Morning Bulletin: Development Tactic Criticized, Bareburger Feud, Columbia Professor Hit By Car

Photo of ice sculptures at Central Park’s Winter Jam this weekend by Erin Turingan.

January 28, 2019 Weather: Cloudy with a high of 27 degrees.

Free concerts and readings and more local events are on our calendar.

A tactic that developers have used to build tall apartment towers on the Upper West Side and elsewhere could be outlawed. Adding mechanical “voids” in the middle of buildings that make them taller is getting attention from lawmakers and columnists. This month, the tactic led to a building 66th Street having its permit rescinded. “The results of the challenge to keep the building from going up have revealed absurd gaps in the city’s zoning regulations, showing us how residential towers like this one manage to grow so tall that they command obscene prices and cast shadows that are both literal and figurative.”

A Columbia professor and former dean named Peter Awn was hit by a vehicle on Claremont Avenue on Friday and was listed in critical but stable condition. One local tells us that block is particularly dangerous and neighbors have been trying to get speed bumps on it for years.

Whoopi Goldberg criticized the mayor on The View about Vision Zero traffic-safety changes, saying they have “screwed the city up.” Families for Safe Streets, a group that includes family members of pedestrians killed after getting hit by vehicles, protested her comments outside the ABC Studios on the UWS — which is very close to where Madison Lyden was hit and killed last year — and wants to go on the show to explain the benefits of Vision Zero. “On Tuesday morning, protesters held signs and handed out flyers urging people to call ABC and ask that they have Families for Safe Streets as guests on The View. The group also sent a letter to Goldberg asking for the chance to appear on air to spark a national conversation about preventing traffic deaths.”

A feud between Bareburger and its top NYC franchisee is causing some heartburn at the company, including at its UWS location. “Last week, court records show that Michael Pitsinos, an owner of five Manhattan locations, threw three of them into bankruptcy, including a location on the Upper West Side at 795 Columbus Ave. where loaded burgers cost nearly $15 a pop and a side of fries sets you back $5.”

NEWS | 18 comments | permalink
    1. Carlos says:

      Bareburger makes my wallet bare, in exchange for a so-so burger.

    2. Lin says:

      I am wondering when many of these families will teach their children to not ride their scooters. bikes etc on sidewalks; also, re Vision Zero which I think is a great idea, will address bicycle safety laws (eg stopping like cars do at red lights, not going up a down street including bike lanes etc). More bikes are being brought in but no laws that I know about addresses these issues.
      Issuing licenses on bikes, like on cars, would be a good start.

      • chrigid says:

        also horns or bells, and lights fore and aft. I’ve spent several hundred on bright outerwear in the hope that riders can see me in the evening because I sure as hell can’t see them.

        I think if Lin’s and my suggestions were implemented, I might not mind bike lanes being used both ways.

      • Joan says:

        I agree with you 100%. There should be safety laws for bicyclists-the same as for motorists. Right now they never stop at red lights, do not have lights on their bikes, and ride on sidewalks. I never see any of them being ticketed.

      • ShutUpAlreadyAboutBikes says:

        But pedestrians can keep flouting the laws that apply to them? You don’t even try to hide your bias with such a diatribe. You all sound robotic droning on with your overly repetitive remarks about bicycles.

      • EagleEye says:

        Lin (and other bicycle haters),
        1. Vision Zero is intended to reduce fatalities in NYC to zero. I am unaware of anyone ever being killed on a sidewalk by a bicycle or other human powered transport.
        2. Children 12 or younger are allowed to ride bicycles on the sidewalk under current NYC laws (or would you rather see then killed by automobiles as is currently happening when they venture into the street?)

    3. PeterG says:

      A $20 Burger and Fries is probably the reason why Bareburgers locations are in Bankruptcy.

    4. JVHS says:

      Claremont Ave has become increasingly popular as a feeder road from West Side Highway 125th exits into Morningside Heights. The residential/institutional street has at least two speed bumps north of 122nd St, but none to its southern end at 116th St, which has only one traffic light, at 120th St. Maybe councilman Mark Levine can take some action now.

    5. Marilyn says:

      Whoopi is dead on right about the bike lanes being a terrible idea in Manhattan. At least as they have been implemented. They have caused more pollution and congestion on Amsterdam Ave., for the benefit of maybe 3 bike riders, who should perhaps bike two blocks over to Central Park. Before any bike lanes built there should be elevator access to every subway station. But clearly millionaires needed more money so cobtractscfur bike lanes were signed.

      • Upperwestsidewally says:

        Let’s see what happens when the MTA places five 15x15x15 glass ‘phone booths’ for the elevator machinery on the sidewalks of Central Park West. It’s not going to be pretty….

      • Kat French says:

        Marilyn, what are you talking about? The bike lanes on Amsterdam Avenue are in constant use by delivery guys. They are meeting a demand (New Yorkers want EVERYTHING delivered) so they are here to stay. Unless you never, ever order anything to be delivered, then you are part of the problem, too.

      • Dan says:

        Take another look at the Amsterdam and Columbus bike lanes. I ride them every weekday and most weekends, and I see many others out there – morning and night – even this time of year. Central Park bike lane is NOT protected, NOT safe for cyclists. My life is worth more than the extra minute or two you have to spend in your car on Amsterdam.

      • RK says:

        Bicycle infrastructure is here to stay, in NY and most other cities around the world looking towards the future. You and Whoopi are entitled to your opinions but you might as well admit defeat. The bike lanes aren’t going away, and more will be built. Because the people making the decisions are basing them on data and studies not emotional venting (thank goodness) And by the way, DOT data shows little difference in traffic, and as someone who drives on Amsterdam almost every morning, I agree. Yes, there are times when inconsiderate drivers double park on both sides creating an obstacle course. But that’s true all over the city, bike lanes or no. You’ve basically got 3 lanes merging to 1, and the traffic flow dynamic isn’t that much different than 4 lanes to 2, which is what happened before the bike lanes.

        And on a day with reasonable weather, the bike lanes are very well used. During rush hours they’re downright crowded.

    6. Mark Moore says:

      Three words: 5 Napkin Burger

    7. SIG says:

      Forget Bareburger.

      For the best burger in the city, go to Schatzie on 102nd and Broadway. Best burger in the city. They freshly grind the meat per order. Toppings and fries included for about $12.

    8. Maryann Campbell Rieselman says:

      What did they do with the ice sculptures are they still in the park for viewing?