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Today’s Headlines: Super Bowl Thursday Edition

Today is a big day for anyone who cares about the reducing congestion and supporting transit.

12:01 AM EDT on August 17, 2023

This is how livable streets supporters (and, from left, Council Member Selvena Brooks-Powers, Gov. Hochul and Charles Komanoff) will feel today. Photo: Streetsblog Photo Desk

Today is a big day for anyone who cares about the reducing congestion and supporting transit.

The action will start with a rally in support of congestion pricing in City Hall Park at 9:30 a.m. That rally came about because the City Council's Transportation Committee decided to hold an oversight hearing on Thursday morning "on the implementation ... of congestion pricing," which is something about which the Council has no oversight. The concern, of course, is that local pols will grandstand in opposition to the already approved, already studied, about-to-be-implemented and obviously beneficial policy.

Of course, the cost of the toll still needs to be set, so that's why Streetsblog will also be attending the second meeting of the Traffic Mobility Review Board at 3 p.m. (watch it here). The big topic will be whether taxi drivers, their customers, or neither will pay the congestion toll.

In advance of the TMRB meeting, two dozen pols echoed Streetsblog's coverage and called on the panel to not penalize taxi drivers, but charge their customers, as amNY reported.

In other news:

  • Gothamist got its story up a few minutes before we did, but the mayor signed off on the compromise that will improve safety on McGuinness Boulevard, but not nearly as much as if he hadn't thrown his own Department of Transportation under the bus.
  • One day, Mayor Adams is saying he's "like Gandhi" ... and the next day he's telling men to cruise past outdoor dining decks to find dates (and signing the permanent outdoor dining bill, as amNY and Gothamist reported). Fact check: Objectifying women (let alone doing it while driving!) is definitely not Gandhian, as many pointed out on Twitter:
  • There was another police chase that ended up injuring a cyclist in the Village, but cops say they recovered a gun. (NYDN)
  • Meanwhile, The City got a second day out of the top brass decision to rein in such violent chases.
  • The Department of Environmental Protection's noise cameras are coming to the Upper West Side. (I Love the UWS)
  • Curbed gave an incredible look at subway surfers.
  • The real green cab transition is underway. (Gothamist, amNY)
  • Finally, the New York Times's resident Xanthippe, David Brooks, had a long piece in the Atlantic about why Americans feel more sad and isolated than they have in generations. It's worth reading, but it's also worth noting that Brooks did not even mention the role played by car culture, which created suburban sprawl, exacerbates isolation, fills drivers with rage and by definition divides us from each other (at the very least, Brooks need to read Davis). We and others reminded him the shortcomings of his piece:

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