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Tuesday’s Headlines: Other Than That, How Was the Play, Ms. Khan?

12:04 AM EDT on July 28, 2020

Janette Sadik-Khan, in happier times. File photo: Stephen Miller

The best story of the day was former DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan's delicate shiv of an op-ed in Gothamist.

In just a few hundred words, Sadik-Khan makes two things clear: She did a visionary job of starting the transition of New York City from a car-filled "hellscape" — and the current administration is failing to finish the mission. Let's get to the highlights:

    • "New York City was a global leader in transforming streets from traffic-dominated hellscapes into safer, people-friendly, transit-prioritized places," she wrote. "We know from experience that we are capable of accomplishing so much more."
    • "It will take New York aggressive steps merely to avoid reverting back to the same congested, dangerous free-for-all that existed pre-pandemic."
    • "New York’s transportation recovery strategy—its vision—must be equal to the immense scale of our challenges, and now is the historic moment to act, not with half measures, but with decisive action to adapt New York City’s streets."
    • "Streets can be adapted to be auxiliary space for school classrooms and exercise and assembly space."
    • "So much of what we think is impossible is merely hidden by the enormous footprint that parking imposes on our communities."

And so on. We'll be asking the mayor about the stinging critique of his shortcomings at his press avail today. Should be fun.

Oh, and in a related mayoral slam, Gridlock Sam Schwartz wrote in the Daily News that the mayor should take parking and traffic enforcement away from the NYPD, which spends more and does a worse job than the days when parking was within the Traffic Department (now DOT).

In other news from a very slow news day:

    • Hundreds of people are killed, and thousands maimed, every year by car drivers, but Rep. Adriano "Sushi" Espaillat wants Revel scooters to be banned. (NY Post)
    • Tamika Butler guest-edited Bicycling magazine this month.
    • Larry Penner says there's no way the MTA will keep the Second Avenue subway phase II in its 2020-24 capital plan. (MassTransit)
    • And in case you missed it, Streetsblog had a few stories of note:
      • The mayor's open streets initiative has created recreation space inequitably, a review of the data show.
      • The mayor failed to rein in recklessly driving cops, despite promising us last year that he would.
      • Oh, and the city ordered community activists in Hells Kitchen to stop doing their job for them.

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