Today’s Headlines

  • Parting Words From Chris Ward: I Paid the Price for Speaking Truth on Tolls (Transpo Nation)
  • U.N. Deal Clears Way for City to Close East Side Greenway Gap (DNA, WSJ, NY1)
  • Manhattan CB 8 Transpo Committee Wants City Cyclists Licensed and Registered (DNA, Post)
  • Residents Balk at Plans for New Entrances to Upper East Side Subway Station (Post)
  • 2nd Ave. Sagas: Should Moneyed Institutions Chip In for Station Rehabs?
  • CB 12 Signs Off on Revitalizing Sherman Creek Waterfront Access in Inwood (DNA)
  • Solution for Decrepit NY Roads and Bridges: A New $4B Upstate Highway (MTR)
  • Mega-Project Killer Chris Christie Takes Pride in Stiffing U.S. Taxpayers (Transpo Nation)
  • Meanwhile, Will-He-Won’t-He Frenzy Overshadows NJ’s Urban Crises (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Board members pointed out that licenses are required for dog owners.”

    Right, and I’m one of the 10% of dog owners who actually have them.  Most of those  proposing licenses just want to set up barriers to riding bicycles so fewer people would do it.

    If they actually wanted to license cyclists, they would remember two things:  licensing for motor vehicles was phased in over 25 years, a whole publicly funded network existing for years to help people get drivers licenses (with driver’s ed in the public schools), and those holding higher licenses (ie. for trucks) are also covered for lower licenses (passenger cars).

    So if you want to license cyclists, put a cycling safety training video on the state Department of Motor Vehicles website, along with tests with a few questions, and offer any licensed driver a “street cyclist” certification (not yet required license) with an additional ID offered for a modest fee to carry when cycling.  That certification would be offered each time a driver’s license was earned or renewed.

    Pass a state law mandating that all sales taxes collected at bike shops be used for cyclist safety training, and use the money for such training at 12 for every child in every school in the state.  Those who pass the course would be give “street cyclist” certifcation too.  The course could be offered to non-driving adults on weekends.

    After 25 years, require licenses, with everyone with a street cyclist certifcation automatically licensed.

    That’s the way you license cycling to improve it, not try to get rid of it.

  • It was actually just the transpo. committee of CB8.  

    I’d never been to any CB meeting before. It was very unpleasant.  Board members pontificated and philosophized, dramatically, to put it mildly, about the the inequities of people being allowed to bike without registrations or licenses, and about how their own ideas would improve NYC cyclists and cycling, and all of these thoughts were based purely on their own individual imaginations–no research, no substantiated information.  The Chair had done some research, but when it was his turn to declaim, he didn’t rely on any of it.

    All that contrasted with a researched, supported, polite presentation by Caroline from TA. The information she presented and the arguments I made were utterly ignored when the board members (except for Scott Falk) spoke.  One board member was positively abusive to her, and it was disgusting and shameful.  

    I urge the enlightened to start attending these meetings more.  It’s a chore, but these are the frontlines.

  • Anonymous

    ddartley: Thanks for speaking. Unfortunately, what you saw is exactly what happens when a small, cranky portion of the community use political connections to get appointed to CBs. These people don’t speak for the community at all, and some of their attitudes are downright frightening.

    In addition to attending these meetings more, right-minded people need to make an effort to join Community Boards like CB8. Scott’s been a great voice for livable streets in a group that seems otherwise stuck in a 1950s mindset. We need more people like him on Community Boards! If you live on the UES, please consider attending TA’s Jammy Jam next year, usually held in January.

  • fj

    highly destructive tarsandsnotNeeded http://www.earth-policy.org/plan_b_updates/2011/update100 @earthpolicy

  • Joe R.

    If this Manhattan-centric anti-bike nonsense ever spreads to the outer boroughs look for a secession movement.  It’s really pathethic how bicycles seem to be the focus of complaints in snob towns like the UES.  These people need some real problems to focus on.  Maybe sending them a few busloads of homeless or just released prisoners would do the trick.

    And where do they find these fossils who are on Community Boards?

  • Joe R.

    If this Manhattan-centric anti-bike nonsense ever spreads to the outer boroughs look for a secession movement.  It’s really pathethic how bicycles seem to be the focus of complaints in snob towns like the UES.  These people need some real problems to focus on.  Maybe sending them a few busloads of homeless or just released prisoners would do the trick.

    And where do they find these fossils who are on Community Boards?

  • Anonymous

    Right, DD. Thanks.

  • Joe R.

    Oh, and thanks DD for adding a voice of reason to the CB8 meeting, even though it mostly sounds like it fell on deaf ears.

  • fj

    re:  “Manhattan CB 8 Transpo Committee Wants City Cyclists Licensed and Registered (DNA, Post) ”

    Since there seems to be so much concern about negatives of cycling might be smart for city & city council to initiate a broadly deployed education campaign regarding cycling and transportation and the great potential of advanced zero carbon transportation & then start discussions based on the facts:

    Bicycle Science:  cycling is 3-4 times faster & efficient than walking & covers 9-16 times the area; ie., zero emissions; no existing mainstream methods of travel come close. Electric bikes are very similar in efficiency, price, etc., with even better practical range.

    Bicycle Economics:  bicycles are low cost economically & environmentally; fossil fuel based transportation received 1/2 $trillion global subsidies in 2010 & costs a lot more in many other ways.  Transportation systems based on cars is a monopoly stifling more advanced and practical forms.

    Bicycle Health:  Cars directly kill about 3000 people a day around the world; indirectly even more. Active transportation is very healthy.  In general, getting hit by a cyclist is not much worse than getting hit by someone running really fast; & is much less frequent than for cars.

    Cars are legacy technology & do not have a future.  When the per capita use of cars by the people of China is the same as is currently in the US, the same amount of land required for cars in China will have to be the same amount required for growing rice; India’s population is on the same scale.

    etc., etc.

  • As @5BBC:disqus tweeted last night, New York City already has a law on the books requiring a license for commercial cyclists but cops don’t enforce it.
    http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/ADC/10/1/10-157

  • Anonymous

    RE: “Solution for Decrepit NY Roads and Bridges: A New $4B Upstate Highway”
    When I can’t even get a crosswalk put in my town because the gov’t doesn’t have money to spend on a curb cut ramp, we’re going to spend BILLIONS on an upstate highway to nowhere?

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Its easy to take a whack at Commercial Cyclists.  After all, how many are citizens?  How many people to Commercial Drivers kill a year?  Much harder to take a whack at them. 

    As much as the spandex-wearing, i-pod-listening hipster on a bike irritates the entitled driver class it will very likely be poor people scratching out a living actually needing a bike who take the hit when it comes to enforcement and licensing.

  • It is shameful that we deflect cycling helmet and licensing laws, which haven’t been shown to do anything but discourage cycling, right onto commercial cyclists. Those guys can’t be discouraged from earning a paycheck they need to survive, but they can always be made more poor and miserable.

    And how did those laws work out for us—did anyone even bother to check? Did injuries involving the targeted group fall? Surely, commercial cycling license advocates would have been chomping at the bit to discover whether their successful lobbying had any positive effect… unless they are respectable liars who don’t actually care about public health, much less as it concerns an immigrant underclass.

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