, which is why lawmakers are making important transit policy decisions based on the behavior of young children:

But Liz Krueger, a powerful Democratic state senator from Manhattan, said legalizing scooters did not have enough support in the current state legislative session, which ends on June 19. A 10-year-old boy on a scooter almost slammed into her recently, she said, reinforcing her opposition.

“I don’t think there’s any place for them on the streets of Manhattan,” she said.

Does she mean scooters or children?

Either way, in the meantime we've got moped share, but not scooter share.  Go figure.