Today’s Headlines

  • Cuomo Says NYC Should Fund MTA, But He Won’t Let NYC Fund MTA With Tolls (CapNY, WNYC)
  • Mayor Backs Down on Uber Cap After Gov Weighs In (NYT, News, AP, CapNYWSJ, NY1, PostAMNY)
  • MTA Finds Some Change Under the Cushions to Pay for Capital Plan (NYT, News, Post, AMNY)
  • Lander: Let’s Make Off-Board Fare Payment Standard for All MTA Buses (C&S)
  • Chris Christie’s Neglect of NJ Transit Is Really Showing This Week (NYT)
  • MTA: Subway Delays Have Stopped Getting Worse (DNA)
  • “Medallion Owners vs. Uber Is Real-Life Alien vs. Predator” (News)
  • Some Medallion Lenders Opposed de Blasio’s Bill Because It Legitimized Uber Hails (Crain’s)
  • Evgeny Freidman and the Rest of the Medallion Industry Are Facing Collapse (Crain’s)
  • MTR Has Some Other Ideas to Tackle NYC’s Congestion Problem
  • Man on Bike Critically Injured After Colliding With Pedestrian and Hitting Pavement on Dekalb Ave (News)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Bolwerk

    The appeal of even driving for Uber would probably lessen a lot if we actually had living wage-level job growth that keeps up with population growth.

  • djx

    Exactly.

    Uber is part of the race to the bottom. It’s like AirBnB presenting itself as a way for people to say in their own homes/apartments by letting them out. Yay – the “sharing economy” let’s you monetize more of your life to not end up destitute. Yay!

  • stairbob

    Cuomo has already said that de Blasio doesn’t understand politics because he won’t engage in horse-trading. Now Cuomo says he won’t consider MoveNY outright.

    Maybe this is Cuomo’s cute little way of saying de Blasio should prepare to trade some horses if he wants congestion pricing.

  • c2check

    “Play our corrupt little political games or we won’t give your constituents shit”

    How long before the mayor says “If you can’t beat em, join em”?

    NYers need to get to work beating the corruption out of this idiotic state government.

  • snobum

    An indictment of Cuomo can’t come soon enough. If the city were to fund the capital program, does that mean LIRR and MNR are out of luck?

  • stairbob

    Uber is filling a demand for transportation and for jobs that were being unmet by the previous models. I say bravo to an extended period of study. I had this little dream that once Uber realizes that congestion-free growth is impossible in NYC, they’ll be a huge supporter of MoveNY.

  • stairbob

    Indeed. I haven’t seen any “Bharara is getting closer to Cuomo” articles in a while. Hopefully this is the quiet before the storm.

  • rao

    Except that is not what Uber is in New York City. Here, it is just another livery dispatcher with drivers and vehicles licensed by the TLC. Many of the drivers who are driving for Uber now we’re driving for another company a few years ago, and in fact still are–you can accept Uber rides and still be signed up with a traditional dispatch base.

    The difference is the dispatch platform. Instead of the profits going to local jerks who run a call center, they are going to wealhy investors who run a network. It is proving to be a more efficient way of running a livery service, and that is why yellow cabs are in trouble. That is all.

  • kevd

    “Uber is filling a demand for transportation and for jobs that were being unmet by the previous models.”
    To some degree, I believe you are right. Thee are also pulling customers from very similar services (car services) that simply had less convenient ordering processes. Uber is simply a car service. Nothing more. Nothing less.
    Car services don’t pay their drivers that well either.

    They should all be paying drivers better, paying the MTA taxi surcharge and contributing to congestion pricing model when they enter the most crowded parts of the city at the most crowded times (as should all motor vehicles).
    I have no love for the yellow cab industry (does anyone almost kill me on a more regular basis?) but I don’t think yellow cabs should be expected to bare costs that Uber is not.

  • kevd

    “Instead of the profits going to local jerks who run a call center, they are going to wealthy investor JERKS who run a network”

  • c2check

    I sure hope so! Hopefully soon the setting for “three men in a room” will be referring to a jail cell, maybe on Rikers so they can see how things are over there.

  • Maggie

    the salmoning cyclist who was critically injured after he hit a pedestrian: yikes. As a pedestrian, getting hit by a salmoning cyclist is one of my worst fears. I just find I don’t have the mental bandwidth to look for wrong-way traffic at every crossing.

  • Jesse

    I am morally certain that the pedestrian in this case was crossing mid-block too. The Daily News never fails to mention a cyclist infraction so if the pedestrian had had the legal right of way they would have noted that. I think what happened here is the cyclist was salmoning and wasn’t also accounting for mid-block pedestrian crossings and the pedestrian was jaywalking but wasn’t also accounting for wrong-way cycling.

    I believe there’s a kind of “rule of two” for cycling too. The only time I was ever hit by a cyclist (neither of us suffered any injuries) was when he was salmoning up 5th avenue, but I was also crossing mid-block instead of at the crosswalk. So two rules were broken. And I have noticed this myself as a cyclist. I have never hit any pedestrian but the only times I’ve ever come close had to do with two rules being broken: I was salmoning AND I ran a red light; I was salmoning AND the ped was crossing mid-block; I ran a red light AND the crosswalk was full of pedestrians who started crossing before the light changed. But when only one rule is broken I’ve never even had any close calls. I think we generally have the ability to watch out for the contingencies associated with one infraction but not for two or more.

  • Maggie

    Definitely sounds that way. From the News article, the pedestrian was a UPS delivery guy who had just left a shop and stepped off the sidewalk watching for right-way traffic, when the wrong-way cyclist hit him. I didn’t read carefully enough to catch if he stepped out from parked cars or from behind his truck, or just straight off the curb.

    Glad the pedestrian is okay, and hope the cyclist will be all right too. It sounds pretty bad, but you never know.

  • ohnonononono

    The suburban counties that complain about the MTA mobility tax would be livid to find out how much money they’d have to fork over if they were to fund LIRR and MNR on their own.

  • djx

    The “rule of two” from Jesse is an interesting observation.

    Frankly, riding the wrong way is a more serious problem than crossing mid-block. The faster/bigger you are, the more responsibility you you have in traffic to watch out for others.

  • djx

    Exactly.

  • Bolwerk

    It’s much better that the local jerks get it. At least the local jerks are likely to keep the money in the local economy.

  • Bolwerk

    Yes, it’s just better to generally encourage prolific transit than to encourage the cab industry. Whether it’s Uber being tolerated at the expense of yellow cabs or yellow cabs being tolerated at the expense of Uber is almost besides the point.

    Hell, let the yellow cabs use a mobile platform for all I care. Let them be the only ones allowed to use it. Whatever.

  • Bolwerk

    You can blame the end of the legislative session for most of that. The roaches are scurrying all over the state to do low-level campaigning right now, rather than sit in their offices on their (tapped) phones.

  • Eh, we’re talking about NYC. The wealthy investors are probably locals, too.

  • SSkate

    I couldn’t help but note that the News mentioned several times that the cyclist was going the wrong way before getting around to say he was in the bike lane. Not that I’m in favor of salmoning in the bike lane, but the first few paras of the article seemed to deliberately imply the cyclist was a complete idiot. This also lets the pedestrian off the hook for stepping into the bike lane.

  • rao

    Well, that goes without saying. 🙂

  • Bolwerk

    Eh, that’s ridiculous. First of all, “wealthy investors” trade all over the world. Many of them aren’t even people, but institutional investors.

    But, more importantly, a local small business, or its owner(s), is much more likely to spend its earnings at all than big investors are to spend the dividend income they hoard.

  • The comment was made half-jokingly, but so long as we’re going there, most of Uber’s institutional investors are probably based in NYC, so therefore New Yorkers are drawing salaries from the fees on investments in companies like Uber.

  • Bolwerk

    I didn’t say anything was “wrong” with it. rao was the one who drew the distinction between “local jerk” businessmen and “wealthy investors,” who somehow escape the “jerk” label.*

    All things being equal, it’s just preferable for us, as New Yorkers, for local businesses to get revenue instead of a company thousands of miles away. A significantly larger chunk of it stays in the local economy that way.

    * Which is a bit ironic, since Uber is notorious for jerk behavior like trolling competitors’ drivers with fake cab calls.

  • walks bikes drives

    Honestly, as a cyclist and pedestrian, I don’t care about the pedestrian crossing mid block when the case was a salmoning cyclist. If he were hit by a right way cyclist, that would be different. I also don’t care that the rider was in a bike lane. If he was traveling in the right direction, that would be different. There are three behaviors that I can’t stand of other cyclists, and obviously I am not labeling all or even most cyclists as doing any of these: failure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, salmoning, and pedalling on sidewalks.

  • walks bikes drives

    Even if they started crossing before the light turned, at that point you should not be running a red light.

    I disagree with the rule of two, but I see your point. All of my near misses were by a single infraction, all of jaywalking. Unless you make it a rule of two by saying jaywalking AND not looking before crossing. I’ve had four near misses: one, a woman crossed into the bike lane, in crosswalk, against the light but didn’t look up, two a mother and daughter jaywalked midblock through traffic and I was coming up quickly on the right while cars were essentially stopped, the third was a guy jaywalking out in front of a stopped bus mid block, and lastly, a woman was jaywalking across the avenue, apparently misjudging my speed – I went to go around behind her, but she stopped crossing and walked backward when she apparently realized I was traveling faster than she thought. So in these situations, I just don’t see the rule of two you have observed from your experiences.

  • Joe R.

    I’ll add riding at night without lights, and looking at phones while riding to your list.

    You can ride very slowly on sidewalks by just just pushing the pedals once in a while and coasting, or by pedaling while riding your brakes. I’ve done it both ways. Easier than pushing with your feet, probably safer given that your feet aren’t sticking out.

  • walks bikes drives

    Lights, definitely. Looking at a phone I see, but not very often. I definitely notice it more after the city council issue, but still not usually an issue.

    As for the sidewalk, I sometimes use little taps on the pedals when I have to. I have clips on my pedals, so I will sometimes just have a single foot in the pedal and use half strokes, but I am never above 3-3.5mph on the sidewalk, walking speed, and only when it is a safety issue or because the street is fully blocked (not because of a traffic light) and I always have both hands on the brakes. Drives me nuts when someone is riding, even slowly (8-10mph) on the sidewalk.

    This winter, while I was shoveling snow, my 3 year old son was playing next to me with his little shovel as a delivery rider came up the sidewalk quickly under electric power. As he got closer, I stood in the middle of the sidewalk with the shovel horizontal to give him the obvious signal he could not get by. Cursed me out in Chinese, but he got off his bike and walked it past us. I’ll be honest, if he didn’t get off and tried to squeeze past, I would have knocked him off the bike rather than allow him to pass my son like that.

  • Joe R.

    I agree about riding fast on crowded sidewalks. I rarely go on sidewalks myself. Generally it’s because of stuff like a street being milled in preparation for repaving. In any case, if there are more than a few pedestrians, I keep it at walking speed, especially if I see any children. I’ll admit to going as fast as 15 mph on totally empty sidewalks with good visibility, and no buildings with doors adjacent to the sidewalk, but generally I rarely go over 10 mph even on an empty sidewalk. Like you, I’m always covering my brakes in case something unexpected comes up. These delivery people I see going 20 mph on sidewalks deserve to be knocked off their bikes. I might excuse this behavior if I only saw it on completely empty sidewalks but they do this nonsense when there’s lots of people around.

    By the way, I’m trying to figure out the logic of riding a bike on a sidewalk after a snowstorm. Unless the street was totally blocked by construction, generally the streets are much more passable after snow than sidewalks. In fact, pedestrians often walk in the streets where I live until property owners have cleared the sidewalks. So in that regard the delivery person was being doubly obnoxious. I probably would have knocked him off the bike too if he didn’t stop.

  • walks bikes drives

    Thats the difference between where we live. In eastern Queens, you 1) have sidewalks where you dont have doors that open up onto them, and 2) your streets are cleared before the sidewalks. In Manhattan, even the residential sections,, there is no such thing as an empty sidewalk or one that doesn’t have doors opening directly onto them. And the sidewalks are generally more clear than the street. The streets, when cleared, are a swath one car width wide. The only time all year I don’t ride is when there is snow on the ground. Just not safe.

  • Joe R.

    Yes, I noticed that come to think of it. Still, if the delivery person was on the sidewalk because it was cleared more than the street, at least be respectful of pedestrians. Come to think of, other than maybe around the more industrial sections of lower Manhattan, I rarely see empty sidewalks in Manhattan. In eastern Queens though empty or nearly empty is the norm, even during much of the day. Late nights when I ride both streets and sidewalks are as dead as a doornail. I’ve been on 20 mile rides at 3 AM where I saw less than a dozen vehicles on the surface streets and zero pedestrians.

  • RoeJ

    The pedestrians are there, even if you ride too fast to see us. Next time you cut me off you can expect another free breakfast.

  • ahwr

    There’s a lot of slack built into the system. That’s why a lot of motorists get upset at red light and speed cameras. It catches them even when their infraction is only going to lead to a collision if someone else tries to cheat a little too. It’s why there are all red phases on a lot of traffic lights, so when someone runs a light a half second after it turns red nobody else is supposed to be in the intersection yet. In Boulder and Portland there are a good number of sidewalk cyclists and drivers are allowed to make a right on red. Both cities require cyclists entering a crosswalk to do it slowly (I think 8 mph in Boulder, ‘walking speed’ or something vague in Portland) and cyclists frequently flout that. Turning drivers, especially those making right on red, don’t look far enough for a cyclist riding at 12+ mph. A lot of close calls result. In cities with right on red pedestrians crossing against the light often look to see if a motorist has a turn signal on, or if there is any vehicle in the turning lane. Lot of close calls when a motorist turns without signals, or turns from a through lane.

    All that said, aren’t pedestrians allowed to cross outside of crosswalks as long as there isn’t a traffic light on both ends of the street (only on Franklin in this case)? Pedestrians doing so have a duty to yield to vehicles on the roadway. I wonder if that’s ever been interpreted to mean only vehicles operating legally. If not, I wonder what support there would be as a pedestrian first policy to make that change. And giving the ROW to pedestrians that enter the crosswalk at a signalized intersection after the don’t walk starts flashing to avoid this:

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2015/06/16/the-nyc-traffic-rule-thats-completely-at-odds-with-how-people-walk/

  • Mikhail Batcer

    Why nobody mentioned that the cyclist was without a helmet? A helmet would probably save his life, after all. And he did not wear it… as well as many others.

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