Today’s Headlines

  • Eric Gonzalez: Hit-and-Run Killing of Neftaly Ramirez Was Legal (Bklyn Paper)
  • Expect Cuomo’s Version of Road Pricing to Have a String of Asterisks (NYT, AMNY)
  • Cuomo “Alternate Reality” Budget Rids Him of the MTA (Politico); More: NYT
  • Andy Byford Has Never Owned a Car, Will Take Transit to Work (NYT, News, AMNY)
  • Phil Murphy Didn’t Talk About Transit in His Inaugural Address (NYT)
  • Medallion Owner Group Calls for Uber Cap (Crain’s)
  • CB 7 Wants a Seat on Cuomo Pricing Panel (Rag); UESer Invites de Blasio to Get With It (OT)
  • Carnage: LIC Hit-and-Run, Victim Critical (News, NY1); Cops Blame Teen Hit on Hylan (Advance)
  • Crain’s Did a Trend Piece on the Purported Suburbanization of NYC, Bike Lanes Included
  • These Cuomo Subway Ads Are Begging to Be Hacked (Post)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Dague was referring to the MTA’s New York City Transit Authority, which operates its subways and buses. Cuomo’s budget plan calls for the city of New York “to provide in full all funding required to meet the capital needs of the New York City Transit authority” in its five-year capital plans. A state official, who requested anonymity, told POLITICO the state was merely reinforcing a pre-existing 1981 law that already requires the city to fund New York City subways.”

    OK, but lets be fair. What provisions would require the suburbs to fund the commuter railroads?

    There is, finally, a provision that would allow the MTA to create special districts in New York City and then claim the real estate tax receipts from those districts to pay for MTA projects, like…the vastly over-budget project bringing the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal, and a proposal to bring Metro-North to Penn Station, by way of the Bronx.”


    NYC Transit included with NYC.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I recall telling Larry Reuter, then NYCT President, that NYC was the cash cow of the Empire State. “It’s not that bad” he said in response. I wonder what he would say now?

    Yes, NYC has gotten relatively richer, but what has happened has gone beyond any sense of fairness, and goes far beyond the Cuomo-DeBlasio feud. Moreover, NY State kicked the city when it was flat on its back, to make sure the rest of the state was not hurt by the early 1990s recession, far worse here than any since.

    FYI, Cuomo proposes replacing the city and state income tax with a payroll tax on employers. That would mean public employee wage income, like public employee retirement income, would be tax free. But NYCT would have to come up with vastly more money to pay the tax out of its own budget. Either up front, or after a lawsuit by the unions challenging the fact that the public sector is treated differently from the private sector.

    And as these things go, NYCT would probably end up paying for the LIRR and Metro North too.

  • HamTech87

    That Crain’s piece’s headline could have been spun a dozen different ways. There’s way too many observations to neatly encapsulate the “suburbanization” angle.

    And fwiw, the article’s assertion that bike lanes in NYC are a sign of the city more like the suburbs? Maybe for kids who grew up in the suburbs in the 70s, too long ago for Millennials. By the 90s, bikes had virtually disappeared from many NYC suburbs as the roads had gotten too dangerous, and distances had gotten too far. No way these kids who grew up then long for them as a sign of their childhoods.

  • Yeah, if anything it’s the people who move here with their cars and want to drive to a parking lot at a new Whole Foods who are trying to bring a bit of the suburbs with them.

  • Elizabeth F

    The Crain’s piece is NYC parochialism at its worst. Apparently, if anything invented in any suburb is brought NYC (bike lanes, for example), then that is evidence of the “suburbanization” of NYC — and hence its degeneracy into cultural blandness.

  • JarekFA

    Hard to think of anything more “suburban” than our Mayor’s belief that regular working joes are all just driving to their jobs into Manhattan.

  • kevd

    and people born here who want to drive to whole foods, or a broadway show.

  • That too! Although for a lot of those people, I think car use is a holdover from the “bad old days” of NYC when crime was higher and parking in some neighborhoods was more plentiful.

  • kevd

    I find that native NYers are far more likely to be worried about going to so-called “sketchy” neighborhoods than transplants. In some cases, it seems to me that some of them learned what was “dangerous” when they were 15-20 and stopped paying any attention for the subsequent 20-30 years.

    So, I think you have a valid point!

  • Joe R.

    I hate to say it, but guilty as charged avoiding certain neighborhoods which were considered “dangerous” during the high-crime era. Then again, I’ve never really had any good reason to go to these neighborhoods. That said, there have been a few notable exceptions. Back in the high-crime era, Hillside and Jamaica Avenues were places to be avoided after dark. They were fine during the day, but I never rode on them after dark. Now I often do, even past midnight. And when I’ve visited my friend in Coney Island, I had to pass through some areas during the night which I would have avoided like the plague 20 or 25 years ago.

    Interestingly, one of the theories for the cause of the crime wave of the mid 70s through early 90s was the effects of leaded gasoline. Those who had been exposed to large quantities of leaded gasoline and came of age then may have had mental issues from lead exposure. Those born earlier didn’t simply because there weren’t as many vehicles. And those born after the ban on leaded gasoline obviously weren’t exposed at all.

  • AnoNYC

    Even many years ago when the crime rate was substantially higher, the probability of being victimized was low so long as you weren’t involved in unlawful activity.

    Much of that fear was and still is driven by stereotypes, not data.

  • kevd

    The basic formula is “suburbs = bad” – so any sort of change they don’t like can therefore be labelled “suburbanization” – whether it is building apartment buildings that one never finds in actual suburbs or encouraging active transportation of the sort that is impossible in most American suburbs.

  • What nonsense referring to bike lanes as “suburbanisation”. There’s nothing more indicative of modern urbanism than bike lanes and other aspects of the livable streets approach, including pedestrian plazas and walkable neighbourhoods. The bicycle is the quintessential urban object.

  • Joe R.

    You’re absolutely right about the stereotypes. My relatives who live in NJ still have ridiculous preconceptions about the city. I blame the media for a lot of that, sensationalizing crime while conveniently ignoring the fact that few people were victimized, even during the high-crime era. I was personally only victimized once, accosted at gunpoint by a drug addict at the Nostrand Avenue subway station. Nothing came of it because I defended myself. In fact, I wouldn’t even have been there had my friend not had other things to do. We were coming home from a job in his car. At the time I was in a job where we traveled from site to site. The job was in Brooklyn. Nostrand Avenue was a far as he could take me that particular day. I was a little leery at being dropped off there given the neighborhood’s reputation. But other than that one thing, I never had an issues. I had often passed through the PABT or Penn Station after midnight coming back or going to school without being bothered.

  • Joe R.

    It’s really both urban and rural. It wasn’t uncommon back at the turn of the 20th century for rural folks to get around by bike. In fact, cyclists (or wheelmen as they were called back then) were responsible for pushing the government to pave formerly dirt roads. Sadly, those paved roads laid the groundwork for our current auto-dependent society.

  • Elizabeth F

    > Interestingly, one of the theories for the cause of the crime wave of the mid 70s through early 90s was the effects of leaded gasoline.

    It’s a well-researched theory, with a LOT of data worldwide to back it up.

  • Joe R.

    NYC pensions are already exempt from state and local income tax. Personally, I think a payroll tax makes more sense. NYC and NYS never should have had income taxes to start with. Or if they did, they should have exempted at least the first $50K in income.

  • kevd

    well, after buildings, I suppose.

  • HamTech87

    Hasn’t helped Baltimore.

  • kevd

    The idea that department stores are suburban is so bizarre. where the fuck do they think department stores began?
    Yes most Targets are in the suburbs with lots of parking around them, but this one isn’t. (there’s a garage or something but its on top of like, 10 subway lines)

  • Yeah, there’s that.

  • Barry Grant

    Right? Everyone in the suburbs has a car. “Biking” is usually a fun activity done in the park at weekends if the weather is nice.

  • Barry Grant

    I’ve met people from Staten Island who never once visited Manhattan until they were adults – their parents forbade them to go because of the perceived danger.

    Many years ago when I worked into the outlet mall in Elizabeth, I met a couple of young women from the UK who said they were in the mall because they had 12 hours to kill before their flight from Newark. I said what in the hell are you doing here, New York is a 45 minute bus ride – surely seeing the Big Apple for the first time would be a lot more exciting then shuffling around a soul destroying mall in Jersey? “Nope,” they said, “not our thing at all. Too many buildings and people.”

  • Barry Grant

    As a business owner, if my payroll taxes go up, that cost is passed along to the consumer.

  • AMH

    Did you ask them how they knew they wouldn’t like it if they had never visited?

  • sbauman

    If Mr. Byford, NYCT’s new president, is to make any progress in improving subway performance, he should not view his inaugural ride from Grand Central to Bowling Green as “flawless.” It wasn’t.

    He boarded a #4 express) at 7:20, as per newspaper accounts. Was that the train that was supposed to be there at that time? According to the schedule, downtown express trains were supposed to leave at: 07:15:30 (5); 07:18:30 (4); 07:21:30 (5); 07:24:30 (4). If Mr. Byford arrived at Grand Central at 7:20, he should have expected to take a #5 express at 7:21:30. Unfortunately, that #5 express departed Grand Central at 07:17:44, as per the data from the real time feed from which countdown clocks receive their information. It’s unusual railroad practice for trains to depart stations early. The train Mr. Byford took was the #4 express that was scheduled to depart at 7:24:30. It actually departed at 7:22:49, also early.

    NYCT does not adhere to usual railroad practices. NYCT “improved” its on time performance by padding schedule times. This practice has two unintended but predictable consequences.

    The first is that most trains arrive early at their terminals. Such trains must wait outside the terminals because they are full of trains waiting to depart. Departures are rarely early. They are usually on time or late.

    The second consequence is that it takes more trains to maintain the same service level, if each trip takes longer. NYCT does not have extra trains, so service levels have deceased. It’s the lack of trains, not the existing signal system, that prevents increasing rush hour service levels.

    Had Mr. Byford missed this #4 express, the next scheduled trains were: 07:28:00 (5); 07:31:00 (4); 07:34:00 (5); and 07:36:30 (4). These trains actually arrived at: 07:37:38 (5); 07:34:43 (4); 07:42:48 (5); and 07:40:08 (4). There was a 9 service gap immediately after Mr. Byford departed Grand Central. That matches what subway riders typically experience.

    Why did the #5 express that was scheduled to arrive at Grand Central at 7:28:00 show up at 9 1/2 minutes late? The #5 and #2 expresses share the same track between Nereid-238th St and E 180th St and between Third Ave and 149 St-Grand Concourse. The real time feed indicates that the #2 train was supposed to follow did not arrive at the merge point until 30 seconds after the #5 train was scheduled to arrive. That #2 train was still in its terminal nearly 2 minutes after its scheduled departure. This was a fairly common occurrence that morning.

    A broken clock is correct twice a day. Mr. Byford was lucky to have entered the subway at the correct time. He should vary his schedule, if he wants to experience what’s really happening.

  • Barry Grant

    Oh yeah. But they were whole earth hippie types and were making a stance against concrete and overpopulation, so it was like talking to a brick wall. They just kept reiterating that an afternoon in NYC would be like a living nightmare for them.