Getting away with M U R D E R

In memoriam 2013.

Streetsblog: Doing its job year after year in New York City.

Each year our friends over at STREETSblog in New York City publish a heart-rending testimonial to the mayhem that automobiles have wrought over the year on their city’s streets and the cost in terms of lives lost by innocent pedestrians usa ghost bike photoand cyclists. Putting names, faces and human tragedy to what otherwise takes the form of dry numbers, faceless hence quickly forgettable statistics is an important task. We can only encourage responsible citizens and activists in every city on the planet to do the same thing, holding those public officials (and let’s not forget, “public servants”) responsible for what goes on under their direct control.

Who is doing this job in your city?

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Streetsblog: Doing its job year after year in New York City. In memoriam 2012

Each year our friends over at STREETSblog in New York City publish a heart-rending testimonial to the mayhem that automobiles have wrought over the year on their city’s streets and the cost in terms of lives lost by innocent pedestrians and cyclists. Putting names, faces and human tragedy to what otherwise takes the form of dry numbers, faceless hence quickly forgettable statistics is an important task. We can only encourage responsible citizens and activists in every city on the planet to do the same thing, holding those public officials (and let’s not forget, we call them “public servants”, and for excellent reason) responsible for what goes on under their direct control. Continue reading

Honk! Getting off the ox (when it comes to cars and cities).

There is a bit of ancient Hindu  wisdom that goes, roughly: How can a man riding an ox and looking for an ox, ever find the ox.  The answer being of course, only when he gets off the ox. Thus it is in life, but for many of us it is somewhere between hard and impossible to ever get off the ox of our perceptions and set values. But there are, thankfully, creative people who can do this.

Here by way of a quick warm-up is one quick demonstration of this off-the-ox approach from the lively mind of Jean Tinguely of his Cyclograveur, in short a bicycle that, as you pant and pedal, paints beautiful (?!?) pictures. And now t for your weekend reading pleasure let’s have a look at what our friends over at Streetsblog have just reported on another more timely off-the-ox transportation project, this time by the ever-ingenious Chris Burden with his post-Tinguely road-wrapping machine, Metropolis II.  Off we go. Continue reading

Combating the Myth That Complete Streets Are Too Expensive

 from Streetsblog DC takes a good look at this often-advanced view that, good as they may be for a wide range of reasons, the fact is that we just can’t afford complete streets. One more great reason not to change, eh?

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The Battle for the Streets of New York City

What was the song? “If you can do it here you can do it anywhere. New York New York”? Well there just may be something to that. Here is some of the latest on how the proponents of more and safer biking in New York City are using social media to gain support from the citizen base, while at the same time an irate lobby is doing its best to keep the streets as they were and, as they hope, ever shall be. Amen Sister. (BTW, this is by no means a unique conflict. It could be your city.) Continue reading

New York City Memorial Project: Remembering walkers and cyclists killed on the city’s streets

On Sunday, the NYC Street Memorial Project held the 6th Annual Memorial Ride and Walk. According to the New York City Department of Transportation, 151 pedestrians and 18 bicyclists were killed on the streets of New York City in 2010. Participants called for stronger measures to reduce traffic fatalities. The ride culminated by installing a “Ghost Bike” in front of Brooklyn Borough Hall for the unnamed pedestrians and cyclists killed in 2010. Continue reading

What percent of your city’s street space is allocated to non-car uses

The pie chart you will find just below  graphically illustrates the state of street space allocation today in New York City, after four years of hard work on a committed local effort by city government and many associations to free street space for pedestrians, bikes and buses. All that for less than one half of one percent of the public space given over to cars. So here is our question this morning: Do things look any better in your city in 2011? We invite your reports and comments. Continue reading

Streetsblog: Doing its job in New York City. In memoriam 2010

Each year our friends over at Streetsblog in New York City publish a heart-rending testimonial to the mayhem that automobiles have wrought over the year on their city’s streets and the cost in terms of lives lost by innocent pedestrians and cyclists. Putting names, faces and human tragedy to what otherwise takes the form of dry numbers, faceless hence quickly forgettable statistics is an important task. We can only encourage responsible citizens and activists in every city on the planet to do the same thing, holding those public officials (and let’s not forget, we call them “public servants” and for excellent reason) responsible for what goes on under their direct control. Continue reading

“The Weekly Carnage” (A template for your city)

True democracy is only possible with the daily participation of vigilant and active citizens. Periodic elections and public administrations are of course critical building blocks for a democratic society; but without an active citizenry the full benefits of democracy evade us.  As active citizens we are obliged to act as “a thorn in the side of possibly hesitant administrators, politicians and businessmen in denial; and through our joint efforts, energy and personal choices, placing them and ourselves firmly on the path to a more sustainable and more just society.”

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Tribute to Streetsblog and New York City Think Local, Act Local, Act Strong, Act Now!

In closing out the old year we would like to invite you all in your cities around the world to reflect on this. Something that our friends over at Streetsblog in New York City have just published and which is part of their long term commitment to drawing attention to the terrible injustices (the phrase is not too strong) our transportation arrangements and enforcement and legal systems are perpetrating on innocent pedestrians and cyclists on the streets of our cities every day. Shouldn’t you be doing something like this in your city?

Have a look at this uncompromising, no excuses editorial that appeared yesterday in Streetsblog’s New York City edition. You will see their sentence: “Of the 66 pedestrians, seven cyclists and one wheelchair user known to have died since January, in only 12 cases was the driver reportedly charged for taking a life.” At least one city now has someone who is doing the arithmetic and making it public. Surely a first step in the process of redressing these outrageous wrongs.

[Source: http://www.streetsblog.org/2009/12/28/in-memoriam/]

In Memoriam

Post by Brad Aaron

Each year, scores of pedestrians and cyclists die on New York City streets, while thousands are injured. Though the total number of road fatalities is trending down, those who get around the city on foot and by bike have seen their casualty rate rise.

Incidents of vehicle-inflicted violence are so frequent that many go unreported in the papers or on TV news, even when the outcome is death. Based on Streetsblog coverage, media stories and reader accounts, what follows is a record of those known to have lost their lives in 2009.

The victims listed below were killed on their way to and from work, church, or the corner store, while taking their dogs for a walk or coming home from a birthday party. They were grandparents, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, best friends. Many died alone or anonymously, their names never appearing in any public forum. Others were mortally wounded within sight of loved ones. With few exceptions, thanks to lax enforcement and scattershot prosecution of weak traffic laws, their killers are behind the wheel today. Of the 66 pedestrians, seven cyclists and one wheelchair user known to have died since January, in only 12 cases was the driver reportedly charged for taking a life.

As this list is undoubtedly incomplete, please use the comments to share remembrances of those named here, and the names and stories of those we missed.

memoriam_array.jpgSuzette Blanco, Janine Brawer, Miguel Colon, Yvette Diaz
  • Howard Adrian, 84, Pedestrian, Killed Feb. 23 on Staten Island; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Ibrihim Ahmed, 9, Pedestrian, Killed Jan. 6 in Queens; Driver Charged With Suspended License (Streetsblog 1, 2, 3)
  • Suzette Blanco, 20, Pedestrian, Killed June 7 in the Bronx; 1 Driver Charged With DWI and Leaving Scene, 1 Driver Hit-and-Run (News, Post)
  • Janine Brawer, 17, Pedestrian, Died Nov. 19 on Staten Island; Drivers Not Charged (Advance)
  • Donald Bryan, 31, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens Aug. 23; Driver Not Charged (News, Courier)
  • Guido Salvador Carabajo-Jara, 26, Pedestrian, Killed Feb. 11 in Queens; Drivers Not Charged (City Room 1, 2)
  • Francisco Chapul, 21, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens Nov. 14; 1 Driver Hit-and-Run, 2 Drivers Not Charged (Post, NY1)
  • Miguel Colon, 37, Pedestrian, Killed July 12 in the Bronx; Driver Charged With Manslaughter, Homicide (NYT, News)
  • Angela D’Ambrose, 15, Pedestrian, Killed Oct. 8 in Queens; Driver Not Charged (Post, News)
  • Concetta DiBenedetto, 78, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens Nov. 19; Driver Not Charged (Post)
  • Yvette Diaz, 28, Pedestrian, Killed Nov. 15 in the Bronx; Hit-and-Run (News)
  • Li Qun Fang, 43, Pedestrian, Killed March 12 in Queens; Hit-and-Run (News 1, 2)

memoriam_2.jpgConcetta DiBenedetto, Li Qun Fang, Marilyn Feng, Paula Jimenez
  • Marilyn Feng, 26, Pedestrian, Killed Feb. 7 in Manhattan; Driver [Jersey City PD] Charged With DWI, Manslaughter (News, Post)
  • Kyle Francis, 13, Pedestrian, Killed May 18 in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (News, Post)
  • Joshua Ganzfried, 9, Pedestrian, Killed Sept. 12 in Brooklyn; Driver Charged With Suspended License (News, Post)
  • JoAnne Hayden-Weissman, 55, Pedestrian, Killed April 16 in Queens; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Linda Hewson, 50, Pedestrian, Killed Sept. 26 in Manhattan; Driver Driver Charged With Manslaughter, DWI (Post, MT)
  • Javier Jackson, 79, Pedestrian, Killed Oct. 8 in Manhattan; Driver [NYPD] Not Charged (Post, News, NY1)
  • Hugo Janssen, 73, Pedestrian, Killed Dec. 13 in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run (News, Post, NY1)
  • Paula Jimenez, 34, Pedestrian, Died Aug. 30 in Queens; Driver Charged With Homicide (News, Post)
  • Jerome Johnson, 48, Pedestrian, Killed June 12 in Manhattan; Hit-and-Run, Charges Unknown (News, Post)
  • Seth Kahn, 22, Pedestrian, Killed Nov. 4 in Manhattan; Driver [MTA Bus] Charged for Failure to Yield (Streetsblog)
  • Matthew Kim, 30, Pedestrian, Killed July 3 in Queens; Hit-and-Run (Post, News)
  • Violetta Krzyzak, 38, Pedestrian, Killed April 27 in Brooklyn; Driver Charged With Manslaughter, Homicide (Streetsblog 1, 2)
memoriam_3.jpgJames Langergaard, Harry Lewner, Diego Martinez, Eliseo Martinez
  • James Langergaard, 38, Cyclist, Killed Aug. 14 in Queens; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Harry Lewner, 58, Pedestrian, Killed Dec. 17 in Brooklyn; 1 Driver Charged With Leaving Scene, 1 Driver Not Charged (NY1, Gothamist)
  • Vivian Long, 73, Pedestrian, Killed May 26 in Manhattan; Driver [Access-A-Ride] Not Charged (News)
  • Diego Martinez, 3, Pedestrian, Killed Jan. 22 in Manhattan; Driver Not Charged (NYT, Streetsblog)
  • Eliseo Martinez, 32, Cyclist, Killed Sept. 7 in Brooklyn; No Known Media Reports (Ghost Bikes)
  • Virginia McKibbin, 65, Pedestrian, Killed Dec. 2 in Brooklyn; Driver [MTA Bus] Not Charged (Post, NY1)
  • Julian Miller, 45, Cyclist, Killed Sept. 18 in Brooklyn; Motorcyclist Also Killed (The Local 1, 2)
  • Virginia Montalvo, 71, Pedestrian, Killed April 7 in Queens; Hit-and-Run (News, NYT)
  • Hayley Ng, 4, Pedestrian, Killed Jan. 22 in Manhattan; Driver Not Charged (NYT, Streetsblog)
  • Drana Nikac, 67, Pedestrian, Killed Oct. 30 in the Bronx; Driver [Off-Duty NYPD] Charged With DWI, Homicide (R’dale Press)
  • Robert Ogle, 16, Pedestrian, Killed Feb. 1 in Queens; Driver Charged With DWI, Manslaughter (News, NYT, Post)
  • Axel Pablo, 8, Pedestrian, Killed Aug. 13 in Manhattan; Driver [Yellow Cab] Not Charged (Post, News)
memoriam_4.jpgJulian Miller, Drana Nikac, Hayley Ng, Robert Ogle
  • Alex Paul, 20, Pedestrian, Killed Feb. 1 in Queens; Driver Charged With DWI, Manslaughter (News, NYT, Post)
  • Nathan Pakow, 47, Pedestrian, Killed Feb. 26 on Staten Island; Driver Charged With Homicide (Streetsblog)
  • Pablo Pasaras, 27, Cyclist, Killed Aug. 8 in Queens; Driver Charged With Homicide (Streetsblog, Gazette)
  • Sonya Powell, 40-42, Pedestrian, Killed Nov. 27 in the Bronx; Driver Charged With Leaving Scene and Suspended License (News, Post, NY1, WABC)
  • Ysemny Ramos, 29, Pedestrian, Killed March 27 in Manhattan; Driver Charged With DWI, Manslaughter (NYT, News)
  • Solange Raulston, 33, Cyclist, Killed Dec. 13 in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (News, Post, Bklyn Paper, Gothamist)
  • Luis Rivera, 22, Pedestrian, Killed Oct. 31 in the Bronx; Driver [MTA Bus] Not Charged (AMNY, News)
  • Lillian Sabados, 77, Pedestrian, Killed Nov. 25 on Staten Island; Driver Charged With Leaving Scene and Suspended License
  • Peter Sabados, 78, Pedestrian, Killed Nov. 25 on Staten Island; Driver Charged With Leaving Scene and Suspended License (NYT)
  • Edith Schaller, 87-88, Pedestrian, Killed Nov. 30 in Brooklyn; Drivers Not Charged (News, Post)
  • Susanne Schnitzer, 61, Pedestrian, Killed April 8 in Manhattan; No Known Media Reports (NYT, Streetsblog)
  • Juan Sifuentes, 67, Pedestrian, Killed July 15 in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run (AP)
memoriam_5.jpgAxel Pablo, Nathan Pakow, Sonya Powell, Solange Raulston
  • Matvey Smolovich, 25, Pedestrian, Killed May 26 in Brooklyn; Driver [School Bus] Not Charged (News)
  • Catorino Solis, 48, Pedestrian, Killed Dec. 21 in Manhattan; Driver Charged for Unlicensed Operation and Moving Violations (News)
  • Andrzej Suchorzepka, 48, Pedestrian, Killed Aug. 2 in Queens; Hit-and-Run (News)
  • Dan Valle, 26, Cyclist, Killed Feb. 18 in Brooklyn; No Known Media Reports (MTR)
  • Vionique Valnord, 32, Pedestrian, Killed Sept. 27 in Brooklyn; Driver [NYPD] Charged With Manslaughter, DWI (NYT)
  • Dorothea Wallace, 38, Pedestrian, Killed Nov. 3 in Brooklyn; Driver [Off-Duty NYS Corrections] Charged With Suspended License (News, Post, NY1)
  • Fred Wilson, 66, Pedestrian, Killed Sept. 12 in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (News, Post, Post)
  • Hui Wu, 26, Pedestrian, Killed Feb. 20 in Brooklyn; Driver [MTA Bus] Not Charged (News, NY1)
  • Stanislaw Zak, 65, Pedestrian, Killed June 9 in Brooklyn; Driver Charged With Manslaughter, Homicide (News, Post)
  • Unnamed Cyclist, 72, Killed June 27 in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (News, Bklyn Paper)
  • Tina [Surname Unknown], Pedestrian, Killed Sept. 12 in Manhattan; Driver Not Charged (News)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, Killed Jan. 21 in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run (Post)
memoriam_6.jpgYsemny Ramos, Peter and Lillian Sabados, Edith Schaller, Hui Wu
  • Two Unnamed Pedestrians, Killed April 8 in Manhattan and Queens; Hit-and-Runs (News)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, 20, Killed April 15 in Manhattan; Driver Charged With DWI (Post)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, Killed May 15 in Manhattan; Driver [Yellow Cab] Not Charged (News)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, Killed May 26 in Queens; Driver Not Charged (News)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, Killed July 26 in the Bronx; Hit-and-Run (News)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, Killed Aug. 2 in Manhattan; Hit-and-Run (NYT, News)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, Killed Aug. 9 in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (News)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, Killed Oct. 22 in Queens; No Known Media Reports (Gothamist)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, Killed Nov. 15 in Queens; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, 48, Killed Nov. 15 in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run, Driver Not Charged (Post)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, Killed Nov. 15 in the Bronx; 1 Driver Hit-and-Run, 1 Driver Not Charged (News)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, 79-80, Killed Dec. 15 in Brooklyn; Driver [Ambulance] Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Unnamed Wheelchair User, Killed Sept. 1 in Brooklyn; Charges Unknown (News)


# # #

Look at those faces. Think of those lives so terribly truncated, simply because we are not smart or fair enough to do better. But it does not have to be that way.

We know of course the answer to this: (a) Fewer cars on the street, moving far more slowly (we trap them through slow street architecture), far better protection for all others out on the street, and drivers who when at the wheel have the fear of their life of what will happen to them in the event they are the source of incident, injury or death. This coupled with (b) clear and simple laws, that are made widely known, together with draconian enforcement coupled with strict and immediate punishment which is comparable to the offenses committed. And no exceptions or exemptions. Sometimes life is simple.

The editor, World Streets

New York City Congestion Pricing Wars: Ideas vs. politics vs. indifference

This is the first of a two part series by New Yorker Charles Komanoff, an activist, energy-economist and policy-analyst, taking on the loud (and so far powerful) opposition to the concept of bringing road pricing to provide some relief to New York City’s crowded streets.

We are pleased to reprint this short piece with the author’s permission, as published last week in the pages of our diligent Streetsblog New York colleagues, on the grounds that this debate has implications that stretch far beyond that great city’s crowded streets.

We particularly recommend that you take a few minutes to review the Comments that follow this piece. Many of which are informative and quite thought provoking. They provide a good idea of the mental landscape in that city. Click here to view those comments.

Paradox, Schmaradox. Congestion Pricing Works.

- by Charles Komanoff

We’re used to seeing bizarre patterns of thinking on the Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages, but an op-ed in Friday’s Journal took it to a new level: “How Traffic Jams Help the Environment.”

Still more bizarrely, the author was New Yorker writer David Owen, promoter of the commonsensical idea that urban density is energy-efficient, hence big cities are green.

For some reason Owen has taken a dislike to congestion pricing, and it has led him to construct an elaborate Rube Goldberg argument to prove that congestion pricing leads to more driving:

If reducing [congestion] merely makes life easier for those who drive, then the improved traffic flow can actually increase the environmental damage done by cars, by raising overall traffic volume, encouraging sprawl and long car commutes.

What a lovely paradox … and how ridiculous, as Owen could have discovered by giving London’s congestion pricing experience (or Stockholm’s or Singapore’s) more than a cursory glance.

As any student of urban traffic now knows, London’s cordon pricing scheme cut traffic within the charging zone an average of 15 percent, raised travel speeds 30 percent, and greatly expanded bus ridership and cycle commuting — with little increase in traffic outside the zone or other negative effects. (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/Impacts-monitoring-report-2.pdf)

Nearly seven years on, the reasons are fairly obvious:

* Raising the price to drive into the center of London made car commuting less attractive.

* The gain in driving speeds attracted some new trips but not so many as to cancel the lost ones.

* Bus transit benefited from a virtuous cycle in which improved speeds attracted riders, further reducing traffic and also financing service improvements which attracted still more riders, further reducing traffic, etc.

* Ditto for cycling, though here the synergy was via safety in numbers.

All this was intuited back in the day by Transport for London staff, including Jay Walder, who has subsequently become the new MTA chief. The only uncertainty was the extent to which new car trips attracted by the time savings would undercut the reduction in trips from the congestion charge.

As it happened, some “induced traffic,” as Owen might have termed it, did materialize, but at far less than the one-for-one rate he assumed in his article. Without it, the drop in traffic might have been 20 percent or more. But the actual equilibrium, a settled 15 percent reduction in cordon traffic, was robust enough to achieve the desired results: faster travel by every mode, greater use of transit, and less VMT (vehicle miles traveled). Congestion pricing is indeed green.

To trace Owen’s error, look no further than his hypothesis: “If reducing [congestion] merely makes life easier for those who drive …”

Emphasis added; the “merely” is quite important. When the reduction in traffic is caused by a congestion charge, life is not just easier for those who continue driving but more costly as well. Yes, there’s a seesaw between price effects and time effects, but setting the congestion price at the right point will rebalance the system toward less driving, without harming the city’s economy.

What’s that right price point, then? It’s not quite rocket science to figure it out, though it does take some thinking (not to mention continual tinkering if exogenous reductions in road capacity erode the original congestion benefits, as TfL reported recently). It’s a subject Ted Kheel and I have in fact been thinking about for quite a while now, and if you would like to do some thinking about it too, start with our Balanced Transportation Analyzer — http://www.nnyn.org/kheelplan/BTA_1.1.xls –and contact us with questions or criticisms (email: kea AT igc.org).

In his piece, Owen linked former Londoner and current MTA honcho Walder with the idea of congestion pricing. One can’t help wondering whether he or the Journal intended it as a pre-emptive strike against a possible renewed push for congestion pricing in New York City. Whatever the motivation, it’s disappointing to see a writer who has rightly urged Americans to “live closer” peddling the defeatist — and false — notion that the price of urban virtue is eternal gridlock.

# # #

* Click here to read the original piece in Streetsblog (with Comments)

The author:
Charles Komanoff “re-founded” NYC’s bike-advocacy group Transportation Alternatives in the 1980s, helped found the Tri-State Transportation Campaign in the 1990s, and co-founded the Carbon Tax Center in 2007. Charles’s writings include books, articles, and landmark reports such as Subsidies for Traffic, Killed By Automobile, and the Kheel Report on financing free transit in New York City. A math-and-economics graduate of Harvard, Charles lives with his wife and two sons in lower Manhattan

What if everyone drove to work this morning?

And now let us turn to the Big Apple, New York City, and listen to what they have to tell us about what would happen if tomorrow everyone who normally commutes into the city by subway decided instead to drive in and park their car. For the non-initiated, that is for non-New York natives, this piece, originally written to the local language, has been prepared for the ROW and is divided into three parts: (a) map, (b) rant, (c)lexicon.

– Original posting to Streetsblog NY by Brad Aaron on August 10, 2009

1. The Map:

Let’s start with their map:


You probably can already see what they are up to. It might be interesting and instructive to run a similar drill for such a transfer in your city. If you do, please share your map and basic nunbers with us. We will surely publish it.

2. The rant (that is the original language Streetsblog NY piece):

[The map shows the . . . ] amount of space that would be needed for cars if subway-riding New Yorkers thought like, say, a certain assemblyman from Westchester.

Sure, knocking the MTA is a favorite local past time, particularly for the politicians and press who are practically guaranteed a “Hallelujah!” chorus for every barb (today’s scandal: fat cat transit workers poised to rake in cost-of-living allowance!!). But despite the MTA’s problems, as Michael Frumin points out on his Frumination blog, the city’s streets and highways can’t hold a candle to the subways when it comes to moving commuters into and out of Manhattan’s Central Business District.

Parsing data derived from 2008 subway passenger counts and the NYMTC 2007 Hub Bound Report [PDF], Frumin writes:

Just to get warmed up, chew on this — from 8:00AM to 8:59 AM on an average Fall day in 2007 the NYC Subway carried 388,802 passengers into the CBD on 370 trains over 22 tracks. In other words, a train carrying 1,050 people crossed into the CBD every 6 seconds. Breathtaking if you ask me.

Over this same period, the average number of passengers in a vehicle crossing any of the East River crossings was 1.20. This means that, lacking the subway, we would need to move 324,000 additional vehicles into the CBD (never mind where they would all park).

At best, it would take 167 inbound lanes, or 84 copies of the Queens Midtown Tunnel, to carry what the NYC Subway carries over 22 inbound tracks through 12 tunnels and 2 (partial) bridges.

At worst, 200 new copies of 5th Avenue. Somewhere in the middle would be 67 West Side Highways or 76 Brooklyn Bridges. And this neglects the Long Island Railroad, Metro North, NJ Transit, and PATH systems entirely.

Take a gander at the map above to get an idea of the real estate that would be taken up by all those cars. Think such a proposition would lead John Liu to base his stances on congestion pricing and bridge tolls on principle, rather than wind direction? Could Deborah Glick overlook her personal hatred for the billionaire mayor long enough to save her constituents from carmaggedon? Would the prospect of seeing his district literally transformed into a parking lot prompt Sheldon Silver to finally take an unequivocal stand favoring transit over car commuting?

Right. Probably not.

————–

3. The lexicon

New York for Dummies Guide for non-New Yorkers

MTA is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority , the organization responsible for delivering public transportation for the New York Region. MTA subways, buses, and railroads provide 2.6 billion trips each year to New Yorkers – http://www.mta.info/

NYMTC is the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council is an association of governments, transportation providers and environmental agencies that is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for New York City, Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley. – http://www.nymtc.org/

Individual local heroes named or hinted at: See links in article.

# # #
Brad Aaronhas written extensively on government, business, education, the environment, urban planning and transportation, among other topics, began freelancing for Streetsblog NY in early 2007 and became Deputy Editor in February 2008. He lives in Inwood, at the northernmost tip of Manhattan, where he can always get a seat on the A train.

Profiles: Streetfilm – Seeing it helps you to believe it.

The goal behind the Livable Streets Network, of which Streetfilms is one component, is to harness 21st-century communications technologies to create a powerful consensus for change in our cities — and make them into safer, healthier, and fairer places to live, learn, work and play. But for this to happen the indispensable intermediate step is to find ways to help people change their minds, challenge their old ways of thinking about how they live and get around in their city. So with this in mind the Network is working with a wide variety of tools. One of these is Streetfilms.

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