Friday’s Headlines: Train Daddy Derailed Edition

Our editor on WCBS2.
Our editor on WCBS2.

The day was dominated by the sudden resignation of New York City Transit boss Andy Byford, which was broken by Dana Rubinstein at Politico. Byford is being credited with starting the turnaround of the bus and subway system, but how successful was Byford actually? It’s not like he walked on water, but he had an unlikely charisma that reporters loved and the public trusted (quick: name Byford’s predecessors).

Everyone covered it:

  • The Times, calling Byford’s progress “significant.”
  • The Post, emphasizing the “reduced” role Byford would have going forward.
  • The News, saying Byford presided over “drastic improvements.”
  • Gothamist, playing it straight.
  • Crain’s, allowing Gov. Cuomo to duck responsibility.
  • amNY, correctly pointing to the MTA reorganization as the culprit.
  • And MTA Board member Veronica Vanterpool put the whole thing in perspective: it’ll all go to hell.

There was other news — and we were right in the middle of it:

  • Car-centric WCBS2 was up to its old tricks yesterday, asking Gov. Cuomo why all bike riders aren’t required to wear helmets (reporter Jessica Moore did not cite evidence that helmets would have saved any of the 29 cyclists who were killed last year, most of them crushed by large trucks). The segment did at least allow our editor to point out that helmet mandates have been shown to reduce cycling, which makes cyclists less safe, not more safe.
  • In a related story, longtime transportation writer Carlton Reid wrote in Forbes that Streetsblog was on point when it asked Cuomo if he would mandate car helmets. “The wearing of helmets for everyday motoring might be dismissed as crazy, but getting behind the wheel of a car is perhaps the riskiest thing we do every day, yet few of us give head safety while driving a second’s thought,” he wrote.
  • Several outlets covered Gov. Cuomo’s e-bike legalization bill (Gothamist, The Post, among them), but our story focused on Cuomo calling Mayor de Blasio’s crackdown on e-bike-riding workers “arbitrary.” The Daily News’s Denis Slattery took a similar line.
  • Hey, DOT, you do not have a Vision Zero partner in the NYPD — and Friend of Streetsblog Rich Mintz shows from the latest placard abuse shitshow in Columbus Circle. Why is it so difficult for cops to not park in bike lanes?
  • The Daily News reports that the family of Felicia Lewis, who was run over by a bus earlier this month, may sue.
  • We’re still loving the LeBron James ad for his partnership with Lyft — at least someone is standing up for kids and their bikes.
  • And, finally, who is teaching these driving school instructors how to teach driving? (Brooklyn Paper)