Today’s Headlines

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill.

  • From the Queens waste transfer article:

    Community activists proposed alternatives such as building additional rail spurs at the current Review Ave. facility to eliminate the need to truck waste to the Maspeth railyard. The garbage could also be barged out along Newtown Creek, adjacent to the facility, activists said.

    The additional rail spurs are a reasonable alternative, and NIMBYs by definition don’t propose reasonable alternatives. I’d like to see a ballpark estimate for the rail spurs before calling them NIMBYs.

  • J

    Also, the proposed site has a bunch of houses maybe one block away. I’m sure that if they put a waste transfer station a block away from your house, you’d have a fit as well. I would also make sure to read articles more carefully before posting snarky headlines, as they could easily alienate potential allies, and cause this blog to lose credibility.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I’m with Captain Transit, and I’m one of the most anti-NIMBY people in the world.

    Why the heck would you want to truck waste from one facility on a rail line to another facility on that rail line, handling it twice? Back at DCP back in the day, Review Avenue was pointed out to me as the perfect place to put large scale waste transfer, because it isn’t near anything or anyone.

    The Daily News should have provided a map.

  • Points well taken. I rushed that one — it’s been edited now.

  • TKO

    That messenger gives cyclist such a black eye. Also what a wimp that he uses a bike lock to hit an old man. If he really is a messenger his company should be called and notified of that kind of behavior. It is shameful.

    Very pathetic.

  • oscarfrye

    and where is his helmet?

    i agree only a coward would use a lock as a weapon like that

  • In general I try to avoid linking to (or even reading) the mean-spirited, immigrant-bashing Queens Crap blog, but they have a post with more background on the issue, including links to informative articles in the Western Queens Gazette and the Glendale Register, and a map of the proposed truck route.

  • The Register article has some more details, including this quote from Waste Management exec Jim van Woert:

    WM does not currently handle enough waste volume to meet barge capacity requirements, Woert said, and the rail lines that run past Review Avenue station are commuter lines that do not have the infrastructure capability to unload freight. … The LIRR tracks pass within roughly 20 feet of the Review Avenue station’s property line.

    Those “commuter lines” see exactly one passenger train a day in each direction – the minimum necessary for the LIRR to maintain legal control over them. My guess is that Waste Management thinks they can get the city to pay to run the trucks, but not to build the rail spur.

  • Boris

    “Currently solid waste is being transported by rail from Brooklyn and The Bronx. Trains originating there must go up the track on the eastern shore of the Hudson River to Selkirk, south of Albany, before they can cross the river and begin the trek down the western shore and into New Jersey and points south, until they reach their destination in Waverly, Virginia.”

    I wonder if Westchester NIMBYs would notice the garbage trains and eventually start yelling in support of a freight tunnel between Brooklyn and New Jersey. I’d love to see that happen.

  • I propose an APB among the cyclist community to keep an eye out for that coward bully trash and ID him like streetsbloggers ID’d Gus Gonzalez?

  • J. Mork

    The water taxi from Manhattan’s Pier 11 to IKEA Brooklyn in Red Hook will charge passengers $5 per ride. Customers spending $10 or more per person at IKEA Brooklyn will receive an immediate $5 credit on their fare for use during future visits to the store.

    That’s sort of lame. If this is correct, that the credit is good only on a future visit, it means that you can never get your original $5 back if all you do is shop during the week using the ferry from Manhattan. You’ll have to pay $5 more to go back and spend more to get the previous $5 back and the right to do it all again some other time.

  • vnm

    Maureen Dowd takes on distracted driving today.

    Studies show that drivers who talk on cellphones are four times more likely to be in a crash and drive just as erratically as people with an 0.08 percent blood-alcohol level.

    In one study cited by the highway safety agency, “drivers found it easier to drive drunk than to drive while using a phone, even when it was hands-free.”

    The agency buried its head in the sand, keeping the research to itself for years and ignoring the fact that soon nearly all Americans would own cellphones and that the phones are always getting smarter and more demanding, putting a multimedia empire at your fingertips while you’re piloting a potentially lethal piece of artillery.

    Americans are so addicted to techno-surfing that they’ve gotten hubristic about how many machines they can juggle simultaneously.

  • former NY-area rail freight manager

    I agree with the comments. “Screw the rest of Queens and the northeast. I don’t care if those trucks go all over Queens and across Manhattan or the Bronx to Jersey and all that pollution. I just don’t want them to drive down a street, that is 95% industrial, 1.5 miles to a Sealed Container onto a flatcar.”

    I can’t believe how selfish the protesters are being. I’m sure there are 52 or 65 or however many trucks every hour getting on and off the BQE in Queens. Bet those people would love to see those trucks go. Whereas there is virtually no residential along Review Ave and Rust Street.

    As to the opponents, barging would be great I would agree with that more than rail. But barge to where? No landfills have barge access.

    Rail it out of there? The 2 rail sidings listed at the WM site are from OLD maps in the 60’s. There have never been working spurs there since the mid-1990’s. Could they put spurs back? Sure. But it doesn’t make any sense because there is not enough room to put more than 1 or 2 89′ flatcars there. Those 2 flats coupled together will take 200′ of room, and that’s about all there would be.

    If 65 trucks a day is the volume, that would be 16 cars a day. Great. But no railroad could switch them 8 times a day. Can they do like Waste Mgmt did at Varick St? No – because NY & Atlantic Rwy leased WM that section of the Bushwick Branch to switch back & forth all day with their trackmobile. Can’t be done at WM on Review Avenue, its LIRR’s line to Hunters Point! Not that it’s a busy line, but it IS a passenger line. LIRR would never allow more than 2 switches a day.

    The only place they have room to line up a bunch of 89′ (100′ coupler to coupler) flatcars – is Maspeth Yard. Sorry but it is the only way. Its for the good of the City and the environment.

  • Joanne

    To be clear, the community board is in favor of the Solid Waste Management Plan, they just think it could be done more efficiently. A rail freight manager I spoke with agrees that a siding would be more ideal than the current plan, if not at the transfer station selected, then at the Phelps Dodge site. But then Waste Management wouldn’t get paid as much, and they have thus far spent more than $1M for the lobbying services of the Vallone family.

    There are 2 trains a day on that line. The only place they stop is LIC and Jamaica. The subways go there too. Maybe it’s time to cease the passenger service along that line, which is not even electrified.

  • Marge Farrow

    “As to the opponents, barging would be great I would agree with that more than rail. But barge to where? No landfills have barge access.”

    Well then why is half the city barging their garbage out under this plan? Marine Transfer Stations at Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, East 91st Street and College Point will be sending garbage out of the City by barge. Destination is Virginia. Go to and see for yourself.

  • I appreciate hearing from the former rail freight manager. It’s true that there are no residents or retail shops along those streets in Maspeth, only that one diner. My primary objection is that it’s completely inefficient to take garbage off of one truck and put it on another – and then put it on a train a mile away – even though the train tracks run right past the proposed transfer station property.

    If that property can’t accommodate a big enough rail spur, why is it being considered for the transfer station? Surely there are other properties along the line that could be acquired for a reasonable price in this economic climate.

    Joanne, as I write above, if the LIRR doesn’t run passenger trains on that line, they lose the right to run freight trains and it reverts back to the adjacent property owners. But there’s no reason to abandon it. It’s a useful line. It could accommodate more passenger trains and more freight trains.

  • Marge Farrow

    There is a house right across the street from the diner and a bunch more houses around the corner on both 57th Road and Maspeth Avenue. So yes, there will be people whose health is impacted. And we all know pollution doesn’t just stay in the spot where its source is. There is also an additional plan in the works to divert trucks off local routes and onto Rust Street, so the area will have more than its fair share of exhaust. When you are down there during the switching of the engines in the yard, you literally need a mask. The people nearby will develop more breathing problems if this garbage plan goes into effect.

    Cap’n Transit, your middle paragraph hits the nail on the head. The city is exhibiting a complete lack of common sense!