Today’s Headlines

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

Streetsblog will be on a light publishing schedule today.

  • “Ticket Cyclists to Raise Revenue, Says Goldsmith”? That’s your headline, but I don’t see it in the Brian Lehrer show transcript:

    BL: And as fast as the city as getting into the bicycle enabling business, how about licenses for bikes?

    SG: I don’t know. I think we have a lot, maybe too many licenses and permits in the city and using that as a revenue source I have some anxiety about. I would say that we could do a better job with traffic enforcement and enforcement against bicyclists that don’t follow the rules and write more tickets for that.

    So I think we can produce the conduct we want to produce without the regulatory apparatus, so I’ll take that one under advisement.

    I parse Goldsmith’s statement thus:

    1. Licensing cyclists is a poor idea.
    2. But that doesn’t mean the City can/should ignore cyclist misbehavior.
    3. We’ll address that via ticketing — “to produce the conduct we want,” but not necessarily to generate revenue.
  • Noah Kazis

    Charlie, the whole conversation is about creative revenue sources for the city. In that context, I think what he’s saying is that licensing would raise revenue, but has too many downsides. Ticketing raises revenues but also achieves traffic enforcement goals, so might be a good idea.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “In his latest truth-telling report, Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch presents a searing indictment of state government’s failure to provide the funding necessary to maintain movement of goods and people.”

    The state government didn’t burn money in Albany. And I don’t think those in charge of it consider it an indictment. It is a success for those who won’t be around in 20 years, and don’t want to leave anything worth having behind that they could have exploited for themselves.

    Silver, Bruno, Pataki. Two of three gone, and nothing has changed, perhaps because it wasn’t just those three guys, but the values of the majority of the wealthiest generations in U.S. history.

    Do you know that in some Midwestern states and in Georgia and North Carolina, inflation adjusted median household income fell by 10.0% to 20.0% from 2000 to 2009? And consider that those in retirement now got the (private sector) defined benefit pensions before their two-Tier contracts cut that benefit for future hires, so it isn’t coming out of their hides.

    http://www.economist.com/node/17525707

    That may be comparing a peak cyclical year to a trough one, but the loss is enormous and I don’t see it turning around.

  • On the Goldsmith quote, I agree with Charlie.

  • Max Lowen

    Iris Weinshall is not competent to be director of the Port Authority. She is a small and parochial thinker. In her time at DOT, Weinshall often told business audiences that she got all the transportation expertise she needed from being the daughter of a cab driver. She never demonstrated a grasp of larger transportation issues or seemed to learn anything from what the rest of the world is doing. That, and being married to Charles Schumer, may make her perfect for Cuomo.

  • BicyclesOnly

    I agree with Charlie’s reading as well, though Noah’s is plausible. This guy is not a beacon of clarity.

  • I wish the bike share had existed last year, when my commute involved taking the crosstown bus from York to Broadway to connect with the subway. The reason I’ve never even thought to use a bicycle is that there’s no storage space for it in any Manhattan apartment (at least, any I can afford), and even if there were, dragging it up and down multiple flights of stairs would be brutal. Being able to store the bicycle on the street would make me, and presumably others, more likely to actually use it.

  • dirtycrumbs

    I definitely agree Alon, I think the storage problem is a huge impediment for many New Yorkers with small spaces. Until I stumbled upon folding bikes, storage concerns are what kept me from riding. I think bike share is going to go a huge way towards solving this problem.

  • Boris

    If Lautenberg wants NJ drivers to contribute $1.25 billion, and wants to be “fair”, he should call on Albany for a comparable deal on this side of the river. I presume that would involve tolling I-278 or another NJ Turnpike equivalent in NYC. I find it unconscionable that in car-land, major routes are tolled, while in the city, where cars cause much more damage, they get to travel for free.

  • tom

    LL: your off-subject comment interests me.

    I have one of those defined-benefit pensions and I feel secure, not great.

    In any economic scheme there can be winners and losers. Doesn’t have to be so;, but life presents you with choices. For example, I gave up greater current income for a better future pension. A risky investment but it’s paying off. At the time the cost ‘came out of my hide’, while I was earning it, so that I wouldn’t have to do it later, when it would be more difficult.

    BTW: I, and other retirees, never cut any ‘new hires’ out of the deal that was offered to me. Those denied have to look to their peers for that.

    Meanwhile, I’ll keep my eye on inflation which is the real problem for someone on a ‘fixed income’, like me. Life is full of these never ending problems.

  • Tom: the current economic climate is deflationary; you need not worry about inflation much.

    What you say about how you “never cut any ‘new hires’ out of the deal that was offered to me” depends on where you worked. At some major employers the union, dominated by older workers, accepted a two-tiered wage structure.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “For example, I gave up greater current income for a better future pension. A risky investment but it’s paying off. At the time the cost ‘came out of my hide’, while I was earning it, so that I wouldn’t have to do it later, when it would be more difficult.”

    Tom, in the public sector over the past 15 years there has been one pension enhancement after another, enriching the terms compared with what was promised when people were hired. Often the benefit enhancements even accrue to those already retired.

    That’s what I object to — particularly since, often as part of the same deal, state and local governments cut what they or the employees were contributing to the plan. For the latter reason, we’d still have a problem without the retroactive enrichments, but the employees would not be responsible.

    “BTW: I, and other retirees, never cut any ‘new hires’ out of the deal that was offered to me. Those denied have to look to their peers for that.”

    There is a reason we are up to Tier V in New York pensions. Often the deal is richer benefits for those cashing in and moving out, early retirement incentives and the like, and lower pay and benefits for new hires. The pay of most public employees in NYC was cut 15 percent in one such deal. Another deal had the cost of living adjustment for teachers rise by more than the cost of living for existing workers, but less than that for new hires. At one point, the starting pay of NYC police officers and firefighters was cut 40% to $25,000. I’m not sure when or where you retired, but these deals have been going on for decades here in NYC.

    The similar benefit deals in the unionized portion of the private sector mostly went down in the early 1980s. But now there is a wave of pay deals slashing the pay of future workers to preserve the pay and benefits of existing workers.

  • cycler

    Found it “amusing” that the clip CBS2 showed had a biker running a red, a van parked in the bike lane, and a car weaving in and out of the bike lane.

  • a cyclist

    if you want to generate revenue, ticket jaywalkers and real revenue can be find by ticketing peds in the bike lane which is illegal. a recent survey found 2x the # of peds v cyclists in the bike lane