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Coronavirus Crisis

Monday’s Headlines: New York Starts Reopening Today Edition

Say goodbye to quiet neighborhood streets now that the carpocalyse is here. Photo: Lisa Orman

The curfew has been lifted and 200,000 to 400,000 workers will be heading back to their stores, construction sites and other jobs as New York City enters Phase 1 of Gov. Cuomo's step-by-step reopening.

But much remains a mystery, including, but not limited to, how all those people will get around if they're too afraid to take subways or buses (hint); how crowded the subways and buses will get if the MTA's "full, regular service" isn't good enough (fact: it isn't because the subways are still closed from 1 to 5 a.m.); when will the city build more busways, as the MTA demanded last week; and, most important, what does this reopening even mean? (The NY Times's write-thru pointed out that New York's economy, which lost close to 900,000 jobs, won't likely inch close to normal until 2022. The Post focused on how cautious the Mayor de Blasio has been. The Wall Street Journal took a broader view — that de Blasio has overstayed his welcome. amNY offered an industry-by-industry guide.)

In any event, we'll be out on the streets all day, live-tweeting the morning and afternoon commute. Follow our Twitter hashtag, "#ThisIsStreetsblog."

Until then, here's the news:

    • Given the events of the week, everyone covered Mayor de Blasio's announcement that he had heard the protesters and would rein in the NYPD. Streetsblog pointed out that the reform was pretty meager — especially without a dollar figure to #DefundTheNYPD. The Daily News seemed obsessed with making sure the cuts are tiny, but another story focused on the mayor's promise to get the NYPD out of enforcing street vending rules. The Post reminded everyone that just two days earlier, de Blasio said he had no intention of cutting the NYPD budget. The Times pointed out that cutting the NYPD budget is not something Bill de Blasio does — and amNY also offered cynicism with its headline, "Promises, promises: De Blasio says he’ll trim NYPD funding, but doesn’t explain how or when."
    • NYPD Transportation Bureau Chief William Morris — who had only made a few appearances in our pages since taking the post late last year — has died of coronavirus, a month and a half after contracting the disease. (NYDN, NY Post)
    • Bombshell: Council Member Stephen Levin said on Twitter that he'll sponsor a bill to eliminate police placards. Reminder: such a bill would only have merit if it ensured that another agency, not the NYPD, enforces it. Every station house in this city is ringed by illegally parked cop cars — an invading army that sends a message of disrespect to every community.
    • Another driver was busted for driving his car into Black Lives Matter protesters. (NY Post)
    • NY Times columnist Ginia Bellafante offered a reminder on why police disciplinary records must be released, but the story also included a devastating takedown of so-called New York progressives (like those fauxgressives on the Upper West Side, perhaps?) who haven't fought strongly enough for this in the past.
    • The COVID-19 pandemic has led to less traffic and cleaner air, but not fewer traffic deaths. That’s because fewer cars on the road means it’s easier for drivers to speed, and speed is a major contributor to deaths. Cities are turning to street design, as well as technology like geofencing, to solve the conundrum. (New York Times)
    • And, finally, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea apparently believes basic bike tools and inner tubes are dangerous weapons, so Streetsblog toted some tire levers around on Saturday (see the picture in the top right corner of Shea's tweet so it makes sense).

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