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    I’d just like to add a little shout out to the Working Families Party, whose support for bus drivers having the freedom to kill is cited in the interminable text of that TWU 100 poster.

    This is now what I think of when I think of Working Families: they’re ready to shrug off dismemberment and death if it means not hurting union fee-fees.

    I had criticisms of them before this (Cuomo!). But now they might as well put Lyndon LaRouche on the ballot. I’ll never get near them again.



    Yep, my experience is that my 5-mile commute takes about the same amount of time on average using the subway or the bike. But the standard deviation is much greater when using the subway!


    Kevin Love

    I disagree. My estimation (OK… wild guess) is that for the average Manhattan subway user it takes 10-15 minutes to walk to the station, go down through the station and wait on the platform for the train. Then in reverse for when I arrive at the station I’m going to.

    But cycling is door-to-door. So cycling is a lot faster for many shorter trips.


    Seth Rosenblum

    I’m starting to wonder if we’re watching a game of tennis here. Cuomo is planning to do as little as possible to keep the state-of-good-repair stuff in the capital plan, and he’s threatening to drop SAS phase 2 to make the city and federal governments pick up the tab for the project.


    Joe Enoch

    I voted for Wymore and donated to his campaign. I really, really hope he runs again. I don’t plan on ever letting up on this when I see her at community events. It’s inexcusable and I can’t wait for the opportunity to try and vote her out.


    Kevin Love

    In my opinion, this is a tad defeatist. In The Netherlands, there is a 27% cycling mode share for the entire country, including the rural areas.

    This mode share is due to infrastructure that tends to make cycling the fastest, easiest and most convenient way of safely travelling from A to B. Infrastructure that is dirt cheap: the annual per capita cost is only 30 euros. And that includes all construction and maintenance expense.

    They did it. We can too. It is only a matter of political will.



    45% of people living NYC are within 5 miles of their jobs (ie cycling distance) last I saw. That’s not even including people with a longer trip who could bike to the subway, or other types of trips that are probably often shorter. There is huge potential for cycling basically everywhere in NYC.



    I think the power afforded the community boards has gotten way out of hand. Let’s make the Community Boards membership elected posts.


    Larry Littlefield

    I was on the CB before I joined DCP, but not when I worked there.


    Larry Littlefield

    “If GCA doesn’t back Move NY, what does it support?”

    Perhaps it would be more supportive if all the toll revenues went directly into the construction multi-employer pension plans, and the MTA capital plan shut down anyway.

    After all, they have plenty of private sector work for the moment, and probably figure they’ve bled the MTA for all its worth.



    This is what’s most frustrating about their arguments. They seem to believe that it is expected that in the normal course of operation, bus drivers will kill someone who has the right of way. If your normal operating procedure is to kill people who have the right of way, your operating procedure needs revising.



    Are they kidding? MoveNY will 1)reduce congestion and make it easier for contractors to work in the city rather than sitting in traffic. 2) raise money for construction projects that will employ contractors. How could they cast doubt on this plan? If I were a member of this organization, I would be furious they were not strongly behind it.


    Kevin Love

    “The city chooses to arrest bus drivers, no matter how safely they were operating.”

    What kind of alternative universe of Orwellian double-think is inhabited by anyone who would say that kind of garbage? Someone who just killed or injured a pedestrian with the right of way is NOT operating safely.



    Well said. I’m fully on board supporting this union getting better pay and work conditions. But trying to exempt themselves from punishment for hurting/killing people who have the right of way. Horrendous.



    I hate to say it, but you might be onto something.



    I think what they are proposing is to add staff planners to the Boards themselves(i.e., district office or Borough President’s office employees), rather than recruiting planners to sit on the Boards as volunteers.

    Each board has an existing liaison from the DCP borough office, but they’re stretched thin and generally only attend when there is something of interest to DCP on the agenda. I think a staff planner on each Board could provide a more granular level of support than is currently available.

    The Community Boards started as Community Planning Boards back in the day, so this is something that should have been there all along.



    Totally agree. Citibike would be fantastic for places like Astoria where you could turn someone’s 20 minute walk to the subway into a 5 minute ride. Outer borough subway stations should be massive citibike docks and then the surrounding neighborhoods should have sufficient station density to make it so short bike trips can replace long walks or short drives.



    How about 50,000 bikes ridden 20 times a day? That would be 1/6th of the riders.



    Were you actively working for the city at the time?


    Larry Littlefield

    “The requirement to add urban planners into community boards.”

    Funny but I was on a community board in 1988, but when I joined the staff of the Department of City Planning I was asked to resign. Conflicting roles.

    Where are then non-City of New York city planners going to come from?



    I’m a debt realist. I want to see a plan to make it go down, but I also want the MTA to be able to be able to tap bond markets when appropriate.



    So I peaked at the article describing term limits and the necessity to add urban planners into community boards. I strongly agree.


    “The term-limit bill, introduced by Council Member Daniel Dromm in December last year, would allow community board appointees to serve up to six consecutive two-year terms. Currently, there is no limit on how many terms a community board member can serve. The bill, co-sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos, who chairs the government operations committee, would enact the six-term limit starting for members appointed in April 2016.

    The bill provides exemption for current board members who would be grandfathered along current no-limit rules. Community board members are appointed by borough presidents; there are 59 boards in the five boroughs.”

    No way! Way too long and that grandfather clause is bull!



    Why should anyone believe this new, lowered goal? Next year, after failing again to following through on a meaningful safe-streets agenda for cyclists, the administration could just lower the bar some more.



    goals of reducing car use, improving safety, and shifting trips to walking, bicycling, and transit.

    They’re only attempting the safety goal with any seriousness. Its practically verboten to even speak of the others in New York City, which is incredibly tragic.



    I agree with this; it did seem like, right after the law went into effect, there were lots of ROW cases that didn’t result in charges, and then a whole spate involving bus drivers.

    Also I understand it’s SOP but I do think the cuffing is unnecessary, especially after the trauma of hitting someone, however much at fault the bus driver was.


    Brad Aaron

    If NYPD is charging bus drivers disproportionately, the problem is NYPD, not the law.

    Besides, TWU isn’t arguing that the law should be applied equally. In fact they want the opposite.



    I can see why the TWU is trying to frame the battle with Paul Steely White and TA, because they are actually going to lose to Families for Safe Streets.



    I think that that is the case actually. I think that charges for bus drivers are disproportionately high. But who’s to say this isn’t a cynical attempt on the part of the NYPD to create public outrage and damage the law? The only reason I have to doubt that that might be the case is it’s just too clever for the NYPD.



    TWU is TWU. What’s worse are the so-called “progressive” City Council members who’ve signed onto the bill to amend the ROW law. Ben Kallos? Laurie Cumbo? Seriously? Craven and disgusting.



    Serious question: What proportion of these charges are against bus drivers? Is this proportionate to the amount of offenses committed?

    TWU may have a point without realizing it: if the NYPD are ignoring the behavior of people driving private vehicles this law is not succeeding.



    Jesus Christ, how fucking ridiculous are these unions. Strike all day for benefits, retirement all that shit. Go for it. I’ll still bike to work when you guys strike and y’all have all my support. But for fucks sake, it’s the mildest of misdemeanors, that only apply, if you fucking run someone over in a fucking crosswalk. And these god damn pols are buying it? Or rather, accepting it because they don’t want shit from TWU. But seriously, fuck these cowards.

    Is this what they use their political capital for? And for fucks sake, what political capital they do have! They could close the hole in the damn Capital Plan if they wanted.


    Joe R.

    Those are my feelings exactly. Most of the areas in NYC with higher mode share of bikes are already saturated with transportation alternatives. When you consider that the average car trip in many suburban areas is only a few miles, you can see the enormous potential for bikes in those areas. I honestly feel with things like bike garages near subways, bike parking near retail establishments, better bike infrastructure on streets, and especially paralleling highways/railroads, bike mode share in places like eastern Queens or southeast Brooklyn can get well into the double digits. Bringing bike share here, at least putting bike share stations along feeder bus routes to subway stations, is another thing which would get bike mode share way up.


    Joe R.

    Regarding modifying timetables, I think part of the problem there is if you put in too much slack time to account for delays there will be many times the drivers will have to hold a bus at an intermediate stop because they can’t run hot (i.e. ahead of schedule). That will result in passengers complaining.

    If anything, this just underscores the need for more bus lanes, traffic signal priority for buses, and maybe also the ability to preempt signals when turning. Those are things which would help the bus riding public as well.


    Larry Littlefield

    I agree the overall point, but it is exactly in those suburban areas that biking has the most potential — because so much, including transit, is beyond walking distance.

    For example, large bicycle parking garages at outer subway stations would allow people to substitute a bike ride for a car service or bus for linked trips.



    The TWU can’t get the MTA to modify timetables and routes to make them safer? Shouldn’t THAT be their ask?



    TWU is disgusting. Arguing that injuring and killing humans who are obeying the law is part of their jobs, is absolutely ludicrous.



    Or simple enforcement tools.

    Alex — it doesn’t matter if you agree with it, 25 mph is the law. How it’s enforced doesn’t matter. Get the law changed if you don’t like it — because it’s clear you enjoy cruising around the dense urban streets at 50+ mph. But the enforcement method is NOT the speed limit. If you’re going 35 mph in a 25 mph zone, you are speeding. You should be punished.



    Resorting to name calling is what happens when you have no more facts to support your argument. Unless you have been a passenger in a motor vehicle I have driven, you have no basis for that false accusation. I just want what is fair and safe for everyone. Camera enforcement does is neither.


    Larry Littlefield

    Isn’t permission to borrow $20 billion more all the support he needs? How about borrowing $25 billion, and using the extra $5 billion to pay the interest on the $20 billion for five years?

    Or have you turned debt scold?



    Made up graphs… Jesus. Does the tin foil hat help with your brain injury?



    Oh – that is just stupid. You had that thought, then wrote it down?



    WHAT!>?!?!? Traffic rarely goes faster than X, but a speed limit of X is unfair?! Jesus Christ. Sounds like you have received many many tickets from this “scam” and you’re just whiny bitch. I drive a lot in Brooklyn. Never once have I gotten a speeding ticket, a red light ticket, a bus lane ticket or a reckless driving ticket. It’s called being a safe and conscientious driver. You sound like the opposite — an idiot who thinks he can do no harm (until you kill someone).



    The DOT runs the program with DOT employees and DOT equipment.



    Just sounds like you enjoy speeding and don’t enjoy being punished for it.



    Will you stop talking about the for-profit companies that operate the DOT speed cameras in NYC. Because they DON’T EXIST. It is a DOT operation. With DOT staff. And DOT-owned equipment. Just because you like to speed and don’t like to be punished for it, doesn’t mean you should just keep lying.



    Poor Prendergas. I wonder if Lhota bailed on the MTA so quickly in part because he saw Cuomo wasn’t going to give him any support in that role.



    That’s great news. Average global temperatures are up about .5 degrees from 1992 to now, so global warming must be reducing the number of deaths in NYC. That makes as much sense are your statement. There is no proven directly correlation between death reductions and camera use. The general trend of death rates in car accidents has been going down sine well before camera taxation came into vogue. What is not a made up fact is that rear accidents at intersections with cameras have always increased.


    Tyson White

    NYC had over 700 deaths a year before it started using red light cameras. It’s now less than half of that.



    As long as they stay in Albany with their flashing lights.


    Andres Dee

    Fortunately, “Friends of the Governor” don’t get flashing *blue* lights.