Today’s Headlines

  • FDNY “Crash Tax” Draws Fire From Council (TimesWSJ)
  • Fidler Bill to Slow Bike Lane Buildout With Hearings Gets Support From Tish James (Bklyn Paper)
  • Markowitz’s “My Favorite Lanes” Tune Now Available in Christmas Card Format (Bklyn Paper)
  • “Latin Tourism Ambassador,” Salsa Icon, and Bloomberg Pal Willie Colon Keeps Parking Placard (Post)
  • UES Garage Charges $14,400 a Year, NYC Charges Residential On-Street Parkers Nothing (Curbed)
  • Texting Off-Duty Cop Plows Car Into West Street Building (Gothamist)
  • Somehow, No Serious Injuries in Horrific Four-Way Queens Crash (News)
  • Jackson Heights Man Starts Cycling, Drops 30 Pounds, Gets a Daily News Profile
  • NY Magazine Lists Bike Traffic Lights as “Life-Affirming” Reason to Love New York
  • NYC Isn’t the Only Town Where Vocal Complainers Can Get a Bike Lane Erased (Charlestown Patch)

More headlines from Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • I love that just one comment in to the Daily News story on the guy who lost 30 pounds biking to work you’ll find someone complaining about rogue bikers and Sadik-Khan:

    “Great to hear about the weight loss. Is it possible to find out what Mr. Woollen has to say about riding on sidewalks, wrong way on streets and stopping (or not) at stop signs and traffic lights? Does he “call out” to rogue cyclists, as Janice Sadik-Kahn wants done, when they break the law? Thank you.”

    I wonder if the commenter calls out illegal driving behavior when she drives to work. Or is it only the responsibility of cyclists to police their fellow cyclists?

    Also, Marty’s holiday card looks pretty pro-bike lane to me. He’s not the brightest bulb, is he?

  • Re Fidler Bill article: “If we lived in some kind of utopia, bicycle lanes would be wonderful,” [Brooklyn Community Board 18] District Manager Dorothy Turano said. “But in reality it’s not practical. No one here bicycles to work.” Any CB18 cyclists out there (commuters or not, whatever)? Better yet: TA, any members in Brooklyn CB18? How about co-ordinating a picket-protest in front of the district office?

  • Geck

    Bicycle commuting is only one aspect of bicycle use. I am a bicycle commuter, but I also use a bicycle to go shopping, to go out to dinner or a movie, visit friends, and to pick-up and drop-off my kids in the neighborhood. And as others have noted, even if one doesn’t ride a bike all the way to work, a bike can be a great way to get to and from a subway station if it is a bit too far to walk. All neighborhoods benefit from a complete network of bike lanes.

  • Imagine….

    “If we lived in some kind of utopia, vehicle lanes would be wonderful,” [Brooklyn Community Board 18] District Manager Dorothy Turano said. “But in reality it’s not practical. No one here drives to work.”

    The reason “everyone” drives places is because we’ve spent the last fifty years building out a thorough network of high quality roads. When cars were first invented, driving was hazardous, often dirty work. When that situation proved to be an obstacle to personal mobility, better roads were constructed and traffic laws were written. Sound familiar

  • vnm

    It’s not a “crash tax”! It actually keeps taxes lower by charging a fee to the parties involved. And it should encourage safer driving, at least in theory.

  • Streetsman

    I am enjoying the public debate about charging for FDNY service to vehicles, if for no better reason than it sheds light on at least one of the many external costs of driving that all taxpayers subsidize, regardless of whether or not we own a vehicle. Pricing fire response to motor vehicles (modestly) at $400/crash, the article estimates that last year that cost covered by the city was $5.5 million.

    That is nearly 3 times what the city has spent on building the ENTIRE bike network, and I’ve never seen anyone riding a bike catch on fire…

  • IKEA Thanks USA Staff With 12,400 Free Bicycles : TreeHugger http://t.co/8EdkhEN via @TreeHugger

  • Re charging drivers for FDNY crash services: In my 1994 report, Subsidies for Traffic, I wrote:

    The Fire Department responds to over 14,000 motor vehicle accidents and 8,700 motor vehicle fires a year in New York City. In 1992, auto fires accounted for 15% of total fires, and auto accidents were 7% of total non-fire emergencies responded to by the New York City Fire Department.” Based on these figures, we estimate that 5% of the Fire Department Budget is motor vehicle-related.

    Five percent came to $33.4 million, which made up (a small) part of the $6.9 billion total spent annually by all levels of government in NY State to service and support motor vehicle use (vs. $4.5 billion collected in user fees).

  • Joe R.

    That big 4-vehicle crash happened right along one of the places I cycle fairly regularly. Glad I wasn’t there when it happened. Given the rather poor condition of Hillside Avenue in that location, I wonder if the bus driver lost control due to the front wheels of the bus hitting a pothole? Once when I was riding in that general vicinity, I almost went down after hitting what looked like a small pile of concrete. Late night, couldn’t really see it with the shadows. Next time I rode that way, I looked carefully to see what it was I had hit last time. Turns out there was this pile of hardened concrete about 6 inches high. It may have fallen off a cement mixer. In any case, something similar may have caused the accident.

    Charles Komanoff-thanks for linking to that great report. It’s a good source to dispute those who think driving is less subsidized than mass transit. I’m glad you also mention the external costs of driving in the report.

  • eLK

    I’ve always wondered how much it cost every time a light pole is crashed out on the Henry Hudson.

  • tom

    To eLK: Thirty-five years ago I spun out in the rain on the Southern State and hit a wood light pole. It came down on me. Even though the cop told me I was the second car to hit that particular pole that morning I was billed for it! Around $500, as I remember.

    No, I didn’t get to take it home.

    Charles Komanoff: Any update on the $$$ on your report? My question today would be what would be the net vs. the MTA deficit.