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Friday’s Headlines: Another Rally Edition

The mayor certainly knows that kids will die as a result of his decision to shelve the McGuinness safety plan, but reminding him of that doesn't seem to be working. Plus other news.

12:03 AM EDT on July 14, 2023

Hundreds of people rallied in support of safety improvements on McGuinness Boulevard on Thursday, July 13. Photo: Josh Katz

We were moved by yesterday's protest at City Hall against Mayor Adams's craven decision to shelve the McGuinness Boulevard safety redesign after pressure from powerful local business leaders and campaign contributors. Speaker after speaker vented outrage over the mayor's flip-flop — a decision that will lead to more death and injuries on the dangerous speedway.

And we were inspired by the site of local pols and parents delivering a box of 7,000 petition signatures from locals. And we were so impressed by one parent's eloquent lament that we printed it in full.

Council Member Lincoln Restler leads a group to deliver petitions in support of the McGuinness Boulevard safety redesign on Thursday. Photo: Josh Katz

But as moved as we were, we were also frustrated that activists have been unable to reach this mayor. Nothing we heard on Thursday was new — McGuinness Boulevard is dangerous, it is cacophonous, it is a dividing line, it is a freeway through a residential neighborhood — yet it still fails to convince Mayor Adams that safety is not a chit to be called in by some well-heeled donor.

The mayor certainly knows that kids will die as a result of his decision, but reminding him of that doesn't seem to be working.

A new strategy is needed. Talk is not only cheap; it's useless on deaf ears. Perhaps Greenpoint parent Chris Roberti was onto something when he told the crowd, "Our patience is not endless. ... If we do not have a proposal that prioritizes pedestrian safety very very soon, We will be forced to make the boulevard safe on our own. That’s a promise."

Actions may soon prove more powerful than words. Paint will be brighter than any rhetoric. Big planters better than pontification. And sit-ins more powerful than speeches. Stay tuned.

In other news from an exceptionally slow day:

  • How many times will papers — this time, the Times — cover the Pickleball Wars before someone reports the real issue: The only reason pickleball players are fighting paddleball players or softball players battling dog walkers is that there isn’t enough space in this city for us to recreate as much as we need. Instead of pitting groups against each other as they fight for crumbs, the media should focus on the real issue: Insufficient public space.
  • The driver of a yellow cab ran down a cyclist in Sunnyside and it was caught on camera, but neither the Taxi and Limousine Commission nor the NYPD had any details. (Instagram with warning)
  • Like Streetsblog before it, the Daily News covered the arrest of the driver who killed a pedestrian in May on the Upper East Side.
  • Finally, it's been awfully hot these last few years. So here's something to think about:

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