Today’s Headlines

  • Truck Driver Runs Over and Kills Floria Burton in the Bronx; NYPD Blames Victim (News, Post)
  • Private Bus Driver Kills Woman in Flushing, Leaves Scene (WPIX, Post, DNA)
  • Brooklyn SUV Driver Killed 72-Year-Old Mitchel Darroux on Sunday; No Charges Filed (News)
  • Chronicle Has the Lowdown on Major MTA Capital Projects Planned for Queens
  • “Drivers Deserve Their Fair Share”: Road Lobby Stokes Resentment Over Transit Investment (Politico)
  • MTA Will Split M5 Route in Two Because of Manhattan Gridlock (News)
  • With Passageway in the Pipeline, Eric Adams Wants Free Transfers Between L and 3 Trains (News)
  • Cuomo Assigns State Troopers to NYC for “Commercial Vehicle Enforcement,” or Whatever (DNA)
  • Truck Driver Narrowly Avoids Hitting Pedestrian in Flatbush Avenue Crash (Bklyn Paper)
  • DHS Driver Bullies Pedestrian Before Vision Zero Event, Is Busted by Paul White (Gothamist)
  • Documenting Dangerous Driving? You’ll Never Run Out of Material (WNYC)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Andrew

    Starting from Forest Hills, the M local takes 7-8 minutes longer than the F express to get to Rockefeller Center.

    How is the running time from Forest Hills relevant to a commuter from Elmhurst?

    Or, taking Roosevelt Ave. as a starting point, the difference is still ~5 minutes.

    According to the MTA trip planner, arriving at 34th Street by 9:00, the E takes 23 minutes, the F takes 22, the M takes 23, and the R takes 28. So the difference is 6 minutes if you started off on the R or 1 minute if you started off on the M, before accounting for the transfer time penalty (that is, the wait for the second train).

    A lot of people do transfer to the express at Roosevelt. A lot of other people stay on the local, because they’re willing to trade a few minutes of their time for comfort.

    I know caring about riders’ time isn’t in vogue these days, but either seems like a steep penalty for traveling a few miles.

    Oh, I care about riders’ time a lot. That’s why I keep going back to frequency as such an important consideration. An Elmhurst LIRR station would have a negligible impact on M/R loads, and an even more negligible impact on E/F loads, because for almost everyone traveling into Manhattan, the subway – either staying on the local the whole way or transferring to the express at Roosevelt- would remain a better option.

    But even if I granted you that they rationally should behave how you want them to, I still don’t see what’s wrong with accounting for how riders actually do behave and adjusting service(s) offered accordingly.

    The express track is at maximum capacity. There’s no room for more expresses.

    Locals are not crowded. There’s no need for more locals.

  • ahwr

    There was a survey of households (and businesses?) near the proposed Elmhurst station a year or two ago. Is it published anywhere?

  • bolwerk

    Uh, no. I didn’t make a case for it. Didn’t even try. Didn’t say I supported it, didn’t say I opposed it. Don’t really have a definite opinion about whether it should be done, and would likely break toward spending money on improving a city bus route or something if I personally was the one making the call about what to do with $30M. At most, I made a case for keeping an open mind.

    Seriously, stop reacting and think about this: was I simultaneously being overly cynical about ridership when I pointed out how low a break even point on a project like that is? You’re fixating on one thing I said to the exclusion of another. I’d like to know what projected ridership would be, but I really don’t have any more idea than you. That’s why I mentioned two vastly different possibilities. The low one was deliberately about breaking even and the high one probably would objectively be called pretty successful, at least from a financial standpoint. If projected demand is really lower than that break even point, we can probably all agree that it’s not worth pursuing for a few hundred riders or fewer a day. If you have a good projection, I’d be very interested to see it.

    I’m familiar with Walker’s frequency ruminations. The mismatch in demand I was referring to is between QB subway locals and expresses, not the LIRR and the subway. Either people board expresses at a much higher rate or are overwhelmingly opting for the faster subway route to roughly the same places. Forest Hills is actually seeing over a thousand LIRR boardings per weekday, which I admittedly would call nontrivial, and I’m assuming there is a possibility that demand is about avoiding a perceived slower subway trip.

    The TA (Transit Authority, aka NYCT) isn’t reopening Elmhurst; it’s the LIRR that’s reopening Elmhurst

    This is an odd nitpick. Do you line your peas up and count them before you eat them? I was obviously referring to the MTA and, though I humbly concede that referring to “the TA” in NYC is longstanding shorthand for NYCTA, the MTA is itself technically a transit/transportation authority.

    On a ridership basis it is completely pointless – this is entirely political.

    Then quantify “pointless.” Any new construction is policy, and policy is by definition political, including what you’d like to see done.

    I agree that of course the ridership will be lower than the subway. OTOH, not many transit projects in this city even have a viable chance of breaking even, and this maybe does. So what will it take for it not to be pointless?

  • bolwerk

    How is the running time from Forest Hills relevant to a commuter from Elmhurst?

    The printed schedule doesn’t include Elmhurst.

    According to the MTA trip planner…

    Hmm, maybe I read something wrong before, but the paper schedule says F departs 7:04am from Roosevelt. Arrives 7:23 @ 34th. 19 minutes.

    M departs 7:06. Arrives 7:28. 22 minutes.

    Doesn’t seem to vary much at different times either. The Trip Planner agrees with you, so I dunno.

    That’s why I keep going back to frequency as such an important consideration.

    It is important, but I don’t think there is much argument that peak hour demand can, and maybe even should, be met by infrequent services in some cases.

    An Elmhurst LIRR station would have a negligible impact on M/R loads,
    and an even more negligible impact on E/F loads, because for almost
    everyone traveling into Manhattan, the subway…would remain a better option.

    Well, I never doubted that, but I then I still don’t see what’s so terrible about spending $30M to get 500 or 1000 or 1500 weekday boardings a better ride if they will be paying the capital costs with their higher fares within a few decades. LIRR trains are already running and I assume can bear the riders, so the major obstacle is attracting enough riders to make the station break even or better. AIUI, ridership on that corridor is generally expected to go up too.

    The express track is at maximum capacity. There’s no room for more expresses.

    However imperfect the LIRR is at meeting express subway demand, that still seems like an argument for at least considering this. That was my original point here anyway. Is that really so off the deep end?