Tuesday, May 21, 2013
According to CBS 2 News, security video from a building on West 15th Street shows legally parked cars receiving parking tickets less than 30 minutes after new parking signs were installed by the Department of Transportation. The signs, which went from "Alternate side parking, Monday and Thursday" to "No Standing Anytime," were changed as the city continues adding racks on the street for the new bike share program.
While there were paper signs posted that warned drivers that cars would be towed if they remained past 6 p.m., the $115 parking tickets were issued six hours earlier. When asked about the incident, DOT spokesperson Nicole Gomez stated, "Parking next to a bike stand is illegal. Still, any motorist who believes they received a ticket in error can contest it through the Department of Finance, which adjudicates violations.”
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The NYC Department of Transportation announced that the one lane ramps on the FDR Drive leading to the Brooklyn Bridge have been widened to help east congestion. Another ramp at the Cadman Plaza exit on the Brooklyn side is scheduled to also be widened later this year. The larger ramps are part of the $508 million renovation of the Bridge, which began in 2010 and is expected to end next year. The project includes a complete paint job and repairs on all the approach ramps. DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says, “New Yorkers can take pride knowing that the Brooklyn Bridge will serve as the premier inter-borough connection for another 130 years."
The 124-year-old Carroll Street Bridge, which connects Carroll Gardens to Park Slope is being repaired due to damage done by Hurricane Sandy, as well as old age. Workers have set the tiny bridge in the open position, where it will remain for approximately five months. Layers of the bridge's wooden planking have been stripped away, due to wood rot, and will be replaced. The cobblestones have been reset, and there are plans to update electrical systems and bring everything up to code.
Monday, May 6, 2013
According to USA Today, New York City is the 5th worst in the country when it comes to traffic. The rating was based on several factors, including the driver's speed on the road during both peak hours and off hours, commute time, percentage of commuters driving to work, and population density.
While NYC didn't have the worst traffic in the US, commuters did have the worst average commute time, clocking in at 34.9 minutes. The city was also the among the most congested, with the highest population density in the country with 2,826 people per square mile, and had the lowest percentage of commuters actually driving to work. Just under half of NYC commuters use public transportation.
Four of the worst congested roadways were in NY, including a section of the Cross Bronx Expressway, which earned the dubious honor of worst in the nation.
The top ten U.S. cities with the worst traffic are:
9. Washington D.C
7. San Jose
5. New York
3. San Francisco
1. Los Angeles
Full survey results can be found here.
How does your commute measure up?
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
According to the Daily News, Mayor Bloomberg is unveiling a new pilot program in the Belmont section of the Bronx today that will allow drivers to use a mobile phone app to pay for their street parking. Drivers will sign up for Pay-by-Phone using their vehicle's registration and credit card number. Once parked, users will type in the muni-meter number closest to their vehicle and then add time using the app. Motorists will also be able to add more time remotely using their phones, rather than having to return to their cars with a new muni receipt.
Belmont was chosen to host the program because the neighborhood around Arthur Avenue is one of the most ticketed areas of the city. The Department of Transportation's real time parking conditions map of Belmont is available here. The map shows the 264 spaces along 18 blocks that are included in the program. Data is refreshed every two minutes and displays low, limited, and available parking space.
What do you think of the new program? Is the end of the muni-meter in sight for NYC?
Thursday, March 28, 2013
According to the NY Times, Mayor Bloomberg's frustration with Albany's lawmakers over his failed speed camera plan erupted yesterday during a news conference near Union Square. When speeding cars cause the death of children in the future, the Mayor said his office would provide the contact information for those responsible: Dean G. Skelos, the Republican majority leader; Simcha Felder, and Martin J. Golden.
"Maybe you want to give those phone numbers to the parents of the child when a child is killed,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “It would be useful so that the parents can know exactly who’s to blame.”
Mr. Felder responded to the Mayor's comments, calling them “inflammatory, reckless and out of touch, as usual.”
While the speed cameras were originally included in the State Assembly's budget package, they have since been removed from the budget that is expected to be approved later this week. Views on speed cameras range from a way to make safer city streets to revenue generators.
City Council speaker Christine C. Quinn, a top Democratic candidate for mayor, supports the cameras, as does Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. However, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and Mr Golden have been vocal in opposing the plan, saying that "the more effective way to reduce speeding would be to hire more officers."
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
According to the Huffington Post, NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly announced plans to "install license plate reader cameras 'in every lane of traffic on all of the bridges and tunnels that serve as entrances and exits to Manhattan.'" Kelly says the NYPD currently has "complete coverage on th Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges and the Battery and Holland Tunnels," with additional bridges receiving plate readers by summer. The readers can capture the license plate numbers along with the time and place, which can then add this information to a police database. The information can be stored for up to five years.
Following Kelly's announcement, the New York Civil Liberties Union sued both the NYPD and the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to gather more information on the cameras. “License plate readers have the potential to track, record and store information forever on every single motorist on our streets, regardless of whether drivers are actually suspected of any crimes or not,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said in a statement. “We need legal protections to limit the collection, retention and sharing of our travel information.”
According to a New York Times report, the NYPD has collected 16 million license plates so far in its database.
Along with the plate readers, the Commisioner also said the department has added a high resolution camera to one of the police helicopters and was interested in flying unmanned drones to fly over demonstrations.
What do you think about Commissioner Kelly's plans? Necessary to keep the city safe or invasion of privacy?
Friday, March 15, 2013
According to the New York Times, Senator Charles E. Schumer and federal officials have announced new federal standards for GPS use in commercial trucks. The new standards are being introduced in an effort to reduce the number of trucks hitting or getting stuck under bridges as a result of being rerouted by their consumer level GPS systems. Mr. Schumer says that, "eighty percent of all trucks that get stuck under bridges are the result of using the wrong GPS."
The federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will issue official recommendations for commercial GPS systems, which take into account the vehicles weight, height, and load when planning routes and avoid roads where that vehicle is prohibited. While the professional units are more expensive, they are expected to save money long term by avoiding costly damage to vehicles.
Drivers applying for or renewing their commercial driver's license will be required to take GPS training.