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Tuesday’s Headlines: Helicopter Misery Edition

12:04 AM EST on February 23, 2021

A rendering of how some New Yorkers feel.

On Monday, after a few days of helicopter coverage, we asked Mayor de Blasio why the city even allows helicopters — with their noise and pollution — when the total benefit to the city coffers is a mere $2- to $3-million in rent at two city-owned heliports.

We asked because the Council is finally taking up the matter, there's a federal bill that would make New York City a no-fly zone, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is holding hearings, and Council Member Brad Lander is demanding the creation of a misery index so that New Yorkers can decide for themselves if a few million in rent is worth all the heartache (and headaches) we endure from the choppers.

"It’s a very good question," the mayor started. "When a journalist raises an important question that we should reconsider something, we should reconsider."

The mayor praised his administration for reducing tourist helicopters "when it got to a place where I thought it was really unacceptable," but scores of tourist flights originate in Westchester or New Jersey — outside the city's control. "Some [regulation] can only be done on a federal level," the mayor added, "but you are raising a very important point. … It is time [to] give that another look."

That answer won't likely satisfy noise expert Charles Komanoff, who testified again on helicopter noise, this time before an FAA webinar. He posted his speech in an epic Twitter thread:

In other news:

    • The Daily News had more details of the cyclist who was beaten by a man with a baseball bat. The victim was none other than artist Pierre Francillon. He has yet to regain consciousness.
    • Remember how last week the NYPD was touting a high-profile arrest in a hit-and-run crash on Staten Island — just as the Council is taking up a bill to give crash investigation power to the DOT? Well, the case has started unraveling. (NYDN)
    • Amtrak Joe has Biking Chuck dreaming of a new subway line in southeastern Brooklyn. (NY Post)
    • Protesters rallied in front of a Manhattan courthouse to demand justice for the hit-and-run driver who ran through a Black Lives Matter protest last year. (amNY)
    • Repeat after us: Violence in the subway during twin epidemics of disease and homelessness is a public health crisis, not a police crisis. (NY Post)
    • Tell us something we don't know — the Department of Sanitation is still cleaning up the Feb. 1 blizzard. (Gothamist)
    • There's a new livable streets blog in town — it's called Reorientations and it's published by a group called People-Oriented Cities (whose first post last week was about busways). Is this town big enough for the both of us? Of course! Welcome to the fight, Reorientations! Call us if we can help (which we can, so call us!).
    • Here's some karma. Locals say this Brooklyn car repair shop is always parking vehicles all over the place. (NYDN)

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