I was taking a bit of a hibernation here in 2014, dodging the “Artic Vortex(s)” and bad road conditions. This had nothing to do with my recent crash. On Monday (1/20/14) I went out for drinks to congratulate my pal Jonathan Beck who you may remember from his bad bike crash in 2010. He has long since been rebuilt with bionics and has replicated a new cycling maniac of the future–a baby girl. Congratulations to him and wife Britt Reichborn-Kjennerud on daughter, 8.5lb Bucklin Solvei Beck, entering planet Earth, 1/4/14. They’ve got Norwegian roots which explains the names and they’ll be using the middle one (Solvei). Speaking of Bucklin…A front basket that I personally improperly installed on one of my bikes dug into my front wheel on the ride home from drinking with Beck. This caused me to do a endo over the front handlebars in a NY minute and land right on my big nose. Luckily the helmet I insist on wearing helped my injuries to be mostly contained to my face. A very nice Park Slope resident, witnessed my face plant and was very helpful in convincing me not to walk to the nearest hospital (Methodist) but rather to take the ambulance he had phoned in. This was a much better decision then trying to walk 10 blocks with a scarf trying to stop the bleeding. The doctors in the ER were helpful, but it did take 6 hours to get a CAT-scan, Motrin and two stitches…but expect NYC ER’s to be overloaded because of all the hospital closings.
So I haven’t updated the blog in a while in my face healing time, it seems like I should put something up on here, seeing as 2014 is my 10th year of writing this thing.
The bike community here in NYC is eagerly waiting to see what will happen with the new progressive Mayor Bill DeBlasio and his recently appointed administration, primarily the police commissioner William Bratton and new Department of Transportation commish, Polly Trottenberg.
We’re definitely off to a rough start with 18 pedestrian and cyclist fatalities since Mayor DeBlasio was sworn in at the start of 2014.
Here is a brief timeline of some of what’s been going on.
The End of 2013:
Once again, Time’s Up did New Year’s Eve right with a mobile dance party bike ride and after party in Central Park at the Belvedere Castle. If you ever get a chance to experience this event, it’s a great way to ring in the New Year. You get to ride past all the stuck people in Time’s Square waiting for Ryan Seacrest to drop the ball. I mean, it’s freezing, but your movin. Here is a quick video:
(photo by Brad Aaron)
Our bike friendly former D.O.T. commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan is out and jumping on board with outgoing Mayor of the rich side of the two cities, Michael Bloomberg’s team. He’s launching a consulting firm called Bloomberg Associates which will tell other cities how to have the largest wealth desperately and not to drink too much soda. Hopelly Janette will get them to ride more bicycles and cars not to see them as road obstacles.
More about the future of Bloomberg Associates from the NY Times.
Incoming D.O.T. commissioner is Polly Trottenberg:
(photo by: sheepsheadbites.com
A federal transportation policy maker with credentials include working with New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan on the 1998 federal transportation bill and for Senator Chuck Schumer.
Here is more about her from Ben Fried with Streetsblog.org
January 2nd, 2014
Mayor DeBlasio is sworn in and transportation commissioner, Polly Trottenberg meets with parents who were on hand to keep the mayor on task about his promise of working towards Vision Zero. They are also victims of recent traffic violence and lost loved ones to reckless drivers. Vision Zero, is a goal adopted by NYC and brought forward by the new mayor to work towards having zero traffic fatalities of pedestrians and cyclists. Although that number may be impossible to obtain, the idea is to treat every traffic violent death as equally significant and even one death is too many. It is also a goal of a city, to work towards making efforts to make these fatalities avoidable through infrastructure, awareness and cracking down on motor vehicle violations. This seems especially important when for the last three years, around this time, the NYPD has chosen to crack down on bad cycling behavior and making no efforts to curb speeding cars and other moving violations that end up killing people, unlike bikes not stopping for lights in Central Park.
The Commissioner wasn’t aware of this particular demonstration on inauguration day, but the site of it caught her attention and she made time to find out what the people holding the vision zero signs had to say:
Trottenberg Meets Parents of Traffic Violence Victims at Inauguration. by Stephen Miller.
Incoming Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, right, speaks with Amy Cohen, whose 12-year-old son was killed by a driver on Prospect Park West. Photo: Stephen Miller
Mayor DeBlasio introduces the new police commissioner William Bratton at a press conference. Bratton a former NYC police commissioner in NYC (1994-96) has been in Los Angeles, vehemently cracking down on jaw walkers of those few citizens that actually aren’t driving in a car.
Here is a video from Bratton’s press conference:
January 3rd, 2014
Epic news, after the first major snow storm of 2014, the D.O.T. actually plows the Prospect Park West bike lane.
Animal Magazine, has a story which may answer the big question of what Citibike is going to do in the snow…keep right on going. Over 3,000 trips were taken by New Yorkers not deterred by freezing temperatures or a little snow.
3,000 CitiBike Rides Taken Today. by Andy Cush.
January 6th, 2014
Woman in Queens becomes first traffic violence fatality, killed by hit and run driver, already blowing Vision Zero.
From the Daily News: Woman killed in Queens hit and run Accident.
and more from Streetsblog: Hit-and-Run Driver Not Charged in Death of Queens Pedestrian Mosa Khatun
by Brad Aaron
January 8th, 2014
Member of the Wu-Tang Clan known as, The Rugged Child (Shyheim Franklin) turns himself into police, admitting to hit-and-run fatality in Staten Island on New Year’s Day.
From the NY Post: Wu-Tang associate turns self in after fatal hit and run.
January 13th, 2014
Three pedestrians were fatally struck by motorists over the weekend, bringing to seven the number of people killed while walking in New York City in the first two weeks of 2014.
Twenty pedestrians were killed by city motorists in January 2013, according to NYPD data, and 12 pedestrians and one cyclist died in January 2012. Nine-year-old Cooper Stock was in a crosswalk with his father at West End Avenue and 97th Street at around 9 p.m. Friday when both were hit by cab driver Koffi Komlani, according to reports. A motorist in a car behind Komlani spoke with the Daily News:
(9 year old Cooper Stock, photo from Facebook)
Read more here.
Film maker Anna Zivarts releases a video which documents deadly intersections in NYC where pedestrians were recently killed.
Read more here.
January 14th, 2014
Brooklyn Based events guide posts a Vision Zero cheat sheet to help New Yorkers better understand the traffic situation and what can be done to prevent fatalities.
Read more: http://brooklynbased.com/blog/2014/01/10/whats-up-with-vision-zero-your-transportation-news-cheat-sheet/ here.
The Daily News reports, Mayor DeBlasio speaks out about recent traffic deaths and vows to work harder to stop them.
Read more: here. From the Daily News.
January 15th, 2014
Mayor DeBlasio introduces his multi-agency plan to reduce traffic violence and Vision Zero at PS152 in Woodside Queens. This is the where 8 year Noshat Nahian was a student and was killed by an unlicensed tractor trailer, as he walked to school. The Mayor talked about his plan to achieve vision zero and steps toward that goal such as installing school zone speed cameras that will send tickets in the mail of law breaking motorists.
More from Streestblog. DeBlasio Rolls Out a Multi-Agency Approach to Reducing Traffic Violence. by Stephen Miller.
Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks with the family of Noshat Nahian, an 8-year-old killed while walking to school last month. Photo: NYC Mayor’s Office
Video from streetsfilms.org
January 16th, 2014
Streetfilms.org documents an Upper West Side vigil for the recently killed 9 year old boy, Copper Stock.
More from Gothamist: At Vigil for 9 year old killed by Taxi Driver, Residents Call for Change.
Lindsey Ganson chief operating officer for Transportation Alternatives, co-author of the 2011 report “VISION ZERO: How Safer Streets in New York City Can Save More Than 100 Lives a Year”(PDF), talks about Mayor de Blasio’s new working group to reduce the number of traffic fatalities in NYC to zero. She can be heard on the Brian Lehrer show archived: here.
Mayor DeBlasio announces the use of traffic cameras to give tickets to motorists who speed, only he’s not telling where the cameras are.
More from CBS news.
January 17th, 2014
Keep track on twitter: @VisionZeroClock
January 20th, 2014
If this is the NYPD’s attempt to curb traffic violence by roughing up an 84 year old man and cite him for jaywalking, we may rather wish to take our chances with reckless drivers. And since when did traffic success stories of a city rely on punishing pedestrians?
84-year-old Kang Wong after his bloody encounter with the 24th Precinct’s pedestrian enforcement team. Photo: G.N. Miller/NY Post
From Streetsblog: Bratton’s Pedestrian Ticket Blitz Won’t Save Lives by Ben Fried
It’s nice to see the NYPD cracking down on drivers for a change…since bicycles have been at the brunt of their ticket blitz for the last three years…but beating up pedestrians? Even the idea of a jaywalking blitz in NYC is rather ridiculous.
January 21st, 2014
Commissioner Bratton faces backlash with jaywalking crackdown.
More from the NY POST.
January 24th, 2014
A weekly roundup of those killed in motor vehicle violence from Streetsblog: