Monday’s Headlines: Belly of the Beast Edition
On the third full day of the city’s 14th Street busway — which is receiving glowing reviews — our editor will journey into the belly of the beast: Defending the transit-priority strip on busway foe Arthur Schwartz’s WBAI radio show today at 5 p.m.
Schwartz is not merely a busway opponent — he claims to be a progressive, but sued the city to prevent the busway, and delayed its inception for months, hurting working-class bus riders who just want to get to work. Schwartz will likely say that the cars that have been banished from 14th Street have ended up on sidestreets, but there’s no evidence of that yet.
Indeed, since Thursday, reviews of the busway have been so laudatory that everyone except Schwartz is already calling for the car-free approach to be expanded to all crosstown strips — and into the outer boroughs. (NY1’s Pat Kiernan loves the busway, too!)
But our editor is a gracious radio guest. He promises not to gloat all over Schwartz’s studio. But he will grill the lawyer on his defeat on 14th Street and his even more humiliating loss battling a similar city transit plan on Fresh Pond Road. Doug Gordon offered encouragement on Twitter. It’ll be fun.
For now, here’s the news:
- The Daily News had more details about the unlicensed driver who killed a 10-year-old boy in Kensington on Saturday. The judge in the case let driver Victor Mejia go, but told him to stay off the roads. We’re sure that’s comforting to the family of Dalerjon Shakhobiddinov. (The Post’s story had less meat.) Gothamist offered a nice feature with good points made by lawyer and Friend of Streetsblog Steve Vaccaro.
- In a related smackdown, much-repudiated Council Member Kalman Yeger went after a Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’s chief of staff for having the temerity to call for safety improvements where Dalerjon was killed. And then Streetsblog’s Julianne Cuba put Yeger in his place.
In which the Brooklyn Councilman — who represents the area where 10-year-old Dalerjon Shahobiddino was killed by an unlicensed, reckless driver yesterday — berates @BPEricAdams's Chief of Staff for suggesting that a simple traffic-calming measure could have saved the child's life https://t.co/ZhGoEcks3u
— Julianne Cuba (@Julcuba) October 7, 2019
- Gridlock Sam reminds drivers to stay out of the bus lanes — not for moral reasons, but because they’ll start getting tickets. (NYDN)
- The Post burned through lots of Uncle Rupert’s money for a vital public service: Proving that public transit is the best way to get to JFK — even better than the Uber copter!
- The second installment of the “War on Cars” podcast’s look at public meetings is live. Part I brought you inside that insane “First they took away the traffic lanes…” meeting in Fort Greene. This one is about the even-more-insane meeting in Park Slope last month.
- As always, Politico’s Dana Rubinstein asks the tough questions about de Blasio’s folly (er, ferry). We don’t necessarily share her take that the ferry is too subsidized, though.
- The Times’s Brian Rosenthal offered yet another deep dive into taxi shenanigans — this time how New York’s villains took their show on the road to the Windy City.
- About that meaningless task force about homelessness in the subway… (Gothamist)
- And from the assignment desk: Today at 11 a.m., the Straphangers Campaign, Tri-State Transportation Campaign and TransitCenter will point out the inefficiency of bus stops that are too closely packed this morning. Market Urbanism offered a supportive thread on Twitter, dismissing a heart-in-the-right-place, but still wrong comment by State Senator Julia Salazar.
In case you missed it:
- Kudos to the New York Times’s opinion pages, which clearly understands that cars are death machines. Funny how Brooklynite Clifford Levy’s Metro section still doesn’t get it. And, frankly, the rest of the paper doesn’t get it, either, claiming on Saturday that Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is making “many” enemies with her people-first, cars-last, climate-friendly approach to urban planning. Fact: She’s making far more friends than enemies.
- The DOT is hiring people to represent the agency at community board and town hall meetings about the city’s “Green Wave” plan. The pay is good, but it takes a certain person to be willing to be cannon fodder at public hearings about putting tiny cracks in the car culture. If interested, here’s the listing.
- The car-loving Riverdale Press is at it again, complaining about the removal of parking in favor of more crosswalk. “While it might be safer travels by pedestrians, it didn’t stop 150 people from signing a petition calling for the removal of the crosswalks and reinstallation of lost parking,” the paper reported, with its sympathies barely in check.