Wednesday’s Headlines: Wow, We Were Wrong Needlessly Alarmist Edition

We started yesterday’s headlines file with a mild concern about the NYPD’s plan to stop responding to minor fender-benders or crashes without injuries in Staten Island. We fretted that if cops aren’t there to log crashes, the total number of reported crashes will fall — which will give all of us a false sense of security about, well, the security of our roads.

Well, we talked to the DOT, the Staten Island DA and even a few sources inside the legal community — and no one was too concerned. Too many police resources are spent on property damage, on lawyer told us. We make decisions about safety redesigns based on locations of fatalities or seriously injured people, a DOT source told us. The cops kept us in the loop all the way, everyone else told us.

OK, so we’ll let it go for now, but if Staten Island becomes the Wild West, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

And now the news:

  • Forget the gas tax — New York should start charging motorists by the mile, says the Citizens Budget Commission. (WSJ)
  • Everyone covered the massive expansion of the city’s school zone speed camera program. The Daily News and the Post played it straight. The Times claimed that the 750 camera systems would cover every school in the city, which doesn’t seem accurate.
  • The News covered the NYPD’s two-week blitz on Northern Boulevard, which yielded lots of summonses to bad drivers and reduced crashes. Keep it up, blue.
  • Politico’s Dana Rubinstein did a nice exit interview with outgoing TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi, who distanced herself from Mayor de Blasio…again. (Politico)
  • Whaddya know? The NYPD apparently lied about the violent arrest of a delivery worker last year. (Gothamist)
  • When is Mayor de Blasio going to do something to ban this untested form of transportation? (NY Post)
  • Something must be in the water because suddenly, everyone is reporting that the city will soon start the final phase of the Queens Boulevard redesign. Both the Forest Hills Post and Patch recycled the same quote from DOT: “We are moving forward with the redesign and working with the community, but have no updated timeline to share at this time.” The agency has been saying the same thing for months: the project is happening, but we don’t know when.
  • And finally, our grizzled old editor loves a good escaped cow story, regaling us with one of his first stories when he was at the New York Post in the early 1990s: “Cow with a beef on the lam in the Bronx.” Well, it happened again yesterday, but the Times botched the headline: “Slaughter-Bound Calf Escapes on Expressway, Earning New Name and a Life of Leisure.” (Geez, what happened to this business?)