Thursday’s Headlines: Meet The New Steve Cuozzo Edition

Blather.
Blather.

Steve Witt of Kings County Politics posted his latest anti-bike screed the other day, but it took bike Twitter a few days to find it (the site is not exactly a must-read unless your like your backrooms particularly smokey). The piece is easily condemned for its central — and glaring — mischaracterization: Apparently, seniors in Fort Greene are upset that they keep getting parking tickets for leaving their cars in the new “no parking” zones created by the city to facilitate truck deliveries in residential areas (which are booming because of all your Amazon, FedEx, UPS and Fresh Direct orders).

Witt — perhaps channeling a battle over a bike lane on Clinton Avenue three years ago (indeed, a lot of the same neighborhood sages are quoted) — decided that the latest issue about parking tickets must actually be about those damn cyclists and their damn demands. But alas, it is not. The residential loading zone pilot is about keeping trucks out of the roadway so drivers can make their way unimpeded — solving a problem that, indeed, car owners often complain about.

It would be easy (very easy) to simply dismiss or ridicule Witt’s latest attempt to surpass even Steve Cuozzo for willful disregard of the facts. But we bring it up because it’s a cautionary reminder that there is no longer a single complaint made by old timers in a community — in this case, that drivers are getting parking tickets for leaving their car in “no parking” zones — that won’t be blamed on cyclists.

So let’s remember that as we fight the good fight for honesty, safety, livability and quality of life for all.

Off the soapbox. Here’s the news:

  • There was plenty of coverage of the DOT’s expedited Fourth Avenue bike lane project (though none was as glass-half-empty as our editor’s report). Gothamist had a mini-take, while amNY, Curbed and Patch played it straight.
  • It is very rare when cyclists kill pedestrians in crashes — so when it happens, it’s big news. (NYDN, NY Post). Streetsblog also covered the July 31 crash that led to the Wednesday death of pedestrian Michael Collopy.
  • This type of road carnage — a hit-and-run driver killing a pedestrian while going three times the speed limit on Woodhaven Boulevard — is far more common, alas. (NYDN)
  • The Times puts the busway in perspective — and completely overstates the issue. Banning through traffic on 14th Street is a war on cars? Really?
  • Remember those MTA deficits? Yeah, they’re worse than you thought. (NY Post)
  • People (not too many, but people nonetheless) are using the driverless car shuttles in the Brooklyn Navy Yard (NY Post, WSJ). Gothamist, like Streetsblog earlier in the day, was skeptical.
  • The Times has finally discovered the Hudson River Greenway, which is only the most-used bike path in North America.

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3/3 Closing essential, safe #bikenyc infrastructure midday NOT an option anymore, @HudsonRiverPark. #visionzero pic.twitter.com/h8uZnYrh6Q — Joanna Oltman Smith (@jooltman) May 26, 2016 Update: The Parks Department sent us this statement Thursday evening: “Ensuring the safety of all during the holiday weekend, in preparation of increased pedestrian traffic during Fleet Week, NYC Parks has posted signs […]