Tuesday’s Headlines: What He Should Have Said Edition

Mayor de Blasio tries to hear — then ultimately didn't really answer — a question from Streetsblog's Julianne Cuba at his presser at Trump Tower on Monday: Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography
Mayor de Blasio tries to hear — then ultimately didn't really answer — a question from Streetsblog's Julianne Cuba at his presser at Trump Tower on Monday: Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography

Mayor de Blasio’s Green New Deal press conference inside Trump Tower was a bit of a circus, as reported by all the locals (NY PostTimesamNY), but none of the reporters focused on the key detail: the supposedly green mayor drove to the Fifth Avenue tower to tout his green credentials. Now, in the past, when reporters have called out de Blasio for driving to the gym, he’s rightly said he gets a lot of work done, checking email and making calls, as he’s in transit — something he certainly couldn’t do on the subway or bike.

But this was a Green New Deal event. And it was held inside a building owned by the guy who pulled us out of the Paris Accords in part because he doesn’t want to ask Americans to trouble themselves with the sacrifices we must make to save civilization from certain ruin.

So that’s why we’re riding the mayor — again! — for driving to Monday’s press conference. Combating climate change — which is an existential issue in sea-level New York City — is going to require us to do stuff we don’t want to do, like stop driving everywhere. So the mayor, knowing fully well he’d be asked how he got to the event, should have taken the subway and simply said, “It will be inconvenient for all of us, but I’m doing my part by reducing my driving, starting today.” It certainly wouldn’t have won over Trump’s hecklers, who won’t listen to any environmental policy, but it would at least be the first time the mayor didn’t furnish his enemies with ammunition.

OK, off the soapbox. Now, here’s the rest of the news from a very slow transportation day:

  • Mayor de Blasio said he doesn’t remember the wrong-way crash that his security detail apparently covered up. (NYDN)
  • The Daily News offered nice details about cyclist Robert Sommer, who was killed by a driver in Mill Basin.
  • President Trump has set back the Gateway Tunnel project again. (Bloomberg)
  • It’s official: New York State is “a new vision for Buffalo’s Skyway.” How about tearing it down? (Spectrum News)
  • And finally, the Mets did something dumber than trading Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi: They’ve banned backpacks at Citi Field. (Gothamist)
  • Larry Littlefield

    “Combating climate change — which is an existential issue in sea-level New York City — is going to require us to do stuff we don’t want to do, like stop driving everywhere.”

    Lots of stuff that benefits everyone, or even oneself, in the long run requires doing stuff we don’t want to do in the short run. Or not doing stuff we might feel like we want to do.

    And there are many more “threats to civilization” as a result of the freedom means freedom from responsibility generations that have been running the country for a few decades. Not just this one.

    DeBlasio, who is about my age and has lived his life in their wake, can’t imagine that any other point of view is possible, so he panders to it. They all do. The difference is in the details. I don’t agree.

    The life expectancy of those born in 1958 and later is going down. There is no greater and more irrefutable measure of social failure than that.

  • Maggie

    I’m going to quibble with the point below because I think it tosses Bill de Blasio a rationalization he hasn’t earned. This opens the gate for 6 million daily subway riders to deem their time too valuable to take the subway, and switch to personal car use instead. Also if his time is REALLY so valuable that he needs to check emails nonstop during transit, then let me suggest that works well on the bus.

    “Now, in the past, when reporters have called out de Blasio for driving to the gym, he’s rightly said he gets a lot of work done, checking email and making calls, as he’s in transit — something he certainly couldn’t do on the subway or bike.”

  • AMH

    “We consider it unhelpful to reference a non-existent ‘agreement’ rather than directly address the responsibility for funding a local project where nine out of 10 passengers are local transit riders.”

    And what of funding for interstate highways where nine out of 10 passengers are local commuters?

  • Larry Littlefield

    It’s very much the same problem as the Republicans calling for family values and support for children 25 years ago. Hypocrisy.

    The Republicans may be against social responsibilities, but their politicians aren’t necessarily in favor of personal responsibilities. See Trump, Donald.

    And the Democrats may be against personal responsibilities, but their politicians aren’t really in favor of social responsibilities, at least not for themselves.

    I guess now that Republicans have become the party that is against responsibility across the board, the Democrats don’t see the opportunity to become the party that is actually FOR responsibility across the board. The last politician to try that was Jimmy Carter, and that wasn’t what the 1960s generation wanted to hear.

  • Komanoff

    Bingo.

  • Joe R.

    His time would be served even better but just going to a more local gym, perhaps one within walking distance of Gracie Mansion. Or better yet, building exercise into his daily life so he doesn’t need the gym at all. If his time really were so valuable, he wouldn’t be spending it making an unnecessary trip each and every day.

  • cjstephens

    Hasn’t anyone suggested: “Mr. Mayor, you could just work out at the gym that is literally across the street from Gracie Mansion, and then check your e-mail and make calls from the office with all the extra time you saved by not making us all drive an extra 20 miles round trip.”?

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