Wednesday’s Headlines: Special Extra Hostility Edition

Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

This Yellow Ribbon Vigilante story is the gift that keeps on giving! Not only have we tossed red meat to our base — and by “red meat,” we mean respect for law and a desire for drivers to respect posted speed limits and put safety first — but our coverage of Staten Island’s support for reckless driving has sent shockwaves across the Rock.

Our editor got two violent voicemail messages, with one caller threatening to break his knee caps! (The NYPD was contacted about the threat, but, alas, never got back to us — ain’t it always the case!). The Facebook group Staten Island Speed Cameras has been filled with invective (mostly mocking our editor’s surname — so cliche!), according to one member.

And our old frenemy Tom Wrobleski at the Staten Island Advance penned yet another nonsensical column that was one part truth — “And just who is the camera on Front Street in Stapleton (pictured) meant to protect?” — and 99 parts death throes of the car-culture: “Our cars are our freedom. They allow us to explore the world. … Don’t let them take our cars from us. Don’t surrender the world to them.” (Can you. Just. Please. Shut. Up?)

It’s pretty clear that Wrobleski and our editor remain on a collision course — or an inevitable Hollywood bromance: Coming soon to a theater near you: Kuntzman … Wrobleski … in “Speed 3: Alive at 25!”

There was very little news yesterday other than Not-Really-So-Super Tuesday, but here’s what we got:

  • Here’s more evidence why we need good community newspapers in this town: Hat tip to QNS for covering the Sunnyside Yards master plan, but brickbats to the Schneps-owned paper for the terrible framing and editing. But this story isn’t going away. Please stay on it!
  • Rising star East New York community activist Wilfredo Florentino spoke for many outraged victims of road violence with an op-ed in an unlikely place — the frequently pro-car pages of Kings County Politics. The takeaway? City DOT makes it too difficult to get safety improvements.
  • In case you missed it, Bicycling magazine did a deep dive on city collision data — and found that distracted driving and failure to yield led to most wrecks, that cops often blamed cyclists when drivers were at fault, and the size of the vehicle usually dictated whether the cyclist survived.
  • And, finally, Anna Sanders of the Daily News decoded Mayor de Blasio’s sort-of sexist, very condescending use of the word “dude” (with a subtle reference to one instance involving Streetsblog’s Julianne Cuba!).