Monday’s Headlines: Welcome to the Working Week Edition

Mr. Mayor, they gave you all the clues. You could have saved the city.
Mr. Mayor, they gave you all the clues. You could have saved the city.

Ready or not (you’re not), but Phase 2 of New York City’s post- (mid-?) coronavirus reopening begins today.

No, the city is nowhere near back to “normal” — and the weekend’s media coverage reflected ambivalence over the situation we find ourselves in:

  • Subway ridership starting to rise (NY1), but not nearly enough, says The Daily News’s Gridlock Sam, who believes the much-feared carpocalypse will be fully upon us, starting today. The Wall Street Journal had three stories on the topic: One looking at the fears of a crowded subway; another determining, as the headline puts it, “As New York City Reopens, Driving Becomes a Tempting Commute”; with a third one suggesting that maybe it won’t be that bad, given how few office workers will actually return to their workplaces today.
  • Meanwhile, several outlets offered basic guides to the re-opening (amNY, Gothamist).
  • And don’t forget, many restaurants will be operating in that most-misused of public space today — the curbside spaces that many drivers believe exist only for them to store their vehicles. We should have pointed out in our story last week that restaurants will need for more space, so how about some roadways, too, Mr. Mayor?

In other news:

  • The New York Times had a wonderful anti-car take, plotting the way forward for better post-COVID transportation.
  • The Daily News had more information about the cyclist was run over by a driver on the Pelham Bay Bridge on Saturday. But the story still lacks a great deal of clarity, including what really happened on the bridge when a group of cyclists and apparently up with a racist coming in the other direction?
  • The flaws in the cities open streets plan are beginning to show. (GothamistGothamist)
  • The Post followed our exclusive last week about how birdwatcher Christian Cooper backed an Upper West Side community board’s call for more police enforcement in Central Park – even though Cooper himself was victim of a racist woman whose threat to call police on him could have led to a dangerous encounter with the NYPD.
  • Whether you love Teddy Roosevelt or not, the city-owned statue in front of the American Museum of Natural History (featuring the 26th president astride a horse flanked by paternalistic/hierarchical representations of a Native American and Black American) had to go — and finally it has (NY Times, WSJ). Perhaps this long-awaited move brings us one day closer to changing Columbus Circle to Tubman Circle.
  • The Post did another “summer bummer” story, which could be turned around if the mayor would just re-open the pools and beaches. We can hope, right? (Reminder: city sources tell Streetsblog that only 300 or so fire hydrants out of the city’s 109,000 can actually be on at any given time, which means there will be a lot of hot kids on a lot of streets.)
  • Queen Council Member Danny Dromm told QNS that he was surprised that activists showed up at his house to complain about his lack of support for the #DefundTheNYPD agenda. But Dromm should know better: a video has emerged of him sucking up to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, which is not a great look right now. In a related story, Josmar Trujillo had a Daily News op-ed that reminded readers of the way councilmembers enabled the mayor’s billion=dollar increase in the NYPD budget.

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Today’s Headlines

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Tunneling for First Phase of Second Avenue Subway to Be Completed Today (WSJ) Reuters Picks Up DiNapoli’s MTA Debt Bomb Warning; And: Kabak Weighs In Thanks Albany: TWU Says Dirty Subways Have Ushered in Rat Renaissance (News) What Do You Know — Turns Out Most New Yorkers Don’t Drive to Work (WNYC) Alta Gives Financial […]