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Friday’s Headlines: Cuomo’s L of an Announcement Edition

12:01 AM EST on January 4, 2019

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It was all L train all the time on Thursday, what with Gov. Cuomo announcing — sort of out of the blue — that he was abandoning the L-train shutdown, which has been needed since Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and has been the subject of three years of intense planning.

It was a breaking story with lots of moving parts, so Streetsblog looked at the unanswered questions (as you can see at by the photo, the Post and the Daily News think Cuomo is an L of a savior, but our story revealed that many people have a lot to lose). And Streetsblog's David Meyer focused on the angle that everyone will be talking about today: L-train street improvements should remain even if the governor doesn't shut down the train. Mayor de Blasio was not very committal.

For now, in inimitable Streetsblog fashion, we'll give you the news from an L of a day, with a few words about how each outlet spun it:

    • The Times did a very nice write-thru and also offered a nifty explainer. Also, Liz Robbins tried to answer all your questions (though Streetsblog answered more).
    • Though the AP lede was better than the Times's back-in lede.
    • Politico pointed out that Cuomo was very secretive about his plans.
    • NY1 offered giddy Manhattanites.
    • The Post's editorial page said it could be a brilliant ploy or a disaster. (Way to take a stand!)
    • Meanwhile the Post's front page gave Cuomo a gushing review. And the coverage lauded Cuomo's "Ivy League" engineers (odd from a paper that is often quick to mock Ivy Leaguers).
    • The Daily News referred to NYC commuters as "happy," which inexplicably got past the fact-checkers. Also, the story didn't have any voices critical of Cuomo's last-minute move. The paper also printed Friend of Streetsblog Phil Leff's op-ed about how the city should retain all the L-train bike and bus improvements.
    • Crain's played it straight, though added some skepticism about Cuomo's suggestion that larger repairs were not needed. "Saltwater inundation ... caused by hurricane Sandy accelerated deterioration within the tunnel. Temporary work allowed the tunnel to reopen soon after the storm, but conditions continued to worsen."
    • Metro decided to cover the Twitter reaction, but also published Larry Penner's list of "problems."
    • Bloomberg also played it straight.
    • Crain's also offered a "winners and losers" that isn't 100 percent accurate. (Transportation Alternatives isn't a winner unless Mayor de Blasio keeps all the street safety and transit improvements.)
    • amNY focused on the night and weekend work. And the paper's Vin Barone was skeptical of a plan that was created "within [a] matter of weeks."
    • As always, the Brooklyn Paper had the best headline.
    • And, in case you were wondering why transportation reporter Aaron Gordon was so quiet, he was "sick as hell." But he eventually posted this story, which raised additional solid questions.
    • The tweets of the day award went to Dave Colon, who kept pointing out that there are a lot of downsides to the plan — and that anyone rejoicing was either a driver or a landlord.

In other news:

    • Gothamist's Christopher Robbins broke a nice story, getting a memo that purportedly shows the NYPD has ended its crackdown against e-bike-riding delivery people in favor of cracking down on their employers. (Gothamist)
    • City Limits picked apart (and found reason for optimism in) Mayor de Blasio's freight plan. "The plan could eliminate 40 million truck miles annually from the city. But experts say it could also increase local truck traffic in areas where freight transfers will take place," the website reported.
    • You gotta love this pre-schooler who just loves the subway — but full disclosure, this Rocco Parascandola story is a heartbreaker! (NYDN)
    • Boy, Mayor de Blasio continues to botch the rollout of Fair Fares! (NYDN) Even the Times is on this story (albeit with a condescending headline describing worthy New Yorkers as "the poor"). Hizzoner is holding a joint presser with Council Speaker Corey Johnson today, so maybe we'll get more answers.

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