Skip to content

Posts from the "Streetsblog" Category

8 Comments

Police Seek Hit-and-Run Driver Who Ran Down Pedestrian on Sidewalk

Via Gothamist: Early Saturday morning, a driver ran over a pedestrian on the sidewalk in Astoria inflicting serious injuries, then sped off, continuing to drive on the sidewalk. Police told Gothamist that the victim suffered a broken leg and concussion, and they’re looking for help locating the hit-and-run driver.

The collision at 30th Avenue and 45th Street was captured in this disturbing footage sent out by the 114th Precinct:

When we talk about Vision Zero, we’re talking about preventing violence like this on NYC streets.

If you have information about the perpetrator of this hit-and-run, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS, or submit a tip to the Crime Stoppers website.

No Comments

Become a Streetsblog Superhero and Support Media That Makes a Difference

We’re about halfway through our spring pledge drive, and we need more readers to shed your mild-mannered identities, don your superhero capes, and give to Streetsblog and Streetfilms.

Readers who’ve contributed to our spring campaign call Streetsblog a “trusted source of news” that produces reporting which “makes a difference” for safer streets. Every day our team is working to produce stories that keep you informed about what needs to change to make our city work better for walking, biking, and transit. Who else is going to hold City Hall’s feet to the fire on parking reform, or track the progress of badly-needed street safety overhauls through the city’s most torpid community boards?

Please join the readers who’ve given so far and keep Streetsblog and Streetfilms going strong with a tax-deductible contribution today. You’ll be making a difference for media that makes a difference.

And, if you give before Friday at midnight, you’ll be entered to win this sweet rack-mountable bag from Po Campo:

Po-Campo

Thanks as always for supporting Streetsblog and Streetfilms! Your regularly scheduled posts will resume shortly.

No Comments

Vanderbilt Avenue Bike Corral Community Meeting

Three Vanderbilt Avenue businesses have applied for bike corrals: Milk Bar, 620 Vanderbilt (at Prospect Place); Branded Saloon, 603 Vanderbilt (at Bergen St); and Bar Chuko, 565 Vanderbilt (at Pacific St).  This public meeting will provide community members the opportunity to submit feedback on the proposed corrals, which will be important in convincing Community Board 8 to support the applications.

No Comments

Keep the Momentum Going — Give to Streetsblog Today

Thank you to everyone who gave to Streetsblog and Streetfilms in the first week of our spring pledge drive. We need about 320 more donations to hit our target of 400 before June 1. Help us keep the momentum going and make a tax-deductible gift to support media that makes a difference for our streets.

Reader contributions fuel the excellent reporting about livable streets issues that you read every day here on Streetsblog. Right now, City Hall is thinking big about street safety, surface transit, and — fingers crossed — parking reform. The more support we get from readers, the better equipped Streetsblog will be to make the most of these opportunities.

If you value the information and commentary we publish and appreciate how Streetsblog frames the debate about transportation and planning in New York, please drop a tip in our secure donation form. You can make a one-time pledge or, even better, sign up for a monthly contribution. Every bit helps.

We’ve got a fun giveaway this week for two lucky donors. Author Elly Blue has graciously donated a collection of books and zines, including The Culinary Cyclist, PDX by Bike, and the one-of-a-kind anthology Bikes in Space. Give before Tuesday at midnight and you’ll be entered to win.

Thanks for supporting us and a happy Bike Month to all.

Streetsblog USA No Comments

Driver Who Killed Cyclist Sues the Dead Teen’s Parents

In a case the Ottawa Citizen called “astonishing evidence of the raw appeal of… victimhood,” a woman who struck and killed a teenage boy riding his bike outside of Toronto is suing the boy’s family for $1.35 million.

Brandon Majewski was 17 when he was killed in a collision with an SUV. The driver is now suing his family. Photo: National Post

Brandon Majewski was 17 when he was killed by an SUV driver. The driver is now suing his family. Photo: National Post

The driver, Sharlene Simon, is seeking compensation for the ”great pain and suffering” she has sustained since killing Majewski with her SUV, as well as “a severe shock to her system” and lessening of “her enjoyment of life,” her lawyers wrote in the suit, filed in an Ontario court.

Simon struck 17-year-old Brandon Majewski and his two 16-year-old friends in October 2012, killing Majewski and badly injuring another boy. The three were riding home from a coffee shop on a Saturday night on rural Innisfil Beach Road, about 50 miles north of Toronto.

“I think it’s very cruel,” said Brandon’s father, Derek Majewski, of the lawsuit. Derek said Brandon’s death was devastating for his family. Brandon’s grief-stricken brother, Devon, died six months later after consuming a combination of alcohol and prescription drugs.

No charges were filed against Simon, after local police concluded that limited visibility was the main cause of the collision, and that the boys had only “minimal reflectors” and were wearing dark-colored clothes. The fact that the boys weren’t wearing helmets and were riding abreast were also cited by police officers in their report, despite being wholly legal.

The victims’ families are suing Simon and Simcoe County, where the crash occurred, for $900,000. The suit alleges Simon was “speeding, under the influence or texting” at the time of the crash and that her husband, a police officer in nearby York, should have prevented her from driving. The Majewski family has also charged that the investigation by local police was biased against the boys.

As for Simon’s countersuit, Lloyd Alter at Treehugger wrote that it “may just be a smart legal tactic.”

“Or,” he added, “it might just be totally disgusting.”

No Comments

Be a Streetsblog Superhero and Give to Our Spring Pledge Drive

We’ve all seen the graphs: Driving and car ownership have passed their peak in America, while transit ridership and biking are on the rise. On the ground, however, city buses still move at a crawl, bogged down in traffic. Most streets remain too dangerous for most people to feel comfortable biking on them. And the traffic death toll continues to put our cities to shame compared to our global peers.

Streets aren’t going to fix themselves. Every street redesign is a fight, and every proposal to shift subsidies away from cars and driving meets stiff resistance. If you follow Streetsblog and Streetfilms, you know it takes a lot of smart, committed people to make change happen. By connecting people to information about what’s going on with transportation and planning policy in their communities, we’re accelerating the transition toward safe, efficient, equitable streets.

We need our readers to pitch in so we can keep on delivering the high-quality reporting and videos you expect. Please make a tax-deductible contribution to our spring pledge drive and help us reform the cars-first status quo on our streets.

Every month more than 200,000 people come to Streetsblog and Streetfilms. So for this pledge drive we’re asking you to step up and be a superhero. Out of hundreds of thousands of readers, we need just 400 donors to reach our goal — will you be one of them? We now accept both one-time gifts and recurring donations (think of them like a monthly subscription payment to Streetsblog), and you can direct your contribution to support the Streetsblog site of your choice.

As always, we have a few extra reasons for you to give. If you make a donation before Tuesday at midnight, you’ll enter a drawing to win this nifty hip pack made from recycled bicycle tubes, courtesy of Montrose Stitchery:

fd

Thank you for reading and for supporting Streetsblog and Streetfilms.

Streetsblog.net No Comments

Suppressing the Housing Supply in Cities Isn’t Progressive

The housing affordability crisis in cities like San Francisco is a big progressive cause. But not everyone agrees about what’s causing the problem, and that makes it harder to address.

High housing prices in San Francisco are partly a result of constraints on new construction. Photo: Wikipedia

With so may constraints on housing construction, rents in cities like San Francisco have been skyrocketing. Photo: Wikipedia

Alex Block at Network blog City Block has a good roundup of recent articles exploring the pheonomenon. The authors — Kim-Mai Cutler at Tech Crunch, Ryan Avent at the Economist, and the blog Let’s Go L.A. — agree that the root of the problem is insufficient supply. Essentially, land use and zoning constraints that limit development of new housing are driving up prices for everyone:

Cutler’s article lists a whole host of other potential actions, but concludes that any path forward must work towards adding more housing units to the region’s overall supply. Unfortunately, even this broad conclusion isn’t shared by everyone. In section #5 of Cutler’s article, she notes “parts of the progressive community do not believe in supply and demand.”

Ryan Avent notes that this denial of the market dynamics, no matter the motive, is not only misguided but also counter-productive: “However altruistic they perceive their mission to be, the result is similar to what you’d get if fat cat industrialists lobbied the government to drive their competition out of business.”

Without agreement on the nature of the problem, it’s hard to even talk about potential policy solutions. And there are a whole host of potential policy solutions once we get over that hump. Unfortunately, discussion about supply constraints in cities (via exclusionary zoning, high construction costs, neighborhood opposition to development, etc) means the conversation naturally focuses on the constraint. Advocating for loosening the constraints can easily be mistaken for (or misconstrued as) mere supply-side economics, a kind of trickle-down urbanism.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Voice of San Diego relays news about compromises to a local bus rapid transit project. And Flat Iron Bike introduces a new paper that looks at how to make “managed lanes” on highways more equitable by incorporating transit.

No Comments

Park Slope Vision Zero Town Hall Meeting

This Vision Zero Town Hall meeting is co-sponsored by Councilmember Brad Lander and the Park Slope Street Safety Partnership.  Hear from the Department of Transportation, NYPD, TLC and other city agencies about the Mayor’s Vision Zero Action Plan, and contribute your feedback, air concerns, and help identify problem locations and potential solutions.

5 Comments

In Remembrance of Steve Faust

Steve_Faust

On Saturday, longtime local bike advocate Steve Faust died at the age of 67. A New Yorker born and bred, Steve played a key role in many early fights for safer streets and bike access on city bridges, and continued to work for a bike path on the Verrazano Bridge in recent years through the Harbor Ring committee. We’re going to miss him and the illuminating history lessons about NYC cycling that he was known to unspool in the Streetsblog comments.

A memorial for Steve Faust was held yesterday on the Upper West Side. In tribute to Steve’s contributions to bicycling in New York City, we’re publishing an excerpt from the prepared remarks his friend Steve Bauman delivered at the service.

Steve collaborated with many different people. I shall concentrate on only what involved me personally. It would take many volumes to document Steve’s biking advocacy. My association with Steve coincides with the beginning of the urban-based bicycle movement.

The Beame administration’s attitude is illustrated by two examples. Their DOT representative declared that the stenciled word “bikes” on an asphalt path adjacent to the Belt Parkway a rogue operation. That path was really an access road for DOT maintenance vehicles. They also tried to prohibit all bicycle parking on sidewalks.

Koch’s election was a turning point because his administration was willing to meet and listen to the bicycling community. The bicycling community responded to this challenge by participating in something called the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. Steve was a founding member. This was unpaid and did not rate a mention in the Green Book. A lot of good results emerged at first, until a powerful backlash set in.

Koch approved a request to turn the year old Five Boro Bike Tour into a mass event. Steve was away at school during the planning for the first one. He came back in time to help lead the ride.

He was back in town for the intensive planning needed to transform a 250 person ride into one for 2,500. The time from approval to the tour’s premature departure from City Hall was 90 days. Steve was involved in most of the nitty-gritty work including naming the ride. He was instrumental in securing medical support for the ride. The ride’s success was due in large part to Steve’s tireless work.

Read more…

7 Comments

Cumbo Calls for Safer Atlantic Ave, and Trottenberg Promises Action

Photo: Ben Fried

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo with advocates from the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, Make Brooklyn Safer, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, New York League of Conservation Voters, and Transportation Alternatives. Photo: Ben Fried

Minutes after Council Member Laurie Cumbo and street safety advocates called for immediate action to reduce traffic violence on Atlantic Avenue, Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg told the audience at a Vision Zero forum in Crown Heights last night that DOT intends to make Atlantic one of its early priorities for safety fixes.

Atlantic Avenue is one of the biggest and most dangerous streets in the city, running east-west across the length of Brooklyn. It routinely ranks near the top of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s list of the borough’s deadliest streets for pedestrians. From 2002 to 2013, more than 1,400 pedestrians and cyclists were injured on Atlantic.

At a press conference preceding last night’s Vision Zero town hall at Medgar Evers College, Cumbo stressed the need to act soon. “We can’t wait for another child to be the face of why we need Vision Zero,” she said. “So many of these accidents could be avoided with the right measures.”

As it happens, the city intends to tackle Atlantic Avenue soon. During the forum, Trottenberg said Atlantic would be one of the 50 street safety projects DOT takes on this year. Noting that Atlantic Avenue is a big, wide, heavily trafficked street, Trottenberg said, “That’s the kind of street that DOT views as a challenge, and we want to step up.” The city’s Vision Zero action plan calls for “arterial slow zones” on streets like Atlantic that see a disproportionate share of injuries and deaths.

Read more…