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Monday’s Headlines: Suburban Angst Edition

Does New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast want to be Department of Transportation commissioner? Plus other news.

12:00 AM EDT on September 11, 2023

Photo: Bill Hayes|

Roz Chast has a new book out (inset top) and the right attitude about driving (inset bottom).

In case you questioned Roz Chast's New York bona-fides, the super-angsty New Yorker cartoonist made a probably unwitting bid to become the next Department of Transportation commissioner with a diatribe against driving in an interview in the New York Times. Purportedly to celebrate the release of her latest set of neuroses, “I Must Be Dreaming,” interviewer David Marchese wisely asked Chast about one element of her recent move to the suburbs: Driving.

"Ugh!" Chast said. "There’s the car itself: tires falling off, a blow out, a car exploding. One time I was driving and the front hood started rattling and the whole drive I pictured the hood of the car flying up and then my crashing and not only killing myself but killing tons of people. I hate it! I hate changing lanes. I hate merging. I hate trucks. Everything about it is hateful. Also, you’re going so [expletive] fast! A slight miscalculation and it’s disaster."

You said it, Roz: Between Jan. 1 and Sept. 5 this year, there were 64,135 reported crashes in New York City alone, injuring 34,083 people and killing 166, according to city stats. That's an average of 258 reported crashes every single day, and 137 injures every single day.

When mapped on Crashmapper, the crashes look like this:

The orange dots are the injuries. The red dots are the fatalities. There's so many of both that you can't even see the non-injury crashes (yellow dots). Photo: Crashmapper

We're sure Chast would have something to say about the mayor's latest flip-flop on McGuinness Boulevard, which broke late on Friday (in case you missed it) and prompted an epic editorial thread from us:

In other news:

  • Mayor Adams's response to the growing costs associated with the city's response to immigration was to cut agency budgets by up to 15 percent, the Post, Gothamist, NY Times and amNY reported. Even the Post had a problem with such a ham-fisted approach from the vegan mayor. And the paper even covered a potential police overtime cut.
  • Then again, the Citizens Budget Commission kinda sided with Hizzoner.
  • Another way to solve one part of the migrant "problem," is to allow the newcomers to work — which isn't as easy as it sounds. (NY Times, The City)
  • Ginia Bellafante is all in on congestion pricing. Perhaps she knows Roz? (NY Times)
  • Here's a Brooklyn shooting right out of a Henry Grabar book. (NYDN)
  • Speaking of Grabar, Ben Furnas had a nice review of his book about parking in The Nation.
  • They fought for their right to party ... and got it. Welcome to Beastie Boys Square. (amNY, NY Post)
  • The Los Angeles Times pointed out that fear of electric bikes is a classic American misdirect: The far more grave danger remains cars and their drivers.
  • And speaking of the world outside the city, remember that awesome, pro-density, anti-parking zoning that made Minneapolis the talk of the world? Yeah, well, a judge tossed it. (Star-Tribune)
  • Meanwhile, China is flooding the world with gas-powered cars that its people don't want. (NY Times)
  • An Access-a-Ride driver was charged with failure to yield after killing a senior in Chinatown. (NYDN)
  • Fare-capping is now calculated on any seven-day period, instead of Monday through Sunday, which will help people with non-standard commutes. (Gothamist)
  • Community boards are doing a terrible job of ... being community boards? What a surprise. (The City)
  • MTA Chair Janno Lieber wrote an amNY op-ed saying that his agency is doing better. We wish amNY had posted the comments.
  • The Times's Metropolitan Diary is once again filled with cars.
  • And, finally, the dumbest tweet of the day:

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