Today’s Headlines

  • Judge Shoots Down Petrosino Square Citi Bike Suit; Walden Vows Appeal (Post)
  • Bloomberg: The Biggest Problem With Public Plazas Is There Aren’t More Of Them (CapNY)
  • Feds Will Help Fund MTA Subway Storm-Proofing, Says Cuomo (Post)
  • Bloomberg Says Citi Bike Isn’t Profitable Yet (PostNews)
  • A Five-Point Case for NYC Residential Parking Permits From Tri-State (MTR)
  • Over Objections From Glick, Squadron, and Sweeney, Bloomberg OKs Soho BID (DNA)
  • Reckless Endangerment Charge From Cy Vance for Man Who Pushed Woman Into Traffic (DNA)
  • Rehabbed High Bridge Is the Centerpiece of City’s Harlem River Waterfront Restoration (NYT)
  • A Post-9/11 NYPD Parking Lot Behind One Police Plaza Is Now a Park (DNA)
  • East River Esplanade Between 72 and 76th Streets Closed Through November (NYCbike)
  • Danny Dromm Joins Volunteers to Spruce Up Streets Around Diversity Plaza (Q Gazette)
  • The World Trade Center PATH Corridor Opened Thursday; Gothamist Has Pics
  •  Cap’n Transit: Should NYC Trade Staten Island for Bergen Neck?

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • krstrois

    Wow, rough morning for Sweeney.

  • Reader

    Great track record Jim Walden is building for himself.

  • Anonymous

    At least he is willing to go on crusades that he is unlikely to win! Now imagine if the public prosecutors in charge of vehicular crimes had the same nerve.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting article about bikeshare rebalancing in Salon: http://www.salon.com/2013/10/24/bike_shares_can_be_perfect_solving_the_commuting_algorithm/

    That article complains about the “irony” of using trucks for rebalancing, but fails to mention that Citi Bike is now also using bike trailers. I see them in action almost every day; they can carry up to three bikes. They may require more trips than trucks, but they can park on the bike station itself because they are narrow, they can sometimes squeeze through traffic, and they appear to be easier to load and unload.

  • Jay Shuffield

    The High Bridge cannot be considered a “centerpiece” of the Harlem River waterfront. It is a piecemeal start to a long-overdue program of improvements and a reminder of broken promises.

    The High Bridge is one of very few pieces that the City has done on the Harlem River waterfront in The Bronx. The Bronx has been waiting for a very, very long time for the greenway along the Harlem River, and after a generation of waiting, those connections are still nowhere in sight. New greenways in Brooklyn have been proposed and completed while we continue waiting for the next broken promise from the City.

    The greenway was included in the first New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan in 1992:
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/pub/cwp.pdf

    It was also included in the 1997 New York City Bicycle Master Plan:
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/bike/greensys.pdf

    Then, actual funding was promised as part of the mitigation package for the Croton Filtration project (sorry, link no longer available, as Parks has taken the plan down from their website).

    Nothing has been done. The funding from the Croton Project somehow disappeared, with no accountability. Then, when they were working on the update for the waterfront plan just recently, the first draft backslid so far that DCP was proposing a “study” for a possible greenway.

    The High Bridge is a major landmark that should have been restored and returned to public use decades ago. It is great to see it finally getting done, and the advocates who have worked so long to ensure it happened deserve a great deal of credit (as do the actual City staff who have done the painstaking technical work and physical labor required).

    But please, let’s see this as the starting point and not the culmination of the improvement of the Harlem River waterfront.

  • Brad Aaron

    You’re reading a lot into that headline.

  • Citi Bike user

    Who really cares if a 6000-bike system uses three or four or even twenty trucks to move things around? Guess what? The MTA, which operates trains and buses that are another component of a “sustainable transit solution” also uses trucks.

    My guess is that quite a few of the 35,000+ trips per day taken by Citi Bike users replace taxi trips and even private car trips, more than offsetting the irony of using trucks and vans to maintaining a steady balance of bicycles.

  • Guest

    Walden won’t win this, but if he did it could be a very useful precedent.

    If the courts decide any commuting-related use is inappropriate for parks, we should have a very quick victory on closing the park drives in Central Park and other locations throughout the city, and would probably be able to identify all sorts of automobile parking in various parks that could also be reclaimed.

    Be careful what you wish for Walden!

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    So I am glad the judge ruled the way she did. It seems like a simple deference case where if DOT decides something that isn’t arbitrary that a judge won’t overrule it.

    That being said, I’d rather DOT move the bikeshare dock (which I use frequently) across the street into a couple of parking spots.

  • Jay Shuffield

    Fair enough, Brad.

    This is a general reaction to not just the headline but also the Times ongoing decisions not to cover the City’s failure to advance these projects in The Bronx.

    But as you are well aware from the way the term “accident” permeates reports about crashes, a few key differences in wording can go a long way toward shaping public perceptions. It is important to continue highlighting the City’s neglect of the Harlem River and the need to construct the greenway.

  • Anonymous

    I’m with you; even with the trucks, it’s still a big win. But if it can’t be done without trucks, even better. My main concern about the trucks is not the emissions (some people seem to think that the only reason for bikeshare is environmental), but the mess they cause on the streets when they double park.

  • Citi Bike user

    The nice thing is that when I’ve see a Citi Bike truck parked in a bike lane and say something to the crew, they’re always pleasant. One even moved the truck over into some empty space. Try that with a police officer and you’ll get a blank stare or worse.

  • Anonymous

    On Petrosino Square: Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha!

  • Guest

    Must feel like he’s being drug through the streets of Ho Chi Minh City!

  • Jonathan R

    Re: High Bridge.

    Even if the Harlem River waterfront was completely built out with beautiful amenities that made it a destination for tourists and New Yorkers from far and wide, the High Bridge would still be the centerpiece because of its aesthetic appeal and historical significance.

  • Brad Aaron

    Agreed. I didn’t intend to imply that the job was done.

  • Jay Shuffield

    No problem at all. Perhaps at some point when you have some time available, you could profile the issue to help get the job finished.

    You could contact the folks at the Bronx River Working Group to highlight their ongoing efforts to bring together the myriad stakeholders to make a long-delayed general plan into a concrete reality.

  • Bronxite

    The complaints are ridiculous. Rebels without a cause much?

  • Bolwerk

    $4 billion World Trade Center Transportation Hub? Goodness, last I checked it was a measly $3.5B. PATH capacity added: about zero.

    Imagine how much useful transit could have been built for such a princely sum. It might have been enough to bring PATH to JFK over the little used LIRR Atlantic Avenue Line or something.

  • Guest

    That’s not really accurate.

    Much of that expense was necessary to restore ALL the capacity by rebuilding a terminal that had been completely destroyed. I think there is probably some spending included in there that also includes signal system work to run trains on tighter headways, increasing capacity.

    The extensive concourses included with this absolutely increase pedestrian capacity in what will again become a very crowded area downtown.

    Now, was there waste? Did some of the cost come from the interrelated construction of office buildings, and should have been a developer’s cost instead? I don’t really know. Maybe?

    But there certainly is some increase in capacity.

    More importantly, sometimes we really do need to take the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to make the daily experience of commuting less hellish! If we only look at capacity, we set the bar too low. Our transportation system really should support quality of life.

  • Bolwerk

    Capacity doesn’t make transportation less hellish? This is a new one. People would prefer to get off in a giant architectural anomaly than have shorter waits or a seat or at least some standing room? About the #1 improvement for quality of life transportation can offer is a faster, more comfortable trip and capacity is key to that – the porcupine offers neither.

    Yes, the PA is doing other things unrelated to the porcupine that improve capacity – signal upgrades, longer trains – but that $4B gateway to New Jersey isn’t one of them.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone else get a flyer for BDB in their bike yesterday from StreetsPac?

  • Anonymous

    Much of that expense was necessary to restore ALL the capacity by rebuilding a terminal that had been completely destroyed.

    Wouldn’t that have been funded with Insurance Proceed?

  • Bolwerk

    Pretty sure the temporary station restored all the capacity that was there before anyway. The new station is a headhouse, not a capacity upgrade.

  • Joe R.

    Yep, my feelings exactly but you articulated it so much better than I could!

  • Guest

    The temporary station was exactly that: temporary. Cheap materials and mechanical systems that won’t stand up, and are already showing signs of fatigue as they reach the end of their useful life.

    Plus, I think the costs of the temporary station might also be included in that $4B price tag.

    And – the temporary station is a crowded and hellish experience that commuters endure every day with the hopes that someday things will be better. Especially before ridership increases with all those new offices!

    If you are saying we should have accepted the temporary station as the permanent end goal, you and I have very different visions of what life in New York should be like for us poor denizens who commute to earn a living! I will gladly pay a little more in taxes and fare to avoid that dystopian grind every day.

    And I really have no problem going to the Feds to foot a lot of that bill, either, considering NYC sends out more than we take in every year so they can plow money into unnecessary suburban sprawl across the rest of the continent…

  • Guest

    Isn’t that just the total price tag, regardless of funding source?

  • Guest

    Please, stop pretending that the pedestrian capacity at a very crowded terminal is meaningless. Crowded corridors and sidewalks are not good for anybody.

    I’m pretty sure you’ll find that $4B includes a lot of basic infrastructure necessary for rail capacity as well as the passenger/pedestrian capacity.

    If you’re going to pretend that the whole $4B was just for extravagant architecture, then we’re not having an honest or meaningful conversation…

  • Guest

    Temporary station certainly did not replace the pedestrian capacity.

    That makes it hellish today, and outright dangerous when things get busier with new offices there in the near future

  • Bolwerk

    OK, just where did I say ped capacity is meaningless? Please, stop putting words into people’s mouths. The WTC station is busy, but it’s nowhere near as busy as something like the Times Square subway station. There is plenty of capacity now.

    And where are you getting this notion that train capacity is being added? I can’t find anything about new rail infrastructure coming from that sum. There appears to be some foundation work (clocking in at tens of millions) and some tangentially related street work clocking in at hundreds of millions, which maybe should be accounted for as part of a separate project. That still leaves billions for nothing more than a headhouse. So what is $4B buying us capacity-wise?

    It really is for extravagant architecture.

  • Bolwerk

    No, the temporary station was built by 2003 and is paid for. The station is made of reenforced concrete, and first world subway stations typically cost in the high tens of millions. What is so special about the WTC that warrants two orders of magnitude higher expenses?

    Spending billions to reduce crowding might be a legitimate expense, but building a giant sculpture of a porcupine over the existing platforms. has no such impact.

    In any case, the best way to reduce crowding is to run more trains and build the system out to bring people closer to where they’re trying to go. If you’re against that, you’re implicitly for the keeping the status quo of “dystopian grind.”

  • Guest

    $4B is all in, start to finish cost. Incl. already spent on base infra, temp. term., extensive concourse connections to ease ped crowding, everything. NOT just architecture.

    Your basic premise is totally off base.

    Maybe some waste, but not whatever fantasy you’re imagining where none of the real infra msttered or somehow showed up for free!

  • Bolwerk

    Cite? The temporary station was completed in late 2003 and cost $323 million. Are you saying they didn’t budget for that then? The porcupine was announced in 2004 or 2005 for a sum south of $2B, after the temporary station was completed, and has since ballooned to nearly $4B. Construction started several years later (2008?). Why would you include past completed work in a budget for future work? That makes absolutely no sense.

    Or, okay, let’s give you the benefit of the doubt: $4B – $.323B = $3.677B (okay, I’m too lazy to adjust for inflation). Still an absolutely insane price over what a subway station should cost, even the South Ferry boondoggle that gets to be built twice.

    Yes, “some” waste is right. “Some” can be defined as two orders of magnitude of waste, in fact. For the very reason that no track-level capacity is even being added, your capacity argument is patently absurd and it suspiciously sounds like you’re making things up to justify your position.