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Posts from the Joel Rivera Category


Legal Double Parking in School Zones — What Is Joel Rivera Thinking?

While the City Council sits on a package of bills intended to make city streets safer, Joel Rivera proposes one to make them more dangerous.

City Council Member Joel Rivera is taking some heat for a bill that would, in his words, “allow parents to double park when picking up their kids from school [and] not receive a parking ticket.” It’s the latest answer to a question no one asked from a council whose raison d’être seems to be absolving city motorists of as many responsibilities as possible.

Specifically, Intro 997 states:

[I]t shall be permissible for an individual to double park a motor vehicle with its engine off for up to five minutes in a roadway immediately adjacent to any school while a student at such school is being dropped off at such school by such motorist, and for up to ten minutes while such motorist waits to pick up or is in the process of picking up a student from such school. This section shall not apply where movement of such vehicle is required by an on duty emergency service vehicle.

Can you imagine traffic enforcement agents clocking how long individual motorists are sitting in front of schools? In effect, this bill would make it legal to double park in school zones, period.

As we wrote earlier today, the first known pedestrian fatality of 2013 occurred in Rivera’s council district, where roughly 75 percent of households are car-free. This bill isn’t doing his constituents, or anyone else, any favors.

Double-parked cars create “blind spots.” They lead to jostling and unpredictable vehicle movements as drivers attempt to pass. Does it really need to be said that this is not what you want in areas populated by kids? That kids are small and are often not seen until they are in a driver’s path? That kids don’t have the same ability to judge speed and distance as do adults?

If there is one place in the city where motorists most deserve tickets for double parking, it’s outside a school.


Details Scarce on First Reported Pedestrian and Cyclist Deaths of 2013

We have updates on the year’s first reported pedestrian and cyclist fatalities, which occurred in Manhattan and the Bronx on January 4 and 5.

The speeding driver responsible for the first reported pedestrian fatality of 2013 was not charged for taking a life. Photo: Daily News

NYPD was not ready to release the identity of either victim as of Wednesday afternoon. Meanwhile, it remains unclear what caused last Friday’s collision between a cyclist and a private sanitation hauler on E. 23rd Street near Madison Avenue.

Though the Post made sure to point out that the victim was not wearing a helmet, as if a styrofoam shell strapped to her head might have offered a significant measure of protection against a multi-ton truck, media accounts were short on basic details, such as whether she was sideswiped or struck from behind. If past patterns hold, it will take a successful freedom of information request, a rarity when attempting to obtain public records from NYPD, to determine what happened.

“NYPD’s information blackout underscores the need for legislation to demand a cadre of trained crash investigators at each precinct,” says Charles Komanoff, referring to one facet of the Crash Investigation Reform Act, now in limbo in the City Council.

Komanoff produced the 1999 report “Killed by Automobile” [PDF], which found that private dump trucks kill more city pedestrians than any other type of vehicle.

Also needed, says Komanoff:

  • Public reporting of all available info within a tight time window — “say, 48 hours” — with the possible exception of the driver’s identity, which could be released later;
  • AIS or AIS-level analysis available within two weeks;
  • an annual compilation of all traffic fatalities, including proximate-cause coding and assignment of culpability.

“Obviously, current ‘practice’ is a million miles away from this,” Komanoff says. “It continues to embody the mindset that traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities are acts of God and are impervious to analysis and prevention.”

Read more…

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Rivera: Pricing Still the Way to Go

rivera.jpgCity Council Member Joel Rivera, whose stance on congestion pricing remained unclear until he voted "Yes" on March 31st, came out as a full-fledged supporter yesterday with an editorial in the Daily News. The Bronx rep added another wrinkle to speculation that pricing might come back:

Those of us who voted for pricing and those of us who voted against it still owe our constituents a plan that brings traffic relief and funds transit expansion.

I still think congestion pricing is that plan. But pricing or no, we need to move forward and make good on the promises and expectations raised during the past year's debate. The Bronx and New York City deserve nothing less.

Reading words like that from an elected official bolsters Janette Sadik-Khan's assertion that "the terrain has fundamentally changed" when it comes to transportation issues. But as measures like bus lane enforcement cameras come up for debate in Albany, will the wishes of city lawmakers like Rivera sway obstructionists in the Assembly?