Wednesday, August 11, 2010

First Avenue continues to entertain

After workers repaved First Avenue... adding bike and bus lanes and what not, we thought that the work had been completed along this corridor

...not so...EV Grieve reader Blue Glass noted some of the work in these photos last evening around 6 when the cone squad arrived at 11th Street....there was a lot of slow-motion back and forth, taking a few men nearly 30 minutes to put out eight cones. And some work commenced ...

And why are they cutting First Avenue after just repaving it? As Blue Glass suggests, at this rate, the city will be done with the First Avenue renovations sometime around 3020.

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updated] Looking at the First Avenue's new bike lane and "floating lane"


Anonymous said...

I believe they're installing those end of block pedestrian "islands".

blue glass said...

what is a pedestrian island?
do you have to cut the sidewalk to install them?


Anonymous said...

They build a small sidewalk space at the end of the "floating parking lane" on some blocks. I guess it allows you to step out to hail a cab, provided you don't get hit by a bike in the process.

The diagram in the second picture shows where they cut out the pavement where they'll place a wood form to pour the concrete to form the curb. I think they built a bunch of these on 8th and 9th avenues too.

I think it all sucks, but hey, whatta ya gonna do ? It's King Bloomberg.

Anonymous said...

it's idiotic and dangerous. i feel bad for the guys/girls on bike who are going to get smashed by cars turning that can't see the riders flying through on a green.

E said...

The pedestrian islands are on the north corners of the intersections so they don't block anyone's view while merging. For merging between cars and bikes, there are merge zones on the south side of the intersection at every westbound cross street. It actually will all work very well once the construction is complete. But as usual, if it's new, then the readers of this blog must hate it.

blue glass said...

E: new is not the problem. are you new to this neighborhood? confusing is. why can't the bike lane be after the parked cars so that folks in cars can open their doors on the street side, where passengers and drivers can safety exit? safer for everyone. where delivery folks can deliver. and access-a-ride can pick up and discharge passengers safely. so folks with walkers and wheelchairs can cross without being slow moving targets. if one needs a map to understand what lane is for what there is someting wrong. and then just as walkers jay walk (dangerous to themselves) bikers don't obey ANY traffic rules (dangerous to everyone) and cars are not much better at corners and red lights. along with skate boards, scooters and skates. new york will soon be dangerous to the health of all walkers.

glamma said...

in theory it makes sense, but in practice i've seen a lot of near mishaps already.

Anonymous said...

Jaywalkers are dangerous to bikers AND cars, not just to themselves. I agree that bikers who don't obey traffic signals, etc can do much harm as well.

But it's also VERY scary/dangerous when you need to quickly avoid a jaywalker by swerving into traffic, a parked car, or other pedestrians. It happens on a daily basis.

I also saw a near tragic auto accident on a busy street yesterday as three cars tried avoid a guy running across the street when he didn't have the light, AND it was dark outside.

Goggla said...

As a visually-impaired person, I have to say I hate these islands. It's hard enough for me to cross the street and look out for traffic, bikes and other moving objects. Now these stupid gray lumps are another thing I have to look out for and I've tripped more than once already. I don't know how these things are supposed to make anything safer.

Bowery Boy said...

I can understand those who have issues with the new street set-ups, but maybe it's just change that takes some getting used to. Bloomberg is doing everything he can to make our streets inhospitable to cars. If these things work, and more mufflers stay out of the Village, I'll be happy to make some adjustments.

Anonymous said...

So you don't use cars? How do you travel any sort of distance or carry things? Dumb fuck.

Anonymous said...

WCBS-TV is running features at 11PM all next week about the bicycle mayhem that is running rampant in our city. Hopefully they'll be reporting on why El Commandante Bloomberg has gone hog wild in turning the town into a death trap for both pedestrians and cyclists alike.

E said...

The bike lanes are separated from the car traffic lanes to provide a safer area for bikes to ride, which promotes biking in the city and hopefully gets a few cars off the streets -- all good things in my opinion and I've yet to talk to a biker who doesn't like the separated lanes. There are also buffer zones between the parked cars and bike lanes so drivers/passengers can open their doors safely and bikers don't get "doored." If pedestrians jaywalk, yes they risk getting hit by a bike, car or bus, but if they can pull themselves away from their ipod and blackberry and take a look before stepping off the sidewalk, I bet most will do just fine.

Goggla, the pedestrian islands are actually there to make the distance between curbs shorter for disabled, elderly and other slow moving folks, helping to prevent them from getting stuck in the middle of the crosswalk on 1st ave after the light changes. They're also installing textured rubber pads in the curb cuts (like the ones along the edge of subway platforms) to help visually impaired pedestrians be aware of where the sidewalk ends. Are these helpful?

Blue Glass, sorry this is all so confusing for you, but if you take a few minutes to read about how and why these changes are being made you might be able to understand and relax a bit. Check it out:

Anonymous said...


Besides having an uncanny ability for pointing out the blatantly obvious, you seem to be oblivious of the fact that these changes present a significant problem for those who have been crossing these streets for decades, and have reflexively learned to glance or look in the direction of traffic so they can avoid accidents. These new bike and bus lanes are being used by cyclists to travel BOTH ways on the ONE WAY streets, and the floating parking lane blocks a pedestrians view of bikes coming down the block.

Another poster pointed out that if they had simply created the bike lane adjacent to the traffic lanes with a buffer between the parked cars, it would eliminate many problems as sight lines would be improved and wrong way riders would be discouraged because they would be directly adjacent to moving traffic. There are proven reasons for rules of the road and established traffic patterns and flows, and these lanes radically alter the norm.

All the worse is the city is failing to educate or enforce the very rules that are key to the long term success of this project. When the accident rate skyrockets, lawsuits against the city flood Corp Council, people will rethink this decision.

Nobody is anti-bike or anti-change. We're simply pro-safety. This (and many other similar projects throughout the city) should have gone before the public for hearings. Instead, it's been forced upon the city, simply to advance Mayor Bloomberg's vision of a city with many fewer vehicles. A fine vision for a billionaire, a bad solution for everyone else.

E said...

So, Anon 11:23, your main complaint is that you now have to turn your head twice to look for bikes and then again for cars? Sorry if I don't have a lot of sympathy for all of that extra head turning energy you'll be expending.

Bike lanes adjacent to traffic lanes are useless because trucks, cabs and cars routinely double park and block the bike lanes, forcing bikes back into the flow of traffic.

Of course riding against the traffic either in a bike lane or on the street is both illegal and dangerous. When I see bikers doing this, I yell at them and if possible obstruct their path. I'd encourage others to do the same. Typically these are delivery guys trying to shorten their trips, so if you can make the experience unpleasant enough for them, perhaps they'll go over to 2nd Ave or Ave A the next time they need to head downtown.

BTW, I don't even own a bike yet, but I'm looking to get one thanks to the tremendous improvements in bike lanes around the city and now that we GOT RID OF THE CAR we used to spend hours circling the EV to move for street cleaning four days a week. I also love the idea of more bikers, less cars on the street, less pollution, and dedicated bus lanes to make the trip uptown faster.

As you can see on the site, there were community board members appointed to the advisory committee that guided the 1st/2nd Ave redesign, along with presentations to all affected CBs and public open houses. I trust you attended all of these meetings since you are so eager to provide input on the project. Or were you waiting for the DOT to come find you at Mars Bar and solicit your personal opinion?

Anonymous said...

Hey E, it sucks no matter what you say.

E said...

Wow, thanks Anon for so perfectly capturing the curmudgeon attitude of so many readers of this blog in only seven words.

I agree with the comments here maybe half the time (yes, Superdive and Pulinos undeniably suck), but when you start bitching about bike lanes and denying licenses to fishmongers on Ave A, it's clear the old timers in the neighborhood have gotten so negative that you've become irrelevant.

I think it's time for you to move down to Florida and start wasting away in the old folks home while whining about "those dang kids today." You'll love it!