Friday’s Headlines: A New Era for Streetsblog Edition

A legend and an intern: David Meyer (left) anchored Streetsblog's coverage for more than three years. Superintern Ben Verde — three months. But now they are forever linked. Photos: Gersh Kuntzman
A legend and an intern: David Meyer (left) anchored Streetsblog's coverage for more than three years. Superintern Ben Verde — three months. But now they are forever linked. Photos: Gersh Kuntzman

We’ll get to Mayor de Blasio’s run for president in a second, but we were rocked by far more important personal — make that personnel — news on Thursday: We are losing two giants (well, one giant and one future giant).

Just as we were mourning Friday’s departure of intern Ben Verde, who graduates from SUNY Purchase this very day, Streetsblog legend David Meyer announced on Twitter that he’d been hired by the New York Post to cover transportation.

The outpourings and tributes to Meyer came fast and furious, most notably from former Streetsblogger Stephen Miller, who pointed out that Streetsblog’s loss is definitely the mainstream media’s gain:

In the coming days, we’ll devote round-the-clock coverage to the Meyer departure, but we also want to celebrate the work of our super intern Verde, who in his short time, did some solid work for us, including the first story in our relentless months-long investigation into reckless driving by police; his story about what a joke 311 is; and his contribution to our piece about how police brass order crackdowns on e-bike riders from their desks at 1 Police Plaza — even as they order food from them.

Ben Verde
Ben Verde — earned the brownie.

Verde leaves with the standard Streetsblog parting gifts: a brownie at the Brooklyn Roasting company (right) and a promise of references for years to come.

Now, the big news:

  • Mayor de Blasio did the thing. And everyone reacted (too many to recount more than just the highlights): The Daily News editorial board did a good job reminding us of the good, the bad, the de Blasio. Public Advocate Jumaane Williams took a cheap shotThe City also did a “report card”-style assessment. And Kyle Smith, naturally, was all cloud, no silver lining in the National Review. But the best takedown was by the Biking Public Project, which recut de Blasio’s glossy campaign video to highlight all the lies.
  • Our editor had an op-ed in the Daily News about why de Blasio’s excessive driving is bad.
  • De Blasio did a brief press avail after declaring for president, but no one asked anything very challenging. Naturally, de Blasio did not call on Streetsblog Editor Gersh Kuntzman, who had prepared a question about Hizzoner’s Dyckman Street debacle — you know, just to let the national press corps know that someone still cares about local issues. Earlier in the day, of course, Streetsblog’s editorial board demanded that de Blasio resign. (FYI: The Wall Street Journal kinda agreed.)

There was other news, of course:

  • The mayoral panel to explore the right way to fix the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway issued its first update, which had no news at all. But that didn’t stop the Brooklyn Daily Eagle from writing it up anyway.
  • While the mayor was trying to get some oxygen for his campaign, Gov. Cuomo decided to suck some of the air out of the room by holding a press conference to talk about a design for Penn Station that he’s talked about before. But the renderings were great! Read to the end for Clayton Guse’s Amtrak joke — though his math is a little off (NYDN). Vin Barone at amNY also covered it.
  • As expected, drivers — who killed 202 people on the streets of New York last year — love the state bill that would criminalize pedestrians who text and walk. (NY Post)
  • And, finally, thank God someone is standing up for the Aperol Spritz. (NY Post)
  • kevd

    struggling to find Williams’ “cheap-shot”
    read like a balanced assessment to me.

  • AMH

    I’ve always thought the Aperol Spritz was a crappy cocktail. Kudos to the Times for coming out and saying it.

  • AMH

    “I stop so I don’t hit the person, then I get a $110 ticket for stopping at a green light. I’m sick of it!”

    That really does not add up, but I wouldn’t put it past the NYPD to invent such an infraction.

  • Joe R.

    I think the offense here would be “impeding traffic”. The police shouldn’t be giving tickets for that if the vehicle stops to avoid hitting a person, but as you said, I wouldn’t put anything past the NYPD.

  • walks bikes drives

    There already is a law against stepping out into the street against the light while looking at your phone. It’s called jaywalking. And you dont even need to be looking at your phone. But the only jaywalkers that should ever be summonsed are the ones who really aren’t paying attention. Not when it is done relatively safely.

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