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Arthur Schwartz

Friday’s Headlines: Under the Busway Edition

12:04 AM EDT on September 18, 2020

The man Streetsblog readers love to hate, Arthur Schwartz. File photo: Gersh Kuntzman

The decision.
The decision.
The decision.

We got a tip late last night that the state's Appellate Division had dismissed Arthur Schwartz's lawsuit challenging the legality of the 14th Street busway. At issue wasn't really the merits of Schwartz's case — which argues that the city didn't do a sufficient environmental review before banishing cars from the crosstown roadway — but a city motion to dismiss Schwartz's appeal because the mayor's decision to make the busway permanent, rather than a pilot program, made the suit moot.

Schwartz told Streetsblog late last night (as the Mets were clinging to a hard-fought comeback victory against all odds) that it would be up his clients — a coterie of block associations that claim to be progressives but oppose better transit for hard-working people.

Meanwhile, Schwartz reminded us to plug his other 14th Street initiative: making the busway free (which The Village Sun dutifully reported earlier in the week).

"If we can do things to prevent the resurgence of car traffic, it will be a win-win," he said.

The big win, said busway supporters, was that if Schwartz's clients want to refile, they'll have to start from scratch — and by the time that happens, the city will likely have several more busways in place, making it hard to argue that they're not a valid exercise of city authority.

More to come. In other news:

    • Taxi drivers shut down the Brooklyn Bridge to demand relief from the mayor amid cascading crises. (NYDN, NY Post)
    • One day after focusing on upstate jobs (Streetsblog), advocates for the MTA turned their attention to Long Island, where property values would plummet without good LIRR service. Maybe at some point, GOP representatives will see that transit doesn't just help poor urban dwellers. (NY Post)
    • Drivers of an FDNY firetruck and an FDNY ambulance collided in a horrific crash that killed the patient in the ambulance. (NYDN, amNYNY Post and even the Times)
    • The great and getting better Mara Gay reminds the suddenly omnipresent rich people what New York City was like for all of us who stayed here during the crisis. (NY Times)
    • The NYPD is still cracking down on street vendors, despite the mayor's promise that it would stop. Who does the NYPD work for? (The City)
    • And, finally, Streetfilms auteur Clarence Eckerson shot some footage yesterday that shows how easily we could be a biking city — if the mayor would create more space for all the cyclists!

Have a great weekend.

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