Today’s Headlines

  • Boy, 12, in Critical Condition After Being Hit by Driver in Midwood; Driver Ticketed for Speeding (Post)
  • As Council Member, de Blasio Regularly Fixed Parking Tickets (Voice)
  • Schwartz and Soffian: Next Mayor Should Refine Bike Enforcement, Bike Traffic Rules (News)
  • In Public Advocate Debate, Tish James and Dan Squadron Support Congestion Pricing (NY1)
  • New York World Maps Where the Boro Taxis Are
  • Mill Basin Residents Say Lamborghini Crash Indicative of Area’s Speeding Problem (News, WNBC)
  • Two-Car Crash Sends Driver Careening Into Staten Island Home (Advance, WNBC)
  • Mapping App Wins MTA Developer Contest (2nd Avenue Sagas, News)
  • Parking Lots at Suburban Rail Stations Are a Waste of Space (MTR)
  • After Years of Negotiations, Construction Set to Begin on Greenway to Randalls Island (Bronx Times)
  • How Much Responsibility Do You Have to Protect Yourself From Dangerous Drivers? (IVM)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Eddie

    If Bixi goes bankrupt, can Citi Bike be saved? How dependent is Alta on Bixi?

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/bixi-to-continue-despite-financial-problems-1.1866037

    “Yesterday, a letter from Montreal’s auditor general to the city was released. In it, auditor Jacques Bergeron said he had serious doubts as to whether Bixi could continue its Montreal and Toronto operations.”

  • ADN

    Is it my imagination or is Sam Schwartz morphing into a cranky old outer borough guy who complains about bikes all the time?

  • Anonymous

    Re the Daily News op-ed: I have to wonder if Sam and Gerard heeded their own commandment to get all sides’ input. Few cyclists I know call out walkers as a problem, and none view drivers as evil beings. Rather, almost daily we’re made painfully aware of heedless driving behavior ranging from mundane (failure to signal) to dangerous (aggressive passing) to monstrous (curb-jumping). By the way, each of those has a NYS V&T Law Section (1163, 1122 and 1212), calling into question Sam’s and Gerard’s acuity in observing just 1-2 driver violations an hour.

    It’s good that Sam and Gerard gave News readers the straight dope about who’s killing whom (though they could have reported walkers’ fatal-injury rate from cyclists as *far* fewer than one). Yet their mention of the 150 walkers a year killed by drivers was left dangling. The driving behaviors leading to those deaths, along with still-inadequate street prioritization and engineering, are the root cause of many of those cycling violations Sam and Gerard observed.

    Finally, the premise of the op-ed was tiresome and, increasingly, flimsy. The advent of Bike Share and the steady (if too slow) buildout of the city’s cycle infrastructure are both expanding cycling and helping normalize it, as was noted at the Bike Share forum at Baruch last week. The carping about cyclists to which Sam and Gerard alluded might be the birth pangs of a new order on our streets. But in the meantime, the op-ed’s even-handed finger-pointing obscures the real source of danger. The suggestion of lower fines and softer rules for cycling is laudatory, but zero tolerance of dangerous driving would deliver far greater benefits of safety and health, and do so more quickly and enduringly.

  • As hard as I find it to believe that Schwartz and Soffian only observed two drivers committing violations per hour–come to my block and you’ll see 200 drivers speeding per hour–let’s say that they are correct.

    It seems to me that by just watching traffic Schwartz and Soffian would miss all of the *unseen* ways in which drivers violate the law, from driving distracted or drunk to operating a vehicle without a license. It was an unlicensed teenage driver who killed four-year-old Ariel Russo, after all. These lawbreakers tend not to be “seen” until the consequences of their choices are tragically visible.

    And what kind of laws did the cyclists break? Going through an empty intersection or turning right on red? The two endorse these practices later in the piece. Not all violations are created equal, and I find it hard to believe they saw too many cyclists riding faster than 30 mph.

    I agree with you, Charles. When writers claim that there’s a “war” between cyclists, pedestrians, and cyclists, it makes it seem as if the armies on each side are evenly responsible for the casualties. One would expect such knowledgeable engineers as these to dwell more in the world of statistics and less in the world of anecdotal observations.

  • Anonymous

    Call me cranky, but as a cyclist I do complain about pedestrians walking on bike lanes. Sure, sometimes the behavior is understandable because the sidewalk doesn’t have enough capacity, but it *is* a problem. Not the type of life-and-death problem that dangerous driving is, of course.

    I don’t even mind when people walk on bike lanes while making sure that they are aware of their surroundings and getting out of the way of cyclists when they can. But, again call me cranky, I do get annoyed when people walk obliviously on the bike lane, or worse, they clearly see you and still keep walking right in the middle of the lane. This is mostly a problem with “protected” bike lanes.

  • BornAgainBicyclist

    Exactly.

    I work in midtown, and I see two to four violations every time I leave my office, easily. If I walk to the subway at Columbus Circle or ride the greenway, which each take 5 to 10 minutes each depending on the day, I could easily count 20 or more violations along the way, including an estimated average of two red light runners at any given signal cycle and drivers who cut off peds in crosswalks. If we count double parking, increase that by 25 to 100 percent, again depending on the day. Also, the numbers would be higher if I didn’t use a subway station to avoid crossing 57th when I’m on my way to Columbus Circle station. So I am extremely dubious about Schwartz and Soffian’s methodology and eyesight. Can Streetsblog ask about their methodology and report back?

  • Bolwerk

    Re Schwartz’s million-and-a-half comment: are they that necessary to our vitality? Sure, some of them are just necessary period, vitality or no. We need plumbers, electricians, delivery people, home health aides, etc. Likewise we need delivery trucks, a point sort of glossed over.

    But do we need people who are just driving in for the sake of not using public transportation? Are they really adding something so vital that we can’t scare some of them away and be the better for it? I doubt it. Fewer cars would improve NYC’s vitality more than almost anything.

  • r

    Times Square certainly feels more “vital” from a health and economic perspective now that there’s more space for people and less space for cars.

  • Joe R.

    I didn’t understand that line myself. People driving in using their personal cars instead of public transit add nothing. In fact, whatever taxes they might generate by their spending is offset by the negative externalities of their automobile use. The hard fact is if you’re just bringing yourself and what you can hand carry, there’s no real reason to drive into a place like Manhattan. Maybe I’ll make an exception if you’re coming in at zero dark thirty, but most people who drive in do so at times when they have many other viable options.

  • Joe R.

    Call me a jaded lifelong NYer, but the moment I saw those protected bike lanes go in I knew they would be clogged with pedestrians, food vendors, etc. It’s just the nature of this city. No space goes unused for long. Unless there’s a constant stream of cyclists in the protected bike lane, it’s going to be used for something else much of the time.

  • Jesse

    Daily News Op-Ed: “Thirdly, and this is key, start to accept that bike riders shouldn’t
    have to follow all of the rules established for car drivers, since
    cyclists navigate the road more like pedestrians than cars.”

    I couldn´t get around to commenting on this until now because I was stuffing my brains back inside my head.

  • Bolwerk

    Maybe they add something when they get out of their cars, but the bothersome part is they cause a significant injury/level of risk coming in by car that is hard to outweigh with a contribution to our economy, culture, or anything else.

    And no one can pretend the cars encourage engaging with the community or whatever “vitality” is supposed to mean.

  • Bolwerk

    The funny part: cars get through better too now.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I wonder if profits from New York City will be used to prop up losses elsewhere. As for everything else.

  • And the problem is that I avoid most of the “protected” bike lanes precisely because I know they’ll be full of vendors, delivery people. pedestrians and parked cop cars.