Tuesday’s Headlines: Tea and Sympathy Edition

Two big events will bookend today. First, at noon, Council Members Antonio Reynoso, Justin Brannan, Rafael Espinal, Carlos Menchaca and others will rally with private sanitation workers at City Hall to protest horrible working conditions in the industry.

Then, at 4:45 p.m., members of the Riders Alliance will show their support for congestion pricing by serving a calming cup of tea to Flushing commuters, who are burdened with substandard commutes that could be improved with proper financing for the MTA. The variety of beverage being brewed? Too-long Tea, the group punnily announced.

And now, the news:

  • It was another bad commute yesterday. (amNY)
  • So who should have the “panic button” in a cab: the passenger or the driver? That’s what was being debated on Monday at City Hall. (NYDN)
  • Is it just us, or is the city’s plan to completely tear down and replace the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway moving inexorably towards someone swooping in at the last minute and realizing it’s a dumb idea? OK, it’s not just us — folks in Brooklyn Heights think so, too. (NY Post)
  • Here’s another loss for local news: Readers of Brooklyn Daily — the news website devoted to southern Brooklyn — were shocked to learn Monday that the publication had been folded into the Brooklyn Paper, which is owned by the same company, but focused more on Brownstone Brooklyn. The chain was decimated by layoffs after it was purchased by Schneps Media from Community News Group late last year.
  • New Jersey is pushing the Trump administration to funds the Gateway Tunnel project under the Hudson River, which is only, like, the most important infrastructure project since the Roman aqueducts. (WSJ)
  • Politico’s Dana Rubinstein had a scoop about a six-figure ad buy aimed at persuading congestion pricing stragglers. The ad says it was made by the Regional Plan Association, but was actually purchased by a big-time real estate titan Scott Rechler! (Politico Pro) Learn more at fixourtransit.org.
  • Transit gadly Larry Penner wrote an op-ed in amNY arguing that Gov. Cuomo’s plan for a partial shutdown of the L-train tunnel may cost more than the MTA’s full-shutdown plan.
  • The angry cyclist from that viral video surrendered for allegedly attacking a cabbie — though in a reverse bit of victim blaming, the NYPD said the driver might have cut off the cyclist in traffic, causing him to lose his temper. (NYDN)
  • The Brooklyn Paper covered the outrageous meeting last week featuring some Park Slope residents — yes Park Slope residents — complaining that the Ninth Street protected bike lanes have made the roadway where two kids were killed last year more dangerous. Missing from the battered new outlet’s coverage? This piece of key context: Park Slopers know exactly how safe protected bike lanes are, having enjoyed fewer crashes on Prospect Park West since that “controversial” lane went in nearly a decade ago.
  • A driver almost killed a beloved Columbia University professor as he walked home on Friday night. (Spectator)
  • In case you missed it, there are now two Council Members — Brad Lander and Helen Rosenthal — running for comptroller. (Gotham Gazette)
  • City Lab has two recent stories about the drawbacks of ride-hailing: Another study this one with newer data than previous studies — blames public transit’s declining ridership on Uber and Lyft. And Uber’s new rewards program gives users an incentive to ride solo, worsening congestion even further.
  • And, finally, here’s some top quality bike lane porn, thanks to the great Clarence Eckerson Jr. at Streetfilms:

  • Larry Littlefield

    I may just be getting lucky, but it’s been a while since I’ve been really nailed on a subway commute. It had seemed like I ran into a hellish commute every time I didn’t ride my bike from 2014 to 2017.

  • AMH

    Just wrap the BQE in FRP and attach seismic sensors. What’s good for the benchwall is good for the triple-cantilever, right?

  • Daphna

    About the City Lab study on ride hailing – what I witness is that people select a ride through Uber, Lyft or another ride-hail app when their mass transit options are poor to begin with. People are willing to pay the higher cost of the ride through the ride-hail app if it saves them significant time and discomfort. They weigh the higher cost of the ride versus the much longer time their cheaper mass transit option would be. People make logical choices. Uber and Lyft are an added option that people want.

    We need congestion pricing so that ALL motor vehicle transport costs more; congestion pricing will help to change the culture and provide funding for mass transit. That would be moving in the direction of improvement. Specifically blaming ride hail apps is the wrong focus.