Today’s Headlines

  • De Blasio Says He’ll Lobby State Legislators for More Speed Cameras (NY1)
  • New Yorkers Marvel at Their New Subway Line (NY1NYTNews, AMNY)
  • Daily News Challenges Cuomo to “Keep His Conductor Hat On”
  • Attaboys All Around for Departing Tom Prendergast (NY1)
  • Post Covers Ydanis Bill to Establish Hit-and-Run Reward Fund
  • David Greenfield Has a Real Gift for Concocting Nonsense Pet Peeve Bills (News)
  • Joe Borelli Crusades Against “Notorious” Traffic Court Judge (Advance)
  • Hermanda Booker, Killed by Drivers in Midwood, Was a Teacher Walking to Work (News, Post)
  • Health Department Staffer Will Keep His Job After Crashing City Vehicle While Drunk (Post)
  • More Everyday Motor Vehicle Mayhem: Post, DNA, Bklyn Paper, Advance
  • Trump Security Is Another Erosion of New Yorkers’ Public Space (Gothamist)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    “It’s very frustrating, obviously, for any parent who drives their kid to school in the morning, but it’s also frustrating for the (garbage truck) drivers having people honk at them,” said Greenfield.

    Simple solution to the latter with no new laws and revenue-positive: ticket unnecessary honking. It’s pervasive at all times of the day and night in residential neighborhoods in this city. Who are these idiots leaning on the horn behind a garbage truck, fire truck, ambulance, or school bus?

    edit: also LIRR derailment at Atlantic Terminal: http://gothamist.com/2017/01/04/lirr_train_derails_atlantic.php

  • Vooch

    opportunity vi’s a vie Security at Trumo Tower

    pedestrianize Fifth with 2 dedicated bus lanes from 57th to 49th

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Who are these idiots leaning on the horn behind a garbage truck, fire truck, ambulance, or school bus?”

    Greenfield’s supporters. He supports them when they honk at bicyclists.

  • Larry Littlefield

    While all the measures being taken and proposed are important, it would appear that driverless vehicles are the greatest threat and/or opportunity for bicyclists and pedestrians. And which one that turns out to be is the most important Vision Zero question of the next decade.

    I’m both hopeful and afraid.

    Afraid that the result will be more carnage, followed by a lot of political pressure to basically ban bicycles and pedestrians to reduce the level of it. Similar to what happened after motor vehicles were first introduced.

    Hopeful that once they no longer have to do the work of driving, motor vehicle owners will be more willing to travel and turn at lower speeds, such as the speed limit.

  • Reader

    Other simple solution: recognize that you live in a big, busy city that can’t respond to every last whim and complaint of the aggrieved motorist.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    Especially when the whole reason you can’t possibly pass a garbage truck is because the streets are narrowed to a single narrow lane by parking along both curbs.

  • Kevin Love

    Except it will now longer be about who is “willing” but what the machine is programmed to do.

  • HamTech87

    Many new cars “know” the speed limit of every street, and even post it on the dashboard. Shouldn’t we be arguing for speed governors that prevent exceeding the speed limit?

  • Larry Littlefield

    I assume that there will have to be a driver over-ride.

    As a safety measure, in case the machine goes wrong (although we can’t rely on it, because most people will become passive and inattentive when they stop driving).

    And because otherwise, no vehicle will ever make a turn in Midtown ever again.

  • Joe R.

    On surface streets, yes, but not on highways (where speed limits are often arguably set way too low in this country compared to the EU which typically has 120 to 160 kph highway speed limits). My reasoning here is enforcing the very low highway speed limits via automation will backfire very quickly. On the other hand, most drivers in the US as a whole don’t spend a whole lot of time driving on urban surface streets, so we might be able to get away with automated enforcement there without enough backlash to kill the concept altogether. It’ll also enforce speeding in the one place where it’s the most dangerous by far.

  • Joe R.

    I think we need to start teaching more auto users the concept of average speed. Hypothetically, let’s say autonomous vehicles never go above 20 or 25 mph on urban surface streets for safety reasons. At first, this will seem really slow to drivers used to going 40 or 50 mph in between traffic lights. However, autonomous vehicles should make the concept of traffic lights obsolete since they can avoid colliding with each other. The end result is that 20 or 25 mph can be maintained for most of the journey. The vehicle will of course need to yield to pedestrians or cyclists at intersections, but in most of the city delays from that will be fairly minimal. End result should be higher overall average speeds than now. Car users just need to get used to the concept that high peak speeds don’t necessarily mean faster journey times if you’re stopped half the time. On my bike I often keep up for many blocks with cars which hit 40+ mph in between lights despite rarely exceeding 20 mph.

    I personally think at worst autonomous vehicles will make things somewhat better. than the status quo. If nothing else, eliminating traffic lights will make things way more pleasant for pedestrians and cyclists. You just cross an intersection when you get there, confident the vehicles will yield to you.

  • Joe R.

    I’ve said it before—the answer here is rerouting on the fly if certain intersections become impassable due to heavy pedestrian traffic. Cars not already there would avoid those intersections. Those which are there could turn around or back up and go to less crowded intersections.

    Driver override on autonomous vehicles is the worst of all possible worlds. Drivers certainly won’t be paying attention to safely take control when the need arises. Also, a mix of human and autonomous vehicles negates much of the benefit of autonomous vehicles. It also means you still need a driver’s license to use a car if you’re the only passenger. Once autonomous vehicles prove themselves, we should transition to 100% autonomous as quickly as possible, with no controls for the driver or provision for driver override. Indeed, the very concept of licensed drivers will become obsolete. I like to think those who are in grade school now may well become the first generation which will never get a driver’s license.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The answer here is rerouting on the fly if certain intersections become impassable due to heavy pedestrian traffic. Cars not already there would avoid those intersections.”

    That’s all of Midtown, but I still run into motor vehicles there.

  • AnoNYC
  • Vooch

    Larry,

    you seem to think that’s a bad thing – not being able to make a turn

  • Joe R.

    Certainly true but is there any harm to giving people information as to exactly where garbage trucks and school buses are so they can make a decision as to whether it’s worthwhile to change their route or be delayed?

    That said, if he really is delayed at least three times a week by garbage trucks by now he should know where/when they run so he can avoid those streets himself. He also needs to realize, as ItsEasyBeingGreen already noted, that the reason he can’t pass garbage trucks is curbside parking on both sides of these narrow streets. Motorists unfortunately can’t make the connection that invariably almost all of their delays are caused by other cars, either directly, or indirectly.

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