Today’s Headlines

  • Teamsters Reject Domestic Drilling as Energy Solution (Gristmill)
  • Bloomberg Predicts Post-Election Comeback for Congestion Pricing (News)
  • Eyesore No More? Competing Designs for Port Authority Bus Terminal Unveiled (NYT, News)
  • MTA Forecasts Ridership Plateau in 2009 (AMNY)
  • Clyde Haberman on the MTA’s Image Problem (NYT)
  • What If Subway Fares Doubled? (2nd Ave Sagas)
  • Woman Sues City Over Parking Restrictions in Front of Her Building (City Room)
  • Traffic Agents Attacked by Angry Motorists Now Have a Better Recourse (NYT)
  • Idling Ikea Buses Block City Bus Drop-offs in Downtown Brooklyn (Brooklyn Paper)
  • SF Pol Proposes Car-Free Market Street (SF Chron via Planetizen)
  • The three Port Authority tower designs were a laugh riot on last night’s CW11 news, as anchor Jim Watkins read descriptions of the designs very similar to the ones printed in the Times. He got through the first one’s “icy gleam” OK, but had trouble with the second one’s “curtain walls,” and by the time he got to the third one’s “four discrete boxes,” he and coanchor Kaity Tong were cracking up. The people who design these atrocities should be ridiculed more often. I wonder which one will end up as a Kunstler Eyesore of the Month?

  • mike

    Geez, why can’t our architects build any good-looking buildings anymore? I’m not surprised that the Times loved them — Oursoussoff and his ilk wouldn’t know a good building if it hit them in their heads.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Town of East Hampton going broke. Yes that East Hampton.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=abSnNUZwDblU&refer=home

    “The Long Island sanctuary for the rich, where lobster salad sells for $85 a pound, has been hit by a double whammy: a tripling in workers’ health costs since 2003, which officials failed to anticipate, and a 43 percent drop in revenue from mortgage taxes related to real estate sales in the first half of the year from 2007. Town officials for the first time plan to reduce the deficit by borrowing, after winning state approval for a $15 million bond sale.”

    Not for capital investment, for operating costs. Moody’s cut the towns credit rating four levels.

    So what does this have to do with Streetsblog? Unfortunately, when it comes to mass transit (or education or any other public service) this is really the only sort thing to talk about that isn’t a joke, and will be for several years.

    Bicycles — very low public capital costs, zero public operating costs.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Justice Goodman, in a written ruling, noted that Ms. Tepler was ‘seeking to restore to the community’ three parking spots and appointed the civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel to represent Ms. Tepler pro bono and speak with the other parties to work out a settlement. Justice Goodman noted that she herself was a former member of Community Board 7 and also lives in the area (as does Mr. Siegel).”

    I love it. A lawsuit asserting a private right to use public space. Ms. Templer is the epitome of a real New York liberal Democrat of her generation. If Justice Goodman lives in a Mitchell-Lama, expect her to prevail.

    No settlement! I’d love to see this open appealed right up the line.

  • JP

    “What if subway fares doubled?” Because I don’t own a car, transportation and housing for my wife and I would still be only 26% of my income if the monthly pass doubled in price.

    I think the vast majority of the ridership could handle a fee increase like this (though there would have to be programs and rebates for those who couldn’t afford it). Since farebox revenues cover about 50% of transit right now, would a doubling mean that the farebox would cover 75%?

  • That thing about the woman suing over her “lost” parking is obnoxious. She’s living on the upper west side (the real UWS, not the 175th street UWS you see in craigslist apartment postings) for $750/month and she’s COMPLAINING? Give me a break. You don’t like it, move somewhere else that there’s more free parking. I hear Connecticut is nice.

  • “The people who design these atrocities should be ridiculed more often.”

    Very true. Renzo Piano created a New York tradition when he designed the New York Times building with screening on the outside that acts as a ladder, making it easier for demonstrators to climb up the building. Try to be cool, and end up being ridiculous.

  • Spud Spudly

    The Port Authority doesn’t like hydrogen powered vehicles in its tunnels or on the lower deck of the GW:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/20/automobiles/autosreviews/20AUTO.html?_r=3&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

    Now there’s a hurdle that will have to be resolved.

  • matthew

    Oh, Norman, of all the battles you could be in, you’re really gonna spend some energy on this?? Two f’ing parking spaces?

    But on the policy side, aren’t CB motions only advisory to DOT? Can’t they change signage however they want? Would there be any legal standing to overturn this?

  • The idea that working-class families can “easily” absorb another $80/month/person into their budgets seems to come from a fairly privileged vantage point.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    CLearly, paying 100% more for the fare would be very difficult for many poor and near poor in NYC. However, it would still be about 1/3 of the cost of a car, something for the most part wildly beyond their means (except the ones who Brodsky and Fidler represent). Still though, denying the system fare increases that approximate the inflation rate does tend to place public transit off into the welfare system where it went to be drowned in the bathtub after the fiscal crisis. Keeping public transit the welfare provider of last resort will not build the sort of system that everybody else will enjoy riding. Poor people have to have something though. I’ll still ride it, but then again, I rode it in 1977.

  • Ian Turner

    Dchadwick,

    As others have asked, is the subway a transportation system or is it a welfare system? Fares should be set at a level in accordance with reasonable operating costs. If that results in some people being unable to afford required transportation, then those people — and only those people — should be compensated through other means. It would be far better to have a subway equivalent to food stamps and to raise the fare to a reasonable level than to have everyone pay artificially low fares for the sake of the few people who can’t afford it.

    Incidentally, the exact same reasoning applies to the use of automobiles.

    –Ian