Today’s Headlines

  • “Encouraging the use of “green” transport, like bicycles, only increases the congestion by reducing existing lanes on streets already stretched far beyond their capacity….Pictured here is an elevated track dedicated to electrically-powered vehicles circulating at low to moderate speeds. Each holds one or two passengers and can be picked up at one of a number of stations located between existing subway and bus stops.”

    Worst. Idea. Ever.

  • J. Mork

    Plus the bit about bicycles don’t make any sense. You can get more people per lane per hour through on bicycles than in cars, that’s all there is to it.

    (I can’t wait until the POD people find this thread….)

  • I have high hopes that the revised pedicab regulations will help the business become a healthy, safe, and welcome part of the NYC experience.

    It always seemed clear to me that any bad behavior by pedicab drivers over the last 2 or so years was the direct result of the City Council’s own poison-pilling of the regulation law. Council insisted on including bad provisions before the Mayor vetoed it, and insisted on leaving them in after the veto. Owners were right to sue against unfair legislation, and it wasn’t their fault that the legal process required that the whole law be held up in the meantime.

    Remember, it was the pedicab business itself that first called for regulation, not City Council. When City Council reacted by writing a bad bill, they got to hear ample argument—both before the Mayor’s veto and after, as they prepared to override—that certain aspects of the bill were unfair, harmful, and of no help to the city, and yet they still refused to revise the bill. So since the lawsuit caused there to be no law to enforce for two years, the City has had to tolerate plenty of bad pedicab drivers. Even as a fan of the pedicab business, I won’t lie; there have been lots of real jerks driving pedicabs around in the past couple years. As explained, that’s all because City Council clung to their bad bill. I’m hopeful that under the new rules, those bad drivers will be pushed out, and responsible operators will be protected, and able grow their business.

    (I’m glad to read that the license cap is gone, but I wonder if the other provisions I found even worse are gone? (They were provisions that allowed pretty much any old employee of various city agencies to unilaterally bar pedicabs from certain areas almost indefinitely. One example of what’s wrong with that is that a couple getting married in NYC could not confidently arrange for a pedicab to be their wedding transportation.))

  • Larry Littlefield

    Here’s what I find interesting:

    From the Secretary of Transport:

    “I think everybody will have an automobile. I think it’s amazing in America when you drive around and look at new homes that are being built, there are three-car garages. I don’t think you’re going to see families with three cars. I think you’re going to see families with one car, possibly two.”

    That is certainly a start. Any communities that allow a family to live well with one car would also allow young people to get by with the occasional use of a car they don’t own.

    The first car, as much as the credit card, is the first step most Americans take on the road to debt slavery. And a good chunk of that 11% of GDP the federal government is now impoverishing future Americans by borrowing is subsidies to ensure people can borrow, rather than save, for that first car.

    To save for that first car, you have to work. But to work before buying a car, you have to be able to get to work — and elsewhere — without one. Something possible in very few places, all of which are being over-run by people in their twenties.

  • glenn

    CM Garodnick’s facebook status update on Pedicabs was bordering on bashing them saying they are basically too many in the theater district and midtown. Can folks write in or call his office to ask for sensible regulation that encourages responsible pedicab owners as green transportation and eco-friendly tourist options. Tell him (and any other CM) that any legislation should be to simply limit irresponsible behavior or correct safety issues, not do the bidding of reactionary taxi, theater and hotel owners

  • NYT Mag Does an Infrastructure Issue: Here’s the Best Part

    I have to go with Kunstler on this one: it’s too late to build HSR in California–dozens of billions of dollars in debt too late. To say nothing of the fact that it will take at least twice as long and cost four times as much as they’re claiming.

    Wouldn’t it be more cost-effective in the short term to bring rail back to the standards they enjoyed a hundred years ago?

  • Ed

    Rafael Viñoly Architects
    Are they the ass-hats who wrote that crap about the ‘Reducing Congestion by Building Up ?
    Are people seriously this delusional?