Today’s Headlines

  • Tony Avella: “Buying a Car, Having a Car, Is the Last Bastion of Freedom” (Gothamist)
  • Sorry Tony, Car Makers Are Looking Beyond Car Ownership to “Mobility Services” (NYT)
  • Welcome to the 12 Days of Cuomo Gloating About the 2nd Ave Subway (PoliticoAMNY, DNA, NY1)
  • Let Ben Kabak Take You on a Tour of the 96th Street Station (2nd Ave Sagas)
  • New Jersey Sees Cuomo’s Port Authority Power Grab as “Blackmail” (
  • The Uber/Lyft Bill Is Part of an Especially Grotesque Round of Albany Sausage-Making (News)
  • Uber Might Not Be Long for This World Unless It Becomes a Quasi-Monopoly (NYT)
  • These Council Members Don’t Sound That Excited About the BQX Streetcar (NY1)
  • What Happened to the 350 Real-Time Bus Arrival Displays de Blasio Promised for 2016? (Politico)
  • The Elusive Quest for Free-Flowing Traffic on Victory Boulevard (Advance)
  • Tri-State Reviews the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of 2016

Happy holidays, Streetsblog NYC readers. We’ll have a batch of Streetsie polls to vote on later this morning, then we’ll be back on Tuesday with our year-in-review posts.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    We’ve heard this “driving a car everywhere for everything always = freedom” thing many times before, but this particular phrasing is telling: “Last Bastion of Freedom” implies that the rest of our freedom has already been taken away. It’s chicken little, “the sky is falling” thinking that dovetails perfectly with the conspiratorial narrative that Avella, some cranks waiting to retire at 1PP, and their enablers at the Post are trying to push about Vision Zero.

    Tony Avella is a danger to anyone who walks, bikes or drives in this city.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I’ll say it again, a taxi ride takes an already expensive form of transportation — the private motor vehicle — and makes it even more expensive by adding a driver. A taxi ride is a luxury good. Uber is losing money while charging as much or more than people are willing to pay, in a limited market, and paying drivers not enough to live on. No wonder they want to go driverless.

    What could work is dynamic carpooling. Charging little more than a transit fare — say $3.50 in metro NY — with the drivers keeping $3.00 to bring 2-3 people along in trips they would have made anyway. Carpooling would be just enough to cover the cost of the car, not a way to make a living, and the low fixed price would be based on the fact that the driver was only going a little out of their way for each passenger, not making a special trip.

    With four passengers carried, on average, per day for 300 days per year, that’s $3,600. Get up to 6 passengers and that’s $5,400, perhaps enough to cover the car. For young seniors, perhaps they could pick up that much spare change moving older seniors around in places like the suburbs.

    The ride matching company would have to live on the remaining 50 cents. That might not provide Uber’s market cap, but Uber hasn’t exactly justified that market cap yet either.

  • Kevin Love

    The full Tony Avella quote, in context, is even more disturbing. Here it is:

    “Buying a car, having a car, is the last bastion of freedom. You get in your car, you can go anywhere you want at any time you want.”

    Go anywhere at any time? In a New York City in what alternate reality?

    The reality is that a car is an anti-freedom machine. Car drivers deprive everyone else of freedom by threatening and intimidating them on the streets. With their fine particle lethal cancer poison attacks, car drivers kill hundreds of people in New York City with a lingering and painful death of cancer. These cancer victims are disproportionately innocent children and the elderly, although healthy adults are also at risk of being poisoned and dying of cancer by car drivers.

    Toronto’s Public Health Department reports that an annual average of 280 people are poisoned and killed by motor vehicle operators in that city. The exact same calculations can be done by New York City Health Department. I wonder what is the number of dead in New York City due to being poisoned and killed by motor vehicle operators?


  • WalkingNPR

    I know I always feel so free when I have to depend on an expensive thing from one huge industry, fueled by continual payments to another huge industry, to drive on things lobbied for by several industry groups…ahhhh, ‘murica!

    I am always impressed when I consider how Big Auto et al managed such a masterful spin job. And constantly trying to figure out how to undo it.

  • HamTech87

    Why is BusTime the responsibility of the mayor and not the Governor’s MTA? It is one of the best improvements to our bus system, and we have the City to thank?

  • Vooch

    please don’t make driving even cheaper 🙂

  • Joe R.

    As a major money pit, they also deprive the owner of financial freedom.

  • AnoNYC

    Would like to purchase a affordable and reliable electric bicycle sold by Toyota or Honda.

    As many cities continue a renaissance and suburbs become more dense, it makes sense for the automobile manufacturers to shift.

    -Offer us bicycles too (electric/human powered
    -Standardize collision avoidance technology for all models (good on Toyota)
    -Develop vehicles with features that fit the urban environment (e.g. cabs with rear occupied indicators for bicyclists.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    Why would you want an electric bicycle made by Toyota? The bicycle guys are making really good electric rigs. I myself have a Specialized Turbo, a highly integrated, long range electric commuter/touring bike that costs a fraction of what a fancy meat-powered bicycle costs, to make no comparison with the prices of cars. I don’t imagine that Toyota’s supply chain heroics will make them competitive in the bicycle market.

  • AnoNYC


    Many bike companies make good products but a good electric bike is so expensive right now. A Specialized Turbo is out of range for most people.

  • Andrew

    BusTime – the data feed along with the official MTA apps – is the responsibility of the MTA. But anybody can use that data feed to display information about approaching buses. Since bus stops are property of New York City (and not the MTA), what happens at those bus stops is up to the City. That includes displays that show information based on the MTA’s BusTime feed.

    If you like the information, thank the MTA. If you want displays at bus stops, take it up with the City.

  • bolwerk

    Bad as BdB is, I sitll prefer he defeat most of his opponents. :-

  • Kevin Love

    There is someone in Japan who exports Japanese electric bicycles to the USA. See:

  • AnoNYC

    How a Bike Mayor Can Change a City

    Do you think the bike mayor concept is exportable to other cities?

    Well, I hope so, because in February I am moving to New York to begin the process of setting up the city with a bike mayor program of its own.