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Friday’s Headlines: All Busway All the Time Edition

12:01 AM EDT on October 4, 2019

The Busway: Better transit. More ridership. And also safety. Photo: David Dartley

Coverage of the debut of the city's 14th Street busway largely depended on the sympathies of the various media outlets. Streetsblog's Dave Colon stood athwart hope and history with his bold declaration that bus riders are finally getting a modicum of good service (which obviously could be better).

Other outlets soon followed with their own coverage.

    • Gothamist put two top reporters on the story and determined that drivers are not only ignorant (of the changes!) but are certain they won't work (even as they violate the law at every turn!). Busway foe Arthur Schwartz told the outlet that there was already lots more pollution from re-routed car drivers on his West Village street, though he did not provide any evidence.
    • The Post played it as a traffic disaster, but a closer read reveals that the story was entirely built on the complaints of a few confused drivers.
    • Curbed took the partial car ban on six blocks of a single street as an opportunity to call for an all out car ban in Manhattan!
    • After getting trolled for most of the day on Twitter, Winnie Hu and Andrea Salcedo of the Times did a 180, put aside their "It's a war on cars!" derangement and declared the busway a success. The Wall Street Journal also ran the busway up the flagpole and saluted.

In other news (was there other news?):

    • It's bad enough that most of the subway system is inaccessible to those in wheelchairs, but most of it was built decades ago. So what excuse does the Queens Public Library have for putting three sections of books outside the reach of the disabled? (Gothamist)
    • A class at the CUNY/Hunter College Master of Urban Planning Studio is asking residents of Queens Community Board 11 to fill out a survey to help help the city "identify opportunities for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements to increase safety, equity, and social mobility." Sounds good to us!
    • Oh, and if you haven't signed up for Transportation Alternatives' Vision Zero Cities conference on Thursday and Friday of next week, here's some more incentive: Our ornery editor is leading a panel on road fatalities and the media that will feature Guse of the Newsuh, Kea Wilson and Joe Cutrufo of TA. Kuntzman said his bringin' his PowerPoint A game.

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