Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Car Culture

Upper West Side Pol Caught Zooming While Zooming

UWS Council Member zooming while zooming. Photo: New York City Council

This is not what they mean by Zoom call.

Upper West Side Council Member Helen Rosenthal, who claims to be a supporter of safe-streets initiatives, was driving her car as she testified before a Council committee this morning about public education, putting the lives of students and others at risk.

Rosenthal joined the council’s Finance Committee hearing while driving from her apartment on the Upper West Side to a press conference at the Goddard Riverside Center for mayoral candidate Maya Wiley nearby in the very same relatively small neighborhood. (Rosenthal lives on W. 83rd Street between Broadway and Amsterdam and the presser was at Columbus Avenue and 88th Street, a distance of a half mile on foot.)

Rosenthal told another reporter at Wiley’s press conference that she “should have walked,” but didn’t want to be later than she already was, according to Politico’s health care reporter Amanda Einsenberg.

https://twitter.com/aeis17/status/1397214018817904645

Rosenthal appears to be either stopped or parked for at least a few seconds during her spiel, but it's clear from the video of the testimony that she is speaking while in motion because the scenery changes as she speaks. 

"[I]f we're serious about reducing class size, we have to get more space in our schools or build more schools, we're not being honest about smaller class size," Rosenthal said while momentarily taking her eyes off the road to look into the phone that was likely mounted on her dashboard.

Rosenthal has a history of improper driving. The license plate associated with the pol's car, which was shared with Streetsblog, has racked up 62 tickets since 2013, mostly for illegal parking, but also including three speeding tickets last year and one red light ticket in 2019.

https://twitter.com/BrooklynSpoke/status/1397218935091642375

Rosenthal did not return Streetsblog’s calls or texts for comment, allowing advocates to seize the high ground.

“Given that we know distracted driving kills, it feels rather disingenuous for an elected official to claim they care about preserving life and dignity while Zooming and driving," said Lisa Orman of StreetopiaUWS. "Naming streets for our dead children and seniors, people who were killed precisely because of distracted driving, is not what makes a leader. True leaders understand their responsibility to keeping everyone safe and leading by example.”

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Friday’s Headlines: Hochul’s Fantasy World Edition

The governor has gone off the deep end. Plus other news.

July 19, 2024

Speaker Adams: Council May Not Use its ‘Sammy’s Law’ Power to Lower Speed Limits

The Council may not lower the speed limit, even though it fought so hard to get that very right from the state legislature.

July 19, 2024

Parks Dept. Has Money But No Timeline to Finish Eastern Queens Greenway

There's tens of millions of dollars for the greenway, so when will parks build it?

July 19, 2024

Thursday’s Headlines: Paris is a Lot Cooler than NYC Edition

The City of Light has figured out how to reduce the heat island effect. Plus other news in today's daily digest.

July 18, 2024

Exclusive: Legal Team Announced for Suit Against Hochul’s Congestion Pricing ‘Pause’

Attorneys from three firms have inked a joint defense agreement to fight "the governor’s illegal decision to cancel congestion pricing," Comptroller Brad Lander said.

July 17, 2024
See all posts