Thursday’s Headlines: Boosting our (Cop) Brackets Edition
Police supporters in Albany quietly passed a bill through the state Senate and Assembly that would enable the NYPD and other uniformed services to block the disclosure of misconduct records, the New York Post reported exclusively yesterday. The new law, which requires Gov. Hochul’s signature, works as a kind of end-run around the recent reform of 50-a — the state law that for decades shielded the disciplinary records, which transparency advocates finally repealed in 2020.
As it happens, the move comes as Streetsblog is shining a bright light on the police, with our “March (Parking) Madness” series, which focuses on the depraved indifference of the denizens of NYPD station houses to the street safety of the neighborhoods they patrol. So far, our initial brackets have covered station houses in Brooklyn and Queens. Today’s installment looks at two especially hostile facilities in The Bronx.
Streetsblog has published “Parking Madness” each year since 2013 (with a pandemic hiatus in 2020) in order to expose some of the worst excesses of car culture in America. The series began as an attempt, as an early installment put it, “to name and shame the [country’s] worst parking craters” — “craters” being the vast lots scarring the landscape around sports stadiums, shopping malls, and other car-centric public installations. But our attention naturally turned to the ways other prominent car-users — such as our city’s largest uniformed service — interact with the built environment.
The precinct stationhouses constitute the most visible manifestation of our taxpayer dollars at work and of our city government’s basic function — its control of our security. They must work for everyone. Alas, they don’t. Having a former cop as our new mayor adds a certain urgency to our close examination of them. It’s not simply a matter of “Oh, look at all the crazy ways the cops degrade the safety of Astoria or Washington Heights with all their cars.” It’s a matter of who we are as New Yorkers.
Do the cops appreciate the scrutiny? Nope. Which is why their Albany pals are sneaking through an end-run around the repeal of 50-a.
In other news:
- The Daily News editorial board weighs in in favor of lifting parking minimums in transit-rich areas — a win for Streetsblog and Open Plans.
- Like Streetsblog, Brooklyn Paper covered the contentious meeting on the Willoughby Avenue open street fiasco.
- Private carters are getting a three-month reprieve on the April 15 deadline for implementation of the city’s commercial-waste zones. (Politico)
- ICYMI: In more motorist-on-motorist mayhem, cops in an unmarked vehicle in The Bronx shot a driver who allegedly tried to run them down during a traffic stop. (amNY)
- The New Republic examined whether “pandemic rage” is fueling America’s traffic-death epidemic.
- City and State checked in on the Albany state of play of the Crash Victim’s Bill of Rights and Safety Act.
- Gothamist followed amNY on the Penn Station construction story.
- Idling MTA buses are polluting a city line neighborhood. (Riverdale Press)
- The feds nabbed a New Yorker for allegedly assaulting a cop in last year’s pro-Trump Capitol riot. (NYPost, Patch, Gothamist)
- The Advance’s car-loving columnist Tom Wrobleski published a classically bad take on Putin and petro politics.
- In honor of the windy month and its upcoming holiday, here’s a tweet that charms with a story of a kid, a bus, and the magic of Irish America (Via Twitter):
on the bus and my kid for some reason asks "What's a leprechaun?" as I tried to answer a woman came over and leaned in and said in a Dublin accent "I'm from the same place as leprechauns!" with like an actual twinkle in her eye. anyway this is why you gotta ride the bus sometimes
— 'Weird Alex' Pareene (@pareene) March 9, 2022