This is our final day in New York. What a remarkable trip we had! Everyone was all
hyped up and ready to head home to share with others what we had experienced in New York.
Over the 6 days of our stay, we met with the Department of Transportation and understood how
New York was able to lower pedestrian deaths by a remarkable 33% through Vision Zero. New
York’s Vision Zero had also started the same time as we did but was able to make much more of
a difference then we are able to in San Francisco.
We are hoping to bring the same effect back to San Francisco and implement these
preventive measures to lower all these preventable deaths in crashes. In addition, we went to
Flushing to meet with a local Asian American Empowerment group called AAFE. We saw how
they ran their youth programs and what makes them so successful. If possible, we may
implement their methods in our Youth Program too. On a happier note, we are happy to share
with our family and friends the food we tasted throughout New York along with numerous
pictures of tourist attractions like the top of the Empire State and of the Charging Bull!
It’s our last full day in New York. We went over to Flushing, Queens for the first time
this trip and ate some of the best Xiao Long Baos, but of course that was not the purpose of the
commute. There, we met with a community group called Asian Americans For Equality (AAFE),
who does similar things as our organization, such as serving those in the Chinatown
neighborhood, help find/provide housing for immigrants and families that are low income, and
maintained a youth program that also assist with the community through volunteering events.
They gave us a tour of Flushing. They talk about medical, business, and street design in
Flushing. I have learn that New York was first colonized by the Dutch. However New York was
named after the Duke of York known as King James II. King Charles II of England, James’s
older brother, who had entitled James II to be a proprietor, ownership of New Netherlands and
New Amsterdam property. From the land that England had took from the Dutch. The town hall
in Flushing was designed in Romanesque revival style. The town hall had been used in different
ways such as an opera, prison and now an art museum.
The structure of their youth program is a bit different from ours, which could just be their
own preference, but other than that it’s similar in the way that we both serve our communities.
Some differences between AAFE and CCDC are AAFE split up their youth program depends on
their grade (Freshman and sophomore) (Junior and senior), CCDC (AAA, YSRO, Campaign,
CATS). CCDC youth program is youth run youth lead. Asian American For Equality provided
after school program for the youth in school. AAFE’s youth program has connections with the
Through their presentation and tour about Flushing, a neighborhood in Queens, I learned
that their Chinatown has a different story in comparison to Manhattan and San Francisco’s which
their stories are very similar. First off, just by taking a step into that area, I immediately notice
their Chinatown looks very modernized, with newly constructed buildings while Manhattan and
San Francisco’s look old with their hundred year old buildings. However, the most interesting
part, which is really the part that defined their differences, is Flushing Chinatown is being gentrified by their own people, while in Manhattan and San Francisco; gentrification is done by
outsiders who are more affluent. It might seem weird how Manhattan and Flushing Chinatown
are both part of NYC but yet are polar opposites. The reason for this could be the fact that
Manhattan is a busy and developing city, just like San Francisco is which is why I think land and
space in those cities are in high demand. As a result, it makes it extremely easy for tech workers
and others with high paying jobs to come into poor/lower income neighborhoods like Chinatown
and out compete small businesses and residences in rent prices and other expenses.
-Chao Zhang, Diana Li, Nikki Wong
Today is a day of learning more about Vision Zero with listening to presentations and
going on tours. The first presentation was given by Transportation Alternatives, which is an
organization that focuses on reinforcing the progress of Vision Zero in New York. We learned
that building connections with different departments and organizations is crucial for the
productivity and effectiveness for implementing projects. I think this is something that SF Vision
Zero should learn more about because our progress may need to rely on these relationships in
some ways. Furthermore, the most impressive part of their presentation was about all the events
that they created for people’s engagement and support for their campaigns. I believe if San Francisco can be innovative about their ways of reaching out to people, it would be easier to
gather strength to make changes.
After that, we met with DOT and they showed us statistical data in different perspectives
for showing the progress that Vision Zero made in the past three years. We discussed about the
effects of creating lanes for cyclists, that it can encourage riding bicycles and ensure the safety of
cyclist, which is both environmental friendly and benefit of the traffic. It was great to see that the
city made a new bike lane near my high school(Galileo), this is helpful to cyclists to have a
better experience of riding bikes to school. Then, we also learned about various projects that
DOT implemented in Manhattan Chinatown, including the new pedestrian areas they expanded,
speed humps and etc. For example, one of the presenter talked about how they implement
infrastructure with the idea of what the users would normally do in mind, so when the
infrastructure is implemented, the users would not ignore or misuse such infrastructure. Another
thing I learned about Vision Zero is that a goal of this plan is to make the street more forgiving
for all of the road users, so when someone actually make a mistake, it won’t result in death.
Moreover, I think collecting data and having explicit observations can help make a better
decision on changing the roads for pedestrian safety, and I am looking forward to see some new
changes that Vision Zero make in San Francisco.
-Hugo Chen, Kelly Ma
\We visited Chinatown and Time Square on March 26th. Time Square is beautiful, but I
wanted to label out Chinatown since we also have a Chinatown in San Francisco. I compared the
similarities between Manhattan Chinatown and San Francisco Chinatown. Both of these two
Chinatowns have many grocery stores, restaurants, intersections. But compared to SF
Chinatown, New York’s Chinatown definitely has more pedestrians, more cyclists, more trucks,
and more cars. Kyle was the first person that we met up with. He taught us about the expanded
sidewalks that are for pedestrians. They are painted brown so that drivers could see it clearly and
will not park in those areas. It was also interesting that New York’s Chinatown has long narrow
park in the middle of a street that people could rest and hang out in. While people were resting,
there were a few cyclists biking on the bike lanes which were in the little park. There were also
many protected bike lanes.
In one street there was a phase were people could cross in a L shape to go towards the
opposite end without stopping for the next light. This is very common in San Francisco’s
Chinatown we call this a scramble and people can cross diagonally. Kyle had said wider lanes
made drivers drive faster, so they changed it to make it narrower which more sidewalk space.
The way the bike lanes got improved was very interesting to me. It didn’t needed as much
funding as other projects and can probably help bikers in San Francisco as well.
On some of the streets, there were protected bike lanes that were protected by parked cars
which not only providing the drivers parking space, but also providing safer lanes for cyclists. It
was a very smart idea. In my opinion, we should also have bike lanes like that on Market Street
in San Francisco. Even though the roads in New York are changing, I still saw many jaywalkers.
Without New Yorkers’ cooperation, Vision Zero in New York will never be successful. It seems
like there is still a long way for Vision Zero to complete their mission.
-Roy Yu, Christina Cui
Today was the day of adventures. Getting firsthand experience of navigating through
New York’s train system was quite interesting, it wasn’t anything like the metro or Bart from
San Francisco where directions were telling you where to wait and which way the train went,
that component was innate for New Yorkers. On the way to the Central Park, I observed that
there’s provide the machine to check the subway time at the station, but it’s not working. First
destination, Central Park, one of the most famous public parks in the U.S., is comparable to the
Golden Gate Park back in San Francisco, filled with many trees and other attractions that draw
attention towards it. We strolled through the park and took many pictures for memory as well as
visiting the carousel and Chess and Checkers center. We moved on from the park and went to the
MoMA, where 5 floors of artwork were displayed, such as ones created by famous artist Vincent
Van Gogh, Picasso and many more talented artists.
Empire State Building, we waited for the sunset and took pictures of it. In the empire
State Building, you can see the all the view of New York City. Empire State building provided a
lot places for people to observe New York City. After lunch, we went to the Rockefeller and
Grand Central Station. There are many shops in Rockefeller Center and Grand Central Station.
We took Uber home and went through the Brooklyn Bridge. I observed that the sidewalk lines
are not very clear especially at night.
As we walk the streets of New York traveling from MoMA to the Rockefeller Center to
Grand Central Station and end with a sunset at the Empire State Building, I notice the pedestrian
lights in New York don’t show their actual countdown, but instead blink second by second
compared to San Francisco’s. The reason for this could be to discourage pedestrians from
attempting to cross while it blinks as it is unpredictable when it’s actually going to land on the
hand. We had many moments of wondering if we should cross or not as we didn’t know how
much time we had left. Other than that, most of the New York’s traffic, whether it be car or foot is similar to San Francisco’s in many ways which is surprising considering the fact that New
York is known for its crowdedness and fast paced environment. Even though New York is
enormous compared to San Francisco, some basic aspects of the cities are very similar.
Throughout as we were walking to the train to Central Park our transportation included
walking and taking the train. In the train station there were four train tracks. However, the two
inner train tracks were for express. And those other train tracks were for stops. In San Francisco
once subway is clog with trains, there is no way for the trains to move out or pass through the
train that was stuck. Verse as in New York if there is a train that is broken there is the express
which they can stay at to let other train pass through.
-Chao Zhang, Diana Li, Nikki Wong
Today we all met up at San Francisco International airport at 3 AM since our flight
departs at 5:25AM. We had one layover at Denver, Colorado and spent most of our day on the
plane getting to New York!
What an interesting day today was. New York is so much more different than San
Francisco As we exited the airport, we took a bus that took us from Laguardia airport to
Roosevelt station. I noticed how the bus was shaped the way just like any other buses. As a
terminal bus, it would be be more ideal if there were more luggage space and places to stand like
the air trans that takes people around the terminal in SFO. I learned how to use my 7-day metro
pass in New York. It was a unique experience for us as we have never used my 7 day metro pass
that is in paper form. Unlike New York, San Francisco utilizes clipper, an electronic pass that is
made out of plastic. Clipper is more efficient in the sense that one can pay by tapping the clipper
as they board the bus. However, it’s the opposite here at New York. We had to feed our paper
ticket to the machine as a way to “pay” before we could board. We had to grab a paper receipt
before boarding the bus. This resulted in us missing our bus by accident as all 10 of us had to
feed our paper tickets through the machine. But, it’s an interesting way to see how different cities
work differently and can achieve equal success in their transportation system. It seems that it
doesn’t matter what method one chooses to use, as long as it works with us, it’s good to go.