Thursday’s Headlines — Slow News Day Edition

No major announcements (or even tiny news like yesterday from the Department of Transportation) from the city’s press corps this morning, but plenty of must-reads:

  • Surprise, surprise: It’s really hard to find one of the 200 electric Citi Bikes among the company’s 12,000 two-wheelers. Here’s one man’s — well, Lucas Riccardi’s — quest. (CityLab)
  • One day after Streetsblog reported on a cop who doesn’t know basic vehicular law, Gothamist finds another!
  • Mayhem of the day: Two unlicensed drivers crash and send a garbage can flying into a pedestrian. Both drivers were arrested (too bad for them that the pedestrian didn’t die — then they’d have been let off for sure). One quibble from an old tabloid guy: the lede suggests that it was just two men who collided and not their cars, but still… . (NYDN)
  • NY1 cherrypicked a quiet time to count how many cyclists are using the crucial Queens Boulevard bike lane in Rego Park — 12:30 in the afternoon — and was unimpressed. The station’s slapdash report doesn’t even bother to quote a cyclist. (NY1)
  • Just when you thought it was bad enough for Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen, now he has to sell his taxi medallions at a huge loss. (NYDN)
  • Fortune magazine gives us today’s hate-read about Uber. (Fortune)
  • The Brooklyn Eagle senses that something’s about to happen to the BQE — and reports, “A boring machine digs out a cylindrical bore of material below the surface.” (Brooklyn Eagle)
  • Gothamist asks the question that we have been asking a lot: “Why Are E-Bikes Legal For Citi Bike Users And Not Immigrant Delivery Workers?” (Gothamist)
  • Cars are finally being towed out of the new protected bike lanes in Sunnyside (H/T to Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Clarence Eckerson)
  • Reminder: the United States Postal Service does not pay parking tickets. And here’s how that plays out on the street (H/T to Twitter user @tipchette). Then again, UPS does pay partial fees on its tickets — and the company’s brown trucks are always caught blocking bike lanes. (H/T to Twitter user @jarekFA)
  • And finally, Streetsblog Editor Gersh Kuntzman once got slammed (albeit on Twitter) for complaining about dangerous cobblestone streets in DUMBO, but now local TV reporter John Dias shows how the city is making changes. (CBS2)

And, one more thing, if something’s really bothering you out there, why not drop us a line and tell us what it is?

  • Larry Littlefield

    “NY1 cherrypicked a quiet time to count how many cyclists are using the crucial Queens Boulevard bike lane in Rego Park — 12:30 in the afternoon — and was unimpressed. ”

    The other day I saw three cyclists go up the Manhattan Bridge incline very close together, and the counter only went up one. I have no idea how that thing works.

  • Daniel S Dunnam

    I too am totally mystified by it. I routinely see it undercount but I’ve stopped and monitored it and I can’t figure out the pattern, or even how it’s counting.

  • Daphna

    If these counters are not working then that is a serious problem. It is better to have no counter than one that undercounts.

  • Hilda

    So many words!

  • Flavanation

    It’s not just the postal trucks, but all of the workers who drive their personal vehicles to work don’t get ticketed either. I live right by a post office, and many of the workers drive their cars and park on whichever side is “No parking” for alternate side parking. They all have USPS placards in their windows. As best I can tell, the streets around the post office never get any street cleaning because of all the postal workers who drive to work and park there. It’s depressing too because we’re not even a 5 minute walk to the nearest subway station.

  • Gotham headline on Ebikes and delivery workers is so biased and manipulative that I would call it FAKE NEWS. The TRUTH is All delivery workers can use pedal assist E bikes, same as Citibike.
    The fact is many delivery workers chose to purchase an illegal product- Ebikes with throttle. Who sold them this illegal product ?

    The questions should be : should nyc legalize full throttle e bikes and with what stipulations.

    And if one really cared about delivery workers,
    Should the bike delivery worker have a minimum hourly pay similar to taxi drivers or truckers ?
    Should the number of deliveries be limited based on distance and maximum speed ..

  • walks bikes drives

    The post office trucks can be a real issue. This morning around 11:45, a postal truck blocked the Amsterdam bike lane in the intersection at 93rd street in a way that the entire lane was blocked and cyclists coming up the lane had to go fully around the truck into traffic outside parked cars and couldn’t get back into the lane until 94th street. And there was an empty fir hydrant just ahead. And when he got out of the truck for the delivery, he walked halfway down the block. My guess is that it was a conscious desire to block the bike lane.

  • redbike

    Contributing to this slow news day, I’m unsure what the Streetsblog headline should be for this:

    http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2018/08/22/sergeants-union-offering-bystanders-cash-reward-to-help-nypd-officers

    Perhaps “What Could Possibly Go Wrong?”

    What first caught my eye: the Sergeants Benevolent Association is apparently using empty-trucks-with-advertising-plastered-on-them to promote this campaign. That’s just another day in the Big City.

    But wait! There’s more!

    Brooklyn Senator Martin Golden will introduce a new Good Samaritan law to shield those from liability if they help officers.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Old Marty and his backers are getting desperate.

  • Urbanely

    The article says that in addition to the 12:30 time, they also counted from 5:30-6:30pm, and only noted 10 more cyclists. I have no idea about the accuracy of the counter, but at least they made an effort to go during another time.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Saw four go by and had it go up two today. Basically, it’s good if you are riding one at a time, as on the way down, but at that location you have people on the inside and outside going up at different speeds, and ending up passing it together.

  • ortcutt

    I’ve taken to watching delivery workers lately, and I don’t think I saw a single one actually pedaling their “bikes”. The pedals are there as footrests basically. We shouldn’t even be calling throttle electric scooters bikes at all.

  • I agree. They should be called e-motorcycle or e-moped, which is what they are . But then should they use the bike lane ? I would feel terrible to push all delivery people in vehicular traffic… where do we draw the line ?
    By crossing the line of pedal assist, we now have a very difficult dilemma.

    Maybe the bike share companies should provide pedal assist bikes to all delivery people at a rock bottom rate , as part of their contract… all bikes would have lights etc and be compliant .

  • ortcutt

    The way that some states like California have introduced classes of e-bikes makes a lot of sense to me. Class 1 e-bikes are relatively similar to bicycles. The other classes, not so much.