Mayor de Blasio needs to end his opposition to car-free zones in the city.
That’s not an editorial. That’s a fact, thanks to the latest piece of evidence from Madrid. According to Forbes, retail sales rose nearly 10 percent after the city removed cars from a main shopping area.
Conclusion? “Cities which want to boost takings in shops and restaurants should restrict access for motorists,” the magazine reported.
Second conclusion? The de Blasio administration is clearly hostile to businesses because it refuses to adopt this basic pro-business policy. We have repeatedly asked the mayor to adopt this simple plan for livable streets and economic development, but he has refused.
More on that later (like every day). For now, here’s the news:
- The Daily News offered little new in its piece about Andy Byford seeking $40 billion to fix the subway. That’s been the NYC Transit President’s number for quite some time.
- Mayor de Blasio is polling at zero in Iowa (NY Post) — but that’s probably because he hasn’t signed off on Phase IV of the Queens Boulevard protected bike lanes yet! Once he does that, he’ll jump past Jay Inslee, we promise!
- Why are pedestrians being forced into the middle of the ugly personal life of developer Harry Macklowe? This misuse of public space is despicable. (NY Times)
And in the lengthy “In case you missed it” file from over the weekend, here are some good stories:
- Lyft is going back to the future with e-scooter docking stations — a bid to clean up the streets that other companies are being blamed for ruining. Lyft is new to e-scooters. (Fast Company)
- Politico’s Dana Rubinstein reported that Speaker Carl Heastie is lukewarm on the chances that congestion pricing gets approved by his restive chamber. (Subscribers only) The Post version of the story touted Heastie’s trial balloon of higher gasoline taxes as a possible transit revenue stream (though it’s unclear why higher gas taxes are any more politically palatable than tolls).
- We all love Bambi, but did we really need a “deer crossing” public service announcement on a phone booth … in Manhattan? (NY Post)
- Friend of Streetsblog Dave Colon wrote about southern Brooklyn’s growing demands to enter the 20th century of bicycle infrastructure (reminder, this is the 21st century). (Curbed)
It was an incredibly slow news day yesterday … for the mainstream media, that is. We at Streetsblog were burning the (carbon-free) candle all day with stories about a woman run over by a reckless, uncharged driver, trouble for the 14th Street “busway,” a great new speed camera bill from newly elected State Senator Andrew Gounardes and a story every other media outlet should pick up: How Mayor de Blasio’s plan to build or buy parking for cops will fail on multiple levels.
We even had time to cover a press conference featuring Jimmy Van Bramer’s Mets winter gloves. (This is our year.)
And now the other news:
- The Daily News had touching details about the woman who was fatally run down by a driver going in reverse on Avenue S so he could park in his driveway. Our story pointed out the multiple laws the driver broke, even though he was not charged.
- In an op-ed, our friends at Reinvent Albany took Cuomo to task for all his MTA meddling. (Gotham Gazette)
- The MTA really isn’t giving good answers for why debris keeps raining down on Queens residents from the elevated 7 train. (amNY) Dana Rubinstein’s piece in Politico (subscription only) had a nice, poetic feel to it.
- Mayor de Blasio didn’t get his “millionaire’s tax,” but he may get something close to it: A tax on non-resident luxury apartments, which could raise $9 billion for transit bonds. (Bloomberg)
- Two questions: Why are Customs and Border Patrol officers driving on the sidewalk? And why do we need Customs and Border Patrol officers in New York? (NYDN)
- NY1 tried to pick apart Gov. Cuomo’s numbers on how few New Yorkers commute by car into Manhattan, but others have also said it is a very small percentage of the total.
- And, finally, we read Gridlock Sam for one reason only: to enjoy the pain drivers will feel all weekend long. (NYDN)