Southern Brooklyn

The Commute: We Now Have Definitive Proof Select Bus Service (SBS) Is A Failure — Part 2 Of 2

The B44 SBS. Source: Patrick Cashin / MTA / Flickr
The B44 SBS. Source: Patrick Cashin / MTA / Flickr

THE COMMUTE: Yesterday, we looked at SBS routes in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island. Today we examine the B44 SBS in Brooklyn and future routes.

Brooklyn

Annual ridership on the B44 is down by 4.4 percent as compared to the borough’s local bus average of 1.6 percent. The B49, which shares the same route as the B44 SBS northbound along Rogers Avenue, had a greater ridership loss of 6.8percent. So even with B49 riders shifting to the B44 SBS, the route still suffered a ridership loss almost three times the borough average.

Since we do not have any readily available statistics for taxi cabs and vans, we do not know how many riders shifted to those modes, but it is probably a significant number, since New York Avenue riders were significantly impacted with increased walking distances to Rogers Avenue and increased waiting times if they chose not to walk or take an extra bus. The only other north/south route is the B46 bus, which runs along Utica Avenue and is also far away. It also lost riders greater than the borough average.

The B44 did not attract huge passenger shifts from routes that connect with the Brighton line as the MTA predicted when it made its presentation to CB 13 back in 2010. At that time, I warned them that it would just not happen. The SBS may also have increased traffic congestion. In 2010, it was suggested that the route be extended to Kingsborough Community College. This would have greatly increased patronage from under six passengers per bus during the peak hours, which the MTA immediately dismissed. Better planning through altering other local bus routes, as I previously suggested, could have made the difference between success and failure.

What Does All This Mean?

Two of the seven SBS routes, both in the Bronx, may be a success, but we still do not have enough data to say for sure. However, three routes — the M15, M34, and B44 — are definite failures. The M60 and S79 appear to have made little difference using ridership as the metric.

M86 SBS

Ridership on the proposed M86 SBS will most likely decline. That will happen because most riders on Manhattan’s crosstown bus routes have the option of walking when transferring from the subway. Longer buses will mean fewer of them and longer waits, although bus travel time will be speeded up through paying your fare before you board. The bus may save 10 minutes from river to river. However, most passengers who make short trips will only save about three minutes.

Taking into account the chance of missing a bus by having to pre-pay your fare, you will lose more than three minutes by having to wait for the next bus. When that happens, most will choose to walk. Since the MTA will not lose revenue from passengers who will no longer transfer from the subway, the MTA will not care about them. In short, SBS on the M86 makes good business sense for the MTA: fewer buses and a cost savings with little or no effect on revenue. It will mean, for the passenger, longer waits, possibly a savings of three minutes, and walking more often.

B46 SBS

I predict that the B46 will also suffer from enforcement problems, as the B44 does, particularly between Tilden Avenue and Clarendon Road where double parking is rampant. By enforcement problems I mean by drivers who intentionally block bus lanes causing traffic congestion and do not receive summonses, as well as those who innocently receive summonses because of poor signage. It will also suffer from increased traffic congestion.

Conclusion

In this week’s Rockaway Times, I proposed an alternate to SBS, which would save buses just as much time and would be effective on all bus routes, not only 10 percent of them. I also gave my opinions to Greg Mocker of New York’s PIX11 on the proposed Woodhaven Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). At the conclusion of the interview, a gentleman approached Mocker and explained that he had just received a photo summons by mail because he crossed a bus lane while pulling out of a parking space. That is not the way the enforcement is supposed to work. Neither should you be receiving summonses three months late. Nor should fare machines be broken for two weeks with riders receiving summonses for riding the bus when the machines are out of service. Initial confusion and worn out bus lanes are also preventable and you shouldn’t have to fight for additional SBS bus stops that are needed in the first place, here and here.

View the MTA or DOT websites and you will learn nothing about these problems like they do not exist. All you will see are figures, such as that 95 percent of SBS riders are satisfied, bus speeds are 25 percent quicker, and ridership is increasing on SBS routes. Just a bunch of lies. We need a moratorium on future SBS bus routes.

The Commute is a weekly feature highlighting news and information about the city’s mass transit system and transportation infrastructure. It is written by Allan Rosen, a Manhattan Beach resident and former Director of MTA/NYC Transit Bus Planning (1981).

Disclaimer: The above is an opinion column and may not represent the thoughts or position of Sheepshead Bites. Based upon their expertise in their respective fields, our columnists are responsible for fact-checking their own work. Their submissions are edited only for length, grammar and clarity. If you would like to submit an opinion piece or become a regularly featured contributor, please e-mail nberke [at]sheepsheadbites [dot]com.

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49 COMMENTS

  1. Both would need occasional enforcement.

    Why do people wear their seatbelts? Why do people bow pick up after their dogs? Why do people recycle? Change doesn’t occur overnight.

    Why do you insist on throwing up roadblocks? I don’t believe I have heard a single criticism from you about DOT or the MTA? Why are fare machines broken and not fixed immediately? Why are lane markings worn out? I haven’t heard you say a thing about those facts. You and others only criticize what I say all the time. I do not think you and others are being fair at all.

  2. I don’t believe I have heard a single criticism from you about DOT or the MTA?

    I’m not a big fan of either.

    Why are fare machines broken and not fixed immediately?

    I don’t know if they break frequently, or how long it takes to fix them. They shouldn’t break often, and when they do they absolutely should be fixed quickly. Are there any published figures stating how often and for how long machines are out of service? Maybe a comptroller audit? If not, see if you can get DOT/MTA to provide them to you, even if they aren’t published anywhere, I’m sure they have internal data on them. Their reliability or lack thereof, an explanation for why there are at least some reported incidents of up to a couple weeks to repair a machine, how many people (if any) have been given fines when there was no working payment machine at their stop, how well due process has or has not served them etc…would make a good column.

    Why are lane markings worn out?

    Probably the same reason they don’t keep crosswalks painted.

  3. Both would need occasional enforcement.

    On any given route do you think an enforced bus lane would not be more effective at increasing bus speed and reliability than asking drivers to yield to buses pulling out of a stop into a general traffic lane? Assume comparable levels of enforcement, either a camera every block for the bus lane or at every bus stop for your yield proposal. At least during rush hour when the road is congested?

    Change doesn’t occur overnight.

    It’s been the law for a long time that cars have to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. If it takes decades to speed up buses slightly with your yield proposal then it isn’t a good alternative to bus lanes and wider stop spacing.

    What we need is an overhaul of bus routes. Many of our present routes were designed to serve the generation from pre-World War II. We need a bus system that is reliable.

    You’re onto something here. Why not spend time talking about what an overhauled bus network would look like, what trips it would serve better, what trips it would not serve as well etc…instead of mostly complaining about taking general traffic or parking lanes for buses?

    http://www.humantransit.org/2010/05/basics-should-we-redesign-our-bus-network-and-how.html

    Cities change, and every 20 years or so, the bus network should be comprehensively reviewed. Such a project should really include an exercise where you study the city’s demand patterns and design a network on a “blank slate” i.e. deliberately not considering what your network does now. Such a thought process will retain the strongest features of your existing network, but will let you discover new patterns of flow that are a better fit for your system as it is today.

    To a point the same could be done for some roads. On Woodhaven, if you started with a blank slate, would you retain all existing left turns?

  4. If drivers won’t yield to pedestrians, why do you think drivers will yield to buses?

    If you (Allan) insist that failure to yield to a pedestrian is merely accidental, then why don’t you also insist that failure to yield to a bus is merely accidental?

    If drivers scream bloody murder when the speed limit is enforced (with a 10 mph buffer, yet!), why wouldn’t drivers scream bloody murder when your proposed yield-to-buses law is enforced? And why wouldn’t you side with the screaming drivers, as you do with speed limits?

  5. On any given route do you think an enforced bus lane would not be more effective…

    I think they both may be just as effective if enforced. The difference is that my proposal would be effective on every bus route not only 10% of the bus routes where you would have exclusive lanes. You also would hamper other traffic much less.

    It’s been the law for a long time that cars have to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.

    That’s because it has never been enforced. I believe there was one crackdown for like a day. It has to be periodic for drivers to change their habits. But I have noticed it has greatly improved over the years. Even yellow cabs give me the right of way now. There also seems to be confusion as to what giving the right of way means. Many times someone is just stepping off a sidewalk. Does that mean that a car has to stop and let the person go first even if the driver can complete his turn before the pedestrian is anywhere near the car when walking at a steady pace? I don’t think so. Some intersections have such heavy pedestrian movements, that only one car can make a right turn on a traffic cycle. Do you think it is fair that a driver should have to miss three cycles if there are two cars in front of him also waiting to turn? Those intersections need separate pedestrian cycles.

    On Brighton Beach Avenue, the pedestrians are always crossing, on the red and on the green. They never want to wait.

    It won’t take decades for my proposal to be effective if it is occasionally enforced. As I stated pedestrian right of way is virtually never enforced.

    Why not spend time talking about what an overhauled bus network would look like?

    I have spent 43 years talking about that. In fact, that was the subject of my Master’s Thesis. I submitted about a dozen of those ideas to the MTA when I was an employee under the Employee Suggestion Program. All were rejected. In 2006, I developed the following website:

    http://brooklynbus.tripod.com

    I have written like ten articles in the Commute discussing my specific bus proposals. NYC Transit Forums has hundreds of route change proposals from others. I don’t know what else you want me to do.

    This is the problem: The MTA has no desire to improve bus service. Their goal is to provide as little bus service they can get away with politically. They accepted my proposal for a minor extension to the B83 and that took them five years of study. How long do you think it would take them to revamp the entire system? 100 years? 200 years?

    Here are the responses the MTA gives you. If you want to extend a route, they can’t do that because, “it would hurt reliability.” If you want to shorten a route, they can’t do that because “more people would have to transfer.” If you want to straighten a route. They will tell you travel patterns will be altered and some will be inconvenienced, so they can’t do that. If you want to add some complexity to a route so that it serves a point of interest better, they will tell you that it will inconvenience through passengers. Get the idea? THEY DON”T WANT TO MAKE ANY CHANGES THEY DON’T THINK OF THEMSELVES. When they lengthen a route, reliability is not a factor. When they shorten a route, transferring riders are not a factor. When they straighten a route, it help people because the bus can travel faster. When they add a complexity, it serves the people better. GET IT? THEY ARE HYPOCRITES.

    If they happen to like your idea like my B83 idea, they implement it ten years later as an original proposal “they” thought of.

    On Woodhaven, if you started with a blank slate, would you retain all existing left turns?

    You have to realize that currently most potential left turns are already banned. That is because it is an arterial and many streets on the northern part do not go through Woodhaven. On the southern portion many left turns are banned to keep traffic flowing in all three lanes on the main road.

    I am not sure I understand your question about a blank slate. What they are proposing now is to ban most of the few remaining left turns and adding a few new ones. That will make many travel a half mile out of their way and add about ten minutes to their trip just at the point where they turn. It will also make it much more difficult to get off Woodhaven for an alternate route, when it gets backed up. They already have eliminated several alternate detours when traffic is congested. Now they will eliminate all the others.

    I would undo the changes they have made since 2009 and add a slip lane south of 103 Avenue and ban parking in the service road at least during the evening peak for the entire block. That would greatly improve traffic flow, which DOT is not interested in doing.

  6. If many are evading the fare, that could account for the “reduced patronage” which may not be reduced at all. Nevertheless future service levels will be based on what the MTA believes the patronage to be resulting in more crowded buses. The MTA claims that fare evasion as been greatly reduced as a result of SBS. Perhaps, they are wrong again,

  7. I have no idea what you are talking about by stating that failing to yield to a pedestrian is accidental.

    Why do I think drivers will yield to buses? They yield to stopped school buses don’t they? And that means they may have to wait several minutes not 15 seconds as I am proposing. Drivers are not evil heartless murderers who have no respect for the law in spite of what you may think.

    And why am I proposing this? Because I actually want bus riders to get places faster and do not believe that the motorist comes first as you are mistakenly trying to get people to believe.

    I also notice you are not disputing any of the statistics I used to come to the conclusion that SBS is a failure.

  8. So it proof.. Limited bus is way better than Select bus Service? Renaming the Limited to Select Bus Service sucks LMAO.

  9. I have no idea what you are talking about by stating that failing to yield to a pedestrian is accidental.

    The reference is to the incorrect use of the word “accident” to describe an incident in which a motorist kills or injures a pedestrian by failing to yield to the pedestrian.

  10. And where did I state that failure to yield to a pedestrian is “accidental”? Yielding Can mean a lot of things. If you can complete your turn before a pedestrian is anywhere near your car and do so after the pedestrian has stepped off the sidewalk, if that failure to yield? If someone darts across the road in front of you while you are traveling at the speed limit, and you cannot stop in time, is that “failure to yield”? In your eyes I am sure it is.

  11. Are you joking us? You’ve told us many times that a bus driver who strikes and kills (kills!) a pedestrian who is crossing the street with the light in his favor shouldn’t be penalized, because, according to you, it’s just an accident.

    This isn’t a situation of a bus driver who could complete his turn before a pedestrian is anywhere near his bus, or else his bus wouldn’t have struck and killed the pedestrian. This is a situation ofa bus driver who made the deliberate decision to break the law – by failing to watch for pedestrians or by failing to yield to the ones he did see – and who killed the pedestrian as a result.

    If in your book the failure to yield to a pedestrian is an accident, then why isn’t the failure to yield to a bus also an accident?

    Do I have to spell it out any more clearly? I’m not sure that’s possible.

  12. You show me where I stated a bus driver who strikes and kills a pedestrian who deliberately chose to break the law should not be penalized. First of all the MTA does not take such events lightly, regardless how he is treated by the law. Most likely he will never drive a bus again unless it was thoroughly unavoidable lie achild darting out right in front of the bus. Even those instances are thoroughly investigated by the MTA with appropriate measures taken. What I do remember saying is that I do not see the point of immediately arresting him and putting him in jail when it might have been an accident, which you believe is not at all possible because all drivers are murderers and break all laws because they are purely evil. Do you even realize the psychological trauma a bus driver does through when this happens? It can haunt them the rest of their lives. But that wouldn’t concern you at all because the pedestrian is never wrong in such instances. It is always te fault of the motorist. It just couldn’t be any other way, the way you see it.

    I have no idea what you are even trying to say that failure to yield to a bus is or isn’t an accident.

    And just because someone sees someone, does not mean there is time to stop. You are being very unfair to all those hard working bus drivers out there when you accuse them of seeing someone and deliberately cutting someone off or trying to run them over. If you ever did witness such an incident, and I doubt that you did, did you even bother to note the bus number and time and report it to the MTA? I wouldn’t think you did. You are just making things up to falsely give the impression that every motorist wakes up in the morning with the thought of who can I kill today? I shouldn’t even waste my time with your nonsense.

  13. You show me where I stated a bus driver who strikes and kills a pedestrian who deliberately chose to break the law should not be penalized.

    The law requires that drivers making turns first yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. That implicitly requires that drivers make the conscious effort, before and while turning, to look for pedestrians in and approaching the crosswalk.

    Any driver who fails to yield while turning has done one of two things wrong: he either has not bothered to look or has cut off a pedestrian he did see.

    Failing to watch for pedestrians is a conscious decision that some drivers make. Failing to yield to pedestrians that one sees its another conscious decision that some drivers make. A driver who strikes a pedestrian while making a turn has made one or both of these conscious decisions. The purpose of the right-of-way law is to persuade drivers to make different decisions.

    What I do remember saying is that I do not see the point of immediately arresting him and putting him in jail when it might have been an accident,

    1. We’ve been discussing pedestrians who are struck and killed while crossing the street with the walk signal. Given what I wrote above, what exactly constitutes a true accident in such a scenario?

    2. How often do you propose that these events are pure accidents?

    2. How exactly would you determine the facts? If it includes asking the driver, remember that (a) the driver has every interest in painting the story in a way that relieves himself of all responsibility, (b) the pedestrian isn’t around anymore to give his side of the story, and (c) the police who respond to such incidents have generally been satisfied with such statements as “I didn’t see him!” without any follow-up questions (such as “Were you looking?” or “Then how is it that you didn’t see him?”) to try to figure out what actually happened – they prefer instead to immediately absolve the driver of all possible guilt.

    which you believe is not at all possible because all drivers are murderers and break all laws because they are purely evil.

    Show me where I have ever said anything even close to that. (Are you not familiar with the notion of negligence?)

    There are plenty of good drivers, who are careful to yield to pedestrians. But there are also plenty who don’t. I’d like for them to start yielding, and asking them to please yield isn’t going to accomplish that.

    Do you even realize the psychological trauma a bus driv er does through when this happens? It can haunt them the rest of their lives. But that wouldn’t concern you at all because the pedestrian is never wrong in such instances. It is always te fault of the motorist. It just couldn’t be any other way, the way you see it.

    Oh, no, the poor bus driver! The family of the deceased pedestrian who was killed while crossing the street with the walk signal should immediately call the bus driver to apologize. How heartless of him to have crossed the street with the light. He should have had more sympathy for the bus driver who was about to kill him!

    (Seriously? I’m supposed to be more concerned about the feelings of a bus driver who kills a pedestrian crossing the street legally than for the pedestrian who was killed for the crime of crossing the street with the light?)

    I have no idea what you are even trying to say that failure to yield to a bus is or isn’t an accident.

    It almost never is an accident – especially when it comes to turns (which are the vast majority of cases, I believe). It’s that clear enough for you?

    And just because someone sees someone, does not mean there is time to stop.

    When making a turn?!

    (If you’ve moved onto the question of yielding to pedestrians at unsignalized crosswalks whole going straight, you are correct, the pedestrian shouldn’t step into the street so close to an approaching vehicle that it can’t possibly stop in time. But that doesn’t absolve the motorist of the responsibility to watch for pedestrians and to stop and wait for them when they can stop in time. It also doesn’t absolve them of the responsibility to drive at an appropriate speed. But have any bus drivers been arrested for failing to yield while going straight? I could be wrong, but as far as I know all have been on turns.)

    You are being very unfair to all those hard working bus drivers out there when you accuse them of seeing someone and deliber ately cutting someone off or trying to run them over.

    Trying to run them over?! Where on earth did I say that?

    Lots and lots of bus drivers nose their way between pedestrians. I see it every day. Are you serially denying it?

    If you ever did witness such an incident, and I doubt that you did, did you even bother to note the bus number and time and report it to the MTA? I wouldn’t think you did.

    I used to report them, but it’s a common enough problem that I’m afraid I can’t keep up anymore.

    You are just making things up to falsely give the impression that every motorist wakes up in the morning with the thought of who can I kill today?

    Pardon? Have you read anything I’ve written? It seems not. (I guess this answers the question I asked earlier about your familiarity with the notion of negligence.)

    I shouldn’t even waste my time with your nonsense.

    Look in a mirror, please.

  14. Very nice dissertation in your first paragraph which I do not disagree with. However, it in no way answers my question. So how about responding to my questions before asking a ton of your own? I am. It denying there are some bad drivers in addition to the good ones. You make it appear that 95% of them are bad with your constant attacks on the motorist. Why don’t you give me one instance where it is an “accident” as opposed to a “crash”?

    And yes, a pedestrian can still step off the sidewalk into a car’s path without him being able to stop. Not everyone standing near s street corner is waiting to cross it. They could be waiting there to meet a friend. But you expect all drivers to be mind readers. Until they step off the curb which could be after the car already started moving, the driver does not know the pedestrians’ intentions. It isn’t obvious in every case.

    You state bus drivers deliberately cut off pedestrians who are crossing, not caring what the results would be, if they run them over or not. The reason a bus driver may try to nose his way between pedestrians his because it may be his only chance to move the bus before the light turns red so he can get into the intersection to make his turn. It is the same reason why some drivers may do that. Because at some heavy pedestrian intersections pedestrians are crossing for the entire green cycle and even continue crossing into the red cycle. Are you proposing that the bus stays in the same place for perhaps 5, 10, or 15 minutes until he can make his turn?

    When I proposed overpasses at such intersections
    , you immediately dismissed that. Would you also dismiss separate walk cycles for pedestrians to because they might has to wait too long for one? After all the pedestrian should be able to cross the street whereever and whereever he wants to. As fdtutf stated, it is his God given right.

  15. The driver, of a bus or car, can move his vehicle into the intersection and stay there until the pedestrians finish crossing. At the end of the cycle pedestrians will stop and wait leaving room for the vehicle to clear the intersection. Maybe a delay of thirty seconds until the end of a cycle. Not the 15 minutes you fear monger with.

  16. The delay of 30 seconds only applies to the first car. The second car would miss the cycle and have to wait 90 seconds for the next one, since that is usually the cycle when lights are synchronized for the avenues during the peak. The third car would therefor have to wait four minutes and a fourth, 6 minutes. All that still assumes the driver would have to nudge his way between pedestrians to enter the intersection which is what Andrew is objecting to in the first place. That is why I said, possibly 15 minutes when a driver would be permitted to make the turn without interfering at all with pedestrian movements.

  17. If it’s a stop sign then stop and wait until pedestrians are done crossing. Yes that might take a minute or more. Since you’re talking about traffic lights, no, drivers don’t have to nudge their way into the intersection. Only out of it. If there was only room for one car per cycle to make it through then dot would add that intersection to the many that have dedicated turn phases. It’s not a fifteen minute delay for anyone if drivers act like decent human beings and don’t use their multiton hunks of metal to intimidate pedestrians out of the way,quit fear mongering.

  18. I was talking about traffic signals, not stop signs. I was also thinking more of right turns than left turns. If you think DOT just adds left turn signals because it is needed, you are fooling yourself. It takes months or years of community nagging to get a separate left turn phase. In Brooklyn at Emmons and Bedford, it took nine months and three separate accidents before DOT finally yielded to het community requests. Your last sentence generalization shows your mind s made up and nothing I could possibly say would change it.

  19. Then why did you think cars would have trouble entering the intersection?

    Which high demand turn without a dedicated phase is limited to throughput of one car per cyclecycle typically because of heavy pedestrian traffic in the conflicting crosswalk where you think DOT needs to installinstall a separate phase but is reluctant to do so?

  20. It happens at many intersections in Midtown. The one time I brought my car into Manhattan to see a play, I had to make a right turn from 42 Street to Sixth Avenue to get to the parking garage on 43 Street. There were about four cars ahead of me waiting to make that right turn. Every time the signal turned green, the cars had to wait for the pedestrians to finish crossing and only one car would be able to turn when the signal turned amber. Then I had to wait 90 seconds for the next green signal and again on,y one of the cars could turn on that signal. I had to wait six or eight minutes to make a right turn. Just ridiculous. I could have changed lanes and turn right on 8th Avenue instead, but how would I know the same thing wouldn’t happen there also?

  21. And I thought I was being original. Didn’t know it exists in some places. But why are you so insistent that SBS works and should be expanded? Do you think we have the data that shows that it works and that the problems with them should just be forgotten about? Do you deny that lanes are not repainted? If DOT can’t maintain the seven exclusive bus lanes we have now, how will they be able to maintain 17 in two more years which is deBlasio’s goal? What about fixing the broken machines timely so people aren’t given summonses? Why do we need more SBS routes when there is the possibility that more are being hurt and are losing more time than those who are being helped? How can you be so sure without adequate data that they are an improvement especially when patronage is only increasing on two of the seven routes more than the borough average?

  22. It denying there are some bad drivers in addition to the good ones. You make it appear that 95% of them are bad with your constant attacks on the motorist. Why don’t you give me one instance where it is an “accident” as opposed to a “crash”?

    Nonsense. I’ve said many times that I have no objection to drivers who obey the law.

    I think your terminology is a bit muddled. A crash is a crash, whether or not it’s accidental. When it comes to yielding to pedestrians while turning, it’s frankly somewhat difficult for me to imagine a true accident, since in such a case it’s entirely the motorist’s legal responsibility to avoid conflicts with pedestrians and cyclists. I suppose if a pedestrian were to fall from the sky and land in a crosswalk, the resulting crash would be truly accidental, since a driver wouldn’t reasonably have expected a pedestrian to fall from above. But I don’t think anybody’s been arrested yet for failure to yield to a pedestrian who fell from the sky.

    And yes, a pedestrian can still step off the sidewalk into a car’s path without him being able to stop. Not everyone standing near s street corner is waiting to cross it. They could be waiting there to meet a friend. But you expect all drivers to be mind readers. Until they step off the curb which could be after the car already started moving, the driver does not know the pedestrians’ intentions. It isn’t obvious in every case.

    Funny, over thousands of turns on city streets, I’ve never had that problem. Drivers who take the law seriously somehow manage to figure it out just fine.

    You state bus drivers deliberately cut off pedestrians who are crossing, not caring what the results would be, if they run them over or not. The reason a bus driver may try to nose his way between pedestrians his because it may be his only chance to move the bus before the light turns red so he can get into the intersection to make his turn. It is the same reason why some drivers may do that. Because at some heavy pedestrian intersections pedestrians are crossing for the entire green cycle and even continue crossing into the red cycle. Are you proposing that the bus stays in the same place for perhaps 5, 10, or 15 minutes until he can make his turn?

    Whoa, Nelly! Before you were claiming that bus drivers never cut off pedestrians. Now you’re coming up with excuses for bus drivers who cut off pedestrians. Which is it? Do bus drivers cut off pedestrians or not?

    As ahwr says, you’re vastly overstating the delay to drivers. One it becomes that time-consuming to make a particular turn, most drivers will find a different way to get where they’re going. (As a motorist, I can’t think of a single time that I had to wait more than one exceeds cycle due to pedestrian activity.)

    You are also ignoring the impact to pedestrians who are cut off. If they don’t challenge the driver (risking their lives in the process), they have to retreat back to the sidewalk and wait for the next walk signal – and hope that they’re not cut off again.

    But that’s frankly beside the point, which is that cutting off pedestrians who are crossing the street with the light is blatantly illegal. A driver who deliberately threatens a pedestrian’s life and who then follows through on that threat can’t then turn around and cry “accident”!

    When I proposed overpasses at such intersections
    , you immediately dismissed that. Would you also dismiss separate walk cycles for pedestrians to because they might has to wait too long for one?

    I dismissed pedestrian overpasses at locations with very heavy pedestrian activity and much lighter vehicular traffic, because it makes no sense to send the many on a time consuming obstacle course in order to save a few seconds for the few.

    At some locations, Barnes dances may make sense. However, they also may significantly reduce vehicular throughput, so you might not like them so much.

    After all the pedestrian should be able to cross the street whereever and whereever he wants to. As fdtutf stated, it is his God given right.

    Where did he say that?

    And what does that have to do with penalizing drivers who kill pedestrians to whom they were legally required to yield?

  23. Another long comment sitting forever in the moderation queue, so I’ll break it into parts.

    (Part 1)

    Annual ridership on the B44 is down by 4.4 percent as compared to the borough’s local bus average of 1.6 percent. The B49, which shares the same route as the B44 SBS northbound along Rogers Avenue, had a greater ridership loss of 6.8percent. So even with B49 riders shifting to the B44 SBS, the route still suffered a ridership loss almost three times the borough average.

    Incredible. When I pointed out (dozens of times over the years) that M15 ridership increased with the startup of SBS, you told me that increased ridership wasn’t meaningful. But if B44 ridership decreases, you’re suddenly happy to immediately consider it “definitive proof” of anything?

    Since we do not have any readily available statistics for taxi cabs and vans, we do not know how many riders shifted to those modes, but it is probably a significant number,

    You are entitled to your guesses.

    The B44 did not attract huge passenger shifts from routes that connect with the Brighton line as the MTA predicted when it made its presentation to CB 13 back in 2010.

    I’m not about to sit through a 24-minute video. What exactly was the language of this “prediction”?

    The SBS may also have increased traffic congestion.

    You are entitled to your guesses.

  24. (Part 2)

    In 2010, it was suggested that the route be extended to Kingsborough Community College. This would have greatly increased patronage from under six passengers per busduring the peak hours, which the MTA immediately dismissed. Better planning through altering other local bus routes, as I previously suggested, could have made the difference between success and failure.

    Congratulations, you just made the claim that the B44 SBS carries under six passengers per bus during peak hours.

    Congratulations, you forgot to mention that you did your count near the southern end of the line.

    Congratulations, you just proclaimed to all that you have no idea what a peak load point is.

    Two of the seven SBS routes, both in the Bronx, may be a success, but we still do not have enough data to say for sure.

    No, Allan, we never have enough data to call an SBS route a success, do we.

    However, three routes — the M15, M34, and B44 — are definite failures.

    It’s a “definite failure” if ridership doesn’t keep going up and up and up and up forever?

  25. (Part 3)

    Ridership on the proposed M86 SBS will most likely decline. That will happen because most riders on Manhattan’s crosstown bus routes have the option of walking when transferring from the subway. Longer buses will mean fewer of them and longer waits, although bus travel time will be speeded up through paying your fare before you board.

    Seriously? The M86 has run articulated buses for the past 15 years or so.

    The bus may save 10 minutes from river to river. However, most passengers who make short trips will only save about three minutes.

    You are entitled to your guesses. Note that three minutes is a really big deal when it comes to transit improvements.

    Have you ever ridden the M86? Are you aware of the exceedingly long dwells (upwards of 3 minutes) at Lexington Avenue and at CPW, with large numbers of boarding riders paying their fare one by one?

    Taking into account the chance of missing a bus by having to pre-pay your fare, you will lose more than three minutes by having to wait for the next bus.

    If it takes about 10 seconds to pre-pay your fare, then the additional access time required to ride SBS is about 10 seconds.

  26. (Part 4)

    When that happens, most will choose to walk.

    Are you aware of how frequent the M86 is?

  27. (Part 5 and last)

    I predict that the B46 will also suffer from enforcement problems

    How exactly does that differ from your proposed yield-to-buses law?

  28. After all the pedestrian should be able to cross the street whereever and whereever he wants to. As fdtutf stated, it is his God given right.

    I love the fact that you simply accept the current state of things as God-given.

    This article explains how cars took over the streets. It wasn’t a natural process. From that article:

    Norton explains that in the automobile’s earliest years, the principles of common law applied to crashes. In the case of a collision, the larger, heavier vehicle was deemed to be at fault. The responsibility for crashes always lay with the driver.

    That is the morally correct principle.

  29. Letter to the Editor, I would prefer that Allan’s column not take comments and that Foodstuff and Andrew get their own spaces and write their own columns setting forth their ideas for better bus, rather than picking apart Rosen’s ideas. The endless back and forth is more bickering than useful.

  30. They have no ideas. All they love to do is criticize. As far as tey see it the MTA and DOT are doing splendid jobs.

  31. I wasn’t aware that the M86 runs artics. So all they do is add the payment of fares and that makes it qualify as SBS.

  32. Aren’t you curious enough to at least skim the Transit Committee documents? There’s no need to speculate.

    http://web.mta.info/mta/news/books/pdf/150427_1000_Transit&Bus.pdf#page=128

    In addition to off-board fare payment, there will be four bus bulbs and three short bus lane segments.

    It’s a simple project that will be extremely helpful. Longer bus lanes east of Park or Lex could make it more helpful, and I’d also suggest a “queue jump” entering the park from the West Side. Perhaps they can be added later, after the local communities see first-hand how much of an enhancement the basic plan will be. (Some of the East Siders are familiar with the SBS concept already, but on the West Side the nearest SBS line is a mile to the north and serves a largely distinct market.)

  33. Really? Where has either of us said that? You just jump to the conclusion that anybody who doesn’t buy your half-baked ideas (which are usually critical of the MTA and the DOT) must therefore be a fan of the MTA and the DOT. Your thinking is lazy.

  34. Excuse me if I believed the MTA’s and DOT’s statement on face value at the City Council hearing that the M86 will not have ANY exclusive bus lanes. I should have checked them by reading the committee hearing documents. I should have known not to believe everything they tell me. How stupid of me?

  35. So are you saying M86 buses don’t bunch and they always arrive as the MTA schedule claims?

  36. So let me hear one criticism of the MTA that you have raised, other than some general statement that capital projects take too long or are too expensive?

  37. You’re constantly telling us here about what huge liars the MTA and the DOT are, and yet you took their statements at a City Council hearing at face value?!?!?

  38. So you think that if I haven’t criticized the MTA and the DOT, that automatically means that I think that “the MTA and DOT are doing splendid jobs”?

    Is it okay if I think that your lack of logic automatically means you’re thinking-impaired?

  39. Isn’t it just terrible that they’re stealing road space from those poor suffering motorists on the Upper West Side and Upper East Side? What can we do to stop it? Maybe you should write an op-ed piece on the West Side Rag exposing the sham of faster bus service!

  40. How to get these bitch ass bus driver written up!!! I hate them not all of them but most of them Onda select bus b44 route!!!! Closing the onda working citizens that give them there check …. Smh. #answerplz

  41. I am thinking impaired? You expect me to read your mind regarding what the MTA and DOT are doing wrong because you never criticize anything they do? You are the one who is thinking impaired.

  42. No. I expect you NOT to pretend you can read my mind when you can’t.

    It never seems to occur to you that sometimes you just don’t have enough information to draw a conclusion about something. That is why I say you’re thinking-impaired.

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