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Thursday’s Headlines: Expert Witness Edition

Our editor's one-man crusade to rid the streets of reckless drivers went national yesterday. Plus other news.

12:00 AM EST on February 1, 2024

Photo: Maryland General Assembly|

Streetsblog Editor Gersh Kuntzman testified before the Maryland State Senate on Wednesday, showing off one way that scofflaws trick speed cameras — with fake plates.

My one-man crusade to rid the streets of reckless drivers went national yesterday.

Given my status as New York City's "criminal mischief" bad boy, perhaps it was inevitable, but even though I'm only a regional treasure, Maryland state Sen. Cheryl Kagan invited me to be an "expert witness" on her bill to punish people who cover or deface their plates.

I want to say I was the biggest thing to hit Annapolis since the Naval Academy cheating scandal. But I only had two minutes to hit the highlights — people who cover their plates are dangerous and need to be held accountable! — before I was attacked by first-term Sen. William Folden (R-Maga), who said that speed cameras are just a money grab.

I told him they were a safety grab, but he didn't seem to agree.

I decided to let the Old Line Staters battle it out for themselves and caught an Acela back to the land of the all-night bodega. But if you want to watch my stirring testimony, click here and jump to 1:55:00, where you'll first hear Kagan describe my work as "legendary." (They're very polite down south — except for Folden, who starts at 2:07:38.)

What a day.

In news much closer to home:

  • The Times was critical of NJ Gov. Phil Murphy's NJ Transit fare increase — but the so-called Paper of Records didn't really connect the dots between Murphy's opposition to congestion pricing and his lack of support for transit.
  • Is it too late for the ounce of prevention? Then we need a few pounds of cures for our low-lying and underground train tracks, thanks to climate change. (amNY)
  • Some people hate getting parking tickets so much that they'll cause a crash and injure two people just to avoid them. (amNY)
  • Let's face it, vendors aren't coming back to the Brooklyn Bridge. (NYDN)
  • Like Streetsblog, the Daily News covered Mayor Adams's bid to get app delivery companies to fund a bike trade-in program.
  • Greg B. Smith's story about lithium-ion batteries offered some good information, but conflated e-bikes and "scooters" (and didn't use the word "moped" once). Looks like someone needs to re-read Streetsblog's Field Guide to Micromobility. Plus, the story should have pointed out that the reason moped riders recharge their batteries at home is because .... there's no other place to charge them, thanks to city delays. (The City)
  • Hat tip to the Times for pointing out that our phones are killing us on the roads.
  • Guess what? The Post broke the news that it's still pretty easy to evade a subway fare.
  • See? This is why the city needs to fix dangerous roadways — people can sue over the negligence, thanks to the Turturro ruling, which we always write about (not that the Post mentioned that).
  • Lower real estate tax collections due to the downturn is really hurting the MTA. (Crain's)

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