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    Agreed. The claim made by Travis Kalanick that Uber is “a technology platform, not a transportation provider” is so full of shit that I can smell it from here.



    That’s my understanding too, that in NYC you need a TLC license to drive for Uber, so it’s not as free-for-all as in some other places. They are still quibbling about other details such as bases or something…



    It’s Nassau County. You expected anything better?



    Hmm. I guess it’s possible that I glossed over the complexity of reprogramming the Muni-Meters to work this way (or, really, in either the manner I suggested or the manner the City Council wants). Practically speaking, wouldn’t they just instruct the ticketing agents not to give a ticket in this situation?

    Also, I think you meant “double facepalm.” A double faceplant sounds painful.



    I suppose that depends on the city. My understanding is that in NYC Uber and Lyft are simply a technology interface to existing car services. They tried to launch with their whole “we’re from the West Coast and know better than you” attitude but were shot down rather quickly.


    M to the I

    Maybe people should put up counter lawn signs saying “Adam Haber wants school kids to die.” or “Adam Haber, protecting speeders rights to kill and maim children.” This politician is no engineer. He doesn’t know if speed bumps can be placed on streets near these schools. And, there is already signage warning drivers to slow down near schools, big signs that say “School…Speed Limit X”. Why do we have to have 10 signs on every street to get drivers to obey laws?! But maybe he is right, maybe we should put up signs like this, “You are 50′ from a speed camera…You are 25′ from a speed camera…You have passed the speed camera, you may now speed!”


    Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    Amazingly Haber’s Facebook page (link via that photo above) has a lot of intelligent comments supporting the cameras. I am pleasantly surprised!



    That picture is great. It shows how both sides are pretty much in agreement that automated enforcement opponents are just spoiled children throwing tantrums and yet the opponents are comfortable enough with that characterization that they apply it to themselves. It’s Jedi Master level of entitlement: where you are entitled even to that original sense of entitlement.


    Larry Littlefield

    Any update on the bike trail on the old Putnam right of way in Van Cortlandt Park? I was up there last Sunday. The portion in NYC was fully blocked in a couple of places by mud puddles. But the portion in Yonkers was wonderful and well used.


    Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    And here are some signs I saw while riding in Little Neck. Ugh. Rooting for Martins.


    Brad Aaron

    When I reported that MTA reps basically said “No thanks” to Vision Zero, I was harangued by two MTA spokespeople. The exchange crossed the line from the normal flack CYA routine to bullying. Totally unprofessional.

    This was less than a week after a bus driver killed Marisol Martinez and almost ran over her cousin and a friend in a crosswalk.


    Jim Holt

    The other day I was walking my dog across Bedford Street at Carmine when a city sanitation truck blatantly tried to run a red light and nearly hit us. When I yelled at the driver that the light was red, he looked at me cooly and replied, “I thought a fire truck was behind me.”



    Great hire, The Fruminator is awesome. Now Walder should get out there and recruit the rest of the civic tech all-stars from Frumin’s partners at the former Open Plans Bus Time technology team.



    Absolutely. “Work around” is a euphemism for “have gotten away with it so far”. ;-) It will be interesting to see what remains after the fight is over. It may depend on the jurisdiction.



    I didn’t realize the MTA pushed back against revisiting its policies re Vision Zero. In addition to rampant failure to yield experienced as a pedestrian, countless times I’ve taken the lane to avoid a door zone in the absence of a decent bike lane or wide shoulder to find myself tailgated by MTA buses or, come upon a red light to find a bus stopped behind me with only a foot or two of space (yes, all drivers are guilty of this but professionals have to be held to a high standard). Or, have been riding in a bike lane really close to an intersection only to be passed by an MTA bus that then starts pulling right before it has fully passed me. “Adequate”? Please.



    Speaking of which, airbnb may not be long for this world either. :-



    Agreed with the airbnb comparison, but I don’t see anything revolutionary about Uber/Lyft either. I’m not even entirely clear whether Uber and Lyft “work around” or “ignore” taxi regulations; if it’s the latter, they probably aren’t long for this world.


    Opus the Poet

    Too many “9″s there, but yes, most drivers are decently human and don’t want to kill. The problem is the 0.01% who don’t give a damn now have an excuse, especially if they are good enough actors to make people think they are upset about the wreck and injured party, sympathetic upset not angry upset. If I hadn’t been exposed to that 0.01% regularly, and had one run me over when he thought he could get away with it, I might be less cynical about what’s happening on the streets.



    Right, but Uber/Lyft operate on a much bigger scale which in my opinion makes it qualitatively different. Even in the stone age you could write on the cave wall “I need a ride”, but it just wasn’t as efficient… :-)


    Andres Dee

    That’s really not new. There have been “car services” operating for decades. From my own experience, the base may have a few licensed cars and lots of “don’t ask don’t tell” cars & drivers as well. If you live in southern Brooklyn and have a car and want to earn a few bucks, just check in at a car service storefront. The apps automate the job of ordering, dispatching and handling payments, but the process is well-established.



    What’s revolutionary about Uber and Lyft is not that you can hail a cab with an app (a relatively trivial technical development), but the way they’ve managed to work around regulations in many jurisdictions, and that anyone can become a de facto taxi driver with less hassle than “real” taxi drivers. Which is either liberating and efficient, or scary, depending on whom you ask.

    I would compare them with Airbnb, not with GrubHub or Seamless. As far as I know no one questions the legality or morality of Grubhub and Seamless, because these sites just take orders for actual restaurants. Or are there cases of people launching unregulated delivery restaurants out of their home kitchen? Thinking about it, I bet there must be some, but I haven’t heard about and I doubt that it’s a significant fraction.


    Robert Wright

    I’d add taxi drivers and drivers of city sanitation trucks too. Many of all of these groups drive unacceptably at times.



    I think people are over-thinking the whole Uber/Lyft thing. Saying that Uber/Lyft is a “new form of transportation” is like saying that Seamless or GrubHub are a “new way to eat”. It’s just a new way to order carry-out food, or a new way to hail a cab. I don’t really think transportation advocates need to be too concerned whether people are hailing cabs through a smartphone app or by dialing a phone number.


    Ben Garber

    Myrtle is one of the worst streets in the city, especially in places with the three roads like this one, and the elevated trains add to the madness. But even when turns are banned, as they should be, there is no enforcement of the turn bans and drivers keep ignoring them. Which means that pedestrians have to expect drivers to break the law.



    This driver wasn’t paying attention, now, yes, he has to live with consequences but no worries I’m sure his union will allow him to retire early due to PTST or whatever…



    Access-A-Ride are some of the most reckless and careless drivers I know worst than bus drivers. I also often ride by the MTA bus depot on Grand in Maspeth and they drive like they own the streets there. I was even once harassed by a bus driver there because he was too upset that I was in front of him on the bridge, he drove like 2 feet behind me constantly blowing his horn until we cleared the bridge. Then he opened the door and cursed me. I filed a report and never heard from them. I used to have more respect for bus drivers but not any more.



    Some silly rubber tire on asphalt gimmick is always the future of transportation. Let’s be impressed if Uber and Lyft make it through their first decade.



    It’s so sad to hear these reports. Than you Brad for tempering the news with the critical information that in the case of the Palmetto Street death, this is a proven deadly intersection, and New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) is a repeat offender–an instiutional actor that could have prevented this death, but in its arrogance refused to. Any lawyer representing crash victims will tell you that NYCTA is truly is a bad actor when it comes to accountability for the harm it causes. No entity, government or private, pursues a more aggressively irresponsible approach. NYCTA routinely refuses to provide even no-fault medical benefits to the people its buses ill and main, to say nothing of its scorched-earth approach to litigating its liability to crash victims. This is all of a piece with its refusal to adopt policies to prevent crashes and promote safety. NYCTA operates an enourmous fleet of giant vehicles on densely populated urban streets, and it views the traffic casualties it causes in the aggregate as inevitable “collateral damage,” and the individuals who make up that stream of casualties as victims solely of their own negligence and/or malingering presumptive fraudsters. This attitude comes through in everything NYCTA does towards its crash victims and the broader safe streets advocacy community. NYCTA deserves very close scrutiny and all the pressure that we and victims families can bring to bear until it changes its belligerent posture toward safety and accountability.


    Andres Dee

    As I commented on DNA:

    “There is no number of carriage horse accidents that are acceptable,” said Allie Feldman, executive director of NYCLASS. “There’s no reason in 2014 we should see horses get hit by taxis.”

    Tell the taxis to stop hitting the horses.



    So that makes three pedestrians killed by drivers since Wednesday?


    Eric McClure

    And the same goes for MTA bus drivers.


    Eric McClure

    Private garbage trucks need to spare us the empty p.r. gestures and drive like they actually care about human lives.


    Brad Aaron

    Witness says the victim was crossing with the light.

    Most pedestrian deaths are caused in whole or in part by drivers breaking traffic laws.



    I find it interesting that the “adequate” MTA bus driver training is leaving a trail of dead bodies in its wake.


    Brad Aaron

    So it is.



    People do not pay attention when they are walking I see it everyday people just walk into the middle of the street! People on bikes continuously cutt off buses, we need to start taking responsibility for our actions. This poor bus driver has to now live with the fact THT he/she killed someone because they couldn’t wait for the bus to finish turning!



    I’d guess 99.999999999999% of motorists haven’t given it a second thought about what they’d do if they hit a pedestrian or cyclist because they’d really rather not hit one.



    There are plenty of neighborhoods in the 5 boroughs that are not noisy nor lack space. Traffic is a reality throughout the metro area.


    Marven Norman

    “…bleeding from his face.”

    I assume you mean a full face, DOT-tested crash helmet, right? Those styrofoam cups they sell in bike shops are practically worthless in a collision with a car/truck/bus/SUV/etc. and of course usually do nothing to protect the face either.


    Joe R.

    I’ll confess to being a regular reader of Car & Driver back in the 1980s. I still enjoy reading about technical developments on the automotive front nowadays, and I absolutely love everything about electric cars. At the same time though, I realize as a mode of transportation in urban environments cars are lousy. I guess my relationship with cars is the same it is with other forms of transportation not suited for daily use. I admire them from afar but would never consider owning or using them on a regular basis. Really, at one time or another I’ve been interested in anything which moves, be it on rails, water, in air, on land, power by motors, or powered by humans. Obviously my strongest interests lie with anything human powered, but rail is a close second.



    5-legged? It looks 6-legged to me.


    Cold Shoaler

    Because having a bunch of fresh new leads is such a terrible thing for a business in re-launch mode. That is the opposite of what their strategy should be. Replace “worried” with “hoping”. People getting/staying invested at this point better be more important than immediate revenue from end users, otherwise whatever refinancing is happening is a scam.



    OK, maybe not technically “announced”. Call it assumed, alluded to, and conjectured about if you will, but the fact is that it was known at least since July that a major price hike was coming and that it would be in the “$140 range”.

    “For New York, the terms of the deal mean the price of Citi Bike annual memberships will rise from $95 to the $140 range” —


    Cold Shoaler

    “This was a troubling immediate misstep” indead.


    Cold Shoaler

    “It was announced months ago; only the exact date was never announced.” Source, please.

    I may have missed something, but from my reading of the news on this, the price increase had been assumed, alluded to, and conjectured about. Was there something definitive from CitiBike? Not in my email until this week. I wasn’t even planning on renewing unless the next expansion to where I live materialized before May. This is just a ham handed move and to me does not bode well for the next phase under new management at all. How could they possibly think this is a good business decision? Of course, they can promote any number of discounts and promotions to incentivize renewals and signups going forward, but I think this is bullshit.

    I mean, even the way they have it on their blog is insulting. They still have the original “At this time, you may still sign up for a new membership or renew an existing subscription at the current $95 rate.” visible, just with a strikethrough. WTF?


    Morris Zapp

    Glad you’re enjoying your retirement.


    Kevin Love

    Many other organizations before they have a price increase do a huge advertising campaign, “Sign up now before the price goes up on this date.”


    happily retired from the NYPD

    What bullshit so if a driver doesn’t see a pedestrian or bicyclist and accidentally bumps them he will be charged criminally? Are you fucking kidding me? Yet they let savages commit civil disobedience and let West Indians enjoy recreational gunfire on jouvet. This city admn has its head up its ass



    Day 3 @citibikenyc, learn the correct twitter handle.


    Opus the Poet

    How much of this is due to drivers knowing as long as they are sober and remain at the scene they won’t get charged with anything more than a minor traffic ticket?