Today’s Headlines

  • Drunk Driving NYPD Sergeant Charged for Gravely Injuring 68-Year-Old Pedestrian (News)
  • LA, DC, Atlanta and Houston Top List of Most Congested U.S. Cities (AP)
  • Here’s an Idea for Albany: Constitutional Convention (WSJ)
  • Wider Goethals Bridge Will Attract Up to 40 Percent More Traffic (MTR)
  • U.S. Regulators Think They Can Curb Volatile Swings in Energy Prices (NYT)
  • This Guy Is Running for City Council on an Anti-Parking Enforcement Platform (News)
  • NYers Gather in Streets and Public Spaces to Say Goodbye to Michael Jackson (Post, AMNY)
  • New App Helps Straphangers Pick the Most Time-Efficient Subway Car (AMNY, City Room)
  • Bklyn Paper: You Can Park a Scooter "Almost Anywhere" 
  • Guerilla Bike Lanes: Some Cities Need ’em, Others Don’t (A2W via Streetsblog.net)
  • Larry Littlefield

    Here is an article that might seem off topic, but is on topic for any competing need for money, including transporation.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/08/nyregion/08pension.html?_r=3&ref=nyregion

    Pension costs are set to soar in NY, devastating services and causing taxes to soar. And the proposed solutions? Use debts future generations will pay to pay for today’s pensions. And cut compensation to future public employees, making them much worse off than older generations of public employees. Note the common thread.

    This is about tax free pensions. There is also tax free retiree health care. And there are the debts, the effect of which we have seen at the MTA. And revenues sucked out of the future, as when all future tobacco settlement revenues have already been spent. And costs deferred to the future, as in deferred maintenance. We won’t even talk about the environment, which people are happy to preserve as long as it doesn’t cost anything.

    Ah, but they give us lots of plans, don’t they?

    Why do I say Generation Greed, instead of Politician Greed, Public Employee Union Greed, Executive and Corporate Board Greed, etc.? Well this article, which is unfortuantely behind a paid firewall, explains it.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124698610127506715.html

    In the years since Reagan taught us deficits don’t matter, as the public policies described above were being implemented, consumer debt soared from about 60% of GDP, where it had been for decades after an increase to that level coming out of the Great Depression, to 133% of GDP. The debt is now going into default, and being shifted to the federal government (which is why you won’t be getting Social Security and Medicare) through bailouts. Our economy is collapsing in the absence of ever-rising debt.

    It’s about our culture. The public and private choices have been the same.

  • jonesy

    love the guy who’s running on the anti-parking platform. when did the residents of sheepshead bay turn into the simpletons from Springfield??

  • JSD

    On the Scooter story.

    So it’s a bike, but more expensive, and with gas. And it still makes more sense than a car in the city.

  • lee

    I wonder if they sell hybrid/electric scooters. They would not be so bad if they were clean and if it didnt sound like you were farting around town on a motorized commode.

  • Ian Hlavacek

    Lee — no hybrid electrics yet, but there are a lot of straight-up electric options, and they’re fantastic. I ride a Zapino: http://www.zapworld.com/electric-vehicles/electric-scooters/zapino-electric-scooter. Fast, stylish, and no gas! What’s not to like?

  • “This Guy Is Running for City Council on an Anti-Parking Enforcement Platform”

    Well, the guy is running on an anti-INCORRECT-enforcement platform. People here need to get it through their heads that people (yes, drivers are people too) are sometimes ticketed incorrectly and that there’s nothing wrong with fighting a ticket in that situation. You want to talk about whether metered rates are high enough, that’s one thing, but there’s no rational basis to say you should get ticketed for parking in front of a hydrant when you’re parked perfectly legally.

  • Off-topic, but this letter in today’s NY Times really made me think of Larry Littlefield:

    To the Editor:

    As Depression kids, now 76 and 78, ours was the smallest generation in recent history. We never learned to stand up for ourselves, and have been largely ignored.

    Luckily, for those of us who are still around, the baby boomers are coming. God bless them. Our problems will become their problems, and will vanish in the wake of boomer importance. Within five years, geriatrics will be the primary concern of all graduating physicians.

    Gwendolyn Moore
    Patricia Britt
    Port Townsend, Wash., July 2, 2009

    When you need medical care, Larry, just remember who is taking up the doctors’ time and the health care budget.

  • Brooklyn is number 1!

    from http://climateprogress.org/2009/07/08/epic-battle-senate-waxman-markey-climate-clean-energy-bill/

    Carbon Emissions. The carbony-ist district is the At-Large one in Wyoming, which produces 36.3 metric tons of carbon per capita; the least carbon-intensive are the 10th and 11th Congressional Districts of New York, which are both located in Brooklyn and are responsible for 1.1 metric tons of carbon per capita.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “When you need medical care, Larry, just remember who is taking up the doctors’ time and the health care budget.”

    Vote Democratic, and when we get old we’ll get medical marijunna followed by legal assisted suicide. The Republicans won’t even give us that.

    All I ask for is universal basic care, publicly financed, equitably provided. I’ll settle for that, and get a cane rather than a hip or knee replacement, if my kids will get it also.

    But the health care reform discussion in DC seems to be moving away universal care and the same deal for all. The Presidential election was about change, but it didn’t change Congress.

  • Cephas

    Ditto to Josh.

    “Guy Is Running for City Council on an Anti-Parking Enforcement Platform”

    is probably the most misleading headline I’ve seen all week. I expected better from streetsblog. He’s running on Parking Enforcement Reform. The news story didn’t sound like he’s Anti-Parking Enforcement at all. Unless somebody knows something that isn’t being said…

    I would hate to see an anti-parking enforcement platform, but Parking Enforcement Reform? Now there’s something I could vote for!

  • Paterson has just appointed Dick Ravitch as Lieutenant Governor. Maybe the Ravitch Plan will pass the Senate this term after all?