Wednesday’s Headlines: Looks Like We Picked the Wrong Day to Give Up Coffee Edition
From the assignment desk: It’s going to be a busy day today.
First, kids and parents will join Transportation Alternatives at a bike ride to school, starting at around 7 a.m. at Rockaway Avenue and Bergen Street, and moving westbound to Court Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Follow the progress here, and join on route.
Then, DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez will cut the ribbon on the Schermerhorn Street bike lane, which is more or less done and already making cyclists and pedestrians safer. We may skip the 11:30 a.m. photo op, but we’ll soon have full coverage of this crucial new link in Downtown Brooklyn. (The agency deserves kudos for starting the Emmons Avenue project, too, as the Brooklyn Paper reported.)
Then, we’ll head to City Hall, where Speaker Adrienne Adams will preside over the Council’s regular meeting, and give a pre-meeting presser. We intend to ask her about obscure-but-necessary zoning changes like eliminating mandatory parking minimums, just to see if the mayor’s proposal stands a chance with her restive caucus.
We’ll also be roving the halls of the People’s House searching for members of the Council or the Mayor’s Office who will talk about the DOT’s decision to truncate its “Apolline’s Garden” plaza and shared street design, which once seemed so promising, but now seems like a compromise (after and before below):
— Simon Fondrie-Teitler (@varlogsimon) October 11, 2022
After the presser, Council Member Bob Holden, and recidivist speeders Inna Vernikov and Kalman Yeger will introduce the latest bikelash bill that won’t solve the very real problem that they propose to solve. They should start with illegal mopeds first — those vehicles are sold everywhere without proper license plates, yet are not legal to be used without them. The NYPD has been slow to crack down; the city Department of Consumer and Workplace Protection hasn’t even tried; and state DMV passed the buck.
And, finally, at 6:30, the DOT will present its redesign for Third Avenue, Manhattan’s last lamentable car sewer. Julianne Cuba rounded up the details in this curtain-raiser.
In other news:
- Manhattan Borough President is wise to focus on the need for delivery reform, given how many e-commerce packages are flooding the city, but our friend Charles Komanoff was also wise to point out that some sort of congestion charge might be in order (NYDN). Assembly Member Robert Carroll would simply put a $3 charge on orders, as we reported.
- Manhattan office occupancy rates are up (NY Post), though subway ridership still remains at around 60 percent of its pre-pandemic weekday normal.
- The car-loving New York Times did what it always does: Find a way to complain about congestion pricing, this time in the guise of supporting cab drivers. Reminder: The most important constituency in New York City is millions of transit riders — all of whom would be helped by congestion pricing.
- The city Sheriff has started booting cars again after the long pandemic layoff (that we broke wide open!). (The City)
- The City also looked at why it takes so long to get a city tree planted on your block.
- The Daily News covered Council Member Lincoln Restler’s bill (originally Steve Levin’s bill) to allow the public to report illegally parked cars … and get a bit of cash as an incentive. The NYPD opposes the bill, claiming it is handling the job … then was quoted as saying it writes fewer than two tickets per precinct per day for bike lane blocking. What a joke.
- Could New York City win one of these Bloomberg Philanthropies bike lane infrastructure grants? (Bloomberg)
- Finally, our friend Harry Siegel had the best idea we’ve ever had (every year):
Why doesn't NYC shut down residential streets to through traffic while kids are out trick or treating on the evening of Halloween?!
— Harry Siegel (@harrysiegel) October 11, 2022