Today’s Headlines

  • Woodhaven SBS Is in the Federal Funding Pipeline But Won’t Get Money Next Year (QChron)
  • Garbage Truck Driver Critically Injures Cyclist in Crown Heights; Daily News: Was He Wearing a Helmet?
  • Remembering Antonio Flores, Struck By Driver While Biking on Broadway in Jackson Heights (QChron)
  • Why NY and NJ Need to Get Moving on the Gateway Project (MTR)
  • De Blasio to Speak Firmly With Council Members About Housing Development (Politico, Crain’s)
  • Bike-Share Expansion South of Atlantic Avenue Kicked Off Yesterday (@CitiBikeNYC)
  • The Post Dreams of Driverless Ubers With “Empty Front Seats” Cruising Around NYC
  • More Coverage of the Town Hall Where de Blasio and Vacca Stood Up for E Tremont Road Diet (BxTimes)
  • Two NJTransit Bus Drivers Collided in Newark, Killing One (PIX, ABC7)
  • Port Authority Offers Weekend Bus Service to Make Up for Closed PATH Stations in Manhattan (News)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • bolwerk

    You remember how Chris Christie was whining that he didn’t want to pay for ARC because New York supposedly wasn’t chipping in? Now the dumb fuck is agreeing to pay at least 1.5x as much as New Jersey was obligated to pay for ARC just to make New York pay that much too. That’s how stupid he is. And Andy Cuomo, if he really is playing along, is an even bigger and stupider sucker.

    But it remains that we really don’t get anything for ARC. Us paying for ARC is like New Jersey paying for the cross-harbor freight tunnel. Yeah, New Jersey gets some tangential benefits, but the main beneficiary is New York. Bundling those two things together would have been a good deal for us maybe, but Andy is a twit. Just paying for New Jersey’s project is not.

  • Flakker

    Yeah. Well certainly not at this price range, given the income tax revenues they actually produce. And I get your logic, I was making the point that in an ideal world where city and state budgets were appropriately balanced, NYS actually is getting a significant amount of revenue from, and presumably very little in obligation to, NJ commuters. In reality, government spending is not fungible, the city is subsidizing the state to begin with, and state income tax revenue generated by those people is not being pumped into the state economy in accordance with need. Indeed given the reactions from upstate (and suburban, and certain Staten Island…) legislators on de Blasio’s last trip to Albany, you’d think that none of us were paying state taxes.

    And not to restart this argument but the original ARC was just a bad plan, and I’m glad it didn’t happen.

    In sum: if Amtrak wants a new interstate tunnel set they, and the federal government, should pay for it. NJ Transit’s need is their own problem, and NY and NYC have more important things to worry about.

  • bolwerk

    I’d be happy to see New York and New Jersey cooperate on something that equitably benefits both states. Say, bring HBLR to 42nd Street. Makes perfect sense for both states to split the cost of a tunnel then.

    Concur on ARC, but it would have sufficed to prevent the shutdown disaster and for most of New Jersey’s purposes. It is in the big picture scheme of things that it is flawed (e.g., does not promote HSR or anything).

    NYS actually is getting a significant amount of revenue from, and presumably very little in obligation to, NJ commuters

    It represents a significant liability to New York too: the state gets some employment taxes,* but a great deal of the money is injected into the New Jersey economy.

    I’m quite neither here nor there on that point, but I have a hard time believing these New Jersey white collar types are such precious little snowflakes that they aren’t movable or replaceable. If someone could quantify how New York actually gains from Gateway because of that, I’d be willing to entertain that argument, but I don’t see it as very important. In the scheme of things, we basically should not worry about where they live, only that the positions they occupy in the labor force remain in NYC.

    * the city, which has to pay for most of the services those people actually consume while in New York is, of course, shafted

  • bolwerk

    Dumping Albany would almost be a no-brainer I think, but our economy is still heavily dependent on selling overpriced financial services denominated in dollars. Somehow, like Brexit, I’m not sure the rest of the union would inclined give us very favorable terms (e.g., monetary union) if we did Nuyahwxit.

  • crazytrainmatt

    Easy, if adherence to the law results in self-driving car gridlock, change the laws, reserved time at stoplights, and fence off the sidewalks.

    Self-driving cars are the new urban freeways.

  • kevd

    self driving shuttle busses and buses could be a game changer in some places. We shall see.
    I was specifically referring the the Mass Ave. / Columbus Ave automated intersection simulation, that models a busy, urban intersection completely devoid of pedestrians and cyclists – a model that omits a massive number of road users in order to simplify their model (or even make it functional).

  • kevd

    simple, we just elminate pedestrians from midtown! Make it illegal for them to cross streets. we’ll put up fences.
    Problem solved, progress attained!

  • Andrew

    The only hope we have of solving the housing crisis is to build more city owned low income housing.

    The housing crisis exists for a heck of a lot more New Yorkers than those who qualify for low income housing. In fact, the only hope we have of solving the housing crisis is to allow for a vast increase in the supply of housing citywide. And the reason that’s so hard to implement – the reason so many people object to upzoning proposals – is that owners benefit tremendously from the housing crisis and have no interest in seeing it go away.

  • bolwerk

    Having men with middling IQs, arbitrary power, and guns walking around looking for problems raises, uh, issues. Where they come from is one tree in the forest.

  • bolwerk

    Really cheap micro-transit would be possible that way. “The bus” could be a 6-seat van or something.

    Hopefully that finally breaks the unspoken proscription against operator-free transit. Rail could probably have begun being reliably operator-free in the 1970s.

    Ironic bonus: BRT worshippers would finally have a plausibly credible case that BRT is cheaper than light rail! Though, being operator-less, both could see their costs drop significantly.

  • Vooch

    developers also love current zoning restrictions – it makes their project super valuable

    blanket upzone entire city 2x and NYrs will finally see housing prices drop to realistic levels

  • Vooch

    a independent NYC could easily use FRN as a medium of exchange. it’s a trivial issue

  • Joe R.

    Or even bitcoin. I’m not seeing it as a big issue, either.

  • Vooch

    Bitcoin even better than FRNs

  • ahwr

    given how much more money we send out of the city than we get

    How much of that comes from the financial industry, and how many of those jobs would remain in your independent NYC?

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-a-brexit-could-kill-london-as-a-top-financial-hub-2016-06-01

    The U.K. exit from the European Union risks costing the City of London billions of pounds, thousands of workers and its spot as the world’s top financial center.

  • bolwerk

    There’s a fairly good chance they’re not leaving, and at least for now educated opinion the subject seems to be that they are not going to leave the single market either way – and that, in turn, means they will probably keep free movement.

    However, so far, doom-and-gloom predictions have not shown many signs of coming to pass (that article is from June 25). The worst damage so far seems to be the weakened pound, and that may have been a blessing in disguise if it boosted exports.

    Ironically, much of London’s current advantage over New York may be traceable to Sarbanes-Oxley.

  • bolwerk

    Not sure what you mean by FRNs. Federal reserve notes? I guess we could in theory make our own currency similar to the USA’s, but the USA has the advantage of being a massive economy with the most trusted currency in the world. To sell US$-denominated products, we’d need to buy reserves of US dollars, and that by itself is risk exposure we currently don’t have. Not saying it’s impossible to overcome, but I would not call it “trivial.” Floating rate notes? AIUI those are bonds and they are typically based on baseline money market rate like LIBOR.

  • bolwerk

    I can come up with more if you want, but the chart on the right is one very damn good reason not to even consider bitcoin.

  • Joe R.

    https://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/why-bitcoin-value-doesnt-matter/

    I’m not saying bitcoin is the best answer here, only that I’m not seeing the lack of a dollar in a hypothetical independent NYC as all that big of a showstopper. There are a bunch of reasons why financial firms might not choose to leave. One of them could be that overall tax levels would drop quite a bit once we no longer had to support federal or state governments.

  • bolwerk

    I wasn’t trying to say there was anything terribly wrong with bitcoin, or other cryptocurrency, as an idea, but as a basis for a national currency that kind of instability would be brutal. Exporting would be difficult and risky for merchants. But set that aside and consider it’s an even bigger problem in a country that would not have the physical resources to produce its own commodities. If, say, a large economy like India or Argentina has a currency subject to large exchange rate swings, its citizens aren’t going to suffer as much because they buy many basic needs domestically; their farmers out in the country will still accept their currency. An independent New York would need to import a lot of basic resources. Even places like Hong Kong and Singapore are faced with that dilemma, which is a major reason why they try to keep their (IIRC free floating) currencies stable.

    And you just can’t ignore that a lot, not all but a lot, of our prosperity is dependent on us being national and international brokers for securities denominated in dollars. That could be overcome, perhaps, but it can’t be disregarded. Firms that want to engage in trade with the rest of the USA would need to buy dollars and hold them on reserve.

  • Vooch

    Just use FRNs

  • Vooch

    NYC import – export ratio would not change one tiny bit if NYC were independent and used FRNs as a medium of exchange

  • bolwerk

    Why not? You say this currency would “float,” so that would imply what foreign goods you can buy in other currencies and what domestic manufacturers export would by definition be subject to constantly fluctuating currency prices. Those fluctuations could be limited, but they could not be eliminated.

  • bolwerk

    You haven’t even told me what you mean by “FRNs”!

  • Vooch

    There is zero reason for a independent NYC to create its own currency.

  • bolwerk

    If we want to remain a major financial center, we want a monetary policy that is favorable to us and preferably controlled by us. That is a pretty compelling reason.

  • Vooch

    ???