Tuesday’s Headlines: Times Square at 10 Edition

Times Square.
Times Square.

Today at 11 a.m., the Times Square Alliance and lots of former city officials will celebrate the great job they did 10 years ago when they pedestrianized much of Times Square. “The success of Times Square’s pedestrian plazas,” the Alliance press release reads, “has spawned dozens of similar plazas across the five boroughs.”

No, it hasn’t.

Yes, it’s fine that everyone wants to take credit for a Bloomberg-era job well done, but let’s get real here: The pedestrianization momentum has stalled under the current mayor and would-be president. Despite ample evidence that car-free zones improve quality of life, help local businesses and make neighborhoods safer, the de Blasio administration won’t discuss creating more in areas that desperately need them: Flushing, Williamsburg, DUMBO, the Village, the East Village, the West Village, Soho and virtually every neighborhood, frankly.

The mayor will have an avail about crime statistics at 2 p.m. It seems likely that some reporter will ask him about expanding on the positive lesson of Times Square. Or maybe someone will ask about police statistics showing that road fatalities are up 31.7 percent this year.

For now, though, here’s the news:

  • Council Member Carlos Menchaca is a bicycle commuter. He also made some nice spare change as a model last year. Coincidence? We don’t think so. (NY Post)
  • We were very happy to see NY1 follow our story on an Upper West Side community board committee that wants to ask the city to get rid of free parking. As Friend of Streetsblog Helen Ho would say, “Street parking is theft.
  • The Daily News reports that the new OMNY fare payment system is a success — though reporter Clayton Guse was quick to point out that the tap-to-pay system still doesn’t accommodate monthly pass-holders. Vin Barone at amNY also pointed that out.
  • Well, it looks like Gov. Cuomo won’t give us legal weed before the end of the legislative session (WSJ), but no one is talking about the real bummer: pot taxes were supposed to raise hundreds of millions for our transit system.
  • No one covers unaccompanied lentil soup on the subway like Gothamist’s Jake Offenhartz.
  • L train riders are apparently not using one of the bus routes set up to accommodate them during the nights and weekends repairs — so the MTA is going to scale it back. (amNY)
  • So amNY played this as good news for Hunts Point residents sick of all the truck traffic in their neighborhood, but it sounds to us like the same old state DOT plan that residents didn’t want (Streetsblog).
  • And, finally, Jake Dobkin of Gothamist offered a gripping first-person account of his experience on a Revel motor scooter. The piece raises many questions, including, “Why is Jake Dobkin lying to his wife?” He also issued some 20-20 foresight: “It’s a near certainty that someone is going to get in a serious collision on one of these mopeds in the very near future,” he wrote.

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