Today’s Headlines

  • Four Arrested in Microphone Queue-Jumping Episode at Brooklyn MTA Hearing (NY1, Post, Tracks)
  • More MTA Misdirection From Electeds in the Bronx (NY1)
  • JSK: Before Launching Bike-Share, NYC Needs Safer Bike Infrastructure (WNYC)
  • Fox 5 Takes a Quick Look at the MTA Debt Bomb (via 2nd Ave Sagas)
  • Ratner’s Atlantic Yards Groundbreaking Scheduled to Happen in a Week (Bklyn Paper)
  • TLC Chief: Cab-Sharing Needs Time to Catch On (Post, NY1, News, NYT)
  • Why Is Penn Station So Confusing? (Slate)
  • Amazing Car of the Future Gives Drivers Ability to Brake Whenever They Want (NYT)
  • Street Reclamation, Somerville Style: New Plazas and Bike Lanes for Union Square (Globe)
  • Bike Commuting Up Big in Melbourne (The Age)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Omri

    Oh, nice to see my hometown of Medcamberville making an appearance here.
    I’ like to see a Streetsblog Hub site start up, but have no time to volunteer as an editor.

  • “You understand what we’re doing here? We’re hurting people’s lives. It’s wrong,” said State Senator Martin Golden.

    The question is, Marty, did you understand what you were doing a year ago when you called bridge tolls “offensive to the middle class?”

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The MTA borrowed $27 billion to pay for capital improvements like new subway cars, buses and renovating train stations. In 2010, the MTA has to pay back nearly $2 billion in debt and interest.”

    A small share of that borrowing was for improvements. Much of it was for ongoing normal replacement, replacing cars, signal systems, station components etc, that have and will continue to wear out at a steady rate. Money was borrowed for an ongoing expense.

    “That amount will grow each year.”

    Meaning, the MTA cannot afford to continue this ongoing expense, and the system will degrade.

    Don’t forget the pensions, which were both enhanced and underfunded by decision after decision of the New York State legislature. The real estate transfer revenues were a one-time windfall that will not recur. And (sorry Streetsbloggers) the fare was cut as costs rose, with money borrowed to make up the difference.

  • vnm

    Pedro Espada’s office sent a rep to the MTA hearing in the Bronx last night. The guy was roundly booed right from the beginning, when he said that the Majority Leader could not be in attendance that evening because he was “doing the people’s business in Albany.” What a pompous thing to say.

    Senator Jeff Klein’s office also sent a rep who yelled at the MTA Board to “go back to the drawing board!” When these useless legislators are totally bereft of any constructive ideas, that’s the phrase they resort to. They just complain about the existing proposals without offering anything useful, and deflect blame to the only people in the room who actually have to make tough decisions based on available resources.

  • I love the Slate piece on the lousy signage at Penn Station. Why is Penn Station so confusing? It’s confusing because the people who planned it, designed it, built it and run it DO NOT GIVE A SH1T about the people who use it. User interface-wise, Penn Station is essentially a horrible Russian porn web site from the late 1990s.

  • Marty, most people who use Penn Station are daily commuters, who could find their track blindfolded. Beating up on Penn is so easy, even the guy who designed the Downtown Brooklyn signage system can do it.

  • Jonathan,

    Fixing it would be easy too. But the people who run the place DO NOT GIVE A SH1T about the people who use the place.

  • Don’t jump to conclusions, Marty! When they bulldozed an architectural monument that evoked a sense of dignity and civic pride in favor of an ad-plastered concrete bunker of an arena, clearly the needs of passengers and citizens of this city were at the forefront of the planning process! But hey, at least Penn Station has a really sweet loading dock/taxi stand area that makes me, as a pedestrian on my way to the station, feel like I accidentally walked behind a strip mall in New Jersey! Definitely an appropriate design for a rail station!

  • James

    In other news: the proposal that had been making its way through the community board process in Riverdale to have Summer Streets on Johnson Ave this year was shot down this week. The Traffic & Transportation Committee did not allow it to come to a vote due to opposition from the merchants on Johnson Ave, many of who feared that the closing of the street to pedestrian traffic would eliminate business from the elderly, many of whom are dropped off in front of the businesses via car and then picked up. I’m bummed, as I think their fears are unfounded and that this could have been something really cool.

    http://www.riverdalepress.com/full.php?sid=11588&current_edition=2010-03-04

  • I’ve got a gut that sags down to my knees, a horrible case of bursitis and I’ve smoked Pall Mall’s for 30 years, and even I am perfectly capable of being dropped off on a side street and walking around the corner to get to a store.

  • Jeff, Marty: don’t worry, New Jersey Transit is spending $7.6 billion on a new station track area, and Amtrak is spending $1.3 billion on a new station named after the great urbanist Daniel Moynihan. The rail agencies probably like poorly designed stations like Penn – they give them an excuse to spend billions on frivolities.