Thursday’s Headlines: Let’s Ban Cars in Manhattan Edition

Shades of paradise: A speculative rendering shows how a local Manhattan street might look without private automobiles. Image: Perkins Eastman
Shades of paradise: A speculative rendering shows how a local Manhattan street might look without private automobiles. Image: Perkins Eastman

Imagine there’s no parking

It’s easy if you try…

Our friends at CityLab churned out the must-read of the day yesterday — a piece that not only raises the question of how we can rid Manhattan of cars, but also offers incredible renderings (see above!) and urban planning maps to show how we can do it.

If the story isn’t in Mayor de Blasio’s press briefing book today, Seth Stein should apologize to the entire city.

In other news yesterday:

  • Curbed also got into the livable cities business with a strong package: Diana Budds explained why safe streets are an equity issue, which was paired with a personal essay on the importance of parks and playgrounds for disabled people.
  • Jose Martinez at The City dropped a bombshell: Gov. Cuomo’s last-minute decision to scrap the full L-train shutdown will result in far more expensive work to Manhattan stations that would have been “piggy-back” repaired during the full shutdown.
  • City & State rounded up a bunch of stories on the city’s medallion taxi crisis, including a Q-and-A with Marcus Crespo and Jessica Ramos on legislative fixes.
  • The New York Times’s “Climate FWD” newsletter advised Americans to consider “walking, biking or taking public transport” if they want to save the planet. We know: little steps for little feet!
  • Gotham Gazette noted that the city is pouring money into trash-basket pickup. That’s good, but it should go further and get garbage off the sidewalks entirely, as Streetsblog has counseled.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams got into a spat with a Twitter troll — and as a result, the borough is getting a long-overdue public hearing on placard abuse! (Patch)

  • After Streetsblog broke the news yesterday, the Post, Crain’s and amNY reported that Google’s crowd-sourced transit app, Pigeon, has expanded beyond the subways to other transit services in the New York region.
  • A woman smashed the windshields of six NYPD Smart cars outside of Hudson Yards in Manhattan (NYDN)
  • In more feminine malfeasance, two women are being sought for stabbing a man on the 4 train at Grand Central on Tuesday, according to NY1.
  • Who knew Dan Rather was so into transit? (TV news legend via Twitter) Meanwhile, Greta rode the subway! (Climate activist legend via Twitter)
  • Not Just Bikes had this tweet that made us wonder, yet again, “Why Can’t We Have That Great Thing?” The Netherlands polices illegally parked vehicles with “scanner cars” that can check 1,200 license plates an hour.
  • And, finally, our gristled old editor cut out of work early to ride on the new Kosciuszko Bridge bike path and, frankly, was upset at how hard it was to get to … and from. (The Tabloid of Record agreed with him.)


Q&A: Trottenberg Previews Tomorrow’s “Shared Streets” Debut

Summer Streets takes a big step forward this weekend with “Shared Streets: Lower Manhattan.” From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow, DOT will open up a 60-block radius in the Financial District to pedestrians and cyclists, limiting motor vehicle access to residents, deliveries, and emergency vehicles [PDF]. The event evokes the concept of “shared space” — […]

Why Is There So Much Traffic in NYC? It’s the Free Roads, Stupid

Since the de Blasio administration attempted to cap for-hire cars this summer, the debate over Manhattan traffic has gotten louder, but not more productive. Uber claimed it definitely wasn’t the problem. Some council members wondered if bike lanes were slowing down cars. Amid all the noise, something important got lost. At a hearing about Manhattan traffic this morning convened by Borough President Gale Brewer, a simple […]