Skip to content

Recent Comments



    “You guys proposed Metropolitan Avenue bike lanes,” Reynoso replied. “Our community board shut it down. Metropolitan Avenue bike lanes should happen, regardless of what the community board thinks.”

    This is Vision Zero leadership.



    This is why I get ragey every time someone complains about how cyclists run red lights “all the time” but seem to think no driver does. Some journalist even wrote as much in an article and later recanted when numerous people sent him evidence that that’s bogus.

    All you need to do is watch pretty much any intersection in the city, especially a busy one, and you’ll see many cars running reds. The walk signal can be on completely and someone will still “sneak” through the yellow that already went red several seconds before. And don’t even get me started on private garbage trucks. They do it constantly. I called one out on it when they did it on my block. The response, a predictable “fuck you”. That attitude is what we’re dealing with and the NYPD shares it.


    Alexander Vucelic

    Bratton Showed his cards this Summer with the Times Square fiasco. He wants pedestrians to die



    Good thing she had a grille guard. It makes mowing down pedestrians easier on your car.

    It really is a jungle out there.



    Not even a ticket??? This is insane! The driver RAN A RED LIGHT. That’s enough for a ticket right there.


    Bernard Finucane

    It seems to me that there are two possibilities in this case. Either the driver is liable, of the DOT is liable, because the intersection was unsafe.

    I doubt all that matters anyway. The larger question is, what political consequences will there be?


    Bernard Finucane

    As my mother used to say, it’s time to burn down city hall.


    Benjamin Kabak

    Brad asks, “How seriously does Police Commissioner Bill Bratton take Vision Zero? “

    Here’s your answer:


    Fed up

    Trottenberg is truly spineless. She keeps looking backwards and making excuses while the rest of the city is ready to move forward and make shit happen. You have friendly City Council member asking for bike lanes? Put them in. Enough excuses. It’s time for her and the mayor to lead. Enough of this.


    Merkin Muffly

    The pedestrian had the unfortunate luck of not being Caucasian. That stuff matters when police decide to press charges.


    Joe R.

    That actually seems to be the rule over there. I noticed it when I watch the Tour de France. Once they leave the city proper, it’s not long until they’re out in farmland. This is unlike typical American cities which are surrounded by a 50 mile ring of suburbs of ever decreasing density before you might get near farmland. Often you don’t. Instead, you’ll start to hit the suburbs of the next city.


    Mark Walker

    Sometimes it feels as if the NYPD were the police department of some other city.



    Any statement from the mayor’s office on this one?



    The big engineering difference between this approach is that the path will be cantilevered outboard of the bridge. The previous approach located the path between the vertical suspender cables like the GWB. This was the intent of the VNZ’s designer before Moses raised his hand and the paths departed.



    Sucks. Was the driver ever held accountable? I presume not.



    Very easily, thanks to Al D’Amato. When he required the MTA to institute a round trip toll in the Staten Island Direction, westbound traffic decreased. The peak hour eastbound (free) direction total divided by 6 lanes is greater than the peak westbound ($16) direction total divided by 5 lanes.

    Water filled plastic barriers are probably a bad idea. Water expands as it freezes – breaking the plastic. Water is also heavy. Light weight hollow metal jersey barriers bolted to the bridge deck are a better choice. You can buy and install enough of them for $300 million to continue the path across Staten Island and into New Jersey.



    Yup, windshield perspective. They identify with the car driver. “Shit, that could’ve been me driving,” more than they do with the victim, thus, victim blaming all day and ridiculous empathy for the driver: “Solar glare,” really?



    Fuck the law. This should be 2 to 5 years. You run a red light then you should bear the consequences. If you choose to have too much to drink, then get behind the wheel, and injure/kill someone, you go to jail. You choose to try to “beat” the light or proceed to drive at a fast pace, even though, you cannot see through the sun, and a crash occurs because of such actions leading to serious injury or death, then you should go to jail.

    It just sickens me that BdB can claim Vision Zero then not give a flying fuck that a woman was killed sitting at a bus stop while the person who ran the light gets off scot-free. WTF. Should the woman at the bus stop not been on her phone [victim blaming]. Was she not in the middle of the x-walk but just outside of it, thus fair game.



    This is a legitimate concern. That section of Bergen isn’t always clear in the winter, and relies in part on shovel work from the 78th Pct, which, while appreciated, isn’t an ideal solution.

    Many other section of the bike lane “network” become unusable in the winter. DOT does have the necessary tools, though. I’d just file snow removal under the general “DOT needs to step up” header.



    And I guess this woman missed the day in grade school when they taught context clues. “Gee, other cars are stopped, I’ll just keep going at full speed.”



    Don’t forget deBlasio.



    Under your assumption that no one reads or pays attention to any signage, we should just eliminate all signage. Well good luck with that one.

    Nice jump to an invalid conclusion, once again. “Rarer than you think” is not the same thing as “nonexistent.”

    No one said he didn’t check for other vehicles. He just didn’t do a very good job of checking. The bus could have been approaching at a high rate of speed which he could have misjudged.

    I’m struggling to imagine that the bus could have been approaching at a speed too high for him to judge correctly…if, that is, we assume that he is/was a competent driver.

    He was still wrong in any case. But the poor signage was a contributing factor to the accident any way you look at it and that is the point.

    A person who is incapable of ensuring that the adjacent lane is clear before moving into it is not going to be helped by any amount of signage.



    If you can’t see the light, you have to slow down and/or stop until you *can* see the light. What makes these people think that if they can’t see, they may as well just keep going and hope for the best?! Jesus.



    When I said hurting more than you help, of course I wasn’t talking about physical harm.

    I didn’t say you were. I was pointing out the difference between the number of people who are hurt vs. helped and the amount of hurt vs. help.

    What I really should have said was causing more harm than good. That translates into more minutes lost than is gained.

    Right, that’s what you should have said. I was just pointing out that it wasn’t what you actually said.

    The reason people are supporting the Rockaway Beach branch is because it is only a plus.

    Ignoring the costs involved, you’re right: It is purely an expansion of the transit system that doesn’t directly interfere with any other modes.

    Considering the numbers of people who will likely use it and the cost to restore and operate it leads to a very different conclusion.

    The legitimate questions are what would it cost and would it be worth it.

    The really legitimate question is the latter one. And the answer is almost certainly “no,” as the MTA has previously concluded (admittedly that was a study of restoring LIRR service, but many of the factors cited as negatives still apply).


    Alexander Vucelic

    the same way any protected bike lane gets plowed, simple


    Joe R.

    Some good may still come of it. This enforcement initiative may well discover that drivers are failing to do what is required of them a lot more than pedestrians. Maybe next time it will be more like: “You can’t assume anything. Let’s face it, vehicles are weapons. Drivers out there, you can’t assume that someone crossing knows you can’t see them because you’re looking at your phone. Stop that text, stop that cell phone use until you’re parked.”


    Alexander Vucelic

    imagine ty victims can not even recover a cent of medical costs from the killer driver’s insurance


    Alexander Vucelic

    As long as NYPD has a driving culture, they always will side with the driver. The moment NYPD beat cops start actually walking a beat, they’ll protect pedestrians and charge drivers.

    Bratton Bears responsiblity for the attitude of his 38,000 employees



    Oh but I’m sure they feel just terrible about it (as they go about their daily lives, not in a hospital or making funeral arrangements for a loved one) and isn’t that punishment enough (no).


    Mark Joyella

    The proverbial “sun was in my eyes.” The driver who hit and injured my wife and daughter in Brooklyn this summer said the same thing.



    Every other card in the deck seems to be a variation of ‘get out of jail free’ when you drive. Glare. Accelerator malfunction. Mistook gas for the brake. Medical event. I didn’t see her. She came out of nowhere. And on, and on, and on. Pretty much anything but, “I’ve been drinking” and you’re in the clear.

    It’s incredible disturbing that this person is probably driving around NYC today. And that guy in SI who killed someone with his boat, he’s probably out fishing. No big whoop.



    I noted this elsewhere today, but my theory on how this happens over and over and over in this city is that NYPD officers actually feel bad for the drivers that kill. They believe that living with having inadvertently taken a life is punishment enough, no matter how reckless the behavior that lead to that death. And so they don’t even bother to write a 100% justifiable traffic ticket on the scene, let alone charge the driver with anything more serious.

    It’s also worth noting you can be charged with a misdemeanor for hitting a pedestrian with a bicycle on the sidewalk, but not with your car. How’s that for justice?


    Alexander Vucelic

    Driver said

    I recklessly drove through a crowded intersection even though Inwas blinded by the sun plus I was driving significantly above the speed limit



    oh yes….the “setting sun” – the motorists get out of jail free card.



    Any idea how this lane gets plowed?


    Joe R.

    In principal I wouldn’t be against HOV vehicles in the bus lane. The key though is how would you enforce it? If there was some automated way to enforce it then it could work. If the police do it then enforcement will be spotty at best. The end result would be lots of non-HOV vehicles in the bus lane.

    Without looking at the other options I can’t say which would have been best. You may well turn out to be right. I personally think the MTA has a lot riding on having a successful outcome here. I suspect they may end up doing a lot of tweaking if the initial results aren’t as expected.


    Joe R.

    Let me tell, as someone who has been around the block dealing with getting people to do what they’re “supposed to”, that in general it’s a lesson in futility. People are going to do whatever is most efficient and convenient for them. In NYC that means pedestrians and cyclists will pass red lights, pedestrians will walk in bike lanes if the sidewalk is too crowded, cyclists will ride on sidewalks if the street is unsafe, everyone will consider their need to go faster more important than everyone else’s. Good luck trying to shame people into changing what they do. We’ve tried to legislate morality on other levels for millenia. Look at the drug wars. Big waste of trillions of dollars. I say legalize and tax the stuff. Same with prostitution, same with just about every other behavior which doesn’t overtly harm anyone but the person engaging in it. The nanny state which prevents people from harming themselves is a massive failure.

    The streets are a gray area. You obviously can’t let anarchy reign because larger, heavier faster vehicles are harmful to others. You need some sort of order. However, I submit that this order is best imposed by infrastructure, steel and concrete, not behavioral expectations. The latter can’t work in NYC because it’s a multicultural city. Behavioral norms aren’t consistent across the board. In general, trying to change these norms across the board is a failure. That’s doubly true in NYC with a constant influx of immigrants. Therefore, infrastructure is the answer. Give each user infrastructure which is optimal for their mode, and they will want to use it. No more bikes on sidewalks or pedestrians in bike lanes. More importantly, inherently engineer in safety. If a group has poor red light compliance then don’t try to fix that. Instead, engineer out the need to stop at red lights for safety. If excessive speeds are the problem, design so someone driving too fast will become part of the scenery. The nice thing is infrastructure functions as both an enabler and a full-time enforcer. You’re idea has been tried, over and over again, since man started walking erect. If it had any chance at succeeding, we would have long ago been living in paradise.


    Alexander Vucelic

    doing more than Bratton & Trottenberg combined to protect New Yorkers from Traffic Violence



    Funny. I didn’t say I stop in the crosswalk or take pedestrians’ rights of way. I have no problem with complaining about that behavior- I feel strongly about those- but that is not what this thread is complaining about. That was my point. Talk about real issues.



    When I said hurting more than you help, of course I wasn’t talking about physical harm. What I really should have said was causing more harm than good. That translates into more minutes lost than is gained.

    The reason people are supporting the Rockaway Beach branch is because it is only a plus. Unlike BRT which has pluses and minuses and more minuses than pluses when you consider others besides bus riders. Even nearby home owners would benefit when you consider increases in property values whew a rail line exists. There are also modern sound mitigation techniques and quotes vehicles that exist today. So a lot of the fear by NIMBYs is baseless.

    The legitimate questions are what would it cost and would it be worth it. That needs study and there is State money available for that but the MTA is unsure if they should apply. Why? Are they afraid of favorable results that might jeopardize current BRT plans? That is the only logical assumption that can be made. When has the MTA refused money before?



    The flexible barrier used for one block of Bergen St should be the standard treatment for all curbside, buffered lanes. This sort of low-hanging fruit would cost almost nothing and deliver huge improvements in user experience.


    Ferdinand Cesarano

    If there is no bike box at the intersection, then placing yourself in front of the cars puts you well over the stop line, and perhaps into the crosswalk. That’s bad behaviour; and it should be criticised sharply.

    It’s this kind of arrogance which makes pedestrians feel vulnerable to bicyclists, and which turns them from our allies into our enemies.

    I am perfectly willing to denounce pedestrians who walk in a bike lane or who walk on the bike paths of the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges. But pedestrians have a perfect right to cross with the light in the crosswalk. Anyone who impedes that right, even on a bicycle, is doing something wrong.


    Joe R.

    Fair enough—there wasn’t room for him to pass you, and he was a jerk for trying to get by. You weren’t doing anything wrong or rude here, he was.

    I don’t however consider letting someone go by you to run a red light if there’s room for it as abetting bad behavior. It’s always prudent to allow room for something to pass if it’s at all possible. It might not be a commuter/delivery cyclist running a red light, but a cop on a bike answering a call. The time it takes you to tell the difference, then get out of the way, could be life or death. Or maybe the cyclist behind you is getting out of the way of an out of control car. The point is it’s the scenarios you can’t think of which make allowing room to pass you when you’re stopped a good idea.



    Um, this is about bicycling in Manhattan, not Dhaka, if you are talking abut the “most heavily populated single place on earth.”

    And, Mark D, no one is forcing you to live or work or ride in Manhattan, either. You, too, can move to where you can freely ride your bike, without any interfering people. Like the country or ‘burbs.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am glad of the bike lanes and alternative transportation these bike rentals give. I want less motorized vehicles in NYC. But the “my way or the highway” dictatorship so many other supporters, evidently including you, express really bothers me.

    New York is about compromise. If you have none in you, or can’t see the other side’s perspective, you might always have trouble living in such a diverse environment.



    Exactly. DOT has no excuse. They could install some protection next week if they wanted to. It’s pretty clear that there’s no down side to this for other (law abiding) street users and it has been well received by people on bikes. DOT needs to step up. As someone who rides on Chrystie St. (and other mediocre NYC bike infrastructure) I’d love to see DOT spend some time/$ on this kind of fix.


    Allan Rosen

    Yes getting “free buses” would not be such a bad thing if SBS would be a neutral solution, that is help as many as it hurts. But that isn’t the case here. SBS is one thing and I think may even have helped more than it hurts if DOT would allow HOV vehicles into the bus lane. But they ruled that out as a possibility.

    Instead, they chose a major rebuild option (BRT). That also might not have been that bad if they would have chosen one of the other two options under consideration. However the option chosen for a variety of reasons (and I could write and did write pages on that) stands to do much more harm than good.


    Ferdinand Cesarano

    I was stopped in the space between the stopped cars and the parked cars. Due to the width of the street, there was not enough room on either side of me for another bike to pass.

    Furthermore, whether passing the light would have been physically possible is uttlerly beside the point. I was stopped. This was not only in keeping with the requirements of the law, but it was in keeping with my ethical obligation to bicyclists’ general interest (namely: the obligation to not earn bicyclists even more contempt from the general public than we already have by staging a public display of arrogant disregard for the law). While I cannot prevent other people from violating these obligations, I certainly am not going to enable and abet someone’s bad behaviour; and it is beyond absurd to suggest that.

    So I will “rethink” nothing regarding this. Our obligation to follow the law is clear. Those who need to rethink are those who provide self-serving rationalisations for anti-social behaviour, and those who advocate the idea that bicyclists have the right to unilaterally disregard the law at their own convenience.



    “Drivers should not be expected to read the minds of the engineers…”

    No, but drivers should definitely be expected to know the f’ing law!


    Joe R.

    Thank you for mentioning this. I too want to be right in front of all the cars when the light goes green for the same reasons. I was actually taken aback at all this critical discussion of cyclists just doing something which to me makes all the sense in the world, and especially at inventing a name for it which implies it’s merely just rude behavior. As I said, it’s a lot more complicated than that.



    That’s a good point for sure. I still do think Citi Bike’s expansion will encourage more city kids to view biking as something that they can do, even if they can’t use the bikes themselves yet. Hope they’ll put some more racks by high schools.