Jun 18, 2017

Another snippet.

I’ve been watching as the DOT reconfigures the streets around Union Square with another one of their ingenious plans to alter the cityscape. This involves putting in bike lanes...

So I had started this way back in 2012 which is now 7 YEARS AGO! (What the fuck!)

I have very extreme views on this subject truth be told...

The whole reconfiguration of the streets is a bit of a mixed bag in my estimation.

There are certain streets where I think it’s actually made things nicer and then others where it was probably one of the stupidest ideas imaginable. I’m also not a big fan of the city lowering the speed limit either but more on that momentarily.

The bike thing on the surface is a decent idea except for one big drawback...

BICYCLISTS DON’T FOLLOW TRAFFIC LAWS!

Hello! You have bike lanes and bicyclists still manage to ignore red lights, go the wrong way on in bike lanes, ride outside of bike lanes, ride on the sidewalk and still not give pedestrians the right of way.

Bicyclists are of a singular kind of stupid... they believe rules apply to everyone but themselves in the pursuit of their one true God, momentum.

If I had my way, the city would require everyone riding a bike within the five boroughs to be licensed and insured. When I ride the Vespa or if someone rides a motorcycle they need both these things and I’ve seen bicyclists easily go as fast as motorcyclists but they have neither and they can do as much damage.

Ever been hit by one of these dopes? I have.

The guy was riding the wrong way on Union Square West and plowed right into me. He didn’t have the light (never mind riding the wrong way) and he didn’t stop. What was funny was how I managed to keep him from leaving the scene and how I got him arrested too.

Thing is I had to go to the emergency room later that night and I never did sue although I should have. My leg was totally screwed up by the accident. This happens a lot more than you might realize and part of the problem is because it very much unregulated.

Although I will say this, a guy who was sitting next to me on one of my recent gigs road in from Brooklyn everyday and stopped at the gym to shower before coming in. Well, he got nailed with a ticket by the Police at 14th and 1st for running a red light (a nice big hefty one too, like $200!).

Thing is, they really need to enforce the law a lot more.

Now, I don’t drive as much into Manhattan anymore which I guess was part of the goal, but I’ll tell you something else, I NEVER take a taxi anymore! Traffic has become JUST HORRIBLE! And what I don’t understand is with all these cars idling it can’t be good for the air quality. I thought the city had problems meeting the air quality standards so I’m a bit surprised.

The city could do a lot more if they really wanted to cut back on traffic...

First off, while they’ve talked about congestion pricing for anyone going into Manhattan below 96th Street there should be a residence tax on anyone who lives in Manhattan below 96 and who owns a car. You live in Manhattan! Do you really need to have a car? Aren’t you just adding to the congestion by owning one?

So, there’s that.

The other thing is that if you work any kind of weird hours and live way outside the city like I do driving sometimes is the ONLY option to commute to work. Public transportation outside the five boroughs is nowhere close to the level of service in the city. People commuting in should not be penalized further especially at a time when wages have remained flat and everything else (gas and tolls) have gone up!

The other thing the city could do is to mandate all deliveries in the city to take place between the hours of 10pm and 6am, this would actually lead to an increase in jobs.

And speaking of jobs can we finally do flex time and telecommuting? I know the tendency is towards the open office so an eye can be kept on all the worker bees but really? If we staggered work hours it would lead to less overcrowding on the transit system and also on the roads. Telecommuting would take that traffic away altogether.

One other thing the city could do is to designate specific crosstown streets and avenues as Bus and Taxis only, NOT UBER, NOT LYFT but medallion taxis and radio car services that are licensed and regulated by the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission. It would put those services back on an equal footing with the new darlings who dodge regulation by allowing those vehicles to use roads meant to speed them around town.

So, those are my suggestions... the speed limit thing. Let’s just go back to what it was. New York is a big city and considering the size of it, there are VERY LITTLE in the way of traffic/pedestrians deaths each year given the volume of people and the volume of traffic. If folks want to live in nice, idyllic and quiet surroundings, there’s a simple answer for them... MOVE!

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