City Transit

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Andrea Bernstein, WNYC reporter and director of the Transportation Nation blog, rounds up some transit news, including proposals to close Central Park to cars on weekdays and allow cross-park bike travel.


Andrea Bernstein

Comments [22]

Dan from Sunset Park

Cars in the park cause more traffic. A good example is 7th Ave and 59th St in the mornings.

Cars are often backed up on the loop road all the way to Tavern on the Green. Plus cars coming out there block cross traffic. If loop road traffic were removed, traffic across 59th St would flow smoothly.

Similarly, other streets around and leading to/from the park would flow more smoothly.

Jul. 15 2011 01:57 PM
bernie from bklyn

first of all- the MTA is a JOKE. the service is awful; that's why people feel the need to drive more than they should. it can sometimes take over 2hrs to get from 59stcolumbus circle to bay ridge brooklyn, for example. that's unacceptable. this is new york city and we should have the best transit system in the world and instead it's embarasing and 3rd world-like.
and 1 more thing- all you people who moved here from iowa or nebraska or whatever, please just stay quiet. NY'ers don't wanna hear you and your unrealistic, trust funded, whimsical ideas on how working people are supposed to get back and forth to work. go ride your fixed gear bike to your favorite brunch spot and keep your opinions to yourself.

Jul. 13 2011 12:03 PM

leave weekday central park traffic, open for emergency electric vehicles, and; some electric, or gas buses. good ideas need not be so drastic.

Jul. 13 2011 11:41 AM
Randi from Brooklyn


My point is that Amsterdam has a public transportation system that can serve all its residents because the population density is so much less. Therefore people there don't need a car.

The problem in NYC is that the public transportation system can't accomodate the entire population. There are area gaps, capacity issues, high costs for riders (particularly those who live in the farthest areas of the city) and accessibility problems. Also the public transit system here has to improve on speed. The most desirable public transit system is one that is fast. We don't have a rapid transit system, we have a mass transit system.

Transportation alternatives are feasible for commuters that live in and directly around Manhattan. But the rest of the City still has a need for cars.

Jul. 13 2011 11:02 AM
dug from greenwich village

Brian, if you'd like to look at another side of the issue, we might discuss closing the brooklyn bridge to people on bikes. The walkway there, which is extremely popular with tourists from all over the world, has one side for pedestrians and one for bicyclists. However, the walks are badly marked (and only in English! ok and 'icons'), and often crowded with tourists (who have no idea about the bike lanes and therefore are in danger of getting knocked/yelled at/run over).

My suggestion (and why this conversation might be remotely relevant): Close the Brooklyn bridge to bike traffic (except for say early morning and night? Would require, for another change, new signage that is actually readable). There are alternative, much less crowded, bridges nearby that already have bike lanes. On a bike it would add maybe 10 minutes? 15? And the bikes wouldn't have to freak out while dodging clueless tourists.

Jul. 13 2011 10:46 AM

Sounds like Randi would have us build more overpasses and roadways through our city. But as Phil said, building more only increases traffic. Check out Moscow - I'd rather NYC not turn into that kind of traffic snarled mess. Your argument that NYC is bigger in population than European cities really only drives the point home that this city is not suited to cars. We don't have enough room to cede so much space to inefficient and unwieldy automobiles.
Also, Copenhagen has enormous bike usage and people I know regularly commute to the city center all the way out from the suburbs daily.

Jul. 13 2011 10:33 AM
Kurt Ramig

A gentleman from Queens Village called defending use of his car. He stated that when he goes to Lincoln Center, it takes him 45 minutes by car and would take him 2-1/2 hours by transit. I just called the LIRR; the time from Queens Village to Penn Station is 31 minutes! Add 15 minutes for the #1 train and he can get to Lincoln Center in the same amount of time.

Jul. 13 2011 10:32 AM
Allegra levanne

Central Park is one of the safest places in NYC to ride one's bike, though not always.

It was horrific that Allen Dershowitz;s sister-in-law was killed two weeks ago on the west side when she was riding her bike and obeying the rules of the road.

Riding one's bike in CP is not safe when cars are using the ring road. There is a small space alotted to bide riders, skate boarders, dog walkers, runners, babies in strollers, roller bladers. etc.

Additionally, the car exhaust is bad for the vegetation in the park. What a pleasure for people and trees in CP to be car free on the circle road!

Jul. 13 2011 10:28 AM
Randi from NYC

To close Central Park to cars is crazy. The City needs an efficient way for travel between the upper east side and upper west side.

To Andrea Bernstein... We have to stop comparing the transportation options between NYC and Europe. European cities like Paris and Amsterdam are MUCH SMALLER in population and size.

NYC in the city alone (not counting suburbs) is 8.1M people over 300 square miles. Amsterdam has a population of 780K over 200 square miles. Its easier for Amsterdam to enact non-car policies because they don't have the population density as NYC.

Jul. 13 2011 10:27 AM
aaron from washington heights

I bike to work every day if i can - there is some sort of bike rental business on the west side bike path-
tourists make use of it-
i avoid the west side bike path as a result-
nothing worse than the family of seven- slowly wobbling all over the path at a brist 1 mph-

Jul. 13 2011 10:26 AM
NYC Pete from East Village

It's a no-brainer...keep the cars out of the park!

Jul. 13 2011 10:26 AM
Kathryn from Brooklyn

Get rid of your cars, New Yorkers, YOU CAN DO IT!! Dare to dream! ... I moved here from L.A. 15 years ago BECAUSE I knew I could get around without a car. People who insist on driving around here are nuts in my opinion. We have a unique opportunity in New York to show the rest of the country that it's possible to do it! Stop whining drivers!!

Jul. 13 2011 10:24 AM
Phil from Park Slope

It has been proven over and over that increased traffic capacity only increases traffic, as counter-intuitive as that may be. Traffic is highly elastic, so lower capacity will reduce the number of people trying to access it, and more roads will invite more cars until there is a traffic jam--just a bigger traffic jam.

Jul. 13 2011 10:24 AM
Pam from NY

What about when electric cars will be available?

Jul. 13 2011 10:23 AM
chris cox from brooklyn

It's a hard (or soft depending on political view) truth-- if we want public policy to move towards green, progressive forms of transportation we have to make the leap to curb car traffic in the city. Everyone wants less traffic. Well, only less traffic will get us less traffic.

Jul. 13 2011 10:23 AM
Edward from way out in Brooklyn

"War on cars" and "turn NYC into Amsterdam" remind me of the GOP's tactics. Not far off from "turn America into a Socialist nightmare".
You people also complain about car traffic as if it were some caused by someone else (must be bicycles...) - get a clue - you are traffic, and your huge car is not welcome in our city.

Jul. 13 2011 10:22 AM
judith ackerman from Upper west side

Set up a free parking area on each side of town for drivers coming from the boroughs. Then they can get here but use public transit to get around much faster and also not clutter our streets with themselves.

Jul. 13 2011 10:21 AM
Brian from Hoboken

As a runner I can tell you that many of the same cyclists who complain about cars during the week then almost run over many runners on the weekends. They want the road to themselves. As a participant in many Central Park running races, as well as a volunteer race course marshall, I have had plenty of run-ins with cyclists doing 20-25 mph blowing through crowds in the park. You want to bike that fast go out on the city streets.

Jul. 13 2011 10:20 AM
Laura from Brooklyn, NY

Driving through a congested city is not a right. Cars take up so much of pedestrians' and cyclists' space.

Jul. 13 2011 10:18 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

Yes, but in Europe many of the city streets are too narrow to accommodate lots of cars.

And some of us with physical disabilities have to drive, because mass transit is not that accessible.

Jul. 13 2011 10:17 AM

Yes! Yes! Yes! I bike from the Lower East Side to the Upper East Side for work and it is such a dangerous commute. 2nd and 5th ave have heavy traffic. 8th ave goes through the heart of times square and people have chairs in the bike lane in Herald Square. Please provide a safe option for bikes!

Jul. 13 2011 10:14 AM
Susan from nyc

Only if they ban the carriage horses too.

Jul. 13 2011 10:10 AM

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