Wednesday’s Headlines: Ooh-Ooh That Smell Edition

Boy, the L train really stinks. No, seriously, yesterday’s non-State-of-the-Union news was dominated by the gas fumes that forced the shutdown of the most-important train line in world history. The Daily News reported that two people actually fainted, while Gothamist gave something of a station-by-station aroma guide. The Post played it straight, as did amNY. The President did not mention it in his State of the Union address, but he did lie about New York’s new abortion rights law.

Here’s the rest of the stories rocking your world:

  • Chicken, meet roost: We were pleased to see that Assembly Member William Colton was very angry about all the fatal crashes caused by drivers in his Bensonhurst/Gravesend district this week (Brooklyn Eagle), but it’s worth pointing out that there’s not a single protected or painted bike lane on any street in Colton’s Bensonhurst/Gravesend district — which is likely because people like Colton and his constituents have foolishly opposed them.
  • Good news out of Brooklyn: Drunk-driving ex-cop Nicholas Batka, who killed a pedestrian in Williamsburg in 2016 when he was still on the force, was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in the can. (Brooklyn DA, NY Post) The sentence is a fair one, of course, but it’s a wake-up call to remember how short the sentences are for most vehicular crimes — if the drivers are charged at all. (Then again, the driver who caused that fatal multi-car pileup in Manhattan last year was charged with murder, the Daily News reports.)
  • Mayor de Blasio really is persisting with this whole Brooklyn-Queens Connector streetcar. (WSJ)
  • The Independent Budget Office put out a report on the city’s Stipulated Fine Program, which costs taxpayers millions and allows delivery trucks to make our streets more congested and less safe. Vin Barone of amNY did a much deeper dive into the report than we did at Streetsblog (well, we were first at least!).
  • Carriage horse drivers are fighting the city’s latest plans for restricting their trade. (Courthouse News, Patch)
  • The Queens Chronicle covered last week’s pro-safety rally on Northern Boulevard with a decidedly skeptical tone that suggests the Schneps-owned paper would just prefer the status quo along the “New Boulevard of Death.”
  • If you have 10 seconds, watch the greatest sneckdown video of all time — and pressure our elected officials to actually build these things. (H/T Clarence Eckerson Jr.)
  • And, finally, in case you missed it, the Daily News’s Dan Rivoli did a story on Andy Byford’s hand-picked subway signaling expert, Pete Tomlin. Now, soapbox time: We had missed it because — it must be said — the Daily News website is horrible. Before we go to bed every night, we Google, “Dan-Rivoli NY-Daily-News,” and half his stories don’t even come up. And don’t get us started about all the pop-up ads and autoplay videos on We subscribe to the paper — yet this is how we are treated. We can’t imagine anyone beside serious news junkies putting up with such an atrocious website. Our guess is that no one at the Daily News is even reading their paper’s own website, or else there would be a line of hard-working reporters outside of Editor Robert York’s glass-walled office demanding changes.