Source: Dmitry Gudkov / Flickr

Source: Dmitry Gudkov / Flickr

THE COMMUTE: The second in a series of Vision Zero Town Hall meetings was held in the Brooklyn Borough Hall courtroom earlier this month. Several hundred attended the standing room only meeting. If you did not know any better, you would have gotten the impression that half the borough’s population was either struck by a hit and run driver or had a relative who was killed by one, according to testimony from the speakers.

I am not trying to minimize the problem of pedestrian fatalities, but the solutions proposed by the panel leave a lot to be desired. Supposedly the town hall meeting was called in order to solicit opinions and solutions. But was it? During the two-and-a-half-hour meeting, chaired by new Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and various City Council members, only about 45 minutes was allotted to hear views from the public. Much of the time was devoted to gaining sympathy from the audience for the casualties resulting from past crashes.

The Vision Zero Plan was described in the context of “this is what should and will be done,” in other words, ‘We need red light and speed cameras all over to catch offenders.’ ‘A 30 MPH city speed limit is way too high.’ ‘Everyone must drive more slowly.’ ‘The speed limit on every street needs to be 20 MPH and we need slow zones, speed bumps and pedestrian islands all over.’ So in which specific locations do we need to install these measures? Well, if you have all the solutions and are just looking for a list of problem intersections, you are really not seeking new ideas, are you?

So why was this even considered a town hall meeting? Each public speaker was only allowed one minute to express his or her views. (Even the MTA allows three minutes each at their hearings, which is still barely enough time.) In a true town hall meeting, there would have been, at most, a five-minute introduction of the panel and a 15-minute presentation. The remaining two hours would have been devoted to hearing suggestions from the public. The panel would not speak for one and three quarter hours and the audience would not have been stacked with the victims of hit and runs and their relatives. That was no accident, since Transportation Alternatives was an active member of the panel. Why was a representative from the AAA not invited to express the opinions of motorists, or should I just say murderers or child killers?

Well, if you have all the solutions and just need a few specifics to implement your plan, you are not really seeking new ideas. You are asking for support of a plan designed with the help of Transportation Alternatives. A “town hall meeting” was only held to give the illusion that the public provided input.

Luckily for us, the city would need approval from Albany before instituting a 20 MPH citywide speed limit since the city does not presently have “home rule,” which provides some checks and balances. If we did have home rule, there would be no limit on your real estate taxes, parking and other fines. The city would be able to raise those whenever they wanted to. Parking tickets would be a minimum of $100 with other fines being much higher. Is that what you really want?

The city would be able to purchase as many speed cameras as they like and place them on every single corner if they had home rule. Those who do not drive think that would be great. Let us make sure that no cars are able to travel faster than a bicycle, so bike riders can laugh as they pass all the cars.

Some speakers made sensible suggestions, such as better marking the street pavement and not allowing striping to wear out, which the Department of Transportation (DOT) blamed on the harsh winter. In fact, lane markings on many streets have not been renewed in 30 years. Yours truly suggested that appropriate charges be brought against those who kill pedestrians, and requiring drivers to pass a written test upon license renewal. Many motorists have not looked at a driver’s manual for upward of 30 or 40 years.

Some sensible measures are included as part of Vision Zero, such as redesigning problem intersections and better lighting. There were also a few who criticized DOT for making changes, such as installing pedestrian islands that later had to be removed because the solutions did not achieve the desired results. Instead, they created new problems because a previous administration acted without community consultation.

The Implications Of A City-Wide 20 MPH Speed Limit

I previously wrote that a 20 MPH speed limit was an hysterical reaction to a serious problem. Last year’s proposal was changed by the City Council to 25 MPH and some streets were to be exempted. Due to some confusion as to the definition of the word “street,” it was not clear which streets were to be exempted, which might have made the plan workable. However, it was clear from the organizers of this town hall meeting that city leaders want a 20 MPH speed limit on every single local and arterial street.

Has everyone gone crazy? Does anyone realize the far reaching implications of such a plan? Do non-drivers even know how fast 20 MPH is? It is like standing still on a street with little vehicular or pedestrian traffic. Would anyone even abide by such a speed limit? Will it even reduce the number of crashes? Or will it just greatly increase travel time not only for cars, but also for buses and trucks?

Are buses not already traveling too slow and is that why we need Select Bus Service? What will happen to the price of goods if it costs more to deliver them because trucks can drive no faster than 20 MPH or an average of only 10 MPH? If buses have to travel slower, you will need more of them to provide the same level of service, and that means higher fares.

In Brooklyn, the only real highways are the Belt Parkway / BQE combination, which is often jammed. Imagine yourself never driving faster than 20 MPH on any street. Try it and see how it feels and ask yourself how long it would take for you to get anywhere?

Being caught by a speed camera for driving at 26 MPH will cost you a $100 or $150 fine. How many summonses could you afford to receive each week once we get the requested 160 speed cameras? Once the city sees how much revenue these cameras will raise, in a few years there will be 500 more cameras (if permitted by Albany) and they will not be limited to school zones but will be placed wherever they are likely to generate the most revenue, such as on major arterials and eventually on highways.

Conclusion

The number of pedestrian fatalities is a real problem and we need real solutions. The goal of Vision Zero is admirable but unattainable unless the entire city was to become a pedestrian mall. Of course, the speed limit on some streets should only be 20 or 25 MPH, but overly simplistic solutions such as a universal 20 MPH speed limit never worked and never will. Just like a flat income tax rate or a flat $100 fine for every violation would not work either.

The only justification for a 20 MPH speed limit is a statistic that the survival rate in the event of a crash is greater than at 30 MPH. So why stop at 20 MPH and not save even more lives with a speed limit of only 10 MPH? The real threat to safety is posed by unsafe road conditions, by those going 60 MPH on our city streets in a 30 MPH zone, and those who are inattentive for whatever reason (drivers as well as pedestrians and cyclists). No threat is posed by those going 25 MPH. Punish the guilty. Don’t make the innocent suffer. We cannot let a few fanatics dictate city policy. Are our legislators asleep? Wake up New York!

The Commute is a weekly feature highlighting news and information about the city’s mass transit system and transportation infrastructure. It is written by Allan Rosen, a Manhattan Beach resident and former Director of MTA/NYC Transit Bus Planning (1981).

Disclaimer: The above is an opinion column and may not represent the thoughts or position of Sheepshead Bites. Based upon their expertise in their respective fields, our columnists are responsible for fact-checking their own work, and their submissions are edited only for length, grammar and clarity. If you would like to submit an opinion piece or become a regularly featured contributor, please e-mail nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

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  • Local Broker

    cars = driver violence
    guns = gun violence
    Just so everyone is clear.

  • Mat50

    it doesn’t seem to matter what the laws or speed limits are, as far as the problem drivers are concerned. Also, if the NYC traffic regulations take precedence over the NYS VTL, why do we need Albany’s approval to make decisions on what is best for the city? Albany is just a parasite anyway.

  • EndofDaze

    Teach personal responsibility again, and make people understand, that they need to develop a sense of the other, rather than always being self absorbed! All the rest is essentially, as someone once wrote; dust in the wind!!! Otherwise, Happy Passover if it applies, and a Happy upcoming Easter, if that applies!!!

  • Concerned

    20mph is ridiculous. The only solution is to REALLY crack down on horrific driving and pedestrian behavior. There is no sense of right or wrong on the roads these days. I see pedestrians begin to cross streets as the light turns green, and put their heads down, as if to say “I’m not looking, so I can’t be at fault”. They need to be ticketed. Cars flying down O. Parkway need severe fines. Cars going through lights and giving pedestrians the finger maybe need a couple of nights in the slammer.

    Painting white lines isn’t going to do it, sir. People need this bad behavior rolled back.

    • Allan Rosen

      All I can say to everyone is let your elected officials know how you feel because right now the only ones they are hearing from is Transportation Alternatives. Our elected officials believe that they represent the majority of voters, when they represent mostly bike riders and those who have never driven a car. If you stay quiet, you will see more of what you don’t like. DOT has already decided to lower the speed limit of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn to 25 mph. Ocean Parkway and other major streets will soon follow. Then when no one listens, the cameras will ticket everyone. So now is the time to speak up not later.

      Bus riders had three years to ask for more stops on the B44 SBS and most said nothing and you saw what happened. We are only strong in numbers.

      • http://www.mybrooklyn.com/ MyBrooklyn

        People
        in these agencies know people who are effected the most with these poor changes
        need to provide bread for their families and don’t have time to waste trying to
        prove or have a say what’s good for majority….Same people who make changes
        usually don’t follow their own rules

      • Andrew

        I think you might be surprised at how many New York City residents are sick and tired of the unnecessary deaths and injuries that take place on the city’s streets and would be very pleased to see the free-for-all come to an end. It’s not only a Transportation Alternatives thing.

        • Allan Rosen

          How many drivers have you spoken to that you conclude that? Or is it only bike riders and pedestrians you have spoken to because no one else’s opinions matter to you. I have spoken to dozens of people who do not agree with a universal lowering of speed limits. Anecdotes when I say it. Scientific evidence when you say it. I know, so don’t even bother.

          • fdtutf

            Andrew: “I think you might be surprised at how many New York City residents are sick and tired of the unnecessary deaths and injuries that take place on the city’s streets and would be very pleased to see the free-for-all come to an end.”

            Note the use of the word “residents.”

            You: “How many drivers have you spoken to that you conclude that?”

            So you’re implying that drivers don’t care about the carnage? Because no other interpretation of that comment is reasonable.

          • Andrew

            You may find this shocking, but a lot of people of all mode choices would like to reduce the pedestrian death toll.

            I realize that you don’t count yourself among them, but they exist, in large numbers.

          • Allan Rosen

            And even more people of all mode choices would like to get where they are going in a decent amount of time. I repeat that unsafe speed is only responsible 8% of pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries and vehicles driving at 30 mph are not posing any danger. But I realize that you only cite statistics that prove your point of view.

          • fdtutf

            And I repeat that high speed is responsible for pretty much all pedestrian fatalities, even where it isn’t the primary cause of accidents.

            “And even more people of all mode choices would like to get where they are going in a decent amount of time.”

            So there’s a set of people who are more interested in getting where they’re going in a decent amount of time than in saving human lives. Can you give me a reason why I should pay one ounce of attention to these morally impaired creatures?

          • Allan Rosen

            Speed even when combined with all other factors is still only responsible for only 20 something percent of all pedestrian fatalities/injuries, so that does not make it the primary cause which is driver in attentiveness followed by pedestrian error/ confusion which combined accounts for more than half of pedestrian fatalities/ seriious injuries.

            I ask you again why your only concern is the reduction of pedestrian fatalities? If you are that concerned about saving human lives why don’t you try to reduce the number of fatalities from accidental falls which is greater than the number of pedestrian fatalities?

          • fdtutf

            Who says my only concern is the reduction of pedestrian fatalities?

            Here’s a little tip for you: Speed kills motorists, too.

          • Allan Rosen

            So let’s lower the speed limit to 10 mph even on highways. How many times do I have to say that you don’t make a decision based on a single factor. Speed kills -lower speed. Guns kill- ban guns. knives kill- ban knives. Air pollution kills- don’t breathe. Now see how silly that sounds?

        • guest

          Drivers are sick and tired of people like YOU Andrew who constantly dribble your nonsense and seem to feel anyone in an automobile is a jerk. Drivers and cyclist got along just fine without bicyclist having their own lanes catered to them while creating more traffic for no reason. Remember those days buddy, or are you one of these moronic hipster transplants that has come to change the city and turn it into your own personal playground? 20 MPH is too slow for automobile traffic. Put traffic lights in sync, up the limit to 40 MPH. For the jerkoffs on the road that cause major accidents, you take away their license and don’t allow them to get it back. Problem solved. Transportation Alternatives believes bicycles are the only things that belong on the street. That’s just laughable. This is New York, not some suburb in the midwest.

          • fdtutf

            “Drivers and cyclist got along just fine without bicyclist having their own lanes catered to them while creating more traffic for no reason.”

            Well, no, they didn’t. Without bicycle lanes, most people were too frightened of automobile drivers to cycle, so the level of cycling was much lower than it is now. Scaring the shit out of people and getting along with them are actually two different things, believe it or not.

            “For the jerkoffs on the road that cause major accidents, you take away their license and don’t allow them to get it back.”

            An excellent idea. The rapid and significant decrease in the number of cars on the street might even make the city livable.

          • Allan Rosen

            Then give them an alternative and improve their bus service so they dont have to wait forever for an overcrowded bus. Not everyone wants to or can ride a bike during all types of weather. The MTA only plans for existing riders, not for those who would ride if the service is better.

          • fdtutf

            Not everyone wants to ride the bus, either. Please get it through your head that many people who cycle do so because it’s their preference, not because they lack other alternatives. There is no reason why they should not be able to use the roads on the same conditions as motorists, without having to fear being killed or maimed.

          • Allan Rosen

            But more want to ride the bus than want to cycle. You are a small minority who wants a third of the roadway devoted to your needs. On road bike lanes can never really be safe. There are even fatalities on off-road bike lanes which I have personal experience with. Accidents happen. It’s a fact of life.

          • fdtutf

            What “you”? I don’t cycle.

            One purpose of on-road bike lanes is to remind motorists that cyclists also have a legal right to use the road. This is 100% true WITHOUT bike lanes, but motorists like to conveniently forget it and the police are on the motorists’ side, to the cyclists’ detriment. Setting aside a portion of the road space for cycling helps ensure that cyclists actually get to use the road that the law says they have just as much right to use as motorists do.

          • Allan Rosen

            Then a shared bike route sign is just as good a reminder as an exclusive lane.

          • fdtutf

            Experience proves otherwise.

          • Allan Rosen

            So you favor a dedicated bike lane on every city street because a shared one is not even good enough? And you don’t even ride a bike either? Correct?

          • fdtutf

            Your obsessive conviction that one must use a particular transport mode in order to favor its use and promotion is extremely peculiar. Yes, I can be in favor of bike lanes and other means of promoting cycling even though I don’t cycle myself.

            I favor whatever will succeed in consistently reminding motorists that they do not own the fscking roads. Signs do not do the job, I’m sorry to tell you.

          • Allan Rosen

            You are just a car hater. That much is obvious. You will look for anyway to punish drivers. Now I see where you are coming from and why you are so adamant about a 20 mph speed limit. It is more about your car hatred than it is about safety.

          • fdtutf

            At least I’m not willing to sacrifice human lives so I can save three minutes on my way to my destination.

          • guest

            Yep. You got us pal. All us motorist, got together one stormy night long ago and decided that our main concern was not getting from point a to point b but to make the roads a gigantic massacre site. Congratulations. You cracked the case.

          • fdtutf

            Actually, the problem is that your only concern IS getting from A to B, and anybody who gets in your way be damned.

          • Allan Rosen

            Hey, I just had an idea. Since more people die through accidental falls each year than by being hit by cars, and It is a known fact that you chances of survival are much greater if you fall out of a window if you land on a garbage bin than if you hit concrete, I propose we require garbage bins to be placed outside of every single window because it will save lives! I’m not willing to sacrifice human lives either. Doesn’t that make sense?

          • fdtutf

            You’ve devolved into sheer nonsense. That’s certainly made my day. Mazel tov, and thank you very much.

          • Allan Rosen

            All I did was use the exact same logic you did and applied it to a different scenario. I am not considering the other implications of placing garbage bins outside every window, just like you are not considering all the implications of lower speed limits on major arterials, such as slower bus speeds, the effect on schedules and costs, patronage and fares, increase in truck delivery times and the effect on the price of consumer goods and services, not to mention major inconvenience and extra time for motorists.

          • BIG Steve

            Thanks for your good replies. It may be that only 20% of New Yorkers have cars but 100% all benefit from the vehicles on the roads, for business, food, services, elderly, medical, small business owners and on and on, we all must work together instead of this us v them battle created by the anti car Transporatation NONAlternatives!
            Also, 73% of all pedestrian accidents are the pedestrians fault! OF the ramining 17% half are still the pedestrains contibutory negligence! 8% ARE THE driver’s fault! So instead of enforcement against all offenders on foot, bike or vehicle we have this emotional irrational knee jerk reaction to go after the drivers as scapepgoats.
            All New Yorkers must step back from this emotional reaction to understand that any sane person is concerned about the deaths to pedestrians, as we are in any accident. So we must find reasonable solutions not hurt all the good overwhelming law abiding drivers and cause billions of dollars to our city in the slow down of the economy because of the anti vehicle people stirring the coals of hate and anger. we must communicate and work together.
            Go Back to the old public service ads, “Don’t Cross the street in the middle in the middle in the middle of the block! Teach your eyes to look up, teach your ears to hear, and wait and wait, until you see the light turn green and look!’ Anyone old enough to remember? These ads were everywhere!!!

          • Allan Rosen

            Thanks for your wise words and support. I just heard on TV the other day about a new national TV campaign to try to get drivers to pay more attention to the road and it’s surroundings. That is the type of campaign we need. Better education. Not a senseless blind lowering of speed limits on major arterials without regard to long term effects, but specific targeted solutions like better education or targeting specific problem intersections and eliminating safety hazards.

            If others don’t start speaking up like you did and tell their elected officials how they feel, the only voices they will continue to hear will be those of Transportation Alternatives who try think represent everyone, because everyone else is remaining silent.

            If everyone were like Transportation Alternatives and complained to their elected officials every time they waited a half hour for a bus and fiev came at once,

          • Allan Rosen

            If everyone spoke up like Transportation Alternatives, and complained to their elected officials every time they waited a half hour for a bus and five came at once, the bus bunching problem would have been solved long ago.

          • fdtutf

            How, exactly, would the bus bunching problem have been solved? I’m curious. What could be done about it that isn’t being done now?

          • Allan Rosen

            We have had exclusive bus lanes on Livingston Street and other parking restrictions designed to keep buses moving for the past 30 years which have never been enforced. They were designed to help the buses adhere to their schedule but never worked because no one insisted on their enforcement.

            The number of road bus dispatchers which once numbered as many six per route on the heavy routes have all been eliminated during the past 30 years to save money rather than trying to seek methods to make them more effective. We now only have teams of roving dispatchers who can only put out fires.

            We would have had a GPS system that worked in place years ago instead of three failed attempts over 20 years because of gross mismanagement. There was no pressure from the public for the MTA to get those programs on track sooner.

          • Allan Rosen

            Now that it is in place, there is no evidence that it is used to reduce bunching judging from the public’s continual private complaining about the problem that is not directed at the MTA or elected officials.

            In fairness to the MTA, they are trying more now to do something about the problem, but their motivation is reducing overtime, not helping the passenger, by having increasing numbers of buses bypass passengers to get ack on schedule even if no other bus is behind to pick up the passengers who were missed. So some passengers are helped and others get stuck waiting a half hour because of buses skipping their stop.

            Bottom line, elected officials would feel it is their responsibility to constantly badger the MTA regarding the problem if their constituents were more vocal. That constant badgering would make MTA officials who are not union protected fear for their jobs unless they came up with solutions that worked to address the problem and it would be fixed once and for all.

          • Andrew

            Aside from camera enforcement – which you have been adamantly opposed to, and which has only been permitted by state law since 2010 (and still only on weekdays on the SBS lines planned at the time) – enforcement is in the hands of the NYPD. “Insisting” on enforcement is meaningless if the NYPD is not inclined to enforce in any meaningful way – and as I pointed out last night, the NYPD has not generally been inclined to enforce traffic laws in any meaningful way.

            I would love to see lots and lots more bus lane, with extensive camera enforcement. Would you?

          • Allan Rosen

            I am opposed to speed camera enforcement ecause 95% of the summonses will be issued to cars going 6 miles over the speed limit not to the flagrant speed offenders who are dangerous. If the NYPD is inclined not to enforce traffic laws, that is easy to change. You direct them to do just that.

            As far as camera enforcement for bus lanes, I have no problem with that, as long as its one fairly. However, that has not been te case in Statem Island where cars were ticketed or not making the next right into a private driveway, and cars that had to enter the bus lane just prior to the intersection because there was no opportunity to get in the right lane when they needed a driveway thirty feet after the intersection. And remember the case about someone being ticketed for driving in the right lane at 7:29 PM when the regulation ended at 7 PM? Then someone has to take off from work to fight these summonses? That’s where I have a problem.

          • fdtutf

            Don’t cross the street in the middle, in the middle, in the middle, in the middle, in the middle of the block
            Don’t cross the street in the middle, in the middle, in the middle, in the middle, in the middle of the block
            Teach your eyes to look up
            Teach your ears to hear
            Walk up to the corner where the coast is clear
            And wait
            And wait
            Until you’ve seen the light turn green
            Don’t cross the street in the middle, in the middle, in the middle, in the middle, in the middle of the block
            Don’t cross the street in the middle, in the middle, in the middle, in the middle, in the middle of the block!

            If you’re going to post it, at least get it right.

          • Brian Howald
          • Andrew

            Here are some quotations from another car hater. Would anybody like to hazard a guess as to who might have written this?

            We live for better or worse in a motor age. The wheel, perhaps man’s greatest invention, which lifted him from the mud and gave him mobility, now turns by spark and explosion without human sweat but with plenty of blood and tears. Again our genius has outrun our character and control. All over our fair land this new Frankenstein’s monster, endlessly multiplied, is on the rampage. Every day the public is horrified by lurid reports of death on the highways.

            What, to begin with, is a motor car? It is a heavy, largely metal conveyance powered by an internal-combustion engine and controlled by delicate mechanism to transport people and goods over roads which should be good but mostly are not. It is also a lethal projectile of any make. size, weight, age and condition operated by drivers of all sorts, ages, skills, conditions of health, physical, mental and moral attributes and with widely varying reactions, temperaments, susceptibilities, dependabilities and responsibilities.

            Such a machine is bound to be dangerous at best, especially when it is turned out by assembly-line techniques in enormous quantities by manufacturers who, until very recently, showed no lively interest in the road system on which it depends. The head of one of the largest of these corporations wrote me several years ago that cars should be made year in, year out and year round, but that roads should be built only in depressions. He has recently changed his mind.

            What would anyone but a lunatic expect to be the gruesome results of such a concatenation of circumstances, when added to it is an almost complete absence of uniform, adequate official controls? Let us look for a moment at this control side of the picture.

            We have insufficient traffic police on foot, on motorcycles and in cars. The job is dangerous, tiring and thankless. The mechanical aids are much less ingenious than these enforcement officers have a right to expect. Too many magistrates and justices have their own curious ideas of what constitutes cooperation with the police. The majority supports them, but some quibble, some unfortunately can be reached, some say safe driving rather than speed should be the test, and some are just naturally “agin” the whole idea of enforcement. An officer who has wasted hours in futile or humiliating court proceedings becomes less anxious to do his duty.

            [...]

            Too many newspapers are sympathetic to speeders, demand higher limits and play up every hard-luck story. The result is that weak intellects come to believe that every driver is entitled to be his own policeman and judge.

            [...]

            The Persian messengers graphically described by Herodotus traveled with a velocity nothing human could equal. Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor darkness obstructed their speed. But they were, after all, disciplined soldiers on foot in open country, not lunatics driving machines on congested roads in thickly populated municipalities.

            [...]

            Fatalities increase as speed increases.

            [...]

            What possible value can these few minutes have? Are they worth a life? A look at these figures and the tragic record of a week-end’s accidents raises the old question whether the lives and limbs of innocent people should be allowed to be endangered so that some goof can have a few more precious minutes to waste, after burning up the roads in a mad rush toward a cocktail, kaffeeklatch, or the evening pinochle game.

            [...]

            The inescapable conclusion is that speed makes the difference between major and minor accidents–that is, between injuries and deaths–and that only drastic regulation of speed plus other controls can materially change the present horrible picture.

            More specifically, what do I advocate?

            1) More drastic regulation of speed without regard to unrealistic, theoretical design limits and political pressures for higher limits.

            2) Stopping of the senseless advertising of high-speed motors as a basis of sales.

            3) An unrelenting campaign to acquaint the public with the cause and effect of accidents and especially the terrible danger of excessive speed.

            4) Continuance of efforts to obtain uniform laws and regulations governing the speed of motor vehicles on our highways and streets with reasonable local control.

            5) Closer cooperation among all regulatory agencies, including the various administrative officials, the police and the courts in the rigorous and impartial enforcement of proper speed limits.

          • Allan Rosen

            Other than “more drastic regulation of speed” (which I am not sure what you mean by that”), I have no problem with your other points. As far as the quotes, I guess we were all better off in the days ifthe horse and buggy although they killed people also but not as many.

          • Andrew

            Any idea which car hater wrote those words?

          • fdtutf

            I’m going to guess Henry Ford, whose hatred didn’t stop at cars. (I’m guessing this because I know that the Ford company put out a large number of safety films in the early 20th century.)

          • Andrew

            Interesting guess, but no.

            Before I give it away, anybody else want to give it a shot?

          • fdtutf

            (I don’t have another guess. It’s too intelligently and moderately written to be Robert Moses, I think.)

          • Andrew

            And we have a winner!

            Robert Moses, “To Turn Back the Killer, Speed: Mr. Moses offers a five-point program to curb a menace that has cost more lives in fifty years than all our wars,” published in the New York Times Magazine on January 4, 1953.

            A true car-hater.

          • Allan Rosen

            I wouldn’t call him a car hater, but a speed hater. He viewed cars as a recreational vehicle for leisurely trips to the country. None of his parkways were built with the intention of taking people to work, which today is the car’s major purpose.

            I also guess by 1953, his conscious got to him, because as he saw it he created a monster and saw all the deaths occurring from motor vehicles largely due in part to the highways he was responsible for creating.

            I also wouldn’t call him a car hater because that’s how he got around everywhere. He just didn’t drive. Of course besides hating speed, he was also a big hater of Vision Zero.

            I bet if he didn’t build so many roads, he wouldn’t have been concerned so much with the huge numbers of people dying in traffic accidents back then, much more than today. Anyone remember the publication of highway deaths by the media

          • Allan Rosen

            Anyone remember the repeated announcements by the media of highway fatalities every holiday weekend back in the 50s, 60s, and 70′s?

          • supporter of left handed rule

            I remember those PSAs predicting highway deaths every 4th of July and other national holidays. I think they were dropped when every Holiday was moved to a Monday. Besides, I looked it up and highway deaths in the USA are way down from decades ago. Cars are built safer, trauma centers are more available; this is good since the average driver still drives poorly.

          • Allan Rosen

            They weren’t predicting deaths. They were actual deaths or predictions based on the previous year.

            The announcements were dropped when the death rates dropped dramaticly primarily due to safety improvements in how cars are constructed. I really doubt that driving habits changed that much. Just like they stopped announcing the weekly or daily war dead when the Vietnam war was scaling down.

            Over a thousand or 636 dying nationwide during the Memorial Day weekend has a greater impact for television than saying something like 95. I believe the death rate for a big holiday was down to like 225 at the time the announcements were discontinued.

          • fdtutf

            Um, yeah, considering all the highways he built, he was anything but a car-hater. Andrew made an ironic point that seems to have eluded you.

          • Allan Rosen

            So if he wasn’t a “car hater,” why call him one? What he hated was people getting killed.

          • Andrew

            Just like fdtutf, who you called a car hater.

          • Allan Rosen

            So your point being fdtutf likes cars as much as Robert Moses did?

          • Andrew

            “Liking” or “hating” cars is nonsensical. A car is a tool, and like any other tool it can be abused and misused.

          • Allan Rosen

            Agreed. But from some of the comments I have read, there are definitely those who just “hate cars” and wish they would just all go away, at least in the city. How do you explain the fact that whenever I write about mass transit, I get 30 maybe 40 comments. But as soon as I say something about cars, the number of comments rise to 150 or 200 with accusations that I am pro-car and anti mass transit, although the number of mass transit articles I have written outweigh the number of articles about roadways (which include more than cars), by about three to one.

            Just mention an idea like some people need to drive, or drivers are being hurt, and some readers just go ballistic. Yes, there are definitely car haters out there. There are plenty who hate mass transit and insist on driving everywhere they go, but they remain quiet. It’s the anti-car people and pro bike people who are the most vocal

          • fdtutf

            “How do you explain the fact that whenever I write about mass transit, I get 30 maybe 40 comments. But as soon as I say something about cars, the number of comments rise to 150 or 200 with accusations that I am pro-car and anti mass transit, although the number of mass transit articles I have written outweigh the number of articles about roadways (which include more than cars), by about three to one.”

            It probably has to do with the fact that what people actually hate is not cars themselves, but the assumption that everybody should drive and does drive, and as I said a day or two ago, you pretty much embody that attitude.

          • Allan Rosen

            “everybody should drive and does drive, and as I said a day or two ago, you pretty much embody that attitude.”

            Then if you believe I that’s what I think, you have not been reading all that I have been writing. You are only reading the articles relating to autos and SBS. You have been ignoring the 20 or so articles I have written solely about the need to improve local bus routes. I have wriiten more on that topic, than I have written on autos.

          • fdtutf

            It’s called “reading between the lines.”

            This response from you convinces me that you really actually don’t understand how you come across.

          • fdtutf

            Hmm. I guess this may have been more intelligently and moderately written because this piece was meant for public consumption. His letters to governors and mayors were models of intemperance.

          • Brian Howald

            Just like pedestrians have the right of way at all intersections. Marked crosswalks are only necessary because drivers like to use their half tons of steel to bully pedestrians into waiting until all cars have passed.

            Maybe fewer accidents occur, but that’s just because New York drivers are accustomed to running roughshod over the rights of all non-drivers.

          • fdtutf

            “This is New York, not some suburb in the midwest.”

            I find it funny that you’ve got the difference between New York and a suburb in the Midwest exactly backwards. New Yorkers drive LESS than Midwestern suburbanites, not more.

      • BIG Steve

        YOU ARE 100% right!

    • Brian Howald

      If a pedestrian is not paying attention and gets hit by a driver driving illegally, it is the driver’s fault, and blaming the pedestrian is nothing but victim blaming.

      To illustrate my point, let me leave you with this analogy: If you are driving on the wrong side of the road, paying full attention to all traffic, and another car is coming at you, all the while the other driver is looking at his/her cell phone, the other driver is not responsible for the ensuing crash just because he or she wasn’t paying attention to the road. You are responsible because you were somewhere you shouldn’t have been, i.e. you were driving illegally.

      Likewise, if a pedestrian with his head up his ass gets hit by a car driving illegally (running a red light, failing to yield, blowing through a stop sign, the list goes on and on…), the driver is still completely responsible for any crash that ensues.

      • Andrew

        Not a perfect analogy, since drivers are specifically forbidden from using cell phones while driving, while pedestrians aren’t forbidden from using cell phones while walking.

        But I agree with your basic point.

        • Allan Rosen

          This happened to me twice in the past two days. I am waiting at the red light. A pedestrian who has the walk signal is waiting to cross in front of me although she has the walk signal. She stands there a full minute not realizing she has the walk signal because she is talking on her cell phone. As soon as the light turns green for me, she steps off the curb and starts crossing in front of me as soon as I start moving. I had to blow my horn to wake her up. Then she stepped back onto the curb, continuing to chat away.

          The next day another person, also on her cell phone is also waiting while her walk signal is on while I am waiting at the red light. This time I made eye contact with her, and waved my arms letting her know it was her turn to cross. So she crossed while she still had the light and waved a thank you to me, never missing a word on the phone.

          These people have to realize what they are doing is just dangerous and they need to start paying attention.

          • fdtutf

            I get the unfortunate impression that you only care about pedestrian deaths because they make motorists look bad and result in efforts to slow down motorists. After all, a distracted pedestrian isn’t going to kill you in your car; why should you care if one gets killed because he or she is distracted?

  • nolastname

    “If you did not know better”…..Half of THIS borough’s population is probably close to accurate.

    • Allan Rosen

      You can’t really believe that.

      • nolastname

        Yeah I do. So what?

        • Allan Rosen

          Because you are wrong.

          Between 1960 and 2009, there were 15,789 pedestrian fatalities in NYC, slightly more than half the number from the previous 50 years. Ten times as many more were severely injured. That brings the total to about 174,000. Twenty-one percent were the victims of hit and run or 36,473. Thirty percent were in Brooklyn or 10,900. There are currently 2,500,000 living in Brooklyn. So in the past 50 years the percentage is more like 4%, not 50%. 

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            And what about the incidents where the injuries were minor, requiring no statistical record? I’ve been “bumped” by cars that stop past the pedestrian line a few times over the years. That there was no injury is not the point; the fact is that a lot of drivers can’t even stop properly.

          • Supporter of Left Handed Rule

            Lisanneh, interesting info about “bumping”. Not much written about that as far as I know. Your story is not very probitive but I guess you think it is a wide spread problem. I wonder if other elderly pedestrians are having the same experiences here in The Bay.? Proof please, not just anecdotal evidence.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            How can you prove something that doesn’t get documented?

          • Allan Rosen

            You are correct about being bumped but that’s not what we were talking about. We were talking about hit and runs specifically as it relates to pedestrians. I was disputing a statement that 50% of Brooklyn residents were affected by pedestrian hit and runs. Even if you include minor injuries there is no way you will get anywhere near 50%. I doubt if you could even get to 10%.

          • Allan Rosen

            I misread what you wrote. I thought you meant cars bumping into other cars. Nevertheless, it still wouldn’t be greater than 10%. When you were bumped, did the cars just leave the scene after you notified them?

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            They knew it happened. But these events had no significant consequence. My point is that too many drivers can’t even stop a car properly, or don’t care to.

            And that, consciously or unconsciously, plays into the attitudes many have about cars.

          • Allan Rosen

            I still believe the ambers are too short and pedestrians should look around more before proceeding across an intersection and not automatically assume the second the walk light goes on, it is safe to proceed.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            I don’t even assume that cars will stop at a red light anymore. In the two instances I recall from within the past few years both cars were slowing down to stop. Both were past the pedestrian line when they did.

            We’re not talking about injury here, merely the fact that some drivers can’t even make a proper judgement on when to hit the brakes when stopping. That should be second nature.

          • Andrew

            If a pedestrian is struck and killed by a motorist who runs a red light, do you think the fault for the fatality primarily falls on the shoulders of the motorist (who broke the law by running the red light) or on the shoulders of the pedestrian (who failed to notice the scofflaw motorist who was about to kill him)?

          • Allan Rosen

            Of course the motorist was wrong. But that isn’t what really matters is it? The pedestrian is still dead. Isn’t it worth looking around first so you don’t get killed? Or is it more important for the pedestrian to say in heaven, “But I was the one who was right?”. The first is obviously more important which was my entire point.

          • Andrew

            We can place the entire burden of responsibility on the victim’s shoulders, and tell pedestrians simply to do their best to not get themselves killed.
            Or we can hold the people who break the law responsible for the deaths and injuries that they cause, so that they and other drivers get the message that killing innocent bystanders isn’t acceptable.

            Which do you think is a more effective strategy in reducing fatalities and serious injuries among pedestrians?

          • Allan Rosen

            I already stated that safety is everyone’s responsibility, drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. You are of the opinion that it is either or. Drivers can drive recklessly and pedestrians have to be careful (which obviously doesn’t work), or drivers have to be careful and pedestrians can go around without paying any attention to their surroundings. I am sorry to inform you that that has also been a failure. Until everyone takes safety seriously, we will just have the status quo.

          • fdtutf

            “Drivers can drive recklessly and pedestrians have to be careful (which obviously doesn’t work), or drivers have to be careful and pedestrians can go around without paying any attention to their surroundings. I am sorry to inform you that that has also been a failure.”

            I’m sorry to inform you that “drivers have to be careful” has never been tried.

          • Allan Rosen

            Most drivers are careful. There are the few who are irresponsible and drive recklessly and give all drivers a bad name. I would estimate that the percentage of reckless drivers is no more than about 10%. You would probably place the figure at 90%. if it were that high, a driver would be getting into an accident virtually every time he took a trip anywhere. As it is there are many drivers who drive for 30 years or more without a major accident. How do you explain that?

          • Andrew

            Do you consider making a left turn across a bike lane without watching for approaching bicyclists to be “careful”? Because I would classify it as “irresponsible” and as “reckless” – and I certainly wouldn’t be inclined to take safety advice from such a driver.

          • Allan Rosen

            This is the same person who believes it is perfectly okay for a bike rider to ride at night wearing black without any lights or reflectors who is going way too fast for the conditions and thinks he can outrace a 3,000 lb motor vehicle by racing around him although his intentions to make a left turn is clearly indicated.

            The responsible thing for the bike rider to do, in addition to complying with the law by having proper lights and reflectors, woud have been to slow down on a dark wet roadway and go one step further by wearing defective clothing enabling him to be seen.

            But you believe cyclists and pedestrians have no responsibilities at all. The entire burden according to you rests on the driver of the motor vehicle who is always wringin every single instance.

          • Allan Rosen

            who is wrong in every single instance.

            It is not irresponsible and wreckless to not be able to see someone who is wrecklessly operating a bike (and illegally without reflectors or lights) and going too fast across an intersection so that he is not able to stop but only to swerve without looking to avoid an accident, a swerve into the crosswalk which have caused a collision with a pedestrian crossing.

          • Andrew

            The baseline standard is set by traffic law. Based on your description of what transpired, the cyclist was following the law. You, on the other hand, violated at least two laws: you failed to yield and you failed to exercise due care. In doing so, you placed somebody else’s life at risk. Fortunately, he managed to take evasive action.

            I would humbly suggest that one who places other people’s lives at risk through traffic law violations and continues, even two years later, to insist that he did nothing wrong and that the near-victim was to blame is not in a position to preach safety advice. There is a word for this. The word is hypocrisy.

            I have never stated that “cyclists and pedestrians have no responsibilities at all.” Thank you for putting words in my mouth.

            By the way, two years ago, the bike had a rear light. Did it get lost in the ensuing two years?

          • Allan Rosen

            Actually it doesn’t matter if the bike had a rear reflector or light at all does it since the rear of the bike had no bearing as to what happened. And excuse me if my memory slightly faded after two years.

            How was the cyclist following the law by traveling too fast for the road conditions, not having any type of reflectors on the side of the bike or an operating headlight in front that is clearly visible to traffic to make it clear he was there?

            How was he following the law by veering onto and driving through the crosswalk instead of driving slow enough so that he would have been able to slow down to avoid a collision?

            How was he following the law by not having a horn that he coud blow to alert vehicles of danger?

          • Allan Rosen

            There were numerous laws the cyclist was breaking. Yet you choose to ignore every single one of them. In addition to him not using any common sense by wearing dark clothing without any reflective gear on a rainy dark night.

            Instead you call me a hypocrite because I stopped with my left signal on to allow pedestrians to cross and proceeded slowly at 2 mph only when I thought it was safe to do so but was unable to see a speeding cyclist who had no patience to slow down but insisted on blazing through an intersection on the crosswalk with pedestrians crossing to save a few precious seconds or to make the green light.

            Yes I admit it. I was wrong for daring to drive in Manhattan which is reserved for pedestrians and bicycles only and should have been on the bus or train. How wrong of me?

            You cannot yield when you cannot see someone who should not be there in the first place. He sees I am turning while he was still 40 feet behind me but continues to pedal at full speed anyway.

            You may never have specifically stated that cyclists and pedestrians have no responsibilities at all, but every single comment you have made on the subject would make any reasonable person conclude that is what you believe.

            Remind me if I ever decide to become a lawyer not to have you on any type of jury since you find it so easy to block out an entire set of facts and see only what you want to see.

          • fdtutf

            “There were numerous laws the cyclist was breaking.”

            Which laws are these? If they’re the issues enumerated in your previous comment, please cite the relevant sections of New York (state and city) traffic law that, e.g., require cyclists to have reflectors and/or a headlight.

          • Allan Rosen

            Sorry, I don’t have to cite any codes to you to prove I’m correct. All bicycles must be equipped with a working headlight, a rear reflector, and some type of bell or horn. I learned that when I was 8 years old. I doubt it if any of that has been repealed. Also a rear light used to be optional as was side reflectors. If anything, the laws have since been strengthened requiring those now.

            Also the laws needs to be changed to include reflective or light clothing at night and helmets at all times for everyone. But why make things any safer? The driver is always responsible anyway even if the bike is speeding and can’t be seen.

          • fdtutf

            Invisible cyclists. Now that’s a new one on me.

            If you DON’T see a cyclist who’s there, then you are probably traveling too fast for the prevailing conditions yourself (i.e., you didn’t have time to see the cyclist), or else your vision is so poor that you have no business driving anyway. “Difficult to see” and “can’t be seen” are two qualitatively (not just quantitatively) different things.

          • Allan Rosen

            I was standing still when the reckless cyclist decided to cut me off instead of slow down from his 20 or 25 mph trek across the intersection, so how could I have been the one driving too fast at 2 mph because I had just started moving. Yes, reckless cyclists are always right and motrists are always wrong. I must remember that.

            My friend once hit a cyclist who drove right into my friend’s car because he was pedaling as fast as he could to catch up with his friend and wasn’t looking where he was going. He also couldn’t be seen because he was wearing black on a black cycle on a dark street at night with the streetlight out and no headlight. Then he tried to fake non-existent injuries. Of course he was right also. Cyclists are never wrong.

          • Andrew

            Is the concept of right-of-way really that difficult?

            When two traffic movements conflict, the law specifies who is required to yield to whom. In the case of left and right turns, the motorist is required by law to yield to cyclists and pedestrians. (Yes, that means you’re expected to actually look and make sure that nobody’s coming before proceeding into the turn.)

            You were making a left turn. You were required to yield to cyclists in the bike lane (and to pedestrians in the crosswalk). The cyclist in the bike lane was not required to yield to you (on the contrary, it would be absurd to expect a cyclist to have to stop for turning motorists at every cross street). You cut him off, and it’s pretty astounding that you’ve managed to turn the situation on its head.

            Please, please, please, stop giving safety advice. Somebody might actually take you seriously.

          • Allan Rosen

            The concept of right of way is superseded by something more important and that is called sight. You can’t give someone the right of way who cannot be seen because it is night, your visibility is severely limited, someone is operating a vehicle at a speed that is too fast for the conditions, is breaking the law by not having a headlight or a working bell to alert others of a danger and does not have sense enough to have reflecting strips on his bike or wear reflective clothing.

            The situation is akin to someone stopping at a stop light and then decides to proceed and slowly make a right turn because the next approaching vehicle is over a block away. What the motorist does not realize is that the car approaching is traveling at over 50 mph on a street with a 30 mph limit and the two nearly collide. Yes, the vehicle stopped did not give the through vehicle the right of way because there was no way to tell from that distance and perspective that the car was doing 50 mph. The logical assumption was that the speed limit was being obeyed or the car was going no more than about 5 mph over the limit, not 20 mph over the limit..

            You can be of the opinion that the car should not have proceeded at all if he saw any car in the distance. If everyone did that all the time, you would be waiting up to five minutes or more at every stop sign because the road is rarely ever clear when you look down the road for approaching cars. But you wouldn’t know that since you rarely drive, and the motorist is always wrong in every instance even if a pedestrian chooses to walk right into the path of a moving vehicle because he is not paying attention and it is impossible to stop in time. I have yet to see you mention one instance where the motorist was not at fault. Not possible.

          • fdtutf

            “You can’t give someone the right of way who cannot be seen because it is night, your visibility is severely limited, someone is operating a vehicle at a speed that is too fast for the conditions, is breaking the law by not having a headlight or a working bell to alert others of a danger and does not have sense enough to have reflecting strips on his bike or wear reflective clothing.”

            NOTHING abrogates your obligation to cede the right-of-way as the law dictates. If you, in that situation, looked and were unable to see this cyclist, you should not have been operating a motor vehicle, because you were not able to fulfill your obligations as a driver.

          • Allan Rosen

            Have you even ever driven a car?

            Because you are making no sense at all. My obligation was to see someone who didn’t give a damn if he were able to be seen or not because he believed as you do that pedestrians and cyclists have all the rights in the world and are always correct while the motorist could never ever possibly be right. The only difference was that he was dumb because his life was on the line not mine.

            Guess the fact that pedestrian error is responsible for 21% of vehicular pedestrian fatalities / injuries goes right over your head. Combined with other factors as a contributing factor, the number is probably much higher. Yet your only concern is speed.

            What about my friend who hit a cyclist who also could not be seen because he was speeding without looking and drove right into the car that was going slower than he was? I suppose my friend should have given him te right of way also although

          • Allan Rosen

            I suppose my friend should have been able to see him also although he nearly was a block away when my friend entered the intersection and was under a broken street lamp on a black bicycle without relecting strips and without a headlight wearing all black as my friend slowly proceeded through the intersection after stopping at a stop light.

            As a passenger I was only able to see the bike coming after we were halfway through the intersection and only after I turned my head all the way to the right which is not the position you keep your head in while driving. Luckily he wasn’t hurt but tried to fake injuries anyway.

            But according to you not being able to see a cyclist or pedestrian is just not a possibility. A sudden sun glare can also momentarily blind someone as can a sudden sneeze. None of that is even possible in your world of seeing things.

          • fdtutf

            Have you ever ridden a bicycle?
            Have you ever ridden a bicycle in city traffic?

            If this cyclist was almost a block away when your friend entered the intersection, and the cyclist rode into your friend’s car, I have to ask exactly how slow your friend was going through this intersection. Bicycles aren’t THAT fast.

            “…as my friend slowly proceeded through the intersection after stopping at a stop light.”

            If I interpret this to mean that your friend had been stopped for a red light and was proceeding after getting the green, then obviously the light was against the cyclist and this was the cyclist’s fault.

            If, on the other hand, your friend for some reason proceeded against the red signal, then either your friend was illegally running the red light, or (I’m trying to imagine) this was a blinking red light and your friend was obliged to ensure that there was no conflicting cross traffic before entering the intersection.

          • Allan Rosen

            Yes, I used to ride a bike often for recreational purposes until my sister’s accident. I rode a few times in traffic and absolutely hated it. I never felt safe and avoided it as much as possible by illegally riding on the sidewalk where there were no pedestrians walking. I even felt safer riding against traffic which is what used to be the law until someone decided it was safer to ride with traffic. I would love to see that study, because riding against traffic always seemed safer to me.

            As far as my friend is concerned, it was a stop sign not a signal, as I stated. The cyclist had a flashing yellow which meant he should slow down and be cautious. He was racing as fast as he could pedal (which I estimate at 20 mph) attempting to catch up to his friend a block ahead. He was looking at the pedals with his head down. He picked up his head about 30 feet from my friend’s car and saw he was headed on a collision course with my friend who was proceeding slowly across the intersection at no faster than 10 mph. He was actually driving slower than the bike was moving.

            The cyclist knew he was going too fast to attempt to brake, so he swerved right and grabbed onto the part of the car just above the right rear passenger door.. My friend knew something was wrong at that point and came to an immediate stop. The stop caused the cyclist to lose his balance and he fell off the bike. Just about that time his friend returned wondering where he was.

            So who was wrong? The car or the cyclist?

            So I guess it is safe to assume that you have never driven a car. That explains your naivity when it comes to driving matters.

          • fdtutf

            “I rode a few times in traffic and absolutely hated it. I never felt safe and avoided it as much as possible by illegally riding on the sidewalk where there were no pedestrians walking. I even felt safer riding against traffic which is what used to be the law until someone decided it was safer to ride with traffic. I would love to see that study, because riding against traffic always seemed safer to me.”

            Things aren’t always as they seem. Most people who are afraid of cycling with traffic are afraid of being hit from behind, which is one of the rarest types of car-bicycle accident.

            “As far as my friend is concerned, it was a stop sign not a signal, as I stated. The cyclist had a flashing yellow which meant he should slow down and be cautious. He was racing as fast as he could pedal (which I estimate at 20 mph) attempting to catch up to his friend a block ahead.”

            Your friend had a stop sign, the cyclist had a flashing yellow? That means that even though the flashing yellow indicates “caution,” the cyclist had the right of way. Your friend should have ensured that there was no conflicting traffic approaching before entering the intersection.

            Your double standard on speed is also noted: 20 mph is really fast for a cyclist to be moving, but unbearably slow for a motorist.

            “So who was wrong? The car or the cyclist?”

            Based on the facts as you’ve set them forth, the motorist. (Cars are inanimate objects; they can’t be wrong.)

          • Allan Rosen

            Here we go again. The fact that the cyclist violated the law by not having a headlight or reflective tires or other reflective gear does not matter to you. The fact that the cyclist had his head looking toward the ground and was not watching the road is also not a factor according to you. It also does not matter that my friend was only doing 10 mph and the bike was going faster than the car.

            That proves that you are of the opinion that the cyclist or pedestrian can never be wrong and all accidents are the fault of the motorist. But I will tell you what the real culprit was. It was the streetlight being out. Had it been working, in spite of all the other factors, the cyclist would have been seen and my friend would have waited for him to pass and there would have been no accident. But since it was not working, the lack of reflective tires made all the difference.

            The fact that you think cars and bikes need to travel at te same speed is just utterly ridiculous

          • fdtutf

            “The fact that the cyclist violated the law by not having a headlight or reflective tires or other reflective gear does not matter to you.”

            I accept as a fact that the cyclist did not have a headlight or other reflective gear. I do not accept as a fact that he thereby violated the law, because you continue to refuse to cite the relevant sections of New York traffic law.

            “But I will tell you what the real culprit was. It was the streetlight being out. Had it been working, in spite of all the other factors, the cyclist would have been seen and my friend would have waited for him to pass and there would have been no accident.”

            I’d like to know exactly what block of what New York street this is. I’m having trouble imagining a situation where, because the street light is out, the block is plunged into such darkness that a sizable object traveling at 20 mph cannot be seen by a person whose vision is sufficient to operate a motor vehicle.

            “But since it was not working, the lack of reflective tires made all the difference.”

            If the block the cyclist was riding on was so dark that the cyclist could not be seen by a person with normal vision, what light, exactly, would these magical reflective tires have reflected?

            “The fact that you think cars and bikes need to travel at te same speed is just utterly ridiculous”
            No, what’s utterly ridiculous is that you think that a speed that is unbearably slow for a motorist is unacceptably fast for a cyclist.

          • Allan Rosen

            To answer your last point first, cars can go as fast as 140 miles an hour. A bike’s top speed is what 35 mph? To believe that cars and bike should be traveling at the same speed is utterly ridiculous unless they are sharing the same lane and all traffic is moving at the same speed.

            That is why I said 20 is slow for a car, but fast for a bike. That is not to say that cars have the right to travel at 140 mph on a public street. Maybe 120. Just kidding.

            As far as the law regarding bikes, I already cited the specific code, section 1236

            http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/bicyclerules_english.pdf

            but you just chose to ignore it.

            There happens to be residential streets where homeowners are asleep and the homes are dark and streetlamps are placed at every 100 feet and provide the only source of light. When one light is out, that’s a full city block without light and it can be almost completely dark, as it was in this case. Reflective tires would have lit up when hit by the light of headlights. In this case, they probably would not have made much of a difference because by the time the lights would be close enough to the reflective strips, the bike woud have been too close to te car.

          • Allan Rosen

            I just realize that I contradicted myself regarding the effectiveness of the reflective tires. It depends if the bike was close enough to be in view of the headlights as we were crossing the intersection.

          • Andrew

            I just realize that I contradicted myself

            This wouldn’t be the first time, and I don’t expect it to be the last.

          • Allan Rosen

            You just couldn’t resist. Could you? At least I admit it. I lost track of how many times you contradicted yourself or changed the subject to avoid answering a question.

          • fdtutf

            ” It depends if the bike was close enough to be in view of the headlights as we were crossing the intersection.”

            If the bike was close enough to be in view of the headlights, then there would absolutely not be any excuse for your friend entering the intersection when the bicycle was approaching. If I’ve correctly understood your description of the intersection, your friend had a duty to yield the right of way to the bicycle in that situation.

          • Andrew

            There happens to be residential streets where homeowners are asleep and the homes are dark and streetlamps are placed at every 100 feet and provide the only source of light. When one light is out, that’s a full city block without light and it can be almost completely dark, as it was in this case. Reflective tires would have lit up when hit by the light of headlights. In this case, they probably would not have made much of a difference because by the time the lights would be close enough to the reflective strips, the bike woud have been too close to te car.

            Then you should slow down to the point that you can see pedestrians and cyclists.

            Pedestrians don’t have lights or reflectors, and they might even happen to be wearing dark clothing. If you outdrive your headlights, you’re driving too fast.

          • fdtutf

            “As far as the law regarding bikes, I already cited the specific code, section 1236″

            When I wrote the comment that you are responding to here, you had not done so. I appreciate the fact that you did so later, but for the life of me I can’t understand why you didn’t just go ahead and cite it when I initially asked.

          • Andrew

            Yes, I used to ride a bike often for recreational purposes

            Which explains why you treat bicycles as if they were toys. Although you may not count yourself among them (nor do I), people also use bicycles as actual means of transportation, kind of like the way you use your car.

            I rode a few times in traffic and absolutely hated it. I never felt safe and avoided it as much as possible by illegally riding on the sidewalk where there were no pedestrians walking.

            You’re not alone. Seems to me like a pretty good rationale to improve the network of protected bike lanes.

          • fdtutf

            “Have you even ever driven a car?”

            Of course I have. Daily for years on end during certain periods of my life.

            “The only difference was that he was dumb because his life was on the line not mine.”

            And that’s why the law requires you to yield to him, not vice versa. He (correctly) expected you to see him and to yield to him.

          • Allan Rosen

            You say of course you have driven, then disregard my comment about naivety.

            No, he incorrectly expected me to see him because if he ever drove he would have realized that there are conditions where seeing pedestrians and cyclists can be difficult and he needs to do his part so he can be seen like having a bright headlight if he is driving in traffic at night during all sorts of bad weather.

          • fdtutf

            It’s your responsibility to be able to see other road users, particularly unprotected ones like cyclists and pedestrians, no matter what they are wearing and what the lighting conditions. If you can’t, you shouldn’t be driving. If you don’t realize this, then you’re simply exemplifying the attitude that driving is a right, rather than a privilege, when it actually is a privilege.

          • Allan Rosen

            We have laws for a reason that require cyclists to have working headlights, taillights, and reflective tires. It is so they can be seen at night. You believe these laws don’t matter and cyclists are free to ignore them. They exist so they are not invisible and can easily be seen at night. NOW GET THAT THROUGH YOUR HEAD!

            You can’t give someone the right of way if you can’t see them!

            I repeat that safety is everyone’s responsibility, not just the motorist’s. And pedestrians darting from between parked cars is not called “sharing the road” as you so stated.

          • fdtutf

            “We have laws for a reason that require cyclists to have working headlights, taillights, and reflective tires. It is so they can be seen at night. You believe these laws don’t matter and cyclists are free to ignore them.”
            No, I believe these laws don’t exist and you’re talking through your hat. Cite the effing laws and I’ll cede your point.

          • fdtutf

            Ceded. Thank you. That (below) certainly took long enough.

          • Andrew

            Pedestrians don’t have headlights, typically don’t have anything reflective, and often happen to be dressed in dark clothing. Do you find pedestrians invisible at night?

          • Allan Rosen

            Yes, I have already stated that under certain circumstances, pedestrians can also be very difficult to be seen at night. That’s why you are advised when walking along on rural roads to carry a flashlight and dress in light colored clothing.

            In the city, with all the lights emitting from buildings and streetlights it is less of a problem. The most difficult time to see pedestrians actually is at dawn and at dusk.

          • Andrew

            Yes, I have already stated that under certain circumstances, pedestrians can also be very difficult to be seen at night.

            At which point it’s the motorist’s legal responsibility to slow down to the point that he or she can see whichever pedestrians are there.

          • Andrew

            The cyclist could be seen, and either you would have seen him had you chosen to look for him. It didn’t occur to you to look for cyclists, and therefore you didn’t see a cyclist. (Either that, or your vision is so poor that you should not be driving at all.) Second Avenue has street lights and your car has headlights.

            Are you suggesting that the cyclist was exceeding the 30 mph speed limit on Second Avenue? That’s pretty impressive.

          • Allan Rosen

            First of all,under the circumstances, considering the heavy rain and poor visibility especially when looking into a rear view mirror and looking over my shoulder, it was not safe to drive at 30 mph. That holds true for cars as well as bikes. I also didn’t realize that
            the headlights in front of my car supposed to shine on cyclists riding
            behind me. I will have to remember that.

            At the time I looked over my shoulder, I could not see that far back because he was at least three car lengths behind me. He continued to pedal at full speed as I was pressed up against the crosswalk waiting for the last pedestrian to cross. I was already partially blocking the bike lane because I was in the process of making a left turn with my signal on. The cyclist decided to ignore all that and just shift to the crosswalk as he passed my car because he was in such a damn hurry.

            You were not there! Therefore it is ludicrous for you to state unequivocally, that the cyclist could be seen. You and fdtuff obviously condone wreckless cyclists who are in a hurry and breaking the law at the same time and always will convict the motorist for any accident. Be sure to convey that the next time you are on jury duty. You will certainly be relieved of your civic responsibility if that is what you desire.

          • fdtutf

            “At the time I looked over my shoulder, I could not see that far back because he was at least three car lengths behind me. He continued to pedal at full speed as I was pressed up against the crosswalk waiting for the last pedestrian to cross. I was already partially blocking the bike lane because I was in the process of making a left turn with my signal on. The cyclist decided to ignore all that and just shift to the crosswalk as he passed my car because he was in such a damn hurry.”

            Uh, HE HAD THE RIGHT OF WAY. He had absolutely no reason to slow down because YOU WERE OBLIGED TO YIELD THE RIGHT OF WAY TO HIM. Your failure to do so is not his fault.

            You also had no business blocking the bike lane in that situation, since bicycles had the right of way there. You should have remained outside the bike lane until the crosswalk was clear and you were ready to complete your turn.

          • Andrew

            An alternative possibility is that it simply didn’t occur to you to scan for cyclists, so you were startled when one suddenly appeared in front of you.

            (Kind of like the pedestrians who “appear out of nowhere” when drivers aren’t paying attention.)

          • Allan Rosen

            I was paying adequate attention to a cyclist who was breaking the law and not exercising caution. I did scan for cyclists but he was too far back to be seen without a headlight or reflective gear at night in a heavy rain.

          • fdtutf

            But the mere fact that he was moving toward you, at a speed you’ve described to us as excessive for the conditions (since he was approaching you, he would have quickly been getting larger in your mirror), should have enabled you to see him. And as Andrew pointed out, Second Avenue is lighted.

          • Allan Rosen

            He was not at all visible in the mirror without a headlight and the streetlight was no shining in the direction to make him visible. The rain also had a lot to do with it. You were not there so you cannot say for sure that anyone else in my position could have seen him. You are only guessing because you are so eager to always place the blame on the motorist. We have been over this twenty times. You keep ignoring everything the cyclist was doing wrong. Drop it already. I do not know what you hope to gain by persuing it forever.

          • fdtutf

            “He was not at all visible in the mirror without a headlight and the streetlight was no shining in the direction to make him visible.”

            Streetlights shine DOWN. Was he up in the air?

            “You keep ignoring everything the cyclist was doing wrong. Drop it already. I do not know what you hope to gain by persuing it forever.”

            You probably have a point, but what I hope to gain is to get you to realize your own role in this near-accident, which is not the innocent one you seem to think it was.

          • fdtutf

            I.e., you probably have a point that I should drop this. You seem to be a hopeless case.

          • Allan Rosen

            A streetlight shines down and would have illuminated him only if he was directly under one. That was not the case. I saw very little light in the mirror and what I did see appeared to becoming from the stores. Perhaps a streetlight was not functioning. I do not know.

          • fdtutf

            “A streetlight shines down and would have illuminated him only if he was directly under one. That was not the case.”

            I think you need to think about how light works. Streetlights aren’t lasers.

            “Perhaps a streetlight was not functioning. I do not know.”

            Possible, but I remain skeptical that on an urban street (especially a major street like Second Avenue), a cyclist moving toward you at 20 mph would not have been visible in your mirror.

          • Andrew

            A cyclist moving toward him at 20 mph would not have been visible in his mirror if it hasn’t occurred to him to look into his mirror.

          • fdtutf

            Yes, I’m alive to that possibility.

          • Allan Rosen

            I already stated I did check my mirror. I also looked over my shoulder and also had to worry about pedestrians and other cars. I was very cautious unlike the cyclist who was riding at top speed under poor visibility conditions. Perhaps he just didn’t want to get wet. Sorry, but that comes with the territory if you choose to cycle in the rain.

          • fdtutf

            I’m still amused by the fact that a cyclist going 20 mph is moving at “top speed” while a car moving at 20 mph is moving unbearably slowly.

            And honestly, I’m trying, but I’m having trouble understanding why you would not have been able to see this cyclist when you looked in your mirror. If you have/had sufficient vision to be driving a car in the first place, an object as large as a human+bicycle moving toward you at 20 mph should have been clearly visible to you regardless of its color and whether it carried any lights or reflective surfaces, even in the rain.

          • Allan Rosen

            Because the first paragraph is the truth and you have obviously never been in the situation described in the second paragraph. Textbook planning is easy. It’s the real world that counts.

            You have never driven in a situation where visibility was poor or non-existent. I was once driving on the BQE and a car in the opposite direction splashed over my entire windshield blinding me entirely for two or three seconds with my wipers going at top speed. I had to manage that situation without getting into an accident. Could you?

          • Andrew

            I was paying adequate attention

            If you nearly hit the cyclist, then I’m afraid I have to conclude that you weren’t.

          • Allan Rosen

            Well your conclusion is erroneous. Accidents are possible even when one is paying attention.

          • Andrew

            Accidents are not the same as preventable collisions.

          • Allan Rosen

            Yes, preventable if the cyclist was obeying the law so that he could be easily seen in poor weather conditions.. And why is it always the motor vehicle that hits the cyclist even when the cyclist drives straight into the motor vehicle?

          • Andrew

            Yes, preventable if the cyclist was obeying the law so that he could be easily seen in poor weather conditions..

            If it doesn’t occur to you to look for a cyclist, then you probably won’t see one.

            It’s incumbent on motorists to take extra care in poor weather conditions. If visibility is reduced, then slow down and make absolutely sure that you’re not about to drive into somebody else’s path.

            And why is it always the motor vehicle that hits the cyclist even when the cyclist drives straight into the motor vehicle?

            I thought we covered this already. Because a motorist making a turn is legally obligated to yield to a cyclist going straight. (If you had been going straight and the cyclist had been turning across your path, then he would have been obligated to yield to you.)

          • fdtutf

            Really, you don’t? Then all you’re doing is hand-waving and I’m free to ignore it. The cyclist wasn’t breaking any laws at all.

          • Allan Rosen

            No working headlight and no working bell or horn is breaking the law. You just choose to ignore that.

          • fdtutf

            I’m not ignoring anything, including your unwillingness to provide proof of your reckless assertions.

          • Allan Rosen

            So now you are asking that I should have snapped a picture of his bicycle to prove to you that there was no headlight or working bell?

            How do you take a picture of a non-working bell if there even was one?

            If he had a bell he should have used it to warn others of a potential danger. Instead rather than doing the responsible act of slowing down which he couldn’t do because he was going way too fast, he decides to swerve and drive within the crosswalk.

            Tell me what proof do you want me to provide? Search for witnesses?

          • fdtutf

            I’m not asking you to have snapped a picture of anything. i accept your account of the facts (I have no choice, as we don’t know who the cyclist was); I asked you to specifically cite the laws the cyclist was breaking, and you’re refusing to do so. Consequently, I feel free to ignore your assertion that he (or she?) was breaking the law.

          • Allan Rosen

            How many times do I have to state that he had no working headlight. Since he didn’t sound a horn or ring a bell, I can only assume he either didn’t have one or didn’t care to use it because he was traveling way too fast for the weather and visibility considerations, so his only choice was to swerve. When I mentioned that earlier, you asked me to cite the traffic code requiring a headlight for a bicycle because you just refuse to believe he was breaking the law or was doing anything wrong or stupid because the cyclist is always right.

          • fdtutf

            Correct. I don’t take for granted that the law requires cyclists to have any lights at all. Can you cite that law for me, as well as the laws requiring cyclists to have working bells, and all the other laws you say this cyclist violated? Otherwise, I’m going to assume that those laws don’t actually exist and that this cyclist wasn’t breaking any laws.

          • Allan Rosen

            Section 1236

            http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/bicyclerules_english.pdf

            working white headlight and rear red light, (from dusk to dawn) and working bell or other signaling device. Also, reflective tires or other reflective devices.

            He didn’t have those either. Plus he was wearing dark clothing without reflective strips.

            So I guess I was correct that a reflector (which was the requirement when I was a kid) was changed to an actual light which is currently required.

            (Incidentally finding this took approximately 30 seconds of a google search.)

            Now, do you believe he was breaking the law? If he wasn’t going so damn fast like he was trying to meet some sort of deadline (and you always accuse drivers of being in too much of a hurry) there would have been time for him to sound his bell or horn if he even had one.

          • Allan Rosen

            I see. No response.

          • fdtutf

            I just saw this, for the love of God. I don’t spend every waking moment on here myself.

            Thank you for finally deigning to prove your own point. Very magnanimous of you.

          • fdtutf

            “Most drivers are careful….I would estimate that the percentage of reckless drivers is no more than about 10%.”

            Proof, please.

            The standard of education and testing required in this country for licensed drivers is beyond abysmal, and my experience does not bear out the statement that most drivers are careful.

            “You would probably place the figure at 90%.”

            No, probably somewhere around 40-50%.

            But then we probably have different definitions of “reckless.”

          • Allan Rosen

            The only proof I can provide is if the average figure were higher than 10%, you would be seeing a lot more accidents when you go out for a drive like three or four a day. On a rare occasion on a long drive you may see two or even three accidents in one day, but that is rare. On most days, you see zero.

            My definition of wreckless is dangerous driving. If you include every instance of a car not giving someone the right of way or turning without signaling, and things like that, maybe it coud be 20%.

            I also find that the figure varies according to the weather. When it is real bad, I find everyone to be more cautious. The agressive drivers seem to disappear. The only thing good about driving in poor weather.

            On a beautiful afternoon and traffic is moderate on the highway, it seems like everyone is in a hurry and 30 % of the drivers seem to be driving to fast or aggressively.

          • GuEsT

            Proof? Look around you, hipster.

          • fdtutf

            If I may draw an extreme parallel (or perhaps not so extreme after all): I’ve seen an image on Facebook of a young woman holding a sign that says something like, “My college needs feminism because at orientation, they teach ‘How to avoid being raped’ instead of ‘DON’T RAPE’.”

            Same thing here. The responsibility is on motorists not to kill, not on pedestrians not to get killed.

          • Allan Rosen

            I’m sorry but I don’t see the analogy. It is obvious why try don’t teach “Don’t rape.” Just like they don’t teach “Don’t kill” unless you consider the Ten Commandments, because it is obvious.

            On the other hand, how to avoid being raped is akin to teaching defensive driving. As far as motorists and pedestrians, that responsibility should be shared equally.

          • Andrew

            The legal responsibility to not kill pedestrians is most certainly NOT shared equally between pedestrians and those who have the capacity to kill pedestrians.

          • Allan Rosen

            The driver of a motor vehicle certainly has the responsibility of knowing that he is operating a potential weapon and needs to pay close attention to the road at all times and the amount of potential damage to persons and property his vehicle can cause.

            The pedestrian has the responsibility not to make any dangerous or unpredictable actions that would cause a motorist to make a decision that might cause an accident. He should be aware of how difficult he is to be seen if wearing dark clothing especially at dusk or dawn. For example, he should not start crossing the street and without warning just turn around and walk in the opposite direction if there is no traffic signal. He should be aware of how long it would take a car to make a sudden stop.

            I can’t say if it is a 50 50 proposition, but it is certainly close to that. A pedestrian has a lot more responsibilities tan you think.

          • Allan Rosen

            A pedestrian has the responsibility of being aware of his surroundings. The only pedestrians who have the right to cross the street with their eyes closed are the blind, and that’s why they carry a white stick to alert everyone that they are blind.

            If you think you have the right to blindly cross the street with 95% of the responsibility being the motorist’s I suggest you start carrying a white stick. I repeat for the nth time safety is everyone’s responsibility and that includes pedestrians as well as cyclists.

          • Andrew

            Wrong.

            It is a very good idea for pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings, especially while crossing streets, for the simple reason that so many motorists can’t be relied on to obey the law.

            But that’s not a responsibility. At an unprotected crosswalk, where the law states that “no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the operator to yield,” is there a legal expectation that the pedestrian take into account approaching vehicular traffic – and, even then, as long as the pedestrian leaves enough room for the driver to yield, the responsibility shifts to the driver. But at signalized intersections (where the pedestrian is crossing with the light), at stop signs, and of course on the sidewalk itself – the legal responsibility to avoid a collision with a pedestrian lands 100% on the motorist’s shoulders. On top of the specific laws stating that motorists are required to yield to pedestrians in those circumstances, and even in circumstances in which motorists are not required to yield, the law is quite explicit that “Notwithstanding other provisions of these rules, the operator of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian.” The law places the burden of exercising due care with the motorist, not with the pedestrian.

            I might advise you not to take out your wallet if you’re walking through a bad neighborhood at night. But if you don’t take my advice, and a mugger walks up to you and steals your wallet, would anybody claim that the mugger is not 100% culpable? Furthermore, would anybody insist that there’s no crime problem at all, because everybody knows that you can reduce your chances of being mugged by hiding your wallet?

            There is a strong culture of lawlessness among motorists, resulting in tens of thousands of annual pedestrian injuries and fatalities in New York City. That pedestrians feel obligated to watch out for scofflaw motorists every time they cross the street (and even perhaps while they’re on the sidewalk) speaks volumes about the degree of the problem. I’d like to work toward a solution.

          • Allan Rosen

            You are mostly correct in what you say here except for the following, ” is there a legal expectation that the pedestrian take into account approaching vehicular traffic.”

            Yes, there certainly is. That’s exactly what the rest of that quote means. “no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and
            walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is
            impossible for the operator to yield,” It is the pedestrian’s responsibility to determine if the vehicle is able to stop or not and if the answer is yes, he should not proceed, not to mention the fact that jaywalking is illegal anyway.

          • fdtutf

            That doesn’t apply at intersections when the pedestrian has the right of way. Yet it is frequently necessary for pedestrians to do so because motorists cannot be trusted to follow the law. (I myself nearly got mowed down not long ago by a car that blew through the intersection and did not reach the crosswalk I was using until after I had gotten the WALK signal. If I had not looked to my left before entering the crosswalk, I’d be a grease spot now.)

            Your argument that pedestrians have the duty to look for traffic before crossing the street in a situation like that amounts to this: MIGHT MAKES RIGHT. Because motorists can kill them, pedestrians have to just accept an inability to use the road freely.

          • Allan Rosen

            They have a duty to look for traffic because it is what is necessary to keep them alive. I am in no way defending motorists who do not give the right of way when they are legally obligated to do so. However, reality is something else.

          • fdtutf

            “They have a duty to look for traffic because it is what is necessary to keep them alive.”

            That’s not a duty; it’s a survival instinct. Not the same thing.

            “I am in no way defending motorists who do not give the right of way when they are legally obligated to do so.”

            You did, indeed, defend those motorists by the simple act of using the word “duty” in your previous sentence.

          • Allan Rosen

            You are arguing over minute points. Regardless if it’s duty, responsibility, or survival instinct, they should still do it because it is prudent. Safety is everyone’s responsibility and that doesn’t reduce the responsibility of the motorist in the least.

          • fdtutf

            “Safety is everyone’s responsibility and that doesn’t reduce the responsibility of the motorist in the least.”

            So why are you arguing so hard that the pedestrian has this (non-existent) responsibility? Your only possible goal is to reduce the responsibility of the motorist.

          • Allan Rosen

            My goal is not to reduce the responsibility of the motorist and the pedestrian’s responsibilities are not non-existent. They are very real. They cannot walk around as if they are in a daze glued to a cell phone, for example. I am not going into this again for the nth time.

          • Andrew

            As I said a week and a half ago: “In February 2014, pedestrian/cyclist error was a contributing factor in only 51 of the 2,324 motor vehicle collisions that caused injuries or fatalities, or about 2%. In contrast, alcohol was a factor in 6% … and driver inattention/distraction in a whopping 81%. Remind me, who was it who you were accusing of being distracted?”

            Objecting to pedestrian distractions while ignoring motorist distractions demonstrates quite clearly that safety is not your objective in the slightest. Please stop claiming it is.

          • Andrew

            So how about we try to do something to improve the compliance of motorists with laws that protect other people’s lives? (Enforcement, for instance.)

          • Allan Rosen

            We have enough laws. Enforcement is something else. Until enforcement is thought of as something necessary to solve a problem and not just as a tool to raise revenue, there will always be a lack of enforcement where it is needed.

          • Andrew

            So what sort of enforcement did you have in mind, exactly? Tapping the scofflaw motorist on the shoulder and asking him to please consider not breaking the law if it wouldn’t be too inconvenient?

          • Allan Rosen

            Quit prolonging this discussion and being ridiculous. More enforcement of not giving pedestrians the right of way, for example and how about ticketing aggressive drivers? In over 40 years of driving I have never seen a single aggressive driver being pulled over.

          • Andrew

            Details, please? How do you propose that these tickets be issued, and about how many per day do you think would be adequate on a citywide basis? The NYPD currently issues 79 tickets per day for failure to yield the right of way to a pedestrian (based on the first three months of 2014). Do you think that number is satisfactory?

            Tickets traditionally require the motorist to pay a fine. Is that not revenue generation, to which you object?

          • fdtutf

            “So what sort of enforcement did you have in mind, exactly? Tapping the scofflaw motorist on the shoulder and asking him to please consider not breaking the law if it wouldn’t be too inconvenient?”
            That’s what NYPD already does, silly. It works great, and if you don’t believe me, just look around you, hipster.

          • Andrew

            Wrong. That quotation is referring very specifically to the case of a pedestrian crossing at a crosswalk with no traffic controls (such as signals or stop signs). It does not apply, for instance, if a pedestrian is crossing with the light while a motorist is turning.

            (Who’s talking about jaywalking?)

            You forgot to comment on my mugger analogy. Who do you think is at fault if you’re mugged after taking out your wallet in a bad neighborhood?

          • Allan Rosen

            Of course there is a legal expectation. If there weren’t, it would make no sense to state that a pedestrian should not suddenly leave a curb when the motorist is not able to stop in time and then still hold the motorist legally responsible for not stopping. Also, pedestrians do not have the right of way at T intersections if there is no crosswalk, traffic signal, or stop sign.

            Regarding the mugger analogy, of course he is legally wrong. but the person is who is flashing a wad of cash or his wallet in a bad neighborhood is inviting trouble and not too smart, although legally he is doing nothing wrong.

          • fdtutf

            “Of course there is a legal expectation. If there weren’t, it would make no sense to state that a pedestrian should not suddenly leave a curb when the motorist is not able to stop in time and then still hold the motorist legally responsible for not stopping.”

            As Andrew pointed out, this only applies at points where there are no traffic controls (signals, stop signs, etc.).

            “Also, pedestrians do not have the right of way at T intersections if there is no crosswalk, traffic signal, or stop sign.”

            If that is true, it is a severe defect in the law that urgently needs fixing.

            “Regarding the mugger analogy, of course he is legally wrong. but the person is who is flashing a wad of cash or his wallet in a bad neighborhood is inviting trouble and not too smart, although legally he is doing nothing wrong.”

            The fact remains that the legal — and moral — responsibility is on the potential mugger not to mug. The potential victim has a perfect [1] right to flash all the cash he or she wants without being mugged.

            [1] This is not hyperbole; I mean a complete, untrammeled right.

          • Allan Rosen

            This is what we were discussing: “”no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the operator to yield,’ is there a legal expectation that the pedestrian take into account approaching vehicular traffic…”

            We were talking I believe about mid-block crossings. I said the first part would make no sense if there were no legal obligation on the part of the pedestrian. Of course at crosswalks, traffic signals, and stop signs there is no legal obligation. It is just the smart thing to do not to walk into the path of a car.

            A potential victim having that right, does not make him smart if he decides to exercise that right.

          • fdtutf

            “A potential victim having that right, does not make him smart if he decides to exercise that right.”

            Death is a pretty heavy penalty to pay for not being smart. The responsibility is still the motorist’s.

          • Allan Rosen

            Safety is everyone’s responsibility for the tenth time.

          • fdtutf

            Not killing cyclists and pedestrians is motorists’ responsibility, period.

          • Allan Rosen

            If that were the case, all motorists are always guilty. Wrong.

          • Andrew

            We were talking I believe about mid-block crossings.

            Maybe that’s what you were discussing, but I don’t think that’s what anyone else was discussing.

            By this point I was speaking generally, but if you want to be more specific, trace your way upthread and you’ll find this discussion of running red lights.

          • Allan Rosen

            Your link doesn’t lead me to a specific comment, and I am not scrolling through over 400 comments to find it. And we were discussing mid-block crossings at that point.

          • fdtutf

            The link leads directly to this comment by Andrew:

            “If a pedestrian is struck and killed by a motorist who runs a red light, do you think the fault for the fatality primarily falls on the shoulders of the motorist (who broke the law by running the red light) or on the shoulders of the pedestrian (who failed to notice the scofflaw motorist who was about to kill him)?”

          • Allan Rosen

            It is the fault of the motorist. But the collision also could have been avoided perhaps if the pedestrian would have noticed that the motorist was going too fast and couldn’t possibly have stopped.

          • Andrew

            It could have also been avoided if the pedestrian had stayed home that day, but I don’t think we should demand that pedestrians stay home in order to not get killed by motorists.

          • fdtutf

            “But the collision also could have been avoided perhaps if the pedestrian would have noticed that the motorist was going too fast and couldn’t possibly have stopped.”
            The pedestrian, at least at controlled intersections, is under no legal or moral duty to notice that a motorist is going too fast. The fact that it is prudent for the pedestrian to do so is not the same as a duty, particularly as the conditions that make this prudent are created by the carelessness and indifference of motorists.
            The motorist is under a positive legal (and moral) duty NOT TO GO TOO FAST IN THE FIRST PLACE.
            Your attempts to blame pedestrians for getting killed by motorists are increasingly ridiculous.

          • Andrew

            Of course there is a legal expectation. If there weren’t, it would make no sense to state that a pedestrian should not suddenly leave a curb when the motorist is not able to stop in time and then still hold the motorist legally responsible for not stopping.

            Here is the clause in question: “Pedestrians shall not cross in front of oncoming vehicles. Notwithstanding the provisions of (1) of this subdivision (b), no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the operator to yield.” What are the provisions of (1) of this subdivision (b)? They appear immediately prior: “Operators to yield to pedestrians in crosswalk. When traffic control signals or pedestrian control signals are not in place or not in operation, the operator of a vehicle shall yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing a roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is in the path of the vehicle or is approaching so closely thereto as to be in danger.”

            The only condition under which pedestrians are required to not “suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the operator to yield” is “[w]hen traffic control signals or pedestrian control signals are not in place or not in operation.” That’s it. At a traffic signal (while turning) and at a stop sign, the legal responsibility is on the motorist to watch for an anticipate the movements of pedestrians who might be preparing to cross the street.

            Also, pedestrians do not have the right of way at T intersections if there is no crosswalk, traffic signal, or stop sign.

            Congratulations, you know the technical definition of an unmarked crosswalk. I’m not sure of its relevance here, though.

            Regarding the mugger analogy, of course he is legally wrong. but the person is who is flashing a wad of cash or his wallet in a bad neighborhood is inviting trouble and not too smart, a lthough legally he is doing nothing wrong.

            So, if a mugging case went to court, would you say that the mugger is 100% to blame, or would you say that the legal fault is shared between the two parties?

            More broadly speaking, if a neighborhood had a serious mugging problem, and a campaign were started to educate potential victims to keep their wallets tightly tucked away, would you consider that an acceptable solution to the crime problem or merely a stopgap measure as long as the actual crime problem isn’t solved?

          • Allan Rosen

            Of course the mugger is 100% to blame, legally. Better education would help to reduce the number of crimes but is not a cure.

            The relevance of my T intersection example was because Fdtuff stated that pedestrians always have the right of way which is not true.

            I never disagreed with your first three paragraphs so I don’t know why you are bothering to repeat them again unless it’s to insinuate that I did..

          • Andrew

            The relevance of my T intersection example was because Fdtuff stated that pedestrians always have the right of way which is not true.

            Granted, he’s posted a lot, but I must have missed that. Where did he make that statement?

          • fdtutf

            It’s nowhere near 50-50 because, with rare exceptions, pedestrians can’t kill motorists. Motorists can and regularly do kill pedestrians.

            To say it’s 50-50 is like saying that if I’m unarmed and you’re armed, we have the same responsibility not to injure each other. Your responsibility is much greater because you’ve elected to arm yourself.

          • Allan Rosen

            I’m not sure I understand your analogy. The purpose of a firearm IS to injure someone. The purpose of a car IS NOT to kill someone, although it certainly has the potential to do so. I can agree however, that the driver bears a greater responsibility like 60/40, or maybe 75/25. My point being that it’s not 90/10 or 100%.

          • fdtutf

            But not everybody carries firearms because they intend to injure someone. So my analogy holds. No matter what your reason is for carrying a firearm or for driving a car, you’re doing something that has the potential to kill or injure other people and your responsibility is correspondingly greater than that of someone who isn’t doing something similarly dangerous.

          • Allan Rosen

            Okay, the analogy holds. but I will still stick with my percentages.

          • Andrew

            Both a firearm and a car have the capacity to kill, and it is the basic moral and legal responsibility of the user to ensure that it doesn’t.

          • Guest5114

            You’re going to end up on a windshield someday, idiot.

          • fdtutf

            Because of idiots like you, yeah.

          • Andrew

            With your help, I trust?

          • fdtutf

            If it were obvious, we’d be seeing a hell of a lot fewer rapes. And a hell of a lot fewer pedestrian deaths.

            The underlying issue is that driving is not taken seriously in this country as a RESPONSIBILITY. It’s considered a RIGHT, so motorists feel entitled. You embody this attitude, by the way.

          • Allan Rosen

            I agree that driving is not taken seriously enough and I feel this is especially true with younger drivers who are not aware of the potential harm they can cause. That’s why we have so many idiots who think they can text and drive at the same time.

            You make it seem like RIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY are some how mutually exclusive, when in fact it can be both. I am not saying that you have a right to drive everywhere. That’s not what I mean.

            Some also believe that no one has the right to drive lower than the speed limit and hold them up. I was coming out of a driveway yesterday and doing about 10 mph intending to speed up to 20, when the car behind me gives me a big blast on the horn because I was not doing 30. So I continued to drive even slower than 20 because there was a red light anyway. There will always be idiots on the road who think they own it.

          • fdtutf

            “You make it seem like RIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY are some how mutually exclusive, when in fact it can be both.”

            True, there can be a right that carries with it responsibilities. Let me put it this way: Driving is a PRIVILEGE, not a RIGHT.

            “I am not saying that you have a right to drive everywhere. That’s not what I mean.”

            That’s how you sound.

          • Allan Rosen

            By the same token, walking is also a privilege and not a right. There are strict rules where and when you can walk.

            People should avoid driving congested areas such as in midtown during times when it is congested, for example, unless absolutely necessary. But you can get stuck some times in a congested area, not expecting it to be congested. Then you really are not at fault.

            Also, sometimes the congestion can be prevented through some intelligent planning. I once got stuck coming off the Queensboro Bridge for 20 minutes on two blocks because of a scheduled utility repair. If a traffic agent were posted there, the delay would have only been about five minutes.

          • fdtutf

            No. Each of us is born with the right to walk. This right, like most rights, is not unlimited, but walking is a natural right.

            Driving is qualitatively different. There is no right to drive. It is strictly a privilege.

            Why you’re suddenly talking about congestion escapes me.

          • Allan Rosen

            A right to walk and also to be responsible about it.

          • Andrew

            There’s nothing irresponsible about standing on a sidewalk or crossing with the light or crossing at a stop sign.

          • Allan Rosen

            It is prudent to be aware of your surroundings. If you want to call it a responsibility or not is just semantics

          • fdtutf

            It’s not just semantics at all. It’s a significant moral question.

            Of course pedestrians should be aware of their surroundings because there are a number of potential dangers (not just reckless motorists, I mean) that can befall them. But to suggest that pedestrians should *have* to be alert for automotive hazards (i.e., that they should be *responsible* for doing so) because motorists just can’t be expected to follow the law themselves is completely outrageous.

          • Andrew

            Semantics? Was Maude Savage or Martha Atwater or Lorraine Ferguson irresponsible?

          • Allan Rosen

            In all cases the driver was wrong. But that is not the question. I stated that it is prudent to be aware of your surroundings. The only time that would not apply as far as cars are concerned is when you are on the sidewalk. You expect to be safe there and you don’t expect cars to mount the sidewalk.

            In the other two cases, it is possible that the crash could have been avoided if the pedestrian were more aware of their surroundings. The fact that they weren’t doesn’t make them irresponsible since the law was on their side.

            However, it doesn’t make them very smart either. Was Maude Savage aware that the van had no intention of stopping, or did she assume that he should stop because that is what was required of him?

            Was Lorraine Ferguson even aware there was a stop sign that required the vehicle to stop? If so, why did she cross when the vehicle wasn’t preparing to make a stop like it should have? Because she wasn’t looking around. You can be legally right and still dead. It is better to let the vehicle go first even if you have the right of way, than to be dead.

          • fdtutf

            ” It is better to let the vehicle go first even if you have the right of way, than to be dead.”

            In other words, as I said before, might makes right.

            When can we expect to see you start campaigning as hard for better motorist behavior as you do against lower speed limits?

          • Allan Rosen

            Unfortunately your second paragraph is a true statement. I wish that weren’t the case.

            Streetsblog and TA do a fine job campaigning for better motorist behavior. I have been doing the same in my comments. My primary interest is buses and that is what I intend to keep as the main focus of my columns.

          • Andrew

            You have been campaigning for better motorist behavior in theory. Streetsblog and TA campaign for better motorist behavior in practice, by advocating for adequate enforcement and for street redesign. You, on the other hand, have actively advocated against adequate enforcement and against street redesign.

          • Allan Rosen

            Not true and I’m not discussing this further.

          • Andrew

            Of course you’re not, since you have nothing to add.

            Your idea of “better motorist behavior” includes leaving the determination of the appropriate speed entirely up to the motorist himself, blowing stop signs, and failing to yield to both cyclists and pedestrians.

            So you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t take your safety pronouncements seriously.

          • fdtutf

            Unfortunately my second paragraph is a FALSE statement. Power can overcome a lot of things, but it can’t overcome morality.

            “Streetsblog and TA do a fine job campaigning for better motorist behavior. I have been doing the same in my comments.”

            Where?

          • Allan Rosen

            Reread my comments about motorists.

          • Andrew

            In all cases the driver was wrong.

            THANK YOU.

            But that is not the question.

            It most assuredly is!

            I stated that it is prudent to be aware of your surroundings.

            You stated that pedestrians should be “responsible.” I was trying to ascertain whether you believe it is responsible or irresponsible for a pedestrian to stand on a sidewalk or to cross with the light or to cross at a stop sign.

            The only time that would not apply as far as cars are concerned is when you are on the sidewalk. You expect to be safe there and you don’t expect cars to mount the sidewalk.

            Martha Atwater hat that same expectation, yet she’s now dead. Her killer “remained at the scene and has not been charged.”

            In the other two cases, it is possible that the crash could have been avoided if the pedestrian were more aware of their surroundings. The fact that they weren’t doesn’t make them irresponsible since the law was on their side.

            The crash could have also been avoided if the pedestrian had just stayed home for the day. But, in fact, both probably had places to go and had to cross a street to reach their destinations.

            However, it doesn’t make them very smart either.

            In retrospect, I suppose it would have been smarter for them to have called in sick and stayed home. Too bad nobody warned them in advance that they were about to get killed for crossing the street.

            Was Maude Savage aware that the van had no intention of stopping, or did she assume that he should stop because that is what was required of him?

            (Vans don’t have intent. Van drivers have intent.)

            Did we see the same video? The one in which Savage obediently waits for the light to change, then looks cautiously to the left to see if any traffic is approaching, then starts crossing, only to be struck by the van that had been second in line at the light? How on earth do you expect her to have known the driver’s intent, and what exactly should she have done when she realized that the driver was aiming his van directly at her and not preparing to stop?

            More to the point, how should she have crossed the street?

            Was Lorraine Ferguson even aware there was a stop sign that required the vehicle to stop? If so, why did she cross when the vehicle wasn’t preparing to make a stop like it should have? Because she wasn’t looking around. You can be legally right and still dead. It is better to let the vehicle go first even if you have the right of way, than to be dead.

            I wasn’t there; I certainly have no way of knowing what Ferguson was aware of.

            I often have to cross streets that have steady streams of traffic. If it’s irresponsible of me to expect traffic to stop for a stop sign or a red light, then how exactly am I supposed to get across the street?

          • Allan Rosen

            You just keep focusing on the word “responsibility” and just refuse to acknowledge the fact that there would be fewer victims if pedestrians were more aware of their surroundings.

            I did not view the video and am not going to look for the link now. If the car was second in line, he just went around the car that was waiting and went through the stop sign? That’s horrible. In that case the victim did everything she could.

          • fdtutf

            From the linked story:

            “Her husband told the Post that she began to cross the street to the stop when he watched a private bus blow through a stop sign, and run her over. She died almost immediately, the man said.

            “Neighbors said the woman’s husband Michael Ferguson, 55, began screaming ‘Oh my God, oh my God, somebody help!’

            “Police say no criminality is suspected and the driver stayed on the scene, but the investigation is ongoing.”

            This makes me white with anger. NO CRIMINALITY IS SUSPECTED?

          • Andrew

            This makes me white with anger. NO CRIMINALITY IS SUSPECTED?

            You must be new around here. That’s par for the course.

          • fdtutf

            I’m aware of that. It doesn’t diminish my anger.

          • ALLAN rosen

            That makes me angry too. But your version doesn’t meish with Andrew’s about the bus being second in line at the stop sign. Who is right?

          • Andrew

            You mixed up two events. Read the articles. Watch the brief surveillance video. It’s pretty unambiguous what happened.

          • Andrew

            There would be fewer victims if pedestrians simply stayed home, but I don’t see that as a reasonable solution. Do you?

            Amazing that you’re commenting on a video that you haven’t taken the 44 seconds to watch. (There was no stop sign – you’ve swapped two incidents.) I have to wonder, how many times prior to this incident did the motorist violate a pedestrian’s right of way? (My guess is many thousands.) And how many of those times was he ticketed for taking to yield? (My guess is zero.) Maybe, just maybe, if the motorist had learned from experience that violating a pedestrian’s right of way can hurt the motorist in the wallet, he might have been more cautious toward Ms. Savage.

            Since you can’t be bothered to find it, here’s the video. (I googled “Maude Savage” and it was the first link.) Spend the 44 seconds.

          • Andrew

            I thought you meant cars bumping into other cars.

            Of course you did – this wouldn’t be the first time that you forgot that pedestrians exist.

          • Allan Rosen

            You just couldn’t resist could you? You forget that others exist besides pedestrians, because in your book the only voices we should listen to are pedestrians.

          • Andrew

            I’m sorry, have I ever suggested that it would be OK if pedestrians were to kill motorists in order to save a few minutes?

            Motorists, as opposed to pedestrians, use a mode of transport that has the capacity to kill other people. I have no objection to motorists using their vehicles responsibly. The goal here is to curb the irresponsible usage that results in death and serious injury to people who aren’t even inside motor vehicles.

          • Allan Rosen

            Your first paragraph makes zero sense. I have absolutely no understanding of what point you are trying to make. The goal here is for everyone to take safety seriously and that includes pedestrians as well as drivers. You, however, just can’t seem to understand that by placing 100% of the responsibility on the operators of motor vehicles.

            Even if every driver drove perfectly, we would still have fatalities and serious injuries as long as we have pedestrians who are unaware of their surroundings and walk wherever they please. You can be a very responsible driver, but you won’t be able to avoid an accident if someone steps in front of your car unexpectedly between vehicles without looking. Maybe those accidents could be avoided if we lowered the speed limit to 5 mph. What do you think?

          • RIPTA42

            The only people who exist besides pedestrians are the bedridden.

          • Allan Rosen

            So I guess drivers are not people. So they all must just be monsters.

          • RIPTA42

            Motorists are a subset of pedestrians.

          • Allan Rosen

            How do you figure that? You can get out of your car and into a motorized wheelchair which isn’t the same as a pedestrian if you are using the roadway to get around.

            I see it more as two intersecting circles of a Venn diagram where you have both pedestrians and motorists and motorists who are also pedestrians (the intersecting part), although you obviously cannot be both at the same instant.

            Anyway, I fail to see how your comment relates to my statement asking if drivers or motorists are people or not?

          • fdtutf

            In virtually every case, you have to park your car and walk to your actual destination. Most restaurants, to take one example, won’t let you park your car inside. So pretty much every motorist is a pedestrian at one end of his or her trip, if not both.

          • Allan Rosen

            Yes, you can’t park your car inside the restaurant. But in some cases there are parking lots and garages. If you want to consider someone who walks a short distance to a stairway or elevator in a garage a pedestrian, that is your prerogative. I only said that there are few cases where you don’t walk at all but enter a motorized scooter to complete your trip and are not really a pedestrian. Calling something a “subset” like RIPTA42 did, means there is no room for any exclusions.

          • fdtutf

            Parking lots are one thing (although, even then, you have to walk through the lot to get to your *actual* destination), but garages are a bit of a different matter. You may or may not be able to reach your destination without leaving the garage structure and becoming a pedestrian on the public sidewalks. However, even if you can just walk through the garage, you’re still a pedestrian at that point (and, notably, you’re still at risk of being hit by people who are driving inside the garage).

          • RIPTA42

            In fact, I have about a 30 foot walk from my garage parking space to the door leading directly into the fifth floor of my building, and I’ve nearly been hit by cars a few times.

          • fdtutf

            That, of course, is your own fault. You should have been watching where they were going, because they certainly shouldn’t have to.

          • Allan Rosen

            I get your sarcasm. But on the other hand, pedestrians do have to be aware of their surroundings to. That shouldn’t just be dismissed.

          • Andrew

            Pedestrians almost always are aware of their surroundings, for the simple reason that pedestrians have a very, very, very strong incentive to avoid being hit by a motor vehicle: the desire to not be killed.

            Without serious enforcement (which does not currently exist in this city), the incentive for motorists to pay attention is much, much weaker.

            When a motorist strikes and kills a pedestrian and claims to the police that the pedestrian “appeared out of nowhere,” the NYPD typically takes the motorist at his word and assigns the blame to the pedestrian, right there, on the spot (“No criminality is suspected”). Note that the pedestrian does not have the opportunity to give his side of the story. In fact, I suspect that in the vast majority of cases, the motorist would have seen the pedestrian and had time to stop had the motorist been driving at a reasonable speed and paying attention to his surroundings.

          • Allan Rosen

            Most pedestrians just look at the signal and immediately start walking the second it turns green without even glancing around them, just straight ahead. That is if Rey aren’t already crossing on the red, aren’t speaking on the phone, aren’t text messaging or choosing their next song. I beg to differ that most pedestrians are paying close attention to their surroundings. Perhaps if they did, there would be fewer accidents. What was the percentage of accidents caused by pedestrian error/ confusion? 21.5%?

            As far as pedestrians appearing out of nowhere, the only time that is an adequate defense is if someone steps out into traffic or runs into traffic from between parked cars. I can’t see any other possible reason for a passenger “appearing out of nowhere” and if any policeman accepts that as a proper excuse, he is just too lazy to do the extra paperwork needed or ask aditional questions that would require a proper investigation. Or else he feels sorry for the person involved, for example ifthe person

          • Allan Rosen

            is elderly. He might actually be doing the person a favor by pressing matters and assigning proper blame. Yes we need better and more proper investigations. Is that part of Vision Zero. Funny, I don’t remember hearing that mentioned.

          • fdtutf

            “Most pedestrians just look at the signal and immediately start walking the second it turns green without even glancing around them, just straight ahead.”

            My goodness, you’d think they had the right of way or something! How silly of them to follow the law.

          • Allan Rosen

            Yes, how silly of them.You make it sound like if they first looked around before crossing, they would be breaking the law. No they still would be following the law.

            But it’s not a question of following the law. It’s a question of using some common sense so you don’t get injured or killed. We all know how frequent drivers don’t give pedestrians the right of way and we know that pedestrian fatalities are a problem. Isn’t it worth it first glancing both ways before crossing the street if it improves your chances of not getting hurt? I think so.

            According to you, no one should do anything unless the law requires it. You can’t legislate common sense which is what we try to do all too often.

          • fdtutf

            You’re right. I should have said: How silly of them to expect other road users to follow the law.

            If I, as a pedestrian, have a WALK signal, there is no justification for any motorist to be in or approaching the crosswalk I need to use. The only exception I can think of is if the motorist needs to clear the way for an emergency vehicle, and even then the motorist should not be moving fast enough to pose a threat to me.

          • Allan Rosen

            “…there is no justification for any motorist to be…approaching the crosswalk I need to use.”

            What in the world are you talking about? Of course there is justification for approaching the crosswalk. He just has to come to a complete stop before he actually reaches the crosswalk. And if that is not possible, he needs to back up before you start walking if he is able to, so you can cross.

            What do you expect drivers to do when the light turns amber and then red? Press a button and just disappear, then reappear when the signal turns green? Do realize how dumb the statement you just made is?

          • fdtutf

            I should have said, “approach the crosswalk at a high speed, especially with the intention of entering it.”

          • Allan Rosen

            That’s a little different. Of course you are correct about that. That’s just obvious.

          • fdtutf

            It wasn’t at all obvious to the motorist who nearly mowed me down in a crosswalk not long ago.

            it’s not at all obvious to the many motorists who pedestrians have to watch out for at intersections all the time.

            The underlying point is that many motorists don’t really think they have any responsibilities. That’s the problem.

          • Allan Rosen

            I’m not disagreeing. I get just as angry when a motorist refuses to give me the right of way. I usually yell something out to him, which may not be the smartest thing to do.

          • Andrew

            Wouldn’t it be nice if there were some sort of penalty for cutting off a pedestrian in a crosswalk, so that motorists would have an incentive to yield the right of way?

            Over the first three months of 2014, the NYPD issued 79 tickets per day, citywide, for failure to give the right of way to a pedestrian. Do you think that 79 tickets per day in a city the size of New York is an adequate disincentive? (The NYPD, by contrast, issued 273 tinted windows tickets per day.)

          • Allan Rosen

            As I stated, the focus is on revenue, not on solving problems.

          • fdtutf

            So it would be okay with you if many more motorists were ticketed for failing to yield to pedestrians (and cyclists — imagine getting a ticket for that little encounter on Second Avenue)?

          • Allan Rosen

            No problem with ticketing more motorists for failing to give the right of way to pedestrians. Also okay if I got a ticket as long as the cyclist got five tickets. One for for headlight, one for no taillight, and one for no reflective tires, one for riding in a crosswalk, and one for not ringing his bell when he saw impending danger to warn motorists, and those tickets amounted to a greater fine than my ticket.

          • fdtutf

            I don’t really get why you take the cyclist’s conduct so personally, but I’d give your feelings a lot more weight if it had been you that nearly got killed, rather than him.

            I’m not at all sure that cyclists have a positive legal duty to use their bells in any specific situation (feel free to cite law to the contrary), but in any case I seriously doubt that you would have heard the bell in your car. You were concentrating on the pedestrians in the crosswalk and it was raining heavily, which is noisy when you’re in a car.

            Since you nearly killed the cyclist rather than vice versa, you should have gotten the higher fine. With greater power comes greater responsibility.

          • Allan Rosen

            I take the cyclist’s conduct so personally because is being irresponsible could have caused me to kill him. Yes, I might not have heard his bell, but that would be his fault also, because if he is riding in traffic, he should have known enough to have a horn or whistle or something that would be loud enough so that a car with its windows closed would be able to hear. That was also irresponsible of him. But of course none of that matters since in every instance the cyclist is always right and the motorist is always wrong.

          • fdtutf

            “Yes, I might not have heard his bell, but that would be his fault also, because if he is riding in traffic, he should have known enough to have a horn or whistle or something that would be loud enough so that a car with its windows closed would be able to hear.”

            (1) Does the law require that?
            (2) Would that really be practical in the city? It would need to be fairly deafening, which creates additional noise pollution (in a city that’s already pretty damned noisy).

            I maintain that you should have been able to see this cyclist in your mirror in any case.

          • Allan Rosen

            If you have never been in the situation that I was in, you really aren’t qualified to say that I should have been able to see him in any case, just like you can’t see every pothole at night in the dark either even with your headlights. Now don’t try to infer that I consider cyclists no different than potholes. That’s Andrew’s job.

            I don’t know if how loud the law requires the bell to be. It just makes sense that it is useless if it can’t be heard. That’s why some cyclists carry air horns or whistles in case of an emergency. It doesn’t mean they ever will have to use it. It is just there if they need it. I also believe unnecessary noise shoud be avoided, but if it saves someone’s life it is not unnecessary.

          • fdtutf

            “If you have never been in the situation that I was in, you really aren’t qualified to say that I should have been able to see him in any case, just like you can’t see every pothole at night in the dark either even with your headlights.”

            I don’t find your account of the lighting conditions credible. And the main reason one misses potholes in the road when driving at night is that one is driving too fast to see them, and/or not watching the road. That’s a very telling example for you to use.

            “I don’t know if how loud the law requires the bell to be. It just makes sense that it is useless if it can’t be heard. That’s why some cyclists carry air horns or whistles in case of an emergency. It doesn’t mean they ever will have to use it. It is just there if they need it.”

            I honestly have never heard of cyclists carrying air horns, not that I don’t believe you, but it doesn’t seem like a particularly wise thing to do — especially if the law requires a bell; that’s two noisemakers you’ve got to keep up with on your bike/in your bag. More of a PITA than anything else. In any case, I don’t believe the cyclist had a duty to use anything of the sort. You, on the other hand, had a duty to see and yield to him.

          • Allan Rosen

            You wouldn’t believe the lighting conditions or the poor visibility because you have all the answers. As far as potholes, you are correct if the road is riddled with potholes, you should be driving slowly and be expecting them. But you can’t expect everyone to always drive slowly especially on the highway just in case an unexpected pothole shows up all of a sudden. As far as my “duty” is concerned, I already answered that a number of times.

          • Andrew

            I love it. It’s no longer the inattentive motorist’s fault for being inattentive; now it’s the cyclist’s fault for not making so much noise (and waking up the neighborhood) to jolt even the least attentive motorist into paying attention.

            Alternatively, we can ask motorists to be attentive in the first place.

            Your problem is that you turned left because you didn’t notice any cyclists, rather than waiting until you were certain that there were no cyclists in your path prior to turning left. They’re two very different approaches to driving. One is safe; the other isn’t.

          • Allan Rosen

            No, my problem was that the cyclist broke the law by not making himself visible to others as required by law. It is not my fault for not being able to see him for the hundredth time and I won’t repeat myself again.

          • Andrew

            I frankly don’t believe your version of the story. You’ve even stated that your memory is fuzzy, and even at best, your memory is only based on your own perceptions.

            If, as I strongly suspect, you didn’t consciously look for cyclists before making your turn, then of course you didn’t see a headlight. That doesn’t mean it didn’t exist or it was off – it only means that you didn’t see it. And even if the cyclist was in error – which I am not willing to grant – that still doesn’t relieve you of the responsibility to yield to him. Regardless of the weather.

            A responsible person might use such a near-miss as a wake-up call to drive more carefully, but you’re too busy trying to defend your irresponsible driving habits that you’re unwilling to learn from your mistakes.

          • Andrew

            Since you nearly killed the cyclist rather than vice versa, you should have gotten the higher fine. With greater power comes greater responsibility.

            This.

          • Andrew

            The cyclist most certainly did not violate five laws. If we believe your report of what happened, he violated one law, while you violated two.

          • Andrew

            Your statement on May 6: “No problem with ticketing more motorists for failing to give the right of way to pedestrians.”

            Your statement one week later, on May 13, regarding a two-day crackdown on failure to yield to pedestrians: “That is the problem with the way summonses are issued. Revenue is always the objective not solving the problem.”

            Changed your mind so soon?

          • Andrew

            According to those who have no interest in actually solving problems.

          • Andrew

            Most pedestrians just look at the signal and immediately start walking the second it turns green without even glancing around them, just straight ahead.

            Complete and utter nonsense – but it’s an absolute shame that they can’t just walk.

            That is if Rey aren’t already crossing on the red, aren’t speaking on the phone, aren’t text messaging or choosing their next song.

            Motorists, on the other hand, are never ever distracted by phones or radios, and they certainly never run red lights! No, all motorists are extremely cautious at all times.

            What was the percentage of accidents caused by pedestrian error/ confusion? 21.5%?

            http://www.streetsblog.org/wp-content/pdf/NYPDcrashes0214.pdf

            In February 2014, pedestrian/cyclist error was a contributing factor in only 51 of the 2,324 motor vehicle collisions that caused injuries or fatalities, or about 2%. In contrast, alcohol was a factor in 6%, traffic control disregarded in 7%, unsafe speed in 9%, turning improperly in 12%, unsafe lane changing in 16%, backing unsafely in 20%, failure to yield right-of-way in 28%, following too closely in 37%, and driver inattention/distraction in a whopping 81%. Remind me, who was it who you were accusing of being distracted?

            The report does not state which of these incidents injured or killed pedestrians. However, 30% of the total injuries and 75% of the total fatalities were pedestrians and cyclists.

            As far as pedestrians appearing out of nowhere, the only time th at is an adequate defense is if someone steps out into traffic or runs into traffic from between parked cars. I can’t see any other possible reason for a passenger “appearing out of nowhere” and if any policeman accepts that as a proper excuse, he is just too lazy to do the extra paperwork needed or ask aditional questions that would require a proper investigation. Or else he feels sorry for the person involved, for example ifthe person

            If you are not aware that the police quite often take the motorist’s statement – which is never “I was speeding and wasn’t paying attention to what was in front of me” – as gospel, then you simply haven’t been paying attention.

          • Allan Rosen

            “What was the percentage of accidents caused by pedestrian error/ confusion? 21.5%?”

            Yes, that was the number in the study I cited. As was the 8% figure I cited for speed being the sole reason for pedestrian fatalities/serious injuries. You don’t like either of those numbers because you want everyone to believe that the pedestrian or cyclist is never responsible for any accident. You even stated after Part 1, that you couldn’t wait to see where that 8% figure came from because you doubted it was real.

            You can’t refute those numbers, so instead you cite another study about all vehicular accidents, whereas the study I cited only referred to ones having pedestrian fatalities/injuries. Of course the numbers will be different.

            Talk about putting words in other people’s mouths, I never stated or implied that pedestrians are more irresponsible than motorists which is what you are alleging I believe. I have also advocated more thorough police investigations which I do not even believe is a part of Vision Zero.

          • Alrosen2@msn.com

            Yes, “almost always aware”. That is except for the ones that get killed or severely injured. May I remind you that pedestrian error/ confusion is the second leading cause (without other factors being considered) of all fatalities / injuries.

            Hey let’s use that overwhelming majority percentage here that you like to throw in when we discuss car ownership. You know. Since less than 50% drive cars we can ignore all their needs. What if I say that since 99% of the pedestrians make it across the street safely, without being hit by a car, we can dismiss pedestrian accidents as a problem that we have to act on?

            That is why one should never cite percentages without also stating actual numbers when drawing a conclusion, unless his intention is to mislead, as yours often is. That is statistics 101, which you accuse me of knowing nothing about. I never claimed to be a statistician, but you know less than I do.

          • Andrew

            May I remind you that pedestrian error/ confusion is the second leading cause (without other factors being considered) of all fatalities / injuries.

            Nonsense.

            Since less than 50% drive cars we can ignore all their needs.

            Who said that?

          • Allan Rosen

            That’s what the DOT study I referenced stated. It was not an anecdote.

            And you frequently cite that statistic why the opinions of motorists are not important.

          • Andrew

            That’s what the DOT study I referenced stated. It was not an anecdote.

            No it’s not. Did you bother to read the discussion that went along with the table? Such as the caveat prior to the table: “Multiple contributing factors may be reported for one crash (up to two per involved vehicle/pedestrian), and approximately 50% of crashes do not have an apparent factor reported, or have an entered factor of ‘unknown’ or ‘not applicable’”? Or the comment that “These numbers [for Failure to Yield and Driver Inattention, which together account for 56.6% of pedestrian KSI crashes] are likely to underestimate the frequency of both failure-to-yield-violations in pedestrian KSI crashes, and driver inattention, since NYSDOT contributing factor data does not account for all crashes”? Or the comment that “pedestrian action data is a more reliable source for understanding pedestrian behavior as relates to crashes” than the “Pedestrian error/confusion” category in the table? Or, most directly applicable to the discussion here, the discussion of speed-related causes? “21% of all pedestrian KSI crashes were attributed by responding officers to speed-related contributing factors: speeding (8.3%), slippery pavement (i.e. driving too fast to stop under prevailing weather conditions, 3.8%), limited sight distance (i.e. driving too fast for specific geometric conditions, 5.2%), aggressive driving (3.8%), and following too closely (0.5%). These numbers are likely to underestimate the importance of speeding, since NYSDOT contributing factor data does not account for all crashes, and only two contributing factors may be reported for each crash. Many DWI crashes (4.8%) and driver inattention crashes (36%) are also suspected to involve speeding or unsafe speeds.”

            It’s important to understand the limitations of any data source, and they’re discussed pretty comprehensively here.

            And did you bother to read the Pedestrian Safety Study & Action Plan itself? For instance, here’s the discussion of arterial streets: “On the other hand, arterial streets (typically wide signalized streets that carry high volumes of traffic) account for ~60% of pedestrian fatalities but only 15% of the total road network. In addition, pedestrian KSI crashes on arterial streets are ~2/3 more deadly than crashes on non-arterial streets. This suggests that the most efficient and effective engineering, enforcement and education interventions should be focused on and near dangerous corridors rather than scattered individual intersections.” If the goal is to reduce both the number and the severity of pedestrian KSI crashes, there needs to be a focus on arterials.

            And you frequently cite that statistic why the opinions of motorists are not important.

            I do?!

          • Allan Rosen

            So you are discounting the entire table because of a footnote. Then you might as well through the entire table in the garbage.

            So if arterials are more dangerous than local streets, the solution is to turn the arterials into local streets. That doesn’t make too much sense either. If two way streets are more dangerous than one way streets, do we make all streets one way too?

          • Andrew

            A footnote? What footnote? I’m interpreting the table in line with the discussion that surrounds it.

            The study suggests that “the most efficient and effective engineering, enforcement and education interventions should be focused on and near dangerous corridors rather than scattered individual intersections.” Do you disagree?

          • Allan Rosen

            it also depends on what you consider “dangerous.” There will always be a corridor that is considered “most dangerous” even if the death rate is only two or five per year as is the case with Atlantic Avenue. You have never made single negative comment about cyclists who mow down pedestrians, which just happened last week and someone was left in critical condition. Should we punish all cyclists for that like we are punishing all motorists for the actions of a few irresponsible criminals?

          • Andrew

            it also depends on what you consider “dangerous.” There will always be a corridor that is considered “most dangerous” even if the death rate is only two or five per year as is the case with Atlantic Avenue.

            “Only” two or five pedestrian fatalities per year – on a single street that doesn’t even see terribly heavy pedestrian usage? Sorry, that’s pretty dismal by my standards, and it cries out for improvement.

            You have never made single negative comment about cyclists who mow down pedestrians, which just happened last week and someone was left in critical condition.

            Motorists have already killed 41 pedestrians and 3 motorists in New York City between January 1 and May 8, while cyclists haven’t killed a single pedestrian in over five years. I have no kind feelings toward dangerous cyclists, but any form of targeted cyclist enforcement is a gross misallocation of resources as long as motorists can dangerously break all the laws they like with virtually no fear of enforcement.

            Should we punish all cyclists for that like we are punishing all motorists for the actions of a few irresponsible criminals?

            Enforcement of driving laws, and design of streets to be useful and safe to all users, is not punishment. The streets belong to pedestrians and cyclists every bit as much as to motorists.

          • fdtutf

            “Enforcement of driving laws, and design of streets to be useful and safe to all users, is not punishment. The streets belong to pedestrians and cyclists every bit as much as to motorists.”
            This.
            Enforcement of the traffic laws only feels like punishment to motorists who are accustomed to violating the laws with impunity.

          • Gary

            As the crime keeps dropping across most of NYC. You old white man sit home all day B-tch and moan. Shame on you. I’ll give it about two more weeks until South Brooklyn surpasses Brooklyn North in most incidents of crime. If not for the most heinous of crimes, South Brooklyn will have the whole city beat pretty soon. Can Staten Island be far behind. But we are working on that too. Preety soon South Brooklyn and Staten Island will have the most crimes of any locales in NYC. I like my mortgage in the country.

          • fdtutf

            Okay, now I’m confused. Am I a hipster or an old white man? (Surely one can’t be both?) What an identity crisis! Should I knit myself a beard, or just start sitting on my front porch yelling “GET OFF MY LAWN!!!”?

          • Allan Rosen

            Perhaps garages should be designed with more public walkways or painted areas for pedestrians only. But that would allow fewer cars to park and cost more money so we can’t have that. Developers wouldn’t stand for that. They have to make as much money as possible and the politicians support that.

          • Andrew

            (rubbing my eyes)

            Is Allan Rosen actually advocating here for less parking?

            Allan, are you feeling okay?

          • Allan Rosen

            If there is a real safety problem, then some things need to change. If there are very few accidents and most are minor due to slow speeds in garages, then leave things as they are. I am not necessarily arguing for less parking. If space is available, the garage can be slightly larger to accommodate extra walkways. If not, some spaces would have to be sacrificed, but only if a real accident problem exists. Studies would need to be done.

          • RIPTA42

            NYS Vehicle Code defines a person in a motorized wheelchair as a “pedestrian.” Fdtutf already elaborated on explaining Motorists ⊆ Pedestrians.

          • Allan Rosen

            I can understand motorized wheelchairs being considered as pedestrians while on the sidewalk, but they certainly aren’t pedestrians when using the roadway like a bicycle where there are no sidewalks available. I’m not sure but some communities may even require some type of high reflective flag to make them visible to cars.

          • Local Broker

            Are you really going to let facts get in the way of a politician that just knows whats best for the people.

          • nolastname

            I did not mean 50 percent physically by being hit…..I mean knowing of someone who was actually hit.

          • Allan Rosen

            That’s quite different.

          • Andrew

            Why the focus on hit-and-runs? I’m more worried about the more common situation, in which the motorist sticks around and makes up a convenient story in order to get off the hook. The dead victim can’t give his side of the story, and the police rarely bother to look for independent sources such as surveillance cameras.

            If you think the meeting was only about hit-and-runs, you missed the point entirely.

          • Allan Rosen

            I never thought the meeting was about hit and runs, but Transportation Alternatives obviously did, because they encouraged victims to come and testify so that half the comments were about hit and run so the elected and government officials could spend a half hour gaining sympathy for victims instead of hearing new solutions. They weren’t interested in new solutions but only hearing which intersections they should implement their predetermined solutions.

            Yes, better investigations are necessary, for all cases, not only highly publicized ones. But the organizers were not interested in those types of suggestions.

    • Local Broker

      I cant reply to you on my comment so i will here. I do think that anyone who wants to own a firearm for self defense should be able to without question. Self defense is not a right given to people, it is a natural human right to be able to protect yourself.

      • nolastname

        Wha? Right/ instinct two different things. Self preservation is instinctive. We have the right to own a gun for various reasons…Concealed -walking permits open carry… and such have a reason. Natural human (cavemen had clubs.lol) right was with a simple fire arm…not an assault rifle. Every gun should not be available to every person.

        • Local Broker

          Since when are you allowed to carry a gun in NY? No such thing as an “assault rifle” its a made up term meant to scare people. The amount of crimes committed with any rifle is so small it might as well be zero. Stop listening to the news and do some of your own research.

          • nolastname

            See disagree, why we waste our time. Still think it is instinctive…whatever you call them they are too big. stop disecting the non important things and just try to understand…not agree…understand what I am saying. Phhttt. Where did you learn double talk anywho? ROFLOL

          • Allan Rosen

            How did guns get into this discussion?

  • TheGenXFactor

    This whole debate about needing lower speed limits on local roads ignores one simple legal fact. While there is a maximum that is set by sign markers or by the law when not posted, the driver can be issued a citation for traveling too fast for the conditions, be civilly liable for damages or injuries and even face criminal charges for driving too fast for the conditions and causing damage to persons and property. Conditions can of course include weather but also the width of the road, visibility, presence of children, potential for traffic to enter the road, etc. Any lawyer will tell you that your choice of speed can be questioned regardless of the legal limit. Claiming that you were “at the speed limit” is not a legal safe harbor defense for inappropriate speed for the conditions. Thus, on a clear, sunny day you should already be violated for doing 30 on a narrow side street or where many pedestrians are interacting with traffic.

    Since we already have a situation where you can be liable and even ticketed for not driving appropriately for the conditions, why do we need another legislative issue to deal with rather than instructing the enforcement arm to do its thing.

    • Allan Rosen

      You raise some good points.

    • fdtutf

      Because there are too many drivers who are patently unable to judge what is appropriate for the conditions. These people should not be licensed drivers, but that’s politically unworkable, so the only solution is to lower the speed limits.

      • nolastname

        If assholes drove 2 miles an hour they would still have accidents. Where do these morons get their licenses from?? Could it be the citiony just making a buck?

        • RIPTA42

          But they wouldn’t kill anyone at 2 mph.

      • Allan Rosen

        We can’t have better written tests that asks questions about judgement instead of only rules and regulations?

        • fdtutf

          I seriously doubt that it would be possible to adequately capture judgment in a written test. The only real way to do it would be to give road tests in a variety of adverse conditions, which seems impractical.

          • Allan Rosen

            You can ask how someone should react in a hypothetical situation and give four choices. Doesn’t mean that someone will do what they say they will do, but at least it causes drivers to reread the manuals and refamiliarize themselves with the laws like giving pedestrians the right of way which many don’t even realize that is what they are supposed to do.

          • fdtutf

            Please write a sample question and post it here, so I can explain to you the myriad problems that make it virtually impossible to assess judgment of this kind in a written test.

          • Allan Rosen

            Choose the best answer. “If you are waiting are at a red light and an emergency vehicle is behind you with its light and siren on, you should: A – wait until the light turns green, B- proceed through the intersection, C, look around carefully and proceed safely through the intersection if you can, D, pull up a few car lengths into the intersection and then back up once the emergency vehicle has passed and then proceed on the green.”

            But as I stated, the other object is to get drivers to review the drivers manual to refamiliarize what is required of them.

          • fdtutf

            That’s a trivial question, relative to the way drivers need to behave in order to judge road conditions and drive at an appropriate speed for those conditions.

            The manual also can’t really teach that kind of judgment.

          • Allan Rosen

            Of course a test can’t teach that type of judgement. That comes with experience. I didn’t realize that is what you were looking for. That’s why we have defensive driving courses you can take every three years to lower insurance. I learned some very useful tips from them if they are taught correctly. But you were going to dismiss any question I thought of. So what do you suggest?

          • fdtutf

            Here is my original comment above: “Because there are too many drivers who are patently unable to judge what is appropriate for the conditions. These people should not be licensed drivers, but that’s politically unworkable, so the only solution is to lower the speed limits.”

            So of course people who can’t judge the conditions and drive accordingly are what I was talking about.

            I suggest lowering the speed limit so drivers are a lot less likely to kill pedestrians.

          • Allan Rosen

            If speed is the problem, how do you explain the 952 NYC pedestrian fatalities in 1929 when everyone drove slower and 155 in 2009?

          • fdtutf

            Um, completely different traffic situation and (I believe) heavier cars in 1929? Pedestrians were unaccustomed to automobiles, there were considerably fewer safety devices in use, and since automobiles were relatively new, many drivers were also unaccustomed to dealing with pedestrians.

            There were also many fewer cars on the road in 1929, which by your logic would suggest that the fewer cars we have, the more pedestrian fatalities we will have. That obviously defies logic.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_hoc_ergo_propter_hoc

          • Allan Rosen

            There were fewer cars on the road because there were no highways, but that is not where the pedestrian accidents occur. Have you ever seen pictures of traffic congestion in Manhattan during the early days of cars and even when there were horse cars? There has been congestion since the 1830s when it took 90 minutes to get from Downtown to Midtown and my guess woud be that it was on these congested streets where most of the pedestrian accidents occurred. And no, I wouldn’t say that the fewer the cars, the more accidents. But I agree with you about cars being new and fewer safety devices, which was my point that speed is not a major factor.

          • fdtutf

            Actually I seriously doubt that most pedestrian accidents occur on (car-)congested streets. Pedestrian accidents are more likely to occur on pedestrian-congested streets simply because there are more pedestrians there, but otherwise, *fatal* pedestrian accidents are more likely to occur where automobile speeds are higher, because: Speed kills. Surprise! (Oh, and I proved this in a comment on the piece you posted today.)

          • Allan Rosen

            So let’s lower the speed to 10 mph or how about 5? Then we might actually reach Vision Zero?

          • RIPTA42

            You could require people to use a simulator with pre-encoded adverse conditions.

          • fdtutf

            I think that would run into funding difficulties. Also, I think it would be very hard to cover even a reasonable fraction of the situations that can occur, given the large number of factors involved.

      • Lonnie Luchnick

        And there are too many pedestrian who do not pay attention, cross wherever and whenever they want and do not look where they are going!

        • guest

          But that’s ok because it’s always the motorist fault with these transportation alternative nuts and transplants. Always. Cyclist and pedestrians DON’T have to pay attention according to them.

    • Andrew

      Unfortunately, the “enforcement arm” has made it quite clear that it has no interest in “doing its thing” at anywhere near the levels necessary to make a dent in dangerous driving behavior.

      Over the month of March 2014, the NYPD issued an average of 301 speeding tickets per day, citywide – and nearly two-thirds of those (190) were issued by the Transportation Bureau, which primarily patrols the highways, where speeding doesn’t endanger pedestrians in the first place. Does anybody think that 111 citations per day on city streets citywide, in a city this large, serves as a deterrent for anyone?

      Of course it doesn’t, and that’s exactly why so many motorists are steadfastly opposed to automated enforcement.

      • Allan Rosen

        They are against automated enforcement because 95% of the summonses would be issued to those going 5.1 miles over the speed limit when they are not the ones causing the problem. Just like 99% of the red light tickets are given to those going though the red light .3 seconds after it changes because they misjudged the length of the amber. Does someone who goes through a red light 15 seconds after it turns red even trigger a photograph?

        • Andrew

          New York City’s current speed camera program only issues fines to motorists exceeding the speed limit by at least 10 mph, as dictated by state law. Somebody breaking the law by only 5.1 mph would not be ticketed.

          New York City’s current speed camera program is also only in effect on school days between 7 am and 4:10 pm.

          And New York City’s current speed camera program incorporates a mere five locations.

          Yet as of late March, the program had issued 11,500 tickets on the 27 school days since the cameras were turned on. That’s 426 tickets per day. A mere five speed cameras, in operation for just over nine hours of the day, issue more tickets per day than the entire NYPD citywide, and nearly four times as many tickets per day if we exclude the Transportation Bureau (which, as I said, primarily patrols the highways, where speeding doesn’t endanger pedestrians). And every single one of those tickets was for speeds more than 10 mph above the legal limit.

          So, no, they are not “against automated enforcement because 95% of the summonses would be issued to those going 5.1 miles over the speed limit when they are not the ones causing the problem,” as you claim. They are against automated enforcement because they are against any form of serious enforcement at all.

          By the way, what’s your source for your assertion that “99% of the red light tickets are given to those going though the red light .3 seconds after it changes because they misjudged the length of the amber”?

          • Allan Rosen

            I read that five mph over the limit was the grace allowed not ten. Ten would be fairer. My question is how visible are the school crossing signs or are they buried amidst a sea of parking regulations and other signage where they can be missed and are they visible enough or someone to have time to slow down before reaching the sign?

            Outside of New York I see flashing yellow lights to indicate when the lower speed is in effect. We shoukd have that here. If all students enter at 9 AM and leave at 3 PM, having the school limit in effect all day long causes unnecessary inconvenience. As far the school limit only being in effect until 4:10 PM, there is a push to have the hours extended to include evenings. because a senior may cross in the evening. I heard that at the Vision Zero Town Hall.

            Schools are just the beginning. In a few years the cameras will be on all roads everywhere if the city has its way. The more money they see they can raise, the more cameras they will want. Just like a drug addict needing a fix. It’s all about revenue. Safety is just the excuse to make them look legitimate.

            Every picture of a red light ticket I have seen in the newspapers shows a fraction of a second after the light turns red. I would live to know if a picture is even taken when a car goes through the red light two or three seconds after it turns red. Just saw tat happen

          • Allan Rosen

            a few hours ago. I’m waiting at the red light and a car from behind me goes around me and goes right through it.

          • fdtutf

            Way to focus on everything except the salient point, which is that the police don’t adequately enforce the traffic laws by a very long shot, which is why automated enforcement is necessary.

          • Allan Rosen

            The police commissioner directs the police. He can get them to adequately enforce traffic laws. Oh, but sometimes they manufacture offenses like the guy they accused of making a left turn from the wrong lane. Luckily he had a dash cam in his car tat proved him right and the charges were dusmissed. Of course nothing happened to the cop. Automated enforcement also isn’t foolproof eiter like the car who got a ticket at 7:29 for being in a bus lane when the regulations end at 7 PM. And the justice system isn’t exactly fair either.

          • Andrew

            Wouldn’t it be especially nice if there were some sort of camera that took a picture of each car as it violated the law, leaving no question as to whether the violation actually took place? Hmmm, I wonder how we could accomplish something like that.

          • Allan Rosen

            Apparently we can’t if someone can get a ticket at 7:29PM for violating a restriction that ends at 7 PM.

          • Andrew

            Looks like a very simple challenge to get the ticket dismissed – unlike a ticket written by a human, in which it’s your word against his.

          • Allan Rosen

            If it was so simple, why did the person turn to the media?

          • Andrew

            Because bureaucracies are bureaucracies. Did he win the case in the end? And do you think he would have won if it had been his word against a police officer’s?

          • Allan Rosen

            I don’t remember the outcome, but I would guess it was dismissed because of the media attention. Not sure if that would have been the case otherwise. Sometimes evidence is ignored and you are still found guilty. I don’t believe that all mail in pleas are even read, if they are even allowed. Someone could take a pile of them and just stamp guilty on each one. If not, an innocent person still had the inconvenience of losing tie to go down for a hearing. Just proves cameras are not perfect either.

            And are you saying that a police officer might lie and insist that it was before 7PM and not 7:29? That could never happen. Heaven forbid.

          • Andrew

            I don’t remember the outcome

            Then why are you bringing it up?

            And are you saying that a police officer might lie and insist that it was before 7PM and not 7:29? That could never happen. Heaven forbid.

            No, I’m suggesting just the opposite: that a human might make a mistake (or even lie) and give you a ticket for a violation that didn’t happen, and it’s your word against his, while a camera records and time-stamps everything it does, so any errors are readily apparent.

          • Allan Rosen

            I brought it up because he never should have been issued the summons in the first place,nor have suffered the inconvenience of having to fight it. You are the one who is making the case that cameras are infallible, while only humans make mistakes or lie.

          • Andrew

            I never said anything of the sort. Any piece of automation can be mis-programmed.

            Here’s what I said: “Wouldn’t it be especially nice if there were some sort of camera that took a picture of each car as it violated the law, leaving no question as to whether the violation actually took place? Hmmm, I wonder how we could accomplish something like that.”

          • fdtutf

            “The police commissioner directs the police. He can get them to adequately enforce traffic laws.”

            That’s politically impossible. Motorists would never stand for adequate enforcement of the traffic laws.

          • Allan Rosen

            No. Motorists aren’t organized and do not have that type of power. If they did they never woud allow speed limits to be lowered on 25 major arterials without saying a word. They also would have been able to stop red light and speed cameras. Laws aren’t enforced to the degree they shoud be because police have other priorities.

          • fdtutf

            “No. Motorists aren’t organized and do not have that type of power. If they did they never woud allow speed limits to be lowered on 25 major arterials without saying a word.”

            WITHOUT SAYING A WORD?!?!? Do you READ your own columns?

          • Allan Rosen

            Who else besides me has publicly raised this issue thus far that this is not a good idea? I haven’t seen it.

          • fdtutf

            Hmm. Good point. Could it be that motorists in general don’t agree with you, and that’s why you haven’t seen others speaking out about it? Just a thought.

          • Allan Rosen

            Every single driver I have spoken with believes that a 20 mph speed limit for most local roads and 25 mph for an arterial makes no sense at all and is totally ridiculous. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is also the opinion of many non-drivers. No one wants buses to be any slower than they already are.

          • Andrew

            Few buses travel faster than 20 mph for any appreciable length of time. A speed limit reduction to 20 mph would have little impact on bus running times on most lines. If anything, on a street with progressive signal timing, I expect that it would increase the likelihood that a bus could keep up with the “green wave,” so it might reduce running times somewhat.

          • Allan Rosen

            Express buses and SBS buses as well as local buses operating on stretches of streets with the signals spaced far apart can maintain a speed of 25 or 30 mph for considerable lengths especially at night when there is little traffic. But the whole world to you consists of neighborhoods with traffic signals on every corner.

          • Andrew

            Actually the world to me consists of lots of diverse neighborhoods. Just because your #1 priority is the ability to quickly drive through multiple neighborhoods, other people have different priorities. For many, the ability to drive quickly is not only not their #1 priority but isn’t even a priority at all, and their priorities should not be summarily ignored whenever they conflict with yours.

            A speed limit reduction from 30 to 25 will only slow down buses where they currently operate faster than 25 mph. That’s a small proportion of bus route mileage in New York City and it’s an even smaller proportion of rider mileage. On the flip side, as I said, a retiming of the signals to be closer to actual bus speeds could improve bus running times.

          • Allan Rosen

            Most people want to quickly get to their destination especially if they take the same route each day as most people do for routine trips. They are not there for sightseeing.

            And let’s unsynchronize all signals and force cars to stop at every single traffic light. Just great for air pollution and as economy. And that probably won’t even make the buses go faster unless each bus route had priority signals. That is the only way you could time signals to help bus routes.

          • Andrew

            Most people want to quickly get to their destination especially if they take the same route each day as most people do for routine trips. They are not there for sightseeing.

            1. Some of those origins and destinations are along Vanderbilt Avenue itself.
            2. Some people get where they’re going through means other than driving cars.
            3. Some people don’t value traffic speed more highly than everything else.

            By demanding that Vanderbilt Avenue function in perpetuity as a high-speed traffic sewer, you are being incredibly selfish.

            And let’s unsynchronize all signals and force cars to stop at every single traffic light. Just great for air pollution and as economy.

            Pardon, did I ever suggest that?

            And that probably won’t even make the buses go faster unless each bus route had priority signals. That is the only way you could time signals to help bus routes.

            Please leave the traffic engineering to traffic engineers.

          • Allan Rosen

            We are not talking about cars perpetually speeding along Vanderbilt Avenue, but about cars slowed to a perpetual crawl during peak hours as a result of the bike lane and mall. And most destinations by far are not on Vanderbilt Avenue.

          • fdtutf

            “Every single driver I have spoken with”

            How large a sample is that, exactly, of the motorists in New York City?

          • Allan Rosen

            You asked me a question and I answered it. Now you are sounding like Andrew. Perhaps Ned should run a poll. But I wouldn’t trust it, because when the word gets out, your friends from TA would stuff the ballot box.

          • fdtutf

            I said: “Could it be that motorists in general don’t agree with you, and that’s why you haven’t seen others speaking out about it?”

            Your response was: “Every single driver I have spoken with believes that a 20 mph speed limit for most local roads and 25 mph for an arterial makes no sense at all and is totally ridiculous.”

            Since I was referring to “motorists in general,” it’s valid for me to question whether the drivers you’ve spoken with fairly represent “motorists in general.” If you think that “sound[s] like Andrew,” I’ll take that as a compliment.

          • Allan Rosen

            Would you say that most responses here are in favor of lower speed limits on major arterials?

            http://www.subchat.com/buschat/read.asp?Id=292923

          • Andrew

            Thirteen posters on an Internet message board constitute “motorists in general”?! Most of them aren’t even expressing an opinion one way or the other. And much of the discussion, as you pointed out yourself, is focused on a fact that was misreported.

          • Allan Rosen

            I don’t see anyone praising the idea.

          • Andrew

            I ask again: Thirteen posters on an Internet message board constitute “motorists in general”?!

          • Allan Rosen

            Look at all the comments now from those against lowering the speed limits.

          • fdtutf

            I still count only fourteen unique handles posting on that thread.

          • Allan Rosen

            And how many of them are in favor of lowering the speed limit?

          • fdtutf

            Since fourteen are entirely too few to support your claims about what motorists generally think, it doesn’t even matter (and so I didn’t bother to count, either).

          • Allan Rosen

            Well, I did count and it was actually nine unique handles. Seven were opposed to lowering the speed limits, one was in favor, and one was in favor of some locations and against others. This is by no means a scientific survey but it is not composed primarily of cyclists or motorists either. It is primarily subway riders who use other modes as well and more representative that anything Streetsblog or the AAA would come up with.

            Most are just against the idea of lowering speed limits because they do not want it to take longer for them to get anywhere.

          • Andrew

            Let’s count.

            Comments that can be construed as anti-arterial slow zones:

            Gold_12th: “What a joke.”

            Dan: “25mph with camera enforcement will only create backlash from local residents.” [Not clear whether this is opposition to the concept or if he's simply pointing out a political challenge.]

            QTLC: “We’re definitely making plans to squawk about this one.” [I'm not sure exactly what this means, but I'll count it as opposition.]

            Concourse Express: “I agree with *none* of them.”

            checkmatechamp13: “If they haven’t thought if it already, don’t give them any ideas.”

            N6 Limited: “It’s all BS.”

            Comments that are anti-Queens Boulevard slow zone specifically (the one that was reported in error):

            NIMBYkiller: “Queens Blvd!?”

            G1Ravage: “NOBODY IS GOING TO DRIVE 25 MPH ON QUEENS BOULEVARD.”

            Other posters (either posting in favor or not taking a position): AMoreira81, 5301 Fishbowl, RIPTA42HopeTunnel, BrooklynBus, TerrApin Station

            I see thirteen handles. I see perhaps six (including two questionable cases) expressing any form of opposition to the concept. Another two are opposed to one specific corridor that isn’t actually proposed for a speed limit reduction.

            So – I’ll revise my earlier question: Six posters on an Internet message board constitute “motorists in general”?!

          • fdtutf

            I’d say you’re still pretty damned far short of “motorists in general.”

          • Andrew

            Thanks.

          • guest

            No. The problem is that motorist know that no matter what they say, it won’t matter. Don’t kid yourself. Many of us believe a 25 MPH speed limit is a joke and will cause more accidents. Many of us know that this mayor is a hypocrite and will continue to run stop signs while going 20 MPH over the current speed limit. What a joke. It’s a money raiser pure and simple and isnt about safety.

          • Andrew

            It’s only a money raiser as long as motorists insist on speeding more than 10 mph above the legal limit. Speed cameras save lives.

          • Allan Rosen

            And as long as you keep lowering the limit so that it becomes less and less realistic, the more “speeders” you will have and they aren’t even doing anything dangerous when the speed limits are ridiculously low.

          • fdtutf

            RIPTA42 correctly pointed out upthread that simply lowering the speed limit, without making other changes to the street, is neither wise nor effective. How are you feeling about those other changes to the street, which of course would be designed to slow down cars (i.e., get motorists to actually drive the speed limit)?

          • Andrew

            There’s nothing unrealistic about the 30 mph limit currently in place on most city streets.

            As for Atlantic Avenue, our resident traffic engineer looked at two arbitrary locations and determined that the design speeds were 20 and 25 mph, respectively, so I see nothing unrealistic about 25 mph there.

          • fdtutf

            “No. The problem is that motorist know that no matter what they say, it won’t matter. Don’t kid yourself. Many of us believe a 25 MPH speed limit is a joke and will cause more accidents.”

            Right…but then you believe all speed limits are jokes.

          • Allan Rosen

            They are a joke when they are too low, so ones that are realistic and should be respected are ignored also, when drivers get in the habit of ignoring all speed limits. The result is more accidents not fewer of them.

            If all speed limits were realistic, most would obey them.

          • fdtutf

            What, exactly, does “realistic” mean?

          • Allan Rosen

            Realistic is what is safe to do and what the prevailing number of motorists are traveling at. Those are usually the same. It is the occasional motorist who is being unsafe by going to fast or even too slow for the traffic, not the majority.

          • fdtutf

            “Realistic is what is safe to do and what the prevailing number of motorists are traveling at. Those are usually the same.”

            Given their behavior in other respects, I’m forced to say that I don’t put much stock in the ability of most motorists to determine a safe speed on any road. More particularly, I believe motorists are inclined to make whatever speed they think they can safely make without crashing, which unfortunately fails to take other road users (non-motorists, I mean) into account. Speed limits are often set with reference to the safety requirements for all road users, not just motorists.

            Additionally, human beings are notoriously poor at judging risk.

          • Allan Rosen

            There you go again by condemning motorists by claiming that over 50% do not know what a safe speed limit is. You wouldn’t like it if I condemned all cyclists. Would you? Or do you believe that the majority of them abide by the law and always stop at all traffic signals?

          • fdtutf

            Cyclists are certainly no better at judging risk than motorists, in general.

            However, it stands to reason that cyclists in general tend to take fewer and more calculated risks because they’re not protected by a ton or two of metal.

            Many cyclists are also motorists, just obviously not at the same time.

          • Allan Rosen

            I notice how you avoided answering my question.

          • Andrew

            Actually, he answered it quite directly.

            You objected to his statement that he doesn’t “put much stock in the ability of most motorists to determine a safe speed on any road” by accusing him of “condemning motorists by claiming that over 50% do not know what a safe speed limit is,” and asking, “You wouldn’t like it if I condemned all cyclists. Would you?” To which he responded: “Cyclists are certainly no better at judging risk than motorists, in general.”

            I would only add that, since the most recent instance of a cyclist killing a pedestrian in New York City, probably close to a thousand motorists have killed pedestrians. If the goal is to improve pedestrian safety, the overwhelming bulk of the enforcement effort needs to be on motorists, not on cyclists.

          • Andrew

            They are a joke because they’re virtually unenforced. Why do 30 if you can do 40 or 50 with practically no chance of being penalized for speeding?

          • Andrew

            No. Motorists aren’t organized and do not have that type of power.

            Is it Opposites Day today?

          • Allan Rosen

            The AAA isn’t nearly as powerful as they were in the 70s and 80. Once after they publicized some type of scandal at the PVB being unfair, for a period of time they went out of their way to dismiss cases. I was once the last person in the room after hearing 30 cases. Only about 3 people were found guilty and for one person who practically admitted guilt, the hearing officer went out of his way to try to get the person to say something whereby he could find him innocent.

            It is the total opposite today where you are told that if you don’t agree to pay half before your hearing, if found guilty, you will have to pay the full amount often over $100. There will be no extenuating circumstances wheteby the hearing officer may reduce the fine. Many innocent people pay rather than take their chances that the officer will not be fair.

            This would never go on if the AAA had any voice in the matter.

          • fdtutf

            “This would never go on if the AAA had any voice in the matter.”

            Perhaps the AAA just hasn’t focused on this particular issue, which is quite separate from the issue of a potential lowering of the speed limit on major arterials.

            More to the point, I’d say the power of lobbies is less relevant than the sway that motorists’ monopoly on our roads still has over the minds of much of the planning and public administration community, as well as those of the public at large.

          • Allan Rosen

            I lost you. You say that the AAA may not have focused on “this particular issue.” You say it is different from lowering the speed limit on major arterials. I thought that was the issue we were discussing. The AAA may not be aware of DOT’s plans yet or no one is giving them any press.

            As for your second point, you want bicycles to have equal footing on all roadways. It is not enough that bikes are allowed most everywhere except limited access roads, you want a bike lane on every street.and cars to follow bikes on one lane roads at 10 to 20 mph even if it is for ten miles. You don’t even believe in bikes allowing cars to pass, because they are equal and cars shouldn’t be going any faster than bikes.

          • Andrew

            you want a bike lane on every street

            He does?!

          • fdtutf

            You said that the AAA has less power than it used to, and used as an example the fact (I’m taking your account at face value) that the AAA exposed a scandal at the PVB some years ago, and that resulted in the PVB becoming more lenient for a while. Your argument was that the PVB is now very strict, which proves that AAA’s power has waned.

            I simply pointed out that the PVB may have become more strict again because the AAA might not have been focused on the PVB recently. I also pointed out that these are separate issues, meaning that the AAA can’t focus on everything at once.

            “As for your second point, you want bicycles to have equal footing on all roadways.”

            Correct (except for limited-access roadways). it’s written into the law, but motorists ignore it and intimidate cyclists (and pedestrians) with impunity, and they need to be reminded that they don’t own the roads.

            “It is not enough that bikes are allowed most everywhere except limited access roads, you want a bike lane on every street.and cars to follow bikes on one lane roads at 10 to 20 mph even if it is for ten miles. You don’t even believe in bikes allowing cars to pass, because they are equal and cars shouldn’t be going any faster than bikes.”

            Really? That’s all news to me. But since you bring it up, if 20 mph is excessive for bikes, why isn’t it sufficient (if not excessive) for cars? The fact that cars *can* go faster doesn’t mean motorists have a *right* to go faster.

            (Note that I am not advocating that cars be held to 20 mph everywhere; I’m just trying to get you to think about the moral side of this issue.)

          • Allan Rosen

            I have thought enough about the moral side of the issue.

            Let me ask you, if the AAA is more focused on other issues, name one, other than automobile safety which I haven’t heard them say anything about either. I haven’t heard a peep out of them for years. They used to be in the news constantly talking about a variety of issues. I think the media just doesn’t consider them a force to be reckoned with anymore.

          • fdtutf

            You have a point…but I’m not sure I would agree with your equation of AAA with the motor vehicle lobby. And that’s not even considering that there are other (non-lobby) parties who bring their views to bear on these issues.

            Great way to ignore the rest of my comment, by the way. So I’m to assume that you think cars have a right to go as fast as they can, speed limits be damned? Or would you care to elaborate on your position?

          • Andrew

            What sort of extenuating circumstances did you have in mind?

          • Allan Rosen

            Like if someone has a good reason. I once got a parking ticket when the regulatory sign cited was on a different street tan the one I was parked on. I also overstayed a meter because I was in the emergency room having a finger stitched up. There is such a thing as extenuating circumstances where you may be guilty but the hearing officer believes the fine should be reduced because of those circumstances or beleves you shoudnt be fined at all because of them. That’s how it used to be before they began to offer deals not to have a hearing to encourage you to plead guilty and pay half the fine when there would have been a chance you woud have been found not guilty. Those deals just to reduce the number of hearings should not be allowed when they remove te hearing officer’s discretion. By the way, I was found not guilty on both examples I gave, the second one on appeal. Those were over 30 years ago when you had a greater chance of being found not guilty.

          • Andrew

            Gotcha. So you think that you’re exempt from parking regulations if you had a good reason for parking illegally. Guess what: you don’t, and you shouldn’t.

            If I’m starving to death, and I steal a loaf of bread from the supermarket, I’m still guilty of shoplifting.

          • Allan Rosen

            You have never been starving to death like my father was in Russia in 1910, and had to steal food to survive, so stop talking legality.

            That is not always the issue. Mr. Winton who is now 104 had to commit forgery to save hundreds of Jewish kids in the late 1930s to send them from Germany to Great Britain. Should he be prosecuted for forgery? That was illegal.

            There are extenuating circumstances which you just fail to recognize because all motorists are guilty all the time. A bus once knocked off my mirror when making a turn. I chased him and stopped in front of him to get his driver information. I left my car in the middle of the street with my flashers on. When I returned two minutes later, there was a ticket on my car for overstaying a parking meter. The ticket was thrown out. It wouldn’t have been if you were the hearing officer. Someone should not be blackmailed that if he has a hearing, it’s the entire fine or none. The hearing officer needs to be given discretion.

          • fdtutf

            “You have never been starving to death like my father was in Russia in 1910, and had to steal food to survive, so stop talking legality.”

            So motorists have to speed, run red lights and stop signs, and park illegally, just to survive? Get real.

          • Allan Rosen

            I never said that and you know it. Besides I was asking Andrew not you.

          • Andrew

            If that isn’t what you intended, then what did you intend?

          • Andrew

            I read that five mph over the limit was the grace allowed not ten. Ten would be fairer.

            I have no idea what you read, but the press reported on the speed cameras widely, and the 10 mph buffer was in all of the articles I saw.

            Personally, I think enforcing the posted speed itself would be fairest of all. No need to make people guess – is it 5 or is it 10 or is it something else?

            My question is how visible are the school crossing signs or are they buried amidst a sea of parking regulations and other signage where they can be missed and are they visible enough or someone to have time to slow down before reaching the sign?

            News flash: the speed limit applies outside of school zones also!

            If you have trouble making out speed limit signs, maybe driving isn’t the thing for you.

            Outside of New York I see flashing yellow lights to indicate when the lower speed is in effect. We shoukd have that here. If all students enter at 9 AM and leave at 3 PM, having the school limit in effect all day long causes unnece ssary in convenience.

            School limit? What school limit? Correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I know, these cameras generally enforce the normal speed limit for the street in question (30 mph in most cases). If a lower speed limit is warranted, it’s probably warranted outside of school hours as well, because this city (unlike most in the U.S.) has a lot of pedestrians who aren’t in school.

            As far the school limit only being in effect until 4:10 PM, there is a push to have the hours extended to include evenings. because a senior may cross in the evening. I heard that at the Vision Zero Town Hall.

            “Because a senior may cross in the evening”? I have no idea who said that, but the reason speed cameras should be in effect outside of school hours is that most speed-related fatalities take place in the evening and at night, not during school hours.

            Again, I have no idea what this “speed limit” is. We’re discussing cameras that enforce the existing speed limit.

            Schools are just the beginning. In a few years the cameras will be on all roads everywhere if the city has its way. The more money they see they can raise, the more cameras they will want. Just like a drug addict needing a fix. It’s all about revenue. Safety is just the excuse to make them look legitimate.

            So do you think the current level of non-camera enforcement (about 111 speeding tickets per day on city streets citywide) is adequate? I think it is grossly inadequate if the goal is to discourage dangerous driving. (A mere five cameras, in effect for just over 9 hours out of 24, issue several times as many tickets for 10+ mph violations per day as do all NYPD precincts!) Do you agree or disagree?

            Every picture of a red light t icket I have seen in the newspapers shows a fraction of a second after the light turns red. I would live to know if a picture is even taken when a car goes through the red light two or three seconds after it turns red. Just saw tat happen

            Perhaps that’s because most violations occur a fraction of a second after the light turns red. I’m afraid you haven’t proven anything. Try again.

          • Allan Rosen

            Actually, I believe it was you who said there would be a 5 mph grace after I stated that anyone going 26 mph in a 25 mph zone would receive a summons and you corrected me saying you could drive up to 30 mph without triggering the camera.

            I asked if the school speed limit signs were visible at 30 mph and not buried amongst a sea of other signs. You changed the subject as usual by responding “News flash: the speed limit applies outside of school zones also!”

            Then I mentioned that outside of NYC school speed zones are sometimes or usually accompanied with flashing yellow lights when they are in effect, so there is no excuse for not abiding by them. You responded that cameras enforce general speed limits of 30 mph, not only in school slow zones.

            NEWSFLASH. Thus far in NYC cameras have only been approved for use in school zones although the city is trying to get Albany to agree to let them place them everywhere. Once that happens, the first place they will appear is on major arterials where the speed limits have been unnecessarily lowered, not on very narrow streets where you shouldn’t be doing 30 in the first place, because there is no revenue to be made there since most cars go less than 30 anyway because that is the safe speed.

            “Again, I have no idea what this “speed limit” is. We’re discussing cameras that enforce the existing speed limit.”

            Wrong again. We were specifically discussing cameras in school zones.

            “So do you think the current level of non-camera enforcement (about 111
            speeding tickets per day on city streets citywide) is adequate?”

            I never said that. Of course enforcement should be stepped up. But the enforcement must be fair and target those who are being unsafe. In upstate NY, there actually is enforcement of going too fast in a school zone and it is done manually, not with cameras.

            “Perhaps that’s because most violations occur a fraction of a second after the light turns red. I’m afraid you haven’t proven anything. Try again.”

            Correct. And the reason that happens is because the amber sequence varies from signal to signal. May or may not be 3 seconds. Drivers are either speeding so they can’t stop in time, can stop but don’t want to risk being rear ended by someone who is tailgating, or misjudged the length of the amber or the distance required for them to stop thinking they they won’t be able to stop in time.

            My question was what about the offenders who flagrantly go through red lights several seconds after it has turned red and if the cameras are even triggered in those instances. I guess you don’t know the answer. But with your internet skills, it shouldn’t be that difficult for you to find out.

          • Andrew

            Actually, I believe it was you who said there would be a 5 mph grace after I stated that anyone going 26 mph in a 25 mph zone would receive a summons and you corrected me saying you could drive up to 30 mph without triggering the camera.

            If that’s really what I said, then I misspoke. I’m honored that you trust me without verification, but it’s really not difficult to look this stuff up yourself.

            I asked if the school speed limit signs were visible at 30 mph and not buried amongst a sea of other signs. You changed the subject as usual by responding “News flash: the speed limit applies outside of school zones also!”

            As far as I know, the standard 30 mph speed limit applies in most of the areas with speed enforcement. State law requires that the cameras be used only near schools, but it doesn’t require a lower speed limit.

            That said, if you can’t see a speed limit sign at 30 mph, then you probably should be driving slower than 30 mph in the first place. (What else don’t you see at 30 mph?)

            Then I mentioned that outside of NYC school speed zones are sometimes or usually accompanied with flashing yellow lights when they are in effect, so there is no excuse for not abiding by them. You responded that cameras enforce general speed limits of 30 mph, not only in school slow zones.

            Yes, I believe that is the case. Am I wrong?

            NEWSFLASH. Thus far in NYC cameras have only been approved for use in school zones

            Per state law, speed cameras can only be used on a street with a school entrance or exit within a quarter-mile. There’s no requirement of a reduced speed limit.

            although the city is trying to get Albany to agree to let them place them everywhere.

            I wish I could be optimistic.

            Once that happens, the first place they will appear is on major arterials where the speed limits have been unnecessarily lowered, not on very narrow streets where you shouldn’t be doing 30 in the first place, be cause th ere is no revenue to be made there since most cars go less than 30 anyway because that is the safe speed.

            They’ve already appeared on arterials. Here’s the list as of February 25. As the article points out, “What most of these locations have in common is that they are high-speed arterial streets that frequently rank as the city’s most dangerous places for pedestrians.”

            If the goal is to save lives, there needs to be enforcement on arterials, which account for about 60% of pedestrian fatalities despite comprising only 15% of the total road network.

            As far as I am aware, few if any of those arterials have reduced speed limits near schools. The cameras are in place to enforce the overall speed limit (30 mph in most cases), and they even allow a 10 mph buffer on top of the legal limit.

            Wrong again. We were specifically discussing cameras in school zones.

            Cameras near schools, not cameras in reduced-speed school zones.

            I never said that. Of course enforcement should be stepped up. But the enforcement must be fair and target those who are being unsafe. In upstate NY, there actually is enforcement of going too fast in a school zone and it is done manually, not with cameras.

            I see nothing unfair about penalizing drivers who insist on speeding by more than 10 mph.

            Driving at over 40 mph on a wide street that pedestrians have to cross is unsafe – especially when some of those pedestrians are children going to and from school.

            Correct. And the reason that happens is because the amber sequence varies from signal to signal. May or may not be 3 seconds. Drivers are either speeding so they can’t stop in time, can stop but don’t want to risk being rear ended by someone who is tailgating, or misjudged the length of the amber or the distance required for them to stop thinking they they won’t be able to stop in time.

            The yellow phase is a remarkably consistent 3 seconds on 30 mph streets, from what I’ve seen. For anyone who has a reasonable reaction time, is not speeding, and is paying attention, 3 seconds is quite adequate. If you find it impossible to stop for a red light, then you should be ticketed, because you’re doing something dangerously wrong.

            My question was what about the offenders who flagrantly go through red lights several seconds after it has turned red and if the cameras are even triggered in those instances. I guess you don’t know the answer. But with your internet skills, it shouldn’ t be tha t difficult for you to find out.

            As I said, the majority of red light violations occur during the first second of the red phase, so naturally most violators are caught by the cameras during the first second. Aside from your speculation, I certainly haven’t seen any indication that the camera isn’t active for the full red phase. (Why wouldn’t it be?)

      • fdtutf

        “Of course it doesn’t, and that’s exactly why so many motorists are steadfastly opposed to automated enforcement.”

        Precisely. Motorists are fine with the current odds, where they get an occasional annoying ticket, but by and large can drive as they please without interference.

  • Subway Stinker

    How do NYC drivers safety records statistically compare with drivers in other large metropolitan areas like Philly, LA,Chicago? When I listed to the radio traffic reports in the morning, it sounds like “death race 3000′ going on out there. I’ll stick to the subways for my morning commute.

    • Allan Rosen

      NYC ranks much safer than LA regarding pedestrian fatalities. When considering all traffic fatalities, NYS is one of the safest states. Only Massachusetts and DC are safer.

      • Subway Stinker

        Thanks for this input. I am also interested in property damage only (car vs. car) accident rates. I bet the insurance lobby could provide very useful and accurate information about how many collisions are reported each year. From my daily listening to WINS, WCBS and WOR traffic reports, there is widespread iron-on-iron crashes every day. My conclusion is that most people are mostly lousy drivers.If my anecdotal experiences on the Southern State Parkway count, lots of people are POOR drivers and dangerous too. I remember the old educational campaign to drive defensively. That is a quaint thing of the past. Now it’s a race to weave in and out of traffic. “Happy Motoring”.

        • Allan Rosen

          The reason there seem to be so many crashes in NYC is because we just have a lot of people driving and the media plays up every one of them. But the rate per capita is actually much less than elsewhere. Also the numbers have consistently been going down. In 2009 there were 155 pedestrian fatalities in NYC. The record for fatalities occurred in 1929 when there were 952. It was a big spike because the number for most of the 1920s and 30s was in the 700s. I wonder if the Great Depression was a factor in the spike. Anyway with so many more cars on the road today, we have really made tremendous safety improvements.

          The media would like you to think it is worse than ever today because they like to sensationalize the news. In the 1960s and 70s, all you heard about everyday was a teacher being attacked in the schoolroom. Do you think that actually completely stopped, or that the news media decided to switch their focus to car crashes?

          • Allan Rosen

            Cars were also much slower in the 1930s, yet there were many more pedestrian fatalities, which proves that speed is not a major factor. Better road markings, lighting improvements, and better traffic signals are bigger factors in improving safety.

            Sorry, but I have no information about property damage.

          • fdtutf

            Really, that PROVES that speed is not a major factor?

            Given the choice, as a pedestrian, would you rather be hit by a car doing 50 or by a car doing 20?

          • Allan Rosen

            Yes it does. Cars were traveling slower. They couldn’t go faster than 35 mph and there were three times the pedestrian fatalities. Of course no one should be doing 50 on a local street. But speed is only a factor in 8% of pedestrian fatalities in NYC. More tomorrow.

          • Andrew

            Of course no one should be doing 50 on a local street.

            Why not?

            But speed is only a factor in 8% of pedestrian fatalities in NYC.

            From http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/nyc_ped_safety_study_action_plan.pdf :

            Speed-related factors are major contributors to pedestrian KSI crashes. 21% of all pedestrian KSI crashes could be attributed to factors such as speeding, limited sight distance, slippery pavement (i.e. driving too fast to stop under prevailing weather conditions). Yet, a recent series of DOT-sponsored focus groups found that most New York City residents were unaware of the city’s default speed limit (30 mph). Moreover, failing to drive at an appropriate speed (often lower than 30 mph) that matches local conditions is illegal and can lead to pedestrian crashes. Pedestrian KSI crashes involving “unsafe vehicle speeds” are twice as deadly as others (20% vs. 10%).

            This finding is consistent with international research indicating that the likelihood of a pedestrian fatality in a crash is directly and exponentially related to the speed of a vehicle at impact. A pedestrian struck at 40 mph is four times more likely to die than one struck at 30 mph; a pedestrian struck at 30 mph is six times more likely to die than one struck at 20 mph. Thus, controlling speed through engineering and enforcement is a crucial step in reducing pedestrian fatalities.

            Can’t wait to see how you get from 21% to 8%.

          • Allan Rosen

            You shouldn’t be doing 50 on a local street because it is dangerous most of the time. There are streets where the speed limit is 40 but it is safe to do 50 some of the time in some of the lanes for short distances because the blocks are extra long such as Conduit Blvd.

            21% is the figure when speed is combined with other causes. When unsafe speed is considered on its own, the number is only 8%.

          • GuEsT

            DId you know a pedestrian that is not paying attention to his surroundings is 91% more likely to place themselves in danger simply because they chose NOT to pay attention?

            Did you know that in the past 4 years, bicycles not following the rules of the road has skyrocketed 738%?

            Did you know that Bloomberg era speed bumps, pedestrian islands and lane reductions have led to a 2473% increase in emergency response times?

            Did you know any DOT sponsored focus group during the Bloomberg era was paid control groups and was made up of hipster transplants? Did you know those focus groups were made up specifically of anti-automotive individuals?

          • Allan Rosen

            Just as I said. First draw your conclusions, then structure your data to support those conclusions. That’s why Transportation Alternatives was on the panel but not the AAA.

          • fdtutf

            Did you know that name-calling doesn’t constitute a valid logical argument?

          • Allan Rosen

            That is your best response? There wasn’t any name calling unless you “find the terms “anti-automotive” or “hipster transplants” offensive.

          • fdtutf

            Any epithet like that, offensive or not, constitutes an ad hominem argument (even if only by implication) and is, therefore, perforce invalid.

          • fdtutf

            And you expected a better response to a nonsense post with made-up numbers and a complete lack of logic? It was worth exactly what I gave it.

          • RIPTA42

            The fake statistics are offensive (you didn’t realize those were fake?) FWIW, the average FDNY response time was 2.8 percent FASTER in 2013 than in 2002.

          • fdtutf

            Focusing on the number 50 in my question just proves you’re not getting the point, so here: As a pedestrian, would you rather be hit by a car doing 35 or by a car doing 20?

          • Allan Rosen

            I would rather not be hit by a car at all. So I guess since the potential exists of being hit by a car as long as there are cars, we should just ban all motor vehicles all over and require everyone to use bikes.

            That question is like asking if you were assaulted, would you prefer to be shot or stabbed? If more would prefer to be stabbed because the person first has to get close to you and the injuries may be less severe, all guns should be made illegal and that includes law enforcement, since they can get into the wrong hands or a law enforcement official could commit a crime.

            It is a dumb question and proves nothing. Just because the injuries are less severe at 20, does not make it the only factor to consider when designing speed limits. There are other costs that also need to be taken into consideration like inconvenience to te masses, the loss of time, money, impact on the economy, etc.

          • fdtutf

            “It is a dumb question and proves nothing. Just because the injuries are less severe at 20, does not make it the only factor to consider when designing speed limits. There are other costs that also need to be taken into consideration like inconvenience to te masses, the loss of time, money, impact on the economy, etc.”

            For people with brains, it proves plenty. It makes obvious the fact that a faster-moving car is more likely to kill you.

            The rest of that paragraph goes back to what I posted earlier about cost-benefit analysis. If you had done an actual analysis, disclosed what dollar values you had assigned to injuries and fatalities, and presented actual numbers, I would take your argument seriously. As it is, you’re just some guy who’s bitching because he doesn’t care how many pedestrians get killed as long as he doesn’t have to slow down. I can’t respect that.

          • Allan Rosen

            “As it is, you’re just some guy who’s bitching because he doesn’t care how many pedestrians get killed as long as he doesn’t have to slow down.”

            Not true at all. I certainly do care how many pedestrians are getting killed and have made many suggestions how to reduce that number. You, however, has his mind made up that no one should travel faster than 20 mph on any city street and has refused to listen to any arguments to the contrary. You believe you are in the majority when it is only a few who share that opinion. You are fixated on pedestrian deaths although the longtime trend has been that pedestrian deaths have significantly decreased. Why aren’t you so concerned about reducing other types of deaths that exceed pedestrian deaths and no one is paying attention to like accidental falls? You dismiss the fact that speed is only responsible or 8% of pedestrian deaths, many of whom were not paying attention. Yet you want to punish everyone else. There is no use talking to you any further since you won’t listen to anyone else and only have one argument that since your chance of getting killed at 20 mph is less than at 30, all speeds shoud be lowered. Period. Major arterials were never designed to have a 20 or 25 mph speed limit

          • fdtutf

            Unfortunately, none of your suggestions would be effective in reducing the number of pedestrian deaths. Yet when this is pointed out and explained to you, you resist the truth. I’m forced to conclude that you just don’t care about taking steps that would actually reduce the number of pedestrian deaths, especially if they might possibly make your trip a couple of minutes longer.

            “You dismiss the fact that speed is only responsible or 8% of pedestrian deaths, many of whom were not paying attention.”

            (1) That’s not a fact. Essentially ALL of the pedestrians killed by drivers would have survived if the motor vehicles involved had been going slower.

            (2) Pedestrian inattention is a separate cause of accidents, so that doesn’t even make sense in your own erroneous terms.

            “Major arterials were never designed to have a 20 or 25 mph speed limit”

            So what? You’re telling me motorists have a right to move at the design speed on a major arterial, consequences be damned?

          • Allan Rosen

            I am through arguing with you. You have already expressed your hatred for cars and your live of bicycles and let that taint your point of view. The suggestions I mentioned would go much further in reducing pedestrian deaths than a blanket speed reduction that would not be adhered to. Have you ever seen the clear pedestrian crossings, signage and markings in small town?. You are saying that doesn’t reduce pedestrian accidents as compared to our worn out pedestrian crossings that are not maintained, or unmarked crossings at all?

            20 or 30 minutes longer is not a couple of minutes.

            Pedestrian error/confusion is responsible for 21.5% of pedestrian fatalities/severe injuries and speed is responsible for 8.3 %, there is nothing erroneous about that argument. You are saying that no one has a right to get anywhere within a reasonable time frame although the pedestrian is more responsible for their own injuries or death than traveling at a moderate speed of 30 mph is.

            You are not making much sense here and I am through responding to your only argument that fewer people will be killed if everyone always drove at a snails pace on a major roadway, regardless of any and all consequences.

          • Andrew

            20 to 30 minutes? So we’re discussing drives for which the speed limit is maintained for 50-75 miles?!

            Somehow I don’t think that sort of trip is at all typical on a city street in New York.

          • Allan Rosen

            I have no idea what you are talking about. As I explained elsewhere when the road gets too overcrowded which it does when you remove lanes and lower the speed limit, it becomes impossible to take advantage of the synchronized signals. You must stop every few blocks instead of traveling through 10 or 15 green lights.

            Also, at each stop when the traffic is very heavy and 20 or 40 cars queue up in front of you, it is doubtful you will get through on the first cycle. Five of those additional stops in heavy traffic can add at least 20 minutes to your trip depending on your trip length.

          • Andrew

            Your “calculations” are nonsense, plain and simple.

            The speed limit is being reduced from 30 mph to 25 mph for about 8 miles worth of Atlantic Avenue. If you miraculously managed to drive that entire distance at 30 mph, without ever having to slow down for other traffic or for red lights or for a pedestrian who got in your way, the speed limit reduction would add a whopping 3 minutes 12 seconds to your trip time.

            Of course, in practice, you’d never be able to drive the full 8 miles at 30 mph – you’d surely hit red lights and other obstructions. And most drivers on Atlantic Avenue aren’t driving the entire length of the affected section, between 76th Street and Furman Street. The actual impact on travel time would be significantly less than 3 minutes 12 seconds for the typical driver.

            If we’re dealing with a situation of “heavy traffic,” then you’re traveling below 25 mph in the first place, and the speed limit reduction has no impact whatsoever on speeds or travel times.

            Enough with the outlandish predictions of carmageddon.

          • Andrew

            As for what I’m talking about, a trip of 50 miles takes 20 minutes longer at a steady 25 mph than at a steady 30 mph, and a trip of 75 miles takes 30 minutes longer at a steady 25 mph than at a steady 30 mph.

            The speed limit has been reduced on less that 8 miles of Atlantic Avenue.

          • Allan Rosen

            I wasn’t only talking about the reduced speed limit but also a reduction in lane capacity that is also planned. When you reduce speed and capacity, you will overload the roadway for the same number of vehicles and the result will be traffic barely moving and traffic diverted to parallel roadways. The numbers you cite are purely theoretical and not applicable in the real world.

          • Andrew

            You’ve spent an awful lot of bytes focusing on the speed limit, particularly upthread from here. You’ll have to excuse me for addressing it.

            I’m not a traffic engineer, so I will wait for an actual traffic analysis to be performed before accepting your conclusion that any typical drive will be “20 or 30 minutes longer” due to any sort of street reconfiguration. (As far as I’ve seen, none of the recent street reconfigurations have had impacts anywhere close to 20-30 minutes.)

            The numbers I cite have a basis in simple arithmetic. The numbers you cite are figments of your imagination.

          • Allan Rosen

            When DOT turned Broadway into a mall near Times Square, the MTA claimed they had to add ten minutes running time to the rerouted buses and that was only for a few blocks. Reducing road capacity for an eight mile road would certainly have a much bigger impact. At least a 20 minute delay is not far fetched at all.

          • Andrew

            Wrong. The MTA had to reroute several southbound bus lines, which, by increasing both the length and the number of turns, increased running time. The worst case was the southbound M6 (which doesn’t even run anymore) in the PM rush (the reverse-peak direction). Northbound buses saved time, since they weren’t rerouted and they benefited from the Herald Square simplification.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/21/nyregion/21broadway.html?ref=nyregion

            (I have no idea what the last paragraph is referring to. Only the M4 and Q32 turn left at that intersection, and they’ve turned left at that intersection for decades.)

            Bear in mind that these bus lines are all closely paralleled by subway lines. They primarily carry riders who are relatively time-insensitive. In this part of the city, there are far more pedestrians than southbound bus riders.

          • Allan Rosen

            If the MTA weren’t negatively impacted, they wouldn’t have come out against the change.

          • Andrew

            The MTA didn’t “come out against the change.” The MTA reported the impacts on bus running times, including some bus routes that became significantly longer and picked up several additional turns, as well as others that benefited from the reduction in traffic congestion.

            And in case you missed my last paragraph, I’ll repeat it: “Bear in mind that these bus lines are all closely paralleled by subway lines. They primarily carry riders who are relatively time-insensitive. In this part of the city, there are far more pedestrians than southbound bus riders.”

          • RIPTA42

            If, as you said above, cars were much slower in the 1930s, what is the design speed of an arterial that was designed in or before the 1930s?

          • Allan Rosen

            I said cars were much slower in the 1930s meaning they were not able to reach the highway speeds they can reach today. The design speeds of arterials in the 1930s were about 30 mph. But many have been redesigned since by becoming restricted roadways whereby there is no longer an intersection at every crossing. So the design speed on these modified roadways is greater than it was in the 1930s, like 35 or 40 mph.

          • Andrew

            Ocean Parkway was completed in 1880. Based on a comparison of the 1924 aerials to the 2012 aerials at NYCityMap,
            it’s clear that the intersection spacing (south of Church Avenue) has by and large not changed, at least not in the past 90 years.

            You’ve suggested elsewhere that 35 mph (or possibly faster) is safe on Ocean Parkway. What is the design speed of Ocean Parkway as it existed in 1924?

          • Allan Rosen

            The design speed for typical conditions was probably 35 mph which was why a speed limit of 30 was chosen. You should never approach an intersection at a speed greater than 30 mph. When I stated that 35 was safe, up I was talking about midblock in optimal conditions with no one around, not when there are cars traveling on either or both sides of you. I also may have stated that 40 also would be safe, but only for very brief periods of time like five seconds. I never meant to imply that a steady speed of 40 would be safe, certainly not across any intersections.

            Since you can’t have variable speed limits for every occasion, 30 is the correct speed limit for the road.

          • Andrew

            The design speed for typical conditions was probably 35 mph which was why a speed limit of 30 was chosen. You should never approach an intersection at a speed greater than 30 mph. When I stated that 35 was safe, up I was talking about midblock in optimal conditions with no one around, not when there are cars traveling on either or both sides of you. I also may have stated that 40 also would be safe, but only for very brief periods of time like five seconds. I never meant to imply that a steady speed of 40 would be safe, certainly not across any intersections.

            Since y ou can’t have variable speed limits for every occasion, 30 is the correct speed limit for the road.

            You stated right here that 45 mph is safe on Ocean Parkway. Glad to see that you’ve changed your mind.

          • RIPTA42

            “Drivers” and “the masses” are not synonyms, especially in NYC.

          • Allan Rosen

            They are not if you consider the entire population which includes children who constitute a significant amount of the population.

          • fdtutf

            They are not even if you restrict yourself to the adult population.

          • RIPTA42

            They are not if you consider that less than half of the households in the City own a car at all, many of those households have one car and more than one person, and that every driver, once parked, is a pedestrian.

          • Allan Rosen

            When I talk about the masses, I am not restricting myself only to the driver of the vehicle, but also to its passengers. I would also be including anyone riding a taxi. They all have the same needs to get where they are going in a reasonable amout of time, not only by crawling on the roads all the time at 20 mph. Just because someone is a passenger and not actually driving, does not mean that hs needs are not exactly the same as the driver who is going to the same place.

          • RIPTA42

            Average vehicle occupancy is 1.3 on a typical weekday. That’s still a lot of non-motorists, even including passengers.

          • Allan Rosen

            Not arguing that there are many non-motorists. But to constantly argue that if any group constitutes less than the majority, their opinions and needs do not count is just wrong. We don’t do that anywhere else in our society. In fact we bend over backwards to help minorities, and I am not only talking about racial minorities, but minorities of all sorts, such as crime victims, etc.

            But when it comes to discussing motorists vs pedestrians, the first argument is that more people walk than drive so they are somehow more important and their needs are the only thing that matters.

          • fdtutf

            “But to constantly argue that if any group constitutes less than the majority, their opinions and needs do not count is just wrong. … But when it comes to discussing motorists vs pedestrians, the first argument is that more people walk than drive so they are somehow more important and their needs are the only thing that matters.”

            THE IRONY, IT BURNS!

            You’ve been making exactly the same damned argument in favor of motorists, saying that they matter more than pedestrians because there are more motorists than pedestrians. Yet somehow, when it’s pointed out to you that there are really more pedestrians than motorists in New York, suddenly majorities don’t matter. That exposes your real bias in favor of motorists, evidence be damned.

            I appreciate your unintentional candidness, at least.

          • Allan Rosen

            Read Big Steve’s comment above how everyone benefits from motor vehicles so the point about which is greater is not that important. There are other considerations here.

          • Andrew

            Fortunately, nobody is proposing to ban motor vehicles. The only proposal I’m aware of is to find ways to ensure that they’re driven responsibly.

          • Allan Rosen

            A 20 or 25 mph speed limit does not ensure they are driven responsibly and causes major inconvenience and widespread effects. By the way, have you ever heard of a group called “Auto Free New York”?

            What does their vision sound like to you? To me it sounds like no more cars in New York City, so I don’t agree that no one is proposing to ban motor vehicles.

          • Andrew

            If you have any alternative serious suggestions to reduce irresponsible driving, we’re all ears. You’ve already spoken out vigorously against automated enforcement, which I think would be the single most effective tool available.

            You have also vastly overstated the impact on travel times of a reduced speed limit.

            I already answered your question about Auto Free New York over two years ago; perhaps you never noticed my response. (It was in the same thread in which you blamed the cyclist on Second Avenue for not being yielded to.)

          • Allan Rosen

            I have already made several alternative serious suggestions and I have not overstated the impact on travel times. Also, I can’t get your Auto Free NY link to work, so I don’t know how you answered my question.

          • fdtutf

            Here is a link directly to their Web site:

            http://auto-free.org/

            “What is Auto-Free New York?” is at the upper left on the home page.

          • Allan Rosen

            “explore the upper limit of motor devehicularization”. Sounds like a vision zero for cars, trucks, and maybe even buses. Nothing about improving traffic flow. Certainly not a balanced transportation plan.

          • Andrew

            “Improving traffic flow” may be your #1 objective in life, but it sure as hell isn’t mine.

          • Allan Rosen

            Thanks for clarifying your position as if we didn’t know that your objective is to have traffic move as slowly as possible except for buses. Back in the 1960′s, DOT’s mission actually was to improve traffic flow. That’s why major streets were converted to one-way pairs with synchronized signals cutting 15 minutes from a five mile trip.

            Now they share your belief that getting somewhere within a reasonable time is unimportant, and their mission is to slow down traffic as much as they can, so that every road is congested, This is considered a good thing and is called traffic calming, no longer traffic congestion.

          • fdtutf

            “Now they share your belief that getting somewhere within a reasonable time is unimportant…”

            Um, no. Now the DOT has realized that motorists are not the only people who need to get somewhere safely…and within a reasonable time.

          • Allan Rosen

            But pedestrian error/confusion is three times as likely to cause a fatality or serious injury than is excessive speed, so we target speed instead and make it so that it is more difficult for vehicles to get anywhere. Pedestrians can cross intersections more safely by reconfiguring problem intersections. Excessive speed needs to be targeted, but 30 mph is not excessive for a major road. Perhaps pedestrians should learn not to step out in front of a moving vehicle or is that their right also?

          • fdtutf

            “Perhaps pedestrians should learn not to step out in front of a moving vehicle or is that their right also?”

            Right, because God forbid motorists should ever have to learn to share the roads with anybody. “Here I come, world, get the hell out of my way!”

          • Allan Rosen

            Now you consider stepping out from between parked cars mid-block without looking, “sharing the road?”

            Do you even realize how silly you sound? I don’t think I can take anything you say seriously anymore.

          • fdtutf

            I’m simply exposing your bias, which is by no means unique.

            That bias consists of the erroneous idea that the roadways belong to motorists and anyone else who wants to use them must do so on motorists’ terms. This is both historically and morally inaccurate, and the fact that this error is written into the law doesn’t make it less of an error.

          • Andrew

            But pedestrian error/confusion is three times as likely to cause a fatality or serious injury than is excessive speed

            False.

            Pedestrians can cross intersections more safely by reconfiguring problem intersections.

            Most such reconfigurations force drivers to slow down or reduce the number of lanes available to drivers.

          • Allan Rosen

            Point 1 – See DOT study I cited, you know the one with the statistics you don’t like.

            Point 2 Not necessarily. A lot can be done through better signage, better striping, and widened sidewalks at intersections, banning turning movements aor moving crosswalks.

          • guest

            No. DOT has forgotten what they stand for. Department of Transportation. DOT doesnt give a crap about motorist anymore. The Belt Pkwy is a major accident waiting to happen. Where are the lights? They’ve been out since Sandy. Rebuilding the whole damn thing does nothing but inconvenience everyone. Let’s let all the cyclist and walkers pay upwards of $300 a month for the privilege of using their favored mode of transportation and see if you change your tune.

          • Andrew

            If driving is too expensive for your taste, then perhaps you shouldn’t be driving. As DOT recognizes, there are multiple modes of transportation. Not only is driving not the only one, most New Yorkers don’t own cars!

          • guest

            “most New Yorkers don’t own cars!” This statement may be true in the city (Manhattan) itself. But in the outer boros of Brooklyn, Queens, the bronx and especially Staten Island, I beg to differ.

            “If driving is too expensive for your taste, perhaps you shouldn’t be driving.” Amusing actually, how you thought this the most important point rather then call attention to the major concern of my paragraph which is the dangerous driving conditions on the Belt. Therein lies the problem with the current setup of the DOT and anti-automobile groups such as transportation alternatives. Motorist don’t matter and are all murderous nutcases whom deserve harsh conditions seems to be the creed.

            Maybe if the public transportation system was designed better, people wouldn’t have to drive as much. Many areas are poorly serviced by public transit. But there are many reasons as to why people choose to drive rather then walk. Do you seriously think a bicycle or even a public bus or subway ride would be feasible for a family to get around? Have you been on a bus? Most New Yorkers are disgusted with the state of public transportation. Maybe if NYC Transit were on par with the LIRR there wouldn’t be so much outrage. Regardless people would still drive, and will continue to drive.

          • Andrew

            “most New Yorkers don’t own cars!” This statement may be true in the city (Manhattan) itself. But in the outer boros of Brooklyn, Queens, the bronx and especially Staten Island, I beg to differ.

            Wrong. It’s true in New York City as a whole. Considered in isolation, it’s also true in Manhattan and in the Bronx and in Brooklyn. Only in Queens and Staten Island do most households own at least one car.

            http://www.nycedc.com/blog-entry/new-yorkers-and-cars

            Cars consume so much space that it’s an easy mistake to make. On that note, if you think that driving is expensive or that the streets are too congested or that parking is too hard to find now, imagine how much worse it would be if 5% of 10% of your non-driving neighbors went out and bought cars and drove them regularly – or imagine how much better it would be if 5% or 10% of your driving neighbors sold their cars in favor of other modes. As a motorist, it is every bit to your personal benefit to persuade as many other people as possible to use other modes. It’s not pedestrians or cyclists or bus riders who are causing most of that congestion that gets in your way – it’s other motorists.

            “If driving is too expensive for your taste, perhaps you shouldn’t be driving.” Amusing actually, how you thought this the most important point rather then call attention to the major concern of my paragraph which is the dangerous driving conditions on the Belt.

            By far the bulk of DOT’s budget goes toward roads and streets used by motorists. The bike lane and pedestrian plaza programs are a drop in the bucket in comparison (even though most of the people who fund DOT’s operations don’t even own cars). I’m sorry if you disapprove of DOT’s prioritization.

            Therein lies the problem with the current setup of the DOT and anti-automobile groups such as transportat ion alte rnatives. Motorist don’t matter and are all murderous nutcases whom deserve harsh conditions seems to be the creed.

            Wow. Just wow. This is your response to an agency that recently started to pay the tiniest bit of attention to the needs of the majority of city residents who don’t get around by car?

            Maybe if the public transportation system was designed better, people wouldn’t have to drive as much. Many areas are poorly serviced by public transit. But there are many reasons as to why people choose to drive rather then walk. Do you seriously think a bicycle or even a public bus or subway ride would be feasible for a family to get around? Have you been on a bus? Most New Yorkers are disgusted with the state of public transportation. Maybe if NYC Transit were on par with the LIRR there wouldn’t be so much outrage. Regardless people would still drive, and will continue to drive.

            For all its faults, our city’s transit system is downright phenomenal compared to most others in the U.S. But in a setting (like much of southern Brooklyn) laid out to optimize convenience to motorists, any transit system is going to be somewhat lacking, because good transit depends on high densities. (Your comparison to the LIRR is humorous – while the LIRR is fine as a commuter rail system to carry suburban residents into the CBD during rush hours, it’s far less useful as a transit system within Long Island. Reverse commuting is quite the challenge on a significant part of the LIRR system.)

            Of New York City’s 2 million households, most get around without a car. Plenty of families get around by transit – I see some of them every day.

          • Kriston Lewis

            But in a setting (like much of southern Brooklyn) laid out to optimize convenience to motorists, any transit system is going to be somewhat lacking,

            Blaming motorists for the street layout is dishonest. If that was the case, how’d you explain the West Village? It’s certainly not planned out for someone attempting to move quickly. Blame for that lies with early settlers and the indigenous peoples who drew out paths without any coordination. Even still, that’s not an excuse, in fact that should be more of a motivation for a transit agency to get people out of their cars so they won’t have to clog a poorly designed road grid.

            because good transit depends on high densities.

            I’m not understanding this statement. What do you define as high density?

          • Andrew

            Blaming motorists for the street layout is dishonest. If that was the case, how’d you explain the West Village? It’s certainly not planned out for someone attempting to move quickly. Blame for that lies with early settlers and the indigenous peoples who drew out paths without any coordination. Even still, that’s not an excuse, in fact that should be more of a motivation for a transit agency to get people out of their cars so they won’t have to clog a poorly designed road grid.

            I’m certainly not blaming motorists for the street layout! (If I was at all unclear, I apologize.) I’m not even primarily referring to street layout here (although it’s certainly a factor) – I’m referring to low densities, to segregated land uses, to mandated off-street parking, all of which make it more and more difficult to get around by transit (or by any other non-car mode). The more difficult it is to get around without a car, the fewer choice riders any transit system can attract. And the fewer riders a transit system attracts, the less frequent the service. It’s a vicious circle which can only be halted by designing the built environment with more than cars in mind.

            (The abridged version: Land use and transportation are very closely linked.)

            I’m not understanding this statement. What do you define as high density?

            I don’t have a precise definition, since it’s a continuum. It’s no accident that transit is so much more comprehensive in (e.g.) Manhattan than in (e.g.) Staten Island.

            Welcome to the thread.

          • Allan Rosen

            Let me understand you. First you believe that no one should be allowed to park or leave his car on the street anywhere without having to pay an exhorbitant fee because all free parking should be eliminated since street space is worth so much. Now you are against mandated off-street parking all together. So what is someone with a car supposed to do? I get it. Not own a car. They should be forced onto mass transit or bicycles. Mass transit is not best for every type of trip and never will be no matter how good we make it. We still live in a democracy in case you forgot, and to discriminate against one specific group, auto owners, is wrong. If a car is best for a certain trip, that is what should be used.

          • fdtutf

            “So what is someone with a car supposed to do? I get it. Not own a car.”

            Um, how about: Pay the cost of parking the damn thing?

            “If a car is best for a certain trip, that is what should be used.”

            (1) Whether or not a car is “best for a certain trip” is not a factual matter; it involves choices that people can make differently, and it also involves the specifics of how the city is set up. Those specifics are also choices.
            (2) There’s no moral imperative to use a car for anything, as you seem to imply (“should be used”).

          • Allan Rosen

            Here you go again with morals. There are trips for which mass transit is just not practical. Like lugging 50 or a hundred pounds of stuff home from Home Depot. Are you supposed to carry that on the train or bus? How dare you say that a car is not necessary for any type of trip? Sorry to insult you, but that is just naivety or stupidity. Remember the TV commercial with someone lugging a Christmas tree on the subway? You don’t think they were poking fun at him? Get real.

            You just want the cost of parking to be so prohibitive that no one will be able to afford a car which already is quite expensive to own and operate. What next? Outlaw private driveways and building homes with garages? I wouldn’t put that past you.

          • Andrew

            Apparently you don’t know what the term moral imperative means. Look it up.

            I’m not aware of anyone who’s suggested that you carry 50 or a hundred pounds of stuff on the train or bus.

            I don’t claim to speak for fdtutf, but I want the cost of parking to reflect the cost to provide it, including the opportunity cost for the space it occupies. If you’re not willing to pay that much to park your own car, then why should everybody else (including the majority of NYC residents who don’t even own cars) be expected to pitch in and cover your costs?

            I certainly have no objection to private driveways and garages (as long as drivers don’t block the sidewalk and remember to yield to pedestrians before crossing it).

          • Andrew

            Let me understand you.

            We can try.

            First you believe that no one should be allowed to park or leave his car on the street anywhere without having to pay an exhorbitant fee because all free parking should be eliminated since street space is worth so much.

            No, I believe that no one should be allowed to store private property (e.g., a motor vehicle) on public land without paying for the space occupied.

            Don’t you agree that street space is worth a lot? If not, then why do you argue so often about bus lanes and bike lanes and pedestrian plazas that take away a lane from cars?

            Now you are against mandated off-street parking all together.

            “Now”? I’ve always been opposed to required off-street parking.

            So what is someone with a car supposed to do?

            Park on the street and pay the meter. Or park in the parking lot that a business voluntarily provided to serve its customers. Or park in a private parking garage and pay the owner for the use of his property.

            (Sorry for not spelling it out the first time; I thought it was obvious.)

            I get it. Not own a car.

            That’s an option, of course (it’s the option, in fact, that most New York households have taken, even with plenty of free on-street parking), but it’s hardly the only option.

            They should be forced onto mass transit or bicycles.

            Who’s forcing them? They can use whichever mode suits them best. But the cost of parking should be factored into that decision.

            Mass transit is not best for every type of trip and never will be no matter how good we make it.

            And nobody ever claimed that it was.

            We still live in a democracy in case you forgot,

            And therefore … ?

            and to discriminate against one specific group, auto owners, is wrong.

            Sorry, but asking people to pay for the costs they ensue is not discrimination.

            If a car is best for a certain trip, that is what should be used.

            Absolutely! Who ever suggested otherwise?

          • fdtutf

            “Let me understand you. First you believe that no one should be allowed to park or leave his car on the street anywhere without having to pay an exhorbitant fee because all free parking should be eliminated since street space is worth so much. Now you are against mandated off-street parking all together. So what is someone with a car supposed to do? I get it. Not own a car.”

            I’m going to comment on this again and take a different tack.

            What I understand Andrew to be talking about — and I hope he’ll correct me if I’m wrong — is a situation in which large amounts of parking are neither necessary nor desirable because the city is not set up primarily to serve automobiles. For physical reasons, the city (any city, not just New York) cannot simultaneously be an easy place to keep and operate an automobile and an easy place to get around by non-automotive means. What I think Andrew has in mind is a different form of city, in which pretty much everything can be done on foot and on transit, and most people don’t really need cars. It would then, somewhat paradoxically, be much easier to provide reasonable accommodation for the relatively small number of people who would, for specific reasons, need to keep a car. (Those people would be so few that they wouldn’t require that much space.)

            Unfortunately, the policy in our country for decades was, and to a considerable extent still is, to cater to the needs of automobiles FIRST AND FOREMOST, and let non-motorists try to subsist on the leftovers.

            “We still live in a democracy in case you forgot, and to discriminate against one specific group, auto owners, is wrong.”
            After the decades of discrimination in favor of automobile users and against everybody else in this country, I don’t think it is wrong. Some balance needs to be restored, and there’s still a very long way to go to do that.

          • Andrew

            Yes, that is essentially my point. Thanks.

            An area that is designed to be easy to get around by car – with lots and lots of free or inexpensive parking and with roads designed for high speeds – is hell to get around on foot or by bicycle, and if it can support a transit system at all, it’s a barebones one for the indigent.

            The opposite extreme has dense mixed-use development, limited parking, and narrow streets – very well suited for pedestrians and cyclists but a real bear to get around by car. It’s the sort of area that, if it’s large enough, can support very robust transit service.

            And there is a wide continuum between these two extremes. Few places fall at either extreme, but the vast majority of places in the U.S. – driven by the predominant land use and transportation policies in place for decades – fall very close to the car-friendly end. New York City is a notable exception, with many neighborhoods fairly close to the pedestrian-friendly end and others closer to the middle.

            But what’s virtually impossible is an area that’s both very car-friendly and very pedestrian-friendly. The physics just doesn’t work – motorists rely on spread-out destinations with room for their cars (to drive and to park), while pedestrians rely on closely spaced destinations that they can walk to.

            I live in New York precisely because it’s so much closer to the pedestrian-friendly extreme than anywhere else in the U.S., although even the most pedestrian-friendly parts of the city still have a lot of work to do. People who consider ease of driving to be a particularly high priority don’t generally live in New York; there are lots and lots of other places better suited to their taste.

            So I’m more than a bit puzzled when I encounter people who seemingly want to turn New York into Atlanta.

          • guest

            The site you post your study from is tailor made for hipsters. I’ve lived in New York my entire life. I’ve been all over this city. You can believe whatever made up crap you wish. Anyone can make up any statistics with PowerPoint and say anything when they want a particular groups attention.

            While you are certainly entitled to your opinion just as everyone is, sitting around and stating it is fact makes you sound ignorant.

            You state our transportation system is phenomenal. You must be smoking some good stuff. It’s convenient sure. But next time ask any life-long New Yorker what they think and not just your buddies in Park Slope, Astoria and Greenpoint.

            As for your claim of it being restricted due to motorist, your transportation alternative roots are showing. The system is over 100 years old. Created and maintained before many people owned vehicles. There was plenty of time for them to expand as was intended. But many factors got in the way. If expanded as was intended there would have still been plenty of space for motorist and straphangers.

            People use cars so they can travel around not just within the city but throughout the country.

            But it doesn’t matter what I or anyone else says. You will continue to argue against anything with a motor except for maybe a lawnmower. My only hope here is we do not lose a talented, informative and good writer in Allen Rosen.

            Goodbye Hipster, thanks for raising rents.

          • fdtutf

            “The site you post your study from is tailor made for hipsters.”

            The New York City Economic Development Corporation is tailor-made for hipsters? I…don’t think so. And if you don’t think those statistics are correct, you can do your own analysis, since they’re based on Census data which is freely available.

            “While you are certainly entitled to your opinion just as everyone is, sitting around and stating it is fact makes you sound ignorant.”

            That’s funny, coming from someone who’s attempting to discredit a statistical analysis with no actual specific criticism of the numbers or methodology.

          • Allan Rosen

            And what was even the point in posting that map? It only proves one thing that the better public transportation is in an area, the lower the need is to own a car. We all know that anyway.

          • Andrew

            Did you not notice the text below the map? “According to the data, only 1.4 million households in the City out of the total 3.0 million owned a car. Within the five boroughs, ownership is lowest in Manhattan, with only 23% of households owning a car, followed by Brooklyn and the Bronx, with 44% and 46% respectively.” I posted the URL to correct guest’s mis-impression that most outer borough residents don’t own cars. In fact, only in Queens and Staten Island do most households own at least one car.

            My apologies if you found the map boring.

          • Allan Rosen

            Thanks for the support. At least someone else is reading this. I thought I was just wasting my time arguing with these two.

          • Andrew

            The site you post your study from is tailor made for hipsters.

            The New York City Economic Development Corporation is tailor made for hipsters? That’s a new one. (Or did you mean the United States Census Bureau?)

            I’ve lived in New York my entire life. I’ve been all over this city.

            Congratulations! Do you want a prize?

            You can believe whatever made up crap you wish. Anyone can make up any statistics with PowerPoint and say anything when they want a particular groups attention.

            Indeed. So what are you waiting for? Do you need training in PowerPoint?

            While you are certainly entitled to your opinion just as everyone is, sitting around and stating it is fact makes you sound ignorant.

            Look in the mirror. I’ve cited my source (the one you claimed was “tailor made for hipsters”). We’re still waiting for yours?

            You state our transportation system is phenomenal.

            Actually, what I said was that “For all its faults, our city’s transit system is downright phenomenal compared to most others in the U.S.” Most transit systems, in case you’re unaware, run a few bus lines at infrequent headways during rush hours, with maybe a little bit of off-peak service for good measure. The land use in most of the U.S. simply can’t support much better transit service than that. We are fortunate in New York City to have mixed land uses and high density, which allow for a much more robust transit system. But the parts of New York City that are not zoned for mixed uses or for high density inevitably form the weaker part of the transit system.

            You must be smoking some good stuff.

            Want to buy some?

            It’s convenient sure. But next time ask any life-long New Yorker what they think and not just your buddies in Park Slope, Astoria and Greenpoint.

            I’ve asked plenty, thank you very much. Including people who have traveled to other cities and have basis for comparison. People rely on the transit system in New York to a far greater extent than in any other city in the U.S. – the city would simply not function without it.

            And if you think my “buddies” all live in Park Slope, Astoria, and Greenpoint, guess again.

            As for your claim of it being restricted due to motorist, your transportation alternative roots are showing.

            My transportation alternative roots? What are those? Do you disagree that buses often get stuck in traffic jams caused primarily by drivers of personal cars?

            The system is over 100 years old. Created and maintained before many people owned vehicles. There was plenty of time for them to expand as was intended. But many factors got in the way. If expanded as was intended there would have still been plenty of space for motorist and straphangers.

            The primary factor that got in the way was money. By the 1930′s, we started to pay for new highways rather than new rail lines. In retrospect, that probably wasn’t the best use of the limited funding available, but it’s a bit too late to turn back the clock.

            People use cars so they can travel around not just within the city but throughout the country.

            Great news! Nobody’s proposed a 25 mph speed limit on the highways that people drive on to travel long distances around the country. The new 25 mph speed limit is on city streets within New York, so it won’t have any impact whatsoever on your long distance trips around the country, aside perhaps from the first or last few miles.

            But it doesn’t matter what I or anyone else says. You will continue to argue against anything with a motor except for maybe a lawnmower.

            Maybe you’ve confused me for someone else. I have no problem with cars. I’ve driven quite a few miles myself.

            My only hope here is we do not lose a talented, informative and good writer in Allen Rosen.

            Can’t lose what you don’t already have.

            Goodbye Hipster, thanks for raising rents.

            I’m not sure what’s funniest – that you think I’m a hipster, that you think I’m leaving my home town, or that you think I’m in any way responsible for raising your rent.

            You seem to be pretty upset over having to share space with people who don’t own cars, so I’m a bit confused about why you would choose to live in New York City, of all places. I suspect you’d be happier somewhere else.

          • fdtutf

            “No. DOT has forgotten what they stand for. Department of Transportation. DOT doesnt give a crap about motorist anymore.”

            Actually, DOT has finally figured out that “transportation” does not equal “automobiles.” That’s what you’re really complaining about.

            “Let’s let all the cyclist and walkers pay upwards of $300 a month for the privilege of using their favored mode of transportation and see if you change your tune.”

            I have no problem, in principle, with asking everyone to pay the costs of the mode of transportation they use. (There are numerous practical problems with such a proposal.) I think you would be chagrined to find out how low the charges to pedestrians and cyclists would be, and how high the charges to motorists would be.

          • Andrew

            By the way, Auto-Free New York, aside from being a misnomer (“Cut car use in Manhattan by 20 percent, citywide by 5 percent” is the stated goal), appears to consist solely of George Haikalis, who, from what I can tell, is somewhat of a loon. (A well-intentioned loon, though, which is more than can be said for some of the other loons I’ve encountered on the Internet – I personally have no objection to his goals with AFNY.)

          • Allan Rosen

            Agreed. No disagreement here.

            He does have a small following. But if you have ever tried to have a discussion with him, he will cut you off and not even try to listen to anything you say because his opinions are never wrong. Maybe that’s why after the thousands of meetings he has held, he has gotten absolutely nowhere.

          • Andrew

            But if you have ever tried to have a discussion with him, he will cut you off and not even try to listen to anything you say because his opinions are never wrong.

            Sounds like somebody else I know.

          • RIPTA42

            Improving public transportation reduced auto dependency and improves traffic flow.

          • fdtutf

            As do cycling and pedestrian improvements, for the simple reason that the private automobile is the most space-inefficient mode of transportation. Anything that gets people out of cars for any of their trips results in those trips occupying less space.

          • Allan Rosen

            That’s why we should attempt to get people out of their cars and walk instead or ride bikes instead. Other than for health reasons for short trips, I really can’t agree with you.

          • Andrew

            If somebody wants to walk or ride a bike, why on earth would you discourage him or her?

          • fdtutf

            “That’s why we should attempt to get people out of their cars and walk instead or ride bikes instead. Other than for health reasons for short trips, I really can’t agree with you.”

            Your first sentence agrees with me. Your second says, “I really can’t agree with you.” So I have no idea what you’re actually saying here.

          • Allan Rosen

            What I am saying is that for the general population, it is not realistic to expect someone to cycle 10 miles to and from work each day. Yes, some don’t mind or prefer to do it. But to make it a goal for the bulk of the population is just insane.

            Most are not in the physical condition required and don’t want to change clothing when they get to work or don’t have access to a shower and do not want to spend thje the entire day hot and sweaty. They also do not want to bike during all sorts of inclement weather.

          • Andrew

            Far more of my coworkers cycle to work (many in excess of 10 miles) than drive to work. Some of them weren’t in particularly good physical condition until they decided to take up cycling.

          • Allan Rosen

            Is that an anecdote or a study? Sounds like an anecdote to me. We plan by anecdote now, do we?

            So now we know that you work in Manhattan. Hardly a representative sample when more jobs are located outside Manhattan than within it and the outer areas are becoming more important as employment centers. I hope your co-workers bring enough deodorant with them in the summer for your sake.

          • fdtutf

            He’s not *planning* based on that; he’s giving you something called a “counterexample.” Look it up.

          • Allan Rosen

            Call it what you want. It still is an anecdote. Whenever I use an anecdote, Andrew accuses me of planning by anecdote, but when he uses one to draw broad conclusions like he is doing in this case, it is perfectly okay with him and that is not “planning by anecdote.” Double standard.

          • fdtutf

            He’s not drawing broad conclusions. He’s disproving your own broad conclusion (“Most are not in the physical condition required”).

          • Allan Rosen

            He certainly is drawing broad conclusions and disproving nothing. He is applying a single experience of his co-workers with the universal population. Why should his office be typical of anything. He is saying since more people bike than drive to this office, that is somewhat typical of all New York City trips. The other broad conclusion is that some in his office ride more than 10 miles each way, most do not mind biking 10 miles each way everyday to and from work. He certainly in no way proves that most are in physical condition required to bike to their job each day.

            The only legitimate conclusion he is drawing is that some were in worse physical condition before they started biking. That I do not dispute. However, there is an inherent danger in biking to work everyday, so the improved physical condition may not be worth the added risk involved.

          • fdtutf

            “He certainly is drawing broad conclusions and disproving nothing. He is applying a single experience of his co-workers with the universal population.”

            He’s doing nothing of the kind. *You* drew a broad conclusion that a particular “physical condition” was “required” before someone could start biking to work. He gave examples from his office that show that, in fact, someone who’s not in very good physical condition at all can start biking to work.

            “The other broad conclusion is that some in his office ride more than 10 miles each way, most do not mind biking 10 miles each way everyday to and from work.”

            Again, you’ve previously claimed that *no one* would want to bike that far to work. He’s disproved that claim as well.

            “He certainly in no way proves that most are in physical condition required to bike to their job each day.”

            He didn’t need to prove that.

            “However, there is an inherent danger in biking to work everyday, so the improved physical condition may not be worth the added risk involved.”

            Right, because motorists can’t be trusted to follow the law.

          • Allan Rosen

            “He gave examples from his office that show that, in fact, someone who’s not in very good physical condition at all can start biking to work.”

            Yes if he lives only a mile or two from his job. However, the vast majority who are not close enough to walk to their job live much further than that like 10, 20, or more miles away.

            He is also extrapolating that his Manhattan office is typical of someone’s work destination when more jobs are located outside Manhattan than within it and that trend is growing.

            If I said “no one” would want to travel 10 miles by bike to work, I should have said “few”. What would you say the percentage of people living within NYC who bike daily 10 miles to work is over every other choice? One percent, three percent? I doubt it is much more. Many more drive, if but you want bikes to have an equal share of the roadway as motorists.

            By stating that more bike to work than drive to his office, he was certainly implying most are in proper physical condition to bike to their job each day.

          • fdtutf

            “Yes if he lives only a mile or two from his job. However, the vast majority who are not close enough to walk to their job live much further than that like 10, 20, or more miles away.

            Someone who can cycle a mile or two in city traffic (=frequent starts and stops) can cycle ten miles with little or no difficulty.

            “He is also extrapolating that his Manhattan office is typical of someone’s work destination when more jobs are located outside Manhattan than within it and that trend is growing.”

            What’s Manhattan got to do with it? Is it easier to cycle in Manhattan than in the other boroughs? I’d say Manhattan is generally a much more challenging cycling environment than the other boroughs.

            “What would you say the percentage of people living within NYC who bike daily 10 miles to work is over every other choice? One percent, three percent? I doubt it is much more. Many more drive, if but you want bikes to have an equal share of the roadway as motorists.”

            I have no idea, but I’ll point out that the proper denominator for this percentage is the people whose commute is at least 10 miles, not everybody who commutes.

            And you’re simply arguing that because motorists have bullied other users off the streets, the streets now belong to them. Is that really the argument you want to be making?

            “By stating that more bike to work than drive to his office, he was certainly implying most are in proper physical condition to bike to their job each day.”

            No. He’s pointing out that no particular physical condition is required in order to bike to work each day (beyond the obvious requirement of being able to operate a bicycle).

          • Andrew

            However, the vast majority who are not close enough to walk to their job live much further than that like 10, 20, or more miles away.

            Source that the “vast majority” of New York City residents live “10, 20, or more miles away” from work?

          • Andrew

            It is neither an anecdote nor a study. It is a simple response to your remark that “it is not realistic to expect someone to cycle 10 miles to and from work each day.” What you probably mean is “I don’t think I’d be able to cycle 10 miles to and from work each day.” Neither would I, but I don’t insist that the world revolve around my own personal choices.

            Yes, I, along with 1.6 million other non-Manhattan residents, commute to Manhattan. Your point? (By the way, plenty of employers in Long Island City and Downtown Brooklyn also have more bike commuters than car commuters.)

            Providing cyclists with shower facilities is a heck of a lot cheaper than providing drivers with parking facilities. (This may come as a shock to you, but cyclists have figured out how to deal with this small detail.)

          • Allan Rosen

            Okay. Do a survey of the general population, not only your Streetsblog friends and tell me what percentage of the general population wouldn’t mind to bike ten miles each way to work and back every day. I doubt it if it would be more than 5% journey to work trips. You could even find out what perecentage biked to work from the last census which would also include bike trips shorter than 10 miles.

            I bet that percentage wouldn’t even exceed 10 percent. The percentage driving to work would be much greater.

          • fdtutf

            “Do a survey of the general population, not only your Streetsblog friends and tell me what percentage of the general population wouldn’t mind to bike ten miles each way to work and back every day. I doubt it if it would be more than 5% journey to work trips.”

            With the intimidating outlaw motorist behavior that they’re subjected to (and that you’re defending), I don’t wonder.

          • Allan Rosen

            First of all, I am not defending anyone, and second if all motorists behaved like angels everyone would want to bike ride 20 miles or more each day? And don’t forget about the heat, the cold, the wind, the rain, the snow, the slush, the potholes, etc. it’s such a pleasant way to commute.

          • fdtutf

            “First of all, I am not defending anyone”

            By insisting that pedestrians share some of the responsibility for getting hit by negligent motorists, you are taking some of the responsbility off of motorists. I choose to call that defending them.

            “and second if all motorists behaved like angels everyone would want to bike ride 20 miles or more each day? And don’t forget about the heat, the cold, the wind, the rain, the snow, the slush, the potholes, etc. it’s such a pleasant way to commute.”

            I can’t say it better than Andrew did upthread:

            “What you probably mean is ‘I don’t think I’d be able to cycle 10 miles to and from work each day.’ Neither would I, but I don’t insist that the world revolve around my own personal choices.”

            Not everyone would make the same choices you would.

          • Allan Rosen

            You are incorrect in the conclusions you are drawing and I never expected everyone to make the same choices as me.

          • fdtutf

            Then what did this mean? “And don’t forget about the heat, the cold, the wind, the rain, the snow, the slush, the potholes, etc. it’s such a pleasant way to commute.”

            Plenty of people find it a very pleasant way to commute in spite of those things. But you’re dismissing their experience because you don’t see it the way they do.

          • Andrew

            And plenty of people, myself included, find driving a particularly unpleasant way to commute.

          • Andrew

            We understand quite well that you have no interest in commuting by bicycle. Neither, for that matter, do I. But it’s no skin off my back if somebody else decides that bicycle commuting makes sense, nor do I see any possible reason to stands in his or her way. As I’ve said, such people really do exist, in significant numbers, even if you’ve never met them or you don’t understand the personal choices they make.

          • Allan Rosen

            Agreed.

          • fdtutf

            Whereas making sure automobile traffic can flow freely at all costs, no matter what inconveniences non-motorists suffer, is a balanced transportation plan. Thanks for clearing that up.

          • Allan Rosen

            And it makes perfect sense in your mind to inconvenience thousands of drivers to appease a few hundred cyclists. Yes, that’s a balanced plan.

          • fdtutf

            http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/2014/04/a-vision-zero-town-hall-meeting/#comment-1353810890

            “In fact we bend over backwards to help minorities, and I am not only talking about racial minorities, but minorities of all sorts, such as crime victims, etc.”

            Please do let me know when you decide to bend over backwards to help cyclists.

          • Allan Rosen

            That is exactly what the previous DOT administration has done and it appears the current administration will continue to do the same.

          • fdtutf

            I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about YOU. You display nothing but contempt for cyclists because they are fewer in number than motorists, but when it’s pointed out to you that motorists are in the minority in New York, all of a sudden you grow a conscience and feel sorry for minorities. Very telling.

          • Allan Rosen

            You are actually very wrong. At the Vision Zero meeting I submitted an idea to the borough commissioner for a new off-street protected bicycle lane which they are currently evaluating. Further since my sister was killed as a result of a bicycle accident after spending seven years in a coma, I am very sensitive to the needs of cyclists. I just don’t believe that every street needs a bicycle lane as you probably do. Any other questions?

          • Andrew

            When did fdtutf state or imply that “every street needs a bicycle lane”?

          • Allan Rosen

            He has more or less indicated that in the past. Anyway I said “probably.”

            I also notice that you make it a point never to disagree with him. Do you believe the law is wrong by prohibiting pedestrians from stepping out between parked cars into oncoming traffic when it is not possible to stop in time? Fdtuff believes walking is a Godgiven right that permits you to walk anywhere wherever and whenever you please.

          • Andrew

            He has more or less indicated that in the past.

            Care to provide a link? I must have overlooked it.

            I also notice that you make it a point never to disagree with him.

            I agree with statements that I agree with. I disagree with statements that I disagree with. I’m afraid I don’t understand the problem.

            Do you believe the law is wrong by prohibiting pedestrians from stepping out between parked cars into oncoming traffic when it is not possible to stop in time? Fdtuff believes walking is a Godgiven right that permits you to walk anywhere wherever and whenever you please.

            He does?!

          • Allan Rosen

            He certainly does. Reread his posts. He specifically stated that walking is a God given right. In another post he stated pedestrians have the right to step out from between cars and it is the motoris’ts responsibility to be able to stop in time, and the pedestrian has no obligation even to look for cars.

            And he hasn’t objected to my statement that he believes every street needs a bike lane, though he didn’t like the idea of putting them on side streets rather than on main streets where cars should always be traveling at the same speed as bikes.

          • fdtutf

            My statement “You display nothing but contempt for cyclists” unfortunately remains true. I have nothing to refer to but your columns, in which you consistently deride cyclists as a group whose needs do not have to be taken seriously.

          • Allan Rosen

            You asked me a question which was what have I done for cyclists. I answered that question stating I just proposed an off-street bicycle lane which DOT is currently evaluating. So rather than retracting your statement, you choose to ignore it and respond that you are limiting your conclusion to my articles.

            My life is far more than this column. If I drew my conclusions about you from your comments here, I would have to conclude that from some of them that you are just a blooming idiot. That may not be true if I knew more about you.

            So quit trying to justify how you are always correct by dismissing any facts you just don’t agree with.

          • fdtutf

            In an earlier comment, you had said: “In fact we bend over backwards to help minorities, and I am not only talking about racial minorities, but minorities of all sorts, such as crime victims, etc.”

            I said: “Please do let me know when you decide to bend over backwards to help cyclists.”

            I don’t see any “bending over backwards” in your response. Suggesting an off-road bicycle lane [1] and having sympathetic feelings toward cyclists are good things, but they’re not bending over backwards. And the anti-cycling rhetoric in your columns and your comments here tends to outweigh those things, in my opinion.

            [1] Off-road lanes are frequently much less convenient for cyclists, as their destinations, like everybody else’s, are generally ALONG the roads.

          • Allan Rosen

            Off-road lanes parallel to roadways are safer and more desirable than lanes which take up part of the roadway. Do you object to the Ocean Parkway bike lanes, because I was proposing something similar.

            I have no idea what you consider “bending over backwards”, but going out of my way to make a proposal to DOT which they told me they were evaluating in my mind certainly does qualify. It is quite evident that nothing I would ever say would please you. You asked me to write a question about driver judgement for a written test, and you promptly dismissed it also. You just have these ideas of yours in your head, and there is no way to change them. When I am proven wrong, I admit it.

          • fdtutf

            “Off-road lanes parallel to roadways are safer and more desirable than lanes which take up part of the roadway.”

            Why are they “more desirable”? As I pointed out, they generally aren’t more desirable for cyclists because they move cyclists away from their destinations, which are on the roads.

            Why are they “safer”? Because motorists can’t be trusted to follow the law.

            “I have no idea what you consider ‘bending over backwards’, but going out of my way to make a proposal to DOT which they told me they were evaluating in my mind certainly does qualify. It is quite evident that nothing I would ever say would please you. You asked me to write a question about driver judgement for a written test, and you promptly dismissed it also. You just have these ideas of yours in your head, and there is no way to change them. When I am proven wrong, I admit it.”

            I don’t think a single proposal and a bunch of feelings constitute “bending over backwards,” particularly not with the vitriol you spew at cyclists in your columns and comments.

            The question you wrote didn’t even test judgment at all, and you acknowledged that when I pointed it out. I also had warned you in advance that I was going to reject your question, for the simple reason that it is not possible to adequately test for the kind of judgment required to evaluate road conditions and drive accordingly. The skills involved are too complex to be captured in test questions.

          • Allan Rosen

            Do you even know what an off-road bike lane is? It is a protected bike lane like on Ocean Parkway not on the street which was what I was proposing. You have a problem with that?

            They are safer because statistics show they are safer. (I was not talking about bike lanes on side streets, which makes a hell of a lot more sense than putting a bike lane on a major arterial road.

            I never spewed any vitriol at cyclists. Unless you call asking them to be responsible “vitriol.”

            If you knew beforehand that you would reject my question, why did you even ask for one? That proves you had absolutely no intention of even changing your mind since all your conclusions are already drawn.

          • Andrew

            A single off-street bicycle lane isn’t terribly valuable as a transportation device if it doesn’t form an integral component of a broader network of bike lanes. Even if a few bike lanes make sense in an off-street setting, there simply is no way to develop a full network of bike lanes without including many on-street bike lanes – almost all of the potential rights-of-way are already given over to motor vehicles.

          • Allan Rosen

            Exactly. That’s why my proposal replaced a single on-street bicycle lane with an off-street one and a two block on street segment that would connect it to the rest of the bicycle network.

          • Andrew

            What currently occupies the space that you propose to be converted to an off-street bike lane?

          • RIPTA42

            Everyone also benefits from safe pedestrian accommodations.

          • Andrew

            Yet you repeatedly insist that improvements to pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure should only be made once you’ve decided that it couldn’t possibly cause even the slightest inconvenience to motorists.

          • Allan Rosen

            What I have been saying is that you don’t take away a lane of traffic that is going to cause major traffic congestion causing major inconvenience to thousands every day by adding ten minutes to their trips to appease 50 or a hundred cyclists.

            According to your plannng theory if a street sees 100 vehicles and 900 pedestrians within a given time period, the street width should be allocated so that 90% of the street is allocated to a sidewalk and 10% should be devoted to the roadway.

          • Andrew

            What I have been saying is that you don’t take away a lane of traffic that is going to cause major traffic congestion causing major inconvenience to thousands every day by adding ten minutes to their trips to appease 50 or a hundred cyclists.

            We’re still awaiting those traffic analyses that show anywhere near a ten-minute increase in travel times.

            The goal of a bike lane is to improve safety while increasing the connectivity of the city’s overall bike lane network, and the bike lane installations in recent years have generally been successful in both. And you’ve object to reallocating street space for bus lanes and for widened sidewalks, not only for bike lanes.

            According to your plannng theory if a street sees 100 vehicles and 900 pedestrians within a given time period, the street width should be allocated so that 90% of the street is allocated to a sidewalk and 10% should be devoted to the roadway.

            Come on, now, my mouth is already quite full with words you’ve placed in it. Maybe you can stop with the red herrings already?

          • Allan Rosen

            If you are referring to First and Second Avenue, I already explained that the study was incomplete by failing to also measure traffic on parallel avenues which you insist without any data remained unchanged.

            As for Vanderbilt Avenue, data was never presented for the peak hours when there is a severe problem, but only aggregated for the 24 hour period. I also told you that the consultant recommended the removal of those bike lanes because of the congestion they cause, but the city just ignored the recommendation. I have that information first hand from a traffic engineer friend of mine who worked for the consultant, Philippe Habibe.

            And I am not against widened sidewalks where they were justified like along the Fulton Mall. I am also not against bus lanes if there are enough buses to justify them. There certainly are not enough buses on Atlantic Avenue to justify bus lanes.

          • Andrew

            If you are referring to First and Second Avenue, I already explained that the study was incomplete by failing to also measure traffic on parallel avenues which you insist without any data remained unchanged.

            Without any data?! http://www.nyc.gov/html/brt/downloads/pdf/201111_1st2nd_progress_report.pdf – page 21.

            As for Vanderbilt Avenue, data was never presented for the peak hours when there is a severe problem, but only aggregated for the 24 hour period.

            Perhaps, perhaps not – I haven’t seen the data. Would you care to present it for us, or are we just supposed to take you at your word?

            I also told you that the consultant recommended the removal of those bike lanes because of the congestion they cause, but the city just ignored the recommendation. I have that information first hand from a traff ic engin eer friend of mine who worked for the consultant, Philippe Habibe.

            Consultants evaluate scenarios but they don’t set priorities.

            If the overarching priority is to maintain motor-vehicular speed and/or throughput, then perhaps (if your recollection is accurate) the bike lanes should have been removed.

            But maybe, just maybe, that wasn’t the overarching concern. Maybe the city was interested in enhancing bike connectivity and improving safety even if that led to reduced vehicular traffic volumes for a few hours of the day. Or maybe the city was specifically interested in ensuring that cyclists have a safe route along the Vanderbilt Avenue corridor even during periods of motor-vehicular congestion.

            Neither you nor I nor your traffic engineer friend establishes priorities or defines policy for the city.

            And I am not against widened sidewalks where they were justified like along the Fulton Mall. I am also not against bus lanes if there are enough buses to justify them.

            It’s not up to you to determine where sidewalks should be widened or where bus lanes should be installed. Sorry.

            There certainly are not enough buses on Atlantic Avenue to justify bus lanes.

            Not for you to decide. West of 4th Avenue, bus service is quite frequent, and neither you nor I have any idea whether any changes to bus service are under consideration along the rest of the corridor.

          • Allan Rosen

            Yes, without any data regarding traffic on parallel avenues.

            As for Vanderbilt Avenue, with your Internet skills, it should take you about 30 seconds to find the study. I won’t even waste my time looking for it because you will just change the subject anyway and not address the new congestion that this reconfiguration has caused.

            And perhaps the city was just caving into the vocal cyclists and neighborhood activists in the area. The predominant users of the portion of Vanderbilt in question are traveling through the area. They don’t have an origin or destination there. But when policy in this city is decided, it is the residents who have the most power. That’s why so many projects beneficial to the city never see the light of day. It is because of the NIMBYs. These issues are never put to referendum to determine how all those affected feel about it.

          • Allan Rosen

            You first make a statement that I am opposed to widening sidewalks and reducing lanes. So I point out it is not true because I favored the widening of Fulton Street and the exclusive bus lanes there.

            So since you can never admit you are ever wrong, you respond by saying, that it is not my decision to decide where the sidewalks should be widened. Did I say that it was? Stop putting words in my mouth already. Just admit when you are wrong.

            As far as Atlantic Avenue the combined headway of buses is no greater than one every five minutes at its peak hour. But you think it is fine to have a bus lane that is 95% empty so that cars can crawl at 10 to 15 mph. And the likelihood that a new bus route will operate between Washington Avenue and Broadway Junction when the MTA already tried to discontinue the B25 two blocks away, is under 1%.

          • Andrew

            Are you in favor of bus lanes or widened sidewalks where bus traffic or pedestrian traffic is heavy but installation of a bus lane or widening of a sidewalk might potentially slow motor vehicle traffic? Or must bus riders and pedestrians necessarily come second to motorists, picking up the scraps after motorists have consumed everything they might possibly want?

          • Allan Rosen

            It depends on how frequent the bus service is. On Utica Avenue where it soon will go into effect, it may make sense. If it results in extreme traffic congestion, then it would not be a good idea.

          • Andrew

            Even if it allows bus riders, who constitute a majority or even a significant minority of the people traveling along that street, to bypass that congestion?

          • Andrew

            Yes, without any data regarding traffic on parallel avenues.

            The data that I have shown you (dozens of time) clearly indicates that traffic volumes on First and Second have not significantly changed. If there was no diversion of traffic off of the two avenues in question, then of what relevance are parallel avenues?

            As for Vanderbilt Avenue, with your Internet skills, it should take you about 30 seconds to find the study. I won’t even waste my time looking for it because you will just change the subject anyway and not address the new congestion that this reconfiguration has caused.

            In other words, you don’t have anything to back up your claim.

            And perhaps the cit y was ju st caving into the vocal cyclists and neighborhood activists in the area. The predominant users of the portion of Vanderbilt in question are traveling through the area. They don’t have an origin or destination there. But when policy in this city is decided, it is the residents who have the most power. That’s why so many projects beneficial to the city never see the light of day. It is because of the NIMBYs. These issues are never put to referendum to determine how all those affected feel about it.

            Now it’s all starting to make sense. Everybody who lives in a non-peripheral neighborhood should simply understand that their streets are high-speed traffic sewers designed large volumes of motorists across the city as quickly as possible. If they ask for the ability to walk or cycle safely, they’re obviously being selfish, especially if their request conflicts in any way with the ultimate goal of high-speed movement of high volumes of motor traffic. You, on the other hand, are not being selfish in the slightest!

          • Allan Rosen

            Without doing traffic counts on parallel avenues, you have no idea how much traffic was diverted and I’ve made that point dozens of times also.

            As far as Vanderbilt, I meant exactly what I said. The study is on the DOT website and there are only 24 hour counts to hide the fact that there is greatly increased congestion during the peak hours.

            All I said is when any proposal is made that effects more than one neighborhood, there should be a public hearing where all those affected can be heard. Decisions should not be made by only hearing from the people in the neighborhood where the change is taking place. That is the fair way to do things.

          • Andrew

            Without doing traffic counts on parallel avenues, you have no idea how much traffic was diverted and I’ve made that point dozens of times also.

            If traffic volumes on First Avenue and Second Avenue have remained the same, then any additional traffic that’s appeared elsewhere has not come from First Avenue or Second Avenue.

            As far as Vanderbilt, I meant exactly what I said. The study is on the DOT website and there are only 24 hour counts to hide the fact that there is greatly increased congestion during the peak hours.

            I asked for the peak hour data, when you are claiming that there’s a “severe problem.” Where can I find that peak hour data?

            All I said is when any proposal is made that effects more than one neighborhood, there should be a public hearing where all those affected can be heard. Decisions should not be made by only hearing from the people in the neighborhood where the change is taking place. That is the fair way to do things.

            Actually, you didn’t say anything of the sort!

            One public meeting is perfectly adequate for a change like this. Residents of other neighborhoods aren’t turned away – if you would like to advocate against this sort of change by arguing that your desire to speed through somebody else’s neighborhood is more important than the neighborhood’s desire for safe streets, be my guest.

          • Allan Rosen

            Who said traffic volumes remained the same on First and Second Avenue? I thought you said it was the speed that didn’t change? With the loss of two lanes, one for the bus and one for bikes, volumes had to have gone done if speeds remained the same unless two lanes were blocked all the time with double parkers on every block and double parking is now zero.

            Ask DOT for the peak hour data on Vanderbilt not me. They are the ones hiding it.

            Public meetings of this sort are only publicized to locals within the neighborhood. Chances are no one else even knew about any meetings.

          • fdtutf

            “Ask DOT for the peak hour data on Vanderbilt not me. They are the ones hiding it.”

            If they’re hiding it, what are your assertions about peak-hour conditions on Vanderbilt based on?

          • Andrew

            Who said traffic volumes remained the same on First and Second Avenue? I thought you said it was the speed that didn’t change?

            It’s right there in the same M15 SBS progress report that I’ve linked to dozens of times, which you apparently haven’t even opened.

            http://www.nyc.gov/html/brt/downloads/pdf/201111_1st2nd_progress_report.pdf

            On page 20: “ATR counts from June 2009 and April 2011 showed little significant change in traffic levels at most intersections. Traffic flow was maintained despite the reduction of moving lanes along many stretches due to better traffic organization, including reducing illegal parking, and providing turn lanes in the bus and bike lane designs.”

            And page 21 has the graphs.

            I’ve pointed this out to you dozens of times. Maybe you can look for a change?

            With the loss of two lanes, one for the bus and one for bikes, volumes had to have gone done if speeds remained the same unless two lanes were blocked all the time with double parkers on every block and double parking is now zero.

            Perhaps you now understand why I suggest that you leave the traffic engineering to traffic engineers? Your intuition is all wrong.

            Ask DOT for the peak hour data on Vanderbilt not me. They are the ones hiding it.

            If you haven’t seen data, then on what basis do you repeatedly insist that there is a “severe problem”?

            Public meetings of this sort are only publicized to locals within the neighborhood. Chances are no one else even knew about any meetings.

            There’s this wonderful thing called the Internet that can help you keep track of events that are going on that might be of interest.

            One easy place to keep an eye on this sort of meeting: the Streetsblog calendar.

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  • Guest

    I would argue that the overwhelming majority of fatalities and hit-and-runs are not typically happening when someone is obeying the speed limit (30 MPH). If we can agree on that then we have to realize that lowering the speed limit would not help bring down the occurrence of such travesties.

    As with many other arguments for beefing up this or that law, the argument is invalid until you can prove that the law currently on the books doesn’t provide enough boundaries to safeguard everyone.

    The problem with vehicular or other types of law abuse is the lack of enforcement of existing rules. If Vision Zero comes back and says we ticketed/arrested/deterred all behavior outside of current guidelines and it’s still not enough, only then can they come to us and say the law needs to be changed.

    • Allan Rosen

      Agreed. DOT just announced that they intend to lower the speed on 25 major arterials to 25 mph. There will be far reaching impacts if it is enforced and obeyed. If streets become too congested so that cars alter their routes, the won’t even get an accurate accident count on these routes.

      The number of accidents may be lightly lowered on the routes they will measure, but it will increase on the streets where traffic will be diverted to. But they will never reveal all the numbers, but leave you with a false impression that the program is working.

  • Supporter of Left Handed Rule

    I don’t think Allan Rosen and FDTUF should use this as their personal electronic fiefdom. At last count there are 431 comments in this thread. That is not a discussion but a compulsion.

    • fdtutf

      I don’t think either of us is using this as a “personal electronic fiefdom.” I’m not even sure how one would go about doing that. Anyone is free to (1) comment on this thread, or (2) not read this thread.

      • Allan Rosen

        i may not answer more comments in this thread. It is getting too difficult and slow on my computer and on my IPad.

        • Supporter of Left handed rule

          I don’t think Alan Rose nor fdtuft should use this forum as their personal debating forum. At last count there are over 433 comments, mainly from the two of them. Not only do they crowd out all the other readers who are interested in the topic but they belabor semantics, definitions and factoids. Then they quibble about what each other said or meant to say. If I ruled this domain i would have to ban them in order to save the site. Sorry boys, but it is time for some tough love.

          • fdtutf

            How in the world are we “crowd[ing] out” anybody else? I don’t see that we are. Again, anybody is free to comment (or to ignore this thread, should they so choose).

          • Kriston Lewis

            The sheer length of this makes it difficult for someone to join or follow it. That and the continuous back and forth is bad forum etiquette, this is basically a personal discussion. At this point, it’s clear that there will be nothing but disagreement between you guys, but it really shouldn’t take 500+ repetitive comments to make that evident.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            Not to mention that comments on other articles are pushed off the link list quickly.

          • Kriston Lewis

            No reason to ban them, just purge the comment thread perhaps.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      It’s reached 500 now. And it’s been going on continuously for close to a month. That might be a record for this blog.

      • Kriston Lewis

        And this is between three or four people, and nobody seems to be saying anything different as the discussion goes on.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          Every argument for or against a given point has been made repeatedly.

          It might be interesting a panel discussion about this subject could be set up with the participants in this marathon. I’m sure that people with strong convictions on both sides will want to hear this sort of thing. Perhaps as a public reaching effort Vision Zero can sponsor it. IT is right that both sides of the argument be heard.

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