» Visiting NYC

October 21, 2013

Image,_NYC_website,_new_design_October_2013NYC has just launched a new website, http://www1.nyc.gov/, and at first glance, we think the navigation and design is much better. Really clear and clean layout and links, the homepage gives the status of NYC Alternate Side Parking regulations, the font is easy to read,and of course we checked out the sections for NYC Parking, NYC Traffic Violations, and what you might want to know and NYC garages and getting around.


Alternate Side Parking — the left hand side of the homepage will let you know if the regulation is in effect today.






Public Parking Lot — unfortunately, the website tells you to ‘Call 311’ to find a Public NYC Parking Lot. Not much help.  Read more…

September 13, 2012

It doesn’t happen all that often, but when you can’t find a NYC taxi and you really need one, it’ s brutal. Whether you’re standing in a torrential downpour, are late for a meeting, or have too many bags to carry, you can’t understand why not one of NYC’s 13,000 taxis is available.

Welcome to 2012, the year of the app. Uber, a San Francisco-based company, has just launched a smart phone app that allows you to electronically ‘hail’ a NYC taxi.

How it Works

NYC cabs get a smartphone that has the Uber software. Once a customer requests a pickup, the NYC cab driver that is closest to that customer gets a notification and has 15 seconds to respond to the request. The taxi then drives to pick up the customer and cannot pick up any other customer along the way.

The Problems

  • NYC Taxi drivers are not allowed to use any electronic devices while driving.
  • NYC rules don’t allow for pre-arrranged rides in yellow taxis.
  • NYC taxi drivers cannot refuse a fare (customer) if they are On Duty. Read more…
Filed under: Taxis,Visiting NYC — mtohn @ 9:27 am

If you regularly walk crosstown from 5th Ave in NYC to 7th Ave or 8th Ave, you know how those long blocks can seem endless. Well, there’s now a new place to sit down and enjoy the view.

New Yorkers, meet ‘6 1/2 Ave’.  I noticed the street sign a few weeks ago on 57th St, and the NYC Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) has just announced the completion of ‘6 1/2 Ave’. This is a series of pedestrian walkways running North-South between 6th Ave and 7th Ave from W 51st – W 57th Sts.

In additional to these mid-block arcades, NYC DOT has also installed either traffic lights or crosswalks at 6 1/2 Ave so you can cross the street mid-block.

NYC 6_1-2_Ave_map

6 1/2 Ave runs from W 51st – W 57th Sts, between 6th & 7th Aves

According to the NYC DOT site, ‘the six spaces connected by these new crosswalks are part of more than 500 areas citywide known as Privately Owned Public Spaces, which were built near ground level of newly constructed buildings. The spaces that comprise 6 ½ Avenue were created between 1984 and 1990 and include commercial, hotel and residential buildings, with public spaces ranging from open plazas and atria to wide lobbies and enclosed corridors. The new crossings shorten trips eliminating the need for pedestrians to Read more…

Filed under: Getting Around NYC,Visiting NYC — Tags: , — mtohn @ 9:10 am
August 20, 2012

NYC MTA logoThe MTA budget released in late July 2012 includes fare increases in 2013 and 2015. That means you’ll be paying more to ride a NYC bus or NYC subway.

We don’t know the amount of the new fares, but the budget shows that combining MTA fares and tolls is expecting to bring in $450 million in 2013, and $500 million in 2015.

Don’t like another fare increase? You can voice your objection at MTA public hearings in November.

The NYC MTA Board will vote in December, and any fare increase will be implemented in March 2013.


NYC sidewalks feel really, really busy and crowded, but just how crowded are they?

The Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management‘s May 2012 report claims that Manhattan absorbs a weekday population of 3.94 million people, while only 1.6 million people actually live in Manhattan.

If everyone just walked at the same pace in an orderly fashion, we might not be cursing under our breath and constantly planning our new few stops to dodge obstacles like:

  • hand-holding and luggage-toting tourists,
  • human billboards,
  • flyer people,
  • texting-and-calling distracted pedestrians,
  • news stands,
  • overflowing garbage bags (further uptown), Read more…
August 18, 2012

Source: David W. Dunlap/The New York Times

It’s a subtle change, but change is coming. To NYC’s street signs, that is.

The New York Times has reported that our street signs are gradually being changed from all capitals to ‘sentence case’, which capitalises the first letter of each word and uses lower case letters elsewhere.

NYC’s five boroughs have about 250,000 street name signs, and 11,000 signs have already been changed.

Why the change? The Federal Highway Administration has established these new national standards for typography and surface reflectivity.

The New York Times indicates that Read more…

July 31, 2012

How cool is this? NYC was just named ‘The 10th Coolest City’ by Forbes.

We’re pretty sure NYC parking wasn’t one of the criteria, but these seven elements were:

  1. Entertainment options,
  2. Restaurants and bars per capita (excluding chain restaurants which have no coolness),
  3. The city’s cultural composition (to measure the likelihood of meeting another person of a different race or ethnicity, because increased diversity tends to lead to a larger assortment of interesting shops, restaurants and events),
  4. Median age (favoring large young adult populations), Read more…
Filed under: Visiting NYC — Tags: , , — mtohn @ 6:05 pm
May 4, 2012

We just found out some interesting statistics about NYC:

  • 12,750 miles of sidewalk,
  • 1,153 NYC sidewalk cafes,
  • 150 miles of sidewalks taken up by construction sites,
  • 8.3 million residents,
  • 50.2 million tourists annually,
  • 10% increase in NYC pedestrian traffic at major intersections since 2007,
  • 5,100 food cart permits,
  • 6,892 permits for ‘sidewalk sheds’ — for newsstands, shoe shines, etc.,
  • 12,720 sidewalk pay phones,

Thanks to Crains New York Business for these statistics.

Filed under: Visiting NYC — mtohn @ 11:16 am