Wednesday’s Headlines: Hang in There, Chief! Edition

NYPD Transportation Chief William Morris. Photo:
NYPD Transportation Chief William Morris. Photo:

The coronavirus, death’s handmaiden, was stalking another city official last night.

As we wrote this, several papers were reporting that NYPD Transportation Chief William Morris was in critical condition after suffering complications of the virus, which has claimed the lives of 30 and sickened more than 4,000 in the department. As is well known, Streetsblog has had its issues with NYPD’s shabby treatment of cyclists, biased enforcement of jaywalking, and inexplicably uneven application of traffic laws — for example, its ticketing of more cyclists than truckers last year for moving violations. 

But we are very saddened to hear of Morris’s illness and wish him a full recovery, and good health to everyone on the force. Morris became Transportation Bureau chief just a few months ago, after Dermot Shea acceded as commissioner. We were looking forward to happy years of sparring with him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Morris, his family and his blue family on the force.

In other news yesterday:

  • “Cities Around The World Are Opening Streets To Pedestrians During Coronavirus. Why Not NYC?” asks Gothamist. Why not, indeed!
  • President Trump’s old friend Peter Kalikow, a former MTA Chairman (and former owner and publisher of the New York Post) is pressing the president for a bailout of the troubled transit agency. (NY Post)
  • File this under “Why can’t NYC have those nice things?”: Milan will reallocate street space from cars to cycling and walking, in order to cement the gains against traffic pollution it made during the coronavirus crisis, the Guardian reports.
  • MTA workers are worried that the growing presence of homeless New Yorkers in the subways is creating unhealthy conditions (NYDN), while the brass worries that cleaning the subways will cost half-a-billion dollars. (The City)
  •  A Republican lawmaker from Long Island wants to roll back congestion pricing, arguing that it’s a tax that will hurt the city as it recovers from the coronavirus crisis. (Long Island Press)
  • Ha! Fooled us! The Transformation Department (it of the DOT-look alike logo) is advertising a graphic designer. (via Twitter)

  • Council Member Erich Ulrich of Queens is vying with Brooklyn’s Kalman Yeger to be the most pro-car city legislator. (amNY)