By on April 18, 2022

In 2019, New York City basically declared war on vehicles left idling — giving citizens the ability to report any automobile they saw running so the city can come and fine them for unnecessary air pollution. As an incentive for snitches, the city said it would be willing to share a quarter of the revenue it accrued via the bust.

With fines starting at $350, this has reportedly allowed citizens to effectively turn the hobby of squealing to the cops a full-time profession. A few are even getting pretty wealthy off the Citizens Air Complaint Program by providing authorities with sufficient documentation to make sure the financial penalties stick. But there are some glaring problems with the overarching scheme. 

For starters, practically everyone living in the city who drives occasionally double parks and it’s arguably essential for delivery vehicles, repair trucks, garbage pickup, and cabs waiting on for their next fare to exit the building. Cops are also notorious for idling their vehicles for long periods of time, with departments often choosing cars that can endure it. You’ll even see out-of-service busses rumbling motionless near the curb on particularly hot or cold days.

It’s annoying, especially if you happen to get temporarily boxed in by someone who is illegally double parked due to a lack of space. But incentivizing adults to tattle on each other for cash prizes doesn’t seem like the kind of thing a healthy society would do and I’m not positive densely packed urban environments can continue existing without UPS and Amazon vehicles occasionally clogging up their paved arteries. Yours truly had mixed feelings on some of the traffic restrictions introduced under NYC’s former mayor under the auspices of reducing air quality, often relaying concerns here. But the Citizens Air Complaint Program flew completely under my radar until Bill de Blasio started aggressively promoting it during his last year in office.

At the time, I was preoccupied with some of the other road-related changes introduced during his tenure — some of which weren’t all that bad. The city had banned curbside loading/unloading in numerous high-traffic areas and expanded the scope and timing of no-standing zones. It also tasked the NYPD to place a greater emphasis on traffic enforcement which has always seemed borderline non-existent unless the vehicle was illegally parked or engaged in a particularly egregious moving violation. But the city also stripped away numerous roads to make way for additional bike paths and started putting cameras everywhere. New tolls were introduced at bridge crossings and tunnels. There was a campaign against certain types of motorcycles. During the pandemic, parking lanes were removed because restaurants had all been forced to create open-air dining areas to be in compliance with local COVID mandates (seating patrons literal inches away from idling vehicles). Before long, owning a car went from being challenging to downright troublesome.

Every month it seemed like de Blasio was introducing some new restriction on motor vehicles, making it cost more to drive while reducing the available parking or number of lanes for a specific neighborhood. However, the Citizens Air Complaint Program is unique in that it’s wholly dependent upon the citizenry policing itself and some of them are making a killing.

According to a report from CNBC, plenty of locals have taken up the call to report idling trucks as a lucrative side gig. An 81-year-old New Yorker named Paul Slapikas told the outlet he amassed $64,000 just by keeping his phone handy while going about his daily routine.

“There are idling trucks everywhere,” he told the outlet. “Currently, I’m waiting for 42 bounty requests, amounting to $7,300 to be paid.”

Slapikas and other “clean-air vigilantes” who were recording trucks for profit confessed that motorists usually don’t take kindly to being recorded. Most also said that drivers would occasionally become violent when they realized they were being reported — brandishing knives, blunt objects, and even taking the odd swing. However, most also agreed that they left the house expecting there to be a confrontation if they reported enough vehicles that day.

From CNBC:

To participate in the program, citizen reporters need to shoot a video showing a commercial vehicle idling for more than three minutes. They then log on to the city’s Idling Complaint System to file and track their complaint.

According to the DEP, the fine for a first-time offender is $350, and more for repeat offenders. A 25-percent cut — or $87.50 — is paid to the person who shot the video and filed the complaint.

Vehicles need to be recorded idling for only a minute if parked in a school zone. Everywhere else, the limit is three minutes. Submit the relevant footage through an online database and the city will cut you a check for almost $90 bucks. Find yourself a repeat offender and the payouts only increase.

More recently, local outlet WNBC reported a New Yorker Donald Blair amassed $125,000 from fines.

“If you want to change someone’s behavior, the best way to do it is hit them in the pocket,” he said.

According to the Department of Environmental Protection, the city has garnered roughly $2.5 million from punishing idling automobiles so far — most of which was accumulated in 2021. But the sum would have been higher if everyone was willing to pay the fines. Apparently, there are about $8 million in unpaid idling vehicle fines at the moment. Amazon was said to be the biggest offender, with over $250,000 owed to the city. UPS and FedEx were said to be next, short $70,000 and $60,000, respectively. But the majority of the absent fine revenue is assumed to stem from regular drivers or independently owned work trucks (e.g. plumbers, movers, electricians).

New York City Comptroller Brad Lander called the outstanding balance “outrageous” and has recommended enhanced enforcement, including impounding vehicles until they pony up the cash. Samara Swanston, an NYC Council legislative attorney who wrote the anti-idling law, says it’s because New Yorkers are getting rewarded for their efforts.

Swanson said she lost her husband and daughter to fatal asthma attacks and has apparently attributed their demise (at least in part) to vehicle emissions. “I think they’d be happy we were doing the right thing for New York City,” she said. “We can do better, New York City.”

While I cannot speak to that, urban environments often suffer from poor air quality and idling vehicles do indeed play a role. But turning citizens against each other seems ill-advised and the number of traffic restrictions imposed over the last decade ultimately seems to have done more to improve revenue for NYC than the collective health.

It may also be worth noting that Manhattan lost more people than any other county in the United States last year, with many former residents citing rising costs and diminished quality of life. The greater NYC metropolitan area likewise led in national population losses, according to 2021 census data, and represents the greatest annual decline in population in the city’s recorded history. Having been among the ranks of the grand exodus, I can directly cite some of the novel driving restrictions as playing a relevant factor. Though I suppose the silver lining is that air quality should improve immensely after so many drivers opted to expel their exhaust fumes elsewhere.

[Image: 4kclips/Shutterstock]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

135 Comments on “NYC Anti-Idling Bounties Are Making People Rich...”


  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    I never leave any of my cars idling. Ever. Mostly because I’m cheap; partly because I don’t want one stolen; and partly because I don’t warm up an engine and then hammer on a cold transmission.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      You maybe should give this a second thought. When idling, an engine still rotates the pump in the transmission. Fluid in a closed system will heat with the pumping at a near shut-off head as the pumping energy converts to heat. Additionally, most transmissions pump fluid through the vehicle radiator where it nominally cools during normal operation but is heated by the warming engine coolant as the engine rises in temperature.It’s one of those thermodynamics/laws of physics things. This is how I would heat my reactor plant with main coolant pumps to achieve the safe reactor startup temperature to get on the good side of the brittle fracture prevention curve. YMMV…

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        I have no choice but to let my vehicle idle to warm up. If the windshield and heater isn’t warm enough, you can get moisture hitting the windshield and it fogs up or worse, freezes up. I’m not to concerned about warming up the engine or the interior of the vehicle for comfort.

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          We’re not talking about letting your car warm up. This is aimed at all the diesel trucks (delivery, construction, etc) that go from stop to stop, never turning off the engine as they makes deliveries, etc. many of these deliveries take 15-20 minutes.

          As someone who lived in Manhattan for over 20 years, I find these articles complaining about NYC and its peculiarities to be pretty funny. Anti-idling laws? If you lived there you might understand why they are necessary.

          Also, the original article went into great detail about the amount of effort these “vigilantes” have to expend to actually collect their bounties. And, temporarily borrowing a libertarian hat for a moment, this is just a prime example of private contractors performing a task with great efficiency. So there.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        I might be mistaken, but doesn’t the transmission have to be in gear to get the pump to rotate? Old school stuff was that way; not sure if that has changed…

        Appreciate the insight into nuclear plants…

        • 0 avatar
          TR4

          No, the pump operates whenever the engine is running no matter what gear the transmission is in. The outer housing of the torque converter drives the pump directly. The transmission cannot shift into any gear unless there is hydraulic pressure. Older transmissions like the GM Hydramatic also had a rear pump driven from the propeller shaft. This also generated pressure and allowed push starting the engine although you had to get up to 20mph or so. Modern transmissions forgo the rear pump for cost/weight/complexity reasons and so push starting is not possible.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      I, and everyone else other than the fruitcakes who drive EVs, idle for hundreds of hours at red lights. Declaring 3 minutes of idle at the curb so antisocial as to justify stealing a day’s wages while ignoring the 20 minutes of idle to get to that curb is insane even by NYC standards.

      Hank was right.

  • avatar
    Michael S6

    Is there any bounty money for reporting idling city workers ?

    • 0 avatar
      Skippity

      You’d likely be painting a target on your back.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Funny how that works.

        • 0 avatar
          theflyersfan

          You know NYC “Idling Vigilantes,” you just might snitch and rat on the wrong people. There might be a “transaction” going on out back that will involve a smooth and clean getaway. And there you are, sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong. Well, the East River exists for a reason and I’m pretty sure there’s more snitches than fish in that river.

          So we have the Texas anti-woman crusade who will go out of their way to make sure you get sued and prosecuted for leaving the state because the Supreme Court said decades ago that it was legal. Now we have NYC idling NARCs. If this is some way to make delivery services even more of a hassle in NYC, congratulations. You won.

          Soon I think we’ll have two options. Nuclear bunker with enough MREs and water to last until society totally collapses and then you can pick over the pieces and finally snag that Porsche 911 you’ve always wanted. Or just go full Minority Report meets The Purge and let the fun begin.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            The 911 might be bricked because of EMP, so you want a “The Stand” style plague instead.

            Heck, in that scenario you might even be able to snag a fighter jet if you play your cards right. I’d pick an A-10 and strafe the living bejeezus out of Wrigley Field.

          • 0 avatar
            theflyersfan

            @FreedMike – once you’re done with Wrigley, and I say this as a diehard Reds fan since the early 1980s, make a hard U-Turn, follow 65 to 74 and strafe Great American Ballpark while you’re at it. It’ll be the most excitement the place sees all year. Worst record in the majors…well, that’s what happens when you trade away or let all of your talent walk in the offseason in order for a multi-billionaire to save a few bucks.

            (And while I worship Philly sports, I don’t like the Phillies and don’t follow the NBA.)

            And the MX-5 gets picked up in a couple of hours.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Could be worse…you could be a Pirates fan. At least the Reds have put together some pretty good teams over the years.

            FINALLY the Miata gets picked up. Woo hoo!

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      If I could turn in the idiots at the front of the line in the left lane of I-75 going into downtown Toledo from points immediately south who insist on going two under an already underposted limit (even before the construction nightmare that’s now in its fourth year), I could have retired a decade ago, just past age 40!

      As I was pulling in behind the stone-throwing semi that was obliterating my car’s paint yesterday, thanks to the “morality police” in the Civic in the left lane which was right alongside aforementioned semi which I followed into the exit lane, crap going “ping-ping-ping” off the front of my car, the guy in the Equinox who was the third vehicle in the funeral procession behind me did a quick jink into the now-vacant right lane, and must have cut the Civic driver off, because I saw the Civic’s brakes come on and the car’s rear rise up!

      Served him right!

      Hell, the Ohio Highway Patrol could have a veritable feast on the moronic twits who enter I-75 southbound immediately before my exit off of the Ohio Turnpike, where the line regularly flows at 45 in a 65! It’d be easier than shooting fish in a barrel!

      • 0 avatar
        bullnuke

        I-75 construction going on in Toledo for 4 years? What pikers they are up there. When I went to the Navy in ’69, I-75 was down to a single lane south of the I-70 overpass for road construction with black steel barrels and round black kerosene-filled flare pots marking the area. When I came back after retiring from the Navy in ’92, I-75 was now down to two lanes with the black steel barrels and round black flare pots replaced with new-tech battery powered flashing lights atop fancy white-striped orange plastic barrels in the same location just south of the I-70 overpass, a winning number of 23 years (with several more after that).

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Just the Ohio Department of Obstructed Traffic (or the Ohio Department of Obsessive Taxation) doing its thing!

          • 0 avatar
            theflyersfan

            Ohio is LEGENDARY for dumping 10 miles of cones in and around a half mile work area. I think the largest building in Ohio is the warehouse that holds the orange barrels and the message signs.

            I’ll raise your I-75 around Toledo and go all in with the I-75 work in Cincinnati that started when the Earth cooled and either took what seems a generation’s length of work to complete or is still going on: 75 from the Lockland Split through GE (took them long enough) and the Hopple/Harrison/74 exit areas. The construction firms must have no completion clause in the contract. I’m sure by now the kids from the first generation of road crews are now old enough to make up the next batch of workers. And I’ll toss in I-70 from Washington, PA to and through Wheeling. There are times when having a full “Falling Down” moment in the miles of one lane interstate seems like the only correct outcome.

  • avatar

    Keeping engines in idle in cities should be against the law for many reasons. But there is easy solution – switch to EV. Make ICE cars illegal in cities and problem is solved.

    • 0 avatar
      Oberkanone

      Making something illegal in cities works. Example making guns illegal in Chicago. Problem solved.
      EV % of market in 2030 is projected at 26%. Limited by resource availability, manufacturing capacity, affordability.
      The other 75% of the market, we’ll just tell them they can’t buy a new vehicle and can’t operate their ICE vehicle in cities. No problem.

  • avatar
    ravenuer

    I regularly read newspaper reports of cars left running outside of 7-11s etc. Many said they left laptops, money, phones in their cars. Some even left infants in carseats! Stupid, but as they say….Darwin.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      Except for leaving phones, infants in car seats (they were laying on the back seat in a blanket with a pacifier) and laptops in the vehicle, this has been true since I was a kid in the ’50s. Darwin was on the job even way, way back then. As technology has evolved, the human idiot has not.

  • avatar
    aquaticko

    Love people like this Matt Posky guy, advocating for lung cancer for the poors. So noble.

  • avatar
    Slawek

    I wish the same law to be enacted in Seattle. There are so many cops idling their cars.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Years ago during the Bloomberg Administration, this was a problem for the Mayor’s office because Mike B would say he was ready to depart but would then be delayed for an hour or more. City Hall asked if an air conditioning unit with hoses could be set up in the back of his Suburban so it could cooled without the engine running. That was not possible but we came up with a window A/C mounted on a plasma TV stand. Painted black to make it less intrusive, it was wheeled to the rear passenger window where it was used to cool the vehicle without running the engine. It worked, but it wound up on the front page of the NY Post…we were told to make it go away and dismantle it.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “But incentivizing adults to tattle on each other for cash prizes doesn’t seem like the kind of thing a healthy society would do”

    100% agree.

    I haven’t lived in the city with idling vehicles everywhere, but this isn’t the way to solve the problem.

    I would think the dreaded start-stop systems available now would eventually resolve this issue. However, my wife *automatically* disables it when she drives our new car. She still can’t pair her phone, but she knows what that “A” button does.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      The remote start on my wife’s car locks all the doors before start/warm up on cold morning. If a door is opened (jimmied open or unlocked normally) the car immediately stops and must be restarted with a key. Her car is an older vehicle (’11 ) with 180k miles and it is much kinder to let it warm before blast-off at 0630 in the morning on a cold winter day (thermal expansion on old gasketing, elastomers, et al). Times such as winter mornings are when we let our vehicles idle to protect older machinery (and get the heated seats ready for her). Idling of an unlocked/unoccupied vehicle already near operating temperature vehicle in a city (large or small) is an open invitation for a negative outcome. The bounties in NYC are, much as are red light cameras in various cities, a source of revenue for the city government and the “concerned citizens”.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “But incentivizing adults to tattle on each other for cash prizes doesn’t seem like the kind of thing a healthy society would do”

      Isn’t this similar to Texas’s abortion law? What goes around, comes around.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I suspect the author’s views on that aspect of the Texas abortion law would be similar to his views on this issue.

      • 0 avatar
        kcflyer

        Yep because to you “tattling” about an idling car is the same as “tattling” about murder. I suppose people could avoid being “tattled” on by obeying the law. Nah. Snitches get stiches right?

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          We’re more in agreement about the morality of abortion than you may realize.

          Difference is, I’m not going to use the law to impose my moral opinion on people who feel otherwise.

        • 0 avatar
          RHD

          What passes for political opinions on the internet and here in particular is horrifyingly pathetic.
          Look up the definition of murder. It does not include abortion, which is a legal medical procedure (supported by the majority of Americans), used as a political football to manipulate voters and suppress equal rights.

          Abortion also relieves men from the burden of paying two decades of child support.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Maybe they should get a say in the matter then?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            What, men should be allowed force women to carry to term?

            Nope.

          • 0 avatar
            SoCalMikester

            if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Well maybe he should just be able to opt out of the whole paying for it bit then if she wants to keep it. Seems fair

          • 0 avatar
            wolfwagen

            Everybody wants to stop abortion.
            I want to expand it. I would call it “Retroactive Post Term Abortion”
            Who decides? Well my law so I get to. (in no particular order) Rapists, Child molesters/abusers(including religious members), murders, drug dealers, people who scam the elderly, lying politicians (both sides), lying Media figures (both sides), Ass hat bureaucrats, telemarketers, people who come up with dumb/annoying commercials, People who come up with stupid laws, etc.
            Controversial? sure, Moral? Depends which side you are on. Effective at cleaning up society? absolutely.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      The deck is stacked squarely against the guys anyway! Even if the wife is the one who allows other pens into the inkwell, the soon-to-be-ex husband is gonna be getting his pocket picked! Probably even if she’s the breadwinner!

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Swanson said she lost her husband and daughter to fatal asthma attacks and has apparently attributed their demise (at least in part) to vehicle emissions.”

    Fatal asthma attacks? RIP but why is it everyone I have ever met with asthma is still alive and well? Could something *else* have killed these people, something genetic perhaps since it was in one family?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      You can die from an asthma attack and like anything else, comorbidities make that a greater possibility.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Nonsense. Joe Biden missed Vietnam due to Asthma and he was able to play football in college and obviously live a long life.

        In all seriousness, if I cared about my Asthmatic family, it is unlikely I’d keep them living in a big city. Probably had a good job and was too selfish to move.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff S

          Trump got out of Vietnam by way of bone spurs. Anyone in their right mind got out of that meaningless war that we were going to lose anyway. Cannot fight a war with demilitarized zones where the enemy (Viet Kong) can attack and then seek refuge in a place where they are not allowed to be pursued. An unwinnable war that cost countless lives and enriched the military industrialists.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “Anyone in their right mind got out of that meaningless war that we were going to lose anyway.”

            Then again, we also have John McCain and John Kerry, both of whom saw action in Vietnam.

            Not coincidentally, both had their service records disrespected by two Republicans who sat the war out.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff S

            @FreedMike–I personally have much respect for John McCain or John Kerry both served bravely as many who served during the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War was a meaningless war but that doesn’t mean I do not respect those who served and died in that war. The French were kicked out of Vietnam in 1954 and warned the US not to get involved. Even General Douglass McArthur warned us not to get in a land war in Southeast Asia. You cannot win a war where you cannot pursue your enemy into a safe zone. I don’t know how old you were or even if you were alive but those of us who were of age feared the Draft and did not want to go into a war that we could die in for an unwinnable war. Returning solders were told not to be dressed in uniform when returning to the US because many were spat upon. The soldiers were called Baby Killers and blamed for what was a politicians war. I do not fault anyone who did not fight in Vietnam and I have the highest regard for those who served and especially for those that died in Vietnam. I do fault Trump for disparaging John McCain’s service and calling him not a hero. John McCain was truly a hero. I also found George W’s swift boat ads disparaging John Kerry’s service disgusting and a new low. George W served in the Air National Guards and did not have to go to Vietnam. I have no respect for anyone that disparages military service.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            No beef with McCain and the insults on him were shameful.

            With respect to Kerry, his citations read an awful lot like those fobbits that would always try to get on to our route clearance patrols for their CAB (Combat Action Badge) ride as they called it. We of course refered to such rides as getting blown the fnck up.

            I know of at least 2 Purple Hearts that were awarded to gunners in vehicles that were multiple vehicles behind my Husky which was in this case, as we say, the effected vehicle. I was fine when the bomb was under my truck (an EFP, so this want a giant shockwave or anything…they are small focused blasts) yet at least 8 trucks back mofos are getting purple hearts.

            Anyway, the point of all that was to say that yes, sometimes folks work the system and as someone who sat on multiple awards board my last deployment, Kerry’s citations read like someone that was working the system. It happens.

            But nobody was like “I want to spend a few years at the Hanoi Hilton to enhance my career and future political prospects”. Having said that, I wouldnt fly with him lol. One of the first things we did in basic back in my Navy days was a firefighting course. In that, they show the Forestal fire which starts with a missile screeching across the deck into an aircraft and a pilot getting ght heck out of there. they said that was John McCain so thats at least 2 planes which makes him unlucky enough for me to catch the next flight lol.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            That was McCain on the Forrestal.

            I wonder how close that was to when he became a guest of the VC?

    • 0 avatar
      jmo2

      “ Mortality. Each day 11 Americans die from asthma. There are more than 4,000 deaths due to asthma each year, many of which are avoidable with proper treatment and care. In addition, asthma is indicated as contributing factor for nearly 7,000 other deaths each year.”

      It’s fairly common. It looks like part of the issue is people get complacent and think, as you alluded to, it’s just asthma. And then they have a bad attack and it gets ahead of them and they die. It’s something that needs to be taken very seriously.

      https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/2560256001

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        You don’t see the people who have died from asthma, because they are dead and gone. It’s basic logic (which is an increasingly rare trait among humans, apparently).

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      @Art,
      “RIP but why is it everyone I have ever met with asthma is still alive and well?”

      Survivorship bias:
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivorship_bias

      In other words, you won’t meet anyone who died of anything, because you can’t meet dead people.

      In the language of statistics, being alive is part of the selection criteria for meeting people.

      Scroll down to the “Examples” section of the article to see the WWII bomber example. That one is a great illustration of how survivorship bias can trip up people who are supposed to know better.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Just a reminder that over three-quarters of Manhattan residents do not own a car and that all those residents have to dodge (and smell) loose trash on the sidewalks every few days because no mayor has been willing to repurpose curb space from cars to dumpsters.

  • avatar
    ThomasSchiffer

    How are the traffic lights setup in New York City?

    I live in Munich and on main roads you are firstly forced to crawl at 30 kph from stoplight to stoplight (the traffic lights are still set to the former legal speed of 50 kph). The idiot SPD and Greens, who run Munich, whine about vehicle emissions and CO2, but then get rid of green traffic light waves which would mean better flow of traffic and less emissions. Their goal, as stated, is to ‘harass motorists and get them to give up their cars and take public transportation’.

    It’s become so bad because there are traffic lights placed in areas where you don’t need one and they suddenly turn red forcing you to stop while nothing around them happens – no other cars, no pedestrians or cyclists; nothing. So I am forced to stop, waste fuel (my GL320 CDI does not have start-stop) for no reason at all.

    And my foreign friends wonder why I refer to my country as an ‘eco sh_t hole’.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      Manhattan in basically a grid of straight roads surrounded by expressways that have restrictions for commercial vehicles. If traffic is light enough, you can typically make several stoplights lights traveling at 25 mph (though everyone tends to drive a little faster) before having to wait at a red. The real trouble comes when traffic picks up and gridlock becomes an issue. During rush hour there’s a lot more stop and go, with tons of bottlenecking around bridges and tunnels. The outer boroughs (Queens, Brooklyn, etc) are a little different and less densely packed.

      Public transit is quite comprehensive. But it’s also in disrepair and service has gotten less reliable over the years. Meanwhile, NYC roads have introduced numerous items Europeans are probably already familiar with. Manhattan is presently finishing up its congestion charging scheme and I mentioned a few of the other changes in the article. While they rarely said so, leadership had been trying to discourage private vehicle ownership while getting more people to use the subway or the bus. Unfortunately ridership has plummeted since COVID lockdowns began and the changes made to the street to accommodate pandemic restrictions made driving even worse.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Part of the problem, too, is the obsession with bike lanes that take lane miles away. I can’t see how that makes any sense in a smaller city like a Toledo, Dayton, Des Moines, or someplace where there’s snow on the ground five months out of the year!

        Obviously in the bigger cities, you have the bike messengers and delivery people that you don’t have in smaller urban areas.

        • 0 avatar
          ThomasSchiffer

          @sgeffe,

          Yes, we have those same issues here. On many main roads in Munich we had two sometimes three lanes for cars and an adequate cycling lane next to the side walk. Now, these eco terrorists have taken a lane from the motorists and turned it into a cycling lane. They have also reduced the speed limit from 50/60 kph to 30 kph for cars. This creates traffic jam issues in combination with the traffic lights which are synchronized to a 50/60 kph speed.

          The annoying issue is that the cycling lanes are barely used, even in the summer. This means that the previous cycling lane next to the side walk was more than sufficient to deal with the cycling traffic density. And keep in mind that we only have 5-6 months of warm weather here. In the colder months barely anyone uses cycling lanes.

          The way I see it, these cities want to get rid of automotive transportation completely. A city in which I cannot drive my car is a city I do not wish to live in. And any business which supports this won’t get my business (Munich is full of Socialist and Green voters… who apparently love destroying businesses with their insane anti-car politics).

          • 0 avatar

            NYC has re striped a lot of roads, removing auto lanes. It has made it a lot harder to get across or up and down, but has all been done in the name of bikes and Vision Zero. They lowered the speed limit from 30 to 25, and magically, overnight, cameras sprouted like a fresh lawn, all set for a 36 mph shutter. Many are in places nowhere near the school they are supposed to protect, like on ramps, or intersections with no pedestrians. NYC then disbanded the active precinct traffic cops, and reassigned them to other duty. Removal of parking is part of the VZ-Bike lobby. Driving there has changed a lot since I lived on the sainted Isle of Manhattan

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          At several places in Manhattan over the weekend you had sidewalk – bike lane – seating for resturant – street.

          The servers had to dodge the mopeds and bikes to get to the tables which were themselves taking up another lane of traffic.

      • 0 avatar
        ThomasSchiffer

        @Matt Posky,

        Than you for your response. What you described is also pretty much the situation here. Since COVID showed up, many people have given up taking public transport and have started using their cars again, E-scooters or bicycles.

        Our public transportation system in Munich is bad. It is slow, unreliable, overpriced and since 2015 it has become unsafe. The trains are also dirty and unhygienic. It is not attractive.

        No matter how expensive owning and running a car here will get, I will continue to use my car(s).

  • avatar
    krmidde11

    This is another area where government needs to stick it’s nose in———yea right

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Texas is all in on citizens collecting bounties to curb behavior that’s unpopular in the state.

      New York City can do the same within the city.

      If you dislike citizen bounties, you gotta be consistent about it. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander and stuff.

      • 0 avatar
        multicam

        I don’t see where in krmidde11’s post he said anything about supporting anything going on in Texas. Are you just jumping to the conclusion that he supports whatever you’re talking about?

  • avatar
    Michael S6

    People die from asthma attacks even without comorbidities and air pollution does contribute to asthma exacerbations. I agree that we should reduce car idling irrespective of reason. In Michigan, so many people let their cars warm for 10-15 minutes just so they would not be cold on their 10 minute trip to the supermarket. Paying bounty for tattle is a little extreme.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Let people do what they want. Offer choices and lets move forward. Xiden and Klamydia can tax the hell out of gas to EU levels.
    $7/gallon fuel will reduce idling, 7 foot tall pig up trucks, near useless trips/driving.
    Use the tax revenue for road improvement this time.
    win-win-win here.

    • 0 avatar

      @ redapple: To quote Vizzini: You’d like to think that wouldn’t you? People whining about high gas prices now still leave their vehicle at idle as they are in a store shopping for several minutes. $7/gal. will probably not change that behavior. I like your snark, sir!

      I know it was once said that one uses more gas starting and shutting off a vehicle. Is that still the case with fuel injected engines? Just curious.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Good question – but even if a warm restart used (just as an example) 10 times the fuel for 5 seconds, you would be better off with the engine off after less than a minute. Same theory with the idea that it is bad to switch off florescent lights because of the “surge’ at restart. The inrush is over so quickly that you are way better off turning them off. Yes, frequent cycling does shorten the life of the lamp but they are cheaper than electricity…

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “Use the tax revenue for road improvement this time.”

      You could put a gun to the politicians heads and it still wouldn’t actually happen.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    You know who liked idling vehicles? Hitler.

    https://youtu.be/k8cI72MTNOY

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      King Tiger was underpowered (yes, with a Maybach V-12 it was underpowered – look it up). This caused reliability problems and excessive fuel consumption, at a time when fuel was in limited supply. And why are you talking to yourself?

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Your worried about people getting “kickbacks” for reporting the lawbreakers? Yet it’s ok for Texas to empower citizens to rat out women who get help leaving the state for an abortion – even when Roe is still the law? America is circling the drain and its only going to get worse.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff S

      The Texas abortion law will not stop abortions it will make abortions more dangerous. Mexico is across the border. Stupid law and a stupid governor. With overcrowded jails it is especially stupid.

      • 0 avatar
        kcflyer

        So you admit abortion is for population control. At least your honest in your support of murder.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          When was it not?

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff S

          When did anyone say about population control? I don’t favor abortions but I don’t believe women who are going to get abortion should be put in jail. I also don’t want women who are going to get an abortion go to some backroom and get one and risk their lives. As for birth control one can take the pill much safer and men can wear condoms. Such a completely absurd comment and have to assume you either don’t know any better or are looking for a debate.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            They want birth control to be illegal too.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I haven’t seen any organized moves to make birth control illegal, dal.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            That’s because they can’t really go after the Griswold decision until the Roe decision is overruled–which is very likely to happen within the next 90 days.

            The same conservative legal movement that has spent the past 48 years gunning for Roe almost uniformly opposes Griswold.

            Edit: And if you think the current Texas or Alabama legislatures (which are very far to the right of their states’ populations) wouldn’t ban it if given the opportunity, you’re more optimistic than I am.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I’m not sold on that. Made-up moral outrages like “grooming kids” by having them discover in school that (gasp!) there are gay folks out there seem to provide lower-hanging fruit…and these guys are all about low-hanging.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The drivers of what far-right politicians do are people like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity. (Rush Limbaugh, an avowed opponent of birth control on the ground that it turned women into “sluts,” would have been on this list too during his life.)

            Hannity in particular is going to present a problem. He claims not to oppose birth control, but he gets very angry about the state funding it under any circumstances, and he has often featured Catholic clergy who do oppose it on his show. He hasn’t had much reason to talk about it lately but that is going to change if a serious challenge to Griswold or Eisenstadt (the decision that extended Griswold’s privacy right to unmarried people) is brought before the Supreme Court. If he really gets the culture warriors going, watch for birth control to become just as much of an issue in Fox-controlled state legislatures as alleged gay indoctrination is today.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “No birth control” is gonna be a real tough political sell to most folks, Hannity viewers or not.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            On the one hand: You’re right.

            On the other hand: Their whole project has been to find a way to run the country the way they want without having to worry about those pesky voters who disagree with them.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff S

            True even if it is the pill and men using condoms. Less children gives poorer families a chance at being less poor. Abortions are dangerous to use as a method of birth control.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Old folks are pretty spendy to take care of too. Would be easier if they could off them too.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff S

            @dal20402–Maybe its time for Fox and the Republicans to try Prohibition again since that worked so well the last time. The Fox Temperance Movement.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            In @Dal:s strange world, nobody is coming to ban your ICE vehicle (in spite of California’s evidence to the contrary), but they are coming to ban your birth control pills (in spite of zero evidence to support this absurd view)

            Maybe you should get out more.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Texas logic: it’s OK to sue someone for helping people leave the state to do something that’s illegal here. By that logic: since casino gambling is illegal in Texas, sue Southwest Airlines for flying anywhere it is legal. Right?

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        True and the prisons would then be full of those awful people that dared to go out of state and gamble. Real criminals. So can Southwest Airlines be sued for transporting a pregnant woman out of state or to Mexico for an abortion? How would you prove in a court of law that Southwest knew that the pregnant woman was going to have an abortion? Is Southwest responsible for monitoring the whereabouts of all their passengers as to where they go after their passengers get off the plane? I see so many ways that this law can be challenged in court.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Reminds me of that that idiot Cucinelli, who wanted to start enforcing the circa-1800 “sodomy” laws in Virginia. Said laws make stuff like oral sex a punishable offense. Get a BJ, go to jail.

          My only question was this: since half the state’s going to be in stir for going down on each other, who’s going to be left paying taxes for the prisons? Not surprisingly, this derp had no answer for that. And also unsurprisingly, he ended up going to work in the former president’s administration. Perhaps he and Omarosa shared an office.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff S

            Many states are letting out hardened criminals due to over crowding in prisons and the cost of building additional prisons. That is one reason for decriminalizing marijuana possession and use in many states besides the additional revenue that can be generated. Real dumb move to imprison more people but then Texas has an idiot for a governor. Having more access to birth control methods especially for the poor is better than waiting to have an abortion.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          But that’s not the law now is it.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          So if killing ones unborn baby supports keeping the prison population down and folks are cool with this, can we add some more crimes to the list of capitol offenses? I mean sending the rapists and pedophiles to the chair also keeps the prison population down and they aren’t innocent victims

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Had the same type of remote start on my 2012 Buick Lacrosse and a similar system on my 2022 Maverick but on the Maverick it is controlled by a phone app.

  • avatar
    Skippity

    They don’t say it’s illegal to rev the engine.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      Now you’re thinking outside the box. Become ungovernable.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Well, we are ungovernable but not because of citizens. Based on the last few years, it’s incompetent career politicians that lack the skills to do their job that are to blame.

        And since they’re voted in, I guess we’re to blame for electing incompetent people.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Easy solution here: cap the financial incentive for “whistleblowing.”

    Bottom line: silly or not, it’s a law on their books, and I’d say about 99.9% of NYC citizens would rather see the cops going after bad guys versus enforcing what amounts to a nuisance ordinance.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    Ahhh refreshing…someday it will be illegal to be an idiot…

    If your excuse is “Freedom” you have a metal disorder.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Just want to know how does this anti-idling law in NYC effect the rest of us especially those of us who do not live in NYC or even New York state? Much rather Matt’s time and effort were spent on the latest car and trucks available and any future products in the pipeline. Maybe an interview from someone in the auto industry that has knowledge of future product developments and could give the readers a good explanation on how auto companies determine pricing and how long in takes in today’s market from development to release of a new product. I would like to know if GM, Stellantis, Toyota, and Nissan have any plans to release a compact pickup to compete with the Maverick and Santa Cruz. Some of us come to this website for the latest products and for the articles on the history of particular cars or brands.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Matt apparently has lots of hills he’s ready to die on.

      Honestly, this ain’t that big a deal. If I got exercised about every stupid car-related law in every city and town in America, I think my head would explode.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        My head would explode as well. First time I visited NYC there was a garbage strike with garbage everywhere. I have visited NYC since then but not the anxious to visit again.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        I was there over the weekend. Can’t say I noticed it but I wasn’t looking. Did notice that the waits for the subway get longer and longer every time I go lately and that someone had taken a dump in one of the seats on said subway.

        Still always a fun trip, but no way I’d live there.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    I’m not a believer in turning citizens into government snitches, but…I do think there are way too many people abusing idling. Last Friday I had to wait for someone to pick me up at the LaGuardia airport. It was a nice day out, so I waited outside. Parked near where I was standing, there was a NY Port Authority Jeep Patriot sitting there idling, driver inside with the windows down. I stood there over 30 minutes and that guy never shut the engine off, still had it on when my ride arrived.

    Near where I live, there is a car rental facility, which uses a shuttle bus to pick up renters from the airport. Whenever the bus is parked at the facility, it sits there with its diesel engine idling.

    This to me is absurd idling abuse, and perhaps having busybodies like the ones mentioned in the article, is not such a bad idea.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    NY really hates its citizens.

    I can’t stand people idling in driveways, parked, etc, but this is a boneheaded effort that will possibly end with people getting violent. Monetizing snitching is a terrible idea.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    so if the video is a bit short, its ok to edit it to make it 3 mins, right?

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Probably. New Yorkers gonna be New Yorkers. I remember years ago they had a long citywide blackout and several news stories glowing reported on the lack of looting and riots. As if looting and rioting is the expectation among normal people when the freaking lights go out.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I have one thing to say about this NYC law and the same thing about the Texas abortion law is that it is a bad law when you encourage fellow citizens with rewards to rat on other citizens. Laws like this breed mistrust.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J

      I would tend to agree with you but….

      Generally speaking, and I mean generally speaking, not too long ago society would accept or even heck, applaud those who reported on others doing wrong.

      Now it’s likely to get you cancelled. Report on someone breaking the law during a protest? Report on someone who physically assaults another individual? Report on someone who seems to be doing illegal acts with children? Depending on where you live, doing so could get you harrassed or cause you to lose your job.

      It’s sad that incentives like this are required for people to report this stuff.

  • avatar

    I defended one of these for a construction company I work with. Citizen Snitch takes a video. Uploads video to City. The hearing is Administrative, not in a full Court. Standards of proof are lower. Snitch does not need to appear, merely signs an affidavit. No way to cross examine. When the Administrative Hearing officer (not Judge) finds against your client, the Snitch gets a bounty. In my case, the location of the offense wasn’t clear, it was objected to, and didn’t matter. Failure to prove a prima facie case, but Administrative, so pay.

  • avatar
    stuki

    It’s America. In the DumbAge. Too dumb to produce anything competitively, so stuck making a living the only way they know how to: Help thieves, and get a cut from the looting.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • wjtinfwb: BMW stylists are scribbling furiously right now, I expect to see the Edsel nose grafted onto the next...
  • Jeff S: @jhefner–The Rambler American was introduced in 1958 and its success led to Ford, GM, and Chevy...
  • Nick: I’d still love an Edsel Bermuda wagon.
  • dal20402: The average CUV puts the driver, particularly a shorter driver, at close to standing height. In a sedan the...
  • DenverMike: Hell yeah they’re awesome. In a Perfect World I’d have a vehicle from every, OK multiple segments, except...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber