To that end, they've launched a PR campaign employing such cunning tactics as Twitter-shaming pedestrians crossing with the light:
Wadsworth & 181 in Upper Manh: Bus waits to take a left turn as oblivious pedestrian crosses intersection pic.twitter.com/1sdNUEcyZo— TWU Local 100 (@TWULocal100) June 16, 2015
And there's a bill before the City Council which would once again make right of way violations okey-dokey as long as you're driving a bus:
This local law would exempt MTA bus drivers from Local Law 29-2014, which creates penalties for drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians or bicyclists who have the right of way.
Well, up in Albany (that's the capital of New York State, it has a building shaped like an egg and everything) I'm pleased to announce that our state senators have passed a bill upholding the Right of Way Law and ensuring that bus drivers are treated just like any other driver who hits a pedestrian or cyclist with the right of way.
No, what they actually did was pass a bill that says police can't detain bus drivers, taxi drivers, and livery drivers at the scene:
“You can’t criminalize an accident. An accident is an accident. And no one should be fearful of being arrested on their job for an accident,” said Sen. Jesse Hamilton of Brooklyn, who said his brother-in-law is a bus operator. “If you’re on the job and you’re not drinking, you’re not impaired by any other influence, you shouldn’t be arrested.”
I've long suspected that most of our laws exist to protect the incompetent and stupid, and this confirms that suspicion.
Also, speaking of incompetent and stupid, Senator Diane Savino chimed in:
“People levy all kinds of insults at our bus operators,” said Sen. Diane Savino of Staten Island. “But this is one insult too many, to expect them to be held to a higher standard than the general public.”
Holy crap, this is idiotic on so many levels. Firstly this isn't even about holding bus and taxi drivers to a higher standard, it's about holding them to the same standard. Secondly, why the hell should't they be held to a higher standard? Have you ever seen a fucking bus? It's huge! There's a reason you need a special license to drive one.
Of course you may recall Senator Savino as the author of this memorable quote:
Diane J. Savino i am intrigued, john, right now, i just scream at them out the window of my car. quite a site when i yell, "Hey, find a fucking bike lane and get in it"
We are so fucked.
Anyway, the bill goes to the New York State Assembly next, so tell your assembly member you're against it.
(I realize that the idea opposing things just for the sake of opposing them pretty much undermines the point I'm trying to make, but whatever.)
If nothing else, this whole situation is indicative of a fundamental problem, and this problem is called "New York State:"
("Canada's Skin Tag")
See, New York City comprises nearly half the population of New York State, yet much of our fate is determined by lawmakers in Albany, which is frightening when you consider that New York State north of the Bear Mountain Bridge is a cultural and economic wasteland that makes even Florida seem sophisticated. This is an entire economy driven by the whims of drunken SUNY students, which is why New York State produces mainly Domino's pizza and Buffalo wings, and why when you factor out the New York City Metropolitan Area your employment prospects in New York State are as follows:
--Pizza and wing delivery specialist (must have own rusted-out '91 Honda Civic);
--Weed dealer (though you'll need a legitimate job such as pizza and wing delivery specialist for cover);
--Sex worker specializing in state legislators.
Trust me, I know what I'm talking about. I went to a SUNY school. You could actually take a class called "Rimming Sheldon Silver."
Of course, you could always become an organic farmer, but technically that's the same as working in New York City since your livelihood will depend on selling radishes to rich people in Union Square.
Anyway, I'd say Canada can have New York State north of the city (we get to keep our watershed), but there's no way they'd go for it.
In other news, Frank Schleck won't be riding the Tour de France:
For the first time in more than a decade, a rider with the last name Schleck won’t be racing the Tour de France.
The Schleck brothers were top Tour protagonists for the better part of 10 years, reaching the culmination of sharing the podium in 2011, the first brothers to reach the Paris podium in Tour history.
Which is newsworthy only in that nobody had any idea that he was still riding.
By the way, if you're wondering which Schleck is which, Frank is the one who got busted for doping, and Andy is the one with the hurty tummy:
Watching Frank and Andy Schleck arm wrestling is like watching two cats try to solve the New York Times crossword puzzle.
Lastly, it's no secret that Freds are terrible about leaving their stupid energy gel packets all over the place, and reader informs me that the head of GU Energy Labs has penned an impassioned screed against littering:
Out of some frustration, I started last summer to pick up wrappers I saw while riding. The picture shows my collection from rides around Portland, Berkeley, and other favorite spots. Recently I started logging the locations in Strava.
It was a ride on Emigration Canyon Road above Salt Lake City during Outdoor Retailer that most got under my skin. I picked up seven gel packets on a road remarkably un-littered with beer cans and cigarettes. But it was littered with energy food wrappers. Six were GU's.
Of course I agree with him, yet there's a part of me that feels like he should be out there cleaning up after his customers. After all, Freds are like feral cats--you shouldn't feed them or else you're going to have a real problem on your hands. Therefore, inasmuch as he is a maker of Fred fuel, isn't this whole situation at least partially his fault?
Just gel for thought.