Monday’s Headlines: A Rainy Tax Day Edition
Got those taxes done? No? Well, you can be forgiven if you need to download this 1040 form right now and get those unreimbursed business expenses added up on Schedule C. But if you’ve filed your taxes, why not check out the news from the weekend:
- We were the first out of the gate with our report Sunday on the Citi Bike e-bike disaster, but other outlets added some nice reporting. Journalistic Jedi Vin Barone at amNY and Clayton Guse at the Daily News had an interview with a man who claimed he was badly injured when an e-Citi Bike front wheel locked up on him. Guse’s story added some inside dope from Citi Bike workers. The Post interviewed another man who also was injured but didn’t want to see the e-bikes be grounded. The Times did not cover it until early Monday morning. The Paper of Record finally seemed to acknowledge that Citi Bike is not some effete hobby but rather a serious form of mass transit, reporting that the bike-share system “has become an increasingly popular mode of transportation” (ya think?). Tyler Pager also offered some excellent reporting on crash victims. We’ll stay on this story today.
- The MTA ruined the Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival on Saturday (NY Post, Gothamist), prompting many important questions, including, “Did you know Roosevelt Island had a cherry blossom festival?”
- Memo to Public Advocate Jumaane Williams: You might want to send someone to the town hall meeting tonight about how a car dealership has somehow convinced the city to endanger Jackson Heights kids that it initially vowed to protect. If we’re going to have a public advocate, presumably this is why.
- The Wall Street Journal’s Paul Berger interviewed DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, who said that congestion pricing could make the city a pedestrian paradise. But the story oversold Trottenberg’s commitment to building that safety Shangra-La — her comments are filled with caveats that come from working with a boss who has lost focus. Mayor de Blasio could close a few roadways or even parts of neighborhoods to cars right now if he wanted. The “zero” in Vision Zero is attainable, yet New York City is not close.
- Let’s stay on that topic for a second. Over the weekend, the Cycling Professor posted a video of a car-choked Amsterdam in 1970s, a reminder that cities can fight back and reclaim public spaces from selfish automobile owners. Other videos over the weekend showed just how great a city it is. Meanwhile, in de Blasio’s New York, a community board on Wednesday will decide whether to approve the removal of a single parking space in favor of bike parking. Why can’t we have nice things, Mr. Mayor?
- The Post reviewed 311 complaints to determine the roadways where there is the most speeding. It’s a good piece of reporting, but it left out one key statistics: Drivers speed on every single block in the city, all day, every day. Speeding is the single biggest factor in road fatalities and, more important, the feeling that all of us are constantly under siege.
- The Times took a bit longer than everyone else, but its deep dive on bus fare evasion was solid, even pointing out concerns about the MTA’s plan for more cops on buses (which Streetsblog previously derided as “bus and frisk”).
- Charles Moerdler is no longer on the MTA board! (Riverdale Press) Streetsblog readers will, of course, remember Moerdler as the guy who loved to park in bus lanes.
- The anti-bike Queens Chronicle reported that there’s a petition drive to stop the final phase of the successful safety redesign of Queens Boulevard, one of Mayor de Blasio’s signature projects (and one that he has not committed to finishing).
- And in case you missed it, NY1’s Pat Kiernan now has a podcast. First topic? Congestion pricing. And tolls to enter Manhattan below 61st Street are big news overseas, with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation covering it over the weekend. The CBC coverage even focused on later-day congestion pricing advocate Jeffrey Dinowitz, the Bronx Assembly Member who long opposed the tolls.
Update: The version of this story which posted at 12:01 a.m. did not have a reference to the NY Times’s coverage of the Citi Bike outage because the Times story did not publish until 4 a.m. Monday. Our post has been updated.