Today’s Headlines

  • I’m waiting for the Newsday headline: “DOT Knew of Motorized Danger for Decades, Did Nothing?”

  • AD

    Exactly Steveo. One highly inebriated person tragically loses her life on a LIRR platform and the press is in an uproar for many weeks over gaps between trains and platforms, picking through every aspect of this story. Meanwhile, the region loses a person or two every day on the roads and there’s no outrage.

    All deaths are not created equal. Roadway fatalities are too commonplace to be worthy of any note beyond the fact that they happen. If there was the same amount of attention to roadway safety as there is to the LIRR platform gaps, driving simply would be banned.

  • Yep. Welcome to America….

    Also, please strike the question mark in my original post (editing error).

  • brent

    What is really outrageous is that this train platform sensation crap is entirely media generated. I don’t know of any citizens who actually worry on a day to day basis about this. Meanwhile, there are millions of people in this city who are in real danger. People write letters and people protest. Yet nothing changes. In the “Homemade Traffic Calming in Mexico’s Yucatan” post, alex commented that citizens may be justified in taking traffic calming matters into their own hands. Our media and polital leaders have failed us and it is time to take matters into our own hands.

  • ddartley

    Brent, again, if people want to take matters into their own hands, I protest they must do it in a way that is not likely to injure people–i.e., demonstrate, make signs, etc., but don’t put stuff in the road.

    Seriously, this paralells the difference between violent and nonviolent ways of effecting change. I’m sorry, but if you put something in the road that causes a motorist to hit his head on his windshield (or, as I’ve been warning, lose control and plow into pedestrians), I’m sorry, but that’s violent even in its mere potential to cause harm.

  • dartley,

    aren’t motorists ripping down neighborhood streets at highway speeds and the passive govt agencies which enable that behavior a far greater source of violence than communities, like the ones in the yucatan or portland, oregon, who go out and create their own traffic calming devices to try to solve that problem?

  • ddartley

    Of course those things are a greater source of violence. But, forgive the expression, “two wrongs….” If I were an engineer and all my buddies were construction workers and we had a ton of money, then maybe our renegade speed hump wouldn’t be much of a “wrong.” But a rope certainly has the potential to be.

    But okay; beyond my comments here I’m not about to stop people from installing “homemade traffic calming.” If someone really wants to do it, go ahead; who knows, maybe no one will get hurt; maybe it will generate media attention even without the injuries I fear; and maybe that might set off a safe-streets revolution. But I urge any such master builder to do what’s mentioned in your first post on the subject, Aaron: put up some kind of warning sign, too. Seems only right.

  • steve

    Aaron, I agree that the govenment and speeders are more culpable than the yucatan self-helpers, but they exist in different circumstances than each other and than (us) NYC traffic calming advocates. We can and must choose nonviolent means or we undermine our moral position which (as a minority) is crucial.

    Public shaming is a powerful weapon. Let’s 50 cyclists stage a protest at the home of an unpunished vehicular killer. It’s nonviolent and as American as apple pie. We’ll top the platform gap coverage.

  • ddartley

    Also, and this kind of speaks to much broader issues (which Steve (and Adam in the original Yucatan post) has brought up), are Portland residents doing “homemade” stuff? Or isn’t it the city itself that’s doing a bunch of innovative, but official stuff (surely with input from the community)?

  • Dart: Yes, in Portland people were going out and painting their streets, creating traffic circles, maintaining them, doing it themselves til the city govt finally caught up. Eckerson had a video last year but I can’t find it.

    Steve: Organize it. It’d be interesting to see how the media responds to that.

  • Steve

    Perhaps I will. The question is finding the right target. Nominations (especially from Carnage posts) are welcome.