Today’s Headlines

  • Cuomo’s Budget Includes $40 Million MTA Raid, Shortchanges Bike/Ped (MTR)
  • Assembly Member Brennan on Cuomo’s Latest MTA Raid: “It’s a Grab and He Shouldn’t Do It” (News)
  • 49th Precinct Cracks Down on Dangerous Drivers at Deadly Williamsbridge Road Intersection (Bx Times)
  • Drivers, Passengers Start Brawl After Road Rage Argument, Curb-Jumping Crash in Corona (News)
  • Mount Sinai ER Director Kaushal Shah Explains What Happens When a Driver Hits You (News)
  • DiNapoli: State DOT Screwup Keeps Dangerous Trucks on Road; Enforcement Slim to None (TU)
  • Taxi Industry Kingpin Evgeny Freidman, Soured on Yassky, Really, Really Likes Bill de Blasio (CapNY)
  • In Wake of Christie’s GWB Scandal, Calls for Port Authority Reform Gain Currency (CapNY, News)
  • Here’s the Underground Art Planned for the Second Avenue Subway (Untapped Cities via Gothamist)
  • Bklyn Paper Parenting Columnist: “There Is, Perhaps, No Greater Symbol of Adulthood Than Driving”

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Mark Walker

    Cuomo is astonishing. The state is running a budget surplus, and he’s dueling with de Blasio over pre-K, insisting the state (not the city) should fund it. Yet the new state budget STILL embezzles $40 million from the MTA. If the state doesn’t need the money (at least right now), why do this? Is Gov. Muscle Car trying to destroy the subway, bus, and commuter rail systems just on principle?

  • snobum

    I wonder how much the custom sign behind Cuomo cost. It even has the year on it. What a waste.

  • qrt145

    Any news about how bike lanes are doing after this snowstorm? I tried using the Broadway bike lane near Columbus Circle today and gave up after a couple of blocks, as it has too much snow. Seventh Avenue was much better (no bike lane there).

  • anondasdas

    Those MTA funds have to pay for state troopers on the thruway that way they don’t have raise tolls affecting REAL new yorkers.

  • Bolwerk

    And you weren’t ticketed?

  • qrt145

    I realize they don’t need a legal reason to give you a ticket, but why?

  • Joe R.

    Budget surplus or not, I don’t want a dime of my taxes going for pre-K, which is basically state-subsidized daycare. There’s a myriad of reasons why children shouldn’t start school until they’re at least 5. It’s costly and in general has little educational value:

    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2013/02/18/universal-preschool-is-bad-for-everyone/

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/02/25/is-public-preschool-a-smart-investment/dont-expect-big-gains-from-universal-pre-k

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304106704579137292815600158

    It’s better for child development to explore your world in a free-form setting by playing, with parents or older siblings nearby to make sure the child keeps away from things which could hurt them. If I had kids, I sure as heck wouldn’t trust strangers with this job. I’m also sure they have the children do activities which are less stimulating if it makes keeping tabs on all the kids easier for the caretaker(s).

  • anondasdas

    Even in a semi controlled environment (I’m guessing they don’t plan to frisk the kids on entry) what student-teacher ratio lets them play and be safe at the same time?

  • DingDong

    Wait, what’s wrong with state-subsidized daycare? That’s something I would actually support.

  • Komanoff

    @Joe R. Your comment is appalling. It betrays an ignorance of the strain on low- and middle-income parents who struggle to earn a livable wage while raising young children. (I know: unlike you, I was one.) That would be a huge benefit even if pre-K didn’t help little kids’ learning. But it does — even your NYT linked article says so. (Try reading it carefully).

    Ben et al., I encourage you to delete Joe R.’s comment as off-topic. Mine should go as well, but at least give folks a few minutes to read it? Thanks.

  • Joe R.

    State-subsidized daycare is quite a different animal from universal pre-K (which I’m assuming the state will require ALL parents to send their children to). At least state-subsidized daycare doesn’t masquerade as “education”. It arguably might be beneficial to children in lower socioeconomic areas who don’t really have a great home environment. That said, the majority don’t need either universal pre-K or state-subsidized daycare. That latter is of use in limited circumstances-for example encouraging people on welfare to transition into work.

  • Bolwerk

    I was being facetious. The police are so indifferent to or pig ignorant of the law that they sometimes ticket cyclists for riding outside the lane.

  • Joe R.

    We lived in a housing project when I was a child, so I know all about poverty. From the standpoint of a child it’s worse than from that of the parent. I often couldn’t go on class trips because my parents couldn’t afford it. Other children were in the same boat, and yet despite this we somehow got by without pre-K. Some sort of state-subsidized daycare I might support as I mentioned in a comment below if it helps people transition from welfare to work, but that’s quite different than universal pre-K. It probably wouldn’t have helped us because my mom was adamant about staying home with us until we were old enough to let ourselves in. She went back to work when I was about 9, saved enough money to make a down payment on a house, and got us out of there when I was 15. All without pre-K.

    By the way, the only reason I mentioned pre-K was because Cuomo mentioned it. The state is not exactly so flush with funds that it can afford universal pre-K.

  • qrt145

    LOL. Well, honestly I thought about riding in the “car lanes” on Broadway, and one of the reasons I didn’t do it was precisely what you say. But I have yet to hear of cops ticketing someone for riding “outside the lane” on an avenue with no bike lanes at all, such as 7th Ave.

  • Bolwerk

    Jesus Christ, I don’t agree with his comment, but he wasn’t being malicious and there is no reason to censor it.

    In fact, I think Joe has definite point that it would be much better if at least one parent could be around their kids during those formative years instead of throwing kids into institutionalized daycare. But that requires endorsing a much more robust system of income assistance than NYC or the USA in general has shown willingness to finance – unlike other advanced economies. It doesn’t mean no pre-K, but it does mean a parent who can be actively involved in pre-K instead of trying to make ends meet working at McDonald’s.

  • Joe R.

    Yes, that’s more or less the point I was trying to make. I get it why some parents would find pre-K attractive. They need to work low-wage jobs with inflexible hours to make ends meet. I agree with you that a better system is some kind of income support so they don’t have to. This is common in Europe, where often companies allow both parents time off for childcare.

  • Bolwerk

    I figured that’s what you were getting at anyway, but I don’t think pre-K is pointless. It’s just that positive parental involvement during formative years is overwhelmingly more useful. And the two aren’t mutually exclusive, either.

  • Joe R.

    There are limited circumstances where pre-K might be of value, notably those where children are in a dysfunctional home environment. The reason I came out so strongly against this is because Cuomo is talking “universal pre-K”. In terms of dollars, this could be a boondoogle which dwarfs his pet TZB project. I think it’s better to target any state-subsidized early childhood intervention to the minority of children who really need it. That’s the cost effective and sensible way to do it. I’m a concerned citizen here because public education is a black hole which this country has poured trillions of dollars into with questionable results. On an adjusted dollar basis, we spend far more per student now then when I was in school, and yet by most metrics the US educational system is producing results not much better than third world countries:

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2011/10/rupert-murdoch-compares-us-education-system-third-world-countrys

    (By the way, I find Murdoch’s “solution” appalling but I linked to the article because I agree with him on the current state of the American educational system.)

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    Education from age 5 to 18 made sense before women started working. Now it is a silly anachronistic practice.

    Stop public schooling at age 16. Shift funds educating Juniors and Seniors to 3 and 4 year olds. Problem solved. 17/18 year olds can get jobs, get further educated, take care of themself. a 3/4 year old requires a parent at home.

  • carma

    joe, as a supposedly parent in the upper earning echelon, i can tell you pre-k is NOT daycare and gives young children such a tremedous advantage over peers who enter kindergarten without pre-k. i hate to brag, but my child is on the level of a kidergarten kid already at age 4. she can read, write basic words, knows basic addition, identify logic patterns, etc…

    i pay quite a bit for this privilege but its worth it. yes, its combined with strict parenting, but this head start is so advantageous. although i would think we need to raise the standards overall after a pre-k education, so that young kids DO feel challenged and bored.

    and you are right that we spend a lot on education but still lack results in our primary school. i look to the asian countries and i see how much better off the students come out. the US doesnt even make the top 10 in primary education rankings. so i do think it can change with preK for all.

  • Joe R.

    I agree to a point here but let me point out that I could also read and do simple arithmetic at that age-thanks to my mother. It sounds to me more like your child is in one of these early enrichment programs. Universal pre-K run by the state would most likely consist of warehousing children and providing very basic activities which offer little in the way of early education.

    The bigger issue is the one you mentioned-what happens after pre-K. You can have the best pre-K in the world, but if education after that is substandard, any advantage will eventually be lost.

    Finally, let me point out that there is HUGE development value in unstructured play of the kind a child will get remaining home instead of being in pre-K. In my opinion, pre-K is only worthwhile from an educational standpoint if it exposes the child to things they couldn’t be exposed to by their parents. Even then, I have serious reservations about putting a child in a regimented situation at such an early age. Due to the need to control a number of children, part of pre-K by necessity includes rather useless things like being forced to stand in line, or to stop playing when the teacher says so. I’m not a big fan of regimentation even for adults, but for young children I think it’s downright harmful and stifles any nascent creativity. So do others, apparently ( http://www.mtevelyntoylibrary.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/65-the-kids-dont-play-anymore ). The US patent office now issues more patents to people born in other countries than to Americans. I suspect a large part of this is due to over regimentation in schools, combined with a focus on standardized tests instead of creative thinking.

    I don’t have all the answers on how to better the educational system but I feel a good start would be to increase the amount of time children spend in unstructured activities. We want to educate our children to be more creative, less regimented than prior generations for the simple reason that rout labor within a generation will be done by robots. There’s nothing to be gained by conditioning young children for a life of regimented employment which will no longer exist by the time they graduate. Society will need more creative thinkers to solve our future problems. Our schools are churning out the exact opposite.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I haven’t been riding. Wind chill below zero. It’s been miserable. Last time last Monday. Next time next Monday.

    I don’t have the gear required to make sub-zero riding comfortable, because I figured it wasn’t worth the space/money in NYC. In past years I’d avoid riding due to winter weather and cold maybe two or three days all year.

  • qrt145

    I don’t ride my normal commute at these temperatures, but this was a 1-mile Citibike ride. I figured that the ride would be over before I got frostbitten! 🙂

  • Joe R.

    Same here. I rode 3 times and 57 miles since the start of 2014. Most days it was either too cold, or too much snow, or both. Last Sunday the wind got me. I cut the ride short after 15 miles on account of being blasted by 20+ mph winds. I just wasn’t enjoying myself.

    I have one of these for exercise in times like this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-240-Recumbent-Exercise-Bike/dp/B00275R23E/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    Not as enjoyable as riding for real, but it beats getting frostbite or having to clean a mess off my bike.

  • krstrois

    Wants to run for president.

  • carma

    i did a 3 mile citibike ride. it got dangerous at times with all the slush and that was on the bike lanes.

  • carma

    sorry, that doesnt quite work either. at 16/17 you are starting college bound topics like physics, calculus which is crucial for college these days

  • carma

    i agree more play time is part of the social interactions that help a child turn into successful adults. also more reason why it DOES make sense that to send a child to preschool even if it does involve 50% play time.

    but yes, you are right. while preK may be worthwhile, our primary education is still too low of a bar compared to rest of the world. i guess partly because we need to give “everybody” a fair chance that we hold the standards down.

    how about raising the standards so that those who choose to excel, will be given the opportunity and if you cant pass your grade, there is no such thing as automatic promotion.

    by the time the failures reach 15/16, they will realize school doesnt cut it for them. education is NOT for everyone, and you still can have a successful career without education. although i do admit it is harder and harder to do so without one.

  • Larry Littlefield

    No exercise for me. Which just shows why I started commuting by bike to begin with.

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