Today’s Headlines

  • Subway Service Clearly Getting Worse (Post)
  • Two Women Killed By Taxis in East Village (News)
  • Infrastructure Issues Flying Under the Radar in Prez Campaign (CQ)
  • How Will Detroit Use Its $25B in Guaranteed Loans? (NYT)
  • PA Bus Terminal Not Big Enough to Handle Many Midtown Bus Operators (NYT)
  • SustainLane Q&A With PlaNYC’s Rohit Aggarwala and Ariella Maron
  • Outside Mag Interviews Bike Commuting Congressman Earl Blumenauer
  • New Haven’s Complete Streets Movement Gaining Political Clout (NYT)
  • Attack Ad Mocks Congressional Candidate for Saying People Should Walk and Bike (TreeHugger)
  • The killing of the two women happened at the corner where I live. I wasn’t in town the night it happened.

    The NY Times has a witness who says one of the taxis “WAS TRYING TO BEAT THE LIGHT.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/05/nyregion/05hit.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=%22Stephanie%20Dees%22&st=cse&oref=slogin

    I don’t care if it sounds unrealistic, the City needs to stop people from trying to beat traffic lights.

    I said I don’t care if it sounds unrealistic. There is no simple, firm reason the City can’t set a goal of eliminating that behavior. This story, and the horrifying story last week of Clarente Turner and his mother (in which, similarly, the driver supposedly didn’t do anything wrong (my ass) have pushed me over the fucking edge.

    It would be great if every damn intersection with a traffic light could be redesigned so that drivers simply don’t have the room to speed up to a traffic light, and while that project is going on, it would be good if the behavior could actually be criminalized so that people doing it in the meantime would actually be stopped, and charged with a very costly violation.

    Yeah, sounds unrealistic, doesn’t it? I don’t care, I’m totally sick of this outrageous behavior which stems from moments of stupid selfishness and produces lifetimes of grief.

    I’m serious, I would like to hear if people have ideas on how this can be accomplished.

    Just because it’s an accepted behavior everywhere doesn’t mean it can’t change. To paraphrase Mary Beth Kelly, wife of Dr. Nacht, this is New York; we can lead the way on this. We can tell the world the obvious–that in cities, speeding up to try to beat traffic lights is too reckless and dangerous to be allowed.

    http://www.livablestreets.com/projects/eliminate-speeding-to-beat-traffic-lights/summary

  • More on the New Haven hearing and other related topics:

    http://www.newhavensafestreets.org/2008/09/successful-public-hearing-on-complete.html

  • Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, whose district includes the Port Authority area, said his office had fielded numerous complaints about the issue.

    “Using the streets of the neighborhood for increased bus pickups or parking is a serious problem in Hell’s Kitchen whether those buses are permitted by the city or not,” he said. “This is a community with enormous traffic and pollution problems.”

    Yes, enormous traffic an pollution problems, and they choose to kvetch about the vans? Did I just see an elephant in the room somewhere?

  • ddartley: “It would be great if every damn intersection with a traffic light could be redesigned so that drivers simply don’t have the room to speed up to a traffic light….”

    In my dreams, cameras mounted on stoplights capture all offenses and tickets are sent out automatically. Of course, in my dreams, there is no budget tightening, no spurious arguments about surveillance, no David Gantt. I’m happiest when asleep.

  • Braddy

    “In my dreams, cameras mounted on stoplights capture all offenses and tickets are sent out automatically.”

    They have that where I live for red light runners (Southern U.S.) Of course, drivers hate the whole system! About 6 months back, they caught a guy who was shoting at cameras with a rifle. Everybody has to drive here, idiots too…

  • The do-nothing NIMBYism from the New York Times article prompted me to write this blog post about through-running of buses. Christine Berthet, I know you read Streetsblog. Do you think we could get Gottfried to advocate through-running instead of do-nothing NIMBYism?

  • Streetsman

    I’ll tell you one thing that prevents speeding at yellows – raised crosswalks and raised intersections. If you have the vertical deflection designed for 25pmh, I doubt anyone would gun it to 40pmh to make a yellow – it could really damage their axles or the underside of their chassis. Trouble is that, to my knowledge, the city DOT won’t install them.

  • Eric

    In NY, there is a delay between the Red light coming on and the Green light turning on for the crossing direction. I think this is why everyone in NY runs the just turned Red light in the first second. There is no danger from crossing cars since they still have Red too. This is also why I can cross the street even as Don’t Walk has just stopped flashing and is solid Red. The slack gives me plenty of time with my quick pace to cross even 1st Ave. I tried this in California once, and quickly learned that they don’t this time slack before the crossing direction gets the Green, as I was almost run down, and this is certainly no incentive for someone to run the first second of the Red light. If the timing was tightened folks would stop running the just turned Red Light.