Council Member Ruben Diaz spent much of the day saying that he’s the victim (NYDN) because people are criticizing him for his three consecutive days of homophobic remarks. He rejected Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s call for him to resign (NY Post). The Times offered a review of decades of Diaz’s most repugnant comments. Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer will lead a protest against his anti-gay colleague on the steps of City Hall at 10 a.m.
Two hours later, Families for Safe Streets will demand the Council pass a Brad Lander bill that would help get reckless drivers off the road. The bill is sponsored by 24 members of the Council — but not Ruben Diaz Sr.
Meanwhile, here’s the news:
- Mayor de Blasio went to Albany, where he did a terrible job of supporting congestion pricing (which he doesn’t likely actually support, as the Wall Street Journal flatly pointed out). The Post focused on his support for a toll exemption for farmers to deliver produce to Manhattan greenmarkets — suggesting that poor greenmarket shoppers in Manhattan would suffer unduly if farmers passed along the $5.76 toll to their customers. He also wants carve-outs for small businesses and people who need a car to see a doctor. Assemblyman Bobby Carroll pounced on the mayor’s weak support for congestion pricing, which only encouraged outer-borough opponents to again begin their reflexive defense of the non-existent hordes of lower-income drivers who they believe commute into the central business district of Manhattan. (NY Times, amNY)
- Just because we know what caused the L-train stink doesn’t mean it’s going away. (Gothamist)
- The Post followed our exclusive on Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s bid to outdo the mayor and actually do something on placard abuse. (NY Post) True gentleman Vin Barone at amNY also followed our scoop, but he gave us a nice hat tip.
- Car carnage in the Bronx kills one. (NYDN, NY Post, Gothamist). And a senior citizen was hit by a bus in Manhattan. (Gothamist)
- The Times did a nifty photo spread on how bad the subway is (make sure you click all the way through to see the photo of the pole in the newly renovated station blocking a turnstile). That said, delays were down last year.
- A new data-scrapping website called ReadyPipe did a deep dive on subway delays and found that the overall worst line is the A train — but the 4 train is worse during rush hour. The chart-heavy post is fascinating reading. (ReadyPipe)
- And finally, some personal news.
We’re a registered non-profit, so we can’t endorse or criticize politicians, but we can cover their positions and statements. So in case you missed it, Council Member Ruben Diaz Sr. made remarks that were objectively homophobic and will likely lead to him losing leadership posts in the Council — and maybe his seat, as Jimmy Van Bramer suggested. So stay tuned.
For now, here’s the rest of the news:
- Proving once again that she is a national treasure, Nicole Gelinas argued in the New York Post that drivers need to pay more to use New York City streets — and congestion pricing is just the start.
- In addition to his scoop today, Streetsblog’s David Meyer had a nice scooplet about a new placard that may be showing up soon at an illegal parking spot near you.
- In case you missed it, Comptroller Scott Stringer put out a report late last week slamming the MTA for a culture of “obfuscation,” which must be a fancy word for all those garbled announcements. (NYDN, amNY)
- Following Dana Rubinstein’s take last week, the Times metro section finally weighed in on Gov. Cuomo’s mockery of an MTA station-cleaning effort.
- The A train has some new cars (Jose Martinez via Twitter)
- Car carnage in Long Island and Queens (NY Post) and more in Long Island (NYDN)
Today will be a watershed moment in New York City cycling. Activists will rally at 4 p.m. outside the Midtown North precinct’s W. 54th Street stationhouse to protest the treatment of cyclists after a captain was caught on camera tackling a rider on Ninth Avenue yesterday. The protest will also focus on the ongoing ticket blitz against delivery cyclists in the days after a cyclist was killed by a hit-and-run driver on Monday. Some people were even written up for riding without a helmet, which is not illegal — clear evidence of a precinct whose goal is to intimidate cyclists.
Transportation Alternatives, the Biking Public Project and the Asian American Foundation announced the protest on Facebook.
But the day will kick off with Mayor de Blasio’s appearance on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC at 10 a.m., where Hizzoner is expected to be questioned about why the NYPD insists on ticketing cyclists after a driver kills one of them. He’ll also should be asked why the NYPD has not made an arrest in Monday’s killing of Joseph Chiam even though cops say they have identified the driver.
The tackling of the cyclist — and the enforcement blitz against cyclists after one was killed earlier in the week — was widely covered late yesterday into Friday, with Gothamist and Streetsblog leading the way, and Patch following.
Meanwhile, here was the rest of the news:
- Gov. Cuomo reiterated his support for congestion pricing in a Midtown speech that oddly mocked the very agency that he’s trying to raise money for. The speech even seemed to disrespect transit workers, a traditional ally of the governor, as Dana Rubinstein pointed out in Politico. The Post called it a “cheesy takedown.” The Times’s Emma Fitzsimmons focused on one piece of substance: there will be a 30-percent fare increase if congestion pricing doesn’t pass. The Wall Street Journal added that Cuomo said he’ll overhaul the MTA structure in an upcoming budget bill.
- Mayor de Blasio released his preliminary budget, and there will be blood. (NY Post, amNY, WSJ) Streetsblog focused on a good bit of news for bus riders.
- Both Cuomo and de Blasio were eclipsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez breaking down our campaign finance system in one spellbinding five-minute video.
- Let’s stay on the topic of Ocasio-Cortez for a second. The Queens-Bronx foundation-shaker and Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts unveiled their Green New Deal resolution, which is devoid of specifics beyond wanting our economy to be pollution neutral. But that didn’t stop Fox News from freaking out. Meanwhile, StreetsblogUSA focused on the implications for transportation. But, reminder: The nation is governed by laws, which start out as bills. Thursday’s announcement offered none…yet.
- Friend of Streetsblog Ed Janoff wrote in Crain’s that the chaotic Brooklyn Bridge needs a real caretaker, not the city. “Like other iconic New York destinations, including Central Park, Times Square, the High Line and the 9/11 Memorial, the bridge promenade should have a nonprofit manager,” he wrote.
- Thank you, Stephen Rex Brown of the Daily News for showing that Robert de Niro is just another entitled driver who thinks he can park wherever the hell he wants.
- The mystery of the L train stench has been solved. (NYDN)