Protecting NYC Transit From the Next Storm: Searching for Specifics

Photo: MTA New York City Transit via Second Avenue Sagas

Today on the Streetsblog Network:

Known Unknowns. Ben Kabak at Second Avenue Sagas examines the capital funding request from New York MTA staff to its board, which estimates that nearly $5 billion is needed to restore the city’s transit system to pre-Sandy working order. Missing from the document, Kabak writes, is a plan to protect transit infrastructure from the next major storm — because the agency doesn’t yet know what those measures will be, or how much they will cost. “It’s important in the short term to bring the transit system back to where it was before the end of October … But that conversation needs to happen. It should happen as repair work moves forward, and it should happen after repairs are completed. The next storm will come, and it can’t cost $5 billion each time.”

Taking the Dearborn Lane. This weekend Brendan Kevenides, a.k.a. the Chicago Bicycle Advocate, took his first ride on the new Dearborn Street bike lane — a protected, two-way thoroughfare through the heart of downtown. The verdict? “It was down right luxurious to have space to ride through the Loop that I as a bicyclist could call my own. That said, the new bike lane is definitely in beta, and as such, great caution should be taken when riding it. Many pedestrians and motorists clearly do not know how to deal with the new infrastructure.” If you haven’t had the pleasure yourself, Kevenides brought along his helmet cam. Have a look.

Stop the Presses. More positive news from Kansas City, where BikeWalkKC reports that the KC Star is calling for additional bike infrastructure, which the paper says is key to the ongoing revitalization of downtown. “The Bike Share KC program was a start, putting almost 100 bikes for rent on the street,” reads a Star editorial. “Adding bike lanes on streets would encourage ridership while alerting motorists to their presence. And don’t forget more bike racks.” How about that.

Elsewhere today: Streets.mn says Minneapolis needs fewer sidewalks to nowhere; Biking Toronto asks how best to separate cyclists from motor vehicle traffic; and UrbanReviewSTL has separate run-ins with Mercedes-driving sociopaths.