Today’s Headlines

  • Distracted Driving: The Public Safety Threat Lawmakers Choose to Ignore (NYT)
  • We Need to Stop Rewarding Gas Guzzling States With Extra Transpo Funds (TNR)
  • Neal Peirce: It’s Time for a Big National Investment in Walking and Biking (Citiwire)
  • Auto Pollution Starts Harming NYC Kids Before They’re Born (AP)
  • Woman Widowed By Bike Crash Wants Tougher Regulation of Delivery Cyclists (News)
  • NYCT to Split Congestion-Plagued B61 Service Into Two Routes (AMNY)
  • Yes, Subway Noise Can Be Deafening (2nd Ave Sagas)
  • If You Need to Be Told Not to Eat Soup and Drive, Maybe You Shouldn’t Be Licensed (News, Autopia)
  • Parking Myopia Keeps St. Louis Un-Walkable (STL Dotage via Streetsblog.net)
  • Weinermobile: Unsafe at Any Speed (AP)

More headlines over at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • vnm
  • Larry Littlefield

    Muni crash.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/07/19/BA1N18RPHG.DTL&tsp=1

    Word is the driver has switched from automatic train operation to manual as the light rail exited the subway and prepared to run on the street, then blacked out.

  • RE: NYCT to Split Congestion-Plagued B61 Service Into Two Routes

    I like it. 10 miles for a local bus route is absurd, and that’s probably not even out of the ordinary. According to Wikipedia a number of current Brooklyn bus routes are combinations of older, separate routes. No wonder the service is so unpredictable.

  • Glenn

    If there is one areas there has been marked improvement in my own personal experience with the MTA it is the bus system.

    Breaking up some of these long routes does make sense.

  • Agree with Rhywun about the B61. That thing is ALWAYS jammed, especially now that you get Ikea passengers in addition to the rest.

  • J. Mork

    But what about people who use the B61 to travel from Red Hook to Williamsburg?

    My fantasy solution would be to leave service in place, but add additional service that goes out and back from Downtown. Wouldn’t it be really cool if there were “stand-by” buses that didn’t go on a regular schedule, but instead went out when the buses behind get stuck in traffic? This is the kind of flexibility we could get with working positional systems on the buses.

  • The Gruskin death is pretty shocking. Most cyclist-on-pedestrian deaths (there is about one per year in NYC) invoklve elderly/frail pedestrians and occur near parks, suggesting recreational cyclists are involved (according to the 1997 NYC Report on Bicycling Fatalities and Serious Injuries, 1996-2005)). While many of the food delivery guys ride counterflow, they usually don’t ride quickly enough to pose a risk of serious injury. For a delivery guy to deal a fatal injury to a seemingly healthy middle-aged father makes this an extremely unusual event. The danger is that it will be put forward as typical of bicyclist-pedestrian interaction in traffic.

  • I would like to offer sincere condolences to the Gruskin family. I hope this story would help people–drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists alike–realize the seriousness of Traumatic Brain Injury.

  • The Gruskin tragedy illustrates a point we’ve been making about cars: just because you haven’t killed anyone yet doesn’t mean you’re not acting recklessly. A big factor in the danger from working cyclists is employers who demand high speeds, have no expectation that their employees will obey any kind of safety rules, and provide no training.

    From what I’ve read, Nancy Gruskin’s lawsuit targets the most responsible party and the avenue most likely to lead to real change. I appreciate how she does not scapegoat all cyclists, and wish her luck with the suit. I hope that all cyclists will support her in this.

  • I’m with you, Cap’n Transit. If you’re going to disregard “the rules,” you’ve gotta operate with the realization that no matter what happens, *you’re* the one that set up the situation and it’s your responsibility.

    If I have to go a partial block against the flow of traffic, it’s *very* slowly and clearly yielding to everyone, knowing that no one is expecting me. End of story. If I’m jaywalking, I’ve gotta be damn sure that I’m not causing cyclists or drivers to avoid me. If I can’t guarantee that, than it’s my responsibility to wait my turn.

  • In regards to the two studies about eating while driving (soup? even if you eat it through a straw it’s a bad idea), maybe it’s time to put drive-through restaurants out to pasture? They’re mean to cyclists anyway.

    Also, I’ve always thought the Congressman was lame, but please, just because his ancestors made wine (Weiners) does not give him any connection to vehicles promoting a company selling Vienna-style sausages (wieners). Yes, he pronounces it the same way, and the Wienermobile is a funny illustration for stories criticizing him. But holding him responsible for the thing crashing into someone’s house is a big stretch.

  • Thanks, Ian! Yes, sometimes when I cross a street I find myself only looking in the direction traffic is supposed to be coming from. I have this nagging feeling in the back of my mind, “what if there’s a wrong-way cyclist or driver?” But there’s so much to pay attention to in the “right” way that it’s hard to break that concentration and look the other way. Many people don’t even think to do that.

  • Nancy Gruskin’s lawsuit targets the most responsible party

    I disagree. The responsible party is the bicyclist. “Because the boss told me to” is no excuse for reckless driving (of any kind). I do agree that if she wins, it will change everything.

  • I just hope that the news or the post don’t pick this up and act as if cyclist on pedestrians injuries are the worst thing on our streets, I certainly agree that even one death a year in a such a crash is one too many but this is a small fish in the pond of traffic injuries.

  • *I mean in Op-Ed pieces

  • Happy 40th anniversary of the moon landing, America.

    To this day amazes me that you could achieve such an accomplishment, but your rail system is generations behind the leading nations of the world. If only such will, perseverance and resources would be directed to something that would directly benefit a huge part of society right away.

  • Timely and well said, Ian.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    The safety and personal behavior disparity is really marginal vis a vis bicycles and cars. Years ago there was a horrible TA collision (not accident) with a drunk motorman smashing into another train below Washington Square, I think three dead. The same day a drunk driver rode up on the sidewalk, same neighborhood, six dead. The TA wreck had the front page New York Times for a whole week, the auto “accident” was on page 340 for one afternoon edition.

    Same disparate treatment applies with bicycles, though it is not the magnitude of the wreck that makes the headlines, its the rarity. Same with the airlines. Auto wrecks are a “drip, drip, drip”, railroad, and airlines are a “Katrina”. Bicycles are the other extreme, so rare as to be newsworthy.

  • Brooklyn

    No excuse for the delivery guy — if you’re on a bike, it takes no effort at all to ride with the flow of traffic — going around a block takes only a minute or two.

    I see all kinds of morons going wrong way on bike lanes in downtown Brooklyn and Park Slope as I commute to work and home. I don’t bother yelling anymore; I just take a line on my bike that either forces them into the oncoming traffic, or drives them into parked cars.

    A panicked squeal of their brakes puts a smile on my face.