Today’s Headlines

  • Albany Passes Bill to Step Up Blocking-the-Box Enforcement (Post, Daily Politics, NY1)
  • T.A. Study: UWS Drivers Travel 366,000 Miles Each Year Cruising for Parking Spots (Post)
  • Brooklyn Judge Expands Parking Privileges in Columbus Park (News)
  • David Gantt Defiant About Blatant Cronyism (City Room)
  • MTA’s David Mack Reverses Course, No Longer Backs Free Passes for Board (NYT, News)
  • Re-Routing Buses to Queens Mall Raises Suspicions of MTA Nepotism (Post)
  • Paterson to Truckers: I Don’t Support a Gas Tax Holiday. Bruno: I Do. (Albany Watch, Post)
  • South Bronx Initiative Doesn’t Address Hunts Point or Sheridan Expressway (WNYC)
  • $10K Prize Will Go to Best Red Hook Bike Plan (Bklyn Paper)
  • Plans Advance for Westchester BRT Route (MTR)
  • Bumper Stickers Are Hallmarks of Aggressive Drivers, Study Finds (WaPo)
  • JF

    Brooklyn Law School Dean Joan Wexler said she saw no problem with taking the judges’ up on their offer since the spot is already used for parking.

    “Right this minute I’m looking out my window and it looks like a parking lot to me,” she said.

    F’in lawyers.

  • gecko

    Parking in NY should go fair market at least. Good article about upper west side parking with quotes from TA’s Paul White and Wiley Norvell.

    re: T.A. Study: UWS Drivers Travel 366,000 Miles Each Year Cruising for Parking Spots (Post)

  • JF

    So increased enforcement for blocking the box, but not for bus lanes. It sounds like maybe the city went to Albany with a list, and got some of the things but not others.

  • Larry Littlefield

    So blocking the bus lanes is OK, but blocking the motor vehicles is not.

    Just so I know, does the legislation that passed include blocking crosswalks and bike lanes? Are they part of the box?

  • Jamc

    The blocking the box law is a nothing. It’s a teeny little fig leaf for Albany and the mayor to place over yet another miserable legislative session. The block box will change nothing. The same parking agents and cops writing blocking the box summonses could do 3x the number of parking tickets in the same time.

  • Shemp

    Interesting that the connected Queens mall gets new bus service while Red Hook is getting back of the hand from NYC Transit despite the area’s tremendous growth and the big increase in traffic pressure courtesy of IKEA.

  • “That’s for me to know, and for you to find out.” -David Gantt

    can someone please call for this man’s resignation!?

  • ddartley

    Larry, no, the “block the box” bill did NOT cover ped. crosswalks or bike lanes.

    I actually bumped into Brian Kavanagh, the Assembly sponsor in our neighborhood last weekend and praised him for the bill, but also reminded him of my email and call asking that the bill be expanded to cover crosswalks (I didn’t even chase the bike lane windmill). He said he had gotten the messages, but apparently things moved so fast with this bill that there was no time for such a change (ironic for NYS, huh?).

    He said that because of the legislative calendar and because of some Home Rule issue (I need to learn more about that), there would probably not be time to exand the bill to cover crosswalks.

    But he did say that he would look into protecting crosswalks some other way in the next session.

    I urge everyone here to put friendly pressure on him and State Senator Lanza, the sponsor of the Senate version, to do so (with another bill, I guess), to make blocking the crosswalk ALSO a PARKING violation, like they’ve done for blocking the box.

    There’s a million reasons to do that, but here are a couple of mine:
    protecting the pedestrian crosswalk is even MORE important than protecting “the box.”

    1. Motorists stop and stand in crowded crosswalks hundreds of times every minute, way more than they block the BOX.

    2. When that happens, more pedestrians are affected than motorists are affected by blocked boxes. (Pedestrians in NYC vastly outnumber car occupants)

    3. When pedestrians are affected by blocked boxes, they are actually ENDANGERED, unlike motorists near blocked boxes, whom are merely inconvenienced.

    4. Pedestrians are more important to this city’s economy than motorists, if only because of their greater numbers. Why should motorists’ movement be protected by a new measure, while pedestrians’ SAFETY is not?

    Remember, Lanza and Kavanagh are right on on this subject, just ask them to do more in the next session:

    Lanza:
    http://www.nyssenate24.com/24/default.aspx

    Kavanagh:
    http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=074

    Also write to your own Assembly member and State Senator on the subject, I suggest!

  • ddartley

    Jamc, while I understand your cynicism, I disagree.

    The change is that now, parking agents (now not only cops) can ticket box blockers, and as NYC motorists know, parking agents DO write tickets, quite reliably. In fact motorists complain that they come out of nowhere, and instantly.

    There’s always the chance that it won’t work, but enabling those guys, not only cops, to ticket box blockers is a BIG improvement.

  • Ian Turner

    Interesting article about territoriality. I wonder if this means that aggressive drivers become less outspoken if you put them in a rental car.

  • JaMc

    ddartley, the block box is a rational, reasonable change. But in practical terms it is still close to a nothing. If small armies of traffic agents and cops camp out day after day and drivers became convinced they will pay, it would achieve visible, but still modest results. Given the state of parking enforcement it’s unlikely many agents will be on box duty for long. Anyway, writing a parking ticket takes time, and most box blocking doesn’t go on very long. At best they will tag a tiny percentage of offenders. If this bill allowed automated camera enforcement it would be a different story. The bus camera thing was about fifty times more meaningful.

  • Re: T.A. Study: UWS Drivers Travel 366,000 Miles Each Year Cruising for Parking Spots

    “In the neighborhood yesterday, Christy Planer, squeezing into a space at 74th Street and Riverside Drive, said she regularly spends 30 minutes looking for a spot. But she doesn’t like higher rates, either.

    “‘If there’s ever a solution to it, it would be fantastic,’ she said. ‘I waste a lot of time driving around. You have no choice, you are forced, it’s the New York City style of life. You’re wasting your time, you’re wasting your gas – driving around for a half-hour every time adds up.'”

    Last time I checked, the New York City style of life involved walking, mass transit, cycling, and the occasional cab, not driving around the UWS looking for parking.

  • Re: Westchester Bus Rapid Transit Line Shaping Up

    “The BRT would run all day, including weekends, every 10-15 minutes. It would make 25 stops (about every 3/4 mile) and complete an end-to-end run 16.5-37 minutes faster than the No. 20 using a package of improvements including pre-boarding fare collection, a dedicated bus lane between Sadore Ave. in Yonkers and the Yonkers-Greenburgh border, ‘queue jumper’ lanes at some intersections, and traffic signal priority. All stations would have shelters and real-time information displays telling riders when the next bus will arrive. (The BRT would likely replace the No. 21 limited, which runs one way only during peak hours).”

    This sounds even better than the Select Bus Service debuting in the Bronx. How is it that suburban Westchester “gets it” better than NYC?

  • Re: $10K Prize Will Go to Best Red Hook Bike Plan

    “First, they need to design a bike garage, like the ones in famous in peddle[sic]-pusher paradise, Amsterdam, with space for at least 100 penny-farthings.”

    Are there even 100 penny-farthings in the five boroughs? 100 lockers for folding bikes would be far more useful.

  • JK

    Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.

    — Thomas Jefferson, July 12, 1810

  • brent

    ddartley- The box blocking thing could actually cause even more annoyances for pedestrians. If a car is blocking the box, in order to avoid a ticket they will just proceed to the crosswalk. To me that’s one of the most heinous things motorists do when pedestrians have the right of way- some of them even have the nerve to blow their horns at peds. Of course, there is no recourse for pedestrians as we are merely vulnerable soft flesh. Yeah, they should just stay in the damn box.