Saturday, August 17, 2013
All Hail Summer Streets & the NYC DOT!
THIS MORNING was the third and final Summer Street of 2013, when the city closes Park Avenue and Lafayette Street from Park Avenue and 72nd Street to City Hall (a little under 5 miles). Since Citibike has the Maginot Bike Line at 59th Street, I picked up a Citibike at 58th Street and Broadway, rode through Central Park to 72nd Street and then to Park Avenue—the Park Drive and connection to Park Avenue were also closed.
There were lots of people out enjoying the streets, which look very different when you don't have to stay out of the roadbed. Since 80% of Manhattanites don't own cars (and a large percentage of Manhattan tourists don't rent cars), it would be great to have even more of these days.(continued) The closed streets included the raised road that goes around Grand Central Terminal. I couldn't help noticing there that the Traffic Engineers couldn't resist putting out their beloved orange cones, just in case the people walking 3 miles per hour couldn't get the idea from the highway-scale yellow paint in the middle of the road that they were supposed to stay on their side. It's important to tell people where they may walk!
They didn't have the cones before, and it was definitely better with them!
Posted by: Anon at Aug 17, 2013 2:36:02 PM
Say what? You can't see those yellow lines without the cones? Do you like the white plastic sticks around the bike lanes too?
Posted by: joey at Aug 17, 2013 2:57:05 PM
In their quest to control all variables, engineers frequently over design. Over design = bad design.
Also, they design for cars going 50 instead of pedestrians, bikes or placemaking.
Posted by: ellenyc at Aug 17, 2013 3:23:33 PM
Hey Anon (or whatever your name is)—There may be some places on the route where the cones made sense (although the signs on Lafayette seemed to work just fine without any cones), but the streets around Grand Central don't need them. Those stripes work for cars going 50 mph without any cones.
Posted by: a new yorker at Aug 17, 2013 10:46:58 PM