Today’s Headlines

  • Byford Steps Up on Transit Fixes. Will Cuomo? (NYT 1, 2; AMNYNY1; WNYCNews; Post)
  • NYT’s Brian Rosenthal Talks With WNYC About Joe Lhota’s Many Hats
  • Straphangers Tell Riverdale Press What It’s Like to Depend on the Bx10
  • More on Queens CB 2’s 43rd/Skillman Gripe Session (SunPo)
  • Pedicab Operators on de Blasio’s E-Bike Rules: What About Us? (ABC)
  • E-Bike Rider Hits Child on the Upper East Side (Post)
  • Drive Drunk With a Car Full of Kids and DMV Will Take Your License for a Whole Year (Advance)
  • Agencies Duck Responsibility for Flooding at Windsor Terrace Subway Station (BK Paper)
  • Group That Guides Trump on Infrastructure Says Regulations Add Costs to NY Projects (Crain’s)
  • Locals Not Happy That DOT Replaced Safety City With a “Truck Depot” (AMNY)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Vooch

    From the article about the drunk with the kids in the car –

    „…A Breathalyzer test at the scene indicated a blood-alcohol content of .111 percent; a follow-up test at the 120th Precinct stationhouse in St. George showed a reading of .108 percent, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.

    A blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or higher is considered legally intoxicated.

    A check of records revealed Dallas’ license has been suspended at least 10 times, the complaint said….“

    10 times

  • Reader

    “Lhota told The Times that since the day-to-day operations of the agency are in other people’s hands, and he had forgone his $300,000 salary, his other commitments did not pose conflicts of interest.”

    As Paul Manafort has proved, nobody agrees to work for someone for free unless they feel they can use their position to their own advantage. Lhota’s reasoning here stinks of corruption and he should either resign his other positions or step away from the MTA.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The scaffold law is one cost increaser. Environmental and other reviews is another. The underfunded status of the construction union pension funds, which benefitted Trump’s developments with lower costs back in the 1990s, adds 25.0% to the cost of construction. And the Gateway project adds all kinds of things to the one essential thing, the tunnel itself.

    No chance of Trump doing the right thing. But the right thing would be this. The federal government wouldn’t pay a dime to NJ/NY/PA for Gateway. Instead it would just build the tunnel, preferably as a four-track two-level with one level for the subway (as at 63rd Street), from the portals in the Meadowlands to the existing interlocking at Penn Station and the end of the Flushing extension. Amtrak and Army Corp of Engineers would lead the project.

    And then say the rest of the country has met its obligation to New York and New Jersey, and we’re done. Those states would be free to build the rest of the project and other things with their own money.

    The tunnel segments could be built elsewhere, towed to the Hudson, dropped in a trench and welded together, as was the 63rd Street tunnel. They could have miners from West Virginia tunnel under the Palisades to the river, and drop the debris next to the existing tracks to provide an embankment for four more tracks. The whole thing would be done avoiding the whole NY-NJ morass, and probably not cost the Feds much at all compared with what is being asked for Gateway.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Some people who can afford to agree to work for nothing as a civic duty. Perhaps Lhota feels bad about helping to defund the MTA as Giuliani’s budget director, and running up the debts in his first tenure as Chair.

    That said, were it up to me the entire board would be replaced by those under the age of 60, most of whom should be under the age of 45. The board members who voted for one debt-laden capital program after another in the past have done enough damage to the present and future. New members need to look under every single rock.

  • Elizabeth F

    > Pedicab Operators on de Blasio’s E-Bike Rules: What About Us? (ABC)

    DOT cannot make or change laws, only interpret existing laws.

  • AnoNYC

    I notice that there won’t be any signal upgrades in the Bronx in this plan outside a slip of Mott Haven. Why wouldn’t the MTA upgrade those routes considering the Bronx is currently the fastest growing borough and is projected to be the fastest growing borough from 2020-2030. I would think that the MTA would at least upgrade the 4 and 2/5 to East 180th St.

  • AnoNYC

    I thought the changes affected everyone, why wouldn’t pedicab riders get to use eBikes?

  • Elizabeth F

    I repeat… DOT cannot make or change laws, only elected lawmakers and mayor can do that. Under existing law, pedal-assist e-bikes are ALREADY legal in NYC. The DOT rule change is simply acknowledging this fact, and filling in details on how NYC will implement the law. But there’s nothing to stop you from legally riding your pedal-assist e-bike before they’ve done the rule change; it’s still legal. Moreover, your pedal-assist e-bike is still legal, even if DOT makes a rule that it has to have an OEM sticker — again, because there is now law saying it needs an OEM sticker.

    Unfortunately for rickshaw drivers, existing NYC law explicitly bans them from using pedal assist e-bikes. There is nothing DOT can do about that: if that law is to change, it will have to be passed as legislation.

    On the law itself… if e-pedicabs are allowed, I sure hope they are regulated to a top speed of less than 20mph. They are larger and less maneuverable than 2-wheel bikes.

  • Brad Aaron

    That story is about how the council and the mayor could change city law to accommodate pedicabs.

    Not sure what your point is.

  • ortcutt

    I’m not sure why pedal cabs are allowed at all. They seem to just be an excuse for the operators to hassle tourists coming into Central Park. I saw rates that we’re like $5/minute. That’s crazy. They are just another Central Park scam up there with the fake Buddhist monks.

  • Driver

    “The 7-year-old was hit at East 84th Street and First Avenue around 4
    p.m. and treated on the scene for minor scratches, a police source said.”

    Get ready for an NYPD crackdown in this area to prevent any similar catastrophes.

  • Seth Rosenblum

    “Why wouldn’t the MTA upgrade those routes considering the Bronx is currently the fastest growing borough and is projected to be the fastest growing borough from 2020-2030.”

    The new signal system will have the most positive benefit where trains are run the most frequently. Since most lines break onto their own track in the bronx, service is less frequent. As an example, it wouldn’t make sense to do CBTC upgrades on the 4 line in the bronx _before_ you did them in Manhattan, where 4 trains have to share track with 5 trains. In general the core tracks inside manhattan limit the total number of trains you can run through the system.

  • kevd

    by upgrading the signal system on the trunk lines that the Bronx branches merge into, they ARE up grading the bronx lines, because it would allow for greater frequency.
    you fix the bottle neck, and obviously, where the 4 & 5 run on the same tracks is more of a bottle neck then when they are on different tracks (to give one example).

    My line in brooklyn runs great, until it has to merge with another line right before it goes into manhattan, where it often sits in the tunnel for 2-5 min.

  • AnoNYC

    I see, but I am surprised that there are no documented plans for further expansion of CBTC following those proposed. I would have thought that would impact frequency further down the line (in areas with CBTC) because the trains in the Bronx would not be able to run as close.

  • AnoNYC

    I see, but I thought that by not having CBTC in the Bronx, it would not allow for trains to run as close, slowing the whole lines. There’s also the advantage of knowing where every train is.

  • kevd

    I’m sure there could be, conceivably.
    But if you know when and where (for example) the 4 and 5 are where they merge, and the entire time they run on the same tracks – that helps a lot.
    If the are alternating (one 4 train, then one 5 train, repeat all day) then when they are split there is literally twice as much time between trains and twice as much room for error on the split portions of the line (basically all of the bronx in the case of the 4 and 5). Even with CBTC there is an upper limit to train frequency and if you’re hitting that upper limit between 125th and Franklin Ave, then you’re nowhere near the limit north of 125th.

  • ohnonononono

    Right, what’s the history of pedicabs in New York? Were they ever used for actual transportation?

  • Pedicabs are entirely unobjectionable. It’s all voluntary arrangements between adults.

    Indeed, pedicabs should completely replace carriages pulled by horses, tormented creatures that are routinely made to work on days when the law says that they should not be working due to the heat.

  • ohnonononono

    Pedicabs and rickshaws seem to be used as legitimate transportation in countries with extremely low labor costs, but not in New York. Horse carriages aren’t really legitimate transportation in this city anymore either. The allure there for tourists seems to have originally been the romance and nostalgia for the era when they were, but I’ve never heard anything about New York having had a thriving rickshaw trade in the past. Were they even around for tourists in the 60s? Where did they come from? I’m kind of curious.