Monday’s Headlines: No, You’re Not Going Crazy Edition
No, you didn’t miss something: We did not, in fact, do a normal headlines post on Friday. The reason? It was a one-day protest of coronavirus, which has crowded out all coverage of livable streets issues that we couldn’t even compile a reasonable list.
The good news? Unlike all those virus-obsessed outlets, we at Streetsblog are still staring into the sclerotic heart of our city and not averting our gaze. So here are some pieces you might have missed:
- A Manhattan community board wants the city to turn Canal Street from a car sewer into a safe, pleasant, modern street.
- The NYPD said it’s not going to do anything about a vigilante movement on Staten Island that is helping reckless drivers get away with speeding.
- A pedestrian was hit and killed by a speeding driver in Bay Ridge as he walked his dog. The NYPD declined to say if the driver was speeding, so we went and found the badly damaged car for proof. (And there’s also a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the vet bills for the injured dog, Stormy.)
- Congestion pricing expert Charles Komanoff warned his Manhattan neighbors that they need to stop whining about central business district tolling.
- And would-be Queens Borough President Donovan Richards wants a busway in Jamaica.
Fortunately, other outlets did get around to covering some of our issues:
- The Post reports that Gov. Cuomo is thinking about shutting down the subway because of the coronavirus — a terrible idea that would create an even worse contagion: CarOwnerVirus, which, unlike the dreaded disorder du jour, is a known killer. Amtrak already canceled the Acela, amNY reported.
- Meanwhile, Mayor de Blasio — who has never ridden a bike or walked to work — urged New Yorkers to use those modes this week (via Twitter). We asked City Hall if Hizzoner would take his own advice, but all we heard were … crickets. The mayor’s support for biking earned him plenty of criticism on Twitter from people who said they don’t feel safe riding in a city where 29 cyclists died last year.
- David Meyer of the Post and Guse of the Newsuh had a nice scoop about the MTA’s effort to shame Verizon and other serial bus lane blockers.
- Speaking of Guse, no wonder more subways are on time lately — the News reported that the MTA merely tweaked the train schedules!
The carnage that most New Yorkers accept as normal continued unabated. An unlicensed dollar van driver struck and seriously injured a cyclist in Mill Basin (NYDN), then tried to flee (NY Post), though neither paper reported what Howsmydrivingny.nyc shows: the van has three red light and three speeding violations on its record since late 2018. Reddit published a report that at least four people were struck in Astoria. And a man was run over and killed last week in East Elmhurst (QNS).
- The New York Times finally decided to cover the danger to residents of Staten Island — deer and wild turkeys. Memo to Metro Editor Cliff Levy: More people on the Rock are killed and maimed by car drivers than by wildlife, so maybe your story could have mentioned that? Just a thought.
- Anti-street safety advocates put out a gorgeous — and generally inaccurate — video about the successful and popular protected bike lanes in Sunnyside (Sunnyside Post). We’ll have a full debunk later, but for now, we can’t help loving how a video that wants viewers to hate bike lanes ends up having the opposite effect; its lush, glamorous, sexy drone shots make us all wish we could live in glorious, civilized Sunnyside!
- Along the same lines, West Village car owners are now upset that the city added plastic posts to defend the bike lane on 13th Street from trucks and cars. The complaints are laughable: “This is an assault on our community!” said one man. An “assault”? You mean like the “assault” of all the delivery trucks summoned by wealthy neighbors ordering food from FreshDirect and toilet paper on Amazon? (Village Sun)
- WABC shock jock (and Guardian Angel founder) Curtis Sliwa, who likes to mock our editor on his anti-bike radio show, says he’s running for mayor. Yawn. (NY Post)
- The Post just loves to sympathize with car owners! Might that be a reflection of its advertising base?
- And, finally, given that we recently reported on Gov. Cuomo’s similarity to Tom Brady, we feel it’s incumbent on us to point out that Julian Edelman is going to have a bar mitzvah! L’chaim! Former NY Post and NY Times writer Allen Salkin got the scoop for LA Mag.