December 20th, 2017: Losing Control

Cold and gusty today so be prepared:

wed

Wednesday Mostly sunny, with a steady temperature around 40. West wind 14 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

Wednesday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 28. Wind chill values between 20 and 25. Northwest wind 9 to 13 mph.

Sunrise: 7:16am

Sunset: 4:31pm

Though thousands will ride on undaunted:

Cycling is the fastest-growing mode of transit in the city after all:

And not everybody can decide not to ride when it's cold:

ebikes amny

Qiang Li, a Manhattan delivery worker who uses an e-bike, said he works six days a week, twelve hours a day, in order to make a living and support his family. Each day he delivers 50 to 60 orders, riding about 60 miles. Li said he makes about three dollars an hour before tips and sends money to his paralyzed mother in China.

“I cannot rest no matter how bad the weather is or how many hills [there are],” Li said, through a translator, estimating that about 80 percent of his colleagues would lose their jobs without e-bikes. “Electric bikes are our tools of survival.”

The crackdown hasn't even officially begun yet and it's already being misapplied:

Trusting the NYPD to differentiate between legal and illegal ebikes is like relying on the counter staff at Sephora to correctly diagnose your questionable mole...or like expecting a mayor or who doesn't ride a bike to make reasonable decisions about enforcement:

roundable

When is the last time you rode a bike in New York?

Oh, god. The last time I rode a bike in New York City was certainly around Prospect Park and was at least six, seven years ago, if not longer, but I couldn’t peg it for you.

Brooklyn State Senator Marty Golden has come under fire this week after an alleged run-in with a cyclist in which allegedly impersonated a police officer. It’s since been revealed that his personal vehicle has racked up at least 38 traffic violations, including speeding in school zones. In 2005, he hit a woman in with his car, and she later died of her injuries. He’s also one of a handful of elected officials in New York who has a City Hall-issued parking placard. Should Marty Golden keep his parking placard?

The last piece I just don’t know — you’re the first person to say ever that sentence to me, I have no reason to disbelieve you, I’ve just never heard that before.

It's the "Oh, god" that really inspires confidence.

Also, this should not be news to the mayor of New York City:

Take an educated guess: what percentage of city residents own cars?

I never hazard guesses. I will say the obvious: much less than almost any city in America. But I don’t know the final answer. Do you want to tell me?

45 percent, roughly. Can you take a guess what their median income is?

I can not guess, will not guess.

It’s $85,000 per year. The median for New York City is around $50,000.

Alright. I’ve learned something new today.

He only hazards guesses when cracking down on ebikes despite a total lack of data.

Perhaps it's time to rebrand Vision Zero as "Stop Hitting Yourself," as law enforcement continues to engage in unconscionable victim-blaming:

lost control

A bicyclist died Tuesday after losing control and being run over by a tractor-trailer, police said.

The bicyclist and tractor-trailer were traveling eastbound at Graham and Metropolitan avenues around 11:50 a.m., according to police.

That’s when police say the cicylist lost control and fell under the truck’s wheels.

Though if you're lucky enough to survive--and get your hands on some video--then maybe you can sue:

nypd

Charles Gunkel said he was crossing Avenue C toward E. 20th St. with his dog Oct. 31 when a 2017 Dodge SUV slammed into him while he was in the crosswalk.

Behind the wheel was Detective Christopher Edwards, who told a fellow cop who responded to the accident that he was “stopped in traffic” when Gunkel walked into his vehicle.

“Pedestrian continued walking westbound not looking in front of him, causing him to walk into” the NYPD SUV, the police report said. “Pedestrian subsequently fell down.”

Here's what walking into an SUV looks like:

nypd

I imagine this driver would have made a similar explanation if necessary:

Finally, while people freak out over Citi Bike stations and parking, here's the real waste of curb space:

Traffic agents have issued the orphaned ML 320 at Myrtle Avenue next to Fort Green Park some 15 parking tickets totaling $825 — all of which remain unpaid, according to Department of Finance records.

The citations are all for failing to move for the street sweeper. The earliest dates back to Sept. 2, 2016, suggesting the vehicle has not budged since.

Its Virginia plates are two years out of date.

$68 a month is a fantastic deal for a parking space--even if it is outdoors.