Today’s Headlines

  • Donald Trump Has New Yorkers Afraid to Go Outside (NYT)
  • Lancman: De Blasio Can Hinder ICE by Stopping Arrests for Fare Beating (News)
  • More on SI Teenagers Criminally Charged for Riding Bikes (VoicePost); Advance Crows
  • Related: Back to Our Regular Programming (Advance 1, 2)
  • Experts Wonder How de Blasio Plans to Fix the Cross Bronx Expressway (DNA)
  • CB 4 Concerned That Gateway Construction Will Impede Traffic, Block High Line Views (DNA)
  • Media Still Slapping Fins for Cuomo’s Kosciuszko Bridge Announcement (CBSNews)
  • Driver Seriously Injures Pedestrian on Frederick Douglass Boulevard (DNA)
  • The Same Four Politicians Have Been Repping Harlem Since Bill Clinton Was President (Voice)
  • Meet the People Responsible for Thousands of NYC Professional Drivers (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Fool

    The only way to fix the Cross Bronx is the build the cross harbor tunnel.
    The only way to build the cross harbor tunnel is to get tunneling costs under control.
    The primary way to get tunneling costs under somewhat under control is to reform union compensation (poor work rules are compensation).

    So I can conclude the Cross Bronx will not be “fixed.”

  • bolwerk

    I’m not even sure tunneling costs are that out of control. At least, construction costs besides tunneling are much more out of control.

  • Kevin Love

    What I find fascinating and disturbing about the NYT article is the way inadequate public transit and a automobile-centric transportation system are being used to oppress illegal immigrants.

    Car drivers must carry drivers’ licences and produce them upon demand. This allows “Big Brother” to track them and do bad things to them. Cyclists and public transit users have no obligation to carry any form of identification.

    The result is that many illegal immigrants are in effect under house arrest with the current regime. Inadequate public transit or cycling infrastructure does not allow them to travel safely and without fear.

  • Kevin Love

    It is shocking that children are being viciously assaulted, kidnapped and taken hostage by NYPD and their property stolen. “Reckless Endangerment”? For behavior that has killed exactly zero people? This is a Vision Zero success story!

    Meanwhile, I see car drivers commit actual Reckless Endangerment every day. And actually killing real people by crushing them to death or poisoning them to death with their fine particle lethal cancer poison attacks.

    It is my sincere desire that the police should prioritize laying charges against the actual Reckless Endangerment committed by car drivers. Only when car drivers are killing the same number of people as children cycling (zero) should limited police resources be used against the “nuisance” children.

  • Larry Littlefield

    There was a lot of talk about teenage bicyclists taking over the streets. But there was also this in the Advance piece.

    “Just a bunch of kids joyriding, you say? Well, it’s not the 1970s anymore. There aren’t a lot of places left on Staten Island where cyclists can safely take over three lanes of traffic while doing stunts on their bikes. It’s no longer the kind of borough where you can play kickball in the street and not see a car for half an hour. Those days are gone.”

    Who, exactly, took over the streets?

  • Greg

    See this video

    for examples of what these kids were doing. The part in 4:15 where they’re intentionally playing chicken with cars in the opposing lane is clearly dangerous, egregiously so, and clearly needed a response by the authorities.

    I really really hope you’re not trying to excuse their behavior.

  • Vooch

    so a theoretical danger is worse than actually killing ?

  • Vooch

    The way to’fix’ the cross bronx is to charge a appropriate price for using it.

    I’m guessing $20 during peak hours and $10 off peak would quickly ‘fix’ the problem

  • reasonableexplanation

    I understand that you’re blinded by the facts that these were kids on morally good bikes vs adults in evil deadly cars, but let’s flip the script a bit:

    Let’s say these kids were on foot, at a grade crossing, playing chicken with a commuter train. They would pose zero physical danger to the train, and yet, their behavior would be disruptive and reckless, and if they didn’t cut it out, an arrest would be justified, no?

  • Greg

    You’re doing a real disservice to this community trying to brush away these kids as harmless, or as imagined helpless victims of an auto-dominated society. They were clearly engaged in reckless endangerment. It’s clearly inappropriate to question that. You will not help the legitimate cause of cultivating safer roads by burying your head in the sand and denying problem behavior solely based on the mode of transportation behind it. This isn’t an “our team vs. their team” debate.

    I’m as pro-cycling, anti auto-domination as anyone else here. Even I can see this is not the case to stake our credibility on. There are real battles to fight. This is not one of them.

  • Vooch

    Streets belong to people not cars

    that’s the difference here.

    The kids should be able to play in the street as mochas they want.

    the kids are merely trying to ( correctly ) rid the streets of evil hulking death machines.

  • Vooch

    who is the victim in your example ? who was harmed ?

    no harm

    no crime

  • Greg

    I’m sorry you even have to make this argument. This should be so self-evidently obvious.

    First and foremost I don’t want our community to be seen as irrational extremists who can be safely discredited because we can’t see reason. We have the facts on our side, and the moral authority to demand real change. We’ve made amazing headway already. We don’t need extremist rhetoric in our toolkit. It rots away at the very causes we advocate for.

  • Fool

    The region’s freight is not moving on truck by choice. There is no reasonable supply & demand curve here.

  • Joe R.

    A significant difference here would be that the kids would be trespassing on railroad property, whereas they have a legal right to be on a public street. That doesn’t excuse their behavior, but my point here is just being on railroad tracks, even if no trains are within miles, justifies action to remove you while playing on a public street is (or should be) OK, provided you’re not impeding the right-of-way of street users.

  • Vooch

    you think $20 isn’t enough ?

    maybe $50 would be a better charge for peak hour use of cross bronx

  • reasonableexplanation

    So given that they are actively impeding the right of way of road users both in the thought exercise, and in the real case here… I’d say it’s a decent comparison.

  • reasonableexplanation

    Not harsh enough, charge them a percentage of income, I’d say something reasonable like 1% of their income for each crossing.

  • reasonableexplanation

    Who told you streets belong to people not cars? If you decided to stand in the middle of Hylan Blvd, and refuse to move once asked… What would you expect to happen?

  • Joe R.

    I think the issue here is that these kids are at worst a danger to themselves, not to motorists, and hence didn’t justify a police response which will leave them with criminal records (and hence unemployable as adults). It also didn’t justify confiscating their bikes. When a motorist gets a speeding ticket or red light ticket, the cop doesn’t confiscate their car. A simple fine, a court date, and maybe some charges against the parents for improper child supervision would have been sufficient here. No need to confiscate the bikes or to levy criminal charges. Sure, there absolutely needed to be some action, but the police went over the top. It’s especially galling given that drivers who actually kill or injure people rarely face criminal charges in this city, never mind having their cars confiscated.

  • reasonableexplanation

    I like that argument, but it extends further than you think. If I decide to drive 60mph in a 25 in a tesla (so no noise, no exhaust), and no one gets hurt, that would be okay too then? No harm, no crime.

  • Joe R.

    What they were doing would have been more appropriate on a side street where at least drivers might expect it. In fact, getting impeded on narrow side streets happens a lot in practice, such as when sanitation is making pickups, or school buses are making their rounds. In my opinion a sane compromise here would be to tolerate this sort of thing on residential side blocks but not on arterials.

  • reasonableexplanation

    I mostly agree with this; the ‘correct’ way to play on a side street is the classic “car!” callout, let the car pass, then go back to playing.

    This isn’t what happened here, as can be seen in the video. This is more akin to the ‘stuntz’ people, but younger, and on bikes.

  • Fool

    Why not $3000? The freight the North East and Long Island need is still going to have to go over that bridge and the Cross Bronx.

  • Joe R.

    My main problem here isn’t the fact the police took action, but the magnitude of that action. A fine, perhaps a fine for the parents for improper supervision, maybe a court date, is sufficient. But criminal charges and confiscating their bikes? This makes me wonder what these kids will do for “entertainment” now without their bikes. It might be something worse than what they were doing.

  • Greg

    Hey Joe,

    Thanks for your well-reasoned argument. I agree that criminally charging them is overreach. What they’re doing is clearly dangerous and needed to be stopped, but criminal charges add a whole bunch of consequences that probably won’t help anyone.

    Honestly, I agree with almost your whole comment. I do think what they were doing was worse than your average speeding or red light offense. Especially if this was an ongoing problem. But that’s a small nitpick.

    I think we all agree that destructive driving behavior without consequences is *the* major scourge of our time. That’s one of the major common concerns that binds this community. But I see that as an implicit axiom in all our comments, so I don’t feel the need to rehash that particular point in this conversation.

  • djx

    “My main problem here isn’t the fact the police took action, but the magnitude of that action”

    Yeah. Though to me yelling at them would be enough. I see cars running lights every day, speeding every day, bullying through turns every day. And almost nothing from NYPD.

    And if someone KILLS with a car, as long as they weren’t drunk, they get the punishment these kids get AT MOST.

    It’s wack.

  • Joe R.

    Yes, a strong verbal warning from the police probably would have been enough. I remember from back in my days at the housing project that the NYCHA police pretty much used verbal warnings to keep the kids in line. It usually worked, especially when the word got around to their parents that the police had yelled at them.

    And if someone KILLS with a car, as long as they weren’t drunk, they get the punishment these kids get AT MOST.

    That’s the really sick part. Our enforcement priorities are ass backwards.

  • Kevin Love

    Huh? That would pose a serious danger to the public. If done in a residential area it would pose a serious danger to innocent children using the street.

    In places that actually care about human life, this behavior carries serious criminal sanctions. For example, consider the case of a certain Mr. Vladimir Rigenco in Canada. He bragged on social media about driving 60 MPH over the speed limit in a residential neighborhood. So the police sprang into action and went knocking on doors in that neighborhood.

    The police turned up enough witnesses to this driving to charge Mr. Rigenco with “dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.” Upon conviction, this charge carries a prison sentence of up to five years in jail. Mr. Rigenco subsequently pled guilty to a lesser charge. For details see:

    Can anyone imagine NYPD doing this?

  • Kevin Love

    Who? I’ll start with the State of New York which states that driving is a privilege whereas walking and cycling are rights.

    And I will end with God. “And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.” Zechariah 8:5

  • Vooch

    interesting argument based on tyranny of violence by operators of hulking death machines.

    Until the 1970s it was perfectly normal for children to play in the street after school. Then in some bizarre twist of fate, hulking death machines occupied this public space to the exclusion of all others.

    Hulking death machines are the problem, not children

  • reasonableexplanation

    Now you’re getting it! I was ridiculing the “No harm, no crime.” comment above.The driver in your example didn’t actually have to harm someone to have his behavior be considered reckless and illegal.

  • Lincoln

    We should confiscate vehicles for unsafe operation. Run a red light, lose your car.
    Speed, lose your car.

    Solves a lot of problems.