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Open Plans

Thursday’s Headlines: Party with a Purpose Edition

12:03 AM EST on February 23, 2023

Here's another reminder that our sister organization, Open Plans, is hosting its first annual “Public Space Awards” on March 2 in Soho.

It’s a bit like the Oscars or the Grammys — except that the honorees aren’t pampered actors or auto-tuned singers, but the hardworking people and groups behind the public spaces that make New York City the vibrant place that it is!

(So, like we said, it’s just like the Oscars and the Grammys).

It’s going to be a fun night of celebrating great public space management, open streets, open restaurants and initiatives that make our city better. Get your tickets here.

Voting is still open for the night's "People's Choice Award," nominees for which include public space heroes like Drag Story Hour, the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and the Longest Table al fresco dining event. Vote early (though not often; this ain't Chicago).

We know good advocacy groups when we see them, and Open Plans has been killing it lately. Recently, the group got some great ink for its push for safe streets for schools (amNY). It set the agenda for a recent Council hearing on Vision Zero. , and sucessfully advocated for the creation of an Office of the Public Realm, which got its first chief last week.

But wait, there's more! Open Plans's advocacy director Jackson Chabot was even quoted in Patch the other day about the public space implications of all these ongoing pickleball controversies.

So join Open Plans on March 2. Good seats are still available.

In other news:

    • The driver who killed Daniel Zuzworsky last month in Queens was finally charged, albeit only with failure to yield, a misdemeanor that rarely carries any jail time, and failure to exercise due care, a ticket, the NYPD told Streetsblog on Wednesday.
    • Subway surfing is the latest social media scare, with Mayor Adams and MTA CEO Janno Lieber calling on companies to censor videos of the dangerous and illegal practice after another NYC teen died while straddling the top of a J train on the Williamsburg Bridge. (Gothamist, NY Post, NYT, The City)
    • That was easy? MTA board member Andrew Albert suggests installing "subway surfer warning buttons" on trains to alert drivers when the problem occurs. (WPIX)
    • Lieber told WNYC's Brian Lehrer the MTA has to "win" LIRR work rule efficiencies through negotiations with the railroad's powerful unions. (NY Post)
    • Ross Barkan expertly disassembled the state Democratic Party. (NYT Magazine)
    • Will the City Council pull the plug on Madison Square Garden's operating permit? (The City)
    • A top TWU Local 100 vice president exchanged blows with a prominent former ally. (Gothamist, NY Daily News)
    • Transit advocates — including TWU President Richard Davis — rallied on Wednesday for six-minute service and free buses. (WPIX, Gothamist)
    • Planetizen followed Streetsblog's coverage of the MTA's delayed implementation of all-door boarding.
    • A motorcycle rider struck by a driver on Ocean Parkway in December succumbed to his injuries. (Brooklyn Paper)
    • Go inside Pete Buttigieg's troubles at US DOT. (HuffPost)
    • The MTA's convoluted and time-consuming rider surveys are showing increased "customer satisfaction," and fewer concerns about crime. (NY1, amNY)
    • The MTA is "thrilled" with Gov. Hochul's plans to close its budget hole with new cash from the city and a hike in the Payroll Mobility Tax (Bloomberg) ... even as Upstate pols' war on the PMT hike received loads of positive coverage in the local press. (Mid-Hudson News, LoHud, Albany Times-Union)
    • Area Teamsters are preparing for a possible UPS strike in NYC, Westchester and Long Island this summer. (Jacobin)
    • Wired traveled to Indonesia, where lithium mining for the electric vehicle industry is literally killing workers.
    • The city's first "wide-aisle," wheelchair-accessible turnstiles are coming to two subway stations, Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue in Queens and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. (NY1)
    • There's a new bar in the city of Albany called The War Room, which usually would probably go unmentioned here or in the august pages of the city's political press, but get this: political people and media co-mingle there and apparently get very drunk. (Politico)
    • Our own Dave Colon stopped by the War Room for a karaoke night last time he was in Albany and came back with this report: "Low ceilings, extremely crowded, people getting really into the karaoke. This place is destined to be featured in either an extremely ugly/messy personal scandal, a handful of corruption indictments, or possibly both at once."

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