Tuesday’s Headlines: ‘Hot Impunity Summer’ Edition
He’s sorry … that some of his political enemies would stoop to this.
After the Post outed Bay Ridge Council Member Justin Brannan for getting 16 school-zone speeding tickets —including six violations in the last five months — Brannan took to a Facebook group to explain why he was “singled out” for scrutiny. His apology surfaced lots of throat-clearing and caveats for his behavior.
“Did one of my many opponents plant this story? Of course they did!” Brannan wrote. “But that’s irrelevant.” So why mention it?
Eh, I only blamed myself. This screenshot is taken out of context — it was part of a long FB thread where people were asking/wondering why I was singled out, etc. And, like I said, it doesn't matter where it came from. I own it. It's on me. Why I was singled out is irrelevant.
— Justin Brannan (@JustinBrannan) July 19, 2021
Safe-streets advocates and journalists noted that his statement raised even more questions: Why was a politician driving “waayyyy” more during the pandemic, when he could have been setting an example and taking mass transit, like the rest of the essential workers? Why did he need a story in the Post to be reminded to “practice what we preach”? Was the second speeding ticket not enough? What about the 15th? The Post also caught Brannan’s Ford SUV illegally parked outside the venue where Jumaane Williams was getting married, city-issued placard on the dash. How often does he use his parking placard? And for what purpose?
Brannan has not responded to Streetsblog’s messages or texts — nor has he picked up the phone when we have called to ask him follow-up questions. Specifically: Will he relinquish his city-owned parking placard? Will he redouble his efforts to make Fourth Avenue safer? Our inbox is waiting, council member.
Will you give up your city-issued parking placard?
— Streetsblog New York (@StreetsblogNYC) July 19, 2021
- The MTA will not raise fares in 2021, according to MTA board member and Gov. Cuomo confidante Larry Schwartz. “Now is not the time to raise fares,” Schwartz told reporters after the agency’s committees met on Monday afternoon. But the man who repeatedly was bitten by Cuomo’s dog in the governor’s mansion, much to the governor’s delight, said that the delayed, 4 percent fare hike may happen next year, and hinted that the MTA would be asking New York City to contribute more money to the agency. Gothamist, the Daily News, and the Post all covered.
- The City’s Jose Martinez noted that the MTA has eliminated remote commenting with the return of in-person meetings, making it much harder for New Yorkers with disabilities or other accessibility issues to get to Lower Manhattan and speak their minds.
- Staten Island Advance op/ed writer Tom Wrobleski spends a column complaining about the menace of e-bikes without once mentioning that traffic fatalities on the Rock have doubled this year because of reckless car drivers. Read this Advance reporting instead.
- Bloomberg’s City Lab reports that about 30 percent of traffic crashes go unreported in Washington, D.C., with many of the unreported crashes happening in Black communities.
- Some of Curbed’s “25 Ways to Make the Post-Pandemic City More Livable, Prosperous, and Just” made us spew our coffee (lol Jeff Zucker) but we can get on board with a few, namely, banning private cars in Manhattan and making the subway free four days a week.
- Bill de Blasio’s “wet, hot validictory summer” is The New Yorker’s Talk of the Town. Lesson: If you put on a cute shirt and a goofy hat, some reporters will forget that you’re fighting a judicial inquiry into Eric Garner’s death, moving homeless New Yorkers out of hotels and into congregate shelters, failing to convince crucial segments of the population to get vaccinated, and doing nothing substantive about the rising epidemic of heat and death on our city streets.
- Speaking of heat and death, you may have noticed that the sun was a little…menacing this morning.
A dense layer of smoke, originating from wildfires in the Western US and Canada, is drifting over the NYC Metro this morning. Hazy skies are already noticeable and will become thicker later, with some smoke even dropping relatively close to the surface (where we are). pic.twitter.com/mXgdfTTQps
— New York Metro Weather (@nymetrowx) July 20, 2021