Tuesday’s Headlines: Kids Should Be Able to Play in the Street Edition

Why don't we have these kinds of streets anymore? Photo: Katrina Thomas/NYC Parks Photo Archive
Why don't we have these kinds of streets anymore? Photo: Katrina Thomas/NYC Parks Photo Archive

Our lead story today by Jesse Coburn reminds us again how badly the city has failed to give our children safe streets, what with only two dozen or so public schools even bothering to use a poorly administered city program that allows the schools to ban cars on roadways in front of the educational institution.

An earlier Coburn investigation showed how important car-free streets could be to keeping children safe, given that crashes and injuries happen at a much higher rate on roadways with schools during pickup and drop-off hours.

But all of Coburn’s reporting was given a new context, thanks to a new photo exhibit at the Parks Department’s headquarters in the Arsenal in Central Park. Called “Streets In Play: Katrina Thomas, NYC Summer 1968,” the photos by Thomas, then a photographer for the Lindsay administration, show why safe streets for kids are so important.

Remember when you could just roll an old tire down the street, screaming all the way?

Photo: Katrina Thomas/NYC Parks Photo Archive
Photo: Katrina Thomas/NYC Parks Photo Archive

Remember when kids could do all of these things below in the street with your friends, learning how to get along in the world, to develop independent living skills or just cool off?

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It doesn’t have to be this way! We can create great streets for kids. We just have to give them — and not cars — the space they need. Check out the show at the Arsenal now through Sept. 2, with a “curators’ talk” on July 13 at 6 p.m. The event is free but registration is required by emailing the Parks Department at artandantiquities@parks.nyc.gov.

In other news:

  • The Post rode around exclusively with Mayor Adams on the subway for a few hours early one morning, and the one prevailing theme is that the mayor thinks the city sucks.
  • Could Gov. Hochul’s Penn Station boondoggle go the way of Gov. Cuomo’s Amazon boondoggle? (The City)
  • Here’s a Jersey take on the Penn Station issue. (NJ.com)
  • D train riders in the Bronx will suffer for many nights and many weekends as the MTA makes repairs. (NYDN)
  • The Belt Parkway, which turns into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after midnight, was the scene of yet another drag racing crash. Drivers should be reminded: keep checking your rear-view mirror when you are on that road! (amNY)
  • Several outlets covered the mayor’s Sanitation announcement yesterday, but only Streetsblog put into perspective just how little Hizzoner is putting into the pilot program to get trash bags off the sidewalk. (NY Post)
  • Conservatives are piling on President Biden’s misguided gas tax holiday. (City Journal)
  • Jose Martinez broke a good story about subway surfing in The City, and the Post followed.
  • Oonee, the bike parking people, showed off some incremental news yesterday. (The Brooklyn Paper)
  • From the assignment desk: On Tuesday at 2 p.m., we’ll finally get a Transportation Committee hearing at the City Council (the last one was scrubbed) — and it’s a doozy. Not only will Carlina Rivera’s greenway maintenance bill get a hearing, but Chair Selvena Brooks-Powers will undertake an oversight hearing on public space management, which is sort of our thing.
  • Speaking of the hearing, our Open Plans colleague Jackson Chabot (with Elizabeth Goldstein and Benjamin Prosky) had a well-reasoned primer on the issue in Gotham Gazette.
  • Larry Penner thinks the MTA is a fiscal Titanic. (Mass Transit)
  • It’s official: Jessie Singer’s “There Are No Accidents” is one of the best books of the year! (Fortune)
  • Also, it’s Election Day. Please vote. (NY Post, NY Times, amNYStreetsblog)
  • And the public pools open today! (Fox 5)