Tuesday’s Headlines: ‘It’s the Car Culture, Stupid’ Edition

Exhaust-Pipe

It was sort of fun depressing watching Justin Brannan dig himself a new car hole yesterday. First, the Council Member wisely tweeted that the new United Nations climate report was basically “prognosis negative” for Planet Earth.

But wags on the Interweb quickly trolled Brannan, whose Bay Ridge is known for high car ownership, lots of excessive driving and an almost pathological rejection of protected bike lane proposals, so Brannan took to the offensive, tweeting a link to his 2018 City & State op-ed about how meat production is the real greenhouse gas villain.

Source: EPA
Source: EPA

Of course, he’s right, but as the EPA chart here shows, agriculture is a key problem, but hardly the main one right now. And, frankly, not the one that is a problem in Bay Ridge, either.

So let’s fight the clear and present danger in South Brooklyn, Council Member — it’s all the driving you and your constituents do … and then don’t want to talk about. (And, as an added benefit, less driving will lead to fewer crashes — so far this year, there have been more than 920 car crashes in Brannan’s council district, more than six a day, injuring 43 cyclists, 49 pedestrians and 286 motorists, according to city records.)

In other news:

  • We’ve been waiting about four months for Winnie Hu’s broad takeout on the success of New York City’s “gold standard” open street on 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights, and it finally hit the Times front page on Monday — and largely it was a nifty compendium of what we’ve been reporting on for months: that the former COVID epicenter has been reborn thanks to the creation of safe, pollution-light, tranquil car-free space. Hu’s piece certainly quoted opponents of safety, clean air and car noise, but they were certainly (and rightfully) relegated to the dustbin of history.
  • A drag racer killed a pedestrian early on Monday in Crown Heights, then hopped into another car and fled as she died (NY Post, WPIX, WABC, with video). But, sure, let’s focus all our political will and law enforcement attention on a few moped riders who have injured almost no one this year.
  • Remember our awesome story earlier this year about how New York State electric car subsidies are mostly helping the wealthy? Well, the Times national desk followed it up (albeit out of San Diego).
  • Here’s another reason to support the Gowanus rezoning: diversity. (The City)
  • As if channeling Streetsblog from yesterday, Gothamist posted its Summer Streets mega-slideshow about the joy of car-free streets.
  • And in case you missed it, Gothamist covered Access-a-Ride customers’ complaints about COVID-era shared rides.
  • And, finally, we complained to the DOT that the First Avenue bike lane was blocked by a construction crew that did not provide safe passage for cyclists, but the agency responded that it was an emergency job and the problem should be cleared up. Hey, #bikenyc, let us know on Tuesday if the work is done.

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