The NYC Streets Renaissance

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, and Mark Gorton, president and founder of the Open Planning Project, discuss the future of New York City's streetscape.


Mark Gorton and Janette Sadik-Khan

Comments [17]

Shane from NYC

The City has become cleaner thanks to the Doe Fund and their fantastic workers yet, it is less and less livable.The noise pollution is appalling. Crossing the street has become a lottery of hit and miss. The air pollution is visible many days from my window.

1. Above ground - Trolley's

2. Consider a discount in taxes for businesses willing to have their delivery's at night.

3. More bike lanes, bike racks & enforcement of them. I used to bike everywhere but have given it up because it is too dangerous even in my own neighborhood here on the west side.

4. How about putting all nonviolent offenders to work beautifying the City during the working day? They could make amends for their infractions, learn valuable socialization skills and get back into the world of work?

5. Vigorously enforce noise rules and raise the fines for offenders. Hire a special force to hand out tickets.

Nov. 06 2007 11:44 AM
Journey from SoHo

Attending the NYC Marathon for the first time, as I turned to leave the route on 72nd and 1st, I was awestruck to see the closed street completely filled with small children on bicycles and playing touch football. The sight was so strikingly beautiful yet unfamiliar, that it was bittersweet. I would love to hear from a parent or resident of the East Side who experienced this day of street play, and - can it be pointed to as an example of the "Vision" we are seeking? Proof of the void that exists, indeed.

Nov. 06 2007 11:08 AM
Leo L from Rego Park, NY

One way to address congestion throughout the City is to reverse the policies of suburbanization that have been embraced since Guiliani by ALL of our local politicians at the expense of small (they can still be national chains) businesses and neighborhood 'downtowns' concentrated around subway stations as you still see in Queens and Brooklyn.
As an example:
Medium sized theaters next to subway stations have been prevented from being renovated in order to protect big boxy cineplexes. As a result, the majority of the 2 Million Plus residents of Queens have to either Drive to secluded movie theaters or take the subway for an hour into midtown Manhattan instead of walking or taking the subway a couple of stops.
We are gutting the commercial centers of our neighborhoods in favor of 'suburban' malls and shopping centers which require driving

Nov. 06 2007 11:05 AM
D from Brooklyn

We should implement a bike-sharing/renting program similar to the ones that are in place in Paris and Barcelona. Both programs have turned out to be suprisingly successful.

Nov. 06 2007 11:01 AM
hjs from 11211

what to reduce traffic?
raise taxi fares

Nov. 06 2007 11:01 AM
Waldo from Manhattan

Most of the bikes in Chelsea are on the sidewalks so the roads are only minimally involved. The delivery guys as well as my biking neighbors go the wrong way on one way streets, race down/up the sidewalks around London Terrace, go through red lights, etc.
Somebody's going to get hurt (or killed) riding straight through on the 22nd St/9th Ave intersection -- the biker's going to get hit by a car turning left onto 22nd St. at breakneck speed.
I note that the guest suggested that the drivers and bikers watch out for each other, but nobody's watching out for pedestrians.

Nov. 06 2007 11:00 AM
Robert from Upper East Side

I hope that these plans are implemented as quickly as possible.

I started biking to work to my office near Rock Center over the summer. I love the exercise and fresh air, but as many will acknowledge it is a daily battle to survive against cabs, buses and lazy drivers who don't look out for cyclists and park in bike lanes.

What can I do to help take back NYC streets? This city can be so much more if people are wiling to give this a chance.

Nov. 06 2007 10:59 AM
Anne from Flatbush, Brooklyn, NYC

Jan Gehl talks a lot about the benefits to *business* of his street redesign concepts (which is opposite of the conventional wisdom that restricting driving and parking will be bad for business). This seems worth emphasizing -- the fact that more foot traffic and slower traffic speeds will help businesses, especially small businesses (which usually didn't have dedicated parking to begin with), to thrive.

Nov. 06 2007 10:57 AM
daniel from midtown

Your project is wonderful. Would lightrail be taken into consideration too? I recall visiting several european cities (like Grenoble, France) where pedestrian avenues had streetcars traveling through at grade... Also, what of the idea of turning the entirety of Broadway into a pedestrian zone?

Nov. 06 2007 10:55 AM
Barbara Adler from Upper West Side

I am the executive director of the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District. We completely endorse these ideas, and would like to see many of them implemented in our area of Columbus Avenue (67-82nd Sts). A traffic-protected bike lane, bulb outs with additional seating, distinctive crosswalks, addtional bike racks, muni meters with curbside parking pricing, and much more. We are thrilled to have Commissioner Sadik-Lhan at the helm of DOT, and have great hopes to improve the environmental future of NYC.

Nov. 06 2007 10:55 AM
Joe from Brooklyn

I love the idea of removing vehicles from the streets of NYC. But I do not think that the weather in NYC is suitable for a successful campaign to get a large percentage of the population to ride bicycles to work. It is too hot in the summers, the humidity will prevent people from participating in a wide scale, the winters are too brutal. I think that the first step is to get the congestion tax approved and to get the mta to increase public transportation.

Nov. 06 2007 10:54 AM
James Quinn from Dongan Hills, Staten Island

The upshot of all of the restrictions, taxes and fees upon cars regularly proposed for Manhattan usually places a burden upon the residents of the outer boroughs.

***When I say outer boroughs, I mean the working class enclaves in Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island, rather than the tony or hip areas of the same composed of mainly Manhattan-rent-refugees***

Without mitigation of the outer borough's reliance upon the auto for commuting, it's only a sop to the upper classes.

Nov. 06 2007 10:53 AM
Bryan Marx from Downtown

Bury West Street, which is really not a street but a highway anyway. If it were underground there would be a lot of gas saved because the cars wouldn't spend half their time waiting at the lights. Then the space that is made available could be used to create a public esplanade the length of Manhattan, a serious bike lane could be built, perhaps a low speed trolley from the Battery to Harlem, and a grand pedestrian way with cafes and shops. We give the waterfront to people who are racing up the street and who should not be enjoying the view, let's give it to the general population, not the automobiles.

Nov. 06 2007 10:52 AM
David from Stuy Town

Greetings Commissioner Sadik-Khan and Mr. Gorton:

Here's an idea for UWS and EVERY neighborhood:

The speed limit on most city streets is 30 mph.

30mph is the speed at which people IN cars start dying in significant numbers. That's IN cars, never mind pedestrians, who are obviously more vulnerable. NYC is a pedestrians' city. There is no reason for a pedestrian-dense city like NYC to officially allow 30mph on its internal streets. The speed limits on the books should be reduced.

Just the other day, I saw a pedestrian seriously injured by a taxi that smashed into a storefront. Surely the driver that caused that felt entitled to go as fast as he wanted. That's something to work on.

Nov. 06 2007 10:51 AM
brooklyn biker from brooklyn

What can be done about getting enforcement of bike lanes? New bike lanes don't work very well, when the police rarely enforce stopping in the lanes! I have asked a policeman standing 10 feet from a car stopped in the bike lane, who said, oh, he'll be moving soon. (as many bikes are forced into the traffic lane.)

Nov. 06 2007 10:51 AM
antonio from park slope

For 4th avenue in brooklyn, 10th and 11th ave avenue in nyc, (any super wide avenue) since these avenues are really wide I'd divide them. Make one side with BOTH uptown/downtown light rail/ and bike path, and the other street auto-free and fill them with shop carts, stores etc...

Nov. 06 2007 10:49 AM
Jeff from Ithaca

I lived in NYC for 3 years, and from the moment I arrived, I thought that the one policy that would made NYC a truly great city would be to eliminate cars, to the furthest extent possible. That said, such a policy would be widely depicted as "un-American," and I don't think that NY has the stomach, or, dare say it, the sophistication to pass such a policy.

Nov. 06 2007 10:48 AM

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