Monday’s Headlines: Super Bowl EV Madness Edition

Hey, two hands on that wheel, Zeus!
Hey, two hands on that wheel, Zeus!

Every year, we watch the Super Bowl for two reasons: for the chili-cheese nachos and to watch the car industry continue its century-long effort to convince the American consumer that owning a car is good for them, their society, their air, their freedom and their wallets.

This year, the continued brainwashing came in the form of a lot of ads for electric car ads, which, as we all know, don’t change the equation very much at all (albeit with a little less damage to the air).

We also played Transportation Alternatives’s annual Car Ad Bingo game, but didn’t do so well this year because most of the traditional car ad themes — muscle cars screeching through empty urban streets, pick up trucks on the open range, and overt references to freedom — were shoved aside in the rush to get Americans hooked on EVs. Here was our final scorecard (did we miss anything?):

transalt car ad bingo 2022 with x and stroke

In other news from the weekend:

  • In case you missed this late Friday afternoon feature in the Daily News, reporter Clayton Guse did a clean write-through of all the stories we’ve been writing about the failures of the early days of the Adams administration.
  • Double-duty Guse also had an analysis of the rising number of people who have died in the subway this year. (NYDN)
  • That said, subway ridership is starting to rise as Omicron recedes. (NY Post, amNY)
  • Uber and Lyft drivers are getting a raise, thanks to the city. (Gothamist)
  • Speaking of the two app-taxi giants, at least one of them has a good business plan. (The Verge)
  • And it’s ain’t Uber, which is a classic bezzle, says Cory Doctorow. (Pluralistic)
  • Gothamist did its own post-mortem of the open street that was first erased and then restored. It seems, we got slightly closer to figuring out what the hell happened.
  • Speaking of failures, the New York Times has pretty much ignored the plight of New York City’s long-suffering bus riders … until after Streetsblog wrote about the topic as the greatest failure of the de Blasio years. Well, now the Gray Lady has spun our “legacy of de Blasio” story into a “challenge for new Mayor Adams” story. Fine by us.
  • In a Daily News op-ed, Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris again pitched local control of city streets.
  • Hours after Streetsblog and amNY reported on a teenage driver who killed a pedestrian in Brooklyn, another pedestrian, this time a 60-year-old man, was killed by 21-year-old BMW driver. (NYDN)
  • The NYPD got slapped down by a judge for not turning over key information in how it handled (badly) the protests after the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. “If I order something …, you can’t just blow it off. Do you understand that?” Magistrate Judge Gabe Gorenstein told a city lawyer. “We can’t function if you don’t read and comply with court orders. That’s just basic. I’m just flabbergasted.” (NYDN)
  • In case anyone was wondering, our old man editor’s pond hockey team lost all four of its games on completely crappy ice in 45-degree Vermont on Friday and Saturday and he returns to New York today with his tail between his legs and his skates turned into serrated knives.
  • Finally, it’s Valentine’s Day, so show some love to your favorite pedestrian.