Today’s Headlines

  • Unborn Child Injured by Dorothy Bruns Has Died (News, BK PaperPost)
  • Cops Knocked a Man Off His Bike With a Car in Queens (Bicycling); Alternate Reality: News
  • Trottenberg: New Meter Zones Will Raise Parking Rates in High-Demand Areas (Post)
  • Lousy NYC Transit Is Pushing More People to Share Ubers (Politico)
  • NYPD Acknowledges That Cops Usually Ignore Bus Lane Blockers (NY1)
  • Straphangers Want 24/7 Buses When the L Shuts Down (News)
  • Johnson/Nixon Twitter Campaigns Target de Blasio/Cuomo on Transit (WNYC)
  • The MTA Can’t Say If Removing Seats From E Cars Had Any Effect (AMNY)
  • Gonzalez Files Assault Charges Against Drunk Curb Jumper Who Injured 4 (News)
  • Randall Manor Residents Want Traffic-Calming After Series of Severe Crashes (Advance)
  • John Massengale on How European Cities Reclaimed Streets for People (NYT); Meanwhile: Gothamist

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • stairbob

    I’m so sad for that family. Ugh, so awful. Just sitting here crying at my desk.

  • Josef Szende

    Add the Gothamist story on the L-train Town Hall: http://gothamist.com/2018/05/17/l_train_town_hall_shutdown.php

  • Vooch

    let’s give credit to Polly for the parking meter story.

    not perfect by any means but a step in the right direction

    now if we could only get DOT to put up these signs in Midtown https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/956934b7b9c03749ff5c3109cd127c40ad6705024960cf39e34cbc766ef27052.jpg

  • bolwerk

    Love how de Blasio the “progressive” is too cowardly to take on even the worst extremities of the Guiliani/Bloomberg police force. Cuomo is also too cowardly, or indifferent.

  • The police silenced de Blasio with an organised display of intimidation. In a functioning democracy, there would be severe disciplinary ramifications for such insubordination, including mass firings. By contrast, in our City the police get away with a terrorist act establishing that they acknowledge no authority above them and that they see the civilian government as irrelevant.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “In a functioning democracy, there would be severe disciplinary ramifications for such insubordination, including mass firings.”

    I believe they have civil service protection and a union contract, and make extensive contributions to the state legislature. And have tax-exempt pensions that can be retroactively increased at any time but never reduced. All of this trumps democracy, and I believe you approve — except, somehow, for the police.

    There is one key difference, however. The police, and only the police, can lose their pension if the engage in official misconduct. And with their retirement benefits worth far more than anything they earn while on the job, that’s a very big stick.

  • I am in favour of strong union protection, as well as high pay and pensions, for all public sector workers. This most definitely includes the police, who do an important and dangerous job.

    However, union protections do not permit police officers to ignore orders and to defy their superiors. If the mayor directs the police commissioner to order officers to refrain from engaging in a public act of intimidation against the City’s elected leader, police officers are not free to ignore that.

    If the appointed commissioner refuses to give that order, the mayor can replace that commissioner with someone who accepts his authority.

    No matter how you slice it, what we have in New York City is a case where the police, right up to the top of the department, have no respect for the civilian government or for democracy. This has nothing to do with appropriate union protections, which are meant to provide workers with due process in disiciplinary disputes, with a good quality of life during their careers, and with a comfortable retirement.

  • Brad Aaron

    It’s incomprehensible.

  • Fool

    But it does show how a single issue voting block “pay us more” can pervert the process.

  • Larry Littlefield

    There is a good video up on Bloomberg.com on the start of Sweden’s traffic safety movement in 1967. Somehow I can’t come up with a specific link for the video, but you can scroll down from here right now and see it.

    https://www.bloomberg.com

    It starts with “H day” when the whole country switched from driving on the left to driving on the right.

  • Larry Littlefield

    And as I pointed a dozen years ago in a post that quoted philosopher and theologian’s Reinhold Niebuhr’s “Moral Man and Immoral Society,” a powerful organization unchecked by equally powerful opposition can become selfish and evil even if the vast majority of its members are less selfish and basically good.

    http://r8ny.com/2006/07/15/spitzer-suozzi-and-reinhold-niebuhr/

    “Our contemporary culture fails to realize the power, extent and persistence of group egotism in human relations. Since reason is always to some extent the servant of interest in a social situation, social injustice cannot be resolved by moral and rational suasion alone. Conflict is inevitable, and in this conflict power must be challenged by power. An adjustment of social conflict caused by the disproportion of power in society will hardly result in justice as long as the disproportion of power remains.”

    “The inferiority of the morality of groups to that of individuals is due in part to the difficulty of establishing a rational social force which is powerful enough to cope with the natural impulses by which society achieves its cohesion. But in part it is merely the revelation of a collective egotism compounded by the egotistic impulses of individuals, which achieve a more vivid expression and a more cumulative effect when they are united in a common impulse than when they express themselves separately and discretely.”

    “The larger the group the more certainly it will express itself selfishly in the total human community. It will be more powerful and therefore more able to defy social restraints that might be devised. It will also be less subject to internal moral restraints. The larger the group the more difficult it is to achieve a common mind and purpose and the more inevitably it will be unified by momentary impulses and immediate and unreflective purposes.”

    Sums up the financial sector in Washington — and the public employee unions in City Hall and Albany. Niebuhr was writing about international relations. Extrapolating his point to organized interests in state and local government budgeting and management, I would say instead that they are united by the lowest common denominator of the self interest of their most selfish members.

  • Larry Littlefield

    You never get over losing a child at term. It’s shattering. To have it happen this way, and to lose another child as well, is really completely devastating. If there were another child they’d have to find a way to go on, because there would be something to focus on, a need that had to be met, but there isn’t. What was done to these people is far worse than killing them.

  • Joe R.

    Correction:

    “In a functioning democracy, there would be severe disciplinary ramifications for such insubordination, including mass executions.”

    What the police did to de Blasio is akin to sedition. That merits a death penalty, along with treason. In a sane democracy, there would have been gallows in 1 Police Plaza so the public could see all the traitors being hung, starting with William Bratton.

  • Vooch
  • fdtutf

    You’re frightening.

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

    The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

    No death penalty for anything else.

  • AMH

    His vehicle was “struck by” the pedicab. Right.

  • AMH
  • Vooch

    the reporter doesn’t have the foggiest notion that Giuliani broke the law

  • AMH

    That bus lane initiative needs to continue waaay past Sunday. Will placards and NYPD vehicles receive “courtesy”? If a brave traffic agent dares to ticket them, will their tickets be fixed?

  • bolwerk

    What exactly are their retirement benefits worth? I kind of stopped paying attention to police compensation years ago, but even before some Bloomberg-era raises they’d get bumped to the high five figures after five years and were probably easily pulling six figures by mid-career (at which point they could presumably retire at half pension).

  • bolwerk

    States can define treason differently. I don’t recall what NYS does, but if I recall the governor can’t pardon it the way s/he can other offenses.

  • fdtutf

    I find the concept of treason against an individual state idiotic.

    My point that insubordination should not rise to the level of treason stands.

  • bolwerk

    Well, as defined by the U.S. constitution it’s vague enough that even historically it has been difficult to use. Since this is the police being (arguably en masse) “insubordinate” toward a mayor, not the state, it probably can’t fit the definition of treason against a state either.

    However, I’m not sure I disagree the behavior is…coup-like? They are literally hostile to rule of law. It’s not just insubordination.

  • fdtutf

    You can only commit treason against an entity to which you owe allegiance, and I find it absurd to think that an American owes allegiance to an individual state.

    It may be that the police’s behavior here goes beyond insubordination, but I can’t see that it even begins to rise to the level of treason.