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Wednesday’s Headlines: The Psychotic Mister Softee Man is Back Edition

12:01 AM EDT on July 7, 2021

He’s back.

First of all, congrats to presumptive mayor, Eric Adams (NYDN, NY Times, NY Post, Gothamist), presumptive comptroller, Brad Lander (NY Times, NY Post, amNY), and the women who will make up a council majority for the first time in New York's history (which ain't short) (NY Times).

Now our news lead:

Two years ago, we wrote about a recklessly driving Mister Softee driver who treated the Joseph Addabbo Bridge (aka "The Pathetic, Dangerous and Disgusting Gateway to the Rockaways!") as a place to harass cyclists.

The company vowed action. None was apparently taken.

We know that because on our first trip back out to Broad Channel, we encountered this surly soft-serve slinger in his usual spot — in the bike lane on the dangerous span. And when we got home from watching the fireworks in Howard Beach (actually Howard Beach made a brief appearance in between all the fireworks), we got an email from Friend of Streetsblog Max Wolkin, who also spotted the frozen Frostee fiend, and recounted a disturbing encounter.

"I asked him to move his truck out of the bike lane and he told me to mind my fucking business," Wolkin told us. "It was definitely the same guy [as the guy Streetsblog wrote about in 2019].

The better question, of course, is why is the Addabbo Bridge such a monstrous shitshow? On both sides of the bridge, there are concrete barricades that could easily be positioned on the other side of the bike lane, giving cyclists protection from drivers who take advantage of the bridge's highway-like conditions with reckless speeding just inches from unprotected people on bikes. Moving the barricade, as our slideshow below shows, would not even take any space away from drivers, so it's unclear why neither the state nor city DOT will consider it.

We'll reach out to the relevant agencies today — and even reach out to State Senator Joseph Addabbo (whose congressman father is the bridge's namesake) — and see if we can get some answers.

In the meantime, here's some other news:

    • Yes, subway waits are longer because, as Jose Martinez revealed in The City, many trains have been simply canceled due to staffing shortages.
    • It was nice to see the Daily News do a separate story about one group of unheralded COVID-era heroes who will get some long-overdue recognition at Wednesday's truncated parade in the so-called Canyon of Heroes: Delivery workers.
    • For the second straight day, our headlines include one about a cop going postal over parking. (NYDN, NY Post)
    • People are using the OMNY pay system on the subway a lot. (NYDN)
    • In other election news, Ross Barkan did a review of the DSA's election efforts for Jacobin. And we also learned that Staten Island Republicans are a very forgiving lot (and so is Vito Fossella's wife, Mary Pat). (NY Post)
    • Speaking of the Rock, there was more car mayhem when a BMW driver slammed into a bus. (NY Post)
    • OK, maybe you ignored the connection between cars and the Gulf of Mexico on fire last week, but this week's high temperatures are begging you to stop ignoring it. But, sure, talk to us about your cars, Queens Community Board 3. (Gothamist)
    • And finally, someone has set up a sad memorial to cyclist Jeffrey Williamson, who was killed by a postal service truck driver last week. The driver remains uncharged.
Photo: Ken Coughlin
Photo: Ken Coughlin

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