Today’s Headlines

  • NY1 Wraps Parking Grievance Trilogy by Acknowledging 14M Annual Bike-Share Trips
  • On Eve of TLC Vote, Tish James Sides With Uber Against Data Collection Reforms (CBS)
  • JSK: Complete App-Hail Trip Data Crucial to NYC Transportation Planning (News)
  • Drivers Say #DeleteUber Has Led to a Sharp Drop in Business (Post)
  • Did Conductor Cuomo See His Shadow? (AMNY)
  • NY and NJ Dems Want Port Authority Cops to Stop Enforcing Trump Muslim Ban (Politico)
  • Ray LaHood: Never Mind Trump’s Assault on Democracy — Let’s Build Some Roads (News)
  • Off-Duty Cop Flips Car in the Bronx, Killing Passenger (News, NY1Post, AMNY)
  • Sentient Toyota Crashes Into SI Home, Renders It Uninhabitable for Human Life (Advance)
  • No Place to Lock Up Your Bike? No Seat on the Train? Tell It to the Times

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Guest

    They’re misreporting the location of the accident – by all descriptions, it was at the traffic circle in Pelham Bay Park that connects to City Island. It did not happen on City Island.

  • Brad Aaron

    Corrected. Thanks.

  • Maggie

    It’s really mind-boggling that in covering Manhattan’s 750,000 households, 78% of which are carless, NY1 quoted 6 Manhattanites and 5 of them were car-owners looking for free or subsidized parking that the rest of us have to help chip in for.

    Then although the conclusion refers to drivers who “need a car for work”, they only quoted one person where this is apparently the case: Michael Myers, in package delivery, who actually needs saner curbside management and delivery zones from DOT. They mentioned Valerie Perez who’s apparently driven to work from the East 80s for the last 47 years. It would have been interesting to hear what her work is that requires this.

    NY1 can run whatever garbage stories they want, but I wonder what’s the best way to push back on off-base articles in this vein.

  • bolwerk

    Car owners who live in Manhattan are easy to find. They work for TV stations.

  • Reader

    The NY1 series was the worst trilogy since the Star Wars prequel. Everyone involved should be embarrassed.

  • Joe R.

    What about the ones who only start their cars to move them on alternate parking days? That probably easily describes the majority of those 22% of Manhattan households which own cars. What’s the point of going through the expense and hassle of car ownership if you don’t even bother to use your car? And why should the city waste precious curbside space for what amounts to a security blanket? I’ll bet good money if you look at the odometers of most cars parked in free spots in Manhattan, then did the same thing a year from now, the vast majority would have accumulated under 1000 miles. Probably a lot of those miles are spent hunting for parking on the rare days the car is actually used. Really, owning a private automobile in Manhattan is pointless unless you’re one of the rare few who really does need it daily for work (i.e. plumbers, electricians, handymen, delivery people).

  • Larry Littlefield

    Again, it’s a generational thing. The small number of people over 50 who biked could be dismissed as cranks back in the day. Now that a huge number of people under 35 are following their example, those who want all the street space to themselves are aggrieved.

    There are people who stayed in New York City in the Escape from New York days by living as they would in the suburbs, and not frequenting the dangerous parks and the dirty and unreliable subways. They drove everywhere.

    The same conditions that led to misery for most New Yorkers made driving possible. As most of those who came of age from the 1950s to the 1970s moved to the suburbs, a large share of the city’s housing units were occupied by their non-driving senior citizen parents and the poor. And, of course, large areas of the city were abandoned.

    Now there are more people, more drivers, more cars. The problem for drivers is the other drivers, not the non-drivers. How has the change the supply in on-street spaces associated with more room for bikes and buses compared with the demand due to more cars?

    Where I live it’s all demand. Non-car owning seniors replaced by more affluent families that have cars for out-of-town trips — every one of them. We can’t even measure it because so many people register their cars elsewhere due to insurance fraud.

  • Joe R.

    One of the problems as I see it is many of those who stayed in NYC and drove everywhere back when perhaps that was a reasonably sane choice haven’t gotten the message that the subways are no longer dangerous (although they’re getting less reliable), the city isn’t a cesspool of crime, and they don’t have to be afraid of mingling with average people on the street. As a result, they still act like it’s the 1970s. How many of these drivers regularly do trips which might be faster and far less costly by subway? Despite this, we’ll still hear lines like “I’ll never use the subway again”, perhaps because they were mugged once in 1972.

    Don’t even get me started on insurance fraud. The city could combat it very easily by towing away any cars parked overnight in public spaces which aren’t registered to a NYC address. Having to pay NYC insurance rates would make car ownership unaffordable to quite a few people. That would help fix the demand problem you mention.

  • inky799

    This man needs a checkup

  • Maggie

    Idk, maybe she loves her job, maybe she’s the best teacher at an elementary school, could be anything. But how do we balance that with the deadly public risk when seniors keep driving after they age out of being able to do so safely? This literally killed a Brooklynite pedestrian on a Brighton Beach sidewalk this week. Why is Perez stuck driving? NY1 owed it to the public to fill in the background better.

  • Joe R.

    I’d like a little background on this myself. Does her job require her to drive? Where does she work? I’ll bet good money her commute is easily amenable to being done by mass transit but she’s one of those “I’ll never ride the subways” people still stuck in a 1970s mindset. We seriously need to start regularly retesting drivers starting in their 50s, and revoking driving privileges to anyone who isn’t up to par. My mother started getting scary when driving by her early 70s. Now she has full-on dementia, yet is technically still licensed to drive. That’s a really frightening thought even though my brother keeps her car by him. My late father’s driving abilities went downhill by his mid 60s. He hit two pedestrians in his last decade of driving, including one to whom the insurance paid out $50K.

    As far as working versus retiring, I can only speak for myself but no matter how much you love your job just the grind of putting in 40 hours and physically getting to work would make me want to stop working as soon as I’m able. Fortunately I work at home. “Retirement” for me would mean I just do whatever work I find interesting which pays enough, not everything which comes my way. Most people don’t have this luxury. It’s either travel to work and put in 40 hours or retire. If faced with that choice, retirement for me would mean I stop working altogether, no matter how much I love what I do.

  • djx

    “World to these people—the subway doesn’t look like this anymore:”

    No it doesn’t.

    Instead it’s far more crowded and you’re pressed up against other people a lot of the time.

  • Joe R.

    You and I both know this because we take the subway fairly regularly. Those who haven’t been on it in decades probably still visualize it like in those pictures.

    That said, the crowding is actually a sign of success at getting more people to ride the trains. Obviously it’s gotten to the point where where need serious subway expansion but again this isn’t something a person who hasn’t been on the subway in decades would know.

    BTW, I was pressed up against other people going to work and school back in the early through mid 1980s. Crowding is nothing new. The fact that this crowding now occurs even during off-peak hours is what’s new. I’m surprised at how many people are riding the trains at 10 or 11 PM.

  • bolwerk

    It’s not success. Nobody willed it. It’s changing demographics. Saying it was somebody’s success is kind of like crediting the cops for reducing crime after the 1980s. No credit where none is due! Policy has been consistently working to undermine the subways for the entire time the demand has been increasing.

    Rush hour subways may have been more crowded in the 1980s. You couldn’t even push your way onto the train sometimes. That almost never happens to me now, except maybe on the Lex. OTOH, you’d rarely find SRO any other time in the 1980s.

  • bolwerk

    s/embarrassed/guillotined

  • Joe R.

    Yeah, I remember the MTA had “people pushers” on the platforms in the late 80s through early 90s in busy stations like Lexington and 53 or Roosevelt Avenue.

    The ongoing policy to undermine the subways makes absolutely no sense to me. People have shown they want them through their ridership numbers. How long will it take this message to get through to the ruling elite? The thought that cars are “the future” should be left in the 1950s where it belongs. Autonomous cars aren’t going to make subways less relevant, either.

  • Guest

    You’re underestimating how hard it is for the elderly to navigate the subway. ADA accommodations are still woefully inadequate, so in far too many cases they’re left huffing up staircases that are becoming increasingly difficult, with larger numbers of impatient people trying to push past them. Even if they wanted to switch from their car to the subway, the transit facilities simply don’t meet their needs.

    Or… they could deal with the indignity of calling and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, for an Access-a-Ride with a rude driver, while everyone looks at them like some loser welfare case, instead of somebody successful enough to own their own car.

    Part of it is attitude, but part of it is the lack of design and operational consideration for the needs of these aging passengers.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The reason for the crowding was different then. The train operators and conductors didn’t show up for work. The train was too broken down to make the run. Or it broke down en-route and was taken out of service. So there were fewer passengers, but fewer trains.

    We could end up back there again, if MDBF continues to decline and the signal system continues to fail.

  • Joe R.

    Yep. When I was going to Bronx Science in the late 1970s, I’d say about 1/3 of the time the #4 train had to be taken out of service en route. The other 2/3rds of the time you were praying the train would make it because it didn’t look or sound like it would. I still recall a #5 train pulling in on the other side of the platform with the wheels glowing a dull red. I could feel the heat radiating off the wheels standing about 15 feet away. Apparently the brakes were dragging. I wonder if the wheels literally came off that train. In addition to major issues like that you also had the usual lights out or half the doors broken on many of the trains. MTA policy at the time was “if it moves it goes into service”.

  • Joe R.

    Some truth to that but the vast majority of those in the NY1 piece weren’t elderly or disabled. They choose to drive for their own, probably nonsensical reasons. My favorite was Mr. Bowman who seemingly just starts his car to move it from one side of the street to the other. If these people analyzed their car usage, I’ll bet most would realize they could get by just fine renting a car the few times a year they actually need one.

  • djx

    “I was pressed up against other people going to work and school back in the late 1970s through early 1990s. Crowding is nothing new.”
    ……so how does that help your argument that that woman should be taking the subway now??

  • Guest

    Alright… just remember the whole narrative about people’s formative experiences in the 70s really only applies to an aging cohort with knees that are quickly wearing out…

  • Joe R.

    Maybe because the subway is likely still faster, and certainly less expensive, than driving despite the crowding? Driving in or to/from Manhattan is no picnic. Never was, even 30 years ago.

    The larger question though isn’t whether or not that woman should be driving but why should NYC be subsidizing the choices of people like her to drive in the first place with stuff like free curbside parking, free bridges to Manhattan, and so forth? Let these people pay the true cost of the damage their driving causes so they can decide if any gain in convenience is worth it to them personally. For decades NYC has tried to shoehorn private cars into a place where it’s patently obvious they’re an awful fit. The experiment hasn’t worked. It’s time to have a more balanced transportation policy.

  • Joe R.

    It could also apply to the children of these people who believed all their parent’s stories. When I talk to some of my relatives in NJ my age or younger about the city and subways, you would still think it was 1975.

  • AnoNYC

    Which is why we need better surface mass transportation (prioritization) and more walkable streets (see complete streets). Seniors benefit tremendously from these implementations.

  • bolwerk

    Stupid people think Rudy Giuliani swooped in and fixed everything. Really stupid people think he still has work to do. :-

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