Monday’s Headlines: The Silence of Bill de Blasio Edition
We haven’t gotten over the death of city contractor Jose Polanco, who was fixing a traffic light on Thursday when a truck driver rammed into his vehicle, sending Polanco falling to his death. Polanco worked for Welsbach Electric Corp., which changes most of the city’s traffic lights, yet for some reason, Mayor de Blasio hasn’t commented publicly on the death (and he has no avail on Monday, either).
The silence speaks volumes, but it’s worse, considering not only the mounting death toll of cyclists and pedestrians in this city, but the way in which the most-vulnerable road users are being slaughtered:
- Cyclist Jose Alzorriz was killed when he was just waiting for a red light on Coney Island Avenue, thanks to a speeding driver who slammed into another car that went flying into Alzorriz.
- Pedestrian Juan Mendez was killed on the sidewalk when an SUV driver lost control of his vehicle last week in Greenpoint.
- Pedestrian Enzo Farachio, all of 10 years old, was killed by SUV driver Alexander Katchaloft as he waited for a bus in Midwood also last week.
Yet even amid this latest bloody week in an exceptionally bloody year, the bikelash continues. On Tuesday, a group of Fort Greene residents will protest the mayor’s supposed “war on cars” (which, from where we sit, consists of not restricting cars from any road at any time). The group’s slogan? “First, they took away traffic lanes. Then gas stations. Now they’re coming for the parking.” (Reminder: free on-street parking is not included in the sticker price of your car, Fort Greeners!).
Well, it’ll be an interesting week. For now, here’s the news you need this morning:
- The Times ran Jeff Giles’s tribute to DUMBO’s early days — though the piece foolishly left out the most obvious problem with the Brooklyn neighborhood: too many cars!
- Brownstone Brooklyn will get express service on the pokey F train starting on Monday. (NYDN)
- A hit-and-run driver killed a pedestrian in Crown Heights on Sunday. (NYDN, NY Post)
- In case you missed it, Vin Barone at amNY reported that fare evasion might not be as bad as the MTA wants you to think.
- The city is being ruined by cars that congest our roads, choke our lungs and kill our kids, but sure, let’s talk about how the super rich park. (NY Times)
- It’s really not that hard to solve the traffic problem, says Nicole Gelinas: price the roads, build more bike lanes and make more subway capacity. (City Journal)
- The city is going to make some public space available for electric car charging. Naturally, drivers of non-electric cars see this step forward as a step back. (CBS2)
- The Times editorial board got silly over an important topic — and Market Urbanism explains why.
- And finally, we don’t like cars, but we do like The Cars, so here’s some sad news. (NY Post)