Today’s Headlines

  • Juan Jimenez, 86, Strikes and Kills Giovanni Ampuero, 9, in Jackson Heights (News)
  • Hit-and-Run Driver Kills Man in Briarwood (Post)
  • 50 Years After the MTA Was Founded, a Woman Will Run the Subways for the First Time (Post)
  • Byford at RPA Assembly: “Radical” Transit Reform Plan Will Be “Controversial in Its Ambition” (NY1)
  • Albany Lunkheads Reroute Cuomo’s Backward LGA AirTrain Over a Park Instead of a Highway (QChron)
  • De Blasio Should Have Demanded MTA Accountability Before Handing Over $418 Million (2nd Ave Sagas)
  • Fourth Avenue Bike Lane Gap By 72nd Precinct Not a Done Deal (Bklyn Paper)
  • Maspeth Residents to DOT: Not So Fast on Those One-Way Conversions (QChron)
  • If NYC Had Congestion Pricing, There’d Be Fewer Traffic Tickets for AAA to Whine About (Post, CBS2)
  • MTA Completes Myrtle Ave Viaduct Replacement So M Can Run More Frequently (AMNY, NY1)
  • Two L Train Shutdown Town Halls Coming Up in May (AMNY)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • qrt145

    There was this story in the Post which I thought might be of interest to Streetsblog readers. Even though it it about a park and not a street, it is about usurpation of public property:

  • AnoNYC

    Myrtle Viaduct Timelapse

    What other infrastructure projects is the MTA currently working on, or has planned regarding the Hurricane Sandy L train tunnel rehabilitation?

  • sbauman

    The number of M trains leaving Metropolitan Avenue for Manhattan is the same today as it was before reconstruction started.

    Your summary “MTA Completes Myrtle Ave Viaduct Replacement So M Can Run More Frequently” is misleading (at best). They are not running more trains on the M line from Bklyn despite the reconstruction.

  • AnoNYC

    And considering the speed of the viaduct reconstruction, maybe it’s time the MTA and NYC consider elevated lines to fill extensions in the system outside Manhattan. I know a lot of people in the transportation community cite community opposition, but I think the city has changed enough in favor since the last serious proposed elevated extension (N to Laguardia I believe).

    -N to Laguardia via the Grand Central Parkway
    -6 to Co-op City via the New England Thruway
    -7 to Bay Side

  • The key word is “can.” They had to complete the viaduct replacement now so that they can bolster M train service during the L train shutdown. Unfortunately, no one said anything about increased service today.

  • mfs

    I get the distinction but how exactly does it allow them to increase service?

  • N_Gorski

    It felt like they doubled the number of grade timers on the Myrtle Ave line, too. The train CRAWLED this morning from Seneca to Broadway.

  • Vooch

    from the Post article

    “…I’m sorry I hit the kid — I didn’t see him,” Juan Jimenez, 86, told cops, according to court papers.

    Jimenez struck Giovanni Ampuero and the boy’s mother, Karen Manrique, at 70th St. and Northern Blvd. in Jackson Heights — just steps from the pair’s home — about 1:20 p.m. Saturday.

    He sped off, leaving tragedy in his wake.

    Giovanni lay in the roadway, cradled by his panicked mother. “Don’t let me go!” the dying boy begged his mom, a witness said.

    The boy suffered severe head and body trauma. He was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where he died.

    The mother and son were in the crosswalk and had the right of way when Jimenez, making a turn, plowed into them in his red 2008 Jeep, ….”

  • Larry Littlefield

    Check out that article on the Airtrain to LaGuardia.

    The project is a waste of money unless it links up with the other Airtrain at Jamaica, so if it kills it fine. But the reason given is NIMBY.

    “I think the city has changed enough in favor.”

    The political class never changes. It reflects the NY of 30 or 40 years ago. Even newer, younger reps are the folks Generation Greed left behind here to preserve their sinecures.

  • Anonymous

    It doesn’t. Unless the new curve is superelevated (it does not look so from the video), nothing about the physics of the new viaduct is different from the old viaduct. Hence the same (or slower) speed restrictions, hence the same service capacity.

  • sbauman

    The project is a waste of money unless it links up with the other Airtrain at Jamaica,

    The project is a waste of money because the demand is small, compared to other stations in NYC. This isn’t true for other US cities, where the airport is the most frequently used stop.

    About 25% of NYC residents do not live within walking distance of a subway station (1/2 mile). Fill their needs, before contemplating one-seat access for people who don’t pay NYC taxes.

  • we must protect the intersections . WE protect them from cars, why not for pedestrians and bicyclists ?

  • At the very least, with new track and signals there should be fewer breakdowns and delays and an increase in service that’s actually delivered, even if the schedule doesn’t change.

  • Scroller

    It’s a waste of money because it goes in the wrong direction and instead of building off an existing system, it will add an EIGHTH rail transit system in the region (side note, this got me thinking how insane it is we have MTA Subways, LIRR, Metro North, NJTransit, PATH, JKF Airtrain, EWR Airtrain (plus Amtrak) and none are integrated with each other.

    Who pays taxes is also irrelevant to what services are/should be provided. Almost every adult is a tax payer, including those using the airport – they pay taxes and user fees on their ticket, not to mention sales tax and hotel tax when they patronize our businesses and prop up our economy. Not to mention the fact that most children don’t pay NYC taxes – should we stop funding elementary school? What about the mentally ill who aren’t able to work? Should we stop funding mental health care?

    Part of living in a civilized society is contributing to the greater good, even if it doesn’d directly benefit you. This “what about the taxpayers” line that gets tossed around more and more is just a rouse for obstinate selfishness and needs to be called out for what it is.

  • Maggie

    Oh come on. Before getting to the economic contribution of visitors, every New Yorker who flies out of LGA pays city taxes. I don’t understand this line of division. Single seat rides from the CBD to the airport are the global norm. It’s beyond inefficient not to have rail access to LGA, preferably the short N/W extension.

  • Vooch

    My bicycle arrived on time today

  • Joe R.

    The other part about living in a civilized society is that most people who do pay taxes receive at least some fairly tangible benefits from the taxes they pay, even if at the same time they’re subsidizing other things which don’t benefit them personally. Much of the reason for the general anathema towards paying taxes in this country has to do with the fact that most of the benefits accrue to either the very wealthy or the very poor. Contrast this to Europe where taxes pay for real benefits the middle class enjoys, like cradle to grave health care, education through college, world-class public transit, etc.

    I personally don’t mind if some of my taxes goes towards expanding the subway system as this will benefit many of those who pay taxes. I happen to agree with you however that we need to better integrate the system. We also need to do projects which benefit the most people first. I don’t care if ultimately a subway expansion project benefits “tourists”. I do care though if we spend money on a project serving relatively few tourists when the same money could have been spent on another project serving more people, whether those people are tourists or daily riders.

  • com63

    Re: AAA concerns about blocking the box tickets. This quote is gold:
    “Drivers exiting the tunnel onto 39th Street and trying to make it across Third Avenue often can’t see the light as they move into the intersection.”
    If you can’t see the light, don’t move into the intersection!!!!

  • Joe R.

    If the line went past LAG (instead of terminating there) and served points east along the shore it wouldn’t be as much of a waste. Extending the N train, instead of building a completely separate LAG Airtrain, seems like a much more logical approach.

  • sbauman

    every New Yorker who flies out of LGA pays city taxes

    According to the Port Authority’s 2017 Airport Traffic Report, NYC was the primary residence of 19.8% of LGA’s departing passengers.

    It’s beyond inefficient not to have rail access to LGA, preferably the short N/W extension.

    If you look a little deeper, the average travel time to/from LGA is 47 minutes.

    That “short” extension from the N/W line is 3 miles long. That’s the distance from: 1st to 60th Streets in Manhattan; Flushing to Bayside; Jamaica to Laurelton; or a subway along Utica Ave to Flatlands Ave.

    Single seat rides from the CBD to the airport are the global norm.

    The running time between Charles de Gaulle and Chatelet-Les Halles for the RER B varies from 32 to 41 minutes. If your destination wasn’t the Centre Pompidou, then the extra time to/from the destination makes LGA and CDG comparable.

  • Maggie

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on why LGA doesn’t need rail to handle 30,000,000 annual passengers. I honestly don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t think that flies well once you visit any city that has figured this out. Chicago, St Louis, Portland, Minneapolis, Hong Kong, Zurich, Copenhagen, China. At any rate, while it’s preposterous to me, I see how you’ve justified the LGA status quo of an average 47 minute travel time to an airport that’s 9 miles from the CBD.

    I think you’ll find this will continue to enrage NYC travelers until it’s fixed. The environmental problem will get worse. The geometry / efficiency problem of forcing all passengers to rely on taxis, private cars, buses, and a rail line that destroyed a park to run in the wrong direction isn’t going away.

  • AnoNYC

    The city could extend the N with new stops at Steinway St and Hazen St along the way at least. Maybe even Astoria Blvd around 82nd St before terminating near the Grand Central Parkway and 94th St (with a new enclosed pedestrian bridge directly into the airport). Maybe even with future provisions for a split down east Astoria Blvd.

  • sbauman

    I see how you’ve justified the LGA status quo of an average 47 minute travel time to an airport that’s 9 miles from the CBD.

    Let’s place those 47 minutes in context of the total time to board the plane. The average dwell time within LGA is 101 minutes of which 76 minutes occurs after security screening.

    Saving 10 minutes travel time to/from the airport might have made a noticeable difference before 9/11. That effect disappears, when one has to arrive at the airport at least 1 hour before scheduled boarding time.

  • Maggie

    Okay. Last week I flew in and out of LGA for business. Because the outbound flight was early in the morning, I reluctantly took a cab instead of transit. The time saving was noticeable – from the UWS to LGA by subway + bus is at least one hour. The taxi was around 30 minutes. Cost differential: $45 for the cab vs $2.75 for a subway/bus trip. Congestion generated: one car trip I would much rather have avoided.

    For the return landing at 6:30 pm, either a taxi or transit would have taken me at least an hour, so I waited 15 minutes for the next select bus service to arrive, crammed on with about 100 other people and their luggage, circled the airport from terminal B back around to terminals C and D, lurched along the grand central parkway to the subway, then took three separate subway lines home. Cost: $2.75. Time: 65 minutes. Congestion generated: none.

    That averages out to 47.5 minute travel time each way. It doesn’t recommend LGA as having attractive or even adequate connectivity. I’m aware that the time, waste, irritation, and inefficiency of getting to LGA isn’t the only source of these things, but I don’t agree with the thinking that that makes rail access nonessential.

    Is there any stat that you would cite to make the case that any airport worldwide is improved by rail connectivity? I’m curious what that would be.

  • celticfrostythesnowman

    Good. If skipping a sidewalk for one block in NYC won’t do, neither should skipping an on-street cycling facility.

    It’s one thing to have a not-as-protected bike lane for a short block, and it’s entirely another to have it disappear. Given the traffic volumes of the area during the day (or at all times for that matter), such a gap would not be conducive to promoting cycling as a viable mode of transportation for New Yorkers of all ages and skill levels.

    There are tried and true methods to have reverse angle parking and cycling facilities coexist:

    1. Bike lane in front of the cars

    2. Bike lane behind the cars (safer for the cyclist but requires more lateral space for rear buffer)