Today’s Headlines

  • How Many People Will Ride the City’s New Ferry Service? (NYT, News, PostAMNY, WNYC)
  • Why Are Subway Elevators and Escalators Broken? Because the MTA Doesn’t Maintain Them (News, AMNY)
  • Daily News: MTA’s Not Doing Enough to Make the Subways Wheelchair-Accessible
  • Driver Critically Injures 12-Year-Old Boy in Harlem (News)
  • City Hall Allocates $17 Million for Safety Fixes on Thomson Ave Where Tenzin Drudak Was Killed (DNA)
  • Port Authority to Study Building New Bus Terminal on Same Site as Current One (DNA)
  • Amtrak’s Summer Rehab Schedule Could Knock Out Chunks of Penn Station for Weeks (Politico)
  • A Dispatch From the “Alternate Universe Where People Actually Like Their Subway” — AKA London (NYT)
  • With Adjacent Stations Closed for Rehab, the Platforms at 59th Street in Bay Ridge Are Crammed (Bklyn Paper)
  • Corrections Official de Blasio Defended for Abusing City Car Perks Gave to de Blasio Campaign (News)
  • Brooklyn Spoke: When Will Police Value Safety More Than Order?

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Fool

    ref: tube. You mean a transit agency that enters into hostile negotiations with labor and actually endures strikes is better run than an employment agency?

  • Larry Littlefield

    Basically, the ferries are sort of like the express buses. Same anti-subway constituency, but without the premium fare.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “When you don’t give your machines the tune-ups on time, there is a logical outcome — they break down,” Stringer said at a press conference outside the 72nd St. subway stop on the upper West Side. “We have a complete maintenance mess.”

    Despite fares rising faster than inflation, and the highest state and local tax burden in the country, and a decade of MTA management downsizing.

    Meanwhile, where does Stringer get his campaign cash? This is a man who holds his current office precisely because when the camera isn’t running, he believes the serfs should have to pay more in exchange for less. It is those who are providing less in exchange for more who put him there, which makes this sort of thing all the more infuriating. Perhaps at his next fundraiser, the should get Samuelson to have his members do more work.

  • Vooch

    in the productive sector we call that method

    “fix on failure”

    no prospective supplier would ever qualify as a supplier if their maintence policy is fix on failure.

    The productive sector solved these types of challenges in the 1980s. A meme from then: Quality saves money.

    The MTA needs to visit the information on TPS ( Toyota Production System )

  • JudenChino

    Paging Larry Littlefield:
    US housing wealth is growing for the oldest and wealthiest Americans, at the expense of everybody else

  • Larry Littlefield

    I assume you read in this post of mine how, in order to “help” younger home buyers.

    Bid up the prices they were forced to pay be consigning themselves into debt slavery. How federal government backed Fannie and Freddie securitized mortgages now allow up to 45 percent of a buyer’s income to be used for debt service.

    Want to buy a house? Then use 45 percent of your income for debt. Save another 25 percent, because you can’t expect Social Security and Medicare to be there for you since you have “time to adjust.” (George W. Bush’s words). And pay 35 percent in taxes, so prior generations can get all the pensions and senior benefits they promised themselves but were unwilling to pay for.

    You can live on your credit card until bankruptcy.

    Like all similar issues, this is under Omertà.

  • Joe R.

    I love this quote from the second link:

    “I am so tired of hearing about the goddamn Baby Boomers! I’ve spent my whole life swimming behind that garbage barge of a generation. They ruined everything they’ve passed through and left me in their wake.”

  • Larry Littlefield

    The MTA doesn’t fix on failure. It has a preventive maintenance schedule.

    But as its debt and pension and retiree health care costs have boomed, and as its workers have become better off relative to its riders, it has allowed that schedule to slip.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Andrew J. Bacevich, Limits to Power

    Today, no less than in 1776, a passion for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness remain at the center of America’s civic theology. The Jeffersonian trinity summarizes our common inheritance, defines our aspirations, and provides a touchstone for our influence abroad.

    Yet if Americans still cherish the sentiments contained in Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence they have, over time, radically revised their understanding of those “inalienable rights.” Today, individual Americans use their freedom to do many worthy things. Some read, write, paint, sculpt, compose and play music. Others build, restore and preserve. Still others attend plays, concerts, and sporting events, visit their local mutiplexes, IM each other incessantly, and join “communities” of like-minded individuals. They also pursue innumerable hobbies, worship, tithe, and, in commendably high numbers, attend to the needs of the less fortunate. Yet none of these in themselves defines what it means to be an American in the twenty-first century.

    If one were to choose a single word to characterize that identity, it would have to be MORE. For the majority of contemporary Americans, the essence of life, of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness centers on a relentless personal quest to acquire, to consume, to indulge, and to shed whatever constraints might interfere with those endeavors. A bumper sticker, a sardonic motto, and a change in dating from the Age of Woodstock have recast the Jeffersonian trinity in the modern vernacular: “Whoever dies with the most toys wins.” “Shop til you drop.” “If it feels good, do it.”

    It would be misleading to suggest that every American has surrendered to this ethic of self-gratification. Resistance to its demands persists and takes many forms. Yet dissenters, intent on curbing the American penchant for consumption and self -ndulgence are fighting a rear-guard action, valiant perhaps but unlikely to reverse the tide. The ethic of self-gratification has firmly entrenched itself as the defining feature of the American way of life. The point is neither to deplore nor to celebrate this fact, but simply to acknowledge it…


    Part of the cost is the Middle East wars, needed to secure our access to oil. Bacevich, a former military man himself, dedicated the book to his son, a U.S. Army Lieutenant who was killed in 2007.

  • Komanoff

    Yesterday’s NYT had a sweet profile of Steve Stollman: I was hoping it would be noted here, but I guess, as the Times headline suggested, “history” and “forgotten” are words that go together well, very well.

    The Times wrote, inter alia: He [Stollman] advocated for and built newsstands for blind and disabled veterans. . . And he let bike groups and other activists use his ramshackle space for meetings and as a gathering point for group rides (that were often monitored by dozens of police officers).”

    That’s not the half of it. Steve’s space at 49 East Houston was a locus of bike organizing for decades, including, in 1987, serving as the nerve center for making banners, plotting street actions and generally raising peaceful holy hell against Mayor Koch’s intended midtown bike ban.

    “Much of the coordination, flyers and banners for the protest rides emanated from the East Houston Street storefront of Steve Stollman, an intensely driven barmaker and pamphleteer schooled in radical movements and plugged into pro-cycling and anti-auto activism throughout Europe, the U.S. and Canada.,” is how I put it in my “Bicycle Uprising” series for Streetsblog in 2012: (part 2) But that barely scratches the surface.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I’ve ridden by that spot, and I guess I know now what it’s all about.

    The theory is people like him have to go somewhere else now, and that’s where new ideas will come from.

  • Joe R.

    This scene from Devil’s Advocate perfectly describes what Bacevich is talking about: