Today’s Headlines

  • Port Authority Scales Back Toll Hike; Cuomo, Christie to Cut Capital Plan (City Room, News, NY1, Crain’s)
  • Alongside Requisite Doomsaying, Post Takes a Breath to Acknowledge That Infrastructure Isn’t Free
  • Toll-Cheating Deadbeats Bilk Authority for Millions Every Year (NYT)
  • With $1M Parking Ticket Tab, NYPD Pulling Its Own Cars Off the Streets (DNAinfo)
  • Cyclist Jeffrey Axelrod Killed by Truck on Delancey Street; No Criminality Suspected (DNAinfo, News)
  • Collision on Upper East Side Hospitalizes Four, Pins Man Between Parked Cars (DNAinfo)
  • Upper West Side Squatter Is the Poster Boy for Parking Rate Reform (Post)
  • 700,000 American Households Have No Car, No Transit Access (Transpo Nation)
  • Throwaway Line From the New Yorker’s Paul Goldberger: Cars Don’t Belong in Central Park
  • Don’t Tell Cuozzo About the Times Square Meeting Bowls (Gothamist)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • BkBker

    The Transportation Nation report is off by at least a factor of 10: the study says that 7.5 million households _just in the largest metropolitan areas_ have no cars.

  • Driver

    “some 700,000 Americans  live without cars and without access to transit”

  • Eric McClure

    Gothamist has more details about Jeffrey Axelrod’s death.

  • Anonymous

    That fatality is really a sad story.  According to Gothamist, the driver is also a cycle commuter.  This is a perfect example of why protected bike infrastructure will save lives.

  • Cyclists really should learn to be warier of cement trucks and garbage trucks. Cement trucks have very long stopping distances. Really they should be driven at far lower speeds, but that causes drivers behind them to do all sorts of dick moves to pass them. Ideally cement trucks should be given lights and sirens and drivers should just be required to yield to them just like other oversize loads. 

    And garbage trucks, well, the drivers are guaranteed to be distracted by the smell. 

  • Driver

    RE: Upper West Side Squatter Is the Poster Boy for Parking Rate Reform

    This guy seems to be an extreme exception, not your average user of metered street parking.  Declaring he is the poster boy for parking reform is like saying this guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kttyjT2YfQ
     is the poster boy for increased cyclist enforcement. 

    I find available metered parking fairly easy to come by, even in Manhattan.  The only time it is a problem is when trying to park a truck, as you need two open spaces together to be able to park.  Finding at least one open space is generally not that difficult.

  • Driver

    RE: Upper West Side Squatter Is the Poster Boy for Parking Rate Reform

    This guy seems to be an extreme exception, not your average user of metered street parking.  Declaring he is the poster boy for parking reform is like saying this guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kttyjT2YfQ
     is the poster boy for increased cyclist enforcement. 

    I find available metered parking fairly easy to come by, even in Manhattan.  The only time it is a problem is when trying to park a truck, as you need two open spaces together to be able to park.  Finding at least one open space is generally not that difficult.

  • “RE: Upper West Side Squatter Is the Poster Boy for Parking Rate Reform”

    GIven that his abuse of the system is enabling him to sell books, I am not inclined to crack down on him.

  • The death of the cyclist is such a horrible story.  Everyone should realize that sometimes even small errors in our judgement can be fatal on dangerous streets like Delancey. I’m not blaming the cyclist here, I’m just pointing out that dangerous streets can make minor errors into major problems very quickly. 
     
    I am at that intersection almost every day(going south on Chrystie) and the right turn situation has been insane lately because of a sinkhole(or giant pothole) in the southbound vehicle lanes that forces traffic to split.  The bike lane there is also filled with potholes and little bulges in the pavement.  A few months ago, I chose poorly and rode into a dip in the pavement on Chrystie-near Houston-and managed to dislodge my chain. 

    Ride safe people.  You never know when running a red or making an illegal turn is going to be a disaster.  This morning, I saw someone blow the light and make a left,
    at the intersection of Bowery and Canal(after they came of the bridge).
    As the cyclist was heading into oncoming traffic a giant truck made a
    right onto Bowery from Canal.  The cyclist cut in front of the turning
    trk and just barely missed being flattened.  It was scary to watch.  

  • The death of the cyclist is such a horrible story.  Everyone should realize that sometimes even small errors in our judgement can be fatal on dangerous streets like Delancey. I’m not blaming the cyclist here, I’m just pointing out that dangerous streets can make minor errors into major problems very quickly. 
     
    I am at that intersection almost every day(going south on Chrystie) and the right turn situation has been insane lately because of a sinkhole(or giant pothole) in the southbound vehicle lanes that forces traffic to split.  The bike lane there is also filled with potholes and little bulges in the pavement.  A few months ago, I chose poorly and rode into a dip in the pavement on Chrystie-near Houston-and managed to dislodge my chain. 

    Ride safe people.  You never know when running a red or making an illegal turn is going to be a disaster.  This morning, I saw someone blow the light and make a left,
    at the intersection of Bowery and Canal(after they came of the bridge).
    As the cyclist was heading into oncoming traffic a giant truck made a
    right onto Bowery from Canal.  The cyclist cut in front of the turning
    trk and just barely missed being flattened.  It was scary to watch.  

  • The death of the cyclist is such a horrible story.  Everyone should realize that sometimes even small errors in our judgement can be fatal on dangerous streets like Delancey. I’m not blaming the cyclist here, I’m just pointing out that dangerous streets can make minor errors into major problems very quickly. 
     
    I am at that intersection almost every day(going south on Chrystie) and the right turn situation has been insane lately because of a sinkhole(or giant pothole) in the southbound vehicle lanes that forces traffic to split.  The bike lane there is also filled with potholes and little bulges in the pavement.  A few months ago, I chose poorly and rode into a dip in the pavement on Chrystie-near Houston-and managed to dislodge my chain. 

    Ride safe people.  You never know when running a red or making an illegal turn is going to be a disaster.  This morning, I saw someone blow the light and make a left,
    at the intersection of Bowery and Canal(after they came of the bridge).
    As the cyclist was heading into oncoming traffic a giant truck made a
    right onto Bowery from Canal.  The cyclist cut in front of the turning
    trk and just barely missed being flattened.  It was scary to watch.  

  • carma

    Driver,

    After watching that video (although i admire his skills), i would feel no sympathy if this douchebag got run over by a truck.  THIS is the type of behavior that everybody hates.

    you know, its funny, occasionaly i, and im sure most of us run the occasional red on our bikes, but this guy has absolutely no regard for any pedestrians, or vehicles, except for himself.

    and its funny b/c its THESE type of cyclists that gives EVERY cyclist a bad name.

  • Anonymous

    Ouch according to Gothamist the cyclist killed on Delancey evidently had their chain fall off approaching the intersection. If they were riding a brakeless fixed gear (can’t tell from the photos) that would mean they had no way to stop. Still would not blame victim though. This was my take:

    “Say what you want about this incident being the cyclist’s fault, but the
    rate of fatalities on this street is very distressing. When it becomes a
    trend, then there must be other factors at play. Maybe we shouldn’t
    have an 8-lane highway running through the crowded streets of Chinatown.
    Mistakes will be made and this street design is totally unforgiving –
    people should not have to pay with their lives.”

  • Driver

     The part where he squeezes between the tour bus and the soda truck makes me cringe.  Any reasonable, semi-aware person should realize that most cyclists don’t behave like this.  It’s pretty ridiculous when anti-bike people make arguments that act as if every one on a bike is an extreme kamikaze cyclist, just as it is ridiculous to act as if one guy who abuses metered parking should be a reason for “parking rate reform”. 

    The death of the cyclist on Delancey is a terrible story.  If the cyclist indeed lost his chain and his ability to stop, then it is not his fault, but I don’t see how anyone can think it is the truck drivers fault either, although I’m sure some will regardless of the reports and the photo evidence.  Accident like this are  the reason it is unfair to automatically make any pedestrian or cyclist accident the fault of the driver.

  • Anonymous

    Dropped chain=no brakes w/ a coaster brake too. It’s not hard to drop a chain with the current state of the roads, and be extra careful if your chain is wet from rain or a puddle.

  • Seems like a center-median bikeway on Delancey could have saved this person. He would have had an obvious place to steer his brakeless bike after things went wrong.

  • Seems like a center-median bikeway on Delancey could have saved this person. He would have had an obvious place to steer his brakeless bike after things went wrong.

  • Morris Zapp

    “Accident like this are the reason it is unfair to automatically make
    any pedestrian or cyclist accident the fault of the driver.”

    Guess it’s a good thing that never happens.

  • Anonymous

    What could have saved Jeffrey Axelrod is cement trucks not being routed onto nine-lane highways through the heart of Chinatown in the first place.

  • Driver

    Ben, from what I can tell, the victim turned right from southbound Chrystie  onto Delancey.  I can’t imagine how he would have got his bike across the Westbound lanes of Delancey onto any center-median path. 
    That said, these approaches to the lower Manhattan bridges are prime candidates for separated bike infrastructure.  Joe R. always talks about grade separated bike infrastructure, and although having an entire network of this seems unrealistic, having such infrastructure for short distances in key spots would not be unreasonable or unrealistic.  The approaches to the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges would be perfect candidates for such an investment, and continuing into a center-median bike path would be highly beneficial on a street as heavily traveled as Delancey. 

  • The Truth

    The NYPD culture of corruption continues apace – with no sense of shame!Says one NYPD official: “This is the result of a stupid idea that is getting stupider.”  Right!Anybody who actually expects the cops in this town to obey the law must be stupid.  There are mechanisms in place for them to respond to emergency situations.  Otherwise, park you car in a safe, legal parking spot!

    It’s time they start firing the self-entitled bullies, so that all the honest, hard-working cops can do their job without all the drama.

  • Charles_Siegel

    Someone must have been following the bicyclist in the video – riding just as recklessly and  making the video at the same time.

  • @Driver You’re right, my mental map was off. The median bikeway would be a great fit for Delancey, generally speaking, but IvoryJive is right, there was a lot more at work here.

  • Driver

    IvoryJive, what might be safer is if there was an actual highway to get across Manhattan, which happens to be a geographical barrier between Long Island (including Queens) and New Jersey and points west.  There is also the fact that the millions of people and the associated infrastructure, buildings, development and services needed to accommodate these people IN Manhattan require a significant amount of truck traffic.  This large street is a designated local and through truck route.  Would you rather the truck routes be designated to smaller side streets? 

    The truth, while I am not a fan of NYPD thugs myself, there is something to be said for the cops being able to get to their cars quickly to respond to emergencies and crimes in progress.  If a cop is performing a non emergency task or even just getting lunch, and a call comes in of a crime in progress, is it reasonable for them to have to run around the block to their legally parked car in order to respond?  Having their car close by is an important part of responding to an emergency call, which can come at any time. 

  • Driver

    IvoryJive, what might be safer is if there was an actual highway to get across Manhattan, which happens to be a geographical barrier between Long Island (including Queens) and New Jersey and points west.  There is also the fact that the millions of people and the associated infrastructure, buildings, development and services needed to accommodate these people IN Manhattan require a significant amount of truck traffic.  This large street is a designated local and through truck route.  Would you rather the truck routes be designated to smaller side streets? 

    The truth, while I am not a fan of NYPD thugs myself, there is something to be said for the cops being able to get to their cars quickly to respond to emergencies and crimes in progress.  If a cop is performing a non emergency task or even just getting lunch, and a call comes in of a crime in progress, is it reasonable for them to have to run around the block to their legally parked car in order to respond?  Having their car close by is an important part of responding to an emergency call, which can come at any time. 

  • carma

    @SB_Driver:disqus 
    Im with you about the nypd thing.  heh, give the guys a break.  an illegally parked patrol car is not the end of the world.  yes, it is an inconvenience, but bike/drive/walk around it.

    regarding the Highway acrooss to LI from NJ, there was a plan for the lincoln tunnel to connect to the midtown tunnel.  it would have ran somewhere around 30th st.

    http://nycroads.com/roads/mid-manhattan/

  • Anonymous

    Not disputing the importance of commercial traffic Driver, but this 5-axle truck which carries dry cement probably wasn’t going to a Chinese restaurant on Mott Street. More likely it was heading to a destination outside of Manhattan and only took the Williamsburg Bridge because the much safer alternatives for everyone (Triborough, Verrazzano, Whitestone) are all tolled and the Williamsburg is not, so effectively the truck is being encouraged to drive through Chinatown. An increase in truck traffic in a dense pedestrian and cycling neighborhood will always have a direct increase in the severity of crashes. So it begs the question – why do we have a through truck route for 5-axle trucks cutting right across a dense residential and commercial neighborhood? If Jeffery Axelrod suffers the same event but instead collides with a commercial van going 20mph, he’s probably alive today.

  • Yletram

    Ivory is on to the most important policy issue. One of the critical issues here is whether or not the driver was following the loop d loop perverse incentive track from the cement plants in Brooklyn and Queens to the promised land in NJ. And I’m not sure your well-educated readership caught Ivory’s reference to “dry cement”, the critical component of cocrete, a very green building material. It is also entirely likely the truck was empty. Empty cement trucks are still very dangerous.

  • Driver

    If Jeffery Axelrod suffers the same event but instead collides with a commercial van going 20mph, he’s probably alive today.

    Not if he ended up under the tires as he did in this case.  Judging from the photos, the driver of the truck was probably traveling very slowly and was immediately aware he hit something, as it appears the rear tires stopped on both the cyclist and the bicycle. 

    Toll or no toll, the Williamsburg Bridge is still a viable route for many trucks.  The Verazzano/Staten Island/Jersey route is a very out of the way and congested route for a truck traveling to somewhere outside the Holland or Lincoln tunnel (this type of truck is prohibited from the Holland tunnel), and the same can be said for the GWB.  The cost in time/labor and mileage/fuel in taking an out of the way, massively congested detour, would be far greater than the cost of anything less than an exorbitant toll to get through Manhattan. 

    This accident was terrible, and doesn’t appear to be the fault of either party.  Unfortunately not every tragedy can be prevented.  Taking extreme measures to reduce the possibility of true accidents is not really practical.  I will give an example from the transit world.  Occasionally someone passes out and falls on the tracks or someone goes on the tracks when they shouldn’t, or lean over the platform, and they get hit by the train entering the station and killed.  Should we then force all trains to come to a stop before entering the station, and then inch into the station slowly to protect against these occasional accidents, even if it is significantly detrimental to the efficiency and capacity of the entire subway system?

  • JamesR

    Driver, believe it or not, there’s a Bronx pol who has just proposed exactly that – that subway trains stop before reaching a station and creep in at very slow speed to avoid hitting anyone who might jump on the tracks.

    There are far too many large trucks on the roads in this city. My understanding is that much of this is due to a lack of rail connections between NJ and Long Island. The Cross-Harbor Freight Tunnel is desperately needed to get some of these behemoths off our streets. 

  • Anonymous

    Driver, this truck has giant exposed tires taller than your waist, potentially a huge payload, poor visibility from the cab, and is so long it would be hard to avoid if you couldn’t stop. It is an extremely dangerous vehicle to drive through a crowded urban area, regardless of how slow and safe the driver is being. A collision with a van is a completely different equation – you could crash right into the side of it without being sucked into the wheels, or possibly swerve to avoid it altogether. Jeffrey was wearing a helmet and could quite possibly have survived such a crash.

    Dangerous trucks like this needn’t be traveling busy, crowded streets full of vulnerable pedestrians and bicycles in the first place. It is an inappropriate size and type of vehicle to be routinely barreling through crowded Manhattan neighborhoods as they do every day. The problem is, too many people here are accustomed to it and don’t realize just how senseless it is.

    I don’t know where this truck was coming from or going to and neither do you. But it looks like the kind of truck that carries dry cement between cement factories and concrete plants. Those kinds of facilities aren’t generally found in Manhattan so in all likelihood this guy was going from Long Island to upstate, Jersey or beyond. Does driving through crowded Manhattan streets – the population center of the region – in the dead of rush hour sound like the most sensible route for a 5-axle truck to be taking? Chances are, this route probably takes this truck longer, but by taking the Williamsburg or Manhattan bridges, such trucks are avoiding these tolls:

    $70 – Verrazzano
    $35 – Triboro
    $35 – Whitestone

    Until the tolls on the river crossings are balanced, and large trucks banished to restricted access highways where they belong, the city is basically rolling out the red carpet for trucks to drive right through lower Manhattan and continue to kill and maim users of those neighborhoods at a devastating rate.

  • Anonymous

    Also BTW, today modern subways are designed with safety doors so you can’t fall onto the tracks:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/robotsandelephants/4161548511/

    Too many people treat transportation injuries and fatalities as “cost of business”, especially when it’s easy to blame someone who made a mistake. Safer ways to get around are available to all of us if just demand them instead of blaming the victims or turning a blind eye.

  • The Truth

    Sorry @SB_Driver:disqus , I don’t buy the excuse that an NYPD offficer who isn’t responding to an emergency when he parked illegally “might” need to get back to their vehicle so quickly when an emergency arises.  That is rationalization at its most grotesque.

    They do more damage by destroying their own credibility on the witness stand.  When people can’t trust cops, criminals go back out on the street, creating more “emergencies” that wouldn’t have been necessary.

    And what about the argument that their illegally parked car “might” cause an accident, being parked in a place that a traffic engineer had deemed unsafe?

    The balance of “might” this and “might” that is clearly not so strong as to warrarnt allowing NYPD officers to park wherever they want, whenever they want, in clear violation of the laws they are supposed to enforce.

  • The Truth

    Driver – you should also recognize just how counterproductive the whole ethos of policing from a car seat is for New York City.  Many of us believe that cops are only four feet tall, since you never see them off the car seat. 

    They don’t talk to people in the neighborhood, or have any idea what is going on.  Pedestrians want to talk to them, adn the car is gone before they can get the officer’s attention. 

    Hell, they can’t even see what is going on that well, since half the vehicles on the road obscure their view!  Walking the sidewalk, they could see over the cars.

    Maybe if they had to walk as far as a block to get back to their car a couple times a day, they might learn enough about the community they police to actually police it!

  • Joe R.

    @Driver-yes, some sort of flyover is definitely needed for the connections to the bridges.  Also, I realize having grade-separated infrastructure citiwide isn’t feasible, but I’ve been noticing there are MANY places it can be added inexpensively by leveraging existing grade-separated car or railway infrastructure.  The LIRR, els, and expressways can all have grade-separate bike lanes attached to the sides of viaducts, for example.  Like I’ve said many times, you only need a small number of these grade-separate lanes connecting occasionally to the on-street network to be really useful.

    On the cycling video you linked to, all I can say is this guy is the poster boy for the stereotypical reckless fixie-riding hipster.  He blows lights with abandon, shooting even tiny gaps between cars or pedestrians, can’t ride in a straight line, and to top it all off squeezes in between large vehicles on the right, in a space barely large enough for his bike.  I won’t even say I admire his skills because I can do crap like that and more if I wanted to, but I’m sensible enough not to.  Unpredictability like this is exactly what causes accidents.  I’d love to have caught up to this guy and given him a few pointers.  Ride in a straight line with traffic for starters.  If there’s an obstacle which prevents that, look before changing lanes.  Don’t pass large vehicles on the right unless they’re stationary, and unless you have at least one lane of space.  And most importantly, if there’s so much traffic and/or people crossing at a red that the only way to pass is to go through a gap milliseconds from a collision, then guess what? That means you CAN’T safely pass that red, so just f’ing wait until the light changes.  It’s one thing to pass reds on quiet streets, after slowing enough to ascertain if the path is clear, and giving anything crossing your path the right-of-way.  It’s quite another to eat reds with complete abandon, missing everything by inches like you’re playing Midtown Madness.  A**wipes like this give all cyclists a bad rap.

    Oh, and if anyone rides a fixed gear bike, please have a front brake.  Your life might depend upon it one day.  You can stop in 1/3 or 1/4 the distance using the front brake as opposed to the rear.  More importantly, you’ll still be able to stop if you throw the chain.

  • Driver

    “That is rationalization at its most grotesque.”
    How do you figure that?  Emergency calls can and do happen at any time, and the police respond to them.  There is nothing hypothetical or “maybe” about it.  When there is an emergency or a crime in progress, fast response time is a priority.   That’s why lights, sirens, and  passing red lights and  stop signs are acceptable (maybe not to you).  The farther away from their car responding officers are, the longer the delay in response time will be. 
    I’m not sure where you live Truth, but there are beat cops in NYC, particularly in high crime areas.  I have seen plenty in some of the roughest neighborhoods of Brooklyn and the Bronx.    The people who actually want to talk to the police are generally not the ones who need policing.  The people causing the problems want nothing to do with the police, whether in cars or on foot. 
    Have you ever seen a police response to a serious crime such as a shooting or gang fight?  Within minutes there are dozens of cops there, and those cars enable them to canvas the area much more quickly.  That kind of response does not work without patrol cars. 

    “They do more damage by destroying their own credibility on the witness stand.”
    By illegally parking?  Back it up, show us an instance where the case was undermined by the police parking illegally.

  • The Truth

    @d8d46f16f380afef59ca318522397233:disqus Nobody was talking about a patrol car.  They were talking about unmarked cars. 

    Last time I checked, detectives aren’t usually rushing to emergency calls.  And they have gotten promoted and earn enough, they don’t need the “break” of getting to park illegally and run red lights. 

    do the drime, pay up just like everybody else.

  • carma

    The Truth, It doesnt matter if its patrol or unmarked.  It should be treated as police business.

    unmarked cars are used a lot in drug busts.  so.  dont tell me that just b/c its unmarked, it needs to find a “legal” parking spot.

  • Driver

    Detectives do rush to certain types of calls, and there are also uniformed police who regularly ride in unmarked cars and make traffic stops and perform other regular police duties. 
    Whether or not you think unmarked cars should be allowed to park illegally or not, it is still pretty asinine for one city agency to collect parking fees from another city agency. 

  • Driver

    Also, I think there’s a difference between detective and plainclothes.  Plain clothes regularly respond to violent incidents (think fights, stabbings, shootings, etc)  all of which are situations where fast response time is very important.

  • The Truth

    Give me a break already!  Please!!!

    City and Department policy are both clear – if you’re not responding to an emergency, FIND A LEGAL SPOT!  There IS a process to dismiss any ticket written against a vehicle that actually needed to park in a rush.

    This ex post facto rationalization for illegal behavior is really disgusting.  And it is the worst kind of blatant fear mongering – let me do what I want… or you might get hurt!

    And @d8d46f16f380afef59ca318522397233:disqus , your argument just doesn’t make sense.  Because he’s using a NYPD vehicle to break the law, it’s ok?  Seriously?  Your logic would have us believe that because the dirty cop who was just arrested by the feds in the Bronx for robbing people was using his badge, “it should be treated as police business,” and we should just let him do it.  That’s absurd!

    Besides, as I argued before, it would serve law enforcement much, much better to get these guys out of their cars!  You know, sometimes they would respond to emergencies much faster if they were actually able to see what was going on in the neighborhood, instead of driving by when people need help.  I see them blow by when people try to get their attention on a regular basis.  

    Please don’t tell me you come to this website, of all places, and claim that speeding on city streets is the only method for enforcement in New York City.  That’s simply not credible!

  • The Truth

    Let’s try to make this simple @SB_Driver:disqus and @d8d46f16f380afef59ca318522397233:disqus .
    Your basic premise is that police must remain as close to their car at all times, so they can rush to a potential emergency somewhere else.  This is false on a number of grounds.

    First, if we accepted your premise, we could never have officers on foot anywhere at any time.  The lack of police presence alone would increase the risk of crime in many areas.  We should be able to agree that police presence has some deterrent value.  We should also be able to agree that deterring crime is preferable to chasing criminals after they have committed the crime.

    Second, your assumption would have us believe that all officers would, in fact, be able to respond more quickly from inside a vehicle.  Surely this cannot always be true.  In any given precinct, there are likely to be officers so close to the incident that they would respond faster if they were already on the sidewalk, rather than needed to find a place to get the car where it needs to be, ditch it, and actually climb out.  This is New York, with plenty of traffic and one way streets, you know.  The idea that the car is necessarily faster doesn’t really hold up.

    Third, as  @Driver:disqus  noted, when there is an emergency, there are dozens of vehicles that show up.  Do you mean to tell me that 11 vehicles couldn’t do the trick, if it meant that two officers were actually hearing about the local crime problems from people on the sidewalk, or seeing the indicators of crime that are harder to see when they never get out of a car?  If it meant that the 11th car was not parked in a place that created a traffic hazard, and might be as likely to result in an accident as it would be to slow a hypothetical response?

    And yes, that response IS purely hypothetical.  You have a lot of work to make a convincingly plausible case that the officers, so fleetingly occupied walking back to their legally parked vehicle, would be the officers closest to a call (but yet too far to get there quickly on foot…) which was truly so urgent.  Care to make a case on how likely those odds really are? 

    And yes, I have plenty of experience with tough neighborhoods.  Do you really?  I doubt it, because your comments don’t align at all with our life experience.  One of the most frequent complaints you would hear if you ever actually participated in any meetings to clean up crime in these neighborhoods is — the damn cops never get out of the car!  They drive by the kids on the corner harassing people, they don’t stop when residents try to get their attention to talk about the kids on the corner.  But sure, they’ll come screeching in with the lights and the tough guy attitude after somebody had to call 911 after one of the kids pulled a gun.  Great police work, guys!

    I am so damn tired of this ethos of the emergency response.  It creates a sense of disorder when the cops watch people litter and don’t even say anything.  When they drive right by the guy with the dog off the leash who doesn’t pick up the poop.  They have the audacity to tell us they can’t handle this quality of life crime because they need to be ready for the big emergency.  Then they tell us we should expect a lot of crime because we live in a sh1t hole?!    Just do the damn job, already.  It’s not that hard, and you don’t have to engage in car chases all the time to make people feel like the law actually matters and that their actions have consequences.

    So please stop trying to rationalize obvious police corruption.
    They know the rules.  They are choosing to disobey.  

    The more the public hears about this culture of corruption, the more they reject police testimony on the stand.  This is just one more facet of the ticket fixing scandal, which has already sunk a couple cases.  

  • Driver

    “And it is the worst kind of blatant fear mongering – let me do what I want… or you might get hurt!”
    It’s not fear mongering, it’s common sense.  And I’m no cop, just an ordinary law abiding citizen.  And if I am in a situation where I was just robbed or I am being attacked by someone, I want the cops to get there AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE!  And I want the same for anyone else who is a victim.

    And while speeding is not the only method for getting to a scene, it is in most cases probably the quickest.  The reality is that most incidents are not ones where the cops just happen to be there when it happens, most incidents are called in through 911 and the cops have to travel to get there. 

  • Anonymous

    Um, it’s an established fact that bikes are faster than cars in Manhattan. Why not put cops on bikes if they need to respond to emergencies as quickly as possible? Just saying…they could even go through lights, salmon, cut through parking lots and alleys, or ride on the sidewalk if need be.  Rushing around Manhattan in a car is a joke.

  • Driver

    “First, if we accepted your premise, we could never have officers on foot anywhere at any time.” 
    False.  You can have both, but you don’t count on the beat cops to quickly respond to a call several blocks away.

    “In any given precinct, there are likely to be officers so close to the
    incident that they would respond faster if they were already on the
    sidewalk, rather than needed to find a place to get the car where it
    needs to be, ditch it, and actually climb out.”
    You mean put the car in park , open the door and get out, which takes a few seconds tops?  Even from a block or two away (a typical block, not a rush hour midtown block) the cops in the car will get there faster.

    “And yes, that response IS purely hypothetical.” 
    You talk as if the first cops responding to an incident are the only ones that really matter.  Those extra cars that arrive also protect the other cops and control the situation. 

    “And yes, I have plenty of experience with tough neighborhoods.  Do you really?”
    I was working in those tough neighborhoods in the late 80’s and early 90’s when they really were tough.  When cops didn’t want to get out of the car in the projects because they probably wanted to make it home to see their families. 

    And keep in mind that while I am defending cops on this issue, I still think the majority of them are assholes.  It’s not like I’m some cop sympathizer in general, nor am I related to any or friends with any. 

  • Driver

    “Just saying…they could even go through lights, salmon, cut through
    parking lots and alleys, or ride on the sidewalk if need be. ”  They do that in cars already.  And with lights and sirens and those new vibration thingies they have, they get through traffic much quicker than any average car.  

  • The Truth

    So you admit, it can be safe to have cops more than a few feet from a car?

    So now, can you explain why you believe the NYPD is so incapable of deploying its resources so that its officers in unmarked cars can’t be on foot for those portions of time it takes them to park legally?

    Again – you’ve got no real argument.  Just silly, made up excuses to defend police corruption.

    To be clear: The NYPD already looked at this, and the reasoned policy of the department is that these officers must park the unmarked vehicles LEGALLY except when they are RESPONDING to an emergency situation (not feeling self important about hypothetical emergencies).  Unfortunately, they’ve been incapable of handling the administrative end of their policy…

    But I’m really sorry they somehow forgot to get your expert advice first.  If they’d talked with you, I’m sure they would have concluded that it would put the public at risk if they didn’t give unmarked cars carte blanche to park in dangerous, illegal locations for no good reason.

  • Driver

    “The NYPD already looked at this, and the reasoned policy of the
    department is that these officers must park the unmarked vehicles
    LEGALLY except when they are RESPONDING to an emergency situation ”

    If that’s the case then fine, let the NYPD pay the parking fines just like commercial companies operating in this city do.  

    I still don’t get this nonsense about “hypothetical” emergencies.  Cops regularly respond to emergency calls (as do firemen).  It is an expected part of the job.  There is nothing hypothetical about it. 

  • The Truth

    The problem is that the officers who violated departmental policy by parking the cars illegally when they weren’t authorized were supposed to pay the fines themselves.  Except the NYPD was administratively inept and/or didn’t have the balls to actually follow through.

    I can’t see what you don’t get about the hypothetical emergency.  They’re allowed to park the car wherever they need for an actual emergency.  They are NOT allowed to do it for their own personal convenie… er… because there “might” be an emergency during that brief period of time they would be away from the vehicle and might be called on for a CRITICAL response time.
    That is to say – it might never happen.  And if it does, they have other, adequate resources that SHOULD be sufficient.  It is ONLY hypothetical that you would ever have just THE right conditions that it would really make a difference in outcomes.

  • The Truth

    Besides, this is actually a matter of LAW.  

    New York State law allows law enforcement, or any other emergency vehicle, to park illegally ONLY when responding to an emergency (not the hypothetical, “might” that is ever present by definition of being an emergency vehicle).VAT – Vehicle and Traffic 
    Article 23§ 1104. Authorized emergency vehicles. (a) The driver of an authorized
    emergency vehicle, when involved in an emergency operation, may exercise
    the privileges set forth in this section, but subject to the conditions
    herein stated.
    (b) The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle may:
    1. Stop, stand or park irrespective of the provisions of this titleLet me stress the operative requirement “when involved in an emergency operation.”The legislature has considered this issue, and come to a clear, reasoned, democratic LAW that cops need to park legally when they’re not responding to a current emergency.