August 5th, 2019: Summertime Blues

It's a warm and sunny start to the week:

Monday Weather

Monday Mostly sunny, with a high near 82. Northeast wind 5 to 7 mph becoming light and variable in the afternoon.

Monday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 73.

Sunrise 5:56am

Sunset 8:07pm

Warning beachgoers: there's a homicidal ice cream truck driver on the loose in Queens:

Happy summer!

This past Saturday also saw the first Summer Streets of 2019:

Instead, the rest of the year we're getting this:

And increasingly people are wondering why the city isn't more ambitious with Summer Streets:

Let alone more ambitious with decreasing the sheer volume of cars:

Just over a week ago, the mayor introduced a $58.4 million plandirected at promoting bike safety in the wake of the current crisis in fatalities. The plan calls for the installation of more bike lanes, the redesign of certain intersections and various traffic signaling adjustments.

But without a systemic rethinking of the primacy of cars in urban life and the implementation of more aggressive ways to de-incentivize driving and particularly careless driving, it is hard to imagine a new world emerging.

Meanwhile, the auto industry is already plotting its next move:

In New York, the unwritten rule is plain: Cross the street whenever and wherever — just don’t get hit. It’s a practice that separates New Yorkers from tourists, who innocently wait at the corner for the walk symbol. But if pedestrians know they’ll never be run over, jaywalking could explode, grinding traffic to a halt.

One solution, suggested by an automotive industry official, is gates at each corner, which would periodically open to allow pedestrians to cross.

Ah yes, who doesn't dream of a future in which we wait behind gates so driverless cars can circle the block looking for parking or avoiding parking meters?

Other potential changes include a reduction in the need for parking lots, once autonomous cars can simply park themselves anywhere, or circle around until they’re needed. Architects are working on parking lot designs that can be repurposed into offices.

And cities will need to find new sources of revenue if an autonomous vehicle can drive away from a parking meter once it expires, or never park at all.

Wow, cars wandering the streets until they're needed?  It took over 100 years, but they finally came up with an even bigger waste of space than parking.

In other news, 718 Cyclery is making headlines for its new signage:

Nocella, 49, said when he posted his plan for the sign to the 718 Cyclery Instagram account, which has 6,612 followers as of Friday, he received inquiries about selling it to other shops. He won't sell the signs, but he will forward the digital file to anyone to create their own.

Nocella, who organizes bike-camping trips, adventure and group rides through the store, said the spate of deaths has made him a bit uneasy. "I've definitely felt a little more intimidated to ride. Sometimes, I'm thinking twice where I've never thought twice before."

And an indignant cyclist is desperately looking for a cartoon:

Has anyone seen this person?? Justice must be served! from r/Brooklyn

To the artist: it doesn't sound like he knocked you off your bike; it sounds like you hit him.