Wednesday’s Headlines: Summer Streets Shortfall Edition

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Can we talk about how disappointing Summer Streets is? Every year, livable streets advocates get all excited because of how much everyone loves the Summer Streets program — when the city creates a car-free corridor between the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park for strolling, jogging, biking, dancing, singing or just hanging out.

For just six hours. On three Saturdays.

And every year, we think the Department of Transportation will see how beloved car-free streets are that the agency will dramatically expand the program. And every year (like last year), we are disappointed when it doesn’t. And we’re not alone:

The limited hours and days are likely due to how much effort DOT and the NYPD put into staffing what is ostensibly one long open street. Streetsblog and members of the advocacy community have long argued that Summer Streets doesn’t need so much overhead or fussing — just create the space and New Yorkers will figure out how to enjoy it (as the open streets program has proved).

We reached out to DOT for comment, and the agency said more news would be coming. We’ll update you when we hear more.

Until then, here’s the other news from a hot Tuesday:

  • Everyone covered Transportation Alternatives’ latest fatality report, which showed deaths are soaring in the Bronx. (NYDN, which broke the embargo; and Streetsblog, which did not)
  • Speaking of the Bronx, a motorcyclist was killed there. (NY Post)
  • The Post got a third day out of humiliating and dehumanizing a homeless man. (amNY piled on.)
  • Public pool hours will be extended during the heat wave. (Gothamist)
  • Check out this van getting eaten by a road. (NY Post, NY Times)
  • Finally, we appreciated the Daily News front page on Tuesday because of its tabloid simplicity: It was, indeed, a bloody weekend for our great city. But we would be remiss if we didn’t point out (as we often do) that as bad as shootings are (and as helpful as they are for our city’s uncreative news editors), their numbers are dwarfed by the number of crashes that occur every day in this city (on average, about 300 per day — that we know of). So we took Tuesday’s front page and made some tweaks to compare the gun carnage of July 15-17 (left) vs. July 8-10 (the last weekend for which there is complete data):
Their news ... and ours.
Their news … and ours.

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