Today’s Headlines

  • Increased Transit and Decreased Parking for Barclays Center; Neighbors Still Fear Traffic (NYT)
  • …Promise of Free MetroCards Broken, Deemed Ineffective (News)
  • At Queens Workshop, Residents Want More Bike-Share Locations in More Neighborhoods (DNAinfo)
  • Will Taxi Fare Hike End Up in Drivers’ Pockets or Medallion Owners’? (NYT)
  • More Arrests in LIRR Disability Scam, Cost to Feds Rises to $1B (NYT)
  • Driver Strikes “Spinal Tap” Actor Michael McKean, “No Criminality Suspected” (News)
  • Park Avenue SUV Driver Leaves 20-Year-Old Pedestrian in Critical Condition (NBC)
  • Brother of Slain Hit-And-Run Victim Searches Every Day For Killer (DNAinfo)
  • After Pedestrian Death, Golden Renews Call to Felonize Hit-And-Runs (Sheepshead Bites)
  • State Senate Votes to Toughen Leandra’s Law, Crack Down on Drunk Drivers (Transpo Nation)
  • Giuliani Steps in to Broker Deal For Empty, Bankrupt, Subsidized Yankee Stadium Parking (News)
  • Serranos Questions FreshDirect Deal, Additional South Bronx Truck Traffic (News)
  • Wards Island Pedestrian Bridge to Reopen Next Week (DNAinfo)
  • The NYT Gives Some Attention to Harold Interlocking, Busiest Rail Intersection in the Country

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Officials have scrapped a plan to give free MetroCards to patrons at the new Nets arena to discourage them from driving…officials dropped that idea from a transportation plan presented Tuesday – saying it wouldn’t make any difference in preventing a traffic mess.”

    Not true. They have just decided they can get away with not paying the money.  Let’s say someone who is not a regular transit rider, and cannot walk to a subway station, wants to go to the Barclays center.  Say someone from New Jersey.  They are going to drive.  But if their ticket is also a two-trip Metrocard, they might park in some neighborhood far from the arena and hop a train, spreading out the traffic.  That was the idea.

    LIRR  “Their arrests bring to 21 the number of people charged, including two physicians accused of giving false diagnoses of disabilities, in a plot that prosecutors have said could have led to more than $1 billion in excessive federal disability pension payouts.”
    I hope this investigation is not just limited to the disability scam, and that those caught up in it are pushed to give evidence on broader issues.  There is a whole culture of ripping off the serfs at the LIRR that goes back 100 years, and needs to be dealt with.  The attitudes of those who engage in this sort of thing do not suddenly change when they retire.  Those attitudes affect how they operate from their first day on the job to their last.

  • Anonymous

    Please, streetsblog, get in touch with McKean.  I’ve pointed out recently a few times that cars jumping curbs and injuring pedestrians is an ongoing problem, one that deserves scrutiny and research.  (I know, I’m full of ideas of work other people should do) but seriously, maybe his celebrity can help draw attention to this issue, and even if he doesn’t care to get involved, the problem of cars jumping curbs in NYC + injuring peds + “no criminality suspected” being applied deserves research and scrutiny.

  • Regarding the Barclays Center transpo plan, neither the NYT or NYDN pointed out that the plan is six months late. The NYT called Gridlock Sam an “expert,” rather than a paid consultant. The big issue for neighbors/activist groups was the failure to apply disincentives, like residential permit parking. Schwartz and Forest City haven’t even identified the parking lots available, much less the number of spaces. More coverage of the two meetings yesterday, including video, here:
    http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2012/05/meeting-on-tdm-plan-is-cordial.html 

  • Ian Turner

    The taxi medallion system is just insane. There is absolutely no reason why medallion owners should be allowed to keep their polygopoly in perpetuity. Rather, the city should auction off permits on an annual basis, putting the monopoly value in city coffers and not rent-seekers’.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The big issue for neighbors/activist groups was the failure to apply disincentives, like residential permit parking.”

    Blame the Silvers, Skeloses and Fidlers of the world for that one.

  • Anonymous

    Celebrities draw attention; will the fact that someone famous got hit by a car highlight the need for better traffic enforcement?  I’m guessing no, but hopeful that I’m wrong.

    @twitter-33717011:disqus “The NYT called Gridlock Sam an “expert,” rather than a paid consultant.”
    Isn’t he both?

  • Re: Marty Golden’s bill: Good for him and any politicians that support strong penalties for hit-and-run drivers. Sadly, though, this kind of incident is a big problem despite the fact that the penalties for this offense are already quite steep. People believe that it’s better to attempt to get away with it in a society where the police are busy, rather than abide by the law and face any potential consequences of their actions. (same with drunk driving) 

    We’re at the point where we maybe need to find public remedies that go beyond jail sentences. In other countries, and previously in this one as well, drivers who injure through careless behavior would be publicly stigmatized. In some cases an entire family would be stigmatized! I’m a big fan of bringing that back. We need an opposite reaction to the attitude of, “Hey, you were driving a car, you had an accident, that’s why they call it an accident, it happens to everyone, so you drove away because, whaddya gonna do? No big deal!” 

    Yes, even careful drivers get into innocent accidents sometimes. But we shouldn’t tolerate driving behavior that endangers lives, and we definitely shouldn’t let criminals turn around and use their murder weapon as the getaway vehicle.

  • Anonymous

    Check out the John Montone audio report on the McKean crash.  Eyewitnesses seem to blame drivers.  Like a reasonable person would.  http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/05/22/actor-michael-mckean-of-laverne-shirley-struck-by-car-in-manhattan/

  • Take a look at the comments on the Daily News story on Mr. McKean.

    The tide is turning.

  • Aaron

    It is wildly scandalous that the driver of the vehicle that nearly killed actor Mike McKeon yesterday evening is allowed to be driving on the streets of NYC this morning. Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner Kelly, D.A. Vance: How do you allow and accept this? Shame on you.

    It makes zero sense that the NYPD should write this case off as “no criminality suspected.” The NYPD could not possibly have taken the time necessary to check the vehicle’s blackbox to determine how fast the driver was driving at the moment of impact. The NYPD could not possibly have taken the time to subpoena the driver’s mobile phone records to try to determine whether he might have been texting, tweeting or talking on the phone at the time of the nearly fatal crash. The NYPD could not possibly have looked at footage from security and traffic cameras up and down Broadway to see how this guy was operating his vehicle in the minutes before the crash. Maybe this driver is completely innocent and this crash was entirely McKeon’s fault. I allow that that’s possible. But the driver of this vehicle should not be allowed to drive until a proper investigation has been done.

    Take a look at the photos on the Daily News McKean story. How did the driver of this vehicle manage to nearly kill a man *and* take out a mailbox and trashcan on the sidewalk without any criminality suspected? I suppose it’s possible that the driver swerved onto the sidewalk to avoid McKean jay-walking in the street. But even then, why is someone operating a machine so large and fast on a crowded city street that this error results in nearly killing a guy and destroying a mailbox and trashcan on the sidewalk? 

  • HamTech87

    RE: Barclay’s Center Parking.

    How can this article not mention the Yankee Stadium parking lots fiasco???   Intentional or poor journalism?  Wouldn’t the picture of the empty Yankees parking lots on opening day have supported Schwartz’ argument?

    I was pleased that the inclusion of bike parking was prefaced by “This being Brooklyn….” Who’d have thought that the paper of record would have said during the PPW fight?

  • J12

    Sort of unrelated, but in case anybody has some info —

    I have noticed on both the Williamsburg and Queensboro Bridges that there are indicators for how bikes and pedestrians should divide the space in the bike/ped way posted on one side, while on the other side and on the actual span they are either contradictory or non-existent.  This may be true on other bridges as well, but I have observed those two first hand.

    First, I was wondering if anyone knows which is definitive?  For example, is the south walkway on the Williamsburg Bridge peds only, and the north bikes only?  On Queensboro, is it stay to the right for all traffic, or stay within the ped lane/bike lane depending on mode?

    Second, does DOT have any policy on this kind of thing?  Do they just not care, because they figure volume is low enough and any collisions that do result from mis-marking are probably not going to involve enough speed or mass to seriously hurt anyone?

    Thanks for any insight.

  • moocow

    Also J12, I noticed when I was riding all the bridges more, that the lines, the schemes for separation were all different on every East River Bridge.  That may not be so now, but there is no uniformity in crossing the bridges.  And good point on the lack of signage once on the bridge.  Once while walking across the Brooklyn, i noticed that there are very few signs AND that it is very noisy on the Ped/bike path. It’s not an environment that is friendly or easy for the distracted to navigate. 

  • Anonymous

    You may have heard this story, http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/05/man_leaps_from_jeep_to_save_hi.html, about a Dad who got a ticket for not ensuring that his vehicle, out in the middle of nowhere, was secured to remain stopped–after jumping out of the vehicle to make sure his kid didn’t fall into a river.

    Contrast that with NYPD’s treatment of the killer of Hayley Ng and Diego Martinez.  That guy failed to make sure his van was stopped, in the middle of Canal Street while jumping out to conduct business, and killed two preschoolers.  That’s illegal here in NYC just like in NJ.  But the guy got no ticket, no nothing.

  • Mediaite

    What happened to Michael McKean shows how idiotic the DoT’s Heads Up campaign is.

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