Today’s Headlines

  • Treasury Secretary Paulson: "No Quick Fix" For High Oil Prices (AP)
  • More Drivers Running Out of Gas on the Road (Yahoo)
  • Buyers Not Lining Up for Hybrid SUVs (NYT)
  • Transit Agencies Cope With Influx of Riders (WSJ, Preview Only)
  • Even a "Minor" Car Crash Can Have Profound Consequences (NYT)
  • Drunk Driver Runs Over Brooklyn Man (News)
  • Some of MTA’s 24,000 E-ZPass Giveaways Raise Eyebrows (News)
  • Al Sharpton Joins Critical Mass to Protest NYPD (Gothamist)
  • Denver Regulators May Pay Drivers to Ditch Polluting Vehicles (AP)
  • Columbus, Ohio Unveils 20-Year Bike Plan (Columbus Dispatch)
  • “It was late morning, a few Sundays ago. My wife and I were returning to Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, via car, from tea and scones in Greenwich Village.”

    Sounds like the author is a big part of the problem. Driving from Carroll Gardens to the Village for scones? Ever heard of the F train?!

  • Mark Walker

    From the Times story about witnessing car-on-ped violence: “Since a car striking a person is a relatively rare occurrence, we are not likely to see such accidents often; conversely, since such accidents do occur so often, they are not treated as news.” The story also says 155 peds were killed by cars last year

    Imagine the outcry there would be in the media if an unknown serial killer slit a throat every other day. Or strangled someone every other day. Or shot or stabbed or bludgeoned a fresh victim every other day.

    Granted, there’s a difference in intention — but it’s not as big a difference as drivers and car-enablers would have us believe. The person who wields the knife or gun intends to directly wound or kill someone. The person who turns the key in the car ignition accepts that the act may wound or kill someone in an “accident.” But he or she is comforted by the fact that the possibility of killing is a crapshoot, and is shared by all drivers (and peds).

    These “accidents” are really slaughter by consensus.

  • ddartley

    Happy for a few reasons about Sharpton’s use of Critical Mass:

    1. I was waiting for organized or semi-organized protests against the Sean Bell result to be promoted and publicized so that a greater segment of the public could take part; up to now they had seemed almost exclusive; police impunity is something the whole civilized world is obligated to protest, not only the most recent, direct victims;

    2. I was glad to see NYC Critical Mass actually serve a purpose for the first time in years;

    3. How ready CM was to be taken over and put to use by an outside force provided evidence that indeed CM has NOT served a purpose of its own for years; and I was glad for that evidence.

  • ddartley

    How many times does it need to be repeated?

    “Research has shown that when a car strikes a pedestrian at 20 miles an hour, 9 times out of 10 the pedestrian will survive. But raise that speed to 30 miles an hour, and the survival rate drops to 50 percent.”

    30mph in cities = death. Reduce NYC’s speed limits now.

  • Josh

    You can set the speed limit to whatever you want, but it won’t matter because it’s never enforced.

  • ddartley, I totally agree. Most suburbs have 25mph speed limits on local streets. 30mph is way too high for a crowded city, especially when everyone goes faster than that anyway.

    If the city speed limit was set at 20mph and the traffic lights were re-timed to encourage driving at that speed, you’d probably still get people going 25mph, but much better than the 35-40mph that drivers regularly hit every chance they get.

  • Back in March, the DOT retimed the signals on two avenues in my neighborhood, so that if drivers go more than 22 miles per hour they hit a red light. This has been confirmed by several neighbors with cars, who support the change. It doesn’t make the avenues completely safe, but we can definitely feel the difference. This kind of retiming should be considered for every street where there are speeding concerns.

    I think it takes more than “we don’t see it very often” to understand that car culture is deadly. I think just about everyone I know has lost someone they cared about to a car crash. Everyone knows someone who’s been disabled by one. Most people have at least seen the aftermath of a crash. And yet they keep driving, keep voting for more driving subsidies, keep voting to cut money for transit.

  • I’ve seen the aftermath of three major car on ped accidents in three years (two fatalities and one serious injury). On the highways, I’ve seen the aftermath of even more accidents (probably about a dozen), but not sure if anyone was hurt seriously.

    The evidence is all around us, it’s just that most people assume someone did something wrong that they would never do or it’s just a case of wrong place at the wrong time and nothing you can do anything about.