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Tuesday’s Headlines: The Mayor Said What? Edition

Mayor Adams attempted to find common ground with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, congestion pricing's Public Enemy No. 1. Plus other news.

Reporter Kevin Duggan is skeptical about Mayor Adams’s answer on congestion pricing. Photo: City Hall

Mayor Adams’s head-scratcher of a response to a passerby who cursed at him and called him an "a—hole" wasn’t his only notable comment on Monday.

Hizzoner also reiterated his “concerns” over congestion pricing, after Streetsblog's Kevin Duggan asked him to comment on New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's lawsuit to stop the long-delayed tolls from happening. 

Adams, who was not among the chorus of New York officials blasting the suit over the weekend, called congestion pricing "the right thing to do," but also attempted to find common ground with the program's "Public Enemy No. 1."

"Governor Murphy, I consider him to be a friend and good colleague, we’ve spent time together. He’s going to voice his concerns, we have our concerns," Adams said during an unrelated press conference about the city’s ubiquitous scaffolding.

Duggan couldn’t get in a follow-up question, but a rep for City Hall later clarified that Adams was referring to his previously aired grievances about how tolls may impact the pocketbooks of the relatively few low-income New Yorkers who commute by car into Manhattan, or lead to more pollution elsewhere including in the Bronx.

Adams has called for some exemptions from the tolls — something proponents including the MTA have warned will lead a higher toll for everyone who is not exempt.

In other news: 

  • Council Member Vickie Paladino (R-Queens) kept mostly silent on Monday following Streetsblog's explosive story that her son Thomas's luxury sports car bears a fraudulent Arizona temporary license plate. She waited until nearly 5 p.m. to tweet derisively about Jesse Coburn's and Jonah Schwarz's shoe-leather reporting; Coburn responded with a fact-check:
  • The younger Paladino, meanwhile, insisted to The Post that the car "was never a priority to put it on the street," awkwardly sidestepping Streetsblog's publication of photos of him standing next to the car while it was parked on the street.
  • Reached by the tabloid for comment, former state Sen. Tony Avella, the council member's Democratic opponent in this November's election and no friend of safer streets, called her a "hypocrite" who "talks about ‘law and order’ and then does whatever she wants."
  • Struggling ride-hail company Lyft, which operates Citi Bike, dominated the transit discourse yesterday. Not only did the Wall Street Journal break the news that the San Francisco-based firm’s new CEO David Risher may off-load its fleet of bikes and scooters in attempt to save money, but Streetsblog contributor John Surico also reported in Curbed on the bike-share system's spotty and inconsistent e-bike fleet. The writing has been on the wall for a while, as Streetsblog has previously reported.
  • Vice's Aaron Gordon: "Lyft’s CEO thinks Lyft needs to do a better job getting people to take fewer e-bike trips and more taxi trips, which is exactly the opposite of what dense cities need."
  • City inspectors slapped Grubhub and JOCO's rest stop and e-bike charging hub with $6,400 in fines after “discovering five dozen lithium-ion batteries they deemed not authorized for use in the U.S.” Mayor Adams attended the grand opening of the facility, billed as a place for workers to access safe charging infrastructure amid a rash of lithium battery fires. (The City)
  • A 73-year-old woman driving a Lexus SUV struck and killed 68-year-old Joyce Greenberg as she tried to cross Webster Avenue in Brooklyn in her wheelchair on Sunday. Cops are "treating the crash as an accident," The Post reports. (Also in: Brooklyn Paper, ABC7)
  • ATVs and dirt bikes are wreaking havoc in Van Cortlandt Park, despite the NYPD having seized dozens of illegal bikes from the green space since the start of the summer, according to the local precinct. (Gothamist
  • ICYMI: Nicole Gelinas sides with New Jersey in its fight against congestion pricing. (The Post)
  • Meanwhile, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called the opposition to congestion pricing the "vehicular version of NIMBYism" in his Monday evening op-ed citing Streetsblog.
  • Almost 400 highway repair workers employed by the Department of Transportation are suing the city for unpaid overtime. (Gothamist
  • Finally, in even more municipal malfeasance news — an MTA honcho was fired for flying to Florida while he was on the clock. (Pix11)

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