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Car-Free Streets

Monday’s Headlines: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Because No Cars) Edition

You can have a lot of fun on a car-free Fifth Avenue. Photos: Clarence Eckerson Jr.

It's our December donation drive! Click the logo for info or use the cool widget on the top right of this page (or at the bottom of this post if you are on mobile).
It's our December donation drive! Click the logo for info or use the cool widget on the top right of this page (or at the bottom of this post if you're on mobile).
It's our December donation drive! Click the logo for info or use the cool widget on the top right of this page (or at the bottom of this post if you are on mobile).

The biggest story of the day was Mayor Adams's car-free Fifth Avenue — which has been a dream of planners since, well, since at least the prior administration (which had a great busway plan that got community approval two years ago only to be shot down by Fifth Avenue's mom and pop stores like Tiffany and others).

Everyone covered the spectacle of hordes of pedestrians allowed to browse the holiday windows and gape at the lighted tree in Rockefeller Center without having to worry about being run over — which, in this city for some reason, is something that has to be fought for. (Silly us — we believe that walking around town should be the safest thing a person does.)

Stories included:

    • The Post could only find a single taxi driver to grumble about it.
    • The Daily News found someone to complain (in the spirit of Yogi Berra) that the open street is terrible because ... it's so popular!
    • At amNY, Ben Brachfeld got all punny on us ("It’s a holly, jolly Fifth-mas!"), but his story was laudatory.
    • Streetsblog played it straight, but with context that most outlets left out.
    • And Streetfilms's Clarence Eckerson showed just how great it was — and will be for the next two Sundays:

In other news:

    • The Times did a deep puff piece on Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch. We like the new commissioner, too, but in fairness to prior DSNY bosses, the Times sort of made it seem like Tisch is the only top trash worker who has ever cared about keeping the streets clean.
    • New York has to be better at being New York if it wants to host the World Cup, Mayor Adams said upon his return from his fact-finding mission abroad. (NY Post)
    • The Post continued its revanchist effort on behalf of a few inconvenienced drivers who want to fill W. 22nd Street with their vehicles rather than left the majority of residents who don't own cars to enjoy the public space. We knew the tabloid was whipping up the fears of car owners, so we did our own far better story on the subject (Streetsblog).
    • Are you sick of cops standing around on their cellphones? Well, so is Mayor Adams — though perhaps these officers are actually making business texts? (NY Post)
    • A hit-and-run driver hit an e-bike rider in Chelsea, but was later caught (NYDN). The Post's version of the story actually had a picture of the vehicle involved in the fatal crash, but none of the paper's reporters bothered to report the facts: This car has gotten five camera-issued tickets for racing through school zones and one ticket for racing through a red light in just a bit more than a year. That's so much repeat reckless driving that you'd think a reporter would mention it — after all, if someone who pushed someone onto a subway tracks had committed similar violence six times in the same year, it's likely the reporter would mention it. (In the end, the driver was charged only with leaving the scene, not for the fatal crash itself.)
    • A drunk driver killed his passenger in a crash. (NYDN)
    • Here's an outrage whether there's global warming or not: trees cut down to widen the Long Island Expressway. (Gothamist)
    • Prince Harry and Meghan will be in town on Tuesday to collect some award, which means traffic, according to "Gridlock" Sam. (NYDN)
    • The creator of "If you see something, say something" has died. (NY Times)
    • Wow, if this is the slipshod way the media is going to cover important things like, um, where we're going to get e-car batteries from, we're all in trouble. Claims of technological advances are not a Page Six item. (NY Post)
    • New York City Transit President Richard Davey followed up last week's Brooklyn bus network redesign with an op-ed in amNY. Reminder, Mr. President, you owe us!
    • We had a huge weekend of contributions to our annual December donation drive (details here). If you want to donate, click the donation widget at the top right corner of this page (on a desktop) or at the bottom of this post on mobile. If you do, your name will be featured in this space tomorrow — just as now we celebrate the weekend donors: Thanks, Daniel! Thanks, Luis! Thanks, Kennth! Thanks, Ashton! Thanks, Grant! Thanks, Sam! Thanks, Greg! Thanks, Thomas! Thanks, Ben! Thanks, Jeff! Thanks, Stephen L.! Thanks, Stephen Z.! Thanks, Mark! Thanks, Geoff! Thanks, Trevian Bookshop! Thanks, Linda! Thanks, Pamela! Thanks,
    • And, finally, in case you missed our old man on NY1 early on Friday, his full segment is online here. If you're not a cable subscriber, you'll have to be satisfied with the edited segment here:

And that was followed by the first yellow card in his criminal mischief series — a repeat offender!

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