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Clarence Eckerson

Friday’s Headlines: Treat, He of Ghent Edition

12:04 AM EST on January 3, 2020

Ghent makes us smile, and cry.

Streetfilms auteur Clarence Eckerson Jr. has done it again: his new 10-minute video on how the Belgian city of Ghent banished cars from the city center once again fills us with hope and dread.

ghent 2

"Hope" because Ghent (famous for the 1814 peace pact evoked in our pun headline above) shows that urban areas can be reclaimed from the automobile — and "dread" because Eckerson's film reveals urban planning that is so essential, yet not even being attempted in New York.

The full film is embedded below to watch now ... or after enjoying our headlines for Friday, which promises to be rainy, as a massive storm stretching from Washington to Houston finally reaches our area by morning.

So here's the news to peruse under an umbrella:

    • Gothamist explored which seat is the "best" seat on a subway train (our answer: a seat is the best seat). The Daily News and even the Times also covered this vital issue.
    • City parking meters had a Y2K plus 20 problem. (CBS2)
    • Queens Council Member Costa Constantinides isn't the only person upset with Gov. Cuomo's veto. The bill's main sponsor, State Senator Jessica Ramos, penned an op-ed for BuzzFeed News, decrying his as the equivalent of "finding a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking — except the consequences will be much worse."
    • The Post tried to drum up outrage that important criminal justice reforms had allowed a drunk driver to be released pending charges — but where is the outrage when so many drivers who kill aren't even charged? Indeed, the Tabloid of Record didn't seem to mind that the driver who killed a pedestrian in Queens on Wednesday (Streetsblog, Gothamist) was not charged.
    • The City offered an update (though still unsatisfactory) on the Goethals Bridge bike path.
    • The City also scooped the Post with the capture of the Nevins Street raccoon (who clearly evaded the fare yet was caught without Cuomo's 500 new cops).
    • And from the human resources desk, kudos to Aaron Gordon, who went from Signal Problems to Jalopnik and, starting next week, to Motherboard (Gordon via Twitter). Some day, we will get him in a Streetsblog uniform!

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