Today’s Headlines

  • Citi Bike Is Coming to Astoria (DNA)
  • Cuomo Says “Cash” and Thruway Tolls Will Pay for His Tappan Zee (News, NYup)
  • Cuomo’s Latest Transit Gimmick: Privatized Subway Stations (Politico, NYT, GothamistNews)
  • Gelinas: Make the MTA Fiscally Responsible Before Pouring in More $$$ (C&S)
  • Dwyer: Subway Riders Need More Trains, Not Fewer Seats (NYT)
  • Carol Kellermann: How About Some Help From Motorists and TWU? (News)
  • New Yorkers Aren’t Fooled by Cuomo’s MTA Buck-Passing (News, Post)
  • No Commitment From Trump to Help Fund Gateway (Politico)
  • Box Truck Driver on the Sidewalk Injures 2 in East Flatbush (NewsPost)
  • Chaos Ensues After Cops Leave Cruiser Idling on Upper West Side (Post)
  • Driver Crashes on Grand Central Parkway and Dies (News)
  • 40 Years Ago: Son of Sam Snared by Parking Enforcement (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Larry Littlefield

    On the MTA not finishing projects, that’s not surprising.

    There is a private construction boom going on in the city right now, and contractors know they can put the MTA off forever without losing work in the future. Whereas they have to keep the private sector happy. Meanwhile, with the city schools not producing people capable of working in the skilled trades, and the unions limiting membership, there is a labor shortage.

    If the TWU wasn’t an organization that was unsatisfied with one year of retirement for each year worked (25/55) and went on strike for 20/50, it might make sense to do more work in house.

    More to the point, there will be a bust eventually. If the MTA were a competent organization and not forced to overpay for everything by the federal and state governments, it would be able to roll out a new signal system (and fare system, etc) for the whole system at a moderate cost in the next recession, having planned for it now.

  • Larry Littlefield

    BTW, if the crisis is overcrowding, what would a private business do? What no one is suggesting is something like:

    1) Raise subway fares to reduce ridership and pay for increased maintenance and

    2) Make the buses free so some people will shift. In addition

    3) Hand out free bicycles, train new mechanics, add bike parking, teach riding on a mass scale.

    Ten percent of New Yorkers walk to work. A bicycle travels three times as fast, so three times as much of the city should be within bike distance. So bicycle transport could be 20 to 25 percent of work trips. And a higher percent of non-work trips.

  • Maggie

    Why do you leave out expansion?

  • bolwerk

    What a private business would do is be run into the ground by these morons. But who cares what a private business would do? The MTA is not a private business, nor should it be.

    Even ignoring the added costs of moving people with buses, most people are not going to want to switch unless there’s serendipity about how the bus routes them to work. Effectively speaking, anyone crossing a river needs a train. Biking is nice, but few people are going to want the exertion of biking to work. I’d guess most of the people who want to do it already are.

    Not fixing the subway is telling people to do what Trump thinks Upstaters should do: move.

  • bolwerk

    “New Yorkers Aren’t Fooled by Cuomo’s MTA Buck-Passing” – hate to be mean, but he has been fooling most people for seven years. Guess his luck ran out.

  • HamTech87

    The Post is right to call the stealer of the idling police car a “numbskull”, but no criticism of the officers? Leaving a car open and idling is like leaving a loaded handgun on the sidewalk.

  • bolwerk

    Hell, I ain’t one to defend the police, but if they want easy pickings, doing just that seems like a great idea for them. :-

  • Vooch

    further to your point – adding PBLs is dirt cheap. Quadrupling the PBL network for commuters in NYC would cost $100 mm. that’s pennies in the context of the MTA.

  • Larry Littlefield

    This is supposedly a “state of emergency.”

    I am, of course, in favor of rail transit expansion. Though there seems to be a push to shelve expansions, with the decline of the existing system as an excuse. As I noted, we aren’t even going to install tail tracks on the L train during the shutdown. We’re going to remove seats instead. But you can’t build expansions instantly, even if we weren’t getting hosed.

    If it is an “emergency,” where are the emergency measures? Where is the “what can we do right now” attitude?

    Clearly, the whole thing is about the media, political careers. It’s all a game. Subway service was terrible when I wrote this at the end of 2015.

    https://larrylittlefield.wordpress.com/2015/12/28/nyc-subway-service-am-peak-hour-in-1954-and-2014/

    My wife, leaving work after 6 pm each day, was having her 35-40 minute A/C Downtown to F in Brooklyn subway ride (which she has taken since the mid-1980s) extended to 60 to 90 minutes two or three times a week, consistently. Her commute, she tells me, is actually not quite as bad. But is in the media now. None of these folks gave a damn then.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Effectively speaking, anyone crossing a river needs a train.”

    I’d agree. That’s who really needs the train.

  • Larry Littlefield

    His generation has been fooling itself and the rest of us for 30-plus years. And all of our luck has run out.

  • Jesse

    4) charge a dynamic toll on private cars entering the CBD during peak-congestion times to clear the streets for buses and use the revenue to prop up the MTA.

  • Maggie

    Right, the subway isn’t actually a private business, any more than midtown streets congested with Ubers are or $2.75 ferries running out to Rockaway Beach are.

    Fair point that investment to increase capacity or supply has quite a long lead time, and I don’t see the reasoning that there’s a more efficient way for NYC to circulate its population over long distances and than with transit and bikes. Totally agree.

  • Larry Littlefield

    So, how are the MTA’s real estate tax transfer revenues doing?

    https://commercialobserver.com/2017/07/investment-sales-report-card-are-you-sitting-down/

    Did they bank some of the excess revenues from the latest bubble, or blow it all and borrow on top of it to make the Governor and state legislature happy again?

  • AMH

    CitiBike’s website still shows last year’s expansion plans.

    https://www.citibikenyc.com/expansion

    Still no news about the expansion uptown, which was supposed to be happening by now.

  • Vooch

    Re: Citibike

    workday trips routinely exceed 60,000 this year.

    that’s success !

  • bolwerk

    A reasonable timeframe for something like tail tracks on the L is probably a few months from talking about it to finishing it. It’s probably not even a service-impacting change, until the service changes (for the better).

  • qrt145

    Actually you can reach nine times the area in the same amount of time when you go thrice as fast!

  • qrt145

    Interesting Op-Ed in the Daily News: “How to prevent traumatic brain injuries on New York City streets: Advice from a Brooklyn emergency physician”

    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/prevent-traumatic-brain-injuries-new-york-city-streets-article-1.3361267

    Can anyone guess how many times the word “helmet” appears in this piece? 🙂

  • Larry Littlefield

    Not what we would get, though, is it?

    Just think of the EIS. Wasn’t needed for a few extra lanes on the Staten Island Expressway. But 600 feet of empty trackway that ideally trains would never go onto? Multi-year analysis.

  • Larry Littlefield

    You are right!

  • bolwerk

    Yep. I’ve yet to see this be discussed at all in the mainstream press.

  • HamTech87

    Citibike has accomplished some of this, but we could do so much more. A friend with a multi-transfer subway trip now avoids crowded sections with Citibike, and gets a bit more exercise doing it.

  • William Lawson

    Just look at this doozie in the Daily News yesterday.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/nypd-threats-cuffing-trooper-driving-drunk-bronx-article-1.3368283

    NYPD officers nab a state trooper for drink driving, then their precinct gets threats from other state troopers that they’re going to retaliate. So NYPD union leaders then feel the need to instruct NYPD officers to drive lawfully when they’re upstate just in case the threats are serious.

    Two amazing pictures to take away here. One is of state troopers who really believe they should be immune from the law and able to drive drunk without consequence – and another of NYPD union leaders who want to discourage NYPD officers from driving illegally, not because it’s the right thing to do, and not indefinitely, but just for the time being until this thing blows over. The whole lot of them are a disgrace to NY.

  • kevd

    few things would make me happier than state troopers ticketing and arresting NYPD officers…
    and vice-versa.
    an all out law enforcement turf war, where both sides finally have to obey motor vehicle laws – would be great for everyone in the region.

  • Imagine each one of these forces keeping tabs on the other, resulting in an unprecedented outbreak of lawfulness.

  • Larry Littlefield