February 26, 2014
AAA’s Car & Travel magazine wrote a great set of common questions about common car maintenance issues. Take the test and see how you do!
The tire-pressure light is glowing. You should inflate your tires to:
a. The pressure listed on the inside of your car door.
b. The pressure listed on the tire’s sidewall.
c. The pressure that causes the tire-pressure light to shut off.
d. 32 psi.
Correct answer is “a”. On most cars, the proper tire pressure is shown on the driver’s-side door jamb or in the glove box. It’s also in your owner’s manual. Do not use the numbers shown on the tire itself. Those typically are maximum pressures, not the tire pressure that’s right for your car to insure proper barking and handling.
A significant drop in outside air temperature also can cause tire pressure to drop.
The “check engine” light comes on. The first thing you should do is:
a. Drive to a safe, well-lighted location before you get stranded.
b. Add one quart of oil.
c. Tighten the gas cap.
d. Carefully off the road and shut off the engine for 30 minutes before restarting.
Correct answer is “c”. Yes, a loose gas cap can cause the car to sense an air leak in the fuel tank. If securing the gas cap doesn’t solve the problem, chances are it’s an exhaust-emissions issue. And if you see a flashing “check engine” light, that could mean an overhating catalytic converter – a serous probem that should be serviced immediately.
The indicator light that looks like a battery is shining. You must: Read more…
It looks like winter isn’t going away anytime soon, so we want to share some tips for safe winter driving, courtesy of AAA’s magazine, Car & Travel.
Do not pump your brakes to stop on icy roads. Surprised? So were we. Our mothers had told us this for years, but Car & Travel says that was the right approach before vehicles had antilock braking system (ABS), which nearly all vehicles have now. If you’ve ever felt a vibration in the brake pedal on a slick road, you have witnessed ABS at work as the system prevents wheel lock-up. So instead of pumping the brakes, keep firm pressure on the brake pedal until your car comes to a complete stop.
Do not hit your brakes hard if your car goes into a skid. This one we knew. But what we didn’t know is that there are two types of skids: Read more…
February 22, 2014
New NYC Mayor Bill DiBlasio has announced significant changes to improve NYC traffic. DiBlasio’s primary objective is to reduce the number of NYC traffic fatalities to zero. He plans to accomplish that by:
- Instituting a police crackdown on NYC speeding motorists,
- redesigning 50 dangerous intersections and streets each year,
- increasing NYC police enforcement against dangerous moving violations, including speeding, failing to yield to pedestrians, signal violations, improper turns/disobeying signage, and phoning/texting while driving,
- getting Albany’s permission to decrease the citywide speed limit to 25 mph from 30 mph,
- increasing the number of red-light cameras beyond the current 120 locations,
- implementing eight new neighborhood slow zones,
- installing speed
- cameras at 20 new authorized locations,
- installing 250 speed bumps, including in neighborhood slow zones,
- enhancing street lighting at 1,000 intersections,
- creating 25 new “neighborhood slow-zones” to help minimize speeding,
- imposing stiffer penalties on NYC taxi drivers who drive dangerously, and
- maintaining an interagency task force to oversee the implementation of Vision Zero.
Vision Zero is Mayor DiBlasio’s plan to reduce the number of NYC traffic fatalities to zero. Read more…
Transit Wireless, the company installing wireless access in NYC subways, has promised that there will be Wifi signals in all 277 NYC subway stations by 2017.
The next NYC subway stations to get Wifi signals are:
If you’re one of the 250 million subway riders with cellular service on AT&T, T-Mobile, Spring or Verizon, you’ll get a wireless signal at the platforms and mezzanines. Not inside the tunnels, though.
Read more at Daily News.
January 8, 2014
Starting soon, you’ll be able to pay for your NYC parking space right on your smart phone. No more searching for coins (though the last single-space meters that require coins were taken off the streets in 2011) or walking up and down the block looking for the Muni-Meter and using your credit card.
On December 26th, 2013, NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg and NYC DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn announced that NYC has started the process for vendors to bid on the pay-by-phone contract. Once implemented, you’ll be able to pay by smart phone at all 14,000 NYC street parking space meters, in all five boroughs.
What will change:
- No more paper receipts for you to place on your dashboard
- NYPD Traffic Enforcement Officers will have online information about your payment and NYC parking space
- You can add time remotely, but only up to the allowable legal limit for that parking space
We don’t know:
- If you will still be able to pay by credit card or NYC Parking Card at the Muni-Meter
- How a driver will identify the specific parking space since streets with Muni-Meters do not have marked parking spaces.
- If the NYC parking rates will change
December 20, 2013
We just read an interesting study reported by The Atlantic Cities, claiming that the NYC bike lanes are actually good for business. During NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s tenure (2002 – 2012), more than 290 miles have been carved out of NYC streets for bicycle lanes. Many of these NYC bike lanes are ‘protected’, meaning they are created next to the curb and protected from traffic by a lane of NYC parking.
When these lanes were first installed, many drivers and local businesses were concerned that taking away one lane for vehicle traffic would create more NYC congestion and traffic, and be bad for the local businesses.
Columbus Ave, Upper West Side
NYC DOT had built a protected bike lane and pedestrian safety islands while narrowing travel lanes for motor vehicles on Columbus Ave. According to the tax data, revenue was up 20 percent over the baseline in the second year after bike lanes were implemented in the area. This compares to an area just south on Columbus Ave without bike lanes, where revenue was up 9 percent.
The Hub, South Bronx
The Hub is a congested and chaotic intersection in a working-class neighborhood of the South Bronx, Read more…
Things are looking better for people who live in NYC neighborhoods that are frequently used for movie or TV shoots. When streets are closed or shut down. the first thing to go are NYC street parking spaces, which can be up to 20 NYC parking spaces per street.
Hopefully, the new outdoor lot at Kaufman Studios in Astoria, Queens will help bring our NYC street parking spaces back. The new studio is a 34,800 square foot outdoor lot located on 36th Street– between 34th and 35th Avenues–in Astoria. The lot is designed to shoot outdoor scenes, such as NYC streets.
It’s with great joy that I welcome Walk NYC, NYC”s latest signage, which clearly shows streets, landmarks, NYC subways, WiFi hotspots, and neighborhood names.
Walk NYC’s signs meet some of the challenges of navigating our great city:
Everyone is going in a different direction, at a different pace. Some of us are in a hurry, some are walking at an excruciatingly slow tourist pace, some are heading towards a specific place, some are simply walking as the stores beckon us. Some of use want a subway, some want to walk, some want a CitiBike, some want a NYC taxi. This is so different from typical wayfinding challenges, like airports and hotels, where most people are entering and exiting from core places and at the same general pace. But in NYC, we’re all headed somewhere else.
I know more than you know. A local may be looking for a specific address or cross-street, whereas a tourist might just be trying to figure out Read more…
December 19, 2013
Tired of NYC traffic and want to do something about it? Check out the group, Move NY, established to reduce NYC traffic in midtown NYC. Led by Sam Schwartz, former NYC DOT Commissioner, Move NY’s plan includes:
- $5.33 E-ZPass toll to cross into Manhattan via these East River bridges: Queensboro Bridge/59th St Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge. These NYC bridges are currently free to use.
- Reduce the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge toll to $5.66 with E-ZPass. The toll is currently $10.66.
- Reduce the Triboro RFK Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge and Whitestone Bridge toll to $2.83 with E-ZPass. The current toll is $5.33 with E-ZPass.
The idea is to ease NYC traffic by discouraging drivers of commercial vehicles and private cars from motoring through some of the city’s most congested neighborhoods to reach the toll-free East River bridges.
Previous Congestion Pricing plans aimed to reduce midtown NYC traffic Read more…
It’s the law now. As of 12/17/13, all new NYC parking garages must be able to supply electric vehicle charging stations for a minimum of 20% of the garage spaces.
This new law does not require NYC parking garages to retrofit the facilities for electric charging stations. It applies only to new construction and NYC garages undergoing construction to increase capacity.
The bill states:
20. Parking garages and open parking lots. Where an alteration of a parking garage or an open parking lot includes an increase in the size of the electric service, such alteration shall include provisions for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations in accordance with section 406.2.11 or 406.7.11 of the New York city building code, as applicable.
406.2.11 Electric vehicle charging stations. Parking garages shall be capable of supporting electrical vehicle charging stations in accordance with this section. Electrical raceway to the electrical supply panel serving the garage shall be capable of providing a minimum of 3.1 kW of electrical capacity to at least 20 percent of the parking spaces of the garage. The electrical room supplying the garage must have the physical space for an electrical supply panel sufficient to provide 3.1 kw of electrical capacity to at least 20 percent of the parking spaces of the garage. Read more…