Today’s Headlines

  • The MTA Isn’t Saving for a Rainy Day (2nd Ave Sagas)
  • Tomorrow: Vigil for Victoria Nicodemus, Cut Down By Reckless Driver in Fort Greene (DNA)
  • Jimmy Vacca Won’t Support More Housing and Less Parking Near Subway Stations (BxTimes)
  • Fire Engine and SUV Drivers Collide in East Flatbush, 5 Injured (News)
  • Driver Injures Pedestrian at 149th Street and the Grand Concourse Friday Night (News)
  • Cap’n Transit: America’s Transportation System Isn’t Stratified Because of Uber, Lyft, Et Al
  • The Extraordinary Amount of Energy Cuomo Spends to Belittle de Blasio (Politico)
  • Why NYPD and Motivate Want to Reassess the Price of a Citi Bike (Post)
  • Gas Prices in NYC at a Six-Year Low (Advance)
  • In the 1920s, Full Second Avenue Subway Was Projected to Cost $86M, or About $1.2B in 2015 (AMNY)
  • 2015 in Review: “The Mayor Has Begun to Read Obscure Transportation Blogs” (WSJ via @Azi)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • BBnet3000

    Strange article about Citibike thefts. Why would they want to reduce the disincentive to steal them?

    Also the basic premise of the article, that there are so many thefts of Citibikes that it is affecting crime stats, seems hard to believe:

    The push comes as Citi Bike thefts have skyrocketed in the past year, with 476 reported stolen as of Friday, up from just 251 last year, according to NYPD data.

    476 thefts in a whole year within the whole service area is affecting felony theft stats? The City is safer than I thought.

  • Jonathan R

    When private property is abolished, then there will be no more theft. Congratulations, Commissioner Bratton, for taking this first step toward socialism!

  • r

    “The mayor has begun to read obscure transportation blogs as he worries about advocates who criticize him…”

    He’s so worried about being criticized! Why isn’t he reading Streetsblog and Second Avenue Sagas so he can, you know, LEARN SOMETHING about transportation? He might be shocked to learn that the majority of New Yorkers don’t rely on private cars to get around.

  • qrt145

    According to the article, the incentive for Citi Bike is that when the bikes are found, they can get them back sooner when the theft is considered a misdemeanor due to different evidence-handling rules, or something like that…

  • Brian Howald

    Forgive my cynicism.

    The minute stealing Citibikes becomes misdemeanors is the minute the NYPD stops looking for stolen Citibikes.

    If we could somehow get negligent homicides included in the city’s homicide statistics…

  • Joe R.

    I don’t understand why they don’t have something like a lo-jack installed. If someone steals one and tries to ride it, they’ll get caught right away. As for downgrading the value, I’m guessing the line of thought is bikes depreciate just like cars.

    While on this subject, I’ve often wondered why the NYPD gets involved with relatively low value thefts anyway. I’m not just talking about things like Citibikes. I-pods, cell phones, even most laptops probably cost more in police and court manpower to recover than the item is worth. Maybe a better use of police manpower might be to target the black markets where these stolen items are sold. If it becomes difficult to fence these items, perhaps there will be less incentive to steal them in the first place. Perhaps these devices could also have tamper-proof serial numbers installed in firmware so items seized on the black market can be returned to their rightful owners.

    All that said, I’m personally not seeing the point of stealing a Citibike. By it’s very nature you can’t resell it easily. It’s not all that great of a bike, either. I would love to know why people steal them in the first place.

  • AnoNYC

    •East 149th St and Grand Concourse; a Vision Zero intersection on a Vision Zero artery.

    The median is much too small for the crossing pedestrian traffic at the median there. Needs a total reconfiguration.

    •Jimmy Vacca, the anti-eBike.

  • I would have welcomed some more detail on which transportation blogs he reads and what counts as “obscure,” personally.

  • Mike

    Hi Bill!

  • Wilfried84

    This is the first I’ve seen real discussion of Citi Bike theft, or any numbers.

    How are these bikes stolen? Do people take unattended bikes? Do they find bikes that are improperly docked? I kind of doubt they’re taking them from the station when they’re properly docked. Back in the day, when the docks had many more problems, I would watch people go down a row of bikes at a station and tug on each one, and when they found one unlocked, they’d grab it and go.

    And when they steal them, do they actually try to keep the bikes as their own, or do they take them for a joy ride, and abandon them later? I suspect it’s more often the latter than the former. What is the recovery rate, even with the cops involved? I imagine it’s not high, unless they simply find the bikes on the street later.

  • SteveVaccaro

    Note to Self: If my bike is ever stolen again, make sure to get a written confirmation of the valuation given to it by the officer taking the complaint…

  • AMH

    I’ve always wondered about this. They charge your credit card for the $1200 if you don’t return the bike. Assuming they’ve fixed the docking problems, they should be bringing in all kinds of money for stolen ones.

    There was that bizarre story about someone who found a Citibike in their building and couldn’t get Citibike to pick it up.

  • bolwerk

    How dangerous would you think it is? Statistics probably start at the standpoint of exaggerating danger because of things like arrest quotas (which, okay, officially don’t exist…).

  • neroden

    To be fair to the Second Avenue Subway:
    — the 1920s estimate is generally considered lowballed by a factor of 2.
    — construction costs have gone up faster than general inflation.

    So let’s say the full-length Second Avenue Subway ought to cost $4.8 billion. Sounds about right.

  • neroden

    The data in the cellphones and laptops is what’s valuable. Most people don’t make backups often enough.

  • bolwerk

    Wasn’t it supposed to be 4 or 6 tracks?