Today’s Headlines

  • Uber Launches PR Offensive Against Minimum Wage for Drivers (News)
  • Bushwick Demands Justice for Luz Gonzalez (Bklyn Paper)
  • City Orders Illegal Bushwick Parking Lot Shut Down, Too Late for Luz (ABC 7)
  • Hit a Human Being With Your Car? Not Your Fault. Hit a Car With Your Fist? NYPD’s on the Case. (News)
  • Woman Critically Injures Man With Her SUV on 127th and Flees (Post)
  • Hot Car Complaints Have Nearly Doubled This Year (Post, WNYC)
  • Sarah Kaufman: Make Room for Scooters on NYC Streets (News)
  • De Blasio’s “Congestion Plan” Is Going Great (TL)
  • Pedestrian-Friendly Sidewalk Sheds Finally Have a Toehold in the Market (Crain’s)
  • You Can Dump Anything in the Street as Long as It’s Inside a Car (Bklyn Paper)
  • Come and Get This Easy Money (Post 1, 2)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Ian Turner

    We should expand citizen complaints to cover all moving and parking violations.

  • vnm
  • Larry Littlefield

    I don’t think allowing Access A Ride vans to use bus lanes is a bad idea.

    Yes it would mean more traffic in the bus lanes, but probably not enough to slow down the buses.

    And having more traffic in the bus lanes might make other vehicles less likely to obstruct them.

    Let’s say you have a bus lane in a situation with a bus every three minutes — pretty much a max headway. Then you have a delay, so it’s six minutes between buses, and the next bus is out of sight.

    To drivers of other motor vehicles that looks like empty, wasted space.

    “A city pilot program to ban curbside deliveries in Queens has small business owners warning that they may have to close their doors because customers unable to find parking have fled.”

    A few months later, new businesses catering to non-drivers will open with the benefit of lower rents and take their place.

  • qrt145

    I’m glad the city accepts citizen complaints about idling, but I wonder, how can they accept a photograph as evidence? First, how can a photo show that the engine is running? (Other than cases where the tailpipe emissions are clearly visible.) Second, even you have more than one time-stamped photo, can’t the driver claim that the engine was turned off in-between?

  • ortcutt

    I’m surprised that Clear Curbs wouldn’t get more support from Streetsblog NYC. It has dramatically cut congestion on Roosevelt Ave. in Jackson Heights. The old situation was double-parked trucks everywhere and buses struggling to go block-by-block. Shopowners and landlords should get used to a reality of serving their local community that gets there by walking and transit.

  • Ian Turner

    You also have to sign an affidavit that you saw the idling and potentially have to testify at a tribunal. Of course you could be lying, but that would be perjury. Not any different from false testimony in a criminal case.

  • Daphna

    What is the current rule of what a citizen complaint can be submitted for?

  • ohnonononono

    Why do we have to wait for a girl to die for DoB to order an illegal parking lot closed?

  • urbanresidue
  • Ian Turner

    In NYC? Up until today the only thing I was aware of was violation of TLC rules, plus now I guess idling rules.

    In New Jersey one can make a citizen complaint for just about anything, including parking tickets, moving violations, and criminal offenses.

  • William Lawson

    You have to have your shit together for the hearing as well. I haven’t filed any idling complaints but I’ve filed a lot of TLC complaints and have taken part in hearings, and you usually get a sour judge who clearly resents having to hear such cases in the first place. They go to great lengths to try and trip you up – even when you have rock solid evidence. And then they’ll thank you for your time and you receive an email a few days later telling you why the judge has dismissed the case….and it’s usually a complete load of illogical bullshit full of errors which shows that they couldn’t even be bothered to read the evidence in front of them.

  • BrandonWC

    If you think of it as a de fact street widening program, it’s less surprising.

  • ortcutt

    Using road space for travelling is better than using it for car storage, especially when it’s a heavily used bus corridor where the buses were regularly crawling block-to-block. Would bus lanes be better? Probably, but nobody seemed to have the political will to do that, so I support a solution that is clearly better than the old one.

  • crazytrainmatt

    I thought I’d add my experience: I’ve submitted about 200 TLC complaints over the last year or so. TLC has issued fines for 118 without a hearing. It’s harder to track the rest as some are pending, hearings get rescheduled, etc. I think a lot of drivers who request hearings are playing a delaying game as they adjourn and then request reconsideration.

    I figure I’ve testified at a few dozen hearings. I can remember only a handful of instances where the case was thrown out (and often in spite of clear photo evidence!), and there have been a number of instances where the driver got fined based on my testimony even when I hadn’t been able to snap a photo.

    They only tell you the resulting fine amount for cases that go to a hearing, but I’ve seen fines range from $50 to $1100 and 3 points, so I suspect that might alter a professional driver’s behavior.

    It took me a while to figure out what would stick with TLC prosecutors. Now I mainly submit photos of blocked bike lanes and crosswalks (with a clear view of the traffic signal); these are slam dunks for them. I submit reports for less easily documented situations mainly if someone does something exceptionally dangerous.

    If you want to do something yourself to improve street culture, this is the one lever we have. The @Reported_NYC app is far better than the 311 one.

  • William Lawson

    I made a crosswalk blocking report recently that went to hearing. The photo I submitted clearly showed the red light that the driver had – however, since the photo captured the red pedestrian signal while it was flashing, the judge threw the case out on the basis that “pedestrians didn’t have the light.” A 6 year old child could have told her that a photo cannot depict the fact that the light was flashing, and that it didn’t matter since the photo also shows a solid red traffic light. But noooo…..she just ignored all that and couldn’t wait to dismiss the case.

    Another thing I’m starting to see is reports coming back with “we could not identify the driver involved and the cab company is not cooperating in identifying him.” I think cab drivers are pissed and are pushing back. They figure their best way to beat tickets is to contest them and hope the complainant doesn’t show up to the hearing, or for their company to simply deny that they know who was driving that night.

  • crazytrainmatt

    I have seen the base fail to identify the driver for black cars a few times as well. I’m not sure what recourse TLC has in these situations but I suspect there is a gap.

    Occasionally, they have misidentified a yellow cab driver, but I think for yellows there is an automated sign-in system that feeds to TLC. Ideally FHV reform would include applying many of the rules for yellows to black cars as well (e.g. painting the plate number in high-contrast font on multiple sides of the vehicle).

    Anyway, I see it as a numbers game: you don’t have to win them all to make a difference.

  • William Lawson

    Yeah the way I look at it is, even if they don’t get fined, they still have to deal with the summons and take time off from driving to attend hearings, etc. If this annoys them then I guess they have an option – stop driving like jerks. I totally blitz TLC drivers on a few crucial blocks of bike lane near where I live, and I’ve noticed them doing it less than they were a couple of months ago. Word gets around between these drivers – they have Snapchat and WhatsApp groups where they discuss things like the Reported app (I notice some of them are leaving bad reviews of it in the app store) and warn each other of ticket hotspots.

  • AMH

    Minor correction, the fatality in Harlem was on 7 Av/ACP near 127th. The avenue got a road diet a few years ago (from SIX! lanes to four) but drivers still use it as a racetrack, especially above 125th.