Today’s Headlines

  • Cycling Up 143 Percent in New York City Since 2000 (Post)
  • Chrysler, GM to Close Thousands of Dealerships (NYT)
  • Brian Lehrer Interviews Outgoing MTA Chief Lee Sander (WNYC)
  • Long Fight Over MTA Funding Left NYC Transit With a Bus Driver Shortage (AMNY)
  • Burning Over MTA Payroll Tax, State Sen. Andrew Lanza Wants SI to Secede from NYC (SI Live)
  • More LaHood: ARC Tunnel Will Get Big Funding Commitment From Feds (Observer)
  • DOT Has a Small Pot of Money to Study Brooklyn Streetcar Network (Transport Politic)
  • Parking Requirements Discourage Density in Austin (Austin Contrarian via
  • Today Is National Bike to Work Day (AMNY)
  • SF Does BTWD a Day Early, Draws Record Crowds (Streetsblog SF)
  • RE: State Sen. Andrew Lanza Wants SI to Secede from NYC

    Dude, you have to secede from the *state* to get out of the MTA. Oh, what’s that? You’re just wasting tax dollars on grandstanding again? Carry on.

  • Ian Turner

    It would make a lot of sense, however, for NYC to secede from NYS. NYS legislators realize how much cash they take from NYC, however, and so know better.

  • JSD

    I live in Staten Island, and Mr. Lanza went to my high school.

    The North Shore, especially the St. George, Tompkinsville and Stapleton areas are dense, progressive, mixed income communities. A large portion of the residents in these areas use public transportation regularly, as it is the only logical means of getting around. Mr. Lanza’s comments in no way reflect the feelings of most Staten Islanders.

    Republicans nationwide are getting desperate. Lanza’s base is white, suburban, socially conservative, and still after all these years, fondly reminiscing over the Bush years. This is a truly ridiculous proposition, one that should a) get no press, or b) get bad press.

    Proposals like these are absolutely shameful.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Staten Island is in favor of secession every time the rest of the city has a problem — the last time was in the deep early 1990s recession.

    Under the secession bill of the time, Staten Island residents would have been able to take government jobs in the rest of New York City, but residents of the rest of the city would not have been permitted to take government job on Staten Island.

    Staten Island is filled with NYC public employees. But the secession study claimed that it was less reliant on government jobs than the rest of the city — based on data sources that assigned government workers at the headquaters from which employment taxes were paid, not where the employees lived or worked. So there were no cops living or working on Staten Island — the were all in Manhattan at police plaza.

    Under the bill, the city’s debts would have been apportioned based on property tax revenues, since the city’s tax system favors 1 to 4 family homes and thus Staten Island. Not based on population or income, which would have led to a much higher share.

    State school aid would have treated Staten Island like a suburb — meaning that at the time it would have gotten more, since the “special provisions” like one NYC child actually counting as .95 children (or whatever it was) would not have applied.

    The city would have been forced to continue providing a wide range of services, including water, to Staten Island on unfavorable terms for the city and favorable terms for Staten Island.


    If I hear too much more of this nonsense, I’ll be in favor of more reasonable separation terms — and kicking them out.

  • J. Mork

    So long SI; it was nice knowin ya.

    P.S. How does $5 each way for that boat ride sound?

  • Glenn

    Purely from a transportation perspective, the loss of the MTA from Staten Island would be a disaster. Bus service would be reduced to 1-2 buses an hour even in during the commute rush and it would cost $3-4 a ride. A ferry ride would be about $5 and would probably have to cease overnight service. And the express buses would probably have to be privatized and fares would be $8-10 and service cut.

    Traffic would go from bad to near nightmarish proportions. Going to the movies or the Mall, let alone Manhattan would take 45-60 minutes.

    And in the end they would have to pay the NYC & MTA payroll tax anyway because most of their high salary workers commute to downtown Manhattan.

  • JSD

    Do we really need the “so long, see ya” mentality about Staten Island here? Just because one of our reps says something silly doesn’t mean the entire borough should be lampooned in one breath, and jetisonned from the city in the next.

    Malcolm Smith doesn’t speak for all Queens residents, and Andrew Lanza doesn’t speak for all Staten Islanders.

    There’s a lot that can be improved on Staten Island (that alone is an extreme understatement). But we’re working on it. Other city residents shouldn’t joyfully jump on silly comments like these, ridiculing and pigeonholing an entire borough because one rep says something out of left field. Many residents are working extremely hard to make Staten Island a more equitable member of the city, with almost no press to speak of. Half a million people live here, in a failed case study of suburban sprawl and transportation hell.For fity years, this island was the literal repository of America’s waste. Even then, the only solutions to our many issues were, “stop complaining or get out.”

    That’s an unfair viewpoint by resident politicians, and an unfair viewpoint by non residents.

  • J. Mork

    The point, JSD, is to be careful what you wish for, and it’s not directed at you personally.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The point, JSD, is to be careful what you wish for, and it’s not directed at you personally.”

    Right. And remember, secession did pass on Staten Island back then, so it isn’t just one grandstanding pol.