January 22, 2015
Uber’s taxi hailing app has certainly made a small dent in the world of using a NYC taxi, though not without a series of legal battles and some really bad PR highlighting Uber’s surge pricing on New Year’s Eve and other holidays.
In December 2014, NYC’s City Council decided that it’s time for NYC to have its own app, rather than let Uber, Lyft, and Hailo have all the fun, and business. Councilman Benjamin Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island, proposed the app.
Chicago is also considering its own app for e-hailing taxis, as reported by The New York Times.
Stay tuned, and we’ll see how this might affect congestion that comes with NYC driving.
January 20, 2015
New Yorkers spend a lot of time complaining about traffic, and how too many cars on the road (and double parked delivery trucks) contribute to the insane level of congestion. Is it really that there are too many cars, though? We found an interesting article wtih another perspective — let’s compare the actual space taken up by cars, buses, bicycles, and real people.
City Metric’s article starts with an image from a protest in Latvia where cyclists used neon pieces of wood to create the frame of a regular vehicle, and attached it to their bikes. The result? Each bicycle now took up the space of a car. A good visual impact.
The point of the moving protest was to highlight that whilst experts usually point to pollution, congestion, and deaths caused by cars — we should also focus on the sheer size of vehicles and the space they take on our roads. Most cars carry 1 – 3 people, whereas the same space could be used for 6 bicyclists or one row in a public bus.
Now check out this fascinating photo study from Cycling Promotion Fund. This group shows the space taken up by 69 people — walking, in bicycles, in a public bus, and in vehicles.
Just something to think about.
November 21, 2014
The NYC Gridlock Alert Days for 2014 are:
- Friday, November 21
- Wednesday, November 26
- Wednesday, December 3
- Friday, December 5
- Thursday, December 11
- Friday, December 12
- Wednesday, December 17
- Thursday, December 18
- Friday, December 19
You know the drill:
- Avoid driving in Midtown NYC
- Take NYC subways or NYC buses
- If you do drive, park in a NYC Parking Garage — avoid traffic, avoid a NYC parking ticket, avoid a headache
Check out this video of the world’s best parallel parking job. Stunt driver Han Yue managed to squeeze a Mini hatchback into a parking space only 3.15 inches longer than the car! And for his efforts, he is now the Guinness World Record holder for the tighest parallel parking job.
And the thing is, he does it in ONE SHOT! No forwarding and reversing — just a single turn of the steering wheel!
July 8, 2014
Monkey Parking, a mobile app that provides an auction for San Francisco street parking, received a Cease & Desist letter from San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera on 6/23/14. Monkey Parking follows in the footsteps of other mobile parking apps that create an auction for people to buy and sell street parking. Monkey Parking offers people $10 for leaving a parking space and charges other people $5 and up for a parking space. I believe a few companies were in the same situation in NYC as far back as 2007 or 2008. In those cases, the NYC parking apps claimed that they were ‘selling and buying information’, not public street parking spaces.
According to the San Jose Mercury News,
Herrera cites part of the city police code that prohibits anyone from buying, selling or leasing public street parking. There are associated violations that carry penalties of up to $300. According to Herrera’s letter, MonkeyParking is also subject to penalties of up to $2,500 under California’s “Unfair Competition Law” if the city were to sue.
Each download, purchase and sale through the app may count as a separate violation, Herrera said. Herrera has threatened to sue if the startup continues to operate in San Francisco past July 11.
Monkey Parking will be joined by other parking apps, Sweetch and ParkModo. Read more…
Yep, another parking app that guarantees to help you find parking. Since most of these apps and websites are essentially the same, here’s our quick rundown of Parking Cupid:
Cost to Find Parking: Free for unlimited search results, access to listings. ‘Premium Access’ costs $7.50 per month and gives you ‘full access to the website’, private messaging, ‘advanced search filters’, parking ticket appeal letters, and customer support.
Cost of Parking: Parking owners and parkers negotiate the fee for monthly parking.
Cost to Sell Parking: Free to list your parking space in general. ‘Premium Listings’ costs $30 for 3 months, and gets you priority ranking in search results, featured on the home page, social media promotion.
Who is Providing Parking: The parking inventory seems to be sourced from private homes and residences. We didn’t see anything about street parking or off-street garages. Read more…
On Monday, June 7, 2014, the NYC City Council held a hearing on a bill that would allow drivers in NYC to return to parking spaces once the street sweepers pass through for NYC street cleaning. For locals, the street cleaning is referred to as Alternate Side Parking (ASP) regulations. For anywhere from 2 to 3 hours a day, you are not allowed to have your vehicle on a particular street so the NYC Department of Sanitation can ‘sweep’ the streets. Most ASP signs are clearly marked with the ‘P’ symbol with a broom through it.
We’ve covered this proposal before, and here’s a recap.
- Potentially significant reduction in wait times for NYC drivers who have to wait 2 – 4 hours in their vehicles during the mandated Alternate Side Parking regulation time.
- Much less double-parking by these vehicles, so traffic will be reduced as well
Objections & Concerns Read more…
July 2, 2014
NerdWallet, a financial website, has offered another analysis of the costs of owning a vehicle in major cities.
In order, the most expensive cities are:
- New York City
- Detroit — highest average insurance premium of $4,924.99
- San Francisco
- Washington, D.C. — highest annual hours of delay per commuter of 67 hours
- Seattle, Washington
- Boston, MA
- Miami, FL — lowest average gas price at $3.66/gallon
- Honolulu, Hawaii — highest average gas price at $4.35/gallon
Some of the less expensive cities were:
12. Los Angeles — lowest average number of days with precipitation per year with 32 days
14. Cleveland, OH — highest average number of days with precipitation per year with 150 days, lowest annual hours of delay per commuter with 31 hours, lowest average insurance premium of 4796.54 Read more…
April 8, 2014
I both applaud and do not understand people who use NYC street parking and move their cars 2 – 3 times a week to comply with the NYC Alternate Side Parking Regulations (ASP). These are the regulations that force car owners to move their cars for 1 – 3 hours so the street is clear for the street sweeping trucks. It’s a heroic and long honored ritual for many NYC car owners.
But this daunting activity may get easier. According to the NY Daily News, NYC Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan), is proposing legislation that would let NYC drivers legally take parking spots once the street sweeper passed by — ending the need for drivers to wait inside their cars until the no-parking time period lapses.
Rodriguez first introduced the bill in 2010, and got a majority of the Council to join as co-sponsors, including Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan). The bill stalled, which might have been because: Read more…
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…