2007_05_dontblock.jpgMayor Bloomberg just hates congestion: He announced a plan to more aggressively go after drivers who "block the box" at intersections. The city describe box blocking as "driving into an intersection as the light is changing without room to continue through it, thus blocking traffic," and it seriously sucks. Mayor Bloomberg wants to allow all 2,800 traffic agents to issue tickets (for some reason, only a few traffic enforcement agents can issue them now) in a faster and more efficient way with handheld devices and increase the fine from $90 to $115.

Last year, the city issued 13,880 box-blocking violations. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said, "When you block the box in Times Square, it impacts what happens in the Village." And City Councilwoman Gale Brewer said, "Many New Yorkers - particularly seniors and the disabled - are dependent on buses to get around. When cars 'block the box,' other drivers and, more importantly, buses cannot move. Selfish drivers are one of the causes of our congestion problem. I fully support Mayor Bloomberg's efforts to control this nuisance."

"Don't Block the Box" was a campaign started in the 1980s, apparently an idea borrowed from London. Check out this 1999 address from Rudy Giuliani about not blocking the box, here is Stringer's 2006 block the box study, and here's the city's official Don't Block the Box t-shirt.