LI Streets wins Park Tools 2019 Community Tools Grant

LI Streets wins Park Tools 2019 Community Tools Grant

“This will enable us to provide hands-on bicycle classes and demonstrations that will empower people with skills they need to maintain safe bicycles- from fixing flats to adjusting brakes- knowing basic bike mechanics are an invaluable tool for a better biking experience. When you have to rely on someone else for basic fixes, or if you struggle with broken parts due to lack of maintenance…well that’s one less positive experience, not to mention dangerous. We aim to fix that - and can now with this Community Tools Grant.”

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Recap: NYSenate Public Hearing

Recap: NYSenate Public Hearing

Long Island Streets E.D. gave testimony at the NY Senate Standing Committee on Transportation Public Hearing on the MTA/LIRR re: less focus on expanding public space for the storage of idle metal boxes and more focus on better buses and complete bicycle infrastructure at all LIRR stations (versus token bike racks in a corner). In addition, support for Congestion Pricing to help battle a public health and climate crisis, unfair MTA/LIRR fares boosting Nassau Inter-County Express / NICE Bus fares, removing the useless $5 LIRR bike pass, and concerns that the proposed consolidation of the 6 existing MTA entities could mask accountability and potentially make NYC transit and the LIRR less autonomous from the whims of upstate legislators.

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Report: Optimizing Large Vehicles...

Report: Optimizing Large Vehicles...

Accommodating the largest vehicles on the street- often emergency response vehicles or municipal refuse vehicles—prevents our city and county from redesigning streets for safer speeds and reduced crossing distances. We’ve seen this played out throughout Nassau County - emergency responders being less part of the solution to safe streets and more of a roadblock due to sheer size of vehicle, unnecessarily so.

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Article: We need to Talk About Truck Design


We Need to Talk About Truck Design Right Now Before It's Too Late - hipster auto-blogger Jason Torchinsky in Jalopnik

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Let me bluntly get all up your grille when I say- how the literal fuck are we suppose to “share the road” with the face of rage and intimidation? And all you need is a crackerjack box license to commandeer one of these death machines? Insanity. We simply cannot nor should we have to jockey for space on streets with these monster trucks.

"It could just be me, but these massive, over-complicated grilles feel desperate and attention-hungry, like showing up at a barbecue slathered in blood and with your sleeve on fire so there will be no doubt as to what a badass you are."

Size matters.

2020 death machine

2020 death machine

We are well aware that pedestrians are two-to-three times more likely to die if they’re struck by a SUV or high horse powered weapon of mass destruction, thanks to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report earlier this year- we did a blog recap Vehicle Size Matters. Data and honest safety experts have verified that long-standing common factors in pedestrian deaths, such as alcohol and jaywalking at night, did not account for the recent growth in ped fatalities. The myth of distracted pedestrians is lazy; he reality of distracted journalists ignoring this is dangerous.

So we’re taken by surprise that this article begging the conversation of truck design was penned by Jason Torchinsky, Senior Editor of Jalopnik. He must have kids or a conscience or something.

“Most of these trucks are six feet tall or more, which means that the hood height is around four to five feet off the ground, which means that if one of these is behind you, you’re greeted with the sight of just grille, massive and hungry, filling your view. Walking by trucks like these feels more like walking past a building sometimes, confronted with vast curtain walls of vents and meshes and perforated, vertical walls. They’re starting to feel less and less like vehicles.”

Kudos.

So we now know what the big mean vehicle machine industry bigwigs have long known about this but nothing has changed except size- and not for the better. SUVs and trucks are killing us yet the grille obsession is growing - and we’re not talking work vehicles here. Anecdotal fact is most people you see driving big pickup machines are not carrying or hauling anything special and more often than not, they are the only person in the vehicle. 

“Generously-sized grilles have always been part of truck design—well, at least front-engined, water-cooled truck design—but what we’re currently experiencing goes way beyond just having a big grille. The goal of modern truck grilles—especially the larger, Heavy Duty spec trucks—seems to be less about getting the required cooling air and more about creating a massive, brutal face of rage and intimidation.“

Grant Opportunities: #FundMyStreets #SafeRoutesToParks

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Zendrive together with Lyft, Uber, Lime, Bird, Juno, HopSkipDrive, and nonprofits StopDistractions.org, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), and Together for Safer Roads, created a partnership — #FundMyStreets — that will award $50,000 to fund improve traffic safety around schools.

Time sensitive! Apply here.


With generous funding from The JPB Foundation, the Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities program is currently accepting applications for awards for eleven grantee communities in 2019. The Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities program provides tailored technical assistance for eleven communities to develop Safe Routes to Parks action plans and awards $12,500 to each community to begin implementation of those plans. Application deadline: Dec 10, 2018. Click here for more info.



Fall Back

Fall back next weekend for Daylight Saving Time on Sat, Nov 4th, and be aware of the statistical increase in safety incidents. Every year during the end of daylight saving time there is an increase in traffic crashes. With increased darkness around rush hour time, and when traffic is at a peak, drivers, pedestrians and people on bicycles aren’t yet used to the decreased visibility and our internal clocks are thrown off by the change in lighting.

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Visibility. Our fabulous fall fashion is darker than our summer brights and we’re wearing hats and scarves - while this should not matter what we wear when crossing with the right of way, it does matter when you throw in a few other factors and when we’re talking about kids on their way home from after school activities. Let’s be honest here - being visible can save your life regardless of where you are walking, who has the right of way or that orange is no longer the new black (but we hear yellow is rather vogue this season). The Governor's Traffic Safety Committee of New York pedestrian safety campaign SEE! BE SEEN! is on point for this time of year.

People on bikes - this is the PERFECT time of year to look at your bike reflectors and lights.New York law states a bike must be equipped with a headlight and taillight, front and rear reflectors, spoke reflectors and pedal reflectors to be used when riding at night. (Section 1236, NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law).

Drivers, check your windshield fluid, make sure your windows and mirrors are clean- if that is all it takes to increase your ability to see someone, then its worth the 5 minutes. You know driving around neighborhoods before dinner there’s always tweens on bikes and skateboards - remember they are there, even if you don’t see them. Be ready.

If you call someone on their way home from work or school and they are in the car - get off the phone with them. Not after you ask what they want for dinner, but immediately.

Sleepy, drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving. November 4 - 11 is Drowsy Driving Prevention Week for a reason. Just like with the Spring forward Daylight Saving time, we are thrown off for a week as our bodies adjust to the change in morning and evening light. Our internal clocks being off by waking and getting home when its dark, leaving us sluggish and sleepy. Be aware of this. Have a coffee in the afternoon.

Being aware of road user dangers during Daylight Saving Time in the Fall will make you and your loved ones safer.

E-Scooter Campaign

Long Island Streets has launched a campaign to insert electric scooters and e-bikes into the daily options of transportation choices on Long Island. Elected leaders are more responsive when given an opportunity to give these small transportation modes a whirl when with their constituents. We know when the opportunity to officially bring these options in comes across their plate, they’ll be more likely to bite. You know what? We barely even have to ask elected leaders and decision makers to give this a whirl - they’re asking us!!!

In the Village of Valley Stream, Deputy Mayor Vincent Grasso all but drove away with the scooter. Grasso was beaming at the potential for commuters in Valley Stream who might otherwise take their car to the LIRR or other destinations. The affordability and ease of use is a perk.

Village of valley stream deputy mayor vincent grasso

Village of valley stream deputy mayor vincent grasso

TOH Councilman D’esposito

TOH Councilman D’esposito

Town of Hempstead Councilman Anthony D’Esposito recently posted this video and commentary on social media:

“Always interested in reading about and learning more about transportation options/alternatives here in America's largest Township. Studies show that non-vehicular traffic actually increases success of local business. Bike/scooter sharing has aided in the growth of some downtowns and makes them more environmentally friendly! The technology involved with many of the options is pretty cool. All application based, making it easy and efficient to use. Spent some time with Allison Blanchette from Long Island Streets taking a spin on her scooter and chatting about improving #SafeSidewalks here in the Town of Hempstead!”

NYS Assemblywoman missy miller

NYS Assemblywoman missy miller

NYS Assemblywoman Melissa “Missy” Miller tried the scooter at a recent function and requested we return to her headquarters so she can spend more time hearing about scooters as a transportation mode.

Bird Scooters have been making the rounds in New York, with rumors of pilot potential in the Town of Hempstead. We are all for micro-mobility options on Long Island but to be clear here - we are lobbying for the ability to use electric scooters as part of both a share mode and for private ownership. We want people to invest in a person electric scooter like we want people to invest in their own bike - it gives you more skin the game and the likelihood you’ll demand safer infrastructure, programs and outreach. At least we think so.

E-Scooters would make sense on the Long Beach barrier island, which has the largest number of commuters accessing the LIRR via bicycle on Long Island. From Point Lookout to Atlantic Beach, residents are known for walking, skating and biking to their destinations, often because parking is difficult plus bars are plenty. During rush hour, the buses are packed with city workers. One of those commuters is City of Long Beach City Coucilman John Bendo, who jumped on our e-scooter after a recent City Council meeting. Imagine not having to wait for a bus and getting to the station quicker during rush hour in the evening? Yes, a scooter has been timed to beat the bus and don’t you know about the “parking crisis”?

City of long beach city councilman john bendo, outside the lirr and bus station

City of long beach city councilman john bendo, outside the lirr and bus station

Atlantic Beach Mayor George Pappas has been incredibly receptive to taking part in our e-scooter campaign, photo’s will be added to our social media when we get to make that connection, but in the meantime here is an Atlantic Beach bike lane:

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The scooter we are using is a Xiaomi Mi, same model as several e-scooter share systems. Thoughts? Email: contact@longislandstreets.org

For more info on current programs around the country, Smart Cities Dive’s “Mapping the impact of dockless vehicles” is a comprehensive update on who’s who and where in the dockless industry…although they’ve left Long Island bike share off the map (of course we sent an email). We have had Social Bikes (bought by JUMP, then Uber) for over 3 years in the City of Long Beach and Suffolk has brought in Zagster, though not fully operational yet.

Island Now Editorial on E-Scooters

Blog post by Allison Blanchette

Adam Haber wrote about e-scooters on Long Island in an Island Now Editorial, which I responded to in the comment section (and the LI Press deleted - what’s up with that?). One thing missing is a safe space to ride and a massive culture change to allow it. 
This week the Baldwin Grand redesign - the one I actively secured $4.3 million in expired federal earmarks as a side project while freelancing at NYBC- has faced massive bikelash by people who prioritize storing idle cars, preserving some false sense of speed entitlement and antiquated road user hierarchy over, like, sharing space with human bodies who lack the privilege, ability, interest and/ or level of laziness in commandeering a 4-ton vessel to get from point A to point B. 
Yes, we need a more green transportation future but it first/also requires big picture thinking decision makers like Adam, and elected leaders with the courage to stand up to the status flow of dinosaurs on Long Island streets. Me thinks it's time to bring the outlaws in as inlaws, and pull some advocates on board. 

These are two big asks for Nassau - having the stomach for road diets, and to hire advocates in lieu of political appointee's...but hey, if Adam Haber can dream of e-scooters on Long Island then I can dream big, too.