Today’s Headlines

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Paterson Warns of ‘Very Hard’ Budget Cuts”

    Ask yourself this question — what has fundamentally changed in six months, in two years? Nothing.

    Except that those who matter now believe they have taken everything they can off the top, and its time for “very hard” budget cuts for everyone else.

    The state legislature has been stealing our future for 15 years. Paterson was a member before becoming Governor, and so was Pataki. And the beneficiaries will not be giving anything back.

    As long as people allow themselves to be deceived, and are not violently outraged, this will continue until there is nothing left. There is no restraint of conscience in Albany. None.

  • Larry Littlefield

    And, by the way, the purpose of the “federal stimulus” ploy is PR — whatever happens is the federal government’s fault.

    We have had the highest state and local taxes in the country as a share of income, excluding Alaska where a large share of those taxes come from oil, for decades. Where has it all gone? Who gets more? Who pays less? Dare anyone say?


  • A “free” bike with the purchase of my $1.6 million (and up) luxury condo? Wow, that sure is generous of them.

  • Peter

    Train Service Shouldn’t Mimic the Experience of Air Travel


    In 1969 the Pennsylvania introduced the Metroliners on what would eventually become the North East Corridor. The railroad was desperate to defend it’s short haul traffic in the area against the then very real threat of soon to be introduced short haul commuter helicopters (these didn’t become common due to the Pan-Am Helicopter Crash. With this threat in mind they consiously emulated aircraft in the design of these short haul cars.

    Fast forward to the late 1970s. Amtrak has been created to take over the rail passenger business. It’ underfunded and saddled with ancient passenger equipment it has been forced to lease or purchase from the railroads. Amtrak needs new equipment fast and cheap. It goes to the various rail car builders for quotes. The Budd company figures that they can use thier existing tooling for the Metroliners to crank out new passenger cars for far cheaper and much faster then it would take any other firm to design and then tool up for new passenger car construction. Amtrak jumps at this chance new cars, cheap and fast, exactly what they needed.

    And that’s why US passenger cars resemble airlines.

  • MIndy

    And Today’s “Clueless Awards”…the guy cycling down Fifth Avenue sans helmet and holding a cell phone to his ear. (IMO hand-held phones are a safety issue for cyclists as well as drivers.) And the guy pulled over in the 34th Street bus lane…reading a newspaper in his car. Nothing like inconveniencing hundreds of bus passengers so you can relax in your car with the daily paper.

  • I definitely agree with Marshall about the silliness of making trains look like planes. Especially with regards to seating. European trains used to have compartments, now they have coach seating like planes or buses. Bleah.

    I’ll add another false analogy that drives me up the wall: the nuts who say “I just walked right on the train and didn’t have to go through security!” You sure did, honey, because you can’t crash a train into a skyscraper.

  • Query to the experts: Wouldn’t trains shaped like the fuselages of planes save fuel with superior aerodynamics?

  • Ian Turner

    No, because the existence of the ground changes the aerodynamic situation considerably. (air can’t flow under a train in the way that it can under an airplane). That is why high-speed aircraft have an essentially circular cross-section, while high-speed trains don’t.

    That said, of course there are aerodynamic adjustments you can make to the shape of a train — but when we do that, it doesn’t come out looking like a plane so much as like the head of a snake

  • Andy B from Jersey

    No! no! I must nominate The Villager for the most “Clueless Award”.

    I quote from the Free Bikes story, “the Dutch-designed models feature leather handgrips, an embossed leather saddle, rear mud shields and a bell. No word yet on whether they’re also considering providing Lycra bodysuits.”

    Writers for The Villager should get out and travel more and see how 90% of most biking is done oversees. (Hint: )

  • Andy, with respect to the Villager, did you think that maybe they were being sarcastic?

    They’re probably the most positive local news provider in terms of coverage of pedestrian and cycling issues, so that would lead me to believe that their statement was more a contrast of cyclist types, and a jab at the lycra crowd.

  • Andy B from Jersey

    No not really and I still don’t see it as being sarcastic despite their bike/ped friendly reputation (which I did not know about). It just did not come across that way to me.