Friday’s Headlines: The Storm of the Century Edition

As of last night.
As of last night.

It’ll probably still be raining this morning as you read this, thanks to the remnants of a storm that, at one point on Thursday, stretched basically from Iceland, down the Eastern Seaboard, across the Gulf of Mexico, through Mexico and into the Pacific.

It’ll also get colder as the day drones on, which means that all this melting snow and rain may turn to ice.

But before you head out, here’s a digest of yesterday’s top stories:

  • Like Streetsblog, amNY and Patch covered the DOT’s quiet announcement that it had delayed creating dedicated space for pedestrians and cyclists on the Queensboro Bridge, despite a promise by former Mayor de Blasio that the work would be done this year.
  • President Biden was in New York — though judging by the coverage in the tabloids, you’d think two President Bidens were in New York. The Daily News ran an “exclusive” op-ed from the president on his “We’re not defund” message, while the Post blasted the president as “sleepy,” “useless” and “empty.” (The Times played it straight, once you get past the “New York is a crime-filled cesspool” framing.)
  • Meanwhile, Rep. Ritchie Torres jumped on the Post’s pro-cop-budget bandwagon.
  • In an example of great local reporting, the West Side Rag wasn’t deterred by NYPD blowoffs and did a solid job in its profile of Beatriz Diaz, a homeless woman who was killed by a car driver on Jan. 24 on the Upper West Side.
  • Graffiti on the subway is increasing — and some of it is downright awesome it’s sad. (NYDN)
  • Maybe de Blasio won’t run for Congress after all: The lawsuits have started over the Democrats’ plan for new district lines. (NY Post)
  • We enjoyed John Seabrook’s well-written New Yorker piece on the Ford F-150 Lightning, the e-pickup truck that is supposed to save the world, yet remain completely unpersuaded. Maybe it’s because we don’t feel a lot of kinship with a well-paid writer who takes advantage of the negative externalities of car ownership to use his gas-guzzling non-electric F-150 to go from Brooklyn to his vacation home in Vermont. And we also disagree with Seabrook’s main point that,  “The future of the planet, and of human life on it, may depend on how rapidly the auto industry can reduce tailpipe emissions.” No, we believe there’s more to it than that; yes, we need to reduce tailpipe emissions, but sprawl, road violence and bad urban planning decisions will remain with us for another 100 years if “reducing tailpipe emissions” doesn’t come in the form of massive increases in transit and urban density.
  • Council Member Tiffany Cabán is taking on the owners of Shore Towers, the notorious Astoria development that continues to try to block the public from using the, um, public greenway. (via Twitter)
  • Chunks of the Gowanus Expressway fell down onto cars yesterday, which gives us an idea: Why not tear down the elevated highway so that the roadway from Bay Ridge to the Battery Tunnel could be converted into a sane, human scaled, West-Street-style boulevard? (via Twitter)


Inwood sneckdown, December 2016. Photo: Brad Aaron

Get Up and #Sneckdown

Sneckdowns are "snowy neckdowns" formed as motorists drive through melting snow and slush. With nine inches of snow in Central Park as of this afternoon, NYC is in for some serious sneckdown action. The next few days will be prime time. Share your finds with the #sneckdown hashtag on social media.

What Big Snow Can Tell Us About Our Streets

So the snow that hit the Northeast over the weekend is gradually sublimating and melting away, and a couple of the blogs on the Streetsblog Network are looking at the difference in the way municipalities treated pedestrians and motorists during and after the first big storm of the winter. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia […]