Today’s Headlines

  • RPA’s Dropping New Research Explaining High MTA Capital Costs and How to Fix Them (NYT)
  • Alec Baldwin Called Up Brian Lehrer to Talk About MTA Construction Bloat (WNYC)
  • Riders Alliance Heads to Albany Next Week to Demand a Transit Turnaround (Gotham Gazette)
  • Phil O’Reilly Might Be Alive If Union Turnpike Wasn’t Designed for Lethal Driving Speeds (QChron)
  • Flimsy Barricades Fail to Keep Scofflaw Motorists Out of Prospect Park (Bklyn Paper)
  • Suicidal Despair From a Driver in the Hyper-Competitive For-Hire Vehicle Industry (News, Post, Politico)
  • Treating Fare Evasion More Like a Parking Ticket Isn’t Draconian Enough for Lhota (Post, News, AMNY)
  • De Blasio and Cuomo Didn’t Break New Ground on Transit Fixes in Face-to-Face Meeting (Politico)
  • From His Perch in Albany, Jeff Klein Wants to Dictate City Hall’s Contributions to MTA (AMNY)
  • The MTA Figured Out How to Make Its MetroCard Machine Update Way Less Disruptive (AMNY)
  • Damned E-Bikes (Bowery Boogie)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Larry Littlefield

    “It blamed public officials who stood by as a small group of politically connected labor unions, construction companies and consulting firms amassed large profits.”
    No one is willing to mention the impact of the underfunded multi-employer pension funds. The MTA is being forced to fill a whole generated by past public AND private construction, while the private sector goes non-union or open shop.
    The construction unions don’t want to admit this. The construction contractors don’t want to admit this. The real estate industry doesn’t want to admit this. They will all agree to screw younger and future workers, but no one will talk about the pension increases around the year 2000, and who has been stuck paying for them.

  • sbauman

    No one is willing to mention the impact of the underfunded multi-employer pension funds.

    I find myself in an unusual position of defending an RPA report.

    The following is extracted from page 6: “Health and pension benefits, for example, are largely nationalized in Europe, but here fall on employers, including contractors and the MTA. “

  • Larry Littlefield

    Right, but that’s not the real problem.

    It isn’t just that the MTA is paying for the current health benefits and future pensions of unionized construction workers working on MTA projects today.

    What is worse is that the MTA is paying for the current health benefits and current pensions of construction workers who worked on public AND private projects 10, 15, 20, 25 years ago. Because those benefits were retroactively increased and underfunded at the time.

    Today’s private construction avoids paying for this by going non-union or open shop, so the whole thing falls on the MTA.

    It is as if in Europe private firms didn’t have not pay the taxes that support those nationalized benefits, and instead the transit system was forced to pay for them.

  • qrt145

    Fans of the Times Sq. bike lane may be interested to know that the block between 46th and 45th St. no longer has Jersey barriers on top of the bike lane. Shiny new blocks have been placed on the sidewalk instead.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5a689181a2a0f1115cd22ee3c100ceb5bbd98b565ac86eca844e00597285662c.jpg

  • Elizabeth F

    > Treating Fare Evasion More Like a Parking Ticket Isn’t Draconian Enough for Lhota

    That’s right, we should arrest parking scofflaws.

  • Elizabeth F

    Yes, BIG IMPROVEMENT! Last week, those block barriers were sitting in one BIG BLOCK, blocking the bike lane and more. Now they are properly installed. We complained about this one enough, now we need to show we appreciate that it has been fixed.

  • Fool

    There was a report released the other day:

    https://nypost.com/2018/02/05/nys-public-building-costs-are-the-most-expensive-in-the-world/

    I had to double take when the quote was not from you!

    ““The law effectively provides a taxpayer bailout of under-funded union pension and retiree health care plans,” said Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon.”

  • Larry Littlefield

    Right — he’s the one guy who has covered this.

  • Jeff

    I still find it a bit offensive that all of these new security barriers, without exception, are installed on space designated for pedestrians and/or cyclists–never motorists.

  • bolwerk

    It’d make more sense to just foreclose on their vehicles. Unnecessarily arresting people should always be avoided because arrests have lifelong consequences.

  • AnoNYC

    Uber and Lyft Have a Hot New Idea for Screwing Over City-Dwellers

    https://gizmodo.com/uber-and-lyft-have-a-hot-new-idea-for-screwing-over-cit-1822661060

    New York Might Charge Cars $11.52 to Enter Manhattan—And Drivers Should Love It

    http://www.thedrive.com/opinion/17803/new-york-might-charge-cars-11-52-to-enter-manhattan-and-drivers-should-love-it

    Congestion Pricing Might Finally Be Coming For Manhattan But Let’s Not Get Too Excited Just Yet

    https://jalopnik.com/congestion-pricing-might-finally-be-coming-for-manhatta-1822248423

    Pedestrian Struck On White Plains Rd.

    https://www.bxtimes.com/stories/2018/5/05-carhitswoman-2018-02-02-bx.html

  • Andrew

    It’s not just security barriers. It’s also street lights, and parking meters, and trees, and street signs.

  • AMH

    Really enjoyed the piece on the West Side Highway.