Today’s Headlines

  • Strike Averted, But NJ Transit Budget Still a Mess (NYT, WNYCPost)
  • Advocates Coalesce Behind de Blasio’s Housing Plan (Politico, DNA)
  • Veronica Vanterpool and John Raskin Talk Transit on NY1
  • NYT Under the Impression That Car Safety Regulations Are a Paragon to Be Emulated for Buses
  • Six Months After Opening, Hudson Yards 7 Station Not Looking So Hot (2nd Ave Sagas)
  • A Brief History of and the Fight Against NYPD Placard Corruption (@Naparstek)
  • Yes, NY State Law Creates an Incentive for Drunk Drivers to Flee the Scene of a Crash (Advance)
  • Off-Duty NYPD Lieutenant Knocks Woman Off Grand Central Parkway After Crazy Chain of Events (News)
  • Cops Searching for SUV Driver Who Hit Pedestrian and Fled March 4 (Gothamist)
  • DNAinfo Spreads the Gospel of Peatónito
  • The Most Iconic Cyclist in NYC Is Probably Bill Cunningham (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Wednesday CB8 ( UES ) votes on Crosstown bike Lanes

    Flyer attached with details. Great to post at bike Shops and pass Out at citibike stations . Flyer created by Liam Jefferies

  • qrt145

    Another article from the NYT for those who are interested about parking policy:

    The story is about filming in the city, and the top complaint from neighbors seems to be… you guessed it! Parking spots on the street.

  • HamTech87

    That placard article was great. Buried at the end was a fascinating proposal for citizens to do parking enforcement.

    Every block has a gadfly, often a retiree, who would enjoy spending time doing this even if it is just pro bono. Offer the enforcers a percentage of the fine, and the City would raise an army of unsalaried parking enforcers.

  • reasonableexplanation

    Re: the bus safety article: point by point:

    1. Electronic stability control: yes, this should be mandatory. Makes a big difference when you really need it.
    2. Seatbelts should be mandatory, but wearing them should not be. Basically; give people the option.
    3. Emergency lighting: I don’t know about this one: buses already have to have the windows be open-able to serve as an exit in the event of an emergency. Maybe make the window handles glow in the dark?
    4. Flammability: planes have very strict standards. Train standards seem appropriate.

  • I suspect this is missing the point. How many people would these changes save from injury or death? How many more lives would it cost by increasing the cost of public transit and encouraging more people into cars? I don’t have numbers on it, but I would suspect it would be a net loss given how safe buses are in reality.

  • reasonableexplanation

    All of these safety measures are pretty cheap, especially compared to the overall cost of a bus (~500k). Seatbelts especially. We’re not exactly talking side curtain airbags here.

  • AMH

    Agree, I didn’t see anything objectionable in the article.

  • mattkime

    I suspect the site was taken down because there was a change in policy. i wonder if that change in policy has meant anything from a practical standpoint.

  • ESC isn’t exactly cheap, nor do I know that systems designed for cars would easily transfer to buses. Emergency lighting isn’t free either.

    Seatbelts can also be fairly complex, 60 seat belts with pretensioners, many more things to go wrong with a bus. Do you take a bus out of service which has no seatbelts. Do you limit bus capacity to the number of seat belts. Does the presence of seatbelts slow boarding times, do they give the impression of danger?

    These things do have costs, and they do change the margins, and like I said, you might be missing the point. How many people are killed or injured on city buses, I hear about people being run over by buses 1-2 times a month, and rarely do I hear about injuries on a bus. My guess is if you spent that money making buses safer for people on the road instead you’d also save more lives.

    I think the issue is its deflecting attention from the real dangers people face. If you had an article talking about being killed by lightening at the beach and how we should spend tons of money to put up lightning rods everywhere, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to point out that drowning is a far greater danger and spending money on lifeguards is a much better investment in safety.

  • qrt145

    The article was about intercity buses, not about city buses. Completely different beasts, I’d say.

  • reasonableexplanation

    ESC is added to an existing ABS system (which I hope all buses have: it’s worth every penny). Its addition costs in the range of $111-$250 for a car. so even assuming 10 times the cost, it’s not much for a $500k bus.

    Bus seatbelts don’t need to have pretensioners: think more like simple airplane lap belts, not car seatbelts. The cost is minimal, and the benefits are huge.

    Buses can have belts fixed when they go in for service for other critical issues. Trust me, transit agencies have a whole list of what’s essential equipemnt and what isn’t. Much like a bus can have a certain number of seats and and a certain amount of standing room …well, you get it.

    As for spending money on unlikely deaths. This is america, we do that literally all the time. But seriously, I do agree with you, I just think the costs of these things are small enough to be worth it. (Especially ESC, which helps people outside the bus too).

  • Joe R.

    Seatbelts would probably be mostly useful for those cases where a bus has to make sudden changes in direction and speed. That’s ironically the major reason I wear them in cars. They keep me from getting thrown around the passenger compartment. One pitfall I see here is seatbelts getting in the way of easily and quickly cleaning bus seats. They can also pick up dirt on their own. Maybe there’s a better type of restraint system for buses than seat belts.

  • Andrew

    Assuming we’re discussing transit buses (which is not the topic of the New York Times piece), have you ever seen a seat on a typical transit bus? For example:

    What do you expect the seat belt to attach to?

    Given that transit buses are designed to carry standees safely, what problem are you trying to solve here by demanding seat belts for those who are lucky enough to find seats?

  • Ahh, fair enough.

  • Jonathan R

    Congratulations, you are now making the case for spending zero money on traffic safety and diverting resources to more pressing safety issues, like fall prevention.

  • Did I say that? No…I don’t think I said that. But nice straw man. I’m arguing that we should only spend money and effort where there is substantial gains to be made. 30k people die in traffic in the US, I don’t think many of those are on buses. Traffic is in fact by a fairly large margin the MOST likely thing to kill you (in certain age groups). So in fact, I’m arguing for spending much MORE money on traffic safety.