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Friday’s Headlines: Big, Fat Softball Edition

12:05 AM EDT on August 12, 2022

The mayor demonstrated speed-restriction technology in a city Prius yesterday. Photo: Mayor’s Office

The big news yesterday was Mayor Adams's rollout of his tiny pilot of speed-restriction technology on the city fleet. Fifty (or 0.2 percent) of the city's nearly 25,000 vehicles — let's not be too bold, now! — will get the technology , which won't let the drivers accelerate above 15 miles per hour if that’s the speed limit.

NY1, WABC7 and the Staten Island Advance played it straight. Streetsblog emphasized that cops (and many other city workers) ain't gonna slow down, no way, no how.

The estimable Kevin Duggan at amNY, however, saw the big, fat softball coming over the plate — and swung. That being, the mayor demonstrated the technology in a car with a very recent speeding ticket, and in his entourage was a vehicle with a like violation. Of course, Adams considers himself an emergency first responder and thus exempt for the laws governing others behind the wheel. (Didn't Bill de Blasio have a similar issue involving the unauthorized use of his police detail?)

But you know, hypocrisy.

In other news:

    • Winnie Hu spent a year on her big New York Times takeout on open streets, but she can't seem to shake pro-car framing. "Across the country, the enthusiasm for car-free streets has waned as businesses have reopened and people have resumed their lives outside of their homes, which means more cars on the roads," she writes. Then she quotes open streets foe David Weprin saying, "It’s becoming increasingly anti-car in the city.” Which is it? Of course, she describes how the volunteer-led open streets movement, left without city support, struggles with burnout and lack of funds. And yet in a long story about open streets, Hu still managed to point out the program's greatest success: a massive reduction in crashes. Safety first, we always say.
    • Treehugger looked at the growing e-bikelash through the lens of a recent crash on the overcrowded Queensboro Bridge. How many people will get hurt before the city understands that it needs to dedicate more street space to two-wheeled vehicles, both acoustic and electric?
    • A Staten Islander got ahold of one of the rare, new Ford Lightning all-electric pick-up trucks. Why is that anti-social vehicle choice a cause for celebration, SI Advance?
    • Speaking of the Rock, car lovers came out in force against the Hylan Boulevard road diet. (Advance)
    • Jalopnik followed Streetsblog on the city's pedestrian-blaming response to the Baby Apolline suit.
    • MTA board member David Mack (who opposed congestion pricing in a snit over losing a parking placard) elaborates his thoughts in a Daily News op-ed. The Post Editorial Board, meanwhile, called proponents of congestion pricing "out of their minds."
    • A driver fleeing a traffic stop in Queens struck three pedestrians, including a woman and her toddler. (NY Post)
    • Council Member Lincoln Restler wants not-for-profit community land trusts to take over public land for affordable housing. That could work, because as Streetsblog has reported, too many such parcels are wasted as underused cop parking.
    • A DOT survey about the Willoughby Avenue open street showed mostly positive numbers, and Brooklyn CB2 passed a motion supporting it. (Brooklyn Paper) Of course, Streetplan's Mike Lydon's actual counts on the street found much more flattering numbers because his surveyors merely counted people using the street while the DOT did a survey that included online responses. Always go with the field workers.

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