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Thursday’s Headlines: Seniors Under Threat Edition

The Times covered the issue of senior mobility. Plus other issues in today's news digest.

File photo: Gersh Kuntzman/Inset: NY Times

Kudos are due to the New York Times (and our Streetsblog USA colleague Kea Wilson) for two important stories that came out yesterday.

First, in an extraordinary audio story, the Times interviewed five seniors across America to hear their first-person experiences of trying to get around in this car-centric country. The stories included a San Diego man with an ailing back who fears not being able to get across the street on a single green light, a California woman whose night vision has gotten so bad that she fears driving, a carless Washington woman who lives in an area with no transit yet must get around to help her husband with kidney issues, and a legally blind Atlanta man whose city doesn't properly maintain sidewalks.

The piece is so extraordinary because it's so basic — there's none of the baseless fears of bike lanes or distracting idiocy about parking spaces. There's just five seniors talking about how this country simply makes it next to impossible for older people to get around with dignity thanks to insufficient or underfunded transit, car-centric urban design, or basic failure to maintain the pedestrian infrastructure.

On the plus side, Streetsblog USA reported yesterday that help might be on the way in the form of the Public Right of Way Access Guidelines, which look like they're about to be adopted by federal authorities. It'll be the first time since the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act that cities will have actual standards that will finally center seniors and people with disabilities.

So maybe things are slowly looking up?

In other news:

  • Hell Gate moved faster than we did on publishing an amazing story about a cop who gave a cyclist a ticket after the cyclist tried to prevent the cop from illegally parking at his Brooklyn station house. Only in Adams's New York, kids, only in Adams's New York.
  • A Citi Bike rider struck and injured a pedestrian on the Lower East Side, which is terrible — though not so terrible that it needed the full bikelash treatment from CBS2, the consistently anti-bike outlet that would be well served to remember the big picture, which we pointed out on Xwitter:
  • Bike New York's Jon Orcutt dived into the treacherous waters of greenway maintenance in a Daily News op-ed.
  • A city lawyer was busted for a drunken crash in Brooklyn ... and now he needs a lawyer. (NYDN)
  • Public schools open today. The DOT put out a press release and a Facebook post beseeching drivers to slow the fuck down (among other things): "We are asking drivers to prepare themselves to exercise extra care on roads as our kids return to school this week,” Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said in a statement.
  • In its New York Today column, the Times once again showed its underlying contempt for urban life. The story is a simple one about an entrepreneur with a vision for building faster e-car charging posts, yet the theme of the story — and indeed the subtext of most of the paper's Metro section coverage — is the normalization of car ownership in New York City. Sorry, but cars must be reined in, whether they have tailpipe emissions or not.
  • Like Streetsblog, amNY covered the rally for better transit in Queens.
  • The NYPD Transportation Bureau needs a new chief now that Kim Royster has left 1 Police Plaza for the last time:
  • We're buying at the club tomorrow:
  • And, finally, the Daily News has updated its website again. Nice to see that it's still terrible:

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