Holiday Headlines

Happy New Year and welcome back. Here is a whole pile of stories you may have missed if you were out of town or, like us, taking a break for the holidays. Lots of these items are worthy of their own blog post, so enjoy and get ready for a big year:

Parking:

  • Taxpayer Funded Yankee Stadium Parking, a "Startling Revelation" to the (News)
  • …And Don’t Expect the Builder to Repay $237M in City-Backed Bonds (News)
  • But What’s Going to Really Tee Off the Press? Parking is Pricey (NY1, News)
  • Amanda Burden, Wake Up!: Stop Requiring Developers to Build Parking (NYT)
  • City Schedules a Second Round of Neighborhood Parking Workshops (DOT)
  • City Considers $15/Hour Curbside Parking Rate (Post)
  • Bayonne Meter Maid Arrested for Ticketing Undercover Cops (NYPD Rant)
  • 2008 NYPD Parking Placard Crackdown May be Underway (NYPD Rant)

Congestion Pricing:

  • Weprin Spins IBO: Pricing "Discriminates Against People From Queens" (News)
  • …And This is Why We Could Care Less (Flickr)
  • This Too: The American Middle Class is "Causing Global Warming" (Planetizen)
  • And This: Heroes Chase Down Hit-and-Run Killer Driver in Brooklyn (Newsday)
  • Sheldon Silver Seems to be "More Open" To Congestion Pricing (News)
  • Bad Ideas: Make Pricing More Complex and Use the Money for Roads (Sun)
  • Good Idea: It’s Time for East River Tolls (Observer)
  • Driving Over East River Bridges? Arguments for Tolls Are Growing (Bklyn Eagle)
  • …Unless You Are Marty Markowitz (Bklyn Paper)
  • British Motorists Are Burning Traffic Enforcement Cams (Wired)
  • State Senate Pitches New Pricing Bill Ahead of 12/31 Federal Deadline (AMNY)

Alternative Modes:

  • Congressman’s "Obsession With Bicycling Borders on the Interesting" (WSJ)
  • NY Water Taxi Shuts Down for the Winter (Cap’n Transit)
  • Walkability = Livability = Billions (Neal Peirce)

If He Had Died in a Car Crash, No Problem:

  • Man Dies on NJ Transit, 3 Lose Their Job and Feds Levy a $27K Fine (NYT)

International:

  • Oil War Isn’t Leaving Enough Money for NY State Road Building (Planetizen)
  • Hello Kitty! Bangkok Solves Its Police Parking Placard Abuse Problem (BBC)
  • Beijing Air Pollution: "This is as Bad as it Can Get" (AFP)
  • Jared Diamond: What’s Your Consumption Factor? (NYT)

Clever Product Placement?:

  • Car Crashes Into Chicago Channel 7 Studio During Evening Newscast (Reppublica)

Miscellaneous:

  • Amanda Burden, Wake Up!: Look at Bklyn’s Future "Park Ave" (Gowanus Lounge)
  • Subway Riders Give the G Line a D+ (MTA)
  • Jim Leyritz, Ex-Yankee, Kills a Woman With His SUV (Smoking Gun)

Obit:

  • George Warrington, 55, Forward-Thinking Leader of Amtrak and NJ Transit (NYT)
  • As usual, you have found all the pertinent items. Thanks for your great work.

    As of yesterday, add Den Bosch, Netherlands to the list of towns with free public transit.

  • Bangkok Placard Abuse: Here’s the armband design for NYC gov’t employees caught abusing placards: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bicyclesonly/2158263533/

  • BicyclesOnly: Your flickr link is not publically viewable.

  • Fixed it–sorry!

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    From the Brooklyn CB2 resolution, as quoted in the Eagle article:

    In addition, all tolls into Manhattan from anywhere else should be the same, so that no commuter pays more than any other and so that all commuters face the same set of basic financial incentives not to drive.

    That was kind of the idea of the toll deduction for congestion pricing, wasn’t it? It’s really annoying how congestion pricing opponents shift their baselines. You can’t charge everyone the same thing to go into Manhattan, because it’s unfair to people who now drive across the “free” bridges, but you can’t put a toll on the “free” bridges because that’s unfair to them too. Aren’t there some toll tunnel users getting pissed about that somewhere?

  • Andy B from Jersey

    Woah!

    That’s why George Warrington stepped down as director of NJTransit last year. It’s a shame to loose a guy like that so young. He was a pretty smart guy that impressed me during a field trip I was on that went to NJTransit’s headquarters last year. I didn’t agree with everything that he said but he opened my eyes to a number of ideas about transit that I never even thought about in the 1/2 hour he talked with us.

    He will be missed.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    I’m still looking forward to your take on Ed Skyler, who’s now Janette Sadik-Khan and Rit Aggarwala’s boss. He doesn’t ride his bike to work, does he? But he may not promote as much parking as Doctoroff did.

  • Obs

    SB – Please discard the appalling usage: “alternative modes.”

    BicyclesOnly, do you really want to start making certain people wear arm-bands? You might want to do some superficial reading into mid-20th Century history to see what kind of company you’re in.

  • Chris H

    Obs,

    What’s wrong with the term “alternative modes”? Although I’m not sure how I feel about the arm-bands, I think there’s a huge difference between making someone wear something as a shame punishment and yellow badges. It sounds like an Reductio ad Hitlerum.

  • Obs(treperous):

    No need for the history lesson; the issue is whether public employees that engage in undeniable wrongdoing should be subject to some form of public remonstration. I think they should.

    Government employees hold a position of trust with the public. In the case of government employees that abuse their parking placards, they are taking resources set aside for a specified public use and converting them to their own personal benefit.

    Yes, certainly their vehicles should be ticketed or towed as the law provides, just like any private citizen that parks illegally. To fail to do so would only compund the corruption. But that does nothing to redress the abuse of the public trust. Forcing illegally-parking governemtn employees to publicly admit that they are an “uncivil servant” perhaps does.

    Your veiled reference to Nazi Germany is so far off point that I don’t even know where to begin rebutting it.

  • Obs

    BicyclesOnly – So then give an arm-band of varying colors to all minor criminals – and maybe bright T-shirts for convicts? You’re on a really slippery slope and too stupid to see it.

    Why don’t you write to the Thai consulate and voice your approval for last year’s military coup while you’re at it.

    People who don’t understand their rights or the consequences of mindlessly trample on those of others are the reason someone like Hitler could get elected.

  • Obs

    “Alternative modes” begs the question, alternative to what? It accepts cars are the dominant normal mode, and is even used to define the NYC bike/ped program in a city where bus and subway riders and pedestrians all dramatically outnumber drivers.

  • Chris H

    Obs,

    Come on. This is not for ex-cons or any permanent labeling of people. Its a (temporary) punishment for misconduct. I am not sure if like it myself but comparing it to Nazi Germany is silly.

  • Chris H

    Obs,

    As far as “alternative modes” are concerned, should Transportation Alternatives change their name?

    Most Americans don’t see “alternative modes” (be they public transit or human powered) as a viable option to an automobile and in much of the country they are right. Thinking about biking/walking, for example, as “alternatives” to car transport changes the current paradigm that considers those options only as “recreation.”

  • obs(treperous) simply does not understand the difference between criminal justice and public employment. If a public employee abuses the public trust and doesn’t like the discipline s/he can simply quit. That’s a little different from getting thrown in jail or fined.

    obs(treperous) also misses the distinction between labeling people based on their immutable characteristics as opposed to their behavior. I am a strong supporter of protecting and expanding civil liberties, but disciplining public employees for cause has nothing to do with publicly labeling people by race or religion.

    There is a serious problem with accountability among some public employees. Certainly there are police officers who refuse to identify themselves in response to citizen inquiries for badge numbers even though required to do so. We require NYPD to put the motto “courtesy, prfessionalism, respect” on all their vehicles; is it really so outrageous to suggest that the officers who betray this principle be forced to publicly acknowledge having done so?

    While my proposal that placard abuse armbands be used in NYC was less than half-serious, there are certainly arguments in favor of it. Crying “Nazi” is simply a way to ignore those arguments rather than responding to them.

  • “Alternative modes” begs the question, alternative to what? It accepts cars are the dominant normal mode, and is even used to define the NYC bike/ped program in a city where bus and subway riders and pedestrians all dramatically outnumber drivers.
    Beach Holiday Guide