Wednesday’s Headlines: Democrats Take Control of Albany Edition

It’s the Democrats’ day in Albany, as the legislative session finally begins — and lots of newcomers take their seats. Streetsblog wishes lots of luck — and congestion pricing! — to new senators Zellnor Myrie, Julia Salazar, Alessandra Biaggi, Robert Jackson, Jessica Ramos and Andrew Gounardes (plus new Assembly Members Catalina Cruz and Mathylde Frontus). We invite all lawmakers to a drink on Monday and Tuesday next week when the Streetsblog team travels to the State Capital for our annual, “Streetsblog Goes Up the River” trip.

Until then, here’s the news:

  • Outgoing Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Meera Joshi took a swipe at Council Member Ruben Diaz on her way out. He deserves particular scorn for a bill he proposed late last year to soften penalties for bad cab drivers. (NYDN)
  • CBS2 had shocking video of the Sanitation salt spreader that ran over and killed a Bronx pedestrian.
  • The Daily News website still holds stories so that its competitors don’t see them, an antiquated approach that only means that many readers (including our editor) sometimes miss the news of the day. So in case you also missed it, Gov. Cuomo told the paper’s editorial board that the L-train debacle shows that the MTA needs to be “blown up.” (NYDN) Later, Corey Johnson used the same language to argue in favor of city control of the subway. (Streetsblog)
  • In another needlessly embargoed Tuesday story, the paper’s Errol Louis called placard abuse “the gateway drug,” echoing reporting by Stephen Rex Brown earlier in the week.
  • The Times offered an L-train op-ed from a former head of NYC Transit. In the piece, Carmen Bianco said he was “concerned” about the shortcut plan promoted by Gov. Cuomo. “As president of New York City Transit, I would have found this new course of action completely unacceptable,” he said.
  • So much for that L-train shutdown documentary! (amNY)
  • Dutch treat? Not any more. Holland is cracking down on fare beaters, using methods that may someday jump the pond to the MTA. (City Lab)
  • Long live satire! Our friends at City Lab did an appreciation for a series of videos that then-unknown comic Kate McKinnon did for our own Clarence Eckerson Jr. at Streetfilms. The videos totally hold up.
  • In case you missed it, here’s a chance to really nerd out on how subway maps — in this case, an AirTrain map at JFK — are made. (Medium)
  • And, finally, the “de Blasio stop” has apparently gone international. (Devon Live)