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Friday’s Headlines: Policy Crickets Edition

All we want for Friday the 13th is a few interviews with city officials. Plus other news.

12:00 AM EDT on October 13, 2023

Graphic: Streetsblog Photoshop Desk|

The program expires in 13 days.

We have a great assignment desk at Streetsblog. With the three-year-old Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program expiring on Oct. 26, our assignment editor prioritized a story on what steps the city should take to rein in the most reckless drivers once the city is no longer able to mandate a safety course for drivers with 15 or more camera-issued speeding tickets in 12 months.

I got the assignment.

I'm no rocket scientist, but it's pretty easy to make a list of all the officials and agencies that have a role in arresting, ticketing or booting the worst drivers. I reached out to the city Department of Transportation, the NYPD Transportation Bureau, the Sheriff's Office and Council Transportation Committee Chair Selvena Brooks-Powers.

All of them declined to discuss the matter.

Well, the clock is ticking. The so-called DVAP program — which had its flaws, no doubt, as we reported — expires in 13 days. Without it, the millions of $50 camera tickets issued to speeders or red-light violators will just go into the dustbin of history, as long as the scofflaws keep paying them. No safety course. No threat of car seizure.

The answers aren't easy, but we should all be talking about the question, at least.

The silence comes at the end of a horrible week for Mayor Adams, who is under fire for a year in which 26 cyclists so far have died on roads he controls. On Tuesday, he mocked a reporter and his "little bicycle." And on Wednesday, hundreds of cyclists rallied against how little he's doing to ensure their safety. The notoriously thin-skinned chief executive then decided on Thursday to blame the cycling victims by saying that the city must "educate" them in safety, as the Daily News reported.

“As I’m riding through the city, I’m watching, you know, some of my fellow riders not adhering to some of the traffic safety rules that are in place," he said.

Reminder: Here's a map of some of the 72,516 crashes caused by car and truck drivers so far this year, crashes that have injured 3,962 cyclists, 6,332 pedestrians and 28,178 motorists, according to city stats.

Regarding victim-blaming, Charles Komanoff had a nice reminder of Adams's cop past:

In other news to close out a crazy week:

  • The best story of the day was in Hell Gate (we seem to write that a lot!), which quoted a city source saying that Mayor Adams "doesn't give a shit" about road safety projects even though "people are dying on our streets in record numbers."
  • Lots of outlets covered the mayor's big greenways announcement on Thursday, with Streetsblog leading the way with a reality check. Meanwhile:
    • Gothamist played the news as if the greenways are inevitable, which they are not.
    • amNY drank too much of Mayor Adams's Kool-Aid, writing, erroneously, "Funded with a $7.25 million federal infrastructure grant, the initiative would connect some existing cycling paths ..." In fact, the federal money only starts the planning process. Building 40 miles of greenways will cost a lot more than $7.25 million.
  • The Brooklyn Paper gave the DOT some nice ink for a new plaza on Beverly Road in Brooklyn.
  • Did you see Clarence Eckerson's latest Streetfim?
  • The inept investigation into the fatal car crash caused by Sen. Robert Menendez's then-girlfriend Nadine Arslanian continues to grow as a scandal — an all-too-typical one where car crashes are concerned. (NY Times)
  • The Times has finally done a long-overdue obit of that crazy guy who always wanted to be the first person to drive over a new bridge.
  • You GOT to see these 1970s subway photos at the New York Public Library. (Gothamist)
  • Turns out, electric bikes are not motorized vehicles, according to Europe. (Forbes)
  • Finally, I decided to do a little more criminal mischief because sometimes you just have to!

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