Today’s Headlines

  • Victims’ Families: De Blasio’s Not Doing Enough to Prevent Traffic Deaths (News)
  • This Reflective Tape on Seniors’ Canes Will Do the Trick, Right? (News)
  • TWU Prez Samuelson Beaming Over New Contract With MTA (NYTNews, AMNY)
  • The Yellow Cab Industry Ain’t What It Used to Be (NYT)
  • Donovan Richards: Bring Woodhaven Blvd SBS Over to Eastern Rockaway (TL)
  • DOT Safety Plan for Grand Street Coming Soon (DNA)
  • Police Searching for Hit-and-Run Motorist Who Drove Over Man’s Head in Midtown (Post, Gothamist)
  • Turning Bus Driver Runs Over Woman in Midwood Crosswalk — No Charges Expected (Bklyner)
  • Sentence for MTA Bus Driver Who Killed Carol Bell and Drove Away: 5 Years Probation (News)
  • Aravella Simotas: DOT Safety Tweak Near Off-Ramp in Astoria Didn’t Fix the Problem (DNA)
  • Brooklyn CB 10 vs. An Accessible 86th Street Subway Station (Bklyn Paper)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • djx

    That reflective tape on canes is horrendous – demonstrates NYPD lack of understanding on how to protect victims

  • reasonableexplanation

    I know you folks make fun of reflective stripes as a harm reduction strategy, but honestly, their ubiquity is a godsend.

    I drive, walk, bike, and ride, and I’m aware of how invisible I am, especially in the rain at night. So of course my bike has very bright lights in the front, the required red in the back, etc. I even put reflective stripes on my helmet so that there’s something higher up (more in the line of sight of big SUVs). Same deal when I ride; my jacket has reflective stripes, and so does my full face helmet. It’s made a world of difference, I have barely any close calls, because drivers see me now.

    Now as a driver, so many times I’ll see a bike without any lights, and the only thing that makes it visible at all are the reflectors on the pedals that come standard. Just two little lines, appearing and disappearing, but it makes a world of difference. If those things were not sold with every new bike, we’d probably have a lot more bikers hit. Harm reduction.

    You folks may be surprised to learn this but a good portion of newer clothing (especially sporty clothing, sneakers, and backpacks) now have a reflective stripe sown in somewhere. quite often the presence of that allows me to see a person way further out than I would otherwise, so it’s a good thing. I mean it’s not like it bothers you, does it?

  • benbensons

    There’s video of the Midwood accident on the Bklyner post. Horrifying, and pretty amazing that the victim is reportedly going to be OK. I can’t understand why the bus driver wouldn’t be charged with violating the right of way law, pedestrian was in the crosswalk and the bus was turning right.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Taxi drivers’ income plunged when the shifted from employees of taxi companies to self-employed renters of rent seeking medallion owners.
    That was a privatization of a public resource — the medallion system was supposed to limit unnecessary traffic — at the expense of the little guy.
    It is the medallion monopolists who are taking a hit, along wit perhaps the city if it would have sought to cash in by selling more medallions. If the price of the medallion fell to something reasonable to a mere license, the taxi industry would revive.

  • Komanoff

    Of course it bothers me, for two reasons.

    First, it contributes to perpetuating the system that fails to hold accountable the actor that brings danger to the road environment — the driver. And it’s particularly bothersome that the agent is NYPD, which could and should be at the front lines of inculcating that accountability.

    Second, it’s bound to fail. If you doubt that, look at the video in the headline item, “Turning Bus Driver Runs Over Woman in Midwood Crosswalk.” Crosswalk. Broad daylight.

    Every analysis of NYC fatal ped crashes has found driver error in a large majority of cases. NYPD continues to operate in denial of that.

  • reasonableexplanation

    I don’t think you’ve thought this through.

    When i’m biking, if a truck doesn’t see me and runs me over, I’ll probably die. But I still wear a helmet for those other spills where instead of cracking my skull open, I can walk away.

    Same deal here. will reflective stripes prevent distracted driving? Obviously not. However, If you’ve driven at night (especially in the rain when every surface is reflecting every light source), you’re probably familiar how invisible some folks can be. Reflective material somewhere on your person can be the difference between being seen in time or not.

    Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  • Jeff

    We basically just need to treat it like we do other crime. When I lived in Baltimore there was a set of common knowledge about how to handle yourself in dangerous neighborhoods. But at the same time the sympathy was with victims and potential victims, not the criminals themselves.

  • Joe R.

    My strategy is to ride as if I’m invisible. Or put in layman’s terms, I don’t depend upon other people seeing me for my safety. I assume every actor on the road will do the most stupid thing at the worst possible time, so I leave myself an out for if/when that happens.

    Sure, I have bright headlights and taillights so I’m NOT invisible but I still ride as if I am.

    However, If you’ve driven at night (especially in the rain when every surface is reflecting every light source), you’re probably familiar how invisible some folks can be.

    Exactly why I adopted my riding strategy. I’ve noted even when riding a bike how unlit bikes are virtually invisible until you’re almost on top of them. In a motor vehicle they’re even less visible.

  • Joe R.

    The medallion monopolists deserve to take a hit for using something which wasn’t meant to be an investment as one. A medallion is a license. That’s how the city should have treated it. Charge a fee which covers the cost of the TLC bureaucracy and any needed training but no more. Prohibit medallion owners from selling medallions on the open market or from owning more than one. If they decide not to drive a taxi any more, that medallion can be sold by the city to the next person on the waiting list for a medallion. The idea that a few people should horde medallions to artificially drive up the price is obscene.

  • Larry Littlefield

    It’s a historical artifact. You used to have taxi companies, as in the TV show Taxi.

    “The show focuses on the employees of the fictional Sunshine Cab Company, and its principal setting is the company’s fleet garage in Manhattan. Among the drivers, only Alex Reiger, who is disillusioned with life, considers cab driving his profession. The others view it as a temporary job.”

    I remember looking at long term employment data for the NY taxi industry. At some point in the 1970s the number of employees of that industry plunged by 80 percent or more. Where did they go? They became self-employed. The “risk takers” were the low paid workers. Those with guarantees were the wealthy medallion holders.

    Taxi driving shifted from a job that native born people, even college graduates, would hold for a while to make some decent money. Because the cost of taxis was much higher adjusted for inflation back then, and so was taxi-driver pay. To a job for the poorest immigrants only.

    Basically, while jacking up what it charges for things the city kept down taxi fares, a boon to the wealthy people who used them. The medallion holders squeezed from the other end. The worst squeeze was in the 1970s and 1980s, when the demographics of the drivers changed.

  • Morris Zapp

    CK has been agitating for safer NYC streets for decades. He literally wrote the book.

    He’s thought it through.

  • bolwerk

    Yay capitalism!

    How do they work anyway? Is a fee actually remitted back to the city yearly? Or do you buy once and have the exclusive privilege forever?

    If they are worth so much, the city should be getting a cut of the income they produce.

  • Buy once. I believe that medallion owners use them as security for loans in order to bring in cash.

  • bolwerk

    Hmm, if they don’t have to share revenue with the city, quite a lot of revenue must have been forgone over the years.

  • Maggie

    I find this horrifying as well. How exactly are New Yorkers supposed to ever cross the street, if a driver can strike you in the crosswalk like this and NYPD can’t decide whether to file a charge? Seriously, under de Blasio and O’Neil’s “leadership,” I can’t understand how this woman was supposed to get across the street.

  • There’s a difference between individual choices – such as wearing bright clothing or a helmet – and institutional ones. When you have an NYPD that’s disinterested at best and openly hostile at worst to real Vision Zero enforcement, it’s insulting to have them see putting reflective tape on canes as an effective use of their time.

    Put another way, would I want a college dean instituting policies to prevent and/or punish sexual assault or would I want him to hand out long skirts?

  • djx

    “There’s a difference between individual choices – such as wearing bright clothing or a helmet – and institutional ones. When you have an NYPD that’s disinterested at best and openly hostile at worst to real Vision Zero enforcement, it’s insulting to have them see putting reflective tape on canes as an effective use of their time.”


  • WalkingNPR

    In a chauffeured SUV, naturally.

  • djx

    No charges? W T F.

    Also, I don’t think the article said OK – it said she’d survive.

  • djx

    Correcting myself: I see the article says not severely injured. Thank heaven.

  • Komanoff

    It’s not helpful that in your latest comment you simply reiterated your earlier one and ignored my points.

    I was going to say that I’m a stickler for using lights whenever I’m riding after dark, which is often. I find that a reasonable accommodation, given my cycling speed and my voluntary choice to participate in road traffic.

    The idea that tape on a cane or walker will avert more than a minimal amount of driver mayhem against pedestrians is magical thinking. But even if it were true, let it be done *after* the NYPD has exhausted preventive steps to stop driver malfeasance.

  • fdtutf

    Cross the street? LMAO Shut up and get in your car, stat.

    If you must cross the street on foot, just make sure you don’t get hit, because obviously if you do, it’s your own fault. You must have been negligent. Motorists are never negligent.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Look at this:

    A 2.6 mile segment of the extension of the LA subway with four stations costs $1.4 billion. A nine station extension with seven stations costs $6.3 billion.

    Phase 2 of the SAS is 2.1 miles, three stations. More than $6 billion.

  • Joe R.

    $3 billion per mile versus ~$500 million (still expensive by world standards but not completely over the top). This just emphasizes why the NY metro region needs to get its infrastructure costs under control. Projects here shouldn’t cost 5 to 10 times what they do everywhere else.

    $6 billion should be enough to get the SAS down to Hanover Square and up to city limits in the Bronx with money to spare.

  • AMH

    Yep, it’s like handing out “Please don’t kill me” stickers to people in high-crime areas, instead of addressing crime.

  • Isaac B

    Local pol Dov Hikind periodically goes on an anti cyclist tear in his constituent letters. A claim he often brings up (paraphrased): “The city undercounts the rate of people that cyclists kill. That’s because a person can get knocked over and die from complications months later.” Yet somehow, no one seems to say this about motorists.

  • AnoNYC

    Well, the good news is that all automakers are going to be required to provide collision avoidance technology (includes pedestrians) standard to all vehicles sold in the USA by 2022. The bad part is that it won’t be commonplace until a couple years after. Toyota, a big seller in the USA, has already implemented this for all 2017 models going forward.

    I think this will make a big deal when it comes to failure to yield, though it will scare the crap out of people.

    And this technology will only improve.

  • AnoNYC

    Cross the street ever? Try flipping a U-turn Sunday driver.

  • AnoNYC
  • fdtutf

    Englisch, bitte?