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‘DEAR POLLY’: Commissioner’s Council Appearance Prompts Latest Parody by Streetsblog’s In-House Satire Crew

12:02 AM EDT on April 27, 2020

Yes, we know “Dear Prudence” was on the “White Album,” but that cover is so boring.

This song parody was produced and recorded before the mayor announced on Monday that he would create up to 100 miles of open streets during the coronavirus crisis. It is unclear whether DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg played a role in changing the mayor's mind, but last week, she was not advocating for open streets and was maintaining the NYPD position. Like any good song parody, the recording reflects what was being discussed at the time, even if circumstances may have changed. Plus, you can dance to it.

Did you catch the "Polly and Pilecki" (aka "Mike and the 'Berg") show at the City Council on Friday (our coverage here)?

Council Speaker Corey Johnson wants the Department of Transportation to turn 75 miles of road into public space for socially responsible recreation. But DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg deferred to the NYPD's Transportation Bureau Deputy Chief Mike Pilecki — and left many onlookers with the distinct impression that DOT is subservient to the NYPD (our coverage of that, including City Hall's denial, is here).

Meanwhile, dozens of other cities from Austin to Winnipeg [see Mike Lydon's Google download] are restricting automobiles on certain roads — without local police enforcement at all.

The fact that other departments of Transportation can operate independent of their local police departments prompted Streetsblog's in-house satire band, The Speeders, to take on the issue of whether Trottenberg is being held captive to a police enforcement strategy that is antithetical to what she wants — or whether this is what she wants: no open streets during the height of the crisis.

We know what side Johnson is on: "We believe this is a planning issue and a design issue, not an enforcement issue," he told Streetsblog.

Our latest song follows the band’s satirical take on so many recent issues — enough mirthful tunes to fill an old-style LP (and a full CD, if we do live, full-jam versions of the songs):

So enjoy the song by watching the music video above or merely clicking our SoundCloud embed below (yes, we know "Dear Prudence" was on the "White Album," but the "Abbey Road" cover is so much more fun to Photoshop a cop car onto!):

Dear Polly
What you got now to say?
Dear Polly
Where’s your grand display?
Why do you let the police chief
Make our street rules and cause us grief?
Dear Polly
Why must it remain this way?

Dear Polly
Let us hear you speak
Dear Polly
Make a sage critique
The cops will say
They run the streets
They’re wrong you know.
But you’re discreet 
Dear Polly
Why must you be so damn meek?

De Blasio's wrong wrong (wrong wrong, wrong)
Wrong wrong wrong, wrong, wrong)
Cops are wrong wrong wrong (wrong wrong, wrong)
Wrong wrong wrong, wrong, wrong)

They are wrong

Dear Polly
Have you even tried?
Dear Polly
Have you got no pride?
The greatest mind in DOT
Can’t be sidelined, or playing D.
Dear Polly
Truth and facts will set you free.

Dear Polly
You are far more wise
Dear Polly
Than gun-totin' guys
The streets don’t need so many cops
You know it well — but you don’t talk.
Dear Polly
Won’t you talk about the lies!

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