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    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!



    This is just another typical garbage pickup day in my neighborhood. Can’t get by the DSNY truck on the street? Just use the sidewalk.



    but every single person is in some way using streets our taxes pay to support, even if you are just buying goods that are brought in via trucks.
    Roads are paid for out of a combination of general tax revenue and dedicated taxes like tolls and gas taxes. The idea is that everyone benefits to some degree, even if they are not a direct user, but there should also be some component based on use. While our system is admittedly far from perfect, at least the underlying philosophy seems sound.
    So neither Uber, nor any other road user, owes the citizenry based solely on the fact that is uses roads. Or rather, whatever is owed should be paid via the current tax structure and road funding mechanisms. And if it is not, this is an issue to reform the tax and funding, not an obligation on the particular individuals and businesses.
    You could logically reverse your position and claim that citizens owe something to Uber because they facilitate mobility for everyone by better allocating driver resources. But that is clearly not true, as Uber is fully compensated by the fees it charges its actual users.



    My two cents for December is that bikes are generally fine, way too many docks are still broken, and that means more dock block. Unfortunately, seems the phone app sees broken docks as “open.” This really stinks because you check the app, see open docks and find on arrival what was “open” is busted.



    Still disheartening to see areas so close and that many of us inevitably spend at least some time in get whipped up into a fervor they way they were in Nassau. But it does seem the role out there was poorly planned. I usually bemoan the slow pace of progress in NYC, but I think in this case it’s helped prevent widespread backlash.



    I’m amazed at how quickly the Nassau and Suffolk politicians rolled over on this issue. Who was the pro-camera faction that got these things passed in the first place? Where were they when the opposition formed?



    clearly that is not “the only possible result” – it’s the result you think will happen, I’m guessing based on a fairly simplistic set of assumptions about how the supply of drivers will respond to surge pricing.
    I think it’s overly simplistic and ignores important characteristics of the microstructure of this particular market.



    Really cool news about bike share in Jersey City. Will be interesting to watch and see how the funding and rollout goes. Great to see this.

    Now please Santa, bike share stations up above 59th street in Manhattan!!!!



    Let suburbs be suburbs, but let cities be cities too!

    So many of New York’s livable streets problems (and maybe this is true for all the livable streets problems in every major American city) have to do with the city’s lack of sovereignty making them beholden to the state. The state sees its job as providing unfettered access to the city for suburban drivers.



    Wow, that’s premature. #MissionAccomplishedRedux!



    Not that I’d use Uber, but you can’t say they owe the citizenry nothing. Uber is using streets our taxes pay to support.


    Jym Dyer

    Apt typo. :)


    Jym Dyer

    Lance Armstrong? ITYM Bono.



    Because drivers don’t only own the road, they own the sidewalks.

    Because they’re drivers, not dirty f*ing hippies or Lance Armstrong.

    Because NYPD.



    Sounds right. And yet city council members are making a fuss about banning texting while biking. They want parody on that law, but haven’t uttered so much as a word about discrepancies like that.



    I stand by my statement that “The only possible result of banning surge pricing will be fewer livery cars available during the busiest times.” If that’s not self-evident, I can’t do anything else to convince you.


    Doug G.

    In an effort to send a clear message that pedestrian space is sacred, banning cars from sidewalks was one of Enrique Penalosa’s earliest acts as mayor of Bogota. How shameful that New York City, the most walkable city in America, lags behind Bogota when it comes to protecting people on foot. This behavior should be seen as socially unacceptable, even in circumstances like this.

    Vision Zero means nothing if even sidewalks aren’t considered off-limits to drivers.



    My understanding is that even if you don’t injure anyone, the ticket for riding a bike on the sidewalk is actually a summons to appear in criminal court (I don’t know what the exact charge is), which means that you actually have to go instead of being able to mail it in, and that if you don’t show up a bench warrant is issued for your arrest.



    DOT’s most likely response: Call 311



    Close. There is a law that makes it an automatic charge if you injure a person while riding your bike on the sidewalk, but there is NO equivalent law for cars. Nice, huh?



    I’m going to copy over a comment I made on an Atlantic Cities article on this topic:

    Uber’s customers are almost as obnoxious as Uber as a company. They defend Uber’s almost prideful disregard of local regulations as standing up to overly-burdensome regulation strangling the free market. But then when they are confronted with what is possibly the most “free-market” component of Uber (the surge pricing), they start whining about how it’s not fair.

    You are not entitled to Uber. You are, however, entitled to hail a yellow cab anywhere in the five boroughs and be taken to anywhere else in the five boroughs and pay a consistent fare, because that’s what the city’s regulations guarantee you as a citizen. Uber is a private company. You are not a citizen of Uber. You are a customer. They don’t owe you anything.



    I have no problem with demand based pricing, but I think it’s misleading to assert that there is a significant impact on supply of livery cars.

    Both sides of the argument are based on speculation, as there is no available data (Uber probably has some but has not made it public.)

    It seems to me that the main impact of surge pricing is to allocate the available driver resources based on price, as opposed to luck or willingness to wait. That is not a bad thing, but it is not the same as adding supply.

    Both livery and medallion drivers typically work a shift with fixed hours. They are available regardless of pricing. There is not that much idle capacity that can be mobilized quickly enough to respond to surge pricing. Maybe at the margin some drivers decide to extend their shift because surge pricing just went into effect, but if a driver is not already in a car and on the road, it would be unlikely that he can or would drop everything in response to surge pricing. The pricing could go back to normal well before he manages to actually get to a fare.

    What it does do is give drivers who are already working an incentive to pick up fares in the surge zone instead of other areas, so you re-allocate the existing supply to where demand is higher.



    Riding a bike on the sidewalk is a criminal matter in NY, but I wouldn’t be surprised if driving on the sidewalk were treated as a traffic violation at most. Anyone who knows, please let me know. :-)



    Sacré bleu! It’s been fixed. Thanks for flagging.


    Joe R.

    The time of these drivers is worth something. I tend to think the extra few hours to drive through Manhattan for much of the day would be sufficient to discourage toll shopping. Don’t people still make reasonable decisions based on their time?


    Joe R.

    Why are you allowed to drive a car on the sidewalk in NYC but not ride a bike? If anything the opposite should be true.

    If there is a statute against driving on sidewalks, then why aren’t police enforcing it? We all know if bikes were doing this on the same street, police would set up a dragnet.



    People are so used to subsidized transportation that they just can’t deal with demand-based pricing? The only possible result of banning surge pricing will be fewer livery cars available during the busiest times.


    Ollie Oliver

    One would hope that it would apply to current board members with their next appointment, as opposed to forcing them all out immediately before they have time to mentor any incoming “freshman” members. I don’t see any indication of that, but it would make a sort of sense. Though it does say only applies to first term on or after April 2016. So I think you may be right unfortunately.



    Greetings from the #1 bicycling city in the USA!



    Answers to your questions: No they’re not. Yes it does. Thanks.



    Restoring the VNB’s bidirectional tolls would be optimal, yes. But tolling the E Riv bridges will still go a long way toward ending the “toll shopping” that we’re all trying to stop. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Repeat.



    I don’t follow your point, so maybe you’d like to clarify? Or you can download my spreadsheet model underlying the Move NY numbers, here’s link, Our modeling has been vetted by half-a-dozen experts and/or agencies.


    CB Watcher

    If coverage of the community board term limits bill is accurate, we would still be stuck with current members for up to their lifespans, and the mandated turnover would only be among new, and presumably more progressive, members. What’s the point of that?



    Last link (NYT) is incorrect



    Am I reading City & State right: the local AAA chapter is supporting Move NY?


    I dunno. By definition an audit looks backward in time. That Alta made a callous decision not to inspect bikes on the street for four straight months deserves to be exposed. But equal in blame is the DOT and the media largely gave those folks a pass.

    Alta never explicitly informed the DOT that it had ceased the on-street safety inspections. It simply stopped reporting the number. A DOT that took its oversight mission seriously would have asked Alta for the missing stat. Instead, the department was asleep at the wheel.


    Joe Shabadoo

    you should have a trigger warning when your links go to a big picture of Greg Mocker. BTW the last link in your series goes to the WPIX trip planner app article, not NYTimes



    By all means, please head over there! When i do, he’s surrounded by old ladies complaining about parking. As with all cops, he’s cagey, emotionally like an 8 year old, and incapable of answering questions directly without cliches.



    Bridge tolls 100% – but I think revenue projections for a cordon are inflated. By tolling the bridges, you are already creating a cordon effect on the entire east side of manhattan.



    But the point is, you’d think they’d bother to educate themselves as to the benefits before deciding they don’t like something.



    That effect of explaining is not at all unusual when you talk to people who have no preexisting emotional stake in an outcome.

    Here’s the real problem: try using evidence and logic to persuade somebody who is wrong about something they have an emotional stake in. Even relatively easy stuff: think climate change, evolution, vaccination. You probably know explaining the evidence doesn’t convince them, but what you might not know is you’re probably doing the opposite of convincing them and actually reinforcing their misconception. It’s called the backfire effect.

    I’d guess most people with actual power, including most politicians, do have a pretty solidified opinion on this. And what they probably don’t grasp that well is the conceptual foundation for why toll reform makes sense: induced demand, how budgeting works, capital depreciation, peak load balancing, price signals, and lots of other concepts.



    The MoveNY plan is a no-brainer. As a voter, I’ll be watching carefully to see whether my representatives in Albany take long-overdue action to fix the congestion mess.



    I find it astonishing that people seem to be willing to condemn a plan without bothering to even inquire about the benefits

    That’s not a fair characterization of what happened.

    MoveNY isn’t releasing their script, but going by their descriptions of what was said…
    Before details offered: 45-34 (support-oppose)
    After presumably neutral description: 56-36
    After benefits highlighted: 62-31
    After presented with criticisms: 57 support, number opposed isn’t mentioned on page four of the pdf, don’t see it elsewhere.

    Opposition didn’t change that much (if at all?), the increase in support was mostly from those who started out undecided.

    It would be nice to see more details on the survey. Survey results should be taken with a grain of salt without exact phrasing used, especially when it purports to show public support for the group that commissioned it.



    Zero of it.



    Well really – as it says it’s many suburban voters… The benefit to them will be lower tolls on the Throggs Neck – Whitestone – Verrazano bridges… They like that..



    Really – it was Sheldon Silver who killed it (when Bloomberg wanted it to happen). He was the heavy hitter in the “gang of 3″ in Albany.



    Are they? How much of this is just ignorance of the needs of cyclists?



    If all the East River crossings are tolled, they will stop cutting through Manhattan.

    Not on its own. You need the verrazano bridge to be tolled both ways or for the round trip to be half the east river bridges to eliminate that incentive.



    How many of the fatal traffic crashes were caused by cops or their families? We already know that in several precincts cops routinely violate traffic laws just for fun (when there’s no emergency). Makes me suspicious.