Pedicabs and NYC Bike Month

May is NYC Bike Month. With the great weather earlier this month, it seemed like pedicabs, a tricycle with a 2-seated wagon, are coming out of the woodwork. As I cross the street from my office to Grand Central Station I see happy, relaxed passengers sitting in the back of pedicabs conversing with their driver. This is the first summer that the new rules concerning pedicabs are in effect.

Taxi drivers and pedestrians have expressed pleasure with the results of the new rules that went into effect on November 30, 2009. But the industry itself may not be as pleased … Read the rest

New York City Launches International Design Competition For A Safer, More Appealing Sidewalk Shed of the Future

Sidewalk sheds are typically wooden structures (nowadays usually painted blue) built over public space to protect pedestrians during construction activity. Walking around Manhattan while trying to avoid walking under a sidewalk shed can be a true challenge. There is currently more than 6,000 sidewalk sheds installed and in use today at New York Citys buildings and construction sites, spanning more than 1,000,000 linear feet.

A lawyer for insurance companies once told me that because he has defended so many cases in which a pedestrian or construction worker was injured due to a collapse or other calamity involving a sidewalk shed, … Read the rest

New York Plans Permanent Task Force on Wrongful Convictions

The Chief Judge of New York’s Court of Appeals, Hon. Jonathan Lippman, said on Law Day, May 1, 2009, that he would create a Justice Task Force to examine the causes of wrongful convictions and develop systemic remedies to minimize them and to make the states criminal justice system more effective. Importantly, the task force is permanent. Members of the task force are being selected by Judge Lippman and will include prosecutors, defense lawyers, scientists and lawmakers. They will have a broad mandate to examine police procedures, court rules and other issues involved in wrongful convictions.

The task force will … Read the rest

April Brought Us Not Just Showers But Also NYC Buildings Departments Construction Safety Week and the High Risk Construction Oversight Study

Last week was the annual construction safety week. The weeks schedule of events included seminars and events that were free of charge and open to the public. The seminars included: Safety Harness Giveaway & Worker Safety Training; How to Identify and Hire a Licensed Contractor; Homeowners’ Night: Resolving ECB Violations & Illegal Conversions; Construction, Demolition, & Abatement Operations; How to Obtain the New C-Class Hoisting Operators License; High Risk Construction Study: Cranes – Findings & Recommendations; High Risk Construction Study: Excavations – Findings & Recommendations; High Risk Construction Study: Concrete – Findings & Recommendations; Introduction to the New NYC Read the rest

Tragic Day Care Toddler Death Highlights Childrens Food-Related Choking Hazards

In 2000, 160 children age 14 and younger died from obstruction – 41 percent caused by food items and 59 percent by nonfood items. In part due to concerns about children choking, New York State regulation (18 NYCRR 418-1.5) requires handbags, backpacks or briefcases belonging to adults; plastic bags; and toys and objects small enough for children to swallow must be used and stored in such a manner that they are not accessible to children, especially in day care centers.

Unfortunately, an apparent violation of this regulation by an unlicensed day care center for toddlers turned tragic on March 17, … Read the rest

From Cranes to Window Washers to Trenches, Construction Accidents Roil New York City

It seems that troubling news regarding the construction industry and construction accidents in New York City are heard on a daily basis. 15 people in construction-related accidents have been killed in the city so far this year, compared with 12 in all of 2007. After the second of two recent crane collapses within 12 weeks of each other during which period the city held its 4th annual Construction Safety Week, a window into the world of New York City Buildings Department crane inspections and inspectors has been opened. Nine people, all but one of them construction workers, died in … Read the rest

New York Sacks Tampa Bay Buccaneers Consumer Fraud That Denied Giants’ Fans Tickets to This Weekend’s Playoff Game

New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, citing concerns about consumer fraud and other improprieties and potential illegalities, has convinced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ticketmaster to stop its policy of selling tickets to this Sunday’s playoff game only to Florida residents.

According to Cuomo, Ticketmaster’s restriction of sales to one state was unprecedented. Attorney General Cuomo referred to “interstate commerce issues” and cited consumer fraud, including prohibitions against “states discriminating against other states’ residents or impeding business by other states.” The Bucs relented, sheepishly calling it “good will”. Now all the Giants have to do is win the game.… Read the rest