Monday’s Headlines: Boomtown Rats Edition

I happen to like Mondays, Sir Bob Geldof. Why? Because there’s so much news to recap:

  • A drunk driver killed a man in the Bronx over the weekend and was, fortunately, charged with vehicular manslaughter. (NYDN)
  • More mayhem, this time in Midtown as a speeding motorcyclist crashes into a  driver. But, sure, let’s blame cyclists. (NYDN, NY Post)
  • The Daily News found school bus drivers with, wait for it!, criminal pasts. The vetting process, the paper reports, “is historically too lax to weed out problem drivers.” Meanwhile, the Post showed us a bus ride that was, seriously, hard to fathom.
  • The subway system was good only one day in August, the Riders Alliance said Sunday. (amNY). Meanwhile, the Times looks at why so many people are climbing onto the tracks.
  • ICYMI: The Washington Post reminded us anew that we’re wrong to keep trusting Elon Musk.
  • Anyone disappointed in Public Advocate Tish James’s victory for Attorney General (looking at you, me!) will be equally disspirited by the retreads able public servants running to replace her. The good news? Many council members are considering a run, including Carlos Menchaca and Ydanis Rodriguez. (NYDN, NYT)
  • How did that $30-million renovation of the Cathedral Parkway subway station turn out? Great — if you like puddles! (NY Post)
  • A British Columbia newspaper went big on our “Sorriest Bus Contest” winner with an article of its own. (Maple Ridge News)
  • Wired followed Streetsblog’s prior coverage of how driverless car developers want to blame pedestrians.
  • Here’s a great cops in bike lanes video from Chesney Parks, who specializes in this booming genre of movie-making.
  • I love these pictures of kids waiting for the school bus. The suburbs are so bleak! (NPR)
  • And finally, I admit it, I started it. I tweeted over the weekend about triple-parking on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, prompting State Senate candate Vickie Paladino to troll my concern for street safety. So I did some digging on Paladino, and here’s what I found: She’s the crazy person who got out of her car to confront Mayor de Blasio last year over a trip he took; she’s the crazy Whitestone resident who lied about the city’s process to create a bike lane on Northern Boulevard; and she’s the apparently uneducated person who doesn’t know that there are multiple Asian languages. Oh, and she wants to be a State Senator from Queens’s polyglot 11th District. I’m glad I looked into this! If you want to know all you need about Paladino, just click here.
  • Larry Littlefield

    What do Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have in common? Neither of them can force anyone to give them their money. You try to figure out what will succeed and what will not, and take your chances. At any point, one third of all jobs are in business establishments that did not exist five years prior.

    The public sector is entirely different. It is not voluntary. You don’t give them your money, as much as they decide to take, you get hit with a bill for even more money. Don’t pay that, and they show up to take you away. Resist being taken away and you get gunned down.

    I suspect that Musk should have succeeded with one idea before pursing others, and that Tesla will end up being taken over by firms with more actual production capability. Shareholders could have won out, but will lose out instead. Nothing wrong with that.

  • Ian Turner

    Agreed with everything here, but let’s not forget that as a PayPal co-founder, Musk has indeed succeeded with one idea before pursuing others.

  • ohhleary

    I’m actually kind of shocked to see all those kids standing outside at bus stops, even in inclement weather. In my parents’ exurban neighborhood, parents drive their kids to the bus stop, even though the most distant house in the subdivision is a 8-minute walk from there. It’s the height of laziness and paranoia.

  • Simon Phearson

    Got stung by my first NYPD bike sting for a fake infraction this morning.

    I was riding northbound on Vernon just under the QB bridge, and I came upon a police cruiser parked in the southbound lane, lights flashing, no siren. Since it appeared to be immobile, I proceeded past it, whereupon the driver u-turned and pulled me over. Claimed I was obliged to slow down/stop for flashing lights, so that they can turn.

    Pretty clearly a bike sting, considering (1) there’s no law against safely passing a parked police car with its lights flashing and (2) the same driver apparently disregarded some number of drivers that passed just before me. (To say nothing about the Florida-plated car that played chicken with a wailing fire truck not more than a couple of blocks south, immediately before, within view of the very same cruiser.)

    It makes me pretty angry, because I am normally extremely careful to observe the law (including, for what it’s worth, by pulling over completely when emergency vehicles operating their sirens approach.) it was just pure harassment.

  • Gersh Kuntzman

    Pay Pal was pretty low-hanging fruit, wasn’t it? Was it so innovative to turn Western Union Moneygram into an app?

  • vnm

    NYC horrible biking conditions just hit the mainstream media!

  • Joe R.

    I heard stories here about the conditions on the protected Manhattan bike lanes but I had no idea they were THAT bad. Ugh. Those are conditions which would make me a nervous wreck in about 5 minutes. I honestly don’t know how people can live like this. Get the cars off the roads and make space for people walking or cycling. Now we’re just giving them scraps from the king’s table.

  • JarekFA

    For sure. And it’s really because of parking. That’s it. If they were empowered to significantly reduce parking in transit accessible, then we really could have amazing bike infrastructure. Like instead of having parking on both sides of the street — how about on just one side!

  • bolwerk

    Slow down maybe, but it’s perfectly normal for drivers to drive around cops pulled over whether they have their sirens on or not.

    This kind of crap isn’t stopping until police have to compensate their victims out of pocket for wasting people’s times during frivolous stops.

  • AMH

    And the commentary is actually pretty good!

  • kevd

    a number of those photos look very rural, bub.

  • kevd

    i had a 10 minute walk to the bus stop, everyday – rain, snow, sleet or shine starting in 4th grade.
    the kids in your parents’ neighborhood are going to be soft.

  • kevd

    all good ideas look obvious in retrospect.
    even “radio on the internet”

    if it was so low-hanging, why didn’t we do it so we could pretend we would build a network or super-fast underground tubes to solve traffic?

  • cjstephens

    And remember, PayPal wasn’t even his first multi-million dollar success. I may not agree with everything he does, but pooh-poohing his achievements smacks of sour grapes.

  • Simon Phearson

    What you’re required to do is exercise due care in avoiding the emergency vehicle with lights flashing, which includes taking legally-permitted actions like switching lanes, slowing down, etc. Nothing apparently would be required for someone going the opposite way on the other side of the street, much less somehow intuiting the desire of the non-siren operating driver to engage in a reckless u-turn.

  • bolwerk

    That would be my expectation.