Monday’s Headlines: All Eyes on Carl Heastie Edition

Does Carl Heastie care?
Does Carl Heastie care?

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has a real chance to do the right thing this week — the last of the legislative session until next January.

But for reasons that he won’t share with Streetsblog or other media outlets (such as the Post in its story on the issue), Heastie does not appear to want to pass “Sammy’s Law,” even though allowing New York City to set its own speed limits finally has the support of the City Council, Gov. Hochul, the state Senate and, as always, advocacy groups such as Transportation Alternatives, Open Plans and Families for Safe Streets.

Members of those groups will rally at 9 a.m. outside of Heastie’s office at 1446 E. Gun Hill Rd. between Morgan and Fenton avenues to demand he support the measure.

In a statement, Families for Safe Streets reminded us why lower speed limits are so crucial:

“Sammy’s Law is named for Sammy Cohen Eckstein, a 12-year-old boy killed by a speeding driver in Brooklyn in 2013 just a few blocks from his home. Since his tragic and preventable death, more than 2,238 people, including 98 children, have been killed in traffic violence in New York City.”

The group will also be in Albany the rest of the week with some truly historic demonstrations. Memo from the assignment desk: Be there. We will be.

In other news from the weekend:

  • The West Side Spirit scooped the world with a preview of a report released late in the week that the MTA no longer thinks it can do a new Penn Station with Madison Square Garden in the way. The Post followed.
  • In case you missed it, Justin Davidson at Curbed did a broad overview of congestion pricing, which was far more sour than his previous unqualified support for the tolling plan.
  • Lithium-ion batteries remain a problem. (NY Post)
  • Even more cops are moving to the suburbs (NY Post). Meanwhile, in Brownsville, citizens are up to the task of policing themselves (NY Times).
  • Council Member Justin Brannan played an unfortunate role in Politico’s big story about the rise of MAGA Republicanism in once-progressive New York City. The unfortunate role? Brannan once again reveals how little he wants to battle his Bay Ridge constituents over things that really matter to the livable streets community — even though he knows he should.
  • The Times followed our coverage of the no-brainer of a highway teardown in Syracuse.
  • Former city Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg is apparently going to be the next head of the Federal Aviation Administration. Let’s hope she grounds all those unnecessary choppers! (Wall Street Journal)
  • The Daily News looked into a city effort to make a short stretch of Atlantic Avenue better.
  • A subway gate pilot is coming. (NY Post, Gothamist)
  • Stuyvesant High School is still the northern outpost of Jim Crow. (NY Times)
  • Can we all please remember that the “fight” over pickle ball is really just a fight for the city to create more green space for everyone — kids, seniors, the disabled, biker bros, tai-chi sessions, Zoomba and, yes, all manner of paddle sports. Instead, the media keeps trying to pit groups against each other. (NYDN)

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Ubers and yellows appear to be banished under the NYPD order. Photo: Max Pixel

Advocates Call on Carl Heastie to Fix Statewide Uber Bill

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In letters to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Insurance Committee chair Kevin Cahill, leaders of Transportation Alternatives and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign warn that Governor Cuomo's Uber bill could lead to illegal ride-hail traffic in the five boroughs with no way to assess the problem and rein it in, if necessary.