Wednesday’s Headlines: What a Weird Day For Arthur Schwartz Edition

NIMBY attorney Arthur Schwartz addresses reporters at a solo press conference he called to protest a TransAlt action planned in front of his home. Schwartz, who is suing to stop the !4th Street Busway, accused TransAlt of "thuggish" tactics. Photo: Eve Kessler
NIMBY attorney Arthur Schwartz addresses reporters at a solo press conference he called to protest a TransAlt action planned in front of his home. Schwartz, who is suing to stop the !4th Street Busway, accused TransAlt of "thuggish" tactics. Photo: Eve Kessler

Just when it looked like NIMBY lawyer Arthur Schwartz wasn’t a total charlatan

It was only a few days ago that Schwartz starting to gain traction for his successful legal argument that the city’s plan for a car-free 14th Street busway would inundate local streets with cars. Indeed, on Monday, Speaker Corey Johnson even parroted Schwartz’s comments.

But then, when he heard that Transportation Alternatives was going to picked outside his $10-million W. 12th Street townhouse on Wednesday, the supposed man of the people Schwartz pre-emptively held a one-man press conference in front of TA’s John Street headquarters on Tuesday to liken TA activists to Klansmen (must-read by Jake Offenhartz of Gothamist here). Meanwhile, the activists surrounded Schwartz with signs reminding reporters covering the event that bus riders on 14th Street are enjoying the worst service in the city, thanks to Schwartz’s ongoing lawsuit.

Our own Eve Kessler did tease a bit of news out of Schwartz: On Wednesday, he claims he will announce that he is suing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority because it eliminated 14 local bus stops along the 14th Street route when the agency put in Select Bus Service there. The loss of stops, Schwartz says, inconveniences disabled people who relied on the stops.

“This is not about the busway,” Schwartz told Streetsblog. “It’s about adding back the local stops.” (No, Arthur, we’re pretty sure it’s about the busway.)

Until then, here’s the rest of the news from a quiet Tuesday:

  • The Daily News put a good headline on Public Advocate Jumaane Williams’s sudden interest in talking about the rash of cyclist deaths: “Politicians blame de Blasio following latest cyclist death, offer few solutions to crisis.” Streetsblog’s Dave Colon was equally unimpressed, while amNY and WPIX played it way too straight.
  • People are loving the new OMNY pay system — except, um, it still stinks OMNY won’t offer weekly or monthly passes until 2021 (so reports of OMNY’s success are greatly exaggerated). (NY Post)
  • The City spot-checked a bunch of station houses and found cop cars illegally parked everywhere. It was a solid story, but did not go as far as Streetsblog’s investigation earlier this year which revealed the horrendous driving records of NYPD officers.
  • State Senator Andrew Gounardes will host a vigil for Jose Alzorriz, who on Sunday became the 19th cyclist to be killed this year. It’s at 6 p.m. at the Coney Island Avenue and Avenue L crash site. (Facebook)
  • Andrew

    People are loving the new OMNY pay system — except, um, it still stinks OMNY won’t offer weekly or monthly passes until 2021 (so reports of OMNY’s success are greatly exaggerated).

    Of course it won’t offer unlimited passes before all subway stations and buses are equipped with readers.

    It’s no exaggeration that OMNY has already reached its millionth tap, much sooner than projected. What exactly are you saying is exaggerated?

  • New Yorker

    Arthur Schwartz doesn’t actually care about people with disabilities.

  • Wilfried84

    I get the commuter tax benefit through my employer and a Beniversal Mastercard, which I have to use in order to spend my pre-tax transit money. However, the card is not contactless, nor can you link it to Google Pay etc., so I can’t pay with it at a contactless turnstile. I can’t use OMNY until they upgrade the card.

  • com63

    Maybe they could find a way to link your unlimited metrocard to OMNY so you can tap at stations with the reader and swipe at other stations?

    What they really need is monthly fare capping. Once you tap enough to cumulatively reach the cost of a monthly unlimited card, all future rides that month should be free. That would help low income people who don’t have the cash flow to afford a monthly card a lot.

  • AMH
  • Larry Littlefield

    If only other IT projects advanced as well as that.

  • veffari

    Overheard on a sinking ship: “Every man for himself!”

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