Today’s Headlines

  • Karen Koslowitz Wants NYC Cyclists to Be Registered and Licensed (Gotham Gazette)
  • More on Yesterday’s Remarkable MTA Board Meeting (NYT, Post, News, NY1, AMNY)
  • Matthiessen Explains How Fix NYC Stacks Up to Move NY (Gotham Gazette)
  • Zack Fink Thinks Bridge Tolls Could Have a Role in Cuomo’s Pricing Plan (SOP)
  • Straphangers Speak With NY1 About the L Train Shutdown; More: WNYC
  • TLC Expands Accessible Cab Dispatch Service Beyond Manhattan (NYT)
  • DOT Releases Car-Share Maps for Brooklyn Neighborhoods (Bklyn Paper)
  • TEA Gets 4 to 12 Years for Killing Passenger in 111 MPH DWI Willy-B Crash (NewsPost)
  • Drunk NYCHA Worker Arrested for Hitting Woman in Wheelchair in Brooklyn (Post)
  • Longtime NJ Transit Reporter Sizes Up the Mess Phil Murphy Inherited (NJ.com)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Safety: This could be the big reveal.”

    If he wanted to look at it that way, what has happened to New Jersey Transit could be interpreted as the “big reveal” for what has happened to all of New Jersey.

    https://larrylittlefield.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/will-new-jerseys-phil-murphy-be-the-first-to-tell-the-truth-about-generation-greed/

    Just as the decline of the NYC subway is an early reveal of the direction of New York City.

    And Donald Trump’s election is a reveal of the reality of the decline of the United States.

  • bolwerk

    JFC, I wouldn’t even think the distance across the WB would be enough to accelerate to 100 mph for most vehicles.

  • JarekFA

    Karen Koslowitz Wants NYC Cyclists to Be Registered and Licensed (Gotham Gazette)

    For me, being an NYC cyclist has exposed to me the degree (to the extent I am able to detect it) that I’ve been significantly privliged in so many other aspects of life (and I say this as someone who graduated with 6 figure student debt with no parental assistance). I had not been previously accustomed to having the proverbial boot of power stomped on me (or similarly situated “me’s”)

    In this case, this is just people, who don’t ever bike, and don’t like bikes, who wouldn’t dare actually accept feedback and/or input from people who bike (or would like to bike more), looking to exercise authority over people who do. That’s what this is about. We are powerful. You are weak. And you will know your role. And we know this is all a pretext since there are things like facts, studies, statistics, best practices etc . . . These are supposed “liberals” who believe the scientists on climate change (it will effect them), they believe the science on Vaccines (it could effect their family); but when it comes to bikes as a form of mobility — the authoritative science and experts suddenly become “activists” or “fakenews”

    Same with the UES originated e-bike crackdown. We all know the safety stats. E-bikes are safe and a net benefit to our streetscape [like the madness of saying these guys are too dangerous on e-bikes but let’s have them drive cars instead reveals the paucity of their argument].

    In fact, I’m already experiencing first hand the less safe aspect of forcing delivery people to substitute e-bikes for cars. The formerly always blocked Hoyt bike lane in Brooklyn, which the NYT documented as having more bike traffic then car traffic in the evening rush, has been actually not blocked very often at all. However yesterday, for the first time in months, I saw a minivan, parked on the sidewalk/bikelane outside The Mile End, with a bunch of seamless orders in the front seat. So yah. I’m not so special. The policies that are promulgated aren’t promulgated with my interests in mind. With my class in mind. With my safety or well being in mind (even though as a matter of public policy it should be). I realize this has been a reality for millions of less privileged people than I but only now that have I been able to truly experience what it’s like to be not privileged (in a limited but still important sense) has been a real eye opener (and a bummer).

  • JarekFA

    I remember when I first came to NYC as an intern in college — it was amazing that you could go out and drink and never have to worry about a designated driver or drunk driving because of the always running subway or you could, if you could afford it, just take a cab. Or walk!

    Like, the idea of “bar hopping” with a car was just completely totally crazy. This isn’t the suburbs where you have no choice! I can’t help but think that the fact that this young man was given placard abuse privileges, and thus induced into driving, played a significant role here.

    And then, I’m not an expert on this, but is it really the case that there are all these cop bars, where they go after shift, and then drive home (because they get to drive and park wherever the f–k they want) with just a beer or two in them?

  • Larry Littlefield

    I’m sure she isn’t proposing registering and licensing cyclist to make more of them ride. Is she proposing to pay for “bikers ed” in the schools, the way there was drivers ed in the schools for many years?

    At least she didn’t say “insured.” New York is a no fault state. That means that if bicycles had to be insured, bicyclists would have to pay for all the injuries cause by them being run over by motor vehicles, even when the motor vehicles were at fault. That’s what that is about.

  • MasonEagle

    A lot of cops drink in Queens. And a lot of them get into fights and suchlike outside of these bars. And then drive home.

  • bolwerk

    Yes. Further, many (most?) cop bars are run by ex-cops and get protection from cops.

  • Reggie

    Sun Tsang’s employer is not relevant to the fact that he hit a woman with a car while allegedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Do I really need to tell Streetsblog not to emulate the New York Post?

  • reasonableexplanation

    The crazy thing is the other people in that car survived hitting a support pole with only minor injuries at over 100mph. Modern cars are kind of amazing, as long as you stay in them, that is, if you buckle up.

    As for the speed: the williamsburg bridge is over a mile long… most any car could get to it’s max speed in well under that distance.

  • Joe R.

    A lot of cars made these days can reach 90 or 100 mph in a quarter mile. Nearly all of them can reach 100+ mph in a mile:

    http://www.autosnout.com/Quarter-Mile-Car-List.php

    While on this subject, the NJT Arrow III EMUs I used to take to school could reach about 80 mph in one mile.

  • Joe R.

    Max speed takes a lot longer than one mile for most cars. Clawing out those last few mph typically takes a few tens of seconds. I’d say 3 to 5 miles is what you need to reach true top speed.

  • Joe R.

    This idea of registering and licensing cyclists rears its ugly head every few years. Same thing with the idea of requiring helmets. Neither has any traction because a fair number of people ride bikes at least occasionally. She’s free to say what she would like to happen, but in the end licensing and registering cyclists isn’t likely to make it out of committee, much less become actual law. Even the police would be against it as it would be an enforcement nightmare for them. Additionally, the minute a police stop for a license check resulted in a cyclist getting mistakenly shot, which would happen sooner or later, the law would be repealed. You might as well require people to have licenses to walk given that cycling is no more dangerous.

  • reasonableexplanation

    You know, I wish we really did have both drivers-ed and biker-ed in schools. (driver’s ed hasnt been a thing in NYC for a long time now). People will interact better with each other on all sides if they know what it’s like to use all modes.

    Those that only drive and can’t bike, or only bike and can’t drive, honestly really suck at understanding and anticipating the other’s actions.

    Both skills should be treated like learning how to swim. You gotta do it.

  • vnm

    Modern cars ARE kind of amazing. What’s amazing about them is that we allow them to go above the speed limit and be operated by drunk people when motorists kill 40,000 people a year. Within a year or so, trains, which are far safer to begin with, will be physically unable to travel above the speed limit. We should do the same for cars. Also there should be interlock devices to prevent drunk driving, instead of depending on ad campaigns.

  • Joe R.

    I think a sane middle ground which might gain public support is to have GPS limit cars to the speed limit on local surface streets but not on highways. Four reasons for this. One, you can’t kill pedestrians or cyclists on highways. Two, most highway speed limits in the US are set far too low compared to Europe. Three, in most of the US people do the majority of a trip on highways. Speed limiting them on local streets won’t affect their travel time by much but it will result in much greater pedestrian/cyclist safety. Four, you might encourage some traffic to move from local streets to highways once local speed limits can’t be exceeded.

  • vnm

    I’ll take it.

  • reasonableexplanation

    You are correct, let me revise a bit; any reasonably sized modern car with a reasonably sized engine, say a sedan with 2.4liter 4-banger, can reach a very high speed within 1 mile.

    A camry can reach 100mph in about 26 sec.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Within a year or so, trains, which are far safer to begin with, will be physically unable to travel above the speed limit. We should do the same for cars.”

    However, it seems that within 10 years, not only will cars be programmed not to exceed the speed limit, but will drive themselves in mixed traffic.

    Not so for most trains on their own private rights of way, despite the huge money spent on CBTC so far.

  • reasonableexplanation

    I have no issues with this. We’ll get to this with the advent of self driving cars soon.

  • sbauman

    I think the congestion pricing zealots deserve some credit on this one. Ordinarily, it would take an act of the State Legislature to permit a locality to charge fees for road use. The Move NY people led some to believe they discovered a loophole that permitted congestion pricing without the State Legislature’s approval. That same loophole would apply to other road users – like bicycles. Nice going guys.

    The basic argument against bike operator licenses is that it cannot be universal. Any NYC ordinance would apply only to NYC residents. Any rider stopped for not having a NYC bike operator’s license could claim Nassau County or New Jersey residence.

    The same holds for bicycle registration. I used that argument for not registering my bike, when I was a student in Massachusetts. I’m sorry I didn’t register the bike. That Cambridge registration plate would have been a conversation starter, half a century later.

  • Joe R.

    And if we assume the average speed during acceleration is 70 mph because the car will accelerate much more quickly in the beginning, 0 to 100 mph will take about a 1/2 mile. I’d say almost any car made these days can reach 100 mph in a mile.

  • bolwerk

    Yeah, a mile is about what I’d expect with a typical economy car. I wasn’t clear what side of the bridge that dude was driving from, but it’s hard to imagine pulling that off from the Manhattan side even if your car can do it.

  • bolwerk

    My understanding is they’re typically designed to make surviving possible at about that speed or a little faster. Perhaps that’s because two cars heading towards each other under typical circumstances will collide at most at about that speed. For example, a car moving at 60mph hitting another moving in the opposite direction head on is the equivalent to a car hitting a stationary object at 120 mph.

    Cars (legally) move faster on interstates, but typically there is a median in those cases.

  • Larry Littlefield

    If they wanted to do it in such a way that would actually encourage bike riding, I’d be in favor. But she is just dog whistling.

    For one thing, I you have an commercial license that allows you to drive a large truck, you are allow allowed to drive a passenger car. I have been licensed to drive a passenger car for 40 years. Would I need another license to ride a bicycle.

    How about doing the opposite. Teach kids to ride a bicycle on the street starting at age 12, and make it a prerequisite for getting a license to drive a car.

  • kevd

    driving in NYC has made me a better cyclist (despite doing it so rarely)
    cycling would make most NYC drivers better drivers.
    So I agree!

    frequent driving in NYC also turns people into sociopaths because it is so infuriating. So maybe not too much driving for cyclists?

  • bolwerk

    Don’t think #3 is true, though it might turn on your definition of “highway.” If you go by freeways and interstates from the FHWA, it seems to be around 33% of vehicle-miles. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2014/vm2.cfm

  • Elizabeth F

    Pedestrians rarely pay attention to the traffic lights or crosswalks, and in general think they own the road. They also cause great danger to drivers and bikers through their wanton disregard of basic traffic law and by constantly looking at their phones — even while crossing the street! We shouldn’t build even one more sidewalk or pedestrian plaza until every pedestrian in New York follows the law every time. In the meantime, license, registration and insurance should be required for anyone who wants to walk in Manhattan.

  • Vooch

    you win the internet today !

  • Vooch

    It’s completely relevant – gov’t employees are hubris defined. They kill and maim wantonly.

  • Lawrence

    Do you mean like making $107,969 for your city union job you probably showed up for 3/4th of the time, and then using a Legal Aid attorney when you were so drunk and high you couldn’t avoid hitting a lady in a wheelchair with your car?

  • Vooch

    3/4 ?

    you being optimistic

  • AnoNYC

    10 years is really unlikely for fully autonomous cars.

    But I would estimate that a good chunk of cars on the road will have automatic collision avoidance technology in 10 years.

  • Brad Aaron

    Dangerous off-duty driving behavior of someone who might be entrusted with a fleet vehicle during working hours makes his or her job completely relevant.

  • qrt145

    And if they don’t, let’s confiscate their shoes!

  • reasonableexplanation

    Absolutely.

  • AMH

    It’s such a racket.