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Friday’s Headlines: Let’s Go Zoom! Edition

12:05 AM EDT on March 18, 2022

A community board meeting. File photo: David Meyer

Manhattan Beep Mark Levine offered a proposal yesterday that's getting a lot of discussion: Let's change the state's Open Meetings law to make the online streaming of community board meetings a permanent option (even as in-person events resume)!

Levine, who advanced the proposal in a Daily News op-ed with State Sen. Brad Hoylman, is selling virtual meetings as a way of accommodating disabled New Yorkers, the immuno-compomised, parents of young children and others who find in-person meetings challenging. Plus, given the dispersion of public meetings in our vast metropolis, virtual attendance has proved a boon for many kinds of city activists, including safe-streets promoters (it's also a help to reporters).

Streetsblog readers seem to support the idea, judging by the comments to our tweet, and added some other helpful suggestions about streamlining meetings, too. Friend of Streetsblog Ken Coughlin also launched an online petition in support of the the Hoylman amendment. What do you think?

In other news on a slow, wet double holiday (St. Patrick's Day and Purim, both days for some serious libations!):

    • The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is offering some succor to suffering Ukrainians, waiving fees on humanitarian aid coming through its facilities. (amNY)
    • Here's some "Carmageddon" confirmation: The Port Authority's bridges and tunnels into the city got 95 percent of their pre-pandemic vehicle traffic last year, while PATH trains have languished at 50 percent ridership in recent weeks, even as commuting into the Manhattan Central Business District hasn't recovered. (Kevin Duggan via Twitter)
    • The NYPD is defending a Brooklyn precinct that has strange taste in inspirational quotations. (Gothamist)
    • Gothamist also followed The Post on the latest congestion-pricing development.
    • New York Magazine columnist Ross Barkan is recommending that Democrats embrace a gas-tax holiday — to better their chances in the midterms.
    • The Independent Budget Office says our cop watchdog agency hasn't kept pace with the NYPD. (Gothamist)
    • The Department of Investigation (which probes placard corruption, among other things) is underfunded, too. (Gotham Gazette)
    • Albany is considering a bill that would vacate convictions for past street-vending offenses. (City Limits)
    • A barricaded subway entrance? Yes, it's private. (The City)
    • Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, the MTA got $12 million from the feds for fixes at Manhattan's Michael J. Quill Bus Depot, named for the legendary Irish-born employee who founded the Transport Workers Union in 1934. The depot houses 15 electric buses and charging infrastructure. (MTA)
    • A holiday is yet another reason to take public transit, the MTA chief reminded us. (Via Twitter)
    • The Department of Transportation's promise to harden the famous Crescent Street bike lane in Astoria with concrete barriers appears imminent. (John Surico via Twitter)
    • RIP Brooklyn pizza king Dom DeMarco, 85, who garnered too many tributes to list. Here's a tweet from our old man editor:
    • Finally, who knew there was a bike path at Angkor Wat? (NYTimes)

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