Tuesday’s Headlines: Gridlock Alert Day Photo Op Edition

Pedestrians are left to fend for themselves. Photo: Bess Adler
Pedestrians are left to fend for themselves. Photo: Bess Adler

It’s another “Gridlock Alert Day,” which means it’s another day for the city Department of Transportation to surrender.

Meanwhile, someone is doing something: the Hudson Square BID announced on Monday that it would once again deploy its “pedestrian safety managers” (aka adult crossing guards) all week during the evening rush at key intersections on Varick Street (Houston, King, Charlton, Vandam, Spring and Clarkson).

The whole thing is sad. Certainly, we think it’s great that a group of citizens (in this case, the business community in the way West Village) wants to protect vulnerable road users. But it’s supposed to be the city’s job to protect us from gridlock, not make us fend for ourselves. And while Hudson Square has a well-funded business improvement district, what of the other neighborhoods in the city where the Department of Transportation is merely waving the white flag of “Gridlock Alert” tweets rather than actually restricting the entry of cars into the city on certain days (as our editor pointed out in his still-scintillating Daily News op-ed the other day)?

Think about what “Gridlock Alert” really means: It means that the city has no plan to properly manage the out-of-town drivers who brutalize our neighborhoods and force everyone outside their car to just deal with it. How about bring pro-active, Mr. Mayor? We suppose that’s too much to expect from an administration that needs someone to die before fixing a notorious street.

But you’ve been warned: stay away from the entire East Side of Manhattan (NY Post) or follow the lead of former London Mayor Boris Johnson, who knows what to do in our city (and his own):

Or calm yourself by reading Dave Colon’s deep analysis of this week’s upcoming congestion pricing public comment meetings — timelier than ever!

In other news:

  • Several media outlets followed our story about Riverkeeper’s federal suit to stop the LaGuardia AirTrain. (NY Post, amNY)
  • That cop who rode on the back of an illegal dirt bike at a block party has been suspended. (NYDN, NY Post)
  • The Daily News had more on the Staten Island cop who allegedly drove drunk and then punched another driver.
  • It is illegal for a driver to open his door into traffic, but it would be nice if our elected officials knew it: Assembly Member Keith Wright was arrested for the crime last month. Kudos to NYPD Det. Lamount Deaderick for knowing the law better than the lawmaker. (NY Post, with the scoop; NYDN)
  • It looks like future mayor (and former cop) Eric Adams is no fan of school control of … school security guards. (NY Post)
  • Remember that $1.5 million in federal money the MTA spent on pumps after Hurricane Sandy? Yeah, well, um, about those pumps… (NY Post)
  • Speaking of climate change, the Times followed our story on what the city needs to do to stop the next round of inevitable flooding.
  • It’s weird that we know who Dante de Blasio voted for in the mayoral primary. It’s weirder knowing that he ranked polar opposites Maya Wiley first and Eric Adams second. (NY Times, Gothamist)
  • Some jerk left a Citi Bike on the subway tracks … with predictable results. (NY Post, with video)
  • Here’s the latest reminder not to necessarily trust the first report put out by the NYPD after a crash: The initial NYPD sheet on Monday said that a Revel scooter operator fell off his ride on First Avenue and only then was run over by an innocent driver — but later, it turned out that the SUV driver was drunk (NYDN, NY Post, amNY). We expect follow-ups, mainstream media! There are lots of cameras near the U.N., remember?
  • The Barry the Owl saga continues: he was poisoned even before he was killed by the Central Park Conservancy truck driver! (The City)
  • And finally, we’re big fans of any old footage of streetscapes in the era before cars ruined all our cities. So naturally, we kinda nerded out on this new music video from a band called My Friend Frank. The song doesn’t initially seem to have anything to do with the video from 1920s Amsterdam and Rotterdam … but then it does:

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Fresh Direct Builds a Grocery Empire on Free Street Space

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Today’s Times marked the onset of Gridlock Alert season with a paean to Fresh Direct — the dot-com that brings New Yorkers expensive, home-delivered groceries along with idling engines, double-parking and gridlock galore. Founded five years ago, Fresh Direct is now a $240 million a year outfit that offers us "a glimpse of the next […]