Wednesday’s Headlines: Today Will Be a Better Day Edition

Yesterday was the slowest transportation news day in months. It was so slow that we’re going to lead this page with our news-free exchange with a clearly uninspired Mayor de Blasio yesterday over congestion pricing exemptions:

Streetsblog: So, yesterday in the Daily News, PBA President Pat Lynch wrote an op-ed, urging that [the state] to exempt police officers from congestion pricing [when] congestion pricing tolls are created. You’re a supporter of congestion pricing, you’ve talked eloquently about its benefits for the environment, for congestion, for transit. Where are you on the idea of carve outs for police officers?

De Blasio: I think we have to look at all the different ideas that are being put on the table and decide through the panel that’s being put together to study what we want to do. Now, I would reflect and amplify a point that the governor’s made — when you go down the road of exemptions, you have to be judicious, because if you give too many exemptions of too many different kinds you won’t have the revenue left that is needed to address the crisis. We have a crisis in terms of global warming, we have a crisis in terms of congestion, we have a crisis in terms of the state of the MTA. And this plan, which I think is an exemplary plan, … has to work for the good of New York City. So, there will be a process to look at different nominations. I’m not going to comment on each one. I’m sure you could raise other ones in the coming months, but there will be a deliberative process. But it will have to have some serious limits.”

We asked a follow-up, but the mayor ignored it. “This is going to be an ongoing process. We’ll look at all of it.”

Well, we tried.

And now, here’s what little news there was yesterday:

  • Comptroller Scott Stringer is still mad about how the city is handling the ferries (NYDN, The City).
  • NY1’s Dan Rivoli did us all a service by writing about the looming spectre of driverless cars — now that Tesla owners are letting their cars drive themselves home, and then filming it for social media posts. Will “Crash it for the ‘Gram” be the next catch phrase?
  • There’s a fare evasion crackdown going on … in Staten Island? (The City)
  • Keep waiting for that Mario Cuomo Bridge bike path. (LoHud)
  • The vacuum was filled by Streetsblog, which covered the mayor’s promise to crack down on rogue police employees who drive their private cars recklessly. The mayor said he appreciated Streetsblog’s monthlong investigation.
  • And Streetsblog’s David Meyer reported that Manhattan lawmakers are the impediment to e-scooter legalization.

Today will be a better day!

  • AMH

    The video shows a Tesla cruising down the Grand Central Parkway in Queens. Owner Camilo Ortiz was in the driver’s seat, but his hands weren’t on the wheel for 30 seconds.

    Tesla does not consider the Autopilot feature autonomous driving. … If the driver’s hands remain off the wheel, the feature disengages.

    Something doesn’t compute here. Either the disengage wasn’t working, or it waits longer than 30 seconds to do so.

  • Maggie