Today’s Headlines

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Fells Joe Crowley (NYT 1, 2; Politico 1, 2, 3; News; WNYC)
  • Other Incumbent Reps Prevail; Trump Breaks Grimm (WNYC; NYT 1, 2PoliticoNY1)
  • Jim Dwyer Goes to Work on Marty Golden’s Speed Camera Hypocrisy (NYT); Also: Post
  • … But It’s Well Established That Marty Can’t Be Shamed (Post)
  • Cuomo’s LGA AirTrain Makes Sense Only as Political Graft (Voice, Gothamist)
  • Byford Redirects Platform Door Funds for Elevators at 14th/Sixth (Post)
  • Cyclists Not Impressed by DOT Plan to Paint a Bike Lane on Vanderbilt Ave. (BK Paper)
  • Drivers Go So Fast on This Throgs Neck Service Road That They’re Afraid of Each Other (Bx Times)
  • Transit Know-Nothing Keith Olbermann Doesn’t Like Bikes Either (Bike Snob via TransAlt)
  • Drive Around Manhattan While Hosting a Game Show? Why Not! (AMNY)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Dr. Bones

    Keith Olberrmenn is an upper class twit. He can’t imagine what it is like to be riding your bike outside of central park, looking for a way to cross to the other side, safely and legally. Most of the people riding on pedestrian paths in central park are there because there is still, after all these years, only 1 safe and legal way to cross from one side of the park to the other side of the park without walking your bike. In the whole stretch of central park. This is a sore point for me, because I live on the upper west side and often work on the sort-of-upper-east sde, and have for years have sucked it up and crossed at the 86th street with the buses and postal truck maniacs because all other routes added 20 minutes or more to my commute, or required that I avoid the park and most of the new bike lane network altogether. I hope at some time soon there will be a serious call for serious bike routes across the park, and that it doesn’t have to take a death or two before this need comes apparent.

  • bolwerk

    Never disappointed to see a spilled Crowley!

  • r

    Olbermann represents the larger problems of the pundit class, whether we’re talking about on a national level where op-ed writers and cable news hosts think politics are a game between opposing teams or on the local level where it’s just about City Council people addressing tiny grievances.

    He, like a lot of people of his status these days, are completely removed from real-world consequences of bad policy. He never has to walk his kid past a laundromat that’s illegally turned a storefront into a parking lot. He doesn’t have to deliver food on a bike and face dangerous streets or harassment from the cops. It’s a completely privileged worldview that allows him to use his platform for whining about things that are annoying, to be sure, but rarely deadly.

  • Maggie

    So impressed with Ocasio-Cortez. She worked her butt off, she knew her district, she connected with people and cared about them, she (obviously) didn’t write off the votes of working class voters and POC like Crowley did, and she gives me hope for the future of responsive politics in Queens that I didn’t have a week ago. BRAVA to one of New York City’s best and freshest faces.

    Now about that Skillman Ave protected bike lane, and treating the lives of working class people of color on bikes as more valuable than a handful of parking spaces. Please can we do this before someone gets hurt, Jimmy Van Bramer, or is this still the hill you want to die on?

  • Ian Turner
  • bolwerk

    She seems great, but I can’t find much on her transportation policies.

  • Maggie

    Agree. Just the fact that her campaign ad put her on the subway is a huge symbolic deal and well beyond so many other politicians. But a protege of Bernie Sanders REALLY needs to show that she gets the urgent generational need for urban transit, bc lord knows, Bernie Sanders doesn’t. Climate-wise, it’s foolish to indulge the conceit that Vermont’s mobility policies (population density 68 people/square mile) can translate to NYC. We need low-carbon, high-efficiency, cost-effective transport nudges, choices, and investment.

  • bolwerk

    #ImWithHer

  • Seth Rosenblum

    What an absurd trade-off to get rid of the platform door trial for elevators. It takes so many years for MTA trials to be widely adopted, and this is a golden opportunity to try this out while there are no customers in the station. What a waste!

  • AnoNYC

    Being 28 years old and from Parkchester, it’s pretty much a guarantee she used the subway on a regular basis (as did her friends and neighbors). Hopefully those experiences translate into support for more funding for mass transportation. I bet it will.

  • Joe R.

    He may have (correctly) concluded that platform doors aren’t viable in the NYC subway system. For starters, we have trains with varying door arrangements. Platform doors would cause us to lose the flexibility to try different car lengths or door arrangements in the future. And then you have the huge installation cost. However, the biggest reason why I’m personally against platform doors, and why they wouldn’t be viable in NYC, is the MTA’s track record of failing to maintain anything. How many escalators or elevators are out of service more than they’re in service? At least people can still walk up or down a broken escalator. Stuck platform doors will increase dwell times at stations. They may also cause some passengers to miss their stop if they can’t get to another door. In my opinion Byford made a good call here.

  • MatthewEH

    I’m gonna be a bit of a contrarian here, and agree with Olbermann that, fundamentally, it’s annoying to see cyclists on footpaths in Central Park. Especially if the park is busy, and especially if I see no point to their having used that path as compared to a legit bike entrance 2-3 blocks away.

    I mean, I’m generally tolerant of it so long as people are deferential. As for the time I was on a footpath near the Pond, walking, and got buzzed by a rider going easily 20 mph on the downhill there? I talked to a nearby cop about that one.

    With cars out of the park, I feel like there’s potential to reconfigure the drive such that it’s now two-way rather than a big counterclockwise loop. If we do that I feel like a lot of the impetus for cutting cross-park on forbidden pathways goes away.

    Do that, further rationalize access to the drive by designating additional selected paths as shared (the bit that leads from Columbus Circle to the drive is a massively appropriate candidate), put appropriate wayfinding signs at the park borders. Do all that and then I’m fine with making riding on other pedestrian paths _strongly_ discouraged.

  • MatthewEH

    Oh – contrariwise, I find the dog owners taking up 8-10 feet of width at the West 90th Street entrance to the drive extremely galling. There are pedestrian-only entrances 10-15 feet away to the north _and_ to the south here!

  • Joe R.

    I agree on all points. Not only should we reconfigure the drive for two-way, but we must finally get rid of those stupid traffic lights. With cars out of the park, their reason for being just disappeared.

  • com63

    That’s an “well if it won’t solve every problem, we shouldn’t try at all” kind of response. Give it a try. It could work on the L train since there isn’t any variability in the car design there.

  • fdtutf

    Trains with varying door arrangements, you say? Here’s how you handle that. Video is from a trial in Stockholm; this kind of screen is used in the Daegu subway in South Korea.

    https://youtu.be/h5c1XJeH0bc?t=2m15s

  • Joe R.

    The difference is they maintain stuff in Sweden and South Korea. The MTA has a track record of not maintaining things going back to before I was born. I highly doubt it would be any different with platform doors.

    Here’s what would most likely happen:

    1) The MTA installs platform doors.
    2) Within a few years a fair number of doors no longer work.
    3) The MTA is unable or unwilling to fix #2.
    4) The platform doors eventually get removed on account of the delays the stuck doors cause.

    Transit funding is sparse to begin with. I’d rather spend the money on things which would improve service, like installing new signal systems. The hard fact is platform doors do little to nothing to improve commutes. Maybe in a few cases you can air condition the platform if you install platform doors but even that’s not a given (i.e. the MTA wouldn’t bother to maintain the A/C, either).

  • Joe R.

    My objection to the idea is mostly because the doors won’t be maintained. The stuck doors will then make service even worse than it already is. On top of that, how many people annually would platform doors save (I’m not counting suicides or the idiots who voluntarily venture on to the tracks to get their stuff)? I think the number of people pushed on to the tracks against their will is in the single digits annually (and not all of them get hit by trains).

  • Larry Littlefield

    Too much extra dwell time.

    They need to stop changing door positions, permanently.

  • fdtutf

    There will be similar amounts of extra dwell time with any platform doors of any type. That’s not unique to these.