Monday’s Headlines: The ADA at 30 Edition

Last year, Council Speaker Corey Johnson (at podium with disabled advocate Sasha Blair-Goldenshon in the foreground) said he supported better subway accessibility. Not much has changed in the 18 months since this photo was taken.
Last year, Council Speaker Corey Johnson (at podium with disabled advocate Sasha Blair-Goldenshon in the foreground) said he supported better subway accessibility. Not much has changed in the 18 months since this photo was taken.

Sunday was the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Thirty years.

The MTA has roughly 470 stations on the subway and Staten Island Railroad. Only about one-quarter are accessible.

One-quarter. It’s a disgrace.

(In fact, the MTA will “celebrate” the ADA with a presser today at 11 a.m. in Astoria — at the 117th accessible station. Yes, officials used the word “celebrate” in the press release.)

In other news:

  • The most eye-popping story of the weekend was the decision by the New York Yankees — the same team that claims to support the Black Lives Matter movement — to honor President Trump with an opening day ceremony on Aug. 15. Mayor de Blasio told the Yanks that inviting Trump would bring “hatred to your pitcher’s mound” (NY Post). Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. called out the Yanks for hypocrisy (NY Post). Gothamist played up Diaz calling Trump a white supremacist. Times columnist Ginia Bellafante offered even more reasons why Trump should not be welcomed back, including that he’s just a terrible New Yorker. In the end, the crisis of state was averted: On Sunday afternoon, the president said he couldn’t make the trip because (get this) “of my strong focus on the China Virus [sic!].” (The Hill)
  • There was lots of coverage over the weekend about the victories of insurgent progressive (and in some case Democratic Socialist) candidates for the state legislature:
    • Gotham Gazette did a broad overview, plus a take out on at Emily Gallagher’s defeat of Assembly Member Joe Lentol, who has been in office since 1972.
    • Council Member Laurie Cumbo, who takes campaign contributions from development interests, say the election results as another opportunity to complain about how gentrifiers are coopting the Black Lives Matter movement — and that the election of several candidates of color is a movement to “unseat Black leadership.” (Jeff Coltin via Twitter)
    • The Times added a nice twist, saying the insurgent wave showed “the weakened sway of Carl E. Heastie, the speaker of the Assembly, who … steered hundreds of thousands of dollars into the campaign coffers of the most vulnerable incumbents.” (Just a thought: maybe all that dirty Establishment cash made them vulnerable in the first place?)
  • Here’s why we need to see police disciplinary records: One in nine cops has a substantiated complain on his or her record. (ProPublica)
  • The Post wants you to think the subways have become breeding grounds for viciousness and violence, quoting MTA CEO Pat Foye claiming a 30-percent increase in subway assaults this month. But the story offered no raw numbers. In June, assaults went from 19 to 22, which sounds like a lot, but isn’t.
  • A police officer rushing to a shooting scene fatally struck a motorcyclist with a police van. (NYDN, NY Post)
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is going to unveil a national initiative to get more Britons biking (Forbes). Johnson, for all his faults, was a famously pro-biking mayor when he oversaw London. Steve Vaccaro wisely took the opportunity to tweak Mayor de Blasio for “doing so little.” (via Twitter)
  • Legendary transit activist Gene Russianoff of NYPIRG has retired. There’s a movement to get him a Key to the City. (Leonie Haimson via Twitter)
  • The other casualty of the coronavirus pandemic: garbage-covered streets. (NY Times)
  • A Revel scooter rider hurt himself bad, the car-loving NY Post wants you to know. Meanwhile, everyone seems to want to pile on the micro-mobility company, which claims it is doing its share to ensure safety, by kicking off 2,000 riders for recklessness. (Gothamist)
  • In case you missed it, Citi Bike gave out more than $200,000 in neighborhood grants. (Patch)

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In honor of Bike Month, the MTA last week unveiled a new web site that promotes bike-and-ride commuting while providing a one-stop source for info on the numerous logistical hurdles faced by cycling customers. "MTA+Bike" was launched on Friday. On this website … travelers can obtain information about policies for bringing bikes on board the […]