Today’s Headlines

  • Silver Machine-Backed Alice Cancel Wins in 65th District; Dems Could Take State Senate (NYT, DNA)
  • Tri-State: Investment in Transit, Not Electric Car Incentives, Will Help Region With Climate Goals
  • Video: Jake Dobkin Counts the Number of Motorist Violations on His Bike Commute (Gothamist)
  • MTA to Expand Sleep Apnea Tests to Subway and Bus Operators, Say MTA and Cuomo (NewsPost)
  • Norwood News Looks at Service and Ped Safety Improvements Coming to Webster Ave SBS
  • The Columbus Circle Subway Station Shopping Mall and Food Court Is Open (2nd Ave SagasDNA)
  • Queens Residents Choose Bus Countdown Clocks, Park Upgrades in Participatory Budgeting (Courier)
  • Fleet Owners Like Evgeny Friedman Are a Big Reason Cab Drivers Drive Like This (Politico)
  • Drunken Thief Hijacks Cab, Tears Through Manhattan and Brooklyn, Injuring Several (DNA)
  • It’s Past Time for a Discussion on Raising the Driving Age (AP)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Joe R.

    Having a driver’s license isn’t the same as being able to drive. My mom has a driver’s license. I can assure you she can’t drive. She lacks the physical ability, and at this point the mental ability. In order to drive you need the following:

    1) A valid driver’s license
    2) The physical and mental ability to drive (that probably rules out at least 1/3 of the population with supposedly valid driver’s licenses)
    3) The ability to afford a car (that likely leaves out another 1/3 of the population)

    Having a car in the household doesn’t imply #3 unless it’s your car. If the car belongs to someone else, then they may need it when you would. Or they might just be unwilling to let you use it.

    The problem here isn’t that a lot of people can’t ride bikes 35 miles a day to work. Rather, it’s that they need to travel that far to get to work in the first place. Forced car ownership on account of this is the single biggest cause of lack of upward mobility. I’ve read a reasonable budget assumes no more than 5% of take-home pay for commuting costs. Even a cheap car will cost you maybe $5,000 annually in gas, repairs, insurance, etc. Or let’s play devil’s advocate and say it costs only half that. $2,500 is 5% of $50,000. Not that many jobs around where you take home $50K. Someone working in Walmart for $12 an hour might see about $350 a week. They’re spending 15% of my very low estimate just getting to work. More likely their vehicle costs them upwards of 25% of their take-home pay. And it’s quite likely they’re putting it all on a credit card. Eventually they can’t make the payments, file bankruptcy, then start over again at society’s expense.

    The fact a large numbers of people have licenses and cars doesn’t mean they can really afford them, or they’re capable of driving. I was sane enough to realize I couldn’t on the amounts people were willing to pay me.

    Needing a car to get to jobs almost certainly reduces the number of jobs available to people starting out. Please explain to me how someone who never worked, whose parents can’t afford to buy them a car, can even start working a job they can’t reach without one? It’s a chicken-and-egg then. You can work until you get a car but can’t afford a car until you start working. And I’m using the word “afford” extremely loosely here. Someone in an entry level job really can’t afford a car.

    My idea is better. If biking or public transit aren’t options, then the employer has to provide transportation, at least from the few nearest public transit stops. Longer term of course we can restructure society to give disincentives to live or employ people in sprawling environments but for now let’s put a system in place where people don’t have to drive to work unless they want to.

  • Alexander Vucelic


    kids should Think Riding 5-15 Miles Is a good Thing

  • Jonathan R

    Wow, lots of good ideas in that 59-page document. I hope we will live long enough to see them come to be.