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Thank You

December 29, 2014

2014 has been a pretty good year as far as livable streets in New York City go, most notably with the reduction of the city’s default speed limit to 25 mph. It’s a huge step in the right direction, a major victory for Families for Safe Streets, and a sign of good things to come.

This past year was also an interesting year for me here on the blog and off of it. I was privileged to meet so many loyal readers in the flesh at various events and, much to my delight, every now and then during my rides to and from work. I truly appreciate everyone’s comments, criticism, tips, and friendly hellos.

For the curious – or in case you missed them – here are my three most popular posts of 2014:

I’ll take that as advice for 2015 – apparently my readers like pictures of cute kids on bikes and long posts involving media criticism.

As this year ends, I’d be remiss if I didn’t put in a plug for the organizations that are working to make a safer city and that serve as my inspiration in so many ways. If you’re still looking to make a year-end charitable donation, the wonderful folks at Streetsblog and Streetfilms as well as Transportation Alternatives will put your money to good use. With all that we have left to do to advance Vision Zero and make a better New York City, I hope you’ll give them your support.

Have a safe and happy New Year.

  1. Gene Aronowitz permalink
    December 30, 2014 12:29 pm

    And thank you, Doug.

  2. Lara permalink
    December 31, 2014 12:54 pm

    Hey Doug! I came across your post today – I think I saw you before I moved to Seattle but in case I did not, hello and happy New Year from the West Coast!

    As you know, I rode a lot in NYC. So, just wanted to throw in my two cents and say that riding in Seattle is nothing like riding in NY. I would rather ride up Sixth Avenue in Manhattan at rush hour than ride Second Avenue in Seattle, ever – and that’s *with* the new bike lane install. Riding downtown here terrifies me. And I rode everywhere in New York, even thru Columbus Circle, Times Square, Chinatown. Riding in downtown Seattle feels like riding on Flatbush. At best.

    Out here, I enjoy riding outside of the city, and once you get out of the density of downtown, the other streets are ok and reasonably hospitable in that drivers are more patient here (to a fault IMO but that’s another story.)

    But downtown, urban design is a mess. Visibility is bad, and traffic flow is poorly managed. You have huge hills with blind sightlines, and the ability to turn right on red mixed with a lack of greenways to create flow means that cars are always stressed and anxious to move. Additionally, the roads are not well lit to match the weather– there isn’t appropriate use of reflectors or street lighting to make paths or lanes visible in the rain. In other words – cars can’t see where they’re going nor with whom they share the road.

    Anyways, the new bike lane on Second Avenue is just disappointing to me. I am sure it is an improvement, but it is nothing like what it could be. For instance, why is the lane on the east side, where drivers are harried to get both gun their engines to get up the steepest hill and also hurried to get to the highway at one of its few entrances downtown? The west side would be more hospitable, more visible to drivers, and less at odds with traffic.)

    Seattle may have made a little room for cars, but in every way it is horrifically car-centric and allows any sense of community to be ripped apart by its traffic. The best thing it could do downtown to quickly improve it is convert all of its avenues to one way streets, eliminate all right turns on red, and close either Pike to traffic at First Avenue and then reduce it to one lane from First to Fifth and make pedestrian plazas instead. (This would also require better foot policing and management of homelessness and crowds.)

    There is no way in hell I am riding Second Avenue. I would rather ride in Manhattan. Seattle has a long way to go in urban planning and I worry they don’t have the foresight or tenacity to get there. They need to create better city planning. I miss urban riding. But now I can ride the Mountains-to-Sound bike path for 10 miles through parks and over two bodies of water to get to grad school, so it’s not all bad. 🙂

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