Mayor de Blasio sure was fired up last Thursday. First he went out of his way to insult wealthy New Yorkers who may have fled for the suburbs over what turned out to be one of the worst onslaughts of COVID-19 anywhere on Earth. Then he turned his attention to something else without which he could not maintain his lifestyle: the automobile.
“My advice to New Yorkers is, do not buy a car,” said the mayor, whose counsel on such decisions likely interests no one but his immediate family. “Cars are the past. The future is going to be mass transit, biking, walking, and there’s so many options right now.”
This from the man who takes a taxpayer-funded, NYPD-chauffeured SUV wherever he goes, which until the virus crisis included an 11-mile daily jaunt to his favorite Brooklyn gym. And the man who halted the last phase of a bike lane project on Queens Boulevard in order to appease a lawmaker whose support he wanted for his awful jail-in-your-neighborhood plan.
Presumably few have much interest in de Blasio’s predictions for the future either. Among those who do not this time would be people who have a hard time biking, walking far or getting on a subway when the station is not handicapped-accessible. And people like Robert Sinclair of AAA, who lives in Astoria and works in Garden City, LI. It’s a 25-minute trip by car (with little traffic), or a two-hour slog by public transit.
Also uninterested would be the thousands of people who use cars for their jobs or work in the industry, as mechanics, as sales reps, even as the “washeros” who fought so hard just a few years ago to unionize. You’d think the mayor would support them at least.
Nope. As the city continues to reel from the coronavirus crisis, its economy crushed, its storefronts plagued with vacancies, its streets dirtier than before, its neighborhoods bedeviled by twice as many shootings as just a year ago, de Blasio decides to take a slap at a vital sector of the economy. That is not what anyone needs, including those mass transit and bicycle riders whose infrastructure is disproportionately paid for by taxes and fees levied upon drivers.
As for the mayor’s claim he’ll never buy a car again, the taxpayers have him covered, for now at least. And his office refused to say if he would lease.