New York's cyclists and bus-riders are certain they're being slowed and endangered by an epidemic of illegal lane-obstructions from delivery vehicles, taxis and Ubers, but policymakers have refused to do anything about it, saying that the evidence is all anaecdotal.
So a machine learning researcher/cycling advocate named Alex Bell created an image classifier that is trained to recognize when a bike- and/or bus-lane is illegally obstructed (sourcecode on Github), producing the first hard data on the phenomenon. He's analyzed the footage from a single traffic camera in his Harlem neighborhood, one St. Nicholas Avenue between 145th and 146th Streets, and found that the bus-stop there is blocked 57% of the time, while the bike-lanes are obstructed 40% of the time.
“Everyone keeps talking about the bus lanes being blocked, and buses being so slow I could just say, ‘Oh they are so blocked, it’s so bad,’ — but that’s not very helpful,” Mr. Bell said in an interview. “I thought to myself, ‘How could you show to everyone that bus stops and bike lanes are routinely blocked?’ ”
...The enforcement that does exist through the use of cameras is slim: Just 12 of the city’s 317 bus routes have cameras mounted on objects like streetlights that are similar to red-light cameras. Any plan to add more such cameras must be approved by the State Legislature.
Our Camera [Alex Bell/Github]
Bus Lane Blocked, He Trained His Computer to Catch Scofflaws [Sarah Maslin Nir/New York Times]
I'm in the midst of couple of weeks' worth of lectures, public events and teaching, and you can catch me in Toronto (for Word on the Street, Seeding Utopias and Resisting Dystopias and 6 Degrees); Newry, ME (Maine Library Association) and Portland, ME (in conversation with James Patrick Kelly).
Octavia Butler (previously), the brilliant Afrofuturist, McArthur Genius Grant-winning science fiction writer, died far, far too soon, leaving behind a corpus of incredible, voraciously readable novels, and a community of writers who were inspired by her example.
EFF has just posted a job listing for a development director, seeking someone to "take charge of EFF's eleven-person Development Team in their efforts to raise over $13 million each year," starting late 2019 or early 2020.
Your smartphone’s GPS is a modern necessity for some trips, but how do you use it safely? It’s been a problem ever since phones went mobile. A certain phone mount even shelled out the money for a commercial during the Big Game, so clearly there’s a market for the solution. Turns out there are a […]
There’s reading for pleasure, and then there’s reading for fuel; absorbing the great ideas in nonfiction books so you can apply them in your own life. In today’s hectic pace, it can be difficult to find the time to do that reading – especially for the entrepreneurs and professionals who can benefit the most from […]
Breaking into the big leagues as a project manager isn’t done overnight, but there are principles that anyone can learn, and they’re applicable to nearly any business. No matter what your field, if there are multiple teams working toward a common goal, you’re going to need a roadmap. The Project Management Professional Certification Training Suite […]