Today’s Headlines

  • Bloomberg Expected to Announce Permanent Opening of Broadway Today (News)
  • Manhattan Institute’s Gelinas, McMahon: No Heroes in MTA Crisis That Threatens Entire State (Post)
  • While Monserrate Considered Monserrate the Victim, Fellow Senators, Too, Saw Themselves (NYT)
  • Words Fail: As Abuser Friend Is Booted, Kevin Parker and Co. Gang Up on Diane Savino (News)
  • Honest-to-Goodness Community Organizer Mulls Run Against Pedro Espada (BxNN)
  • How Much for the Ear of a New York Politician? Check It Out (NYT)
  • Downtown Brooklyn in Midst of Population Surge (Post)
  • Traffic-Fearing Brooklynites Want City, Markowitz to Leave Asser Levy Park Alone (NYT)
  • More Susan Jhun: Space-Hogging Car Wash Endangers, Enrages East Harlem Neighbors (NY1)
  • "Stray Voltage" Shocks Five Herald Square Pedestrians (Post, NY1)
  • WNYC Looks Under Grand Central Terminal for Progress on LIRR Hub
  • China HSR Network So Good It’s Hurting Country’s Airlines (Infrastructurist)
  • Andres Duany Talks to Popular Mechanics About His Smart Growth Manual
  • Calling Exceptional Urbanists: 2010 Jane Jacobs Award Now Up for Grabs (BizWeek)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • J. Mork

    Brodsky alert:

    http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20100210/INS/100209868

    Paterson says suburbanites should pay less because they use the MTA less. But Brodsky says by that argument, outer-borough businesses should pay less than Manhattan companies.

    “If you want to start down the road of regional distinctions, you end up with a very dangerous, out-of-control spinoff,” he says. “That was the problem with congestion pricing: It placed the burden on the outer boroughs for a problem that existed in Manhattan.”

  • What’s keeping Carole King from performing at the baseball stadium now called MCU Park? That seats 7,501 in permanent seats, and probably can handle an additional 499 in the infield to match the proposed amphitheater’s 3000 seats and 5000 picnic spaces. Plus it’s less than a mile away from Asser Levy and across the street from the subway terminus.

  • I look forward to hearing Bloomberg’s remarks on Times Square as this is potentially a precedent that can be used for other areas. Valuing human life and local quality of life over moving more cars through an intersection faster might seem like a no-brainer, but it is something that has been lacking in street design for a long, long time.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “If you want to start down the road of regional distinctions, you end up with a very dangerous, out-of-control spinoff.”

    I expect it to very controlled. Have any of the categories of spending in which NYC subsidizes the rest of the state been mentioned?

    And of course here is the big one: who exactly should pay for the burdens of the past that provide no benefit to any current New York State residents whatsoever?

    People who just moved here, or are just staring out? By and large, they live in NYC.

    People who benefitted in the past from selling out the future? Found all over the state, but concentrated outside the city. Moreover, downstate the suburbanites who have sucked the state dry and left in in ruins are, in many cases, the descendents of those who sucked the city dry and left it in ruins in the 1950s and 1960s.

  • vnm

    Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter has my full and complete 100% support in her potential run against that corrupt, anti-progress Mamaroneck-living Espada.

  • Doug

    Brodsky repeats an anti-congestion pricing canard:

    “That was the problem with congestion pricing: It placed the burden on the outer boroughs for a problem that existed in Manhattan.”

    Wrong. Congestion pricing places the burden on the people who bring the problem into Manhattan. The problem wouldn’t exist — or at least wouldn’t be as bad — without suburban and outer borough drivers getting a free pass to bring cars into the CBD.

  • TKO

    Funny the Post forgets to state that the Fulton Mall is one of the busiest shopping areas in NYC. Top five. Maybe because they prefer the Ratner and chain store idea over the local?

  • Josh

    “That was the problem with congestion pricing: It placed the burden on the outer boroughs for a problem that existed in Manhattan.”

    *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk

  • Larry Littlefield

    Here’s one you missed.

    http://www.wcbs880.com/TRANSIT–Christie-Plans-to-Cut-NJ-Transit-Subsidy/6340301

    “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie plans to cut the state subsidy for NJ Transit…Christie called on NJ Transit to improve its operating efficiency and effectiveness, revisit its ‘rich union contracts’ and end “the patronage hiring that has typified its past.”

    Isn’t he in charge now? Instead of calling on New Jersey Transit, why isn’t Christie promising to cut worker pay and patronage if that’s doable? Sounds like another conveniently “unaccountable” transit agency.

    You don’t suppose this has anything to do with the fact that low gas tax New Jersey has borrowed so much money that its entire “Transportation Trust Fund” is being absorbed by interest payments, leaving no money for transportation, does it? Why don’t they (and we) revisit paying those debts?

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Good point on NJT Larry. Since you are the best advocate for the bankruptcy strategy perhaps you could tell us how your vision of public authority bankruptcy involves actual protection from creditors, the historic raison d’etre of bankruptcy? How is it that bankruptcy has become, purely and simply, the abrogation of labor agreements, generational or otherwise? Don’t the bondholders who borrowed to build your house of cards take some kind of hit? Or is it just retired car cleaners and bus drivers? Is that why no politicians pick up the magic hammer of bankruptcy? They don’ want to anger the bondholders?

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Don’t the bondholders who borrowed to build your house of cards take some kind of hit?”

    I would think so, although they could try to seize the transit system, shut it down, and destroy the city’s economy. But in general, they aren’t allowed to do that, and public services continue to be provided.

    What wouldn’t have to be paid in full, most likely, is retiree health care, future pension accurals (a freeze) and debt service. As part of the deal, services that require the most subsidy would probably be terminated for years so the taxes could provide the bondholders with something, and the pension underfunding could be caught up with.

    In any event, there is going to be a wave of defaults as people rebel against soaring taxes and collapsing public services. Carly Fiorona, now running for Senate for California, said a couple of days ago that state shouldn’t rule it out. It could be very ugly, with an all-out effort to blame the wrong people.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I’ll add one more point. All younger generations have to do is join a great big Facebook group asserting they are unwilling to pay the debts that have been foisted upon them (including any public employees hired in lower pension and wage Tiers) and the option of going deeper in the hole would disapper, along with the municipal bond market.

    Whether the federal government would then start borrowing on behalf of local governments, promising to send the army to kill younger generations if they don’t pay, is an open question.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Gee that sounds easy, and so democratic, Facebook, what a great idea! And Fiorina, an entrepeneur, she can lead us out of the wilderness. Put the whole government on line, screw the retirees, Medicare (who needs that anyway) can sleep with the fishes. We can pay for 2nd Ave. Subway from the farebox or web hits or somewhere without borrowing. Run the subways with a high tension electrician shape up, since you won’t need motormen, the trains will be open-sourced kind of like Wikipedia.

  • Kaja

    Moreover, simply /saying/ we’ve no desire to pay those pensions isn’t going to stop them from taking our money.

    There’s prettymuch only one solution, and it’s illegal to post about it on the internet.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    As is the custom in the blogosphere the argument has entirely turned its head on itself. Kaja suggests that reneging on lawful pension obligations to retirees is the only way to protect “his” money. Scratch a Libertarian and you find a Republican banker who smokes dope.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Put the whole government on line, screw the retirees, Medicare (who needs that anyway) can sleep with the fishes.”

    I wouldn’t worry, depending on your age. I expect the bi-partisan consensus on Medicare will be to grandfather everyone “in or near retirement,” then close eligibility to the program for new entrants “until we can afford them” due to all the debts those “in or near retirement” ran up. And so those of us coming after will die younger and poorer.

    You can call everyone who objects to what’s coming a “right winger,” but it wasn’t the “left wing” that most strongly advocated getting it now and running up the debt to “starve the beast” while feasting on it.

  • Larry Littlefield

    And by the way Prince, I’ve read the UFT is pushing for an age 50 pension incentive in Albany, just temporary, just for today’s workers, not paid for for a few years, sucking money out of the classroom for years thereafter.

    Is that social justice? Or is it more the executives who sit on each other’s boards voting each other massive pay packages, and then cutting dividends and worker pay?

  • Carly Fiorina’s the sort of person who halved the worth of HP in boomtime. She’s not exactly an expert on good management, despite her attempt to convince Californians otherwise.