WPIX Long Island Reporter Rob Hoell Eats Marcia Kramer’s Lunch

Here’s the piece about the Prospect Park West bike lane that ran on the Channel 11 News last night.

While it would have been great to see more of the data showing the success of the redesign, WPIX Long Island reporter Rob Hoell gets a lot of the good political details into the segment: The role of former DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall and involvement of Weinshall’s husband, Senator Chuck Schumer; the fact that Weinshall and Schumer live on the street that has been redesigned; the connections between Schumer and Jim Walden, the attorney at the white-shoe law firm Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher who is working “pro bono” on behalf of bike lane opponents.

It would have been a cinch to connect all these dots a week ago, before CBS2’s chief political correspondent, Marcia Kramer, filed her latest hatchet job on the PPW redesign. But not one shred of information about the political machinations behind this high-profile bike lane fight has ever made it into a Marcia Kramer segment. Why is that?

  • Larry Littlefield

    I like the ambulance coming down the street from Grand Army in the background, with almost no other traffic on the street.

    NBBL shouldn’t have left the date stamp on the video — 12/21. It implies they have nothing else to show seven weeks later.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Two ambulances, one near the start and one near the end, shown in plain view but not directly mentioned. This guy gets an Emmy for making a point with understatement.

  • tom

    So, Eric, did the WPIX guy read it exactly the way you wrote it?

  • JK

    So, sue. Big deal. Bring it. There is no legitimate legal hook, and, it’s a chance for bike lane supporters to get amicus briefs from every national, state and local enviro and planning group saying that the level of analysis and public participation on PPW already easily meets all levels of enviro review requirements for this kind of change in street use. Let’s see Chuck’s good friend attempt to distort enviro law beyond all recognition here. It should be great for his reputation, and his firm’s, to be taking on the entire national environmental establishment. Also, the timing of the lawsuit will be perfect — PlanNYC 2 will be announced shortly. The enviro community will think Chuck is a great guy for trying to undue a popular bike lane — an icon of carbon reduction — just when NYC is renewing its commitment to battling global warming.

  • Yes, Tom, the same way Marcia Kramer always sticks to my scripts.

    Funny that you write that, though, since NiBBLer Rob Krakovski actually is a professional actor.

  • Joe R.

    This is bound to end badly for Markowitz, Schumer, and any others who are making a big fuss over the PPW bike lane. They’re expending an ENORMOUS amount of political capital to appeal to what amounts to a minority even in PPW. That’s always a bad thing to do in politics unless you’re 100% sure you’ll be exonerated in the end. If anything, the opposite will occur here. With gas approaching $4 a gallon, along with transit funding on the decline, they’ll increasingly be seen as being on the wrong side of this issue, especially among the 50 and under crowd. Well, you know what they say. Give someone enough rope, and they’ll hang themselves.

  • J

    This is a really important piece. It’s actually a temptingly juicy story for the media, as it involves use of power and influence to undermine a community driven safety and green agenda by a politician who publicly supports biking. Schumer can’t dodge the question forever. At this point, the more attention this story gets, the better, as the deeper you dig, the uglier it looks for NBBL.

  • Crusty

    There is no good side to this. The PPW lane will probably stay, but it will be increasingly difficult to build more of lanes. Building a bike lane will be more than concrete and planning- it will include nasty publicity and law suits.

  • Joe R., I actually think Marty has nothing to lose from opposing the bike lane. As I’ve said elsewhere, if a biker hits so much as a poodle in the bike lane there will be trouble. If it’s a person, and a senior, good luck controlling the media on that one. Marty will be there in a suit and hardhat wielding a jackhammer, calling for the bike lane to be ripped out. And Marcia Kramer will be behind the camera, wringing her hands and saying, “Yes…yes…yes!”

    So, there’s a lot to like in how the story is turning here now that Chuck is involved, but we still can’t take anything for granted. Marty won’t give up as easily as NBBL might.

    Crusty may be right, although I think that once people see how popular the bike lanes are this spring and summer more communities will want them.

  • jooltman

    Hooray to WPIX for some fair, balanced journalism. Now, if only anyone watched them!

  • Marcia Kramer’s Eyebrow

    Now this is close to a fair story. Sure, not 100% on our side by any means, but this is even, sticks with facts, and is balanced. Congratulations to WPIX. I stopped watching WPIX when they put those ranting commenters on the air, but I am gonna think twice and tune in and tell my other friends too as well. And besides Mocker isn’t so bad, it’s those other two..

  • Greg Mocker is pretty bad. I study him on pretty much a nightly basis. He’s made a career out of feeding a narrative that’s fundamentally anti-transit: The MTA spends a lot of money, so we might as well let it starve to death. The electeds look at that and know they can safely ignore their culpability in underfunding the operating and capital budgets. But Mocker is entertaining and hardworking, I kind of perversely admire him, and it would be great to have him on our side. The question is, when will he stop beating up the MTA with his “big checks” and other props and start beating up the people who are basically stealing much larger sums from its dedicated revenue streams? He’s occasionally said just enough to indicate he’s aware of the problem. He is in fact a smart reporter. Maybe he’s just waiting for the wind to start blowing in the other direction. Come on, Greg, if you’re reading this, give transit riders some real love and support. We know you can do it.

  • fdr

    What is the basis for the reporter saying Schumer “may have backpedaled to save his marriage”? Is there the slightest hint that their marriage is shaky or that it depends on a bike lane or any other public issue? It would have been a lot more accurate to say Schumer may be backpedaling to defer to his wife. Just as he never said anything about the Staten Island Ferry crash that happened when she was DOT commissioner.

  • Westchesterite

    It is a good, more balanced, piece. but I agree the “save his marriage” line did not seem to be substantiated.

  • Paul

    I can’t believe this is still going on. The PPW residents are acting like children. I’m sure there are plenty of other cities that would love to accommodate your car traffic. Hundreds of them.

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