Friday’s Headlines: Vision Zero in the News Edition
Fully nine months into the bloodiest year for traffic fatalities of Mayor de Blasio’s tenure, the New York Times finally did its long analysis of what has gone wrong.
We won’t quibble with its main findings: There are way too many cars in New York City; the roads are poorly designed to accommodate them rather than other safer modes of transportation; the cops have abandoned what could be an important role in getting the most dangerous drivers off the road.
But forgive us if we’re not jumping with excitement over Winnie Hu’s largely bloodless piece. Yes, she listed some tragic stories, including the killing of 3-month-old Apolline Mong-Guillemin by a driver with 93 camera-issued speeding and red-light tickets (not merely “multiple,” as Hu described them). But Hu’s list of insufficient policies was hardly the clarion call for change that this city needs. From her perch, the story should have been a story that grabbed the mayor by the lapels and shook some sense into him. Instead, it was a mild rebuke … and way too late.
Remember, the Times is the same paper that called the 14th Street busway a “war on cars.” So let’s not pretend the Gray Lady will suddenly take the lead on making our city livable. (It’s congestion pricing story this week was an entitled joke, too.)
In other news:
- The LaGuardia AirTrain’s support is teetering, as Gov. Hochul and de Blasio say the little-loved project ought to be “examined.” The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, meanwhile, vowed to push ahead with the boondoggle. (amNY, NYPost, NYDN)
- N.J. Gov. Murphy is threatening to go “nuclear” over congestion pricing, according to a behind-the-paywall Politico story.
- The pick-up-truck driver who killed a pedestrian in The Bronx this week was allegedly high on coke. (NYDN)
- We thought we had seen every kind of vehicle parked on the sidewalk, but today Twitter proved us wrong. Where was this novel kind of “placard abuse”? In FiDi, which needs desperately to be pedestrianized, of course:
Interesting where illegal sidewalk parking happens in FiDi and where it does not! @ChrisMarteNYC what’s your plan to pedestrianize & bollard this neighborhood starting day 1 so we can walk around without fear of getting killed? pic.twitter.com/EZ6XJATYfZ
— Travis R. Eby (@travis_robert) September 30, 2021