Today’s Headlines

  • M42 Barely Moves During Rush Hour, Even Though It Has a "Dedicated" Lane (News)
  • At City Hall Rally, Advocates Call for Reforms to Keep Dangerous Drivers From Killing (NY1, PIX)
  • There’s Hope for State DOTs: Texas Adopts a Street Design Manual for Walkable Urbanism (Citiwire)
  • Adolfo Carrion: National Urban Affairs Office Will Make a Splash in 2011 Budget (WNYC)
  • Open Gov’t Data Can Transform City Services. Will NYPD and MTA Take Advantage? (NYT)
  • Another Drunk Driving NYPD Disgrace: Detective Smashes Car Into Midtown Tunnel Toll Plaza (Post)
  • Can the Cellular Industry Be Held Liable for Distracted Driving Deaths? (NYT)
  • Taking a Ride on NYCT’s Quiet New Turbine Engine Bus (NYT)
  • The Next TWU Leaders May Take a Harder Line Against MTA Management (AMNY)
  • DIY Streets: London Neighbors Tame Traffic on Their Own (Guardian via How We Drive)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Currently drivers are only assessed on their skills once in their life: in their late teens to get their first license. Then they only have to renew by mail and maybe take an eye test and a new picture at a DMV office to renew their license.

    When Upper Green Side did its transportation survey we asked residents on the Upper East Side “How often should drivers be re-tested to assess their skills and safety
    techniques after they receive their license?” N = 209 (page 11)

    http://www.uppergreenside.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/uestransportationsurvey.pdf

    Only 1% said “never”

  • Larry Littlefield

    My wife heard an intersting segment on NPR’s Car Talk this weekend.

    http://www.cartalk.com/ct/review/index.jsp

    A gym teacher called in for advice about his car troubles. When Frick and Frack asked how he uses the car, he said mostly to drive the 1 1/2 miles back and forth to school, and a few other places in town. They started making fun of him for not jogging to work, or something, since he is a gym teacher. He said he is in a jogging club, but he has to drive there.

    Just wondering, are there any high schools or colleges in the country with bike racing teams or clubs? If there were, it might have a cultural impact.

  • Brooklyn

    Larry,

    Anecdotally, I know of a sanctioned high-school mountain-bike racing league in California, but nothing of the sort on the East Coast. The national racing sanctioning body is USA Cycling; they’re perenially lean with resources and focused on elite and Olympic development. Up in New England, Hot Tubes is a junior racing team that travels all over the country. I’ve also seen very strong teams from Quebec at regional races.

    Locally, the Century Road Club Association (CRCA) currently sponsors a burgeoning junior (high-school aged)development road racing team, but they’re not school-affiliated. Kissena and Somerville Sports have also sponsored racers in the 15-19 age range. Star Track carries a sponsorship from NYC Parks; it introduces junior-high and up kids to track racing at the Kissena velodrome in Queens.

    The numbers for these teams and their events are not great. Veteran amateur racers I ride with will often recall the glory days of the ’80’s, when junior race fields numbered in the hundreds, starting from age 4 and up. A very large junior field today at a regionally significant event would be 40 riders. The local races in Prospect and Central Park may count one kid or two among all fields.

  • vnm

    Here’s another one:

    Enraged driver assaults parking enforcement officer because he thought the “grace period” had already taken effect. (News)

  • David_K

    Larry –

    I was just in Seattle, where I saw enough people jogging with packpacks on to ask my friend (who lives there) what is the deal? He said a lot of people jog to/from work, and that employers are generally pretty good about providing shower/change facilities.

    Also, I spent some time at both the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and at the Unviersity of Washington (the foundation at which I work put on lectures at both those institutions) and I was gratified to see how popular commuter cycling was among faculty and medical researchers.

    Finally (off the subject) — at the Hutch, it’s cool to bring your dog to work, provided (of course) the type of job you have allows you to do so. I kind of wanted to move there….

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Locally, the Century Road Club Association (CRCA) currently sponsors a burgeoning junior (high-school aged)development road racing team, but they’re not school-affiliated.”

    That could be an advantage in the long run. Most of the activities that ARE school affilated may disappear in the next few years, particularly in NYC.

    Schools will have to choose between teams/clubs and classes; eventually classes will be cut regardless (already happening). In NYC, teachers only assist with teams and clubs if paid; to do otherwise is to be considered a scab. In the long run (say 12 months from now), parents here should plan on diassociating activities from the schools, if the activities are to exist.

    Perhaps in five years or eight years as budgets recovered, public funds could be used to help the out-of-school activities grow.

  • David_K

    By the way, the NY Times article is excellent on the history of cell phone manufacturers/service providers promoting phone use in cars despite mounting evidence of the dangers. The parallels to the tobacco industry are obvious. And the current industry position on phone use while driving — do not text, but DO use hands-free phones (even though we know that using hands-free phones makes you as dangerous as a drunk driver)— kind of mirrors the tobacco industry’s ploy to say keep smoking, folks! (just smoke our ‘safer’ lower tar, lower nicotine, smokeless, ect…)

    Plus the cellphone ads that the NY Times shows from the ’80s and ’90s are strangely entertaining while at the same time damning.

  • Josh

    The poll in the Daily News article about the 42nd street is pretty poor. Where’s the option for “yes, bus lanes work, but only if they’re properly designed and enforced?”