Wednesday’s Headlines: Coldmageddon Edition

You don’t need us to tell you to wear the thermals today. Wednesday will start out as a normal cold day (well, a normal cold day for those of us over 40), but then transmogrify into a frigid Chicago-esque hellscape by nightfall. Thursday will be so cold that you won’t mind being stuffed like a sardine onto the L train — the insides of sardine cans, we’re told, are quite temperate.

The only downside of the cold? President Trump will spend all day subtweeting global warming.

For now, though, here’s the news:

  • Gov. Cuomo renewed his call for congestion pricing on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer show. He was much criticized for suggesting that congestion pricing could cover the MTA’s operating budget gap in lieu of a fare hike, but Streetsblog Editor Gersh Kuntzman defended the guv for what he believes is a savvy political gambit. The Daily News played it straight. If you can get through all the pop-ups on the News website, the paper had another story featuring the governor opining that no sane person would want the vacant MTA chairmanship.
  • Meanwhile, Nicole Gelinas pointed out in the NY Post that if Corey Johnson really wants the city to control the subway and buses, he’d better make sure to get the bridges, too. (Gothamist channeled both Gelinas and Streetsblog, but had the better headline: “Cuomo Is Eating De Blasio’s Lunch On Congestion Pricing.”)
  • A woman died in a fall on a flight of subway steps on Monday night. Details are unclear, but the NY Times spun the death of Malaysia Goodson, 22, as evidence of a failing system: “Her death has shone a light on the lack of elevator service and accessibility issues.” (amNY, New York Magazine and TransitCenter took a similar approach.) The Post and the News initially played it straight, but the Post later added two stories: One featuring Mayor de Blasio piling on, and another reporting that Goodson’s fall was related to a medical condition.
  • Members of Families for Safe Streets infiltrated a taping of “The View” yesterday — and briefly got to explain to Whoopi Goldberg why she’s so wrong about bike lanes (albeit off-camera).
  • NY1 looked at subway (in)accessibility in a good segment tweeted here.
  • The Times did a 50th-day story on what Streetsblog’s David Meyer declared on Day 1: Now that the L shutdown has been canceled, can we at least keep the goodies? Winnie Hu’s story also quoted Friend of Streetsblog Jon Orcutt.
  • It was nice to see Upper West Side residents complaining about the real livable streets villains — rogue delivery trucks — instead of the false one (cyclists). We especially appreciated resident Sandra Smith’s comment about deliveries: “We can’t have it both ways. As a community, either you support and buy local — or if you want it cheaper or easier, you have to face the consequences of that. We all want it cheap, cheap, but don’t think about what that does.” (West Side Rag)
  • Amazon is making a lot of promises (NY Times), but Gov. Cuomo says it’s not selling its plans for a new Queens headquarters well enough (NYDN).
  • Our friends at Reinvent Albany called on the legislature to hold Cuomo accountable for properly funding the MTA capital budget.
  • The ire this time. Get ready for the next livable streets battleground: Trash. Friends of Streetsblog Janet Liff and Lisa Orman tipped us off to a Zero Waste Design Guidelines report about how badly we handle trash. The takeaway? “Compared to the movements of people and goods, the flows of water, sewage, gas, electricity and information; … firefighting, policing and emergency medical services … and especially, the use of curb space for parking, the predictable and inevitable outbound movement of wastes and recyclables seems to be the subject of afterthought rather than planning. This needs to change. The collection of waste and recyclables needs to be integrated into this overall public space planning context.”
  • London’s “Bike Mayor” Will Norman wrote an op-ed for a British paper that hits all the topics Streetsblog wanted to ask him about, but our interview request was turned down. The takeaway? More bike lanes equals less congestion. (Evening Standard)
  • And, finally, some personal news: We are now obsessed with Boris Karloff’s guacamole recipe, which resurfaced on Tuesday thanks to a tweet from LA Taco.
  • Andrew

    Winnie Hu’s story also quoted Friend of Stretsblog Jon Orcutt.

    Stretsblog? I think you need to buy one more vowel.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Thursday will be so cold that you won’t mind being stuffed like a sardine onto the L train.”

    Two words. Broken rail. I’m going to take the subway rather than ride, but I’m worried about it.

    “Our friends at Reinvent Albany called on the legislature to hold Cuomo accountable for properly funding the MTA capital budget.”

    They’ve got to be kidding. Who do you think has been destroying the state? The Governor has been diminishing the future of the transit system (and downstate economy) for eight years. Lots of the SOB in the legislature have been doing it for multiple decades, or are the appointees of those who did it for multiple decades, whose only job is to preserve and expand the privileges of those now in Florida enjoying tax free pension of bond income a little longer.

    At least Cuomo was elected.

  • Bob

    Yes – garbage is definitely a big new one. Garbage should be put in a “parking” space for removal, not on sidewalks!

  • Maggie

    Let me come out and say this bluntly: I think Streetsblog NYC is not writing women’s perspectives well.

    Specifically, I think you have seriously underplayed the civic tragedy of Malaysia Goodson’s death with groceries and her 1-year-old baby in a stroller on the steps of a non-ADA compliant subway station.

    Just writing that sentence nearly brings me to tears. It’s a disgrace. The people making decisions to shrug off the ADA, a law in place in this country since 1990, aren’t the New Yorkers whose lives are negatively impacted by their decisions. And I’m furious that you gave credence to cops shrugging this woman’s death off as a medical episode. I know, and you know, that you would NEVER report in this way when cops speak about a driver who killed, or a cyclist who died that way. To see you use this attitude towards a woman who died just trying to navigate the subway stairs… is extremely disturbing. I value Streetsblog and I urge you, please do better. Your readers shouldn’t have to ask you to address these issues.

  • Daphna

    Delivery trucks are NOT the problem. The problem is that NYC has dysfunctional curbside parking pricing (free or underpriced), huge parking placard abuse, and the expectation that all government employees are entitled to park for free with or without an official placard. This means that delivery trucks have no way to park legally. NYC needs MANY MORE loading/unloading zones and needs them enforced. When delivery trucks have no legal alternative, they should not be blamed for double-parking.

  • Daphna

    So true that with how Cuomo places blame no one would want “the vacant MTA chairmanship”. The Board of the MTA that Cuomo appoints, and presumably he has vetted his appointees and is confident in their judgment, yet Cuomo throws blame their way as if he has nothing to do with the Board. And each of the previous Chairpersons of the MTA were appointed by Cuomo so if he is saying there is poor management and poor decision making, then Cuomo is basically saying he appointed bad people, yet he always manages to conceal his involvement and act as if he is removed and outraged. Just the worst kind of politics…

    I hope Andy Byford stays on as President of New York City Transit, one of the elements of the MTA.

  • Daphna

    I though Amazon coming to LIC was a done deal. Is there a possibility that with all the naysayers that that deal could be undone?

  • You are correct to state that there should be plenty more loading zones (which means the removal of parking spaces). But it doesn’t follow that truck drivers should be forgiven for double parking. It is not true that they they have “no way” to park legally; they absolutely can park legally, but doing so will add time to their deliveries. We need strict enforcement that forces every truck driver to find a legal spot (even if it is on the next block). And this should apply as well to UPS and FedEx (which are currently fined virtually nothing for endangering people by double parking). If we had such a sensible policy, then the widespread delays in deliveries would be a major impetus for the creation of the needed loading zones; and the major shipping companies would be the ones leading the effort.

    But there’s another important issue addressed by the highlighted quote: namely, that the emphasis on quick delivery has a deleterious effect on local economies. This is an expression of the fact that people who think of themselves first as consumers do great harm to their communities. And we have to be aware that a demand for low prices above all else amounts to a demand for ever poorer working conditions and for the capitulation to big business.

  • cjstephens

    That Amazon was coming was a done deal before NYC offered up all those goodies. What might come undone is the package of goodies that the city and state are throwing at a multi-billion dollar company that was going to move here anyway (now that a little sunlight has been shone on what was being promised).

  • AnoNYC

    Please share this bus survey.

    2019 Bus Rider Survey:

    http://busridersurvey.nyc/site/lang-en

  • AMH

    Happy to see that they’ve changed #8 to accept all that apply!

  • AMH

    I don’t believe anything the cops say. This feels like a rush to exonerate the MTA, just like they rush to exonerate a driver for killing someone by blaming a medical episode or the victim.

  • Maggie

    I don’t either.

    Second, whether she had a medical condition or not at the end of the day is irrelevant, just like it’s irrelevant whether wealthy UES and UWS denizens approve of station elevators that comply with the ADA after 29 years. The entire point of the ADA is that you comply with it, you provide access to all, even if you’re wealthy, even if you’re powerful, even if you don’t personally need it. There’s no “but Central Park West” opt-out in this law. It’s gross that local politicians have acted like that’s a thing.

  • AMH

    The report on waste collection best practices is incredible! Imagine if we had a mayor who made a goal to implement best practices on waste, street design, housing, etc.