Friday’s Headlines: It’s Jessica Ramos Day

State Senator Jessica Ramos, in happier times. File photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.
State Senator Jessica Ramos, in happier times. File photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.

The Times dropped a big and mostly favorable profile of future governor (did we say that?) State Sen. Jessica Ramos at roughly the same time we dropped a big story on open streets that quoted her as being less supportive of a permanent, 24-7 greenspace for park-starved Jackson Heights than she had been in the past.

Ramos even used the dreaded word “compromise” to suggest that drivers’ needs must be considered, too, despite cars commandeering more than two-thirds of the neighborhood’s public roadway space.

When Ramos’s comments started making waves on Twitter, the senator responded (a bit defensively) on Facebook, “I appreciate the comments. This is why your elected officials organized the workshops with DOT to receive community feedback. … We’re waiting for DOT’s initial concept which should include feedback received at those workshops. It will be an initial concept so there will be more community engagement. This is the process to compromise. Hopefully, we’ll all walk away a little unhappy.”

Huh? That kind of talk didn’t sit well with North Star activist Macartney Morris, who told Streetsblog that Ramos’s comments basically translated to, “Hopefully only a few people are hit and killed by cars.”

In other news:

  • The driver of an SUV lost control of her vehicle and slammed into an outdoor dining area in Astoria last night, killing a delivery worker. Update: Cops initially said it was a “medical episode,” but it turns out she was just impatient with a slow driver ahead of her and drove recklessly, per CBS2’s John Dias. All the papers covered the first go, with various ways of headlining the carnage. The Daily News went with a headline that removed human agency — the driver. The Post focused clearly on the driver’s actions. The Times got the headline basically backwards. Frankly, the best coverage was from Doug Gordon on Twitter:

  • Lime — the e-scooter company — is going to start putting mopeds on the street to challenge Revel. (WSJ first, then NY Post) The company is also part of the city’s soon-to-launch e-scooter-share pilot in the East Bronx.
  • The open streets bill we mentioned yesterday was formally passed by the City Council. We’ll have a deeper analysis later today. (amNY)
  • There was some other good news yesterday: The NYPD is sending its robot dog back in a box. (Gothamist, NY Post)
  • In case you didn’t know, the city’s specialized high school admission process remains completely broken. (Gothamist)
  • The West Side Rag is the latest outlet to follow our bombshell scoop about the Upper West Side community board members who didn’t want to ask restaurants to allow delivery workers to use the bathroom. In the story, one board member complained that her comments were taken out of context by Streetsblog (for the record, they weren’t).
  • Gothamist had a detail that we didn’t know about pedestrian Hing Chung, who was struck and killed by a delivery cyclist as he crossed mid-block and between cars last week — Chung was the manager of the Jing Fong outpost on the Upper West Side.
  • And, finally, Mayor de Blasio says this is going to be one of New York’s greatest summers. Well, he has to say that, right? (NY Times) Everything is going to open for real on July 1, not that he checked with the governor or anything. (WSJ) Coverage in amNY focused on the need for a 24-7 subway to return — and Riders Alliance is planning a May 5 rally at Gov. Cuomo’s Midtown office.

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DOT Shows Its Plan to Get the Reconstruction of 4th Avenue Right

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Fourth Avenue is far and away the most viable potential bike route linking Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, and Park Slope, but it's still scary to ride on, with no designated space for cycling. At 4.5 miles long, a protected bike lane would make the reconstructed Fourth Avenue one of the most important two-way streets for bicycle travel in the city, connecting dense residential neighborhoods to jobs and schools.