Today’s Headlines

  • Most Dem Mayoral Contenders Don’t Foresee Upping City’s Contribution to MTA (NYT)
  • Driver Kills Martha Atwater, 48, on Brooklyn Heights Sidewalk (DNA, News, Gothamist, Post 1, 2, 3)
  • Driver Kills Woman on Kips Bay Sidewalk After Two-Car Crash; “No Criminality” (DNA, Post, News, NY1)
  • Man in Critical Condition After Tractor-Trailer Driver Hits Him While Crossing First Avenue (PostNews)
  • Brooklyn Paper Takes a Look at PARK Smart Reforms Coming to Atlantic, Court, and Smith
  • Bloomberg Has No Sympathy on Camera Tickets; “Going Through a Red Light Kills People” (CapNY)
  • With 2019 Deadline Approaching, MetroCard Replacement Plans Hurt by MTA Turnover (NYT)
  • MTA Now Putting Monthly Finance, Ridership, Crime and Operational Data Online (Gothamist)
  • TZB Transit Task Force Examines Future Bus Upgrades to Bridge (NewsdayTimes Herald-Record)
  • Bill Bratton Wants His Old Job Back; Has Met With Some Mayoral Contenders (Telegraph via News)
  • Learn About the 20 Year-Old Surveyor Behind Manhattan’s Grid (Post)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    “But most candidates, including Ms. Quinn, a Democrat, demurred when asked if they would pledge to substantially raise the share of the city budget devoted to mass transit.”

    I view Quinn as the candidate most likely to care about the future of the city, and thus the deferred maintenance and deterioration likely to begin with the next MTA capital plan.  But she won’t say so.  That is Quinn’s view of the primary electorate.
    “I can’t see how we could make that kind of increase in the contribution to mass transit responsibly,” said Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, citing the city’s unresolved labor contracts.”

    So in exchange for just about the highest tax burden in the country, we can expect deteriorating transit service, so public employees can get cash raises on top of the huge raise in their pensions (in 1995, 2000 and for teachers 2008, but only paid for now, and not yet fully).  Mr. Blasio seems to also have a view of the primary electorate.

    “John C. Liu, the city comptroller, a Democratic, was the most striking exception, deeming a prospective jump of one percent — the amount proposed by a moderator — “already a pittance.”

    That’s a surprise.  But if the city puts more in, how does it stop the rest of the state from taking more out?  We have been operating under a joint city/state agreement to destroy the transit system at some future date by running up the debt and lying about the consequences.  It has been in place for 20 years.

  • Anonymous


    I view Quinn as the candidate most likely to care about the future of the city

    Whence this optimism? And why do you imagine her ideas about the problems and solutions overlapping with yours?

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    The New York Times piece on the Transit Mayoral Forum ignored Sal Albanese’s call for a fair toll swap (not entirely unlike the Schwartz/Move NY offering) yielding $1Billion for Mass Transit, concerned as they were with explaining Joe Lhota’s conspicuous absence.

  • Bolwerk

    You guys mock “no criminality,” but there probably really is no criminality.  Think about that.  It’s even more messed up! When politicians can pander by promising leniency for running red lights (and other antisocial behavior), you know you’re living in a world where a good portion of the population is regularly engaging in antisocial behavior.

    I really hope they don’t bring Bratton or Kelly or anymore of those 1990s cowboy cops back. But a conservative republican like Quinn most likely will. 😐

  • Jeff

    Very profound statement by Randel, the guy who designed and implemented the Commissioner’s Plan, justifying the lack of parks in his plan:

    “It’s an island. You want fresh air and a view? Walk in any direction and you’ll find a river.”

    Fast forward to 2013:  Walk in any direction and you’ll find an expressway.

  • Guest

    “Five of Brooklyn’s top prosecutors are
    knowingly flouting state laws by living in New Jersey, not New York State, and are doing so with Brooklyn DA Hynes permission.” Post : 

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Whence this optimism?”

    Most likely doesn’t mean likely. 

    I appreciate the fact that Quinn was willing to put aside parochial considerations with regard to the Department of Sanitation waste transportation system.  And going back to the period before she was speaker, she stood up for funding for parks and libraries, which I knew at the time to be underfunded (and thus less politically powerful).  When Bloomberg wanted to do things with short term costs and long term benefits, she didn’t demogauge it to raise her profile.

    Then again, to be fair when Bloomberg wanted to do the opposite she didn’t stand against it.  Like that retroactive pension deal for teachers cashing in and moving out in 2008, followed (inevitably) by huge cuts in benefits for new teachers soon after, cashing out the whole retiree health benefits trust fund before the new Mayor takes office, and using debt for ongoing expenses such as street repaving and painting, (as at the MTA — if you read my recent osts on “Saying the Unsaid in New York” you’ll see the consquences. (Thompson and Liu, as Comptrollers, were’nt opposed to future selling either).   And there was that term limit deal.

  • jrab

    To Bolwerk’s point, I had a conversation with a police officer earlier this year about the red-light cameras. He pointed out that it was unfair to people who let friends or neighbors or family members drive their cars, because the car owner would wind up paying for the ticket when she wasn’t even operating it at the time.

    So let’s stand up against red-light cameras in order to protect the ability of moochers to cadge free rides!

  • @85211970d034887d032f8c319f70adbb:disqus I’ve heard that argument before. Apparently these anti-big-government opponents of red light cameras and believers in personal responsibility don’t believe it’s their personal responsibility to confront their friends or family members if they get a ticket while borrowing the car.

  • Larry Littlefield

    It appears I’m not the only one who hasn’t forgotten Quinn’s role in approving the solid waste management plan.

    There is another transfer station in her district. She also pushed congestion pricing through the Council, unlike the state assembly, but probably didn’t pay a political price, because it did not happen.

  • Joe R.

    I personally wish car drivers would complain more about the red lights than red light cameras. Given how it seems their “needs” are disproportionately considered when making city transportation policy, the end result would be removal of many (most?) traffic signals, a situation which would certainly benefit cyclists far more than drivers.

  • Joe R.

    I personally wish car drivers would complain more about the red lights than red light cameras. Given how it seems their “needs” are disproportionately considered when making city transportation policy, the end result would be removal of many (most?) traffic signals, a situation which would certainly benefit cyclists far more than drivers.

  • moocow

    Do they notice or respect them in the first place?
    Every year it seems there is another illegal liberty that car drivers allow themselves.
    This year it seems to be rolling through the red light. A few years ago it was driving on the wrong side of the road. Once these illegal allowances take hold, they don’t go away.

  • Joe R.

    @twowheel:disqus I noticed the rolling through steady red lights myself in the last year. Of course, since I do that on my bike, I’m not about to chastise motorists who do the same (unless they do so at speed), even though I’ll readily admit a car rolling through lights can do a lot more harm. In any case, this type of behavior (from both motorists and cyclists) is more because of too many unnecessarily signalized intersections than anything else. NYC often uses traffic lights where stop signs will do, and stop signs where yield signs would make more sense. We have a major problem but nobody is even willing to admit it exists, much less fix it. I suspect one reason is there would be hell if many of the traffic lights which community boards fought for because they (mistakenly) thought they would improve safety were taken down. I’m also sure the traffic light manufacturers may have given to the campaigns of people who could help install more traffic lights. We probably lead the world in traffic signals per square mile even though other places have just as great or even greater density.

  • Ian Turner

    @2555783a6f62598b6aadd2d882a4830f:disqus : I don’t know about the traffic light lobby, but I think one reason that DOTs in the New York area use stop sign instead of yield signs is that drivers treat stops signs like yield signs. Of course, there is little to no enforcement either way. We’ve got ourselves into a status quo which is difficult to get out of.

    One option out might be to replace traffic signals with camera enforced stops signs (yes, that is a thing).

  • Anonymous

    Joe R. –
    I didn’t really believe that adding traffic signals could decrease road safety until I experienced it first hand.  There is a lightly trafficked stretch of residential road near where I live.  Until recently, it was regulated by stop signs.  A few months ago, we got 2 new traffic lights on a 4 block portion of the road.
    When there were stop signs, most drivers would drive at or even below the speed limit, and would stop to let pedestrians cross.
    Since the installation of the new lights, the typical speed seems to have increased, and few drivers will stop or slow down for pedestrians who aren’t crossing at the intersection with the light.  Instead, drivers are now focused on trying make it through the intersection before the light turns red.
    As a pedestrian and biker, I feel less safe.  As a driver, I actually find myself speeding up in response to the light – it’s so habitual that I usually don’t even notice it.
    Anyway, I agree with you on this point.  A lot of traffic lights in NYC are unnecessary and are actually detrimental to safety.