Tuesday’s Headlines: Calm Before the Storm Edition

Photo: Hussein Twabi / CC BY-SA via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Hussein Twabi / CC BY-SA via Wikimedia Commons

The city feels like it is in a weird interregnum. With the political conventions over and  Labor Day (and the start of school) just around the corner, the streets (and the virtual newsrooms) have emptied out. The pandemic, meanwhile, has ebbed here but seems poised to explode in the Midwest. But not only in the Midwest: As students return to colleges, the virus has hitched a ride; Gov. Cuomo just sent home those at the University of Oneonta. Will elementary schools take their place as the new hatcheries of COVID-19 — or will the city find enough indoor and outdoor space to stanch the virus? Will the city’s teachers strike? Where will the next hurricane? Already, violence darkens the heartland.

We’re in the calm before the storm, a lull before a ferocious fall. Nothing to do but pour a drink and wait it out.

In yesterday’s news:

  • The Times got the scoop on today’s 10 a.m. announcement of reduced speed limits on nine roadways.
  • The  NYPD has adopted a new “disciplinary matrix” in order to standardize the penalties it metes out to officers for infractions (Gothamist, NYDN, others). Streetsblog wants to know (but wasn’t called on yesterday by the mayor to ask): Will there be a searchable database of officers’ disciplinary records — or will the public need to file FOIL requests to get the information?
  • Car-crash deaths are spiking in New York City and nationally, even with fewer cars on the road because of the pandemic (Streetsblog, NYPost).
  • Here’s a new pandemic vacation idea: a two-day, 40-mile hike through city streets (Backpacker).
  • In other pedestrian news, marchers will trek through the Lower East Side on Wednesday in support of the 2020 Census (via Twitter).
  • And this for cyclists: a primer on mountain biking gear from NY Magazine.
  • In what is turning into a sad refrain, the governor is asking the feds for $59 billion, including at least $15 billion for transportation (amNY).
  • The MTA, meanwhile, hopes to stimulate a bailout by expressing openness to federal oversight of its books (NYPost).
  • Finally, friend of Streetsblog Shabazz Stuart makes a good point about all the NYPD vehicles blocking sidewalks (via Twitter).