Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Today's Headlines

Friday’s Headlines: Criminal Mischief in the News Edition

More on defaced license plates, congestion pricing and, yes, some more snow in today's media digest.

12:00 AM EST on January 19, 2024

Photo: Donut Media|

Two hosts from Donut (one of whom is cursing) give Streetsblog’s Gersh Kuntzman (inset) the business.

My one-man paint-and-screwdriver campaign to reduce the number of defaced or obscured license plates has fans — and detractors — across the country.

And for good reason: Car enthusiasts hate me (and the idea that they should ever be held accountable for their reckless driving), police enthusiasts hate me (because most of the plates I've repainted belong to law enforcement types), and anti-government people hate me (because I'm seen as a stooge of law enforcement who can't mind his own f-ing business).

Everyone else loves me (because I try to hold accountable law-breakers who endanger our kids by driving 11 or more miles per hour above the speed limit).

In any event, that dichotomy really presents itself in this hilarious new Donut video featuring two motorists testing out the various methods of avoiding tickets. About midway into the amped up video (think "Car Talk" on benzedrine), one of the hosts notices me painting in a plate and issues a fusillade of curses that the electronic "beep" could barely cover its entirety.

But then when he notices that I caught a cop defacing his plate, he admits, "Now I've switched sides."

In any event, it's a fun look at how many "extremely illegal" ways there are to avoid automated cameras (and how few of them work):

Beyond that, Thursday was super busy on the livable streets front, so let's get right to the action:

  • The 10-year retrospectives on Vision Zero continue, this time with Gothamist looking at the successes and shortcomings of the de Blasio-era policy. Reporter Stephen Nessen took the novel approach of looking at two bellwethers: Queens Boulevard (the former "Boulevard of Death") and Atlantic Avenue (the reining "Boulevard of Death").
  • Like Streetsblog, other outlets covered the terrible driving and idling done by LIRR and NYC Transit workers in agency vehicles. (NYDN)
  • Also like Streetsblog, The Brooklyn Paper covered the Adams administration's failure to release the findings of its door-to-door survey of Prospect Heights residents about the unfinished bike boulevard.
  • One of our readers happened upon a crash in Harlem early on Thursday morning and sent us this picture. Lo and behold, the Pennsylvania-plated car had 19 camera-issued tickets for speeding or running red lights last year (and would have been subject to the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program ... if that still existed). The NYPD had no info on the crash, which suggests that there were no injuries, but still...:
This crash was at Frederick Douglass and W. 123rd Street early on Thursday.Photo: Streetsblog
  • A wrong-way driver hit a cop on the Upper East Side (NYDN), but then again, another cop was charged for being drunk and driving on a sidewalk (NY Post).
  • The latest suit by drivers against congestion pricing can be boiled down to this TL;DR: "Rita Sue Siegel says she will face a 'severe financial burden' driving from her second home upstate in Cold Spring to Manhattan for medical appointments," amNY reported (Crain's also covered the suit.)
  • The city issued lots of tickets for unshoveled sidewalks, Gothamist reported, but the Adams administration should look in the mirror (Streetsblog).
  • And, finally, there must be a little storm coming (Gothamist) because Amtrak is already canceling trains (NYDN) and the DOT is appeasing drivers:

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Manhattan Pol Upset at Delayed Rollout of Electrified Citi Bike Docks

"I urge the Department of Transportation and Con Edison to expedite the electrification of [Citi Bike] stations," Erik Bottcher wrote to the colossuses of conveyance and current last Friday.

February 29, 2024

Thursday’s Headlines: Victory on Underhill Edition

Mayor Adams has decided to allow the agency to move forward with its plans to improve safety by finishing the Underhill Avenue bike boulevard. Plus other news.

February 29, 2024

Pols Want Covered Bike Parking at Parks, City Buildings

More parking in parks, but in a good way!

February 29, 2024

Wednesday’s Headlines: Cycle of Rage Edition

Tuesday was a busy morning on the "criminal mischief" beat. Plus other news.

February 28, 2024
See all posts