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    Ian Turner

    Can you clarify what you mean by “like this”?



    Everyone wants more for less, but the more relevant question is whether you would pay more for a larger, better bikeshare system. Citibike can’t meet demand, and also isn’t making enough revenue to cover expenses. This is a pretty clear indication that it is priced too low.



    Taxis are not public transit. They are not paid for and maintained by the government or a governmental agency. They are “public” in the sense that they are shared by lots of people, and for that reason they are more heavily regulated than individually owned and operated private cars.

    Citibike is probably most similar to zipcar – people pay a private company to use a shared car on a per-trip basis. The main difference is that zipcar does not use public space to store its vehicles.

    I think bikeshare is a wonderful idea, and hopefully will become an important part of the transportation network in the city, but it’s definitely not public transit.


    Larry Littlefield

    That lawsuit is still out there, is it not?

    Assuming we don’t get screwed, I’ll be glad to see the bike lane repaved. It was rough in spots. Without motor vehicles, the pavement on the bike lane could last a long, long time.



    If De Blasio wants traffic cops to ticket cop cars for illegal parking there doesn’t need to be a new agency for it, all he needs to do is tell Bratton to get on it. How would a new agency be immune from the political influence that helps keep NYPD from enforcing parking regulations to the benefit of pedestrians and cyclists?

    NYCHA pays NYPD to patrol. Didn’t Giuliani and Bloomberg think it was cheaper that way? Any study showing one way or the other? Given the mess that is NYCHA without first reforming the agency it’s not obvious having the policing outsourced to NYPD isn’t more efficient.



    More evidence of a DOT that really could give a crap about biking. This is pathetic; it would be extremely easy to simply put some cones there as a temporary measure to, you know, keep people safe. #zerovision.



    That’s a really interesting idea, Mark. Anyone else out there think so?


    If something happening like this, is it ok for NYPD to take action?


    Mark Walker

    If DOT regards traffic lanes and bike lanes as fungible, I have a suggestion for the impending repaving of West End Ave. Close it to cars and turn it into one big bike lane. As a pedestrian, I’d feel safer, at least for a while.


    Ian Turner

    There are still “no parking” signs there, I don’t understand why parking would be legal. My guess is that NBBL has arranged for there to be no parking enforcement.



    Got my red light ticket on bike while going 5mph through T intersection, not crossing a lane, and after looking both ways. $280 ticket. Saw the cop car beforehand even, but didn’t realize they were incapable of using any reasonable judgement. NYPD harassing the citizens. Well done.


    Andres Dee

    Because a cop says “it’s for your safety” doesn’t make it so. Individual cops can’t be expected to know and understand the public policy foundation for their actions.

    While cyclists do less damage than motorists (and city enforcement should be on those who do the most damage), there’s a lot to be said about what we (as advocates) can do to be better cyclists. I say this based on an experience yesterday: I’m heading up 1st (in the bike lane) and trying to keep my eye on the “mixing zone” at 33rd and the cyclists behind me…when suddenly a cyclist – wrong way on 33rd – turns wrong way into my lane. I now have one additional hazard to mind and need to slow down, missing the light. No one was hurt, but that’s to my credit as a cautious cyclist, not to the “salmon”. I get something like this every day. We don’t want the city to “train” us to be better cyclists, but is this the best we can do?



    Anyone with the same name as a legendary train should get their vote.



    Her transportation policies seem less boneheaded than Cuomo’s.



    it wouldn’t reduce congestion, pollution and oil dependence.

    Why not? If it’s cheaper and more convenient to use a for hire car then it isn’t as important to own a car. Once you own a car then you use it a lot, even for trips where other modes are viable, increasing congestion, pollution, and oil dependence. If you only pay for a car when you need it then trips where it’s less important you can walk, bike, or take transit. Taxi fleets are a better target for electrification than typical individually owned cars, which would reduce local pollution and oil dependence.



    I would love to hear what Streetspac thinks (or privately what any of its members think) of Zephyr Teachout….



    The only excusable reason I can come up with to subsidize taxis would be for the disabled in lieu of expensive ADA improvements. Ironically, that’s almost the opposite of current policy: cars for everyone, buses for the disabled.


    Andres Dee

    I’m seeing signs of CitiBike’s deteriorating infrastructure every time I go out; non-working docks, flats, cracked saddles, chains rusting on the pavement, noisy gears. Bikes are at risk of disappearing and so are customers. The people who run this had better reverse this decline before they reach a “tipping point”.



    You get more of what you subsidize and less of what you tax, and it all comes down to priorities. I, for one, would prefer a larger, better bike share system that did a better job attracting more riders by being less costly to use. Subsidizing taxis would have its champions, but it wouldn’t reduce congestion, pollution and oil dependence.



    I always figured one thing that would help the generally bad state of policing here would be to split enforcement and investigation into completely different units. Not just for traffic, but for everything.

    The people doing enforcement shouldn’t be investigating themselves because, you know, they can just clear themselves.



    Since taxis are public transit should they be subsidized for people in Eastern Queens or Staten Island who normally have poor taxi service? Have the city pay half the fare and you’d have more taxis out there. Or what about people who can’t afford a taxi trip so they take a subway or bus ride instead? They aren’t willing to pay the full cost.

    Who says people aren’t willing to pay $200 for an annual citibike membership? Some are, just like some are willing to pay for taxis.


    Cold Shoaler

    “And yet, I am the more likely candidate for a ticket because I’m an easy target for the police.” This is why Operation Safe Cycle is a farce at best and probably nothing more than harassment. What’s the point of focussing on the easey-to-stop over the wild riding scofflaw? Every cyclist I’ve ever seen getting a ticket was doing something ‘illegal’ but innocuous. I’ve never seen the one “weaving through a large number of pedestrians crossing a wide Manhattan Avenue with the light” get pulled over. I’ve also never seen a car obstructing a bike lane getting a ticket. Never. Not even during this crackdown.


    Mark Walker

    Perhaps it’s time to move into the post-NYPD era of traffic enforcement. Transfer traffic functions from NYPD to a new traffic police force. To staff the new force, reduce NYPD ranks and budget accordingly. There is a precedent for this: We once had separate transit and housing police forces before Giuliani merged them all into one giant army that seems incapable of enforcing traffic laws as they apply to drivers. One immediate benefit of separating traffic enforcement from the NYPD is that traffic officers would be free to ticket NYPD patrol cars and private cars when they park on sidewalks or in bike lanes. Once the traffic force is up and running, bring back the transit and housing police forces too. Every time I use the subway, I want to see cops on foot patrol, on platforms and in trains. The housing projects have their own dire policing needs which would also be better met by a separate force. Don’t worry about the cost; cutting the NYPD budget will pay for everything.



    Good question. I have always considered a car you own and use exclusively to be a private transportation option. Yet a car you pay for a short ride in while someone else drives (taxi) is very much like public transportation. This is like citibike. Therefore I think of it as a form of public transportation since many people can use it. I think that any transportation system should be self-funded if possible, i.e., if people are willing to pay the full costs and then some, like taxis. But a transportation system that has general public benefits, like congestion mitigation, should be subsidized if people are unwilling to pay the full costs, like subways, buses, and probably citibike.



    No. But they would be able to embarrass the sh!t out of them.



    Lot’s of people bike on Amsterdam, we’d like to see it crater free.


    Samuel L Bronkovitz Presents

    OpSafeCycle should show all us bikers that the NYPD is squarely *against* cyclists, and we shouldn’t be looking to them for any help at all.


    Kevin Love

    When the victim is a police officer, Attempted Murder charges get laid. See:



    I am one of those people and I don’t much care. Cars set that precedent a century ago anyway.



    You can bet this law will be applied when the victim is a police officer.


    dave "paco" abraham

    For any crashes that occur starting today that NYPD does not issue tickets, would those injuried be able to sue NYPD for nor enforcing the laws on the books?


    Keegan Stephan

    they’ve been really busy. #OpSafeCycle



    This is inexcusable, and clear evidence of dysfunction within the De Blasio administration. It was signed on June 23rd, so the NYPD Legal Department has had 60 days to write the enforcement directive. How long does it take to write a memo based on an already passed law?

    Our lives are in danger on NYC streets, and some lawyers in the De Blasio administration are sitting on their hands? wtf?



    That’s why the city should own it.
    Private enterprise is worthless for anything that’s an actual public good.


    Ian Turner



    What’s the distinction between a public vs. private transportation option?


    Tal F.

    Re sinkhole on Amsterdam Ave: Let’s see if the city can manage to get this fixed faster than the greenway sinkhole. That ought to make it clear what the city’s true priorities are.



    I think who cares are the people who pay for the subsidy (i.e. taxpayers.)
    Granted it’s a small cost in the grand scheme, but the precedent of subsidizing private transportation options like this is a bad one, in my opinion.



    I agree it’s not transit, but who cares if it’s subsidized? It has been successful from the standpoint of attracting users and it probably has most of the benefits of subsidizing transit. Maybe it takes even a little pressure of at least the bus network.



    Can’t speak to this, but “news” organizations do seem to hire a lot of people who were in that pageant. And that pageant seems to attract its share of bobbleheads.

    And it’s not like there aren’t boatloads of journalism students in NYC, many of whom have helluva academic credentials and probably struggle to find gainful employment.



    Bike share is part of the transportation network, but not part of public transit, and nor should it be.
    Why subsidize citibike? It’s a private transportation option just like zipcar, or taxis.
    I think the pricing is wrong – annual memberships should cost more – and the logistics need to be improved. The fact that a private investor has stepped in to provide capital means that the government doesn’t need to get involved (other than in allocating public space to use for dock stations.)



    Trying to cause a crash is not the right way to go about that.



    Besides the insurance question, is it not a crime to “door and run”? It should be.



    That is an interesting question. Opening the door, including dooring bicyclists, is considered “use,” not “operation” of a vehicle. The driver (and the owner) are responsible for the use AND operation of a vehicle, but there is a loophole in the carrier-for-hire insurance requirements that allows a cab or livery vehicle to insure the driver only against negligence in the operation but not in the use of a vehicle. Meaning that if the passenger in a yellow cab doors you, you can’t claim against the driver’s insurance, you have to claim against the medallion, and often those are hocked up to the gills and not worth much.

    This morning, I am going to court to argue that the state-created insurer of last resort for hit-and-run victims, MVAIC, is responsible for the negligence of a cab passenger who “doors-and-runs.” MVAIC is trying to claim that is is not responsible for the use of the hit-and-run cab as if it were a commercial insurer operating under the loophole in the commercial insurer requirements (which it is not).

    I would much rather see legislation requiring taxi TV to tell cab passengers not to door cyclists (like there was years ago) and that they should stay at the scene when they do door a cyclist. We see plenty of door-and-run cases in our law practice.



    Re Observer post on Citi Bike: the writer referenced an earlier Cap NY report that Hurricane Sandy cost Citi Bike $6.4M. Does anyone know if Citi Bike has applied for cost recovery as part of the $30B (?) NY city and state were to receive — a good chunk of which is going to subway repair and fortification?



    Better than those Dale Earnhardt wannabes zooming around, am I right?



    The ticketing a bicycle and ticketing a car serve
    totally different purposes. The point of giving me a ticket (as the cop
    repeated over and over) is for my own safety- paternalistic but true.
    The reason for ticketing a car is to prevent other people from harm.
    Protecting the public should be a greater concern to the public than
    protecting someone who is likely to scare other people and hurt herself.


    Joe R.

    Thanks. Your post is actually making me rethink my position on wrong-way riding. Maybe it just falls into the “annoying” category.


    Joe R.

    Not all bike-ped crashes are created equal. People like joe that bike for recreation and go as fast as they can are likelier to have collisions that are more serious than those who never get much past 12-15 mph.

    I wrote this in another thread but it’s very relevant to what you wrote:

    The threshold for serious injuries starts at around 15-20 mph. Even the data on ped-auto collisions backs this assertion up. A pedestrian being hit by an auto is more or less equivalent as far as impact goes to the same pedestrian running into a concrete wall at the same speed as the auto. Generally what we see is injuries tend to start to occur around 10 mph, but they don’t get serious until 15 to 20 mph. Arguably a ped-bike collision isn’t as serious as a ped-auto collision because they each have roughly the same mass. In fact, if we go by momentum changes it takes a bike hitting a pedestrian at 40 mph to match a car hitting them at 20 mph, assuming the bike plus rider weighs the same as the pedestrian. Momentum changes are what determines acceleration in collisions, not kinetic energy. Acceleration in turn typically correlates with injuries. Anyway, generally the cyclist and bike is heavier, so this might bring the equivalent speed down by maybe 5 mph. Or put in layman’s terms, in most cases a pedestrian needs to be hit by a bike going 35+ mph to sustian the same types of injuries as being hit by a car going 20 mph (the threshold of where serious injuries start). Of course, freak occurrences mean some percentage of people hit by bikes at much lower speeds are seriously injured or even dead, but this is just the usual Gaussian distribution.”

    Yes, I ride as fast as I physically can much of the time. However, as I mentioned earlier I’m generally going 10 mph or less when I pass lights, so little chance of a KSI crash with a pedestrian there. I also tend to keep it under 20 mph when I’m riding through an area which might have pedestrians jaywalking, such as a commercial area during the day hours. Again, little chance of a KSI crash given the fact that I’ll certainly be able to scrub off much or most of my speed if a pedestrian suddenly darted out from behind a parked truck. It’s not like I ride right next to the line of parked cars. I keep a buffer so I can see anything darting out well in advance.

    As I mentioned in that quote, 35 mph is about the speed on a bike where the threshold of serious injuries start in a bike-ped collision. I go way under that when I know peds are likely to be around. Point of fact, I rarely go above 35 mph, period. Lately with the poor condition of most streets in my area I’m not comfortable going much above 30 mph, even on downgrades.

    What’s interesting is neither of the two fatalities from bike collisions in the last 5 years was caused purely by the speed of the cyclist. They were both freak occurrences where a relatively slow cyclist knocked the person down, and the person hit their head in such a manner as to cause death. Blunt-force speed-related trauma resulting in death at the hands of a cyclist is nearly unheard of because few cyclists can go fast enough to cause such trauma (and most would be dead along with the pedestrian in such a collision anyway).

    And as I said, a single KSI crash every 100 years is hardly unlikely based on only 36 years of not having one, and that’s not an acceptable rate.

    Here’s where it gets interesting. Given that I ride at speeds highly unlikely to cause death or serious injury when around pedestrians I might need on average 1000 collisions or more at such speeds before some kind of freak occurrence resulted in death. Unfortunately no statistics exist for the death/injury rate of low-speed bike-ped collisions but I think 1 death per 1000 such collisions is actually a very high, Devil’s advocate estimate. It might be more like one out of every 10,000 or 100,000. In any case, going with the 1 out of 1000 figure, this would mean on average I would need to collide with pedestrians 1000 times before killing one. Sure, the very first collision could result in death, but the chances are vanishing small, especially given the fact that I would likely try very hard to grab the person before they hit the ground if at all possible. Statistically, I might need at least 100 such collisions before the chances of death even rose into the single digits, at least 1,000 before the chance rose past 50%. You do the math then. Zero ped collisions in 36 years. What are the chances I’ll have at least 100 collisions with pedestrians in a 100 year period, much less 1,000? I think I just made a pretty good case for my once every 100,000 years figure. That may even be lowballing it. The key here is you have two probabilities-both of which are very low. Multiply them and you end up with a ridiculously small number.

    Now if I collided with pedestrians at 20+ mph on a fairly regular basis, like a few every month, yes, I would say it’s a virtual certainly I would probably kill someone in 100 years. But I don’t. As a cyclist yourself, you know if you keep a good spatial awareness, it’s virtually impossible to collide with a pedestrian. Streets in NYC are typically at least 20 feet wide. You have plenty of room to go around them, and usually plenty of time to slow or stop if you keep aware of what’s in front of you. Animals are what throws me for a loop sometimes. Little any cyclist can do if a dog or cat suddenly darts out in front of them at full speed. I had that happen to me a few times. Thankfully I avoided hitting the animal, but only barely.


    The Doors

    Silly question. Of course YOU are at fault! Do you know how expensive it is to fix a car door?! So why do you think it’s okay to just ride into it??