Felix Salmon

John Cassidy Watch, externalities edition

I’m beginning to think that John Cassidy must have a serious masochistic streak: he’s now back for a third round of smack-downs, after having drawn unanimous scorn for his first two attempts to demonize bike lanes.

John Cassidy vs bipeds

Aaron Naparstek has a masterful demolition of John Cassidy’s bizarre anti-bike-lane rant, but he somehow skips over the most wonderful bit of all:

18 questions for Martin Erzinger

M Schuler of Colorado leaves a blistering comment on my post about Martin Erzinger, the Morgan Stanley broker who bought his way out of a felony charge. It’s required reading for anybody who is inclined to believe Erzinger’s defense, that he fell asleep at the wheel, drifted off the road, and never had a clue that he’d hit anybody.

Why Martin Erzinger’s victim doesn’t need his money

Remember Martin Erzinger, the Morgan Stanley broker who bought his way out of a felony charge? He’s been sentenced now—a year’s probation, and 45 days of charity work. (Some people do that kind of thing voluntarily, and don’t consider it a punishment at all.) And Al Lewis has a magnificent column on the case, which uncovers an interesting twist: Erzinger’s victim, Steven Milo, is the son-in-law of Tom Marsico. Yes, that Tom Marsico, the one with $55 billion in assets under management.

How much carbon does bike-sharing save?

How should bike-share services pay for themselves? Up until now, the main model has been sponsorship and advertising. But CityRyde has a bright idea: why not sell carbon offsets?

How to buy your way out of a felony charge

One of the main contributing factors to the financial crisis was the feeling of impunity and omnipotence which pervaded Wall Street. No matter how egregious their behavior, financiers knew that they would end up wealthy and comfortable. That, in turn, made it much easier to overcome their natural risk aversion.

Bike lane datapoints of the day

Matt Chaban has found a new study from Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer, looking at the amount of misbehavior going on in New York’s bike lanes. I’ve uploaded the study here and embedded it below; many thanks to Stringer for putting together the resources to make it happen. The study’s main finding will come as no surprise to anyone, although it’s good to have in vaguely empirical form:

More bikes means slower bikes

Rachel Brown has a fantastic little 5-minute film about biking up First Avenue to work:

How the NYT sees bikes on Broadway

If you wanted proof that New Yorkers think of bicyclists more as pedestrians than as vehicles, all you need to do is look at this graphic in the NYT, which shows how Broadway is used between 59th Street and 17th Street. The lanes are labeled with only two colors: orange and green. Orange is vehicles: dotted means parked cars, while solid means they’re moving. Green is, well, pedestrians, or that conceptual combination of pedestrians-and-bicyclists: dotted means on foot, while solid means they’re moving, ie they’re on a bicycle.