Monday’s Headlines: Fir Pete’s Sake Edition

There's plenty of room in the street, fir Pete's sake. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
There's plenty of room in the street, fir Pete's sake. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

Yes, welcome to late fall, and the Department of Transportation’s seasonal discrimination against pedestrians — otherwise known as Christmas!

It’s a time when deforested trees fill the already-jammed sidewalks, which is bad enough during normal years, but even worse during a pandemic, when we’re constantly being told to socially distance. Will anyone do anything about this?

Full disclosure: We love Christmas. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. This is not a war on Christmas.

This is a war on cars. And we’ve been winning.

Let's take more space away from car storage to make our holidays even more festive and even more safe.
Let’s take more space away from car storage to make our holidays even more festive and even more safe.

So far this year, Mayor de Blasio has repurposed curbside and sidewalk space to help the cycling boom, to help people recreate safely, to help restaurants, and even to help retail shops.

So will he finally allow Christmas tree vendors to set up in the “parking” lane instead of squeezing onto sidewalks? We’ll ask the mayor about it later this morning (if he takes our question), and the Council is having a hearing about sidewalks at 1 p.m. In the meantime, here’s the rest of the news from the weekend:

  • It turns out that state officials have been lying to us all along: They don’t think congestion pricing will start in 2021, even with President Biden likely to support it. (NYDN)
  • The mayor will reveal a plan this week to distribute tickets so crowds don’t get too large around Rockefeller Center (NY Post). The plan would be better with restrictions on vehicles, too, as the city did last year, which amNY‘s Mark Hallum pointed out.
  • The Post (natch) had a counter-take on the growing consensus on a plan to help out yellow taxi drivers.
  • A reckless, rude (and drunk, according to amNY) driver crashed into the Washington Square arch, injuring himself and a cop, but leaving the shrine to our slave-owning national father George Washington unscathed. (NY Post)
  • It was funny to see the Daily News scare-wooding with the danger of online shopping, given that the paper has consistently touted the “best deals” for shoppers online.
  • Ugh: Half-a-million pickup truck owners have disabled the emissions monitoring systems in their vehicles, which is worsening pollution, according to the feds. (NY Times)
  • Defund the police? NYPD overtime is up as Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea fail to crack down on waste and fail to properly manage their workers. (NY Post)
  • Those cool open gangway subway trains have been delayed. (The City)
  • The new gold — copper! (NY Post)
  • Car carnage has even claimed the life of an Air Force doctor from New Jersey in the United Arab Emirates. (NY Post)
  • Headlines that make headlines … and then make headlines! Someone stole a NY Post van (with the paper’s motto plastered on it) and then rammed it into some cop cars, which is kinda brilliant (in a tabloid news sense). (NY Post)
  • And, finally, kudos to Friend of Streetsblog Brian Howald, who biked a century … at night … in nine hours:

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

This is no way to get across a busy park. (Not shown — the last stretch when cyclists must dismount).

Monday’s Headlines: Weekend Ride Edition

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It was quite a Sunday: A Santa ride in Jackson Heights, more pedestrian discrimination on the Upper East Side, and a memorial ride for a beloved pediatrician who was killed in Central Park because the Parks Department and the Central Park Conservancy don't care about cyclists. That, plus all the news.