Wednesday’s Headlines: Gridlock Alert Edition

Ghost of Christmas past: This was Rockefeller Center. Photo: Stunt Queen
Ghost of Christmas past: This was Rockefeller Center. Photo: Stunt Queen
It's our December donation drive. Your gift helps us do important stories. So please click this link or the icon above..
It’s our December donation drive. Your gift helps us do important stories. So please click this link or the icon above..

It’s the first Wednesday of December, which means we’ve entered “Gridlock Alert Month,” which is another way of saying the de Blasio administration has surrendered to car drivers who believe unfettered auto access to every inch of the city, no matter the needs of any other resident, is a birthright.

We got an email last week from the NYPD entitled (ominously), “HOLIDAY SEASON GRIDLOCK ALERT UNTIL JANUARY 2, 2022.” The email made it clear that the majority of New Yorkers would be forced to be inconvenienced by the minority that choose to congest our roadways — and the epicenter of the carnage would be today for the lighting of the evergreen at 30 Rock, according to the NYPD email:

ROCKEFELLER TREE LIGHTING CERMONY
Manhattan: At the discretion of NYPD
Location:
46th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue
47th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue
48th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue
49th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue
50th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue
51st Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue
Rockefeller Plaza between 48th Street and 51st Street
6th Avenue between 46th Street and 52nd Street
5th Avenue between 46th Street and 52nd Street
Closure: At the discretion of NYPD

So don’t say you haven’t been warned. (Reminder: Reporters have been asking Mayor de Blasio about mandatory, gridlock-busting HOV lanes on city bridges, but all he ever says is that he’s “thinking” about it. Thinking about it. The man has 31 days left in his term. It’s probably safe to say he’s not thinking about it at this point.)

In other news from a day so slow that we took a long lunch and got back to our desks to find that the only pink, “While You Were Away” note was from our accountant:

  • A judge cleared the way for the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project to move forward. (NY Post)
  • Overtime reform is apparently failing at the MTA. (NY Post, amNY, Gothamist)
  • Where are we on the whole propane heater debate? (Gothamist)
  • Believe it or not, the Times did a preview of tonight’s tree lighting, which read a little bit like a community newspaper story run through a thesaurus. (The Villager also covered.)
  • Speaking of community newspapers, the Brooklyn Paper did the ultimate dog-bites-man story, previewing the annual Jan. 1 Polar Bear Club plunge into the frigid waters off Coney Island … the same story that the paper could have written literally every year since the turn of the last century. (That said, our old man editor, who made the plunge back when years still had two zeroes in them, was berating the younger members of the Streetsblog staff who have failed to swim on New Year’s Day.)
  • Please remember that our December donation drive kicks off today. Just sayin’. Thanks!
  • And, finally, Streetsblog’s Dave Colon led the inter-office battle for most write-in votes for mayor. Congrats, Dave! Where is the victory party — and will you deny entrance to any media outlet that was critical of your campaign?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Merry Gridlock!

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Streetsblog editor Aaron Naparstek and StreetFilms’ Nick Whitaker hit the intersection of Atlantic, Flatbush and Fourth Avenues Thursday morning to see what a "Gridlock Alert Day" looks like at one of New York City’s most congested intersections. After about 25 interviews with drivers it became pretty clear that if City Hall truly wants to reduce […]

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 […]