November 27th, 2018: Fighting the Winds of Change

Yesterday it was the rain, and today it's the gusts:

Tuesday Forecast

Tuesday Partly sunny, with a high near 47. Breezy, with a west wind 20 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph.

Tuesday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 33. Wind chill values between 25 and 30. West wind 11 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

Sunrise: 6:56am

Sunset: 4:31pm

Remember: just because it's a little windy that does not make it okay to draft your fellow commuters.

Oh, sure, some people are okay with it:

My position's pretty clear: I'm happy to either draft or be drafted. With the former I don't go ludicrously close to another bike's rear wheel and I'm vigilant in case my temporary helper has to brake or swerve to avoid something. And if we reach a red light I'll often try to set off quickly so as to offer a reciprocal helping hand. When in front I indicate well in advance, and point a helpful finger towards upcoming potholes and the like.

But they're depraved.

Here's something to put in your Palm Pilot for Friday::

More details here:

Hi everyone!

We already have two dozen RSVPs for our special guest event, featuring the NYC Department of Transportation, on Wednesday evening, December 5th! Seating is limited, so please RSVP to secure your spot.

You can also attend our in-person guided reading event this Friday Nov 30th at 1PM at the Brooklyn Roasting Company location in Flatiron, so please reply if you're interested in that, too, and I can print you a hard copy on request:

TransAlt Manhattan Deep-Dive Read-Along: NYC DOT's Cycling at a Crossroads report (2018)

Friday November 30th @ 1PM

Brooklyn Roasting Company, Flatiron

50 W 23rd Street (at 6th Avenue)

See you there!


And the Post takes a look at the e-assist Citi Bike phenomenon:

The juiced-up bicycles get way more love than their all-human-powered counterparts, averaging 14 trips a day compared with seven for the regular bikes.

And when the souped-up bikes are available, they’re gone in a flash. The rides get snatched up within minutes, according to data from the High Tailer website, which tracks electric Citi Bikes and marks their locations on a map with a lightning-bolt icon.

Which are poised to whisk commuters over the East River with their bridge-flattening power:

The clock is ticking for Motivate to work out the kinks. The company plans to roll out 800 more e-bikes by the time the L train stops running to Manhattan on April 27, bringing the total to 1,000.

The company wants to keep all of the cycles corralled in just four docks on either side of the Williamsburg Bridge and is weighing charging riders a fee if they take them elsewhere in the city.

Who could have imagined back when Citi Bike began that one day we'd be darting all over town on futuristic electric space bikes?

Not Dorothy Rabinowitz, that's for sure:

It's important to watch this video periodically and marvel over how poorly it's aged.

Hopefully she does a follow-up when the scooters arrive.

Of course what's really begriming this town is spuriously be-placarded vehicles, and the Gotham Gazette has an op-ed on the subject from @placardabuse:

Those who abuse the system may try to rationalize it. They might call it a job perk or a victimless crime. Nonsense. And as the city becomes denser, worsening placard corruption has more impact on safety and quality of life. It impedes emergency responses by congesting streets and sidewalks and by blocking fire hydrants and turning movements at critical locations. It fills loading zones and inflames congestion. It destroys transit service by blocking bus lanes and bus stops. It makes streets unsafe by forcing people on bicycles into traffic and blocking sight lines at intersections. It makes sidewalks uncomfortably narrow and physically destroys them.

Finally, beyond New York, in Philadelphia the Philly Inquirer is calling for a parking ban on South Street:

Getting rid of empty vehicles and giving people on bikes, skateboards, and scooters better access to the street would have lots of positive impacts, and not just on the city's health.

I mean, sure: Protected bike lanes have proven to reduce conflicts between pedestrians and motorists, motorists and cyclists, and cyclists and pedestrians, as we've already seen where they've been installed in Philadelphia. But they're also proven to actually make corridors more business-friendly.

Everywhere around the world where bikes have been prioritized over motor vehicles, positive outcomes have resulted for health, safety, transportation — and economics. And there's no reason to believe doing the same to one of Philadelphia's most famous retail and cultural destinations won't reap similar results.

This doesn't apply to delis, naturally.