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Tuesday’s Headlines: Primary Colors Edition

The most interesting story yesterday was that street safety champion, Assembly Member Emily Gallagher, had landed a Democratic primary challenger. Plus other news.

McGuinness Boulevard is unsafe, but candidate Anathea Simpkins seems fine with that.

The most interesting story yesterday was The City's report that street safety champion, Assembly Member Emily Gallagher, had landed a Democratic primary challenger: Anathea Simpkins.

Our issue is not with Simpkins, about whom very much is known. Democracy is best served when there are lots of choices for voters. But we couldn't help but notice some warning clouds on the horizon for our view of Simpkins.

For one thing, she's backed by major contributions by Tony Argento, who led the fight to kill a very reasonable, and much-supported, road diet for deadly McGuinness Boulevard — a fight led by Gallagher. Already, Argento has given $3,000 to Simpkins's campaign, while another $6,000 has been donated by two companies that do business with Argento's Broadway Stages.

Simpkins is the associate vice president of the gun violence prevention group Sandy Hook Promise, which does a lot of good work. But we find it ironic that a woman who seeks to keep kids safe from guns would oppose wanting to keep kids safe from cars. She said she opposes even the Department of Transportation's watered-down plan for McGuinness, telling the City: "I have a lot of other concerns, safety concerns, that are related to cutting down access on McGuinness Boulevard. It’s our major artery. I also believe that there are a lot of possibilities for pedestrian safety as well as helping to prevent accidents between cars that haven’t been explored. They’re not mutually exclusive and I believe that it’s important to bring all of the people in the community to the table and be able to have these thoughtful, sometimes difficult conversations.”

Supporters of safety on McGuinness have 9,000 reasons to think Simpkins has already had that conversation with them at the table.

In other news:

  • Post reporter Nolan Hicks is slower than the W train, which is apparently a TikTok thing.
  • The mayor surrounded himself with delivery workers to "announce" a scheduled increase in the minimum wage (NYDN), yet refused to answer our questions about two key workplace issues for delivery workers (Streetsblog). Meanwhile, Gothamist also refused to simply rubber stamp the mayor's topic of the day, following up on our story from last week about delivery workers losing jobs.
  • We also posted an op-ed from delivery worker leader Gustavo Ajche about his and other workers' opposition to e-bike registration.
  • There were some fun April Fool's jokes pulled on the public. Brian Lehrer's show suggested that the city had banned regular bikes, a woman in Upper Manhattan said on Facebook that bikes would be subject to the congestion pricing toll (they're not!), and the Brooklyn Paper wrote about a couple's lost lemur.
  • But here's something that's not a joke: The city shut down a shuttle service to the west side ferry terminal. (amNY)
  • Carnage on a Queens highway. (NYDN, Gothamist)
  • A dispute in the Bronx led to road violence. (NY Post)
  • F train service was restored for Roosevelt Island. (amNY, NYDN)
  • Today is the New York presidential primary. Some Democrats are planning to hand in blank ballots to protest President Biden's response to Israel's military response to the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attacks. (NY Post)
  • And, finally, folks over in Prospect Heights awoke to find disturbing graffiti on the Underhill Avenue bike boulevard, a project that was made controversial by the mayor himself when he called supporters of street safety "outsiders." The spokesman for the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council explicitly called out Hizzoner:

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