Thursday’s Headlines: A Gaslighting Mayor We Won’t Miss Edition
Oh, Bill, Bill, Bill, ye of little feats.
Our old man editor had an exchange with Mayor de Blasio yesterday that goes a long way towards documenting why many members of the press corps aren’t exactly bemoaning the end of the de Blasio era.
“Bus speeds … are not improving,” our editor started. “Citywide rush-hour bus speeds are down from 7.9 miles an hour in January 2015, to 7.4 miles per hour now. … So, perhaps, at long last, eight years in, you could give us a broad overview of why you have failed to improve bus speeds overall.”
Often, the mayor will first respond, “It’s a fair question,” but on Wednesday, apparently he decided that being queried about a basic city service was not fair. Instead, he opted for gaslighting.
“Oh Gersh, Gersh, Gersh — ye of little faith,” the mayor started, touting bus improvements that he promised would bear fruit in the coming years. “I think that’s just not the accurate way to portray what’s happened here.” (You can read the full exchange here — just scroll down to “Gersh, Gersh, Gersh.”)
Of course, it is an accurate way to portray what’s happening — as anyone can see from the window of a bus stuck in traffic or on the MTA’s bus speed dashboard. Meanwhile, Friend of Streetsblog Charles Komanoff appreciated the exchange and tweeted a thread about why bus speeds matter way more than anyone realizes:
Haha not haha: a seemingly trivial 0.5 mph drop in citywide avg bus speeds equates to costing NYC bus riders ~$170 million worth of time a year. Seems like neither @NYCMayor, who could give a sh*t, or @GershKuntzman, who does, had an inkling of that. 1/4 https://t.co/G6QSiuJBxc
— Charles Komanoff (@Komanoff) December 15, 2021
So there you have it. Fifteen more days of this, New York.
In other news:
- Our top story today, the Post’s David Meyer got a scoop about an MTA manager who uses a blow-up dummy in the passenger seat — presumably to cheat tolls. The corroborating evidence? He’s a former cop and he drives around in a New York-registered car without a front plate.
- It was certainly a freight-ful day in New York yesterday, what with The City and amNY getting initial scoops on two related events — which we rounded up into a single story. And the Times had a story about possibly shipping stuff around on ferries.
- The MTA put out a press release that it had completed its Bronx bus redesign — but Kevin Duggan focused on the real news: The agency is going back to the drawing board with its Queens bus route redesign, which will be presented next year before a full round of public
- Police collared two men accused of trying to steal a delivery worker’s e-bike — and from the pictures, it looks like the perps messed with the wrong guy. (amNY)
- People are noticing that last month’s placard abuse crackdown was a dog-and-pony show (just as we reported!). (David K via Twitter)
— David K (@MovingBlock) December 14, 2021
- An Eastern Queens community board has some problems with the DOT’s plans for a bike network — but it’s not all bad news because the board isn’t merely saying “No.” (Queens Chronicle)
- Meanwhile, the Post had video of another delivery worker being mugged for his bike.
- Someone vandalized three cars belonging to Council Member Paul Vallone (D-Queens), which is really bad. And the vandalism is terrible, too. (Seriously, why does anyone have three cars?!). (NYDN)
- Finally, it’s time to thank our beloved readers who kicked in a few bills during our December Donation Drive to keep our lights on. Thanks, Peter and KC! Thanks, Philip! Thanks, Christian! Thanks, William! Thanks, Theodore! Thanks, Andrew! (Want to join the honor roll? Click here!)