Today’s Headlines

  • MTA Budget Woes Revive Talk of Congestion Pricing (NYT)
  • Brooklyn Jogger Killed as SUVs Collide (News)
  • Silver: Pricing "Still Has Political Problems" (News)
  • Bloomberg’s New MTA Revenue Idea: Tax Cigarette Sales on the Rez (Post)
  • Some Rush-Hour Subways Will Go Standing Room Only in Effort to Boost Capacity (News, NY1)
  • McCain, Obama Tweak Stances on Drilling and Energy (NYT)
  • A Brief History of NYPD Antagonism Toward Critical Mass (NYT)
  • How Jackson Heights Neighbors Got the City to Launch a New Play Street (NYT)
  • L.A. Cyclists Face Motorist Intimidation, Harrowing Commutes (WSJ)
  • Pay-as-You-Drive Insurance Catching On (CSMonitor)
  • Air

    Did you guys see this? Horrible 🙁

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2007/10/19/2007-10-19_suv_kills_baby_in_stroller_in_queens.html

    Backs up onto the sidewalk – oops! Sorry, I’m not really responsible for driving this huge vehicle but have you checked out my stereo system yet?

  • Air

    Oops – just saw the date. Nevermind, was a link from the two SUVs collide story.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Compared with the hole those in charge and their associated interests, all the sources of revenue being talked about — the revival of congestion pricing, the “millionaire’s” tax, Paterson & Bloomberg’s trip to DC, are a sick joke. That $600 million millionaire’s tax is proposed as a way to close a $6.4 billion hole in the state budget, a $1 billion hole in the MTA operating budget, and a $20 billion hole in the next MTA captial plan.

    Speaking of the federal government, as you can read here:

    http://marketplace.publicradio.org/episodes/show_rundown.php?show_id=15

    the real federal deficit is at $900 billion, or 6% of GDP, as high as the worst under Reagan — before the massive “Social Security” tax increase. The smaller $483 billion figure fails to take into account all those extra payroll taxes pledge to future Social Security benefits that are being spent right now, with IOUs deposited into the Social Security trust fund in their place.

    So what happens in a few years when the payroll taxes are insufficient to cover Social Security benefits as the 1960s generation retires? How about we raise payroll taxes on young workers again, then do it again for the MTA, while cutting taxes for our dear seniors, eh Fidler?

  • The seatless subway idea made my jaw drop. The last time I had a daily subway commute — from West 96th to Fulton St. — I would let a half-dozen trains go by until I could get a seat.

    Seatless subways will simply drive people who are physically weak, sick, or elderly out of the subway system. That will mean more crowding on buses, more taxi use, and more private car use. At age 51, I’m still fit enough to stand comfortably for short rides, but in 10 or 20 years that may change.

    Seatless subways may also prove to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for able-bodied commuters who are wavering between driving or subway use. Make the subway wickedly uncomfortable and brutal and they’ll just say, to hell with this, I’ll drive.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    The seatless cars are two things, a real struggle for increasing the fare-box operating ratio without raising the fares and a political sword for fighting for better funding.

    On the first, many riders would prefer to pay more for a seat but standing room has a real relationship to fare-box operating ratio. The more people stand the more efficient is the service to run, and if the concern is providing a cheap ride to those who really need it then standing will be no big deal.

    On the second, the third-world character of this proposal will tend to horrify the new riders converting from automobile commutes. Some of that may rub off on Albany, there may be a couple people up there who value a quality ride, not a system pushed over the top on capacity utilization to be able to afford the service.

    In the end there has to be a way to pay for the systems financial needs, the MTA is just looking at the only funding tool available to it without raising fares, that is capacity utilization. Many people on this blog have flogged the idea that the increased capacity on mass transit as a function of fuel price rise driven transfers from automobile is an income windfall for the systems. This proposal, among others, is the logical result of that world view.

  • Brooklyn Guy

    A 27-year-old jogger was struck and killed Sunday on a Brooklyn street after a pair of SUVs collided and spun out of control, police said.

    The man was at Vanderbilt and Atlantic Aves. in Clinton Hill about 3:30 p.m. when an Acura SUV plowed into him before careening into a nearby light pole, police said. The Acura had been hit by a Cadillac Escalade.

    “It was so fast,” said Ruby Robinson, who rushed to help. “He [the jogger] was like a stunt guy. The impact was so high. He didn’t even know what happened.”

    Jesus. I was standing at that same corner the day before at almost exactly the same time with a friend and our two young sons. Here’s what I have to say to the two “stunned” drivers who were so pleasantly treated by by-standers and passers-by after killing this young man:

    F#*K your Cadillac Escalade.

    F&*K your Acura SUV

    F*%K you, Brooklyn drivers, for the reckless, brainless way you drive through our neighborhoods in your 7 mpg death machines. I truly despise you.

  • I rode through that accident scene about 2hrs after the crash. The Acura looked like it was made of tin foil, all misshapen around a light pole. I didnt realize someone had died, a person unrelated with the two SUVs. One or both of them had to of been driving at quite a great speed. Which, in my opinion, prevents this from being called an “accident”. The Escalade, from Jersey, was in the middle of Atlantic and Vande, and the Acura was against the pole in front of the McDonalds. My thoughts go out to the Jogger and his family.

  • NYT: “Transit riders are a powerful constituency, and given the strong political pressure to avoid, or at least minimize, fare hikes, proponents of congestion pricing are hopeful that Democrats in the State Assembly will be forced to reconsider it.”

    This is rich. Arguments that the plan was advantageous for the populace fell on deaf ears. But now that the Assembly is being forced to choose between raising fares on transit riders and implementing fares for auto-infrastructure users (within the zone), they’re possibly aware of which constituency is larger. Or at least, the smarter people in their offices may inform them of this incredible 21st century fact.

    And our old friend Brodsky is now howling that CP is supported by a “political class” headed by Bloomberg, hoping to preempt the public’s growing awareness that the actual NYC political class serves its own parking-exempt ends by opposing CP. It’s logically obscene to proclaim that most our “political class” (i.e. those in political power) support a policy that went down in political flames a few months ago, but Brodsky’s twisting of language and facts has no bounds. Congestion pricing was “regressive” because he said so, and most coverage repeated his homeopathic marxism without analysis. He even said, “The average income of those using cabs and black cars is about $137,000”, which is just a something he made up. One bold-faced lie like that and you ought to lose all credibility with our streetwise city journalists, but nooooo. They keep dutifully broadcasting his perversion populist liberalism because he’s such a compelling Che Guevara for wealthy white suburban Driveocrats.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “And our old friend Brodsky is now howling that CP is supported by a “political class” headed by Bloomberg, hoping to preempt the public’s growing awareness that the actual NYC political class serves its own parking-exempt ends by opposing CP.”

    I think he may have used that phrase just to piss Streetsblog readers off! I hope he is having fun as all the deals he voted for over the years unravel and wreck our economy and quality of life. After all, he has nothing at stake — he and his get theirs regardless.

  • Silver says pricing “Still Has Political Problems?” Silver’s the one with “Political Problems.” Jeeeez.

  • Re. the idea to remove the seats from some subway cars, let’s bear in mind that they’re only talking about doing this on a few cars per train and only during rush hour.

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