Today’s Headlines

  • Cyclist Deaths Up 140 Percent From 2015 (NYT); City Hall Still Withholding Crash Data From Public
  • Matthew von Ohlen’s Killer Remains at Large (Patch); More Crash Coverage: Voice, DNA
  • MTA Launches B46 Select Bus Service as NY1 Plays Up Opening Day Nitpicking
  • Rail E-Ticket App Is New MetroCard Pilot (AMNY); More on Cuomo’s Inscrutable PresserCrain’s
  • Staten Island Railway Emergency Call Boxes Installed 10 Years Ago Still Don’t Work (DNA)
  • Who’s Making Money Off “Free” Curbside Parking in Park Slope? Hint: Not NYC (Bklyn Paper)
  • Crain’s: NYC’s Food Cart Industry Is Rife With Corruption and Should Be Reformed
  • The Post Sides With Medallion Owners Who Say City and Uber Have Ruined Their Investment
  • Advance Complains About the Next Port Authority Toll Hike, Whenever It May Occur …
  • … Because If There’s Anything SI Should Worry About, It’s Low-Cost Motoring (Rolling Stone)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • djx

    If NYPD would step up ticketing of cyclists, maybe fewer people would ride and we could get that death rate down. That seems to be the strategy at least.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Her son appeared to be riding in the bike lane in the correct direction when he was killed, the police said” when confronted with video evidence that might end up in the hands of a lawyer.

    But before widespread cameras, there was decades of news reports blaming bicycles for all accidents. And, informed by that reporting, angry drivers appear intent on “taking back the streets” the way they took them to begin with.

  • Simon Phearson

    That’s absolutely the “strategy.” What’s so frustrating about it is that it’s not just pointlessly vindictive, it’s empirically wrong. Park-goers after dark are safer when there’s more of them, not fewer; cyclists on the streets are safer when there’s more of them, not fewer. The NYPD is actively making things less safe for us.

  • Mathew Smithburger

    The solution to the terrifying jump in motorists killing people on bicycles in New York City is to, of course, find the path of least resistance which is to crack down on cyclists with ticket blitzes, parking police vehicles in bike lanes and bringing up the perennial idea of mandatory bike helmets. Because why would anyone in their right mind ride a bicycle in New York City traffic. But the real solution, which is not the path of least resistance would be to set up red light and speeding cameras and to relieve the “enforcement” arm of the City of New York of their self appointed role of “legislating from the front seat of a patrol car” in a manner contrary to the legislation enacted by the civilian arm of the City of New York. I could ride my bike, right now, down 9th Avenue and collect at least one red light ticket or I could stand on the corner of 48th and 8th and watch 100 motorists an hour speed, run red lights make rights on red, double park, crawl along and generally do what ever they please. I witnessed a hit and run on 8th avenue two weekends ago, where the cyclist got up and walked away.

  • qrt145

    You missed the link to NYT’s coverage of Matthew von Ohlen’s killing, which talks about “accidents” and fails to mention that the killing appears to be intentional.

  • JudenChino
  • qrt145

    Even though it is disturbing that the number of cyclist deaths over a six-month period is up 140%, the numbers are so small that the default assumption must be that it is a random fluctuation and not part of a trend. Also, last year was unusually low. See: Poison distribution; regression to the mean.

  • Larry Littlefield

    By the way, corrupt cops can now keep their pensions under recently passed legislation. At least the brass with more than 20 years in can.

    Meanwhile the PBA is putting up ads claiming that cops injured in the line of duty should be 3/4 pensions, while pushing for a restoration of automatic 3/4 pensions under provisions that led to massive disability fraud.

    After all, fairness. The teacher’s union has been cheating the serfs more lately, and the police need to catch up. And Wall Street got a bailout. So others working the system aren’t making things worse and worse for the serfs to a fair extent.

  • knisa


  • qrt145

    Oops, my bad. 🙂

  • Brad Aaron

    It’s the first link in the stack.

    I re-read the story because I thought I must have missed the part where police think the driver killed him on purpose.

  • knisa

    didn’t mean to be a stickler, just thought it would help out anyone who wanted to look it up and learn about it 🙂

  • qrt145

    Sorry, you are right! I was looking for it on the second bullet point and missed it on the first.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Looks like rank and file officers feel cheated that they don’t get to commit acts of corruption and keep their pensions too. After all fairness. Those harmed are just a bunch of serfs anyway.

  • WalkingNPR

    Could they be any more obviously acting out of spite at this point? Cyclist doing nothing wrong murdered by driver; cops respond with cyclist ticketing. Media and others criticize this response, so they widen the cyclist ticket blitz. Very mature response, guys. Protect and serve and all that….

  • Greg

    I realize this is all speculation now, but in all honesty, given what’s known about the driver and available security cam footage, how hard is it going to be to identify and catch them?

    This more than any case I can think of in recent memory needs to be treated seriously and show consequences, and I’m deeply anxious to hear that there are enough clues and investigative will to find the perpetrator.

    As much as we darkly joke about the theme “if you want to kill someone do it with your car”, this is it actually happening and it’s very much not a joke. I hope to no end the pressure doesn’t let up by anyone on this story until we’ve got someone behind bars.

  • I do think that’s an important perspective, but if shootings were up by a similar percentage you can be sure the mayor would be in front of news cameras with a plan for how to bring the numbers back down.

    Given that the last cyclist fatality was an intentional murder, de Blasio’s silence is more than disappointing.

  • HamTech87

    It would be nice if all those NYPD officers handing out flyers were instead canvassing the neighborhood for witnesses and security camera footage.

  • djx

    Police seem to want to be respected, but this effort shows a serious lack of professionalism and therefore diminishes public respect.

  • qrt145

    If murders were up 140%, it *would* be statistically significant because the number of murders is an order of magnitude larger than the number of cyclist deaths. But let’s imagine that the murder rate were just as small and we saw a similarly insignificant (statistically speaking) random fluctuation. Perhaps the Mayor would say something about it, but I would criticize him just as well. I don’t like it when politicians or the media use random fluctuations to further their agenda (even if it’s an agenda I happen to agree with), or simply to drive up their ratings. It is intellectually dishonest.

    (I do realize that putting politics and intellectual honesty in the same paragraph is hopelessly naive. Sorry, I can’t help myself.)

  • Simon Phearson

    The tragedy of it – the predictable, boneheaded tragedy of it – is that diminishing public respect for officers undermines their own safety. If you get a reputation for unnecessarily beating minor offenders, you’re not going to get called (as an officer, to deal with criminal activity) until there’s shooting in the streets, at which point you’re driving into a war zone and trying to bring peace. If the public doesn’t respect you, investigative work becomes harder and more futile. If the public doesn’t respect you, it makes it harder for you to de-escalate tense situations with non-violent offenders. It just increases danger, across the board.

    The one person – the person at the top, who should see this happening and know what the inevitable result will be – is Bratton. By letting his force do as they please, even in some cases endorsing their scofflaw behavior (in the spirit of boosting “morale”), he is condemning officers of the future to greater rates of injury and death.

  • AMH

    This is very relevant and makes a point frequently brought up on this blog–instead of wasting money on pamphlets and bike tickets, rebuild the streets so drivers cannot behave like maniacs.

  • Joe R.

    My guess is a fair number of them would rather not be doing this at all (seriously, who becomes a police officer to ticket cyclists?) but have little choice. They’re assigned what is essentially sh*t duty and then given quotas to meet. Cyclists are the unfortunate victims in all this.

    That said, I can’t think of a more stupid response to a tragedy like this than what the NYPD is doing. It also wouldn’t surprise me if the response is in part to take the heat off the driver who may well be a member of the NYPD. A few weeks of demonizing cyclists before revealing the identity of the driver will soften the public relations blow if it does indeed turn out this driver is a cop.

  • ocschwar

    “My guess is a fair number of them would rather not be doing this at all (seriously, who becomes a police officer to ticket cyclists?) but have little choice.”

    They are perfectly capable of standing at the Manhattan bridge and “failing” to notice missing bike bells.

    As we all know, there’s plenty of other things they “fail” to notice all the time.

  • Andres Dee

    My high school French: “Poisson sans boisson, c’est poison.”

  • Andres Dee

    That would depend on whether or not the driver was a member of one of NYC’s “protected classes”, like trash truck driver, cop, firefighter…

  • Vooch

    would need to also check injuries Which are Much larger Dataset

  • Vooch


    2/3 of Americans no longer Trust police. Tragic