Today’s Headlines

  • MTA Budget Continues Biannual Fare Hikes (NYTNewsPostWNYC2nd Ave. Sagas)
  • Thompson Gets Polling Boost: Would Defeat Weiner or Quinn in Runoff (NewsCapNYAdvance)
  • Council Approves 10-Year Deadline for MSG (NewsCrain’sWNYCObserverCapNYAYR)
  • Bay Ridge CB Set to Restart Discussion of Fourth Avenue Traffic Calming Plan Next Week (News)
  • Lander Bill Would Require DOT to Create Citywide BRT Plan (WNYCCapNY)
  • City Council Approves Tennis Center Expansion, Including New Parking, in Park (NYTCapNY, DNA)
  • Gillibrand: TZB Loan Approval Taking Too Long; Foxx: Feds Reviewing Credit Right Now (LoHud)
  • Electeds Ask EDC to Push MTA for Transfer of Delancey Underground to City for Lowline (Lo-Down)
  • Port Authority Cuts Tolls in Half for Trucks Going to Staten Island Container Port (Advance)
  • Mapping the Ebb and Flow of Citi Bike (Curbed)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    A Thompson surge is terrible news for transit advocates. He’s one of these people who uses “small businesses” as an excuse to fight every improvement imaginable, all while waxing poetic about his “support” for mass transit.

    Here’s him making the last grand gesture of his last campaign–staging a protest to stop the Nostrand Ave. SBS:
    http://www.streetsblog.org/2009/11/02/brooklyn-bus-stop-draws-bigger-crowd-than-thompson-anti-brt-rally/

    He’s also another bike lane ripper outer:
    http://www.streetsblog.org/2009/09/18/bill-thompson-ill-rip-out-bike-lanes-and-review-safer-streets/

    Though he later recanted that, I don’t see any reason to believe that he’s made any meaningful progress on this front.

    His own website touts his opposition to congestion pricing.

  • Mark Walker

    Kudos to Quinn for doing the right thing on MSG. A new Penn Station would not only heal an old wound and make life better for users of the most heavily used rail station in the country — it would transform the whole area for the better.

  • Bolwerk

    I don’t know if it makes much of a difference. On paper, professional lizard Christine Quinn may be the best candidate for transit, but I seriously doubt she’d hesitate to reverse Bloomberg era improvements if she thought it politically expedient. Liu is less of a carhead than Weiner, but he still seems pretty bad too. (Quinn’s major shortcomings are more about human rights than transportation, of course.)

    The only actually pro-transit candidate remains Sal Albanese, who has about a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning. Given the circumstances, an incoherent, indecisive milquetoast like Thompson may be preferred to someone who is competent and evil.

  • Bolwerk

    Re Rubinstein article: what is really obnoxious is how politicians completely miss the point of prioritized surface transit and parade it as a “subway on the surface.” There are advantages to the fact that it’s not a subway, but using it in lieu of subways is doing it wrong. This kind of surface transit is accessible, relatively faster than walking/biking, stops more frequently than subways (a good thing!), and makes a last mile trip from things like the subway more convenient. It’s a complement, not a substitute, to grade separated service.

    I’m glad Lander is trying, but I really wish at least some politicians understood what makes good transit.

  • soexcited

    There’s a Citibike kiosk at 56th & Madison today, on the west side of Madison. It’s not showing on the map yet as planned, and the signage isn’t up on the kiosk itself. Could they be adding more kiosks to the initial service area?

    This would be awesome if that’s the case. There’s a big hole in service in the Madison-Park area of the upper 50s.

  • Anonymous

    Certainly, we don’t seem to have anyone who’s both good and likely to win. But I can’t get past Thompson fighting SBS–for the B44, of all lines, a ridiculously crowded and vital north-south route–for overtly pro-parking reasons as practically the last thing he did in the previous mayoral bid.

    Thompson’s clear financial support from troglodytes doesn’t help, either:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/16/nyregion/damato-fund-raising-prowess-stirs-new-york-mayoral-race.html?pagewanted=all

  • Anonymous

    Yesterday, the west side and lower Manhattan looked like Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Wow!!! (Just needed to say this among all the negative news.)

  • Bolwerk

    Yeah, I remember. It’s lack of perspective and sympathy more than malice I think. As I remember the photo op, there was a crowd of poor black people a block away waiting for the bus too. He has probably been a politician so long he has forgotten what it’s like to have to use a train or bus, and I have no idea if he was ever poor or not.

    D’Amato’s a troglodyte indeed, but the funny thing about the NYS Republikan troglodytes is they have completely different hangups from most other U.S. politicians. At least on paper, they’re ideologically predisposed to having people pay for the things they use, so they can stomach some transport reforms that are ultimately more equitable.

    Of course, take none of these observations as endorsements!

  • Larry Littlefield

    Thompson is a creature of and bought and paid for the political/union class, and (unlike Liu) is content to sell out to the executive/financial class.

    The serfs and the common future, including those left to take transit or ride bicycles, are likely to be sacrificed for whatever deals he has done, while other or “circumstances beyond our control” are blamed.

    On the other hand, he’s not an insane meglomaniac, and believe it or not New York could do worse.

    All it takes is an end to the latest financial bubble, and/or the share national income going to the financial sector/rich to normalize to the mean, for the next Mayor to be Mayor Beame. The resulting fiscal damage isn’t going to the political/union class. Thompson and Liu even have he pedigree of failed Comptrollers.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Lander is sane. He seems to realize younger generations are screwed and will have to make the best of it, and is seeking policies that make it less bad.

    This squares with his support of bike lanes. And his proposal for the city to not persecute people for banding together to provide their own pre-K, since the city has not and will not provide universal pre-K (kindegarten next, then grade school) as money is shifted to debts and pensions debts left by those older.

  • Larry Littlefield

    On the transfer of MTA property for nothing:

    “Today’s letter was signed by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand, U.S. Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Nydia Velazquez, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, State Senator Dan Squadron and City Council members Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez.”

    I hope and pray (but do not expect) that there is no overlap between these people and the pols who claimed that the MTA need not increase fares, could afford pension increases, and absorb cuts in tax funding, because it could get huge money by selling excess property to pay for it all. Anyone want to ask the Straphangers and TWU about this?

  • Bolwerk

    Yes, he’s sane, but not competent. The insane/narcissistic people are the competent ones, and call the shots.

    Even when he’s right he does it wrong. Either because of lack of perspective or NIH syndome, he doesn’t understand why trams and bike lanes in a medium-large European city work better than the paltry road repavings NYC does for SBS and bike lanes. I bet at least half the people on this blog grasp that, or at least understand it when it’s explained to them.

  • Larry Littlefield

    As I said, who are you going to sacrifice the serfs and the common future to benefit? It’s not enough to do it just for the political/union class or just the executive financial/class. Ask John Liu. Thompson is smarter.

  • Landerite

    @fd409bf6aa246130c33907005992f4b2:disqus read the press release and bill and then reach out to our office at lander@council.nyc.gov if you would like to further educate us. The proposal is not to make SBS in a bunch of places in the city.

    http://bradlander.com/news/releases/new-council-bill-aims-to-bring-bus-rapid-transit-throughout-nyc

    http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=1458687&GUID=471DAFB4-7AC3-4328-9BD7-0C22A25EAEE9

    Also on the subject of competence, you may want to look into Council Member Lander’s background at the Pratt Center in assembling the COMMUTE coalition that pushed for a similar proposal.

  • Bolwerk

    That space should be preserved as something convertible back to transit eventually. Maybe it will never happen, but that doesn’t mean the future should be robbed of the opportunity.

    Make a club, a wine cellar, a brothel – anything that doesn’t take away the future’s opportunity to use the space. The lowline is a stupid idea.