Friday’s Headlines: Hire Vin Barone Edition

Reporter and now bike courier Vin Barone, seen last year. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman.
Reporter and now bike courier Vin Barone, seen last year. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman.

I’ve been in this business a long time and probably the only thing I’m good at is recognizing talent (those who can’t…, amirite?). So I had two thoughts when I heard that New York Times Metro Editor Clifford Levy had promoted Emma Fitzsimmons from the transit beat to City Hall Bureau Chief:

Thought 1: That’s a well-deserved promotion for a very good reporter.

Thought 2: Levy should hire amNY exile Vin Barone to replace Fitzsimmons. Barone is not only a rare talent, but he knows the transit beat better than anyone on the market right now. Better still, Barone, gets around on bike and transit. Hiring Barone would strike a blow to New York’s insane car culture, which continues to be propped up by dealership-funded local TV and radio stations; politicians who never ride trains, buses or bikes, yet feel comfortable spouting opinions on all of those modes from behind their windshield; and, yes, establishment organs like the New York Times that empathize with the plight of drivers in traffic of their own creation rather than the bus riders stuck behind them.

So do the right thing, Cliff: Give your readers great transit coverage while also saving Barone from his purgatory at the rapidly deteriorating Schneps-owned amNY.

Now for some news:

  • Did you hear — the 14th Street busway is amazing! (NYDN, Streetsblog, NY Post), And the bus lane cameras are working too! (NY Post)
  • Not only is Mayor de Blasio’s ferry a subsidized money pit — it’s also discriminatory against Muslims! (Gothamist, NY Post)
  • New Brooklyn Nets star DeAndre Jordan rides the subway (but doesn’t like the cold). (Nets via Twitter)
  • If you want a detailed analysis of the City Council’s vote yesterday to close Rikers Island, we recommend this Times piece by Matthew Haag. But we couldn’t help but notice that entitled Queens drivers are already grousing that a new jail near the existing courthouse is going to supposedly ruin everything because court officers will no longer have a place to park, as reported by Queens Eagle Editor David Brand. We blame the mayor for a placard-parking crisis that leads drivers — even city employees — to think that a public job comes with a salary and a parking space.


NYC’s Taxi Regulations Are Obsolete. How Should They Change?

The de Blasio administration’s proposed slowdown in new for-hire vehicle licenses for a one-year study period could be the opening move in a major rewrite of the rules governing the city’s taxi and livery industry. The current system is an anachronism, and a big overhaul could harmonize the city’s growing array of medallion taxis, green cabs, and Uber-type services in a way that lessens the […]