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    There are two related issues here, one of whom we’ll probably never get resolved but the other should be fixable.
    Letting cops and firefighters and… teachers and MTA workers, etc, park illegaly courtesy of their privileged placards _next to their precincts, etc._ will probably remain forever and ever.
    But that being said, the nonsense that lets them use their placards to avoid tickets when parked in a bus stop outside Korvette’s for three hours is pure garbage and should have ended years ago.
    My repeated suggestion: Once/month the traffic folk should target _all_ plaaraded vehicles in a specific and staggered area.
    If the vehicle owner has a legit reason for parking there – i.e. (let’s bite our tongues) a teacher on the school block or a cop near the precinct, or, for that matter, a Visiting Nurse making a house call, then they send in the ticket with a note to the Dep’t of Finance and it’s vacated.
    If they’re in front of Studio 54, they have to pay up.
    Since they’re given (even for the semi legit/next to precinct) hundreds or thousands of dollars of benefits/month, the least they could do is spend five minutes on paperwork.


    Jym Dyer

    @nanter – The word “parkway” pretty much originally meant “greenway,” and then we put cars on them.



    As a society, we’re going to look back at this in the future and shake our heads.



    -I watched the Bronx TV segment but there should have been more fact checking on the side of the GC complete street proponents. The anchor mentioned that bike lanes were mostly empty in Manhattan for example. Another thing that kind of irked me was the fact that double parking was mentioned multiple times, but the only solution proposed was enhanced enforcement. They should have mentioned that we need citywide parking reform to increase turnover and create many more loading zones. That’s important because drivers double park because often times they do not have any place to stop. You need to gain allies with drivers when possible to achieve these goals.



    Well, with what we have, we have to assume he wasn’t breaking any laws.(That whole innocent until proven guilty problem).

    That means we can’t convict him of a crime. It most certainly doesn’t mean that we can’t investigate or that we have to assume he did nothing wrong.

    And as you stated, He does have an obligation to be aware and stop WHEN POSSIBLE. But sometimes it’s just not possible.

    If it’s not possible to stop, it may still be possible to slow down. Did he slow down?

    Was he driving within the speed limit in the first place? Did he have any distractions, such as cell phones, that might have increased his reaction time?

    If police suspected him of any wrong doing they would have at least slapped him with a failure to yield ticket at the scene.

    Who’s claiming that he failed to yield? I’m claiming that he may have been speeding, he may have been failing to exercise due care, he may have been driving distracted, he may have run a red light. Without further investigation, I can’t say whether any or all of these might apply, so issuing a ticket would have been premature. But I don’t see how this could have resulted from a failure to yield. Care to spell it out?

    It’s an extremely common ticket

    A whopping 12 in all of September 2016!



    Not quite that much, the first $255 per month is exempt from taxation.



    I assume this is the relevant section. Not exactly a mandate.

    It would be a stupid perk, in any case. Why compensate those who choose to drive to work but not those who opt for other modes?

    It’s my understanding that officers are prohibited from being assigned to their neighborhood, and don’t exactly get to choose where they end up working, or how long they stay in one area. Transit isn’t set up to handle many to many travel patterns well. Especially off hours. If there was a more general provision to provide some degree of assistance for officers to get to their assigned stations it would probably end up as a parking perk in much of the city anyway.



    terrible accident.

    It was a crash. I see no reason to assume it was accidental. Most likely, somebody, or multiple people, did something wrong.

    We dont know the facts.

    Bingo. So why is the NYPD so quick to blame the victims and absolve the motorist? How about looking for the facts and holding off on attributing blame until they’re available?

    And here we go again the cops are to blame,

    If the cops are announcing conclusions before even the most cursory of investigations, then the cops deserve a share of the blame.

    the guy in the car is to blame.

    Perhaps he is, perhaps he isn’t. So how about we wait until we find out before jumping to relieve him of all potential responsibility?

    You guys are like a posse from ther 1800s. get a rope hang the guy!

    Let’s start with an investigation first. How does that sound to you?

    It has nothing to do with poor planning.

    That there is a street this wide in an urban area, that pedestrians need to cross, is indeed a failure in planning.

    what planning? theres no money unless we start taxing and licensing bikes for using the roads.

    Wow, I think you just solved the budget crisis!

    (Cyclists, incidentally, already pay taxes to support city streets – the same exact taxes that motorists pay, only they make far less use of them, and they also cause far less damage on them.)



    Driving is most certainly not easy. It’s a complex task and it comes with an immense responsibility.

    I believe I am a safe driver, but I gave up my car some years ago and stopped driving on a regular basis in large part because, in an urban environment, I found that driving safely is an exhausting task.

    That driving isn’t easy isn’t license for you to do it unsafely.



    If you’re not expecting the unexpected, you’re not driving safely, and you should stop driving.



    The curb isn’t a 20-foot-high wall. One can see pedestrians before they step off the curb. (If one is bothering to look, that is.)

    If 30 mph is too fast for you to drive safely, then 30 mph is too fast for you to drive, regardless of the speed posted on the sign.



    Another image. These cameras capture automobiles from a distance. Hardly an angle.



    So the driver wasn’t speeding

    Source? I haven’t seen any mention of speed in any of the articles. Perhaps I missed it. Given the prevailing high speeds on Cross Bay, I’d suggest that there’s a pretty decent chance the driver was speeding. Has the NYPD bothered to look into the possibility?

    (The 106th Precinct issued less than one speeding ticket per day in September. Not much of a disincentive there.)

    and had a green light.

    So the NYPD has claimed. Perhaps true, perhaps false. There may be evidence that can support or contradict the claim – has the NYPD bothered to look for it?

    (The 106th Precinct issued 3.3 speeding tickets per day in September. Not much of a disincentive there.)

    There are, of course, other laws that apply to drivers. For example, drivers are required to exercise due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians. Was this driver exercising due care? Was he actively watching the roadway for potential hazards, such as approaching pedestrians? If he saw the pedestrians approaching, did he attempt to stop or slow down?

    Add to that, the girls were crossing mid-block against the light.

    Which is it, mid-block or against the light? It can’t be both. You’re so quick to blame the victims that you just accused them of an impossibility.

    In any event, whatever the pedestrians may or may not have done wrong, they have already been severely punished for the crime they may or may not have committed. Rather than immediately absolving the motorist of all possible wrongdoing based on no evidence whatsoever, wouldn’t it make sense to determine whether the motorist’s actions might have contributed to the outcome as well? Perhaps he is also due some sort of penalty.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s a tragedy when a child is killed. Yet the news articles and local politicians keep hammering away at motorists(the ones with the money). I travel that stretch daily, and it’s not just there and Queens Blvd, it’s all over. I can’t tell you how many times we see pedestrians and cyclists completely oblivious to their environments. Either Eyes glued to their phones and earbuds in their ears, or just plain doing stupid things.

    Pedestrians who do stupid things endanger their own lives. Motorists who do stupid things endanger other people’s lives. Which is why I’m far more concerned with the latter.

    It is, in fact, illegal for motorists to use electronic devices while driving, for this very reason. Yet it is exceedingly commonplace, nonetheless. Funny how you don’t even mention this.

    (The 106th Precinct issued 1.5 tickets per day for cell phone use. Not much of a disincentive there.)

    The new speeding laws, and death statistics should not be brought up in these articles.

    What new speeding laws, and why on earth not?

    And I am shocked that the police pinned the fault on the kids, exactly where it belongs.

    The police routinely absolve the motorist of all wrongdoing and blame the dead or injured victim, often based solely on the testimony of the motorist or his/her passengers.

    It clearly goes against the usual, “find a way to blame the driver” agenda this administration has.

    Which city are you in? It clearly isn’t New York.

    It’s time for pedestriians to start taking responsibility for their own actions.

    @screanam:disqus , I am a pedestrian who takes my safety seriously. Yet I am accosted many times every day by motorists who choose to take liberties with my safety – they speed, they run red lights, they block crosswalks and drive on sidewalks, they roll through stop signs as I’m trying to cross, they make turns without yielding to pedestrians, to name just a few examples. What do you suggest be done about to ensure that I can arrive at my destination safely? Do you think the best approach is to tell me to take responsibility for my own actions? Or perhaps would it make more sense to hold motorists responsible for their actions for a change – to give them a real incentive ($$$) to not speed, to respect red lights, to leave crosswalks and sidewalks clear for pedestrians, to stop at stop signs and wait for pedestrians, to yield to pedestrians while turning, to recognize that their decision to operate a piece of heavy machinery on public streets comes with a weighty responsibility to do no harm with it?



    Look at the photo I posted. The cameras take a photograph from a distance. The plate covers are garbage.



    I don’t watch NCIS…

    These plate covers have been tested on several websites and have failed.

    For example:

    The only plate cover that will work is one that will obscure the plate from head on with your eyes. In other words, you will get pulled over if you have a plate cover that actually works because you wouldn’t be able to see the numbers from behind.

    And a high resolution camera with optical+digital zoom and software that detects the number pattern is substantially better than human eyes.


    walks bikes drives

    I think school buses are necessary in the outer reaches of the outer boroughs as well as for special education students who really can’t get to school on their own. However, what I really have a problem with is the fact that New York City is required to pay for the busing and transportation of students TO PRIVATE SCHOOL. If a patent decides to send their kid to private school rather than their neighborhood school, why are my tax dollars required to pay for their transportation when their neighborhood school would have been free? It’s one thing if they are special education students who need to be enrolled in private school because the public schools are unable to meet the requirements of their disability. But any other school which is actually by parent choice is ridiculous.



    I’ve read many claims that it exists, but I doubt it does. Could be wrong.

    That still doesn’t justify parking illegally, stealing space from pedestrians and cyclists and bus riders. If the union believes that its members are being undercompensated per the contract, the union should sue the NYPD for damages on its members’ behalf. (That the union has not, to my knowledge, filed suit is in part why I doubt this is a real perk.)

    (It would be a stupid perk, in any case. Why compensate those who choose to drive to work but not those who opt for other modes?)

    If I work for a bank and believe that I’m being undercompensated, do I get to reach into the cash drawer and grab the money I think I’m owed? (Not a perfect analogy, since in that case I’d be taking from my employer rather than from the public.)



    The Governor likely experiences the fact that the Thruway Authority has had high-speed tolls for years, but has no direct experience to allow him to counter the MTA arguments vs all-door bus boarding, and he’s never had knowledgeable transp advisors.


    Larry Littlefield

    Right. The same issue. Toll evasion is also an issue.



    That’s his goal, of course.



    Yet at most four-way intersections that I’ve encountered with leading pedestrian intervals, the perpendicular signal is already showing the solid red hand during the all-red period. If I’m familiar with the intersection, I (as a pedestrian) treat it as a trailing pedestrian interval, even if it isn’t signed as such. I’ve long wondered why it isn’t signed as such, and JimthePE has answered my question.

    Next question: Why is this noncompliant? It seems like it unnecessarily reduces pedestrian crossing time.



    because MTA board members and all members of the political class who appoint MTA board members drive cars and zero take the bus.
    Some might take the subway from time to time.
    But buses? those are for the poors because they are so slow….



    It’s incredibly cruel how we privilege car driving as a matter of policy over bus riders. From this morning, case in point.


    Shawn G. Chittle

    Well, there is infrared and UV light that we can’t see but cameras can. I don’t think the State of NY uses that kind of paint on the their plates, do they?


    John C.

    Because Cuomo is a suburban car lovin’ kinda guy….. Mass transit is for the masses, not his people.


    Darren Jeffries

    Referring to cyclists as, “…those Tour de France guys…” is offensive in and of itself.



    An ADA suit for blocking sidewalks would probably be more promising.


    Brad Aaron

    Don’t know. Good question.



    the Killer Used a deadly weapon.



    also Note the thousands of victims of NYC Traffic violence who were Inside a Car



    Shit, that’s a good point. A “perk” like that has value and as such should be treated as taxable income.

    Reminds of me when at my firm, my [partner/managing director/boss] gave me a “free dinner” to thank me for my hard work on a deal. Said, “don’t come back with a check that’s less than $500.” That free dinner was treated as taxable income so I ended up paying $200 (in taxes) for what was a $600 [free] dinner.


    Brad Aaron

    “It’s an extremely common ticket”

    No, it isn’t. Not in fatality cases anyway.



    Solution would be to deduct taxes for the perk of free parking provided to city employees. This is actually federal law and could be quite effective in changing behaviour.

    For example, the value of parking in lower Manhattan is close to $10,000 annually. The city should be therefore withholding about $3,500 (35%) from employees who recieve this benefit as required by law.

    of course those who choose not to drive and park in city provided free spaces would not have the benefit treated as income and therefore would not need to pay the additional withholding

    simple & effective plus fully in compliance with Federal Tax law


    William Farrell

    Exactly, it’s a polarized screen. Camera’s can’t see what’s behind it since light is only able to pass through in one direction.



    You’ve been watching too much NCIS. A camera cannot magically see through light scattering lenses. If your eyes can’t see it, a camera can’t.



    >>>Again, a pedestrian crossing against the light, mid block does not absolve a driver from seeing the pedestrian and either stopping or
    avoiding if possible.<<<
    Well, with what we have, we have to assume he wasn't breaking any laws.(That whole innocent until proven guilty problem). And as you stated, He does have an obligation to be aware and stop WHEN POSSIBLE. But sometimes it's just not possible.
    If police suspected him of any wrong doing they would have at least slapped him with a failure to yield ticket at the scene. It's an extremely common ticket that would have given them a foot in the door for future charges. It's too late for a traffic stop ticket now. And If they charge him three days later a manslaughter rap, a lawyer could easily get it thrown out.
    I think it was a pretty clear case of just a tragic accident at no fault of the driver.


    The Truth

    I’d love to see the NYC Council or state impose a fine of 5x the standard fee for toll cheats who work for the government or NYC services, especially NYPD. Breaking the law knowingly and serving as an officer should be a harsher penalty. Immediate stripping of job.



    Again, a pedestrian crossing against the light, mid block does not absolve a driver from seeing the pedestrian and either stopping or avoiding if possible. You don’t need cameras. You can determine force of impact, and back that to speed based on damage to vehicle and trauma to bodies. If he applied his brakes, there may be skid marks which can also be used to calculate speed. If the impact happened right by the curb that is a very different story than if the impact happens in the middle of the street – the latter potentially indicating the driver should have seen the girls in time to stop or avoid. There are formulas that you can use to determine where the car was when the girls first stepped in to the street.

    As for cameras, there is a small shopping plaza just before the intersection with 149th. One of those shops is a 24hr Cigar/Beer shop, I can guarantee you they have video cameras – in fact looking at google street view it appears to have 2 exterior cameras under the awning, and there is probably at least 1 inside looking out the front door, which just happens to face towards the intersection. So lets start there.



    Camera technology from over 10 years ago.



    Pretty sure those plate covers are useless. The cameras will still be able to read through them. Traffic enforcement cameras have substantially higher resolutions, better focus, and special software to determine the identification numbers.



    “Yeah it was per the driver. There’s no mention of other witnesses.” Wrong according to DN.

    Daily news states “Girls crossed mid-block and driver had green light according police source and witnesses”.

    What else is to investigate? They apparently got witness statements, I would assume they checked his breath and looked for skidmarks. The nearest police security cameras are at Belt Pky and in front of C-Town down towards liberty Ave. The car was an old junker prior to modern computers. If it were a modern car, they could check the drive computer and know exactly how fast he was going.



    I recall reading once that the NYPD is mandated to provide officers with parking as part of the union contract. Is this true?

    Of course, I would argue that looking the other way while they park on the sidewalk is not “providing parking”, and that the NYPD should seriously look into fulfilling this responsibility properly, if in fact it exists.


    Brad Aaron

    I really believe much of this problem can be attributed to allowing personal “combat parking” outside station houses regardless of where they are.



    At Joe5918 pointed out on Twitter, the United Cerebral Palsy Center is right next to the 70th precinct. The last two times I’ve gone by there have been cars blocking the sidewalk on both sides including right in front of the entrances. Don’t forget the sidewalk in front of an elementary school on Dekalb Avenue (has been mentioned on Streetsblog before) blocked by the 79th Precinct.

    Blocking sidewalks is corrupt and disrespectful in general, but sometimes its particularly callous.



    Good point. Streetsblog should create report cards for every community board and keep track of cooperation or intransigence.

    Also, I think you are wrong to say streetsblog is made up of the “organized cycling community”. I think most people here are primarily pedestrians that are appalled by the behavior of some motorists in this city. While cyclists are part of this constituency, they are not a majority. It just turns out that both pedestrians and cyclists benefit from street safety initiatives.



    Do I really need to list all the times that the police and media have reported what happened only for actual witnesses or video to prove that they got it wrong? Yeah it was per the driver. There’s no mention of other witnesses. This is a typical pattern. We see it over and over. And that story of your’s is supposed to prove or demonstrate what exactly? No one ever said people on bikes or walking across the street get it right every time. that’s not the issue. The only thing being said here, is finish the investigation and give us complete facts before assigning blame, which is what I thought you were looking for too. At this point the facts aren’t complete. Saying the girls crossed against the light or in the middle of the street doesn’t complete the analysis. If he couldn’t see those girls on a straight, wide ass road in time to avoid or stop someone needs to question why. Maybe the answer is that the girls really did obliviously run smack into the right front corner of his car. Or maybe he was going so fast and not paying attention that he didn’t simply avoid the girls with a slight turn to the left. My point, the point of the article and other commentators, is that the police and media need to ask those questions, not just declare it was the pedestrians’ fault and leave it at that. They do it all to often.



    Riverside Drive at 95th Street is like this too, where there’s an LPI for pedestrians crossing east/west. When that happens, the countdown clock for pedestrians crossing north/south won’t quite have expired; effectively there’s a trailing pedestrian interval there.

    JimthePE makes an interesting point that this seems to be noncompliant with federal regulations.



    This is really disturbing. I have often wondered why drivers with these license plate obscuring covers are not ticketed. They are so easy to spot and their use suggest a reckless disregard for following the rules of the road. (Presumably these also block the plate readers the NYPD deploys for security/anti-terrorism purposes.) And sadly I’m not surprise that NYPD officers are in on it.


    Doug G.

    Another Vision Zero failure: thinking that we can allow the same old corruption and expect different results.

    Everyone has to do their part… except for the mayor and police.



    all aninmals Are Equal
    but some Are more equal than others