Thursday’s Headlines: The Wealthy Lose Round One Edition

Photo: Vivian Lipson
Photo: Vivian Lipson

We had a fun day biking around among three different courthouses in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday before opponents and defenders of the city’s Central Park West bike lane plan finally got a hearing from Justice Lynn Kotler at 80 Centre St.

Kotler denied foes’ bid to block construction of the lane (Streetsblog, NYDN, NY Post, amNY, Gothamist, but nothing in the NY Times), and ordered everyone back to court on Aug. 20 so she can decide the issue on the merits (hint: the suit, which argues that reconfiguring roadways with paint and pylons requires a full environmental review, has none).

The West Side Rag focused on what it suggested was unfair reclamation of car storage spots along Central Park West to create a safer public right of way.

For now, supporters of the protected lane will gather tonight at 6:30 p.m. at 25 Central Park West, the ritzy condo building that initiated the baseless suit. Transportation Alternatives’ Tom DeVito explained why he wants everyone to come out and shame the uber-wealthy: “We see you. We know you want to endanger us for the sake of parking. We will not let you win.”

And in other news:

  • Our friends at Reinvent Albany did another survey of MTA board members — and didn’t like what they look like (or what’s in their wallet or where they live, either). (NYDN) (Streetsblog ran the group’s report verbatim.)
  • Council Member Mathieu Eugene put another nail in the coffin of his political career at a heated town hall meeting on Tuesday night. It was heated, it seems, because Eugene is just a terrible council member. The good news? It looks like the city will stick with its plan to speed up Church Avenue buses by removing parking. (Bklyner)
  • No one has been covering the city’s lax response to fatal doorings better than Gothamist. Sure beats the New York Post’s take that cyclists who die had it coming.
  • Here’s what happens when people drive too fast. (NY Post)
  • The Daily News joined Streetsblog in covering Queens Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer’s bold plan for a full network of protected bike lanes in Long Island City. First, Western Queens — then, the city! (Meanwhile, the Post focused on the removal of parking to make the plan a reality.)
  • The Post’s David Meyer put a nice lede on a truly incredible video of a city bus being inundated with floodwaters. And, no, it’s not a duck boat.
  • Daphna

    Framing the Central Park re-design in terms of the wealth of the pro free car storage proponents is unhelpful. The foes of the Central Park bike lane want to keep space devoted to free car storage at the expense creating safety for other road users such as bicyclists. Better to keep framing them as people who want to endanger cyclists for the safe of parking, and not focus on their wealth or lack of it.

  • Daphna

    The Post article about the speeding driving of the minivan crashing into a parked backhoe and killing his passenger but not himself uses the language in the headline and in the article as if the van was autonomous and did the crashing on its own. Journalists need to start attributing the movement of vehicles to the drivers, not the vehicles themselves. The current way of automatically reporting conveys a degree of absolution to the driver.

  • kevd

    about he B35 bus lanes
    they congregants are correct. It should be 7 days a week and not revert to curbside parking for the christian sabbath.

    I’m also not sure 7pm is late enough. the B35 crawls between Coney Island Ave to Ocean ave until after 8pm.
    Though I really don’t see it getting too much better unless traffic is removed and physically separated bus lanes are added.

  • JL

    The sound of car culture starting to crack- “Shame…Shame…Shame”
    The white paint is down and parking is erased up to 67/68th(?) as of 7:30PM today.

  • Joe R.

    You could frame it both ways, with the greater focus on the tradeoff of safety for parking. The hard fact is the wealthy have a pattern of dumping the side effects of their lifestyle on everyone else. It’s not just the cars they drive or where they park them. It’s also the planes they fly in, which dump massive amounts of noise and pollution in the city. It’s the construction of their luxury dwellings which result in many thousands of trucks passing through poorer neighborhoods. It’s the trucking away the massive amount of garbage they generate, plus delivering those goods, which results in yet more pollution and carnage. It’s also their avoiding paying enough taxes to pay for the city services they use, as well as the health and welfare of their workers.

    The wealthy are biggest parasites on society in more ways than I can count.

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Staying on the cars-parked-in-bike-lanes theme… Bike lanes are popping up faster than you can say "community involvement" these days, like on West 90th and 91st Streets, where the final stripes have yet to be laid. (Shown above: West 90th between Columbus and Central Park West.) I like: The lanes connect Riverside Drive and Central Park […]