Today’s Headlines

  • Sunset Park Residents to DOT: Get Moving on a Protected Bike Lane for 4th Avenue (Bklyn Paper)
  • A Plea for DOT to Ignore Queens CB 1’s Nutty Ideas About the 31st Avenue Bike Route (TL)
  • Mike Miller: City Hall “Discriminated Against” Woodhaven By Committing to Improve Bus Service (QNS)
  • Power Loss at SBS Fare Machines in Jamaica Has Messed Up the Q44 Since June (DNA)
  • Private Ambulance Driver Careens Onto Park Slope Sidewalk, Injuring One (News)
  • The Times Looks to Toronto to Preview the Arrival of Open Gangway Trains on the Subway
  • Won’t Someone Deign to Take the Job of Port Authority CEO? (Crain’s)
  • When the Port Authority and the MTA Don’t Cooperate, Transit Riders Lose (Transport Politic)
  • Here’s the Status on Upgrades to LIRR’s Vanderbilt Yard (AMNY)
  • All of a Sudden, Staten Island Pols Want to Put an End to Illegal Parking (Advance)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Kevin Love

    From the TL article:

    “When nearly 1.5 million people in Queens (two-thirds of the borough’s population) live outside of walking distance to a subway station, the lack of bicycle infrastructure is not just an embarrassm­ent—it is a downright injustice.”

    Kevin’s comment:
    Hear, hear! This makes it all the more disturbing when the out-of-touch CB1 takes that next step beyond victim-blaming which is perpetrator-enabling.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    4th Avenue is about to get permanently built out with a double-parking lane and no bike infrastructure. 5th Avenue doesn’t have room for real bike facilities without removing parking; it could potentially work as a bike boulevard/local access only for driving, but that’s not in the NYC “toolkit”. 3rd Avenue is being built out with a bike lane on the wrong side that will only take people from Sunset Park to Red Hook.

    We’ve pretty much lost the possibility of low-stress, convenient cycling from Sunset Park and South Brooklyn to Downtown Brooklyn and the bridges for a generation.

  • The people in Woodhaven are total loons being lead by total loons.

  • Maggie

    That’s a great look by Transport Politic at the strangeness that results from Port Authority and the MTA operating in independent silos.

    Everybody’s got a good Port Authority airport kvetch, so. Traveling into LaGuardia this weekend, the ground travel from Queens to Manhattan took longer than my flight from DC. In the airport I went by four old school neon displays for important messages that said GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS and zero displays telling me where to get the MTA’s bus to the subway. Because the Port Authority construction has exacerbated congestion, and waiting for the bus means standing around breathing exhaust, I walked a mile from terminal B to over to Astoria in the MTA’s headway between M60 buses.

    An AirTrain off the airport heading *towards Manhattan* is so badly needed. This is a total embarrassment. I can’t believe I’m saying this but my honest feeling is as a region we’d be better off with the airport literally bombed to the ground.

  • walks bikes drives
  • Joe R.

    I’ve been saying to get rid of LaGuardia for ages. As an airport it stinks. Pilots say it’s like landing on an aircraft carrier. Transportation to/from LGA to other parts of the city is abysmal, and likely will remain so. The planes create noise problems for 2 million Queens residents. The land could be better used for something else, preferably housing. One of the glide paths takes planes about 200 feet over downtown Flushing. It would be a disaster of epic proportions were a plane to lose power or steering given that there’s virtually no margin for error.

    Bottom line—LGA creates a whole host of problems for the surrounding area, and doesn’t even work particularly well as an airport. We would indeed be better off if it were literally bombed to the ground.

    Traveling into LaGuardia this weekend, the ground travel from Queens to Manhattan took longer than my flight from DC.

    I vividly recall the same thing happening to my mom when she flew to DC in 1978. It literally took her two hours to get from the airport to eastern Queens.

    And for what it’s worth, last month I had to go to NJ. The trip from Califon to Penn Station by car and then NJTransit from Raritan that night took less time than getting from Penn Station to home. Local travel was a complete clusterf*ck that night. An hour, 50 minutes to get maybe 11 miles.

    I think Amtrak might have been a better choice to get from DC to Manhattan.

  • Kevin Love

    Why did you not take the train from DC? Just curious. With your schedule was it faster to fly? Cheaper?

  • Kevin Love

    Chicago got rid of their downtown airport, and very few people are calling for it to come back.

  • Maggie

    Classic absurdity – I needed about $85 in airline spending to get myself to the next tier status, so I flew instead of taking the train.

  • Guest

    You’re talking about Meigs Field, which was tiny. It’s probably more akin to the Downtown Heliport. The Chicago equivalent of LGA is MDW. It’s not going anywhere. But it is better connected by transit (even if the parking garage as part of the new terminal made the connection worse…)

  • Larry Littlefield

    While looking through MTA Board materials for data on ridership, I was shocked to find that mean distance between failures on the subway system has been falling for three years.

    With no mention in the press that I noticed. For those who remember the 1970s and 1980s, this is a horrible trend. Financial chickens coming home to roost, or something else? No explanation in the board materials.

  • Joe R.

    The part that I find most disturbing are the low numbers for the R142As and R143s:

    Car Class # of Cars May '16 May '15 % Change
    R32 222 33,996 58,101 -41.5%
    R42 50 37,603 53,973 -30.3%
    R46 752 86,062 96,435 -10.8%
    R62 315 195,744 184,716 6.0%
    R62A 824 92,333 115,029 -19.7%
    R68 425 118,007 150,795 -21.7%
    R68A 200 123,228 80,590 52.9%
    R142 1,030 154,637 154,485 0.1%
    R142A 220 54,081 82,715 -34.6%
    R143 212 61,346 89,140 -31.2%
    R160 1,662 315,794 397,362 -20.5%
    R188 - New 124 436,023 277,870 56.9%
    R188 - Conversion 360 142,293 88,003 61.7%
    FLEET 6,396 122,280 144,395 -15.3%

  • Mike

    5th could be made into a one-way street with one driving lane turned into a parking lane and the moved parking lane becoming a two-way protected bike lane.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I always choose LaGuardia when I can.

    The improved bus connection and reduced Airtrain service make me unlikely to change my mind.

    Now if only they had a one-lane busway and separate bus areas to prevent buses from getting stuck in LGA traffic, it would be so much better. And worth so much more than that Airtrain stub..

  • Joe R.

    Of course there’s a demographic for whom LGA will be more convenient. However, in NYC it seems the vast majority of air travel, which is mostly business, originates in Manhattan. Given that, LGA doesn’t have any real advantage in travel times over Kennedy. It might with a decent rail connection but for that I’d lean more towards extending the N/Q to LGA, than building a stupid Airtrain which won’t even be a one seat ride.

  • ahwr

    Very few surveyed people flying out of Manhattan from LGA would have preferred JFK.

  • sbauman

    The problem is to spot all the looneys.

    DOT’s proposal has been sparse in giving absolute figures for before and after. They prefer to state relative benefits without specifying the basis for comparison. The couple of times they have given absolute numbers, their comparison shows a bus travel times will substantially increase.

    Here’s a case in point in their May 2016 presentation:

    Look at page 50. They estimate that average northbound peak travel times between Jamaica and Metropolitan Aves for SBS buses will decrease from the present 12.9 to 7.8 minutes for a 67% decrease.

    Here’s the problem. The MTA’s schedule shows the current travel time between these two points during the morning rush hour for the Q52/53 limited bus is approximately 6.5 minutes. This figure was derived by using by downloading the GTFS data from the developer resources section on their website. The MTA’s printed schedule does not show these two stops. However, the Q11/21 local does. The peak period time is 7 minutes for the local bus.

    Page 51 in the same presentation shows the average northbound peak travel time for all traffic between 86th Rd and Metropolitan Ave will decrease from the present 12.1 to 9.3 minutes for a 30% decrease.

    86th Road is a couple of blocks north of Jamaica Ave. It’s understandable that all traffic should travel slightly faster than page 50’s buses, given the shorter distance. What about the after? Buses would take 7.8 minutes for a longer distance than the 9.3 minutes for all traffic? That’s counter-intuitive at best.

    Credulity is further strained, when one looks at the presentation’s page 30. This shows simulation am peak travel times between 86th and 68th Roads of 11.9 and 8.0 minutes.

    The problem is that 68th Road is 0.2 miles further north than Metropolitan Ave, the northern boundary on page 51. If the presentation is to believed, it would take 12.1 minutes to go from 86th Rd to Metropolitan Ave and -0.2 minutes to go 0.2 further. Similarly, the proposed configuration would have traffic take -1.3 minutes to go from Metropolitan Ave (9.3 minutes on page 51) to 68th Rd (8.0 minutes on page 30).

    What we have is a presentation so full of contradictions that any sane observer should discard any findings and go back to square one. I expect the residents of Woodhaven also discovered these inconsistencies.

    Did you spot the loony? :=)

  • SSkate

    Meanwhile, 2AS linked to this about traffic to LGA in his Twitter feed today:

    I have to admit that I prefer LGA, but that’s because I live very close to the Manhattan terminus of the M60.

  • vnm

    That’s how the get ‘ya!

  • ohnonononono

    Or we could spend a tiny fraction of the cost of an AirTrain to give the existing M60 and Q70 buses ONE measly exclusive bus lane that actually extends over the 94th St overpass and into the airport so it’s not stuck in traffic? The PA has known that the construction project would exacerbate ground transportation delays in and out of the airport, and everybody involved basically said “¯_(?)_/¯” instead of thinking about shifting more people to modes that are less bad for that congestion?

    Maybe the PA should have looked at a ban on single-occupancy vehicles doing pick-up and drop-off during peak hours within the airport, and advised people to use their existing shuttles (and existing transit) to get there? As it stands, the congestion is actually DISCOURAGING people from taking the bus to LGA; in a cab you can at least get out and walk across the overpass. An MTA bus driver won’t let you do that, even if you’re going to miss your flight.

  • ohnonononono

    Huh? Before this construction project, LGA was always a quicker subway+bus travel time from Manhattan than the subway+AirTrain at JFK. I just tried some random Manhattan locations and Google confirms this. I can’t find an address that Google tells me is a quicker trip to JFK than LGA via transit.

    Edit: Looks like I found some parts of the Financial District where it’s very competitive. But still, for most of Manhattan LGA is quicker.

  • Joe R.

    I can’t really confirm or deny this. I will however say that Google road transit times are often suspect, especially during the day when traffic is a crapshoot. In order to catch a flight, you pretty much have to allow for near worst-case travel times even if it’s actually faster 90% of the time.

    It may be that the subway plus AirTrain to JFK has longer average trip times but less variability. In practice this means you might need to give yourself the same or more time when going to LGA. All a theory but probably plausible. I flew out of LGA once but my origin was eastern Queens. My parents bought me to/from the airport. Never flew out of Kennedy or Newark at all. A regular traveler who originates in Manhattan and uses both airports would have better insight into real-world travel times than me or Google.

  • ddartley

    How interesting that the photo in Daily News piece on the private ambulance crashing on a sidewalk manages to hide what ambulance company it is…

  • Vooch

    the Staten Island story is gut busting hilarious

  • qrt145

    I love trains but the pricing in the NEC tends to be ridiculous. Like the time I found I could save a lot of money relative to Amtrak by renting a car one-way, even traveling alone. That’s what I would call a perverse incentive!