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]
There’s still magic in the world, as evidenced by this fairy’s-eye view of Children’s Fairyland, that charming 70-year-old storybook theme park in Oakland, California. You might remember that when I’m not blogging, I work with Fairyland. WELL… months before we were mandated to shelter in place, a local photographer, Stephen Loewinsohn, contacted our team at […]
We’ve been writing about Lea Redmond since 2009 here on Boing Boing. She’s just one of those kind of people who consistently makes neat things — a real Happy Mutant! Well, her latest creative venture is Home Sweet Home, an activity deck for kids (and the young at heart). It offers inspiring prompts for whimsical, […]
Listed at $159,900 this 1,075 square-foot home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is bland on the outside but features rooms with outer space, submarine, tropical island, and moonbase motifs. The owners put a lot of work into it!
Game engines aren’t just the lifeblood of the video game industry. They may soon be the lifeblood of Hollywood. Since emerging in the late ’90s, the Unreal game engine has quickly become one of the world’s foremost tools for game creators. Now, Disney’s hit Star Wars spinoff series The Mandalorian is using Unreal as well. […]
Apple AirPods have become the default earbuds beloved by millions. Unfortunately, they also cost $159, so it’s no surprise that since they were first introduced in 2016, companies have battled to produce comparable headphones at a lower price. The UK-designed and engineered Veho STIX true wireless earphones may have cracked that particular problem, striking a […]
Instagram isn’t just for tweens and foodies. In fact, the image-heavy platform not only wants to mint new Instagram influencers — it also wants to make them rich. In the last few weeks, the company announced ad revenue sharing on IGTV videos, special badges you can buy from your favorite accounts through Instagram Live, merchandise […]