Today’s Headlines

  • Most Subways Are Back, But Officials Warn of a Slow Commute Today (Post)
  • Dante Dominguez, 45, Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver in Flushing (Post)
  • Cuomo’s Gas Giveaways Devolve Into Chaos and Black Market (NY Mag, Bklyn Bureau, DNA, Post)
  • Meanwhile, Christie Orders Odd-Even Rationing for 12 NJ Counties (News)
  • Experts Had Called for Barriers (NYT); In the Meantime, Repairs Expected to Cost Billions (WSJ)
  • Temporary Ferry Service Established Between Sunset Park and Manhattan (EDC)
  • Suburban Post Letter-Writers Complain About Last Week’s HOV-3 Restrictions
  • New Yorkers Discover Commuting by Bike After Sandy (Bklyn Bureau)
  • Bike Shops See Increase in Business, As Well (DNA)
  • Reviews of Last Week’s Bus Bridge: “The Waiting Is the Hardest Part” (MetroFocus)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Bolwerk

    Odd-even might be a good idea.  A lot of streets in Queens and Brooklyn have lines going down several blocks. Hell, maybe even do EE, EO, OE, OO.

    I’m finding the bus network in north Brooklyn/southern Queens pretty crippled too (for today’s morning rush, that is).

  • Ian Turner

    I went to go buy a new bike light on Friday, and the local bike shop had been totally cleaned out.

  • Larry Littlefield

    It’s Election Day tomorrow, and unless you happen to be fortunate enough to live in a swing district with a real election on, the game plan is to write in.  Because when they changed to the new voting system, they inadvertently made writing in very easy.
    So I’ll be writing in my own name for State Assembly, State Senate and the House of Representatives.  If you are similar disenfranchised and tend to agree with me, you can write in my name too.  Or write in your own name.
    How about writing in the name of someone you wish was on the ballot?  Want a “liberal” not completely beholden to Democratic Party special interests?  How about Janette Sadik Khan?  Want a (channeling Ed Koch) conservative with sanity?  How about Boris Johnson?  Yes he’s the Mayor of London, but it’s just a protest anyway.  How about some of those older New York alternative transportation pioneers?
    In many cases, you’d be better off writing in Donald Duck than voting for the incumbent or not voting for these offices at all.  At least a message would have been sent. As I recall, I voted for Donald or Daffy last time.

  • JamesR

    It’s disturbing to watch how the gas shortage has caused so many within the five boroughs to completely lose it. This is the most transit-rich area of the US and MTA is largely up and running again. In the NW Bronx, a line of cars at least a half mile long lined up at the local BP station, with the cars snaking way down Riverdale Ave and 230th St this morning as commuters lined up for gas. They’re at a BP, i.e. the same people who caused Deepwater Horizon, the same people peddling the stuff that ends up in our atmosphere and probably made this hurricane worse than it had to be? So many sad ironies at play here.

    I own a car myself – making me part of the problem – but it has stayed parked for almost a week and I’ve instead relied on a much longer transit and walking commute to get to my job in the inner burbs. Again, in a transit rich area, is that such a hardship? I can completely understand how suburbanites in NJ, Long Island, and Westchester would be truly desperate for fuel right now, but in most of NYC, that shouldn’t be the case. 

  • fj

    Sandy’s Message to Conservatives: Repent! via @HuffPostGreen

  • Anonymous

    JamesR –
    we are indeed in the most transit rich area of the US, but cars and trucks still form an important part of the transportation network.

    There are certainly a lot of people driving around who probably could find other options, or just stay home, and I blame the lack of leadership as much as the individual drivers (should have been a lot more encouragement for non-essential employees to stay home, better and quicker implementation of HOV rules, etc.)

    However, there are also a lot of necessary functions that need to be conducted by car or truck.  Stores and restaurants need to get deliveries, contractors and tradesmen need to get to job sites (often transporting lots of heavy tools), and while a pretty good amount of transit has been restored there are still areas that are lacking transit options.

  • Eric M Boucher

    @J_12:disqus @0725e26de8afcbf0a72ccf98de3fb783:disqus Lets allow the gas stations to raise gas prices until supply can meet demand again.  We don’t need people driving to the pump to fill up just so they can drive back home and park their car with a full gas tank.

  • JamesR

    J_12 – the thing is, the vast majority of cars that I’m seeing in line at these stations are private cars with a single occupant. Not commercial trucks, not contractor work vans, but single occupancy vehicles. I completely understand the need for work vehicles to have access to fuel, but those of us with private cars in NYC should be able to tough it out and use the MTA, our bikes, and our feet.

  • Rob

    Saw the Flickr set…lots of cyclists on the bridge crossing.  Just curious – where are all these new bike commuters parking their bikes?  I pray not outside on the street.

  • Anonymous

    The gas lines were very scary – people putting gas into juice containers, water cooler bottles, anything that would hold liquid.  From the lines I walked past in Inwood, there were a LOT of taxis and livery cabs in line.  I also saw MTA workers (who drive buses or work in the yards there) in line, because many MTA workers live in the outer boroughs and drive to work.  

    I believe there was much more congestion due to black market flippers than people panicking and filling their tanks unnecessarily.  If you are low-income or have no job, why not wait in line with a water bottle and then sell the gas on the black market?  It’s the best gig going.

  • Joe R.

    I’ll bet good money this gas “crisis” makes people see electric cars in a different light. Granted, many homes didn’t have power for a while, but the idea of being able to “refuel” at home will certainly seem more appealing to people who just waited hours at gas lines. 

  • Anonymous

    Seriously, this is messed up:

    And yes, after this gas mess, people should be way more supportive of CitiBike, electric cars, etc.  (CitiBike is solar powered — if only it had been installed on time….)

  • Larry Littlefield

    “I also saw MTA workers (who drive buses or work in the yards there) in line, because many MTA workers live in the outer boroughs and drive to work.”

    Actually most MTA workers live in the suburbs.  But the reason they drive to work is because many start work in the outer reaches of the outer boroughs, in bus depots, train yards and at the end of subway lines for example.  I wonder if part of what is going on is employee shortages.

  • Anonymous

    The craziness on display and mentioned above by @0725e26de8afcbf0a72ccf98de3fb783:disqus does a nice job of highlighting why we as Americans shouldn’t just be concerned about our dependence on *foreign* oil, but our dependence on oil in general.

  • Driver

    ” Lets allow the gas stations to raise gas prices until supply can meet
    demand again.  We don’t need people driving to the pump to fill up just
    so they can drive back home and park their car with a full gas tank.”
    Actually, that would be an ideal situation, if people actually kept their fuel for when they really need to use it. 
    I was thinking that there might be a psychological effect waiting so many hours for gas.  If one invests so much time getting gas, do they really want to then just go home and park the car, or do they want to drive around and feel they are getting something out of their invested time by driving around doing errands and such. I suspect for many people it would be the latter. 
    I also think there should be some priority given to keeping diesel fuel supplied for trucks, and gas for taxis.  We need our goods delivered, and waiting hours for gas probably causes a severe economic hardship for taxi drivers, who likely don’t make a lot of money as it is.

  • Anonymous

    Like Mad Max without the motorcycles.

  • JamesR

    6pm update walking home from the Metro North station: the long gas lines persist. What this crisis makes clear is that the NYPD will move heaven and earth to support automobility – diverting a tremendous level of resources to shepard these gas lines along and ensure fairness – yet as a ped or a cyclist, if you get hit, you could die in the street like a dog and your family may never get justice.

    Also saw a 60ish guy in a BMW decide that he’d had enough of waiting in line and did a u-turn straight into a ‘No Standing Here’ sign, ripping it straight out of the concrete. It’s like two ton steel animals have been unleashed, they want to feed NOW, and their human masters (servants?) can’t help but oblige. 

  • Ian Turner

    I don’t actually understand the gas lines. What is preventing gas station owners from raising prices? Are there price controls on gasoline?