Wednesday’s Headlines: David Mack’s Board Games Edition

Photo: Dave Colon
Photo: Dave Colon

Our editor’s crusade to rebrand “criminal mischief” in the wake of the arrest of a lawyer who tried to un-deface a scofflaw’s tape-covered license plate yields new stories every day.

Case in point: A friend who works in Lower Manhattan spotted this new Lexus illegally parked right in an MTA Police space in front of MTA headquarters across from the Bowling Green early yesterday. We rushed down and got our own footage, only to be told by sources that the new $43,615 car belonged to none other than law-and-order advocate David Mack, who represents Nassau County on the MTA board!

Why was Mack so flagrantly illegally parked? Well, spite could be one reason. Mack has previously tangled with MTA CEO and Chairman Janno Lieber over the fact that he can’t have an MTA Police placard of his very own, confronting the MTA chief over the summer with an outburst that one witness described as “unhinged.”

Mack, a real estate developer with no actual police experience outside using political connections to get permission to dress up like a state trooper, responded to the initial denial of his placard request by recommending respect for law and order replace congestion pricing.

Now the tantrum has gone further, with Mack claiming a parking space that he clearly feels he’s owed. Not that he needs it, since as an MTA Board member he gets a free ride on the LIRR. Mack has also previously been accused of using his influence at a Florida nursing home system to help his rich friends cut the vaccine line, seems accustomed to doing what he wants. But he he of all people should remember: the weed of crime bears bitter fruit. (We may follow up today on why the temporary plate on Mack’s new car says he lives in New Jersey, but that’s a scandal for another day.)

Photo: Dave Colon
Photo: Dave Colon

Gothamist — with the return of a Clayton Guse byline! — also covered the brouhaha.

And speaking of our editor’s insane “criminal mischief” videos have inspired the sincerest form of flattery, sadly:

In other news:

  • In unconnected Queens crashes, a motorcyclist killed a pedestrian (NYDN) and an SUV driver killed a pedestrian (NYDN). In that second crash, the Post had a photo of the SUV that featured its plate — but the Tabloid of Record didn’t bother to run the plate. Had they checked the record — as we did! — they would have seen that this crash was no “accident”: the car has been slapped with 27 speed-camera violations and one red-light violation since 2018 (11 of them this year alone). It boggles the mind why the vaunted New York press corps covers every other form of violence in this city as the important matter it is, yet completely neglects its basic instinct when it comes to road violence. It doesn’t even make sense because it’s a better story if you report it fully.
  • Armed guards — not cops — are helping the MTA cut fare beating without arrests. (NY Post)
  • Upper East Site looked at the coming changes to the First Avenue bus lane … and liked them!
  • Car carnage on the Cross Bronx. (NYDN, NY Post)
  • Our national desk flagged this one for us: Vancouver’s transit system has recovered about 80 percent of its ridership from the before times, far better than New York. One theory? Perhaps Vancouver’s transit officials and mayor didn’t spend a year and a half saying how unsafe the subway is (Daily Hive). Now, of course, the MTA is eager to report that the subway is safe. (NY Post)
  • Speaking of the subway, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli offered the same grim financial report for the MTA as the MTA itself has offered. (NY Post)
  • Christmas present: Once again, the MTA has promised that Grand Central Madison — aka East Side Access — will open as scheduled before the end of the year. (amNY)
  • Here’s another Christmas present: The Department of Sanitation continues to be on fleeck with its messaging — which now includes a “Rat Busters” t-shirt. (Gothamist)
  • And, finally, we ran into some hearty Transportation Alternatives volunteers on the Brooklyn Bridge in the cold of yesterday morning. They were handing out lights, stickers and (incongruously) socks. One was dressed in a costume of what looked like a squirrel. Turns out, it was a sloth. The idea? To encourage drivers to slow down (which we didn’t get until we saw the accompanying poster, which is the inset in the photo below). It’s a worthy campaign, of course, but one that was only reaching cyclists and pedestrians because the volunteers were nowhere near the roadway of the bridge. Better luck next time.
Slow down (walkers?). Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
Slow down (walkers?). Photo: Gersh Kuntzman


Electeds React: East Side Plan Should Do More for Buses

Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, and State Senator Liz Krueger want to see the MTA and DOT take their plan for First and Second Avenues further. Elected officials gave plans for redesigning First and Second Avenues positive reviews today, tempered by the desire to improve the initial outline presented by the MTA […]