Tuesday’s Headlines: Please Go to the ‘Die-In’ Tonight Edition

This is not OK, regardless of what NYPD Commissioner James O'Neil says. Photo: Rich Garvey
This is not OK, regardless of what NYPD Commissioner James O'Neil says. Photo: Rich Garvey

Tonight’s Transportation Alternatives’ “die-in” in Washington Square Park at 6:30 couldn’t have come at a better time. Consider this:

  • Cyclists are dying at a rate not seen since before Vision Zero. Fifteen are dead so far this year — up from 10 all of last year.
  • To stem the blood tide, the mayor finally asked NYPD and the Department of Transportation to do … something!
  • The NYPD responded by saying it would conduct a three-week enforcement blitz against reckless drivers — then admitted on Monday that the blitz amounted to a paltry 2,100 parking tickets to drivers for blocking bike lanes…citywide!
  • And then, when asked about a cop who used his SUV squad car as a battering ram to take down a cyclist who had run a red light or two, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill defended the use of deadly force against a cyclist…whom the NYPD is supposed to be protecting!
  • No wonder this cyclist posted a Medium op-ed about how bike riders should ride in tandem, take over road lanes and force drivers to slow down — a form of civil obedience.
  • Meanwhile, as Vin Barone proves in amNY, the problem is just too many damn cars. And further meanwhile, London is shaming New York with a cycling boom — while we can’t even keep trucks out of our bike lanes.

So of course we can’t wait for the die-in. But until then, here’s the news from a busy Monday:

  • But, sure, let’s maintain the fiction that a cyclist passing through a red light is just as dangerous as a speeding car. (NYDN)
  • The Daily News covered Monday’s killing of a pedestrian, but the paper still seems to think that victims get “hit by a car” instead of by a driver. Removing human agency is one of the ways newspapers shift the blame from reckless people onto inanimate objects (the amNY headline got it right). On the plus side, the paper reported that the criminal driver had been charged for failure to yield.
  • Like Streetsblog, Gothamist is concerned about the uptick in pedestrian deaths.
  • Mark Chiusano in amNY offered more details about the life of killed cyclist Ernest Askew. It’s a great story about a man who is gone too soon.
  • Mayor de Blasio has found another gym to which to be chauffeured as the Park Slope Y is being repaired — and it’s another Park Slope Y! (NYDN, NY Post)
  • The Post picked up on our alert last week about Gov. Cuomo’s LIRR boondoggle for the Islanders out at Belmont Park.
  • The MTA has long known about falling debris from its elevated stations. (Wall Street Journal)
  • And, finally, try not to lose the length of a normal subway commute playing around with this Times interactive about … the length of a normal subway commute.

times interactive copy