Monday’s Headlines: April is the Cruelest Month Edition

Prospect Park was mobbed again yesterday because the city has too little open space.
Prospect Park was mobbed again yesterday because the city has too little open space.

Mayor de Blasio has no excuse for not creating more public space.

Our editor went outside for 10 minutes yesterday — a fact-finding mission, we assure you — and found that basically everyone in Brooklyn is crammed into Prospect Park, even though there are a thousand miles of now lightly used roadway in the borough that could be repurposed as open space … if the mayor would stop closing his mind to how such things are accomplished all over the country.

Here’s our video (complete with our recent song parody, “Car-Loving Monster“).

Here’s the rest of yesterday’s news:

  • Ridership is way down on the subway, but crime is not. (NYDN)
  • We call transit workers heroes, so they should be treated like they are. The Post is skeptical, though.
  • We liked “War on Cars” co-host Sarah Goodyear’s piece in CityMetric about the speeding epidemic — and not only because Goodyear credited Streetsblog for first reporting on the rise in reckless driving.
  • We really liked Henry Grabar’s piece in Slate that blamed New York’s leaders — in Albany and at City Hall — for making the COVID-19 crisis worse than it should have been.
  • Remember that study by that MIT Economics professor that Streetsblog completely and devastatingly debunked? Well, pro-car Council Members Eric Ulrich, Bob Holden, Mark Gjonaj and Peter Koo say the study shows why Gov. Cuomo should shut the subway (NY Post, amNY). The Tabloid of Record followed that story with Major de Blasio saying closing the subway would be a bad idea because frontline workers need to get to … the frontlines … to work.
  • Meanwhile, Market Urbanism turned the tables on that MIT report that blamed the subway, nimbly blaming cars (which makes sense, given the high infection rates in Staten Island … where there is no subway)!
  • Long-time anti-recycling contrarian John Tierney explains why we should stop worrying about sorting our paper, plastic and cans right now. (City Journal)
  • In case you missed all of the subsequent coverage of the Council proposal to force the mayor to create much more open space, everyone followed us on Friday, including Politico, the Daily News, the NY Post (which for some reason allowed street safety pariah Kalman Yeger to voice his opinion), Gothamist and Patch. Meanwhile, CityLab did a deep dive on Oakland’s 74-mile open streets plan, and the Toronto Globe and Mail editorialized about the need to close streets to cars (did they see our parody video about New York?).
  • Also there was some follow up on our story about the NYPD’s quiet move to turn Shore Boulevard in Astoria into a car-free street. (QNS)
  • Remember those 500 cops that the MTA couldn’t afford in good times? The agency will still hire them, even though it is facing an $8-billion budget hole. (Gothamist)
  • Car on car violence in Queens. (amNY)
  • Fire Island is a wonderful place … except if you go there and get coronavirus. So. Don’t. Go. (NY Times)
  • Many outlets ran obits to former Brooklyn Council Member and judge Noach Dear, but kudos to the Daily News’ Noah Goldberg for pointing out that Dear was an unrepentant homophobe. We know you’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but an obit is not a press release. It’s a news story about a life in full. Selective editing cheapens the art form.
  • We called out the New York Times Metro Section on Friday for its story that referred to the National Motorists Association as a “grass-roots organization” when it is, in fact, a for-profit lobbying group. We followed up by tweeting at both Metro Editor Cliff Levy and the reporter Winnie Hu, who has previously quoted the group, which lobbies against speed limit enforcement, in stories here and here. But the story has not been altered to reflect reality.
  • And, finally, we always hated leaving a Met game (usually because the Metsies always break our hearts), but watching Katie Honan’s brief video of an overworked MTA employee dealing with a packed platform made us melancholic for the “good” old days.