Wednesday’s Headlines: Lots to Digest Edition
The pre-Happy Hour portion of the day ended with a late-afternoon doorstop of a press release from the Department of Transportation about the agency’s work in 2022.
As part of our annual year-in-review coverage, which rolls out next week, we’ll obviously be analyzing DOT’s claims of all the commitments it “exceeded,” all the “accomplishments” it achieved and all the “public space enhancements” it made.
Nothing would make us happier than to learn that every line in the press release is true, but for now, we’ll stick with the old Russian proverb: Doveryai no proveryai as Ronald Reagan used to say.
So until we do our due diligence, here are the highlights from Tuesday’s news:
- Let’s first start by honoring the people who contributed yesterday to our December Donation Drive: Thanks, Talya! Thanks, Joseph! Thanks, Murray! Thanks, Reed! Thanks, Albert! Thanks, Ira!
- Our Open Plans colleagues Jackson Chabot was featured prominently in CBS2’s largely positive coverage of Mayor Adams’s hopes to make Fifth Avenue less of a car sewer and more of a pedestrian-friendly space.
- We realize there is a lot of hysteria about lithium ion battery fires these days, but this Daily News story about the tragic Jan. 9 fire in The Bronx was bizarre. “EXCLUSIVE: Lithium-ion battery found in Bronx apartment that sparked deadly Twin Parks fire, Marshals report says,” the headline blares — and the lede offered the same info. One problem? The second graph is pretty clear that an electric bike was not the cause of the blaze: “E-bike batteries like the one found in the Twin Parks apartment complex are directly responsible for six deaths in the city so far this year, but the battery discovered at the fatal fire was not the cause of the Jan. 9 inferno.” Wow, glad we got that squared away.
- After meddling in the 2016 elections, Russian hackers went after bigger game: the cab line at JFK! (NY Times, NYDN, NY Post)
- The lovable G train will be getting new signals. (amNY)
- So let’s get this straight — the state legislature can’t have a special session to pass serious bills about street safety, transit funding and housing, but it can meet to raise members’ salaries? (Gothamist)
- There may be a massive flash freeze on Friday, so watch out on the Rodriguez Ice Shelf. (Gothamist)
- Have you taken the subway quiz yet? (The City)
- Streetsblog Editor Gersh Kuntzman will take his “criminal mischief” series to a national audience with a live radio interview with Michael Smerconish on SiriusXM’s POTUS Politics show at 11 a.m. It’s channel 124 on your satellite radio dial.
- And speaking of our boss’s ongoing video series, he had a good one last night when he came upon a guy who claims he lives in Pennsylvania, but has a record of violations that squarely puts him in Brooklyn:
Meet a liar whose plate says he's from Pennsylvania, but his 60 violations dating back to 2013 says he's living in Brooklyn — well, he got some good ol' fashioned CRIMINAL MISCHIEF to-nite! pic.twitter.com/OC87ZOdKrf
— Gersh Kuntzman (@GershKuntzman) December 21, 2022