Today’s Headlines — PPW Rally Edition

In non-PPW news…

  • Report: Runaway MTA Debt Will Wallop Transit Riders Unless Gov Steps Up (Post, News, AMNY)
  • Meanwhile, Cuomo’s “Urban Agenda” Says Nothing About Transit (Transpo Nation)
  • Feds’ Cost Estimates for ARC Tunnel Come in $4 Billion Lower Than Christie’s Scenario (Transpo Nation)
  • Seven Injured in 6-Car Pile-up at Grand Army Plaza (Post)
  • State DOT Bungles BQE Sound Barriers in Woodside (News)

Your featured presentation…

  • Brooklyn Paper Pegs Turnout at 250 People for the New PPW, About 50 Against
  • Are PPW Supporters Invisible? No Mention of Huge Numerical Advantage on WNYC, ABC, NY1
  • Gothamist, Observer, CBS2, City Room Say It: Far More People Turned Out to Love the Lane Than Bash It
  • Fact: PPW Redesign Drastically Cut Speeding & Sidewalk Riding as Cycling Boomed (Transpo Nation)
  • This “Scofflaw Cyclists” Story Is the Bike Lane Piece That Appeared in the Times Print Edition Today
  • Outstanding Bike Lane Editorial From the Brooklyn Paper
  • From Before the Rally: Eric McClure Tells Fox 5 Why the New PPW Is So Much Better
  • PPW Opposition: Brooklyn’s Answer to the Tea Party (WYDNKBYANM)
  • Also Missed This Bit of Bklyn Bike Lane Humor in L Magazine Earlier This Week
  • Doesn’t This Man Realize His Absurd Sign Hurts the Cause of Eliminating Bikeways? (Ink Lake)
  • 28 Days Later, No One Really Cared How Many Parking Spots Were Left on PPW (Naparstek)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    If the city has the resources for an enforcement campaign, with a mere double the national average size of the police force, I’m all for it, with three provisos.

    Put the bike enforcement squad on bikes, perhaps electric assist bikes to aid in pursuit and give them a break from pedaling.

    Let them use the same discretion they use when deciding whether to ticket jaywalkers, focusing on truly dangerous behavior.

    And give them bells and lights to hand out, allowing the miscreants to buy them with an extra markup in lieu of a fine.

  • For candidate Cuomo, the former secretary of a federal agency with “urban development” in its title, to declare that transportation is not part of the urban agenda, and to be unprepared for a question about congestion pricing, is astounding.

    Cuomo, thou art a fool.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Palidino is a fool. Cuomo is either something better, or something worse.

  • Glenn

    I think the only option left to Cuomo based on his rhetoric is to totally disassemble the MTA into its components. Read what he says about the MTA and I’m not sure he even supports the concept of a large regional MTA. The alternative seems pretty clear – have it broken up into its constituent parts and allow more local political accountability for operational performance and funding.

    Personally, I’d love to see a directly elected leader of NYC Transit.

  • Peter

    Do you really think the man holding the sign saying “Bike Lane – Not on my speedway” was being serious? I suspect he was being ironic… Anyway, look at how young he is! Isn’t it obvious he supports the bike lane?

  • J. Mork

    Nice comment on the 6-car pileup piece:

    Good thing no senior citizens were hit. They were gathered a few blocks away on PPW protesting that bikes were more dangerous than cars.

    –Mr. M [that’s not me]

  • pher

    The 6 car pile-up on Flatbush by the library happened a few hundred yards away from, and about the same time as, the PPW rally. Those pictures provide a vivid example of why we need safer streets, and why elements like bike lane, crosswalks, bollards, etc., succeed in defining street uses, slowing cars down, and improving every users’ safety. I doubt we will see an accident like this on the new PPW.

  • Pete

    following on the though of deconstructing the MTA – what are the constituent parts?

    * Subways/Buses
    * Metro-North
    * LIRR
    * Bridges/Tunnels

    Are we talking 4 separate agencies? 4 sets of management? 4 sets of everything?

    Admittedly, the MTA is so disjointed that it’s likely the case already, and it would be nice to see the LIRR deal with its’ own problems separate from NYC.

    Centralized organization works when there’s coherent leadership, but we all know the political class can’t handle that. How many are looking to oust Walder because they view him as a threat?

    Could the MTA even be broken up, given the obligations to bondholders?

  • J. Mork

    Has the DOT PPW data been posted (sorry if I missed it)?

    http://transportationnation.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Prospect-Park-West-Bike-Lane-Preliminary-Data.pdf

    Weekend bike volume is 1700+ between 7 am and 7 pm. I wonder what the motor veh. volume is during that time. Isn’t peak mv something like 300?

  • J. Mork

    (300 *per hour)

  • Glenn

    The bonds would have to be assigned to the components. I’m not sure if that’s already broken out. I think Bridge & Tunnel could either be made a part of City DOT operations or a separate agency. The net revenue could be rebated to the former components by zipcode proportion.

    I think Public Authorities generally are seen as a poor substitute for political ownership by a mayor or commissioner.

    It’s the only out of the box idea game changing idea I’ve heard that could really change the debate around the MTA.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I’ll be bicycle use redoubles next year.

    Anyway, given the way New York State politics works breaking up the MTA would probably mean having all the MTA taxes collected in New York City going to the suburbs.

    Leaving the City of New York to operate the New York City transit system without any benefit of those taxes, and without the surplus TBTA toll revneue. The TBTA was a city agency that the city handed to the state along with New York City Transit, but I doubt the city gets the TBTA back.

    State legislators from the city would agree to this because they resent Bloomberg, and having the transit system devastated after he takes it over would be fun for them — and not affect anyone who matters to them. If a Democrat was Mayor, on the other hand, they would want to devastate the city’s transit system to help win swing suburban districts and keep control of state patronage, and the Democratic Mayor would be expected to play along (right Dave Dinkins?).

  • BicyclesOnly

    The transpo nation piece on Cuomo is a must-read. This guy is a cynical jerk of the worst order, and just lost my vote.

  • Eric

    I’m with Larry on traffic enforcement in the bike lanes. Everyone needs to follow the traffic laws, you’ll still get to where you’re going just as fast.

    The police can easily set up a standard speed trap; a police officer at one end of the block who radios violater descriptions to a group of police officers at the other end of the block. Who pull over the cyclist and ticket them, no need for any kind of foot or bike pursuit. Once an hour they move to a different location.

  • Glenn

    Larry – I totally hear your concern. That’s why it’s important for us as advocates to establish a simple principle around local funding and political accountability as the path forward.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “It’s the only out of the box idea game changing idea I’ve heard that could really change the debate around the MTA.”

    If that’s what you want, try to convince the City Council to pass a home rule message demanding the TBTA and NYCT back. The payroll tax could be repealed in the suburbs, kept for the city and given to the city. Congestion pricing, also going to the city, could be part of the deal.

    The rest of the MTA taxes could be used to pay off the agencies debt and incurred pension and retiree health care obligations, and then gradually expire.

    The suburbs could be allowed to fund the LIRR, MetroNorth and their own bus services. New York City could be given permission to take over and operate the commuter lines within the city if the LIRR and MetroNorth shut down.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The police can easily set up a standard speed trap; a police officer at one end of the block who radios violater descriptions to a group of police officers at the other end of the block. Who pull over the cyclist and ticket them, no need for any kind of foot or bike pursuit.”

    I want the police on bikes not for efficiency of enforcement, but for reasonableness of enforcement. It would be a teaching tool for the officers. For it to work, you’d need a dedicated squad.

  • Eric

    “I want the police on bikes not for efficiency of enforcement, but for reasonableness of enforcement. It would be a teaching tool for the officers. For it to work, you’d need a dedicated squad.”

    If the point is to get cyclist to follow traffic laws, then it should be done with the most efficent method. Otherwise requiring enforcement to be done by officers on bicycles is nothing more than street theater. Which has no long term effect.

  • Andrew

    As a daily biker who also lives on a bike laned street (Bleecker), I would heartily support an enforcement campaign aimed at salmon. It would be incredibly easy to implement, too. Put a cop at Bleecker and Laguardia and just stop every salmon delivery man, commuter, etc. that rides by. The salmon delivery men on the electric assist bikes are becoming increasingly dangerous, given their speed, their lack of lights, and the silence of the bikes.

  • J. Mork

    Peter, the speedway sign guy is a Transportation Alternatives board member.

  • Joe R.

    “I want the police on bikes not for efficiency of enforcement, but for reasonableness of enforcement. It would be a teaching tool for the officers. For it to work, you’d need a dedicated squad.”

    I agree here. With officers on bikes, they’ll learn when it’s reasonable to pass a red light and how to safely do so, and when it isn’t. No tolerance enforcement of traffic laws will only generate resentment and/or discourage cycling. Enforcement targeting only the most dangerous actions ( i.e. flying through red lights at high speed while weaving past crossing pedestrians ) will be highly supported by most cyclists. In addition, the police should get some training from experienced road cyclists. I’ll gladly offer my help if asked to, but with the provision that those I’m training keep an open mind.

  • I will give The Times a pass on not doing more rally coverage today, because a) they mention that supporters vastly outnumbered opponents, and b) you know what? The “controversy” isn’t really a controversy. Marty Markowitz and a few dozen former neighbors are upset. Everyone else wins.

    And at this point, these people are just embarrassing themselves.

  • Eric

    “I agree here. With officers on bikes, they’ll learn when it’s reasonable to pass a red light and how to safely do so, and when it isn’t.”

    This mentality is part of problem. Bicycles have to follow the same rules as cars, no exceptions, that includes waiting for red lights. Putting police on bikes to engage in hot pursuits endangers pedestrians and cyclists when the police have to manuever at high speed to catch violaters and avoid accidents at the same time. If the idea is to get cyclists to follow the road laws as written, then speed trap style enforcement will have to be used. If you want feel good street theater that does nothing in the long run, put them on bikes.

    The next time you see an article about scofflaw cyclists and complaints from car drivers and pedestrians. We have to follow all of the traffic laws, just like cars. No matter how much an inconievence you think it is.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Peak oil implications in The Economist magazine.

    http://www.economist.com/node/17314626

    “It was only natural for mankind to exploit the cheapest energy sources first, such as easy-to-extract oil reserves under Saudi Arabia. The problem now is not that the world is running out of energy but that the new sources of energy are more expensive to exploit.”

    “The key ratio is ‘energy return on energy invested’. Analysis by Tim Morgan at Tullett Prebon, a broker, estimates that oil discovered in the 1970s delivered around 30 units of energy for every unit invested. By itself this was well down on the returns from oil discovered in the 1930s, which were nearer 100-to-1. Current oil and gas finds, such as undersea reserves, may offer a return between 16-to-1 and 20-to-1. The return on sources such as tar sands and biofuels like ethanol are in the single digits.”

  • dporpentine

    “With officers on bikes, they’ll learn when it’s reasonable to pass a red light and how to safely do so, and when it isn’t.”

    No, they won’t. They’ll think, “I’m a cop. I can blow lights. the little people can’t” Exactly the same thing they do in cars.

    Anyway: don’t blow red lights. You look stupid wobbling there in the middle of the road, failing to trackstand.

  • Eric

    “In addition, the police should get some training from experienced road cyclists.”

    As for police bicycle training they already have plenty of options. Which is far more advanced than what any road cycylist can impart.

    http://www.ipmba.org/instructors.htm
    http://www.leba.org/gpage.html

  • BicyclesOnly

    Eric,

    I agree with the thrust of your comments, but it’s not true that the rules of the road are identical for cyclists and motorists in New York City.

  • BrooklynNative

    On ARC:

    So let me get this straight… The feds come out months ago and say ARC could go over budget anywhere from $1.1 to more than $10 billion. Governor Christie orders a halt while he examines the numbers. He then kills the project saying it’ll go over budget by anywhere from $2 to 5 billion. Then the feds come back and say, wait a minute, we think the worst case scenerio puts it over budget by only $1.1 billion. So Christie delays his final decision by two days.

    What’s going on here? It’s all politicals because predictions of cost overruns are nothing more than pie in the sky. And who are the losers in this back and forth? You and me.

  • Joe R.

    Eric, the problem is traffic lights is they poorly timed and there are far too many of them. This is why they’re often not obeyed. It’s one thing to say cyclists should obey lights when maybe they’ll hit one every mile or two. If that were so, then I would think hardly any cyclists would pass lights. It’s quite another thing when you have lights almost every single block, and stopping for one, because of the timing, often means you end up stopping every block or two. In this case, you’re talking about doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling travel time. Maybe not a big deal if you’re riding ten blocks, but try going 20 miles like that, assuming you don’t run out of energy before then from the frequent starting and stopping. It’s more than a minor inconvenience. If you’re going to average 4 mph on a bike, you might as well ditch the bike and walk. I’m not advocating running lights at crowded intersections. That’s ridiculous, plus anyone riding during busy times should expect it’ll take longer to get where they’re going. Rather, I’m thinking of those times during off hours where stopping at a light means you’re staring at an empty intersection. The law ( and enforcement of it ) should make this distinction.

    I’ll also add the traffic lights are largely a contrivance designed to keep automobiles from colliding with each other, and a greatly overused one at that. It’s small wonder then that both pedestrians and cyclists largely ignore them, even when the law says otherwise. If you want to cycling numbers to drop to near zero, then by all means let’s have zero tolerance enforcement of all traffic laws. If you want to encourage cycling, then have targeted enforcement for now, with an eye towards changing the law down the road to allow cyclists to treat red lights as yields ( which is essentially what many already do ). Or better yet, change the infrastructure. Install proper traffic circles where possible. Where it isn’t, remove traffic lights at minor intersections, time the remaining ones for something like 18 or 20 mph ( this will in turn slow auto traffic once they learn that they won’t save time by speeding ), and have the lights go to blinking yellow at nights when traffic is light.

  • Joe R.

    First sentence in my last post should read: “Eric, the problem is traffic lights are poorly timed and there are far too many of them.”

    Sorry about the poor grammar.

  • Eric

    “the problem is traffic lights is they poorly timed and there are far too many of them. This is why they’re often not obeyed. It’s one thing to say cyclists should obey lights when maybe they’ll hit one every mile or two. If that were so, then I would think hardly any cyclists would pass lights. It’s quite another thing when you have lights almost every single block, and stopping for one, because of the timing, often means you end up stopping every block or two” – When I drive my car I have the same problem, it’s still a red light and yes I still have to follow the law.

    “Maybe not a big deal if you’re riding ten blocks, but try going 20 miles like that, assuming you don’t run out of energy before then from the frequent starting and stopping.” – I’ve dealt with this on a regular basis and very rarely do I have to come to a full stop, I just have to coast as I get close to a red light. If you get tired that easily it won’t matter what the traffic is like when you ride twenty miles.

    “I’ll also add the traffic lights are largely a contrivance designed to keep automobiles from colliding with each other,” – They are also a contrivance so that automobiles don’t collide with you. Every time you run a red light you’re putting yourself and the driver of the car at risk.

    “If you want to cycling numbers to drop to near zero, then by all means let’s have zero tolerance enforcement of all traffic laws.” – Zero tolerance enforcement has yet to create any reduction in car drivers and it won’t affect cyclists. This is an excuse used by a minority of cyclists who think that following traffic laws is inconvenient and slows them down.

  • Albert

    If the idea is to encourage bicycling as a safe, easy, practical form of transportation (which it is, according to PLANYC), not to discourage it by making it as inefficient as driving, then laws that were designed specifically to accommodate 30+ mph traffic (cars) have to be amended. Joe R.’s post is right on. It’s a rare avenue or street where a moderately moving bicyclist can go more than 3 blocks without confronting yet another a red light, while even a “non-speeding” car can go 10 or more blocks. This antiquated system actually encourages bicyclists to go faster than they might otherwise — and to ignore red lights.

    At a Select Bus Service open-house a few months ago I asked someone at DOT if he agreed that retiming traffic lights to accommodate desired bicycle speeds would be a good way to encourage more and safer bicycling. He did (for whatever that’s worth).

  • kevd

    get some officers on bikes is essential to enforcement.
    not just of bike violations, but of car violations too.

    Riding in Clinton Hill one I approached a red light. There was an NYPD cruiser waiting at the light.
    The driver told me, “don’t run the light” – and described who every morning at roll that his sergeant had been hammering officers to hand out more tickets to bikers for running lights.
    Even though he personally thought it was stupid to give a ticket to a bike going through a red light, crossing a one-way street – after the cyclist has stopped to look for on-coming traffic – he was being forced to do so. He felt this way, he told me, because he rides all the time when off-duty.

    See, NYPD and cyclist can get along just fine

  • kevd

    Good God Typos:

    Getting some officers on bikes is essential to enforcement,
    not just of bike violations but of car violations too.

    Riding in Clinton Hill once I approached a red light. There was an NYPD cruiser waiting at the light.
    The driver told me, “don’t run the light” – and described how every morning at roll, his sergeant had been hammering officers to hand out more tickets to bikers for running lights, etc.
    Even though he personally thought it was stupid to give a ticket to a bike going through a red light, crossing a one-way street – after the cyclist has stopped to look for on-coming traffic – he was being forced to do so. He felt this way, he told me, because he rides all the time when off-duty.

    See, the NYPD and cyclists can get along just fine.

  • Joe R.

    Eric, I coast to red lights also when I see that traffic is too heavy to safely pass. I’ve been doing this for years. I even have it down to a science where I can time it so I hit the light at maybe 10 mph just as it’s going green, and then accelerate back up to my normal 22 mph or so cruising speed. Nevertheless, you ignored my major point about how the poor timing of the lights will often reduce average cycling speeds from 15 to 20 mph down well into single digits if you were to obey the law as written. A car following the law can often average 25 or 30 mph because the lights are timed for this speed. And if they see an ill-timed light ready to change from a block down, they just can press the pedal harder to make the light. The biggest factor is motorists have highways which they can use for much of their trip without encountering any lights at all. Cyclists have no such analog at present. All these reasons are why zero tolerance enforcement of red lights for motorists doesn’t discourage driving. They can still maintain reasonable average speeds ( barring heavy traffic, of course ) while following the law. A cyclist simply doesn’t have the kind of power a car does to make the lights. Sometimes even giving it my all I’ll just barely miss a light. In fact, more often than not that’s the case-I barely miss it, meaning the wait time would be the entire red cycle.

    Albert bought up another good point also-namely that this antiquated system encourages cyclists to go faster than they otherwise might, either to try and make the lights, or to make up the time they lost waiting. I find I do both quite a bit. It probably makes the most sense if we want better compliance with the law here to simply make it so any cyclist riding at normal cycling speeds will only encounter a red perhaps once a mile or less. We can do it by removing some lights, timing the lights better, or best of all building elevated bikeways. What we really have here is more an infrastructure problem than a compliance problem. You’re trying to shoehorn both bicycles and pedestrians into a system largely designed for the efficient moving of automobiles. No surprise then that this autocentric system results is grossly suboptimal operation for the other two groups.

  • Joe R.

    @kevd,

    Very nice of the officer to warn you. I realize their hands are often tied, so I wouldn’t get mad if I received a ticket, but it’s nice the officer let you know in advance what would happen. I have a blanket policy of never running lights when I see a police car around just in case they’re on a zero tolerance enforcement campaign.

  • Nicole Gelinas

    To Pete #8 – “Could the MTA even be broken up, given the obligations to bondholders?”

    Good question, and, “no.”

    The state structured the MTA as a corporate entity so that bondholders would have the protection that the U.S. Constitution affords such entities.

    Specifically, the Constitution forbids states from interfering with the contracts that corporations, including the MTA, hold. New York State has no more legal or Constitutional authority to break up the MTA than it does, say, to break up Citigroup.

    To fold the MTA into the state as a dependent agency, then, the state would, at minimum, have to pay off the MTA’s bondholders and other obligees. “Minimum,” because it is not even clear that the state would have this option; some bonds may have provisions that forbid pre-payment.

    Even if bondholders accepted early repayment, however, unless the state wanted to create another public authority, it would need voter approval for $30 billion in new debt to pay off the MTA’s existing bondholders.

    Nor could the MTA break itself into smaller component parts and assign bondholders claims on the new entities and their revenues to avoid triggering a default.

    If the state were to make such an attempt, bondholders would question who among new NYCT, LIRR, etc. bondholders would get first claim on MTA-structured bonds, including bonds that depend on MTA-wide dedicated tax revenues for repayment.

    Bondholders would not accept a legislative apportionment of the revenues, as it would carry ongoing political risk, and Constitutionally, they would not have to.

    It was strange enough when Paladino starting discussing un-Constitutional changes to the MTA. It is stranger still when Cuomo does it.

  • m to the i

    I do stop at red lights and then i feel like a shmuck waiting for the light to turn when there are lots of pedestrians crossing against the light. So now I stop behind the crosswalk, wait for peds crossing (I like to give about 8-10′ of space between me and peds when they have right of way), and then go through if/when it is possible. Now, if there are police present, I guess that ill just get off my bike, walk across the street and then get back on at the other side. Ticket this!

  • BicyclesOnly

    Eric,

    I’m sympathetic to your call for cyclists to increase compliance with the traffic laws. But personally, I think the idea of 100% compliance is unrealistic. It is virtually impossible to comply 100% with all the laws, and attempting to do so might distract you to the point where you are unable to avoid being injured by someone else whose traffic law compliance is more in the 0%-25% range. I also think that a focus on complying with the law without regard to anything else ignores the importance of showing some courtesy while moving in traffic.

    Riding through a red when there is literally no intersecting traffic passing through or nearing the intersection is a violation of the law, but it doesn’t harm anyone. Cops usually don’t issue summonses to cyclists for this kind of violation because they understand as well as anyone that the priority should be on enforcement against conduct that causes danger. If I ever get a ticket for riding through a deserted intersection, I’ll pay it, and accept that as the cost of the convenience I have enjoyed all these years doing it.

    In my mind, the rule is that I should not go through a red light in a manner that would endanger, delay, hinder, or startle a reasonable person (which I would define as including a protective parent with small child, a frail elderly person, a wheelchair user, a tourist who might not be accustomed to NYC traffic mores, etc). This is not hard to do. You just have to wait until ALL of the pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic queued to cross the intersection with the right of way passes, before proceeding. And when I’m in such a rush that I feel I can’t wait even that long, I just dismount and walk my way through the intersecting traffic.

    This puts the emphasis on respecting others’ safety and right-of-way, rather complying with the law, but would probably satisfy most cops and civilian bike-haters out there. I also think this approach sounds more reasonable and would be more persuasive to the average cyclist who you (Eric) (and I) are trying to reach, than a call for 100% compliance with the law.

  • kevd

    @ Joe R.
    Since the officer and I were being all honest – I told him that I’d normally go through that light after looking – but no, I would never blow a red light right in front of him. Thats just dumb.

  • Eric

    “In my mind, the rule is that I should not go through a red light in a manner that would endanger, delay, hinder, or startle a reasonable person (which I would define as including a protective parent with small child, a frail elderly person, a wheelchair user, a tourist who might not be accustomed to NYC traffic mores, etc).”

    Thus the problem, the rule is in your mind and since the average car driver and pedestrian are not empaths or telepaths they only see one thing happening. A cyclist who runs a red light. Which creates the articles about scofflaw cyclists and the negative comments that go with them. Or we hear in our daily lives.

    100% compliance is never possible in any area of the law. But if we can’t take that extra time to wait for a red light or a stop sign then that just creates more bad PR. If the perception is cyclists run red lights and stop signs its only a matter of time before the police and the public start taking it out on every cyclist they see, not just the ones who are the problem.problem

  • Larry Littlefield

    Hey Nicole, you know that matra of “running the government like a business?” What would a business in the MTA’s situation do? And wouldn’t that take care of those bondholders?

  • dporpentine

    My commute is ten miles. I stop for every single red light and wait the entire cycle. I’m middle-aged and have never been athletic, and yet I don’t notice my ride when I get to work or get home.

    Grow up and stop for lights–if for no other reason than to spare yourselves the shame of your horrible middle-of-the-intersection collapse from trackstanding.

  • molly

    In a later version of the report on the six car pile-up on Flatbush, the Post stops just short of blaming the “pro-bicycle rally”.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/six_car_pileup_on_flatbush_avenue_ol6u0raxq2Ld7zP4EvbGEK

    “The accident and the rally were on opposite sides of Grand Army Plaza, but it is rare for so many people to be gathered at that hour on a weekday, so it is likely that traffic flow was affected.”

  • So much for subways . . .

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  • Nicole Gelinas

    Hi Larry (45) — Indeed! But, as the MTA’s bond covenants specifically state, New York State has passed a law that prohibits the MTA from declaring insolvency and has pledged not to change the law for as long as the MTA has debt outstanding.

    This aspect of things is legally untested, to say the least, though, and the OTB case muddles things rather than clarifies them.

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