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Friday’s Headlines: Trump Trial Trumps Safety Edition

Is anyone going to bother to fix the dangerous mess on the streets and plazas around the Trump trial? Plus more news.

Photo: Kevin Duggan|

Pedestrians were still forced into the road on Lafayette Street Thursday.

On Tuesday, Streetsblog's Kevin Duggan reported on the morass of illegal and dangerous parking and blocked sidewalks and bike lanes in the vicinity of the 100 Centre Street courthouse where former President Donald Trump's trial has been ongoing since last month.

On Thursday, the situation around the courthouse was worse than ever — with the press the worst culprits and police in the area seemingly powerless to make the situation any better.

Per Duggan, who visited the area several times on Thursday:

  • The bike and car lanes on Centre Street — the only protected cycling connection north from the Brooklyn Bridge — were both blocked at 9 a.m. during rush hour. Officials reopened the lanes to bike and car traffic by noon.
  • Thomas Paine Park, which press vans have littered with illegal parking since before Trump started appearing for trials in the area last year, was once again filled with illegally parked news vehicles. To boot, two Parks Department Enforcement patrol cars — the property of an agency that could actually take steps to restore pedestrian access and safety in the area — were also illegally parked on the plaza.
  • Pedestrians were forced to walk in the roadway by angle-parked news vans on Lafayette Streets relied entirely on cones to protected them from adjacent car traffic.

Does the NYPD care to make the area safe for biking and walking commuters? Is anyone taking responsibility for transportation in and around the area?

Press cars littered Foley Square Thursday. Photo: Kevin Duggan

When Streetsblog asked a PEP officer in the vehicle in front of the monument why he was letting all the illegal parking go on, the officer noted that they were press vehicles, and then added the decision was "well above" his position.

“We have nothing to do with that at all,” said the officer. “This is obviously well above my level. It’s not even a discussion on my level."

In other news:

  • The Post took its fact-light search for congestion pricing victims to Chinatown.
  • TV news also got in on the anti-congestion, "pro-traffic" (in the MTA's words) fear-mongering after opponents held a rally in Lower Manhattan. (WPIX)
  • And the Town of Hempstead has joined the anti-pricing litigation circus with a lawsuit of its own. (ABC7, CBS New York, Newsday)
  • An illegal lithium-ion battery exploded as FDNY fire marshals arrested an e-bike salesman the city says had been making and selling his own homemade batteries. (Gothamist)
  • NYPD's disregard for bus riders is notorious, but this is on a whole other level. (Curbed)
  • The Five Boro Bike Tour is this Sunday! (amNY)
  • Tractor-trailer gasoline fire to shut Connecticut segment I-95 "for several days." (NY Post)
  • There were a lot of subway delays on Thursday. (Patch)
  • Hudson Yards is booming, according to The Times.
  • San Francisco City Attorney candidate runs on... CRIMINAL MISCHIEF! (SFGate)

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