Friday’s Headlines: ‘You Want to Clown Around With Me?’ Edition

This was went self-styled climate activist John DeLiva Halpern got up on a chair and screamed, "You want to clown around with me?" Photo Jake Offenhartz via Twitter
This was went self-styled climate activist John DeLiva Halpern got up on a chair and screamed, "You want to clown around with me?" Photo Jake Offenhartz via Twitter

Forgive us if we revisit that crazy anti-bike lane meeting in Park Slope on Wednesday night.

Like Streetsblog, Gothamist covered the meeting with a similar incredulity about the conspiracy-theory, defamation-hurling NIMBYs who call themselves “climate activists,” yet champion the hegemony of cars over bikes. We’re certainly no strangers to this phenomenon — after all, we’ve asked Mayor de Blasio repeatedly about it — but it’s all the most disturbing when activists display such hypocrisy — then punctuate it with Trump-style belligerence (Grim Kardashian had an epic Twitter thread live from the meeting).

What’s most disturbing, of course, is the delusion of many car drivers. Some — and we put the mayor in this category — admit that driving is bad: bad for our planet, bad for our city, bad for the most-vulnerable road users. Such people genuinely feel sheepish about driving. But then there is the delusional crew from Wednesday’s meeting who are so emboldened that they literally invent their own reality. These people not only don’t feel the slightest bit guilty about consuming limited resources such as public space or fuel, but will literally shove their opponents and defiantly yawp, “I’ll burn whatever fossil fuel I want — and no one can tell me otherwise” (not that anyone even is!).

And in case you missed it, Politco offered a deep academic analysis of what this is called (hint: the end of democracy).

In any event, we have a weekend coming up and a Five-Borough Pizza Challenge to win, so let’s get to the news from a very slow Thursday:

  • Advocates are right: Fare evasion is not nearly the problem Gov. Cuomo thinks it is. (NYDN)
  • A lot of people give tours of the Brooklyn Bridge. This guy’s family built it. (NY1)
  • Of all places: The Villager now backs the busway!
  • The AirTrain, which should really be free, just got more expensive. (NYDN, Gothamist)
  • Mayor de Blasio looked at the calendar and realized he’s in office for two-plus more years — time to give the staff a pep talk! (WSJ)
  • The best place to build high-density residential buildings is along subway lines, says Speaker Corey Johnson (as former Mayor Bloomberg used to say, too). (amNY)
  • Which subway system is better: New York or Paris? (News Decoder)

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Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson Talks Bike Lanes on Brian Lehrer

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Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, sender of this week’s memo on “Office of the Mayor” letterhead defending the city’s bike policy, should be on the air at WNYC momentarily. This is the follow-up to yesterday’s segment with Jim Walden, who’s suing the city on behalf of Prospect Park West bike lane opponents. Update: Here are some […]