The New York Legislature has passed an act broadening the conditions under which the public service commission may grant franchises for rapid transit lines. Under the present regulations, as laid down in the Elsberg law, subways may be built by private capital only in the single case of extensions to existing lines; otherwise they must be built with the city's money, or with the city's credit, the franchises or leases running not more than twenty-five years, with renewals of twenty years, periods too short to attract private capital. The amendments just passed permit the building of subways in three ways. First, by private capital, under an indeterminate franchise, which may be terminated by the city at any time after ten years on the payment to the traction company of the actual cost of the road, plus a profit of fifteen per cent. Secondly, by the use of the city's money, with provisions for an operating lease. Third, by assessment, either of the whole or a part of the cost of construction, upon the property which would be benefited by the construction of the subway.

A camera has been invented and is now used by Boston policemen, which promises much in the way of accurately determining the speed of automobilists. It contains two plate-holders, one above the other, with a stop-watch between the two. The operator takes his place within focusing distance of the road. and when the automobile is at a certain distance, the upper plate is exposed. This takes a picture of the position of the automobile on the road and also records the face of the stop-watch, showing just where the hand is at the second the picture is snapped. The camera is then turned at a certain angle up the road, and a second picture is snapped. This also records the face of the stop-watch, showing how much time has elapsed between the first and second exposures and also gives the position of the automobile on the road. By mathematical calculation the exact distance traveled by the automobile is secured and the stop-watch shows the exact time that transpired between the first and second exposures. From this the speed of the automobile is secured.

May 15, 1909

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