Tuesday’s Headlines: Early Thanksgiving Edition

It was supposed to be a slow news day, but the powers-that-be yesterday used the lull of the impending holiday to loose some salutary active-transportation and transit developments — for which we are thankful! (We try to practice gratitude every day even though decades of stewing in ink have jaundiced our views.)

It’s nice to have some good news even as, three days from now, Americans (in a tryptophan-and-Bourbon-induced stupor, no doubt) will unleash an orgy of road violence. That entirely foreseeable disaster will come in a week that an SUV-driver in Wisconsin allegedly used his vehicle as a weapon in a multiple homicide which, as The Washington Post explained, is a distressingly common phenomenon in America and around the world (proving that, in one way at least, America truly is not exceptional).

Still, is this country great or what?

Yesterday our Julianne Cuba discovered an unreported, little-noticed Department of Transportation study documenting that New Yorkers, especially Manhattanites, love outdoor dining! (We knew this intuitively, but we are grateful for the support of a trend that enables us to date safely during a pandemic.)

Then, the Department of Sanitation laid an exclusive full of welcome news on our grizzled editor, disclosing that it finally leased some of those skinny slow plows to sweep our bike lanes of unwanted white stuff. (Now if city workers and everyone else only would stop parking in them…) The scoop appeared at the top of the morning.

In other thanks-inducing pre-holiday news:

  • The city is collecting more fines than ever from the skanky motorists who continually invade the bus lane, it told the New York Post in a pre-Thanksgiving hand-out. That’s because there are both stationary and bus-mounted cameras to catch the malefactors. Iron Man David Meyer got a great profoundly disturbing quote from a bus-lane scofflaw complaining that the fines “rape” car drivers.
  • The New York Times’s Opinion page published a foot-stomping proposal by Jay Caspian Kang that we could really get behind: free e-bikes for everyone — to be ridden on car-free streets!
  • Columbia’s undergraduate magazine, The Blue and White, considered how biking and urban planning could shape Morningside Heights for the better. Having dodged taxis on the heights’s speedway (um, Broadway…) for a dozen years, we wholeheartedly agree!
  • The busy Broadway Junction station is finally getting elevators, thanks to federal cash. (NYDN, Brooklyn Paper)
  • A trio not-for-profit honchos argued in a Daily News op-ed that the deleterious use of city-owned property — for example, as parking lots for cops’ private cars — is a racial-justice issue. We agree!
  • Finally, a day after the safe-streets community observed the World Day of Remembrance for the victims of road violence, Mayor-elect Adams, City Council worthies, and safe-streets advocates joined for a (curiously press-free) roundtable on the carnage at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Now for some action, please.