The Streetsies

All in all it was a great year for New York City’s Livable Streets Movement. Here are the winners of our 2007 awards. See you in January…

  • Wrongest News of 2007: "Multiple sources say that Mayor Bloomberg has chosen Urbitran Chairman and CEO Michael Horodniceanu as New York City’s next transportation commissioner." Thanks a lot, Sources. You know who you are.
  • Fakest News of 2007: Tom Frieden Appointed DOT Commissioner.
  • Bureaucrats of the Year: DOT Deputy Commissioner Bruce Schaller, Senior Policy Advisor Jon Orcutt, Assistant Commissioner Andy Wiley-Schwartz and Deputy Director Dani Simons. It took 30 years but the bureaucracy finally figured out the best way to neutralize a pesky, loudmouth, know-it-all advocacy community.
  • NIMBYs of the Year, 2nd Runner-Up: Manhattan Community Board 8’s Transportation Committee. They voted to reject DOT’s plan for a vital Upper East Side bike connector linking the East River Greenway to Central Park because they didn’t like the fact that it ran through a car-free block of 91st Street. While they got points for defending their car-free block, they lost them when one member, expressing the general sentiment of the Committee, argued that bicycling is not "a legitimate mode of transportation." This is the same Committee whose members audibly snickered during the presentation of Rachael Myers, a woman who came to them seeking pedestrian safety improvements after watching her boyfriend step off a curb and get killed by a speeding driver at Park and 96th St. in 2004.
  • NIMBYs of the Year, 1st Runner-Up: Park Slope, Brooklyn’s 9th Street Block Association: They remained dormant as two fifth-grade boys and a 77-year-old woman were killed crossing their street and a sedan careened through the front door of their local diner. Yet, the moment DOT came forward with a plan to fix Park Slope’s most dangerous, crash-prone thoroughfare, the 9th Street Block Association sprung into action to protect their treasured neighborhood speedway. Their big objection? Bike lanes would make it more difficult for residents to illegally double-park their vehicles for loading and unloading. State Senator Eric Adams squandered his credibility defending the double-parkers while virtually every other elected official in the neighborhood supported DOT’s plan.
  • NIMBYs of the Year: City Councilmember Jim Gennaro, Assemblymembers Nettie Mayersohn and Rory Lancman, State Senator Toby Stavisky, Community Board 8 Chair Alvin Warshaviak and various other Queens "community leaders." On August 28, they held a press conference on the corner of Jewel Avenue and 164th Street angrily denouncing one the most holistic and well-designed Safe Routes to School plans ever to come out of DOT. The press conference was held just a few yards away from the crosswalk where a P.S. 200 teacher was struck and killed by a car just months before. If any of these shameless panderers had bothered to interview neighborhood residents, the local crossing guard or school kids and parents who walk across the intersection daily, as Streetsblog did, they’d have learned that DOT’s street redesign was almost unanimously appreciated and appears to have made the intersection safer and less confusing for everyone. It is worth noting that 2007’s NIMBYs of the Year are many of the same Queens elected officials who insist that congestion pricing will be a disaster.
  • Most Satisfying Livable Streets Moment of 2007: More than 650 turn out in Brooklyn to tell a stone-faced DOT Traffic Boss Mike Primeggia that the old-school, cars-first, engineer-driven, "incomplete streets" model of urban planning is no longer welcome.
  • Most Productive Junket: Primeggia joined Sadik-Khan and City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden on a trip to Copenhagen to meet with urban designer Jan Gehl who was subsequently hired to consult for New York City to help "work on a pedestrian and public space strategy much like what he did for London."
  • Worst City Agency: With DOT evolving into one of city government’s most innovative agencies, the NYPD earned top honors this year for treating the entire city as their private parking lot, Neanderthalish harassment of cyclists, failure to enforce traffic laws and a sickening unwillingness to treat pedestrian injuries and fatalities with any level of seriousness. Honorable mention: The Department of Design and Construction is rapidly emerging as the major bureaucratic bottleneck for some of DOT’s best plans.
  • The Year’s Most Appreciated Moment of Truth: A message from an anonymous NYPD officer to the Ungreatful [sic] liberal scum of New York City. "We do not summons our own. Take as many pictures of my auto as you like because I answer to no one."
  • Most Schizophrenic City Policy, Bronze Medal: The Parks Department clipping locks and seizing bicycles parked around the Forest Hills train station in response to Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC call to action.
  • Most Schizophrenic City Policy, Silver Medal: $225 million in tax exempt bonds — free money — for the New York Yankees to build a pair of parking garages containing 4,000 parking spots in the asthma- and traffic-choked Bronx. And, oh yeah, they’re building the parking garages on a former City Park.
  • Most Schizophrenic City Policy, Gold Medal: Zoning requirements that call for 20,000 new parking spaces on Midtown Manhattan’s west side.
  • Best New Online Tool: Transportation Alternatives’ CrashStat 2.0. Honorable mention: UncivilServants.org.
  • StreetFilm of the Year: Despite the less-than-thrilling title, Clarence Eckerson’s eight-and-a-half minute opus, Physically-Separated Bike Lanes was viewed more than 72,478 times. And the right people must have been watching. In 2007 New York City got its first, legitimate segment of physically-separated bike lane on Ninth Avenue.
  • Mass Movement of the Year: Park(ing) Day.
  • Interview of the Year: Mark Gorton discusses the ethics of automobility with Randy Cohen, "The Ethicist."
  • Federal Official of the Year: North Carolina Republican Patrick McHenry ridicules bicycles as a "19th century solution"… not unlike the automobile, light bulb and Pasteurization. Honorable mention: Transportation Secretary Mary Peters for her insistence that bicycles "are not transportation."
  • Streetsblog Commenter of the Year: Lew from Brooklyn. The more time Brooklyn City Councilmember Lew Fidler spent writing comments on Streetsblog, the better.
  • Most Controversial Streetsblog Item: Should cyclists have to obey traffic laws designed mainly for motor vehicles? Alex Marshall didn’t think so and his "To Obey or Not to Obey" column generated 125 comments, a Brian Lehrer segment and record-setting pageviews all of which left commenter Bike Vet to note, "This topic is utterly tiresome. Get a life."
  • Albany Dysfunction Medal of Honor: By the end of 2006 it was hard to imagine New York State government getting any more dysfunctional than it already was. Then Roger Stone and Michael Caputo, Senate Leader Joe Bruno’s team of dirty tricksters, were hired to make sure that no meaningful public business got done in Albany during Governor Spitzer’s tenure. They appear to have been worth every penny of Mayor Bloomberg’s State Republican Party donations. Thanks to Stone and Caputo, Albany is no longer just dysfunctional, it’s a full-on freak show.
  • Worst City Council Legislation: Christine Quinn’s City Council nearly killed one of the City’s burgeoning green industries by placing draconian restrictions on pedicabs.
  • Blog of the Year: Bike Snob NYC. Our mission for 2008: Unmask the Snob before he gets his book deal. Honorable mention: Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s Mobilizing the Region Blog.
  • Most Pathetic Network News Reporting: CBS 2 reporter Marcia Kramer’s TOYOTA "special investigation" of London’s "Flawed Traffic Plan" TOYOTA brought to you by TOYOTA. Dishonorable mention: The Daily News on bike fatalities.
  • Best Road Trip: Aaron and Susan Donovan’s Amtrak honeymoon.
  • Celebrity Spokesman of the Year: Musician David Byrne. Sorry about your bike.
  • Scariest Vision of the Future: New York’s first En-Suite Sky Garage. Honorable mention: Disney’s Highway to Hell.
  • Streets to Watch 2008: Prince Street, Broadway, 34th Street and Main Street, Flushing.
  • Biggest Safety crisis of the year : killing by car is perfectly legal in New york City. No need for a lawyer, Just stay on location and say “I did not see the preson”.

    Most Dangerous Avenue of the Year: 9th Avenue in Manhattan where kids, seniors and all other pedestrians continue to be cannnon fodder for vehicles gunning down the streets.

    Top Wishes for 2008: 50% reduction in pedestrian fatalities or injuries

    Next Top Wish : Police officers who enforce the laws , rather than acting as expensive animated traffic light.

    Hey, they are just following orders: See their mission statement at Officer.com http://www.officer.com/print/Law-Enforcement-Technology/Moving–moving–moving/1$38758

    “Scagnelli lives and breathes the NYPD traffic-related mission statement:

    Move Traffic, Move Traffic, Move Traffic,
    Reduce Accidents, Move Traffic,
    Reduce injuries related to accidents, Move Traffic,
    Reduce deaths related to accidents, Move Traffic!”

    You will note that moving traffic is first and reducing deaths is LAST.

    Here is a revised 2008 mission statement for the police departement :

    Stop the traffic : Tow away vehicle and take in custody anyone who injures or kills a pedestrian or a bicycle , by Driving While Distracted… (you did it for pedestrians in 2004)
    Stop the traffic: Give hefty summons to drivers for any violations (you do it for bikes)
    Stop the traffic: Tow away any car that blocks an intersection (you can do it, one instersection at a time )

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    Move Traffic, Move Traffic, Move Traffic,
    Reduce Accidents, Move Traffic,
    Reduce injuries related to accidents, Move Traffic,
    Reduce deaths related to accidents, Move Traffic!”

    Wow. Thanks for posting that, Christine. Now I understand completely why being a pedestrian in this city can feel so oppressive.

    I like your point that there are all kinds of goals worth stopping traffic for, but I don’t think the goals themselves belong in a mission statement. The mission statement of the traffic enforcement division should definitely put safety ahead of moving traffic. There should be something in there about justice or fairness too. I’ll try my hand at it, but I’d like to see other people’s efforts too:

    “Protect people and help them move.”

    Hm, that sounds like something that would sound better translated into Latin. Novum Eboracum nec mergitur!

  • Great idea Aaron.

    I’m not sure where to put them in the Streetsies, but the extra hour of car-free Central and Prospect Park should get some recognition. I also think the Jamaica rezoning will be an important piece of developing more non-CBD employment centers and a good example of more Transit oriented development.

    My New Year’s wish is that we keep the momentum up on winning over hearts and minds by showing good progress on the ground across all 5 boroughs.

    My greatest concern is that grandstanding and pandering politicians will continue to waterdown, stall or block the types of changes that make driving less “convenient”.

  • BicyclesOnly

    You guys got blog of the year all wrong!

  • BicyclesOnly

    Glenn’s right–and the abandonment of holiday “traffic mitigation” in Central Park (and I assume this also occurred in Prospect Park though no one has mentioned it) goes along with the 1-hour reduction as evidence that transportation planning officialdom has finally recognized that limiting auto access is a legititmate and valuable policy objective.

  • citygovguy

    Keep up the great – no, stellar – work in 2008, Aaron & crew.

  • Angus , I need to t dust up my latin, but still!!!

    I agree protect the people, very good.. but let’s make sure who.. right now the police protects the drivers and not the pedestrians and bicycles ..
    soprotect the largest number and most vulnerable citizens

    help them move… nahhhh..
    they have feet , they have engine…
    they have a brain to choose the best way

    help them move should be DOT .

    If there are too many cas , market foces shoudl play and make car use more expensive

    any assignment of a police officer at a location for more than a month shows that the design teams are not doing their job.

  • Bicycles Only,

    Shhhhh! We’re not making mention of the abandonment of “Holiday Hours” in Central Park until January.

    Glenn,

    You’re right. The expansion of the Car-Free Space/Time Continuum in Central and Prospect Parks definitely should have gotten a Streetsie. Big oversight.

  • p

    Well, you can make up for it next year when they finally close both parks to traffic 24/7.

  • Dave Rosenstein

    You are entitled to your opinion about our community’s concern about a bike path on a pedestrian mall long closed to traffic. However, I take deep and personal offense at your false and disgraceful statement that:

    “This is the same Committee whose members audibly snickered during the presentation of Rachael Myers, a woman who came to them seeking pedestrian safety improvements after seeing her boyfriend step off a curb and get killed by a speeding driver at Park and 96th St. in 2004.”

    Her loss was tragic. No one snickered or disrespected her whatsoever. To write that is libelous. The only note taken was that her boyfriend’s accident did not occur on a pedestrian island, but in the street, and your group presented it as an example of why pedestrian islands needed barriers.

    As a member of the board, who attended that meeting, I repeat, My. Myers has, and had then, our deepest sympathy and respect. To state otherwise is a lie and a libel, unworthy of you and your group.

    David Rosenstein

  • Brownstone

    Mr. Rosenstein, CB-8 Does not believe that cars kill pedestrians and bicyclists. The board repeatedly behaves as if bicycles, not cars, kill pedestrians. You and your fellow board members are either scared or feel impotent to deal with the mayhem and havoc motor vehicles are causing, so in traditional scapegoat fashion, you take it all out on bicyclists.

    The apology needed is from CB-8 to the pedestrians and cyclists of this city, for failing to take any responsible action to protect them from marauding cars and their out of control drivers.

    Personally, CB-8 should have gotten the NIMBY First Runner-Up, not 2nd, because, after all of the 9th Street fuming, a very successful Road Diet with bike lanes was applied to 9th St, while as far as I understand, the Upper East Side bike route still does not travel the most direct route on 91st St. Thanks for nothing.

  • Ian Turner

    Mr. Rosenstein,

    Just to understand, are you saying that this perspective on the meeting is factually incorrect?

    As far as Rachael is concerned, you don’t know the half of it, ryan and eric. Although several of the CB members expressed apparently sincere regret and sympathy for her loss, one of the CB members sitting only two seat away from Rachael, repeatedly interrupted her testimony audibly with snide comments such as “Oh, come on!” and “Do we have to listen to this?” (even though I and others admonished her to stop). I don’t think I would have been able to finish giving the testimony with grace and poise as Rachael had I been in her shoes, in the face of this intolerably rude conduct.

    Comment by Steve — January 5, 2007 @ 5:41 pm

  • Hilary

    It irks me to hear a CB committee member speak of “our community.” Unless the committee has undertaken public outreach and come to a consensus of the actual community’s views, their positions reflect only their own. Sometimes they reflect the views of an interested party that has prevailed upon them to act. When a CB committee supports my position, I am as quick as the next person to hail them as “representative” of the community. Just as agencies satisfy requirements for public review by passing terrible projects before the bobbleheads, keeping them carefully away from obviously interested but potentially critical parties. It is rare to have a project or policy subject to real vetting. A CB committee’s position is typically no more than one person’s opinion. I guess a poohbah is better than nothing.

  • Brownstone,

    I believe the E. 91st St. bike route has been laid in accordance with the DoT’s “best practices” proposal for a connected bike network. There are no sharrows or other markings on E. 91st between Second and Third on the “play” block, but in my view markings on that block are unnecessary.

    In any event, the markings were strongly opposed by some on Community Board 8. I can only guess that is why DoT didn’t put them in. This demonstrates, contrary to the ill-founded views of several members of the CB 8 Transportation Committee (including Mr. Rosenstein), that DoT is responsive to Community Board 8.

    I would also point out that at the most recent meeting of the Committee, members were asked whether there had been any incidents or complaints involving bicycles on the “play” block. The only response was that the E. 91st Street bike route had only been in place for a few months, so there had not been enough time for incidents to occur. That remark demonstrates the close-minded attitude of the opponents of the E. 91st Street bike route on the Committee: moral certainty that bikes and bicyclists are undesirable and dangerous, and unwillingness to acknowledge the facts to the contrary.

  • Brownstone

    To BicyclesOnly,
    thank you for the update, I sit corrected. I should have checked the NYCDOT 2007 NYC Cycling Map, for it shows the E91st route as a continuous bike route up from York Ave to Central Park – with no detour around the non-motorized play street. As an uphill part of the route, don’t expect that will be any significant conflicts on that block, cyclists have to pedal up, and have gravity on their side if they need to use the brakes.

    Hillary makes a good point about the differences and relationships between individual speakers and CB members. That’s why CB-8 should get a NIMBY higher rating than Bklyn 9th St.
    In Brooklyn, 9th St residents really did have an issue about how to unload a car in front of their house without getting a stiff traffic ticket. Funny thing is, the new bike lane makes it safer to do that unloading, while also raising the double parking fine. Still, it’s the right of these homeowners to come and speak to their perceived needs, even if they are wrong. The Bklyn board respectfully considered the concern and decided that the benefits of the traffic calming road diet outweighed the double parking issue.
    When we hear bone headed comments coming from pre-judging CB members, one wonders if there is any level of professionalism serving on that board.
    One thinks that they hate bicycles more than they love enhancing pedestrian safety.

  • Steve

    Mr. Rosenstein,

    I am the person whose comment is excerpted above in comment #12. My remarks reflect what I saw and heard at the Transportation Committee meeting that evening. The CB8 member quoted in my comment was seated directly across a 30″ table from me at the time she made the remarks.

    Apparently you did not hear the rude comments made during Ms. Myers’ statement. I believe you were seated on the same side of that table as I, but about three seats down, toward the door. I know that the people sitting on either side of me did hear them, and with me, asked the CB8 member responsible to be quiet while Ms. Myers had the floor.

    As you may recall, I also spoke at the hearing. My attendance and contact information is recorded on the sign-up sheet circulated at the hearing. Please feel free to contact me directly if you wish to discuss this matter.

  • David,

    I wasn’t at this particular meeting but I received virtually identical, independent reports from two other people backing up Steve’s account.

    Here’s one of them. I’m removing the sender’s name and the names of the three Committee members who behaved inappropriately.

    There were three women on the board that misbehaved during her testimony. They audibly moaned and groaned during her presentation mumbling stuff like “come on”, “give me a break” and “do we have to listen to this?”

    To her credit, Rachel did not react to them so people in the back of the room might have thought everything was fine. But anyone on the board, or sitting up near the front, heard them.

  • Eric

    Geez, I was initially a bit upset that my own band of NIMBY nemeses, the “9th Street bike lanes are the worst thing ever to hit Brooklyn” crowd, didn’t sew up the #1 position, but after hearing more about Manhattan CB8, I think their knee-jerky closed-mindedness maybe only deserved third place.

    Keep up the great work, Streetsblog!

  • ESP

    Rest in peace, George D. Warrington of New Jersey Transit. You may have not been perfect, but anybody who devotes their unfortunately short life to the transportation bureaucracy deserves respect.

  • rhubarbpie

    Brodsky also led the fight against the ridiculous fare hike, to his credit. Surely that deserves some mention. I might nominate Weprin, given that mitigating factor.

  • Lew from Brooklyn

    I am flattered. Clearly the respect that I tried to show you all by enganging in a reasoned dialogue was recognized by the committee. My work here is done.

    where do I pick up my award?

    Lew from Brooklyn

  • Lew,

    When you do that interview with me I’ll bring the statuette down to your district office.

  • no service cuts

    In fact, his blanket opposition to the fare hike and congestion pricing makes him even more of a bad politician in my opinion. Instead of showing any courage or leadership, he merely seeks to live in some fantasy world where nobody pays for anything and yet high levels of services and infrastructure maintenance.

    I’ll believe that a legislature wants to support transit when they actually vote increase taxes to pay for it (instead of borrowing or complaining). A legislator that says “trust me, we will fund you later (somehow) if you don’t raise fares today” is exactly the ingenuous political moves that makes Albany politics stink.

    Lee Sander made the right decision given the facts in hand – rising costs and no other real new sources of revenue.

  • rhubarbpie

    Here’s the fantasy: that Lee Sander and the MTA needed a fare hike in 2008. He didn’t, and the agency didn’t, and any examination of the agency’s fiscal situation would show you that. Sander wanted one now for NEXT year (2009), also with the fantasy that regular fare hikes would now kick in. But how many of you out there believe that there will be a fare hike the year Eliot Spitzer is running for re-election?

    Was Brodsky pandering? Maybe, even probably. But he is at this point probably one of the top five most powerful elected officials in the state, and I’d certainly rather have him on my side than against me, as we’ve seen on the congestion pricing front. Esp. when the proposal is a rip-off of transit riders, as the MTA’s was.

  • no service cuts

    The MTA’s long term debt and projected deficits are real. The need for major capital projects is enormous if the city is trying to get people into mass transit and out of their cars. And the existing service on most lines is getting a average grade of C- to D+.

    Anyone serious about improving mass transit knows that the MTA needs major new sources of revenue, not empty political promises. The fare increase is a call to arms. If Brodsky actually delivers on getting more (unborrowed) money to the MTA, then he will earn my respect. Until then he’s just another politician looking for a free lunch (stolen from future transit riders).

  • rhubarbpie

    “Anyone serious about improving mass transit knows that the MTA needs major new sources of revenue, not empty political promises.”

    Hmmm. I wonder why Gene Russianoff and the Straphangers Campaign opposed the fare hike, then. Guess they were just playing around.

  • Josh

    I want to like the Straphangers Campaign, I really do, but unfortunately I think a lot of their actual stances are very comparable to what #23 said about Richard Brodsky. That is to say, they want all kinds of service improvements but don’t want to pay for them.

  • take the A train ….. on a higher fare

    what service improvements should one expect? considering the MTA went into such big debt with their lame assed attempt at “improvments” over the past 10 years or whatever, it looks as though we can only more of the same sh*t at a greater cost. afterall, the fare hike is supposed to pay off the debt, no? this leaves the same pathetic amount that comes from the state and the feds to fund the actual service. ha! totatlly ridiculous. the mta needs to get a clue on how to obtain other funding – e.g. capital grants from other agencies, etc, etc.

    that said, i am SOOOOOOO glad i ride a bike 99% of the time anyway. have fun folks!

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    I am underwhelmed with “take the A train”‘s grasp of the finer points of operating and capital funding at the MTA. Nonetheless it is clear he can, with good conscience, sneer at the MTA and instruct them to “get a clue on how to obtain other funding – e.g. capital grants from other agencies”. “Get a clue”, like all you have to do is know that someone else will give you 2.2 fucking Billion dollars. Transportation is a serious business, the MTA has to bond out serious money over decades. Blogging is not a serious business, words are cheap and apparently in endless supply.

  • RedRider

    Most years Straphangers Campaign is stuck with choosing between bad and worse. The options have been support borrowing (rider backed bonds)or watch the system slide into disrepair. Straphangers (and everyone else who cares about transit)could not stop the city and state from reducing support for the MTA’s operations and capital programs. Faced with bad or worse, Straphangers has supported bad — burrowing.

    The MTA and its riders and workers are victims of a bigger political fight in which more public money is going to health care and less to most everything else.

  • rhubarbpie

    I’m not sure that the Straphangers Campaign has actually supported the bad, since the group tried hard to raise the red flag about borrowing. But you’re right, in general, RedRider: there was no stopping the state and city from reducing support, which forced the MTA either to borrow or to abandon basic upkeep. That had happened before, in the 1970s (and before) and the MTA wasn’t about to let that happen again.

    As for Josh’s comment: any even cursory review of the group’s record would show that it has led the fight for adequate funding over and over again, in the face of much opposition from state and city leaders.

    Obviously, given that the MTA did not immediately need the funds from a fare hike, the Straphangers group made a decision that the legislative angle was worth pushing. And given that the legislative position was in fact unprecedented, it was a smart position. Now, though, with the pressure off, the MTA has far less leverage to get more funding in Albany. Oh well — there’s always 2010.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (Straphangers (and everyone else who cares about transit)could not stop the city and state from reducing support for the MTA’s operations and capital programs. Faced with bad or worse, Straphangers has supported bad — burrowing.)

    Ah but PAST riders got their cut — a fare that has fallen steeply relative to inflation, and even in nominal dollars, due to all the discounts. Notice that those discounts didn’t matter until the MTA cut them back while retaining the $2.00 fare.

    You can’t criticize something for nothing greed, and pandering to something for nothing greed, and be just as greedy oneself. The lower fares in the face of rising wages and benefits were also paid for debt. The generational war, or perhaps the generational gang rape, is present in every aspect of every public policy decision.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (Now, though, with the pressure off, the MTA has far less leverage to get more funding in Albany. Oh well — there’s always 2010.)

    People just don’t see what is coming. First of all, there is the next MTA capital plan. More importantly, real estate transfer taxes are going to tank, and the MTA will need huge money from the state just to avoid another fare hike later this year or in 2009.

    My guess is they draw down all their cash to try to postpone the moment of reckoning until after the 2008 election. In a moment of crisis, the MTA Board will argue the riders have already anted up, but the city and state will suddenly be pushing tax increases and service cuts of their own.

  • take the A-train

    Niccolo,

    honestly, i couldn’t care less about the finer points. that is what the mta and its hacks are hired to worry about and really get straight in some way. why waste hot air between all of us parsing this out? i guess it just makes many out there feel really smart!

    what i do care about and know is that:
    1) fares go up, but the service remains rather similar or even gets worse (in different ways and places…) which means i and many others feel we are getting less bang for our hard earned buck
    2) ny’ers are paying more than most other citizens to cover the transit expenses which makes me and many others feel the mta is not doing what it could to obtain revenue for its (mostly wasted cosmetic fixing) projects and general operations.

    the bottom line is that the mta cretins have shown absolutely nothing but utter disdain for the citizens of NY. sure, NY is supposed to be a tough assed place and suffering through the hell of what measly service it has to offer is all part of the big apple experience, but, after spending almost all my life here i have just about had it with all the cynicism!

  • Jonathan

    A-train, as Larry points out in 32,

    Ah but PAST riders got their cut — a fare that has fallen steeply relative to inflation, and even in nominal dollars, due to all the discounts. Notice that those discounts didn’t matter until the MTA cut them back while retaining the $2.00 fare.

    Glad to hear you have a laissez-faire attitude about how our city is financed, though: speaking for myself, as a taxpayer and a beneficiary of borrowing for capital projects, I eschew that “Santa puts the presents under the tree” kind of thinking when I’m paying in multiple ways for it.

  • take the A-train

    jonathan,

    i don’t feel that i am expressing a laissez-faire attitude. i simply am establishing a cut off point on what drives my “guilty” verdict for the MTA and the fare hikes. while we may elect those who appoint the MTA officials, it is the job of hired consultants and what not (not mine or yours – unless you work in that capacity) to generate funding – a job at which i think they are faiing miserably. folks should still be allowed to have soem kind of saving, especially now, as an incentive to use mass transit rahter than cars or taxis.

    i actually care very much about city expenditures (and environment!), but rather than taking out my opinions ineffectually in the voting booths, i have decided to make my personal statement by abandoning the subway and riding a bike.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (it is the job of hired consultants and what not to generate funding)

    I believe the MTA paid big bucks to Bear Stearns to generate funding in the face of falling tax contributions and fares relative to inflation. Bear Stearns recommended more borrowing. It seemed to have been a “genius” “everybody wins” move at the time, and not just at the MTA.

    Does anyone else where follow the financial and economic world? We’re facing a debt-driven economic disaster.

    Among other things, government borrowing costs are soaring amidst a tax revenue meltdown.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aNCGKKPXpS8w&refer=home

    And, by the way, I checked out the MTA debt spreadsheet yesterday, and was shocked to find that much of the debt is variable rate. At least, I had thought, we can stop borrowing and not have to pay any more interest than we are already paying. WRONG.

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The 2009 Streetsie Awards, Part 1

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Here’s the first slate of winners in our annual binge of award-giving, the Streetsies. You may want to review the people’s choice poll results before diving in. We’ll be rolling out two more installments before the new year and resuming our regular publishing schedule on Monday, January 4. Enjoy… Biggest Livable Streets Victory: 2009 will […]

More Park(ing) Day: San Fran Rolls Out the Parkcycle

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  I was pretty sure that New York City had San Francisco beat for this year’s Park(ing) Day, what, with the children’s reading hour and the on-street gymnasium in Brooklyn; Staten Island and Queens getting in on the act; and German tourists frolicking on the sod in front of the MoMA (all captured by StreetFilms, […]