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Thursday Headlines: UN Hypocrisy Week Edition

The Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden preach climate action, yet still oppose better bus service. Plus other news.

Photo: Josh Katz|

The animals don’t like this.

You really have to hand it to the folks at the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden — they're not afraid to wallow in the warming waters of climate hypocrisy. You may have heard that this week is Climate Week, and because of that both storied institutions reached out to their members to remind them of "the substantial threats that humans and wildlife face as the planet continues to warm" in the Bronx Zoo's case and a "climate symposium" in the case of the Garden.

The Bronx Zoo's Climate Week email to members.

Of course, this kind of concern for the Earth might seem more serious if both organizations were more willing to help reduce emissions in their own backyards. Famously, the Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo have remained steadfast opponents of improving bus service on Fordham Road, throwing their elephantine weight in support of opposition to even a modest proposal to roll out an offset bus lane on the oft-clogged corridor.

The cultural institutions' steadfast opposition has helped put the plans for the bus improvements in a deep freeze, with MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber telling reporters on Wednesday that there has been zero movement on the proposal since it stalled this summer. It's an ongoing embarrassment for the so-called Bus Mayor, Eric Adams.

Advocates for bus riders aren't impressed at the Climate Week appeals then, noting the zoo and garden are violating the simple philosophy of "act locally, think globally."

"Opposing better public transit service on your own doorstep in the middle of an environmental justice community is unacceptable under any circumstance," said Riders Alliance Policy and Communications Director Danny Pearlstein. "When you don't practice what you preach, it's also hypocrisy."

Fortunately, Gov. Hochul didn't act hypocritically during the UN gridlock week — she took the subway (though not everyone on the train knew who she was, the Post reported):

In other news:

  • Wow, what an epically bad take from Gothamist about the Sanitation Department's efforts to put containerized trash where it belongs: On the street. In the style of a really bad community newspaper, the WNYC website quoted a few Harlem residents who think the new garbage bins are ugly, though some of us feel that the cars they replaced were far uglier (especially when in motion!). Besides, here's what every New York City sidewalk looked like before the Adams administration finally started putting garbage in bins on the street:
Isn't this beautiful?! File photo: Gersh Kuntzman
  • In a related story, Mayor Adams said he'll fight back if anyone complains that the garbage is "taking up" parking spaces:
  • In better work, Gothamist pointed out the scary prospect that the MTA isn't going to boost service ahead of congestion pricing because Janno Lieber says there's capacity. That said, the Daily News and NY Post reported that ridership is ticking up.
  • In a related story, the free bus pilot starts on Sunday. (amNY)
  • The City got a nice third-day take on the Mayor's Management Report, looking at declining recycling.
  • The family of Priscilla Loke is asking all the right questions about the Citi Bike rider who killed the beloved Head Start staffer (Village Sun), including why cops let the bike rider leave the scene, as WABC reported. Meanwhile, another pedestrian was injured by a cyclist in Midtown. (amNY)
  • Like Streetsblog, amNY and the Daily News covered Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine's bid to tear down the southern-most stretch of the FDR Drive.
  • The Post did the obvious story: That migrants are working in off-the-books jobs to make a living. Meanwhile, Post readers acted deplorably in Staten Island.
  • A community push to sink the Penn Station boondoggle failed in court. (Crain's)
  • The MTA doesn't like Nolan Hicks's recent reporting on cost overruns. Wonder why. (NY Post)

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