Today’s Headlines

  • Huge Gap Opens in MTA Budget as Payroll Tax Comes Up Short (NYT, News, NY1, Post, SAS)
  • Albany Messed Up Payroll Tax Projections, But Who Will the Public Blame? (SAS)
  • From the Beginning, Cellular Industry Has Marketed Devices to Drivers (NYT)
  • EPA Issues Final Ruling: Greenhouse Gases Can Be Regulated as a Threat to Human Health (NYT)
  • The Hipster-Hasid Alliance: More on Yesterday’s Guerrilla Bike Lane Striping (News)
  • Post: Unofficial Paint Job on Bedford Ave the Work of "Bicycle-Riding Vigilantes"
  • TWU Elects New Leadership, Vowing Tougher Stance Than Toussaint Regime (News)
  • Cargo Bike Culture Comes to America (NPR)
  • Forget About Reckless Driving; NYPD Goes on Kiddie-Seat Ticket Blitz (Post)
  • PLGers Ask DOT to Calm Traffic at Ocean and Parkside Intersection (Hawthorne Street)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Obviously, it is too late in the year to deal with losses of this size,” said Gary Dellaverson, the MTA’s chief financial officer, in a memo to the board Monday. “As a consequence … we will roll this problem into 2010.”

    Money will be borrowed at the expense of future taxpayers, riders and workers to pay for things this year.

    “(and) the proposed budget that you will see (next week) will require very difficult choices.”

    If the new guy was going to make such choices, rather than simply keep repeating the policies of the 1960s and early 1970s (deferred maintenance already underway, and will expand), he wouldn’t have been appointed by the legislature.

    “The unnerving shortfall prompted Dellaverson to postpone the sale of $350 million of bonds originally scheduled for this week until a new 2010 budget is developed and adopted.”

    The capital budget will be gutted, and after the legislature borrowed billions promising major improvements, the existing system won’t even be maintained.

    “Samuelsen’s “Take Back Our Union” won the top four officer positions, Silverman said. The campaign promised a more democratic union – and a tougher stance against MTA management.”

    He didn’t say it, but he meant transit riders, who are much worse off than they are. Management, like the union members, doesn’t use mass transit for the most part.

    This is just one part of the total picture, which can be summarized by this chart.

    http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/1461/graphtotaldebtpctofgdp.jpg

  • J:Lai

    the MTA is going to need to radically re-structure service at some point, otherwise it will collapse and drag a good part of the city’s ecoomy down with it.
    I think eliminating many local stops on subways and reconfiguring bus routes to provide “spoke” service from the remaining subway hubs would be a more efficient use of limited resources.

  • From the Post article on the Bedford Ave Bike lane:

    The cycling advocacy group Transportation Alternatives has not taken sides in the dispute.

    Really? Come again?

    Surely TA is against the removal of bike lanes.

  • Josh

    Being against the removal of bike lanes isn’t the same thing as being in favor of DIY lane-painting.

  • Boris

    Larry,

    Based on data from the chart, I would say that the MTA is doing pretty well- State and Local debt is only 16% of the total. The bad part is that private loans are an individual’s choice, while the state divides loans unfairly by making one citizen class pay another. But assuming in the long run debt service for everyone is more or less fair, the MTA debt pales in comparison to private and corporate debt.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Based on data from the chart, I would say that the MTA is doing pretty well- State and Local debt is only 16% of the total.”

    Ahh, but all that private debt is being shifted to the federal government, increasing the future taxes that younger people must pay and decreasing the public services and benefits they may receive. Check out this chart on what has happened to federal debt.

    http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/5528/graphfeddebtrecent.jpg

    In effect, to keep the economy from total collapse the federal government is ending up paying for past purchases of SUVs, McMansions, plasma screens, cruises, and executive bonuses.

    Moreover, don’t draw any conclusions about New York State from the national share of indebtedness that is state and local. We have more debt as a share of our resident’s income than virtually any state, multiples of the national average, with much of it stuck on the MTA.

  • Boris

    OK. Back to being scared.

  • A source close to Mayor Bloomberg said removing the lanes was an effort to appease the Hasidic community just before last month’s election.

    While there’s been plenty of speculation this is the first time I’ve seen any mainstream media actually state the bike lane removal was done to appease Hasidic community… and the Posts states it as if there’s nothing wrong with it.

  • What’s wrong with ticketing people for not using car seats? That sounds like a great burst in enforcement.