Source: DHFixAtlantic / Twitter

Source: DHFixAtlantic / Twitter

THE COMMUTE: On Page 11 of the Vision Zero plan, the city has proposed lowering the speed limit on 25 city arterial roads to 25 MPH. This has already begun. Now the New York State Senate and Assembly are considering legislation that would lower the default speed limit on all New York City streets from 30 to 25 MPH, and further allow the city to lower the speed on “designated highways” to 20 MPH if the city has determined that the implementation of “traffic calming” measures is not feasible. (Currently 20 MPH is only allowed in conjunction with traffic calming and within a quarter mile of a school.) The city now wants the right to lower the speed limit to 20 MPH on any street. Tell your state legislators they should vote against this proposed law. Don’t complain if it is passed.

The bills are State Senate Bill SO6496 and Assembly Bill A08478. The changed portion of the law is in uppercase (which the state calls “italics”).

“…AND EXCEPT THAT IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK THE SPEED LIMIT APPLICABLE THROUGHOUT SUCH CITY MAY BE ESTABLISHED AT NOT LESS THAN TWENTY-FIVE MILES PER HOUR.

“…AND EXCEPT THAT WITHIN THE CITY OF NEW YORK SPEED LIMITS MAY BE ESTABLISHED AT NOT LESS THAN TWENTY MILES PER HOUR ON OR ALONG DESIGNATED HIGHWAYS WITHIN SUCH CITY IF SUCH CITY HAS DETERMINED THAT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF TRAFFIC CALMING MEASURES AS SUCH TERM IS DEFINED IN SECTION SIXTEEN HUNDRED FORTY-TWO OF THIS TITLE IS NOT FEASIBLE ON SUCH HIGHWAYS.”

The term “traffic calming” is defined, but there is no definition for “designated highway,” which means the city can determine that any street is a designated highway and can have a speed limit of 20 MPH. There is no mention of street width as was the case in last years’ proposed city legislation, which provided some protection against a 20 MPH speed limit on wide streets. That protection has been eliminated from the proposed state legislation.

“Traffic calming measures” is defined as “any physical engineering measure or measures that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behavior and improve conditions for non-motorized street users such as pedestrians and bicyclists.”

This definition is poor. Who is to say what the “negative effects of motor vehicle use” are? If a narrowing of the roadway increases traffic congestion and air pollution, does that not increase “negative effects of motor vehicle usage?” If so, then so-called traffic calming measures may not even fit the definition of traffic calming.

So if so-called traffic calming measures enacted by the city may not reduce the “negative effects” of automobile usage, why should we believe that lowering the speed limit to 20 or 25 MPH on virtually all streets, which this law gives the city the right to do, will accomplish anything positive?

The rationale for lowering the default speed limit is that pedestrian injuries and deaths will be fewer if the speed limit is reduced. However, that is only true if motor vehicles adhere to the new limits. Experience has shown that when speed limits are unrealistically low, no one abides by them.

Twenty and 25 MPH is ridiculously low for all but very narrow residential streets under optimal driving conditions. All this law will accomplish, if passed, is to allow the city to give summonses to anyone doing 31 MPH where the limit will be 20 MPH, and 36 MPH where the speed limit is 25 MPH, once cameras are installed everywhere. This law will be nothing more than a revenue bonanza for the city.

Anyone currently doing 50 or 60 MPH on city streets will continue to drive that fast and kill people. People will continue to drive at the speeds they drive now until cameras are installed. When drivers learn of the cameras’ locations, they will just slow down at that point as if they were speed bumps. Also, more pedestrian accidents occur from vehicles turning at less than 25 MPH than from speeding cars. The lower speed limit will have no affect on those accidents. Thirty miles per hour is the correct speed limit for most streets and the law should not be changed. Tell your state legislator.

The Need For Better Bus Service

Last Wednesday, the MTA held a public hearing regarding several proposed bus routes in three boroughs. Brooklyn was not one of them. I spoke on the need for better bus routes in Staten Island as a favor to a friend. Here is a portion of my testimony without most of the specific Staten Island references.

“…Although my experience has been primarily in Brooklyn, I am somewhat familiar with Staten Island bus routes…Bus route changes have never kept up with land use changes and population shifts within the entire city. Band-aid approaches (with one exception, the southwest Brooklyn bus route changes in 1978) have always been the MTA approach and the New York City Transit Authority approach before them, to modernize bus routes. A few comprehensive studies were undertaken, but in most cases they only resulted in minimal changes such as the Staten Island Transit Sufficiency Study of 1981, or no changes at all.

“An example of the types of problems that exist in Staten Island are populated areas that are not adequately served because the walk to the bus (well over one-half mile) is far greater than even the most lenient interpretation of your service planning guidelines allow. To make matters worse, once on the bus travel is often indirect. For example, (some riders must first make a trip of several miles northbound, then retrace their steps by taking (another bus) the same distance southbound in order to reach places like Bay Ridge in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, (other routes) are underutilized and severely outdated because they no longer fill the purpose for which they were originally intended and better alternatives now exist. A far better routing would be…to transform the S66 into a direct east-west route that would facilitate transfers and ease trip making by making them more direct.

“These ideas are not mine, but have already been proposed to you by various community groups and individuals. However, you have chosen to ignore long-standing bus routing problems that have existed for well over 50 years. Instead you are of the erroneous belief that the bus system functions reasonably well today and the only needs that exist can be solved with the addition of a few shuttle routes in developing neighborhoods.

“The majority of Staten Island bus riders are seniors and school students, because they have no other alternative. Providing a system that is efficient and effective not only helps the economy by increasing the search area for potential job seekers, it is also better for your bottom line…I urge you to adequately evaluate their proposals, rather than dismissing them solely for budgetary reasons. You must address not only the issue of increased operating costs, but also the potential for additional ridership to determine the true costs, which you have not been doing. Evaluating current needs based solely on existing traffic counts like you have been doing is just irresponsible. Thank you.”

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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  • fdtutf

    “Anyone currently doing 50 or 60 MPH on city streets will continue to drive that fast and kill people. People will continue to drive at the speeds they drive now until cameras are installed.”

    But you’re opposed to that as well, right?

    “When drivers learn of the cameras’ locations, they will just slow down at that point as if they were speed bumps.”

    Right, but speed bumps can be effective at keeping overall speeds low because of the time it takes to slow down and then accelerate again. The same applies to cameras.

    “Also, more pedestrian accidents occur from vehicles turning at less than 25 MPH than from speeding cars.”

    1. What’s your source for this?
    2. Even assuming it’s true, a speeding car has to slow down to turn (generally, unless the driver is really intoxicated or the equivalent), but the speeding car hasn’t had sufficient time to assess the situation at the intersection before turning. If the car was moving slower as it approached the intersection, it would be better able to perceive pedestrians passing through the intersection and avoid them.
    3. This obviously doesn’t apply to the majority of accidents in which pedestrians are killed or severely injured, as those outcomes are much less likely at speeds under 25 mph.

    “The lower speed limit will have no affect on those accidents. Thirty miles per hour is the correct speed limit for most streets and the law should not be changed. Tell your state legislator.”

    How did you go about determining that 30 mph was “the correct speed limit for most streets”?

    • Allan Rosen

      As a driver for over forty years with an excellent safety record, I think I know by now what a safe speed is.

      Speed bumps are effective on the block where they are applied. In order for cameras to be just as effective we would need a camera on every single block. Is that what you want? Probably. The fact is unless that happens, people will continue to drive at the speeds they drive now. There are old work zone signs on the Gowanus from two years ago when the work was completed for drivers to slow down to 30 mph. Fifty is the average speed limit there because drivers know the speed limit makes absolutely no sense there. Not a single driver does 30 mph. It doesn’t matter what the speed limits if no one abides by it and they won’t listen to a ridiculously low speed limit. And of course I am against someone doing 60 mph on a local street.

      • fdtutf

        “As a driver for over forty years with an excellent safety record, I think I know by now what a safe speed is.”

        As I’ve said before: Humans are notoriously poor at judging risk.

        “Speed bumps are effective on the block where they are applied. In order for cameras to be just as effective we would need a camera on every single block. Is that what you want? Probably. The fact is unless that happens, people will continue to drive at the speeds they drive now. … And of course I am against someone doing 60 mph on a local street.”

        And yet you don’t seem to be willing to support any measures that would prevent them from doing so.

        • Allan Rosen

          We have police who could do much more to enforce distinguish traffic laws. Instead they focus on parking tickets which are enforced by traffic enforcement agents anyway.

          And where is your source tat shows hand are “notoriously poor at judging risks.” Are animals any better in judging risks?

          • fdtutf

            How are you going to get the police to start enforcing traffic laws effectively? Particularly considering that the great majority of them are motorists themselves (privately and on the job) and tend to sympathize with other motorists?

            As for humans being poor at assessing risk:

            https://www.schneier.com/essay-162.html

            http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/03/14/why-were-awful-at-assessing-risk.aspx

            Additionally, I should add that motorists are generally reasonably competent, at least by human standards, at assessing risk TO THEMSELVES. It’s in assessing the risks their behavior poses to other road users that they tend to do poorly. Whether this is a cognitive deficiency or simple selfishness is left as a question for the reader.

            In the sphere of activity in which they can be effective, animals tend to be faced with much less complex risks than we are, and they’re using essentially the same mechanisms we are for reacting to risk, so yes, they’re generally more effective. (Most of the more complex risks that animals face are human-caused and are not within the power of the animals to influence in any way.)

          • Andrew

            Yet when there’s a widely announced two-day crackdown on a few particularly dangerous driving behaviors, you strenuously object.

            Apparently you don’t want enforcement of speeding laws or of red light laws or of yield-to-pedestrian laws or of distracted driving laws or of parking laws. I somehow get the sense that you don’t want enforcement of any driving laws at all.

            Yet you insist that you’re a safe driver. Guess what: safe drivers don’t make a habit of breaking speeding laws and red light laws and yield-to-pedestrian laws and distracted driving laws and parking laws, and safe drivers don’t object to enforcement of speeding laws and red light laws and yield-to-pedestrian laws and distracted driving laws and parking laws.

          • Allan Rosen

            I warned you to stop making up stuff just force me to reply. This is your final warning. Next time I will ask Ned to ban you permanently from this site. I never objected to a two-day crackdown. Clicking on the link you will see that what I objected to was that it was ONLY a two day crackdown. I stated after the two days, they forget about it until the next crackdown, may be in a few more years. What I would prefer to see is continual enforcement not two day crackdowns. The rest of what you say is just a bunch of lies to besmirch my reputation. I want more enforcement, not less of it as you claim. I just don’t agree with you about cameras. I have better things to do with my time than continually fight with you. Apparently up have nothing better to do with your time. If you don’t behave, this may be your last comment here. When you ask intelligent questions I don’t mind, but defending myself against your lies (like saying I advocated breaking red light laws and parking laws, distracted driving laws and held to pedestrian laws) is going too far. I never advocated breaking red

          • Allan Rosen

            I never once advocated breaking red light laws, parking laws, distracted driving laws, or yield to pedestrian laws. In fact I have advocated the opposite. Enforcement of those laws. So quit lying.

          • fdtutf

            How then would you make enforcement happen? The police have amply demonstrated their unwillingness to enforce the traffic laws against motorists. As he’s explained before, that’s the main reason Andrew advocates cameras. Given that you’re opposed to cameras, what would you do to make enforcement happen? Because wishing won’t make it so.

          • Allan Rosen

            Vision Zero advocates greater enforcement with or without cameras. The part I didn’t see was better and more thorough investigation of crashes.

          • fdtutf

            Better and more thorough investigation of crashes is a great idea. Do you have any ideas about how to make that happen?

          • Allan Rosen

            We have a police chief, don’t we? He could establish an oversight committee to review the investigations to determine if any further investigations need to be done and then order further reviews if he determines the initial investigation wasn’t complete or done properly.

          • fdtutf

            Is the police chief going to do that for every single crash that happens in the city? I kind of doubt it…and yet that’s what’s actually needed.

          • Allan Rosen

            There actually still is something called an accident. Not everyone is preventable. I would think that some accidents are pretty self explanatory. Perhaps, only in cases of death and severe injuries, should a review committee be obliged to take a second look at the findings. Not every accident results in death and severe injuries.

          • Andrew

            There is something called an accident, but a significant majority of crashes are the result of negligent driving behavior.

            Hint: If the means of investigation is merely to ask the motorist what happened, you’re going to get the impression that motorists never do anything wrong.

          • Allan Rosen

            Never said the means of investigation was only to ask the motorist what happened. For example, if he said the brakes failed, then the car must be tested. Does that happen now or do they take the motorist’s word? I doubt that they take the motorists’s word. If they do, they are being negligent.

          • fdtutf

            They take the motorist’s word, they are being negligent, and they don’t give a flying f**k. How would you fix that?

          • fdtutf

            “I would think that some accidents are pretty self explanatory. Perhaps, only in cases of death and severe injuries, should a review committee be obliged to take a second look at the findings. Not every accident results in death and severe injuries.”

            Even those are going to be way, way more than the chief of police, or an oversight committee, can reasonably cope with and still do a thorough job of investigating.

            Also, if that were feasible, how effective would it be in preventing crashes from happening in the first place? I think enforcement really is the way to go there.

          • Andrew

            Vision Zero advocates greater enforcement with or without cameras. The part I didn’t see was better and more thorough investigation of crashes.

            Then perhaps you didn’t look. Better investigations is in the Vision Zero Action Plan that you linked to.

            Funny how, when fdtutf asked about enforcement, you changed the subject to investigations. How about getting back to the topic of enforcement? Because waiting until after people die isn’t going to get us to Vision Zero – there needs to be law enforcement before we get that far.

          • Allan Rosen

            When I discussed better investigations, I was responding to you not to Fdtuff, so I didn’t change any subject. Vision Zero is an impossible goal unless you do away with motor vehicles. You actually think it is possible to get there? I was and still in favor of better and more enforcement. Just without cameras and it is possible. If you imply one more time that I am not in favor of more enforcement, that’s it for you.

          • Andrew

            When I discussed better investigations, I was responding to you not to Fdtuff, so I didn’t change any subject.

            Not true. This comment of yours -

            Vision Zero advocates greater enforcement with or without cameras. The part I didn’t see was better and more thorough investigation of crashes.

            - was in direct response to this comment of fdtutf’s -

            How then would you make enforcement happen? The police have amply demonstrated their unwillingness to enforce the traffic laws against motorists. As he’s explained before, that’s the main reason Andrew advocates cameras. Given that you’re opposed to cameras, what would you do to make enforcement happen? Because wishing won’t make it so.

            He asked about enforcement, and you changed the subject to investigations. Investigations are of course important, but enforcement can’t be brushed off.

            Vision Zero is an impossible goal unless you do away with motor vehicles. You actually think it is possible to get there?

            I’m certainly not going to declare it a failure quite so soon. I certainly don’t consider the status quo anywhere near acceptable, and the components of the Vision Zero program will undoubtedly get us closer to the goal even if not all the way there.

            I was and still in favor of better and more enforcement. Just without cameras and it is possible.

            Still waiting for those details.

            If you imply one more time that I am not in favor of more enforcement, that’s it for you.

            Ooooh, another ultimatum! Boy, am I quaking in my boots!

          • Allan Rosen

            I didn’t change any subject. He asked about enforcement and I responded about enforcement. Then I added a comment about investigations. If you want to know how the city wants to step up enforcement, ask de Blasio, not me. Vision Zero is his program not mine. As long as one person dies Vision Zero is a failure. That’s not to say we can’t make some improvements. All you want to do is argue over nothing.

          • fdtutf

            Except you responded with a throwaway comment about Vision Zero that wasn’t responsive to my question, and then interjected something tangential about investigations. I’m still waiting for your answer to my question: How would you make enforcement happen?

          • Allan Rosen

            I said its up to the police commissioner. But why do you ask me? You should be asking that question of Mayor de Blasio. Vision Zero is his plan, not mine.

          • fdtutf

            That’s hand-waving. As I said earlier, wishing won’t make it so. You really don’t have any ideas on how to get the police to actually enforce the traffic laws consistently, not just for occasional sweeps?

          • Andrew

            I said its up to the police commissioner. But why do you ask me? You should be asking that question of Mayor de Blasio. Vision Zero is his plan, not mine.

            Traffic enforcement cameras are a core component of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan. You didn’t like that idea. We’re waiting for you to propose a realistic alternative.

          • Allan Rosen

            Cameras are not the only means of enforcement. A Memorial Day Weekend crackdown was announced for speeders, cell phone drivers, not giving pedestrians te right of way, etc. There will be others.

          • Andrew

            Cameras are not the only means of enforcement. A Memorial Day Weekend crackdown was announced for speeders, cell phone drivers, not giving pedestrians te right of way, etc. There will be others.

            Occasional crackdowns won’t cut it. There needs to be consistent enforcement, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

            The level of enforcement seen in the recent crackdowns, while an improvement over the usual level, is still woefully inadequate, and it only kicks in a few days per year. Not good enough.

          • Allan Rosen

            I agree that we need more than occasional crackdowns. We can still have better enforcement without cameras.

          • fdtutf

            “We can still have better enforcement without cameras.”
            We’re still waiting for you to explain how that would work. It currently isn’t working, so if you don’t have a plan for making it work, why should we believe you when you say it’s possible?

          • Andrew

            We’re still waiting for you to explain how that would work. It currently isn’t working, so if you don’t have a plan for making it work, why should we believe you when you say it’s possible?

            His plan is to ask Mayor de Blasio. And when Mayor de Blasio answers with enforcement cameras, his plan is to go back to ignoring the question.

          • Andrew

            If you want to know how the city wants to step up enforcement, ask de Blasio, not me.

            No need to ask him personally; he’s already indicated how the city wants to step up enforcement in the Vision Zero Action Plan (page 18):

            Automated enforcement, including the deployment of speed cameras and red light cameras, will play a key role in New York City’s Vision Zero goals. As New York’s Red Light Camera program has proven, strong traffic enforcement can not only catch current offenders but deter future ones. Since the program’s inception in 1988, the City’s 190 Red Light Cameras have issued over 4 million violations. Intersections where red light cameras were installed saw a 20% decline in all injuries, a 31% decrease in pedestrian injuries, and a 25% decrease in serious injuries in the three years after installation. The cameras have also deterred bad behavior–the number of violations issued declined by 22% from 2010 to 2011.

            In Washington D.C., at intersections where speed cameras are in use, the number of crashes and injuries has gone down by 20%. In 2013, New York State lawmakers approved the introduction of speed-radar cameras at 20 locations near schools. In establishing the program and alerting New Yorkers to its presence in late 2013, the DOT issued 17,000 warnings to speeders at six camera locations. Mayor de Blasio launched the enforcement phase of the program on January 15th, 2014–issuance of $50 speeding summonses is now ongoing at speed camera locations. These programs must be expanded. The City will advocate for legislation in Albany that will allow New York City to dramatically expand its red light and speed camera programs.

            But you objected to this approach. I already know the city’s approach. I’m asking for your alternative approach, one to which you would not object.

            As long as one person dies Vision Zero is a failure.

            I’m sorry? Where did you see that?

          • Allan Rosen

            My approach is a greater emphasis on moving violations and less on parking tickets. Illegal parking oes not reult in death. Reckless driving does. But the priority is revenue not safety. More revenue can be raised by ticketing illegal parkers.

            What do you think Vision Zero means? It means zero fatalities. If one person is killed, Vision Zero did not succeed.

          • Andrew

            My approach is a greater emphasis on moving violations and less on parking tickets. Illegal parking oes not reult in death. Reckless driving does. But the priority is revenue not safety. More revenue can be raised by ticketing illegal parkers.

            Great news, then! Speeding, running red lights, and failing to yield are moving violations. I’m in favor of consistent enforcement of those moving violations, citywide, 24/7, so that drivers know that if they choose to speed or choose to run red lights or choose to not yield to a pedestrian, there is a very good chance that they will get a ticket. Are you on board with that?

            What do you think Vision Zero means? It means zero fatalities. If one person is killed, Vision Zero did not succeed.

            What do you think Vision means?

          • Allan Rosen

            Yes. I already said I was on board with that. “Vision” means visualize, i.e. we imagine a time with zero fatalities. That will only happen if we ban all types of traffic everywhere. Remember, Even when had only horses and buggies, we still had fatalities.

          • Andrew

            The ultimate vision is for zero pedestrian fatalities. It’s an ambitious goal, and a partial success is not a failure. I’d be thrilled to see a partial success. You, on the other hand, apparently believe that, if we can’t get all the way to zero pedestrian fatalities, there’s no room for any improvement at all.

          • Allan Rosen

            Never said that. You are putting words in my mouth again.

          • fdtutf

            Then what is your motive in harping on the (inaccurate) point that any pedestrian deaths at all mean that Vision Zero is a failure?

          • Allan Rosen

            If your goal is zero anything and you still have some, then you haven’t succeeded, have you?

          • fdtutf

            You’re avoiding the question.

            Andrew said to you: “You, on the other hand, apparently believe that, if we can’t get all the way to zero pedestrian fatalities, there’s no room for any improvement at all.”

            When you denied this, I asked: “Then what is your motive in harping on the (inaccurate) point that any pedestrian deaths at all mean that Vision Zero is a failure?”
            The only way you can answer my question is to say *why* you are harping on this. Harping on it again isn’t an answer.

          • Allan Rosen

            I am not avoiding anything. I definitely answered the question by asking you if your goal is zero, and you haven’t reached it, then you have failed haven’t you? You are the one who is avoiding answering not me. Andrew asked if there is room for improvement. I never denied that there wasn’t room for improvement. I merely stated that the goal is unrealistic and never can be reached. I never said why are you harping on this? Show me where I used the word “harping.”

          • fdtutf

            I asked about your motive for repeatedly trying to assert that if there are any pedestrian fatalities, then that means Vision Zero has failed. I didn’t ask you to repeat it again. But that’s all you did.

            If Vision Zero substantially reduces the number of pedestrian fatalities to a low number that is still greater than zero, it will most certainly not be a failure by any reasonable measure.

          • Andrew

            If your goal is a perfect score on an exam, but you get a 90 or an 80 or even a 70, did you fail the exam?

            There’s nothing wrong with setting an ambitious goal of zero fatalities even if we only make it partway there. And I don’t believe that zero fatalities is even a formal goal; if it is, I can’t find it stated anywhere. It’s a direction. It’s a vision.

          • Allan Rosen

            No you didn’t fail the exam, but you certainly failed in reaching your goal. De Blasio says he can reach that goal in ten years, not eight. Ten years is conveniently two years after his term ends. That way he can show he was on his way to reaching his goal. If it doesn’t appen, he can always claim te next mayor screwed up. How convenient.

          • fdtutf

            Politician acts like politician.

            In other breaking news, the sky is blue and water is wet.

          • Andrew

            I warned you to stop making up stuff just force me to reply. This is your final warning. Next time I will ask Ned to ban you permanently from this site. I never objected to a two-day crackdown.

            Ooooh, an ultimatum! I love ultimatums! If you feel the need to ban me for calling you out, then please don’t let me stop you.

            Clicking on the link you will see that what I objected to was that it was ONLY a two day crackdown. I stated after the two days, they forget about it until the next crackdown, may be in a few more years. What I would prefer to see is continual enforcement not two day crackdowns.

            No, that’s a different comment of yours. The comment I linked to (from May 13 at 12:34 pm) is this one:

            If the pedestrian is on the sidewalk or just left it and the street is wide enough that you can clear the intersection before he even gets near your car, you are not blocking his right if way. But I doubt if the police will interpret it that way. If they are assigned to give tickets for that purpose, they will just try to issue as many as they possibly can.

            That is the problem with the way summonses are issued. Revenue is always the objective not solving the problem. The police are just as or more likely to give tickets for double parking when traffic is not at all impacted as when it severely limits traffic flow and causes major congestion.

            In this comment, you are not objecting to the duration of a brief crackdown – you are objecting to enforcement of yield-to-pedestrian laws in any form (and possibly to all other types of enforcement, depending on the interpretation of your second paragraph).

            The rest of what you say is just a bunch of lies to besmirch my reputation.

            You don’t need my help with that, I’m afraid.

            I want more enforcement, not less of it as you claim. I just don’t agree with you about cameras.

            That’s what you claim. Yet when the enforcement actually happens, you object!

            Do you object to this? I’d prefer that level of enforcement every day, but two days is still better than nothing.

            I have better things to do with my time than continually fight with you.

            Is somebody forcing you to post?

            Apparently up have nothing better to do with your time.

            You write quite a bit more than I do here.

            If you don’ t behave, this may be your last comment here.

            Ooooooh, I’m scared!

            When you ask intelligent questions I don’t mind, but defending myself against your lies (like saying I advocated breaking red light laws and parking laws, distracted driving laws and held to pedestrian laws) is going too far.

            You object in this very article to enforcement of the speed limit even with a 10 mph buffer! “All this law will accomplish, if passed, is to allow the city to give summonses to anyone doing 31 MPH where the limit will be 20 MPH, and 36 MPH where the speed limit is 25 MPH, once cameras are installed everywhere.”

            And last July, you responded to my question about yielding to pedestrians with this gem: “Not all laws can be followed all the time.”

            I could go on, but I have better things to do with my time. If you actually believe that drivers should obey traffic laws, then you have a lot of clarifications to make.

          • Allan Rosen

            I definitely don’t feel the need for calling me out because that is not what you are doing. You continually distort what I say or else outright lie about what I said, like I do not want any enforcement which is just untrue.

            How does the link you cite that I wrote show that I am against a two-day crackdown? It doesn’t, and you admit it in your comment. So why even reference it? What I was objecting to is that police may give summonses for blocking the right of way when in fact they are blocking no one. And I fully stand by that comment. Many times someone has not quite reached the intersection when I am approaching and making a right turn. Am I not supposed to make that turn if it can be completed by the time they reach the intersection? I fully believe that turn should be allowed as any turn that can be completed before the pedestrian is anywhere near your car. If a street is six lanes wide and a pedestrian just stepped off the curb at the opposite side and I can complete my turn when the pedestrian is still four or five lanes away, it makes no sense for me to block traffic and wait 15 seconds for the pedestrian to reach me when my turn can be completed in five seconds and the pedestrian is not delayed and does not have to wait for me. To me that is not interfering with their right of way. I would hope that the law interprets it the same way.

            “Yet when the enforcement actually happens, you object!” OUTRIGHT LIE! And that is the last time you will ever say that. Just try it once more.

            Regarding the speed limits, what I object to is if you have a 30 mph limit, that means that going 35 is safe. Now if you lower that limit to 20 mph as many want to do, you could get a summons for going 31 mph, which is still safe. If the speed limit is 25 mph, then you could get a summons for going 36 mph or one mile above a safe speed limit. And I am no talking about a continual speed of 36, but an average speed of 30 that may on occasion reach 36 mph.

            And regarding my comment “Not all laws can be followed all the time,” I wasn’t only referring to traffic laws but many other laws many do not realize are on the books. If you are a homeowner, the law requires you to keep your gutter clean at all times 18 inches from the curb or you can get a summons. Can anyone adhere to that law? People have to go to work and cannot be responsible if leaves or other debris blows onto their property, yet they are technically breaking the law if it is not clean. Also, any bus driver who uses a bathroom in a public playground is breaking the law since he is not being accompanied by a child and is liable for $100 fine which was given to several men teaching some children how to play chess several years ago.

            Also, have you never jaywalked? And as far as traffic, yes, at very busy intersections where pedestrians are constantly crossing the street on the green and the red signal, the only way to make a turn is to force yourself. Your other alternative is to just remain in the same place for ten minutes. You obviously have never been in such a situation, so you can’t imagine it. Yes, laws should be obeyed when they can be obeyed. That doesn’t mean that sometimes laws cannot be obeyed. If the road is blocked due to a utility repair, how do you not go around the double solid yellow line which is illegal?

          • Andrew

            I definitely don’t feel the need for calling me out because that is not what you are doing. You continually distort what I say or else outright lie about what I said, like I do not want any enforcement which is just untrue.

            I’m sorry, Allan, your language makes it amply clear that you are opposed to all forms of traffic enforcement. If that’s not what you’re trying to say, then I suggest you choose your words more carefully.

            How does the link you cite that I wrote show that I am against a two-day crackdown? It doesn’t, and you admit it in your comment. So why even reference it?

            I do?!

            What I was objecting to is that police may give summonses for blocking the right of way when in fact they are blocking no one. And I fully stand by that comment. Many times someone has not quit e reached the intersection when I am approaching and making a right turn. Am I not supposed to make that turn if it can be completed by the time they reach the intersection?

            And you raised that objection with no actual reason to believe that the police are enforcing it that way. You object to the enforcement just in case it’s done wrong.

            As long as you do not impede the intended progress of the pedestrian in any way, then you haven’t done anything wrong, and I see no reason to assume that the police were ticketing anybody for legal turns. Yet that was your assumption!

            “Yet when the enforcement actually happens, you object!” OUTRIGHT LIE! And that is the last time you will ever say that. Just try it once more.

            No lie. For a change there was enforcement for two days, and you objected (just in case it wasn’t being done right).

            Regarding the speed limits, what I object to is if you have a 30 mph limit, that means that going 35 is safe.

            It most certainly does not, nor are you qualified to determine the safe speed. RIPTA42 (who is qualified) has already demonstrated that even 30 mph is not a safe speed at two arbitrarily selected intersections on Atlantic Avenue, which recently had its speed limit reduced to 25 mph.

            And not only are you not qualified to determine the safe speed for drivers, the goal here is to make the streets safe for pedestrians!

            Now if you lower that limit to 20 mph as many want to do, you could get a summons for going 31 mph, which is still safe. If the speed limit is 25 mph, then you could get a summons for going 36 mph or one mile above a safe speed limit. And I am no talking about a continual speed of 36, but an average speed of 30 that may on occasion reach 36 mph.

            You’ll have to forgive me, but I trust Polly Trottenberg’s assessment of the safe speed (for pedestrians) over Allan Rosen’s. If the speed limit is 25, there is certainly nothing wrong with penalizing drivers who insist on driving at 36.

            And regarding my comment “Not all laws can be followed all the time,” I wasn’t only referring to traffic laws but many other laws many do not realize are on the books.

            You were responding directly to a question of mine about yielding to pedestrians while turning. Don’t change the subject.

            If you are a homeowner, the law requires you to keep your gutter clean at all times 18 inches from the curb or you can get a summons. Can anyone adhere to that law? People have to go to work and cannot be responsible if leaves or other debris blows onto their property, yet they are technically breaking the law if it is not clean. Also, any bus driver who uses a bathroom in a public playground is breaking the law since he is not being accompanied by a child and is liable for $100 fine which was given to several men teaching some children how to play chess several years ago.

            What do any of these examples have to do with driving in a way that maintains pedestrian safety?

            Also, have you never jaywalked?

            Of course I’ve jaywalked. Jaywalkers don’t endanger other people’s lives through selfishness. (In fact, it is safer to cross against the light or midblock, if it’s clear that no traffic is approaching, than to wait for the light and hope that turning traffic will yield.)

            And as far as traffic, yes, at very busy intersections where pedestrians are constantly crossing the street on the green and the red signal, the only way to make a turn is to force yourself. Your other alternative is to just remain in the same place for ten minutes. You obviously have never been in such a situation, so you can’t imagine it. Yes, laws should be obeyed when they can be obeyed. That doesn’t mean that sometimes laws cannot be obeyed. If the road is blocked due to a utility repair, how do you not go around the double solid yellow line which is illegal?

            THERE WE GO. Thank you. You just quite explicitly declared that it’s perfectly okay for motorists to fail to yield to pedestrians. I will keep this handy for the next time you brand me a liar.

            By the way, the alternative is not to “just remain in the same place for ten minutes.” The alternative is to pull the front of your car into the intersection and wait for the pedestrian flow to stop, which will at worst happen when the light changes, and then perhaps remember to try to avoid making that turn in the future. (Believe me, I’ve been in that situation many times – it’s one of the reasons I made the conscious decision to give up the car.)

            What you propose is blatantly illegal, and I would be quite pleased to see you get a ticket for doing it.

            What you propose is also dangerous. Anyone who kills or seriously injures a pedestrian in this fashion should land in jail.

            It is a behavior which should not be tolerated. At all.

          • Allan Rosen

            I have been quite clear on my language regarding enforcement. We need more of it. But we should do it without cameras. I can’t help it if you either misread, misinterpret, or deliberately change what I am saying.

            “I do?!”

            What is that supposed to mean?

            “You object to the enforcement just in case it’s done wrong.”

            No, I never objected in case it’s done wrong. I was only raising a concern because the emphasis is always on money, not on solving problems.When recycling enforcement began, the sanitation commissioner promised agents would use discretion and not give summonses for finding one bottle in the general trash because someone could have passed by and thrown it in. Yet, that was exactly what happened. People were given summonses for a single piece of trash and worse yet, some summonses were made up altogether. Yet no one ever lost their job because of it.

            “What do any of these examples (homeowner and playground laws) have to do with driving in a way that maintains pedestrian safety?”

            You criticized me for saying “Not all laws can be followed all the time,” as if I was advocating everyone shouldn’t follow any laws. I was merely giving you some examples.

            “It most certainly does not, nor are you qualified to determine the safe speed.” (35 being safe when the limit is 30.) The posted speed limit is not the upper most safe speed. It is assumed when deciding the speed limit that a certain percentage of drivers will exceed that limit. That’s why the speed limit is lower than what is actually safe. RIPTA42, said that himself. And Agate Court, the only dead end street meeting Atlantic Avenue wasn’t exactly an arbitrary location. And for all we know, there hasn’t even been a accident at that corner, so we do not know that 30 is unsafe as you are so sure it is.

            “I trust Polly Trottenberg” First of all, she is not making the decisions. Her “engineers” are. I put engineers in quotes because not all DOT engineers are even engineers. A former co-worker of mine is a so-called engineer. When I said to him, that he doesn’t even have an engineering degree, he responded that it is only an office title.

            I asked you if you have ever jaywalked since you try to paint me as someone who disregards laws and has no respect for them and is against all enforcement. I just wanted to show everyone that you don’t follow every law either. So don’t criticize me when I state that it is impossible to follow every law all the time.

            “THERE WE GO. Thank you. You just quite explicitly declared that it’s perfectly okay for motorists to fail to yield to pedestrians.”

            That is not at all what I was saying. You should give pedestrians the right of way. However, there are circumstances when pedestrians are crossing the street for your entire green cycle, and you have to force your way through just as the light is turning yellow or red or else make the turn when you see a small break in the pedestrian flow. That was what I meant when I said “force yourself”. I was not saying that you have to cut someone off.

            What am I proposing that you call “dangerous” and “should not be tolerated”? The alternative is to remain in the same place until the next green cycle and the exact same thing will happen if you don’t make the turn on the yellow or after it turns red once you are in the intersection.

            The same is true regarding blocking the box. Sometimes you have to enter the intersection knowing you will stick out into the crosswalk for a few seconds until traffic starts moving. If you wait until the next signal, turning cars fill up all available queue space, and you are in the same position again. It’s easy to talk how things should work, but if you haven’t been in those situations, and you obviously haven’t because you rarely drive, you wouldn’t know.

          • fdtutf

            “I have been quite clear on my language regarding enforcement. We need more of it. But we should do it without cameras.”

            HOW? HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW? Details, please. The current method, in which cameras are used only to a very minimal extent, isn’t working, and that’s evident from the fact that the cameras issue considerably more tickets than the police do, even though the cameras are covering much less of the city.

          • Allan Rosen

            I told you to ask de Blasio, not me. It’s the police commissioner who determines the priorities of the police.

          • fdtutf

            You claim to want enforcement, but you are opposed to the use of traffic cameras in a situation where the police are not currently doing effective enforcement of the traffic laws. I think that makes it fair to ask *you* how we can effectively enforce the traffic laws without cameras.

          • Allan Rosen

            Assign more police to enforce moving violations rather than parking violations. Why should any police officer even bother to write a parking ticket when we have an entire force of traffic enforcement agents for that purpose. Assigning more agents to help move traffic at problem intersections is also a good idea, but thy don’t generate revenue for the city, although try help mae things safer.

          • fdtutf

            Is the existing force of traffic enforcement agents sufficient to cope with the level of parking violations? I don’t know; I’m asking.

            If it is, I would be inclined to agree with you. The question remains, however: What would you do to change the attitudes of police officers that lead them to unquestioningly accept the word of motorists and not do proper investigations? Until you change those attitudes, it won’t matter how many police officers you have “enforcing” the traffic laws.

          • Allan Rosen

            It depends on what you consider sufficient enforcement. From what I see, traffic enforcement agents patrol commercial areas about once every half hour. That seems pretty excessive to me. On residential streets, they make one pass when alternate side restrictions at in effect, and maybe once or twice more within a 24 hour period. That I don’t think is excessive.

            As far as the police and investigations. I think the problem is that many police are just lazy unless they are responding to an emergency. They want to do the least amount of work possible. A detailed investigation means more paperwork and they hate paperwork. They get the same pay if they do a proper investigation and if they don’t. They need to be given more incentives for doing proper investigations or there shoud be is incentives if they don’t. I don’t think it has anything to do with favoring motorists because they are all drivers.

          • fdtutf

            “From what I see, traffic enforcement agents patrol commercial areas about once every half hour. That seems pretty excessive to me.”

            Why do you consider that excessive? In commercial areas, it’s important to ensure regular turnover of parking spaces; most businesses don’t want or need their customers to linger for the entire day — they want a steady stream of new customers.

            ” I think the problem is that many police are just lazy unless they are responding to an emergency. They want to do the least amount of work possible. A detailed investigation means more paperwork and they hate paperwork. They get the same pay if they do a proper investigation and if they don’t. They need to be given more incentives for doing proper investigations or there shoud be is incentives if they don’t.”

            I think you’re right about that being a factor, but I think it’s also true that the police generally have a windshield perspective — they drive, so they assume everybody else drives (or should), and they don’t really get the perspectives of people who don’t drive. Otherwise, it’s hard to explain their behavior in cases where a pedestrian or cyclist is injured and the police are fully prepared to accept the word of the motorist as to what happened, not even considering that the pedestrian or cyclist might have a different perspective on the incident.

          • Andrew

            Assign more police to enforce moving violations rather than parking violations.

            How many police officers did you have in mind, exactly?

            Remember that, between January and March, each of the city’s five speed cameras issued 85 speeding tickets per day, while the entire NYPD aside from the Transportation Bureau (which primarily patrols the highways, where pedestrian safety isn’t an issue) issued 111 speeding tickets per day.

            The city’s current plan is to install 160 speed cameras. In order to reach that same level of enforcement without cameras, the number of police officers assigned to speed limit enforcement would have to be increased by a factor of ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-TWO!

            So somehow I don’t think your plan is feasible.

            And when a police officer sees a motorist speeding, how does he issue a ticket? Chances are, he chases the speeding car and pulls it over. So instead of one speeding car, now we have two. Are you sure this is a good idea?

            Assigning more agents to help move traffic at problem intersections is also a good idea, but thy don’t generate revenue for the city, although try help mae things safer.

            Safer? I lost count a long time ago of how many traffic agents have directed motorists to drive right into a platoon of pedestrians crossing in the crosswalk with the light.

          • Allan Rosen

            Interesting that you oppose any measure such as traffic agents to move traffic through intersections. I have never seen a traffic agent ignore the needs of pedestrians. I guess what you favor is all cars standing still in gridlock as happened last evening whie I was attempting to get home from Clinton Hill. The traffic was just as bad or worse tan the worst midtown Manhattan traffic. I wanted to make a left from Gates onto Washington at about 5:25 PM which proved impossible because Washington Avenue traffic going south was at a total standstill. Why? Because of all the diverted traffic from Vanderbilt due to the bike lanes and mall in the center of the street. So I was forced to use Vanderbilt. I waited through three signal cycles in the left turn lane at Atlantic Avenue to make that left turn from 5:27 to 5:32 PM. If I went straight, I am not sure where the next left turn was permitted, perhaps at Fourth or Third Avenue. The only way to make that left turn was to block te intersection which all cars did blocking eastbound Atlantic Avenue traffic. Crossing Vanderbilt was extremely dangerous as a pedestrian. Two women tried but were forced back onto the sidewalk. Several drivers actually waved them back to the sidewalk because it was that dangerous. Five minutes later at 5:37 I traveled one more block to Pacific Street. I made a left there to Underhill. Had I stayed on Vanderbilt, it would have taken another 15 minutes to Grand Army Plaza. That’s a total of 25 minutes for what used to be a 5 to 7 minute trip during the rush hour before te road was narrowed to one lane.

            I would go back and shoot a video just to show you how bad the situation has become because of the road narrowing but you would only dismiss it as a one time occurrence because of an accident or other unusual traffic incident. That is not the case. It is like this everyday. Go there one time at 5:30 and witness it for yourself. It is traffic chaos and gridlock that is unsafe for vehicles as well as pedestrians. And you label it as “traffic calming” and sonething that is desirable.

          • Allan Rosen

            PS. I can only imagine what this has done to the B69 bus route. Passengers must be waiting 45 minutes to an hour for it. And you can’t even blame the MTA for that. There is nothing they can do about a situation where traffic does not move at all and there are no alternatives to reroute the bus. The B45 must be suffering as well because of the extra traffic on Washington.

          • RIPTA42

            You can’t “only image”; you can measure the actual performance using BusTime. #369 just left Sands & Pearl two minutes ago; let’s see what happens.

          • Allan Rosen

            I will check it out.

          • Allan Rosen

            I checked out right after you suggested it last night between 5:30 and 7:30PM. There were two southbound gaps in service, one of 34 minutes and one of 55 minutes. Vanderbilt was backed up between Park Avenue and Atlantic Avenue in the southbound direction. Bus travel time was ten minutes over scheduled travel time. However, it was not too bad between Atlantic and Grand Army Plaza, possibly because it was a Friday and many left early for the weekend. I will check it again during the week.

          • Andrew

            You can’t “only image”; you can measure the actual performance using BusTime. #369 just left Sands & Pearl two minutes ago; let’s see what happens.

            He could even use the open BusTime data feed to run a true analysis with actual data.

            But why would he do that? Only charlatans need to rely on data. Real bus planners rely on idle speculation!

          • Allan Rosen

            That’s exactly what I did. I used the BusTime data and the above is what I found. The buses are significantly delayed, just as I suspected.

            How do you access the data feed?

          • Andrew

            That’s exactly what I did. I used the BusTime data and the above is what I found.

            I don’t see any data.

            The buses are significantly delayed, just as I suspected.

            Over how many days’ worth of data? More significantly delayed than prior to the bike lane’s installation? More significantly delayed than other bus lines, and in particular than other bus lines that encounter similarly heavy traffic?

            How do you access the data feed?

            Look under the “Developers” link.

          • Allan Rosen

            Just as I expected. You dismiss my data as an anecdote. How many days data does DOT provide when they share data? They didn’t even provide hourly counts. Just 24 hour data, yet you believed that was quite adequate. I don’t. You would never criticize DOT or the MTA for providing inadequate data. Don’t worry. I will get you more. But why do I get the impression that no matter how much data I provide, it will never be enough?

          • fdtutf

            Nobody can dismiss “your data” (it’s really the MTA’s data, free for anyone to use) without seeing it. Would you care to share the data with anyone else?

          • Allan Rosen

            So are we now playing the semantics game? Anyway some of the data is at the end of the June 2nd article to be published today.

          • fdtutf

            No, we’re not “playing the semantics game.” We’re interested in seeing the data you looked at.

            The specifics you provided in today’s column were helpful in this regard. However, that’s a pretty small sample, considering that you’re claiming that there is a chronic problem.

          • Allan Rosen

            I intend to gather more regarding the buses when I have the time. I will stay off Vanderbilt with my car however.

          • Andrew

            I will stay off Vanderbilt with my car however.

            That’s a relief. Thank you.

          • Allan Rosen

            There is no Developers Link on the BusTime home page to receive data feeds. I did a search and it said after May 14, 2014, data feeds will only be available to developers who have applied to the MTA using a registration form and have been approved.

          • Andrew

            Just as I expected. You dismiss my data as an anecdote.

            I didn’t see any data.

            How many days data does DOT provide when they share data?

            The plural of anecdote is not data.

            As I asked yesterday: “Over how many days’ worth of data? More significantly delayed than prior to the bike lane’s installation? More significantly delayed than other bus lines, and in particular than other bus lines that encounter similarly heavy traffic?”

          • fdtutf

            What?!?

            Andrew said: “I lost count a long time ago of how many traffic agents have directed motorists to drive right into a platoon of pedestrians crossing in the crosswalk with the light.”

            You responded: “Interesting that you oppose any measure such as traffic agents to move traffic through intersections.”

            Where did Andrew say that?

          • Allan Rosen

            How do you interpret his comment then? It doesn’t sound like an endorsement of traffic agents to me saying they direct motorists to drive into platoons of pedestrians?

          • fdtutf

            Here’s another reasonable interpretation of his comment: “While traffic agents are a good idea in principle, my experience has been that they all too frequently direct motorists to enter a stream of pedestrian traffic that has the right of way.”

            Obviously Andrew didn’t say the first part of what I wrote, but neither did he say the opposite. Yet you imputed that to him.

          • Allan Rosen

            I have never seen agents direct cars into a swarm of pedestrians.

          • Andrew

            I have never seen agents direct cars into a swarm of pedestrians.

            No surprise that you’ve never noticed. It happened to me yesterday, while I and about a dozen other pedestrians were crossing the street with the light in the crosswalk.

          • Allan Rosen

            So I guess they feel it is necessary to keep the traffic moving. What a disgrace! Your only priority is for the pedestrians. Apparently the city has other priorities. Also, if the cars are following the direction of the agents, then they are not breaking the law by not giving the pedestrians the right of way.

            I feel so sorry for you that you were delayed by ten seconds so the cars could go first to keep traffic moving. That is such a huge delay for a pedestrian. But if it takes a car ten minutes to travel two blocks because of the bike lane you support on Vanderbilt Avenue, that isn’t at all significant in your opinion because only cars are affected, not pedestrians. You have never made your bias toward pedestrians so clear, and I thank you.

          • fdtutf

            Since the law requires motorists to yield to pedestrians, directing them to drive into a stream of crossing pedestrians is directing them to break the law. Is that appropriate conduct for traffic agents?

            “You have never made your bias toward pedestrians so clear, and I thank you.”

            You have made your bias toward motorists amply clear in innumerable articles and comments, and we thank you.

          • RIPTA42

            From my own experience, the direction of traffic agents does not supersede the law. I was waved into the intersection of Atlantic and Fourth Avenue by a traffic agent who then gave me a ticket for blocking the box.

          • Allan Rosen

            That was clearly an error. You should have informed the traffic agent who gave you the summons or fought it in court. Any traffic prohibition such as not going through a red signal, is superseded by the direction of a “police officer” or a flagman. Since traffic enforcement agents are now under the police department, they carry the same force as a police officer when it comes to traffic matters. I imagine any judge would agree. It makes no sense for anyone to be penalized by following an official direction.

          • RIPTA42

            I did all of the above. In the end, I was the one in the intersection on a red.

          • Andrew

            So I guess they feel it is necessary to keep the traffic moving.

            Keep the traffic moving through a dozen pedestrians? How exactly does that work, physically?

            Also, if the cars are following the direction of the agents, then they are not breaking the law by not giving the pedestrians the right of way.

            I never claimed that the driver would have been breaking the law had he obeyed the traffic agent’s directive to run over a dozen pedestrians. (Fortunately, he had enough sense to disobey her directive.)

            I feel so sorry for you that you were delayed by ten seconds so the cars could go first to keep traffic moving.

            I’m sorry? Delayed by ten seconds? Where did I say that I was delayed by ten seconds?

            What I said is that a traffic agent directed traffic into a dozen pedestrians who were crossing the street with the light.

            We were crossing a one-way street, with traffic approaching from the right. A car was approaching, and it appeared that the driver was preparing to stop for the red light. What we did not realize was that a traffic agent was standing in the middle of the intersection, to our left (where we had no reason to look!), waving him through the intersection exactly as we were crossing. Fortunately, the driver had more sense than the traffic agent (or you), and he stopped to let us finish crossing, in defiance of her directive.

            That is such a huge delay for a pedestrian. But if it takes a car ten minutes to travel two blocks because of the bike lane you support on Van derbilt Avenue, that isn’t at all significant in your opinion because only cars are affected, not pedestrians. You have never made your bias toward pedestrians so clear, and I thank you.

            If by “bias toward pedestrians” means that I don’t think it’s advisable for a traffic agent to attempt to clear a (real or imagined) traffic jam by directing drivers to run over pedestrians, then I suppose I’m biased toward pedestrians. Are you happy now?

          • Andrew

            Interesting that you oppose any measure such as traffic agents to move traffic through intersections.

            I do?!

            I sometimes question whether they accomplish anything productive. I sometimes question whether they endanger pedestrians. And I often question whether they’re the best use of limited resources.

            But I’m certainly not opposed to them in principle.

            I have never seen a traffic agent ignore the needs of pedestrians.

            Figures. It’s not like you’ve ever seen anybody else, yourself included, ignore the needs of pedestrians either.

            I guess what you favor is all cars standing still in gridlock as happened last evening whie I was attempting to get home from Clinton Hill.

            Oh my goodness! You encountered a traffic jam. How terrible!

            The traffic was just as bad or worse tan the worst midtown Manhattan traffic. I wanted to make a left from Gates onto Washington at about 5:25 PM which proved impossible because Washington Avenue traffic going south was at a total standstill. Why? Because of all the diverted traffic from Vanderbilt due to the bike lanes and mall in the center of the street. So I was forced to use Vanderbilt. I waited through three signal cycles in the left turn lane at Atlantic Aven ue to ma ke that left turn from 5:27 to 5:32 PM. If I went straight, I am not sure where the next left turn was permitted, perhaps at Fourth or Third Avenue.

            That’s so sad!

            The only way to make that left turn was to block te intersection which all cars did blocking eastbound Atlantic Avenue traffic.

            Of course! Surely it wasn’t the drivers illegally blocking the box who were themselves responsible for the gridlock. No, it was clearly somebody else’s fault!

            Crossing Vanderbilt was extremely dangerous as a pedestrian. Two women tried but were forced back onto the sidewalk. Several drivers actually waved them back to the sidewalk because it was that dangerous.

            THANK GOODNESS! After all, it’s not like it was the drivers illegally failing to yield who were endangering the pedestrians. Pedestrians should know better than to selfishly cross the street during rush hours – it’s so inconsiderate to the important people in cars!

            Five minutes later at 5:37 I traveled one more block to Pacific Street. I made a left there to Underhill. Had I stayed on Vanderbilt, it would have taken another 15 minutes to Grand Army Plaza. That’s a total of 25 minutes for what used to be a 5 to 7 minute trip during the rush hour before te road was narrowed to one lane.

            I feel so sorry for you!

            I would go back and shoot a video just to show you how bad the situation has become because of the road narrowing but you would only dismiss it as a one time occurrence because of an accident or other unusual traffic incident. That is not the case. It is like this everyday. Go there one time at 5:30 and witness it for yourself. It is traffic chaos and gridlock that is unsafe for vehicles as well as pedestrians. And you label it as “traffic calming” and sonething that is desirable.

            You’re absolutely right! The motorists who blocked the box and failed to yield to pedestrians certainly didn’t do anything wrong – they were forced into it. The city should repent immediately and recognize that its primary mission, above all else, is to maximize the movement of motor vehicles!

          • Allan Rosen

            Anyone with half a brain would see how your answers are totally ridiculous. I should have known better than expect to to admit the city made a mistake with the bike lane. of course you wouldn’t feel sorry for a motorist who got trapped in the no win situation I described. Didn’t I just say that it was impossible not to block the box? If anyone on Atlantic or Vanderbilt decided not to block the box and wait until there was space on the other side of the intersection, he would be staying in the same place for 15 or 30 minutes because every time the light turned red, all space was filled either by cars from Vanderilt or Atlantic, so every time the light turned green, there was space for perhaps only one car on the other side of the intersection. That means one car advances every one minute. So if there are 20 cars waiting, that would be 20 minutes to cross one intersection at every signal change. That means absolutely nothing to you. The only ones you feel sorry for are the pedestrians. I feel sorry for everyone. That’s what sets us apart.

          • Allan Rosen

            You could at least feel sorry for the B69 bus riders who have to wait 55 minutes for a bus because of this traffic nightmare. (See tonorrow’s article.)

            You asked me for data regarding what I have been saying about the mess these bike lanes have caused during the rush hours, and when I provide it to you, you just dismiss it in your usual sarcastic tone.

          • Andrew

            You could at least feel sorry for the B69 bus riders who have to wait 55 minutes for a bus because of this traffic nightmare.

            Pardon my silly question, but haven’t you already penned a number of pieces complaining about unreliable bus service on streets that don’t have bike lanes? So why would you attribute this particular case to a bike lane?

            (See tonorrow’s article.)

            Oooooh, I can’t wait!

            You asked me for data regarding what I have been saying about the mess these bike lanes have caused during the rush hours, and when I provide it to you, you just dismiss it in your usual sarcastic tone.

            You provided an anecdote. I asked for data. Not the same thing.

          • Allan Rosen

            Because prior to the bike lane there was no back up on Vanderbilt Avenue during rush hours. It was the alternative to the clogged Flatbush Avenue. It took only three to seven minutes between Atlantic and Grand Army Plaza. Now it takes ten minutes only for two blocks.

          • Andrew

            Because prior to the bike lane there was no back up on Vanderbilt Avenue during rush hours.

            Having been stuck in that backup long prior to the bike lane, I beg to differ.

          • Andrew

            Anyone with half a brain would see how your answers are totally ridiculous.

            So it seems. Fortunately, some of us have entire brains rather than half-brains.

            Didn’t I just say that it was impossible not to block the box?

            Yes, that’s what you said. Do you realize that blocking the box is precisely what causes gridlock?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gridlock.svg

            The only ones you feel sorry for are the pedestrians. I feel sorry for everyone. That’s what sets us apart.

            But there’s no one you feel sorrier for than the poor, suffering motorists who have absolutely no choice but to use a residential street as a shortcut, to block the box, and to threaten pedestrians’ lives at crosswalks. (Surely one couldn’t blame the motorists themselves for creating congestion and violating the law!)

            The one bit I don’t understand is that, if you dislike driving on Vanderbilt Avenue so much, why do you use it as a shortcut rather than staying on the BQE?

          • Allan Rosen

            What blocking the box did was delay traffic on Atlantic Avenue. It did not cause gridlock. There wasn’t any gridlock because Atlantic Avenue traffic was moving fine at the former 30 mph speed limit. What blocking the box did was to permit a higher volume of cars move on Vanderbilt Avenue than would have been otherwise possible. As I stated if everyone followed the traffic laws and did not block the box, which not a single driver did follow, it would have meant that the long queue of cars of at least 30 cars would have ad to wait 30 minutes to cross Atlantic Avenue since space only freed up on the far side of the intersection for one car after each signal change to green. However, about six cars were able to force their way onto the intersection, blocking it, for about ten seconds, after each signal change. Still it took multiple signal changes for each car to cross.

            And if you even bothered to read what I wrote above, I stated tat I have been avoiding Vanderbilt Avenue, but had no choice since the parallel Washington Avenue was at a standstill because of diverted traffic from Vanderbilt, and it was not possible to make a left from Gates onto it. My other choices woud have been to drive to Third Avenue. I do not believe left tur

          • Allan Rosen

            left turns are allowed before that point.

          • Andrew

            What blocking the box did was delay traffic on Atlantic Avenue. It did not cause gridlock. There wasn’t any gridlock because Atlantic Avenue traffic was moving fine at the former 30 mph speed limit. What blocking the box did was to permit a higher volume of cars move on Vanderbilt Avenue than would have been otherwise possible. As I stated if everyone followed the traffic laws and did not block the box, which not a single driver did follow, it would have meant that the long queue of cars of at least 30 cars would have ad to wait 30 minutes to cross Atlantic Avenue since space only freed up on the far side of the intersection for one car after each signal change to green. However, about six cars were able to force their way onto the intersection, blocking it, for about ten seco nds, after each signal change. Still it took multiple signal changes for each car to cross.

            Nice try at justifying your selfish and illegal driving behavior.

            And if you even bothered to read what I wrote above, I stated tat I have been avoiding Vanderbilt Avenue, but had no choice since the parallel Washington Avenue was at a standstill because of diverted traffic from Vanderbilt, and it was not possible to make a left from Gates onto it. My other choices woud have been to drive to Third Avenue. I do not believe left tur

            Your other choice would have been to stay on the BQE rather than to cut through a series of residential neighborhoods where you apparently find yourself physically incapable of driving in a manner that preserves the local residents’ right to cross the street in safety.

          • fdtutf

            “Didn’t I just say that it was impossible not to block the box?”

            Who was holding that gun?

            “I feel sorry for everyone. That’s what sets us apart.”

            Is that why you spend so much time on here bitching about inattentive pedestrians — because you feel sorry for everyone? Is that why you oppose efforts to keep pedestrians safer — because you feel sorry for everyone? If so, please don’t ever feel sorry for me (not that you would); I’ve got enough problems in my life already.

          • Allan Rosen

            Believe what you want to believe. I just stated the facts. If no one blocked the intersection, it would have taken 30 minutes to cross Atlantic on Vanderbilt. Parallel streets were no better. Washington Avenue also was at a complete standstill. None of the other streets that were moving cross Atlantic Avenue. Your only other choice was to travel miles out of your way. That is who was holding the gun. Motorists did the only practical thing possible.

            And as far as feeling sorry for pedestrians, that is also true. That is why when I saw a potentially dangerous situation for pedestrians, i Immediately notified DOT. Don’t forget I am a pedestrian too. I also don’t like it when drivers won’t give me the right of way when crossing.

          • Andrew

            I have been quite clear on my language regarding enforcement. We need more of it. But we should do it without cameras. I can’t help it if you either misread, misinterpret, or deliberately change what I am saying.

            Yet you have repeatedly refused to explain how your non-camera enforcement could possibly yield anywhere close to the number of tickets required to make a difference. And when the NYPD announced a two-day crackdown on failure to yield, you immediately criticized the effort.

            Yes, your language has been quite clear.

            “You object to the enforcement just in case it’s done wrong.” No, I never objected in case it’s done wrong. I was only raising a concern because the emphasis is always on money, not on solving problems.

            How on earth do you know what the emphasis was in this case? (And what difference does it even make? Enforcement of driving laws is enforcement of driving laws.

            When recycling enforcement began, the sanitation commissioner promised agents would use discretion and not give summonses for finding one bottle in the general trash because someone could have passed by and thrown it in. Yet, that was exactly what happened. People were given summonses for a single piece of trash and worse yet, some summonses were made up altogether. Yet no one ever lost their job because of it.

            I’m not sure what any of this has to do with enforcement of driving laws.

            “What do any of these examples (homeowner and playground laws) have to do with driving in a way that maintains pedestrian safety?”

            You criticized me for saying “Not all laws can be followed all the time,” as if I was advocating everyone shouldn’t follow any laws. I was merely giving you some examples.

            I criticized you for saying “Not all laws can be followed all the time” in response to a question about yielding to pedestrians.

            “It most certainly does not, nor are you qualified to determine the safe speed.” (35 being safe when the lim it is 30.) The posted speed limit is not the upper most safe speed. It is assumed when deciding the speed limit that a certain percentage of drivers will exceed that limit. That’s why the speed limit is lower than what is actually safe. RIPTA42, said that himself. And Agate Court, the only dead end street meeting Atlantic Avenue wasn’t exactly an arbitrary location. And for all we know, there hasn’t even been a accident at that corner, so we do not know that 30 is unsafe as you are so sure it is.

            In his own words: “I didn’t bring up ‘one block streets.’ I picked two examples to illustrate sight distance constraints where the building line is at the back of sidewalk. One was dead end Agate Court, the other was mile long Waverley Avenue. It’s the same case at St. James Place, Howard Avenue, Sackman Street, and plenty of other long streets.” Why you keep insisting that this has anything to do with dead end streets is beyond me.

            “I trust Polly Trottenberg” First of all, she is not making the decisions. Her “engineers” are. I put engineers in quotes because not all DOT engineers are even engineers. A former co-worker of mine is a so-called engineer. When I said to him, that he doesn’t even have an enginee ring degree, he responded that it is only an office title.

            Thanks for quoting only four words of my sentence. Here’s the full sentence: “You’ll have to forgive me, but I trust Polly Trottenberg’s assessment of the safe speed (for pedestrians) over Allan Rosen’s.” And I stand by that. Polly Trottenberg has real traffic engineers on her staff. You do not.

            I asked you if you have ever jaywalked since you try to paint me as someone who disregards laws and has no respect for them and is against all enforcement. I just wanted to show everyone that you don’t follow every law either. So don’t criticize me when I state that it is impossible to follow every law all the time.

            It is not impossible to yield to pedestrians. It is not impossible to abide by the speed limit. That you don’t want to obey driving laws that serve to protect pedestrians doesn’t make it impossible.

            “THERE WE GO. Thank you. You just quite explicitly declared that it’s perfectly okay for motorists to fail to yield to pedestrians.”
            That is not at all what I was saying. You should give pedestrians the right of way. However, there are circumstances when pedestrians are crossing the street for your entire green cycle, and you have to force your way through just as the light is turning yellow or red or else make the turn when you see a small break in the pedestrian flow. That was what I meant when I said “force yourself”. I was not saying that you have to cut someone off.

            Yes, I understand quite well that you believe that drivers should yield to pedestrians except when they find it inconvenient to do so. It is beliefs like this that make enforcement necessary, so that drivers like you will eventually learn that it’s not worth threatening a pedestrian’s life in order to save a few minutes.

            So I understand quite well why you’re opposed to serious traffic enforcement.

            What am I proposing that you call “dangerous” and “should not be tolerated”? The alternative is to remain in the same place until the next green cycle and the exact same thing will ha ppen if you don’t make the turn on the yellow or after it turns red once you are in the intersection.
            The same is true regarding blocking the box. Sometimes you have to enter the intersection knowing you will stick out into the crosswalk for a few seconds until traffic starts moving. If you wait until the next signal, turning cars fill up all available queue space, and you are in the same position again. It’s easy to talk how things should work, but if you haven’t been in those situations, and you obviously haven’t because you rarely drive, you wouldn’t know.

            No, the alternative is to pull the front of your car into the intersection and wait for the pedestrian flow to stop (when the light changes, if not sooner) and then make your turn. I’ve done it hundreds of not thousands of times.

            Nice to see that, in addition to failing to yield to pedestrians, you also contribute to gridlock. For all of your whining about congestion, you’re responsible for a piece of it yourself. Congratulations.

          • Allan Rosen

            I already responded to each of your concerns and refuted them. I am not going to let this evolve into another 500 comment thread as you continually distort my statements, and I have to keep reiterating my points. The fact is DOT engineers are not all engineers and. Are not all experts. They make plenty of mistakes. Just yesterday I encountered a sign that said “Work Zone in 1/2 Mile”. Two hundred feet later was another sign, “Work Zone Ends.”. That is why so any motorists have gotten used to just ignoring all signs, and that is dangerous.

          • gary

            Most speeding tickets issued in Brooklyn thanks to Allan the enabler. How many accidents, like the one near Kings Plaza need to happen for someone like Allan to shut up. If a mother with children was standing by the intersection at KP, just perish that thoght. I wish that Allan had gone shopping that day and that the speeding car that crashed had run into him, then he would finally shut up.

      • you-know-nothing-Allen-Rosen

        You almost killed a cyclist in your blind spot and proudly boasted that you were in the right despite many people citing all the traffic laws you were ignoring. That’s neither good judgement nor an excellent safety record. Jesus man, recognize you’re own delusion.

        • sonicboy678

          Go back and read what you wrote. You just destroyed your own argument.

        • Allan Rosen

          Two people, not many people. It was the cyclist who was ignoring all the laws, not me and I won’t be discussing this again.

      • RIPTA42

        So your issue isn’t with work zone speed limits, it’s with timely removal of temporary signs.

        • Allan Rosen

          Actually it’s both. The work zone limits seem to have no rhyme or reason. You will see one at 35 on the Belt and another a mile away for 40. Why the discrepancy? It’s the same road with the same narrow lanes. On the Gowanus it’s 30, I assume because there was a lane shift two years ago because the law shift signs also never were removed. What’s artiuarly annoying is that a cop can still ticket you and give you points for violating the work zone limits when work was completed two years ago!

          • 8asdj

            While I agree with work zone sign removal, 35 and 40 isn’t as arbitrary as you might think. You may think its the same road with the same narrow lanes but you’re not taking grade and curve into account, which affects visibility. In standard conditions it might not be a great effect but may be significant enough for a limit change depending on where an obstruction/work being done is located.

          • Allan Rosen

            The two areas were almost the same. There were no grade issues. In fact the 40 mph area was curvier than the 35 area. And the 40 area is also where the lights have been out for three years. You are assuming too much logic.

          • Andrew

            Perhaps the construction workers were better protected from possible collisions at the 40 mph location than at the 35 mph location.

            You seem to assume that all speed limits are in place to protect the driver from himself. In fact, many speed limits are in place to protect other people from driver error.

          • Allan Rosen

            You pretend to know it all. Once the area was set up, there were no construction workers around for months. If what you say is true, then the limit could have been raised from 35 to 40, once the construction workers left the area since they were working on building the new roadway, not whete the road was narrowed. You just love to argue. Don’t you?

          • Andrew

            No, I don’t “pretend to know it all.” On the contrary, I understand that there may be reasons not immediately apparent to the passing motorist why different work zones might have different speed limits.

          • Allan Rosen

            You are assuming too much logic. I also suppose there is a valid reason not readily apparent to motorists for work zone signs and speed limits to remain in place for two years after work has been completed.

      • sammy davis jr jr

        Sorry, but your experience as a driver does not make you an expert on road safety. These are your opinions, not facts based on research.

        • Allan Rosen

          I never claimed to be an expert on road safety, but neither is Andrew, Fdtuff, or yourself. We are all offerring just our opinions.

          • Andrew

            You’re doing a lot more than offering your opinions. You’ve advocated that there’s nothing wrong with speeding. The innocent reader might draw the mistaken impression that your assertion is based on actual facts. Responsible opinions (especially where lives are at stake) are based on facts, so sammy davis jr jr is right to point out that your opinions aren’t.
            I see that you conveniently omitted RIPTA42 from your list. He appears to be somewhat of an expert on road safety. Perhaps you should heed his advice.

          • Allan Rosen

            I have never blanketly advocated speeding. Quit twisting what I say. In fact I’ve often advocated against excessive speeding. What I stated is that a speed limit is not a magic number tat if you go one mile over it, you are being dangerous.

            In fact, as your expert RIPTA42 agrees with that thes peed limit is set a certain amount below what is considered a safe speed. That means it is perfectly safe to travel a little more than the speed limit which is all I have ever said. When the speed limit is set too low like on Queens Blvd main roadway where it still should be 35 mph, 40 is perfectly safe.

            That means if the limit is lowered to 25, 40 will still be safe. Even if it is lowered to 20, 40 would still be safe. Now you will turn that around to say that I advocate going twice the speed limit on all streets, meaning I approve of going 60 when the limit is 30.

          • Andrew

            I have never blanketly advocated speeding. Quit twisting what I say.

            Sure you have. You do so right here! “Speeding” is defined as driving in excess of the speed limit, not as driving in excess of some buffer above what Allan Rosen believes to be the safe speed.

            In fact I’ve often advocated against excessive speeding.

            You don’t get to decide what’s considered excessive. Sorry.

            What I stated is that a speed limit is not a magic number tat if you go one mile over it, you are being dangerous.

            Agreed. There are many locations where driving at the posted speed limit is already unsafe. That is why

            Note that by “unsafe” I don’t necessarily mean that motorists are at risk of bumping into other motorists. I might mean that pedestrians are at risk of being bumped into – and severely injured or killed – by motorists.

            In fact, as your expert RIPTA42 agrees with that thes peed limit is set a certain amount below what is considered a safe speed. That means it is perfectly safe to travel a little more than the speed limit which is all I have ever said. When the speed limit is set too low like on Queens Blvd main roadway where it still shou ld be 35 mph, 40 is perfectly safe.

            “My expert RIPTA42″ demonstrated that the design speed of Atlantic Avenue is 25 mph or lower, because the building line is at the back of the sidewalk, limiting visibility at intersections.

            That means if the limit is lowered to 25, 40 will still be safe. Even if it is lowered to 20, 40 would still be safe. Now you will turn that around to say that I advocate going twice the speed limit on all streets, meaning I approve of going 60 when the limit is 30.

            That would be a silly thing to say. Instead, what I’ll say is that you are advocating driving at 40 mph on a street whose speed limit is less than 40 mph. In other words, you blanketly advocate speeding.

          • Allan Rosen

            I am not going to debate this subject with you anymore because you equate going one mile over the speed limit with going 30 miles over the speed limit. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING. And I am vehemently opposed to flagrant speeding that causes accidents. Whether I believe it is okay to go 5 or 10 miles over the speed limit at times really is irrelevant. And you seem to forget that the speed limit largely depends on road conditions. If a road is in poor shape speed limits are never lowered to reflect that and they should. Also other traffic and weather conditions play a large role in determining what is a safe speed. Yet you make a gigantic deal if someone goes over the speed limit by one mph, calling it a potential danger which it definitely is not. You can’t be slightly pregnant, but you can slightly speed at times without imposing danger. And I will continue to state that. You just continue to turn that around to claim I advocate speeding under all circumstances WHICH IS A BLATANTL LIE.

          • Allan Rosen

            Also, how are pedestrians more at risk to be bumped into or severely injured if a posted speed limit is already unsafe in your opinion? That would only be true if the pedestrian is doing something he shouldn’t be doing in the first place like jaywalking which you admit to do, or crossing mid-block which is also illegal, or being inattentive by not paying attention to the road or perhaps yapping on his cell phone. Yet you believe that motorists must suffer because of illegal actions by pedestrians, or is walking anywhere and at any time a God given right?

          • fdtutf

            “Also, how are pedestrians more at risk to be bumped into or severely injured if a posted speed limit is already unsafe in your opinion?”

            The faster a car is going when it hits a pedestrian, the more severe the pedestrian’s injuries are nearly certain to be and the more likely the pedestrian is to die.

            “That would only be true if the pedestrian is doing something he shouldn’t be doing in the first place like jaywalking which you admit to do, or crossing mid-block which is also illegal, or being inattentive by not paying attention to the road or perhaps yapping on his cell phone.”

            Right, because motorists never run red lights or stop signs and always yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. You really do live in a fantasy world, don’t you?

          • Andrew

            Also, how are pedestrians more at risk to be bumped into or severely injured if a posted speed limit is already unsafe in your opinion?

            First, stopping distances are greater at higher speeds. If a pedestrian steps into the crosswalk ahead of you, you’re more likely to be able to stop for him if you were coming from 25 mph than if you were coming from 35 mph.

            Second, if you don’t manage to stop your car in time, the pedestrian is far more likely to survive if struck at a lower speed than at a higher speed.

            There’s a nice graphic here illustrating both points.

            That would only be true if the pedestrian is doing something he shouldn’t be doing in the first place like jaywalking which you admit to do, or crossing mid-block which is also illegal, or being inattentive by not paying attention to the road or perhaps yapping on his cell phone.

            No, it’s true also if the pedestrian is crossing at a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an unsignalized intersection, where drivers are required to yield. It’s also true if the pedestrian is standing on the sidewalk when the driver “loses control” of the vehicle. It’s also true if the pedestrian misjudges the distance or speed of the approaching vehicle (children, especially, cannot judge the speed of approaching vehicles at over 20-25 mph) and steps into the street to cross.

            It most certainly is not illegal to cross mid-block, except on blocks bounded by signalized intersections at both ends.

            It is also most certainly not illegal for a pedestrian to be “inattentive” or to be “yapping on his cell phone.” Perhaps you’re thinking of drivers.

            You are correct that I prefer to cross mid-block, when I see that no traffic is approaching, than take my chances crossing with the light and possibly being struck by a driver who chooses not to yield to me. That you think it’s OK to speed by 10 mph or to shove your car through a crowd of pedestrians legally crossing with the light but not to cross an empty street mid-block is telling. That you don’t believe a motorist should receive any penalty at all for driving at 35 mph in a 25 mph zone, but a pedestrian who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time should be killed, is telling.

            From this excellent piece in City Journal (I strongly recommend you read the whole thing):

            As a recent analysis of five years’ worth of crashes by the city’s department of transportation concludes, “in 53 percent of pedestrian fatalities . . . dangerous driver choices—such as inattention, speeding, failure to yield—are the main causes of the crash. The pedestrians in these cases were following the law.” Three-year-old Allison Liao’s grandmother was following the law when the SUV killed the little girl. The MTA bus driver who hit and killed 23-year-old Ella Bandes on January 31 “was looking in the mirror to try to avoid a taxi at this complicated, pedestrian-unfriendly intersection,” her father, Kenneth Bandes, told the city council; his daughter wasn’t “texting or talking on her phone,” as some people often assume of crash victims. In another 17 percent of pedestrian deaths, a driver error—often excessive speed—made a pedestrian’s mistake a death sentence.

            Make no mistake: speed is lethal. Someone hit by a car going 20 mph will live, 90 percent of the time; someone hit at 40 mph has only a 30 percent chance of surviving. Speeding distorts the judgment of both driver and potential victim. “Drivers overestimate their own ability to stop” and “underestimate the impact” of a crash, says Rune Elvik, a civil-engineering professor at Denmark’s Aalborg University. Drivers wrongly think that they’ll save a lot of time by speeding on free stretches of otherwise clogged roads (lights or traffic eventually slow them down). And a child crossing the street has difficulty judging a fast-moving vehicle’s distance. A 2010 paper by the University of London’s John P. Wann and colleagues found that “children . . . could not reliably detect a vehicle approaching at speeds higher than approximately 25 mph.”

          • Allan Rosen

            So according to you since it is not illegal for pedestrians to be inattentive or totally oblivious to their surroundings by yapping on their cell phone, like the woman the other day who was waiting 30 seconds while she had the walk signal, then tried to cross just after the light turned red for her, and drivers had to honk to wake her up out of her conversation, all drivers have to be punished by driving at a ridiculous low speed so as not to injure or kill her. Yeah that sounds very fair. Let the pedestrians do whatever they damn well please and just punish those villainous murderous drivers. After all, it is a God given right for pedestrians to walk wherever and whenever they please because the motorist is always wrong. And why bother teach young kids that cars may be going faster than they realize and they shouldn’t cross even when they think they could make it across because the car may not be able to stop in tie for them. Just make everyone go slower so it takes an extra half hour to get across the city each time you need to.

          • fdtutf

            So according to you, since the motorist is always right and motorists’ needs take precedence over everyone else’s safety, motorists have the untrammeled right to continue doing 10 mph over the posted speed limit to save five minutes on their trip, and it doesn’t matter how many people get killed in the process. That’s just the price we have to pay for letting people drive cars.

            See, you’re not the only one who can exaggerate and mischaracterize someone else’s point of view! (Actually, I’m not sure I’m actually doing that. Maybe I should try again.)

          • Andrew

            So according to you since it is not illegal for pedestrians to be inattentive or totally oblivious to their surroundings by yapping on their cell phone, like the woman the other day who was waiting 30 seconds while she had the walk signal, then tried to cross just after the light turned red for her, and drivers had to honk to wake her up out of her conversation, all drivers have to be punished by driving at a ridiculous low speed so as not to injure or kill her. Yeah that sounds very fair. Let the pedestrians do whatever they damn well please and just punish those villainous murderous drivers. After all, it is a God given right for pedestrians to walk wherever and whenever they please because the motorist is always wrong. And why bother teach young kids that cars may b e going faster than they realize and they shouldn’t cross even when they think they could make it across because the car may not be able to stop in tie for them. Just make everyone go slower so it takes an extra half hour to get across the city each time you need to.

            According to me? Pardon?

          • Allan Rosen

            It certainly sounded like that was what you were implying by stating it is not illegal for pedestrians to be inattentive or yapping on their cell phone while crossing the street. I gave you one example of a lady waiting 30 seconds to cross although she had the walk signal in her favor, and then proceeded to cross just as the signal turned red for her and the cars started moving and she had to be honked to get back on the sidewalk.

            Another time I had to get a pedestrians attention while in my car to tell her it was her turn to cross, because she also was too busy on the phone to pay attention. At least she thanked me before starting to cross. Yet because it is “legal”, you see nothing wrong with the actions of those pedestrians. In your book, it is always the motorist’s fault for everything. Pedestrian inattention is a major problem and needs to be addressed, yet you are willing to ignore it because it is “legal”.

          • Andrew

            I’m sorry that you were inconvenienced by two inattentive pedestrians. But their actions did not endanger your life or anybody else’s life, except at most for their own.

            I was responding to your claim that pedestrians are never at risk of being struck by motor vehicles except “if the pedestrian is doing something he shouldn’t be doing in the first place” – and you proceeded to give an example of “being inattentive by not paying attention to the road or perhaps yapping on his cell phone,” which you then referred to as “illegal actions by pedestrians.”

            Except that they’re not illegal.

            (Unlike driving in excess of the speed limit, or passing a red light a second or two after it’s turned red, or failing to yield to pedestrians while turning, or blocking the box, all of which are illegal.)

          • fdtutf

            “So according to you since it is not illegal for pedestrians to be inattentive or totally oblivious to their surroundings by yapping on their cell phone [long rant about a single inattentive female pedestrian redacted for ennui], all drivers have to be punished by driving at a ridiculous low speed so as not to injure or kill her.”

            If you know of a way to get motorists to stop injuring and killing pedestrians without lowering the speed limits, we are all ears. We have, in fact, been all ears for several weeks now.

          • Allan Rosen

            As I stated previously, lowering the speed limit will have a minimal effect in reducing deaths and injuries. Someone who travels at 50 or 60 in a 30 mph zone will continue to travel at 50 or 60 in a 20 or 25 mph zone. Speed limits o not make any difference to them. Motorists will only abide by speed limits when they are realistic which in the city they are not, as opposed to rural areas where they are.
            Better education is one way to reduce injuries and deaths. Other ways are outlined in Vision Zero that do not depend on cameras.

          • fdtutf

            As RIPTA42 already pointed out, speed limit reductions on their own are not effective; they have to be combined with physical changes to the street that discourage higher speeds.

            But you’ve made it clear that you’re opposed to the very idea of slowing cars down, which would indeed reduce pedestrian deaths and injuries.

          • Andrew

            Motorists will only abide by speed limits when they are realistic which in the city they are not, as opposed to rural areas where they are.

            Motorists will abide by speed limits when the streets are reengineered to encourage slower speeds, or when serious enforcement is implemented, or both. Yet you’ve objected to both traffic calming and serious enforcement.

            There is nothing unrealistic about a speed limit of 30 mph or 25 mph. (“I don’t want to” doesn’t make something unrealistic.) The reason that drivers speed is that they know they’ll get away with it.

          • RIPTA42

            I don’t think anyone is debating one mile per hour over a speed limit. That’s within the range of instrument error.

          • fdtutf

            It’s also what is known as a “strawman.”

          • Allan Rosen

            Andrew believes that anything over the speed limit is dangerous and that it is also dangerous to even travel at the speed limit where he believes it is set too high. He does not make any distinction between someone slightly exceeding the speed limit and dangerous drivers doing 50 or 60 mph on local streets. Andrew if you disagree, please clarify your position.

          • Andrew

            Andrew believes that anything over the speed limit is dangerous and that it is also dangerous to even travel at the speed limit where he believes it is set too high. He does not make any distinction between someone slightly exceeding the speed limit and dangerous drivers doing 50 or 60 mph on local streets.

            He doesn’t?!

          • Allan Rosen

            Well do you? From what I hear you say, you condemn all drivers going over the speed limit. I haven’t heard you speak out more forcefully against drivers doing 60 mph in a 30 mph zone. Those are the real threats, not those doing 35 or 40 when conditions are optimal with few cars or pedestrians anywhere around. Yes, those areas exist. Not every street is like Park Slope, Williamsburg, or Chelsea.

          • Andrew

            Yes, those areas exist. Not every street is like Park Slope, Williamsburg, or Chelsea.

            What about Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights, where you think that drivers are coerced into violating the pedestrian right-of-way?

          • Andrew

            I am not going to debate this subject with you anymore because you equate going one mile over the speed limit with going 30 miles over the speed limit.

            I do?!

            You’ve been repeatedly insisting that speed cameras that issue tickets for speeds in excess of 10 mph over the speed limit are unfair.

            Whether I believe it is okay to go 5 or 10 miles over the speed limit at times really is irrelevant.

            It is most certainly relevant!

            And you seem to forget that the speed limit largely depends on road conditions. If a road is in poor shape speed limits are never lowered to reflect that and they should. Also other traffic and weather conditions play a large role in determining what is a safe speed.

            Also sight distances at intersections, as RIPTA42 pointed out.

            Also the presence of pedestrians, whose existence you keep forgetting about.

            You just continue to turn that around to claim I advocate speeding under all circumstances WHICH IS A BLATANTL LIE.

            I never said that you advocate speeding under all circumstances. I said, and I continue to say, that you advocate speeding.

          • Allan Rosen

            Speed limits are designed assuming there are cars and pedestrians around and visibility is good. I said if road conditions and visibility are excellent, and there are no cars or pedestrians anywhere around, you can go over the speed limit as long as you will be able to stop for the next traffic signal. There will be no reason to make a sudden stop unless something happens to fall from the sky, so there will be no chance of hitting any pedestrians. So the talk of someone surviving at lower speeds really isn’t relevant under those circumstances.

            There will be nothing you can say that will convince me that the city speed limit needs to be lowered to 20 or 25 mph. The only ones for this ludicrous proposal are non-drivers who would be unaffected. Most anyone who regularly drives on city streets will not be for lowering the city speed limit.

          • RIPTA42

            I said signs alone tend not to affect driver behavior. I never said that behavior was “safe.” What really needs to be done is physical improvements to the roadways to slow traffic.

          • Allan Rosen

            Travel in this city is slow enough. We do not need for it to take even longer than it currently takes to get places. If a few flagrantly speed and cause accidents as is the case, they are whom need to be targeted, not everyone. If there is an occasional street where the limits too high, fine lower the limit on that street. However, 25 mph for major arterials is just ridiculous, as any regular driver will tell you. Not those who only rent a car for a three day holiday weekend and spend their time on the highway and would be unaffected.

          • fdtutf

            “Travel in this city is slow enough. We do not need for it to take even longer than it currently takes to get places.”

            And if we have to spill some blood to maintain our current pace, so be it.

            “If a few flagrantly speed and cause accidents as is the case, they are whom need to be targeted, not everyone.”

            Plenty of accidents result from excessive speed that you, judging by your statements here and earlier, would not classify as excessive.

            “However, 25 mph for major arterials is just ridiculous, as any regular driver will tell you.”

            Why is it “ridiculous”? Well, motorists think it’s ridiculous because they want to go faster than that. That doesn’t mean it’s *actually* ridiculous, because motorists aren’t the ultimate arbiters of what makes sense and what doesn’t. Thank goodness.

          • Andrew

            Travel in this city is slow enough. We do not need for it to take even longer than it currently takes to get places.

            I agree. Pedestrians are already delayed far too much by motorists who won’t allow them to cross the street legally. (Oh, that’s not what you meant?)

            I was delayed crossing the street yesterday because traffic was blocking the crosswalk during the walk phase. As a result, I missed a train and had to wait ten minutes for the next one.

            However, 25 mph for major arterials is just ridiculous, as any regular driver will tell you.

            “Any regular driver” isn’t qualified to determine what speeds are safe. I’ll take RIPTA42′s safety analysis of Atlantic Avenue over your hyperventilation.

      • sammy davis jr jr

        Too many drivers have told me they know how to safely use cellphones while driving. Should we just waive the ban on using cellphones?

      • sammy davis jr jr

        Pretty much every driver who ever killed someone thought before the incident that they are a good driver who can safely execute the dangerous maneuver that eventually caused that death.

        • Andrew

          http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/25/business/media/a-supplement-retailer-pumps-up-consumers.html

          Allan Rosen is among the 88% of drivers who self-identify as good drivers.

          • Allan Rosen

            And you aren’t among that 88% when you drive? If not, please tell me beforehand whenever you are on the road so I know to stay off of it. Here we go again. You have nothing better to do with your time than look for an argument.

          • Andrew

            And you aren’t among that 88% when you drive?

            You claim that you have the authority to determine safe speeds because you are “a driver for over forty years with an excellent safety record.” Your self-identification as a safe driver does not imply that you are actually a safe driver.

            I have not made any such claim, so my aptitude as a driver and my self-identification thereof are both irrelevant.

            By the way, we’re not looking for the maximum safe speed for the driver himself. We’re looking for the maximum safe speed to protect pedestrians. They’re not necessarily the same number. And what feels safe to even the best driver in the world is not necessarily relevant. (That’s where traffic calming comes into play, to bring the former more in line with latter.)

          • Allan Rosen

            If you don’t consider yourself a good driver, the only other choice left is that you do consider yourself a fair or poor driver. So again I ask you to announce when and where you decide to drive, so others are aware.

            The maximum safe speed limit to protect pedestrians is the current speed on most streets during optimal driving conditions. Other than drivers not giving pedestrians the right of way, or being inattentive, drunk, or someone driving like a maniac, most pedestrian accidents are caused by pedestrians not paying attention, or stepping from between parked cars. If you can stop all of that, the number of crashes will decline substantially, without lowering speed limits.

            Lowering speed limits on most streets is unnecessary with widespread ramifications. And no one will follow an unrealistic speed limit anyway which has been proven over and over again. Traffic calming is nothing more than slowing down cars to a crawl and is just a euphemism for traffic congestion.

          • Andrew

            The maximum safe speed limit to protect pedestrians is the current speed on most streets during optimal driving conditions.

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

            Other than drivers not giving pedestrians the right of way, or being inattentive, drunk, or someone driving like a maniac, most pedestrian accidents are caused by pedestrians not paying attention, or stepping from between pa rked car s.

            Wrong. Quoting directly from the Vision Zero Action Plan, “Dangerous driver choices are the primary cause or a contributing factor in 70% of pedestrian fatalities.” See pages 14-15.

            Traffic calming is nothing more than slowing down cars to a crawl and is just a euphemism for traffic congestion.

            If the past several years’ worth of traffic calming efforts had actually had that effect, I might be inclined to agree. But, alas, they haven’t.

          • Allan Rosen

            You don’t agree about Vanderbilt Avenue. Why would you agree with any of them?

            I guess you agree with Fdtutf that walking is a God given right and pedestrians have the right to walk anywhere they want to at anytime they want to.

          • Andrew

            You don’t agree about Vanderbilt Avenue. Why would you agree with any of them?

            You haven’t presented any data to support your assertions regarding Vanderbilt Avenue (or anywhere else)!

            Meanwhile, when I presented data showing that neither speeds nor traffic volumes on First and Second Avenues, you continued to insist (for months if not years) that traffic had been diverted elsewhere – almost as if you had no idea what “traffic volumes” meant!

            How about RIPTA42′s Fourth Avenue example?

            I guess you agree with Fdtutf that walking is a God given right and pedestrians have the right to walk anywhere they want to at anytime they want to.

            Where did he or I ever say that?

          • Allan Rosen

            I checked BusTime for two hours for the B69 on Vanderbilt Avenue, Friday evening from 5:30 to 7:30. Buses were way off schedule with no southbound buses at Atlantic Avenue for 34 and 55 minutes when the scheduled headway was 16 minutes. Also, when the schedule called for a 24 minute headway, buses arrived in 14 minutes. I can only conclude that traffic is playing havoc with this route. I will check it again on another evening because Fridays are not a good day for traffic counts because people leave work early.

            Traffic on First and Second Avenue does not prove that traffic was not diverted to Third and York Avenues. Judging from increasing complaints by M31 riders, I would have to conclude that it most certainly was diverted. You have not provided counts for parallel streets, so you can only assert that traffic was not diverted. You have not proved anything.

            Go back and read through Fdtutf’s comments and you will see the one about walking being a God given right. I believe it was in the Vision Zero thread where he stated that. You have only implied it by saying it is not illegal for pedestrians to be inattentive.

          • Allan Rosen

            Here is more data on Vanderbilt. I was there last Tuesday at 5:30 PM and the situation was horrendous. Lately I have been avoiding Vanderbilt using Washington instead which is also pretty bad during the evening rush hour because of all the diverted traffic due to the bike lane on Vanderbilt. But this time I was forced to take it because Washington was at a complete standstill at Gates and it was impossible to make a left turn there. So I turned into Waverly to Atlantic where I sat in the left turn lane from 5:27 to 5:33 through three red and green cycles. It was impossible to make the turn without blocking the intersection because there was always traffic in it. If you waited for the intersection to clear, you might have had to wait 15 or 30 minutes in one spot. Then I remained five more minutes on Vanderbilt before making a left onto Pacific. That’s 10 minutes to travel 400 feet because of the bike lanes or less than a half mile an hour.

            The situation was so bad that it was impossible for any pedestrian to even cross the street. Two women tried, but we’re forced back onto the sidewalk because it was just too dangerous. Drivers were waving them back, telling them to cross elsewhere, because it was so dangerous. This is what your bike lanes have caused during the evening rush hour.

            I immediately fired off an email to the Borough commissioner advising him to get some traffic enforcement agents out there immediately before someone is killed. I received an immediate response that they will assess the situation.

          • Andrew

            Here is more data on Vanderbilt.

            Thanks, but your personal experience on one day is not data.

            One might have thought that pedestrians have difficulty safely crossing the street because drivers decide to engage in dangerous and illegal driving maneuvers. Hint: You’re not entitled to threaten a pedestrian’s life merely because you’re stuck in a traffic jam, and if you do, it’s no one’s fault but your own. Pardon me for believing in personal responsibility for one’s actions.

          • Allan Rosen

            I told you I will get you more data, but it won’t matter, because it will never be enough for you.

            And thanks for your interpretation about blaming the motorists for “threatening a pedestrian’s life” when the truth was that they were stuck in an unfortunate situation, and actually tried to help the pedestrians by signaling to them that it was not safe for them to cross the street there and were directing them back to safety.

            And may I remind you once again that this entire situation was caused by the bike lane you support which you refuse to admit, although DOTs traffic consultants saw the problem and recommended the bike lanes removal.

          • fdtutf

            “And thanks for your interpretation about blaming the motorists for ‘threatening a pedestrian’s life’ when the truth was that they were stuck in an unfortunate situation, and actually tried to help the pedestrians by signaling to them that it was not safe for them to cross the street there and were directing them back to safety.”

            Another way to interpret this: Motorists hogged the entire street, unwilling to accommodate non-motorists who wished to use it, and then thought they were doing the non-motorists a favor by actively discouraging them from even trying to use the street.

            Please don’t ever do me any such favors.

          • Allan Rosen

            Their only other choice was to remain in one spot for 30 minutes which wasn’t practical at all. Interesting that you and Andrew refuse to recognize that this situation did not exist prior to the bike lane. While there might have been soe congestion on certain days prior to the bike lane, it was nothing like it is now with the intersection being a complete horror show. Traffic most of te time used to move quite good through there. This is what happens when you reduce a street’s capacity by 50 percent and alternatives are very limited.

          • Andrew

            Their only other choice was to remain in one spot for 30 minutes which wasn’t practical at all.

            I’m terribly sorry you got stuck in a traffic jam. If you don’t like traffic jams, then maybe next time you’ll find a different route or a different mode or a different time of day.

          • Andrew

            And thanks for your interpretation about blaming the motorists for “threatening a pedestrian’s life” when the truth was that they were stuck in an unfortunate situation, and actually tried to help the pedestrians by signaling to them that it was not safe for them to cross the street there and were directing them back to safety.

            Last I checked, motorists have free will. They can choose to ignore the law and threaten the lives of pedestrians who are simply trying to cross the street, or they can choose to obey the law and yield to those pedestrians to allow them to cross the street.

            And may I remind you once again that this entire situation was caused by the bike lane you support which you refuse to admit, although DOTs traffic consultants saw the problem and recommended the bike lanes removal.

            Actually, this entire situation is caused by motorists who don’t think the law applies to them. Nothing about being stuck in a traffic jam (I’ve been in many) coerces the driver to break the law.

            Perhaps, if there were real enforcement of the laws that are intended to protect pedestrians, motorists might start to obey the law, even when they deem it slightly inconvenient.

            The three police precincts that meet at the corner of Vanderbilt and Atlantic issued 15, 27, and 17 tickets for failure to yield to a pedestrian in April. That is completely and utterly meaningless. The odds of a given motorist being ticketed for failure to yield are practically zero. What incentive do motorists have to yield?

          • Andrew

            I checked BusTime for two hours for the B69 on Vanderbilt Avenue, Friday evening from 5:30 to 7:30. Buses were way off schedule with no southbound buses at Atlantic Avenue for 34 and 55 minutes when the scheduled headway was 16 minutes. Also, when the schedule called for a 24 minute headway, buses arrived in 14 minutes. I can only conclude that traffic is playing havoc with this route. I will check it again on another evening because Fridays are not a good day for traffic counts because people leave work early.

            I certainly don’t think a gap between buses 3.4 times the scheduled headway is good – yet you just complained a month ago about a gap on the B36 that was between 3.5 and 4.2 times the scheduled headway (21 minutes when the headway either 5 or 6 minutes). Yet I didn’t see you blaming the B36 unreliability on bike lanes.

            Obviously, traffic congestion doesn’t help bus service. But I have extreme difficulty blaming anyone other than motorists themselves for the traffic congestion that they cause.

            Traffic on First and Second Avenue does not pro ve that traffic was not diverted to Third and York Avenues.

            If traffic volumes on First and Second Avenues after SBS were unchanged from traffic volumes on First and Second Avenues prior to SBS, then traffic was not diverted off of First and Second Avenues. This is basic stuff. Do you not know what traffic volumes are? If volumes increased elsewhere, it wasn’t because of traffic diverted from First and Second, since traffic wasn’t diverted from First and Second.

            Judging from increasing complaints by M31 riders, I would have to conclude that it most certainly was diverted. You have not provided counts for parallel streets, so you can only assert that traffic was not diverted. You have not proved anything.

            “Increasing complaints by M31 riders”? Complaint-counting is not a sound methodology for determining bus service reliability. Nor have I even seen any indication that there’s been any increase of note.

            York Avenue is often badly congested, especially (but not exclusively) during rush hours, because it leads to the Queensboro Bridge, a toll-free East River crossing sandwiched between two tolled East River crossing. This has been the case since long before SBS came about. Simply rationalizing the toll structure would significantly reduce if not eliminate the congestion.

            Go back and read through Fdtutf’s comments and you will see the one about walking being a God given right. I believe it was in the Vision Zero thread where he stated that. You have only implied it by saying it is not illegal for pedestrians to be inattentive.

            I’ve read his comments. He has correctly stated that walking is a basic right while driving is a privilege. I see nothing wrong with that statement. Here is his exact language: “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.”

            My statement that it is not illegal for pedestrians to be inattentive is a simple statement of legal fact.

          • RIPTA42

            Only 29 percent of vehicles on Fourth Avenue are speeding post-traffic calming, versus 47 percent before. And travel times northbound in the morning peak actually *decreased*! I guess that’s “slowing down cars to a crawl.”

            http://www.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/4th-Ave_Sunset-Park_CB7-after-data-May-20-2014.pdf

          • Andrew

            Only 29 percent of vehicles on Fourth Avenue are speeding post-traffic calming, versus 47 percent before. And travel times northbound in the morning peak actually *decreased*! I guess that’s “slowing down cars to a crawl.”

            And both vehicular and pedestrian traffic volumes increased at most locations.

      • gary

        Shame on you Allan, just look at the video from the car accident near Kings Plaza. If these people, who cause bodily harm or property damage due to speeding are given jail time, have police misdemeanor and felony records because of speeding than people would observe the law. The blood of these two individuals is on your hands Allan. Imagine a woman with young children standing there at the intersection, when the car hit the pole. You sir would say, Oh well, that’s life. You are a low-life weasel Allan.

        • Allan Rosen

          Shame on you Gary, your comments are totally uncalled for and I request an apology. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for making them. You must be one of those Streetsbloggers who goes around calling all motorists murderers because of a few idiots. Why is their blood on my hands? Did I tell him to drive like an idiot just because I am opposed to lowering the speed limit to 25 mph and cameras?

          Yes I am all for giving this unfortunate dead idiot who got decapitated jail time as you recommend because everyone else would then obey the law. His passenger was the real victim here. We are just lucky the passengers in the BMW received minor injuries. Why do I feel that you don’t have much more sense than the victim had? I am awaiting your apology.

    • OnTheRoad

      By the writer’s logic, since crazy murderers will kill anyway, we might as well give up trying to stop them. This dude writes boss bus articles, but he seems to be in favor of speeding, so later for this cat, I can’t dig what he’s throwing me.

      • sonicboy678

        You’re literally only taking fragments of his statements. He said that will continue to happen UNLESS measures like adding more traffic cameras are taken.

        • fdtutf

          But he’s opposed to traffic cameras.

          • sonicboy678

            From an economic standpoint, I don’t see the practicality in any of this. Lowering legitimate speed limits runs the risk of increasing the price of goods. Placing more cameras runs up procurement and maintenance bills, especially if the city is paying for them. Doing nothing may result in the fatality trend continuing as it has been. At the end of the day, it’s a “pick your poison” situation. I don’t think it would be too smart to have more cameras, especially if they’re only useful for speeding. After all, there are more factors than just speed. This morning, I was almost hit by a cab on my way to work despite having the right-of-way. It wasn’t that he was speeding; instead, it was because he simply decided to cut in front of me in the middle of the crosswalk. Long story short, there’s really too many factors to account for.

          • Andrew

            According to the Vision Zero Action Plan (thanks, Allan, for posting the link – I hadn’t read it until now), Washington has failure-to-yield crosswalk cameras. We need those – at as many crosswalks as we can afford.

            But enforcement of yield laws shouldn’t stand in the way of enforcement of the speed limit or of red lights or of any other driving law that serves to protect pedestrians.

          • sonicboy678

            I get the feeling that those cameras would catch more than motorists; still, I believe we need to tackle the problem as a whole, not just for one or two issues. Every group is at fault for at least one case; however, no one group can be targeted while the other two are ignored. Pedestrians are likely to jaywalk, which can cause accidents; bicyclists seem to do whatever they want and expect to be treated as pedestrians if caught, though they will be treated as vehicles due to technicalities (which also explains why people on bikes are supposed to ride with traffic instead of against it). As for motorists, the masses, sizes, and and potentially high speeds of vehicles make it important for them to avoid speeding, steer clear of low clearances, drive in the designated lanes, and yield to pedestrians, bikes, and other motorists alike. It’s a complex system that needs to be looked at from all sides in order to effectively minimize incidents.

          • Allan Rosen

            Don’t forget the motorcycles who drive between lanes when the highways are crowded. They can be difficult to see when they are weaving in and out of traffic. If their cycles weren’t so noisy, many more would be getting killed since you can usually hear them before you can see them.

          • Andrew

            I get the feeling that those cameras would catch more than motorists; still, I believe we need to tackle the problem as a whole, not just for one or two issues. Every group is at fault for at least one case; however, no one group can be targeted while the other two are ignored. Pedestrians are likely to jaywalk, which can cause accidents; bicyclists seem to do whatever they want and expect to be treated as pedestrians if caught, though they will be treated as vehicles due to technicalities (which also explains why people on bikes are supposed to ride with traffic instead of against it). As for motorists, the masses, sizes, and and potentially high speeds of vehicles make it important for them to avoid speeding, steer clear of low clearances, drive in the designated lan es, and yield to pedestrians, bikes, and other motorists alike. It’s a complex system that needs to be looked at from all sides in order to effectively minimize incidents.

            I agree that it’s a complex system. But when one of the three modes is responsible for the extreme majority of traffic fatalities and injuries, it simply does not make sense to target enforcement toward (actual or perceived) infractions by either of the other two modes – doing so would be a gross misallocation of resources.

            Pedestrians who break traffic laws are, at most, taking risks with their own lives (although in many cases it’s actually safer to cross mid-block or against the light, particularly when it’s obvious that no traffic is approaching than to wait for the light and pray that the turning traffic yields). Cyclists are also largely taking risks with their own lives, although I have little tolerance for cyclists who violate pedestrians’ right-of-way. But motorists are taking risks with other people’s lives. Without enforcement, a pedestrian still has a very strong incentive to not step into traffic against the light, but what incentive does a motorist have to yield to a pedestrian before making a turn or to drive at a speed safe for pedestrians?

        • Andrew

          I agree. That’s why we need more traffic cameras. The police have not shown the ability or desire to issue enough tickets to convince drivers not to take risks with other people’s lives.

      • Allan Rosen

        So you are calling all motorists “crazy murderers”? Are you?

        • fdtutf
          • Allan Rosen

            Sorry, I don’t see how he was making an analogy and I know what the word “analogy” means.

          • Andrew

            Your approach to speeders is essentially identical to OnTheRoad’s stated approach to murderers. It’s a pretty straightforward analogy.

          • Allan Rosen

            There is no analogy at all. I never stated or implied that we hold give up on catching speeders. My position is when speed limits are too low, there is no danger by going a above the limit. I never condoned going 50 mph on city streets or 75 on highways when everyone else is going much slower. Those drivers need to be punished. Please don’t tell me what my approach it speeding is.

          • Andrew

            Your assertion regarding speeders: “Anyone currently doing 50 or 60 MPH on city streets will continue to drive that fast and kill people. People will continue to drive at the speeds they drive now until cameras are installed. When drivers learn of the cameras’ locations, they will just slow down at that point as if they were speed bumps.”

            OnTheRoad’s analogous assertion regarding murderers: “By the writer’s logic, since crazy murderers will kill anyway, we might as well give up trying to stop them.”

            By the way: Speed cameras are not installed at fixed locations. As of late March, only five cameras had been in use in New York City (I don’t know if more have gone online since), but at fifteen distinct locations.

            By the way #2: There has been actual research done on the effectiveness of traffic enforcement cameras. You don’t have to rely on your gut feeling if you don’t want to.

          • Allan Rosen

            And research has shown that cities and towns that can’t make money on red light cameras hae been removing them. So which is more important? Safety or revenue? I haven’t heard anything regarding speed cameras.

            There is no relation to the analogy given. Of course we should not give up on trying to catch murderers.

          • Andrew

            And research has shown that cities and towns that can’t make money on red light cameras hae been removing them.

            I’m not aware of any such cities and towns. (I am aware of many locations where red light cameras have been removed due to political pressure from motorists who don’t like getting caught.)

            So which is more important? Safety or revenue? I haven’t heard anything regarding speed cameras.

            I’m afraid I don’t see a conflict between the two. They are being installed to improve safety, but what’s the problem if they also happen to raise money? Would you prefer for the city to raise that money by increasing taxes?

          • Allan Rosen

            Just because you haven’t heard of cites and towns removing red light cameras, doesn’t mean it aren’t happened. I have heard that at least a half dozen cities and towns removed the cameras because maintenance and the cost of running them exceeded the amount of revenue they brought in. Some of these locations signed unfavorable agreements with the companies making the cameras to split the revenue, probably so they could acquire the cameras at a reduced price. Nothing was mentioned about how effective the cameras were in reducing accidents. The lack of revenue was the only factor cited for the cameras removal. So I ask you which was more important to those cities, safety or the revenue generated. Even if they were effective in reducing accidents, they didnt want to keep them at a loss.

          • fdtutf

            Which cities and towns are these? Many municipalities are squeezed for money to the point that they simply cannot afford to lose money on traffic cameras, even if the cameras are effective in preventing accidents.

            No politician with an ounce of sense would tell the public, “We’re removing these cameras because we can’t afford them, even though they have reduced accidents.” That’s just asking to be kicked out of office at the next election. So of course the cameras’ performance in reducing accidents would not be mentioned if the cameras had to be removed because the city couldn’t afford them.

          • Allan Rosena

            Here is an article where city council members claim the cameras saved lives, but the mayor has decided to remove them anyway because he doesn’t want to have to pay for them because not enough cars are running red lights. There also was a problem with yellow lights that were too short. http://tbo.com/pinellas-county/st-petersburg-to-shut-down-red-light-cameras-20140306/

          • fdtutf

            That’s actually a bigger, state-level story:

            http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2014/may/19/camera-company-helped-stop-move-to-get-rid-of/

            Much of the revenue push behind these cameras is coming from the companies that install and operate them. That makes for an argument against privatization rather than an argument against traffic cameras per se.

          • fdtutf

            Follow-up to my comment above: On the other hand, if the cameras had NOT been effective in reducing accidents, politicians would be much more likely to cite that as the reason for removing them. If they’re not mentioning the subject at all, it’s likely that they have been effective.

          • Allan Rosen

            And in many places they are not effective which is why many cities are removing them, one citing an 80% increase in rear enders. Also fewer cities are installing new cameras. Here are two articles: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/27/more-cities-putting-brakes-on-red-light-speeding-traffic-cameras/

            http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20140121/red-light-cameras-being-stopped

          • fdtutf

            I don’t trust anything coming from Faux News. Their principal method of “journalism” is making things up, with a generous soupcon of exaggeration and slant.

            The LA Daily News article is based on biased junk from the Reason Foundation, a loony-libertarian “think” tank.

            Try again.

          • Allan Rosen

            Can’t dispute the facts, then discredit the source. I get it.

          • fdtutf

            I’m disputing that those are facts, which is the point of discrediting the source.

          • Allan Rosen

            And where is your counter information that gives you the right to insinuate the facts are wrong?

          • RIPTA42

            Rear enders are rarely fatal. Cameras are meant to prevent right angle crashes, which frequently are fatal.

          • Allan Rosen

            Still an 80% increase in accidents just can’t be ignored. And the jury is still out as how effective red light cameras are when it comes to preventing fatal accidents.

          • RIPTA42
          • fdtutf

            Quotation from that article:

            “Drivers often denounce use of the cameras as a naked money-making scheme – and the District made almost $7.2 million on85,678 red-light tickets from June 2009 through May.

            “At the same time, almost anyone who regularly drives District streets will attest to the fact that drivers slow in places where they know speed cameras are located and are more likely to stop on yellow at intersections with red-light cameras.”

            Why, it’s almost as if cities were putting in speed and red-light cameras to influence driver behavior!

            PS The cited source in this article is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which I do tend to trust. Just for the record.

          • Andrew

            Why, it’s almost as if cities were putting in speed and red-light cameras to influence driver behavior!

            How dare they!

          • Allan Rosen

            They stop on yellow because they don’t want to get a ticket. Yellow is not meant to be stopped on. It means prepare to stop if you won’t be able to get through before the light turns red. And as far as drivers slowing down at peed cameras, that is exactly what I said would happen. They will treat cameras merely as speed bumps but will continue to speed elsewhere, so they won’t achieve their purpose of generally stopping speeders. Interesting how this article can turn a failure into success, by now claiming that it was only intended for drivers to slow down where cameras are located.

          • fdtutf

            “They stop on yellow because they don’t want to get a ticket. Yellow is not meant to be stopped on. It means prepare to stop if you won’t be able to get through before the light turns red.”
            Actually, it means STOP (directly behind the car in front of you, or else at the intersection) if you won’t be able to get through before the light turns red. STOP, not “prepare to stop.”
            I realize your method of driving, as you’ve explained elsewhere, includes the option of blocking the box. Please forgive me if I consider that an inconsiderate and unacceptable option.

          • Allan Rosen

            Show me a reference where yellow means stop, not prepare to stop. You only stop on a yellow or even a green if you can see there is no space beyond the intersection to accommodate your car. When crossing a very wide street like Woodhaven Blvd, it may not even be possible to see the traffic beyond te intersection. Traffic could be moving fine and abruptly stop leaving you in the middle of the intersection.

          • Andrew

            “They stop on yellow because they don’t want to get a ticket. Yellow is not meant to be stopped on. It means prepare to stop if you won’t be able to get through before the light turns red.”
            Actually, it means STOP (directly behind the car in front of you, or else at the intersection) if you won’t be able to get through before the light turns red. STOP, not “prepare to stop.”

            Truly amazing that he considers himself worthy of giving driving advice. (Or maybe not – as I’ve said, he’s among the 88%.)

            I realize your method of driving, as you’ve explained elsewhere, includes the option of blocking the box. Please forgive me if I consider that an inconsiderate and unacceptable option.

            Also illegal, not that he seems to care.

          • Andrew

            They stop on yellow because they don’t want to get a ticket. Yellow is not meant to be stopped on. It means prepare to stop if you won’t be able to get through before the light turns red.

            Yellow is not meant to be stopped at?! Since when?

            Yellow is a warning that the light is about to turn red. Driving past a red light is illegal. Where enforcement is minimal, many drivers will push their luck at a yellow light, because they know they’re not going to be penalized if they miss the light by a second or two. But where enforcement is adequate, drivers suddenly have an incentive to make sure that they don’t run the red.

            Which do you think is worse, stopping for a yellow light a second before it turns red, or proceeding past a red light a second after it turns red? (Hint: Only one of the two is illegal. Hint #2: Only one of the two is responsible for right angle and pedestrian crashes.)

            And as far as drivers slowing down at peed cameras, that is exactly what I said would happen. They will treat cameras merely as speed bumps but will continue to speed elsewhere, so they won’t achieve their purpose of generally stopping speeders.

            A beautiful argument in favor of increasing the number of enforcement cameras. I am in full agreement.

          • Allan Rosen

            It is only illegal to enter the intersection after the signal turns red. If you enter it on a yellow it is perfectly legal to complete you action on a red signal. What are you supposed to do if you ate about to cross Woodhaven Boulevard, a street that takes six seconds to cross and the yellow is only three seconds long? You may not be able to stop before the intersection even if you are going at the speed limit depending on how close you are to the intersection when the signal turns yellow. You will be half way through when it turns red. Are you supposed to freeze in the middle of the intersection or complete your crossing of it on the red? It would be better if the length of the amber signal allowed you to get through but it doesn’t. That is why the signals remain red for both directions for three additional seconds to allow all traffic to clear the intersection. You clearly drive very little in this city not to have experienced that.

          • fdtutf

            If you are going 30 mph, in six seconds you will travel 264 feet. Is Woodhaven Boulevard really that wide?

          • Allan Rosen

            Woodhaven is probably about half that. But you rarely can cross Woodhaven at 30 mph. 25 or 20 is more like it. Even at 25, it would take more than three seconds to cross 130 feet.

          • fdtutf

            At 25 mph, it would take 3.6 seconds to travel 132 feet (half of 264). Certainly not so much that you would need to push the yellow light.

            In any case, the prudent course of action is to (begin to) stop when the light turns yellow unless your speed and position are such that you are *certain* you can cross the intersection before the light turns red (and there is space for your car on the other side, of course). The effect of red-light cameras is to encourage drivers to follow that prudent course of action rather than “pushing” the yellow when they really don’t have time to get through the intersection.

          • Allan Rosen

            However, in reality many times traffic is moving fine at 20 or 25 mph and suddenly stops. When there are five or six cars ahead of you or a big truck or bus, you can’t even see if there is enough space on the other side of the intersection. In such conditions, the only way to make certain that you can get through would be for one car at a time to cross the intersection. Is that what you are proposing? If it takes 3.8 seconds to cross at 25 mph, it would take even longer at 20 mph. In either case, the signal would turn red before you get through, which was my entire point. The solution it seems would be just to lengthen the timing of the amber to 4 or 5 seconds in the cases of crossing wide streets, which the city refuses to do. They believe it is better to have a longer time where it’s red for both streets, allowing you to safely get through on the red, which was my other point.

          • fdtutf

            “When there are five or six cars ahead of you or a big truck or bus, you can’t even see if there is enough space on the other side of the intersection.”

            Are you *certain* that you can cross the intersection before the light turns red and that there is space for your car on the other side? If not, then you should stop; otherwise you will block the box, creating gridlock.

          • Allan Rosen

            Do you realize that you are saying that only one or two cars at a time should cross Woodhaven Blvd? That is the only way to ensure there is space on the other side of the intersection. Do you know how ridiculous that is? If traffic is moving smoothly, the assumption is that it will not abruptly stop leaving you in the intersection.

          • RIPTA42

            It isn’t the City’s decision. The federal government says that the yellow change interval is to warn you that the signal is changing and is based on approach speed, and the all red interval is to allow you to safely pass through the intersection and is based on intersection width.

          • Allan Rosen

            So you are saying te Feds determine the length of the yellow signal? Am I understanding you correctly?

          • RIPTA42

            Yes. Yellow = reaction time + 1/2 (speed/deceleration); All Red = (intersection width + vehicle length)/speed.

          • Andrew

            It is only illegal to enter the intersection after the signal turns red. If you enter it on a yellow it is perfectly legal to complete you action on a red signal.

            I never stated or suggested otherwise.

            This is the question I asked: “Which do you think is worse, stopping for a yellow light a second before it turns red, or proceeding past a red light a second after it turns red?”

            What’s your answer?

  • sammy davis jr jr

    I don’t think every street needs to be 30 MPH.
    Thanks for letting me know. Calling my state senator to support this bill right now.

    • Allan Rosen

      Of course you don’t drive.

      • Andrew

        How on earth do you know whether he drives?

        The default speed limit in New York City was 25 mph until 1964, when the state forced the increase to 30, against NYC Traffic Commissioner Henry Barnes’ will. This bill would simply permit a 50-year mistake to end.

        • Allan Rosen

          But what you don’t state was that many more roads prior to 1964 had limits of 30, 35 or 40 mph. Today, there are very few roads with 35 or 40. It certainly was not a 50 year mistake.

          • Andrew

            “Roads”? I thought we were discussing city streets.

            Are you suggesting that many city streets that had 35 mph or 40 mph limits prior to 1964 had their speed limit signs removed in response to the 30 mph default?

            That’s certainly not what’s implied here: “Mr. Barnes said the law requiring the change was approved by the Legislature against his recommendation. As it calls for 30 miles an hour maximum speed unless all streets are posted with a lower limit, he said, ‘we had a choice of either raising all 25-mile-an-hour limits to 30 miles or putting up half-a-million signs at a cost of $7.5 million.”

          • Allan Rosen

            I am saying when the limit was 25, many streets were probably exempted and had a 30 mph limit.

            I remember when I was a kid, the narrow portion of Linden Blvd had a speed limit of 35 mph. So I wouldn’t be surprised if all other arterials were also 35 mph.

            Today the only one left at 35 is Woodhaven and that will probably be lowered soon. Flatbush below Avenue U used to be 40 or maybe even 45. Conduit is still 40 and was also once was probably higher than that.

            The speed limit probably was raised to 30, because no one was honoring the 25 mph limit anyway. Did you do any research to find out why the limit was raised?

          • Andrew

            “So I wouldn’t be surprised” means that you’re guessing. The change in default speed limits would have had no impact on streets that had posted speed limits of 35 mph, which would have retained their speed limit signs after the change. Any street whose speed limit prior to 1964 was 35 mph but now has a lower speed limit had its speed limit reduced for some reason other than the blanket speed limit change in 1964.

            The speed limit was raised to 30 mph because the state mandated that the default speed limit for a city be no less than 30 mph. It was not a change that the city favored.

          • Allan Rosen

            So you don’t know why the State favored raising the speed limit.

          • Andrew

            The state didn’t raise the speed limit. The state raised the minimum default speed limit, to 30 mph. Lower speed limits could still be instituted with explicit signage, but the city wasn’t in a position to shell out the $7.5 million to do so on all streets.

            You are welcome to present whatever speculation you like on why the state imposed the change.

            As I said, any street that had a 35 mph speed limit prior to 1964 would have had explicit 35 mph signage. The signs would not have been removed unless there was some other reason to reduce the speed limit to 30 mph.

  • Tony

    No can this pass .the cars of today have better everything they rise it to 35mph .of course in force it.

    • Andrew

      That isn’t quite English, but what does it have to do with preventing pedestrian fatalities and injuries?

  • Vlad BK

    This is just a way for NYC to write more tickets and make some money. Which is supposed to go to fixing the roads, but they cant seem to get that right either. I have been swerving around the same god damn wholes in the road for the last 2 or 3 years. From 30 to 25 ?!? What a joke.

    • sonicboy678

      They have yet to paint new lines on Flatbush Avenue, which was repaved nearly a week ago. Why are they dragging their feet?

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

      How about NYS in 2004 came up with law Driver Responsibility Assessment Program when someone gets 6 points, driver is forced to pay additional $300 to crooks and if you don’t pay your master they suspend your driver license….I send to Albany proposal saying there is better way to scheme people reducing to 2 points why wait until someone gets 6 points….11 points made perfect sense to me that if someone did accumulate 11 points even then sometimes pigs just want make up things in order to inflict hardship to a person….but NO law makers think we are they slaves meanwhile cops, law makers and politicians are above the law

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

      These are the reasons they do this greed, arrogance and knowing these rules wont apply to them….

  • Vlad BK
    • MyBrooklyn

      These are the reasons they do this greed, arrogance and knowing these rules wont apply to them….

  • joco

    Speed Bumps are the most effective way of slowing down traffic. But Mayor DiBlasio wants speed cameras so the city can make money. Safety is not the issue> It is another way of taxing the people of the city.

    • Allan Rosen

      Speed bumps are inappropriate for many streets.

      • sonicboy678

        I just tried to imagine Flatbush, Nostrand, and Utica Avenues with speed bumps. I can’t see them working on those streets at all. Sad to say that’s just a small sample of NYC thoroughfares.

        • Allan Rosen

          You can’t have them on any street with a bus route. Tey also hinder snow removal. What they could have is more four way stop signs in residential neighborhoods on side streets.

          • RIPTA42

            Speed humps (not bumps) do not hinder snow removal. I still wouldn’t recommend them on an arterial.

            Four way stop signs are not a good idea. They need to meet warrants and are not speed-control devices.

          • Allan Rosen

            Tell me then why do other cities rely so heavily on four way stop signs? In Beverly Hills, there s one on every single corner. Also when I was in a residential section of Minneapolis, I hardly saw a traffic signal. There were two or four way stop signs everywhere. I really think we overdo it here with the traffic signals. I remember several intersections that seemed to work quite well with stop signs. Once signals were installed, the amount of traffic seemed to triple overnight.

          • RIPTA42

            Because not every city follows engineering best practices. I didn’t mean to say they are *never* a good idea, but they tend to be overused. Roundabouts would probably be safer and more efficient at many all-way stop locations.

            Chicago also has a lot of all-way stops. I even recall some on six-lane arterials in the south suburbs.

          • Allan Rosen

            Many signs do indeed say “speed bump” not “speed hump”. Are they now installing humps rather than bumps? I guess they are not as steep, but I haven’t really noticed the difference.

          • RIPTA42

            The wording on warning signs is allowed to be used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Speed bumps have a round cross section and can only be taken very slowly (about 5 mph); humps are parabolic and, depending on their design, can be taken at 15 to 30 mph. Then there are speed tables, speed lumps, raised crosswalks, raised intersections…

  • Allan Rosen

    Interesting that not one person is interested in better bus service.

    • sonicboy678

      Really, we need to see better service across the board. I have the feeling that if the IRT Nostrand Avenue Line covered at least down to Emmons Avenue, many of the people that currently pack the B36 and B44 would have no need to do so. At the same time, bus service in many areas — especially those that bring loads of people to the subway system — must be improved in various ways. The B41 needs a bit of help, though it generally fares better than the B44 and B46 (especially the latter of the two, thanks to having no alternative routes along or near Utica and Reid Avenues, save for a short stretch southbound on Utica Avenue between Remsen Avenue and Eastern Parkway).

      • Allan Rosen

        Thanks. That makes me feel a little better. I was starting to wonder when half the article was about bus service and every single comment related to the speed limit.

    • fdtutf

      “If it bleeds, it leads.”

    • RIPTA42

      Interesting that your article is supposed to be about better bus service, but that part is buried underneath yet another rant about speed limits.

      • Allan Rosen

        It’s not buried. It’s actually even mentioned in the headline, so those uninterested in the speed limit part can skip down to the bus service part. I decided to lead with the speed limits since the public hearing did not include Brooklyn bus routes and my comments were general in nature and not specifically related to Brooklyn. The speed limits directly affects Brooklyn.

        • RIPTA42

          Not only is better bus service in the headline, but speed limits aren’t. It’s a bit misleading. Plus the only content on better bus service is an edited and redacted rehash of your public hearing testimony. Some of the proposals sound like they have merit and warrant a full article instead of burial under a speed limit rant.

          • Allan Rosen

            The problem is I don’t think Sheephead Bay readers would care that much about improving bus service in Staten Island and I have already written several about Brooklyn routes.

    • Andrew

      I’m quite interested in better bus service. I just don’t believe that your approach, of ignoring fiscal constraints and of avoiding all possible means of speeding up service is a sound approach.

      • Allan Rosen

        My approach is not to ignore fiscal constraints. I am very concerned about them. There is a difference between a willingness to invest and considering potential revenue which is what I have been advocating and issuing an edict that any service increases must be balanced with corresponding service decreases to result in a net zero increase in operating costs and ignoring potential revenue which had been the MTA approach for about 20 years until very recently when they started implementing new services at 30 minute headways.

        Your approach to speeding up bus service by lowering speed limits is a very sound approach.

        • Andrew

          My approach is not to ignore fiscal constraints. I am very concerned about them.

          Your approach is to claim that you’re concerned about fiscal constraints and then to go right ahead and ignore them anyway.

          Your approach to speeding up bus ser vice by lowering speed limits is a very sound approach.

          “My” approach to speeding up bus service (actually NYCT’s approach of late, which I largely agree with) is to reduce dwell times by speeding up the boarding process, to eliminate some of the dwells entirely by reducing the number of stops (especially where parallel local service is available), and to strategically grant buses preferred access to street space, through such means as bus lanes and bus signal priority.

          Reducing the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph has a small impact on running times when buses currently operate between 25 and 30 mph and no impact on running times when buses currently operate below 25 mph. The passenger-mileage of the NYCT bus system that exceeds 25 mph is a very, very small fraction of the system’s total passenger-mileage. The safety improvement to pedestrians due to lower traffic speeds far outweighs the very small increase in bus running times.

          • Allan Rosen

            When I observed the B44 SBS in Sheepshead Bay I was surprised as to how fast they were going. I have never seen buses trael that fast on a local street. They had to be doing 30 mph. Now buses on te Grand Concourse can only do 25 mph, and I heard that because of the bike lane there now, tey are going much slower than that. So much for “speeding up bus service” Eliminating stops MTA save the buses some time, but it makes many trips longer for those riding short distances because of longer walks to bus stops. We also need to be concerned with reducing passenger tip times, not only reducing bus trip times. The MTA keeps quoting that buses save 15 minutes on their trips, but very few passengers ride from one end of te route to the other to take advantage of those savings.

            I did not ignore fiscal constraints in my 1978 changes, and have not ignored them since. I just don’t agree with the MTA that all they can afford is to provide new service at 30 minute intervals because they only consider operating costs, not revenue when proposing new services.

          • Andrew

            When I observed the B44 SBS in Sheepshead Bay I was surprised as to how fast they were going. I have never seen buses trael that fast on a local street. They had to be doing 30 mph.

            So apparently we agree that the bus route-mileage in excess of 25 mph is quite small – and, given your repeated remarks about low passenger loads on the southern end of the B44, that the passenger-mileage is smaller still.

            The distance from Emmons Avenue to Avenue U is 1.2 miles. At a steady 30 mph, that takes 2.4 minutes; at a steady 25 mph, 2.88 minutes. In the highly unlikely event that the bus travels at maximum speed for the entire distance from Emmons Avenue to Avenue U, it will take 29 seconds longer at the new reduced speed limit. Given that the bus will almost surely stop or at the very least slow down for part of that distance, the increase in running time will actually be significantly less.

            I’m not going to concern myself too much over a running time increase of less than 29 seconds on a segment of route that isn’t even terribly busy.

            Now buses on te Grand Concourse can only do 25 mph, and I heard that because of the bike lane there now, tey are going much slower than that. So much for “speeding up bus service”

            Not sure how we got to the Grand Concourse, but if the bike lane is responsible for a reduction in speeds to 25 mph or below, then a speed limit reduction to 25 mph has no impact whatsoever.

            Eliminating stops MTA save the buses some time, but it makes many trips longer for those riding short distances because of longer walks to bus stops.

            Nobody denies that some riders have to either walk further or take the local. But, as I’ve pointed out many times, a significant majority of former limited riders keep their stops with the conversion to SBS. For the many, many riders who start and end their trips at SBS stops anyway, the skipped stops represent pure time savings.

            We also need to be concerned with reducing passenger tip times, not only reducing bus trip times.

            And SBS does both!

            The MTA keeps quoting that buses save 15 minutes on their trips, but very few passengers ride from one end of te route to the other to take advantage of those savings.

            I’m not sure where the MTA “keeps quoting” that. This summary document cites running time reductions of 20% on the Bx12 in the first year, 18% on the M15, 23% on the M34, 13-19% on the S79 (six months), and more than 15% on the Bx41 (preliminary results).

            I did not ignore fiscal constraints in my 1978 changes, and have not ignored them since. I just don’t agree with the MTA that all they can afford is to provide new service at 30 minute intervals because they only consider operating costs, not revenue when proposing new services.

            I frankly don’t give a hoot about a footnote in transit history that took place 36 years ago. I’d rather look at the M60, which started in 1992 on a humble 30-minute headway and was converted to SBS this past Sunday, following two decades of astonishing ridership growth, much to the chagrin of State Senator Bill Perkins.

            They most certainly do consider revenue, but the operating cost is invariably greater than the revenue, usually significantly so.

          • Allan Rosen

            Other than the Racino change, show me one other addition which gave an estimate of potential revenue. The only statistics ever cited are an increase in operating costs. The “footnote in transit history.” was the largest single set of routing improvements made on one day.

            SBS saves the average bus rider a minimal amount of time. It is only useful for those making trips in excess of five miles. The average local bus trip is only 2.3 miles.

            Reducing bus bunching would significantly shorten trip times for thousands of more riders than SBS could ever do.

            A speed limit reduction to 25 mph on the Grand Concourse greatly increases travel times for buses, because the increased congestion means that bus speeds have significantly been slowed.

            I seriously dispute the finding that M34 bus speeds have increased by 23%. I have heard that riders save no more than one or two minutes. How many minutes does the bus actually save from end to end?

          • Andrew

            Other than the Racino change, show me one other addition which gave an estimate of potential revenue. The only statistics ever cited are an increase in operating costs.

            I already answered that question in December. As I said back then:

            The June 2013 Transit Committee book has references to net cost (i.e., cost minus revenues). Page 174 (B67): “The net operational cost associated with this service is $500,000 annually.” Page 181 (B32): “The net operational cost associated with this service is $1,500,000 annually.” And I already gave this link (see the last sentence). You’re welcome to disagree with the MTA’s methodologies or conclusions, but they clearly don’t ignore the revenue side.

            You never bothered to respond back then.

            In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if all of the staff summaries give net costs, even where the word net is omitted. They’re brief summaries. They don’t go into the gory detail.

            The “footnote in transit history.” was the largest single set of routing improvements made on one day.

            Who cares? (Aside from you, that is.)

            SBS saves the average bus rider a minimal amount of time. It is only useful for those making trips in excess of five miles. The average local bus trip is only 2.3 miles.

            The average SBS trip is (quite obviously) longer than the average local trip.

            And the savings, while smaller for shorter trips, are still useful for those making shorter trips between SBS stops.

            Reducing bus bunching would significantly shorten trip times for thousands of more riders than SBS could ever do.

            Have I ever even hinted that I’m opposed to reducing bus bunching? What does one thing have to do with the other?

            A speed limit reduction to 25 mph on the Grand Concourse greatly increases travel times for buses, because the increased congestion means that bus speeds have significantly been slowed.

            A speed limit reduction from 30 mph to 25 mph doesn’t increase congestion. A speed limit reduction (if enforced) reduces free-flow speeds from 30 mph to 25 mph. It has no impact on speeds if the street is already congested enough that traffic can’t exceed 25 mph anyway.

            I seriously dispute the finding that M34 bus speeds have increased by 23%. I have heard that riders save no more than one or two minutes. How many minutes does the bus actually save fro m end to end?

            I didn’t say that bus speeds increased by 23%. I said that running times were reduced by 23%. They’re not the same thing.

            On the basis of what data do you dispute the finding? What you “have heard” is not particularly relevant.

            http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/nyc-dot-select-bus-service-report.pdf

  • StupidHipsters

    The Andrews and fdtuff’s that are fly by night hipster doofuses have completely destroyed this city for the hard working middle class. Those damn staycationers came to a big city and are so terrified of the traffic they insisted on bike lanes and slow speeds everywhere. What the hell did they expect to find? Farms? Windmills? Horse and buggy’s? Chickens? Camels? You want that, you goto the country. They are too stupid and clueless to realize that any maniac is going to be a maniac and the only people they punish are those that are reasonable people who have lived here way before they knew what Brooklyn was. But in their minds, people like that never existed here. We are all dirty and disgusting, dieased killing machine parasites that drive around in our big bad cars believing the entire landscape is ripe for carnage. DeBlasio is quickly turning into Bloomberg and it’s a damn disgrace. The transporation alternative morons and their idiotic hipster elk think 20 MPH is going to save lives? They are fools. What makes them dangerous, is they are winning. All that ever seems to matter is unicycles and pedestrians because they spend way too much on kale and rent. They may get rid of families that has called New York home for generations, but they will never kill off cars and trucks. 25 MPH is too slow and you will continue to cause greater road rage and watch as the carnage builds. Stupid closed minded narrow minded fools. Politicans aren’t on your side. They smell money. Cameras, increased ticket quotas are all money.

    • RIPTA42

      So the 56 percent of NYC households without a car are all hipster transplants? That must have been some population boom in the past few years…

      • fdtutf

        And apparently we either are moose or own moose. Go figure. If a car collides with a moose at 40 mph, what are the moose’s chances of surviving?

      • fdtutf

        And apparently we all either have moose or are moose.

        If a car traveling at 40 mph hits a moose, what are the moose’s chances of surviving?

      • fdtutf

        (Apologies for the double comment. The site wasn’t showing me the first comment at one point, so I re-posted.)

      • Allan Rosen

        They don’t all have to be hipster transplants for his comments to make sense. At least Trottenberg is tending up to them insisting that 30 mph is the correct speed for Queens Blvd. Of course it never shoud have been lowered from 35 on the main road, but that is besides the point.

        • Andrew

          They don’t all have to be hipster transplants for his comments to make sense.

          If you believe that StupidHipsters’ screed makes sense, I’m afraid you’re hopeless.

          At least Trottenberg is tending up to them insisting that 30 mph is the correct speed for Queens Blvd.

          Danny Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer are hipster transplants?

          Of course it never shoud have been lowered from 35 on the main road, but that is besides the point.

          Based on any particular data, or are you treating us to your gut feeling once again?

      • guest

        Psst….The DOT makes up numbers to make their arguments look good. The number of people with cars outside of the city is much greater then 44 percent. But that doesn’t matter right?

        • fdtutf

          Why should the NYCDOT care about the share of households (I corrected your term there) who do or don’t own cars?

          • fdtutf

            That is, why should NYCDOT care about the share of households outside NYC who do or don’t own cars?

          • guest

            Unclear on my part. The number of people with cars outside of manhattan. Meaning the number of people with cars in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx is much greater then 44 percent. So yes, NYCDOT should most certainly care about them.

            As for people that travel here by car, I’d think we would very much like for people to come and spend money here don’t you?

        • RIPTA42

          That’s the US Census, not the DOT. And why should people living in the City cater to cars living outside the City?

    • Andrew

      Best rant ever.

      But I’m still confused. If your idea of paradise is Atlanta, then why not move to Atlanta?

      • fdtutf

        Best response ever.