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Wednesday’s Headlines: The Albany Runaround Edition

More from our reporter's trip to Albany — plus other news.

12:00 AM EST on January 24, 2024

The meat grinder.

It's a rite of passage (or non-passage) for street safety activists: Every year, they have to trudge up to Albany at the coldest time of the year to beg lawmakers (most of whom have cars) to make streets safer for New York City residents (most of whom don't).

We sent Kevin Duggan this year, and his report reminded us how tragic and sinister this annual mission is for victims of road violence. Imagine having your loved one be killed or maimed in an entirely preventable crash, and then having to rip open your scars, year after year, in the vain hope that some out-of-touch lawmaker will put aside his "but I need my car!" or his "thoughts and prayers" to join you for real change.

Duggan didn't find much hope for optimism — and then, while on the Amtrak back from the Capitol, we got word that the Albany sausage grinder was being warmed up.

Even though Gov. Hochul's budget offers simple language allowing the city to lower its speed limit to 20 miles per hour, Transportation Alternatives put out a press release saying that the Sammy's Law bill in the legislature "includes specific language to target residential streets" and other provisions to water it down so it will be amenable to the drivers who make our laws.

But no such compromises have been written into the actual bill yet. So is the street safety group signaling that Sammy's Law is so likely to get stripped from the budget that it's already time to start making compromises? We'll be watching as this process plays out, but the whole thing is depressing.

In other news:

  • The MTA is doing a better job of adding more accessibility to subway stations, a new report shows. (NYDN)
  • The rezoning process for the areas around four new Metro-North stations in the Bronx is underway. (Bronx Times)
  • Comptroller Brad Lander's report on the lost $108 million in speed-camera tickets (which we broke on Monday) got another day of ink, this time from amNY.
  • A 50-year-old subway surfer died when he fell under the train. (NYDN, NY Post)
  • You probably wanted to toast the one-year anniversary of Grand Central Madison with a drink ... but you couldn't because there's no retail in the transit hub. But that may change soon. (NYDN)
  • The Post's Letters to the Editor page is basically a whiny, pro-car sewer.
  • Now we'll never get any work done! (NY Post, Gothamist)

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