Wednesday’s Headlines: It’s Increasingly Worse Than We Thought Edition

Now we need the Health Commissioner to say this is healthy. Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit
Now we need the Health Commissioner to say this is healthy. Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

Yesterday’s headlines were pretty pessimistic, and we don’t feel like anyone has filled our half-empty glass, so let the bad times continue to roll:

In today’s news cycle, there was plenty of grim news. The Times looked at the future of cities and declared them largely bleak. There is hope for New York, of course, but only if we consciously decide not to remake all the mistakes of the past. (Cut to New York remaking all the mistakes of the past).

Speaking of which, the Paper of Record also had a long read about just what dire financial circumstances the MTA is facing. It’s so bad, the changes will “affect riders for years to come,” reporter Christina Goldbaum wrote. (We’ll know more today when the cuts are announced.)

Of course, if we had visionary leaders, at least we could fix our congestion problem (The Conversation). But that’s a big “if” (especially if you read Brian Rosenthal’s point-by-point takedown of Mayor de Blasio’s handling of the emergency COVID-19 hospital at the tennis center in Queens in the NY Times.)

In other news:

  • Remember how the Council and the Mayor agreed to cut the NYPD budget by $1 billion? It was a lie then — and it turns out the biggest chunk of the lie is itself a lie. The Independent Budget Office predicts that police will exceed the overtime budget by $400 million — more even than was “cut”! (NY Post)
  • More than 2,000 city parents quickly signed a petition demanding the Department of Education close roadways near schools to cars so that some instruction or recreation can take place in the street until this COVID thing is all settled. (Gothamist)
  • Melba Wilson of Melba’s restaurant in Harlem spoke to Gothamist about what she believes would be a “utopia” for eateries (hint: it involves wider sidewalks and more space taken away from car storage). She also offers a lesson to every community board member Streetsblog has ever tangled with: “When you close the street [to cars], of course there’s less parking, but the benefits outweigh the losses. Closing the street, statistics have shown, brings a 62 percent jump in revenue to all businesses, not just restaurants.”
  • Naturally, car loving Staten Island Council Members Joe Borelli and Steven Matteo have a problem with faster buses on The Rock. (Advance)
  • The MTA has cut its workforce by 4 percent. (NYDN)
  • Here’s an idea that’s like 15 years overdue: the MTA is replacing its diesel work trains. (NYDN)
  • Paintriot Scott LoBaido was at it again on Staten Island, the home turf for his jingoistic artwork. (NYDN, NY Post)
  • Aaron Gordon probed the question: Why do other countries have good, dependable, affordable, fuel efficient small cars and our manufacturers only sell really really big cars? (Vice)
  • What happens if you rent a Citi Bike and it’s stolen? Therein lies a great story. (City Limits)
  • There’s a new episode of “The War on Cars” podcast out, featuring an interview with anti-car British writer Woodrow Phoenix.
  • This just in: StreetsPAC-endorsed Emily Gallagher, who appeared to be trailing Assembly Member Joe Lentol based on the Primary Day count, has triumphed over the 46-year Albany veteran for the Greenpoint seat. Lentol has served since the Nixon administration. (NY Post)
  • The MTA launched a new app to tell bus riders how crowded the next bus is (but it’s only active on 40 percent of buses for now). (NYDN, NY Post)

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