Monday’s Headlines: Gridlock Scam Edition

It’s the first weekday of the United National General Assembly, so welcome to a gridlocked hell created entirely by cars and mitigated made worse by important completely made up NYPD “security” protocols that punish cyclists.

So let’s start there:

  • I was happy to see the Gridlock Sam join Streetsblog in calling out the DOT for rampant hypocrisy in not confronting the NYPD on its shutdown of the First and Second avenue bike lanes — despite the DOT calling for more New Yorkers to use bikes during the annual UN diplofest. The former Department of Traffic commissioner Gridlock Sam Schwartz raised the same question we did: “I’m puzzled why there’ll be bike lane closures on First and Second Aves., even when cars are allowed. C’mon guys, use your heads — a bad guy in a car can do far more damage than a bad guy on a bike.” (NYDN)
  • So kudos to Schwartz for questioning the NYPD and DOT. No other journalist in town even questions the agencies’ decision to close a bike lane at the same time they are urging New Yorkers to bicycle more — a complete repudiation of the role of the Fourth Estate. Instead, amNY, NY1, Patch, WABC-TV, the Daily News, and everyone else parroted the NYPD’s line about the closures. The whole sorry episode makes me want to remind my colleagues of the 1 in Journalism 101: The first question we’re supposed to ask is “Why?”

In other news…

  • Congrats are in order to Brandon Chamberlin, who won TransAlt’s Five-Boro Pizza Challenge on Sunday.
  • The U.S. is getting killed on creating mass transit systems. (CityLab)
  • Daily News gets action: After weeks of covering the public schools’ bus crisis, the paper gets its first scalp: public schools support services CEO Eric Goldstein has been canned. (NYDN)
  • Wow, the Post was wise enough to follow off David Meyer’s great Streetsblog story two weeks ago about how the Yankees don’t let cyclists bring their helmets into games. (NY Post)
  • This bus driver is out of control. (amNY)
  • Cops are looking for the weekend subway pepper spray fiend. (NYDN)
  • An op-ed in the News looks at yet another downside of the Trump tax cut on commuters. (NYDN)
  • And finally, why does the New York Times celebrate cars so damn often?

Update: An earlier version misidentified Sam Schwartz. He was never DOT commissioner, but he was Department of Traffic commissioner before that bureau was put into the DOT.