In the world of traffic regulation/enforcement, we guess you should assume anything goes. Because this exchange on Streetsblog between Tribeca resident Charles Komanoff and the NYPD shows that even if there's a cop around to complain to, not much will come of it.
Komanoff wrote to the NYPD:
At 5:52 pm, a heavy-duty truck, probably in the 20,000-lb class, made an illegal left turn from Hudson Street onto Duane Street in lower Manhattan and drove west, the wrong way, on east-bound Duane Street to Greenwich Street. ...in fact pedestrians had to scatter to avoid being struck in the striped crosswalk running from the southeast corner of the T-intersection to the northeast corner.
What was equally frightening — and even more upsetting — is that two uniformed NYPD traffic enforcement agents who were in the Duane Street crosswalk at that time did nothing to intervene...
I understand that TEAs are limited in the violations they can issue. But I cannot believe that their duties require them to ignore both a violation of this gravity and a request for help from a citizen.
The letter was sent in November, and the NYPD's response arrived last week (though it was dated December 2006), and you can read it here. It basically says that there are many different levels of traffic enforcement agents, and the agents who witnessed the incident are not allowed to stop trucks and issue them summonses. Hello, bureaucracy!
Streetsblog also believes that Michael Horodniceanu will be the next Department of Transportation Commissioner. He's apparently an "old-school traffic engineer" - a little more "cars first" than "people first."
Photograph by autovac on Flickr