Thursday’s Headlines: ‘Inside Edition’ Gets Action Edition
You won’t be-leaf this!
Of all the license plates Streetsblog Editor Gersh Kuntzman has fixed since he began his “criminal mischief” campaign in the fall, one stands out in particular — “Leaf Man,” whom Kuntzman caught five separate times (!) with a leaf obscuring part of his Jersey plate.
But the jig might be up for the foliage fraudster after TV’s “Inside Edition” confronted him over it for a segment on Kuntzman’s crusade.
The frequent foliator, who has racked up more than $6,000 in fines in the last five years, first claimed he’d “backed into a tree” — before railing on red light and speed cameras, which city stats show reduce speeding and save lives.
“I gotta pay for every light that changes and speed? They’re ripping us off!” he claimed.
(Kuntzman visited the toll evader’s plate again the morning after the “Inside Edition” segment ran Tuesday night, and the leaf was gone. “Small victories,” he said in his own post.)
The fun didn’t stop there. Asked by “Inside Edition” about a city police officer’s parked blue Mazda sedan with peeling paint — which hasn’t received a ticket since 2020 — an NYPD rep claimed it was “natural wear and tear” that the officer “only recently noticed.”
Hours later, though, the plate had been swapped for a clean replacement.
But one thing keeps haunting us: Kuntzman is the Michael Jordan of criminal mischief — no matter how many times he claims to have retired the shtick, he keeps coming back.
Now — thanks in part to Inside Edition — he’s getting results:
SMALL VICTORIES: Today, I saw Leaf Man — the blatant foliator whom I've caught FIVE TIMES previously. But today — one day after @InsideEdition covered my criminal mischief campaign — he showed up in Lower Manhattan without his leaf! You're welcome, @NYC_DOT! pic.twitter.com/85utMcuJ1i
— Gersh Kuntzman (@GershKuntzman) February 8, 2023
In other news:
- The MTA construction boondoggle formerly known as East Side Access will finally run full service starting Feb. 27, after its initial launch was limited to shuttles between the new LIRR terminal and western Queens. It only took 25 years and $11 billion — well done, New York! (NBC New York, Daily News, Newsday)
- Meanwhile, NY1’s Dan Rivoli got lost trying to find the new station beneath Grand Central — and found he wasn’t alone.
- Oonee is planning its next bike parking pod for near the traffic-choked entrance to the Holland Tunnel (@ShabazzStuart via Twitter)
- MTA bigwigs held a press conference on Wednesday where they pushed back on a federal report that slagged their complaint-ridden Access-A-Ride program for violating disability law. A recent survey showed 76-percent customer satisfaction with the service. (The City)
- The parents of the 20-year-old who died after getting caught in a subway door and dragged onto the tracks plan to sue the MTA for $50 million. (NBC New York)
- A “senior equity analyst” accused of punching a train operator at Coney Island last year is Local 100’s latest poster child for violence against transit workers. (Daily News)
- Listen, if a rat crawling on the head of a sleeping straphanger disturbs you, consider that he might also make France’s finest ratatouille. (The Post)
- A school bus driver caught on tap striking twin 16-year-old brothers in Yonkers now faces charges. (ABC 7 NY)
- A French PSA is going after the role of “toxic masculinity” in dangerous driving. Men are responsible for 84-percent of the country’s traffic crashes. (The Guardian)
- Here’s something else “nice” in France — the city of Nice is piloting tech to detect cars parked in bike lanes. When can we get some? (road.cc)
- The spoiled brats of New York City’s wealthy, transit-rich Upper East Side want to drive downtown from their Upper East Side apartments to Manhattan for free. Is this the Fleishman Effect? (Upper East Site)
- “As many as 10” members of the City Council’s 35-member Progressive Caucus could bolt over whether to commit to “[doing] everything we can to reduce the size and scope of the NYPD and the Department of Correction.” Politico previously reported on Justin Brannan and Diana Ayala’s plans to quit the group. (Daily News)
- Following up on yesterday’s headlines, MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber told Streetsblog’s Dave Colon on Wednesday that he “disagrees” with Council Speaker Adrienne Adams’ claim congestion pricing would adversely harm her southeast Queens constituents: “The benefit of congestion pricing is going right back to the transit system, which 90 plus percent of Southeast Queens commuters rely on for subways and buses and commuter railroads.”