Wednesday’s Headlines: Ironic Passover Edition

A little too close to home this year.
A little too close to home this year.

Tonight is the first night of Passover, when Jews mark so many historic and terrible things, but most important of all is how the angel of death killed their oppressors while sparing the faithful.

It’s a bit unnerving to celebrate the holiday as the corona wave crests (or is still to crest) and the sirens wail over our beloved city, but if nothing else, Passover tells a story of resilience and determination that even Chris Cuomo, in a basement somewhere, can appreciate.

So l’chaim, y’all. We’ll be posting plenty of breaking stories today, but we may cut out early today to set up our Zoom seder presentations (and hopefully not get hacked). We’ll return on Thursday like always. Until then, here was yesterday’s big news:

  • Everyone (though not the Times) covered the mayor’s $1.3 billion in emergency budget cuts, with the Daily News focusing on the big-ticket items, the Post saying education and social services were the biggest losers, and Streetsblog focusing on what matters to its readers: Vision Zero is gutted. (The Post’s David Meyer did a separate on the livable streets cuts.)
  • The Times did an analysis of pollution and made the sort-of obvious conclusion that places with worse air will have worse COVID-19 outcomes. Manhattan, for instance, could have saved 248 lives if it had lowered its average particulate matter level by just one microgram per cubic meter, over the past 20 years.
  • The Times also finally got on the open-streets campaign, albeit with an op-ed by Allison Arieff. Welcome to the resistance, Gray Lady!
  • As you know, we’ve been covering the rash in speeding now that the streets are so empty, but our story yesterday revealed that speeding has increased the most in Manhattan. Sure enough, a rich jerk with a $750,000 car went on a joyride and lost control. The sociopath was charged with reckless driving, a very minor offense (NY Post). Meanwhile, local treasure Amy Plitt covered the increase in speeding for Curbed.
  • The MTA is starting to run more trains and buses to help workers avoid overcrowding (NYDN). Streetsblog covered widespread calls for the agency to do better.
  • Politico covered the disproportionate death toll being suffered by MTA workers during the virus crisis.
  • Please stop recreating so close to each other! (NY Post) But, please, Mr. Mayor, try again on your car-free streets initiative (Streetsblog)
  • A major Hasidic Rebbe has died — and his family is begging faithful to not drive to Borough Park to mourn (Yeshiva World). Will anyone listen? The Post doubts it.
  • And, finally, it kinda felt to many that Mayor de Blasio was just making up a new holiday tradition of families riding the Staten Island Ferry, but Streetsblog’s Gersh Kuntzman and the Post’s Vin Barone were not having it: