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    This ticks every box in the “exaggerated examples of why road safety is important” while actually being a real event. Sad.



    In some states it’s nearly impossible to properly manage red light camera programs. The key to a good system is consistency: run a red light, get a ticket. In DC, that’s the plan: blanket the city in cameras, but actually lower the ticket price. It undermines the argument these are cash registers AND changes behavior. That’s impossible in CA, where ticket fine is set at a state level and, for red-light cameras, are over $400.

    I’m not sure what’s the deal with Ohio, but something must be done. So, so tragic.



    The thing about yellow lights, is that the duration is set by fed standards. Which means 1) The claim is false or 2)With a stop watch, you could get every ticket invalidated and force the city to fix the problem or be liable for every colission


    Andres Dee

    Never underestimate the power of marketing and PR.


    Andres Dee

    I’ll dispense with my usual sarcastic recitation of all the excuses auto-apologists throw out that blame their victims (y’know, “the ped was jaywalking, or distracted, or texting, or on the phone, or wearing dark clothes, or didn’t look both ways).

    Sad, really sad.



    With New Starts funding up, and Core Capacity funding continuing, maybe more of TIGER will go to the weird intermodal stuff which doesn’t usually qualify for New Starts (such as integrated bus/train transfer stations, or improvements which untangle freight and passenger rail).



    Is there any way this tragedy can be used to push to make Columbus’s streets safer, so that this does not happen again? Because it’s obviously time to implement much more extreme traffic calming than has been implemented so far.



    My apologies for the error in detail. Here’s the point I was thinking of: GM owned Electo-Motive Corporation. They initially made diesel-powered “motor cars” for railroads which were, among other things, used on interurban streetcars. (Eventually they ended up only making giant diesel locos, and then GM sold them entirely.)

    GM proceeded to undercut EMC’s market and made a point of competing against railroads as well as against streetcars. Because buses were more profitable…

    …though also because the National City Lines conspiracy wasn’t just GM, it was also Firestone, who depended on rubber tire sales.



    Surprisingly, there’s some serious positives in this bill. A major bump of New Starts grants and even funding for transit and Amtrak. None of this stuff was very popular with Republicans, so it’s good to see that it survived.



    *Sigh*. Unfortunately, this form of pressure is totally legal. :-( They’re not really forcing Tucson to go along with this — Tucson *can* just reject the money with the bad strings attached and do the right thing. Pima County is just insinuating.

    I know plenty of local cities in NY which have rejected the county road plans & money, and just done their own thing, so that the road style changes dramatically right at the border. I know one municipality which rejected state money as well so that they could maintain their choice of road width.



    Absolutely terrible. Condolences to the affected families.



    Who cares if they are using them as cash registers, god knows our cities need the revenue! Obey the law and you won’t be fined! If they need to brake really hard they were likely driving too fast in the first place!


    Eric McClure




    Don’t forget what’s been given as a reason to drop the program in some cities in CA: the company operating the cameras was in Australia and took a 50% split.



    GM did not make trams. They (along with several other companies) backed National City Lines, which did buy up transit operations and replaced electric railways with buses in most cases. One advantage that GM had was that they could provide in-house financing for buses, while the streetcar builders had to rely on equipment trust certificates, which had higher interest charges. Buses were better collateral for financing than streetcars because they weren’t nearly as specialized. This is just a brief summary–the whole story takes several pages, if not a whole book.



    Then fix the broken system, don’t ditch them all together. What a foolish move.



    I agree with you however many cities and towns were gaming them to increase revenue. For example making the yellow light much, much shorter than the norm which was causing drivers to brake really hard and caused a big upswing in rear end collisions. There were a lot of issues with bogus tickets being issued too.



    I cannot understand why anyone would outlaw red light cameras that are properly designed and managed. You might as well outlaw traffic enforcement.



    Pete, it is listed as #5 in reasons why projects are super-expensive: “The Transportation Alternatives Program, which mandates things like bike lanes”

    Remember, this is an opinion piece, and it should be viewed just as the opinions of the Stony Brook professor, Noah Smith.

    Comparing bike lanes to the extension of the #7 subway and LIRR’s East Side Access project makes as much sense as, well, you fit in the appropriate analogy – it’s ridiculous – although in one case – adding a bike lane to the west span of the Bay Bridge- the price tag is $500 M



    I see you listed the Salon piece by Henry Grabar. I wish you would take a look at it – I was surprised by what I call his “war on cars” take on the Hidalgo plan. His piece is cited in in Planetizen: “Parisian Traffic, Air Pollution Reduction Plan Caught on Political Snag”:
    Parisian clean air politics turn out to be something of a class issue, even for a socialist mayor. The plans are seen as penalizing low income Parisians while benefiting elitist city dwellers who dislike traffic, overshadowing public health benefits.
    3 hours ago The New York Times


    Glenn Scott

    Very sad.



    Good job Living Streets Alliance! Keep fighting this terrible project and #savehistoricbroadway.


    Your friends in Albuquerque, NM.


    Ian Turner


    DC mongrel

    disgraceful. Very sad to hear of these injuries. Complete streets is a great program, but american drivers need to be better educated- and punished for bad driving. Until then it is a game of Russian roulette out on the roads.



    I have quite a bit of family in Tucson, and am always distressed by the road building projects there when I visit. I might just have to donate to this Living Streets Alliance.



    Thanks for this article. Pima County is utterly deranged in its desire to tear down houses and businesses to make way for absurd rights of way. Glad some people are fighting it and it’s being reported on.



    CO2 tanks have long been a part of indoor Marijuana grow operations.



    This was such an interesting topic despite being so wonky.

    In response to the consultant’s legitimate concerns about NIMBYs using the VMT metric for evil, here’s a specious argument I can imagine at a community board meeting: we can’t remove any on-street parking for this bike/ped project because it would mean drivers would have to spend more time circling the block for parking and therefore increase VMT.


    Fakey McFakename

    It’s really a choice to focus on New Starts rather than TIGER. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing — New Starts funding seems to go to much better projects than TIGER. Way too many mixed-traffic streetcars under TIGER.



    Wow. That’s not actually what this article says.



    “…the utter safety of driving a car or walking.”

    The #1 killer of children in the USA (between 2-24 years old) is automobile crashes, and you might want to take a look at a recent study on global road deaths by the International Transport Forum, which I’ll paraphrase: “This year’s data takes a look at who is dying on the road in different countries. Some of it is predictable — and, if it weren’t so tragic, it would be cliché. In The Netherlands, which has the highest cycling population, bicyclists are the highest share of fatalities. In Italy and Greece — countries known for scooters– it is the “powered two-wheeler” riders who are a higher share of the fatalities. And in the U.S., it’s car passengers.”

    When you normalize the numbers by mode share – which is difficult because there’s no good way of tracking the many people like me who drive, bike, and walk about equally – riding a bike in the US is statistically only slightly more fatal than riding in a car, despite what fearmongers want you to believe.

    People who stay at home and type on the Internet are pretty safe though… ;-)


    Alex Brideau III

    Who said rail goes to every address? If that’s your takeaway from my comment, please re-read. Your name-calling does not speak well of you and did not address my opinion that trucking could be better utilized than it is now and that trucking sleep/rest rules should be held to a similar standard as the air and rail industries.



    Well, considering the amount of damage trucks cause to our roadways and pollution they contribute, why shouldn’t they pay more? An 18-wheel truck creates the same amount of damage as 9,600 passenger vehicles, that’s quite an expense, why should everyone else have to foot the bill?

    “But there they are in the way of people trying to be responsible and get somewhere.”

    Really? Are you insinuating that truck drivers are more entitled to use roadways than everyone else? What about the skilled professionals that design, engineer, manufacture, assemble, finance and market all of the goods trucks haul? How about the consumers that bridge the supply and demand gap? Without all of them, truck drivers wouldn’t even have a job, they rely on other people, people in those cars who are “in the way”.

    There’s no reason truck drivers should be boasting self importance or superiority over any other link in the merchandising and production chain, everyone plays a vital role in the economy. That includes paying for your destruction of everyone’s roads. If you don’t want to pay higher fees and taxes, find a different job and buy a prius.


    Ian Turner

    Bloomberg View: Bike Lanes are why US infrastructure projects are so expensive.



    From my Dutch perspective, these situations in SF actually look like very well designed traffic calmed streets. Suited for lower speeds and encouraging people to make use of the streets again. But its still far from a woonerf. In that, you generally have to let go of the fixed idea of a ‘road for cars’ and design something than they can ride over, without getting in terms like road – sidewalk. That can be a pretty nice challenge :D



    No, they really don’t have a chance. Secondhand smoke is a thing; the secondhand smoke rules are applied to cannabis as well. They will never restore their “toxic smoke everywhere” environment of the 1950s, thank goodness.



    GM used to make trams. They deliberately shut down tram systems because they made more money selling buses. Buses wear out sooner and have to be replaced more often, you see. :-(



    Or when both members of a couple work at jobs which are within walking distance *of each other*. So, if two people have jobs which are both in downtown San Francisco, even if they live out in a car-dependent area, there’s no reason to have two cars, they can drive in to work together.



    I’m still living where a car is absolutely necessary, but honestly I can’t conceive of two cars being absolutely necessary.

    We drive from our suburban house into “town”, and then can go our separate ways from there without a car.

    I think the only thing which can require two cars is job sprawl.



    Easy enough for a couple or family to live with one car, as long as the couple doesn’t have two jobs in diametrically opposed directions. I know dozens of people who live with one car, including myself (though I work from home, so there’s that).


    mohammed ayub

    i love ur pedel bus



    Do I detect an unwritten line that might go, “If we make pedestrian access too easy, the vagrants will wander in and turn the park into a hobo jungle.”


    Ronald T Milam

    Thanks Streetsblog for expanding this discussion. Just a few items to think about…

    Is it reasonable to ‘blame’ CEQA for the use/misuse of LOS? CEQA does not require the use of LOS. Lead agencies (i.e., cities and counties) have the discretion under CEQA to select their own metrics and thresholds. Most choose to use LOS because vehicle travel delay increases are important to their community. That said, the interview does point out important problems or limitations of conventional LOS analysis but most of these can be handled through better transportation and land use planning as part of general plans (e.g. comprehensive plans for those outside CA), including multi-modal impact analysis in CEQA documents instead of just focusing on roadways, and using state of the practice LOS methodology. The general plan should directly address the tradeoffs between LOS and other community values as well as ensure that the community can afford to operate and maintain the existing transportation network before committing to expanding the network.


    Oklahoma Sam

    Hey guys, you know the images in your stories are often linked to themselves. It’s really distracting to accidentally click on one and just have a big image pop up!


    Fakey McFakename

    Serious bashing and misunderstanding from Mr. Tumlin. LOS E, not LOS F, equals 100% capacity of a road or intersection. LOS F is anything over 100% capacity.


    Mike C

    Wow you’re retarded. Free roads? I guess since you live on welfare and are Obamatard you have never paid road use taxes.

    The guy you replied to is equally moronic. You don’t have a train going to every address, and many people have LTL loads. Just enjoy your uninformed bubble and try not to speak when the working people who support your stupid ass are talking. You are definitely part of the 47%.I


    Mike C

    Tanya Snyder, To call your little picture of the truck crash and description of the law to reduce it “uninformed” would be a kindness compared to the things I could say.

    The 1am to 5 am rules makes the roads less safe. This regulation passed without a study by know nothing unelected regulators with no common sense is beyond idiotic.

    Use your head lady. Don’t just regurgitate what you have been told by idiots. Ask yourself this common sense question. How does making more truckers drive during the day who would normally drive at night make things less safe when doing so just causes more traffic during the day. Eliminating this rule isn’t going to add to how many hours a trucker can drive in an 8 day period. He will still have to do a 3 hour reset or sit until he recaps hours from 8 days ago once he 4 aches his 70.

    Likewise, not allowing more than one reset in a 168 hour period is equally unproven to cause less crashes. If someone is taking more than one 34 hour reset a week, the are getting more time off than required.

    The 30 minute rule just makes my day longer. I’m still going to drive my 11 hours. If I’m already tired, extending me day a half hour won’t make me less tired.

    This is what happens when you have uninformed people who are isolated from the industry the in charge of regulating.

    Please don’t write stories about things you know nothing about.



    Michael Klatsky

    ” Keeping some trucks off the road in the middle of the night, when the roads are empty, could mean more trucks during more congested daytime hours — when people are taking their kids to school, opponents are quick to add.”


    YES. Think of the children:

    Why are kids being taken to school on roads with trucks in the first place? Shouldn’t they be walking, they are kids after all.


    Michael Klatsky

    Most perishables are shipped by rail and in the NY/NJ area, are transferred to truck at the Croxton intermodal yard or Expressrail in Elizabeth.