Thursday’s Headlines: Boozing with The Mayor Edition

SB Donation NYC header 2Tonight is the annual holiday party at Gracie Mansion — and somehow Streetsblog managed an invite, despite our aggressive coverage (which needs your support, by the way).

We’ll have so much to talk about tomorrow, but nothing we can share as the entire night is “off-the-record” (which is really just shorthand for, “Why, yes, bartender, I will have another”). It will be our first trip back to the mayoral residence since we sang anti-car Christmas carols there last week (ICYMI: don’t miss it). Our choral group will be on NY1 on Friday at 7:40, too!

Here’s the news:

  • Hat’s off to New York City DOT for building 20.9 miles of protected bike lane this year — though Streetsblog found reason to quibble. Watch this space for more soon.
  • The Daily News editorial board deserves credit for condemning Kevin Parker for the right reason: for the placard abuse! (NYDN)
  • Uber is upgrading the already excellent Jump bikes — now, if Uber will just fix the app! (The Verge)
  • The Brooklyn Paper covered Senator Kevin Parker’s Suicidegate — and added in a nice detail about gun restrictions that might include a review of a would-be gun owner’s social media feed for evidence of Parker-esque craziness. And Mayor de Blasio slamed the senator’s “Kill yourself!” tweet — though said nothing, it must be noted, about the placard abuse that started it all off. (NY Post)
  • Oslo became the latest European city to take cars out of part of downtown. We asked Mayor de Blasio if he’d consider it and we got [insert cricket mp3 here]. (NY Times)
  • Students at CUNY J-School put together an impressive package on how badly New York City does in prosecuting road violence. Hire those kids…somebody! (NYC News Service)
  • Larry Littlefield

    I saw Kathy Wylde on TV talking about the MTA workgroup report. I respect her, but she’s a lobbyist for the construction industry now, and when she says the reason contractors charge the MTA 25 percent extra because they are hard to work with, it’s bull.

    If you go to the main New York Public Library you can see the two books for the dual contracts between the City of New York and the IRT/BMT, under which 2/3 of the subway system was built. Contracts for their construction AND operation for 50 years.

    The contract for a single signal project is three times the size. Why? As one engineer told me, back then there were honest contractors.

    Every single added phrase, clause, restriction, limitation, etc. is a result of something a contractor did to rip all of us off, and when challenged in court or arbitration allowed to get away with it (or just got away with it). So something gets added to the contract prohibiting that particular ripoff. Then they find something else.

    It’s the same reason the tax code is so complicated, and regulations are so complicated. The lawyers got to court and point on there was no specific prohibition on what they were doing, and the language was unclear. And they get bigger, and bigger, and bigger. Then businesses complain.

    The old way: contractor shall install a fail-safe signal system that will last 75 years if properly maintained, one that will ensure 100 percent safety and operate the trains according to New York City Transit operating parameters.

    Then you give them $10 billion. You know what you’d get for that now? A bunch of child’s walkie talkies from the liquidation sales at Toys R Us.

  • Ishamgirl

    Too bad the mayor didn’t choke on his drink.

  • AMH

    That NYC News Service report is really great! I felt pretty depressed after reading it, so I know they covered everything thoroughly.