Monday’s Headlines: Transition Team Edition

Borough President Adams with reporters. File photo: Gersh Kuntzman
Borough President Adams with reporters. File photo: Gersh Kuntzman
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It’s our December donation drive. Your gift helps us do important stories. So please click this link or the icon above.

The big story dropped late on Friday afternoon when Mayor-elect Eric Adams revealed his 750-person “transition” team. It’s hard to find a news angle when virtually everyone in and out of city government is on the team advising the incoming mayor on policy (we pointed out on Twitter that there’s no committee dedicated specifically to transportation, but Adams aide Ryan Lynch pointed out that transportation issues will be addressed by a large committee called “Infrastructure, Climate & Sustainability,” which does indeed include many experts).

The Daily News had an angle, so did the Post. City & State was just kind of in awe about just how large the transition team is. Gothamist used the term “cadre.”

We were just fascinated that the list of “senior advisors” was so filled with people so often identified as opponents of street safety projects, including Council Member Peter “Business Lives Matter!” Koo; bike lane opponent and congestion pricing critic Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn; park-to-parking advocate Assembly Member Jenifer Rajkumar; toll exemption proponent State Sen. Diane Savino, and Rep. Adriano Espaillat, who documented how bad a bike lane would be … from his windshield.

The only “senior advisor” with any credibility on street safety issues is Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, who is well known to Streetsblog readers, for all the right reasons.

In other news:

  • The MTA secretly fleeced riders with peak-fare tickets, the City reported. Roughly 340,000 full-fare tickets were sold, even though the LIRR and Metro-North are only charging off-peak fares during the pandemic. So far, only 2 percent of the stiffed riders have been reimbursed.
  • A Staten Island driver died in a crash with a city bus. (NYDN, NY Post)
  • We’re not exactly a tech news site, but we do like to keep tabs on the climate. That’s why we loved Corey Kilgannon’s New York Times story about how decommissioned upstate power plants are being brought back online to fuel Bitcoin mining. The story’s best paragraph felt like something we’ve been reading, more or less unchanged, since the 1800s: “Local officials approved Digihost’s plans largely because the environmental toll of the new operation seemed minimal compared with the benefits the company was expected to bring, including new jobs and up to $1 million in annual fees for municipal water to cool the plant.”
  • Governing covered last week’s Urban Institute study on how transit agencies should bounce back from the pandemic. So did Streetsblog USA.
  • Our pal Richard Rosenthal pointed out that the Times headline on its recent Citi Bike story was very different online versus in print. In print: “Downside of Success: Citi Bike Is Struggling To Meet Cyclists’ Needs.” Online: “Citi Bike Struggles to Keep Up With New Yorkers’ Love of Cycling.”
  • You may have noticed that we’re still in the middle of our December Donation Drive, which means you have a few more days to help us keep doing the work we do (here’s a reminder of what that is). Over the weekend, we got some nice donations, that we’d like to honor right now: Thanks, Quinn! Thanks, Emily! Thanks, Jacob! Thanks, Jeffrey! Thanks, Elias!
  • From the assignment desk: On Tuesday, Riders Alliance will bring bus riders to the City Hall R train station to share their dismal stories, compiled into the book “Bus Rider Blues.” The action starts at 11 a.m.
  • And, finally, Gil Hodges had a bridge, but now he finally got the respect he deserves up in Cooperstown. (amNY)

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