Monday’s Headlines: Online Deliveries are Killing Us Edition
Credit where due: on Sunday, The Times’s Winnie Hu and Matthew Haag took Streetsblog’s obsession with delivery trucks and ran wild with it, deepening our collective understanding of how online retail has ruined New York.
There was nothing new in the piece — the increase in Amazon, Fresh Direct, UPS deliveries, the late and underwhelming city response, the danger to cyclists and pedestrians, the increase in congestion from all the double-parking, etc. has all been widely reported here and elsewhere — but the Times laid it all out in a nice package.
How much of Amazon’s business model is built on taking advantage of cities’ underpriced, poorly regulated streets. To what extent are cities decimating their own local retail and surface transportation systems by allowing e-commerce giants to exploit free, unregulated streets? https://t.co/63aOZ6Nvyt
— Aaron Naparstek (@Naparstek) October 27, 2019
We’ve been screaming our lungs out for years about this, but maybe the heft of the Times will finally get people thinking, “Hmm, maybe I’ll just go down to the drugstore to get that three-pack of disposable razors.”
One quibble with the piece: It did not mention the city’s Stipulated Fine Program, which reduces the amount of fines delivery companies rack up — by millions of dollars per year, as Streetsblog reported.
Here’s the rest of the day’s (and weekend’s) news:
- Pivoting from hating on all the online deliveries filling our neighborhood, we spent Sunday the new Wegmans store in Brooklyn, condemning the massive parking lot is creating unnecessary car trips like de Blasio with a placard-laminating machine. Other outlets explored the joy of shopping (gross!). (NY Post, WABC)
- Mayor de Blasio, please assert some control over the NYPD! Two videos emerged over the weekend that reveal excessive brutality in the subways. In one, a phalanx of cops, some with their guns drawn, aggressively arrested a man sitting on a subway with his arms raised (cops later appeared to fabricate the reason for the arrest). In another, cops went wilding against some teens in the subway. Cynthia Nixon saw the video and called out Gov. Cuomo for his plan to put more unaccountable cops in the subway. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams was angry, too (NY Post). If this kind of police behavior doesn’t bother you, remember: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Andrew Cuomo we don’t want your 500 extra cops in the subway. They are turning it into a police state https://t.co/sCIwqQWUBC
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) October 27, 2019
- Speaking of curbside package deliveries: Set your calendar for the single biggest meeting of the fall! On Tuesday, CB7 takes up the much-needed resolution to properly price the curb and maybe even phase out free on-street storage of privately owned vehicles in the public right of way. How crazy will this meeting get? Well, the West Side Rag posted a very brief, “just-the-facts” write up with the date, time and location — and provided pages upon pages of comments. It was funny to see how such an incredibly underplayed and under-reported story generated so much debate. That was a big miss by the editors of the usually solid Rag. Streetsblog will have full coverage of the meeting on Wednesday.
- The Post had a great story about illegal drag racers terrorizing our streets — good thing we have Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD cracking down on cyclists, though, amirite?
- Memo to all you Trump supporters: There is no excuse for the president not to put some money into the long-overdue, economically vital Gateway project — but it’s an outright injustice what White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said last week. Even the Post is upset about it!
- A cabbie on a cellphone crashed through Columbus Circle (NY Post) — reminder: use of a cellphone tickets are down so far this year (Streetsblog)
- Madison Avenue business owners are objecting to bus shelters for long-suffering bus riders. (NY Post)
- There was a horrible crash on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (NYDN) — at the very spot where horrible crashes are inevitable: the entrance ramp at Atlantic Avenue that is so far beneath federal safety standards that it wouldn’t even be safe on a bike lane (as then-Brooklyn Paper reporter Mike McLaughlin reported in 2008).
- Could this be the start of the radicalization of Andrew Gounardes?
- The Daily News drank some serious Chuck Schumer Kool-Aid regarding the senator’s electric car boondoggle. We thought Streetsblog fully debunked Schumer’s questionable proposal.
- Carnage in Queens as a driver kills a guy near a beloved Jackson Heights diner. (NYDN)
- And in case you missed it, Aaron Gordon did a deep dive on the subway’s history to mark its 115th birthday (Jalopnik). The once-excellent, now Schneps-owned, Brownstoner added little, except a great photo from 1969 of people reading print products on a train. Guse at the Newsuh covered the fun.