Monday, December 1, 2008

Not a Biggie

Ever wonder why so many commercial vehicles park on the sidewalk in New York? NYPD Deputy Inspector Michael W. Pilecki answers that question in an interview with the New York Times:

“What we ask our agents to do when they’re out in the field is to be particularly aware of those types of violations that really impede the flow of traffic and increase the likelihood of accidents,” he said. “We want them to focus on things such as double parking. Vehicles parked in bus stops. No standing. Obstructing a traffic lane. Obstructing a bus lane. Those are the biggies.”


“Chief Scagnelli will say, ‘Let’s not forget why we’re all here: We’re here to move traffic, move traffic, move traffic, reduce injuries, move traffic, move traffic, move traffic, reduce accidents, move traffic, move traffic, move traffic, reduce fatalities, move traffic, move traffic, move traffic,’ ” Mr. Pilecki said.

Note that obstructing a sidewalk is not on that list. Given the choice between blocking a lane of traffic and blocking the sidewalk, many drivers will block the sidewalk.

Chief Scagnelli and Inspector Pilecki should change their priorities. Safety first, not second (or fourth). When blocked sidewalks force pedestrians into traffic, that's a safety issue.

Scagnelli and Pilecki should also treat pedestrians as traffic. If you're going to say that moving some people is more important than others, do it by the green transportation hierarchy. It's great that Pilecki is telling his agents to pay attention to blocked bus lanes and stops; those should be at the top of his current list. But before them should be blocked sidewalks.

1 comment:

NYC taxi photo said...

I don't think he even imagined a scenario of seeing people parking on the sidewalk. his move traffic comments are just made to ease tensions of drivers, they are only words.

I imagine if the ticket agents were to see cars parked on the sidewalk they would slap the car with hundreds of dollars in fines. and if they could access the vehicle with a tow truck they would tow it.

aren't most of the cars that park on the sidewalk, cars with placards, city employees?? the real issue are those laminated cards that give these vehicle owners the illusion of being invincible to the parking ticket.