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Coronavirus Crisis

Friday’s Headlines: It’s Raining Cars and Dogs Edition

12:04 AM EDT on May 15, 2020

What we get when we subsidize cars: More of them.

You know the carpocalypse is coming when even the Weather Channel is covering how people will shun transit and drive more once the coronavirus lockdowns end.

There has been plenty of warning: The MTA says it expects about 60 percent of riders to return to transit by the end of the year. The Post had a story on Thursday suggesting that the number is a bit lower.

Is anyone in government actually planning how to handle what could be millions of more miles being traveled every day in cars before full confidence (and a return of full 24-7 subway service, Governor?) returns to transit next year? Streetsblog's team of Julianne Cuba and Dave Colon look into that very question this morning — and come up with very little evidence that the de Blasio administration is taking this very seriously.

Meanwhile, driving continues to increase even though nothing has changed, lockdown-wise. Our story prompted the graphics team to have a little fun with the topic:

Carpocalypse Now 3

Meanwhile, here was the other news of the day:

    • Yes, there was another horrifying viral video of NYPD brutality in the subway (amNY, Gothamist), but, of course, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea downplayed it (NY Times), prompting our cartoonist to weigh in.
    • The MTA is considering a reservation system for the subway, the Daily News reported. (Wait, wut?) The Post version had the rare double byline from Meyer and Barone, the Woodward and Bernstein of New York City transportation
    • Guse of the Newsuh also reported that Mayor de Blasio should stop taking a bow for doing such a good job of helping homeless people in the subway. The Post focused on transit union boss John Samuelson saying de Blasio has made subway homelessness worse.
    • Mayor de Blasio was firing blanks in his opening salvo for the return of restaurants (NY Post). Why not just give eateries the whole street so they can open at full capacity? (Streetsblog)
    • The Council wants the mayor to cut the NYPD budget more than a measly 1 percent (amNY), but the mayor is also being urged to not cut the parks budget (amNY).
    • Apparently, you need a car to have any fun in this town. A Queens diner created a pop-up drive-in movie theater — with food from the restaurant's regular menu. We miss diners. We miss movies. Cars we can live without. (Gothamist)
    • In case you missed it, Aaron Gordon had a brutal takedown of Mayor de Blasio and, more important, a step-by-step analysis of why he should try to be more like Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo (who, by the way, bikes to work!). (Vice)
    • And, finally, the Verge reported that e-bike sales are surging, a story mostly notable for the fact that New York is only mentioned because its mayor is the opposite of a happy, e-bike-riding commuter, as Streetsblog's Dave Colon pointed out on Twitter:

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