Tuesday’s Headlines: A Flip-Flop We Can Get Behind Edition

The mayor on Monday.
The mayor on Monday.

Was it a compromise or a flip-flop?

Mayor de Blasio’s announcement on Monday that he would repurpose 100 miles of roadways as open space for socially responsible recreation was seen through lenses whose hues depended on the wearer’s opinion of Hizzoner. The facts, in so much as they matter, show that the mayor did indeed act after the City Council drafted a bill mandating 75 miles of the open roadways — and after Council Speaker Corey Johnson threatened to call in Big Dog Excelsior Car Guy.

But how to capture it? Gothamist said the mayor “changed his tune,” which isn’t truly accurate because, after all, the tune was the Council’s. Mark Hallum at amNY highlighted Johnson’s threat. The Post spun it as a complete capitulation for the mayor, which, as delicious as that is, isn’t entirely fair, given that the mayor did indeed create an open space pilot program while the City Council was still trying to figure out how to use Zoom.

Interestingly, Streetsblog played it straight.

In other news:

  • By the way, does the mayor’s 100-mile plan include some extra miles of open space to compensate for all the miles that the National Park Service just took away from Floyd Bennett Field? (The City)
  • The battle between New York City Transit and New York City’s mayor over homelessness in the subway raged anew on Monday amid mounting evidence that more social service is needed underground (NYDN, NY Post, after coverage by The City). NY1’s Dan Rivoli tweeted late Monday that the city wants the MTA was considering closing terminal stations on various lines so it can do proper outreach to the homeless.
  • Meanwhile, subway ridership appears to be ever-so-slowly bouncing back — and, more distressingly, toll collection is up, meaning drivers are doing more driving (NY Post).
  • The Post got a second day out of Darren Goldner’s confrontation with Mayor de Blasio over his walk in the park on Saturday — but that was before Hizzoner made his open-streets announcement.
  • Friends of Streetsblog Stephanie Burgos-Veras and Erwin Figueroa had an op-ed in the Daily News begging the mayor to add more bike and bus lanes now, before the crisis is over, so that our city returns with a stronger foundation in sustainable transportation.
  • Dirt bike riders are the new e-bike riders — at least according to the supercharged argot of the NYPD. (NY Post)
  • Today at noon is that Blue Angels military jet flyover (amNY). Our editor took a very dim view of this fuel-burning, pollution-spewing salute to New York’s heroes.
  • Nicole Gelinas, writing in City Lab, defended New York’s density. And double-duty Gelinas, in the Post, slammed Mayor de Blasio’s budget math.
  • Some personal news from our grizzled old editor. (NY Times)
  • And, finally, The New Yorker magazine tweeted out an image of a car-free Park Avenue that David Remnick and Co. probably loved. Well, we fixed it for them (we’re not perfect at Photoshop, so sue us!).

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