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    This is a low cost upgrade using paint alone. To put in tree pits, etc would be a capital project, which are fewer and farther between.

    4th Ave in Brooklyn (which has had painted bulbouts for a long time) is slated to have a capital upgrade soon (soon meaning within the next half decade I suppose). Not sure if thats getting trees as the shallow subway underneath complicates that somewhat.



    With bike share, the helmet debate is really over. John Liu and many others predicted massive of casualties upon the launch
    of no-helmet-required Citibike. They made their predictions with total confidence – they told everyone exactly what was going to happen.

    And then exactly the opposite happened. The number of fatalities across 35+ municipal bike share systems (no helmet required) in the United States after several tens of millions of miles ridden in our country’s most chaotic, traffic-choked streets is less than 100. To be precise, it’s zero.

    It will happen though. A helmetless bike share rider will die. And so will a helmetless person sleeping in bed during an earthquake. A helmetless pedestrian will die this week, right here in New York, and so will 30,000 helmetless American motor vehicle passengers this year. In fact, if you’re not wearing a helmet right now, you might die!



    Literally every sentence in that paragraph has a serious case of {{citation needed}}

    “Resisting arrest,” perhaps after having not done anything, is scarcely a reason to bother using force. At most, he might have been selling loose cigarettes. Staying near him for 20 minutes to give him time to calm down before citing him or even arresting him probably would have averted a disaster that is going to cause NYC millions. And would have saved the NYPD a lot of bad P.R..

    Also, the man who murdered Garner, Danny Pantaleo, was himself a “ticking time bomb” who attracted at least three lawsuits, one of which was ironically for sexually abusing two men at a traffic stop.


    Keegan Stephan

    CIS may want to start, and opposition may bring up ‘privacy concerns,’ but those ‘concerns’ have no legal legs to stand on, for the reasons Charles describes above, and for the same reason that “traffic cameras are a violation of privacy” arguments hold no water: everything that happens on the streets is happening in clear public view. This is evidenced by the fact that FOILs for CIS reports always come through, whether for litigation or not. But currently that is the only way they come through. One of the many problems with that is that the NYPD FOIL department takes so long to disclose anything that the window to have the meaningful conversations discussed above and below is long gone…


    Joe R.

    There are also some percentage of pedestrian deaths where a helmet could have helped. The most recent one which comes to mind is Jill Tarlov. The difference is you don’t see the police proposing mandatory pedestrian helmet laws. That’s really what bothers me, not the notion that helmets can sometimes save lives. Sure they can but at some point you need to weigh the pros and cons. Head injuries while walking are actually more common than head injuries while biking, but the actual numbers are small enough so that the risk/reward ratio is tipped in favor of people on foot not wearing helmets (except when engaged in hazardous activites like climbing). I just wish such common sense thinking would be applied to cycling. I’ve had people, including cyclists, tell me I’m crazy to ride without a helmet. I’ve tried without success in most cases to explain things to them. It’s like the minute you mention the word “bicycle” to some people, their reasoning faculties go out the window.



    I think helmets can save lives sometimes. It’s helmet laws that don’t.

    The crash last week on Roosevelt Island seems to me like one where a helmet might have made a difference: from what I’ve read or can infer, Anna Maria Moström was hit by a turning bus at fairly low speed. She was not crushed by the bus, but presumably hit her head against the pavement. No mayor organ damage was reported, except for the head injury that left her brain-dead.


    walks bikes drives

    If there is a turn lane in a bike lane, the other side of the street has an island.


    Joe R.

    Why does that stupid decade old “97% of cycists who died in 2004 weren’t wearing helmets” statistic keep turning up again and again like a bad penny? It’s meaningless without context. What was the general percentage of helmet use in 2004? If it was 3%, then guess what, the sample of dead cyclists was representative of the cycling population as a whole. Also, I highly doubt the police bothered to look around for helmets after bike crashes. It’s 100% plausible the helmet will come off the cyclist’s head, then get thrown a distance, in a collision forceful enough to kill the cyclist. Finally, most crashes which kill cyclists are bike-motor vehicle crashes. The primary vector for death is blunt force trauma to major organs, sometimes but not always accompanied by head trauma. Or put in layman’s terms, sometimes a helmet would have saved the cyclist from dying twice. The fact is there’s nothing a cyclist can do to make the outcome of a bike-motor vehicle collision better other than to avoid it altogether. Safety in numbers is what reduces the cyclist death rate. Anything which discourages riding, like mandatory helmet use, will on average make things worse, not better.

    Here’s another interesting statistic-nearly 100% of the cyclists who died in the Netherlands weren’t wearing helmets. Of course, that more or less matches the general rate of helmet use there, which is close to zero. Despite this, or maybe because of this, general injury/death rates for cyclists are far lower there than here. Helmets don’t save lives. More people cycling and better infrastructure does.


    Robert Wright

    I’ve read multiple studies of what causes crashes, from many different places. There is striking unanimity: motorists are mainly to blame for between two-thirds and 80 per cent of crashes that injure cyclists and pedestrians. I’ve written to the NYPD in the past after they’ve wheeled out these figures claiming pedestrians and cyclists cause their own deaths and/or injuries. It’s unfortunate to say the least that they’re still using figures that don’t seem to have any basis in fact.



    Yup. I think the creators of Vision Zero would be quite surprised to realize that it’s being used for bike stings and de minimis infractions while we have to fight to just get people charged with a misdemeanor for running over people in cross-walks.

    FFS, 3 old people were killed in Margaret Chin’s district alone, in a two month period. No charges (or I think in one case, we might get a misdemeanor)?

    Meanwhile, I have court in a few months to fight a red light tix in which I treated the light as a stop sign and then proceeded at a slow pace parallel to the peds who were jay walking in Battery Park City. And the cop told me that he saw me treat as a stop sign and said next time, “just jump off and jaywalk,” I’m like thanks cop! Might as well just tell me to go fuck myself because if I had to jay walk at literally every single red light I encounter (as opposed to just riding safely), I’d never ride in NYC again.



    “He said that bicyclists contribute to 74 percent of bike crashes and that 97 percent of cyclists who died in 2004 weren’t wearing helmets.”

    Right. And 100% of pedestrians and motorists who died in traffic crashes also weren’t wearing helmets. If this is data-driven enforcement, I’d hate to see what would happen if Chief Chan just went with his gut.



    To answer your question, yes: Like the rest of NYPD “reforms”, Vision Zero is a bullshit paper-thin excuse to further drill broken windows style ultra-policing into our daily lives, without any of the benefits.

    …And when election time comes, don’t forget the Bill de Blasio is PERSONALLY responsible for this atrocity with his continued personal & professional defense of Bratton.



    Also “traffic violence” is actually a term? And this is actually an entire blog dedicated to transit? I made a wrong turn on the information highway apparently.


    walks bikes drives

    Traffic backs up on the transverse constantly during rush hour. It is part of my daily commute. But there is no way to fix it. Even if they removed the traffic light, which serves little purpose, there will be limitted effect. Traffic on w86 and e86 move, typically, smoother than the transverse. With the added efficiency of SBS, there probably would be not enough benefit to the cost of changes to adding the bus lanes. With or without the parking issue.



    Bolwerk think you’re missing my point bro



    You clearly didn’t grow up in the hood. Those neighborhoods need police, as does NYC as a whole. Chronic, intergenerational drug use, physical and sexual abuse since childhood, and poverty breed awful crime that NYPD protects against. And Eric Garner was a ticking time bomb – obese and unhealthy and resisting arrest. Let’s stop pretending like he didn’t largely contribute to his own death.



    I’m not anti-cop nor am I anti-armed citizens. My point was that the media should be making this type of demand about significant topics such as gun laws – the implications of restricting citizens from accessing means to protect themselves, particularly in light of our current economic state; how they are muddling mental health with gun laws; how those laws were poorly written and rushed into existence; etc etc.



    Valid point. The initial point was specific to the NYPD accident – in that case, Officer Williams was the only one lost, but he was not the only victim. The driver – and everyone present – were victims, regardless of whether speed was a factor. The author of this article, along with the majority of the media, capitalizes on a current, politically constructed anti-cop climate, via a sensational headline. The demand for details of what was a horribly tragic accident feeds right into the distractionary agenda of NYC’s current political administration. The media wastes their platform and opportunity to inform citizens with significant information they have a right to know about – what laws are rewritten, why the economy is not recovering, what the significant restrictions on gun rights are about and what that will mean when society really starts to feel the fact that we are in an economic depression, the implications of having cameras everywhere, etc.



    There is not enough information available to the public, but we are all busy trying to infer anyway. We could spin inferences well into the night with the incomplete and irrelevant information that would point in any number of directions. All of them are meaningless because none of it tells us exactly how fast he was going at that moment. Whether he was a “real racer” or not, it doesn’t matter, there were plenty of recorded moments that he was not going all that fast. But the particulars that are being referenced, including available Strava data, are in the New York Magazine article that Komanoff linked to.


    Danny G

    I kindly disagree. Generally, I’d rather see the city spend money on trees that you can enjoy the shade of than on trees that just look pretty in the middle of a pedestrian-inaccessible spot.



    The city doesn’t like to do that because there wouldn’t be enough room to pass a double-parked vehicle. It’s true.



    That extra striped area should be labeled “double parking” to get rid of any ambiguity.



    I’d add parking to that mix, too. Parking policy needs to evolve so that fewer people use the promise of free on-street storage as an excuse to keep a car they rarely use. Pricing curb space appropriately would also reduce the number of vehicles and would also allow DOT to give more space to pedestrians and cyclists.



    Maybe everyone assumes it’s obvious, but it needs saying that pedestrians and cyclists on West End Ave need the Move NY road pricing plan. A big problem here — and everywhere in Manh, West Bklyn, W Qns — is that DOT is still trying to accomodate peak hour driving and turning movements that would be much reduced by road pricing. There are a ton of cars going on and off the W Side Hwy at W 95th, 96th and 97th Streets, and those streets also go through Central Park to the East Side. Even with Vision Zero, DOT is stuck in a political balancing act of trying to increase safety without creating too many traffic problems, and the main issue is “processing” turning cars at intersections already busy with pedestrians. Pricing would reduce the number of vehicles, which would allow DOT to give more space and time to pedestrians and cyclists.



    Those are definitely great, but turning the entire striped area (the ones above are half-block long) into tree pits would be even better!



    Traffic moves well enough on the transverse, so skip the dedicated lane there. Either side of the park you would only have to stop accommodating double parking to make room. So kill some parking spots during the day for truck loading zones. If stores need people to be able to double park then 15 minute (or fewer) parking spots could be added. The main losers are people who park on the street all day for free. 25k daily riders on the M86 would benefit.



    I’ve never, ever seen a bad situation get better because the police showed up. At best, things came to a head and chilled out by the time police arrived. At worst, tensions and stakes just went through the roof because not-very-bright hotheads with guns were introduced to a situation that already had not-very-bight hotheads, but no guns.

    I understand why liberals are reflexively pro-police, but usually they at least expect basic human rights be respected. (As opposed to conservatives, who tent when they see something like Eric Garner’s murder video.)



    If you’re going to speak up you might want to have a point before you do



    Um no one owns a neighborhood in NYC.


    Eric McClure

    My understanding is that CIS would like to start releasing more details of crash investigations, but there are privacy concerns. Any First Amendment experts care to weigh in on that?



    “Concrete pedestrian refuge islands are planned for 72nd, 79th, 95th, and 97th Streets.”

    Nice to know that slower pedestrians (elderly, disabled) “only” have to walk several blocks out of their way just to find a shorter and somewhat safer crosswalk. If, for example, they want to cross at 87th or 88th street, they’ll have to walk either down to 79th or up to 95th to find a crosswalk-shortening pedestrian island. That could be a 16-block round trip, meaning they won’t do it. They’ll cross right where they need to go, making the refuge islands irrelevant for them.

    Even on streets with protected bike lanes, half of the intersections contain no pedestrian islands (i.e., those intersections where the one-way streets allow cars to turn). This design should change in the next generation of bike lanes, and certainly in the next step on West End Avenue.


    Kevin Love

    Let’s not forget the cars with out-of-state plates that seem to live in NYC. A police officer visiting the address on the licence plate has a fairly high chance of uncovering car insurance fraud.

    Because the sort of person who commits insurance fraud is probably not all that good at respecting other traffic laws.



    Safe Routes to School? Do tell? What exactly is that? Could Streetsblog do an update on what exactly that program is to DOT these days?



    re: 86th Street Manhattan Crosstown SBS.

    “However, the route is too narrow for the bus to have its own dedicated lane, said Chiarmonte.”

    How did this whopper of an assertion not get challenged?



    @Bob: See this at 3:45…


    Joe R.

    The data is there in gory detail at Strada. I think you may need to be a member to look at it (I’m not), but I’ll bet good money this guy generally isn’t a consistently fast rider. He may reach high speeds in bursts, but any consistently fast rider will also have a high average speed.


    Joe R.

    Liberals aren’t anti-cop for obvious reasons. Get rid of the cops and the logical end result is armed citizens responsible for their own protection. For some reason liberals like that idea less than cops, even corrupt cops. Unfortunately, history shows whenever the group which is supposed to protect is more heavily armed than the group it’s protecting, corruption or worse results. You have the SS, the KGB, the Red Guard, Pol Pot, and now the NYPD. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    By default, the NYPD shouldn’t have firearms because most citizens in NYC aren’t allowed to. They could have the option of firearms for certain types of duty (i.e. drug busts) but the average cop on the street needs at most a taser, better yet just a nightstick.

    In general, the police (with rare exceptions) should be less well armed than the citizens they’re protecting.



    Good luck, people on bikes!



    I already used WEA a few nights ago in a completed section. Here’s what happened:

    I’m driving, and stopped at a light heading north. A driver pulls alongside me on the right in the, not sure what to call it, double parking lane. At the green, driver steps on gas and cuts in front of me.

    Effectively, this is still a two-lane northbound street. That driver couldn’t see whether a slow pedestrian was about to come in front of his/her car after walking eastbound in the crosswalk past my car. If there had been, we’d have another pedestrian casualty.



    I love the bit with the right/straight/left turn lanes only.
    Just tell Grandma biking to the store and the kids getting their training
    wheels off to “take primary position”.



    I say this every time the City makes this type of upgrade: I wish they would plant trees in the striped area, a la West St or Park Ave. More expensive, but it beautifies the streetscape, reduces stormwater runoff (less need to pay for sewer upgrades), and helps reduce the heat island effect.



    You are trying to infer the distribution from the first moment? Seems like there is not enough information to say anything.



    The hell? A right to know is your right, as a citizen, to know what we are getting from the public officials we pay. Even Tea Party authoritarians generally agree with that.

    We could use a good dose of anti-cop climate, but unfortunately even the so-called liberals still have their heads high enough up their asses to not see how rife police culture is with brutality, dishonesty, and other antisocial behavior. The blue wall needs to be toppled.



    Exactly, If I can walk up to a car on Broadway, tap on the window and ask the driver if they were aware of the fact that they had run a red light at the last intersection I bet a police officer could do something similar.


    Kevin Love

    From the Gotham Gazette article:

    “Police Officer Ari Dubitsky, who works in the area’s 70th precinct, replied that the officers who patrol the area are part of a crime unit called Project Impact, and are usually patrolling on foot. That means they don’t have a car to enforce traffic violations, he said. ‘You’re asking those cops to chase down a car,’ said Dubitsky. ‘They can’t do that without their own vehicle.’”

    Kevin’s comment:

    That statement is complete and utter bovine excrement. Let me count the ways…

    1. The cars used by violent and dangerous car drivers tend to have things called “licence plates.” This enables the police officer to follow up by going to where the car driver lives in order to catch the car driver.

    2. Police officers tend to have things called “radios.” This enables them to alert other police officers who actually do have police cars.

    3. Between congestion and red traffic lights, quite often it is indeed easily possible for police officers on foot to catch up with a car driver.

    4. If it was a drive-by shooting would we get the same flimsy excuse for doing nothing? Why the discrimination?



    Seems that the Medgar Evers Lane issue could be one of Brooklyn’s first shared space, right after Brooklyn Boro Hall where the plaza is used in the same way. You could reduce the number of parking spaces of 45 and add paving treatments, plantings and trees and it will function as a shared space.
    Provide the technology that shows there are no empty spaces, and you will have people using it only when they know they can find a space.
    DOT needs to open up their toolkit. This is basic stuff that is done all over; outside of the U.S. that is.


    Keegan Stephan

    Actually, few things are more damaging to those who have lost loved ones to traffic violence than the initial “anonymous” reports that tend to blame victims. Can you imagine hearing the public and every newspaper and television station blame your loved one for their own death, over and over again? These often-inaccurate anonymous reports and the negative press and public opinion they spawn, can only be disproven and reversed by making public the more complete CIS reports, which often absolve the victim of most if not all guilt. Trust me, for the families of victims, this cannot be done soon enough.



    I think the police often find partially typed text messages on phones of accident victims who were texting and driving.



    Maybe the guy painted the bike purple after reading Delia Ephron’s piece in the NYT…



    Nothing about cycling deaths double in comparison to last year?