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Thursday’s Headlines: Let’s Hear It for More Open Streets Edition

12:05 AM EDT on May 14, 2020

The mayor on Wednesday.

Most outlets followed our story yesterday on Mayor de Blasio’s announcement of 12 new miles of open streets — bringing the city halfway to its goal of opening 40 miles this month of the total 100 miles planned — and adding nine miles of temporary bike lanes.

Streetsblog found the glass half full, noting that most of the “new” bike lanes weren’t really new and that the city, predictably, had neglected to carve out any bike space for the perennially under-represented Bronx (or, we should add, Staten Island). The main "new" news was the protected bike lanes in Midtown on 38th and 39th streets (albeit, again, temporary).

The Post wrote the story like a straight-up press release, as did the Daily News, while the only color Politico added was the mayor’s answer to Streetsblog’s question on the possibility of al fresco dining on the newly opened roadways. Gothamist played up the mayor’s quotes about “partners” for the open-streets effort, such as “Business Improvement Districts” and “local precincts,” and, indeed, the involvement of such entities will play a heavy part in determining just how fair and open the “open streets” will turn out to be. Meanwhile, amNY stressed the outer-borough angle, and Curbed provided a nice touch: a quote from friend of Streetsblog Doug Gordon on the importance of open streets for first responders. 

In other news yesterday:

    • Andrew Cuomo’s new “vanity” New York State license plates — which Streetsblog lampooned mercilessly last summer — are being recalled. They’re defective! (NYP)
    • The COVID-emptied Times Square is drawing crews of leather-clad motorcyclists (NYMag). 
    • The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey begged the feds for a $3 billion bailout (NYP) (NYDN) as the Regional Plan Association issued a report urging more funding for the metro area’s beleaguered mass transit.
    • Drag racers are burning rubber — where else? — in Bay Ridge (NY1).

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