Friday’s Headlines: Bad Day for the Mayor Edition

Wow, what a bad day the mayor had yesterday. First, he had to ride the subway, where reporters grumbled at his tardiness (NY Post). Then he gets to his own press conference only to have an Assembly Member tell everyone that she opposes congestion pricing plan (which is why the mayor was on the subway in the first place!). Then, reporters asked about his continued investment in a highly subsidized ferry system that carries passengers in the thousands every day, while the subway and bus system carry millions. (NY Post). Scott Stringer is not pleased. (Gothamist) Neither is the NY Post editorial page.

And now the rest of the news on a very slow day:

  • Now the MTA is trying to tell riders to listen to music more softly in their headphones? Is that really a priority, people? (NY Post)
  • The city has finally capitulated and will begin the process of making all curbs accessible to those in wheelchairs. (Gothamist)
  • This is the kind of stuff you hear when you cover a congestion pricing town hall meeting. (The Villager)
  • Bike Snob Eben Weiss makes a good case for not confronting drivers who almost kill you when you’re cycling. It made us almost want to stop confronting drivers who almost kill us when we’re cycling. (Outside)
  • The MTA board got rolled again, as a consultant was picked to oversee the new L-train construction plan. (WSJ)
  • Gotham Gazette got former Assembly Member Jim Brennan to whip the upcoming congestion pricing vote. Conclusion? He thinks it’s in trouble.
  • And, finally, oh my god, this is fantastic. (NY Times)
  • SSkate

    Regarding curb accessibility, well, yeah, DOT can do whatever they can do but there will still be the problem of enforcement. I continually see curb cutouts, especially at T-intersections, where the cutout is blocked by a parked car. One could DM 311 about that, but we all know that NYPD will blow it off.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The current plan is the best result for New Yorkers, and it is moving forward,” he added.

    That’s telling. To New York’s political/union class, the serfs who ride the subway, buses or bicycles today are not “real new Yorkers.”

    And those who will do so in 15 years are not people. All the actual people will be in Florida by then, and not paying taxes or using transit.

  • AstoriaBlowin

    Re: Making the curbs accessible, this will be another waste of money and missed opportunity. Why not just start installing raised crosswalks instead or at the very least add bump outs each time? There’s now going to be thousands of corner curbs rebuilt with no additional safety features like bump outs to slow traffic. Maybe someone at DOT will have a flash of inspiration and do something forward thinking but I would be surprised.

  • 1ifbyrain2ifbytrain

    I’ve noticed lots of the “new” red-tactile ramps being installed in Brooklyn

  • I don’t care, I kind of like confronting drivers. Put the fear of God into them whenever possible. People act way too tough inside a car. Last week some disgusting suburbs couple in a SUV tried to use the bike lane as a passing lane–while I was in it. I confronted them, asked them to explain what they’re doing and all I got was defiance. They even had the nerve to start mocking me. So they got a disgusting loogie on their windshield. End of story.

  • Simon Phearson

    Yeah, I don’t understand the thinking here. The politicians don’t care about us. The NYPD doesn’t care about us. Someone needs to point out to these drivers that they’re putting our lives at risk. If not us, who? Are we just supposed to hope for a silent vigil by the roadside, in our honor, if anything bad happens to us?

    I agree that drivers are unlikely to be “persuaded” by being confronted, but maybe if confrontation becomes something they can reasonably expect to happen when they behave as total assholes towards us, they’ll start to re-think what they’re doing.

    I will confront drivers on occasion, depending on how much time I have and whether I feel I can do so safely. I don’t ride in front of drivers I’ve angrily confronted. Sometimes I’ll just flick them off or curse them out. I actually had an extended debate with one driver who tried to bully me out of “his” way when he thought I was riding too far to the traffic side of an unprotected bike lane, educating him about what a “door zone” is.

    Far more deserve a u-lock to the rearview mirror, though. It’s a good thing I don’t ride with one handy.

  • Ian Turner

    People playing music on their headphones is antisocial behavior, and if the MTA can discourage it at minimal cost I don’t see any reason not to do that. It’s not like we have to choose between these announcements and the next capital plan.

  • crazytrainmatt

    Anecdotaly, two big groups of aggressive drivers in NYC are cops and taxi drivers. You’re not going to win a fight with the cops, but the TLC will fine drivers a few hundred dollars for a honk if you submit a 311 report. You don’t need a picture or a video (though it helps).

  • AMH

    I don’t think cost is the issue at all; it’s that people blasting their headphones won’t even hear the announcement while everyone else gets assaulted with more noise.

  • Joe R.

    Totally agree. Putting aside not hearing the announcements, when I’m on the subway I shouldn’t be forced to listen to someone else’s crappy music. Ditto for their phone conversations about how great it was the last time they got laid, complete with graphic details. Or similar graphic details about their last bowel movement. I *don’t* need to hear any of this stuff.

  • Joe R.

    I remember the time a driver started in with me. That day the stars lined up. I caught up with him at the next red light, where fortuitously someone had discarded a bag of dog shit by the curb. Picked it up open side facing the car and let centripetal force do the dirty work. The look on the guys face as the pieces of crap flung their way into his car was priceless. So was my parting comment, along the lines of now you’re in the company of your kind.

    Then there was the time I beat the crap out of a driver who doored me: “Next…time…you…open…the…door…you…had…better…f*cking…look…out…for…bikes.” with his head banging against his car with each pause.

  • Joe R.

    This Mayor is so bad I’ve started calling him Maywho, after the bumbling idiot mayor of Whoville in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

  • AMH

    “Indeed, the M.T.A. has in the past diverted revenue that should have belonged to transit to unrelated projects, most egregiously in one case to a ski resort Upstate.”

    It really irks me to hear people blame the MTA when the Governor steals its funding, and the paper doesn’t even bother to correct the record.

  • stairbob

    I’ve been tapping on car fenders and making move-out-of-the-way motions at drivers, so if I ever get shot, this is probably why.

  • SBDriver

    Did anybody including the editors actually read the story??

    It is about people listening to devices WITHOUT headphones i.e. through speakers.

  • Ian Turner

    Curbs at T intersections are legal parking, unless there is a painted crosswalk.

  • kevd

    “People playing music on their headphones is antisocial behavior”
    what? on HEADPHONES?

  • kevd

    they changed the law because “fuck people in wheel chairs, we want more parking!”

  • Larry Littlefield

    Too bad they didn’t change the law with regard to ticketing bicyclists at T intersections, and non-intersections, when no pedestrians are around. Would have saved me some money.