TRUMP ARRAIGNMENT SPECIAL: Bad Day for a President, Great Day for Cyclist in Lower Manhattan
All it took was the historic arraignment of a former President of the United States to get the NYPD and the state court system to keep the Centre Street bike lane clear.
A fact of life for Lower Manhattan commuters is the perpetually blocked Centre Street bike lane between Worth and Canal streets — the result of too many judges commandeering too much curbside space, too many members of the placard élite parking illegally, and too many court-room-bound workers, plaintiffs and suspects taking too many cabs that are forced to double-park.
But on April 4, the day when former President Donald Trump made ignominious history again — twice impeached, and now indicted — the bike lanes were completely clear in both the notorious zone on Centre, but also on Lafayette Street.
I filed this video dispatch (which can be licensed by any major network for a small fee):
TRUMP ARRAIGNMENT SPECIAL: Our editor @gershkuntzman reporting live from the street is saying the bike lanes near the courthouse are, for the first time ever, clear! All it took was the historic arraignment of a former president. Story at 11. pic.twitter.com/3TtO521SmN
— Streetsblog New York (@StreetsblogNYC) April 4, 2023
That video is worth 1,000 words, but pictures also tell the story. Here’s a slideshow of Lafayette Street:
And over on Centre Street — which features a protected bike lane from Foley Square north to Franklin Street, whereupon it promptly disappears to appease judges — everyone was great today.
This is what it normally looks like (and that’s without the triple-parked cars):
Now, here’s a slideshow of what it looks like today:
Of course, it’s not all good news in Lower Manhattan. Thanks to the Parks Department, scores of reporters are getting free parking, and defiling the monumental sculpture “Triumph of the Human Spirit” by Lorenzo Pace. The sculpture is the centerpiece of a downtown installation honoring the African Burial Ground and memorializing America’s shameful history of human bondage.
Here’s what that looks like:
Pace recently told Streetsblog that he is always appalled when the Parks Department allows drivers to park in Foley Square right next to his work, but his complaints have been ignored by city officials.
“No other monument like this — which honors the victims of slavery — would be driven on,” he said. “The African Burial Ground was disrespected from the moment it was rediscovered, and it still is. I guess the mindset can’t be changed overnight, but it would be nice if someone listened to me.”
We reached out to the Parks Department and did not get an answer. We will update this story if we do.