Today’s Headlines

  • Ydanis: Move NY Toll Reform Could “Revolutionize the Way Our City Moves” (PoliticoNews)
  • United Scandal Sweeps Up NJ DOT Commissioner Jamie Fox (RecordNYT)
  • How Long Will Bus Commuters Have to Wait for a Modern Terminal in Midtown? (WNYC)
  • Hit-and-Run Driver Kills Mariano Contreras, 41, on College Point Boulevard (Post)
  • Wrong-Way Driver Fleeing Traffic Stop Causes Bus to Veer Off-Road, Injuring 12 (News 1, 2)
  • Property Owners Can Pay to Get a Citi Bike Station On-Site (WSJ)
  • Victims of G Train Derailment Sue MTA and NYC Based on Prendergast’s Sniping (News)
  • Crain’s Isn’t Buying the TWU Line on de Blasio and the MTA Capital Plan
  • Politico Maps Uber Pick-ups in NYC
  • Neckdowns and LPI Coming to Intersection of Ft. Hamilton Parkway and 92nd St. (Bklyn Paper)
  • Is Someone New Writing Headlines for the Post?

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Daniel

    The Post may have a new headline writer, but they are letting UPS get away with the line that they are just double parking. However stopping in the bike lane is not just double parking, it is stopping in a no standing zone. It is the same infraction as stopping on the middle of the BQE or stopping in a crosswalk. Commercial vehicles are permitted to park next to the bike lane with the same caveats as when double parking, but that is not what UPS drivers do.

  • While I am aware that Christie is as dishonest and corrupt as the day is long, and while I generally frown on the lobbyist/government merry-go-round such as practiced by NJ DOT Commissioner Fox, I am finding it hard to work up outrage over the United “scandal” in particular.

    United’s requests to the Port Authority for improvements to Newark Airport were certainly motivated by self-interest; but the benefits of these improvements — most especially the PATH extension — would be shared by the entire community. If, in return, United accommodated the then-PATH chairman David Samson with flights to his hometown that they wouldn’t otherwise have run, well, this seems like a pretty benign arrangement.

    This deal with United was discovered during investigations into Christie’s closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge, an absurd move on his part designed to punish the Fort Lee mayor for failing to act according to Christie’s dictates in one matter or another. That is a big deal. The PATH/airport thing, not so much.

    It would be possible to find illegal holding on every corner kick in soccer and on every play from scrimmage in the NFL. Likewise, it would be possible to find some benefactors analogous to Samson who get something personally out of every public works job everywhere. That’s just how life works.

    There must be about a thousand instances in Christie’s administration of shady arrangements that only hurt the public. In light of this, I just can’t get excited over a little horse-trading on the edges that would result in significant public benefits. I guess I’d like to see more focus on the really damaging stuff, of which there surely is no shortage.

    Everyone should support nailing Christie for being a sleazebag and a wannabe-kingpin. But there is no reason to hold him and his administration to standards that no other state or big-city government could measure up to.

  • bolwerk

    A 10-figure improvement for a few thousand daily jetsetters? I don’t call that a very worthwhile improvement for the community.

    Granted, I can see the PATH idea being justifiable at $500M (the estimate from a decade ago).

  • bolwerk

    The TWU thing is funny because de Blasio is ideologically pro-union and Cuomo is more anti-union.

    Crain’s raises the right point. $30 billion over five years for improvements that often last decades raises hysterical teeth-gnashing in political and media circles, but other than a few anti-labor/anti-transit right-wingers nobody blinks that the MTA probably spends double what a first world country does on transit system labor. Often for shittier outcomes too.

  • Mark Walker

    From WNYC’s story about the Port Authority Bus Terminal: “officials say the building’s concrete support slabs have 15 to 25 years of life left in them.” So now it’s a race to see which will give out first — the Hudson rail tunnels or the bus terminal. Will another Sandy-like hurricane submerge the rail tunnels in salt water and destroy what’s left of them? Or will a bus fall through a crumbling slab at the bus terminal? Neither has a credible rebuilding plan in place. It’s hard to think of an indispensable government function more thoroughly mismanaged than the NY-NJ transit infrastructure. Even the malign neglect of the MTA isn’t quite this bad.

  • bolwerk

    At least the bus terminal issue has a rather amusing side-effect: it would take a lot of street, but the riders could always be picked up and (especially) dropped off on the street. Car free streets? 😀

    Rail riders are basically fucked in that scenario.

  • JoshNY

    Heh. “Malign neglect.” Nice turn of phrase.

  • SSkate

    This isn’t anywhere near local, but a lot of the motorists’ responses about bicycle lanes and mass transit sound right out of a typical community board hearing.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The question is, when cross-Hudson transit collapses will all the people move to New York, or all the jobs move to New Jersey? Or a little of each?

    My guess is nothing happens until that question is answered. Christie always wants someone else to pay.

  • Joe R.

    They wouldn’t be able to afford to, nor could NYC absorb that many extra people without serious increases in the already high cost of housing.

    As for the jobs moving to NJ, NYC and NYS are already encouraging that with their high taxes and dysfunctional governments (not that NJ is much better in that area).

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Jobs an Talent ain’t going to NJ

    talent will go to Singapore, Hong Kong, Berlin, London, or Rome

  • bolwerk

    Kinda sorta. In reality the wealthy people in NJ who commute to New York would either move here or get weekday houses here. They would, in turn, drive poorer people out. Poorer people living in New Jersey and working in NYC would be some manner of fucked, but at least their positions might become open to New Yorkers. :-

    Really not so different from what is already happening. Plus, what @alexandervucelic:disqus said.

  • Mark Walker

    Staten Island is underdeveloped relative to the other four boroughs and is right next to NJ. I suspect it has a lot of untapped potential, especially if developers build for upper income people. The city or state might subsidize housing for middle income people.

  • walks bikes drives

    Some do. There are a handful of UPS and FedEx drivers who do it right. I talked to my UPS driver about this tonight. He said that it is one thing when there is a place to double park and not block the bike lane. On some blocks, the choice is the bike lane or the travel lane. The travel lane would cause moving cats to enter the bike lane instead. The solution is simple – there needs to be a greater number of loading zones that are ENFORCED. The driver I am referring to parks his truck in front of churches and synagogues when he makes his deliveries. He will park the truck and then make the entire run of deliveries for the block on a hand truck. Most of the covers around the UWS do the same. In other words, give them loading zones, and they will have no problem using them.

  • Joe R.

    The only issue there is that Staten Island really isn’t convenient to get to/from until we build a subway connection to the rest of the city. Given the MTA’s budget woes, I’m not seeing that happening anytime soon.

  • Joe R.

    Unions like the TWU and the UFT are exactly what gives unions a bad name. Unions had wide support back when they fought for a reasonable day’s pay and safe working conditions. They started losing support when they sought to extend fringe benefits like health care, retain archaic work rules, pad pensions, and even guarantee job security. The MTA should be able to move workers around as it sees fit. If that means a bus driver who is no longer needed in that capacity sweeps train stations so be it. If it means workers who no longer serve any useful function are let go, so be it.

    The MTA isn’t a welfare agency. It’s a public entity tasked with delivering transit services as cost effectively as possible. That goal is generally incompatible with the unreasonable demands of the TWU. Next time the TWU strikes (and there will be a next time), once again stranding millions of people, perhaps the correct response will be to do exactly as Reagan did when he fired the air traffic controllers. Most working stiffs make far less than MTA workers doing jobs which may be just as difficult. It’s a hard sell to tell them to stomach yet another fare increase or reduced services just to keep the TWU gravy train rolling. It’s even worse when some of these benefit increases go to already retired workers who by definition are no longer of any use to the MTA. In fact, cutting or cancelling existing pensions, hopefully by finding some legal loophole (negotiations made in bad faith, or under duress?) should be one of the first goals the next time contract negotiations come up. The problem is unions no longer seem to believe in the concept of giving up something to get something else. Want higher pay? Well, be prepared to give higher productivity in return and/or perhaps accept a reduction in the workforce. The transit workers exist to serve the MTA, not the other way around. As I used to tell people who had unfounded complaints back when I supervised them, if you don’t like it, you know where the door is. Some union complaints, especially those about healthful or safe working conditions, are legitimate. Others are just nonsense.

  • bolwerk

    Maybe with a rail line, preferably directly to Manhattan. Until then it will always be at least something of a hinterland.