This Weekend’s Post Editorial, Explained!

These people really ought to be in line for gas. Photo: Ben Fried

The New York Post editorial board isn’t known for enlightened positions on transportation policy and street design. Even so, I was kind of floored to read this tone-deaf screed published over the weekend, blaming the city’s post-Sandy transportation disruptions on bike lanes, pedestrian plazas, and traffic-calming measures.

While the mainstream business press quickly caught on to the fact that bikes and bike infrastructure are getting New Yorkers where they need to go after the storm, the Post completely freaked out. Normal New Yorkers see huge numbers of people on bikes and can probably appreciate how bike infrastructure provides a viable transportation option when trains are completely packed. The Post sees the same thing and wonders out loud whether bike lanes will cripple the city in the event of a terrorist attack.

Is the Post just trolling for pageviews, or do they really hate the fact that they live in a compact city where safer streets for walking and biking save lives and help people get around? Who can really say what goes on in that newsroom. But a confidential source sent us this internal memo to Post editor Col Allan that seems to explain a lot…

Friday, November 2, 2012
Attn: Col Allan
CC: Rupert
Subject: Sadik-Khan hatchet job

G’day boss,

I’m gonna be a bit behind schedule with the new rant about the transportation commissioner and bike lanes. Hate to waste the great set-up from Jen blaming bikes for getting in the way of buses (so great that Lhota tweeted about that in the middle of the worst disaster that’s ever hit the MTA), but I got stuck waiting for free gas from the National Guard for 20 hours.

The line was unbelievable. I ended up sleeping behind the steering wheel. When I woke up, the Excursion was actually out of gas (I had gotten in line with half a tank — gotta be prepared!) because I’d kept the engine running to stay warm. After that, I had to get out and roll the car forward every time the line moved up.

So, while I’m rolling the Excursion toward the gas tanker this morning, all these cyclists start whizzing by me, ringing their bells cos I’m standing in a bike lane pushing my car. Crikey. Can you believe the nerve! Some of us have jobs to get to, and these people are only worried about their precious bike lane and their precious children sitting in their precious rear rack-mounted child seats. If I’d had gas in the car I’d have given them all a good scare.

Actually, when I got to the line for gas yesterday, right off the bat I started talking to this other bloke waiting for gas who said you might as well scare the snot out of cyclists with your car, no one’s going to stop ya. Turns out he’s a cop. Great source. Hates the bike lanes and the pedestrian plazas. Before they let him cut to the front of the line, he was letting fly about Bloomberg and how they took away his personal parking placard four years ago. Boy, he’s still steamed about that one.

Anyway, they should really let him run the transportation department instead of the nutso commissioner we’ve got now. He gave me some fantastic ideas for the piece. Sorry it’s late, but the timing’s going to be perfect. What New York really needs right now is someone willing to say that we need as much space as possible for people to burn gas on the streets.

See ya later,

— Faceless, Anonymous editorial writer

Makes more sense now, doesn’t it?

  • Larry Littlefield

    So did anyone in a legislative district without a real contested election write in Janette Sadik Khan as I suggested?  Not a lot of room to write, but worth trying.

  • NY Post disliker

    Are you sure that letter wasn’t a setup by the paper to trick Streetsblog into bashing the Post?

  • Eric M Boucher

    O crap Larry I forgot.  I thought that was a great idea.  Lets get this rolling now “Sadik Khan 2016!”

  • Paul

    Dear Mr. Streetsblog Publisher: give Ben Fried a raise before colbert, stewart or the onion lure him away!

  • Paul

    Dear Mr. Streetsblog Publisher: give Ben Fried a raise before colbert, stewart or the onion lure him away!

  • Real New Yorker

    The Post is just trolling. Pretty sure that we are the only people in the world who even pay attention to this drivel. But, hell… the editors and management there are complete and total dolts. They deserve to have as much derision and scorn heaped upon them as possible. Why not take it to the next level? Col Allan and his chiefs should be stripped, tarred, feathered and locked up in stockades set up in pedestrian plazas throughout NYC. Citizens should throw tomatoes in their faces. Let’s get 18th century on their asses. Show them what real conservatives are all about. Rupert Murdoch goes down in history as a truly odious monster. Has any individual done more to degrade our democracy than Murdoch? Thanks for reminding us that these scumbags aren’t even Americans. They’re citizens of a former British penal colony.

  • Rollie

    Isn’t it a bit early for April Fools’ Day? This is seriously what their internal memos read like?

  • Voter

    There is no person in New York who hates New York as much as a New York Post editorial writer.

  • @b2dbf1c28a06194e638ebd0078502c49:disqus – I used to work in e-discovery, where we lamented that you’d never find a document that just came right out and said, “Let’s commit fraud!”  Murdoch’s empire is an exception, though — I never had the good fortune to examine with the Post’s internal memos, but we do know that their parent organization helpfully labels its “absolutely illegal” activities:

  • In America, it used to be shameful to be so painfully ignorant. But nowadays, a lot of aggressive, self-centered people are filling in the gap between logic and tolerance.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “They deserve to have as much derision and scorn heaped upon them as possible.”

    Or ignored until their die out with their aging customers.

  • car free nation

    This looks like a fake to me… “Crikey?” “Can you believe the nerve!” ” we need as much space as possible for people to burn gas on the streets.” Too long winded and aw shucks slangy to be a real editorial writer. 

  • To clear up any lingering confusion, there was no confidential source and the letter is our own creation. It’s never too early for April Fools Day when the Post churns out jokes like this on their editorial page.

  • Ben Kintisch

    Very funny, Mr. Fried.


New York Post Bike Bile: Deliberate Lies or Pure Ineptitude?

It’s getting to the point — probably well past the point, actually — where the non-stop cyclist hate spewing from the New York Post has attained a level of self-parody. So free of fact and full of bald-faced vitriol is the paper’s latest editorial, praising Ray Kelly’s NYPD for a marked increase in cyclist summonses, […]

Gut Check: New Yorkers Need to Speak Up For Bike Policy

Yesterday the Post came out with another attack on the ongoing evolution of New York into a city where transit works better, streets are safer, and people have better options for getting around. Using a Post-manufactured squabble over the city’s Christmas blizzard response as their set-up, the editorialists launched into a screed against Transportation Commissioner […]

Fact Check: New York Post Has No Idea Who Planned NYC Bike Lanes

More evidence that the Post’s campaign to vilify NYC cyclists and discredit bike infrastructure is mainly just a personal vendetta… In today’s installment of invective, the paper turns its attention to SoHo, where SUVs crowd the narrow roadbed and squeeze pedestrians onto sidewalks overflowing with foot traffic, but where Post reporters only have eyes for […]