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Thursday’s Headlines: Both Sides Now Edition

Do we really have to listen to the trolls, the haters and the excessive drivers? Plus other news.

We really wanted to embrace the spirit of writer Tristan Cleveland's recent article in Strong Towns about how fighting against car culture made him feel great, but never ended up convincing anyone on the other side.

It's true that as vanguards of the livable streets movement, we often feel incensed when our common-sense positions — "Wouldn't it be nice if we could design a city so car drivers didn't run so many people over?" — fail to persuade drivers and their political enablers to care.

So we'd love to, as Cleveland did, get a cup of coffee with our haters and find common ground.

But the problem is: the fight for livable streets isn't just some effete academic debate; our civilization is in its death throes, and we're frankly tired of constantly being asked to find "common ground" with people who can't see that the automobile has been ruinous for our city.

It's not that we're opposed to hearing "the other side" (after all, on Wednesday we printed former Council Member Kathryn Freed's opinion piece rebutting our earlier pro-congestion pricing op-ed by Charles Komanoff), but all too often, "the other side" consists of people who believe that bike riders are more dangerous to pedestrians than car drivers, that building more housing near subway stations will "destroy our neighborhoods," or that congestion pricing is unfair because they "only" use their car to drive to their second home.

If "common ground" means tolerating these opinions, fine. But regardless of Tristan Cleveland's good intentions, we're just not ready to politely ask the other side, oh, pretty please, can you maybe not widen that highway?

MSNBC star Chris Hayes certainly knows where I'm coming from:

And so does Clarence Eckerson of Streetfilms:

In other news:

  • That's rich! Manhattanites with multi-million-dollar second homes in the Hamptons are complaining — to Vanity Fair, no less! — about the $15 congestion pricing toll. Reminder: If you drive to a second home, you have made a lifestyle choice that burdens your neighbors with pollution and congestion. For that, you shall pay a small part of your share.
  • Broken wires snarled Amtrak service for hours, causing a commuting mayhem. (NYDN, NY Times)
  • Get ready for stroller-friendly subway turnstiles. (amNY)
  • And speaking of turnstiles, they're going to be harder to back-cock, thanks to Janno Lieber's war on fare evasion. (Gothamist)
  • Meanwhile, Crain's followed our big OMNY scoop from earlier this week.
  • Our coverage of a Council committee vote on part of Mayor Adams's City of Yes zoning initiative focused on last-mile warehouses. But amNY also mentioned it in its broader coverage.
  • Really? A taxi meter company wants to charge the MTA to collect the congestion pricing toll from passengers. (NYDN)
  • The city and state's ongoing "ghost car" crackdown has nabbed 800 cars in just three months. (NYDN)
  • Is the delivery cargo bike industry starting to standardize? (Clean Technica)
  • Don't drive this weekend ... (NYDN)
  • ... Or fly either. (NY Post)
  • Did you guys catch the Ed Sheeran show on the Willoughby Avenue open street (the one that Ingrid Lewis-Martin once tried to erase?). The DOT was certainly crowing about it (and the Post also covered it):
  • And finally, here's great Streetfilms video on daylighting featuring Queens Borough President Donovan Richards.

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