Today’s Headlines

  • De Blasio Orders Sideguards Installed on 200 City Garbage Trucks (News)
  • Eastern Queens’ Growing Immigrant Population Needs Better Transit (YIMBY)
  • WNYC Team Reflects on a Year of Loss Caused By Traffic Violence
  • Building Over Sunnyside Yards — The Political and Logistical Quagmire (Crain’s)
  • EDC Grant Will Boost Freight Rail Capacity at Hunts Point Market (DNA)
  • Can Something Good Be Salvaged From de Blasio’s Ferry Proposal? (2nd Ave Sagas)
  • If It’s Not Crammed With Parking, Bronx CB 11 Doesn’t Want It to Be Built (BxTimes)
  • NYPD Lieutenant Pleads Guilty to Drunk Driving Off-Duty (Advance)
  • Without Good Transit, Better Transportation Tech Can Only Do So Much to Reduce Car Ownership (MTR)
  • Early Contender for the “Most Useless Public Health Research” Streetsie Award (Post)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Bluewndrpwrmlk96

    Very glad to see the sideguards starting to be implemented here, long overdue. My favorite part of the article is after all the explanation and details given, that one sole comment at the bottom from a user named Mickey Mouse stating “Complete waste of money…”

    There’s always a critic. And from Mickey!

  • Morris Zapp

    Thanks for a year of solid reporting, WNYC.

    Now back to our regular programming.

  • Jeff

    “‘It was parking, parking, parking,’ McManus said about the committees response to the proposal.

    They were also concerned about adding to traffic congestion in the area”

    In other news, a new park was opposed because 1) There are too many squirrels in the area, and 2) The plans for the new park don’t include squirrel feeders.

  • Tyler

    There’s a second one now from someone I can only imagine was the at the top of his class in physics.

    how exactly does it keep someone safer…does it swing out, and smack anyone away, that gets too close!!!
    how exactly does it keep someone safer…does it swing out, and smack anyone away, that gets too close!!!
    how exactly does it keep someone safer…does it swing out, and smack anyone away, that gets too close!!!

  • Tyler

    (he didn’t post it 3 times… I’m clearly a super star too!)

  • Greg

    From the article:

    “Trucks make up only 3.6% of the vehicles on city streets but account for 32% of cyclist fatalities and 12.3% of pedestrian deaths in collisions, according to the mayor’s office.”

    Incredible.

  • kevd

    Would the Sunnyside Yards need to be SO big if NJTransit and the LIRR implemented through running trains, instead of storing them in Sunnyside 1/2 the day?

  • Bolwerk

    This was linked from StreetsblogUSA’s Today’s Headlines, but it is somewhat relevant here too. It mentions, “Last year, the NEC profit was nearly $400 million.”

    Congress is evidently considering letting Amtrak keep those profits to improve the NEC. If they’re sustainable, it might mean some really big infrastructure improvements could be financed by Amtrak on the NEC. Maybe even part of things like the Gateway project?

  • Joe R.

    This could also have a snowball effect. Improve the NEC further, perhaps get NYP-Washington running times under 2 hours (better yet down to 1.5 hours like they would be anywhere else with true HSR), you’ll attract riders from planes. More profits to put into improvement, which in turn gets us lower running times, yet more passengers. Of course, eventually things will plateau but by then you could have a significant, ongoing surplus from the NEC which could be used to fund other improvements in the Northeast.

    Amtrak should keep the NEC profits for use on the NEC instead of using them to fund money-losing long distance trains in flyover states. Perhaps without those funds, there might be some incentive to improve those trains enough so they might at least break even. Or get rid of them if they’re just hopelessly unprofitable.

    By the way, I personally don’t feel trains need to make a profit, or even just break even, for them to make sense but many in Congress do.

  • Bolwerk

    Even a regional Amtrak ride seems preferable to a flight as is. Certainly it’s time-competitive.

    Part of me would rather just see Amtrak strengthened from the NEC spine. Electrify and normalize service to places like Hartford/Springfield and Richmond.

    Of course, at least once you get into Virginia you start dealing with grade crossings. The first one I know of is in Manassas, but there could be others closer to DC.

  • red_greenlight1

    Yep such a huge leap forward 200 trucks! I feel safer already.

    Kinda sucks when a guy named Mickey is right.

  • red_greenlight1

    Yes but most of those trucks are privately owned. I would venture that most are private construction trucks.

  • Joe R.

    I’d personally rather take a train than fly even if it isn’t time competitive. It’s worlds more comfortable, plus you often avoid having to change vehicles.

    On the grade crossings, I’m sure once the money came in to electrify and speed up service on other routes, most of those grade crossings would go. As we just saw with the MN crash, grade crossings are a horrible idea, particularly on any line which carries passengers. Motorists can’t be trusted to not go around the gates. We seem averse to installing European style gates which physically prevent that. The best solution is a grade crossing elimination program. Sure, it’s expensive, but how much does one accident cost? MN will probably be on the hook for some millions just from this latest incident. That easily could have paid for a grade crossing elimination in that spot.

  • ahwr

    By the way, I personally don’t feel trains need to make a profit, or
    even just break even, for them to make sense but many in Congress do.

    That’s good, because the NEC is still a money loser. Bolwerk is just talking about operating costs excluding interest, depreciation, OPEB etc…that if included push the NEC into the red.

  • Matthias

    “I had no idea these thousands of germs were here all the time on the subway. It’s time to get a car.”

    Really, people are surprised that germs exist? There are billions everywhere, even all over our skin and (gasp!) in a car. Without them we’d die pretty quickly; we’re not designed to survive in a sterile environment.

  • Bolwerk

    Yes, it’s operating.

    I don’t see depreciation broken down by route in Amtrak’s reports. If the depreciation per rider across the Amtrak ($23.79) holds in the NEC (~11M riders), it comes to depreciation costs of about $271M for the corridor, so it really could be profitable.

    The pro for this argument is that it’s about a third of all Amtrak ridership on a tiny fraction of the system, but the obvious objection is that the NEC makes up about 2/3 of Amtrak-owned ROW.

  • Bolwerk

    It’d be nice. I have no idea how expensive it is.

    If possible, you can just close off a street I guess. Manassas isn’t just an auto grade crossing. It’s a pedestrian one, including passengers. IIRC, trains in both directions stop on one track.

  • Larry Littlefield

    With regard to transportation tech, Streetsbloggers have to accept that most American housing is today in locations and patterns where it would be more costly, and use more energy, to provide mass transit than to have everyone drive their own cars.

    This is a bad thing, and we should strive for new housing and workplaces to be built in different patterns. But we can’t abandon a huge share of the nation’s invested capital overnight. We’ve seen what happens when a huge share of just one generation tries to move to Brooklyn.

    For those who will have to live in the suburbs, the only choice for those living beyond bicycle distance of work and services is dynamic carpooling, which has the potential cut cut the need for individually owned autos in half. Uber’s new service is close but no cigar — it is still too expensive for non-yuppies and is just another taxi service for yuppies.

    What is needed for low- and moderate income Americans and seniors is described once gain here.

    https://larrylittlefield.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/uber-uber-alles/

  • Larry Littlefield

    You’d still have lots of one-trip rush hour trains, which would have to be stored somewhere.

    Paying train crews to bring empty trains out to Montauk and back to Manhattan is not affordable.

  • Daniel

    This is the biggest story of the day. It may be only 200 vehicles, but until the city implements this common sense safety measure they don’t have the moral authority to ask anyone else to do it. There was a guy walking just a few blocks from where I live this time last year who would be alive today if these guards had already been in place then. He slipped on the ice and slid right under the wheels of a turning garbage truck. People like to think of these as freak accidents, but they happen all too often and are so easily preventable.

  • Bluewndrpwrmlk96

    Agreed, wholeheartedly.

  • BBnet3000

    You could still run them out to Freeport or wherever is appropriate on each line. Ideally this would be concentrated in places where there is the highest existing reverse commuting as well as ideally some potential for growth.

  • BBnet3000

    So if something doesn’t solve a problem completely its a waste of money?

  • red_greenlight1

    No but a much better use of money would be increased enforcement.

  • ahwr

    http://www.amtrak.com/ccurl/785/933/Amtrak-FY16-Grant-Legislative-Final.pdf

    Amtrak wants 616.9 million in federal and state support for the NEC.