Tuesday’s Headlines: No, Gersh Kuntzman’s Head Did Not Explode Edition
We want to be very clear. Gersh Kuntzman, pictured above, is perfectly fine, no matter how stunning he found Mayor de Blasio’s press conference answer about the demise of his open-streets plan on Sunday night or how other reporters predicted his demise:
(that sound you hear is @GershKuntzman’s head exploding)
— Ben Max (@TweetBenMax) April 6, 2020
Kuntzman wasn’t wincing in pain — he was cranking out the first draft of history on Sunday night, which was followed by others:
- The NY Post and the Daily News played it straight,
- New York Magazine‘s Justin Davidson set the standard for policy and personal criticism, writing, “Transit, pedestrian, and bike advocates, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and even Dan Rather have been pushing Mayor de Blasio to shut some streets down to nonexistent traffic and turn them over to pedestrians. When Gov. Andrew Cuomo did the same, the mayor responded like a teenager asked to clean up his room: He resisted, explained why it couldn’t be done, then made a grudging gesture of compliance, declared it a failure, and promptly gave up.” That’s an A+ report.
- Gothamist‘s take even added some follow up to our coverage of all the speeding that drivers are doing now that the roads are almost empty (the NY Post also covered it). Both the Post and Gothamist did a good job — but neither commissioned a song parody about the mayor’s failed open streets project, so you’ll have to go to Streetsblog for that kind of biting coverage.
- Streetsblog’s follow-up let Corey Johnson, Trans Alt’s Danny Harris and Bike New York’s Jon Orcutt tear the mayor’s “enforcement” rationale to shreds.
- And, finally, Second Avenue Sagas put the whole battle for open space in its proper perspective:
As a runner who tries to be considerate on sidewalks in good times and as someone very plugged into the fight over street space in NYC, it's disappointing, bt predictable, to see this devolve into a pedestrians-vs-runners fight when the problem is the space we've ceded to cars. https://t.co/egXs0IWWdM
— Second Ave. Sagas (@2AvSagas) April 7, 2020
In other news:
- Speaking of speeding — albeit in the line of duty — the Daily News had video of the aftermath of Sunday’s crash between an NYPD SUV and an FDNY ambulance, which were both rushing to into heroic duty.
- NY1’s Errol Louis asked de Blasio last night about why he is driven 12 miles so he can walk in Prospect Park — when his mansion is in the middle of another, less-crowded park. The mayor wasn’t having it and grumbled about his unique situation. Here’s another idea: Why not say, “You’re right — driving 12 miles to a park is silly and I will stop doing it. Henceforth, I will exercise responsibly in my local park, and urge New Yorkers to do the same.”
- Bus and subway workers comprise ALL of the MTA’s corona deaths. (NY Post)
- Gov. Cuomo raised the fine on people who fail to maintain a socially responsible distance (NY Post), so we asked the second floor if the governor would consider raising the fines for camera-issued speeding tickets to crack down on rampant speeding (Streetsblog), but heard only crickets.
- Inept driver kills himself by driving the wrong way on a BQE exit ramp in Queens. (NYDN)
- Pollution is way down in New York — and we could keep it down if we don’t just go back to “normal” after the coronavirus passes. (NYDN)
- Tribeca Citizen offered a nice service piece for newbie cyclists that quoted Friend of Streetsblog Charles Komanoff (and referred to him as Charlie!).
- And, finally, Jen Carlson did some great reporting, unearthing Matilda Cuomo’s lasagna recipe — but is there anything in this recipe that’s not on the Ronzoni box (amirite or amirite?)? (Gothamist)