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Coronavirus Crisis


12:05 AM EDT on March 21, 2020

The Big Dog did what he had to do. Photo: Governor’s Office

There was just so much news yesterday that we feel compelled to publish a special edition of our daily headlines feature. So let's get right to it with ... us!

The mayor had yet another virtual press avail on Friday — and, of course, enjoyed the contributions of our old man editor, the self-appointed dean of the city's rapacious transportation press corps. Apparently, the mayor was slightly miffed that Kuntzman's computer kept beeping during the conversation — but who knew that "work-from-home" Gersh's daughter would text him just as the mayor deigned to take his question? Huh? You know?

Anyway, here was the exchange, featuring the mayor and his aid, Olivia Lapeyrolerie:

mayoral exchange 2

"Oh that Gersh"? Well, OK, he deserved it (thought not as much as Post reporters Nolan Hicks and Julia Marsh for their expose on how much the mayor's staff hates him. Me-ow!). But on the plus side, the mayor made some news, revealing that he would finally put in some temporary protected bike lanes to handle the cycling surge. So it was a win-win.

The rest of the day began anded with Gov. Cuomo's "shelter in place" order (official state website):

    • The Times's story had the best details — plus a sidebar!
    • The Daily News played it straight (but check out that photo of a hot dog vendor on the Brooklyn Bridge footpath!)
    • The Post also played it straight.
    • The Wall Street Journal had a scary map!
    • Gothamist had a little fun with all the crazy Cuomo jargon.
    • Streetsblog did what Streetsblog does — shaming the governor for not considering bike stores "essential" businesses. (And N.B. — the governor's press office has still not called us back!)
    • And amNY ... er, amNY obviously didn't have its full editing team on hand.
    • And in another part of the incomprehensible Daily News website, the paper found plenty of people not taking the order seriously at all (which, as much as we love touch football, is pretty fucked up).

Meanwhile, there was other news:

    • As we openly questioned Gov. Cuomo's decision to not include bike shops as "essential" businesses, WNYC showed why we're right!
    • All of Staten Island's politicians put out a statement objecting to cuts in ferry service during the crisis, which has reduced ridership by 70 percent. That's fair enough, but then Leadfoot Joe Borelli tweeted that if ferry service is going to be reduced, then drivers on the Rock should be allowed to speed recklessly. Apples and oranges, Council Member: Just drive safely. And when the crisis abates, your free, taxpayer-provided, highly subsidized ferry will return in full.
    • Even though the mayor came through with the aforementioned (and small) emergency bike infrastructure, Council Speaker Corey Johnson upped the ante, calling for some streets to be closed to cars so that people could socialize yet keep their distance. (Politico)
    • The MTA said that starting on Monday, it would stop collecting fares on local (but not SBS) buses to keep drivers and riders a safe distance apart. So use those rear doors! (NYDN, NY Post)
    • And, finally, Jonathan Tasini put into a Daily News op-ed what a lot of Democrats have been thinking.

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