Friday, November 20, 2015

Tappan Zee tolls to go cashless; Cuomo to suspend toll dodgers' registrations

Photo credit: Wikipedia

According to, the Tappan Zee bridge tolls are going to go cashless this April.  80% of the drivers using the Tappan Zee already use their EZ Pass to pay the toll, and the state is pushing for the remaining 20% to also pay electronically or face consequences.

Although currently the state doesn't do much to go after toll scofflaws, Gov. Cuomo's office announced this week that under a new rule, motorists with five or more unpaid tolls or fees within an 18 month period would have their vehicle registration suspended by the DMV until the balance is paid off.  The motorist would receive notices in the mail before their registration is suspended, giving them the opportunity to pay or dispute the violation.  No legislative approval is required to enact the new rule, and it could go into effect as early as January.  

Approximately $16.5 million per year is lost to chronic toll evaders.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

NYC ticket blitz in effect until 11/22/15

Photo credit: Theodore Parisienne for the NY Daily News

According to the Daily News, the NYPD is conducting a dangerous driving crackdown through November 22 as part of Mayor de Blasio's Vision Zero program.  “It’s an initiative to encourage safe driving, and targeting in order of importance, speeding, failure to yield and cell phone use while driving,” Chief Thomas Chan, commanding officer of the NYPD Transportation Bureau, told the Daily News.

Last year's dangerous driving ticket blitz resulted in over 5,000 summonses passed out in two days, mostly for driving while using a cell phone. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Report finds NY & NJ commuters pay 1/3 of all US tolls

According to the Daily News, a recent report by the International Bridges, Tunnels, and Turnpikes Association, New York and New Jersey commuters pay $4 billion in tolls (out of the $13 billion collected in the entire country) every year.  The report attributes the high cost to the tri-state area having the highest concentration of bridges and tunnels, and commuters themselves.  

The NJ Turnpike Authority collected the most revenue, coming in at $1.42 billion in revenue, with the Port Authority of NY & NJ coming in second place with $1.33 billion in toll revenue.

While there is a high concentration of bridges/ tunnels/ commuters in our area, the tolls themselves are undeniably steep.  Crossing the Verrazanno costs $16, while all Port Authority crossings cost $14, AND the next round of Port Authority toll hikes are set to take place December 1st.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Brooklyn bike activists issue homemade tickets to cars parked in bike lanes

Photo Credit: Benjamin Shepard

According to the Fort Greene- Clinton Hill Patch, members of the Public Space Party spent Monday handing out 25 homemade parking tickets to cars (including 6 police cars) that were blocking bike lanes.  They also posted photos and videos to Twitter, pointing out the number of cars parked in the bike lane around Schermerhorn, in an attempt to clear out the lane for bikers.  

NYC DOT Traffic Rules state that bike lanes are "general no stopping zones."  The NYPD press office was unable to respond for questions regarding the incident, stating they were unaware of the situation.

Friday, October 2, 2015

New slow zones coming to Brooklyn Heights

Image credit:  NYC DOT

According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the NYC DOT plans to install 21 new speed humps around Brooklyn Heights.  The speed humps cause drivers to slow down up to 15% percent, depending on the vehicle's speed.  The slow zone will also have new upgraded signage with better visibility.

Brooklyn Heights was chosen along with 14 other neighborhoods to receive the new slow zones, Neighborhoods were chosen based on crash history, community support, and the location of schools/ senior centers/ day care centers.  


Thursday, September 17, 2015

NYC City Council aims to remove 200 dangerous parking spots from city streets

Photo credit: Joe Marino, NY Daily News

According to the Daily News, the New York City Council introduced a bill to remove up to eight parking spots on 25 dangerous crosswalks around the city, which would be around 200 spots total. Vision Zero initiatives have resulted in fewer parking spaces around the city, as well as those lost to the Citi Bike program. Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the transportation committee, says,"You improve the visibility for drivers and you also create better conditions for cyclists and pedestrians to cross in those intersections."

The bill would target dangerous intersections and ban parked cars within 15 feet of the crosswalks. Rodriguez cites the Broadway and Academy Street intersection, which was similarly changed for greater safety and resulted in fewer accidents.

However, AAA is speaking out against eliminating more parking spaces in the already crowded city. Spokesman Robert Sinclair suggested the DOT would be better off working on dangerous parts of MTA bus routes. such as restricting left turns, giving pedestrians more time to cross, and bigger curbs.  The DOT already has 18 safety projects for bus routes scheduled.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Traffic Advisory for Labor Day Weekend 2015

The NYC Traffic Advisory for this weekend is now available and can be accessed here:

There are many street closures this weekend due to various festivals around the city, so be sure to plan ahead!

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