Monday’s Headlines: The Shame of Staten Island Edition

As we mentioned last week, it must be terrible to work at the Staten Island Advance and care about the truth about road safety.

The new example? Erik Bascombe’s latest story revealed that Staten Island is the nation’s most dangerous place for pedestrians. But no matter how many good stories he writes about crashes or danger on the Rock, the paper’s editorial board and its Car Lover in Chief, Tom Wrobleski, consistently argue against street safety changes and speed cameras. (Update: On Sunday, per NYPD, a pedestrian was killed at the corner of Tysens Lane and Hylan Boulevard — and the driver was not charged. Here’s our story.)

We wish the Advance would return to its pro-pedestrian editorial position of the 1940s — back when car drivers were just starting their assault on borough residents. Back then, the paper kept a running tally of the death toll on a section front page — something that should be revived now.

The Staten Island Advance used to call out drivers for their death toll. Now the paper waves the green flag.
The Staten Island Advance used to call out drivers for their death toll. Now the paper waves the green flag.

In other news:

  • The Daily News had a feel-good story about a man recovered after being left for dead by a hit-and-run driver. Too bad most stories don’t have a happy ending. (Reporters didn’t bother following up on whether the driver faced serious punishment.)
  • A reckless driver seriously injured a 5-year-old boy in Brooklyn. (NY Post)
  • Police are still looking for the deranged driver who ran over a school bus driver because he was apparently frustrated at having to wait (Gothamist). The Post, which showed great understanding of how to check driving records when it wanted to shame Council Member Brad Lander last month, seemed to have forgotten how to run the plates on other drivers. But thanks to How’s My Driving, we know that the car associated with this fatal crash has 28 speeding tickets and one red light ticket since July). That kind of impatient driving was also behind the fatal crash last week in Astoria (Gothamist). But, of course, driver enablers will find a way to blame pedestrians or cyclists for the hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries caused by the operators of four-wheeled pollution factories.
  • In a related story, pedestrian deaths are up 58 percent this year compared to last year. But, as we just mentioned would probably happen, the NY Post found a way to blame the Vision Zero program for road violence rather than its perpetrators.
  • Cars also just catch fire sometimes, too! (NY Post)
  • Lime, the bike and scooter company, formally launched its Revel-style mopeds on Friday (and our old man editor got a photo byline in the Brooklyn Paper for pointing and shooting Kevin Duggan’s camera as the scribe tested the mini-chopper).
  • This is only tangentially related to the livable streets movement, but it does relate to promises. And when it comes to job-creating numbers, Andrew Yang doesn’t keep them, the Times reported. That’s something to keep in mind for Streetsblog readers who see Yang making nice-sounding promises on open streets and bike lanes.
  • In a related story, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams again pledged to build 300 miles of protected bike lanes in four years — which would mark the first time a cop said anything nice about bike lanes. (amNY)
  • Sen. Chuck Schumer called on Gov. Cuomo to restore 24-7 service on the subway. (NY Post, amNY)
  • In case you missed it from Friday, but Mayor de Blasio’s brief photo op on the new W. 181st Street busway didn’t earn  him the kind of press coverage he’d hoped — mostly because he rode the bus for all of two minutes and then hopped into his waiting SUV to finish his commute to work. (NY Post, NYDN)
  • And finally, what a surprise: Former federal transit man Larry Penner is concerned about the MTA’s growing debt. (Mass Transit)