Today’s Headlines

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill.

  • glenn

    Streetsblog had this in its Twitter feed New study: 20MPH speed limits greatly reduce injuries and fatalities http://bit.ly/8aXZ6B

    Very important study. Even if we were talking about a 10% reduction in fatalities, I’d be in favor of reducing speed limits. But this shows an over 40% decline in fatalities!! All urban areas should immediately cut their speed limits.

  • I hear there are photos on the Internet of Carl Kruger taking the bus to his birthday party too.

  • DDartley (streetsblog commenter) has been banging the lowered speed limit drum for years, it makes perfect sense to me. I think I would solve many traffic issues besides how easy it is to kill peds and bikers. It is such a simple fix to many urban street use problems.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Revenue from the MTA’s bus, subway and commuter-rail networks, state and local government subsidies, dedicated taxes and operating surpluses from its toll bridges and tunnels, have been earmarked to pay off the debt,” pay off unfunded pensions, and pay retiree health care.

    There is no such obligation for the MTA to provide mass transit, and eventually it will not be able to.

    You wonder why the MTA is easily tarred as a ripoff? A huge share of the taxes and fares that are paid simply goes to money that was sucked out in the past, and nothign that anyone can see. So, as the transit system deteriorates, why pay? Because Pataki, Bruno, Silver, Skelos, and their backers have promised themselve things at the expense of our future?

    No referendum, no debt service. Let those who ran up the existing debts pay them back, not the MTA.

  • Wait, the UK’s transport minister is named Sadiq Khan? What a weird coincidence. Wikipedia doesn’t indicate he’s related to Janette.

  • I feel like I can barely navigate the touchscreen climate controls in the Toyota Prius while keeping my eyes on the road, putting anything more involved up there is a bad idea.

  • Doug

    Accidents, powered by Google.

  • Lowering the speed limits on city streets would do more for livable streets issues and public health & safety than congestion pricing, red light cameras, and 200 miles of striped bike lanes.

  • JK

    Why is the speed limit on NYC streets 30mph? Why? The DOT used to claim it didn’t matter. Really? Do most drivers know the speed limit?

  • It certainly impacts the timing of lights on the major avenues. If you go at 25-30 mph, you never hit a red light on the major avenues.

    One major benefit would be that the streets would be less attractive to motorists over the highways. More cars on highways, the better.

    DOT / TA – please make this your next big project!

    Community Boards – start passing resolutions!

  • Geck

    I agree. 20 is plenty on most city street. It would make a huge difference in livable streets and safety if it was observed/enforced.

  • J:Lai

    I’m surprised that no DOT has used variable speed limits as a way to move traffic from streets that are heavily residential/commercial and to streets that have less pedestrian activity.
    Even without active enforcement (good luck with that!) DOT could use signal timing to make it possible to drive 30mph on certain roads, while on other roads it would be 20mph.
    It seems like this could achieve the goals of increased auto throughput and improved streetscapes for non-auto users at the same time.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Here is some enforcement Streetsbloggers can respect: fines adjusted for income, so everyone has an equal disincentive to breaking the law.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,582394,00.html

    “A Swiss court has slapped a wealthy speeder with a chalet-sized fine — a full $290,000. Judges at the cantonal court in St. Gallen, in eastern Switzerland, based the record-breaking fine on the speeder’s estimated wealth of over $20 million. A statement on the court’s Web site says the driver — a repeat offender — drove up to 35 miles an hour faster than the 50-mile-an-hour limit…The Blick daily newspaper in Zurich reported the fine was more than twice the previous Swiss record of about $107,000.”

  • Perhaps the first time I’ve disagreed with Larry.

    I’ll consent to fines indexed to net worth, when we stop taxing me at a higher rate, too. Flat-rate taxes and flat-rate penalties are fair; graduated income taxes, /and/ scaling penalties, is just further soaking the better-off.

    (And I’m not rich. I pay 44% combined taxes and pull less than a hundred grand, which certainly isn’t enough to afford to live in Manhattan. When my parents were my age, they paid ~10% income taxes, and were in the same socioeconomic bracket. Inflation is the killer.)

  • Pardon the doublepost-

    How’s anyone going to enforce a 20mph speed limit?

    No one seriously expects the police to do this, do you?

  • As a computer geek that’s been following the CES extensively, I knew as soon as I saw the car stuff that there will be serious issues. As a passenger, the stuff looks really fun, but they’re positioning all the screens for the drivers. The automakers are only hurting themselves. Theyre going to sue Ford, not microsoft, intel or google when an accident happens.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (And I’m not rich. I pay 44% combined taxes and pull less than a hundred grand, which certainly isn’t enough to afford to live in Manhattan. When my parents were my age, they paid ~10% income taxes, and were in the same socioeconomic bracket. Inflation is the killer.)

    The debts left by their 10% taxes are one cause of your 44% taxes. That is almost certainly going up.

    But it is the case that when you try to discourage people with fines, but the fines are equal regardless of income, for those with enough money they’ll simply pay the fine as an affordable cost of the behavior. That truck parked in the bike lane for example.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    I’m with LL on this, Ils y doivent travailler devant la majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues et de voler du pain.”

  • Streetsblog,

    I was reading this article about parking prices in Chicago
    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=7199529
    and was wondering if you knew of any resources that covered parking rates around the country and efforts to increase prices?

    I live in Boston, and parking is only $1.00 an hour, nothing compared to the $4.25 in Chicago. I think it’s great that Chicago is able to raise their prices to market rates….even if the way they went about it may not have been so good. I read about the Oakland controversy in the SF streetsblog, over a 25 cent increase, but less about the Chicago change.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Wondering if you knew of any resources that covered parking rates around the country and efforts to increase prices?”

    Colliers has an annual survey of parking garage rates around the country.

    http://www.colliers.com/Content/Repositories/Base/Corporate/English/Market_Report_Corporate/PDFs/colliersparkingratesurvey2009.pdf