Author: Observer

Communities of Color Need Protected Lanes, Too! – Streetsblog New York City

Ten years ago, I was almost killed by a driver while biking on Sutter Avenue in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Last week, Ernest Askew was killed — only blocks from where I was hit.  Dave “Paco” Abraham. Back then, the route I traveled on the day of the crash, through Brownsville/East New York in the eastern part of Brooklyn, was a bike-lane-free abyss of asphalt. Now, because of Vision Zero, the route has some bike lanes  — but, sadly, not the protected lanes that could have saved Askew’s life. Those lanes have only come to certain wealthier neighborhoods in Manhattan or close to it.  ... Read more

DOT’s Forthcoming ‘Cycling Safety Plan’ Won’t Likely Break the Car Culture – Streetsblog New York City

Can Polly Trottenberg save Vision Zero? That’s now the main question after the NYPD announced an underwhelming, creatively challenged, extremely limited three-week ticket-writing blitz as its response to Mayor de Blasio’s demand for action in light of this year’s spate of cyclists’ deaths. Hizzoner had also called on the Department of Transportation to come up with its own plan, so after the NYPD’s announcement, pressure began mounting on DOT Commissioner Trottenberg to make her portion of the mayoral initiative as bold as the NYPD’s was timid. It’s unclear how bold she’ll be. In a half-hour conversation with Streetsblog, Trottenberg declined to offer specifics about what ... Read more

NYPD’s Reckless Driver ‘Crackdown’ is a Breezy Three-Week Affair – Streetsblog New York City

Is that all there is? One day after Mayor de Blasio responded to a surge of cyclist bloodshed this year with a promise of greater road safety, the NYPD unveiled a paltry effort to reduce the carnage: a three-week ticketing blitz focusing on moving violations that officers (and city road design) have failed to eliminate already: speeding, red light violations, failure to yield, distracted driving. The NYPD’s announcement on Tuesday of “strategies to support NYC citywide bicycle safety passage” also included a promise to write more tickets to drivers who “are parked in, or otherwise obstructing, a bicycle lane” and those ... Read more

Part 1 – Streetsblog California

On Monday, July 8, the Assembly Transportation Committee will consider S.B. 127, the Complete Streets bill from Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). The bill would require Caltrans to include safety improvements for people on foot, on bike, and taking transit whenever it performs road maintenance in certain defined areas: on state-owned highways that are not freeways but are within cities or “census-designated places.” The bill’s author estimates that this is about seventeen percent of the state highway system, and includes city streets like San Francisco’s 19th Avenue, Jefferson Boulevard in West Sacramento, and Rosemead Boulevard in the San Gabriel Valley. ... Read more

Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force Holds First Meeting – Streetsblog California

Note: GJEL Accident Attorneys regularly sponsors coverage on Streetsblog San Francisco and Streetsblog California. Unless noted in the story, GJEL Accident Attorneys is not consulted for the content or editorial direction of the sponsored content. An outdated Orwellian California law requires speed limits to be set according to how fast people drive. That’s no typo: the current method for setting speed limits on California streets–in your neighborhood–is not according to what is safe, but, by law, according to the behavior of random drivers seatbelted and airbagged safely within a steel cage. If many scofflaw drivers drive dangerously fast, then municipalities are required to raise ... Read more

Oakland Bollard-izes Protected Intersections at Lake Merritt – Streetsblog San Francisco

Note: GJEL Accident Attorneys regularly sponsors coverage on Streetsblog San Francisco and Streetsblog California. Unless noted in the story, GJEL Accident Attorneys is not consulted for the content or editorial direction of the sponsored content. The City of Oakland finished installing bollards on its new protected intersections and pedestrian bulb outs around the Lake Merritt BART station last week. And so far, they seem to be working as planned, slowing turning traffic, making it easier for Oakland Chinatown’s large elderly population to cross the street, as well as offering safer crossings for cyclists. With shorter crossing distances and motorist forced to slow around ... Read more

The NYPD is the Front Line of Mayor de Blasio’s ‘Crackdown’ on Bike Lane Parkers? – Streetsblog New York City

Fox, meet henhouse. Mayor de Blasio’s announcement that he had ordered the NYPD to crackdown on reckless drivers and cars parked in bike lanes is being ridiculed for one key reason: NYPD officers routinely drive recklessly in their personal cars and often park in bike lanes. A Streetsblog investigation earlier this year revealed that police officers’ private cars had been slapped with multiple moving violations at a rate roughly twice that of normal people. Fully 37.6 percent of cars parked in NYPD-only parking around precincts, or illegally parked with department-issued placards, had multiple moving violations, compared to roughly 19 percent of normal ... Read more

TOD-Da! Oregon Blocks Single-Family Zoning – Streetsblog USA

Oregon took the most dramatic step of any state in the country to solve its housing affordability crisis by increasing density in cities and large suburbs. In one of its final acts before the state legislature ended its year Sunday, the Oregon Senate, by a 17-9 vote, passed a bill that would remove bans on duplexes in lots previously restricted for single-family homes in cities larger than 10,000 people. The Oregon House had already approved the bill. The measure, if signed by Gov. Kate Brown in the next month, will also allow larger multi-family units on land previously restricted for single-family homes in cities ... Read more

Arthur Schwartz’s Legal Win is a Huge Loss for Bus Riders – Streetsblog New York City

Arthur Schwartz’s win is a big loss for bus riders. Instead of a celebratory unveiling of New York City’s first car-free Busway on Monday, Schwartz’s last-minute lawsuit against the transit improvement forced bus riders on 14th Street to struggle with the same old misery they’ve been dealing with for years: bus speeds so slow that riders would be better off walking. As a result of a judge’s order last week, the red paint on 14th Street signifying “Bus Only” lanes was instead covered with parked cars. The result? A bus ride from First to 10th avenues on 14th Street’s new ... Read more

Virginia’s Unlovable I-81 Expansion – Streetsblog USA

In this year’s installment of its annual “Highway Boondoggles” report, Gideon Weissman of Frontier Group and Matthew Casale of U.S. PIRG Education Fund deliver a stark warning about the billions of dollars states spend on unnecessary highways that fracture our cities, deprive transit of scarce funds, and pollute our environment. Below is the last of nine installments detailing case studies of these harmful roadways: Virginia’s widening of I-81, supposedly for safety reasons, when operational improvements would be a far cheaper and more effective. Interstate 81 is a rural highway that runs along the western edge of Virginia. Aiming to raise freight ... Read more