Thursday’s Headlines: Everyone is Calling in Sick Today Edition

We know what you’ll be doing today, but if you want to listen to an entirely different history-making event, tune into WABC-77 today at 1 p.m. as I debate car-loving Curtis Sliwa and Rita Cosby on a broad range of transportation topics. All the info is here.

And now the news…

  • Mayor de Blasio and subway boss Andy Byford are on a collision course over funding the MTA. (NYDN)
  • The mini-L-pocalypse is coming every weekend in October, just so you can get a bitter taste of what is to come next year. (amNY)
  • Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez is going to ride the subway for 24 hours next week in an entirely unscientific effort to learn what riders think. (amNY)
  • The New York Post claims that Staten Islanders don’t like their new bus lines.
  • The Manhattan Bridge marked its millionth cyclist this year and Brian Howald got the photo of a sweaty but proud Charles Brunold.
  • Both the Post and Gothamist followed our world exclusive about the shortage of Citi Bikes right now, but only Gothamist gave us the hat tip.
  • The sky is falling at the Atlantic Terminal. (Gothamist)
  • I want to thank the Brooklyn Paper for letting me entirely take over its weekly radio show this week. I used the lofty perch to grill Almost-Senator Zellnor Myrie about his positions on bike lanes, bus lanes, cops in bike and bus lanes and, of course, weed. (Brooklyn Paper Radio)
  • Uber now says it wants to be part of the solution to the problem it caused. (NY Times)
  • Don’t forget: Tonight is the big BQE meeting and the big MTA bus meeting in the Bronx.
  • And finally, here’s today’s photo of the day, courtesy of Friend of Streetsblog, JarekFA:

  • Larry Littlefield

    “I’m not sure he understands that the City of New York, given all of our other obligations, is not in the position to provide that financing.”

    Like the State of New York, the federal government, the riders.

    So Byford has a compelling economic case? Try making that case to those whose plan is to leave here within a decade with as much loot as possible, and who get the first dollar off the top if the tax base collapses and the city goes under. They don’t care, they don’t have to.

  • qrt145

    “Ydanis Rodriguez is going to ride the subway for 24 hours next week”. In two 12-hour sessions. You had me thinking for a second that he’d do a 24-hour subway marathon! Now _that_ would be impressive.

  • Larry Littlefield

    BQE: I won’t be around to attend the meeting, but the right solution is one of the above.

    1) Tear down and replace ASAP during the next recession, when construction workers and contractors need the jobs. 16 months, tops. Like the L Train.

    2) Do one level at a time, and leave the other level open with one lane in each direction for trucks and buses only. 36 months, tops.

    Six years? Eight years? $billions?

  • Joe R.

    One thing I’ve always been puzzled about regarding these marathon subway rides is how do you go to the bathroom? Ditto for the people who arrive at New Year’s like 12 hours before the ball drops, and will lose their spot if they leave it.

    You can probably not eat at all, and not drink much, for the day or two before but I imagine you would still have to urinate at least a few times.

  • AMH

    I’ve wondered about that too. I imagine it “Depends” on the person.

  • AMH

    Yeah, that was misleading!

  • JD

    For Ydanis, several subway stations have bathrooms. He’ll be fine if he pays attention and has several alternates in case his first choices are bolted shut.

  • AMH

    In other news, I saw something I have never seen before–about 30 NYPD cops riding bicycles on the Hudson Greenway. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the occasional bike cop at big events, but never this many actually riding somewhere. Could this indicate a change to come?

  • Jim Burke

    I just saw a big group of officers riding uptown on the 6th avenue bike line in the 20s. A first for me too.

  • I sure hope it does.

    When I was a kid I hated seeing a cop on a bike; I thought that they were out to get us. Now I understand that we want cops on bikes so that they can that perspective to their experience.

    Ideally, bike cops would be constantly riding up and down all the bike lanes, ordering drivers to move their cars out of there, and calling in tow trucks for the cars that are illegally parked in the lanes.

  • qrt145

    Did they run the red lights? 🙂

  • sbauman

    So Byford has a compelling economic case? Byford’s plan does not give absolute service metrics upon completion. How many trains per hour will operate? What percentage of time should passengers expect to get a seat? How long will the ride take? What will be the on time performance measures? How do these metrics compare quantitatively with the present and 50 years ago? What differences in operating costs can be expected? etc., etc., etc.

    Until such information is forthcoming, it’s premature for elected officials (or anyone else) to determine the plan’s merit.

  • AMH

    Good point–while everyone agrees that we need CBTC ASAP, we don’t want more vague, unmeasurable promises like we got with the ‘Subway Action Plan’.

  • sbauman

    while everyone agrees that we need CBTC ASAP

    Not everyone does.

    I don’t. My reason is that nobody has provided performance metrics for CBTC vs. the current block system.

    The reason they don’t is that CBTC, nor any other train control (collision avoidance) system, has any influence on service level capacity (max TPH or min headway) on a theoretical basis.

    The theoretical limit for service level capactiy is based on train length, station dwell time, acceleration rate, braking acceleration and system reaction time. System reaction time reduces minimum headway by at most 5 seconds – for a slow relay based implementation.

    The Third Avenue El used to operate 42 TPH in the reverse peak direction on a single track. I have not seen any performance metric for the CBTC’s being installed by the MTA that approachs that performance level. The 14th St Line used to operate 24 TPH and the Flushing Line 36 TPH. The current CBTC installations will not meet these performance metrics.

  • AMH

    I should have turned around and followed them to find out!