Monday’s Headlines: Your Efforts Are Paying Off Edition
It’s easy for activists to get down on themselves, given how much effort they put in, how many hours of meetings they sit through, how many petition signatures they collect, how much great testimony they provide only to watch powerless as the city ignores its own data and installs
mere painted bike lanes double-parking strips for selfish car drivers in Bay Ridge in the midst of unprecedented cyclist bloodshed.
But sometimes, we get fresh evidence that your activism is working. Those came over the past few days when two of the stodgiest, cyclist-averse institutions in town — the NYPD and the New York Times — showed fresh sympathy for the plight of New York’s beleaguered bike riders.
The NYPD’s they-a culpa came from Chief of Department Terence Monahan, who admitted at a Gothamist/WNYC forum that it’s “insensitive” for the NYPD to ticket cyclists when a cyclist has been killed — and he vowed to stop the practice. Read all about that here.
Meanwhile, the Times, which has pretty much ignored livable streets and cyclist safety issues except when they affect the Upper West Side, published a near-perfect column by Ginia Bellafante about the current crisis. Every word in the piece rang true — especially Bellafante’s use of the term “privileged” to describe drivers, coming just days after the anti-cyclist New York Post used the very same term to describe cyclists, who are dying in perhaps record numbers this year.
AND … Jersey City is getting protected bike lanes! A lot of them! (WPIX)
Beyond that now, here’s the rest of the weekend news you might have missed:
- In case the message above isn’t getting through to everyone, well, it’s time for a Critical Mass ride on July 26! (Facebook)
- And, clearly, the above message from the NYPD isn’t getting through to Ed Mullins’s sergeants union, which took to Twitter to claim that Mayor de Blasio’s campaign trips outside the city have led to “people being killed by bicycles.” Hey, Chief Monahan, how about telling your rank-and-file that 15 cyclists have been killed by people, not the other way around?
- In fact, Clayton Guse of the Daily Newsuh did everyone a great service by pointing out that cars are far deadlier than guns in New York City right now. Can’t wait to see the NYPD start shifting resources from homicide to vehiclecide! Meanwhile, the Post reported on more car carnage, thanks to, well, cars.
- The biggest story of the weekend was the late-Friday release of a $4-million consultant report ordered up by Gov. Cuomo to “reform” the MTA that he runs. The upshot? Trim “the fat” (amNY) and reduce the power of Andy Byford (NY1, NY Post). Our own Dave Colon offered this analysis.
- The East Village wants bike lanes! (EV Grieve)
- Transportation Alternatives is the latest to call for a tear-down of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, but, reminder, Streetsblog was there first, back in November:
- We were also way ahead on calling for de Blasio to resign once he officially became a presidential candidate — a call that the NY Post (and to a lesser degree, the Daily News) picked up on today.
- And, finally, one upside of the blackout? Pedestrians took back what is rightfully theirs in the Theater District, which should be car free already, Mr. Mayor (Derek Turner via Twitter, Jake Offenhartz via Twitter). Citi Bike worked just fine throughout, and even the MTA earned kudos for getting riders off safely (NYDN). The downside? Mayor de Blasio returned from Iowa (or wherever he was being a presidential candidate this week) to offer little help (NYDN, NY Post). Grab a spanner or get out of the way, guv’nor, we always say.
— Derek Turner (@DCT_Sports) July 13, 2019
no one tell the mayor, but we finally pedestrianized 8th Ave pic.twitter.com/agVjhJA5pD
— Jake Offenhartz (@jangelooff) July 14, 2019