Thursday’s Headlines: ‘Tear Down This Road’ Edition

Ugly then, ugly now: The BQE under construction in the 1950s. Photo:
Ugly then, ugly now: The BQE under construction in the 1950s. Photo:

The big story yesterday was the call of Carlo Scissura — the president of the New York Building Congress, and thus among the heaviest of local construction-industry heavies — to “tear down” the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. As head of the panel Mayor de Blasio empowered in 2019 to recommend fixes for the crumbling Robert Moses-built highway, Scissura publicly hadn’t said anything close to the savage words he pronounced yesterday at a breakfast of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

“It is the most ridiculous, disgusting eyesore. It’s dangerous, it’s polluted, it’s rusted. Let’s all chant, ‘Tear the BQE down! Tear the BQE down,” The Post quoted him as saying — a mere four months after Mayor de Blasio unveiled plans that would prop up said rotting eyesore for another 20 years. Scissura said that the feds could kickstart the project with money in the new Biden infrastructure bill.

The Post’s story spotlighted the starkness of Scissura’s language, while amNY played up the historical angle: “The BQE was built under the reign of power broker Robert Moses in the 1950s, destroying several working-class neighborhoods on its path.” Streetsblog’s Julianne Cuba noted Scissura’s volte-face and got some react.

In other news yesterday:

  • How do you spell egregious? “U-B-E-R.” The Department of Justice is suing Uber under the Americans With Disabilities Act, saying that the taxi app charged disabled riders “wait time” fees when took more than the allotted two minutes to get into Uber vehicles. (WSJ, CNBC, WaPo)
  • Office workers may not return en masse to Midtown, spelling trouble for the MTA, the Daily News reports.
  • Streetsblog’s innovative Field Guide to Micromobility got some ink.
  • The Post’s Ironman David Meyer caught Hizzoner-in-waiting talking about structural racism in the built environment.
  • Ryder Kessler (no relation) touts the benefits for New York of outdoor dining in a Daily News op-ed.
  • Gowanus will be up zoned, with more affordable housing planned, capping a tumultuous debate. (Gothamist)
  • The DOT removed the “Donald J. Trump” advertising on the Henry Henry Parkway. Patch had the story first, but Gothamist and the Westside Rag also covered.
  • In another sign of Gothamist’s flagging, it wrote up yesterday the Cross Bronx Expressway presser that Streetsblog dispatched on Tuesday.
  • It was a big day for assault cars: An SUV driver mowed down a pedestrian in Queens, and a teen in Brooklyn was pinned by the driver of another such behemoth. He was saved by a film crew shooting nearby.
  • Curbed explored the exotic world of dirt bikes.
  • An organization of Chasidic rabbis banned e-scooters, for those who hold by that hasgacha.
  • Second Ave. Sagas makes the logical next leap. (Via Twitter)


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