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    I love riding down 2nd Ave and having to dodge, scream at, ring my bell at, stop for, pedestrians who see the little brown square and walk for it, against the light, across the bike lane, without looking. How do you not love that? I know I love doing it every couple of blocks from 26th to Houston–every night. I JUST LOVE IT.



    I know a lot of anti-fracking people, yet almost none of them are against the new Tappan Zee Bridge. They need to see the connection between cheaper, wider highways and sprawl, the latter of which is heated by fracked, natural gas.


    Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    “the woman told police that she did not see the bollard before driving into it.”

    In other words she wasn’t paying attention. Thank goodness we have about ten of these islands just installed on Northern Boulevard. Hopefully lots of other drivers will hit them that are not paying attention, instead of striking children crossing the street.



    Agree that a messed up car is good deterrent to reckless driving. Does anyone know whether this driver will be held financially responsible for infrastructure repair?


    Ian Dutton

    I can’t help but think that protected pedestrian islands at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic would have made a difference in the two per fatalities that we’ve had there in these last two years. “Standing safely at an island” sounds better than “killed while walking along the yellow line”.


    pay attention



    Steve, where can we find actual documents on this case? I’m talking original filings, transcript, and more. I want to do my own writeup.



    No matter how awful the driver is, just don’t escalate things. Ride away. Call the cops if needed, not that it will do much good. Just don’t antagonize these savages. After the second time I was threatened with a tire iron I decided it’s not worth it. There are monsters driving around with guns who will use them. You never know what kind of degenerate you could be cursing at. RIDE AWAY.






    Because people with revoked licenses still drive anyway. People in prison do not drive. If people who don’t pay attention when they are driving had the specter of prison time over their heads, they might actually be better drivers, and make better choices while driving.



    Yeah it wasn’t until recently that I realized the mixing zones are a horror for people walking as well as for biking. In practice all 3 modes (not just 2) end up “negotiating” for the space. Guess which mode ends up dominating the space?



    It’s not so much the laws, but case law precedent and prosecutorial discretion. Short answer: Elect a different DA.



    For me the equivalency of a driver aggressively honking at me is me flipping them off. Unfortunately most drivers don’t see it that way, nor are they interested in listening to my logic as to why I view the actions as equivalent.



    If the driver is used to driving that route and making that turn, I wonder if she wasn’t looking because she just assumed that the street would never change . . . Years ago, I was riding in the backseat with a bf and his mom; she was driving to work (bf was using the car for some errand that day), taking her normal route but earlier in the morning than usual, and entered an onramp that had one of those signals used to control the flow on traffic onto the freeway. There was a car stopped at the red in front of us; when she showed no sign of slowing I shouted; she slammed on the brakes and missed rear-ending that car by inches. Her response, after a meaningless apology, was that the light “is never red” during her usual commute time. (!!! Because: no words. And no, I never got in a car with her again. And told the bf he needed to talk to her about her driving, because that was only the scariest of several near misses she’d had with us in the car.)

    I’ve read of many instances of crashes happening in which drivers were apparently so used to a route having certain features/lights having certain timing etc. that they simply couldn’t adapt.

    I’m not sure of the technical term for this phenomenon (I can think of some informal terms, for sure), but I suspect DOTs are more aware of this tendency now, and often see “new traffic pattern” or just “new” signs in orange after these sorts of changes. But . . . . given how strong I suspect this tendency is, I wonder if they would have helped at all in this situation.



    The cycling community has been saying exactly that for years.



    100%. Drivers need to feel as if they will scratch their car if they make even the slightest wrong move. That’s the only way things are going to change.



    This is one of the first times that I have seen the “I didn’t see it” excuse actually cause any kind of repercussion to the driver and to the car. She would not have seen a pedestrian either.
    Beyond this, the ‘cut-through’ turn is one of the most dangerous actions a driver can do. The pedestrian island requires a safer turning radius, and proves the importance of this infrastructure.
    The pedestrian island actually means damage to the car if they are going too fast or turn too tight. This, possibly even more than enforcement, is what will make the difference in changing the culture of what drivers can get away with.



    A good opportunity to remember that protected bicycle lanes—which have not made it into the current West End Ave redesign—automatically come with (the potential for) raised pedestrian refuge islands at *all* intersections.

    (At least on one corner of the intersection. If DOT would go back to their superior bike lane design on 8th & 9th aves, rather than the dangerous new “mixing zone” design on 1st & 2nd, there could be pedestrian refuges on two corners of every 4-corner intersection.)



    I have had similar issues biking Smith Street from 9th up to Schermerhorn. Drivers are insane! Between aggressive drivers, jaywalking pedestrians, and “bike lane” potholes, Smith is really an adventure.



    I live in BPC and pass by the pier every day. It’s such a pain in the ass.

    All this talk about Vision Zero and Smart Design are rendered hollow by a City that forces riders on probably the most used Greenway in the US, to share space with joggers, pedestrians, strollers and other walkers, in tight spaces. Including at times, Summer movies on the pier, concerts or even a freaking Auto Show.

    And then you get deposited at a tricky corner, which egress is frequently blocked by taxis, on to S. End Ave, which is way too wide, has a one block bike lane, in the door zone, which has a bus stop on one side of the bike lane and a taxi stand along the bike lane on the other side of the street.

    And yes, I’m bitter because, in all that madness, I got a red light running tix on S. End Ave., when I treated it as a stop sign, and the officer acknowledged as such (Yes, I know you stopped but you should just jay walk if you want to be safe). So yah, I’m very cynical.



    The link about suicides points to a letter to the editor written by Steve Faust.



    Cy Vance is an ass, but trust me, prosecutorial discretion is a VERY GOOD THING. Among other things, it’s what gives Ken Thompson (Kings County DA) the ability to refuse to prosecute anyone arrested for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, despite the fact that New York is not a decriminalized state.

    Did Cy Vance do a horrible and ridiculous thing in this case? Yes. But it’s an indictment of Mr. Vance, not the concept of prosecutorial discretion.



    Just another situation where the rule of law in the US continues to break down. If the driver worked on Wall Street, he probably would have gotten a tax-payer-funded reward…I mean bailout.

    The bike rider could always file a civil suit, but I think these days “justice” has become a DIY project for many of us. So keep an eye out for Henriquez and if you see him…be creative.



    In DC, a d-bad in a pickup truck assaulted a cyclist. The insurance company denied relief to the cyclist because he failed to get out of the way.



    Yep. The perp has shown a callous disregard for the safety for others, and after attacking and deliberately injuring the victim, continued brandishing the weapon, and eluding attempts by citizens to prevent his escape.


    Kevin Love

    Thank God (and DOT!) that the car driver hit a concrete bollard and not another child. We need more of these protective bollards, and less child deaths.



    I think you’re right. Only way this shit gets prosecuted is if you video evidence. Go Pro that shit and let it go viral. Like, if the raging drivers, could just see how ridiculous they are when they’re raging on bikers (like, full on angry snarl, screaming obscenities, all b/c “you’re in their way”) . . . and to have that in front of a jury? oh man .


    Interceptor III

    I wonder if having video footage would have bolstered the assault case enough to have Cyrus actually prosecute. Unfortunately, I think the only ‘countermeasure’ you have is documentary evidence after you’ve been victimized. Perhaps “Bicycle fitted with surveillance cameras” on the back of your shirt would serve as a deterrent to would be assailants.


    Andres Dee

    The Rag: “NYPD Captain Marlon Larin said the woman driving the car told police she did not see the pedestrian island when she made the turn.”

    No doubt, the motorist was then immediately taken off the road for substance testing and a physical?


    Cold Shoaler

    “Otherwise it’s like shooting a guy who shot you after he put the gun down.” They guy didn’t “put the SUV” down, he drove off with it still in a rage. If it were a gun, it’s as if it were still loaded and he was running off waving it around. It would be entirely reasonable to presume that this driver, leaving the scene of the assault, would run down the next cyclist or pedestrian in his way.



    Keeping my fingers crossed re: MSG (10 years of crossed fingers is going to hurt, but its worth it!). Even if they let Vornade rebuild 2 Penn as a much larger building (or grant a variance at a similar location), it would probably need fewer columns considering new construction methods. This would be such a wonderful thing for NYC – Kimmelman should get the keys to the city if it happens.



    Astorino says he’d use money from the state’s $5 billion dollars windfall surplus from Wall Street settlements to offset tolls.

    Oh no can’t raise the toll a few cents! Let’s take the one time money that could be used for education, environmental repair, infrastructure enhancement, and buy votes with it. Dafuq.



    Glad to see CB1 stepping up for the Brookfield Place-fronting Hudson River Greenway.

    If 6-lane West Street is open to motor traffic 24/7, and the exterior construction on the Brookfield Place mall is done, this cycling infrastructure should really be opened.

    I get how common-sense stuff doesn’t always happen right away here, but no doubt there are “avid cyclists” at influential local businesses like Soul Cycle, Brookfield, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs and so on, who’ve been waiting way too long to get this bikeway opened up. Wonder if they could also throw some political muscle towards getting this opened ASAP – like this weekend. It’s so long overdue.


    Idea man

    If only there were some elected official, let’s call him the “mayor,” who could talk to the NYPD or DAs. In the case of the NYPD, this “mayor” could even threaten consequences such as a forced resignation, if the commissioner didn’t get his department to enforce the law.

    Oh, well. Without this “mayor,” I don’t think we can expect much to happen.



    If people cant drive without hitting things, perhaps they deserve to hit things. I’d rather those things were bollards rather than human bodies.

    Flipping a car is a lot safer to a driver than hitting something that stops the car in place.



    My best guess is that would mean having to condemn from housing between Queens Blvd. and the Rockaway Line to tunnel. I guess that could conceivably reach into the eight figures.

    But I can’t see how cloth those bellmouths actually.


    Ryan Brenizer

    Your bolded clause works against your own argument. Intentionally deadly force would be legal only if the driver turned around to try hitting them again, when it certainly would be self defense. Cars can weapons, and the NYC legal system needs to see them as such, but only when their kinetic energy is headed in your direction. Otherwise it’s like shooting a guy who shot you after he put the gun down. Probably tempting in the heat of the moment, but legally murder.



    Agreed, though if there are ways to assist drivers in doing that, we should implement them.


    Brad Aaron

    CM Margaret Chin suggested there will be oversight hearings, for what that’s worth.

    The council can pass laws, and can prod and chide, but they can’t force NYPD or the DAs to do their jobs.



    What is the City Council doing to address the scarcity of 19-190 charges?


    Aunt Bike

    I think maybe what we need is drivers who can make turns without hitting things. Or people.



    That is a f’d up story.



    The photos from West Side Rag remind me of a similar island installed on Riverside Drive and 113th a few years ago. The bollard tapered to a point at the top, so when cars hit it they would ride up it and flip over. I worked down the street from the intersection at the time, and at least once a month a car would flip over from hitting that bollard. It was eventually removed, which kept cars from flipping over while returning danger to pedestrians.

    I wonder if there’s a way to indicate to drivers that they’ll need to make a wider turn at these intersections — maybe some sort of curving white line on the street or something. While I’m all for the pedestrian safety these islands provide, design that keeps drivers from ramming them is clearly needed.



    Funny little story on flipping the bird: that is exactly the advice I got from a uniformed cop on responding to dangerous, out-of-line drivers in NYC.

    On a hot afternoon this summer, I was walking north up Ninth Avenue, on the west side of the street for maximum shade. While I crossed the onramp to the Lincoln Tunnel – I was in the crosswalk, with the walk light – a box truck and a taxicab whipped around the turn in succession, through the crosswalk. The box truck had blocked the taxi’s view and when the taxi swept towards me in the x-walk without yielding, my life kinda flashed before my eyes.

    Like any good New Yorker, I cussed them out and gave the finger. Shaken up, at the next intersection I asked the uniformed cop there to send someone down the block to patrol these dangerous jackasses. Not like chase down these particular drivers, more just for NYPD to be visible there, to deter illegal driving for everyone’s safety. For better or worse, here’s the full advice I got from NYPD that day:

    “Next time, you give the driver the finger, and walk a little more slowly in front of him.”


    Joe R.

    Basically, not much is there. According to the Wikipedia article ( ):

    … there is an unfinished signal tower on the Jamaica-bound (railroad north) platform and a bellmouth that diverges to the south from the local track. Another bellmouth from the Manhattan-bound local track diverges north, then curves south above the Queens Boulevard Line to join the other bellmouth. These were provisions for a planned expansion in the 1930s that would have connected with the IND Rockaway Line towards Howard Beach and the Rockaways.

    There were more extensive preparations made for a connection to the Rockaways at Roosevelt Avenue which included a complete station and trackway:



    There is some provision under Rego Park for the subway connection, though I can’t find any exact documentation of its extent. Since it wouldn’t involve stations, claims that it would be “sky high” are rather dubious.

    Actually, the MTA has shown more interest in Rockaway reactivation than it has in any other system expansion. That is to say, more-than-none. But they don’t take initiative on their own period, so if you want to take that tack any discussion about any transit expansion must be pointless.


    Brian Van Nieuwenhoven

    You mean he could have purposely hit a bicycle riding on the FDR / Harlem River Drive at 4 in the morning?



    Thanks. I have no argument with what remains of your post. (Except that now my first response looks nonsensical.)


    Joe R.

    Most the people I’ve asked think the default NYC speed limit is 55 mph. Many of these are life-long NYers.



    If it is to be LIRR service they are running M7, 8 and now M9 which are quite expensive. If you are making this a new subway line then you either have to tunnel under Rego Park and that by itself wil make the cost sky high, or you need to build many more miles of track along the LIRR mainline out to the Sunnyside yards and then where? Which also adds to the cost significantly. Anyway, this debate is pointless as MTA doesn’t have any interest in building a train line there.