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Wednesday’s Headlines: School Daze Edition

12:03 AM EDT on September 30, 2020

Children are escorted across Lafayette Avenue in Clinton Hill last year. Photo: Bess Adler

First, all you need to know about last night's debate:

Now, the news: Elementary-age kids went back to their school buildings on Tuesday for the first time since March. For any parent, that's great news — and not only because remote schooling is an unmitigated disaster. But there's a downside that comes with so many kids moving around the city: death.

A day after a 7-year-old girl was run down and killed by an armored truck driver in Brooklyn, activists again demanded serious action from the de Blasio administration to provide safe routes to schools — and the only way to do that is to ban cars from roadways around our learning centers. (Streetsblog had full coverage.)

And it reminds us that our school and City Hall leaders have really done nothing since we published Bess Adler's groundbreaking "Kids and Cars" photo essay last year. Take a minute to review Adler's grotesque (in a good way!) pictures of kids struggling every day just to get from Point A to Point B without getting maimed by drivers in their own neighborhood. Then ask yourself, "Why do we even allow people to drive near schools?"

And if you needed more convincing, here's a video of a Long Island woman who used her car to run over a kid — then left the scene without so much as helping the crying tot. Suffolk County police declined to press charges. If we covered Long Island (and its car-loving pols) like we do their car-loving New York City counterparts, we'd be all over this (News 12, via Twitter). But for now, we'll leave the story to suburban car enablers like Tom Wrobleski of the Staten Island Advance, who loves speeding car drivers!

In other news:

    • Don't write off transit just yet: The Regional Plan Association says its surveys show that commuters won't abandon trains and buses at the rate that other experts assume. Oh, and also, build Gateway now!
    • By the way, remember all that work we did last week to inform cyclists of a closure of a key part of the Hudson River Greenway? Well, apparently the work has been put off. The Parks Department didn't return our calls, but Bike New York provided the evidence. (Via Twitter)
    • Once again, we learn that the subway is not a coronavirus vector! (WSJ)
    • This isn't happening in New York (yet!), but Bird, the scooter company, has a pretty exploitive business model in some cities. (OneZero)
    • A Revel moped driver hit a woman near Columbus Circle, injuring her severely (NY Post). Meanwhile, Gothamist got more details about the "e-scooter" rider who clipped Mayor de Blasio.
    • Kudos to Streetsblog Publisher Mark Gorton for being featured in Smart Cities Dive's feature on his latest civic-minded effort, CityRise. Gorton posted an op-ed in these pages last week.
    • Oh, and finally, the future may have finally gotten invented. Fusion power, baby! (NY Times)

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