Today’s Headlines

  • MTA Files Appeal of Payroll Tax Ruling With State’s Top Court (Poughkeepsie Journal)
  • Hoboken’s Promising Car-Share Data Competes With Curbside Entitlement in the Times
  • To Slow Down Drivers, Corona Students Paint Their School (DNA)
  • Daily News Gets Its Chance to Crow About Central Park Cyclists
  • Vito Lopez Succession: Meet the New Boss? (News)
  • Trials and Tribulations of Activating Lower Manhattan’s Privately-Owned Public Spaces (DT Express)
  • Why Did NYC Start Letting People Store Their Cars on the Street Overnight? (Cap’n Transit)
  • Cab Fares Go Up Today (NYT, Post)
  • LIRR Finally Making Progress on Online Ticketing (MTR)
  • Attention, Vignelli Subway Map Fans: September 12 You Can Geek Out With Massimo (Bklyn Paper)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    My car will now be upstate except for holidays and summers.  How about putting one of those corner car spots at the top of my block?  The nearest Zipcar location is a half-mile walk away.

  • KillMoto

    RE: Car Sharing in Hoboken.  In spite of a 6% decrease in residential parking permits (over 1000 fewer cars), people claim “a drive through the city is at least as taxing as before for a motorist in search of a space.”

    And thus, we have another example of Induced Demand.  Car sharing – I love it, it works, we should do it – does nothing to the dynamics of induced demand.  We still need to stop giving parking away for free.

  • Anonymous

    So I guess since the NYPD is actually controlled by the Daily News, we can blame traffic deaths due to speeding, distracted driving, curb jumping, red light running, dooring, bike lane blocking, and all the other unenforced law breaking on the part of drivers on the newspaper?

  • Larry Littlefield

    Does anyone  believe it is a mistake that by combining the content of the article with poor labeling of the chart, the Daily News has misinformed its readers that in 2010 18 pedestrians were killed and 4,000 injured by bicycles?

    Where is the data on the actual number of pedestrians killed and injured by people on bicycles?  Broken out by commercial cyclists, sports cyclists and those riding for transportation?  In the same table with the number of pedestrians killed and significantly injured in collisions with motor vehicles, and in pedestrian-only accidents (ie. sidewalk falls)?

  • Daphna

    State legislators passed the payroll tax for the counties served by the MTA and designated that tax as dedicated to the MTA.  The MTA did not pass the tax.  They are just the recipients.  NY State should appeal to those Long Island counties who do not want to pay their share and already receive the largest subsidies out of the MTA system.  NY State legislators are the ones having their decision overturned by a Long Island judge.  The state should appeal, not the MTA who is the recipient but not the creator of the payroll tax.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s my monthly list of reports I could find of motor vehicles crashing off of the roadway in NYC; here’s August:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AlpHxZF5TQ7CdGV3MHFaY1oxS3lzM05hX0VOOGRaLUE

    I’m a cyclist who admits that cyclists ride on sidewalks here in NYC.  But no time that they do, are they capable of creating the degree of damage and injury that the incidences in my list are capable of.  Yet, as we all know, they are scapegoated as a much bigger threat than they are, and even a bigger threat than drivers.  Remember, this is only a very narrow, specific slice of “monthly carnage.”  I focus on this particular aspect of carnage because it shows how all the “close calls” that people complain about from cyclists are merely more perceptible–“close calls” with drivers are happening all the time, with much greater danger, and too many people don’t even realize that until one of their vehicles ends up right on top of them.

  • Joe R.

    Three facts the NYPD should be aware of regarding its crackdown on “speeding” cyclists in Central Park:

    1) Bicycles are not required by NYS law to have speedometers. In a nutshell this means they can’t be required to obey speed limits because they’re legally not required to have instrumentation which tells them how fast they’re going! Requiring speedometers on bicycles will never be practical, either, because you would need an agency to ensure that said speedometers work and are accurate. This would be a logistical nightmare to say the least. Just for starters you would need to ensure that all speedometers have their batteries replaced regularly and any wiring regularly checked for breakages.

    2) It’s standard procedure to dismiss any speeding tickets for less than 10% over the speed limit plus 4 mph, rounded up to the nearest mph. This is to account for the error in both the radar and the speedometers. With a 25 mph speed limit this basically means any tickets for less than 32 mph are invalid. Even the Daily News in their zeal to find “speeding” cyclists didn’t find any going over 30 mph.

    3) Any enforcement of speed laws on cyclists without equal enforcement on motorists is unequal application of the law, and subject to dismissal on those grounds.

    Bottom line, this is a monumental waste of NYPD resources chasing after a non-existent bogeyman. A cyclist going even 30 mph has the kinetic energy of a small car going only 10 mph. Go after the real danger. I’m so sick and tired of hearing about speeding cyclists, cyclists who “almost” hit someone (almosts don’t count under the laws), cyclists going through red lights, and in general cranky 1%ers who have so few real problems that cyclists top their list. Police enforcement should be directed at what statistically poses the greatest threat to the general public, not what people scream loudest about. Simply put, statistically cyclists are about as dangerous as falling tree limbs, and should merit the same amount of attention.

  • Joe R.

    @ddartley:disqus The sad part is in a normal month motor vehicles kill more pedestrians on the sidewalk than bicycles do in a decade. Even sadder is the fact that most of these drivers will be allowed to drive again. If you end up on a sidewalk while driving, even if you don’t hit anyone, you should lose your license forever. If nothing else, this is indicative of gross incompetence.

  • Driver

    It’s standard procedure to dismiss any speeding tickets for less than
    10% over the speed limit plus 4 mph, rounded up to the nearest mph. This
    is to account for the error in both the radar and the speedometers. 

    Joe, is there any documentation of this practice?  I have seen you bring this up many times, but I am curious if you have  any source to back up this claim. 

  • Joe R.

    @SB_Driver:disqus I’ve heard two sets of guidelines floating around-10% plus 2 mph and 10% plus 4 mph. I think the latter applies to typical local street speed limits and the former to highways. Both tend to give a margin of error around 6 to 8 mph. Incidentally, my sources ( 
    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/road_traffic_offences_guidance_on_fixed_penalty_notices/  ) for this refer to UK practices, but my understanding is things are pretty much the same in any country because the error sources in speed measurement are the same. While an officer can technically give you a ticket for going even 1 mph over the speed limit, in practice this rarely holds up in court. Even in the railway industry, which is much stricter about speeding, rarely disciplines engineers for speed violations of that magnitude (and note here that speed measurement of trains is generally much more accurate because of the use of trackside transponders which measure time between two fixed points). With road vehicles there are multiple error sources. There is also often a question of whether or not the speed on the radar gun was your speed, or the speed of another vehicle near yours.

    All of this is completely irrelevant when it comes to the subject of bicycles. I submit that bicycles are not subject to posted speed limits at all because they are not required to have speedometers. That is what I would base my defense of a speeding ticket on. How can one observe the speed limit when one doesn’t even know how fast they’re traveling? Note that it’s irrelevant whether or not a bicycle ticketed for speeding does in fact have a speedometer. There is no way for the ticketing officer to know if said speedometer is accurate, or even if it works, because there is no authority in charge of this. In practice exempting bicycles from speed laws makes little difference operationally since the majority of times a cyclist can’t exceed the posted limit by enough to warrant a speeding ticket anyhow.

  • Driver

    One could also propose that since bicyclists aren’t required to be licensed, they should not be expected to know the traffic laws and regulations and therefore should not be subject to them. 
    While I agree with you that targeting speeding enforcement at cyclists is ridiculous, I’m not sure I buy your defense argument.  Hopefully you never have to test out its validity, but I would be interested in the outcome if someone did use this defense.  If this defense works, I could see some bird brained politician on the news declaring that speedometers must be required equipment on all bicycles.

  • Joe R.

    @SB_Driver:disqus While a politician could plausibly propose a speedometer requirement for bicycles, remember that car speedometers are OEM while any bike speedometers are aftermarket (at least until such time as new bikes are made with speedometers built in). Regulating aftermarket equipment is fraught with problems (bike computers run the gamut from junk to precision equipment). This is why I feel at best you could mandate that OEM speedometers meeting certain standards be installed on new bikes (and only subject those bikes to speed limits). For absolute accuracy regardless of tire size it might be best to use GPS-based speedometers, perhaps supplemented with a pulse pickup from the wheel (for use where GPS reception is poor). The pulse pickup could be recalibrated periodically (weekly?) using the GPS signal to account for possible tire changes. You would have to continue to allow existing bikes to operate without speedometers. Since people frequently use bikes for decades, it might be 50 years before the majority of bikes on the road had OEM speedometers.
    As an interesting side note, even subway trains didn’t have speedometers until the GOH in the late 1980s/early 1990s even though it could be argued that they were sorely needed here for multiple reasons. I somehow doubt requiring bicycles to have speedometers will rate high on any politician’s list when the majority of cyclists can’t approach the speed limit, much less exceed it.

  • Joe R.

    Just to underscore my point about how rare it is for cyclists to be able to exceed the speed limit, I have a plot from a ride out of the city last week. Note that I’m a fairly fast cyclist and I’m riding a fast machine (Airborne titanium bike). Even so, I barely broke the 30 mph speed limit once.

  • fj

    We must rapidly transition to net zero mobility solutions that make an improved future.
    The Six Stages Of Climate Grief

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/09/04/791221/the-six-stages-of-climate-grief/

  • Larry Littlefield

    I’m not a fast cyclist and try to avoid working up a sweat.  Thus I probably only break 15 miles per hour going downhill on the Manhattan Bridge.

    The thing to remember is that the speed limit is secondary to the more general speed rule — one is not expected to go faster than is safe under the conditions.  If there are no conditions that would require a slower speed, than the numerical limit applies.

    I would argue that being in a park full of clueless pedestrians, and the vicinity of those pedestrians, is reason enough to go slower.  Could such a ticket stand in court?  Maybe not.  But then again, for someone on a bicycle, and thus less likely to cause severe harm, getting stopped and having to protest a ticket is probably punishment enough for speeding unless someone is hit.

  • fj

    Yep, lots of undeserved car owner entitlement squatting on 80% of NYC’s public space & city streets per Capt’n Transit & Fighting Traffic.

  • fj

    One could also propose getting rid of cars and most the laws that exist because cars are so dangerous and destructive.

    And, after that one could propose rapid restoration of the environment they have been so good at destroying to start to mitigate rapidly accelerating climate change.

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