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Wednesday’s Headlines: What About Transportation Edition

12:03 AM EST on January 5, 2022

In case you missed it, earlier this week, The City posted a story featuring interviews with 33 (!) new council members which shed a lot of light on each lawmaker's vision for the future — and simultaneous shed almost no light on the ongoing movement for livable, safe streets.

Indeed, of all the pols interviewed by reporters Claudia Irizarry Aponte, Katie Honan, Clifford Michel and Gabriel Sandoval, only three mentioned anything related to making transportation better, roads safer and public space optimal.

Former Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer — now a Council Member from the Upper West Side — said her legislative goal was an idea being pushed by our sister company, Open Plans: "I would like to see better management of our streets, plazas, sidewalks and open spaces with a Public Realm Czar, and staff," she said.

Marjorie Velázquez of Morris Park in the Bronx talked about "a lack of resources from transportation" as one of the biggest challenges in her district. Amanda Farías, also of the Bronx, spoke about eliminating "two-fare" zones as well as "municipal control of buses ... and finally working towards a long-term plan to create a transit line that connects The Bronx and Queens without required detours to Manhattan." (Honorable mention to Shahana Hanif of Park Slope, who admitted that she only recently learned how to ride a bike.)

And that's all, folks. That's not to say the council members' answers were bad — our new leaders offered lots of good ideas and important priorities. But it's a little sad that eight years into the Vision Zero era, too many elected officials seem to think the battle is over. It isn't.

In other news from an exceptionally slow news day:

    • New Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced that he won't prosecute fare-evasion and other minor charges unless there is a more serious crime accompanying them (NYDN). The Post played the story like a coming Apocalypse.
    • An apparent drag race led to the death of one man in a brutal crash in Williamsburg. (NYDN)
    • Our own Dave Colon wrote up how a Queens community board hopes to shame the DOT into building better bike lanes in Bayside.
    • What a lucky break that no one was killed in this First Avenue crash. (Village Sun)
    • Throggs Neck is loving its new ferry landing. (Bronx Times)
    • And, finally, we've stopped our daily "thank you" to contributors to our December Donation Drive, but we're making an exception because we got an actual snail mail letter from a Michigan resident (formerly of Queens), who sent over some cash and a nice note, signed "Anonymouse," telling us to spend some of the donation at the Lemon Ice King of Corona. (We assure you, all donations go to editorial operations, not ices, but we thank "Anonymouse" for the kind contribution all the same.)

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