Monday’s Headlines: End of the Century Edition

Bye, bye love: The finish line at Transportation Alternatives' 30th and final  NYC Century Bike Tour. Photo: TransAlt
Bye, bye love: The finish line at Transportation Alternatives' 30th and final NYC Century Bike Tour. Photo: TransAlt

More than 3,000 cyclists — including many friends of Streetsblog — converged on city roads yesterday for Transportation Alternatives’ 30th and final New York City Century Bike Tour. From a team-building, adrenaline-pumping point of view, the 100-mile race could not have been better: It was a glorious ride on a sunny, dry day — the kind of day that prompts New Yorkers of a certain age to sing jingles to the Empire State. The ride generated a lot of action on Twitter, and Clarence Eckerson made an “Ode to the NYC Century 2019” Streetsfilm that should not be missed.

Of course, the end of a popular, 30-year-old event will always seem a little sad, even though TransAlt’s rationale for discontinuing it strikes us as entirely understandable.

“Producing major citywide events isn’t where our power comes from,” then-interim co-executive directors Marco Conner and Ellen McDermott wrote in our pages in May. “We draw it instead from our ability to bring people together to demand change; from our relationships with decision-makers and the media; and most importantly, people like you who feel the urgency of our mission to reclaim streets from the automobile.”

We hear that as a clarion call to pursue justice: Safe-streets activists must press those in power with the same determination with which 3,300 pumped-up bikers yesterday pushed the pedals. It’s the same motion, really: We need to put our bodies “upon the gears and upon the wheels.

And now, here’s the news you may have missed this weekend:

  • School buses came up short on the first day of classes, according to Department of Education data. (NYDN)
  • The mayor is ramming through another $43M of purchases for his money-pit pleasure boat (excuse us, NYC Ferry) over Comptroller Scott Stringer’s objections. (NYP)
  • Some 600 subway riders were evacuated from the High Street station in Brooklyn yesterday because of smoke in the tunnel. (AMNY)
  • “Yes, Texting While Walking Is Relatively Safe. (But Still Annoying),” per NYT, a headline that proves once again that the Paper of Record’s default viewpoint is from behind the windshield of a car.
  • A transit supervisor was seriously injured on Friday when he fell onto tracks at the Yankee Stadium station, the Post reports.
  • Gothamist provides a Baedecker to upcoming subway changes,
  • Governor Cuomo’s vanity-license-plate scheme to promote the memory of his dad foundered on public opinion. (Gothamist, NYP)
  • TWU rattles the sabers again in its contract dispute with the MTA. (NYP)
  • The Chief Leader interviewed the pregnant bus driver who’s suing the MTA for allegedly denying her city- and state-mandated accommodations. Her attorney? Arthur Schwartz. Who sent us the clip? Arthur Schwartz. AMNY had the story on Thursday.
  • SI Live’s Tom Wrobleski seldom misses an opportunity to lash back at cyclists.
  • CityLab had an interesting story to keep in mind as New York enacts regulations for e-bikes and e-scooters: Concerns about rider-data privacy are spreading as a controversial scooter-tracking program gains traction.
  • Streetsblog Board Member Gabe Klein opines in Forbes that enforcing traffic safety also can help cut crime.
  • The new Port Authority Bus Station will cost billions, but won’t have gates for Megabuses. (Gothamist)
  • The City discovered via a Freedom of Information Law request that the Department of Transportation lists as “open” 2,000 road- and bike-lane-marking projects — some since 2014. Translation: Dangers abound because no one can figure out where to drive, walk or ride on the unmarked streets.
  • NBC4’s David Ushery follows Streetsblog’s story about the crisis on the Central Park loops with a podcast interview of former Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.
  • Politico’s Dana Rubinstein reports that labor activists are taking aim at the “gig economy” business model of Uber and Lyft.

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