Monday’s Headlines: The New York Post Is Wrong Edition

Riders took over Sixth Avenue to demand safety for cyclists at the Critical Mass ride on Friday, July 26, 2019. Photo: Michael Kaess
Riders took over Sixth Avenue to demand safety for cyclists at the Critical Mass ride on Friday, July 26, 2019. Photo: Michael Kaess

Lots of good people work at the New York Post. Many of them bike to work or to assignments. So let’s hope they’re all lining up outside the Editorial Department to complain about one of the worst things the Tabloid of Record has written in quite some times.

Certainly, we’ll remain neutral when Murdoch’s minions take aim at Mayor de Blasio — he’s a big boy and can defend himself — but when the tabloid trolls misrepresent cycling, we’ll fight to make sure the opinion is refuted with the facts.

That brings us to Saturday’s editorial, “‘Bike supremacy’ is ruining the city.” Putting aide the richness of the Trump-loving paper likening cycling to neo-Nazism, the editorial starts with a misguided premise: that Mayor de Blasio’s plan to build 80 more miles of protected bike lines constitutes “more turf torn from cars and pedestrians.”

Whose turf? Reminder: Our roadways belong to all of us: drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and, lest we forget, mass transit users. Since the roadways are public, the public can decide, through its elected officials, how best to divide up the space. Automobiles are the least-efficient users of that space — cars are typically filled with one person and take up the space of five bikes. Also, cars belch exhaust that is toxic to human life — which should kinda be a deal-breaker right there, but, for some reason is always forgotten in these conversations.

But most important: the curbside lanes of virtually every street in town are used for an even less-efficient use: the storage of unused cars (oh, and point of information, Posties: Citi Bike racks do take up those free parking spaces you so covet — but Citi Bike, unlike most car owners, pays the city for them!). All of that space for car storage should be set aside to make sure buses work as designed. But they don’t for one reason: cars.

So hopefully the Post’s misguided rant will be seen for what it is: the last throes of the city’s power elite advocating for New York’s entitled car-owning minority. It is time to use the public roadways in ways that benefit the public the most: transit first and then clean, efficient forms of transportation.

Oh, there was also some other news over the weekend:

  • With 17 dead cyclists this year, the return of the Critical Mass ride could not have happened at a better time. Reports across multiple social media revealed a great time was had by all — and a message was sent to the city’s leaders: Make the streets safe. The next one is slated for the last Friday of August. (Michael Kaess, Steve Bodzin, A People’s HistoryVlado Vince) (Update: Now with video!)
  • Like most of us, The Times has been frustrated with Gov. Cuomo’s war on the MTA that he himself controls. But at least the paper’s Emma Fitzsimmons, J. David Goodman and Agustin Armendariz did something about it, rooting out Cuomo’s “incestuous” hypocrisy.
  • CBS2 completely misunderstood — and willfully misrepresented — the city’s new program to create more loading zones so truck drivers don’t double-park and cause congestion and unsafe roadways. As our editor always says, don’t quote some random person saying something wrong — in this case, “They’re taking away spaces and there’s no reason for it” — when later on, the story explains exactly what the “reason” is: to deal with the massive rise in residential deliveries, and the illegally parked trucks making them. Streetsblog had the real story last week. West Side Rag also covered.
  • In case you missed it, Assembly Member Joe Lentol pledged $1 million for safer streets. (Lentol via Twitter)
  • And, finally, sad news for Upper West Side greasy spoon fans. (Gothamist)