There Are Still Two Ford Crown Victorias Running Taxi Service in NYC - For Now

It’s the end of an era that many of you probably thought ended years ago: The Ford Crown Victoria’s time as a taxi on the streets of NYC is coming to a close, as the last two cars still eligible for duty are aging out.

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Activists Empty Tires on Dozens of SUVs in NYC

My grandmother used to tell me, “you can say almost anything you want as long as you say it respectfully.” That’s not entirely true for a bunch of reasons, but it can apply to specific situations. For instance, this group of climate “activists” deflating tires on SUVs in Brooklyn may have the right message, but delivering it through hundreds of flat tires is more likely to end in violence than any meaningful change.

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New York Senator Pushes Bill Mandating Speed Limiters for All Cars

Per capita roadway fatalities have seen dramatic increases over the last two years and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has suggested that 2022 might actually end up being the deadliest year it has ever recorded in regard to the total body count. So there are a lot of people in politics that have concerned themselves with getting those numbers down. Unfortunately, the solutions are often to leverage more of the technology that data is starting to show might have gotten us into this predicament in the first place. 

Manhattan State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-NY) introduced just such a bill on August 12th, one that would effectively require all new vehicles to incorporate some form of speed-limiting technology by 2024 and direct the Department of Motor Vehicles to establish new rules for all transportation over 3,000 pounds. Considering that even teensy hatchbacks like the Mini Cooper already clock in dangerously close to that threshold, such a law would impact just about everything with four wheels that’s bigger than a Mazda MX-5 or Nissan Kicks. 

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New York City Tragically Continues Crushing Motorcycles

Despite a change in leadership, New York City has continued to confiscate and destroy motorcycles officials have deemed illegal. Pioneered by ex-Mayor Bill de Blasio (formerly Warren Wilhelm Jr.), the practice has been continued by Eric Adams. In fact, the new mayor was so enthusiastic about the trend that the city held a press event where a bulldozer crushed over one-hundred bikes as he waved a checkered flag — effectively turning them all into garbage in a matter of seconds.

As a motorcycle enthusiast and recovering New Yorker myself, this story has been one your author has followed since the beginning as an excuse to professionally gripe about something personal. The city set out to confiscate dirt bikes and ATVs that are relatively common to see (and hear) zipping through traffic or cluttering sidewalks. De Blasio even made it one of his biggest traffic-enforcement initiatives in 2021, adding a bit of spectacle to the new vehicle bans. However, a cursory examination of the vehicles involved has shown a significant number of vehicles being destroyed are regular motorcycles that would have been legal under NYC law and all-electric scooters used by low-income commuters and restaurant delivery services.

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NYC Anti-Idling Bounties Are Making People Rich

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.

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Cricket or Ticket: NY Now Has Cameras Designed to Identify Loud Cars

New Yorkers with aftermarket exhaust systems may want to be extra careful because a law, signed by Governor Kathy Hochul to increase fines on sound violations, now has a new enforcement tool designed to spot noisemakers.

Approved in autumn of 2021, the SLEEP (Stop Loud and Excessive Exhaust Pollution) Act raised the fine on vehicles producing excess sound in NY from $150 to a whopping $1,000. But drivers are now learning that getting busted won’t necessarily require whizzing past a squad car while their Borla snap-crackle-and-pops surrounding eardrums. NYC residents have begun receiving notices in the mail after being caught by the auditory equivalent of speed cameras.

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Opinion: The NYC Dirt Bike Ban is Ridiculous

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made dirt bikes public enemy number one for traffic enforcement in 2021, citing road safety, cluttered sidewalks, unwanted noise, and air pollution as his primary reasoning. He’s even released videos where the city destroyed confiscated bikes to celebrate the initiative.

“Anyone out there who has an illegal dirt bike — don’t even think about it. Because the NYPD will find it and will crush it,” Mayor de Blasio proclaimed via Twitter earlier this month. “These dirt bikes do not belong in New York City. It’s against the law. Period. Dirt bikes are dangerous.”

The focus on two-wheeled transportation comes after city leadership announced there was a growing number of shootings and robberies tied to certain types of vehicles over the spring. Local outlets also covered an incident where a small child was struck by a dirt bike and placed into critical condition last July. But the actual qualifications for what NYC considers an “illegal dirt bike” are confusing. Numerous exemptions are made for electric scooters and about half of the bikes crushed in the mayor’s video are regular motorcycles. It seems nonsensical and only gets worse when you begin to ponder the consequences of banning some of the most affordable modes of transportation available to poor New Yorkers.

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New York Auto Show Cancelled Again

The New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) has been cancelled for the second year in a row over, you guessed it, COVID. Though things are a bit more complicated this time around.

Progressive Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday that New Yorkers will need proof of vaccination to do everything from going to the movies to dining out starting August 16th. While this doesn’t include a mask mandate, something he said was unnecessary, requiring thousands of people from out of state to furnish vaccination cards they likely already lost makes NYC hosting the auto show a difficult (if not impossible) proposition. NYIAS organizers announced their decision to cancel the event on Wednesday.

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QOTD: What's the Best Taxi?

I was driving around the other night in New York City and decided to see how many miles are on all the taxi cabs. This is something you can do with a $25-a-month subscription to the Carfax app. You just type in the taxi’s license plate number and — BOOM! — you have the entire Carfax report complete with mileage, service history and precise dates of all nine of each taxi’s accidents.

So I ran maybe 20 or 25 taxi cabs through Carfax and I discovered something: the Ford Crown Victorias aren’t the highest mileage cabs in New York. Not even close. In fact, I had trouble finding a Crown Vic with more than 200,000 miles on the odometer and more than three accidents, which is “just broken in” by New York City taxi standards.

It wasn’t the Toyotas, either. When you go to New York City now, the yellow cab fleet is dominated by Toyota Camrys of the two most recent generations, which seem to be a little zippier than the old Crown Vics. However, I didn’t find a Camry older than the 2012 model year, so I guess these haven’t been in service long enough to rack up the serious miles.

Same goes for the new Nissan NV200 van, the “taxi of tomorrow.” These are starting to get pretty common in Manhattan now, but they just haven’t been on the road long enough to rack up serious miles. I only ran one or two, and neither came back with more than 100,000 ticks on the odometer.

So the winner of the great What New York City Taxi Has The Most Miles On It competition? That would be…

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2016 Cadillac XT5 Found In Manhattan With CT6 Face

Kinja blogger saw930 stumbled upon the new SRX-replacing XT5 in NYC’s trendy SoHo district. The next new model from GM’s premium brand looks to be wearing a copy-and-paste version of the CT6 front fascia design, complete with wreath-less crest sitting front and center.

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Highway Robbery - Why Are NYC Tolls So Expensive?

There’s not a doubt in my mind that if Grosse Pointe, Michigan, which abuts the city limits of Detroit, put up toll booths on Jefferson Ave. charging drivers money to enter the city, there’d be accusations of discriminating against the less affluent, mostly black residents of the city of Detroit. New York City, though, gets away with charging exorbitant tolls to enter Manhattan and some of the boroughs. If you are driving a privately owned automobile or truck, or if you’re a passenger on a privately owned bus or taxicab, you will be paying or subsidizing a toll if you want to enter the ‘center of the universe’.

Of course, government owned transportation services are exempt from such tolls, but if you’re going travel into the city on your own schedule, you will have to pay for what, I guess, is a privilege.

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Piston Slap: Brooklyn's Dream Machine?
Dave writes:Hi Sajeev –

I live in Brooklyn and I have a 2011 Prius that I still owe about $10k on. Before mocking my choice of personal transportation, remember that driving dynamics mean next to nothing when you live in a place where it’s hard to go above 40 MPH at any given time and the roads resemble 1990’s Kosovo. That said, my best friend is the service manager at a Volvo dealership and she just received a 1993 Volvo 940 wagon on trade.

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New or Used? : This Musician Wants An Escort (Wagon)

I’m a working musician from NYC. I have a conundrum.

Since 1998 I’ve owned a 1989 BMW E30 ‘vert, which has served me well as a touring artist — it just hit 160k, most of those miles mine. However, all those miles have come at a price, between 40k timing belt changes and other occasional maintenance items, I wind up putting roughly $1500 into it every two to four years.

But I’ve always loved it, and it never let me down, until recently.

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Are New York Biker Gangs Above The Law?

Last week, a group of motorcyclists “boxed in” a Range Rover on the freeway, apparently so they could “shut down” the road as part of a larger celebration. Alexian Lien, the Rover’s driver, struck a motorcyclist who brake-checked him; afterwards, he was chased into the city, dragged from his vehicle, and beaten savagely in front of his wife and two-year-old daughter. The District Attorney for NYC has elected not to prosecute the biker who allegedly smashed Lien’s window and dragged him out of the car for the beating, causing outrage around the country.

Now, new information has come out suggesting that the city may be willing to effectively cede control of its streets to those same bikers.

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Hammer Time: The Used Car Flood After Sandy, And How Not To Get Soaked

As collateral damage of Super-Sandy, stories are making the rounds of water-logged cars dumped on unsuspecting buyers by criminal dealers. Like many fake pictures posted on Twitter and Facebook, these stories are mostly made up, or pushed by new car interests. The dangers lurk elsewhere: In your neighbor’s driveway, on eBay, in the classifieds. Read this story if you don’t want to become a belated victim of Sandy.

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  • Lynchenstein @EBFlex - All ICEs are zero-emission until you start them up. Except my mom's old 95 Accord, that used to emit oil onto the ground quite a lot.
  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
  • El scotto Wranglers are like good work boots, you can't make them any better. Rugged four wheel drive vehicles which ironically make great urban vehicles. Wagoneers were like handbags desired by affluent women. They've gone out of vogue. I can a Belgian company selling Jeep and Ram Trucks to a Chinese company.
  • El scotto So now would be a good time to buy an EV as a commuter car?
  • ToolGuy $1 billion / 333.3 million = $3 per U.S. person ¶ And what do I get for my 3 bucks -- cleaner air and lower fuel prices? I might be ok with this 🙂🙂