Today’s Headlines

  • Either Ray Kelly Has No Idea How NYPD Handles Traffic Crashes, or He Lies (Transpo Nation)
  • Woman Killed By Truck Driver While Biking in Crown Heights (Gothamist, Post, CHinfo)
  • No Jail for Texting Driver Who Killed Brooklyn Delivery Man Tian Sheng Lin (City Room)
  • Trucker Who Killed Roxana Buta and Fled Scene Identified — NO CHARGES FILED YET (NBC)
  • Dozens of Council Members Crafting Bill to Establish Independent Oversight of NYPD (NYT)
  • Rockland Police Looking Into Phone Records of Driver Who Killed Cyclist on 9-W (Cyclists Int’l)
  • A Slice of Paramus Is Coming to the Bronx (NYT)
  • …and Queens (News)
  • Cabbies Want to See a Few More Taxi Fare Hikes on Top of What’s on the Table (Post)
  • Port Authority Cops Shelling Out Steep Fines to GWB Carpoolers (WSJ)
  • Cap’n Transit: Can the MTA Ever Think Entrepreneurially About Adding Bus Routes?
  • Sneak Peek of the Summer Streets 2012 Zip Line Over at Gothamist

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    As part of its contract negotiations, the MTA has asked the TWU to agree to lower pay (but the same benefits) for new drivers who start out driving vans (but not the more difficult full buses).  They would then move up to full pay for driving full buses.

    This would allow the MTA to serve lower ridership routes without massive subsidies, and save money (and wear and tear on full buses) on overnight service.

    The MTA has also asked that bus drivers do some maintenance work, rather than just be paid to sit around between rush hours.  And for some things I think are less reasonable.

    Because TWU members are already getting huge increases in compensation (due to pension deals passed years ago and not paid for then), the MTA has no money for service improvements or wage increases.  Without wage increases, the TWU’s attitude is “screw the people of New York City too.”  Which shows what they are providing in exchange for the pension deals — nothing.

    When listing the reasons why the MTA won’t do something entreprenuerial, Captn Transit forgot this one. 

  • The Roxana Buta story is just like the Mathieu Lefevre story–trucker runs over someone with the right of way, claims they didn’t see victim, drives off.  The law in question makes it a criminal offense to leave the scene if you know or have reason to know that you injured someone.  NYPD has had a hard time getting its head around the “reason to know” part of that.

  • Anonymous

    That WSJ article is amazing.  What those scowflaws are doing is legal.  And it decreases congestion. 

    The police are supposed to protect us and stuff.  This just sounds like harassment . . . Just do congestion pricing already. 

  • Anonymous

    Oh, and this is just SOP for the NYPost. 

    Streetblogs says: Woman Killed By Truck Driver While Biking in Crown Heights

    NYPost: B’klyn cyclist killed after colliding with delivery truck and bicyclist was killed today in Brooklyn when she collided with a delivery truck, police said. and The woman was riding near Bedford Avenue and Empire Boulevard in Prospect Lefferts Gardens at 11:40 a.m. when she was crushed by the turning truck, cops said.

    Ok, as anyone who’s read my posts knows, I write like shit.  I’m not a professional writer.  But, doesn’t the NYPost hire professionals?  

    We have (i) bike colliding with delivery truck, even though, the truck is the striking vehicle (“crushed by the turning truck”) and (ii) we have “police said,” followed by “cops said.”

    Maybe I’m being harsh and it’s really the headline editors, who may be more likely to carry the company line, who are pushing the suicidal bikes colliding with trucks narrative. 

  • Anonymous

    On the way to work today I almost got hit by a cop car.  I was in the bike lane (as was he).  I personally saw him drive 2 blocks in the bike lane and run at least two lights.  When I caught up with him he had pulled over a bicyclist.  I have no idea what the guy might have done, but did it really warrant almost hitting 6 other cyclists to catch him for it?

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The woman was riding near Bedford Avenue and Empire Boulevard in Prospect Lefferts Gardens at 11:40 a.m. when she was crushed by the turning truck, cops said.”

    There really needs to be some training of cyclists and drivers, particularly truck drivers, on right and left hooks.  I know enough to move out of the bike lane and into the motor vehicle lane at intersections, but lots of cyclists don’t, and lots of motor vehicles are not happy when I do and slow them down. 

    I instructed my daughters to move into the bike lane where it turns to a dotted line when they are turning in our car, to make sure bicycles can’t pass them on the right.  Most drivers don’t know to do that.  Meanwhile, some drivers overtake cyclists and turn right into them.  I’ve seen it.  Once or twice I would have been hit if I didn’t know enough to look out for it.

  • kevd

    “some drivers overtake cyclists and turn right into them”
    This has happened to me so many times it would be impossible to tally.
    Either wait for me to pass to make your turn, or wait 2 seconds and turn behind me.
    The memory of some drivers is like that of gold fish…. you JUST PASSED ME! You saw my velocity, do you think I magically disappeared because I’m not longer in front of you?

  • Anonymous

    @kevd, @Larry Littlefield, this is why I continue to believe that, at least on one-way avenues, bike lanes should be wider, and in the *middle* of the road (and permeable for cars). Two things that could make that more feasible: a much larger cycling population (in the pipeline thanks to bike share), and a more appropriate speed limit for cars than the current, too-high 30mph.
    Here’s an example:
    Apologies if this post got screwed up. My browsers don’t work well with Diqus.

  • kevd

    Well, I frequently slow down to move over BEHIND the car to pass them outside their turn – but if they don’t signal – and in NYC signal seems to only be used when you need someone to let you in – then it is hard to know if they’re going to turn or if they are going to continue straight ahead. 

  • Media Critic

    In the case of the tragedy on Bedford Avenue, imagine if this “accident” involved two cars instead of a truck and a bicycle.  If Car A had been traveling straight through an intersection and was hit hit by a left-turning Car B, the driver of Car B would be responsible for the collision.  You simply don’t execute a left turn if there is oncoming traffic.  That’s Drivers Ed 101.  Everyone would agree, from the NYPD to both parties’ insurance companies.

    Shorter analysis: if two cars are involved in a collision, the NYPD and the media are happy to look at the facts before assigning fault.  But if a truck and a cyclist collide, it’s always the cyclist’s fault.

  • Anonymous

    in NYC the signal seems to only be used when you need someone to let you in

    Failure to signal (along with tailgating) are probably the most common and among the most dangerous things done by your standard NYC driver–even the most responsible ones. But people get practically no grief for these things, even though we have pretty good reason to believe that lack of signalling is what led to, say, Mathieu Lefevre’s death. And I bet if following distance was ever seriously considered a problem, you’d find it was the primary cause of a lot of serious crashes.

  • Ian Turner

    @kevdflb:disqus : I don’t think it’s a question of short memory, it’s a question of mental modeling. In the mind of drivers that do this, cars are much faster than bicycles. So once they have passed a cyclist, that person simply drops out of their frame of reference. If cars are faster than bicyclists, then once passed a driver does not need to worry about that cyclist again and can turn freely.

    @58640e7438fa923767c80af00c902fe0:disqus : I actually don’t see anyone blaming the cyclist, though the incident does seem to have been written off rather quickly as an accident. It’s not clear to me that this would have been treated any differently if it had been two motor vehicles involved.

  • Joe R.

    @kevdflb:disqus “…but if they don’t signal – and in NYC signal seems to only be used when you need someone to let you in – then it is hard to know if they’re going to turn or if they are going to continue straight ahead.”
    What I do is listen to their engines. If it sounds like the engine is idling, I assume they’re turning and act appropriately (i.e. either stay behind them or pass them on the left). In general, I always assume at any moment that any vehicle around me will do the most stupid, illegal thing possible, and make sure I have a plan in case they do. Sad to say, NYC drivers rarely disappoint these expectations.

  • fj

    It is bizarre transportation advocacy that does not focus on the fact that net zero mobility is by far one of the most effective and immediate methods for mitigating and adapting to the rapidly accelerating climate change emergency.

    Public Understanding of Climate Science Rebounds, 72% of Independents Say There Is ‘Solid Evidence’ of Global Warming


  • Anonymous

    @ddartley:disqus I don’t want any part of an NYC street design with a bike lane that drivers are encouraged to cross through.  You think they’d look first?  I don’t.

    Re. the thing in the WSJ about the carpoolers, why wouldn’t people carpool with someone who lives or works near them, rather than picking up strangers?  (Which IS unsafe, even if it’s better for congestion.  If my fiancee was an NJ-NYC car commuter, there’s NO WAY I would want her stopping and picking someone random up every morning.)  There’s a point to be made here about the facelessness of the suburbs, for someone who’s so inclined.

  • JamesR

    Regarding the malls proposed for the Bronx and Queens: the articles did not make it clear whether or not these were NYCEDC projects, but my intuition says that they probably are. This has their scent all over it. There is a similar project now underway in my northwest Bronx neighborhood in which the former Stella D’Oro cookie factory site is to be replaced with a strip mall containing a BJ’s Wholesale Club and a Buffalo Wildwings restaurant.

    Look, I’m not alone when I state that one of the reasons why I live in New York City – rather than the burbs – is because it isn’t the suburbs. Why is it that economic development in this city must so often be synonymous with suburban style boxes and acres of parking? How is are these types of projects consistent with PlaNYC 2030 (does anyone ever care about that thing anymore?)

  • Anonymous

    Is picking up hitchhikers actually dangerous, or is it an obsolete stereotype? I’d like to know how many people actually are assaulted by hitchhikers each year, and how many “hitchhiking events” occur per year. I suspect that the perceived risk is wildly overblown.

  • Anonymous

    The article on the death in Rockland county is something that other NY Metro reporters should read.  Look at what the Rockland Police are using: special measuring tool that record data for perpetuity; cell phone records; car black boxes are even considered.  This AIS team should be teaching classes!

  • Tonight a taxi in front of me signaled his upcoming right turn with a horn blast instead of the silent and unambiguous signal installed for that purpose. Better than nothing I guess.