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]
We had a hell of an event last night at The Strand in NYC, and I'm about to head to the airport for my flight to Toronto for tonight's event at the Metro Reference Library, hosted by the Globe & Mail's Barry Hertz; then it's Chicago's C2E2 festival and then to Berkeley for an event […]
Thanks to everyone who came to last night's launch event at San Diego's Mysterious Galaxy! The next stop on my tour is an event at 7PM at The Strand in NYC where I'll be appearing with the award-winning investigative journalist Julia Angwin, who is pinch-hitting for Anand Giridharadas, who has had a family emergency.
[Editor's note: Gigapixel panorama impressario Jeffrey Martin (previously) offers us "an eye full from Eiffel" in this astounding gigapixel pano of Paris -Cory] I shot this gigapixel photo in autumn 2018 from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Using an SLR camera and a variety of telephoto lenses, I shot a few thousand photos from […]
If you’re a Mac user, you thrive on simplicity. Everything in its place and a place for everything. Unsurprisingly, there’s a ton of great organizational apps out there for Mac, and now someone’s had the great idea to bundle them all together. Whether you’re running a demanding business or just getting through the day to […]
Seems like drones are doing a lot of jobs these days, from reconnaissance to delivery. Now, we can add “keeping the Death Star safe” to that list. Whether you’re a drone enthusiast or a Star Wars fan, these Star Wars Propel Drones are undeniably the coolest toy around. Yes, that’s a fully functional drone replica […]
It’s spring clearance time for the Boing Boing Store, when some of the best deals from the holidays return even cheaper than before. From top-rated apps to educational software to the cutest record player of all time, they’re all back with a little extra incentive. Shop your heart out before tax season wraps up! Use […]