Tuesday’s Headlines: More Advocacy Journalism Edition

Injuries caused by car drivers are literally happening everywhere in this city so far this year. Source: NYPD
Injuries caused by car drivers are literally happening everywhere in this city so far this year. Source: NYPD

The Daily News reported late yesterday that a hit-and-run van driver killed a Brooklyn father of 6. And amNY reported that a senior citizen was badly injured by a truck driver in Union Square.

These are, unfortunately, all-too-common stories in our local papers every day because 2021 is already an exceptionally bloody year on New York streets, with 73 fatalities through May 9, up 30 percent from last year, according to NYPD statistics. Total injuries caused by car drivers are up this year (by nearly 8 percent), car crashes that cause injuries are up 5.4 percent, car crashes that injure cyclists are up 32.7 percent. (Those figures don’t include a cabbie who lost control of his Highlander and flipped it over in Williamsburg on Monday, the Daily News reported.)

And all those road violence categories (and others!) are up by triple digits over the last 28 days, compared to the same period last year when the lockdown started.

Whenever we bring up such numbers, Mayor de Blasio dismisses us as “advocacy journalists,” though he never tosses the same pejorative at every tabloid reporter in town who asks him why shootings are up — as if one public epidemic of violence is worthy of concern from the press, while another is simply the niche concern of “advocates.”

Every paper in town has an editorial board calling for the mayor to get on top of all these shootings, calling on Hizzoner to get guns off the streets and hold the gunmen accountable.

But when we ask the mayor why he won’t do the equivalent to end the road violence epidemic — get cars off the streets and hold the reckless drivers accountable — he dismisses us as “advocates.”

We’ll make a deal: If the Times, the Post, the News and amNY start asking why the mayor won’t keep cyclists and pedestrians safe from car drivers, we’ll limit our questions to shootings.

In the meantime, here’s the other news:

  • A new poll suggests that Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is now leading the mayor’s race (Politico) — though the poll was conducted before the Times published a massive piece on how Adams treats his office like a campaign cash machine.
  • Mayor de Blasio’s announcement that he was giving in to the MTA and putting even more cops in the subway (on overtime!) was big news on Monday. The NY Post, obviously, said it was too little. The Wall Street Journal evoked the hidden hand of business interests. Gothamist played it straight. And amNY focused on how the MTA still isn’t satisfied. Streetsblog analyzed how the move might affect the mayor’s race.
  • The Daily News editorial board is pleased that so many homeless people accepted shelter from the city during the months when the subway was shut down overnight. But the paper seems way too optimistic that the city will continue to provide those services.
  • Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa challenged his fellow office seekers to ride the subway with him for 24 hours (which you can do now!). We would not be surprised if Mayor de Blasio’s response was, “Of course, I’ve ridden the subway for 24 hours. It just took me four years.” (NY Post)
  • Meanwhile, it was a bad day for progressive darling Dianne Morales after The City broke a story about a weird bribe she allegedly paid two decades ago to a rogue city water inspector.
  • Attention, Manhattanites: The Wall Street Journal did a broad preview of the Manhattan District Attorney’s race that was completely devoid of livable streets issues.
  • Former federal transit man Larry Penner must have been in Bayside the other day because Queens Crap posted his pictures showing what a lousy job the LIRR is doing maintaining its station there.
  • Our own Dave Colon was a featured voice on the United States of Anxiety podcast episode, “Fuck Robert Moses, Let’s Start Over.”
  • And, finally, the Streetsblog family is growing! (Streetsblog)


New Report Breaks Down Crashes Involving City Agencies, Except NYPD

A new report sheds light on the extent to which drivers working for city agencies are involved in traffic collisions [PDF]. But the picture is incomplete: NYPD, the agency involved in the most pedestrian injury claims, is withholding its crash information from the city’s database. Excluding the police department, drivers of city-owned vehicles were involved in eight of the 250 traffic fatalities in New […]