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    Apparently negligence is no longer “morally blameworthy”. Shit parents and shit drivers rejoice!



    In a lot of places yes, in New York no.


    Brad Aaron

    The lengths we go to to accommodate this bullshit…



    Is $250MM a lot?


    Jonathan R

    Unlikely. Jim Berlin is one of our Washington Heights permanent unelected community leaders.



    “People don’t have the luxury of riding their bike in the morning and leaving their Beamer at home.”

    This man must be auditioning to host the New Colbert Report.



    Well she wasn’t wrong…obviously it was she who was going to get violent.



    Hopefully Ydanis Rodriguez, who’s been great on Vision Zero, will show Jim Berlin the door. A man like this shouldn’t stand between the community and Vision Zero.



    What you’ve said can be easily applied to so many other community board members. The entire NYC community board system is a sick joke on the people who live here.



    Go Mark Go!



    Working class people do drive — take taxi drivers, for one. The problem (well, one of many) is the idea that the convenience of working class drivers is a higher priority than the safety of working class people who depend on transit, walking, or biking to get around.


    Ian Turner

    Answered my own question, he was appointed by Ydanis Rodriguez and coincidentally his term expires next month.



    So much of what’s wrong with this city’s transportation system can be summed up by the crazy idea that bike commuting is elitist and working-class people drive.



    Ah, yes, the same Jim Berlin who almost had to be escorted out of a T&T committee meeting because he literally started screaming about how taking a few parking spots away to accommodate bike lanes would result in violence. I believe he was assigned a very unofficial monitor of sorts and calmed down for a while. This “honey child” stuff …bring back the monitor.


    Ian Turner

    Does anyone know who appointed Berlin? Can we write them?



    “He added that appellate courts have placed a high bar on vehicular cases, ruling a guilty driver must be “morally blameworthy,” not just negligent.”

    That’s a pretty chilling statement. It carves out a special category in criminal law whereby negligence resulting in death while piloting an automobile is not considered criminal, while in other cases of negligence (e.g. other weapons) “moral blameworthiness” only reflects on intent and affects the severity of charges, not whether criminal culpability exists at all!



    After her reply, according to multiple meeting attendees, Berlin began a condescending response by calling her “honey child.”

    This is who we put in charge of transportation in this city (unelected) and why we are going to be stuck with 1950s/60s street designs probably until the 2050s/60s.

    Cutting back the DOT’s plans makes them feel like they’re actually doing something other than exercising a veto and lets them aggrandize themselves.

    and the travel lane would be narrowed to 13 feet.

    Some ambitious proposal that they’re cutting back too. A 2-way bikeway is generally a poor practice, and with highway-spec lanes maintained on a surface street?



    “Somewhat disappointing” is such an understatement. That a nasty little man like Jim Berlin has any say at all, that anyone even gives him any credence is beyond the pale. He doesn’t represent his community. He represents himself and his own tiny interest… his parking spot.



    Actual quote from the mother of Ariel Russo’s killer:
    “He’s innocent! He didn’t do anything!” Lilia Reyes screamed as she and her family were escorted to the elevators.

    This level of denial only seems possible in a windshield culture, where the word “accident” is a magic dust to be sprinkled over all traffic violence to make the decisions that led to it disappear.



    “It was somewhat disappointing, because one particular person, their opinion can really influence what happens in an entire community.”

    If there’s a better quote than this to show that Community Boards don’t represent the community, I haven’t seen it.


    Aunt Bike

    Something that I myself missed yesterday, “The New Jersey woman behind the wheel in a Monday car crash (in Staten Island) that claimed the life of her grandmother had her license suspended because she was convicted of dealing drugs, the Advance has learned”.



    Whoa, deBlasio seem to finally be putting his money where his mouth is. $250 million dollars could go a long long way to creating better streets.

    That said, you can spend a lot of money on street improvements and not do very much if you don’t spend the political capital to support the most significant changes.

    For example, the $100 million for Queens Boulevard could be spent repaving every square inch and replacing all sidewalks, street lights and signals. Politically this would be easy, but it would change very little for the money. OR, the money could create a BRT system, protected bike lanes, and dramatically safer pedestrian crossings. Politically, this would be more challenging, but it would result in a dramatically safer and more efficient street.


    Ferdinand Cesarano

    If that works for you, great. I prefer the two hyphens aesthetically. The important thing is to make the mark, and to put spaces on either side of it.

    This was needed in your last response. (“Regarding the dash — easy way to type it…”) Instead, you wrote what appears to be the hyphenated word “dash-easy”.



    Density and cars are in opposition. NYC is doing far more to encourage owning and driving them than any large dense city I’m aware of.



    The precinct captains act like feudal lords. It’s been well documented that a couple of them actiely encourage cops to park illegally on the sidewalk. This is… bizarre, to say the least, and ought to result in the guilty captains being arrested and thrown in prison for corruption — but it’s what’s going on right now.



    What tolls do you think are needed to get trucks off Canal? MoveNY says for a five axle truck it’s $27.31 each way with EZPass.



    That’s very true. The MoveNY toll reform plan aims to do just that by disincentivizing the use of lower Manhattan as a through route.



    The article clearly states that Chin is interested in toll reform as a tool to combat through trucking.



    Eh, allowing a lot of cars to be parked for free in every available nook and cranny of the city is what makes for more cars.



    NYC is a lot denser, as shown in those streetviews. That might make for more cars…



    I’m a contract killer, and yet they keep enforcing these murder laws. I got two kids, see?


    New Columbia

    DC is perhaps the easiest place in the country to be car free. Pedestrian friendly by design and size, short biking distances, lackluster but there when you absolutely need it transit and abundant carsharing options.



    If the City Council wants to do something about killer truck drivers – here is something within their power. Examine and consider the safety record of all companies to which they give city contracts. Action Carting, has a lot of drivers that have killed pedestrians and cyclists, especially children and parents. They received a contract to pick up compostables from all City schools, meaning they get more chances to kill children and parents while being paid by our tax dollars.

    Another idea – listing the deadliest companies sending out truck on NYC streets.



    I read this post and thought, really? DC is less aggressive when it comes to bumpouts, but this daylighting is standard practice, codified by clear “No Parking” signs pointing towards the intersection. this makes is crystal clear where you are allowed to park. Actually the white Cadillac on the right side of of the street is too close to the intersection and would likely have received a ticket.



    Assume the brakes failed. NYPD should find out why they failed, not let him off the hook. Was someone skimping on maintenance? Did they follow all city, state, and manufacturer recommendations on inspection and replacement frequency? 4 points on your license for inadequate brakes on your own car. If the car belonged to his employer it would only be 2 points. Did he know the brakes were in poor condition? Did the driver take the condition of his vehicle into account and proceed only in the most conservative fashion? If not, maybe a citation for reckless driving would be in order too.



    I read somewhere that it takes years of practice to master shooting an English longbow. Given that radar guns are much more technically complex than a longbow, I imagine it would take at least a millennium or two to figure out how to operate a radar gun.


    Joe R.

    Regarding the dash-easy way to type it is to hold down the ALT key, enter 0151 on the numeric keypad, and then release the ALT key. That way you end up with a real dash ( — ) which looks better than two hyphens (–).


    Canal Crosser

    There IS an easy answer to reduce truck traffic on Canal Street and it is not more stupid ideas from Margaret Chin.

    If she wants to truly reduce accidents on Canal St., she should try to
    reverse the iniquitous reversed one-way toll on the Verrazano Bridge. This toll
    setup encourages large trucks to ride free into Jersey, unlike all the
    other tolls where westbound traffic is tolled.

    Furthermore, where will all the killer trucks go in the meantime under
    her nutty proposal? To Broome Street, which is already crazy congested. But
    since people hurt there would not likely be from her base in Chinatown,
    what does she care?

    Read more critique on Chin’s ridiculous proposal.



    yes and no. i also dont buy the brake failure excuse. but it is possible in which the power brake fluid has air and pressure in the brake lines are absent not allowing the brake pads to clamp onto the rotor itself.

    in which case, applying the parking brake which is cable driven can be used to stop the vehicle. in most cases this is still mechanical, although the industry is moving towards an electronic switch for a parking brake.

    i am 99% confident it was human error and very little to do with mechanical.


    Joe R.

    I’m not all that great in the bike maintenance department myself, although I’ve gotten a bit better at preventive maintenance since I’ve bought my titanium Airborne. Before that my bikes had to practically scream “help” before I did anything beyond the minimum needed to keep them moving. That said, I’ve had brake failures a number of times, but maybe only once where both brakes failed during the same ride. Ignoring frayed cables will tend to do that!



    Yeah, the 20th Precinct in Manhattan (West 59th to West 86th, Central Park to Hudson River) wrote all of 16 speeding tickets in January, and I think 7 – SEVEN – tickets over a 28-day period into February. My blood pressure spikes just thinking about it. They are still claiming that not enough officers are trained in the proper use of a radar gun. How hard can this training possibly be? If every officer is trained in the use of an actual gun, and now being trained to not choke civilians to death on the sidewalk, I’d like to see all police officers learn the magic, mystical art of radar gun usage.

    Or, get our speed cameras operating 24-7. I have to dig up the stats again on how many violations the cameras caught last year, versus the cops; they were so staggering.



    Along with Margaret Chin, Mark Levine is such a vision zero hero, in my book. I’m consistently so impressed with their leadership and advocacy on safe and efficient streets.



    Yeah. I really liked that statement. Traffic/transportation/safety are not zero-sum games.



    Uber probably helps reduce traffic congestion, at least at the margin.
    Taxis are marginally more efficient than private vehicles in terms of efficient use of street space and number of vehicles on the road.
    And on-demand car services like Uber are marginally more efficient than meter taxis, which cruise around looking for street hails.

    Of course these are all 2nd order considerations, but at least it’s should help reduce a congestion a tiny bit.



    Agreed that brake failure is extremely unlikely for just about any car. Maybe he meant failure to actually use the brake pedal …

    But I have definitely had brake failure on bikes that I have ridden. Granted these were crappy used bikes that I probably paid $10-15 for and then did almost no maintenance, so it was sort of my own fault.


    Joe R.

    This kind of lends itself to the idea of using larger vehicles to make deliveries far less frequent, but doing so at times when those vehicles have the least impact. A 53-foot trailer delivering to a Walgreens once or twice a month at, say, 1 AM, has less impact than several small delivery trucks at peak hours. Moreover, that’s just a day or two a month Walgreens needs to pay people to be there late. This certainly isn’t a deal breaker for their bottom line.


    walks bikes drives

    Not exactly true. Traveling above the speed limit can cause accidents by drivers judging speed based on rated speed, and therefor misjudging actual speed and pulling out in front of the speeding vehicle. Also, faster speeds mean longer distances to slow down and a greater vector change when reacting to or encountering road hazards. It also encourages aggressive driving because, if all traffic was travelling at the speed limit, traffic is more predictable.


    Joe R.

    I don’t buy the idea that higher speeds mean more injuries. Yes, they make any collision which occurs more serious, but there’s probably a complex relationship between traffic density, traffic speed, collision rate, and death rate. At one extreme, a nearly empty street, you’ll have very low death rates regardless of speed simply because there are very few vehicles around to hit people. At the other extreme, gridlock, you may have a low death rate also but not necessarily. Remember many people die from being dragged under turning trucks going very slowly. In between these extremes death/injury rates peak.

    It’s also important to remember exactly what causes these collisions which lead to carnage. It’s not speed in and of itself. Rather, it’s reckless, careless, aggressive driving. Congestion encourages this type of driving. In fact, any type of very crowded conditions tend to encourage this “every man for himself” type of behavior we see on the streets. I’ve little doubt if we dropped overall traffic levels by 50% or more, death rates would drop even if speeds increased.

    As far as Canal Street goes, much of the truck traffic there is thru traffic using that route solely to save the toll on the VN, not to save time. Arguably, they’re trading time for money as it takes longer to drive through lower Manhattan than to stay on expressways. Any system of tolls which penalized vehicles for entering Manhattan would result in a dramatic drop in thru traffic.

    A trans-Manhattan expressway might still be an idea to revisit if we find even with tolls the amount of thru traffic on Manhattan streets is unacceptable. However, it should be in the form of a tunnel, not the elevated highway which Moses wanted, and which would destroy the fabric of the city. In fact, putting aside the cost, highway tunnels are probably an ideal solution for large urban areas like NYC if we can’t successfully reduce traffic levels.

    The point of shifting deliveries to off hours is to make them more efficient, and also to make them less stressful for the truck driver. Remember the truck driver is affected by congestion the same as every other driver. However, by virtue of the size of their vehicle, they’re the last people you want driving in a road rage. Anything which mitigates this is a net benefit. Yes, there are obstacles galore to moving deliveries off-peak which you outlined. That just makes it harder, not impossible. It’s all a question of will the inconvenience/cost to businesses outweigh the benefit to everyone else? Remember if the streets are more pleasant, businesses may see more foot traffic, hence more business. In fact, we have a good body of data from pedestrian plazas supporting that. Every time you make it more pleasant for people to walk, local businesses benefit.



    Broadway in Wash Heights and Inwood: 1 permanent parking lane, 1 double parking lane, 1 combined speeding/illegal u-turn lane.



    Was *certainly* a drop as a courtesy. Not that the Post asked what speed he might have actually been traveling.