Today’s Headlines

  • Real Estate Report: The Future Belongs to Urbanism, Not Sprawl (Switchboard)
  • Weiner: I Coulda Beat Bloomberg (NYT)
  • Tish James on Improving NYC’s Most Unreliable Bus: "Balance the Interests on Both Sides" (Post)
  • Secure On-Street Space Is the Next Frontier for NYC Bike Parking (City Room)
  • Bank on the Biking Biz — It’s Recession-Proof (WNYC)
  • Nicole Gelinas: MTA Labor Negotiations Need More Sunlight (Post)
  • Disturbing History of Bus Driver Who Killed Seth Kahn (News)
  • NYCT Disciplining More Bus Drivers for Txting-While-Driving (NY1)
  • NY State to Raise $ Thru New License Plate Gimmick (NYT, Post)
  • Alice Rivkin: We’ve Got to Raise Infrastructure $ Thru Real Fees on Driving (Streetsblog Cap Hill)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    Bloomberg: the budget needs to be cut 10% across the board, assuming no tax increases or funding cuts from the State Goverment. More, with additional tax increases, if the state somehow doesn’t overcome a massive budget deficit with no consequences.

    But public employee unions demand ongoing 11% wage increases over each three year period, meaning that without funding going up, the number of workers must fall by that amount. They are willing to have future generations of workers be paid less and have less generous retirement benefits, probably in exchange for doing a worse job.

    And consider this. As a former public employee, I can tell you that a substantial share of government workers do little or no work, making sure to screw up if mangers try to get them to do anything until they are left alone. They have seniority, and will not be laid off. Meanwhile debt service, pensions and retiree health care costs will continue to soar, taking more and more money, and are paid before a dime is spent on public services. That decision was already made and cannot be taken back.

    So that 10% budget cut means perhaps a 25% cut in work done, all while we pay higher taxes in exchange. And it is just the begining.

    And remember, retirement income will not be taxes, and benefits for senior citizens will not be cut.

  • “I know about the report, but I also know that merchants on Nostrand Avenue are barely holding on.”

    Tish James really thinks that better bus service is going to be the final nail in the coffin for local businesses? That’s just nuts.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Following up, public services are being destroyed by you-know-who. The bad news is we are going back to the 1970s, in taxes, public services, and infrastructure deterioration. The “good news” is fewer will flee NYC, because far more of the country is in the same situation.

    How will people who aren’t in on the deal get by?

    The only good news I see is right here. In transportation, there, bicycling, telecommuting and car sharing. No unionized public employees or large corporations with overpaid executives required.

  • Shemp

    I continue to patiently await live-blogging coverage of Larry Littlefield’s self-immolation on the steps of NYC OMB. How about it? Has the date been set?

  • I know this is going to sound strange but after Thompson’s brazen pandering to outerborough motorists, Weiner does not look that bad at all on livable streets issues.

    No Democrat is going to push as strongly for congestion pricing as Bloomberg did, but Weiner does talk about mode shift to biking, mass transit and walking through other means.

    We need to build that relationship now for 2013

  • Stan

    Does anyone on Streetsblog know more about this? This comment cross posted from NYT Nov 10 City Room blog. WTF is “Too easy for commuters?” That’s idiotic. The “consensus” is to make the greenway harder to access?
    I attended a Hudson River Greenway Meeting in Inwood last nite. There was a consensus to avoid making the routes too easy for commuters. The target user is more recreational and relaxed, i.e. taking in the scenery. Having said that, maybe we should have Express Lanes?
    — ***icle***

  • Kaja

    Larry’s right. He’s posting because he’s got more outrage than most of us do; I’m pretty tapped-out. But I’m /ashamed/ that I’m tapped out, and that I lack his depth of experience, because we need more folks making his case.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I was outraged in the past when the decisions were made. Now I’m just frustrated and resigned. There is no longer a point to outrage, just adaptation — and perhaps eventually revenge.

    Speaking of adaptation, part of past fiscal crises was the city ceasing park maintenance. Neighborhoods where people accepted that they wouldn’t get anything for their taxes, and volunteered to work in the parks for nothing and donate to them, had maintained parks (ie. Prospect Park Alliance). Others didn’t. The idea that those in better off neighborhoods with resources got things that the less well off didn’t is awful and against what I would like to believe in, but is once again looking like the best alternative.

    Is there any way for those in favor of it to organize and install bike and pedestrian improvements themselves, even as tax funds for it are cut and infrastructure maintenance declines? I’m thinking of the Prospect Park West bike lane, for example.

  • J. Mork

    Re: license plates

    From the Times:

    Ms. Ritchie, who administers license plates in St. Lawrence County, said upstate residents had no choice about owning cars, unlike their downstate counterparts. “We need cars to get to schools, doctor’s appointments, grocery stores,” she said. “There’s no other way to get around. A car is our livelihood.”

    It’s true, living car-free is not an easy option away from urban areas. But as to the complaint that this is an unfair burden on upstate drivers, don’t forget that NYC is a tax donor to NYS to the tune of $11 Billion!


  • Woulda, coulda, shoulda, Rep. Weiner. He wasn’t willing to chance losing, but he could’ve won? Huh?

  • Moses Horwitz

    Ant’ny, ya gotta be in it to win it. Hey, ya neva know.

  • Stan, I was at the meeting as well and I would agree that the Hudson River Valley Greenway Link project is being planned for recreational users, not for commuters. Our tax dollars at work.