Thursday’s Headlines: ‘Why Do Public School Buses Run Red Lights in School Zones?’ Edition

We encountered an illegally parked Reliant school bus in Downtown Brooklyn on Wednesday and decided to run the plate through Streetsie Award winner Brian Howald‘s indispensable @howsmydrivingny account: It turns out, the public school bus had run red lights or been caught speeding nine times! Hello, anyone awake at the switch at the Department of Education?

And here’s your news:

  • The NY Post is the latest outlet to report on an increase in traffic injuries — and pedestrian deaths — despite the city’s Vision Zero approach. The story included this head-scratcher, “Department of Transportation officials said that, overall, city streets are still safer, despite the higher crash count.” Think about that.
  • Here’s yet another NY Times headline with a foolish question mark: “The PATH Train Loses $400 Million a Year. Why Keep Spending Billions on It?” (Sorry, here’s the snarky answer: Because transit is not supposed to run at a profit — it’s a piece of public infrastructure that supports everyone else’s profits, which expands the tax base! That’s why government builds it in the first place. Seriously, who greenlights these stories?)
  • One of Manhattan’s great new public spaces — the Canoe! — is officially done on the West Side of Manhattan, reports our friend at CHEKPEDS. It took years, but the city finally took away a lane of on-street car storage to give traffic-challenged Hells Kitchen residents a place to sit and relax. Check out the before and after shots at the bottom of this post.
  • Running for public advocate (and who isn’t)? You get to name your own party! (WSJ)
  • Even the MTA is starting to complain about Mayor de Blasio’s horrifically botched rollout of Fair Fares. (NY Post)
  • Remember that lawsuit brought by the taxi industry to stop the congestion fee on for-hire vehicles? Yeah, it’s really hurting the MTA already. (WSJ)
  • Second Avenue Sagas started the year off with a bang, offering a deep dive into why the MTA seems to be more obsessed with fare evasion than with its persistent ridership decline.
  • Gothamist followed our coverage of the New Year’s Day death of e-bike rider Hugo Garcia, but failed to point out that Garcia’s death would be classified as a motorist death, not a cyclist death, thanks to an NYPD policy that has not been explained. (Gothamist) Meanwhile, NBC News reporter Rebecca Davis joined the chorus of voices calling for the city Department of Transportation to make our roads safer.
  • That driver who caused the fatal crash in Lower Manhattan late last year was going anywhere 100 (NY Post, NYDN) at the time, authorities said.
  • The Washington Post offers 11 ways to solve climate change — but the long read is being slammed for ignoring the biggest positive change: transit! (WashPo)
  • Conor Oberst once said there are hundreds of ways to get through the day. Possibly inspired by Bright Eyes, CityLab is offering a primer on the hundreds of ways (OK, actually only five) to fund $60-billion in subway repairs. Our favorite? Why, soak the rich, of course. (City Lab)
  • For months, we’ve seen a massive floating billboard plying the waters of the East River. We ignored it — we’re STREETSblog, after all, not SLUICEblog — but our friends at Gothamist have explored the mystery of the U.S.S. Madison Avenue. (Gothamist)
  • And finally, China has landed a spacecraft on the far side of the moon, where there are no streets or bike lanes, but it’s still really interesting. (NY Times)

Here’s Ninth Avenue at 36th Street before and after:

canoe before and after