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Today's Headlines

Wednesday’s Headlines: Another Big Day at City Hall Edition

Today is going to be another busy day for the livable streets crowd. So get ready with today's headlines.

12:00 AM EST on December 6, 2023

DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez is hoping to banish the ghost of Lew Fidler. Photo: Streetsblog Photoshop Desk

Today is going to be another busy day for the livable streets crowd: We're expecting the passage of Council Member Lincoln Restler's bill to streamline the process by which the city installs bike lanes — a bill that will banish the ghost of late anti-cycling Lew Fidler, the Council member who effectively discriminated against cyclists by creating an entirely different process for road projects involving bikes rather than cars.

The mayor is said to support the bill.

On the other hand, there'll also be a rally on behalf of a Bob Holden bill that ignores the illegal moped crisis, yet would require the city to set up a registration system for electric bikes, including Citi Bikes. Experts say the bill would reduce cycling and the climate benefits that come with electric mobility. Supporters of the bill are quick to claim that roadways have become unsafe because of e-bikes, though statistics do not bear that out. And the same groups backing Holden's are conspicuously silent in the face of the safety epidemic of cars: Through the first 11 months of this year, according to city stats, drivers of cars, trucks, SUVs and buses caused 85,157 reported crashes — an average of 255 per day — injuring 44,973 people, including 3,939 cyclists and 7,370 pedestrians. And 206 people have died.

(People often ask me why I always cite such statistics in our coverage. It's simply because I'm not sure New Yorkers really understand that roughly 127 of their neighbors are injured every single day in this city. It's a number that's so mind-numbingly high, people can't help but want to avoid it. But it's also eminently reasonable for street safety advocates to ask that they stop avoiding it.)

To some, that's just the cost of doing business in a busy city. But if all those drivers were on e-bikes, those numbers would be much, much lower.

So get set for the fireworks by first reading the big stories from yesterday:

  • Tell all your conservative parents in the suburbs who are fed a steady diet of lies by Fox News, but it's not the ultra-rich who are leaving New York City. Sorry, Dad (not his real name). (New York Times, Hell Gate)
  • We really have to do something about all these car fires. (NYDN, NY Post)
  • Speaking of awful drivers who ruin our city, a Queens speedster was charged in a 2022 death of 14-year-old. (QNS)
  • Lots of outlets covered Tuesday's congestion pricing rally in Union Square (NYDN, NY Post), but outlets like Streetsblog, Gothamist and amNY focused on the mayor giving the toll plan the Heisman.
  • New Jersey train repairs are very inconvenient, as Morris and Essex line riders discovered. (NY Post)
  • The Times got in on the noise camera story.
  • We were happy to see Hell Gate draw the same conclusion we did about the spiteful delivery giants whining about the judicial approval of the city's minimum wage plan.

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