Today’s Headlines

  • State Drops Plans to Rebuild BQE and Gowanus, Citing Cost (Post)
  • DOT Uses Haikus to Spread Safety Message (NYTNewsPost)
  • Tappan Zee Plan Intended to Open Door for Public-Private Infrastructure Deals (Crain’s)
  • Assm. Jack McEneny Blasts Cuomo Effort to Fund Tappan Zee With Pension Funds (CapTon)
  • Cap’n Transit Finds the Culprit for Knickerbocker Mess: 1983 Urban Renewal Plan
  • Winning Design for New Scaffolding to Debut Next Month (NYT)
  • Jamaica Cab Stand Makes Legal Pickups Popular (News)
  • Triple Parking Common on Fridays Near Upper West Side Mosque (DNAinfo)
  • On Staten Island, Man Leaving Car Crash Scene on Foot Pegged as Burglar (Advance)
  • Are Port Authority Toll Hikes Going to Transpo Projects or WTC? (Star-Ledger)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Larry Littlefield

    On the cab stand:  to me that’s a more workable solution that a separate street hail fleet.  Yellow cabs don’t cruise in the outer boroughs because there isn’t enough density of possible customers to make it work the gas, for them or for the environment.  Herd the customers up in a known spot and that changes.  Cabs who take fares to the outer boroughs would head for those spots to get return rides.

    On the BQE, after a previous generation of predators enriched their pensions, ran up debts, and left NYC in ruins, it wasn’t just the transit system that collapsed it was the road system as well.

    This generation of state legislators has degraded and is on the way to destroying the transit system.  But there will be some West Side Highways too.  We’re on the I-35 Bridge strategy:  wait for a key link to fall down, and hope for a federal bailout to get it back.  I’m not sure it will work, however.

  • On the BQE issue: how is it that Stanton and Sloane, who are quoted in the Post, are both neighborhood activists who want money to be spent on I-278? Under the theory of induced demand, fixing up highways will only add more traffic and thus more noise, more rumbling, and more poor air quality.

    It would be nice if there was someone bright in Brooklyn who could write a pithy letter to the Post’s editors on this subject.

  • J

    Regarding the BQE, I think this is highly interesting. If this keeps up, we’re not going to need campaigns for highway removal, they’re simply going to collapse. Hopefully we have the sense to shut them down before another tragedy happens. It looks like states are continuing to realize that the mere cost of maintaining and reconstructing these monstrosities far outweighs whatever benefits they bring; and this calculation doesn’t even factor in the side impacts of air pollution, congestion, crashes, deaths, decreases in land values, etc.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “It looks like states are continuing to realize that the mere cost of maintaining and reconstructing these monstrosities far outweighs whatever benefits they bring.”

    Actually, the benefits don’t matter, particularly since they are benefits in the future.  All that matter are the costs, which compete with debts, pensions, and other cost of or run up by those older.

    And unfortunately, that’s true for mass transit, the electrical infrastructure, the streets we bicycle on, the communications infrastructure, etc. as well.  In addition to the portion of school spending not going to pensions and retiree health care.

  • Anonymous

    Regarding the cab stands, I completely agree with Larry Littlefield that this solution makes much more sense than cars cruising the streets.  In fact, this strategy would fit well with a complete re-organization of NYC transit to do provide better coverage with fewer resources.

    Subway service should be modified to an express-only model.  Many stations could be shut down, preserving only an express skeleton (including transfer points) for train service.  Those remaining stations would provide natural hubs for both taxi stands and a re-organized bus service (and possibly bike share as well) to act as short distance transit covering the final 1-2 miles of a trip, including the area previously served by the closed stations.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I’m not sure that eliminating local subway stops makes sense, although I had suggested something like it for overnight, and we may end up with a skeleton system in a budget disaster.

    Note, however, that SBS follows the walk a little farther for better service model for buses.  This typically draws objection from advocates for the handicapped.

    Another similar idea is a suggestion I made for “point to point” bus routes that run from a series hub stops in a series of neighborhoods to major outer borough destinations — the airports, and Citifield during game days for example.

  • carma

    j_12,

    i dont know where you come up with the idea of eliminating local subway stops.  but it seems a bit too ludicrous for most of the stations.

    now, i would agree that certain close ratio stations such as beverly rd/cortelyou on the brighton can be squeezed into one station.  

    but lets take the queens blvd line.  from Roosevelt Ave to 71ave is a LONG trek.  around 3.5 miles.  you cant be serious about closing all the local stations.  woodhaven blvd serves as a major hub for other buses already.  grand ave/elmhurst ave also have very high usage.

    so lets say you make the closed local shells bike hubs.  what good is it to bike to the hub with no transit?

  • kevd

    I’ve always thought that Beverly and Cortelyou should be a single stop – with entrances maintained at both Beverly and Cortelyou.  The two stations are almost exactly 1 train length apart.
    But that will never happen.  I DO wish there was a Dorchester Rd Entrance to Cortelyou Rd. Stop.  The end of the platform is about 15 feet from Dorchester.  And I’d have to walk one less block……

  • Anonymous

    to clarify, I would propose closing stations to extend the average distance between stations to an average of 1-1.5 miles.  This would typically involve closing every other local station along a line.  Stations which are transfer points would not be closed, and this would create some exceptions (most notably in high density areas of Manhattan, but also places like downtown Brooklyn.)

    Separate express/local service would be eliminated, as all trains would now run on a semi-express “skip stop” route.

    The remaining stations would serve as hubs for surface transit, including a re-designed bus service as well as taxi stands and possibly bike share and park&ride.  These surface transit options would be primarily utilized for short trips within approx 2 mile radius of the remaining stations, including the areas previously served by the closed subway stations.

    The resources for the bus routes would come from eliminating bus lines that currently provide redundant service and re-assigning the vehicles and drivers to the short spoke routes.

    The rationale is that such a system is a more efficient use of limited transit resources, and would provide better overall service for the majority of riders given the constraints on transit than trying to maintain the current configuration.

    I base it on the principle that the subway is most effectively utilized when it gets you pretty close to where you going, and does so quickly, with the option to take a bus, walk, or use some other mode to cover the last mile or two.