The mayor’s mind is caught in park.
Mayor de Blasio unintentionally gave away his transportation priorities on Brian Lehrer’s “Ask The Mayor” section on Friday, disregarding a bus rider who requested in regards to the standing of the town’s at present stalled effort to place down 20 miles of devoted bus lanes and car-free busways — solely to later get an earful from the mayor about his ardour for lowering alternate-side parking laws.
Early within the section, a caller named Natasha recognized herself as a bus rider and requested if the mayor may decide to getting all 20 miles of his administration’s proposed bus lanes and busways painted by Nov. 1, the top of the striping season. Though he mentioned he was impressed by her data about highway portray, the mayor then admitted he had no thought what was happening along with his personal proposal (which, earlier this yr, he complained wasn’t getting enough praise).
I need to provide you with an replace on precisely how far we now have gotten. Once we introduced that, we felt very assured that we may obtain that entire purpose and timeline. The reality is, I haven’t gotten a progress report in the previous few weeks, so I need to. The final I heard this was shifting alongside very properly. There have been a pair native points that have been being labored via that also needed to be resolved, however overwhelmingly the plan was shifting on tempo. So let me get you and everybody an replace on that.
The 30-second, 89-word, misinformation-filled reply was nonetheless getting savaged on Twitter when, a couple of callers later, one other New Yorker requested de Blasio if he had any concepts to keep away from double-parking and idling brought on by alternate-side parking. All of the sudden, the tone shifted and it was the mayor’s time to shine, with a soliloquy twice as lengthy and nearly thrice as wordy as his reply to a caller asking a few vitally wanted transit enchancment promise.
I’ve requested myself this many, many instances. So, to begin with, thanks for what you mentioned in regards to the colleges. And I do know we’re all caught up within the powerful challenges and the, , the blaring headlines, however one thing that folks needs to be actually pleased with is that oldsters and youngsters and educators, everybody, got here collectively to reopen our colleges. And it’s been a extremely good factor for thus many households. However on this alternate aspect parking, I’ve felt this since – as a resident, I felt it in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, as a Metropolis Councilman. I’ve requested this query a very long time, and this is the reason we’ve been experimenting with lowering the quantity of alternate-side parking. There are streets in some elements of the town that had a number of instances every week, with alternate aspect. And I simply felt that that induced precisely the issue you’re referring to – a whole lot of idling, a whole lot of circling, , a whole lot of site visitors jams and issues. So, we’re making an attempt to see if we will scale back it.
When it comes to eliminating it, we haven’t discovered that – we’ve had this dialog quite a bit over latest months – we haven’t discovered a mannequin for a metropolis this dense and a metropolis that, , actually needs to be cautious about cleanliness, we haven’t discovered a mannequin that’s inexpensive, that may do what alternate aspect does when it really works. As a result of there are many instances when the road sweeper does come and has an affect. I feel your level although is actually good. I need to make it as little as attainable. I need to see vehicles moved as sometimes as attainable and keep away from that idling particularly. So, we’re making an attempt to see if there’s a approach to scale back it, responsibly, whereas nonetheless retaining the town clear and keep tuned, we’ll have extra to say on that quickly.
So if you happen to’re scoring alongside at house, that’s “No progress report in the previous few weeks” for bus enhancements to “We’ve had this dialog quite a bit” for alternate-side parking.
The longer parking reply and the mayor’s therapy of alternate aspect as The Downside Of Our Age does sadly match the de Blasio’s transportation fashion, having earlier this yr mentioned he wanted to lighten the burden on New Yorkers who own cars. The mayor even pitched his alternate-side parking tweaks, which lowered the variety of days folks must transfer their vehicles, as a social justice issue that will get to the guts of equity and fairness in New York Metropolis. Left unsaid in that dialogue was whether or not it was good to cut back the burden of proudly owning a automotive when the speed of automotive possession within the metropolis outpaced the rate of population growth. (And, in fact, true social justice would imply placing the wants of transit customers first.)
The mayor clearly doesn’t learn Streetsblog, on condition that we solely this week knowledgeable the entire web of the standing of the one busway that has been put in since June — and the 4 that haven’t gone anyplace. So maybe somebody can get the paragraphs beneath to the mayor, so he can know the replace on all his busways:
Apart from Jay Avenue, the opposite 2.9 miles of car-free busways are in varied purgatories:
The 16.5 miles of deliberate bus lanes — make that 14.6 miles, given reductions that the mayor clearly doesn’t find out about — have fared considerably higher, although the installations should not all completed:
Advocates reminded the mayor that although his parking obsession is extra private to him, his cherished legacy could possibly be burnished by making the lives of bus riders a lot simpler with nothing however some crimson paint and political will.
“Bus lanes could be a massive a part of the mayor”s legacy,” mentioned Riders Alliance spokesman Danny Pearlstein. “They’re one thing he ought to actually be maintaining a tally of as a result of from the angle of making an attempt to finish the Story of two Cities, this one of the best bang for the his buck. Three quarters of bus riders are New Yorkers of shade, and the bus is a lifeline and an engine of alternative for folks.”