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Arthur Schwartz

Thursday’s Headlines: Jane Jacobs Is Rolling in Her Grave Edition

12:01 AM EDT on August 15, 2019

Jane Jacobs holding up petitions. No, Arthur Schwartz, your fight against the 14th Street Busway is the antithesis of her sallies against Robert Moses’s highways. Image: Wikimedia

Another day, another act in the continuing drama of the career of NIMBY advocate Arthur Schwartz.

On Wednesday, the loquacious litigator launched yet another lawsuit to harry city transit, as if he could hold back 14th Street's buses from crawling faster than their former 3.8 miles an hour by sheer force of his torrents of words.

This suit pits disabled people against the riding public, on the idea that the MTA violated civil-rights laws when it moved some bus stops. Several outlets, including NY and Curbed covered the latest suit, which Streetsblog previewed Tuesday.

Vin Barone at amNY had a choice nugget, in which the chutzpah-prone Schwartz likened his fight against the busway to that of Jane Jacobs, who stymied Robert Moses in his quest to put an expressway through Washington Square Park. David Gurin, an urban planner and friend of Jacobs’s, called out Schwartz for the absurdity of the remark, citing Jacobs's well-known views on the necessity of getting rid of automobiles. Roll one for Jane.

Meanwhile, dozens of protesters flooded the street in front of Schwartz's W. 12th Street house last night to demand that he drop his earlier suit against the 14th Street Busway. PIX11 had the story. The Daily News did, too, but also had a photo of Friend of Streetsblog Macartney Morris stalking Schwartz sublimely.

In other news:

    • Why is it that the New York Times never seems to report about New York? The Gray Lady's weekly magazine looks at how highways enforced racial segregation — in Atlanta. The writer also cites Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Syracuse and Washington as cities marred by racism-motivated roadways, but fails to mention the abundance of such highways in our own dear metropolis — the legacy of Jacobs's nemesis Moses. Roll two for Jane.
    • No one covers outraged cyclists like Gothamist (though Streetsblog's Gersh Kuntzman does a good job, too).
    • The Daily News went super-local with coverage of Brooklyn pols' demands for safer streets after the death of cyclist Jose Alzorriz on Sunday. One question: Did someone forget Council Member Mathieu Eugene's name on the letter? He's been AWOL on livable streets issues for most of a decade.
    • NPR shone the national spotlight on this year's carnage on NYC streets, albeit with a long anecdotal lede that our editor hates!
    • The New York Post editorial board inveighed against MTA workers' burgeoning overtime pay, with the Tabloid of Record giving props to Streetsblog alum David Meyer.
    • Gotham Gazette got a bit earnest and obvious with its piece, "'Breaking Car Culture' in New York City Likely Dependent on Expanded Mass Transit." Ya think?
    • Our friends at Bike New York and City Hall said that a bike-safety program is expanding to 25 schools this fall. NY1 had the scoop.
    • A cyclist was seriously injured in Lower Manhattan. (WPIX11)
    • Traffic in Manhattan is slower than ever, Guse at the Newsuh reports, thanks to a DOT preview (we'll get you next time, Guse!).
    • The Daily News notes that in Staten Island, a cop wrote at least six fake traffic summonses to hector a girlfriend's ex-beau. None of the summonses, we presume, were for parking in bike lanes.
    • Finally, the Onion finds food for scabrous satire in NYPD's ticketing policy — on bike lanes! We hope the cops have a good sense of humor.

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