Wednesday’s Headlines: Your Livable Streets Dance Card is Full Edition

It’s a busy night in the Streetsblog world tonight, what with dueling events. At 6 p.m., Friend of Streetsblog Charles Komanoff will participate in a panel discussion on congestion pricing with fellow FOS Jon Orcutt and Nicole Gelinas at the Center for Architecture. RSVP here.

Then, at 6:30 p.m. at the Powerhouse in Dumbo, urban planners with Street Plans will show off what they do best at a talk called “Tactical Urbanism.”

And now the news:

  • Mayor de Blasio’s pedestrian safety announcement didn’t get much ink, though Streetsblog was there, highlighting the chauffeured mayor’s insistence that he is, indeed, a pedestrian. Other coverage by NY Post, amNYABC7, Metro, and Patch.
  • But from the same substantive press conference came a bit of news that the mainstream press jumped all over: Mayor de Blasio once told his police drivers to pull over a woman that he saw texting while driving on the FDR. The Daily News and the NY Post covered it, yet none pointed out the obvious irony: de Blasio’s detail drives past FedEx trucks, taxis and other cars illegally parked in bike or bus lanes, but he never told us about how he ordered the cops to write summonses in those cases!
  • And the mayor also defended his ticket crackdowns on cyclists in the days after a cyclist is killed. (NYDN)
  • At the same time, other reporters were covering a hearing downtown at which MTA officials said congestion pricing couldn’t even start until 2021. (NY Post, WSJ) Meanwhile, far-seeing urbanist Vin Barone at amNY focused on the MTA’s claim that it could reform itself.
  • Eyesore … or reminder of the horror of cars? (NY Post)
  • Fresh from the Amazon fight, the next war could be against Uber, the Times’s Emma Fitzsimmons surmises.
  • Hey, NY Post, what’s with all the animal stories? There was a kitten on a subway train and raccoons on a subway train. When you see de Blasio on a subway train, that’s news!
  • Why is this film series called a “Drive-in”? Consider us offended. (amNY)
  • And, finally, some personal, er, personnel, news.


  • Larry Littlefield

    “We’re going to be enforcing on anybody who we think puts other people in danger, period. So if an officer observers a cyclist doing something they regard as dangerous and illegal, of course they’re going to ticket them,” de Blasio said.”

    I’d like to show the Mayor where I was ticketed. At a green/turning yellow light. And at an intersection that isn’t actually an intersection, and where there were no pedestrians.

    Not after cyclist deaths. After articles on placard abuse. That’s the timing I see.

    Ah, but if you are a working serf you are free to plead not guilty, use one of your scarce days off, show up in court, have the police officer not show up, be told you can then plead guilty and pay the additional surcharge for having been found guilty after pleading not guilty or show up (if you can) at a future day of their choosing, have the police officer not show up, etc. etc.

    FYI, I found out that was the plan when I got a BS ticket in a motor vehicle decades ago — cracked windshield, just happened, on the side where it didn’t block vision, in a car I was about to scrap.

  • crazytrainmatt

    Texting in 5 MPH traffic on a limited access road like the FDR is the equivalent of a ticket for a courteous Idaho stop on a bike. Worst case is that you dent someone’s bumper, and then the other driver and their insurance company will probably suffice to make you regret your carelessness.

    Now if De Blasio had caught someone barreling down an avenue on the phone, or creeping into a crosswalk while playing tetris…

  • dave “paco” abraham

    Why not add to the headlines that NYPD actually made an arrest in this crash?

  • HamTech87

    Can someone explain these comments about Vin Barone? Does Streetsblog not like the guy, or is it a friendly joke? And what caused these comments? Us non-insiders would like to know.

  • kevd

    easier to complain about a film series name (with a non-functioning link).

  • Joe R.

    I’m curious exactly what they charged you with. My understanding is so long as you enter an intersection before the light turns red you’re not running a red light. A slight variation on that which I’ve heard is so long as you clear the intersection before cross traffic gets the green you’re good. Either way, this was a bad ticket.

    And the system needs to be changed. If you plead not guilty, and the officer isn’t present to dispute that, the ticket is dismissed. If you plead not guilty you shouldn’t have to go to court multiple times when the cop doesn’t show up. If you plead guilty you shouldn’t have to go to court at all. Just mail in the fine.