Tuesday’s Headlines: A Tale of Two De Blasios Edition
Call it a Pyrrhic victory lap.
Today, we’ll get two competing visions of the de Blasio administration as it enters its sunset after almost eight years. At 9:30 a.m., activists will gather on the west side of City Hall to install 10 white “ghost strollers,” modeled after ghost bikes, to protest city inaction that contributed to the death of 3-month-old Apolline Mong-Guillemin, who was killed by a reckless driver with a record of violations longer than most of our stories (photo right).
Then, at 2:30 p.m., the mayor will join street safety advocates in cutting the ribbon on a truly epic project: the new protected bike lane on the Brooklyn Bridge — a rare instance of the mayor aggressively clawing back space from drivers in support of long-suffering cyclists. Hat tip to Kevin Duggan at amNY for the news.
Then, at 5:30, activists will gather on Union Square North for what Transportation Alternatives calls a “protest — led by parents with strollers — to demand immediate action from Mayor de Blasio.”
“These are #deBlasiosStreets,” the group said in a press release (one that might be a bit too optimistic about a viral hashtag). “He is in charge. And New Yorkers are experiencing the deadliest year of traffic violence since he took office.”
Meanwhile, it was a busy day for the media as everyone sought an angle on the last few days of mayhem caused by car drivers:
- The Daily News squarely blamed the mayor for stalling implementation of the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Act, which the City Council passed in 2020, but whose funding was cut at the start of the Covid pandemic.
- The Eric Adams-loving New York Post focused on … Eric Adams’s plan for keeping reckless drivers off the road, which involves suspending their driver’s licenses permanently. But driver Tyrik Mott already had his license suspended repeatedly — he just kept driving.
- The Post also did a separate kinda dissing Mayor de Blasio for blaming Albany, but amNY made Hizzoner sound like a hero.
- Not a word from the Times.
- Gothamist played it straight, like it was just another vigil.
In other news:
- The other big story yesterday was a report put out by the Workers Justice Project detailing the poor working conditions and low pay of the city’s 65,000 delivery workers. The City and Streetsblog covered it on Monday, but Bloomberg apparently got the report early, and New York Magazine’s Curbed imprint and The Verge blew everyone out of the water with a deep cover story on this sad industry.
- Our cities need to be better designed for walking. (Vox)
- Our old man editor was not the only one who noticed that the opening day of school was a carmageddon. Many people responded to his tweet of cars turning our streets into dangerous, intimidating, spirit-crushing parking lots.
- Hat tip to Friend of Streetsblog Philip Miatkowski for remembering the first pedestrian death 122 years ago yesterday. Henry Bliss, we hardly knew ye.
- Oh, and keep scrolling down for Tyrik Mott’s driving record.