Category Archives: Cars

For sale: Winter Tires/Steel Wheels

Now that the Jetta is gone (and the snow is still here) I’m selling the winter tire/wheel set I bought for it.  I have a set of four 195/65R-15 DUNLOP GRASPIC DS-2s mounted on 15″ steelies (15×6) with 5-100 bolt pattern. Used on a 2003 VW Jetta. Great tread left, only used for about 7000 miles.

Looking for $300/OBO. I’d like to get them out of my garage.

Go west, young man. Then south. Then north. Then east. Pay toll. Twice.

I saw this bit of ridiculousness in the Buffalo News today:

The eastbound entrance ramp to the Thurway at Exit 49 (Depew-Lockport-Route 78) will be temporarily closed from 8 p.m. Wednesday until 6 a.m. Thursday, due to a maintenance project, the state Thruway Authority announced.

A signed detour route will be in place for motorists planning to travel eastbound. That route will direct traffic west at Exit 49 to the westbound Thruway to Exit 52 E (Buffalo-Walden Avenue) and back to the eastbound Thruway.

The authority will activate portable signs and Highway Advisory Radio 1610 AM to advise motorists of the closure.

Umm… what? The Thruway Authority wants traffic heading eastbound on I90 from the Transit Road ramp to go west all the way to Walden to turn around and then head east? Does that make any sense at all? Here’s their suggested route:

NYSTA Detour

13.4 miles gets you… right back where you started, and makes no progress towards your destination.

Here’s an alternative route. I don’t want to confuse anyone with it, but it consists of a grand total of 3 turns:

Alternate 1

Take Genesee (NY-33) to NY-77 and you’re on the Thruway at Pembroke (the next exit eastbound on I-90). Only 19.1 miles and you’re well on your way to wherever you were headed.

And if you prefer an even lower mileage route (which I estimate to be a bit slower)…

Alternate 2

Transit to Main (NY-5) to NY-77 and you’re there in only 17.5 miles!

So what possible reason could the New York State Thruway Authority have in sending you the “scenic” route that takes you at a minimum 11 miles out of your way? They get to collect $.15 from you for sending you westbound, and then $.85 for sending you back east! Yes, that’s right, not only are you saddled with the inconvenience, but they’re also going to charge you $1.00 for it.


Ticket Cameras in Buffalo

Ticket cameras. Politicians love them because it’s an easy sell to the safety advocates, and if you say you’re against them, then you must be a criminal. Now at least some Buffalo politicians, such as Mayor Brown, are on the red light camera bandwagon. However, the mayor may have played his hand too early by already planning how to spend the money from the not-yet-approved by the Common Council cameras, forcing him to quickly revise his budgetary wet dreams to ease tensions with the Common Council.

Despite the safety claims, study after study shows they are an ineffective safety tool and increase rear-end collisions at intersections. The National Motorists Association has compiled a collection of studies and written a large collection of articles on the subject. Some communities that have installed red light cameras have also tried shortening yellow light times to increase tickets, as well as various other frauds that were introduced. Ticket cameras also ticket the owner of the car, not the person driving, which gave some enterprising pranksters the idea to simply print out their own fake license plates with the number of someone they had it in for, and then tape it over their own license plate and proceed to drive through some red lights. Funny! Unless you’re on the receiving end and now have to waste your time trying to fight the ticket.

There are far more effective ways to improve safety and traffic flow at the same time, such as synchronizing lights in the city. But those don’t have the appeal of being a new revenue stream. Think I’m wrong? Take any article written about the red light cameras and show me where the politicians trying to bring them in talk about a target number of reduced accidents instead of a target amount of dollars they’ll bring in.

For those opposed to the idea of red light cameras in Buffalo, there’s a group on Facebook that is planning a protest in front of City Hall Thursday May 21st at 3:00pm.