Friday’s Headlines: Congrats to Vin Barone Edition

Vin Barone
Vin Barone
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Cliff Levy of the Times Metro section had better be kicking himself today for not following our advice to quickly hire the truly outstanding transportation reporter Vin Barone after the Schneps family bought (and quickly undermined) amNY this fall.

Well, the Times loss is the New York Post’s gain —  Barone starts today as a metro reporter for the Tabloid of Record.

It’s a great loss to the livable streets movement because Barone was one of an increasingly large cohort of transportation reporters (excepting those who take their orders from Levy) who intuitively understand that cars must be tamed, transit must be boosted, cycling must be made safer and pedestrians must be treated better if we are to have any urban future at all.

Now Barone can bring that sensibility to the Post’s overall city coverage, which is great news for fans of our city, the Post and of Barone himself. Best of luck to Vin — and tough luck, Cliff.

Now, here’s the news:

  • Pretty much everyone covered Gov. Cuomo’s wrong-headed veto of a bill that passed the legislature nearly unanimously that would have legalized e-bikes. The Daily News highlighted the inequity that pedal-assist e-bikes are legal, but throttle-controlled e-bikes are not. The Post is sticking with its belief that Cuomo is merely feuding with the bill’s prime sponsor, Senator Jessica Ramos. Streetsblog focused on the governor’s mistaken notions about helmet laws (amNY also pointed that out). The Times went with an oddly sensational headline, but the story rightly focused on the hardships of delivery workers “who rely on an illegal form of transportation to earn a living.”
  • Meanwhile, at least Cuomo is doing one thing right: He’s talking about high-speed rail for the state — though he doesn’t trust the experts. Is this the L-train shutdown all over again? (NYDN) The Post, of course, is dubious of any form of transportation that isn’t cars.
  • Cars are dumb, but drivers are often dumber. Today’s example: The driver who ended up stuck after he or she drove into the Pulaski Bridge pedestrian lane. (NY Post)
  • Council Speaker Corey Johnson — who obviously reads Streetsblog — slams the MTA for not being prepared for congestion pricing, which is supposed to start in January, 2021. Come on, guys, it’s time to roll up those sleeves and get to work. (Vin Barone, in his amNY swan song)
  • Could driving actually be declining in this country? (WSJ)
  • Wow, Council Member Peter Koo actually did something vaguely reasonable by supporting more loading zones in Downtown Flushing — though his rival, Assembly Member Ron Kim thinks the problem isn’t double-parked trucks, but trucks in general. (Queens Chronicle)