Today’s Headlines

  • Ray Kelly Writes to Albany and Says Nothing About the Need to Crack Down on Traffic Crime (News)
  • New York Area Can’t Put Together Enough $ to Repair Decrepit Existing Roads (NYT, NYT, NYT)
  • Eight Dead in Wrong-Way Crash on Taconic Parkway Entrance Ramp (NYT, News, Post)
  • Head-On Collision on Montauk Highway Kills Three; Drag Racing Suspected (News, Post)
  • A Bogus Parking Placard Still Fakes Out Enforcers, Despite Reforms (Post)
  • Schumer Intros Bill to Ban Texting By Transit Operators, So Can the Feds Ban TWD Too? (NY1, Post)
  • This Is Who We Trust With Driver’s Licenses in America (AMNY)
  • MTR Makes the Case for Red Light Cams
  • Cap’n Transit: Let’s Shrink Sprawlsville, Not Walkable Urban Areas (via Streetsblog.net)
  • BikeSnobNYC, Just a Nobody Who Pals Around With Lance (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • vnm

    Eight dead in one crash. Three in another (although my print edition of the News said four dead in that LI crash). Let’s not forget the normal, run-of-the-mill automobile deaths.

    Driver kills pedestrian at Metropolitan and Wood Avenues in Parkchester, flees scene (News)

    Former American Idol contestant killed by driver, charges actually filed (News)

  • Putting aside traffic crime — though it’s certainly a pressing issue — Ray Kelly said something else worth noting. I’ll add boldface to emphasize the point:

    In May, a divided Court of Appeals ruled, in a very broad majority decision, that police need a warrant based on probable cause to affix a GPS to a suspect vehicle.

    According to the court, we can still devote scarce resources to following suspects by having officers tail them in police cars, without warrants. But the use of GPS – a commonly available technology that makes it easier to do what human beings are otherwise authorized to do – is now flatly prohibited without a warrant…. [edit]

    We are just now calculating the full burden of this unprecedented expansion of privacy to cars on public streets, but it could be significant.

  • Sarah Goodyear

    The video in that AMNY link is truly scary.

  • GPS devices aren’t like officers tailing you because officers tailing you involves man hours. There’s nothing in theory preventing the government GPS-tracking every citizen at near-zero effort & unit cost, and clearly Kelly wants to; hence the need for diligence in law and the judiciary.

    The possible damage to liberty here is immense.

    Free movement (as in speech, not as in beer) is a necessary component of a free society.

  • For more on the Weaver case (the one about warrants and GPS), see this link.

  • The video is scripted. He did an earlier one where he had a “nervous breakdown” when “Mom cancelled his subscription to WarCraft”. Give him an Emmy.

  • An individual operating or traveling in an automobile does not lose all reasonable expectation of privacy simply because the automobile and its use are subject to government regulation. Automobile travel is a basic, pervasive, and often necessary mode of transportation to and from one’s home, workplace, and leisure activities. Many people spend more hours each day traveling in cars than walking on the streets. Undoubtedly, many find a greater sense of security and privacy in traveling in an automobile than they do in exposing themselves by pedestrian or other modes of travel. Were the individual subject to unfettered governmental intrusion every time he entered an automobile, the security guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment would be seriously circumscribed. As Terry v. Ohio … recognized, people are not shorn of all Fourth Amendment protection when they step from their homes onto the public sidewalks. Nor are they shorn of those interests when they step from the sidewalks into their automobiles.

    —U.S. Supreme Court in Delaware v Prouse, 1979, quoted in the Weaver decision.

  • Sarah Goodyear

    @Think_twice,

    Yeah, I’m not surprised to hear that actually. But it’s still scary.

  • I’m for letting the NYPD do anything that will prevent a dirty bomb from going off in Times Square. They can put a GPS in my hip pocket if that’s what it takes. The privacy concerns of drivers are small potatoes compared with the prospect of NYC’s business district being irradiated for thousands of years.

  • > They can put a GPS in my hip pocket if that’s what it takes.

    Yours. Not mine. Fortunately, your right to put GPS on things doesn’t extend to my own hip pocket. Please think carefully about possible reactions before you the cops to come and try.

  • In other news: In Amsterdam, vandals are throwing smart cars into the canals. They are small and light enough to be lifted over the guardrail and tossed. I am not condoning this behavior. It’s a terrible thing to do to a nice canal.

  • Whenever I see a parked Smart, I want to get three or four guys to lift it up and spin it 180 degrees in its parking spot.

  • Ray Kelly is going to have to get over the fact that the crisis atmosphere that propelled the NYPD to its current position of authority is ending. Crime is down. Terrorism is not in the forefront of people’s thinking. The City needs a police force capable of responding to the positive changes that are happening and that includes addressing traffic crime and parking issues.

  • @Sarah Goodyear,

    I second that. Damned fine acting, if that’s true. Jack Nicholson’s got nothing on him (though he prefers a golf club to a baseball bat).

  • “Automobile travel is a basic, pervasive, and often necessary mode of transportation to and from one’s home, workplace, and leisure activities. Many people spend more hours each day traveling in cars than walking on the streets. Undoubtedly, many find a greater sense of security and privacy in traveling in an automobile than they do in exposing themselves by pedestrian or other modes of travel.”

    Of course, that is the problem.

    If automobiles were used reasonably, as an occasional convenience rather than an every-day necessity, then there would not be a legitimate privacy concern.

    I am amazed that the court added:

    “Undoubtedly, many find a greater sense of security and privacy in traveling in an automobile than they do in exposing themselves by pedestrian or other modes of travel.”

    implying that it is reasonable for average people to drive because they are too insecure to walk on the sidewalk. What would Americans 100 years ago have thought of this idea?

  • Another one from today’s Daily News, page 23 for you print readers out there:
    “40 miles per gallon? Car fits him to a T”
    Henry Kobasky is still driving his 1923 Ford Model T to do errands, says he gets 40 mpg, and that he hasn’t needed to spend a dime on maintaining it in the last quarter-century.

    Kobasky’s pleasure in driving his antique recalls to me the anti-derailleur faction’s arguments: that bicycles have gotten needlessly complicated. It would be nice to have a car that was as easy to fix as a bike, I think.

    Imagine if brassieres were similarly overdesigned, able to support loads weighing up to 300 lbs, and equipped with cupholders, idiot lights, and computerized inflation gauges.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “implying that it is reasonable for average people to drive because they are too insecure to walk on the sidewalk. What would Americans 100 years ago have thought of this idea?”

    What would Americans of 100 or 200 years ago have thought of the idea that Americans can’t walk or bike to work because they can’t be outside when it is cold/hot/rainy, and can’t do that much physical work? What would Teddy Roosevelt have thought?

  • Larry, at the large airbase where I was stationed in Iraq, there were five shuttle-bus routes that took lazy servicemembers wherever they wanted to go (Black, Blue, Red, Green, and Yellow). Once, I even attended a battalion meeting to discuss how to use the three buses assigned to our 1,000-strong unit to get soldiers around most effectively, because it was somehow considered déclassé to ask them to rely on the base-wide buses.

    What would TR think about that?

  • JK

    T.A.’s fake placard sting is great. How about the PD or mayor doing their own stings/surveys and releasing the results to the public per: in 2010, 50% of fake placards were ticketed, in 2011 70% etc? The parking agents are incredibly intimidated by regular cops and politically powerful permit holders. They need some encouragement and attention. Or, as T.A. pointed out, these placard reductions don’t mean much.