Tuesday’s Headlines: New Prescription for Vision Zero Edition

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Today’s action will be at City Hall, where Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets will demand more focus from Mayor de Blasio on his signature issue, Vision Zero. Road fatalities are up 30 percent this year over last, and everyone (well, Streetsblog and amNY, at least) is asking why. We asked Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s office if the legislature will finally pass the Vision Zero Design Standards bill, which would force the city to make roads safer — and were told to stay tuned for today’s noontime rally (oh boy!).

Meanwhile, much of officialdom will be at the 11 a.m. funeral for former City Council Member Lew Fidler, who died way too young at age 62 on Sunday, or at the 11:30 a.m. rites for former Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, who died at 86 on Saturday.

Here’s the roundup of yesterday’s news:

  • Global warming, what global warming?: Gov. Cuomo is sharpening his scissors to open the second span of the Kosciuszko Bridge ahead of schedule in September. The sole bit of good news? The span does include a bike and pedestrian path instead of a fifth lane for cars on the Brooklyn-bound side (NYDN). Meanwhile, amNY played it straight.
  • The Daily News editorial board is still crowing about Gov. Cuomo’s L-train plan. Seriously, this is like the fifth editorial on the subject of Cuomo’s genius. Sorry, make that the sixth!
  • Meanwhile, Gov. Cuomo slammed the MTA for overtime costs that, largely, stem from contracts that he approved when he needed the support of the working man and woman. (NY Post)
  • Terrible news: A 67-year-old woman who had been injured by a cyclist in Midtown has died (CBS2). This is an entirely preventable death, so please remember to ride safe and care for pedestrians — cyclists’ natural allies in the war on cars. Donna Sturm is the first clear-cut case of a pedestrian killed by a cyclist since September, 2014 (Gothamist). In the same amount of time, 697 pedestrians and cyclists have been killed by car and truck drivers — but you can be sure that anti-bike Twitter and Curtis Sliwa will suggest that the death toll is roughly equal.
  • Indeed, here’s a reminder of the destructive power of cars. Can a bike do this? (Derick Waller, ABC7, CBS2)
  • Council Speaker Johnson and Hizzoner are in a battle over the budget (NY Post). The Speaker’s proposal would add more goodies for livable streets, so you know which side we’re on.
  • The last diesel bus made its last run on Monday — and Vin Barone offered a nice bit of whimsy. He also pointed out that there are only 10 electric buses in the fleet. Ten? Hello, it’s 2019, people. (amNY)
  • Gov. Cuomo made some staff changes yesterday, including hiring former TLC Commissioner and Brooklyn Heights Council Member David Yassky to the position of director of state policy. (Crain’s)
  • Don’t be fooled by Uber’s IPO, argues Jacobin.
  • And, finally, some personnel news: On Monday, Streetsblog welcomed a new editor to join the booming team of David Meyer, Julianne Cuba, Angie Schmitt and Editor Gersh Kuntzman. So say hello to our new Community Editor, Eve Kessler, who joins us after stints the Forward and the New York Post, and inside government at the Comptroller’s office and the Department of Correction. Her mission: To further broaden Streetsblog’s reach and scope. Want to write an op-ed or cover something local for us? Email Kessler at eve@streetsblog.org.

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