Private log, stardate 75247.7: Look, I’m nonetheless offended in regards to the New York Instances’s protection of mobility within the metropolis that provides the paper its identify, however solely intermittently instructions its consideration.
Day by day while you decide up that paper, you’re assaulted by reflexive orthodoxy that pretends to be progressive, however is rooted in Institution conservativism. I’ve come to anticipate that method within the so-called Paper of Document’s political, nationwide and worldwide protection, but it surely simply doesn’t make sense on the subject of the paper’s native protection — particularly its default setting that vehicles are simply “regular” and that any new methodology of getting round (bikes, scooters, mopeds, car-free busways) is a few radical experiment in social coverage that’s going to break all the pieces (for automotive drivers).
That world view is front and center within the constantly car-centric work of Winnie Hu, but it surely exhibits up everywhere in the paper — even in a largely jokey conversation the opposite day between columnists Gail Collins and Bret Stephens. (First, let’s admit that the trope of the 2 star writers speaking in regards to the problems with the day is getting previous, largely as a result of Stephens spends more often than not preposterously mocking progressive insurance policies, forcing Collins to waste time and vitality to defend probably the most overtly centrist ones, that are those Stephens helps anyway. Within the identify of comity and banter, she largely abandons the progressive points relatively than threat Stephens’s mockery of social applications that she, like most People, helps.
However Stephens crossed the road with the trade beneath, the place he known as for the widening of the FDR Drive. I don’t care if you happen to’re liberal or conservative, however no clever New Yorker would even joke about that — except he was so deeply embedded in automotive tradition that he merely couldn’t see something however vehicles as the way in which New Yorkers get round. (Stephens’s joke was even worse contemplating that Biden infrastructure cash ought to truly be spent on widening bike lanes and creating devoted area for mopeds and e-scooters, which can be higher for the lifetime of our metropolis than vehicles as soon as we design roads higher to discourage automotive drivers from killing us.)
The New York Instances reflexively defends automotive tradition, despite the fact that vehicles are hurtful to its readers and town it purports to cowl. Is there no editor at ?@nytopinion? capable of right ?Bret Stephens’s idiocy about freeway widenings (in city areas no much less)? pic.twitter.com/2XTBxvKzvh
— Gersh Kuntzman (@GershKuntzman) October 12, 2021
Simply as soon as, I’d like to see town coated within the Instances from the attitude of the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers who don’t personal a automotive, don’t need a automotive, and suppose (sure, Grey Woman, this is how we think) that vehicles are ruining our metropolis. I’d like to choose up the Instances and be reminded that individuals who personal vehicles are typically far wealthier than transit customers. I’d wish to be reminded that automotive drivers trigger roughly 220,000 reported crashes per yr, injuring greater than 60,000 individuals. That’s about 600 crashes per day, in line with city data visualized by Crashmapper. I’d wish to have reporters dwell on the truth that the MTA is spending 16 months learning the environmental impression of a car-reduction technique known as congestion pricing that’s solely wanted as a result of nobody ever studied the environmental impression of unleashing all these vehicles on our lungs and streets within the first place.
I’d desire any of that to entitled jokes about widening the FDR or blaming supply staff for their very own deaths as a result of the enterprise mannequin of tech giants — who’re catering to Instances readers — make undocumented staff expendable. After all the Instances often will get it proper. However in its fixed normalizing of automotive tradition, its balanced reporting comes off as misfocused and fully out of step with the place this metropolis is, the place it must go and what mode of transport goes to take it there.
OK, I’ll get off the soapbox now. (Please word that this story is bylined, in contrast to our regular staff-written day by day headlines digest. So if you happen to don’t prefer it, complain to me, not my reporters.)
As promised, listed below are these headlines:
- Everybody coated Transportation Alternate options’ report that Mayor de Blasio’s open streets program has failed to achieve even near its promise. (Streetsblog, NY Post, Gothamist, amNY, and the Daily News swiping a headline time period — “Deserted!” — that we used earlier in the year when open avenue volunteers have been being abused and their gates stolen). The DOT pushed again on the TA narrative — and incoming Mayor Eric Adams mentioned he’d do higher — giving Streetsblog a barnburner of a observe up!
- There actually was no information right here, however the Port Authority, bowing to Gov. Hochul’s demand last week, has admitted that it’s pausing the LaGuardia AirTrain. (NYDN, amNY)
- In the meantime, there are nonetheless loads of highly effective pursuits which might be backing the opposite main lingering Cuomo-era boondoggle, the Empire Station plan. (amNY)
- The Metropolis Council is offended on the NYPD for not taking placard abuse 311 calls significantly (NY Post). To not toot our personal horn, however Streetsblog is in the midst of a bigger 311 investigation that may make the Council’s investigation appear to be the tiny tip of a extremely large iceberg.
- It appears like solely Streetsblog and Patch coated the necessary Excessive Courtroom ruling in favor of town’s Proper-of-Means legislation.
- Gothamist coated the efforts by the SoHo Broadway Initiative, a enterprise group, to show a “stretch of Broadway right into a pedestrian, bus and bike-friendly route; enhance sidewalk area and pedestrian facilities (together with seating) alongside Broadway and Broome Road; and set up public plazas alongside Prince Road and Howard Road.” Sounds good to us. (Streetfilms made the video embedded beneath.)
- One other individual was killed on lethal Hamilton Avenue in Brooklyn (NYPD), which jogs my memory to report back to you that neither the NYPD nor the Brooklyn District Lawyer’s workplace have arrested the hit-and-run driver who killed Imorne Horton on Feb. 24 (despite the fact that cops have interviewed the driving force).
- Whereas I’m on the subject of stuff the cops gained’t inform me about, neither the NYPD nor Amazon supplied me with an replace on the Case of the Stolen Open Street Barricades after I re-asked about it final week.
- And no feedback are available in threes, so I’ll additionally add that New Yorker Editor David Remnick didn’t reply to my query about why his journal teamed up with a large, super-gross SUV firm for its annual literary pageant.
- Lastly, following up on its story over the weekend blaming Mayor de Blasio for the failure of New York’s many sports activities groups to win a championship whereas he was mayor, the Post is now criticizing Hizzoner (albeit with a very good headline) for the place he chooses to take his day by day stroll. Come on, guys. Actually?