2006_07_crowdedstreet.jpgMonitoring the city's job postings can pay off! Luckily, Streetsblog has been doing just that and pieces together how the city is serious about developing "comprehensive transportation and land use strategy for New York City."

The first signal came at the beginning of Mayor Bloomberg's second term when DOT Commissioner Iris Weinhall was knocked one rung down the Administration's org chart. She is now reporting directly to Doctoroff.

Next, DOT's creative, competent Lower Manhattan Borough Commissioner, Steve Weber was promoted to a newly created Strategic Planning position. Amazingly, prior to Weber's appointment, there was no one in New York City government responsible for long-term transportation planning and strategy.

Now, in, perhaps, the most public sign that a major transportation and land use planning initiative is underway, Weber is assembling a Strategic Planning staff. Sources say that he will have as many as eight full-timers working under him.

It is very weird that city didn't have any long-term transportation planning in place. We wonder if many projects simply get waylaid by dealing with emergencies. At any rate, given how much new construction the city is encouraging, this can only be a good thing.

Speaking of DOT Commissioner Weinshall (aka wife of Senator Chuck Schumer), Streetsblog also points out that the DOT's response to the bike-related deaths on city streets was to offer "thoughts and prayers" but explain "Unfortunately, New York City's crowded streets often cause conflict between cars and bicyclists as they attempt to share limited space."

And tomorrow, Times Up! is organizing an Upper Manhattan Bike Tour. The 3-hour tour starts at 2PM, meeting at West 110th and Lenox. Details after the jump, but Gothamist wants to point out that if you're biking back downtown from the ride, there's the 1st Annual NYC Main Squeeze Accordion Festival at Pier 1 (Riverside Park South at 70th Street).

Title: Upper Manhattan Bike Tour
Date: Saturday, July 8th, 2006
Time: 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Location: Meet on the north end of Central Park at W110th St. and Lenox Ave. (right by the exit of the park's East Drive)

Summary: Bike the upper reaches of Manhattan to learn about the recreational resources, historic landmarks, and vistas from the highlands. Ride ends at a waterfront cafe. Return home via the West Side Greenway or the A train. Bring $ for refreshments.

Details: Manhattan does not end at 96th Street!

Using a number of bike routes, the ride will show you the wonders of highland Manhattan in Manhattanville, Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, and Inwood. We will visit the Morris Jumel Mansion and the High Bridge, New York City's oldest standing bridge; take in the pleasures of the Hudson and Harlem Rivers; and view the natural splendors of Highbridge and Inwood Hill Parks plus much more including hidden coves and unknown byways.

The ride will end at La Marina, a waterfront cafe that offers food, drink, and music with a spectacular view of the Hudson River, Palisades and George Washington Bridge.

Ride home on the West Side Greenway or the A train.

This is a ride not to miss!

This ride is the first of a series that will acquaint you with the recreational, historic, natural, and cultural resources of Manhattan's
highlands. Each ride will attempt to highlight environmental, land use, development and preservation issues referencing particular localities. Every ride will present a different itinerary in order to explore different sites.