Today’s Headlines

  • Teen Driver Charged With Multiple Counts for Killing Man at Dyker Heights Bus Stop (News)
  • The Times and the Post Have More on Yesterday’s Pedicab Crash in Brooklyn
  • MTA’s Automated Train Tech Isn’t Ready for Prime Time Yet (AMNY, 2nd Ave Sagas)
  • NY Mag: Enjoy the New Times Square While It’s Still Weird
  • Here’s the Backstory on All Those ‘Controversial’ Broadway Lounge Chairs (NYT)
  • Bklyn Paper Presses Mike McMahon to Justify the House’s Ridiculous Cash for Clunkers Bill
  • NYC Cabbies Voted World’s Worst Taxi Drivers (Wheels)
  • Tom Vanderbilt Has More Safety in Numbers Stats (How We Drive)
  • Oregon Ban on Cell Phone Use While Driving Stuck in Committee (BikePortland via Streetsblog.net)
  • Horn Honking Not Constitutionally Protected Speech, Rules State Appeals Court (Seattle Times)
  • vnm

    The News has more on the Fox News road raging SUV driver who carried a cyclist on his hood through Central Park. Seems to back up the story put forward in yesterday’s headlines comments section.

  • Glenn

    How can I buy a few of those Times Square lawn chairs when the city gets rid of them. I think these will be collector items in short order…

  • Also from today’s News:
    How many cars does it take Beyoncé Knowles to cross a (London) street>?

    I guess one reason I never see Beyoncé shopping on Brooklyn’s Fifth Avenue is that her drivers can’t find enough parking.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Sounds like brake failure on the pedicab.

    Meanwhile, we had an economy based on borrowing from abroad to buy oil, SUVs and McMansions, the latter two locking in the need for more oil. It bankrupted the country, mortgaged the environment, and compromised our national security.

    So now, what doesn Generation Greed want?

    $4,500 to buy more SUVs, just 4 mpg better than the old ones.

    And $15,000 to buy McMansions.

    And since savers now know that most Americans have been borrowing money they can never afford to pay back, the federal government will do it for them — and force out children, who will be less well off, to pay it back.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, except for one guy.

  • New York cabbies fared well — they came in second in the “best in the world” and city-knowledge categories

    So London and New York were the only entrants…? Seriously, I don’t think anyone who has ventured outside of Manhattan could possibly swallow the idea that NYC taxi drivers are particularly knowledgeable of the streets.

  • It might have been a brake failure on the pedicab, but taking the south ramp on the W-Burg Bridge was a really lousy call on the part of the pedicab driver. That ramp is way too steep. He could have killed not only his passengers, but other peds or cyclists.

  • Omri

    The reason we have pedals in our cars is that horse drawn carriages had foot brakes. The reason for that was that sometimes a carriage driver would have to stop the carriage so urgently he had to be able to brake for all he was worth. (And in the era before power brakes, that applied doubly for cars.)

    So, shouldn’t pedicabs also have good foot brakes for exactly that situation?

  • Jason A

    “It might have been a brake failure on the pedicab, but taking the south ramp on the W-Burg Bridge was a really lousy call on the part of the pedicab driver. That ramp is way too steep.”

    Exactly what I was thinking. Even if the breaks were fully functional, the south ramp would still make for a harrowing descent on a pedicab.

    Dumb move on the driver’s part – he must not have been familiar with the bridge.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Meanhile, the London Underground has been on strike. Subway fares are much higher there, and the government of Great Britain (like our own) is essentially broke. So you wonder how much blood the strikers expect from a stone.

    There’s your transit future — in fact your public services future. That and the half hour I sat in the tunnel today due to signal problems, wishing I had biked despite the rain.

    The bright side?

    http://www.copenhagenize.com/2009/06/bike-strike-in-london.html

    Yup, free from being forced to pay to subsize the lifstyles of those who are better off than you are. Except when the government forces you to, though cash for clunkers, etc.

  • Larry Littlefield: If you decide to swap your train for a bike don’t neglect to change your route. The Daily News also has a story about a Pedicab that made its way into the Lincoln Tunnel and got charged with tresspassing. Maybe it’s time to more clearly define where Pedicabs can and cannot go?
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2009/06/11/2009-06-11_confused_pedicab_arrested_to_pedaling_way_into_lincoln_tunnel.html

  • We’re having a crisis in the NYS Senate that could have a profound impact on NYC sustainable transportation initiatives–why isn’t Streetsblog covering it?

  • bicyclebelle

    I object to calling the pedicab driver “dumb”. Most likely he had never ridden on the south path before and assumed, it being a bike path, that it was designed for bikes. Yes, he could have noticed at the top of the incline that it was dangerously steep (and narrow and blindly lands into a sidewalk), but honestly it doesn’t look as bad as it is. Obviously bikes (and roller bladers) should be clearly directed to the north path.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “We’re having a crisis in the NYS Senate that could have a profound impact on NYC sustainable transportation initiatives–why isn’t Streetsblog covering it?”

    From the Daily Politics:

    “It was a mob scene outside of the chamber, with protestors wearing ACORN shirts and shouting things like “the Senate is not for sale!”

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/#ixzz0I8gyFYRV&C

    Of course the Senate is for sale. It’s just that most people didn’t bid, some that did were outbid, the future has been entirely sold and then some, and the bill is coming due. Everything that will have a “profound impact” has already occured.

    This is about managing the blame, getting a larger office, and getting a larger share of pork to hand out so that your local legislator can seem like a hero as taxes soar and public services collapse.

    But it really doesn’t matter if subway service and the schools collapse, because your assemblymember of State Senator will get a grant to provide you with paint to repaint the bike lane markings, DOT no longer having the funds — if you help collect their signatures.

  • ACORN protesters shouting “the Senate is not for sale” is more than a little ironic, since ACORN, along with state Senators like Carl Kruger and Marty Golden, have all sold themselves to Bruce Ratner, with the price being shilling for his Atlantic Yards boondoggle. Ratner, of course, is now doing his best to shortchange the MTA, which had already given him a sweetheart deal.

    Greed and hypocrisy make for strange bedfellows.

  • spike

    Pedicabs (and horse drawn carriages) are a disaster. The problem is they are very wide and very slow, hard to control and they fill up a entire lane of a street or an entire bike path. The people driving the pedicabs ignore all the traffic laws, and are a constant danger to all. I just don’t see the than taxis, but that is bullshit, because they impede traffic so much that the other vehicles use more fuel. But the real problem is just how dangerous they are. They are so fragile and the people in them are so exposed. I have several bicycle friends who have been hurt in traffic, but at least with a bicyclist they are only risking themselves, with the pedicabs they are risking their passengers as well. The pedicabs are no where as agile as a bike either. I would like to see pedicabs banned.

  • spike

    Pedicabs (and horse drawn carriages) are a disaster. The problem is they are very wide and very slow, hard to control and they fill up a entire lane of a street or an entire bike path. The people driving the pedicabs ignore all the traffic laws, and are a constant danger to all. I just don’t see the point. People claim they are more environmentally friendly than taxis, but that is bullshit, because they impede traffic so much that the other vehicles use more fuel. But the real problem is just how dangerous they are. They are so fragile and the people in them are so exposed. I have several bicycle friends who have been hurt in traffic, but at least with a bicyclist they are only risking themselves, with the pedicabs they are risking their passengers as well. The pedicabs are no where as agile as a bike either. I would like to see pedicabs banned.

    (sorry reposted because I lost a sentence in editing).

  • I can’t speak to or for pedicabs, but I can assure Spike that horse drawn carriages are not traffic “disasters”. For starters, we have a stellar safety record: 68 carriages operating approx 300 days a year /25 years = over 2 MILLION trips in traffic back and forth to the stables. (this does not even include all of the actual rides done) We have had THREE equine fatalities due to traffic accidents in those 25 years, and ZERO human fatalities. Pretty excellent record for a quarter century!

    As far as Spike’s assertion that we “impede” traffic, the DOT did an environmental impact study on carriages in traffic in 1993, and the verdict was that our impact was “neglible”. You make it sound like we parade through the West Village on tiny side streets, walking along and holding up snaking traffic for miles. We operate mostly on 59th Street, one of the widest thoroughfares in the city, and on the wide streets on the West Side, Midtown.(BTW, your friends who were hurt in accidents I’m sure “impeded traffic” while the ambulance came, police took reports etc. See how that works?)

    We have the exact same right to the road as you do, or anyone else. It makes me sick to see people so eager to strip others’ road rights by “banning”.

  • We’re having a crisis in the NYS Senate that could have a profound impact on NYC sustainable transportation initiatives–why isn’t Streetsblog covering it?

    Seriously. I like Elana Schor’s reporting, but I would have preferred to have that kind of in-depth, constructive, solutions-focused news from Albany, which is much more broken than Washington and thus has a much greater negative effect on transportation in NYC.

    A Streetsblog Albany could also investigate the challenges of advocating for livable streets and sustainable transportation in a moderately conservative, medium-sized metro area with a bus-only transit system, surrounded by countryside and near large state parks. I think that would be just as valuable to readers in (say) Missoula as Capitol Hill coverage.

  • @Cap’n Transit,

    “Solutions-focused news from Albany” would make for a pretty sparse Streetsblog, no?

  • Man, what I wouldn’t give to have London-quality cab drivers here in NY. (For that matter, what I wouldn’t give to see the shit-fit the taxi drivers unions would throw if the TLC attempted to impose that sort of standard. “What? You expect us to know how to get around the city? Not just Manhattan below 110th Street?”)

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Josh is probably the only guy in the world threatened by the powerful juggernaut of the taxi drivers unions.

  • “Solutions-focused news from Albany” would make for a pretty sparse Streetsblog, no?

    Well yes, Eric, but I was thinking of a sustained investigation of the corruption there and what it would take to get those solutions through it.

    Most Albany coverage is either sensationalist or kiss-ass. It’d be nice to see something that wasn’t. However, I don’t know how many parties our hypothetical correspondent would get invited to…

  • I thought Streetsblog had talked one point about having an Albany correspondent or greater Albany coverage, since what happens up there impacts us severely down here.