Monday’s Headlines: The City’s ‘Shit’ Offensive Begins
First, a programming note: Our investigative reporter, Jesse Coburn, will be on “The Brian Lehrer Show” on WNYC this morning at 10:40 to talk about his seminal three-part investigation into the thriving black market for illegal temporary license plates that is allowing some of the worst drivers to stay on the road, where they commit crimes and evade enforcement cameras.
Coburn’s seven-month investigation, which was highlighted on Friday by Curbed, has been hailed as his best work since he joined Streetsblog — and that’s saying something, given that his investigation into the unique dangers of school streets won a data journalism award in international Sigma Award competition and his investigation into the NYPD’s failure to enforce 311 complaints about blocked bike lanes won an award from the Silurians Press Club.
Click on this link to listen to Coburn this morning, or turn your dial to 93.9 FM or 820 AM.
How important was Coburn’s story? Well, on Sunday, several City Council members called for stepped up punishment for people who buy or sell fake temps, the Post reported. Council Member Oswald Feliz even tweeted that he was inspired by Coburn’s series:
— Oswald Feliz (@OswaldFeliz) April 9, 2023
Now, in our top story, you have to give the Department of Sanitation credit for cheekiness. First, its TikTok feed is second to none in city government (is that saying much?). But today, the agency is launching a new anti-litter, pro-pooper-scooper campaign that has a nifty sense of humor about it. Some people might find the offensive offensive, but we don’t!
A picture of a defecating dog with the caption, “Don’t leave –it on the sidewalk,” leaves nothing to the imagination.
Another campaign shows New Yorkers as garbageheads, and features the cutline, “If you litter, you’re garbage.” That campaign also asks residents to confront their noxious neighbors and “tell them where to stick it.” (See photo right.)
We love the aggressiveness — and perhaps the Department of Transportation could learn a thing or two, given that the agency testified against a bill that would let people report drivers who block bike lanes on the grounds that it would cause conflict.
The DSNY has no such concern, apparently.
In other news:
- You have another day to vote in our March (Parking) Madness finale, featuring a Brooklyn precinct that deserves to be named the worst in town. Click here to read all about it.
- Listen to a delivery worker speak truth to power about how the tech giants manipulate and exploit workers (Workers Justice Project via Twitter). Meanwhile, the Times “localized” the story in its infuriatingly non-local manner … by exploring the plight of delivery workers in Los Angeles. Thankfully, Hell Gate, Crain’s and The City showed the Times how it’s done.
- Speaking of struggling workers just trying to make a living, Gothamist followed up on the Parks Department’s assault on vendors in Sunset Park.
- Good news … if you’re in a wheelchair and you are awfully patient: A judge signed off on a settlement that will lead to an elevator in nearly every subway station … in 2055. (The City)
- A driver who refused to slow down after other drivers had crashed killed himself in Queens. (NYDN)
- Larry Penner weighed in on Phil Eng’s departure from the LIRR to Boston. (Mass Transit)
- Former DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan took a victory lap over Citi Bike:
10 years ago today we installed NYC's first Citi Bike station. They said that bikes would bring traffic chaos, danger & lawsuits. What happened instead was history: 178 million trips, 100k rides daily on 28k bikes, turning NYC into one of the world's great cycling cities. pic.twitter.com/X3CKDFbfUG
— Janette Sadik-Khan (@JSadikKhan) April 6, 2023
- And, finally, the mayor celebrated the decent “Clean Curbs” pilot, but hinted at the future of real containerized trash in New York in yet another anti-rat video. (TikTok)
I hate rats.