Today’s Headlines

  • Pedestrian Broadway Makes Smashing Debut (NYT, News, Post, NY1, NPR, HuffPo)
  • Times Arch Critic Likes Car-free Times Square, Frets Over Final Design
  • Lawmakers Hoping David Gantt Will "See the Light" on Texting-While-Driving Ban (Star Gazette)
  • London’s Cyclist Mayor Has Close Call on a Ride With UK Transport Minister (Guardian)
  • Easier-to-Use Exits Will Speed Trips for New NYC Buses (News)
  • Driver Runs Over Traffic Agent to Avoid Parking Ticket, Breaks Both of Her Legs (NBC)
  • MTA Names Least Reliable Subway Escalators and Elevators (Post)
  • Parking Agents Setting a Bad Example at Westchester Square (News)
  • Dukakis: Obama Should Give Detroit $5B to Make Transit Vehicles (Infrastructurist)
  • Another Cost of Automobility — Silly Safety Campaigns (hugeasscity via Streetsblog.net)
  • Whoa, the News used “Car-Free” in a headline!

    Last night’s coverage on the CW11 was extensive and mostly positive. There were actually two separate segments separated by a commercial. The first one did a good job of showing the benefits and happy people. The second was shorter and more balanced, with the obligatory angry cab-driver quote, but finished with a soundbite from JSK. I went to bed cheerful, with visions of the Memorial Day crowd in my head.

    The Time architecture critic is right — the design is embryonic, the plazas need to reflect “the urban toughness of the city that feeds into them,” and it may be years before the final form of car-free Times Square emerges. I hope its final form is visible and widely accepted by the time Mayor Weiner takes office (not for a long time, I hope). But wow, what an amazing start. Are we a great city or what?!

  • In Westchester Square, they should get the local police precinct to come in and ticket the traffic enforcement agents. Then maybe the TEAs will start ticketing around the precinct, and it’ll turn into an all-out war with no illegal police parking left standing at the end!

  • RE: Parking Agents Setting a Bad Example at Westchester Square

    Raise your hand if you’re the least bit surprised by this.

  • I just can’t think of any reason why someone would oppose a texting-while-driving ban.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “I just can’t think of any reason why someone would oppose a texting-while-driving ban.”

    I can think of a reason, but not a good one. We have all kinds of generally unenforced laws on the books that can be selectively used to harass the powerless and unpopular. Zoning is an example I am most familiar with. Perhaps Gannt is afraid that Black people will be pulled over at random on suspicion of texting while suburban Whites text away without enforcement.

    This, however, would fly in the face of his opposition to automatic, color-blind enforcement of red lights. More likely he’s just an idiot.

  • We have all kinds of generally unenforced laws on the books that can be selectively used to harass the powerless and unpopular.

    Cops will use this to pull over “suspicious” looking people in order to search their cars for drugs, you can take that to the bank.

  • Well, it’s not like they don’t have plenty of other excuses. Doing anything with a phone while driving is just idiotic; if they had a little locker to put it away when people get in the car, that would be the best thing.

  • > Doing anything with a phone while driving is just idiotic

    Light timing cycles are getting longer. Who ever endangered anyone by texting while stopped at a red?

    Reckless operation of a motor vehicle is already illegal, but nigh entirely unenforced. I think it’s far from obvious that what need more of is laws.

  • Who ever endangered anyone by texting while stopped at a red?

    It’s very easy to let your foot slip off the brake when you’re distracted. I’ve rear-ended someone that way. Good thing I wasn’t at a crosswalk.

    Reckless operation of a motor vehicle is already illegal, but nigh entirely unenforced. I think it’s far from obvious that what need more of is laws.

    And your suggested alternative is?

  • Kaja Geis

    > It’s very easy to let your foot slip off the brake when you’re distracted.

    Speak for yourself, then; the rest of us aren’t awful drivers. (Another anecdote to my point that drivers should be professionally licensed and liberally revoked.)

    > And your suggested alternative is?

    Criminal prosecution of reckless drivers. Dismantling of the tort system, replacement with compensation by statue following criminal verdicts.

    Some people are better than others at these things, and people who screw up are marking themselves as incapable of carrying the responsibility accordant to the privilege.