Today’s Headlines

  • McCain and Obama Intensify Debate Over Gas Prices, Energy (Politico)
  • News: Seatless Subways Are a Sign of Things to Come, Unless the State Funds MTA
  • Paterson: Congestion Pricing Revival Would Be Welcome (News)
  • Re-Designed Port Authority Bus Terminal Could Handle 18% More Buses (MTR)
  • Countdown Walk Signals Still in Test Phase (AMNY)
  • NYCT Rolls Out Variable-Speed Escalators at Four Stations (City Room)
  • Two Die in Queens Car Crash (Post)
  • Sun Reviews Tom Vanderbilt’s ‘Traffic’
  • In Beijing, U.S. Olympic Cyclists Wear Masks to Protect Against Pollution (NYT)
  • NextBus: Real Time Bus Info Via Web, Phone, or Txt Msg (TreeHugger)
  • Larry Littlefield

    “For a further glimpse into the hell that awaits, ride on the E train, where the air conditioning is busted in almost 20% of the cars. The line has the oldest rolling stock, and after four decades of use, the equipment is failing.”

    That would be the R32 Brightliners, the first stainless steel cars used in large numbers in the subway, and the most reliable during the bad years of the 1970s and 1980s. Aficiandos hope they make the five decade mark, which would be in 2014, though that seems uncertain.

    The air conditioning was added later in these cars. They are the last originally built without air conditioning.

  • vnm

    The News had better coverage of the God-awful crash in Queens.

    “The car actually crumpled like foil paper,” said Claris Sancho, 45, who was visiting family nearby. “It split in two.”

    The impact sent the Acura flying into a guardrail and then a light pole, and it tore in two, scattering debris onto several front yards.

  • Right now on the Brian Lehrer show, they’re talking about pay-as-you-go car insurance. 820 AM or 93.9 FM, or
    http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/episodes/2008/08/06

  • On the subject of congestion pricing, a recent report out of London has it that congestion in the pricing zone has returned to pre-pricing levels:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7544732.stm

    Nonetheless, volume of cars entering the zone is down 21% since charging was instituted; the seemingly high level of congestion is being blamed on increased road work done by utility companies, resulting in less available road space. The report also stated that the congestion charge generated £137 million (roughly $265 million) in revenues 2007/08 (which I assume means a single fiscal year spanning 2007 and 2008 rather than the two years combined).

  • Car Free Nation

    While I like the idea of pay-as-you-go insurance for occasional car drivers, I feel that a better solution is increasing the convenience and opportunities for not owning a car in the first place. If you’re only using a car occasionally, the savings of renting as needed rather than owning are substantial, and lead to more significant lifestyle and environmental benefits.

  • momos

    So glad to see the MTA putting in variable-speed escalators. These are the standard type in countries like Switzerland. They conserve power and prolong mechanical life. European models have an elegant waist-high “light poll” beside the escalator with a circle of green or red LEDs indicating if the escalator is active. Feels very cool and modern. It’s ridiculous that the MTA has spent so much money on escalators and they’re still ALWAYS broken (see the one in the Columbus Circle station). Such basic technology and they can’t get it right.

  • From The Oil Drum, how the media feed the hydrogen hype:

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4378