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Andy Byford

Thursday’s Headlines: Enraged Railway Nerds Edition

The New York public really loved Andy Byford, seen here in happier times. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

Lost in the lingering pain of the departure of New York City Transit President Andy Byford was a blistering signed editorial in — of all places! — Railway Age that basically went off on Gov. Cuomo for his role in the debacle.

In pointed prose, William C. Vantuono, the editor-in-chief of the usually by-the-book trade publication (typical headline: "Norfolk Southern: Momentum Will Support Continued Value Creation"), spoke for so many of us:

Gov. Cuomo, you blew it, big time. You’ve played with your life-size electric train set, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, far too long. You’ve rearranged the toys in your sandbox far too many times. Now, you’ve caused a huge derailment. You’ve dumped sand on the one person who knows better than anyone else how to build a better, bigger place where everyone can play, on a level field. Why? Because you thought he was dimming the spotlight in which you so love to bask. That person — Andy Byford — said “enough.” Who will suffer? About five million people a day. And you don’t give a damn, because you consider expendable the people in your perceived fiefdom who refuse to be squashed by your thumb.

Wow. If this is how railroad nerds write hot takes, get us a subscription!

Now, the rest of yesterday's news:

    • In an op-ed for the Daily News, Comptroller Scott Stringer broadened his plan for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway by expanding it to consider eliminating more urban highways. Sound bite: "We are wasting a key moment in our city’s history if we simply repair dilapidated highways and perpetuate a car culture that isn’t working."
    • Clifford Michel of The City had a nice overview of the changes coming to the mayor's ferry. Like everything else, there's stuff to like (Bay Ridge Express!) and stuff not to like (Bay Ridge loses its local!).
    • The MTA rolled out an electric bus yesterday. Emphasis needed: An electric bus. Well, it's a start (NYDN). At the same event, NYCT Bus leader Craig Cipriano said the agency would follow Andy Byford's plan, even without the dear leader (amNY).
    • Gothamist and the Tabloid of Record took the same tack as we did regarding the revelation that the NYPD writes more moving violation tickets to cyclists than it does to truck drivers.
    • The Post and amNY followed our first-look at the DOT's plans for 10 miles of protected bike lanes in Brooklyn, part of 30 miles of new PBLs promised for 2020. (The Post even ran an accompanying photo of our old man editor biking with DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.)
    • State lawmakers Felix Ortiz and John Liu have a good bill to reduce drunk driving from .08 perecent blood alcohol level to .05. (NYDN)
    • Cops often go to diners. They don't often bring their squad cars inside with them. (NY Post)
    • The City analyzed the demographic makeup of community boards — and found them frequently unlike the neighborhoods they supposedly represent. Punch in your address to find out how bad yours is.
    • We were happy to see the Daily News following up on our "jaywalking while black" series. Something is building to change the NYPD's racially insensitive enforcement. The power of Anna Sanders is a beautiful thing to behold.
    • The Daily News also covered the NYPD's opposition to Gov. Cuomo's plan to sell off the Manhattan tow pound to developers — same as we did!
    • And, finally, Streetsblog gets action! One day after we noted that the Schneps family hadn't updated the website of its flagship Villager newspaper for two weeks, the supposedly local-news-minded clan issued a statement on Wednesday admitting that it had folded the websites of the Villager, Chelsea Now, Downtown Express and Manhattan Express into its existing amNY website. It's the latest questionable move by a company that claims to be committed to local news, but is, in reality, committed to tiny staffs covering wider regions. Meanwhile, former Villager Editor Lincoln Anderson, who founded the competing Village Sun website after being fired by the Schnepses, gloated. “If you want local news, come to The Village Sun. We’re live and daily!”

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