Thursday’s Headlines: Calling It Like We See It Edition

Our reporters don’t wear kid gloves and they don’t pull punches. So we were very happy to see some positive results yesterday from some aggressive reporting earlier in the week. First, we learned that congestion pricing opponent Rodneyse Bichotte had flipped and is now a supporter of tolling drivers to enter central Manhattan. Then we learned that the MTA had backed away from the ledge of asking the NYPD to crack down on fare beaters — a trial balloon that we criticized as “bus and frisk” because of the Police Department’s infamous legacy of stopping hundreds of thousands of people in minority communities even though they had done nothing wrong.

And today, the mayor will announce that he is reducing the size of the city car fleet — the fleet that we have pointed out many times has grown tremendously under … this mayor. So, we’ll be there at the announcement to ask the tough questions.

Then again, we might be preoccupied with the day’s biggest story: we are born again and there is new grass on the field.

For now, though, here’s yesterday’s news:

  • Speaking of aggressive reporting, the Daily News led with the old news in its coverage of the City Council’s bid to crack down on placard abuse. But, like Streetsblog, Clayton Guse’s story did make the key point: Speaker Corey Johnson is enraged at the NYPD for saying it can’t or won’t fix the problem. Bike-riding bespoke throwback Vin Barone at amNY also covered.
  • Gothamist did a great job on its second-day piece on the arrest of Approved Oil truck driver Kenneth Jackson for killing Chaim Joseph in Midtown last month. We also covered, of course.
  • The Daily News, the WSJ and The Post covered the mayor’s lawsuit against the company that’s running those floating billboards. Of course, Gothamist did, too. Floating billboards are practically Gothamist’s main beat right now!
  • The website’s other main beat — fighting for the rights and dignity of e-bike delivery workers — was also well served with this deep dive into how the NYPD abuses its power, and defies the mayor and city law, in its ongoing crackdown. Christopher Robbins is on fire like an e-Citi Bike right now!
  • When you gotta go, you gotta go. But should you go in a subway bathroom? The Times explores this existential question.
  • L train repairs? Nothing to see here. (Gothamist) Except, of course, there is! (amNY)
  • Larry Littlefield

    Those who want voluntary fares should be pleased that NYC has stopped expanding organic recycling. Sure, suckers like me went along, but the average? Apparently only 10.6%.

    The community. Something you avoid contributing to to the extent possible, and privatize as much benefit from as possible from, right? That’s the example from the political/union class and the executive/financial class.

    And as for the public realm in general, I believe the Generation Greed idea was it was a place where you got to do as you pleased and not worry about its impact on others. If you don’t like it, don’t go there. Whereas the private realm is where there are rules and a sense of fairness. Why foul your own nest?

    So, the idea was to spend all your time in the private realm. In private communities (20 percent of all Americans now live in one) with no sidewalks, shopping malls as your “social” space, private cars with only you inside, etc.

    So what’s next. Stop hassling people about graffiti? How about going back to the first attempt by NYC to require people to treat the community realm decently — the pooper scooper law? Why not let people know if they feel poor and oppressed they don’t pick up, no one will bother them about it? And if you don’t like stepping in it, move somewhere less “cool” and “hip.”

    Let’s just say I don’t find the direction of things to be, in the end, favorable to those who believe in shared spaces that are shared by whoever shows up, not just a curated group of similar people. Cities, for example. Have people forgotten?

  • cjstephens

    I know I spotted this in Politico, but I don’t think Streetsbog has covered this yet. In the season opener of “Billions”, a formerly powerful local figure tries to peddle influence and broker deals, and he keeps trying to win people over with the promise of parking placard that lets them park anywhere they want. The big joke is that everyone he tries to bribe with the placard turns him down because they already have one. Or, as one character says, “I have one. For each of my four cars.”

    Does someone on Showtime’s writing staff read Streetsblog?