Today’s Headlines

  • Motorist Who Failed to Yield Kills Baby Girl in Queens (DNAAMNY, NY1, News)
  • Truck Driver Dismembers and Kills Woman in the Bronx; NYPD Blames Victim (DNANews)
  • School Bus Driver Hits 8-Year-Old on Rockaway Avenue; No Charges (Post)
  • NYPD Confiscates E-Bikes From Delivery Workers and Calls It “Vision Zero” (AMNY)
  • Related: Meet the Scofflaw Sociopaths Police and Ben Kallos Have It in For (Voice)
  • Census Data Show Population Increases in All Five Boroughs (Post)
  • Christie Defends Cuomo’s Port Authority Inspector General Scheme (Politico)
  • How ARC-Killer Christie’s Karma Came Back to Bite the Region (MTR)
  • Why Isn’t Big Business Calling for More Investment in the MTA? (MTR)
  • Bklyner Would Have You Believe Prospect Park Existed Long Before the Automobile

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Fool

    What kind of business would advocate for “investing” in transit at these prices?

  • Vooch

    Re: Failureto yield

    I was in North Brooklyn fighting a ticket the other day. ( Idaho Stop )

    Judge went absolutely bonkers on anyone who was trying to fight a failure to yield. There were 3 clowns fighting failure to yield. She ripped the poor drivers a new one. She was elderly, about 4.11″ and I think her name was Sanborn. I thanked her for treating it seriously,

    So there is hope.

  • JudenChino

    I love living in New York City but it’s days like this I think, yah, why not just move to Westchester and get a bigger house at 1/3 the cost (it’s $1M for a 3BR anywhere closer than E. Flatbush and anything remotely affordable in WaHi requires an income of less than $80K).

    When I see how we’re cracking down on 50 year old chinese men on e-bikes in the name of #VisionZero while 1 year olds are killed in cross walks and are viewed as “that’s just how it is,” I think to myself, FUCK THIS SHIT. I quit. Live near the Metro-North, 30 mins to GCT. Hey, maybe I can bike to the Metro-North and get some exercise. It’s not worth all the bullshit. I can’t even get a white paint bike lane on 7th ave in BK because some Trumpster echoing CB member thinks it’s part of some bike conspiracy.

  • Reader

    No comment from Mayor de Blasio on the baby who was killed by his weak policy. I guess he couldn’t be torn away from the gym this morning.

  • You are 100% correct that the priorities are wrong when the police pay more attention to electric bikes than to automobiles; and you are right also to consider offensive the acceptance of the deaths that cars cause as merely a kind of “price of doing business”.

    Still, the way to address this appalling inequity is to demand the appropriate police attention to the harm that cars do, not to call for illegal e-bikes to be ignored.

  • elvevaag

    Actually the census data’s 2016 population estimate for NYC is *lower* than the 2015 number, by about 13,000 people. From 8,550,000 to 8,537,000. This was because the numbers for previous years (including 2015) were revised downwards in the latest estimates.

  • JudenChino

    How’d your ticket go? I tried fighting an Idaho stop but the cop was at hearing and he said I went through the light and I said, I don’t recall I just know I was parallel with the pedestrians crossing.

  • c2check

    Better yet—move to a city that needs some love: Buffalo, Cleveland, St Louis, Pittsburgh, Philly…. Help build a democratic base in middle America outside the coastal bubbles.
    Of course it would be easier if the millionaires here (and cities like SF, LA, etc) invested some money in those cities so they were more desirable for folks used to NYC amenities, but a couple million bucks are probably better spent on luxury condos, right?

  • Larry Littlefield

    Somebody needs an app to have a whole bunch of young workers and business owners band together and negotiate to move to one of those cities…if they are exempted from, say, 80 percent of the Generation Greed legacy costs somehow so actual public services could be received in exchange for taxes.

    (You’ve got to give them 20 percent or they won’t be interested).

    Imagine 100,000 economically active serfs moving to any of those cities.

    That includes underfunded multi-employer construction pension plans, so poorer younger generations can afford new housing that is built and existing housing that is rehabbed. Heck, if you’re coming from here you are used to less square footage, so there is that.

  • Vooch

    e-bikes are a nuisance

    motor vehicles are hulking death machines

  • AMH

    It’s not at all clear that the bicycles confiscated by the NYPD are illegal. The problem with the current law is that it’s poorly worded, allowing for abuses like this.

    I found this helpful page breaking down the law interpreted as banning ebikes: https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/nyc-electric-bike-law.940/

  • reasonableexplanation

    The ebike ban follows in the strong tradition of other senseless NYC bans on things legal almost everywhere else in the US; see NYC’s knife laws, gun laws, etc.

  • Generally speaking, New York City should never look to the rest of the U.S. for examples of anything. It should be the reverse: we’d have a better country if the U.S. emulated the gun laws that we have in our civilised City.

    The knife question is a case of a law being used as a excuse to harass black and brown people. Many people whom I know have been fighting against this law.

    The e-bike ban makes sense from the standpoint of registration: unregistered motor vehicles cannot be driven on public roads. If someone wants to argue that e-bikes should be registerable, then that would be a sensible position. Just don’t ride them in bike lanes, because they’re not bicycles.

  • reasonableexplanation

    I’d go ahead and disagree with you on gun and knife laws, but that’s a topic for another time.

    As for e-bikes, if they are limited to an equivalent speed that a human can pedal, say 15mph, why exclude them from the bike lanes and force them to be register-able?

  • If they were limited to such a speed, then that would be another story. But I can tell you that I have many times been dusted by e-bikes while I was pedalling at 15 miles per hour. So clearly they are going faster than that; which means that riding them in the regular car lane would be appropriate.

  • reasonableexplanation

    Currently it seems they’re limited to 20mph (which i think is okay). But if you want to make the law 15, I have no issue with that.

    Point is, nothing special about an ebike over any other bike. I’d allow them (and mopeds) in the bike lanes.

  • Larry Littlefield

    One could make that case. But then again, you could say the same thing about the stock market.

  • Joe R.

    I think the issue is more that our bicycle infrastructure is mostly very poorly designed, rather than that e-bikes are marginally faster than most pedal cyclists. Good bike infrastructure should be able to accommodate 8 mph and 25 mph cyclists, plus everything in between. There should be room for safe passing. If bike infrastructure isn’t safe at speeds over 15 mph, then it’s just bad bike infrastructure. Granted, sometimes space or cost issues might mean you’ll have a block or two of such infrastructure where maybe faster cyclists need to slow down, but that should be the exception, not the rule.

    Obviously there are some souped-up e-bikes which are way faster than 20 mph but those would still be illegal even if we legalized e-bikes.

  • Joe R.

    The federal rule on e-bikes mentions that anything with a top speed of 20 mph or less, and a motor of 750 watts or less, must be considered a bicycle for legal purposes. States are free to increase these numbers if they want (some states allow 1000 watt e-bikes), but not to decrease them.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws#United_States

    Note also some states allow up to 30 mph but all of those seem to require some sort of license.

    To me 20 mph seems a reasonable compromise. It’s roughly the speed which stronger cyclists can maintain. If we’re not going to allow e-bikes in bike lanes, then we probably need to increase their allowed maximum speed so they can keep up with typical urban motor traffic. In practice that would mean allowing at least 30 mph.

  • Joe R.

    I agree NYC’s gun and knife laws are ridiculous, but much of the rest of the country goes too far in the other direction. I’m all for allowing people to buy and carry any weapon they want in NYC BUT they should have to pass a background check, plus successfully complete training for the type of weapon they want. An assault rifle would obviously require a lot more training than an 0.22 hand gun. Of course, we should still prohibit some weapons. I can’t see any reason a person would need a grenade launcher, an AA missile, or a gatling gun. My own weapon of choice if NYC had sane gun laws would probably be a 9mm with a 17 or 19 round clip. That gives enough ammo to be in a firefight without reloading but it’s still small enough to easily carry.

  • c2check

    You could probably at least save a bunch of money thanks to the lower cost of living, and get a higher quality of life to boot in many cases.

  • Larry Littlefield

    You just need a job, and the job after, and the job after that.

    That’s the problem with small metros. Changing jobs often means changing metros. Although the ones you mentioned may be big enough to expect to stay.

    But here in NY I’ve lived within three blocks of where I live now for 31 years, and different jobs have just meant different places in Manhattan.

  • reasonableexplanation

    I’d argue a hand gun requires far more training than any semi auto rifle.

    Good luck on that 17 or 19 round mag; the statewide limit is 10.

  • c2check

    Yeah—that’s the benefit of bigger cities, for both employers and employees.
    But if it contributes to increasing geographic segregation and extenuated income inequality as I suspect it might (not to mention growth often too fast for a city’s infrastructure to handle), is it worth it?
    Are there other ways to facilitate moderate career growth options for employees and a good employee pool for employers? How about land use patterns that are based on towns with good connections to other towns and a central city? (Not unlike what exists with MN and LIRR, though NYC Metro is at a very large scale. Perhaps Boston, Chicago, or Philly are better examples, though the best examples are probably found in Asia or Europe).
    It’s indeed a complex issue with lots of complicated trade-offs.

  • djx

    Mainly poor immigrants use the ebikes so of course they’re illegal. Duh.

  • Joe R.

    That NYS magazine limit is among the more ridiculous rules here. I don’t think any other state has such a thing. Part of saner gun laws is repealing it.

  • AnoNYC

    The E 138th St and Bruckner Blvd intersection should have already been calmed by now!

    The plans were presented about a year ago…NO MOVEMENT.

  • Vooch

    dude

    100% agree

  • Vooch

    how many injuries have ebikes caused ?

    it’s a nuisance not a danger

  • Vooch

    got a 30% reduction in fine

    because I shamelessly kissed a** and have a clean record going back decades

    achieved my goal which is to bog down the system so it costs them 10x versus my cost.

    when the extortist gave me my ticket, I carefully and laboriously read every line and asked politely questions before signing it. Took about 10 extra minutes. Those minutes were minutes the extortist couldn’t steal from other victims.

    ditto for showing up to court. it was just to sabotage the system.

    Be the Danish Resistance

  • Joe R.

    Pay your fine in pennies if you haven’t already paid it. Legally they have to accept them but it’ll waste a serious amount of time counting them. If all cyclists did this, I think the city would reverse course on bike ticketing seeing that it was a big money loser.

  • Joe R.

    One tool which could mitigate that is telecommuting. Some jobs can be done entirely from home. That makes the geographical location of the employer irrelevant. It’s a pity employers aren’t more amenable to hiring people who work remotely.

    (not to mention growth often too fast for a city’s infrastructure to handle)

    That’s what I see as the biggest problem. NYC’s crazy high housing costs, overburdened mass transit system, and congested roads are all a direct result of adding jobs before the city was able to absorb them.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Here’s the thing. Even with all the extra tax revenues from those jobs, and not accommodating those who hold them, the city still doesn’t have the extra money to expand it housing and infrastructure.

    No matter how much extra revenue the city gets, we find that it has already been taken off the top. And when there is a recession, that money continues to be taken off the top even though it isn’t extra and isn’t there anymore.

  • bolwerk

    I was doing that in reverse for a while. It ultimately kind of blew. It’s not like the subway, where you can just take the next train if you miss by a minute. It’s expensive. The only upside was some time to read on the MNRR.

    Now that I find myself having to move in the next year anyway, I’m getting ever more tempted to look for a small-ish European city. The transit works better, the obsession with cars is less, they mostly seem more bike friendly, and transportation planners are even allowed to entertain things besides buses.

  • bolwerk

    If you mean the Democratic Party, it could probably dominate the Midwest now. Democrats cede economics to the GOP, and lose. Why vote for the guy who thinks his own opponent is better at your #1 issue than he is? (Of course, since most Democrats are themselves Republicans on economics, this requires the party reconcile itself to permitting Sandernistas a seat the table.)

    Sending coastal neolibs being priced out of prosperous suburbs to decaying flyover cities is just asking for trouble. Just to begin, they’ll more likely displace poorer existing residents rather than claim abandoned housing stock. They’ll also compete for the few jobs that are there, which is bad in the absence of a policy of actually investing cash into deprived local economies.

  • bolwerk

    That probably isn’t so applicable to anyone nonprofessional. If your working class job is lost, you are pretty likely shit outta luck and your best hope is that someone in some small metro will hire you.

  • AnoNYC

    If I had an ebike that exceeded 25 MPH, I would feel safer riding in the street. You have more room to dodge pedestrians.

  • Joe R.

    So would I. The rare times I can do 25+ mph for extended periods (i.e. mainly either long downgrades or tailwinds) I typically just take a car lane. Once I’m over 30 mph especially I don’t seem to annoy the drivers that much.

  • AnoNYC

    Airsoft and MMA, banned! lol.

  • Andrew

    NYC does not ban e-bikes. NYS (state, not city) effectively bans them, by requiring that they be registered while not providing a means by which to register them. The city has no say in the matter.

    As for gun laws, the U.S. as a whole has a track record I’m not sure I’d want to see emulated here.

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