Today’s Headlines

  • Cuomo Pursues Legacy of Saddling NYers With Boondoggles While Letting the Subway Rot (Politico)
  • Initial MetroCard Replacement Rollout Won’t Have All-Door Bus Boarding (AMNY); More: Gothamist
  • Judge Calls Out de Blasio’s Big Oil Posturing (Post)
  • Family of Shaena Sinclair to City: “Do Something” (News)
  • Dorothy Bruns’s Attorney Wants Bail Reduced, Blames Her Doctor for Crash (Post, News)
  • Why Does an FDNY Pension Boss Have a City-Funded Car in the First Place? (News)
  • Uber Lands Nearly 20 Minutes of Airtime With Errol Louis (NY1)
  • Seems Like the TLC Isn’t Helpless to Revoke Licenses After All (News)
  • Pedestrians With a Language Barrier Get Bloodied, While Motorists Get NYPD Empathy (Post)
  • … And Straphangers Get Whatever This Was (Gothamist)
  • JarekFA

    On Monday, Queens Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry introduced a bill on the governor’s behalf that would let the state use eminent domain to secure the corridor between Willets Point and LaGuardia.

    So could he do the same, but for extending the N train to LGA? That’d be about 100x faster. To think, to take an AirTrain to get to Citifield. Congrats Flushing. Your trip to LGA was already super easy. I think I’d still rather take the Q70 to Jackson Heights and catch the train from there. Fuck an AirTrain — just give the Q70 a dedicated ROW. That’d be 100x cheaper and vastly more useful. Is it just that the people in charge think the bus is for the poors?

  • Larry Littlefield

    If you live in Battery Park City, you pay a massive common charge to cover the common mortgage and surrounding grounds. I recall the landscape designer they hired saying she wanted to make sure the operating costs of the landscape were expensive, because that would make it more expensive to live there.

    Cuomo is doing the same to NY transit.

  • Jeff

    Unfortunately, a big part of it is that business travelers–a massive slice of the target demographic here–think the bus is for the poors.

  • Komanoff

    I call Total B.S. on your BPC recollection, Larry. I’ll eat my hat if you can back it up. If you can’t, then you’re just rumor-mongering and should retract.

  • Maggie

    Also, the airport buses run slow and overcrowded. LGA needs dedicated bus lanes so that the airport can run enough buses to accommodate subway traffic. The airport buses aren’t underutilized by any means. But the M60 SBS is a joke in terms of its value offering for any airport traveler. It really is third world in the experience, which is an unbelievable shame on Cuomo’s legacy.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Well, I remember the article and tried to find it on Google, but all I got was more recent stuff.
    It was a LONG time ago. So you can keep it up. But I don’t rumor monger. If I don’t see it, I don’t say it.

  • kevd

    “I read it once but can’t find it now” is some A+ sourcing, Larry.

  • kevd

    they need to double the number of Q70s and get them out of general traffic lanes.
    the M60 is pretty crowded too irc.

  • Larry Littlefield

    OK, you made me spend some time and burn one of my free NY Times articles. From 1990.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1990/03/11/arts/architecture-view-exclamation-point-for-battery-park-city.html

    I guess I remembered the controversy from 1988, because evidently the extremely costly version in the end was not built. So you can still keep your hat.

    “What, in this city that cries out for more open space, could cause people to react to a plan for a garden as if it were a toxic waste dump? Plenty, and if the protests had a touch of hysteria to them, they were not entirely off base: the design was a clear case of an artistic concept getting the better of common sense. It called for a garden that would have been a series of tight, roomlike spaces, their walls defined by hedges, their interiors filled with different kinds of plantings, topiary, flowers and shrubs. The garden was more than manicured, it was mannered in the extreme.”

    “The plan was quite beautiful from above – the rooms formed a grid not unlike the grids that have been a frequent theme of Jennifer Bartlett’s paintings, and the colors were rich and enticing. And some of the spaces would have been intense and powerful. But the place would have been nearly impossible to maintain. Even if plantings could have been found that would have met the esthetic objectives and still been able to survive the harsh riverfront climate, the garden could have cost as much as $1 million a year to keep up.”

  • Larry Littlefield

    That’s my experience also. IF ONLY Cuomo had given the Q70 and other buses their own lanes. Those arriving from all over the metro area would have benefitted, not just the subway serfs.

  • kevd

    I don’t have a hat in this race, Larry.

  • Komanoff

    So, your comment was bullshit. You made it sound as if BPC implemented a pricey landscape design in order to drive up rents/charges, when nothing like that was even proposed, let alone happened. My bad for wasting time on your proverbial stopped clock. If you won’t apologize, at least try a vacation.

  • Phil T

    This is a common occurrence. You may have stronger memories from a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean your memories are accurate.

    There’s a reason why eyewitnesses are extremely unreliable (despite still being relied on in courts). Our memories are extremely faulty – yours, mine, everyone’s- and we all unconsciously make up facts to string together memory fragments in a logical way. Overtime we unwittingly retell ourselves these fallacies ingraining them as accurate recollections of the past.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I didn’t say BPC. I said that that’s what the designer was quoted as saying, which I believe was the case.

  • kevd

    are there even plans that we can look at of the new LGA?
    a lane only WITHIN the airport would make an enormous difference.
    Also, signage and putting that lane immediately next to the building – instead of in some cases, 3 lanes away.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I guess that’s the one break we got in 30 years.

  • ddartley

    Not directly related to anything in Today’s Headlines, and a very crude piece of rhetoric because it’s a mere copy and paste from an email I got but I invite everyone interested to participate:

    >We are so close to passing a bill that will protect more New York City schoolkids from speeding.

    But the risk of failure — and losing every anti-speeding measure on the streets right now — is still very real. If you could get on the phone for four quick calls, you could sway the outcome. Make these four calls right now:

    Governor Andrew Cuomo, who supports the legislation: 518?474?8390
    Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who supports the legislation: 718?654?6539
    Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who supports the legislation: 914?423?4031
    Senate Leader John Flanagan, who has been very quiet about the legislation: 631?361?2154
    Here’s a script: I am a New Yorker. Speeding is a major problem in my neighborhood. I support the commonsense bipartisan legislation to renew and expand New York City’s school-based speed camera program. Please pass Bill # S6046?C / A7798?C this week.

    Speeding kills, but speed cameras work. In the few locations where they are installed in New York City, speed cameras reduced speeding by 60 percent. The New York Post agrees. Here is an excerpt from their editorial in support of this legislation:

    “Installing cameras at another 150 school zones and extending the program through 2022, as Mayor de Blasio requests, will save more lives — and let more children and parents feel safe on their way to school … Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie need to crack heads and get the right things done.”

    The Daily News also agrees:

    “A failure to reup the cameras would be downright criminal. Pols in Albany, in fact, should be expanding the number of schools around which cameras are authorized, from a piddling 140 school zones to many more, with flexibility to allow placement at the most dangerous intersections.”

  • kevd

    “we”
    do you live in BPC? I sure don’t.

    (I know you don’t – point is, how would more expensive BPC apts affect you and I in any way?)

  • Kwyjibo

    Maybe this is what you’re thinking of.

    From February 1990:

    ”The artist, Jennifer Bartlett, was quoted in The Wall Street Journal as saying, ‘The only thing I was interested in doing was a very complicated garden, which would cost an enormous amount of money and be very difficult to maintain.”’

    https://www.nytimes.com/1990/02/13/nyregion/art-and-realism-collide-in-the-plans-for-a-battery-park-garden.html

  • Larry Littlefield

    Nope, I don’t live there. It’s more the idea.

    Everything is shifting costs to the future, and bringing future revenues into the present. It’s the ultimate political trump, the one thing no one is allowed to object to.

    Maybe I need to capitulate. All right, have the whole $40 billion Byford plan over 10 years funded by debt, and another $20 billion in other capital expenditures, plus $40 billion in the following five years. And have all the interest funded by debt. Just borrow more if the rate soars. Why not, if we’re dead anyway.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I couldn’t find any when I tried.

  • AMH

    A bit of research turns up that the buildings in BPC do not own the land they sit on, but lease it from the development corporation. That massive charge for the lease causes the actual price of apartments/condos to drop, so that total cost is keeping in line with similar properties.

    Interesting, but not exactly analogous to disinvestment in the subway.

  • AMH

    Exactly–the bus actually moves pretty well now thanks to the SBS treatment and dedicated lanes on 125th, but as soon as it hits the airport it stands still.

  • AMH

    The LGA airtrain is designed to serve drivers from Long Island, despite the marketing about connections to Manhattan. It’s all about moving the parking lots from the airport to Willets Point.

  • Joe R.

    Unfortunately, it seems most of the people in charge are from the generation that lived beyond their means. We actually funded the last economic boom by having people borrow from the equity in their homes. Anyone with a lick of common sense would tell you it’s a horrible idea to mortgage the roof over your head unless it’s for either major home improvements or perhaps medical expenses. To borrow to buy consumer junk is textbook poor financial planning.

    The sad part is we operate our public institutions this way. The number one most stupid idea I’ve heard recently is to bond against congestion pricing revenues (assuming congestion pricing passes). So basically you get a big pot of money up front, but after that you’re using congestion pricing revenue to pay interest on the debt forever.

    It makes more sense to fund Byford’s plan on a pay as you go basis. It’s going to take 10 years at least to implement the plan. Therefore, the plan doesn’t need to be paid in full at the start. You pay each year for whatever improvements are made via the congestion tax. When you’re done in 10 or 15 years you’ll still have that congestion tax revenue to use for whatever you want. The other way (i.e. bonding), you’re just using it to make bondholders richer.

  • kevd

    I’ve looked – only to find the same few stills.

  • kevd

    well I won’t be living in BPC now or in the future, so what they do is no skin of my back.
    don’t care of Trump Tower residents finance a new lobby with debt either, case in neither is that debt yours, mine or our childrens.
    general point? sure.
    that specific case just doesn’t matter, because it isn’t public debt.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Yeah, that sounds about right. You found it, I didn’t, so I guess I’ll have to find a hat to eat.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Yes and no. BPC common charges are high in part due to land rents, which were supposed to be dedicated to affordable housing. But a recession or two or three that ceased to be true.

    The bottom line is younger and future New Yorkers only have so much future, and the more you take from them it hurts you in the long run — if you care about them, rely on them, share a city or a currency with them.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I guess the point is why worry about 15 years from now when the way things are going we won’t even have a transit system, given the damage that has already been done?

    That doesn’t mean I’m not going to point it out, but I’ve reached “the audacity of hopelessness.”

  • AMH

    I wrote my NY Rep asking him to support this and I encourage everyone to do so.

  • kevd

    exactly.
    this airtrain isn’t about bringing travelers to LGA, its about bringing drivers to LGA – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.