Friday’s Headlines: Bike Mayor Edition

Council Member and would-be mayor Carlos Menchaca on a bike. Photo: Menchaca campaign
Council Member and would-be mayor Carlos Menchaca on a bike. Photo: Menchaca campaign

We don’t endorse political candidates here at Streetsblog because, for one thing, we’re journalists and it’s our job to cover politicians, not help select them (but, OK, it’s because our very good friends at the IRS would take away our non-profit status).

But we can endorse lifestyle choices like riding a bike, which we feel is not only great for the environment, but also a wonderful way to connect with our city. So yesterday, we couldn’t help noticing that Council Member Carlos Menchaca launched his campaign for mayor by putting his bike front and center. (Talk about throwing your helmet into the ring!).

Here’s Menchaca’s video:

Of course, Menchaca’s a regular bike commuter from his home in Sunset Park to City Hall — and if a cyclist or pedestrian has been killed by a driver, he’s often the first on the scene. Naturally, that makes him ill suited for higher office in some eyes: The Daily News called Menchaca’s campaign a “long shot bid” (given that there are likely to be 20 candidates, whose campaign isn’t a long shot bid at this point?). Gotham Gazette took a more measured approach.

Obviously, time will tell. The primary is next June.

In other news:

  • Our top story today: VOTE. Starting tomorrow, polls in New York City will be open for the next nine days, through Nov. 1. But poll sites are limited to only the biggest ones, so click here (it’s the Board of Elections official page) to find the closest location and the hours, which vary by day). Then go vote.
  • Bloomberg/City Lab raised an interesting question the other day. “The Pandemic Kick-Started an Urban Motorcycle Boom. Are Cities Ready?” The answer? A definitive NO! According to DOT, 40 motorcyclists have already been killed this year, up from 24 in the same period last year.
  • Everyone jumped on a Transportation Alternatives press release yesterday that said that 200 people had died on NYC streets this year, and the city was on pace for the bloodiest year since Bill “Vision Zero” de Blasio took over. The DOT says the death toll is closer to 192, but still… (NY Post, amNY). Meanwhile, another motorcyclist was killed after losing control of his hot rod (NY Post).
  • We don’t know why Mayor de Blasio took so much heat yesterday after the Post revealed early in the day that he likes to go on a daily stroll. As we have long said, walking is very good for mental health. And every worker, even a mayor, should be encouraged to take breaks. Plus, walking is a great way to connect with the city (which the mayor definitely needs to do more of). And, finally, it’s not like he’s unreachable! He spends most of his walks on the phone anyway. Still, the Post doubled — and then tripled! — down on the coverage with more coverage later in the day.
  • Bus passengers in Queens rallied to get the de Blasio administration to finish the Jamaica Avenue busway. (amNY)
  • Curbed offered more coverage of restaurant dining bubbles.
  • Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez wants the MTA to sell development rights to its rail yards to raise money and create affordable housing. (amNY)
  • New York, Portland and Seattle sued the Trump administration for calling them anarchist jurisdictions. (NY Post, NY Times)
  • Gotta hand it to the Daily News for covering (albeit as a squib) a gender-pay equity lawsuit by its former City Hall reporter Anna Sanders. Gothamist had the full story.
  • And, finally, Streetsblog gets action. After the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety tweeted a picture of a driver about to run over a pedestrian in a crosswalk — and then blamed the pedestrian — we called for everyone in the office to be fired. Well, that didn’t happen, but the tweet was deleted! You’re welcome, America.

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