Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In

Wednesday’s Headlines: Finger-Pointing Edition

The scene on First Avenue hours after Salvador Navarette-Flores (inset) was killed in a crash.

It's our December donation drive. Your gift helps us do important stories. So please click here or the icon above.
It's our December donation drive. Your gift helps us do important stories. So please click here or the icon above.

The big story yesterday was the road death of delivery worker Salvador Navarette-Flores as he headed home to the Bronx on First Avenue after a long day.

Several outlets covered the death (amNY, Patch), but none had the depth of our story, which pointed out a central contributing factor in the death: Relentless law-breaking by exploited people who are given no other choice but to violate safety rules in order to make a living for themselves and their corporate overlords.

Navarette-Flores died because a delivery truck driver believed to be working for Fresh Direct needed to use the westernmost travel lane of First Avenue to unload merchandise and then use the bike lane as a staging area. And, according to the Department of Transportation, this is all legal — as long as the deliveries are deemed "expeditious."

Problem is? They're not.

Of course, truck drivers have an impossible job in this city — but mostly because the city provides them with far too few loading zones in residential neighborhoods because many community boards — hell, let's call them what they are: car owner protection committees — object if the DOT repurposes even a few curbside spaces from free private car storage to truck staging areas.

The driver whose illegally parked truck led to Navarette-Flores's death was not summonsed for using the travel lane as a loading zone. And neighborhood residents are angry because they know that Fresh Direct treats the corner of First Avenue and 76th Street as its own personal al fresco distribution center.

"I get these guys are doing their super-hard jobs and there is nowhere to park, but I can confirm that those trucks arrive at 76th and First each morning between 5:45 and 6 a.m.," Streetsblog reader Jennifer Robinson wrote me yesterday. "The steel lift slams on the street , like an explosion, followed by the steel trollies being tossed on the concrete. Ear splitting. Then the bang bang BOOM SLAM BANG of the plastic crates. Trucks come in to reinforce the first one — sometimes two are there sometimes they switch off. Sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, 363 days a year. No break. No joke. ... There is nothing 'expeditious' about the operation. It is a full-time distribution center. Period."

What is to be done: Repurpose public space for the best public good: safe truck deliveries, speedy bus service, more sustainable modes of transportation. The storage of privately owned cars isn't even on that list.

Meanwhile, the Workers Justice Project and Los Deliveristas Unidos will hold a vigil for Navarette-Flores at the crash scene on First Avenue near 76th Street at 5 p.m. on Wednesday (see below). To donate to a fund for his funeral, click here.

In other news:

Police Commissioner-designate Keechant Sewell
Police Commissioner-designate Keechant Sewell
Police Commissioner-designate Keechant Sewell

We have a new police commissioner! And the first female commish ever! Meet Keechant Sewell, the current chief of detectives for the Nassau County Police Department! (NYDN, Post x 2, NY Times, Gothamist)

  • Speaking of Chief Sewell, one of the first things she could consider doing is punishing cops who are accused of misconduct (a new NYCLU study shows that only 1 percent of accused cops face any punishment, the Daily News reported).
  • Great tabloid minds think alike? Our old man editor has been ignored by the mayor at his now-twice-weekly press conferences for six sessions running — and all he wanted to do was ask Hizzoner about the terrible bus service over which he's presided these last eight years. Well, Guse of the Newsuh got his denial quote from the City Hall press office instead, and did the story first.
  • Everyone is doing boring horserace stories about the Council Speaker race (QNS, Gothamist), but our own Julianne Cuba broke some huge news about Francisco Moya's recklessness near schools.
  • Speaking of Gothamist, what's with the once-great digital tabloid? Yet again, it followed a Streetsblog exclusive — this time on Citi Bike's bid to get public subsidies to electrify its docks — but didn't even give us a hyperlink hat-tip. Not nice!
  • Jose Martinez of The City did a deep dive into why the MTA's OMNY pay system ain't so great.
  • The MTA announced it will expand its Jamaica bus depot and upgrade it so that it can service a fully electric fleet, though the work won't be done until 2027 and the entire fleet won't be electrified until 2040. (amNY)
  • Vulnerable users of our city streets dodged a bullet when the Department of Education decided against getting rid of geographic preferences for high schools, meaning that some students can still attend classes in their neighborhoods, reducing commutes and car use. (NYDN, Chalkbeat, NY Post)
  • Speaking of vulnerable road users, the Daily News did the full heats and flowers tribute to killed pedestrian Helena Conti.
  • And, finally, as always during December, we'll start with a reminder of our annual month-long donation drive, which helps us keep the lights on, pay our hard-working staffers and have a little left over for coffee. Here's a reminder of what your donations pay for, and here's today's tribute to yesterday's benefactors: Thanks, Darcy! Thanks, Pedro! Thanks, Kenneth! Thanks, Trudy! Thanks, Ian!
  • It's our December donation drive. Your gift helps us do important stories. So please click here or the icon above.
    It's our December donation drive. Your gift helps us do important stories. So please click here or the icon above.

    Stay in touch

    Sign up for our free newsletter

    More from Streetsblog New York City

    Tuesday’s Headlines: Valley of Political Death Edition

    Did you see the new poll showing congestion pricing is really unpopular? Ignore it! Good times are coming. Plus other news in today's headlines.

    April 23, 2024

    Open Streets Groups Warn of Extra Red Tape to Run Events

    Two weeks notice for hopscotch or a yoga class?

    April 23, 2024

    Monday’s Headlines: A Federal Case over Parking Edition

    We're flicking our bicycle bell over a big scoop last week that no one picked up on...yet. Plus other news.

    April 22, 2024

    Hochul, Legislators Reach Toll Evasion Crackdown Deal

    Higher fines for covering a plate and for not paying tolls are part of the budget deal inked on Saturday.

    April 22, 2024

    Behind the Scenes: How Gov. Hochul Got ‘Sammy’s Law’ Over the Finish Line

    Opponents didn't want to put their name on a no vote for the life-saving measure.

    April 22, 2024
    See all posts