Wednesday’s Headlines: Reckless Drivers Are Everywhere Edition
Let’s talk about reckless drivers for a second. New York City speed cameras — which, remember, only operate at 140 schools, and only during school hours — caught millions of scofflaws over the last five years. But in 2017, 25,881 drivers received five or more tickets from a speed camera. Those are seriously reckless drivers.
You’d think it would be easy to get them off the roads by impounding the tools of their potential violence — like, say, taking a gun away from someone with multiple assault convictions. Council Member Brad Lander has a bill to do just that, but it’s stalled until the state legislature finally resolves the reauthorization of city speed cameras, which are currently legal thanks to an emergency declaration by the governor, as amNY‘s Vin Barone pointed out.
Activists lobbied hard for it yesterday.
Here’s the rest of the day’s news:
- One day after Mayor de Blasio was pilloried for not showing enough support for congestion pricing in Albany, a millionaire went to the state capital and pleaded for de Blasio’s pet cause: the millionaire’s tax. (Can’t we have both?) (NY Times)
- So, a de Blasio administration panel is recommending taking school safety away from the NYPD and giving it to the Department of Education. That’s a good start, but next we need to shear off traffic enforcement and give that to the DOT. Please, Mr. Mayor? (NY Post)
- City Lab made the powerful case — again! — that safety and equity are inexorably linked in cities hoping to improve their cycling infrastructure.
- Boy, the Post loves mocking de Blasio. But, then again, so does Harvard! (NY Post)
- On the Ruben Diaz homophobia front, Politico’s dynamic duo of Dana Rubinstein and Sally Goldenberg report that there’s talk of simply dissolving the taxi committee that Diaz currently chairs, which is a good idea, given what a lousy job he’s done with that committee anyway.
- We were happy to see Council Member Ritchie Torres finally discussing safety on Morris Park Avenue yesterday — especially given how last year, he signed onto a strongly worded letter demanding that the city halt its plan to, um, increase safety on Morris Park Avenue. Let’s hope Torres has finally seen the light.
- Gothamist reported on a proposal to link Greenpoint and Long Island City with a bike-and-pedstrian-only wooden bridge that sounds like the greatest thing ever.
- In case you missed it, the Daily News editorial board followed our Monday scoop with a decree supporting Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s slate of bills to curtail placard abuse. The editorial even ended with a timely jibe: “Good going, speaker,” the paper opined. “If this is what it’s like to be ‘controlled by the homosexual community,’ as Councilman Rubén Díaz disgustingly put it, more, please.” (But we differ with the same writers in their editorial a day earlier calling for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to be rebuilt instead of torn down. People who favor human-scale roadways were dismissed as “blithe critics who think the city can just do without the vital connector.” OK, so we’re blithe!)
- Also, in case you missed it, Inside Edition (yes, that’s still a thing) did a superficial look at fare-beaters in New York City, calling fare evasion an “epidemic,” though citing little beyond anecdotal evidence. Still, it’s a fascinating two-minute video.
- This doesn’t bode well for autonomous cars: a New Jersey driver said his Tesla auto-pilot drove like, well, a New Jersey driver. (Gothamist)
- Friend of Streetsblog Todd Schneider sent over his new heat map showing the locations of all the motor vehicle crashes since 2012. Poke around and see what a killing field New York City really is.
- And, finally, what’s with that New York Times explainer on snow tires? Really? (In fairness, did you know that “Winter tires are engineered with softer compounds to remain flexible at far lower temperatures”?)