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Motorists Drive Faster in Bay Ridge Than in Sunset Park

The Bay Ridge 500 — Fourth Avenue a racetrack south of Gowanus Expressway underpass

The Brooklyn Paper
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The Gowanus Expressway underpass is a green light for motorists heading into Bay Ridge on Fourth Avenue to put their foot on the gas, an investigation by this paper found — and some residents argue it’s time for police to put the brakes on the roadway’s rubber-burners.

Using a standard radar gun, we clocked cars hurtling down the thoroughfare into the Ridge at astounding speeds — far faster than drivers dared go in the same direction through Sunset Park — and city Department of Transportation numbers show a spike in accidents immediately over the neighborhood line.

Of 28 drivers facing a green light that we speed-gunned on the Ridge side of the expressway during a 15-minute span in the afternoon, 20 of them broke the 30 mile-per-hour limit — with one leadfoot hitting an incredible 68 miles per hour.

While the majority of motorists hewed close to the legal limit, we caught other speed freaks racing through the neighborhood at 42, 51, and 54 miles an hour. Repeating the experiment at night, we clocked 17 of 23 drivers breaking the law, the hottest wheeler barreling by at 52 miles an hour and six others beating 40. Mid-morning, 12 of 21 drivers in the south-bound lanes were going more than 30 miles an hour, with two zipping past at more than 40.

A car striking a pedestrian at 40 miles an hour has a 70 percent chance of killing him — compared to only a 20 percent chance for those hit at 30 — according to the city Department of Transportation.

The Bay Ridge numbers contrast starkly with those from the Sunset Park side of the underpass. Just over the neighborhood line, we caught only 15 out of 32 vehicles headed toward Bay Ridge over the speed limit at mid-afternoon, with the fastest driver going 47 miles an hour and just one other breaking 40. At night, 16 of 26 were over the limit, with one car racing at 48 miles an hour and the rest below 40. And in the morning, 14 out of 32 cars were driving at illegal speeds, with just one 46-mile-an-hour scofflaw over the lethal line.

And city numbers show that accidents are far more common on the Ridge side of the underpass.

There were 139 accidents along the first five blocks of Fourth Avenue in Bay Ridge between 2006 and 2010 — 62 alone at 65th Street, a one-way thoroughfare where cars pointed toward Sunset turn left to head to the Bay Ridge Towers, leaving them vulnerable to Bay Ridge-bound vehicles in the opposite lanes. There were 95 crashes on Fourth Avenue between 59th and 64th streets in Sunset Park in the same time span. Another 17 traffic-related injuries occurred beneath the underpass itself.

Some Ridgites say drivers burning up the corridor are giving them the sweats.

“That’s the scariest street for me,” said Stefania Vasquenz, one of the founders of Bay Ridge Advocates for Keeping Everybody Safe, a pro-traffic-control group. “It seems people treat it like a highway.”

Community Board 10 district manager Josephine Beckmann said Fourth Avenue speed demons are a longtime concern for the neighborhood panel.

But both Vasquenz and Beckmann suggested that stronger speed-limit enforcement by the 68th Police Precinct might help. “I think we need more police presence on Fourth Avenue. They would make so much money off speeding tickets just sitting there,” Vasquenz said.

A police source said it was customary for the precinct to have at least one vehicle patrolling Fourth Avenue to handle moving violations. But according to car-critic group Transportation Alternatives, the 68th Precinct issued just 63 speeding tickets in all of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights in 2012 — compared to 180 speeding tickets issued by Sunset Park’s 72nd Precinct. By contrast, the 68th Precinct cited 624 vehicles for window tint violations last year, and 603 for faulty brake lights.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.
Updated 10:08 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

manposeur from brokeland says:
time to build speed bumps from Atlantic Ave to all the way to 86th Street and more bike lanes!
Feb. 28, 2013, 6:58 am
diehipster from Blowtorching Brents says:
Speed bumps are a good idea; only I would use bearded, "vibrant creative-type", urban lumberjack transplants as the bumps.

And more bike lanes? Like YAAAH! Totally Dayude! How about penny farthing, unicycle, long board, horse and buggy and stroller lanes too??
Feb. 28, 2013, 7:17 am
Peter from Park Slope says:
Same story all over town. People speed and drive recklessly, and the NYPD doesn't enforce the laws.

This city needs speed cameras.
Feb. 28, 2013, 7:44 am
C from Bay Ridge says:
Here's a novel idea. How about timed lights so people don't feel the need to race down to catch the lights that turn green in batches? Works on 1st/2nd Aves...and others!
Feb. 28, 2013, 7:59 am
John from Bay Ridge says:
The primary objective of the 68 Prec. with respect to vehicle enforcement is to have the TEA's issue parking tickets to stationary cars. The 68 has never had an interest in a sustained campaign to crack down on moving violations.
Feb. 28, 2013, 11 am
Northside Ned from GPT says:
hahah look at that brutal townie.
Feb. 28, 2013, 12:06 pm
Tal, probably from Pleasantville says:
Damn 4th Avenue bike lane!!!!
Feb. 28, 2013, 12:46 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
"While the majority of motorists hewed close to the legal limit,"

Don't bother reading the rest, it's all noise.

Now watch the rest of 4th avenue, turned into an obstacle course by the plastic barriers, two lanes, no turns, turns only and the non-sence paint lines that will protect you in the safety zone when you creep out into traffic far better than standing on the elevated island that's been there for year.

If only the majority of bike riders hewed to the law.
Feb. 28, 2013, 2:18 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Or, I was going to try to make some sarcastic remark about how bike riders should follow laws, but it was too heavy handed. "No one could actually start complaining about bicyclists going through a red light after an article about consistent speeding in a week when many pedestrians were killed by cars. Plus, I don't like sarcasm anyway," is what I thought to myself.

I'm forced to conclude that you are a parody of an ignoramus who happens to lack my good sense to know when something is too heavy handed.
Feb. 28, 2013, 3:25 pm
ty from pps says:
Or -- You're right. They wouldn't think about changing anything on the roads if motorists were driving at high speeds and recklessly on a regular basis. If all the cars were driving 29 mph, yielded properly for pedestrians, stopped at red lights, used directional signals, and so on, there would be no need for any intervention... neither police enforcement (apparently something that will never happen) or engineering solutions.

I'm not sure what bikes have to do with 3000-lb chunks of steel moving aggressively at 50 mph down a city street... but I guess that was a comment more for yourself? or?
Feb. 28, 2013, 4:02 pm
ty from pps says:
*weren't driving at high speeds...
Feb. 28, 2013, 4:02 pm
Pedestrian from Brooklyn says:
We should not build any more car lanes until motorists stop flouting the law. And all drivers should be licensed and forced to carry insurance.
Feb. 28, 2013, 4:18 pm
Ken from Greenpoint says:
Mike from williamsburg you damn right.....
Feb. 28, 2013, 5:32 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
"Here's a novel idea. How about timed lights so people don't feel the need to race down to catch the lights that turn green in batches? Works on 1st/2nd Aves...and others!"

C, you got my vote on that. Also, this will probably cost a lot less compared to the so-called idea of traffic calming. There is really no need to restructure the road just to address this problem. Also, 4th Avenue is a major thoroughfare in which commercial vehicles are using them a lot, so traffic calming will actually hurt them even more, plus they can't go on numerous side streets. In reality, traffic calming just makes thing worse rather than better in that it creates gridlock when there was hardly any around there before.
Feb. 28, 2013, 5:48 pm
LiveHipster from from Or's Mom's Place says:
Attention, MO-rons! You can't "time" the lights on 4th Avenue, you geniuses. It's a two-way road, unlike the 1st and 2nd Avenue examples you cite.

And don't change the subject -- this isn't about bikes, it's about a bunch of self-entitled jerks who can't be bothered to obey the speed limit. In two-ton machines that, in 2012 in New York City, outkilled bikes 155-0 (not counting other motor-vehicle occupants).
Feb. 28, 2013, 6:12 pm
JAY from NYC says:
The real underlying issue here, besides TAL, is that the police simply don't enforce traffic laws, on any one, which is what creates dangerous situations because people know it. I see people on an almost daily basis breaking traffic laws right in front of the police who do nothing.
I think before anyone jumps to the bike/car/skateboard/etc lane arguments, this issue needs to get better addressed. Bike lanes are not gonna be used if bicycle folks are going to get mowed down, and cars won't stop driving like jehru if the police refuse to enforce the law.
Feb. 28, 2013, 6:13 pm
Peter from Park Slope says:
"Timed" lights are a total red herring. That assumes everyone starts at the front of the line, and is paced by the lights.

What about the guy who pulls out of a driveway right before the light turns, flooring it to make as many lights as possible? For him, it's in his best interest to do 50.

Timing does -nothing-.
Feb. 28, 2013, 8:41 pm
Rob from Greenpoint says:
Traffic calming is desperately needed here, as is some police enforcement.
March 1, 2013, 7:14 am
scott from park slope says:
traffic calming is called for on fourth avenue. it won't hurt truck traffic because they aren't the ones speeding anyway. the NYPD has shown they don't care to enforce speed limits so the only alternative is to modify the physical profile of the road. the best part of traffic calming is that most of it is subtle, unobtrusive. plantings and bollards and bulb outs send cues to drivers to slow down. think west side highway for how it would work in practice.
March 1, 2013, 7:44 am
Brooklyn resident from Brooklyn says:
The NYPD is failing the people.
March 1, 2013, 9:07 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
So, nothing happened while you were there with your speed gun?

Obviously these drivers can handle that speed. Maybe we should up the limit.

I think the Brooklyn Paper just proved this.
March 1, 2013, 10:24 am
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Narrow the road. That's the only proven way to get motorists to slow down. Most drivers aren't irrational. They'll only go as fast as it feels safe to go. Narrower streets "feel" faster, hence people don't go as fast.

And get rid of the traffic lights. There's more speeding in this city "to make the light" than for any other reason.
March 1, 2013, 11:18 am
Joe R. from Flushing says:
@Rufus Leaking,

The speed isn't dangerous unless the car happens to hit someone crossing the street. You have a 90% chance of surviving at 20 mph but that drops to only 10% at 40 mph. That's the main reason to get drivers to slow down-it's unsafe for pedestrians to speed. I'm all for increasing speed limits in places where there aren't pedestrians, like expressways. Make the limit 75 or 80 on the LIE (not that you can drive that fast most of the day with traffic congestion), make it 65 on the BQE, etc. On streets with pedestrians, we should design the roads so going much over about 20 mph starts to feel too fast.
March 1, 2013, 11:23 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Once again, you prove the point.

If the cars are going faster, then the pedestrians will not stroll out into traffic, the part that you leave out of your recitation.

The thinking, if it can be called that, is backwards.
March 1, 2013, 1:04 pm
Chris from Bushwick says:
Rufus, it's your thinking that's backwards. Speeding drivers can just as easily lose control and drive off the road and hit pedestrians on the sidewalk, or crossing in parallel crosswalks. As we just witnessed over the weekend with the tragic death in Brooklyn Heights, a pedestrian doesn't need to be in the street to get killed by a reckless driver.
March 1, 2013, 1:14 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
@Rufus Leaking,

Wrong. People need to cross streets in these neighborhoods, and crosswalks exist for exactly that purpose. Do you see crosswalks on expressways? No, you don't. That's why higher speeds are permitted-because there's a near zero chance of striking a pedestrian.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean here by pedestrians strolling out into traffic, either. People cross when and where they can. At least if the traffic is going slower, they have a better chance of surviving if they are hit. Like I said, if you want to drive fast, go on an expressway. Besides, at high speeds there's a good chance a driver can lose control and end up on the sidewalk. And please don't tell me that's somehow the pedestrian's fault too just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

There's no reason local streets should be speedways. When you factor in the red lights, even with all the speeding, your average speed often isn't any faster than that of a fast cyclist. That being the case, you might as well drive 20 mph so you can get rid of the traffic lights (i.e. traffic signals aren't needed to control intersections at speeds of 20 mph or less). Point A to point B will take roughly the same time as it does now, only you'll be mostly going a steady 20 mph instead of stopping, accelerating back up to 45 mph, stopping again two blocks later, etc. You'll use way less gas, too.
March 1, 2013, 1:32 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Fixing the timing of traffic lights can be done and is possible. However, many just try to make it impossible. The reason is because there wouldn't be a need for traffic calming, which is what Bloomberg, JSK, and all of their cronies and supporters would hate. Honestly, I find traffic calming just be something that will be debated by a cycle of generations. By that, I mean that a later generation will find traffic to be moving too slow and remove this whole structure, while another one will just put it all back rather than find a real solution that won't involve it. As for enforcement, the police prefer the parking violations to the traffic violations, because they are easier to go after especially when someone trying to avoid a moving violation such as speeding can sometimes outrun them causing them to lose them in the process. Overall, major thoroughfares are almost like highways in that of themselves and they are even considered secondary roads to expressways.
March 1, 2013, 3:37 pm
Chris from Bushwick says:
Tal, you're an idiot. Timing traffic lights is simply NOT POSSIBLE on a two-way street, and even on one-way streets, drivers speed to catch up to the timed "wave." These are proven facts of traffic engineering. "Just time the lights," you say, as though that's never been considered or tried on this street. It does not work. Period.
March 1, 2013, 4:01 pm
Rob from NY says:
Blame the NYPD. And if Ray Kelly doesn't want to step up here, get some speed cameras to give tickets.
March 1, 2013, 4:10 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Disregarding the insults aimed at me, Chris, explain why such a thing as timing the lights just can't be done. I need more than a blanket statement to say that. The only difference between this and traffic calming is that it can be done without any major problems and will cost lesser. However, your kind always wants motorists to be stuck with the royal screw job at all times. Sometimes, pedestrians can be at fault if they are jaywalking, which should be enforced as well. Anyone with half a brain should know better than to run across a busy street when they don't have the walk signal. Also, jaywalking gives the motorist very little time to notice them, which is what makes them get hit. In some places in the country or even around the world, the motorist is considered not solely responsible or not even negligible for hitting a jaywalker.
March 1, 2013, 4:32 pm
Tal fan from Pleasantville, Brooklyn says:
Tal, I think it's time for the Brooklyn Paper to do a story on you. Would you be open to it?

Brooklyn Paper editors, what do you say?
March 1, 2013, 4:34 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Chris,

Actually, timing traffic lights on two-way streets IS possible under certain conditions. That said, timing traffic lights is NOT a good way to stop speeding. In fact, as I said earlier, traffic lights not only cause speeding to "make the light", but they allow much higher travel speeds than would otherwise be possible to begin with. In the absence of traffic signals and other traffic controls at intersections (i.e. stop or yield signs) motorists would be constrained to go no more than 15 or 20 mph for their own self-preservation. Moreover, without traffic signals, road capacity would actually increase (or put another way, congestion would decrease). A traffic signal which is green 50% of the time essentially decreases road capacity by half (to a first approximation but the actual equations are a bit more complex).

You want to fix this problem for everyone, remove the traffic signals, narrow the roads, get rid of stop and yield signs. Everyone will have to watch out for everyone else at every intersection all the time. Nobody will feel safe going more than about 20 mph. Congestion will decrease, pedestrians/cyclists will be safer, and motorists may even have shorter travel times. The current system is a comedy of errors. It doesn't work for either efficiency or safety.
March 1, 2013, 5:53 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
And here's a good video of how it might work:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGloeX1SpAU

Notice there are no traffic signals or any other controls at intersections but it all seems to work, even if things might at first appear a bit chaotic. Why? Because nobody is going all that fast. Indeed, it would be suicide to try to go much above 10 mph in conditions like this. If you take out the pedestrians, as would be the case if we tried this idea now because they would be on the sidewalks, and consider that modern cars have better brakes, you could probably be safe at 15 or 20 mph, but that's about it.
March 1, 2013, 6:02 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
"People cross when and where they can. "

Once again, you make the point.
March 1, 2013, 6:37 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Point? What point? I'm merely saying traffic is so chaotic now people have to cross whenever and where ever the opportunity arises, whether it's in a crosswalk or in the middle of the street. Exactly how are people supposed to cross streets? The middle of the street is actually the safest place to cross because you don't have to deal with turning cars.

Your view seems to be that streets should be speedways which people can never safely cross. That's fine in the suburbs where almost nobody walks, but this is New York. It's unrealistic for a driver to expect to be able to go 60 mph in a crowded urban area outside of on an expressway.
March 1, 2013, 8:05 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Wow Joe, next you'll be telling me the safest way to cross is with your head down, headphones on, after dark while wearing black and texting!
March 1, 2013, 9:45 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
You still haven't told me how you think people are supposed to cross streets which are full of cars which almost never yield to pedestrians. Or perhaps you think they shouldn't cross at all.

And I never said or will say crossing in a distracted manner is safe. Regardless of where and when you cross, you need to look before crossing.

Anyway, don't bother answering because I'm done with you here. It's plainly obvious from your posts that you're needlessly argumentative and ignorant of even basic traffic engineering. Go find another punching bag.
March 1, 2013, 11:32 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Cross at the green. Not in between.
March 2, 2013, 12:14 am
Joe R. from Flushing says:
"Cross at the green. Not in between."

Stupid, boilerplate answer because:

a) you can't get across at all, even on the green, if you have a steady stream of turning cars not yielding to pedestrians

b) it isn't safe because cars frequently go through red lights and turning cars rarely yield to pedestrians

c) not all intersections have traffic signals

d) not all walk signal intervals last long enough to get across the street

The way I cross is to wait until a gap in traffic of sufficient length to cross appears, and then I just cross the street wherever I happen to be, whether it's in the middle or near a corner. I prefer the middle because turning cars aren't an immediate hazard. If a subway underpass is handy, I use that instead.
March 2, 2013, 12:33 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
" I cross is to wait until a gap in traffic of sufficient length to cross appears, and then I just cross the street wherever I happen to be, whether it's in the middle or near a corner"

I look forward to the flowers, candles and teddy bears as this practice continues.
March 2, 2013, 10:12 am
rufus has sh*t for brains from duh says:
hey rufus, did you miss the part about 139 car accidents?
March 2, 2013, 11:46 am
Joe R. from Flushing says:
"I look forward to the flowers, candles and teddy bears as this practice continues."

I've been crossing this way ever since I started crossing streets by myself (in grade school). I'm 50 now. In over 40 years of crossing like this I haven't even come close to being hit by a car (or a bike). That's more than I can say for the 100 or so pedestrians killed each year crossing at corners with the light. Traffic lights kill people. Not just pedestrians, but motorists also. 75 years of data prove this. The only way to be safe is to go slow enough so if collisions do occur, there is minimal damage.
March 2, 2013, 1:03 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Joe, I can say the same things about points a and b about bicycles, because they are doing just about the same things. Then again, you won't condemn them for doing that, because to you and the rest of Streetsblog, they are your brothers in arms. At least cars don't go the wrong way on one way streets much, plus I feel that you are exaggerating on the claim that they are running red lights when there have been studies about bicycles doing this even more. One thing I do know about 4th Avenue is that there is a divider in the middle, so if you can't make it all the way across, at least make it there, which is probably the case when crossing other big streets such as Park Avenue, Broadway (above Columbus Circle), Flatbush Avenue, Eastern Parkway, Grand Concourse, and even Queens Boulevard especially because of their long width. Reducing the travel lanes will only make them worse when they happen to be major thoroughfares for traffic.
March 2, 2013, 5:51 pm
Jerry Rubin from LOS Angeles says:
Joe, I used to do that too, but it caught up to me at the age of 56! Anarchy only works for so long until I got a treadmark up my wazoo!
March 3, 2013, 12:31 am
Jerry Rubin from LOS Angeles says:
Yipeeeeee!
March 3, 2013, 12:31 am
ty from pps says:
"At least cars don't go the wrong way on one way streets much"

Yep. It's awesome people don't drive the wrong way down streets, much. I guess everything else doesn't matter.
March 3, 2013, 11:07 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
The fact that bicycles disobey traffic signs and lights even more is the reason to fear them more, because they will come without warning.
March 3, 2013, 2 pm
Love Tal from Pleasantviller says:
LOL! You're the silliest, "Tal"!
March 3, 2013, 2:03 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
The main reason I don't support traffic calming is pretty much that it's more of a short term solution. In the long run, they do lead to creating gridlock where there wasn't any before. Keep in mind that pedestrian islands was tried on the Fort Hamilton Parkway not that long ago, and was removed when it was found that not only was there more traffic there than before, but emergency vehicles had a tough time getting through, which shows how much this is a bad idea. There are better ways to plan safer streets without one group burdening from it, but to the anti-car crowd, they believe that the only right decisions are the ones that they make only even when there are better ways such as fixing the timing of the traffic signals.
March 3, 2013, 3:47 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Tal,

Are you aware of the concept of average speed? You talk about gridlock yet you're clueless that this is intertwined with average speed. A road's capacity is directly proportional to vehicle spacing and average speed. Traffic signals reduce average speed to 1/2 or less of cruising speed. Or put another way, they reduce road capacity by 1/2 or more. All that dead time when cars are waiting at a red light with nothing there represents wasted potential capacity. Now you can have a given average speed two ways. Let's say we're aiming for a 15 mph average travel speed. You can cruise at 30 mph and be stopped at red lights half the time. OK, this is simplistic in that it neglects acceleration time, but to a first approximation it is correct. Or you can just cruise at 15 mph without stopping. Both get you from point A to point B in the same amount of time. That's the point of traffic calming. If you can reduce travel speeds to 20 mph or less, you *don't* need traffic signals or stop signs at all. Granted, you may occasionally need to slow at intersections for cross traffic or people crossing, but you can probably average 15 mph without ever needing to drive faster than 20 mph. So which is better? Constantly stopping for red lights, and then gunning it to get back up to 30 or 40 mph, or mostly doing a nice steady 20 mph? Remember both get you there in the same amount of time, but the latter scenario is much safer for everyone.

The idea that traffic calming reduces road capacity or increases travel time is a myth. And so is the idea that taking away travel lanes increases congestion. As you increase the number of travel lanes, irregular behaviors like lane changes increases, reducing the potential capacity increases of adding lanes. Conversely, taking away travel lanes when the road started out at 3 or more lanes doesn't reduce capacity by all that much.

I'm not seeing what your cheap shot at bicycles has to do with anything. Bicycles should yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. Also remember that a bike is less wide than a car. Often the bike can just safely go around a crossing pedestrian without stopping, while a car would need to stop to avoid a collision.

Finally, remember that we're talking about a transit-rich area here were auto use is largely optional. In the interests of fairness things should be prioritized for the majority street users, which in NYC are pedestrians. A large city SHOULD be somewhat anti-car in its policy. It's better for the vast majority who don't get around by car.
March 3, 2013, 4:39 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Joe, unless the MTA plans on making all subway and even commuter rail stations handicapped accessible, not everyone can use it. There are parts of the city especially in the outer boroughs where cars are the only efficient way of getting around. As much as you hate the car, just like the WNBA, it's not going away anytime soon. Unfortunately, you continue to look at the effects to why there are those who drive rather than the causes. Some of those causes is that they live where mass transit hardly reaches them, or because their schedules aren't compatible with it. BTW, the MTA actually makes more money with the tolls they have on bridges and tunnels rather than the fares they have with their own subway, train, and bus riders. In other words, it's us motorists who are subsidizing you riders, so the latest fare hike is really peanuts compared to how much the tolls are going up. The real reason I have opposed traffic calming is mainly because it's more of a short term goal rather than a long term goal. Keep in mind that traffic lights were created in response to accidents on the road, not to create them. Overall, the road we are discussing here is a major thoroughfare, not some side street. I like to think of roads like this as water and traffic calming as the slits. Does water flow faster when the slits are thinner or thicker? I would love to hear you answer on that.
March 3, 2013, 5:35 pm
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Tal,

What on earth does people getting around with cars in some parts of the outer boroughs have to do with anything here? I'm aware that in some parts of the city public transit for local trips isn't all that great and people drive locally. That's not the case in the area we're talking about. Same thing with Manhattan. It's faster to take the subway there than to drive from nearly everywhere in the city. And you could make a similar case for people coming from Long Island, NJ, Westchester, or CT. Just because you may need to drive locally within these areas doesn't imply you need to take a car to denser parts of the city. Your line about schedules is BS. I've seen the schedules. Outside of the early AM hours, the trains run quite frequently. As far as the disabled, if someone is too disabled to use public transit, we're paying a lot of money for paratransit so they can get around. Besides that, I don't want severely disabled people operating a piece of heavy machinery like a car. That's a great way to kill people.

Getting to costs, do car drivers pay full price for negative externalities like air pollution, deterioration of structures due to acid rain, noise pollution, or opportunity cost of space used for parking which could be put to other, more profitable uses? All those things heavily cost the city. Whatever transit subsidies may come from tolls, consider it a partial payment for negative externalities. If we were to charge the true cost of these things, motorists would be paying well over $1 per mile to drive in the city.

To answer your question, traffic lights are the slits, not traffic calming. Even with fewer lanes, most of these calmed roads are operating under capacity for 22 out of 24 hours. We don't need to over design things just so rush hour drivers can have a slightly faster trip. The fact is during certain times of day getting around is slower, whether you're driving or using mass transit. Either accept it or change your work hours to come in when there's less congestion.
March 3, 2013, 7:27 pm
ty from pps says:
Joe -- You've made a valiant effort. The good thing is that other folks have probably read you words. It doesn't matter that Tal is incapable of rational thought. There is almost nothing he says that is based on facts (except for the "facts" that he gets from the random letters he reads on the Daily News website.... ya know, the ones that seem to support his whacked positions, the others he ignores). And it has become PAINFULLY clear that he will never even alter his point-of-view slightly... regardless of how many people share contradicting facts. For example this slit of water BS he's spewing, again.

I don't know how many times folks have tried to explain the SIMPLE concepts of traffic calming and "road diets." Many people have provided clear examples or how a more narrow "slit" actually made the traffic flow better. But, again, he ignores it. He is WILLFULLY ignorant. A total belligerent buffoon.
March 3, 2013, 9:14 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Joe, my point is that I don't want something that will just act as a band aid when I would rather have the cure. I tend to see traffic calming is that very band aid. Why conceal the pain when you can just get rid of it? This is what I mean by why it's better to think long term rather than short term here. The idea of traffic lights was so that a crossing guard doesn't have to be at all intersections, and that they would be like clockwork, though I still don't see why a yellow light needed to be added when it can just go from green to red rather than having a light that would tell you it's going to be red. Keep in mind that there are those who work late night shifts, so the transit may not be always available for them, and you should have read what Nichole Gelinas had to say about that on the NY Post not that long ago. Since you brought up air pollution from cars, you do know that many of them have been producing actually less these days especially with the creation of hybrids and even electric cars. The only problem is that they are more expensive than regular ones. Nevertheless, many of them have been made to take unleaded gasoline, which produce far lesser than those that have to take leaded, but it's really the trucks that do the most because they have to take diesel unless anyone can find a way to make it so it doesn't need sulfur. The bulk of emissions actually comes from buildings and factories, so I would suggest finding a problem there. Overall, the designs of roads go all the way back to when cities were being redesigned in the last century, which was in reaction to the car culture, not to promote it.
March 3, 2013, 9:26 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, where I come from, we do NOT use personal attacks or even call someone a belligerent buffoon. You seriously crossed the line there with those words. At least Joe knows how to talk in a more mature way, but for some reason, you don't. Either way, I could never understand why you happen to be so defensive when you got to have your say on this. If you don't like what I am saying, then don't answer me at all, because nobody is forcing you to do so. I don't hate you personally, just the way you view things. Also, quit trying to censor me, because I don't do that to you at all. As for such claims, there is such a thing known as fudged data, and your friends Bloomberg and JSK have a history of using that to make their claims. Even Mark Gorton, the founder of Streetsblog, was known for hiring someone who would report something in his favor just for being paid to do so, which is what brings it into question. Then again, when you have the money, you can make whatever you want to happen and there will always be a group that will believe everything you say. I think that the only reason why you guys support traffic calming is because you aren't the ones driving for the most part. I for one do drive, so I am telling out from the motorists' point of view. Some keep forgetting that there are two sides to every story here.
March 3, 2013, 9:36 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- I know. I know. You are a conspiracy theorist and you don't trust science or evidence. You go with your gut. Thus, you are willfully ignorant.

I'm not censoring you... I'm just pointing out that you are an ignorant, belligerent buffoon. Go ahead. Keep typing.

Umm... Tal... speaking of willful ignorance and, well, just being stupid... how many times have I told you that I both (a) own a car and (b) drive regularly? So, you can just stick you "motorists'" perspective up your stupid bunghole. Can you remind us WHERE you drive, Tal? Where are you a motorist... ya know, for your daily commute?
March 3, 2013, 9:55 pm
ty from pps says:
And wait...

"many of them have been made to take unleaded gasoline, which produce far lesser than those that have to take leaded"

WHAT!?!

The Clean Air Act banned leaded gasoline in 1996. And it was being phased out since the mid-70s. Since you don't even know that there is no leaded gasoline available at the pump, how much faith do you expect us to place on the rest of your claims?!?!? Uggh.
March 3, 2013, 9:59 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
When was the speed gun calibrated? For all we know this non-story is base on a machine that is faulty. Law enforcement must have their machine calibrated every 30 days.

Time to chime in Will, when was the machine calibrated?
March 3, 2013, 11:51 pm
ty from pps says:
Yeah, Rufus... that's important. Imagine if the car in the photo was only going 49 instead of 51 mph?! That would change everything.
March 4, 2013, 10:33 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
It would if Will was whipping the sensor around to catch his cars.

It's not like the Brooklyn Paper has never created a story from nothing.
March 4, 2013, 11:01 am
ty from pps says:
Rufus, unfortunately for you... the rest of us that live in reality know that these speed gun findings just reaffirm what we already know and has been reported by countless other people. Folks drive around this town like it's a race track, aggressively jockeying for positions at high speeds... only to screech to a halt at the next red light (or, what I often witness, gunning it and running the light) Pedestrians are the last thing entering anyone's mind.

It's just pathetic that you think this is a "non-story"
March 4, 2013, 11:29 am
bayridger from Bay Ridge says:
One reason why the 68th doesn't bother enforce traffic laws could be because they drive like idiots themselves. I've seen the two hispanic female cops make a u-turn on busy 3rd avenue just so they could get a treat at that forzen yogurt place. Also, many cops (but not all) from the 68th don't seem to like stopping at red lights. So at a red light, they'll just put on the flashing ights and siren to go around the cars stopped in front of them. That's just plain dangerous since they're driving directly into oncoming cars whose drivers also likely speeding.
March 7, 2013, 12:59 pm

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