Today’s Headlines

  • Eric Ulrich Hasn’t Thought This Bike ID Thing Thru; Other CMs Still Back Him, He Says (Gothamist)
  • Daily News Gives Ulrich a Knucklehead Award: Bike Licensing Is “Just Dumb”
  • Watch Ulrich Defend His Anti-Bike Bill on ABC 7 (via Brooklyn Spoke)
  • Catering Hall Magnate Proposes 400-Space Garage for South Slope; Irene Lo Re Cheers (Bklyn Paper)
  • Nicole Gelinas: MTA Will Have Weaker Hand in TWU Negotiations After Blizzard Missteps (Post)
  • The Post Drags JSK Into Another Round of Blizzard Blame
  • The Post Despises Life-Saving Traffic Enforcement Tech (and Ped Plazas and Bike Lanes)
  • TSTC Sees Trouble Ahead for BRT on the Next Tappan Zee Bridge (MTR)
  • On Staten Island, It’s Not Safe to Celebrate Epic Sports Victories in the Street (News, Post)
  • Gristedes-Affiliated Firm Finds Strong Opposition to Wal-Mart Among Small NYC Businesses (News)
  • Alex Marshall: Why Isn’t There a Place on NYC Trains and Buses for People Who Feel Sociable? (News)

Have a good Martin Luther King Jr. Day everyone. We’ll be offline the rest of today and posting regularly tomorrow.

  • Bolwerk

    What is this Nicole Gelinas cretin getting so much attention for lately? I’ve been seeing her everywhere. Oh noes teh unions!!11!! We can’t panic every time the MTA “brass” get criticized by politicians.

    As for the Tappan Zee, eliminate the rail portion? What the hell is in the TSTC’s coffee? At $16B, something doesn’t sound quite right about the project to begin with. So obviously getting rid of the part that should be most affordable solves everything:

    By eliminating highway-oriented parts of the project like truck “climbing lanes” and dropping the prohibitively expensive rail portion, New York could end up with a leaner, better-designed project that it can afford to build.

  • TKO

    I think your headline is so car centric that it misses the point about the garage. I t will include a very tall hotel. As the developer says “the cherry on the top”.

    His classist threat is amazing in his handout to the neighborhood too!

    Sweat man to have as a neighbor.

  • Larry Littlefield

    You know, I already have a police ID on my bike somewhere. They were doing a free ID thing in the part some years back, but I lost the piece of paper that said what my ID was. I wonder if the NYPD has a database of that somewhere?

    Anyway, great thanks to everyone involved in having parking garages accept bikes. Blowing $20 bucks per month (2,000 big ones!) on myself is an extravagence by my standards, but today is a day where it really paid off.

    My most painful moments bike commuting were spent taking the gloves off my cold hands, wrestling the cold steel bike chain around a bike rack, and ripping at the cold steel clamp so I could grab the cold steel seatpost and remove the seat. Instead, today I just clipped my bike to the chain I had left hanging there. And I’ll just un-clip it to ride home.

  • J.J. Hunsecker

    I now think all this hate in the POST is simply because Steve Cuozzo has an unrequited thing for JSK. Same with Marty Markowitz.

  • Larry Littlefield

    http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/no-mcmansions-for-millennials.html

    “Here’s what Generation Y doesn’t want: formal living rooms, soaker bathtubs, dependence on a car. In other words, they don’t want their parents’ homes.”

    So who is going to buy them? Don’t do it, except for pennies on the dollar.

    “One-third are willing to pay for the ability to walk,” Ms. Duggal said. “They don’t want to be in a cookie-cutter type of development…The suburbs will need to evolve to be attractive to Gen Y.”

    “Outdoor space is important-but please, just a place to put the grill and have some friends over. Lawn-mowing not desired.”

  • Bolwerk

    Well, Larry, that’s cool, but let’s see how it goes when Gen Y starts having kids and finds that government-subsidized subdivisions are the most affordable option.

  • Using Ulrich’s licensing logic, pedestrian registration can’t be that far away. After all, those pedestrians dangerously jaywalk and cause congestion on sidewalks. They must be held accountable!

  • @Bolwerk: hackhouses thinktanks are very good at getting their otherwise-unemployable bullshit artists scholars publicity in the mainstream media. Gelinas isn’t even the worst of them – the Manhattan Institute has a bunch of unreconstructed racists on its payroll, like Heather MacDonald, who tell outright lies to fan flames of hate.

  • Driver

    Where is the outrage over the death in Staten Island? Why wasn’t this woman charged, I mean this was murder right? She was driving the multi-ton vehicle so she MUST be responsible regardless of the situation. It’s obvious that this poor guy is the victim here and this woman is a murderer who must be brought to justice.

  • Driver, you’re clearly trying to point out that there’s some sort of knee-jerk response among SB commenters every time someone in a car kills someone not in a car, and that we — if there is a “we” — think that all car drivers are murderers if they strike and kill someone.

    The SI case, given the bare amount of details in both news accounts, seems like a case of a driver doing absolutely nothing wrong who was in the wrong time at the wrong place. No one would want to send a driver to jail for hitting a drunk sledder she couldn’t reasonably have been expected to see. There’s no mention of speeding, running a red light, or violating any other traffic law. She even stayed at the scene.

    There’s such a thing as personal responsibility and the Jets fan didn’t exercise his fully, as sad as it is.

    All but the most extreme anti-car zealots see that this was not the driver’s fault. Please don’t paint people here with a broad brush.

  • “wrong place at the wrong time.” darn lysdexia!

  • I’ll get a license for my bike if Councilmember Ulrich figures out how to stop unlicensed drivers from getting behind the wheel (and killing and maiming).

  • Eric

    Doug G., Driver is pointing out the recent knee jerk reaction of one particular commentator.

  • Driver

    I think it’s more than one (not necessarily recent), but I realize it’s not all here. I try to keep my posts serious, but this time I couldn’t help myself.

  • All of the bike licensing arguments seem to boil down to “We [motorists] have to deal with the hassle of licensing, and therefore so should they [cyclists]!”

    Next they are going to pass a several-thousand percent excise tax on bicycle parts and maintenance/repair labor just to bring the cost of maintaining a bike up to the cost of maintaining an automobile. “It’s not fair that we have to pay $100 in parts and labor for a flat tire, when these scofflaws get away with a $5 tube, or even a $1 patch!”

  • Khon

    Why are the police not cracking down on electric bicycles? they are illegal in new york:

    * Motor-assisted Bicycle – a bicycle to which a small motor is attached. A motor-assisted bicycle does not qualify for a registration as a motorcycle, moped or ATV and does not have the same equipment.

    These devices are not allowed on any street, highway, parking lot, sidewalk or other area that allows public motor vehicle traffic. You are subject to arrest if you operate one of these motorized vehicles and do not have a registration, driver license, inspection, insurance or correct equipment. The DMV can not provide any information about operation of these devices on private property. Contact the local authorities and property owners.

  • Chris

    @Khon, if they cracked down on electric bicycles expect free delivery to go away or be the delivery area to be reduced significantly.

  • J:Lai

    Another practical concern regarding bicycle licensing is the cost.
    The DMV does not receive enough revenue from motor vehicle fees to cover its administrative expenses, and has required additional money from the NYS general transportation fund. (This may not be true for the last year because of increased revenue from the new license plate fees.)

    If DUMV (dept of unmotorized vehicles ?) were created within the DMV, so that it could piggyback on the existing infrastructure, it would operate at loss even if bicycles had to pay the same registration and other fees as cars. If it operated independently, it would probably have even higher costs. And if bicycle registration and licensing cost less than cars, which is likely, the magnitude of the operating loss would grow.

    This situation would mean diverting more of the general fund, or possibly more borrowing, to pay for administration, and therefore less for investing in actual transportation.

  • J:Lai

    Chris, I disagree.
    Free delivery has been standard since well before electric bikes were common delivery vehicles. I am not sure if typical delivery zones have expanded with the advent of electric bikes, but anecdotally I am not aware of it.

  • Chris

    J:Lai, so if free delivery remains, expect prices to go up.

    I’m skeptical that the same number of deliveries per hour could be completed on non-ebikes.

  • I’ll take the bait, Eric.

    If you look at the Google Street View picture of Mr. Larsen’s driveway, you’ll see that it’s not that steep, and that Cleveland Avenue, where he lives, is two-way and not very wide at that spot. You’ll also see that it’s less than a half-block away from Hylan Blvd, a major arterial road, so it’s very possible that the driver was exceeding the 30mph speed limit in an effort to beat the light at Hylan, or was still going at arterial speed (40mph) as she turned onto Cleveland Avenue.

    If we had a sensible 20kph (12mph) speed limit on residential streets like Mr. Larsen’s, maybe even less because of the snow, then he would be alive. We can poke fun at how he decided to celebrate, and applaud the driver for staying at the scene, but if she’d been going more slowly she might have seen him.

    If we had strict liability for automobile crashes, as I think we should, the driver would be at fault.

  • Driver

    Looks like I’ll take the bait now. Jonathan, if you think that the woman turned onto that street at 40 mph (in her suv) then you likely have never driven a car.
    No one is poking fun at the guy, but he did do something stupid and dangerous. It would be extremely inefficient for society to operate is such a way to try and protect every individual from their own poor decisions, and even in such a situation there would STILL be accidents and fatalities.
    This case is exactly why strict liability for auto crashes is not appropriate.

  • Chris

    If the guy was sledding low to the ground even at 12mph he would likely not survive if the car ran over his body/neck.

  • Driver

    Also, look at where the driveway is and where the woman’s car is in the daily news photo. She probably wasn’t going that fast at all, she only stopped a few feet past the driveway. And that driveway may not be long, but it is pretty steep.

  • Chris brings up a good point, that when you’re so low to the ground, being hit at any speed is going to result in getting rolled under the vehicle.

    Driver, you’re right that she didn’t turn into Cleveland from Hylan at 40mph. More likely reason to speed is that she was gunning for a stale green or yellow light while heading toward Hylan Blvd, trying to cross.

    As far as inefficiency and poor decisions, you could also make a pretty good rhetorical point that the current “woe betide those who dare impede my way” system, serves to reduce the liability of motor vehicle operators for inefficiency and poor decisions, with lethal results to those around them.

    And on a complete non sequitur, why can’t Detroit develop a car that checks for valid license before shifting out of park? I know GM has a in-car communication system; couldn’t that be used to validate the operator’s current license before engaging the transmission? Insurance companies would like it, I bet.

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