Wednesday’s Headline: TV News Gets it (Mostly) Right This Time Edition

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It’s a start. In the days after two videos went viral showing reckless driving on Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue, WPIX of course trained its laser focus on … blaming anything but the drivers. But, to be fair, Ayana Harry’s report at least allowed Transportation Alternatives’ Executive Director Danny Harris (and our editor in a cameo role) to discuss the problem that many of the city’s bike lanes aren’t protected by anything other than a few millimeters of paint.

Sure, there was very little said (except by Kuntzman) about drivers who blow through red lights, but it was ultimately a decent segment. And Fox5 did its own version (with Phil Leff!). Any time TV news calls for better bike lanes, we should say thanks. So, thanks.

Now, here’s the rest of the day’s news:

  • A squadron of Daily News reporters drilled deeper into Churrogate, revealing that the crackdown seems to stem from complaints by a MTA employee against vendors. The exhaustive report quoted many churristas, including Jose Martinez who, in his quiet way, shamed Mayor de Blasio and New York’s Fining-ist: ““It’s not like we sell drugs,” Martinez said. “We sell treats that people like, and people like us. We just want to be left alone. We’re just trying to make a living.”
  • Meanwhile, the Post’s David Meyer allowed the insanity of the situation to play out in glorious relief by giving the NYPD yet another chance to put its jackbooted foot in its mouth: “We need the citizenry, our riders and everyone else in the city to work with us and help us to de-escalate these situations,” the NYPD’s transit police Chief Ed Delatorre said. “When people don’t follow our requests or commands, there’s a potential for escalation.” (Editor’s note: Sounds like someone broke his own broken windows theory. Yeesh.) And amNY reported that the citizenry doesn’t want the churro crackdown anyway.
  • The Times also went underground to report on the meager lives of New York’s churro vendors, but added lots of context about the larger struggle of working people to succeed when avenues of success — like getting a legal vending license — are closed off to them in the city that Mayor de Blasio likes to believe is so progressive.
  • Reminder: There is no reason to play along and join the MTA’s OMNY “tap and pay” fare collection system until it can accommodate riders who want unlimited fare cards. Right now, it’s all pay-per-ride — so big deal if more stations are coming online? It’s a ripoff. (NYDN)
  • Meanwhile, the Health Department did not return Streetsblog’s request for information about whether any member of the public had ever been sickened by a churro-borne illness. The agency’s silence speaks volumes.
  • Very little news came out of Tuesday’s state hearing on the MTA capital plan (other than it was newsworthy that the state legislature finally dusted off its oversight power), so reporters did what they could. Guse of the Newsuh played up the supposedly tough grilling MTA officials suffered; amNY played it straight; the Regional Plan Association was concerned about debt; Reinvent Albany called for more oversight, more transparency, and more attention paid to the $7.3 billion that the state promised the MTA in 2016; and Politico’s Dana Rubinstein focused on an Cuomo appointee to the MTA board who thinks the governor should probably chill out about his desire for 500 cops in the subway.
  • If you didn’t think that call to Ukraine was grounds for impeaching President Trump, maybe this will convince you. (StreetsblogUSA)
  • And, finally, the West Side Rag showed one of the major flaws with the Parks Department’s Hudson River Greenway detour — it gets dark!

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