Friday’s Headlines: De Blasio Throws His Own DOT Under the Bus Edition

Funny thing is, one day earlier, the mayor was with Fifth Avenue pedestrian zone supporter Gale Brewer (and Rachael Ray, whose position is unknown). Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
Funny thing is, one day earlier, the mayor was with Fifth Avenue pedestrian zone supporter Gale Brewer (and Rachael Ray, whose position is unknown). Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

How bad is Mayor de Blasio? Yesterday, the mayor sent a clear message to his demoralized staff that he remains the micro-managing, large-hat-sized control freak who has returned from his failed run for president as a time-clock-punching player of small ball.

Case in point: On Thursday, the mayor freaked out over a plan, revealed a day earlier by his own DOT, to temporarily narrow Fifth Avenue for car drivers between 48th and 51st streets so that tens of thousands of tourists could be safe as they enjoy the Rockefeller Center tree and the window displays decked out by America’s greatest capitalists.

He said someone at the DOT — someone with “their own agenda” — leaked the plan prematurely. But, hello, Mr. Mayor — that’s not someone at DOT’s “agenda,” it’s your agenda. It’s called Vision Zero. You should probably re-read it [PDF].

The flip-flop (Streetsblog, NYDN, Politico, NY Post, with a great lede, Gothamist, with a great headline) is all the more depressing because the mayor and Police Commissioner James O’Neill said they’re do better this year, after the Christmas crush of last year. We suppose fixing the problem would be “premature.” City Hall says a finalized plan will be presented soon — if it’s anything short of more space for pedestrians, we’ll call out Hizzoner for caving to car drivers yet again.

Until then, here’s the rest of the news:

  • A reckless driver injured four after jumping a curb in Brooklyn — but the Post’s lede only blamed the car for going out of control, seemingly by itself! Same complaint for another Post story about a pedestrian hit by a reckless SUV driver in Queens.
  • The Schneps-owned amNY is still so bad.
  • Jake Offenhartz in Gothamist wrote the only words that mattered yesterday: The city should ban cars on many residential streets on Halloween. Anyone walking around last night saw so many near-misses. It’s time for the mayor to get this chaos under control. Kids will be kids, so let’s keep them safe. (Double-duty Jake also had a great lede on his de Blasio flip-flop story: “For a brief moment, it appeared that hundreds of thousands of tourists would not be squeezed like sardines against the cold edges of terrorism-boulders around Rockefeller Center during the holiday season. Thankfully, Mayor de Blasio stepped in before things got out of hand.”)
  • The New York City Marathon is this Sunday. Imagine if we could get that race-day feeling every day of the year — by turning the entire 26.2-mile route into a park! Friend of Streetsblog Elliot Sperber wants to make it happen. (Washington Babylon)

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