Today’s Headlines

  • De Blasio Admits Brooklyn-Queens Streetcar May Not Pay for Itself (AMNY, News)
  • Daily News Ready to Pull the Plug on BQX
  • Peak Ferry Hype (DNA)
  • Evidence That Upper East Siders Switched From Cabs to the Second Ave Subway (AMNY)
  • Christie and Amtrak Trade Barbs Over Friday’s Train Outage Under the Hudson (Post, WNYC)
  • City Finalizes Contract Shifting Trash Hauling Trips From Trucks to Barges (News)
  • Driver Crashes Into Tractor Trailer on Rockaway Boulevard, Critically Injuring Himself and His Passenger (Post)
  • Staten Island DA Pursuing Manslaughter Charges for Drunk, Wrong-Way Driver Who Killed Two (WNBC, Advance)
  • After Many Years of Waiting on DDC, the Myrtle Avenue Plaza Is Almost Ready (Bklyner)
  • Vicariously Experience an Illicit Tour of Grand Central With Gothamist

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Komanoff

    Want to change “driver” in S.I. story to “off-duty cop”?

  • Greg

    I’m open to the idea that the BQX is unreasonably expensive and may not be a worthwhile project.

    But if that’s the case it’s not because it requires outside funding. We’re the premiere advocates of promoting outside-funded transit for the greater good. All our favorite projects are non-self-supporting and we’re proud of that.

    So let’s be careful where we go with this argument, please. I don’t want to see that same argument turned against every other worthwhile project that needs support in order to work.

    For example, it tired me to no end how much effort was necessary to guarantee Citibike would be self-sustaining to get off the ground. I really wish there was broader support for public transit funding.

  • bolwerk

    Better headline: de Blasio admits what everyone knew about every transit project going back [at least] to the LaGuardia Administration

    I don’t get the utter lack of willingness to try to turn BQX into something better. Nobody wants a surface transit ride from Red Hook to Astoria, but several waterfront-to-Manhattan routes have the potential to some of the most useful transit routes in the city that nobody ever talks about. Astoria to northern Midtown East? Relieves four subway routes extraordinarily well, and may get people much closer to work if done right.

    But I guess the important thing is making sure surface rail is stopped. In case people like it or something.

  • Vooch

    Re: SAS

    I’ve used the 72nd street station a few times in last month and can state with complete assurance many riders would have never used Lexington Line. Definitely FHV users otherwise

  • kevd

    It is not especially worthwhile because of its poor ridership projections.
    Its boosters tried to get past that reasonable objection by claiming it would “pay for itself”.
    Now it turns out that it likely won’t. So the BQX project would take money that could be used for more worthwhile light rail projects and will instead spend them on something that will likely come to be seen as an expensive, slow boondoggle with low ridership.

    This will pretty much eliminate any possibility of better routes with high riderships ever being built.

  • AMH

    Interesting trash story. Seems a much better plan to ship to NJ where it can be loaded onto railcars rather than shipping to SI, then trucking to NJ for rail.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “A previous deal for these two stations, with IESI NY Corporation, a subsidiary of Progressive Waste Solutions, was scrapped in 2016 when the company withdrew its proposal to send the waste to a container terminal on Staten Island and then ship it upstate by rail.”

    It was going by rail in either case. The only difference was the transfer point would now be in NJ rather than SI. There is a rail freight bridge between SI and NJ.

  • Vooch

    build a couple of pedestrian – cycling bridges similar to the one at 102th linking randell’s island to Manhattan.

    build with 72′ clearance for the oil barges with ability to drawbridge raise to 135′ required by USCG rules to make the bridges simple

    $100 mm per bridge

  • AMH

    Sure enough, the Arthur Kill Lift Bridge connects Elizabeth to the North Shore Line. I had no idea!

  • Simon Phearson

    It’s a little like running against Trump as a sexist, racist asshole: No one wanted to make the argument about that; they would’ve preferred to debate the substance. But it’s just not playing.

    I mean, sure – the case against the BQX shouldn’t necessarily be about its requiring a greater public subsidy than originally advertised. It should, instead, be about poor routing, poor segregation from car traffic, poor design, poor connectivity, and the like. We should be able to sit back and say, “Look, light rail can make sense when it serves a demand for a regular route between two areas; so let’s figure out where those areas are.”

    But no one is hearing that argument or much cares. BdB is a moron, and he’s just listening to his developer buddies, who are looking for an incremental boost to real estate prices in the middle term. So if we have to attack this thing for its voodoo economics, so be it.

  • Simon Phearson

    1) Yes but 2) it would kill Astoria, though. Keep the douchebags in LIC.

  • Kevin Love

    The largest subsidies go to car drivers.

  • bolwerk

    What difference would that make? The Broadway Lines are already packed to the hilt in rush hours. Nothing is keeping douchebags out now.

  • bolwerk

    On a per-user basis, that would probably be less cost-effective than a mass transit project.

  • Vooch

    interesting question, but one should get 20,000+ people per workday using each bridge. The Williamsburg gets around 12,000 people on its ungainly long & high path These bridges would be shorter and lower than the WB plus they would take people to 34th and say 42nd street from say LIC & Greenpoint – very convient commute

    At $100mm that seems dirt cheap.

  • bolwerk

    20k/day might be feasible – on good weather days in the peak season. But 20k people is about what you expect in the peak direction on a busy-ish subway crossing in an hour of rush hour commute.

    I don’t have a problem with that sort of infrastructure, but, as usual, it’s
    no substitute for proper transit service.

  • kevd

    “I don’t get the utter lack of willingness to try to turn BQX into something better” making the bqx something useful (and cost effective) would require transforming it so dramatically that it would no longer resemble current plans for the bqx.

    Can we call it the bqx if it runs on Fordham road or third Ave in the Bronx? Or on Utica ave. In brooklyn? Or just on 21st St. In Queens? (The portion of the proposed bqx route that seems most promising to me)

  • bolwerk

    I don’t think it would take much at all to make something very useful. I’d say 80% of the value is in the Red Hook-Downtown Brooklyn portion. Building everything here south of the Navy Yard would make a lot of sense, especially with a spur to Manhattan over one of the bridges. https://inhabitat.com/nyc/wp-content/blogs.dir/2/files/2016/02/BQX-streetcar-line-537×480.jpg

    I guess a Queens portion could make a good feeder to Queens Plaza – or better yet, across the bridge to Manhattan, but that serves far fewer people.

    Cost-effective is another matter. I long ago gave up on cost-effectiveness with New York capital projects. :- Nothing is very cost-effectiveness at 5x its normal price, even if you need it. And nothing will turn BQX into a need, though surface rail on the bridges is arguably a need for subway relief/redundancy.

  • Larry Littlefield
  • Vooch

    how many people ride one of those $100 million subway escalators ?

    for the price of one subway escalator one could build a bridge similar to the randell’s island bridge linking greenpoint to 34th street.

    no comparasion which provides increased mobility for more people

  • bolwerk

    Where is there a $100M escalator? In any event, it’s another useless analogy. IMHO reliance on escalators should be discouraged period, but the MTA sees fit to kowtow to the anti-rail crowd by burying rail as deep as possible. Subway stations should be as close to the surface as possible to maximize accessibility. Saves money too.

    I reject the premise that project A automagically comes at the expense of project B, I see no reason why we can’t have both good surface rail and bike infrastructure, and if we could all focus on making infrastructure costs sane again there would be plenty more to go around. Getting bike people and transit people fighting is exactly what road-or-bust advocates want.

  • Vooch

    Agreed 1,000%

    let’s agree to split the $1.5 billion going to repair 2 miles of the BQE at 90:10 ratio

    Subways – $1.35 billion

    PBLs – $150 million

    with that ratio, we’d create 300 new miles of PBL. That’s a good outcome 🙂

  • bolwerk

    I think the hurdle to PBLs is less money (the positive externalities probably more than pay the cost) than overruling a lot of really powerful people who drive.

  • Vooch

    True to some extent but I believe it’s neighborhood specific.

    For example our fellow New Yorkers in Bayside Queens likely still believe cycling is the devil’s spawn.

    In stark contrast, the areas of Manhattan below 34th street are finally staunchly positive about cycling as a normal transportation mode.

    DOT and Mayor are woefully behind the curve on realizing there are areas of the city that embrace PBLs. PBLs in these areas could be networked with nil push back.

    The city is at a stage where is really does need to up the pace & density of PBL construction. Network. Network, Network.

    50 new miles annually is a achievable goal. Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens should each get 15 miles and Manhattan 5 per year for next 5 years.

  • kevd

    If it actually went from Red Hook to DT Brookyn (say, Jay St. Borough Hall) then sure. That’s rather useful. If it then crossed the bridge, and connected with subway stations in manhattan. Bang, Really useful.
    If it were less pointlessly circuitous (well the point is to get close to luxury real estate developments) in Red Hook and Dumbo, then yeah that could be useful.
    But everything we’re saying is vastly different from what is being proposed.

    3rd Ave in Brooklyn down to Industry City (even if it is 1 block from an under-capacity local subway line), then 2nd or 1st ave to the Army terminal and connecting with (or and extension of) a completed TriboroRX. Man, then you’re actually getting something out of this project!

    But, that is such a drastic departure from de Blasio’s 2 Billion dollar investment in increasing estate developments’ sales prices, that i don’t think it should have the same name.

  • kevd

    The packed N/W is why I think a 21st street route to Queens plaza makes sense.
    Of course, then most of those people would have to get on packed trains there or the F in the Queensboro houses…

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