Yesterday was a big day for smuggies, transit nerds, and municipal policy weenies here in New York City, because the Department of Transportation unveiled its long-awaited Streets Plan:
For an idea of just how eagerly this demographic has been anticipating the plan, just imagine a bunch of 40-something men in New Balance sneakers waiting for a new Radiohead album, or David Byrne and Spike Lee waiting for you to tell them how wonderful they are:
People forget Spike Lee was riding bicycles in Brooklyn before it was cool:
Anyway, I’ve just spend the last 5-10 minutes skimming this vital document, and here are the Cliff’s Notes, which is a dated reference to a way students used to cheat at school before Wikipedia.
People like to argue about how “real New Yorkers” get around. “It’s a walking town!,” some cry:
“The subway is the life’s blood of the city!,” others insist:
“You watch too many movies, if you’ve got a job and a family you need a car!,” claims the guy at the Community Board meeting:
Well, according to the numbers, they’re all right:
Meanwhile, bikes are a couple of notches below “other,” coming in at 1.1%, though they’re beating the ferry and that’s all that matters. Suck on that, Captain Stubing!
Come to this blog for the dated references, stay for the dated references.
Of course, we all know the very pinnacle of smugness is not owning a car–just ask this guy:
Here’s where in the city people don’t own cars:
In other words, the highest concentrations of car-free households are in neighborhoods where people are either very rich, or very poor. Also, the further away you get from Manhattan the more likely it is you have a car, increasing exponentially until you get to Los Angeles, where, if you’re a bi-coastal New Yorker, your chances of vintage French car ownership are nearly 100%:
Also, per capita vehicle ownership is increasing, or something:
Though these numbers don’t include your neighbor who’s a graduate student and drives a car registered to their parents in Connecticut.
The DOT does recognize cars play a greater role in some parts of the city than they do in others, but that even in those neighborhoods it’s good to have more car-free options:
Though I found this pair of pie charts particularly noteworthy:
Note that only 12% of people polled by phone were concerned about “Challenging Bicycle Conditions,” whereas 33% of people online were concerned about it. At the same time, 20% of phone people were concerned about shitty bus service, while only 8% of online people were. This is unsurprising, since bikey people spend most of their spare time complaining about things on social media, and, while they generally won’t admit it, mostly just think buses are icky.
Something I was pleased to see was that the DOT will “develop a metric for cycling network connectivity:”
This is good, because the network, while growing impressively, is still disjointed as fuck. Currently they also focus their bike counts on the East River bridges, which is like trying to learn about consumer food preferences by hanging around the cheese department at Whole Foods:
They do have some good stuff planned for bikes, which they group in different categories. I’m assuming the “Transformative Ideas” category is for shit that will never happen:
Also, the city is going to shift freight to cargo bikes and barges!
I got really excited when I read “cargo bike-barge delivery,” until I realized they just meant using cargo bikes and barges together, not massive floating cargo bike-barges:
Ha ha when he says “deck” it sounds like “dick” LOL.
Also, I know he meant “knots,” but I’m pretty sure he said “three nuts of propulsion.”
After that I got bored and stopped watching, so no idea if he ended up revealing that third nut.
Oh, here’s something:
You know what? A lot of people probably don’t think about that, but I live near an elevated subway track, and trucks get stuck under it all the goddamn time. It’s a big problem…and just wait until all those cargo bike-barges hit the waterways, they’ll have to convert everything to drawbridges!
And finally, parking:
Cracking down on people using “official-looking paraphernalia” to park illegally, huh?
When fish fly.