Wednesday’s Headlines: Wow, We Were Wrong Needlessly Alarmist Edition

We started yesterday’s headlines file with a mild concern about the NYPD’s plan to stop responding to minor fender-benders or crashes without injuries in Staten Island. We fretted that if cops aren’t there to log crashes, the total number of reported crashes will fall — which will give all of us a false sense of security about, well, the security of our roads.

Well, we talked to the DOT, the Staten Island DA and even a few sources inside the legal community — and no one was too concerned. Too many police resources are spent on property damage, on lawyer told us. We make decisions about safety redesigns based on locations of fatalities or seriously injured people, a DOT source told us. The cops kept us in the loop all the way, everyone else told us.

OK, so we’ll let it go for now, but if Staten Island becomes the Wild West, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

And now the news:

  • Forget the gas tax — New York should start charging motorists by the mile, says the Citizens Budget Commission. (WSJ)
  • Everyone covered the massive expansion of the city’s school zone speed camera program. The Daily News and the Post played it straight. The Times claimed that the 750 camera systems would cover every school in the city, which doesn’t seem accurate.
  • The News covered the NYPD’s two-week blitz on Northern Boulevard, which yielded lots of summonses to bad drivers and reduced crashes. Keep it up, blue.
  • Politico’s Dana Rubinstein did a nice exit interview with outgoing TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi, who distanced herself from Mayor de Blasio…again. (Politico)
  • Whaddya know? The NYPD apparently lied about the violent arrest of a delivery worker last year. (Gothamist)
  • When is Mayor de Blasio going to do something to ban this untested form of transportation? (NY Post)
  • Something must be in the water because suddenly, everyone is reporting that the city will soon start the final phase of the Queens Boulevard redesign. Both the Forest Hills Post and Patch recycled the same quote from DOT: “We are moving forward with the redesign and working with the community, but have no updated timeline to share at this time.” The agency has been saying the same thing for months: the project is happening, but we don’t know when.
  • And finally, our grizzled old editor loves a good escaped cow story, regaling us with one of his first stories when he was at the New York Post in the early 1990s: “Cow with a beef on the lam in the Bronx.” Well, it happened again yesterday, but the Times botched the headline: “Slaughter-Bound Calf Escapes on Expressway, Earning New Name and a Life of Leisure.” (Geez, what happened to this business?)
  • JohnBrownForPresident

    who woulda thunk that police are involved with property damage above alll else? they are the thug front lines of capitalism.

  • You should report the news that a bill has been passed in NJ (waiting gov signature) to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters.

  • Maggie

    This is a friendly (I promise!) request that these headline links convey somewhat more detail on the daily events they’re aggregating.

    For me at least, I don’t actually run through and click every link; I think of these daily bulletins as a valuable compilation to scan to catch up on the days news all at once.

    The news that Times Square’s pedestrian barriers prevented an out of control driver from causing massive and life destroying injuries to pedestrians in Times Square yesterday is relevant to me personally and really meaningful in how the city has targeted its proactive vision zero efforts. For the reader who’s quickly scanning these links from a subway platform, it would be really helpful if the blurb carried at least a hint of the specifics. It’s weird to scan these without getting a clue that this had even happened.

  • macartney

    “everyone is reporting that the city will soon start the final phase of the Queens Boulevard redesign” —— Actually, Gersh, no one has reported that! Which is why people are talking…

    DOT says it is “committed to this design” but has “no timeline” for its implementation. That seems… strange?

    It has been 301 days since NYC DOT said it would go forward with Phase IV; and yet the project continues to be absent from the construction schedule. Why is that?

  • HamTech87

    Any idea when the Van Cortlandt Park Putnam Trail project will start?

  • On account of unwarranted deference to local lunatics (an approach which the DOT commissioner has cited as the biggest obstacle to the implementation of plans).

  • What is that project? A complete paving?

  • macartney

    But no one has reported that! And DOT itself says it’s committed to its design, not that it’s changing it.

  • qrt145

    I agree but in case it helps, my current workaround (on a computer) is to hover the mouse cursor over the link and look at the browser’s status bar. In most cases the URL contains the real headline.

  • I agree, the snark is absolutely useless. I didnt realize this news until you pointed it out, and then I had to hunt for it. I assumed the link was to some op-ed

  • SBDriver

    Maggie makes a great point. I missed that story as well because of the non descriptive headline.

  • kevd

    Since Gersh had taken over, this site has nose-dived.
    I barely read the headlines anymore.

  • AMH

    I missed that too–thanks for pointing it out!