Today’s Headlines

  • No Subway Service as NYPD Standoff With “Disturbed” Man Shuts Columbus Circle (NewsAMNY, NY1)
  • Nadler and Other Pols Say Port Authority Is Rushing Bus Terminal Plan (Politico)
  • More Coverage of Advocates’ and Electeds’ Call to Fix City Buses: Politico, DNAAMNY, NY1
  • Cop Who Killed Andrew Esquivel Fired (DNA); Bratton: Drunk Driving “Not a Problem” at NYPD (NYT)
  • Related: How Often Does the State Liquor Authority Get Involved in DWI Investigations? (DNA)
  • As NYPD Focuses on Deadly Driving Behavior, NY1 Asks: Who’s Policing Scofflaw Cyclists?
  • Unlicensed Driver Arrested After Striking Pedestrian, Reportedly a Child, in Stapleton (Advance)
  • People Can’t Figure Out How to Get to LaGuardia Without Driving Themselves (CBS)
  • Staten Island Ferry Commuters Fighting Each Other to Charge Their Phones (NYT, Advance)
  • Citi Bike Is Expanding in Jersey City (Journal)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Vooch

    unbelievable that we allow entire sections of our city shut down on trivialities. the bad guys have won

  • Maggie

    I’m surprised NYC isn’t announcing enforcement against the bar where Batka was drinking before he got behind the wheel. Or even the name of the place. I’m starting to wonder if NYPD is protecting us, or protecting a bar.

  • kevd

    I’ve never even heard of anyone driving themselves to LGA and parking.
    Obviously it happens, but it isn’t the way I or anyone I’ve even known has ever gotten to that airport. I guess one bright side to Cuomo’s plan is the removal of all parking from LGA. I guess the airtrain is to new long term lots, because drivers deserve nice expensive trains, while people already taking trains deserve crowded buses – much the way if you drive, or are driven to the Lefferts Blvd. Airtrain stop at JFK the Airtrain is free, but if you come from a few hundred feet away at the Howard Beach stop, its $5.
    (yes, the B15 goes to Lefferts too)

  • bolwerk

    I’m sure this happens in NYC too, but that’s not uncommon practice at all in the suburbs, you know. Bar owners know they make their money selling at least some of their customers levels of alcohol that are dangerous to consume when driving (perfectly safe for walking or transit though). So it makes perfect sense for them to do their best to make very nice with the police, since legally they’re accountable for what happens with drunk drivers who leave their premises (stupid as I think that is).

  • Guest

    Three drunk driving cases per month (that have to be so serious the responding officers aren’t able to hide them) is not a problem? That’s 36 per year for a force of roughly 35,000. Let’s round it and say the NYPD has a DWI rate of 1 per 1,000.

    That sounds really damned high, considering those individuals are also carrying loaded weapons!

  • Maggie

    I can see where if this happened at a cop bar, it would raise uncomfortable questions for people – but it’s illegal and someone was killed as a result of this asshole’s actions. Hopefully investigators and the press are willing to follow the truth wherever it leads.

  • HamTech87

    Ugh. The CBS story even misnamed the only bus mentioned in the story.
    @kevd People from the suburbs drive to LGA and park. Even the $25.00/day parking fees come to less than the $100+/each way ride of a car service. Some Westchester people can take MetroNorth to Harlem, and then transfer to the M60 bus, but it is a long trip with a lot of bags.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “I’ve never even heard of anyone driving themselves to LGA and parking. Obviously it happens, but it isn’t the way I or anyone I’ve even known has ever gotten to that airport.”

    Me too, but someone does. I once heard that the money the Port Authority makes on parking supports the whole airport, to the point that if the agency were forced to eliminate one transport mode from the airport, it would be the airplanes.

    But the real issue isn’t the travelers, it’s the workers. I hope they ramped up bus service BEFORE the parking shutdown.

  • reasonableexplanation

    I’ve never even heard of anyone driving themselves to LGA and parking.

    If you go to http://laguardiaairport.com/getting-to-from/parking/
    You can see the current utilization of the parking lot. As of this posting, P4,5, and 6 are 99%, 87%, and 96% full, respectively.

    In fact, if you look at the rates, parking at LGA is more expensive than parking at JFK. Keep in mind, LGA serves not just the 5 boros, but Long Island and southern CT as well.

    Taking Long Island as an example; if you’re going to JFK, you can park at an LIRR station and take the train to the airtrain (this might increase your travel time by 30 min vs driving; not too bad), but if you want to go to LGA… you’re either driving or taking a cab unless you live off the Port Washington line, as the only LIRR train to go anywhere near it doesn’t connect to Jamaica.

    Since your choice becomes your car or a cab; the only question is how long your trip is, and whether it makes sense to pay a cabbie or pay for long term parking. The break even point on that is typically 4-5 days, which likely covers a lot of trips, so: plenty of people drive in to LGA and park, since it’s the cheapest way to get there.

  • bolwerk

    You know who does it? Jetsetters, business people, and the political class. That’s probably why LaGuardia can’t be given either a sane upgrade, which means subway access, or the dignified death it deserves. Those people don’t want to drive to Teterboro or some airport in Long Island or Westchester. Certainly some of them also prefer not to take subways themselves, and don’t like people who do. And the ones who are indifferent enough to transit to deign to allow it to exist take the usual cheapskate penny-wise/pound-foolish approach of “meh, a bus is good enough.”

  • bolwerk

    Most journalists can’t believe cops aren’t dispassionate enforcers of the law, and journalists are the people with their ears to the ground. My take is cops are basically human. Not so different from most people, and most people given unchecked power will abuse it. So of course they don’t eat their own. But most people, especially those in power, elevate cops to an angelic status.

  • HamTech87

    The State Liquor Authority investigation is really odd. Is there a team of investigators there looking into every drunk driving arrest? fwiw, the Whiskey Brooklyn bartender had every expectation that their customers would not be driving. According to Google Maps, the bar is a 6 minute walk to the L train, and a 3 minute walk to the B46 stop. Plus, it is Williamsburg.

  • kevd

    I guess people on LI haven’t heard about the Q70 to the degree that city residents have.
    Of course, I have no idea how many LIRR trains stop at Woodside – just that all go through there.

  • kevd

    I think Jetsetters and business people are driven.
    Its probably more the suburban, professional demographic.

  • qrt145

    > fwiw, the Whiskey Brooklyn bartender had every expectation that their customers would not be driving.

    “The ABC law prohibits the sale, delivery or giving away of an alcoholic beverage to an intoxicated person. There are no exceptions to this law. Regardless, of whether a patron is driving or has other means of transportation to or from your establishment, you must cease sale/delivery of alcoholic beverages to that patron if he/she displays visible signs of intoxication”. https://www.oasas.ny.gov/publications/pdf/OASASRetail.pdf

  • Larry Littlefield

    If cops aren’t better than most people, we’re in trouble. It is an expectation we, and they, need to have.

    They are certainly paid a hell of a lot more than most people, the cost of their pensions included.

    They don’t have to be the smartest, or the strongest, or the fastest, or the nicest. But it is reasonable for people to expect that the police officers are those with the most personal integrity.

  • Maggie

    That’s depressing but believable. I guess I don’t know enough journalists to say. Anyway, either I skimmed way too quickly before or Streetsblog updated with DNAinfo’s article about the State Liquor Authority investigation.

  • AMH

    The state liquor authority has named and is investigating the bar (see 5th headline).

  • bolwerk

    I wonder if there is a good test out there for measuring personal integrity. Empathy might get at it somewhat.

    Cops are probably slightly smarter than average. On all those other things, I don’t really see why they would be better than anyone else. With physical criteria, the hurdle of getting into a police force may be kind of high, but I can’t believe for a second that most cops on the beat could pass the physical tests imposed on new recruits. Certainly joining a police force is going to attract people who self-select to acquire power; that right there is not a sign of personal integrity.

  • bolwerk

    Those groups probably aren’t mutually exclusive. :-p

    I think a lot of people who have a car just like to use it too.

  • bolwerk

    I’ve almost never seen that enforced. It must only be there to punish people you don’t like when absolutely nothing else can stick. I doubt any bar can stay in business if they don’t serve visibly intoxicated people.

  • kevd

    its also a really stupid law.
    I suppose its authors have no idea why people go to bars.

  • bolwerk

    It’s like saying a person who is remotely visibly tired shouldn’t drive. Nice idea, but no way the universe is going to let you implement that.

  • kevd

    Except that there isn’t even any public safety justification for not letting intoxicated people have a drink at a bar.
    (depending on the level of intoxication, of course)
    Its not as if having a Blood Alcohol level of .12 is going to kill anyone when that individual is walking or taking the train.

  • Guest

    Not so sure. You’re a ways gone by the time you’re visibly intoxicated. Many, many people frequent bars to have a few drinks, and stop well short of the point their level of intoxication is obvious to a casual observer. In a crowded city, having a drunk stumble down the sidewalk is a public nuisance, which has long been discourage through many various laws over time.

  • bolwerk

    Think the justification is that most people drive and drivers shouldn’t drink. Dumb, but…vaguely defensible, at least outside of NYC.

    Though most bars would be out of business if that logic were actually followed fully.

  • bolwerk

    Certainly not all but I can tell with most people after they’ve had a drink or two in the course of an hour. They blink more, take longer pauses, don’t focus as well, are often a little less physically steady, and sometimes are already slurring their speech (especially lighter people). Cops are trained to discern it much better than I can too.

  • kevd

    “having a drunk stumble down the sidewalk is a public nuisance”
    Oh your pearl clutching is cute!

    Drunk people walk and yes, even stumble, down streets every minute of every day in this town.
    And because they aren’t driving, it is almost never a problem.

    But if by visibly intoxicated you mean a slurring, unpredictable danger to themselves and others – you may be right.
    I would think visibly intoxicated means someone whose behavior is clearly affected by alcohol – and that includes talking loudly and animatedly, acting a bit silly – all sorts of things the those very same people having a few drinks at a bar might do. (at least I would after a few drinks)

  • kevd

    even when in a small town I rarely drove to a bar. in NYC and every other large city in this country, it simply isn’t necessary

  • Kevin Love

    Here is a hint: Contempt for the law as manifested by acts of petty corruption such as placard abuse, is a strong sign of a lack of personal integrity.

  • Kevin Love

    What are they going to charge him with, littering?

  • bolwerk

    Not sure I agree with that regarding most cities in this country. Plus suburban people tend to drive into cities to drink. There is just a ton of driving and drinking.

    I agree the law is dumb, but it’s not exactly crazytalk.

  • Joe R.

    I completely avoid drinking outside of at home for the simple reason I’m a mess even after 1 beer. Much more than that and all I want to do is sleep it off. I wish I could tolerate alcohol well enough to just stumble around after a few drinks. In all likelihood what would happen is I’ll be passed out on the sidewalk until the next day. Or do something really stupid, like the time I thought I could take a flight of steps on the subway in one bound. Fortunately I didn’t break anything on the way down, but that was the last time I drank in any public place.

  • ohnonononono

    Yes, if one believes this study, more people drive to LGA than take transit: http://www.nyc.gov/html/brt/downloads/pdf/110622_lga_aa_slides.pdf

    But most people get to LGA by cab.

  • Jeff

    The rule for NYC suburbanites is that getting drunk in the city, taking commuter rail back to the suburbs, and then driving from the commuter rail station to your house “doesn’t count” as drinking and driving.

  • qrt145

    Depends on how drunk they get in the first place, but a one hour wait while riding the train can certainly bring someone back under the legal BAC limit.

  • bolwerk

    Are you part native? I have family members like that, though I am personally not so affected.

  • Joe R.

    Not as far as I know. In fact, my grandparents on my mom’s side and great grandparents on my dad’s side came here from Italy. Nobody I’m directly descended from married a native. Come to think of it I don’t even think there’s anyone non-Italian in there. Maybe I just never drank frequently enough to develop any kind of tolerance to it. At best I’ll have a beer once or twice a week. I went through a stretch where I had wine with dinner more often than not but it was relatively small amounts.

  • bolwerk

    Well, cool, I guess you can be an Italian citizen :-p

    My paternal grandmother’s family is of Mohawk extraction. Some of them had raging alcoholism issues. Not that I keep in any contact with the tribe itself, but of friends I know who are also largely ethnically Mohawk (and other Iroquois) they often say their limit is basically slowly sipping beer or wine.

  • Joe R.

    For all I know there could be a recessive native gene deep down which manifested itself with me. Unlike lots of Italians, I don’t deal particularly well with heat. IIRC, neither do most natives. Remember the Italians visited America first. Doubtless there was some cross-breeding. Slowly sipping beer or wine seems to be more or less a good description of my limits.

  • bolwerk

    Heh, I think out of Europeans the Vikings had you beat by a few hundred years. :-p

    Though, seriously, I’d guess some Europeans of any nationality are prone to being heavily impacted by alcohol in various ways too. It does seem to be something that hits Native Americans very hard though.

  • ahwr

    Let’s round it and say the NYPD has a DWI rate of 1 per 1,000. That sounds really damned high

    Driving age population ~1000 per DWI charge, misdemeanor or felony is bad? You don’t want to know how many DWI arrests there are statewide then…

    http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/crimnet/ojsa/arrests/nys.pdf

    http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/crimnet/ojsa/arrests/nyc.pdf

  • Maggie

    Yeah, I don’t know how I missed it before. Glad they’re investigating.

  • reasonableexplanation

    Those people don’t want to drive to Teterboro or some airport in Long Island or Westchester.

    More likely, the smaller airports don’t have the flights people want:

    Teterboro flights per day: 419
    Islip flights per day: 499
    LGA flights per day: 1003

    Additionally, flights from these airports are often more expensive, and you have to transfer too. On the other hand, the security lines aren’t as bad, so at least there’s that.

    e.g. for this weekend:
    LGA-MIA: $354 (nonstop)
    ISP-MIA: $464 (with 2 stops)
    TEB-MIA: no flights

  • ahwr

    Does personal car mean drive to the airport and park, get a ride from friend/family to the airport and they drive away, or both?

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