Friday’s Headlines: Hey, DOT, How About A Little Help? Edition
Every day, even when not even asked by Streetsblog, the mayor keeps digging in on his position that he can’t create more open space for the people who need it. On Friday, we were reminded of this particular failing of the Vision Zero mayor four more times.
First, Julianne Cuba reported that the community board on the Upper East Side joined its western counterpart in demanding that the city create safe bike routes for essential workers traveling by bike across Manhattan. The city’s answer: No.
Later in the day, Friend of Streetsblog, Steve Bodzin, reminded us that the city is still giving that same two-letter salute to bicyclists and pedestrians, who are crammed into an 11-foot-wide path on the Queensboro Bridge while motorists get seven lanes (even though their numbers are down more than 80 percent).
Hey Polly @NYC_DOT
Photo taken today. The bridge is busier than ever — for peds & bikes. pic.twitter.com/vPoDz2QCs9
— Steven Bodzin (home) (@stevenbodzin) April 23, 2020
Why the city is treating essential workers this way, we have no idea.
Third? Yesterday, we wrote about the City Council’s bill to will force the mayor to convert up to 75 miles of roadway to open space. It gets its first hearing at a Transportation Committee meeting at 11 a.m. (stream here).
Here’s the rest of the news from yesterday:
- Oh, and the fourth way we were reminded of the mayor’s failure to create more open space? Our editor spoke to the Department of Transportation director in Oakland, who explained how easy it is to close streets to cars so people can recreate in a socially responsible manner.
- Ah, let’s make it five. Like Streetsblog, Curbed also pointed out that our sidewalks are too narrow!
- Up for one more? At the virtual press conference on Thursday, our ornery old editor asked Mayor de Blasio whether he was doing anything to plan for the likelihood that more people will drive out of fear of crowded subways and buses. The mayor didn’t really have a great answer, but amNY’s Mark Hallum and the Daily News’s Anna Sanders picked up on it and did good stories. Even under a best-case scenario, only 60 percent of riders are coming back to the subway when this is all over (NY1), but Europe (of course) is planning ahead, unlike the mayor (Next City).
- Moving on. It was Double-Duty Guse at the Newsuh yesterday, with two stories that read like a summer movie franchise and its sequel. First, advocates called for the feds to give the MTA more relief funds. Then, the Port Authority also argued for more desperately needed funding for its suddenly idle PATH system.
- Make that triple-duty. Guse also wrote about the de Blasio administration’s dustup with the MTA over the alleged homeless crisis in the subway. The Post also covered.
- Summer? Bummer. (NY Times)