Today’s Headlines

  • Cuomo and MTA Ginned Up Numbers to Pin Blame for Subway Delays on Con Ed (News 1, 2; NYT)
  • Hit-and-Run Driver Kills Mercedes Dearmas, 61, Crossing Adam Clayton Powell at 113th (NewsPost)
  • The Friday News Cycle About Congestion Pricing (Politico; NYT 1, 2; CBS2News; ABC7; WNYCAP)
  • Cuomo Sounded More Tepid About Charging Private Car Traffic on Saturday (PostNewsday, Politico)
  • David Weprin Did His Usual Anti-Pricing Presser, and Advocates Were Ready (NYT, PoliticoAMNY, Post)
  • Congestion Pricing Takes: Get It Done (News); Cost Reform First (Post); Winners and Losers (C&S)
  • MTA Plans to Purchase 1,000 Open Gangway Subway Cars Made By Kawasaki (NYT)
  • Rank-and-File Cops Irate They Can’t Let More Friends, Cousins, and In-Laws Dodge Traffic Tickets (Post)
  • Bike Snob: Stop Picking on E-Bike Riders (Outside)
  • Stringer Audit: MTA Ignores 43 Percent of Access-a-Ride Complaints (News, Post)
  • Read This Testament to the Uplifting Power of the Bike Riding Habit (NYT)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • kevd

    I love it when the “today’s headlines” show up a bit early!

  • Larry Littlefield

    It’s money sucked into the past by Generation Greed. They bonded against it, and spent most of it, and used the rest to pay for part of the past pension increases — in the public sector AND the private sector.

    Until someone starts saying so, members of that generation are going to keep saying “we shouldn’t have to pay!” and “we demand more for us!” Pretty easy to just be against everything publicly, after three decades of special deals agreed to privately.

    Federal, state and local.

    Look at Washington. A desperate fight to point the finger in a circle — after passing a tax cut scheduled to expire right when the last members of Generation Greed retire. It’s all the same. The only argument they have a right to have is whether they are guilty of taking too much out, or putting too little in, in the past. With whom benefitting more than who else.

    How about “your selfish generation is riding on our backs and destroying our future” to people like Weprin?

  • sbauman

    Your title “MTA Plans to Purchase Up to 1,612 Open Gangway Subway Cars Made By Kawasaki ” is incorrect. The initial purchase is for 535 cars of which only 20 will be of the open gangway variety. Future options are for 640 and 437 cars. These may or may not be the open gangway variety. If they are, this would bring the maximum number of open gangway cars to 1097 not 1612.

  • Larry Littlefield

    To understand the state we’ve been left in, imagine the Chinese, Russians, Arabs were to get sick of Trump and decide to start selling U.S. Treasury bonds. Lifting the interest rate the federal government has to pay to a moderate, 4.5% or so.

    Well, with the national debt at 100 percent of GDP, what would happen? They call this a “shutdown.”

    And in the face, and the reality that Social Security payments are scheduled to be cut by 30 percent about the time I retire, they just cut taxes.

  • kevd

    “They bonded against it, and spent most of it, and used the rest to pay for part of the past pension increases”

    okay, wondering what the bonds were?

  • HamTech87

    No joke. There was that scene in the movie “Too Big To Fail” when the Chinese finance minister tells US Treas Sec Hank Paulson that the Russian gov’t had approached the Chinese to coordinate a massive sale of their US Treasuries in the midst of the credit crisis.

  • HamTech87

    That PBA union courtesy-card thing is unbelievable. How is this not illegal? Isn’t this just plain old corruption? Honestly, I had to check the date because I thought the article was an April Fools prank. Where are the DA and Attorney General investigations?

  • Larry Littlefield

    When I was a kid, they used to say “we owe it all to ourselves.”

    Now you are using the word “most” for 53 percent. As for the Arabs.

    And remember, the on the books national debt is just the start of it.

  • kevd

    I’m actually surprised anyone doesn’t know about “union cards” given away to get NYPD families and friends out of tickets.
    I’m surprised at the number they give away. I assumed it was 4 or 5, not 30.
    Another argument of automated enforcement.

  • kevd

    There’s a secret national debt that only you know about?
    Are you willing to share this arcane knowledge?

    What is your definition of “most”? Is it something other that a majority? Why was didn’t they teach me this in school?

  • Toddster

    That’s insane! There are 40,000 officers. At 30 each, that’s 1.2 million passes, not counting retired officers who get 20 each. At what point do we consider law, order and justice null and voice? When push 20% of the population gets a pass, I’d say we’re getting close.

  • bolwerk

    Re PBA cards: where is de Blasio on this? Isn’t he supposed to be a leader in the war on cops?

  • thanks, fixed.

  • djx

    it’s corruption. I had a friend who was in another NYPD union – the one for sergeants or perhaps sergeants and other officers – and he was offering these up. He seems to have no concept of how corrupt this was, or didn’t care.

    He was a nice guy to me and to every person I ever saw him interact with. But the concept of “professional courtesy” and perks like this is deeply ingrained in police thinking.

    In another case related to this blog, he or another NYPD pal of his was explaining a police crackdown on cyclists by pointed out that TA or some other advocacy group had denounced illegal parking by cops. He was saying it like everyone would act in the same way: “See, that’s why we respond – some cyclist are against us, so naturally we push back.” Naturally.

  • Joe R.

    He’s talking about the unfunded liabilities for entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The numbers are frightening compared to the national debt. Don’t know a way out, either, unless we find a way to reverse most of the health problems associated with aging.

  • Larry Littlefield

    There’s personal debts, business debts, state and local debts.

    And financial debts — which the federal government seems to be on the hook for. Note what happened after 2008.

    And contingent liabilities.

    And everything today’s seniors promised themselves but refused to pay for. We have collectively spent 3-6 percent more than we earned every year for more than 30.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Trump’s got the solution. Eliminate public benefits for younger people, while requiring them to pay for older people, in the expectation they won’t live long enough to qualify for benefits.

  • Larry Littlefield

    With the number of retired officers exceeding the number of active officers, it’s probably 1.2 million each.

    The question is, do they get to break the law in NYC only? Because they spend most of their time elsewhere.

  • Joe R.

    He’ll ensure they don’t live long enough to qualify for benefits by passing a new law—on your 65th birthday you get a one-way ticket for the bus to the Soylent Green factory.

  • The civilian government defers at all times to the ruling military junta.

  • JarekFA

    That last paragraph is really incredible and totally believable. Just astounding. Like it’s a fucking war or something.

  • These turds have no conception of actual public service. They are entirely self-interested.

    This is why we need to abolish the existing police department and start from scratch. We also need to have much higher standards for the hiring of police officers (and much higher pay), with educational requirements that demonstrate expertise in community policing.

  • De Blasio is Chester to the cops’ Spike.

  • NYCyclist

    Several years ago, I overheard a NYC corrections officer complaining that they couldn’t get out of a speeding ticket while driving in Maryland. Probably the exception that proves the rule.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “I’m actually surprised anyone doesn’t know about “union cards” given away to get NYPD families and friends out of tickets.”

    Well, it’s not as if all this stuff is announced somewhere. And its not as if this is the only example of it.

    “What about Wall Street!”

  • Larry Littlefield

    I can imagine Governor Cuomo’s reaction to all of this. He’s probably really ticked off that he ended up holding the bag for what his crowd — heck his whole generation — did for 35 years. Not fair — to him. I’m sure Christie and Malloy feel the same way.

  • kevd

    I see the validity of including state and local debts.
    that obviously adds to the total.
    but I just don’t see how personal and business debt has anything to do with government debt.

    I have a mortgage, its more than 100% of my personal GDP. I just don’t see why that would be part of the discussion of local state and federal debt?

  • kevd

    unfunded future liabilities are extremely different from debt, clearly.
    And while healthcare cost inflation is a serious problem (one that the Affordable care act was a first step in addressing), cost growth is lower within Medicare than for private insurance. Medicare and Medicaid and expanded government run health insurance are part of the answer for containing costs.
    Social Security has a large reserve and is still taking in more than it pays out (and will continue to do so for 5 more years).
    Obviously there need to be changed in Social Security to maintain its long term viability. Some suggest further raising the retirement age or cutting benefits, I oppose those ideas. Should black plumbers have to work until they die because white lawyers are living longer? Should poor retires have to eat cat food so that rich retires can get an extra windfall?

    I would suggest, drastically raising or eliminating the limit on income subject to FICA or medicare payroll taxes. Also some mean testing might be needed. But calling social security’s projected deficit in 2025 “debt” is rather absurd. If we’re just having a generalized discussion of “generation greed” (and I suspect we are, because when are we not) then, fine

  • Larry Littlefield

    Part of the big picture.

    Back to your point, they added the payroll tax. They added a 1/8 sales tax. They have increased fares more than inflation. They have increased tolls more than inflation. They cut maintenance. They have no funding for the capital plan. Where did it go?

    Cuomo’s diversions explain a little of this, but not much.

    Where the subways are is where Social Security will be, along with everything else. How should who be made worse off?

    That’s why I don’t feel celebratory about congestion pricing. What will we get for it? Well, what are we getting for all the other money? We’ll get somewhat less than that.

  • kevd

    well, I was hope to learn, specifically where the sales tax and mobility payroll taxes went.
    they’ve been completely ignored in this discussion.

    I’m in favor of congestion less because of where the money will go and more because of some externalities of driving finally being charged appropriately.

  • kevd

    I thought it was common knowledge.
    They don’t exactly hide the fact or keep it secret.

  • kevd

    its not a given upstate either (especially with state troopers, I’m told). but it helps more than it hurts.

  • AnoNYC

    Lets say CP doesn’t happen. What then?

    I assume the city will just have to start aggressively re-configuring street space en mass with existing automotive volumes. Let the drivers hash it out over what is left.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Let’s say CP does happen. What happens when the transit system nonetheless does not expand but rather continues to degrade?

    That’s a more realistic problem.

    Cuomo isn’t proposing this because he is in favor of rationing street space by price. He is proposing this because disaster is on the horizon, and he isn’t going to make it to the White House until it occurs.

    Everyone is setting up to blame Cuomo for congestion pricing. But no one is setting up to propose that anyone else pay anything. As for that $millionaire’s tax, they’ve already done it. Another one?

  • kevd

    what is the existing millionaire’s tax?

  • Urbanely

    Wasn’t he also supposed to be hiring a number of traffic agents for a “crackdown” on placard abuse? That fizzled quickly. Maybe that’s why Cuomo stepped in. It’s also another opportunity for Cuomo to stick it to BdB.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Passed during the Great Recession fiscal crisis by Paterson. It didn’t just affect $millionaires. Made permanent by Andrew Cuomo, but only for $millionaires.

  • JarekFA

    then we hit him with cost controls. Suburbs are just now realizing how CP will harm them and they’ll want to know that the funds won’t be wasted. Strong incentive to finally get those oversight hearings.

  • kevd

    I guess we can differentiate between them by calling them:
    1) the State Millionaires’ tax (for anyone making over 200,000/year), and 2) the City Millionaires’ tax (for anyone making over 500,000).