Wednesday’s Headlines: Can You Tell Me How to Dodge — How to Dodge the NY Press Corps?


Some days, you gotta love the inbox: “On Wednesday, Mayor de Blasio will deliver remarks at a street renaming ceremony in honor of the 50th anniversary of Sesame Street. … There will be no Q-and-A.” No Q-and-A? At the Sesame Street street renaming?! Is the mayor afraid we’re going to ask about why the city has for so long allowed a man to live in a garbage can?

In any event, we’ll try to chat up Hizzoner on Thursday. For now, here’s the news:

  • A questionable new report blames the MTA’s unionized workers for the agency’s fiscal troubles. Sad to see Clayton Guse in New York’s Hometown Paper not defend the working man and woman a bit more. That said, it is hard to fathom why the average salary at the LIRR is $104,000. (NY Post)
  • Reinvent Albany is blaming Gov. Cuomo for the MTA’s problems. (NY Post). Our own David Meyer took a different angle on the good-government group’s report, focusing on how out of touch the MTA board is.
  • Here’s the problem with the bipartisan “infrastructure” bill that’s being worked out with top Democrats and President Trump: It’ll be a disaster for the environment — so supporters of the Green New Deal rallied outside Chuck “Sellout” Schumer’s office to protest his capitulation to Trump’s desire to build more roads and burn more fuel (NY Post). The good news? The Gateway Tunnel project, a Schumer favorite, might move forward (NY Post)
  • Placard abuse is so bad that even the city’s chief actuary was caught doing it this weekend. That’s bad enough, but tell us again why the chief actuary even has a placard. (NY Post)
  • The Daily News’s editorial board obviously doubled-down on Stephen Rex Brown and Graham Rayman’s fine reporting this week about the NYPD cover-up of a minor fender-bender involving Mayor de Blasio.
  • We were definitely not fans of amNY’s headline predicting a disaster during the Five Boro Bike Ride on Sunday. Sorry if drivers are slightly inconvenienced. Imagine how all us non-drivers in this car-minority city feel the other 363 or so days a year when the roads are completely given over to cars.
  • Unions are opposing an effort to get the state pension fund out of dirty fuel. (NY Post)
  • Friend of Streetsblog Shabazz Stuart penned a long Medium piece about the challenges he’s faced creating the Oonee bike shelter system. It’s an interesting story of race, class and privilege.
  • And finally, in case you missed it, the Times had a cute story about a bus with just three stops — and just 220 riders. (One critique? What is the Metro section’s obsession with transit routes that don’t “make money”? Transit isn’t supposed to make a profit. It’s supposed to be the foundation of our economy. You wouldn’t blame a backbone for not being able to play the violin.
  • Sassojr

    As a Bronx resident, the 5 boro bike tour/NYC marathon can kiss my ass. Closing two bridges to spend a couple thousand feet in the Bronx is pointless. We don’t want your ceremonial inclusion. Even the triathlon spends more time in the Bronx (and on a less inconvenient route). Even if you aren’t a vehicle user, the costs involved simply aren’t worth what I like to call the ceremonial step into the Bronx. At that point they might as well close the Madison avenue bridge in both directions and just make it a hairpin. They don’t want to be in the Bronx, and the Bronx doesn’t want them.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “That said, it is hard to fathom why the average salary at the LIRR is $104,000.”

    As usual, that is not the problem.

    The problem is extensive featherbedding, with too many workers doing too little work, and more than one year in retirement for each year worked, often spiked with overtime and disability fraud.

    Virtually NO public employees are overpaid in CASH which everyone can see.

    Yes, that is more than the median income of NYC residents with a graduate diploma in 2017. But that isn’t what bothers me, and what should be resented.

    It is the sneering attitude, lousy work, extensive non-work including more than one year in retirement for each year worked, and various scams we get in return. If you are richer than everyone else, everyone else should know it, and you should be grateful and make it worth it. Instead we get “shrouded compensation,” manipulation and fraud.

    AND the fact that a large share of it is extracted from NYC subway riders and taxpayers, not those on Long Island.

    Meanwhile, the New York Times is surprised to find that public employee and contractor unions are fighting against campaign finance reform at the state level, and state legislators are bowing down before them.

    They are in favor of it for the federal government, owned by corporations and the rich, but not for New York State, which they (and to a lesser extent the real estate industry) own, to our expense. These aren’t “workers” they are exploiters, who are out of solidarity with other workers, and even their own later-hired members.

  • woodyguthrie

    Well that is still more than the NYC marathon spends in Staten Island.

    It is not easy to plan a large event like this. Maybe you should help them with your ideas on how to include more of the Bronx. Oh wait, you said the Bronx doesn’t want them. Impossible to satisfy everyone.

  • sbauman

    One reason for the Five Boro’s short incursion into the Bronx is the conflict with NY Yankee games. Any route that encompasses more of the Bronx, while still permitting a return to Manhattan would interfere with traffic to Yankee Stadium.

    The Yankees home game this coming Sunday is scheduled to start at 1:05pm. The fans will be using the roads much earlier.

    It’s these logistics and not antipathy towards the Bronx that makes the short route a logistical necessity.

  • Fool

    Reminder: Recent fare-hikes could have been entirely avoided if a class of useless MTA employees (conductors) were laid off.

    There are many other positions in the organization that are similar in uselessness as conductors.

  • Sassojr
  • sbauman

    The planning and budgetary cycles for the many involved agencies do not coincide with when the next year’s baseball schedule is released. It’s easier to go with one plan that will work 100% of the time rather than two separate plans that each will work 50% of the time.

  • Really weird but most people who read amNewYork are commuters who pick it up at one of the hubs or street stands where it is mainly distributed, so really these are people that are not seriously car dependent? (Not enough that they would be affected by these particular street closures)

    So who did they write this for?

  • Yeah, super strange that it would be in amNY.

    Got me thinking about how great it is to be car-free and never have to care about this stuff. Parking spaces taken for movie shoots, streets closed down for races or roadwork, even a parking garage driveway blocked by a deliver truck… you literally don’t have to give a sh*t because you just go about your life by foot or by bike. What a great way to preserve your sanity in a city like New York.

  • Simon Phearson

    The 5BBT gets on my nerves every year, because the routing essentially pushes non-participating cyclists onto dangerous and lengthy detours to compete with frustrated drivers. It’s extremely disrespectful to such cyclists, despite ostensibly being about promoting cycling in the city.

    The last time I tried riding anywhere along the route, the marshals tried to shoo me out of the Pulaski bike lane, despite its being used for literally no other purpose. Now that I’m trying to plan my Sunday route, I find that their website “route” is about as useful as the marathon maps usually are. How am I supposed to plan alternative routes, if you can’t even specify which streets you’ll be on?

  • Komanoff

    I’m totally w/ Steve Bauman on this. Woody G too.

  • Sassojr

    Fair point on 5 boro.

    And the NYC marathon’s reasoning? I believe last route I calculated was 2 bridges closed for ~3000 ft. Hardly seems worth the disruption.

  • sbauman

    Did you try the NYC website ? If you click on “Events” and then follow the Five Boro Bike Tour’s obvious street closure links. You should reach:

    This lists all the street closures.

    I hope this helps you with planning your Sunday route.

  • Simon Phearson

    Have you tried planning a bike route with that list of street closures?

    I found that list myself, thanks. It’s only of limited use, considering that it doesn’t list the route closures in sequential fashion and requires reading alongside an actual map to make sense of it. As a cyclist, an added dimension here is that I don’t necessarily have to avoid all of these streets – I can blend into the crowd if they happen to be going my way, but only if I’m going in the same direction. It also doesn’t say anything about closure of parallel bike infrastructure (which, as noted, is something they purport to do over the Pulaski).

    Also, given that it’s forty miles of street, and the tour has a hard requirement that all cyclists get on the BQE by 2 or so, I have to expect that these are rolling street closures, as per the marathon, but for some reason the DOT isn’t giving us that information.

    I don’t recall the 5BBT maps from prior years being as unhelpful as this year’s. Not even the placement of the aid stations is very clear!

  • sbauman

    As a cyclist, an added dimension here is that I don’t necessarily have to avoid all of these streets – I can blend into the crowd if they happen to be going my way,

    The term “closed” means not open to the general public. This includes cyclists who are not registered 5BBT riders. Unregistered riders within the 5BBT’s closed roadways are technically trespassers.

    A street closure timetable won’t be sufficient for planning a leisurely Sunday bicycle ride because of “collateral damage” on adjacent streets. I’d suggest your ride planning keeps you as far away as possible from DOT’s list of street closings.

    There are over 6000 miles of streets in NYC. You should be able to find a suitable bike ride on the 99.3% of NYC streets not used by the 5BBT this coming Sunday.

  • Simon Phearson

    This includes cyclists who are not registered 5BBT riders.

    I doubt your interpretation has legal support. In any event, you can stuff it. I’ve blended in before and I expect to do so again, if necessary.

    A street closure timetable won’t be sufficient for planning a leisurely Sunday bicycle ride because of “collateral damage” on adjacent streets.

    I’m not sure why you assume that’s what I’m doing. A timetable would help me to determine when and where to expect conflicts and to route accordingly. A ten hour window is not helpful. A rolling six hour window could be.

    I’d suggest your ride planning keeps you as far away as possible from DOT’s list of street closings.

    This is exactly the disrespectful attitude behind the 5BBT that I’m talking about. If I were to follow this advice, then there would be no safe access to Greenpoint, only treacherous options into Astoria, and rough riding in Brooklyn. You’re saying, do your “leisure riding” on streets that you usually avoid precisely because they’re unsafe for cycling. I’m saying, why is that something that any cycling advocate would say?

  • cjstephens

    Agreed that not having a carry eliminates so many issues that others have. The flip side is that relying on buses and subways still means you have to check for weekend track work, etc.


Streetsblog to chyron: Not any more!

Wednesday’s Headlines: This Time, It’s Personnel

Much-loved reporter Dave Colon — aka the second-best-dressed man in the New York press corps — broke a big story on Twitter on Tuesday: He’s joining Streetsblog as senior reporter, after stints at Gothamist and Brokelyn and freelancing for everyone. Colon replaces David Meyer, who left us for the Tabloid of Record. Colon’s tweet about his […]