Today’s Headlines

  • Tyrants Tremble at Uprisings in Middle East — And So Do the Oil Markets (NYT)
  • MTA Unveils Text-Based Real-Time Info for Metro-North (NY1)
  • Tom Vanderbilt Rides Along on America’s Most Unusual Bike Commute (Outside)
  • If Congestion Pricing Had Passed, Could the MTA Have Cleared Tracks Faster Post-Blizzard? (News)
  • Bronx Man Gets Four Years for Fatal DWI Crash Upstate (AP)
  • Hey Chris Christie, CT Gov Dannel Malloy Proposed a Higher Gas Tax and He Didn’t Vaporize (MTR)
  • The Villager Covers NYMTC Recommendations to Widen Canal Street Sidewalks
  • In Spirit of Constructive Engagement, Cap’n Transit Critiques Adam Lisberg
  • Which Borough Is Home to NYC’s Most Obnoxious Car Owners? (FiPS)
  • Marcia Kramer’s Wikipedia Entry Has Some Recent Changes (Brooklyn Spoke)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill.

We’ll be offline the rest of today and back publishing regularly tomorrow. In the meantime, via Matt Yglesias, I think you’ll enjoy mulling over this excerpt from a speech RFK gave during the 1968 presidential campaign:

Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product – if we judge the United States of America by that – that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.

  • Joe R.

    From Cap’n Transit’s excellent article:

    “Complaint counts should be taken with a huge grain of salt, and definitely not used as the main basis for policy decisions. I don’t have a solution, but Linday’s goal is a recipe for disaster.”

    I agree wholeheartedly. Accident statistics-numbers hurt or killed, are what should guide city policy, not number of complaints. Things people complain about as major issues often aren’t once the data is analyzed. In another comment I made on Lisberg’s article, I mentioned that Nancy Linday might have had an agenda. Turns out I’m right. In fact, looking at statistics, the entire drama we’ve witnessed recently over bicycles appears to be not supported. “Almost got hit” isn’t meaningful. What constitutes almost? Is it being brushed, or missed by 6 inches? Or perhaps even by 5 feet? That’s the problem-one person’s definition of almost might be someone else’s not a problem at all. I’m not even phased when cars blow by me 6 inches away at 50 mph if I’m waiting to cross the street. I know by the laws of physics it’s impossible for them veer off their trajectory at that speed enough to hit me without giving me enough advance warning to get out of the way. Others less in the know might consider a car passing within ten feet an “almost hit”. We should save the “almosts” for drama class. 311 should be for reporting things which actually happened.

  • fdr

    The Wikipedia rewrite on Marcia Kramer credits Streetsblog for revealing her “close personal relationship” with Schumer. You posted a photo of them standing together smiling. Schumer has probably taken a similar photo with about a million other people. She also traveled with him – as a reporter – on some trips. Is that it?

  • The Marcia Kramer rewrite takes some liberties, no doubt about it.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things.”

    Of course as a result of the debts run out up by the unmentionable (on this blog) generation, future generations will have fewer material things.

    Will they have more personal excellence and community? Not if they have to work through and rely the public and private institutions that are controlled by, and are being sucked dry by, those same older generations.

    But I figured at least no one can stop you from riding a bicycle. A belief being put to the test on Prospect Park West.

  • Eric

    Love the Marcia Kramer Wikipedia profile, great example of guerilla activism. I saved a copy of it so I can get a really good laugh when Ms. Kramer and her employer submit an official rewrite.

  • I’m a cyclist, not a cyclocommuter. So I share the same amazed with Tom Vanderbilt. Those “extreme” bicycle commuter must face with high risk on their way, almost everyday. While I pedal (only with recreational or sportout sense once or twice a week, without facing high risk traffic only falling risk with minor injured), the cyclocommuter pedal almost everyday with the risk of their life.

  • Marty Barfowitz

    FDR:

    It’s wikipedia, you dipwad. Re-write the entry if you don’t like it.

  • Bolwerk

    After taking a 1hr bus ride to go two miles from Sunnyside to the Graham Avenue L Train today, I can report that there is no congestion problem and that everyone who supports congestion pricing needs to cool down!