Today’s Headlines

  • It’s Official: Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter Running Against Pedro Espada (City Room, NY1)
  • "Bored" Adolfo Carrion Hopes to Leverage DC Post for Lt. Guv Spot (News, City Hall)
  • Disgusted With Albany, State High-Speed Rail Overseer Ann Purdue Resigns (Post)
  • State Road and Bridge Repairs at a Standstill; Upstate Pol Blames MTA (Gotham Gazette)
  • Transit Austerity Plan Includes Elimination of 611 Bus Stops (Post)
  • With Bloomberg Looking for State Properties, New York Mag, SAS Discuss Local Control of MTA
  • 28-Year-Old Pedestrian Seriously Injured in McGuinness Blvd Hit-and-Run (Post, News)
  • Brooklyn Bridge Rehab Could Start Next Month (Tribeca Trib)
  • Flatbush Traffic Lane Shut After 9/11 to Be Opened to Drivers (YourNabe)
  • Gowanus Expwy Exit Improvements Lead to Unwelcome Detours Through Dyker Heights (YN)
  • Lawyers for NYPD Cyclist Shover Patrick Pogan Raring to Blame the Victim (Post)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • I see the Post is doing its very best to contaminate the jury pool before, during and after jury selection in the Pogan case, with ridiculous innuendo. “Dangerous riding with one hand,” which is perfectly legal and indeed necessary when a cyclist is signaling. I expected nothing less!

  • Adolfo Carrion is bored? If he was even remotely intellectually curious, perhaps he might find the answer to his boredom. Wake up, Adolfo, there are some actual issues facing urban America.

    Carrion’s selection remains the Obama administration’s biggest head-scratcher.

  • Bolwerk

    After the probably tens (hundreds?) of millions of dollars spent talking about high-speed rail in New York State, we probably could have had a new signaling system and track sidings to get average speeds at least above those on the NYS Thruway.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “After the probably tens (hundreds?) of millions of dollars spent talking about high-speed rail in New York State.”

    Consultant contracts are the price of buying off people concerned about the state’s future while looting it. There are a lot cheaper than actual construction.

    That’s been the game for decades. In exchange for saying what great people they are, I’m sure our members of the City Council and State Legislature will provide Streetsbloggers with all kinds of studies.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Most useful Larry Littlefield to date.

  • Bolwerk

    Consultant contracts are the price of buying off people concerned about the state’s future while looting it. There are a lot cheaper than actual construction.

    If that’s so, we may as well give consultants contracts to build rail that we might use rather than to study the feasibility of using a ROW that was used in the 19th century. That way the money gets spent anyway, but we get something for it.

    But it’s not just studies. Remember that Pataki-era scheme to refurbish a bunch of locomotives? I think $60M was spent with nothing to show.

  • Bolwerk, the problem with actually building things is that they can go over budget and underperform on ridership. If the consultants’ ridership and cost estimates are ever tested by the real world, then the politicians might have to take blame for the fallout; in extreme cases, the government might actually stop using the consulting firm.

    (Remember: when it comes to greed and rent-seeking, the unions are amateurs compared to the managers and the consultants.)

  • Bolwerk

    It seems like Managerial Accounting 101 to me. AFAIK, they need construction estimates. How much does the infrastructure (tracks, signals, trainsets) needed to speed up trains cost? We have already resolved to get faster trains on an existing ROW, one that used to support four tracks, and in fact we first began looking at this in the 1990s. We aren’t talking about condemning property to build a new line, say, to Binghamton.

  • The easiest way to figure out the cost is to look at the cost of comparable European projects, and then multiply by about 5. There are so many hurdles to clear, especially at the regulatory level, that most of the cost isn’t actual infrastructure.

    For example: the cost of signals is already known. Just look at the implementation cost of ETCS on new lines around the world. However, ETCS wasn’t invented here; the E stands for European. So instead, the consultants recommend new, untested, un-debugged signaling systems, which end up running over the original cost estimates as all IT projects do.