Today’s Headlines

  • Bloomberg Taxi Plan, Including MTA Surcharge, Passes Senate (NYTCrain’s)
  • Where You See a Safer Street, the New York Times Sees a “Blunt Tool” (NYT 1, 2)
  • Driver With Suspended License Hits and Kills Mother of Four in Queens (Post)
  • NYPD Issues More Tickets for Tinted Windows Than Speeding (Transpo Nation)
  • Post: MTA Spends Too Many Bridge Tolls on Transit, Not Enough on Road Repairs
  • From Seattle to the Sheridan, Freeway Fights Are Back (ArchPaper)
  • Video Becomes Key Tool for Understanding New York City Street Behavior (NYT)
  • Garbage Truck Breakdowns Mean Trash Left on Subway Platforms (News)
  • Burden Brought Focus on Urban Design Details to DCP, Along With Major Rezonings (WSJ)
  • Europe’s Anti-Driving Planning Employs Parking, Pedestrianization, and Light Timing (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Joe R.

    carma,
     
    Tell me about it regarding the LIE.  I was riding along the service road last night between 11 and midnight, and traffic was hardly moving on the expressway in certain spots (although I pretty much had the entire service road to myself).  This isn’t an aberration, but pretty much the normal situation nearly every night.
     
    Regarding Bayside, my sister used to live in Auburndale (before she moved out to Yaphank, mostly because she wanted a house, but couldn’t afford one in Bayside).  Anyway, she took the LIRR into the city from the Auburndale station.  It was a 20 minute ride.  If where you plan to move isn’t far from the station, that’s probably the best, albeit pricier, option into Manhattan.  I really wish the subways would be extended further out.  The 7 and E/F should be extended to city limits.  A Jewel Avenue spur out to at least Springfield Blvd. would be nice also (and would conveniently be only a block orr so away  from me).

  • carma

    tinted windshield?  seriously..  no one in there right mind tints their windshield.  it just doesnt happen..  not even fbi cruisers have a tinted windshield.

    my bogus facts are as much bogus as your theories that a tinted window is dangerous for a pedestrian.  driver inattentiveness to their surroundings is dangerous.  tinted windows is not.  remember, cars are not dangerous.  the drivers who DRIVE the car are.

  • Tom

    For what it’s worth: tinted window are dangerous because they block the view of other drivers who should have the greatest field of vision of all objects in the roadway ahead of them.  For example, you can’t see pedestrians in a crosswalk who are hidden by the tinted windows of the car ahead.   

  • Jay

    “a tinted window does not make it more difficult for the driver to see”
    Nice windshield perspective!

    There is a whole design philosophy of “shared streets” that relies on eye contact.  I’m not really sure how viable shared streets are for implementation in New York; I guess the illegal tinted front windows/windshields that prevent eye contact is one more challenge.

  • carma

    actually, the last few weeks LIE was doing nightly repaving where they literally shut down the highway.  so, the traffic was a bit more unusual.
    but i agree, its usually a nightmare

    ideally the best commute would involve me biking to the subway at 179th so i dont have to rely on the bus.  the problem is that there is no way in hell im leaving my bike parked on the street.   i so wish there was a garage that i can park my bike.
    and i doubt that the bike share would extend out to that far out in queens.

  • carma

    Jay,
    a good driver would not be focused on the windshield.  yes, a good driver observes 180 degrees, and uses the rear view and side mirrors for a 360 degree perspective.
    having illegal window tint does not make it more difficult for the driver to see the side windows.

    my point is that as a pedestrian, it is more important to observe a cars movement rather than to focus primarily on the driver.  as a pedestrian, i seriously doubt that your primary focus is the driver’s eye rather than the vehicle as a whole.  if your only focus was the driver’s eye contact, than you really need to pay attention to the big picture as it is safer to focus on the vehicle movement rather than specifically the driver.

  • Jay

    Carma, I think you are missing the importance of additional cues, and actual navigation in an urban setting.

    You’re right that pedestrians should watch the vehicle.  That’s obvious.  But what should also be obvious is that watching the vehicle only informs you about what movements the vehicle has already performed.  To cross safely, a pedestrian also needs to have some understanding of what the vehicle is likely to do next.  That is best done by the visual communication of eye contact with the vehicle’s operator.

  • carma

    okay, im not denying that extra cues helps a pedestrian cross safely.  but when did most pedestrians all of a sudden become experts on observing what a drivers intent is by simply looking at eye contact to the driver.

    lets get real.  and i mean everyday walking.  how many times have you specifically looked at a drivers eye focal point in order to cross safely?  i dont need to look at a driver point blank to know if they are driving erratically.  you simply need to observe the vehicles movement.  i feel that you folks are making an issue out of a non-issue.

    im not saying having tinted front windows w/o prior consent is not illegal.  sure it is.  and if you get caught, you deserve a ticket.  but seriously, you cant crucify every action of a car owner and assume just b/c they may have illegal tints, they are now gangstas, or are likely to commit an illegal infraction.  

  • Jay

    I have drivers wave to indicate they saw me and are waiting for me cross the street on a daily basis.  Sometimes I see that drivers aren’t looking in my direction, so even though they came to a stop I decide not to step out in front of their cars.

    I don’t know where you walk that face-to-face interaction is so unimportant, but it must be very different from my neighborhood.

  • Jay

    Joe,
     
    While I agree that fewer cars are needed in places like New York, and that there are a lot of benefits to be obtained from removing them, I would like to flag some details.
    Not to say we can’t or shouldn’t do it, but to clarify how we might get there.  Access to every residence is still critical for emergency responders.  You’ve got to get the ambulance to grandma quickly.  There are mobility-impaired people who need direct access for Access-a-Ride as well.  But while we can’t just cut off the streets, we should be able to design shared streets and heavily restrict their use.
     
    You mentioned removing signals, and then mentioned buses.  This raises the problem about converting more trips to transit and the impacts to the streets.  With the subway system at/near capacity, eliminating car trips will mean putting more people on buses.  That would obviously reduce traffic overall – but I for one would feel more comfortable having good separation between major bus routes and pedestrians, including robust signalization.

  • carma

    in your case where you mention hand gestures.   you would likely be able to see that gesture through the windshield, not the side front windows.

    when you are faced with that situation, it is likely that the driver will be aware of their surroundings and receive a gesture from the driver that they are yielding to you.

    if you are facing a driver that has no intention of yielding, a tinted window serves no purpose to you and you can likely see from the action of the car that it already is not going to yield to you. in this case, driver acknowledgement is not necessary as you already know they are breaking the rule.

    seriously, dont blame window tint for bad driving.  blame the driver for bad driving habits.

  • Driver

     Carma, I think you are really off base on this one. If more pedestrians actually paid attention to the driver, there might be fewer pedestrian accidents/fatalities.  That’s not to say that you only pay attention to the driver, but brief eye contact or lack thereof can be an important indicator of a  drivers awareness/attentiveness/intentions.  A pedestrian that can see what the driver is doing/looking at is a safer pedestrian.  Of course many don’t bother to look anyway, but those of us who bother to do so should have the option to see the driver.  

    As for tinted windshields, yes, there are some around.  A neighbor of a relative of mine has an SUV with a fully tinted dark windshield (and windows of course), which seems insane to me.  I don’t know how he gets away with it, but the you can’t see in the windshield.  Another neighbor years ago also had a fully tinted windshield and windows, but he was a cop so I know that’s how he got away with it.  There was also a truck from a local produce business that had the top HALF of the windshield tinted almost black.  They eventually removed the tint, I assume after receiving tickets or perhaps even being put out of service.  So as crazy as it sems that some might have dark tinted windshields, some people still do it.

  • carma

    i can see why folks will tint a small strip on the top of the windshield to reduce glare.  but if you are tinting the actual windshield, you gotta be freaking nuts.

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