Today’s Headlines

  • Days After Vision Zero Announcement, Marcia Kramer Is Back! (WCBS, News, PostObserver)
  • TA, StreetsPAC Urge de Blasio to Use “Teachable Moment” to Change NYC Driving Culture (CapNY)
  • Unlicensed Driver Arrested After Killing Kaneez Hussein, 73, in Jamaica Hit-and-Run (TLGothamist)
  • Relatives Hold Vigil for Ryo Oyamada, Killed by NYPD Driver in Queensbridge One Year Ago (TL)
  • Video, Lawsuit Charge Wrong-Way NYPD Officers Attempted to Cover Up Brownsville Crash (Post)
  • Expanded Staten Island Ferry Service, Supported by Council, Included in de Blasio’s Budget (Advance)
  • Unlicensed Drunk Driver Attempted to Bribe UWS Cops to Let Him Off; Faces Multiple Charges (DNA)
  • East Harlem CB Backs Developer’s Plan to Swap Mandated Parking for Job-Creating Uses (News, DNA)
  • Crowded Q10 Gets Longer Buses, But CB 9 Upset About Losing Parking Near Bus Stops (QChron)
  • It’s Time to Stop Giving NYC Pedestrians the Short End of the Stick (AMNY)
  • DOT to Study Crosswalks Along LIC Waterfront Street Without Stop Lights (LIC Post)
  • De Blasio Adds $7.3 Million to DOT Budget for Pothole Repair (NY1, WCBS, Observer)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Not looking too good for de Blasio and street safety. Hypocrisy is not exactly going to win over the general public.

  • Jeff

    If anyone still has any shred of respect left for the motoring community, read the Queens Chronicle article about running articulated busses on the Q10. It’s hilarious. It’s one (still-selfish) thing to complain about a loss of free parking about a brand-new bike lane which may or may not see enough ridership to justify to parking loss, but it’s an entirely new level of selfishness to complain when a bus line with proven ridership needs to reappropriate curb side space to accommodate pre-existing riders.

  • Jonathan

    Trottenberg on WNYC now

  • Jonathan

    “We are sitting down with the city bike folks and looking at what would be phase 2 so to speak….Our goal is to expand this to other parts of the city in the long run.” Trottenberg

  • carma

    while not exactly what i call dangerous driving. i do think the hypocrisy of bdb is making him look like an idiot. especially when the words spoken out of his mouth were that his own inner circle should bear the same standards.

    “all animals are equal except some are more equal than others”

  • ddartley

    Apropos of “Stop Giving Peds the Short End of the Stick:”

    Please (if you agree!), contact DOT and tell them you support the customer suggestion made (recently by me) in correspondence DOT-221723-X6B7.

    What that suggestion says is that DOT should, *at least on days with rain or snow,* re-time traffic signals so that peds don’t have to wait so damn long out in the elements. If you like that idea (*even if you think it’s not feasible, but want to show DOT that there is support for at least the sentiment*), then please use DOT’s webform (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/contact/contact-form.shtml) for contacting the commissioner and say you support the suggestion in correspondence DOT-221723-X6B7.

    (Of course before you do that, you’ll want to see what you’re agreeing with. Here’s what I wrote to them (the writing is clumsy because the webform limits how much you can write:

    “*Bad Weather Days: REDUCE ‘DONT WALK’ TIME!*
    On days like 2-13-14 (and even days nowhere near as bad), it is glaringly unfair that pedestrians–of all ages, even in their high mode-share–must prolong their time in the elements to benefit MV occupants, who are protected. Weighed against the mere possibility of adding some MV congestion at only certain hours all year, improving ped comfort and safety is more important. Adjust signal timing accordingly, at least on bad weather days, if not always! Thank you.)”

    (One possible flaw in the suggestion I’ve thought of since sending it is the possible effect on buses. I would NOT want to slow down buses. But perhaps (and I realize this complicates it greatly) the change could occur only on streets that public agency buses don’t use? And even if it’s not possible, then how about just universally and year-round reducing crossing times?)

    If you like this suggestion, please go to http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/contact/contact-form.shtml and tell them you do!

  • Speeding and blowing through stop signs is absolutely what I’d call dangerous driving. The claim that his trained driver knows what he’s doing is an invitation for exceptions for all manner of professional drivers to receive exemptions from traffic laws.

  • J

    I have to say that I’m disappointed that Streetsblog isn’t taking de Blasio to task for riding in a car speeding recklessly around NYC. Sure, he’s not driving, but he clearly has the power and authority to change how his vehicles are driven. A leader leads by example. He could have stepped up and said, “you’re right, this city’s streets need to be safer, and I’m looking into what I can do to be a part of that change.” Instead, he basically said it’s not my problem. This is not the kind of leadership that will actually lead to lasting change. It makes him look like a huge hypocrite, and makes everyone take Vision Zero less seriously. This is a shame.

  • J

    This is precisely the problem. You (and lots of folks, even here at Streetsblog) are way to willing to look the other way and make excuses for dangerous driving, whether it is for ourselves, our friends, or for people we can relate to. The NYPD does it all the time for drivers by not issuing tickets, and Streetsblog is doing it for De Blasio, by not calling him out for reckless driving. If we actually want safe streets (Vision Zero), we need to fundamentally change this mentality.

  • carma

    is it dangerous if he blew through the stop sign without slowing down. YES.

    from what i saw from the video, the cars did not make a complete stop, but was slow enough to be able to stop if it had to.

    they were also going 65 on the bqe which is a 45 mph zone for that stretch.

    hardly what i would call extremely dangerous if given there is little traffic.

    is he a hypocrite. ABSOLUTELY. is he wrong for having his motorcade drive like that when the very day before, he says everybody should be held responsible. i find it more of political points being taken off then an absolute
    menace to society.

    again, watch the video, and you will see that he wasnt ripping through the streets like a drag racer.

  • qrt145

    Saying that de Blasio’s drivers are highly trained and following some mysterious “safety protocols” is ducking the question. The fact is, if I’m not mistaken, that the law says that police officers are only allowed to break traffic laws as part of emergency operations (with sirens and all that, presumably). Chauffeuring the mayor around is not an emergency operation.

  • mike

    Of course their not questioning Deblasio. This BS blog has its own BS agenda. If the mayor can’t follow his own vision how is the rest of the city going to. What a bunch of hypocrites

  • J

    Fair enough. I didn’t watch the video. I’m still very disappointed by his response.

  • J, I highly recommend watching the video. I was willing to give Marcia the benefit of the doubt, but then I saw it a few times and I believe she’s making a mountain out of a molehill in expert Kramer fashion.

    The speeding incidents she claims to have captured show the mayoral caravan moving at the same speed as traffic, mostly on the LIE. You can argue that the mayor should be setting an example — and he should — but the problem this illustrates is that general traffic is moving faster than it should, not that the mayor was intentionally letting his security detail drive recklessly.

    The more damning footage shows the trailing car of his caravan rolling through stop signs. The piece is shot and edited in such a way that you never see what the lead car does at the intersections. Knowing Marcia’s history of using footage selectively, I am very curious to see longer shots that show the lead car. Maybe there’s a protocol where the trailing driver goes through the stop sign after the lead driver has stopped. It’s hard to tell based on available info. If there are protocols that should be adjusted it would be good to hear BdB address that.

    In general, though, I don’t think the footage justifies the scale of the response from the City Hall press corps, which is clearly loving this gotcha moment.

  • J

    Yes, it’s maybe a minor infraction blown out of proportion, and I have no doubt that Ms. Kramer’s intentions have nothing to do with improving safety. However, de Blasio and Vision Zero do not come across well in this instance, no matter how minor the infractions are. He’s pushing for stricter enforcement of the traffic safety, and he doesn’t even have the wherewithal to say that he’ll look into how his motorcade can set a better example of safe driving. Sounds like a “do as I say, not as I do” mixed with some “not my responsibility”. Amazingly poor leadership, in my opinion.

    StreetsPAC and TA had good responses, calling this a teachable moment, but Streetsblog seems to want to let this slide. I think this is a mistake, and makes Streetsblog sound hypocritical. As advocates, we need to push for strong leadership to get things done, and when our leaders drop the ball, we need to be the ones who call them out on it.

  • Streetsblog has called out de Blasio plenty of times when he dropped the ball on policy positions. We called out Bratton when he screwed up the facts on pedestrian injuries.

    Does this conduct rise to that level? In my judgment, no. If the caravan was bulling past pedestrians or blowing by other drivers, we’d be all over it. Based on the footage I’ve seen, though, I don’t think piling on is justified.

    StreetsPAC, TA, and John Petro made good points today about how de Blasio should respond and keep the momentum going for Vision Zero. De Blasio is about to address this in some fashion at a press conference right now, so let’s see what happens.

  • Well, he flubbed that presser, for sure.

  • J

    Ugh, even the Times is picking this one up. Not a good day for Billie D. or for Vision Zero.

  • Nicole Gelinas

    She says in the piece that the lead car would have racked up two stop-sign tickets. No reason not to believe her, especially as the new mayor now refuses to engage on the issue.

  • Larry Littlefield

    DeBlasio needs to wise up.

    Not just about this, but about showing up late. There are many among his 400,000 employees who feel they have the right to show up an hour or so late, because they are not “early riders,” and unions who agree.

    They don’t feel the same way about when it is OUR job to show up on time to serve THEM.

    The Mayor really needs to be more Catholic than the pope.

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