Author Topic: Consider ditching your car-  (Read 1551 times)

Offline missmarty

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Consider ditching your car-
« on: January 03, 2019, 04:13:35 PM »

Reposted from JH Families. Map won't load, it can be found on fb- Jackson Heights 11372 or Make Queens Safer.
I have to say, I am a pedestrian and bike advocate in the community, and often when attending community board meetings, people have never heard such language as "ditch your car" but it's a pretty popular idea I thought I'd share. (check out @waroncars podcast)

Sorry folks, we have a crisis in Jackson Heights of PEDESTRIANS getting killed by reckless drivers- and reducing the number of cars has got to happen. This is a quaint little neighborhood, council districts are about 160,000 people...and driving is not an entitlement, it's a privilege- and let's hope people can see the sense in cutting down some of the unnecessary trips. It'd be great too if people could retrain their brains to walk short distances, whether it's farther out for parking, unloading and carting your supplies a block or two, putting your kids in local schools or taking mass transit.

Also, there is a very good chance congestion pricing will pass in Albany this term- that will open up many more channels for better mass transit and bike/pedestrian infrastructure.

Now, to pull back from that statement- please look at your driving habits differently. Are you speeding up to catch a yellow light, turn a corner, grab a spot? Do you gun the vehicle after being stuck behind a double parker, not looking a block ahead to the crosswalk? Do you block bike lanes, forcing cyclists into oncoming traffic? Do you allow proper "due care" to be able to maintain control, if some surprise like a mom stopping in a crosswalk to pick up a dropped shoe, an old lady not quite making it before the light changes?

For once, just think about the number of times individual drivers circle a neighborhood trying to park- park for weeks on end, or park to run in a shop, or double park to pick someone up, or park in crosswalks, or corners that block the view for those of us on foot- who deserve to not be terrorized by reckless driving.

Let's say 14 is the number of people who've been killed walking in our neighborhood in the last 5 years.
(a map is included) That's horrendous.
The three fatalities in just 7 blocks on 37th happened like this-
Driver reversed into SOMEBODY''S LOVED ONE in crosswalk at 74th
Driver mounted sidewalk, killing SOMEBODY''S LOVED ONE  at 78th
Driver drove directly into SOMEBODY''S LOVED ONE in crosswalk and ran her over 2 times on 81st.

Each of us have horror stories of near misses and so many of us know SOMEBODY''S LOVED ONE whose had an injury, sometimes life changing, definitely costly and kept them out of work.

We've had DOT redesign streets, JH Historic District implemented a neighborhood slow zone, Lead Pedestrian Intervals, changes to signal timing, and even a pedestrian safety forum back in around 2014.

My family rents cars at LaGuardia when we need them- mainly to promptly leave town. We're able to return the car directly afterward so as not to contribute to the ridiculous circling around and being reckless in every way. Oh, U-Turns too- How long till someone dies from a U-Turning driver mounting the sidewalk, crashing into a storefront?

Many neighbors have expressed outrage, shame and fear over this most recent fatality- hopefully this will mobilize folks to go to precinct council meetings and urge elected's to seek out new resources...enforcement is key for me- every driver ticketed, repeatedly and with increasing penalties and vehicle confiscation, as the poor ebike riders tolerate.

Our community has suffered from a crisis of preventable deaths. It's a symptom of having too many cars on the roads. Sure, there are reckless drivers and unlicensed drivers, and yes- you'll blame the pedestrians- but as a pedestrian and cyclist, like many of us in the neighborhood- we see traffic differently.
Commissioner Trottenberg of DOT has said, "If you're in traffic, you are traffic"

Every day in our neighborhood, thousands of parents and caregivers are lugging baby strollers up subway stairs, through cumbersome doorways, soon through daunting snowbanks. They are stopped practically every block to wait for the light- they are your equals- residents of a community that can't afford another tragic and preventable death.

Please look at your driving habits differently- even if you've never killed or injured anyone.

Offline JHMNY

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Re: Consider ditching your car-
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2019, 05:01:28 PM »
Here's the map mentioned above:


Offline petster

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Re: Consider ditching your car-
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2019, 05:20:05 PM »
All thoughtful points.  I drive my car out of necessity and alternatives are not practical for me. So, there are people who  need to drive in order to make a living. Hopefully, these people, myself included, won't be the ones killing any one. With that said, the driving habits/behaviors  encountered here are horrific.  Too many to mention.  What's missing is enforcement. There  needs to be a zero tolerance policy, consistently enforced.  A very tragic event.

Offline missmarty

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Re: Consider ditching your car-
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2019, 07:45:49 PM »
It's true some need cars. But I just want to put it out in public forum that there are many, a majority like me whose transit options are as follows- Walk, bike, bus, train, or don't go. Sure, sometimes it's painful to be limited, but as mentioned- we rent cars as needed. It's worked out great. And- from the non-vehicle, road user perspective- it's made me a better driver and parker. I don't circle- I sit at a hydrant and wait. Usually about 20 minutes.

Offline carrefour_ny

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Re: Consider ditching your car-
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2019, 10:29:35 AM »
One thing that is continually missing from our responses is the expectation -- demand, really -- for better transportation planning and design. Streets and intersections can be planned to be more effective (or, conversely, more terrible -- hello Queens Plaza disaster!).

A couple of examples: The renovation a few years ago around the 74th Subway station did nothing to accommodate the cars dropping passengers off, and consequently, they continue to block pedestrian traffic, and to create dangerous situations for the crowds of people on a daily basis. I've seen people get hit there, though luckily not fatally. The turning buses add another layer of horror at that intersection. That kind of stuff can be planned better to accommodate the traffic needs.

I'm also on the fence about the delayed green that was installed in the mid-70s after the fatal accident on 76th last year. What I see happen is that pedestrians stop, but then the very long delay of the green for cars makes them start crossing just as cars are gearing up to move.

I'm not a traffic planner but I have seen cities with a lot of traffic in Asia and in Europe that just function better because they are planned better. Why can't we have better traffic design here?





Offline jh35

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Re: Consider ditching your car-
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2019, 10:50:00 AM »
One thing that is continually missing from our responses is the expectation -- demand, really -- for better transportation planning and design. Streets and intersections can be planned to be more effective (or, conversely, more terrible -- hello Queens Plaza disaster!).

A couple of examples: The renovation a few years ago around the 74th Subway station did nothing to accommodate the cars dropping passengers off, and consequently, they continue to block pedestrian traffic, and to create dangerous situations for the crowds of people on a daily basis. I've seen people get hit there, though luckily not fatally. The turning buses add another layer of horror at that intersection. That kind of stuff can be planned better to accommodate the traffic needs.

I'm also on the fence about the delayed green that was installed in the mid-70s after the fatal accident on 76th last year. What I see happen is that pedestrians stop, but then the very long delay of the green for cars makes them start crossing just as cars are gearing up to move.

I'm not a traffic planner but I have seen cities with a lot of traffic in Asia and in Europe that just function better because they are planned better. Why can't we have better traffic design here?

They could move some of the crosswalks to the middle of the block from the corners on 37th Avenue and Northern Blvd. But, the community board spends money on weird renovations like 37th Road and, arguably,  Travis Park.

Offline deja

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Re: Consider ditching your car-
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2019, 12:42:32 AM »
I'm a fan of four way red lights, so at least there's 30 seconds to a minute where only pedestrian crossing is allowed. 

Offline hfm

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Re: Consider ditching your car-
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2019, 07:35:25 AM »
We have a car and it stays parked most of the time, but we have a situation that requires us having it randomly for family reasons. I'm extremely careful and curteous driving, but there's one thing that's not being talked about. The number of times I've seen people just wandering across intersections against the light or even not paying attention at all (looking at a phone etc.) when I'm driving or when I'm not driving is also a huge issue. I think there's a lot of things that need to be fixed on both sides here.

Offline carrefour_ny

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Re: Consider ditching your car-
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2019, 02:58:09 PM »
@hfm: sure, your point about careless pedestrians is well-taken but given the deadly potential of cars, I think the greater burden should be on drivers, esp in largely pedestrian areas like ours.

Offline CaptainFlannel

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Re: Consider ditching your car-
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2019, 07:39:56 PM »
Quote
I think the greater burden should be on drivers, esp in largely pedestrian areas like ours.

I disagree. Both share equal responsibility. This is why we don't allow children to cross the road by themselves until we are certain they have mastered looking in both directions before crossing the street and following the Walk/Don't Walk signs 100% of the time.

Offline JK resident

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Re: Consider ditching your car-
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2019, 09:22:31 PM »
The woman who was driving the car didn’t even have a license. I shouldn’t drive because we have idiots without licenses driving around? I have never hit a pedestrian so maybe we have an enforcement issue. It could be that many illegals drive because they can’t get drivers licenses.

Offline Liz

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Re: Consider ditching your car-
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2019, 08:02:30 AM »
I'm a big fan of the ditch the car movement, primarily because I don't like to drive and that's why I live in NYC it's one of the few places I can live without driving.  However I understand there are a lot of people who really need to drive even in NYC.  I think ticketing and cameras at lights would go a long way to improving driving in this neighborhood.  I don'[t really understand why this hasn't already happened in the neighborhood.  I don't really understand the resistance to this.  I understand it involves work but my understanding is also that these measures pay for themselves, thus creating jobs, which seems like another good thing.  Are our local reps working on any solutions?

Offline Marco

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Re: Consider ditching your car-
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2019, 01:39:36 PM »
Opinion gets very varied on this issue.

I am a bicycle advocate (I'm a first gen immigrant to the US, and, yeah, the Americans sure love their cars and are spoiled for space, gas is very cheap, though NYC is a bit of an exception to most of the rest of the country at least regarding space), and I haven't owned a car since I moved to NYC several years ago.

I think that corporate employers in NYC should be like most corporate employers in developed countries around the world and offer shower facilities at their workplace for employees. If this were the norm, residents of Jackson Heights could ride bikes to Manhattan over the 59th St bridge (if they're pretty fit, and many people already do this and just smell for a bit once they're at work).

As for grocery shopping or random stuff on weekends, thankfully, it's getting easier to avoid car ownership via cabs, apps, Zipcar, etc.

Yes, ditch you car if you can.

Offline hum@njukebox1

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Re: Consider ditching your car-
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2019, 05:37:49 PM »
Gas is very cheap?  Ha!  I remember seeing it for 29 cents a gallon when our family drove down to the North Carolina shoreline one summer.........many moons ago.  The last time I owned a car, the price was still under $1 a gallon. 

Offline Jeffsayyes

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Re: Consider ditching your car-
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2019, 10:19:16 AM »
Gas is very cheap?  Ha!  I remember seeing it for 29 cents a gallon when our family drove down to the North Carolina shoreline one summer.........many moons ago.  The last time I owned a car, the price was still under $1 a gallon.


How much was milk?

Jackson Heights Life

Re: Consider ditching your car-
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2019, 10:19:16 AM »