Today’s Headlines

  • Vision Zero Coverage From NYT, News (1, 2), PostCapNY, DNA, AMNYTL, WNYC, WCBS, WPIX
  • Post, NY Mag Focus on Potential Taxi Technology; C&S Looks at TrafficStat Data Transparency
  • Greenfield Bill Would Have City Charge Property Owners for Sidewalk Snow Removal (News, Observer)
  • Plow Driver Who Killed Sunset Park Woman Issued Summonses for Faulty Lights, Inspection (DNA)
  • 16 Suffer Injuries After MTA Bus Rear-Ends Another in Jamaica (WABC)
  • Family of 14th Street Bus Driver Faces Killer, in Court on DWI, Manslaughter Charges (Post, News)
  • NTSB Urges Speed Signs, Cameras During MNR Investigation (News, Post, AMNY2nd Ave Sagas)
  • Ignizio Wants Extra Funding for DOT to Fix Potholes (WCBS)
  • In Wake of Sandy, Super Bowl Fiascos, NJT Head Jim Weinstein to Be Replaced (NYT, News, WNYC)
  • Car Owners Rejoice! Longest Alt-Side Parking Break Since 1978 (News)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • 1ifbyrain2ifbytrain

    20 MPH is plenty.

    Make cars come to complete stop before they turn.

    Enforce the prohibition on blocking pedestrian’s views by parking too close/too tall vehicles near corners.

  • Alan

    I was really taken aback that they would appoint the former head of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to lead NJT but it seems like she has a good background (20+ years at MTA) and strong interest in safety so I’m cautiously optimistic.

  • krstrois

    Love the Greenfield proposal. If I can shovel the snow in front of my house in my grandmother’s mink, so, too, can other motherf*ckers. The city should absolutely charge for this.

    I hate when people don’t shovel. Crap manners, danger, unkindness, etc. My whole neighborhood pays for the danger these people create.

  • Jonathan R

    I don’t like it when people don’t shovel either, but there are a couple other factors to consider:

    Streets are a certain width and a single snowplow can clear an entire car lane. Sidewalks are of differing widths and have bike racks, garbage cans, bags of garbage, newspaper boxes, and tree pits.

    The cart-sized snowblower seems like a good tool for clearing snow, but it’s overkill for a single property owner. Associating fifty property owners into a group with a single snow-removal solution brings coordination problems: who stores the snowblower? Who operates it? When does this take place? How is that person compensated? In addition, you can’t blow snow off of steps, and stoops are a hallmark of Brooklyn. What property owner would want to contract for snow removal without including one’s own steps?

    Property owners are advised by the electric utility not to use salt in some cases because the saline runoff can get into wires and cause short circuits. Or they got a new sidewalk this year and are told by the installers not to use salt for that first season.

    Not to mention that some property owners are old and infirm, or out of town. Larry Littlefield would aver that we will not see in our parents’ lifetime an extra charge to be levied on homeowners who are too frail (or too far away during snow season).

  • Joe R.

    I make a point of clearing the sidewalk (the entire 5-foot width, not just a 1 or 2-foot wide path like I see many others do) as soon as practical. I usually manage to clear the sidewalk within the city’s 4-hour time limit but not all the time. I also shovel my neighbor’s sidewalks on both sides if they haven’t already done it. That said, many property owners are physically unable to clear their sidewalks, or can’t shovel until they come home from work. “For hire” people aren’t reliably available in most parts. Some days you’ll see people ringing bells asking to shovel snow but many other days you won’t. For all these reasons I feel snow removal on sidewalks should be a municipal responsibility.

    But yes, you do have a good point. A lot of people who can shovel don’t, and the city should be more proactive fining people who don’t clear their sidewalks after a reasonable amount of time (i.e. ~12 hours after the snow stops).

  • Daniel

    The Vision Zero plan looks pretty awesome from where I sit. Not perfect of course, but I think this will make a noticeable dent. I think there are enough ideas that the city alone can implement that we can get a lower death rates and get a virtuous cycle going which will make getting the state approval where necessary possible.

    Some of these ideas like suspending the meter in taxi cabs when the car is speeding are just genius. This would get most cabs and limos to observe the speed limit which would get others to do so as well by establishing a new norm and simply by sitting in front of the would be speeder.

    I have also noticed that cops in some precincts are enforcing traffic laws as of late. Just today I saw the lights go on for truck that had blown past a stop sign (as I was crossing in the crosswalk in front of said truck).

  • J_12

    Greenfield is right that this is a problem. While his solution would be a step in the right direction, I don’t think it goes far enough. Sidewalks should get the same treatments as streets when it comes to removing snow and ice.
    DSNY should be responsible for both, and should be paid for from tax revenues. The current situation is unfair to both pedestrians and private property owners. As a pedestrian, I must deal with accumulated snow and ice on sidewalks because it is entirely up to each owner to clear it. As a property owner, I am expected to clear sidewalks in front of my property at my own expense even while the city clears the streets.
    A good solution would be to re-allocate some resources from clearing streets to clearing sidewalks. DSNY could switch some of its fleet to small snowplows that can operate on sidewalks. Drivers would have to wait longer for roads to be cleared, especially tertiary roads. Pedestrians would benefit from consistent clearing of sidewalks. Even waiting a few days would be a huge improvement over the current situation, where some stretches are left for the entire winter by property owners who either don’t care or don’t have the resources to clear them.
    To the extent that individual property owners should pay for snow removal, this should part if the property tax assessment, not a haphazard fine that may or may not be levied on any given owner.

  • J_12

    The suspension of alternate side parking regs, plus the differing accumulations from various snowfalls, have made for some interesting observations of how frequently people use their cars. It’s purely anecdotal, but I’ve seen about 20% of the cars on a given block that have been left in place for a week or more, and about 20% that have been moved within the last 24 hours. The rest have been there for somewhere between 1 and 7 days.
    It says something about how many car owners are marginal and would get rid of their vehicles if they had to pay for parking, and how many are frequent users who would probably pay for parking permits if it increased their chances of finding convenient parking quickly.

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