Tuesday’s Headlines: Mayoral Mercy Mission Edition

Mayor Adams (white shirt) was in Puerto Rico on Monday with (far left) DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez.
Mayor Adams (white shirt) was in Puerto Rico on Monday with (far left) DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez.

It is a longstanding tradition that New York City mayors head to the Caribbean in times of great disasters. And as New Yorkers, we support such efforts to help our neighbors, both here and overseas.

So we were pleased that Mayor Adams rushed to Puerto Rico to help the frequently battered island-that-should-be-a-state — whose diaspora fills an essential heart of New York City — recover from the most-recent hurricane.

But his transportation commissioner? That’s another thing all together.

Here's Mayor Adams with San Juan Mayor Miguel Romero (with Ydanis Rodriguez in the background). Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
Here’s Mayor Adams with San Juan Mayor Miguel Romero (with Ydanis Rodriguez and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards in the background). Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

We weren’t the only ones wondering why DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez was also in Puerto Rico with Hizzoner. After the Post published a video of Rodriguez in the background of a mayoral presser, at least one DOT staffer told us that plenty of people in the the back office in Lower Manhattan — where our story last week about the agency’s many problems was already Topic Number 1 — were shaking their head about Rodriguez’s role in the mercy mission.

Again, we admire New Yorkers who are moved to “help our brothers and sisters on the ground,” as the mayor put it, but whatever Rodriguez’s strengths — his empathy, compassion and warmth are without question substantial — helping a crippled nation get its transportation system back in running order is not on his professional resume.

Here’s hoping Mayor Adams is backing up his visit with genuine technical expertise on the ground.

In other news:

  • You just had to love Christopher Robbins’s delicious story about the brouhaha in Gramercy Park after the city had the temerity to install a Citi Bike dock after … telling the neighborhood it was going to do just that at a recent community board meeting. Nonetheless, the poobahs of the private green released the cry of “We were never told!” anyway. It never ends. (Hell Gate)
  • Sure, there was a big rain on Sunday night, but most of us rode to work on Monday confident that Lake Gutman had been fully drained by the DOT’s repaving efforts last week. Um, apparently not:

But the good news, according to the DOT press shop, is that the agency is still at work on making sure the Brooklyn Bridge bike path doesn’t have puddles (which are a real danger in the winter). We’ll stay on the story.

  • Political writer Ross Barkan obviously loved our reporter Jesse Coburn’s deep analysis of the problems inside the Department of Transportation — so much so that he devoted an entire column to it, and used Coburn’s reporting as another way into his refrain that Mayor Adams doesn’t know what he’s doing. (Political Currents)
  • Will our various governments pay $52 billion to protect New York City from climate-related storm surges? (NY Times, Gothamist, The City)
  • Not that many outlets jumped on Transportation Alternatives’ news on Monday that it had created a website to track Mayor Adams’s bike lane shortcomings — which is a shame because it fits into a growing narrative that this “Get Stuff Done” mayor is only getting some stuff done. (Streetsblog, amNY)
  • Weird that the Post is jumping on the “privatize police” bandwagon.
  • A hit-and-run driver killed a man on the FDR Drive. (NYDN, NY Post, amNY)
  • An attempted carjacking sent a vehicle crashing into a KFC. (NYDN, NY Post)
  • Sure, they’re electric, but it looks like China is about to repeat Detroit’s mistakes and turn a car-light society into a car-dependent one. (NY Times)


Transit Riders to Albany: Get to Work on a Real MTA Solution

Photo: Ben Fried. Yesterday’s rally in Union Square drew hundreds of transit riders calling on the State Senate and Albany leaders to enact a long-term solution for the MTA’s enormous funding shortfall. Judging by the cheering sections in the audience, most of the crowd was mobilized by the Facebook group "1,000,000 People Against the NYC […]
Toll reform creates a fairer transportation system. Ferry subsidies do not. Photo: Michael Appelton/Mayoral Photography Office

De Blasio Launches $325 Million Ferry Service While Poor New Yorkers Struggle to Afford MetroCards

Yesterday the mayor emphasized that the prices for single ferry rides and monthly passes are equivalent to those of single-ride and monthly MetroCards. But ferry riders hoping to connect to other points in the city will have to pay twice - for the boat ride, and again for the subway or bus. And most stops are in neighborhoods where the annual income is above the citywide average.