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Tuesday’s Headlines: Ring in 2024 and Drum Out 2023 Edition

Good riddance to the old year. Plus other news.

Out with the old (left), in with the new (right).

We all know what happened this weekend — we got to sweep 2023 into the dustbin of history. Thankfully.

It was a terrible year. Twelve kids under age 18 died in 2023. Twenty-nine cyclists — a recent record — were killed. The mayor completely neglected buses and the legal requirement for bike lanes (and when he wasn't, his Department of Transportation was creating "mountable" bike lanes).

Gothamist also did a year-in-review of the transportation scene. Nicole Gelinas looked at street safety with her slightly askew angle in the Post.

And others looked broader at the mayor. The City called 2023 his sophomore slump year. The Times's own broad overview of Hizzoner wisely questioned the mayor's "pattern of stymying major bus and bike lane projects in response to opposition from political allies."

And our readers had the final say thanks to surveys at the bottom of our end-of-year articles:

  • The best project/initiative of the year: The Livingston Street busway (and towfest)!
  • The biggest disappointment/failure of the year: The fact that Mayor Adams created an entirely new office inside City Hall to delay or kill Department of Transportation safety projects.
  • The activist of the year: It was neck and neck between Make McGuinness Safe and the Riders Alliance, with the Greenpoint activists winning a narrow victory. Both groups didn't get their greatest prize: a full redesign of the deadly boulevard and the Fordham Road busway, respectively, so I was personally surprised that Ligia Guallpa, who runs the Worker's Justice Project, didn't get more votes, given that her group spearheaded the successful bid for a delivery worker minimum wage. But that's why we vote!
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And, finally, we would be remiss if we did not honor our end-of-year fundraising drive donors, who showed up at the very end of the year to help keep the lights on at Streetsblog: Thanks, Sheldon! Thanks, Jill! Thanks, Michael! Thanks, Michelangelo! Thanks, Laura! Thanks, Cyrus! Thanks, Tony! Thanks, Susan! Thanks, Benjamin! Thanks, William! Thanks, Jeffrey! Thanks, Mark! Thanks, Erik! Thanks, Jeffrey! Thanks, Colin! Thanks, Alana! Thanks, Dom! Thanks, Paul! Thanks, Catherine! Thanks, Gary! Thanks, Jeff! Thanks, Gino! Thanks, Joseph! Thanks, Aaron! Thanks, Jared! Thanks, another Michael! Thanks, Leslie! Thanks, Peter! Thanks, Eric! Thanks, second Peter! Thanks, second Mark! Thanks, Cody! Thanks, Alan! Thanks, third Michael! Thanks, Richard! Thanks, Adam!

Even though it's 2024, you can still donate whenever you want, simply by clicking here or on the logo above. Thanks and keep reading!

(OK, one more thing about 2023: Nothing says out-with-the-old better than Mulchfest. Here are this year's locations to trash a tree. Very large swathes of Brooklyn and Queens aren't on the map, so check first.)

In other news from over the long and mirth-filled weekend:

  • Let me start the year with a prayer: Lord, please make mainstream news reporters see that crashes that cause death and injuries are not random events, but, collectively, a public health crisis, like guns or disease or pollution, that needs systemic policies. I don't expect this prayer to be answered overnight, but the year again started poorly, with the Daily News covering a fatal crash on Woodhaven Boulevard, yet not even bothering to mention the root causes (or is that route causes): the speedway-like design of the roadway and the recklessness of the drivers involved (one car has been caught five times speeding or running red lights, not that the paper mentioned that, nor did the paper mention crossing guard Krystyna Naprawa who was killed just two months ago on Woodhaven Boulevard, too, or the 247 people injured on the roadway last year).
  • On the same topic, it was odd to see the Times cover a routine (and non-fatal) crash in Midtown on New Year's Eve, so here's hoping the Paper of Record is going to start paying more attention to the 100,000 or so reported crashes that happen every year in this city. The Daily News also covered ... insufficiently. The Post also covered.
  • Both papers (Times, NYDN) covered, albeit poorly, the multi-car, multi-fatality crash on the Cross Island Parkway's notorious dead man's curve. The Post did a better job, but still none really covered the crisis:
Chart: DOT
  • Trucking industry safety advocate Peter Goldwasser got the Times's "Sunday Routine" treatment.
  • In case you missed it, an otherwise completely unrelated New Yorker article about the culture of tipping had a reference to the old days when Men wore Hats. It turns out that one of the reasons men gave up hats is because of how much it started costing to check said chapeau at a hat-check. A man could buy a hat for $10, but spend $100 in tips over the course of a year. Well, here's hoping that one day the same thing happens to cars — people start realizing how much better off they'll be without having to store this accessory they don't need anyway.
  • We're not that into long drives across upstate New York, but if you're on a state highway on a Sunday and you want a Chik-fil-A, you should be able to get one. (NY Times)
  • The Post covered the fight of some Upper West Siders against the location of (and perhaps the very existence of) a charging hub for delivery workers. Wait til these residents hear about electric car charging hubs!
  • Multiple people were injured when a police officer smashed his squad car in Staten Island. (NY Post, amNY)
  • A Brooklyn state Senator wants a once-a-month congestion pricing freebie for her constituents in "transit deserts." Her reasoning isn't sound (arguing, for example, that "congestion pricing threatens to put them over the financial edge"), but 12 free passes aren't a deal breaker, as Komanoff wrote for us last year. (NYDN)
  • Gothamist looked at subway art.
  • I was happy to be quoted in the Village Sun's story about the mayor's apparent new campaign against legal e-bikes, but was happier that the newspaper deleted an inaccurate assertion that Streetsblog is a pawn of a cycling advocacy group with which we have absolutely no coordination or joint strategy, no matter what anti-livable streets McCarthyites think.
  • One way to avoid car-based politic protests is to take the AirTrain to the airport. (NY Post)
  • Road rage in Brighton Beach. (NY Post)
  • The Post and Gothamist got a second day story out of that weird tree in the middle of the sidewalk in Astoria.
  • And a driver injured a cop in Brooklyn. (NY Post)
  • Brand new immigrants are far better at using NJ Transit than even Jersey residents are. (NY Post, Gothamist)
  • And, finally, it looks like I'm gearing up for a new anti-scofflaw campaign, doesn't it?

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