Thursday’s Headlines: MTA-Palooza Edition
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s monthly board meeting provided a feast of news for the city press yesterday. The Post’s “Ironman” David Meyer got three bylines off of the one measly meeting, including that the MTA “missed a key deadline last month to get reforms needed to curb overtime abuse and fraud” (MTA overtime abuse being a longtime preoccupation of the Tabloid of Record), that subway felonies dropped for a second straight month (perhaps obviating the recent, massive infusion of cops), and that an MTA official installed an illegal charging hub for his Tesla on company property.
Guse of the Newsuh, meanwhile, took a less corruption-fueled approach to the same meeting, reporting on the illegal charger but also chronicling advocates’ complaints that the authority’s online meetings in the time of COVID had damaged the agency’s transparency. Guse also delivered an angle on the late delivery of Kawasaki train cars for one of the authority’s suburban lines and pushed ahead the weekend story of the electrocution of a worker in a Long Island Rail Road train yard; the authority will halt the project he was working on.
Gothamist, for its part, fulminated that the MTA is refusing to disclose the legal costs associated with fighting accessibility lawsuits. (MTA Chairman Pat Foye dodged Gothamist’s question, saying that he would check with his Freedom of Information Law office about getting the figure, but “wouldn’t commit to releasing them.” Surprise!)
The City’s Jose Martinez found a more promising angle: Foy’s acknowledgement that he is looking for help from private developers for ADA-mandated accessibility upgrades — this, in a city in which public-private partnerships remain controversial and have a spotty record.
In other news:
- NYPD Commish Dermot Shea struck another blow against police transparency, this time spurning a City Council request for more disciplinary records. (Gothamist)
- In more NYPD news, a video showed a cop shoving a funeral-goer into traffic. (The City)
- The Verrazzano will get a suicide-prevention fence. (SILive)
- Motorist-on-motorist violence spurs action: Police charged a 21-year-old who killed a veterinarian in a crash on the BQE last year with criminally negligent homicide, reckless driving and speeding. Would that it were true for so much vehicle violence against vulnerable road users. (WCBS)
- Council Member Peter Koo and Adam Ganser penned a City Limits op-ed promoting a plan for more open green space. Too bad Koo has no clue about real open space — the streets!
- RIP gasoline. Yay! (WSJ)
- We look forward to the immortal Clarence Eckerson’s next opus. (Via Twitter)
Going to be making a @Streetfilms this spring on how the entire Union Sq nabe has become much like a Barcelona Superblock over the past 15 years.
Went with my son today and grabbed some clips with my phone. It is so quiet. It is so calm. There are few cars. Many modes. Life! pic.twitter.com/85dyle7kRo
— Streetfilms (993 videos!) (@Streetfilms) March 18, 2021