Wednesday’s Headlines: Tone-Deaf De Blasio Edition

A cop. In a bike lane. Photo: Dan Miller
A cop. In a bike lane. Photo: Dan Miller

While Bill de Blasio was headed to Miami for his appearance at the first Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday night, his NYPD was not only cracking down on cyclists in the same area where a cyclist was killed by a truck driver on Monday, but also explicitly blaming the victim, too, Gothamist reported.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog kept the pressure on the mayor by pointing out that being a delivery cyclist might indeed be the most dangerous job in the city. Hat tip to Do Lee of the Biking Public Project for crunching the numbers.

There’s so much outrage over the death of cyclist Robyn Hightman that delivery workers will hold a memorial ride on Thursday night (NYDN). Wheels down at 6:30 p.m. Will the cops get in the way? That’s up to the mayor…

For now, here’s the news from yesterday:

  • Gov. Cuomo’s LaGuardia AirTrain project is getting so expensive people might confuse it with Mayor de Blasio’s BQX streetcar. (NY Post)
  • Yes! The Port Authority wants to raise its bridge tolls (NY Times, WSJ). Meanwhile, Congress passed a bill to restore two-way tolling on the Verrazzano Bridge fee, which supporters believe will stop “bridge shopping” (Advance).
  • An Orangetown law requiring cyclists to ride single-file may be unenforceable because state law allows riders to ride in packs if there’s enough room. It’s also ridiculous. (LoHud)
  • A U-turn in Queens leads to death. (NY Post)
  • The (not so) Gray Lady weighs in on the MTA’s censorship of a sex toy ad.
  • It was too close to call when we went to bed, but it looks like we might wake up to find that Tiffany Caban pulled off an upset win for Queens District Attorney. (NY1)
  • And, finally, don’t miss your last chance to get tickets to our editor’s panel discussion, “Whose Streets? Reclaiming NYC for Cyclists,” at the Museum of the City of New York on Thursday night. The talk features activists Helen Ho, Judi Desire and Adam Mansky, plus Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. Use the discount code BIKE1.

whose streets words

  • crazytrainmatt

    The fatal U-turn on flatlands crossed a quadruple yellow line which is legally a barrier that must never be crossed by a vehicle. I don’t think any similar marking exists in Europe, where you far more frequently see metal barriers dividing opposing traffic lanes.

  • Andrew

    Yes! The Port Authority wants to raise its bridge tolls

    Also its AirTrain fares, by $2.75 (a 55% increase), for people who pay AirTrain fares – a far greater instead than in the bridge/tunnel tolls. (AirTrain fares apply only at the connection points to transit. Most AirTrain ridership consists of inter-terminal riders and drivers going to and from the parking lots; they will continue to pay no fare.)

    There will also be a new $4 fee for taxi rides from, and for TNC rides to or from, the airport. But people driving their own cars will still be able to drive to the terminals for free.

    Perhaps, if we weren’t planning to build a new AirTrain as a gift to Cuomo’s Willets Point developer buddies, the Port Authority wouldn’t need to increase the AirTrain fare by quite so much.

  • qrt145

    I wouldn’t say that Congress passed a bill to restore two-way tolling on the Verrazzano Bridge, but that the House did. The bill still has to go through the Senate.

  • Larry Littlefield

    After the hit the Port Authority took to keep PATH fares and Port Authority tolls far lower than NYC subway fares and TBTA tolls in the 1990s, followed by the big hits from 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy, net of federal aid and in part due to cost over-runs, I thought that agency was toast.

    But then it made a bunch of really good and expensive investments anyway, twinning the Goethals Bridge, lifting the Bayonne Bridge, and installing a direct seaport to railroad transfer network.

    https://www.globest.com/2019/06/19/port-of-ny-and-nj-poised-to-become-nations-second-busiest-port/

    And then the new LaGuardia. My God, how the hell are they going to pay for all this! I thought. Now we know. Buy now, pay later.

    Making the existing Airtrain useless to pay for a new useless airtrain is terrible, especially after they cut headways. My guess is the plan is to raise fares enough that no one takes the Airtrain to Jamaica and Howard Beach anymore, and then eliminate it.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The governor argues the AirTrain will provide traffic relief at the Queens airport, which is currently only accessibly by car, bus or foot. Nearly 90% of travelers currently arrive by car compared to just 6% by public transit, according to Port Authority data.”

    They are driven there, or take taxis. How many people actually park at that airport? Not enough room, and very expensive.

    Note the word “travelers.” What about workers? And they forgot bike.

    I’ll say it again, this “investment” is a disgrace unless it hooks up with the JFK Airtrain at Jamaica to form one system. It sounds as if we are already paying enough to have done so. How much of that $2 billion is going to maintenance vehicle and storage, which would have taken place in existing facilities at JFK if the link were completed?

    Robbed, robbed, robbed, robbed again.

  • Larry Littlefield

    First thing I thought of. Not going anywhere. Which may be why the House passed it.

    I wonder if the Congress has perfected the NY State Legislature technique of pretending to pass things while not actually doing so, even as special deals for special interests sneak through at 3 am with no debate?

  • ProfSlowlane

    Off the top: (1) Silver lining – at least Mayor D and his security detail aren’t taking up space at the Y at the moment. And (b): cut out all the flying to places, you’re destroying the planet, and then the transportation to the airports isn’t such an expensive hassle. E.g., why do companies fly their people all over the place for one day meetings? What about the vaunted internet communications such as Skype, etc.? Stop so much constant flying, eating animals, flinging plastic off your person at every moment of the day. Sheesh!

  • Sassojr

    Yes, and I’m sure there will be a motorcycle only checkpoint out in Brooklyn this afternoon.

  • Geck

    ‘ll say it again, this “investment” is a disgrace unless it hooks up
    with the JFK Airtrain at Jamaica to form one system”

    Yes, this seems like an no-brainer. Plus, it could become a much need north/south transit connection between outer-borough subway lines.

  • hey gersh going back to yesterday–you eulogized Steve Dunleavy, who was part of the monstrous coverage the right wing press was responsible for in the 90s. specific to him was his coverage of wayne dumond, a rapist who dunleavy pushed as being part of some insane clinton conspiracy. dunleavy pushed so hard on this utter nonsense that eventually he helped this rightfully convicted rapist get released, to please dunleavy’s terrible political beliefs.

    dumond went on to rape and murder a woman. so no, his passing, and everything associated with the horror of the NYPost of the 90s, should be met with nothing but hope and joy that the future will be better than the past as another boomer bites the dust.

  • Larry Littlefield

    And for $2 billion, it would have been hooked up anywhere else but NYC. Just a straight shot down the Van Wyck, no need for an additional station, and the need for additional vehicle maintenance and storage eliminated.

  • Larry Littlefield

    To me Dunleavy symbolized not so much the right wing as “tell them what they want to hear and make money” while laughing all the way journalism, pioneered by “the right” but now practiced across the board.

    Sex, sensationalism and gossip for entertainment, and someone else to blame for all your problems, preferably someone you perceive to be different than yourself, and rationalizations for all your own actions.

    I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints, the sinners are much more fun.

    Pretty much the attitude. “Headless body in topless bar” was his greatest contribution to the culture.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Largest gasoline refinery on the East Coast destroyed by fire, and will not reopen.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-refinery-blast-philadelphia-exclusive/exclusive-philadelphia-energy-solutions-seeks-to-permanently-shut-oil-refinery-sources-idUSKCN1TR09E

    It had been going broke anyway.

  • Komanoff

    @robert green: I think your comment is unfairly harsh on Gersh, who was acknowledging a long-ago colleague (“In a sad personal note for our grizzled editor and former Postie, Steve Dunleavy is dead. RIP.”), not endorsing his sickening views (as documented in today’s NYT obit pic of Dunleavy w/ that infamous and wrong Post 2002 cover). https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/21fa03f61d9ab953412ad15f923f2d91655942ba80f4b1f53405f14f0a31ea84.png

  • Joe R.

    The real answer to why companies continue to fly people everywhere for things which can easily be done online is that people like to travel on the company dime. They also like to see their drinking buddies and/or mistresses in other states or countries. I agree it’s a complete waste. Unless business travel physically requires your expertise on site it’s inexcusable. For that matter there should be a lot less recreational travel as well. In the long run we can replace most domestic flying with high-speed rail. Longer distance travel is a harder nut to crack. If you’re not in a hurry I guess a ship will do. We may eventually have maglevs in vacuum tubes spanning oceans but probably not in the lifetime of anyone here.

  • Joe R.

    What’s the rationale for the Senate not passing this? A two way toll would get rid of all that truck traffic which currently passes through Canal Street.

  • Joe R.

    It also needs to have a one-seat rid to Manhattan. I can’t believe we’re repeating the same mistake we made with the JFK Airtrain.

  • qrt145

    If you think Mitch McConell cares about traffic on Canal Street, I have a nice bridge between Brooklyn and Staten Island to sell you… 🙂

  • Larry Littlefield

    “What’s the rationale for the Senate not passing this?”

    The last three Republicans in NY State live on Staten Island and drive to Manhattan.

  • JarekFA

    Yah but you don’t have to stop at a toll booth anymore so I don’t understand what’s wrong with two way tolling?

  • Och

    There is not a single activity humans participate in and get away with such incompetence and recklessness. The driver should be charged with manslaughter as a result of her gross negligence, but instead she’ll get away with a traffic fine and her insurance will go up a bit. Disgusting.

  • com63

    Seems like it is attached to a bigger bill which probably has to pass. Can’t imagine why either NY senator would object and can’t imagine why other state senators would care.

  • Andrew

    If 90% arrive by car and 6% arrive by transit, that still leaves 4% who arrive by other modes.

  • Andrew

    No it doesn’t. Manhattan is not a single point. The only direct Manhattan connection that makes sense is an extension of an existing line (the N/W being the obvious choice), which makes multiple stops in Manhattan.

    A dedicated airport line that makes only one stop in Manhattan would be a colossal waste of money, since almost everybody bound for points in Manhattan would have to transfer anyway.

  • Joe R.

    Yes, obviously extending the N/W is the best choice. Not only would this be useful for going to the airport, but it would also serve areas not currently served by the subway.

    As far as waste of money, frankly not only is this Airtrain a big waste no matter whether it goes to Manhattan or not, but refurbishing LGA was also a waste. If we’re going carbon neutral, then air travel has to be dramatically curtailed. Probably only one of the three NY metro airports is needed. I say keep Newark since it has the best rail connections, and shut down LGA and JFK.

  • kevd

    no it doesn’t.
    it needs a “one seat ride” to multiple subway lines.

  • kevd

    “extending the N/W is the best choice”
    yup.

  • Andrew

    Or, barring that, exclusive bus lanes on the airport roadways for the existing Q70 and M60, for a fraction of the cost of a new AirTrain.

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