Friday’s Headlines: Ivy Day in the Committee Room Edition

DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg being grilled by reporters, including Vin Barone at left. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg being grilled by reporters, including Vin Barone at left. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

We spent most of Thursday at the City Council, as both the Department of Transportation and the NYPD testified at a hearing overseen by righteous cycling and pedestrian advocates Ydanis Rodriguez of Manhattan and Donovan Richards of Queens, who took turns bashing NYPD Transportation Bureau Chief Thomas Chan, who was woefully unprepared and confused (nothing to see here).

At one point, Chan claimed that none of the 26 cyclists killed in New York this year were victims of hit-and-runs (those of us in the press seats gasped in horror, quickly counting at least four). And he was forced to admit that only four drivers have been arrested for the 26 killings (which he didn’t seem that alarmed about).

The agenda itself included testimony on some bills, including Rodriguez’s proposal to mandate that drivers give cyclists three feet of space when passing (NYDN, Streetsblog) and a bill to require seatbelt use in the backseats of cars (NY Post). We also heard from DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, who blamed SUVs for the rising carnage on our streets (NY Post, Streetsblog)

The Council also heard testimony on a Council Member Bob Holden bill that would require cement companies to stop dumping cement on all our streets. It’s such a no-brainer that no one objected.

Meanwhile, in other news from a slow day:

  • Gov. Cuomo slammed the MTA … which he runs. (NY Post)
  • Think the subway is gross? Take a picture of the putrescence … and make $500! (Business Insider)
  • Wired looked at the pedestrian death crisis.
  • The rich condo owners’ lawsuit to block the Central Park West bike lane was thrown out (Streetsblog) — but why is the DOT doing repaving without finishing the bike lane (AndreasNYC via Twitter).
  • Please don’t forget the annual Streetsblog, Streetfilms, Neighborhood Empowerment Project and Streetopia UWS fundraiser party on Nov. 7. Tickets are here.
  • Sen. Chuck Schumer wants all cars to be “clean” by 2040. Um, sounds to us like more … cars. (NY Times)
  • And, finally, the mayor is having a Halloween party at Gracie Mansion tonight. We’re going as Rudolph Ghouliani (it always works).

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