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    I’ve spent about $250 renewing my license over the years. For only $150 more this lady gets to kill somebody and didn’t have to deal with the DMV?

    Also, North Carolina plates, did the DA look into whether that was legit? To think when I had a car I was paying New York insurance rates, and never even rammed anybody to get my money’s worth!


    Eric McClure

    Way to throw the book at this guy, Vance! Have you caught the Bike Lobby yet?


    Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    So the downside is to trucking companies. The cost is borne by them and the benefit is to the alive people. One would think there could be a way to subsidize the lifesaving measure to get them on board. Sort of like how there are free cycling helmet programs and free/subsidized car safety seat programs in some states.



    They might want to get rid of Route 21 the highway that bisects their downtown too!



    There’s really no downside to these. A lot of long haul trucks have them already for aerodynamics, though you don’t see these in New York very often.



    Yellow cabs would be exempt from the new CBD tolls. Instead, passengers would pay a surcharge on trips within the “taxi zone” (i.e., Manhattan south of 96th Street). The Surcharge would average 14% on weekdays and 7% on weekends and holidays. GPS would stop the surcharge from accumulating whenever the taxi travels north of 96th Street or across a bridge or tunnel.



    If only Newark got rid of their crime as fast as they got rid of a bike lane…


    TJ White

    Any type of “congestion pricing” can be easily lowered or eliminated for taxis.


    TJ White

    How many crashes have been caused by PBA cardholders who are above the law.


    Tal F.

    By the same token, these trucks also cause far more congestion and are far more likely to strike pedestrians when crossing in the day time.


    Tal F.

    Tolls should be much lower off-peak. I would conjecture that a majority of traffic after about 10 PM consists of city residents moving around after a night out, taking cabs or uber because the subway doesn’t run very frequently late at night. Traffic is generally quite light inside the Manhattan core that time of day anyway. Would the plan charge for each crossing or just once per day? I’d certainly hate to have the toll charge added to a cab ride home to the UWS from midtown, a trip of just a few dozen blocks that happens to cross 60th St.


    Eric McClure

    Now that the terrible bike lane has been eradicated, it won’t be long now until Newark becomes the new Brooklyn!


    Simon Phearson

    Because speed cameras *aren’t* installed “practically overnight.” There are multiple levels of political negotiations to get through; educational campaigns to run; communities to mobilize; and all through it, plenty of money to spend.

    How long did it take, and how much political capital was burned, to get the default speed limit down to 25 mph? And when do you think that measure will actually slow traffic and start saving lives?

    As the LI sagas are making clear, you can get as far as installing the cameras and *still* fail to have the support to keep them running, get the tickets paid, and ultimately, to change behavior. So this bit about cameras that can be “installed overnight” and start “saving lives in the meantime” is just misleading pabulum. The campaign for cameras is a distraction that is symptomatic of a long-term failure of the advocacy groups in the region. We’ll spend ten years fighting for lower speed limits and more cameras, when we could be spending that time developing focused test cases proving how smart urbanism makes cities more livable.

    Personally, I question the camera strategy as even being effective in a dense road network like that in NYC. You put speed cameras on any street that has a nearby alternative route, you’re likely to be just diverting fast traffic to streets even less well-suited for it. And red light cameras – how many deaths are caused by red light runners? It seems the steady onslaught of ped deaths we see require real, infrastructural changes of intersections and car/ped conflicts, not the threat of tickets.



    There’s also this classic:

    “The number of people who ride bikes in the area is practically nil, which made residents scratch their heads as to why lanes were there in the first place.”

    Yeah, I wonder why people didn’t want to ride on a chaotic, double-parking-plagued road before a safe bike lane was put in. A real head-scratcher.



    I don’t think it’s either one or the other. Speed cameras can be installed practically overnight, while the “cultural shift that has to support smart urbanism” can take decades. Why not save some lives in the meantime?



    Yes, a bikelash classic bristling with unsupported assumptions and contradictions and a preposterously triumphalist tone. Ptooey.



    The Star Ledger article is atrociously written. The bike lanes didnt remove parking – they made it impossible to double park. That was the complaint, the merchants felt entitled to double parking.

    They ALSO claimed that congestion increased because a lane was removed. But wait, if double parking was so critical, there was never a real second lane before if it was always being used to park…


    Simon Phearson

    “Safety advocates” in the NYC area have evidently chosen to prioritize high-profile band-aids on bad infrastructure – e.g., lower speed limits, traffic cameras, pushing road cyclists out of Central Park, etc. – rather than actively pursue the kind of cultural shift that has to support smart urbanism. This isn’t too surprising, really, once one understands that they have institutional pressures of their own. They need to demonstrate, to their stakeholders and financial supporters, that they’re actually effective; so they pursue measures that are relatively more politically achievable than would be the things that make up smart urbanism.

    Really, it’s only a happy accident that traffic cameras work. That they do certainly isn’t the primary motivation for safety advocates supporting them, in this area.

    It’s disappointing to see. Safety advocates are among the first to trumpet the evidence that smart urbanism works, but when it comes to strategy, it’s all about more regulation, more enforcement, more education. You’d think they spend most of their time driving.



    Reading comprehension? Obviously when I said ‘never taking the sidewalk’ I meant in non-unusual circumstances like this one.

    If a few stuck cars drove a few dozen feet to get unstuck, unless they were threatening peds it’s not a problem to get incensed over.


    Marie C

    Asshat. Guess u would say that if it was YOUR brother or child, huh?


    Michael Klatsky

    The Port Authority already charges higher rates during rush hour at the crossings.


    Michael Klatsky

    I don’t think banning private autos is the solution in outer borough residential areas. In addition, there are some trips that autos are well suited for, like large shopping trips or transporting anything heavy.

    The briefcase drivers – they need to go asap.



    From the statement from DOT (in the updated version of the article): “It is also important to note the contractor works on a flat fee basis, and is not given a percentage of revenue for each camera, as is the case in some other jurisdictions.”

    So: in NYC, the funds stay local. And to say that the speeding tickets aren’t “excessive” is really, really understating things. They’re criminally low.


    Joe R.

    Frankly, every bridge and tunnel into Manhattan should be ALL HOV lanes. There’s no reason for cars with one occupant to be entering Manhattan (or even NYC proper), especially during peak hours. Or better yet just ban private autos from Manhattan altogether (as a start), and later in all of NYC once enough new public transit is in place.


    Philip Neumann

    The infrastructure in this city can’t handle HOV lanes, even with tweaking from the DOT. There’s not enough space to redesign bridge exits or entrances and HOV lanes are best used on roads with miles of uninterrupted flow – there’s no such thing as a surface street with uninterrupted flow – and the bridges in NYC span less than 1/2 mile per, making it costly with zero beneficial impact to traffic movement.



    Yes it is.
    Welcome to the Outer Boroughs!



    How do cars get on the sidewalk except by driving on it?


    Ian Turner

    Cars should back out. There’s no reason or excuse for taking the sidewalk.

    And I’m inclined to agree that this is not a systemic problem. But the institutional response is indicative of a systemic problem.



    I’m guessing you haven’t interacted much with the NYPD as a cyclist. This is really par for the course.



    Seriously, folks, this seems to be a stupid overlook by Coned which resulted in (i’m guessing) a few cars doing this. If I saw this situation as a ped, I certainly would let the cars out of the block without getting upset.

    I’m sorry, I’ve NEVER seen a car ‘taking the sidewalk’. Parking yes…



    If that car was a bike he’d have been tackled and thrown in the hole before it was filled in…



    Then you just have to get a judge willing to start a grand jury.




    They park anywhere like they just don’t care!



    Be thankful for the Police.



    I think the advantages of speed cams are too great to give up on. They’re proven to reduce speeding, they’re efficient in that they do the work of dozens of cops, and they’re immediate. Changing the built environment is essential, but it’s a glacial process. If we can save lives now, why wouldn’t we do that? I agree that avoiding backlash is important, but I think that can be achieved through smart roll outs and use as I noted below.



    A lot of safety advocates are focused on the whole region, such as the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. Death rates by auto are way higher in the suburbs than they are in the city.



    Part of the problem here is that in the suburbs, the police actually give people speeding tickets. This isn’t to say enforcement is actually good, but it happens. As a speeder in NYC, you endanger the many pedestrians present and can expect to never be pulled over.



    True that. We can’t have city hall using revenues to pump up the general fund.

    It would invalidate safety cameras, just as it invalidates parking fees.

    Safety camera funds should stay local, and not be excessive.



    I’m simple-minded, and that’s why I stand by my statement.



    Good points, thanks.



    I agree, particularly that revenue should go to improve safety–ideally through streetscape redesigns and such.



    Ahem. Demand-based does not preclude subsidies. Taxis are probably even more subsidized than buses, even if they’re more profitable from an accounting perspective. I concur such a ban could possibly reduce or eliminate supply, but I don’t see how it’s inevitable. I also don’t see a tragedy in it if it happens.

    But if pricing is variable, there should be an agreed upon cap that the customer can consent to. Me? I guess don’t care how high it is, and maybe you don’t either, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn just about everybody other stakeholder in the city will disagree.



    Just about every user is expected to follow rules too, of course, except maybe the police. Roads might be another story, but streets have uses besides cars. Just about every use of streets has some opportunity cost for society and for other users. Here Uber is exploiting a resource that other people are paying for whether they use Uber or not.

    It’s not just about money either. They are using a resource that belongs to the public, and must be paid for by the public, no matter what they are charged to use it. To say they have no obligation to follow reasonable rules when exploiting that resource is ridiculous. I, personally, don’t have a huge issue with some liberalization of taxi rules, but it seems perfectly reasonable at a minimum to expect them to provide a consistent, reliable service that everyone in the city has equitable access to, at least within reason. At a minimum, that includes the driver and customer having a mutual understanding of what a ride could cost before the rider accepts the offer.



    I’m sorry, are you saying that drivers regularly use the sidewalk in your part of town? That’s insane.


    Jonathan R

    Sounds great if you define advocacy as sitting through meetings.



    I am beginning to see this pattern with politician and engineers.

    Something criminal or dangerous happens that they don’t want to deal with, they shovel off the problem to the police and then blame the driver.



    There is another way to dent the unbalanced truck traffic. Use open road tolling both ways on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, the Lincoln Tunnel and the Holland Tunnel. Cut the toll in half and apply it in both directions. No More Toll Shopping.

    As for Manhattan traffic, add more permanent HOV Lanes and extend them onto surface streets in Brooklyn Manhattan and Queens.

    2 (4 during rush hr) Lanes on Queensboro Bridge
    2 Lanes on the Williamsburg Bridge
    2 Lanes on Manhattan Bridge
    2 Lanes on Brooklyn Bridge



    For safety advocates are safety cameras worth advocating for?

    It’s easy to spin this as a narrative of motorists (particularly suburban ones) feeling entitled to drive dangerously on streets. It’s easy to make this a divisive issue. It does make me angry…. but……

    This is an issue that can further divide urban/suburban stakeholders. We are still just a small group of people advocating for safer cities.

    I think we should be focusing our energies on better infrastructure and zoning laws. We should be focusing on smart urbanism. Once our cities have physically change our attitudes will change. Safety cameras will become popular once we can agree that traffic safety is a priority.

    Advocating for safety cameras is low yield IMO, but I am just some dumb guy who lives in a terribly sprawled city.

    Walkability, bikeability, and public transports are something we can all agree on.
    What do you guys think?



    Pure conjecture, but I have to wonder how many people who tell cyclists nailed in ticket stings to suck it up and stop whining are the same people who whined and cried about the safety cameras.

    That said, I do think it’s very important to make sure the cameras are functioning properly and are used, first and foremost, as safety devices. Revenue from them should go directly to street safety improvement and never be counted on as a reliable revenue source. When the cameras are doing their job, not many people should be getting ticketed.


    Nathan Rosenquist

    Hey guys, I put up a site a few weeks back where you can submit and browse photos of cars parked in bike lanes via a map:

    The submission form lets you specify police license plates. It’s a very new site and probably full of problems still but totally usable. Start filling my database!