Today’s Headlines

  • Obama Presses Senate to Re-up Cash for Clunkers (News, NYT)
  • More on Bloomberg Campaign’s Slate of Transit Recommendations (Post, News, NYT, AMNY, NY1)
  • NYC Cabbies Ignore Cellphone Ban, Which Is Virtually Unenforced (NYT)
  • Queens Man Struck By Two Cars and Killed on Grand Central Parkway (News)
  • New Coalition, NYSTEA, Calls for Greater Equity in Next Federal Transpo Bill (MTR)
  • Will Feds’ Spending on HSR Mean Less Money for Local Transit Systems? (Trib)
  • Stim Funds Go to Waste Widening Highway 91 in the OC (Streetsblog LA)
  • You Can Test Out a Few Kinds of Bike-Share Stations at Summer Streets This Weekend (City Room)
  • This Post Story Makes It Sound Like There’s Never a Good Reason to Tow a Car
  • States Ban School Bus Drivers from Cell Use While Driving. Why Not Everyone Else? (How We Drive)
  • How’s This for Public Space Programming: Fight Night Under the Manhattan Bridge (Bklyn Eagle)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • glenn

    Funny, from that towing article it sounds like there are just these crazy civil servants towing law abiding cars without any cause. Why do cars get towed? Usually for pretty blatant offenses like blocking a hyrant, driveway, parking in a no standing zone for a long period of time, etc. This isn’t just double parking for 10 minutes or even blocking street-cleaners. But from the article it sounds like the city getting its employees to work harder and implement the law is a bad thing and the owners are the victims rather than the general public or taxpayers

  • oscarfrye

    so the bike sharing trial will be located in areas that are already blessed withe great (relative term for nyc) transit, where anything can be done by foot, where very few (if any) residents or tourists would be otherwise driving. so just like I feared, a feel good pr campaign

  • downstate

    How about requiring taxis to post a large sign next to the TV screen that says: “NYC law forbids cell phone use by driver. Please DO NOT TIP if driver uses cell phone.”

  • The Post story demonizing parking enforcement is unreasonable. It seems to me that towing illegally parked cars is a legitimate function of the city government — upholding the law and easing the ill effects of illegal parking on other drivers, bike users, etc.

    What if the Post story were about collecting garbage instead of towing cars? It might read something like this:

    Residents fighting to get their garbage back yesterday cried foul over the mandate — saying their curbs were being drained to fill city coffers.

    “This is a racket! This is definite racket!” said Bronx resident Josephine Hernandez, 39, at the Manhattan sanitation depot. “They’re collecting everyone’s garbage.”

    Others said they’d noticed that more garbage was getting hauled away.

    “It’s disgusting, absolutely beyond disgusting…. They have no respect for garbage.”

  • glenn

    That’s a great idea. They should allow “no tip for cause” on the screen and present several options: crazy driving, cellphone use, etc. Of course as a Native New Yorker, I usually just tell them “Slow the F down or I’m NOT tipping”

  • I just thought of this and it goes to mayor bloombergs transit “plan”. All MTA Bridges & Tunnels are in NYC right? So why does the revenue collected go to fund LIRR and MNo? At max tolls collected should pay for upkeep of stations in the city. If I go to the jersey turnpike I sure as heck don’t expect those tolls to support NYers. Seems to me you could save MTA by breaking it into NYRegionMTA and an NYCMTA. If LI and upstate want transit that works I applaud that – I really do. But these bridges and tunnels are in NYC the money generated should go to funding NYC Transit. I don’t know the numbers but would such a move have stopped the MTA from raising fares. I’m pretty sure it would have.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “All MTA Bridges & Tunnels are in NYC right? So why does the revenue collected go to fund LIRR and MNo?”

    Because in the 1960s former Mayor Lindsay agreed to transfer the New York City Transit Authority and the Triboro Bridge and Tunnel Authority to the MTA in exchange for short run budget relief to help his re-election.

    At the time the deal was structured to provide 67% of the TBTA surplus to city transit services, but for that to eventually fall to 50% (somehow it has often been lower).

    Of course in exchange the city got the Second Avenue Subway, funded by the orignial MTA bond issue in 1968.

  • So what would be involved in splitting the MTA into 2 different Public Authorities (under NYS law) one to handle transpo w/in the 5 boroughs, which would include the TBTA and NYCT? And another to handle the LIRR/MNo?

    If this split were to occur it would also allow for an eventual merger between that entity and PANYNJ transit services to make a regional metro, which in the long run probably makes sense.

  • RE: NYC Cabbies Ignore Cellphone Ban, Which Is Virtually Unenforced

    The informal surveyor found only 1/3 gabbing on the phone?? In my experience that figure is closer to 95%. And it’s not just quick calls, either. It’s constant talk, even during trips clear across the city.

  • vnm

    Interesting that urbanists of the 1960s like Holly Whyte advocated for the creation of a regional MTA so that the wealthy suburbs could have a financial stake in urban transportation costs. Larry, the proportion of toll revenue that supports mass transit (subway, bus, LIRR, Metro-North) is like 70% today.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “So that the wealthy suburbs could have a financial stake in urban transportation costs.”

    A stake right through the heart. One aspect: back then we had a well run state and a poorly run city, now we have the reverse.

    In Albany money flows
    To power,
    Not to merit or need.

    From each according to
    Their stupidity.

    To each according to
    Their Greed.

  • Interesting that urbanists of the 1960s like Holly Whyte advocated for the creation of a regional MTA

    Did they also advocate giving the suburbs the vast majority of the representation on said board despite having less than half the population of the region?

  • What’s “disgusting, absolutely beyond disgusting” is the mindset–fueled with gusto by the Post at every opportunity–that traffic enforcement doing their freaking job somehow isn’t “fair”. Then they sit back and smile while the flies gather and post their usual ignorant, racist garbage in the comments. What a disgusting rag. They’re all tough and “law & order” when it comes to “real” crime, but when it comes to cars, suddenly all the laws are “unfair” and the slightest restriction on parking a car wherever and whenever they darn well feel like becomes a crushing burden worth spilling columns and columns of ink over.

  • Pursuant

    Quotas are wrong. That’s why the NYPD and any other police force disavows them. They’re wrong when they target drivers and wrong when they target bicyclists.

    If you have an issue with enforcement as it pertains to bicycle lanes or placard parking or any other inequality it’s understandable, but at some point rules and regulations exist to keep order, not to generate revenue. When this distinction is crossed, people have a right to be outraged.

  • I think a regional MTA which includes LIRR, MNo, NJT, and PATH would be a great idea. It just should not include NYCT & TBTA.
    Those two agencies should be spun off into thier own city-state authority.

  • Quotas are only an issue under selective enforcement. When quotas go up, people who aren’t used to being selected are suddenly punished for breaking the law by cruel, cruel arithmetic. The ideal and fair system is universal enforcement of necessary laws, and a repeal of unnecessary laws. (Necessity being determined by behaviors that are actually and significantly harmful to others.) If you don’t have illegal activities going on in plain view at all times, you don’t need come up with a quota amounting to a tiny percentage of it to punish. You just consistently enforce the law.

    Police like selective enforcement, and dislike the quotas that dilute it, because of the vast and unconstitutional power it gives them. The public that think selective enforcement untempered by quotas is the only way they can be permitted to engage in normal activities are just a bunch of dupes.

  • Pursuant

    Nathan – Hmm, duped?

    Er, no. New York State law forbids the use of quotas. I can see no good that comes from treating police officers perform as revenue generators. There is a deeply troubling conflict of interest that I’m surprised you can’t see.

  • The fact that we enact ‘anti-quota’ laws for police instead of correcting unreasonable laws, and demanding consistent enforcement of reasonable laws, is the greatest self-deception. We’re treating the symptom. Quotas do not create the incentive to collect fine revenue; that’s made by our environment where nearly everyone is in violation, producing a glut of potential tickets. Quotas are just a crude means to get people to do boring work, which the state is interested in for both good (public safety) and arguably bad (revenue) reasons. If we had fair laws and fair enforcement, the state’s incentive would be much decreased by the reduced supply of violations but—more importantly—it wouldn’t matter because no one would have a right to complain about being singled out if issued a ticket.

  • vnm

    Rhywun #12 – Good point. No, I am sure they did not.