Today’s Headlines

  • Upstate Counties Would Love to Trade MTA Payroll Tax for NYC Bridge Tolls (Times-Herald)
  • Holy Bike Lane Violation: NYPD Lets Brooklyn Heights Parishioners Park in Green Stripe (Gothamist)
  • Cleveland BRT Attracts Development to Euclid Ave (Plain Dealer)
  • In Philly, Bike Safety Campaign Morphs Into Anti-Cycling Onslaught From Media, Pols (City Room)
  • It’s Official: Nassau Exec and Smart Growth Booster Tom Suozzi Ousted By Ed Mangano (MTR)
  • Report: NYCT Elevated Line Crews Only Scheduled for 4 Hours Work Per Shift (AMNY, News)
  • Subway Station Attendants Replaced By Arrows and Intercoms (Post)
  • Hit-and-Run Killer Allmir Lekperic Had Sister Cover Up for Him (Post)
  • The New Yorker Weighs in on Parking "Grace Period"
  • On Thanksgiving, NYPD Turned Public Street Into Private Preserve for Mega-Rich (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Park & Pray? Ridiculous. Can we say “separation of church and state”?

  • The double parking near churches is an epidemic across the city. I get it, religious institutions have a lot of people that come for a few hours a week and many of them are not very physically able. But there are many, many churches across the city that don’t aid their parishoners violating the law.

    But this is where tight-knit can communities come together. Organize van services to pick-up folks. Car pools. Group walks to church.

    The city should pick a date in the future and set that as the day they will start ticketing and towing cars that are double parked. Let each institution figure out how they will comply.

  • Glenn, great idea. The obvious next step is to get churches to sponsor Summer-Streets-like Sundays to make it easier for their neighbors and their parishioners to get to services by walking or cycling.

  • David_K

    Double parking & bike lane usurpation in front of churches is indeed a citywide practice. It’s a privilege (the meaning of that word: “private law”) extended to religious groups which is not unlike the city’s apparent concession to the Hasids of S. Williamsburg yesterday. It really sucks.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Part of the problem is scheduling. NYC Transit generally performs weekday maintenance on elevated lines between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., partly because it would be unsafe to toil in the dark, according to the report. The agency also wants to avoid causing additional delays during rush hours.”

    I’ll have to side with the workers on this one. It is hardly a privilege to be forced to sit around and do nothing. It’s depressing, as much of my career and public service showed me. And would it really be fair to make infrastructure maintainers, a skilled position, a part time or split shift job?

    Speaking of expense, just how much money does it cost to have road work done on weekends, when occasional car users are trying to drive, rather than on a regular weekday shift, to the inconvenience of those who drive all the time.

  • Just what kind of boost did smart growth get from Tom Suozzi? He cut funding for Long Island Bus and caved on the LIRR third track. He once proposed high occupancy/toll lanes for the LIE, but was so cowed by the anti-toll outrage that he didn’t pursue it. He’s been county executive for eight years and what kind of smart growth has Long Island seen? All talk, no action.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Just what kind of boost did smart growth get from Tom Suozzi?”

    The right man, the wrong state and generation. This ship of fools is going down. We can only hope that he was ten years too soon rather than ten years too late.

  • J. Mork

    Where were the upstate Republicans when it was time to get the Ravitch Plan through?

  • Boris

    On behalf of the New Yorker, my apologies to the Mursi people of southwestern Ethiopia. I also wonder what the State Legislature is comparable to. Single-celled organisms?

  • Larry Littlefield

    Any of you thinking of joining the public sector.

    After a decade of pension enhancements drastically increasing the compensation no longer working public employees, those cashing out and moving to Florida, the State Legislature just passed (without debate and without opposition) vastly diminished pensions and lower take home pay for future public employees.

    On a day when there will be a formal debate about Gay Marriage, which is all that will be talked about tomorrow. I found out about it as an aside in a Daily Politics post on how one State Senator was dressed for the Gay Marriage debate.

    Congratulations to the Price — maybe they’ll be another five year-pension enhancement for teachers about to retire next year, as part of a deal to cut the pay of future teachers by 40%. I hope he takes ownership of this.

    No word on if NYCT is affected. To preserve the fiscal situation of local governments in the rest the state, police officers there will get less generous pensions. To preserve an employment option for suburbanites who want to work as little as possible over their lives, no change in the pension plan for NYC police.

    There are multi-billion, irrevocable deals, massive transfers of well being between generations and to insiders from everyone else. See how much they are discussed in the news, and how everyone who does discuss them praises them. And just take those values and transfer them to infrastructure and debt, and see why the future of mass transit is what it is.

  • James

    I was riding a bus in Kingsbridge one Sunday afternoon, and there were so many double parked cars at the church on Kingsbridge Road that the bus couldn’t get through. We literally sat there immobilized for ten minutes, until the bus driver called the police and then got out of the bus(!) and went looking for the culprits on foot. The street was completely gridlocked. The GF and I just got off of the bus and continued our journey on foot. Here’s hoping that the cops gave out tickets like candy for this.

  • If the bus can’t get through, what about the ambulance?

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Exactly right view Mork. I was at those meetings. Walder was unable to directly push back at the legislators or at those bemoaning the voting status of those county representatives. If any of them would have been willing to cross the aisle they could have substituted congestion pricing or bridge tolls for the payroll tax. As it is the payroll tax is making the commuter tax look good to suburban eyes, maybe that has some life left in it as well. Anyway, looks like the Suburban Republicans got what they wanted, a good MTA fucked us issue to carry into the next election to protect their redistricting crisis.

  • Jeff

    You guys need to be more open-minded to suburban values. Basically, it all boils down to cars and flat-screen televisions. Driving a car is, of course, a given. It’s somewhere in the constitution (somewhere between the part that says gay people can’t get married, and the part that says poor people can’t go to the hospital). However, they cannot be expected to pay taxes or tolls to support this transportation habit. This, of course, would interfere with the purchasing of flat-screen televisions, which, second to cars, are the cornerstone of a suburban lifestyle. Then the flat-screen television provides our suburban friends with a series of thirty-second short films which tell them about other products they need to buy. Again, as you can see, there is clearly no room in the budget for paying taxes and tolls in order to support their transportation habits.

    But seriously. When do we revive a secession movement? Okay, okay, South Williamsburg won’t secede with the rest of the city. They get to be their own country. Or something.

  • Ian Turner

    Jonathan,

    I never understood why the fire department always screems bloody murder when you try to put in traffic calming devices like chicanes, but never seems to come out in public support of traffic reducing programs like congestion pricing.

  • Ian, good question. Maybe because so many firefighters drive in to work from out of town.

  • MTA Hole

    Any of the MTA budget mavens got a number on how much the DRP and the authority sweeps are costing the MTA? If it’s been written about please post the link.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    I had heard 147 Mil but this (http://www.budget.state.ny.us/pubs/press/2009/press_release09_DRP120209.html) has it at 157 M. A cut is a cut but in perspective Pataki undercut the MTA by 100M a year for more than a decade and made it up in borrowing. Of course now, during a severe economic crisis, that debt must be paid off. 157 million/20 Million citizens = $7.85 per citizen (lots of kids in that 20 mil losing their music classes). Or you can look at it like there are 8 million daily system users so that math is more like $20 a year per rider. If that came out of operating, which is about the only place it could come out of at this point you would say $20/500 trips a year or 0.4 cents a trip in farebox. This back of the napkin count though calls a trip by subway, bus, express bus and commuter rail just a trip. Since commuter fares are much higher though there are many fewer of them (500,000 a day) and there is a free transfer from bus to subway that number gets a little hard to pin down. However, my point remains the same, in the micro the cuts are “manageable”. However in the macro it means $0.04 per trip less that the riders will have to spend on something else and fewer workers and managers at the MTA to spend money on their home, kids college tuition, Chinese crap at big box stores, cable television and yachts.

    I’m more interested in how those upstate counties that hate the payroll tax so much voted on the Transportation Bond Act back in the day.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    correction $0.04 in the first reference. Brain fart.

  • Seriously? Sealing off 61st Street from the hoi polloi on Thanksgiving? Four more years of Bloombucks is a dear price to pay for four more years of JSK.