After our presentation on Air quality - or lack thereof – to the Parks and Environment Committee of CB4, the state agency in charge of the environment – Department for Environmental Conservation, (DEC) will be presenting their plans and efforts to the committee.
Department of Environmental Conservation Presentation
Thursday, October 14, 2017, 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
353 West 30th Street
The 50% increase in the number of buses in our backyard proposed by the Port Authority means that our air will become much worse when it should be improved.
Just in 2017 , DOT has added 10 new split LPIs to protect pedestrians who cross the avenues. A split LPI is a red arrow for turning cars which gives exclusive right of way to the pedestrians, followed by a blinking yellow arrow which puts drivers on notice to slow down and yield. LPIs – which delays the start of all traffic ( turning and through) were installed at 3 locations .
Such installation has been very successful in our district notably at 43rd and 9th Avenue . We are delighted that our Hell’s Kitchen Transportation Study is yielding so much safety at dangerous intersections .
Our next goal is to tackle the big complicated intersections ( 42/8, 57/8, 57/10 ) and get them fixed. Already DOT notified us that the 57/8 intersection is included in a study of Columbus Circle that will be completed in January 2018. This is progress.
Activists are making the rounds of Community Boards with one message to DOT: we need protected intersections! by letting cars turn at the same time as cyclists and pedestrians cross the intersection, DOT is creating a dangerous situation and is responsible for crashes at these intersections!
This is a position CHEKPEDS has advocated for a long time , and as a result CB4 has more split LPIs signals that most districts in New York . With the death of a cyclists easier this year in a mixing Zone, the cycling community is now aware of how dangerous these intersections are and is adding its powerful voice.
CB4 recently joined the chorus of Cb7 and CB2 in asking for a blanket policy on intersection safety. Including: extending the green ribbon across the intersection, adding boards to separate from the cars, put pedestrian and bike crossings on a speed table, install split phases and split LPIs. We are told DOT is working it and will come out with a decision next year.
Chief Chan as well as his direct reports and the head of the Collision Investigation unit were on hand to discuss the various issues raised after the death of two cyclist in CB4 in June.
NYPD confirmed that their current procedure is to not comment on a crash, either at the crash site or at headquarters until the investigation has progressed to the point where the information is reliable . This being said, they acknowledged that there is tremendous pressure to be transparent, therefore they also try to communicate as soon as feasible.
Finally it is understood they cannot 100% control ALL agents or police officers, and prevent individuals to speak off the record.
They shared statistics of enforcement of bus companies which show they are doing a lot in this area. NYPD committed to double down as needed. The community needs to continue call 311 ( choose “illegal parking” ) for any bus that is laying over illegally
After the loss of two cyclists in our district in June, Council Member Johnson and CB4 asked for and obtained separate meetings with DOT and NYPD.
DOT’s COO was on hand to clarify the procedure related to approval, management and renewal of bus operations.
It turns out that DOT does not take in account historical bus safety information when granting a stop permit. This is something CB4 has long requested and currently evaluates as part of its due diligence.
The approved routes are currently not clear to bus drivers since there is only a truck map and it does not explicitly mentions that buses must respect the same routes ( although the law is clear on the subject). DOT committed to publish a new map for buses.
DOT also agreed to toughen their stance with bus companies upon receiving complaints from the community, and be diligent in not renewing the permits if the companies have received NYPD summonses
Indeed one of the fundamental issue is that our city does not have a terminal for long distance buses, like other large cities do (Washington, Boston) . As a result they park at curb side everywhere in the city, thus encouraging buses to illegally use residential streets to reach their stops. This is why CB4 makes every attempt to have bus stops on the far west side an recommends the construction of a Long Distance bus terminal there as well.
With the help of Duane Reade’s Landlord at the corner of 42nd Street and 8th Avenue, DOT has enlarged the sidewalk by 9 ft or 40% on a block of 8th Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets that is usually hyper congested with pedestrians and Port Authority bus commuters. The pedestrian barricade has been removed, the Time Square alliance maintains the planters and there is no reason for pedestrians to use the bike lane .
Thursday, July 22nd, 2017, 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Museum of the City of New York,
1220 5th Ave & 103rd St, New York
The advocates for Streets Renaissance have garnered many successes over the last 10 years and really changed our streets. They now challenge us to think big and with new experiments and bold models from other cities around the world.
Even though we are a long way from done on the first ideas, bringing a new vision will help elevate the debate and may trigger more fundamental rethink of our public spaces .
Join them and us at the new frontier . Details and RSVP