Today’s Headlines

  • NYPD Two-Day Blitz Results in 5,000 Tickets (News); Police Launch Speeding Crackdown Next (WCBS)
  • Open Seats: Long-Time Albany Incumbents Joan Millman and Rhoda Jacobs Retire (Eagle, Bklyn Paper)
  • MetroCard Replacement Could Start Next Year (Post) But Might Take an Extra Year (NYT)
  • National Motorists Association Gives NY Poor Rating for Being Too Tough on Bad Drivers (TU)
  • AAA Cites Nassau’s Red Light Cams As Transparency Model; Wants More Info From NYC (WCBS)
  • Video: 100 MPH Mill Basin Driver Kills Self and Passenger After Running Red (News)
  • DOT Presents Plan to Fix Intersection Where Ella Bandes Was Killed (Courier)
  • TWU Workers Ratify Contract With 82 Percent in Support (WSJ)
  • Hidden Plan for Willets Point Shows Massive Parking Lots for 6,000 Cars (Queens Chron via Curbed)
  • BP Oddo Wants You to Apply to Be on a Staten Island Community Board (Advance)
  • Moving On: MAS Staffer to Direct Land Use at Council (News); TLC Policy Chief Moves to Uber (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Ian Turner

    The NMA report did get one thing right, it’s crazy that you can’t contest traffic infractions by mail. Especially obviously bogus ones like bike helmet tickets issued to adults, or incidents caught on camera.

    The irony is that the existing system probably costs the government more money than such an alternative.

  • Jeff

    The National Motorists Association makes AAA look like Transportation Alternatives. Seriously. Check out their website. It’s hilarious and/or terrifying depending on your mood and how long it’s been since you’ve read the Onion.

  • ddartley

    [Edited: instead of bloviating and making assumptions like I did in question 1. below, I could have instead just asked, “Does PD also do UN-announced crackdowns?” Anyone know the answer to that? And if the answer is no, THEN question 1 below would be a follow-up question.]

    I know this has been discussed here before at length but not to resolution. These are serious questions and I hope anyone who truly knows will chime in. I have also put the question to others who might or should know, and I will comment here if I learn anything reliable from those other inquiries:

    1. Why does PD announce the specific start and end dates of these crackdowns? And if they must
    announce some of that info, then why do they announce all of it: start date, duration, and end date? And, if they must announce that info, then why do they only do very few of these
    crackdowns a year? (Well, historically, that is. If
    PD truly is embracing the Vision Zero initiative, then perhaps going forward
    we’ll see more than a few a year.) I do not pretend to know what PD knows or is thinking, but I can’t help but wonder if
    the reason for announcing these crackdowns’ start and end dates is just
    plain old courtesy–which in this context, of course, would be wildly
    misplaced. Anyone here truly know the real reasons
    that PD announces the start and end dates? What can be gained from
    that?

    2.
    Next, I sort of assume that during distracted driving crackdowns, PD is somehow increasing its
    practices of *detecting* distracted driving. My question is, does
    anyone know exactly what those detection methods are? Cause I gotta
    say, I can’t imagine any more effective detection method than riding a
    bike. From a bike seat, you see more of what drivers are doing with
    their hands and eyes than any other common vantage point than I can
    think of–especially more than sitting in another car! Seriously,
    anyone know real answers to these questions? Thanks.

  • qrt145

    I don’t know, but here are my speculations about question #1: one reason may be political, to defend against charges that they are only tricking “poor innocent drivers” for revenue generation. Another might be that they hope for greater public education impact as the message is spread by the media.

  • bolwerk

    Well, New York’s policing culture has always spared no expense in inconveniencing and humiliating people. They act like thugs because they can, and often enough the punishment for acting like a thug is a paid vacation.

  • bolwerk

    Crackdowns and blitzes make no sense to me either. If antisocial road behavior is so persistent, it should be be a persistent target for enforcement.

    It’s a bit hard to defend NMA’s contention that an incidental blitz is somehow unfair. What’s unfair is the persistent antisocial road behavior. But having occastional blitzes means that, most of the time, the police aren’t doing one of the few actually useful things police could do.

  • wkgreen

    It seems to me that they should mechanize enforcement as much as possible. The technology surely exists by now that we should be able to video monitor a significant percentage of our streets so that people breaking traffic laws get caught almost every time. It would remove the elements of luck, fairness, and human bias.

    To quell some of the cries about the heavy hand of government but to mitigate behavior that is in the category of “things we all do”, make the fines small, in the area of $25 or $50, something that is no big deal when folks get caught once in a while, but definitively levied every damn time so that it adds up significantly if done a lot.

    This would make people more aware of what they are doing all of the time, and I could almost guarantee that it would be more effective than the occasional blitz.

  • willets

    Wasn’t this the whole point of the Wilpon plan? They could block anyone else from using the technically parkland citifield parking lots, but they might be able to pull off building something there themselves? And then move the parking lots over to the to be demolished junkyards? This way development would be closer to the subway station. And of course instead of housing and a school that was talked about it would be a mall.

  • Bolwerk

    The political problem with automated enforcement is it will expose obvious shortcomings in the police apparatchik propaganda: if they keep us so safe, why were they missing all these offenses before? And just what are we spending getting for all the billions of dollars we spend on them?

    For some reason, quiet blitzes don’t raise the same questions.

  • wkgreen

    Regardless of how well spent our tax dollars are that go toward the functioning are our “finest”, I’m sure people understand that the cops can’t be everywhere all the time. People don’t expect them to be there all of the time. In fact many folks count on it every time someone pushes through that yellow traffic light a little late or steps too hard on the gas peddle. And even a blitz is usually localized to a specific area.

    More likely, I suspect that it would be a big brother issue about always being watched. But so what! The streets are public property, and we are already being watched by private security cameras all of the time. Just give small tickets. Lots of them.

  • Bolwerk

    Except it’s the police who object most vociferously to enforcement cameras. But yeah, the few politicians who do object typically ignore we’re already watched constantly, and every little transaction we make can probably be subpoenaed. Basically, we’re tracked but not strictly watched.

  • Wow, I just took a look through their issues page and you aren’t kidding.

  • It’s awesome to have to drive 300 miles to fight an unjust ticket you got while traveling. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, NMA.

  • It looks like a website that /r/conspiracy would link to.

  • All I want is a tap card like most other major cities have.