Today’s Headlines

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Larry Littlefield

    It’s an election year for the Mayor in 2017, and for the Governor in 2018. Both have national aspirations. And neither will touch the MTA with a ten-foot pole.

    They have a mutual agreement to promise to fund the capital plan while not funding it, and otherwise hope it will go away. And just want someone to accept blame and not stir up trouble to head the agency.

    What does this tell you? They don’t see a way out of the situation, caused by decisions of two decades, and want to just slip away quietly. Let the catastrophe occur, and people to get used to it, and then someone else can get credit for marginal improvements some time down the road. As in the mid-1980s, or something. It’s about avoiding blame.

    We need a “truth and reconciliation commission.” And not just for the MTA.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Next year, the city expects to collect $631 million in parking fines, up 15 percent from 2014; the haul from fines is three times as much as what the city gets from legal parking at meters.”

    Total of perhaps $850 million. I wonder how this combination compares with the entire budget of the street division of the NYC Department of Transportation.

    Page 172 and 174 — looks like the entire operating budget is $1 billion in 2017, including bridges, limited access highways, and ferries. Another $1 billion in capital for highways and streets, but I’ll bet most of that is going to the highways assuming NYC DOT is overseeing work on state roads in the city’s boundaries.

    But the ticket revenue goes to the general fund, which means it goes mostly to the ticket issuers and to police, fire and teacher pensions. If they had permits for overnight parking on the street, with these fines and meters, all going to DOT, it could probably pay for the whole thing,

  • guest

    What about the Brooklyn Bridge entrance on the Manhattan side, and specifically all the souvenir vendors who clog up the space? I’m stunned that that’s allowed; it’s such a hazard and massive inconvenience, pushing thousands of pedestrians and cyclists into each other. How is this allowed? Have there even been efforts to relocate the vendors? There’s usually lots of space on the wide sidewalk in front of city hall.

  • c2check

    NYC needs to completely revamp its parking regulations and enforcement (and we’re not alone—most other cities do too). It’s crazy that so much of NYC has free street parking. Listen to Donald Shoup: price based on supply and demand to meet a target occupancy rate, and put meter revenue back into the neighborhood for better walking, biking, and transit infrastrucutre.

  • Kevin Love

    I see from the NYT article that a certain Emmanuel Amofah committed repeated acts of fraud and uttering of forged documents. The fraud amounted to several tens of thousands of dollars. And yet Mr. Amofah is not going to jail. Why is that?

    Any other criminal that committed repeated acts of fraud and uttering of forged documents to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars would be looking at serious jail time. But hey, this has to do with cars.

    Car drivers can kill and injure people with zero consequences. Just ask Dulcie Canton. They can commit fraud to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars with no jail time.

    Needless to say, there are actual laws that provide for actual penalties for these serious crimes. All we need is a police force and a court system that will uphold the law in the face of violent and out-of-control criminals.

  • Kevin Love

    From the NYT article.

    “A ticket a day for each vehicle that is doing work in the city,” Mr. De Lellis said. “I don’t care. It’s part of doing work in New York City, and my clients understand that as well.”

    So this guy openly admits to deliberately breaking the law on a daily basis. Needless to say, in almost any other OECD country, there is actual law enforcement. Try doing this in any Japanese city and the car will be promptly towed. The UK uses the “boot” to immobilize the car. I don’t know what the Germans do, but I have a certain feeling there is effective law enforcement.

    When it comes to car drivers, the USA is like one of those corrupt Third World countries (and Russia!) where a certain class of people considers themselves to be above the law. And the police and courts allow that class of people to actually be above the law in those countries.

    It is time for the USA to join the ranks of those modern advanced countries that have this concept known as “rule of law.”

  • Vooch

    Great idea

    Fund DOT via parking fees. Might triple DOT capital budget

  • c2check

    I understand the need for parking for commercial vehicles, and understand why they’re inclined to break the law here.
    But the city needs to actually manage curbsides so they have the parking available that they need, and people need to pay for it, at very least to pay for the extra enforcement it’d require. It would cut down on double parking if too if we did things right.

    It seems much of midtown, at least, is probably too dense and what ends up happening is the streets are overrun with construction vehicles as many offices undergo frequent renovations with lots of companies moving in and out, not to mention your standard building maintenance.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Any other criminal that committed repeated acts of fraud and uttering of forged documents to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars would be looking at serious jail time.”

    Nice if it were true. Did you miss the last 15 years, and the stated income loans? Or did you mean that those who commit fraud for tens of thousands of dollars go to jail, while those who commit fraud for $millions or $billions do not?

    Those who ride bikes on the sidewalk go to jail.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The people who matter seem to prefer the fines, and trying to get away with something, to fees.

  • Guest

    Under any legitimate structure designed to seek compliance with legal requirements, penalties escalate for repeat offenses. When you provide a bulk discount, you’re running a business.

  • Vooch

    More of an issue are the video gaming bureaucrats sitting in interceptors parked on the bridge protecting something

  • Vooch

    The entire CBD should be only paid loading zones curbside.

    maybe even a req’d for only commercial plates

  • JudenChino

    Proposed Queens Blvd. Revamp Adds Bike Lanes, Cuts 198 Parking Spots

    Make sure to read the comments.

  • JudenChino

    But he should pass on the cost to his customers! The work he doesn’t isn’t cheap. If he’d lose the business in Manhattan then yah, then he loses the business because a critical part of his work is “getting there,” and if he can’t afford those costs then he really can’t provide his service at a price point that clears the market.

    In other words, if his competitors have to pay $5,000/month to get to their clients and he just illegally parks and tries to “illegally” get those costs waived — then he’s been working with a subsidy that his competitors didn’t get.

  • bolwerk

    Hey, why object to that? The fines he pays are probably a cash cow for the city.

    A bigger thing to object to is not him personally, but the collective behavior of everyone like him slowing down everyone else. And the system that makes it happen.

  • Kevin Love

    The purpose of fines is to effectively deter illegal behavior. That does not seem to be happening here.

    To raise money for the city, we have things called “taxes.”

  • JudenChino

    Yes, that would be the sensible policy. But, as we all know, loading zones in the CBP are placard parking all day. Should have a truck unloading stage equipment in the loading zone? Nah — let’s make it NYPD surgeon parking.

  • bolwerk

    That’s probably not true (fines have always had a remedial purpose), but even if it is, of course it’s not happening. That purpose butts head with reality. He is doing what every professional driver in NYC knows must be done to function as a professional driver in NYC.

    I don’t like that, but I have trouble being angry at someone who is working according to the rules of the system he is told to work in. The system needs to be changed.

  • Kevin Love

    I absolutely agree! The system needs to be changed. Right now we have a corrupt Third World system where a certain privileged class violates the law with impunity.

  • Kevin Love

    The Island of Manhattan should be car-free.

  • Joe R.

    How do you find the comments at dnainfo? All I ever see are the articles.

  • Joe R.

    I’ll bet good money the person who hit Dulcie Canton was a cop, probably a drunken cop. That’s why the case was never pursued.

  • JudenChino

    It’s at the bottom where there’s a link that says join the conversation:

  • Joe R.

    Thanks! Regarding the comments, ugh! Extreme motorist entitlement syndrome. Funny that few of them thought of taking the subway which runs right underneath them.

  • Vooch

    we should let cars roam free in NJ.

    they would be so much happier

  • BubbaJoe123

    No reason to require commercial plates, or make it just loading zones. Just use dynamic pricing to ensure there’s at least one space available on each block. Also, eliminate placards entirely. If those are city vehicles, then that department pays the fine for illegal parking. If they’re personal vehicles, then the employee can submit a form to DOT, with evidence that they were using their personal vehicle for city business, with the explicit approval of their supervisor, and describing the nature of the business.

  • Vooch

    Re placards ?

    I think the argument goes; there is zero reason for anyone to need to drive to a meeting in Manhattan. It’s slower to drive. Therefore, no parking placards necessary. Ditto for driving to employment.

    I’m going to argue it’s easier politically to implement a simple rule ‘Manhattan below 60th loading zone from 0500-1800 commerical plates required’ than implement dynamic pricing. The DOT has had Beta tests of SmartMeters going for something like 8 years, and never expanded it.

    Dynamic pricing is the best solution by far. But, it hasn’t gone anyway despite DOTs successful implementation of it.

    Either is better than the current situation

  • reasonableexplanation

    That’s literally the exact system in place right now for most of midtown between 7am and 7pm. I have a feeling you don’t feel like the parking problem is ‘solved’ there though…

  • Vooch


    increase pricing


  • reasonableexplanation

    Thanks for deflecting.

    I’ll ask again: the system you propose is already in place in much of midtown. Do you feel like it has solved the problem?

    And increasing pricing is a puzzler: these are commercial vehicles, they’re not there on discretionary trips to visit grandma, they’re there for work. Increasing meter rates would just make them pass the costs along to their customers.

  • reasonableexplanation

    The Island of Manhattan shouldn’t be car-free.

  • Vooch

    Increase pricing – obviously the pricing structure isn’t working. I suspect that short term (15 minute or less) parking is overpriced and longer term (more than 1 hour) is underpriced. Variable pricing is also none existent. Prices should vary dramatically between peak period, middle of the day, and overnight.

    Make it really cheap to unload for a few minutes and very very expensive to hog a space for hours during peaktime. It should cost a buck for 15 mins and $20 for second 15 mins and $40 every subsequent 15 mins during the day.

    DOT has the ability to install smart meters. There has been a pilot program running successfully for years. Its just being lazy not to apply smart metering & dynamic pricing throughout the CBD

    Commercial Only – agreed that commercial deliveries should have priority over everything else. My observation is even in Midtown, there is a surprising amount of on street vehicle storage available for private cars. Even if its just 10%, thats way too much. Applying a blanket rule that only commercial vehicles can use the curb from 0500-1900 everywhere below 60th would make life simple for everyone and increase supply.

    Its remarkable that every other world class city seems to have solved this situation regarding car storage – deliveries – and construction vehicles. Yet, in Manhattan its 3rd world. Again, it is not rocket science. The solutions are long established. It just takes some leadership and initiative. Our leaders are lazy dullards.

  • Vooch

    Just added a bunch of snarky responses. Had some fun.

  • Vooch

    love this comment from Jessica.

    There is so much said in so few words:

    “…This is the DUMBEST thing to do. The area is severely congested as is, and now you want to make the travel lane ONE lane only? Trying to drive down QB is a shitshow as is. Trying to go anywhere takes an hour during peak drive times, and now we are losing virtually 200 parking spots?? If you want to do this, BUILD PARKING LOTS. Where exactly are cars supposed to go?????? You keep putting up highrise towers, now you’re cutting lanes and parking???? Who the hell is making decisions for our community? Some clown that doesn’t even live here? Who has never put one toe into forest hills???? Who has never had to endure driving down QB?…”

  • Joe R.

    I liked that one also. It’s a motorist version of “think of the children”. Oh, the poor cars! They have rights, too! LOL.

  • Vooch

    I love reading these types of comments. It means we are winning