Thursday’s Headlines: A Historic Deal that Will Take Years Edition

By 2055, the people in this picture will finally get what they have long deserved. Photo: Trent Reeves/MTA
By 2055, the people in this picture will finally get what they have long deserved. Photo: Trent Reeves/MTA

Wait ’til next year (plus 31).

The MTA reached an historic settlement with disability advocates who have been suing the agency over its, how shall we put it, leisurely approach to following the Americans With Disabilities Act (which passed under the first President Bush). The suit was filed in 2017.

Most of the dailies had coverage (NY Post, NY Times, amNY) — all pointing out the major shortcoming in the deal: the MTA has promised to make 95 percent of the system accessible by 2055, which is 32 years away.

But still, it’s an important piece of news that, for the first time, puts the MTA on a timeline to do what it’s more or less been required to do since 1990.

In other news:

  • First, from the assignment desk: New Yorkers who are appalled that pedestrians and cyclists can still be hit on Broadway (as they were on Monday) will demand the full pedestrianization of the increasingly plaza-filled Great White Way at a rally at 6 p.m. tonight at Broadway and 33rd Street (Transportation Alternatives via Twitter). If you recall our story from earlier in the week, Mayor Adams is not yet convinced. Let’s help him.
  • Meanwhile, the Daily News had more coverage of the crash, falling back on the tabloid trope of squeezing tears over an Ohio woman’s injuries. Yet New York’s Hometown Paper didn’t mention its own residents’ rally to fight for safety.
  • The Daily News did add some value to the story of the killing of Vorda Begum on Flatlands Avenue on Monday, but the tabloid followed its script to the letters — running sexy photos of the dead woman and teasing out tears, but did not spend even a minute on the real story: Why Flatlands Avenue is such a danger zone for pedestrians, which was our angle. It is simply incomprehensible how New York’s local papers can never see the truly local story right in front of them.
  • Speaking of which, why did it fall to the Hell Gate to cover how the NYPD basically militarized Carroll Gardens to pay tribute to one of its fallen chiefs? Every tabloid reporter in town knows — yet cowardly won’t report on — how the drill when there’s a big cop funeral: The NYPD basically commandeers all the sidewalks for parking and tows away all the locals’ cars so that police, who can’t be bothered to take the subway, can drive in from Levittown. We saw no less than four NYPD tow trucks doing the dirty work — and pointed out on Twitter that when reckless drivers’ cars need to be towed away, there never seems to be a truck available. Also, a funeral parlor director weighed in deliciously:

  • The MTA is piloting hidden surveillance cameras on trains, though the only shock of that news is that it’s only happening now instead of, like 20 years ago. (NY Post)
  • Gothamist is the latest outlet to cover the nuttiest NIMBY battle in town right now.
  • A man was run over and killed after sleeping under another person’s truck in Queens, the truck’s driver said. (NY Post)
  • There is something incredibly dangerous about this Post story about a reporter who tried an NYPD “simulator” and turned it into a jeremiad against the “defund the police” crowd.
  • Why can’t we have nice things? Because we have to steal them back. (NY Post)
  • The City once again looked at the changing commute patterns and how Manhattan may never again be the workers’ paradise it once was.
  • Our friend Christopher Robbins is on a roll. His latest Hell Gate piece mocked Major League Baseball for messing up the ultimate can of corn tribute to the Yankees’ reaching 50 wins. The Daily News followed without crediting.
  • Navy vet Richard Rojas, who killed one person and injured 22 more with a car in Times Square in 2017 was found not guilty “by reason of mental defect,” a jury found. During the trial, a Weill-Cornell psychiatrist testified that Rojas’s psychosis had affected his ability to perceive reality. So explain this to us: Why was he allowed to have a driver’s license if he can’t perceive reality? (NYDN, NY Times)
  • Hat tip to Council members Bob Holden and Selvena Brooks-Powers for saying all the right things in Queens:

  • And, finally, cartoon and biking nerds will love this Streetfilms shortie by Clarence Eckerson about his bike-cute meeting with Andy Singer:


On Transit Funding, Emperor Cuomo Has No Clothes

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget includes no new funds for the MTA capital program — a brazen departure from the funding pledge Cuomo made just a few months ago. Transit advocates laid out the broken promises at a press conference in Brooklyn this morning. Back in October, Cuomo reached an agreement with Mayor de Blasio that the […]