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Today's Headlines

Friday’s Headlines: Bikelash Edition

What's most infuriating about this particular bikelash is simply how political it has become. Plus other news.

12:04 AM EDT on June 16, 2023

Brooklyn Democratic Party boss Rodneyse Bichotte-Hermelyn was unmoved by safety supporters. Photo: Kevin Duggan

The big news yesterday was the culmination of the story that Kevin Duggan has been previewing all week: the "sham" meeting staged by opponents of a city plan to make McGuinness Boulevard safer — a "town hall" that excluded supporters of the project.

Duggan's definitive document is here. The City also covered.

What's most infuriating about this particular bikelash is simply how political it has become: The main opposition is coming from the Argento family, which owns the theatrical and film production house Broadway Stages and has given hundreds of thousands to political campaigns over the years.

We've been covering community board meetings and town hall hearings for years, but today was a first: We've never seen the head of the Brooklyn Democratic Party attend a meeting about a bike lane (and that even counts for when the bike lane is in her district).

It all comes against the backdrop of an unbearable blood tide on the streets of New York City, as the DOT's own statistics revealed yesterday — statistics that aren't helped by the Assembly's failure to pass Sammy's Law this year:

It's the second-worst year for road deaths since 2014.

Or, if you prefer a more colorful, but equally depressing, image:

Speaking of the bill to allow New York City to set its own speed limits, advocates will stage a "die-in" at Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie's Manhattan office at 250 Broadway at 11 a.m.

In other news:

  • The Daily News broke the scooter story (thanks, DOT!), but we, amNY and Gothamist followed up nicely.
  • So much for those MTA elevator operators. (NYDN)
  • To paraphrase the Beatles, Mayor Adams is fixing the Hole. (Gothamist)
  • Our own Jesse Coburn was on WNYC's Morning Edition talking about his recent mind-blowing story about Kareem Ulloa-Alvarado, the Harlem man who was an unwitting dupe in the temp tag black market.
  • The state Assembly's failure to pass Sammy's Law is now an international incident! (Twitter)
  • Anyone who knows me knows that I've always defended chalk art. It was nice to see the Times pay tribute to the form.
  • Streetsblog is on Bluesky, which is very similar to the bird app, though with fewer Nazis. Check us out here.
  • As we learned from Komanoff weeks ago, Lower Manhattan Council candidate Susan Lee's opposition to congestion pricing is bizarre — and commenters to the Tribeca Citizen story agree.
  • And, finally, now that former Mayor Bill de Blasio has come clean about his role in the death of Staten Island Chuck, maybe the Post can finally end the feud? That said, the former mayor's ill-fated presidential run is going to end up being super costly. (NY Times, amNY, Gothamist, Hell Gate, The City)

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