Thursday’s Headlines: ‘Kicking the Can’ Edition

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Gotta hand it to Mayor de Blasio: He seems intent on proving that leadership of one of the world’s greatest cities can be reduced to a few classic American idioms.

As we wrote last week, his leadership on congestion pricing and the post-pandemic carpocalypse that has descended upon us consists of “passing the buck.”

Yesterday, we learned that his leadership on the crumbling Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, which his administration (and outside groups) have studied for two years, amounts to “kicking the can down the road.”

Instead of removing or re-imagining the decaying, 71-year-old structure, sections of which could collapse as early as 2024, Hizzoner announced that, through a variety of measures — such as a lane reduction, strategic reinforcement, channeling freight toward other modes, and enforcement against overweight trucks — the city will prolong the life of the highway for 19 years. That’s long enough to get the issue of what, if anything, gets done past the next mayoralty, even.

“Spit and tissue” anyone?

“People can say [that we are] kicking the can down the road; I just disagree,” the mayor said in his daily press briefing yesterday, in response to Streetsblog’s question.

Nobody bought it.

Streetsblog called the mayor’s plan, which he described as “bold,” “really a long punt.”

“To me it just seems like kicking the can down the road and not really dealing with the larger issue of the city being overrun by cars and trucks,” StreetsPAC’s Eric McClure told us.

The administration “is giving up on plans to rebuild” the deteriorating highway, intoned The Post, driving home the defeatism in the mayor’s approach.

The News sniffed that “city officials have no plan to rebuild the rapidly deteriorating Brooklyn-Queens Expressway beneath Brooklyn Heights — so they’re plotting a patch job instead.”

Gothamist, meanwhile, said that, rather than tear down or rebuild the collapsing road, de Blasio “will put off the decision for two more decades.”

And so on.

Too bad the mayor couldn’t summon the moxie to “make a new plan, Stan,” as one famous New Yorker sang in 1975. There’s at least 50 ways to replace the BQE.

In other news:

  • The Department of Transportation is hiring a coordinator for the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program that was established by Brad Lander’s legislation. (Via Twitter)
  • Kevin Duggan’s tweet came seconds before our own old man editor, trying to be nice to a long-standing council member, reminded him not to discuss his personal life on a hot mic.
  • Who else did Gov. Cuomo bully? The Munsee and the Shinnecocks, via the state DOT. (City and State)
  • File this under “more stupid cop tricks.” If this officer kept his job, we’d guess there’s hope for the governor. (NYDN)
  • The cops are investigating the incident of the brutal beating of a fare evader that surfaced on video last weekend. (NYDN)
  • Bob Holden, transit advocate? (PIX11)
  • The feds should regulate automobile ads that promote reckless driving in the same way that they do cigarette and liquor ads, argued Transportation Alternatives’ Danny Harris in Bloomberg Citylab.
  • The open streets in the Meatpacking District, which Streetsblog has championed since they were wee pop-ups, will become permanent with the installation of planters. (TimeOut)
  • It’s always so reassuring when it happens at your station. (NYPost)
  • And finally, this, because New Yorkers need a good laugh. One of these jokers once winked at us while he stopped for a light as he rode his bike down Fifth Avenue. You can guess which one. (Via Twitter)