Thursday’s Headlines: Go Play in Traffic Edition
You know the city is becoming unlivable when regular run-of-the-mill wags in the media (which has long sucked on the molten-gold-filled teat of car industry largesse) start noticing how dismal the city is now, thanks to the 120,000 more cars that are filling the streets, choking our lungs and destroying the livability of our neighborhoods.
That’s long been an argument put forth by Streetsblog, its sister organizations, Transportation Alternatives and a few enlightened pols, but you don’t readily see non-combatants taking to Twitter to complain about how car owners (which typically includes them!) are ruining everything.
But it happened, thanks to a tweet by Michael Powell of the New York Times, which got lots of replies like this one from former Daily Newser Ellen Tumposky:
The change is really noticeable. Quality of life and safety are in decline. https://t.co/zOkKp0jVz5
— Ellen Tumposky (@ellentumposky) October 6, 2021
It was particularly nice to see mainstream media types parroting our talking points, though not every politician seems to think cars are so dangerous. In case you missed it, here’s Brooklyn Democratic leader (and Assembly Member) Rodneyse Bichotte running into traffic — on Flatbush Avenue, no less! — to avoid answering a NY1 reporter‘s question! Gee, maybe we’re wrong about the danger of cars:
Must-see TV: Brooklyn Dem Party chair @AMBichotte would rather walk through Flatbush Ave. traffic than answer questions from a reporter. https://t.co/FJqE3wLCUj
— Streetsblog New York (@StreetsblogNYC) October 5, 2021
In other news:
- We really enjoyed Dana Rubinstein’s story about the sort-of corrupt way that commissioners get appointed in late stage de Blasio. That said, in fairness to Department of Transportation Commissioner Hank Gutman, we have not seen any evidence that his lack of serious transportation experience has hampered his ability to run the agency. (NY Times)
- Council Member Laurie Cumbo, who has never been a leader on street safety issues, sent out a bizarre, woe-is-me email to constituents that, among other things, completely misrepresented her efforts to keep reckless drivers off the roads. Brooklyn Paper reporter Ben Verde broke the story on Twitter, but our own Eve Kessler found Cumbo’s full missive on Medium. The piece does not sound like Cumbo is up for the challenges of the high position in the Adams administration we were anticipating.
- We don’t know why an e-bike rider was on the Belt Parkway, but it seems that there’s more to this story, given that all the passengers in the (wait for it) Dodge Charger (one with temporary plates, no less) fled on foot after the fatal crash. (NY Post)
- Transportation Alternatives issued its latest “Vision Zero update,” which reported the gory details of a particularly deadly summer. The Post and amNY wrote it up.
- Gothamist wrote up the press release, and added details, about the city’s “public engagement” process over the future of the permanent streeteries. Hat tip to reporter Ben Yakas for linking to our exclusive Data for Progress poll that showed broad support for open streets and open restaurants. At amNY, Mark Hallum also covered.
- Sad news. A big Wall Street macher died earlier this month from injuries he received after being run down by the driver of a Toyota in Hewlett, a Long Island town, last month. Financial people on the Street described analyst Tobias Levkovich as brilliant. (MarketWatch)
- Don’t miss this week’s “War on Cars” podcast about … Amtrak’s Vermonter!
- Mayor de Blasio is moving out of Gracie Mansion in late December, so he and First Lady Chirlane McGray are making home repairs on their Park Slope building. Sounds logical, right? Well, the Post found a way to make it all sound so … sordid.
- Speaking of sordid and de Blasio, the Department of Investigation is going to drop a big report on Thursday about the mayor’s alleged misuse of his security detail. (NY Post)
- And speaking of things that will happen on Thursday, the city will release the annual “Cycling in the City” report, which Dave Colon previewed here.