Thursday’s Headlines: Better Late Than Never Edition

We just discovered that thousands of you didn’t receive our daily email blast for several days this week. We took it up with MailChimp and everything looks like it’s back in order (except our refund which, we’re told, is “pending”). Click on the following links to see what you might have missed:

Our story about why politicians fear congestion pricing.

My story on how the New York City Department of Finance is OK with trucks blocking bike lanes.

Our story about how Mayor de Blasio isn’t fighting global warming as well as London.

David Meyer’s great story about car-free Central Park being anything but.

There, now you’re mostly caught up. Whew. Here’s today’s news:

  • Bay Ridge State Senator Marty Golden — who has enraged street safety activists — did not apparently do so well in a debate on Wednesday night, including seeming to pretend to not know that he has defended pedophiles in the Catholic Church from being charged. (Gothamist)
  • Like us, Vin Barone at amNY covered the pie-in-the-sky talk at Penn Station on Wednesday. So did Patch. And Politico’s Dana Rubinstein (we schmoozed beforehand).
  • Usually, cars cause all the mayhem on our roadways. But on Wednesday, the culprit was an alpaca. (NY Post, Bklyner)
  • I’m sorry, but you gotta love NY1’s Jamie Stelter for urging New Yorkers to “keep it moving” on the subway stairs. Real New Yorkers always stay in motion. (NY1)
  • How does NJ Transit fail its customers? Let the NY Times count the ways. (It’s five.)
  • The MTA says it will not do any downtown track work on weekends when the L train is down next year. (Gothamist) Meanwhile, it launched a “Transit Tech Lab,” which will focus on a “customer-centric approach.” Ummm…. (WSJ)
  • Gothamist also reported that MTA cutbacks are causing mountains of rat-attracting trash.
  • Why is Amtrak getting in the way of the Bronx getting better transit? NY1’s Jose Martinez wants to know, too. (NY1)
  • In case you missed it, I was tweeting up a storm about the rogue private carting business.

And catch our national headlines here.

  • sbauman

    Amtrak is doing us a favor by raising obstacles to using 4 Bronx stations for the so-called Triboro connection. The plan flunks the test of providing subway service to those who currently lack it.

    A total of 63,432 people live within 1/2 mile of the proposed stations, according to the 2010 census. The 1/2 mile radius of these stations also includes: 15,125 jobs; ans 18,502 workers, according to the 2015 LEHD census. However, most of the people, jobs and workers are already within 1/2 mile of an existing subway station. The net benefit for bringing more people, jobs and workers within walking distance of a subway station is reduced to: 16, 516 people; 6,576 jobs; and 5,086 workers.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The purpose of this improvement is to provide Fairfield County with access to low-wage service workers who don’t live in Fairfield County and don’t have to drive on I-95.

    I don’t mean that sarcastically. That was the plan. Fairfield had a housing crunch due to exclusionary zoning, and was suffering a labor shortage as a result. And in fact, reverse commuting, and commuting other than to Manhattan in general, has boomed on the New Haven line.

    Things have changed, however, since the plan was proposed. Connecticut is losing businesses.

  • JarekFA

    How would those low-wage service workers get to their jobs from the Metro North station in Fairfield County?

  • crazytrainmatt

    The Hell Gate line here runs between the 5 and the 6 trains, and while the Hunts Point station is next to the 6 for a transfer, the other three proposed stations are not near the subway. The Morris Park stop is right next to Einstein and the hospitals, which are major employers and no good way to Manhattan. And MNR gives a faster ride to midtown even if you live near the subway already and adds the option to arrive at Penn Station for the entire New Haven line.

    The issue is more the $1B cost for 4 new stations on existing track. It’s not clear whether there are other wishlist items rolled into that, but there is big investment needed nearby that is not included, like flyover tracks at New Rochelle and a new Pelham Bay bridge.

    Politically, if the infrastructure is built, I think it would increase pressure for fare rationalization and through-running, which would be a huge benefit to the rest of the Bronx which has a similar situation with the Harlem and Hudson lines.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Walk. The only office space that is staying full there is in the “downtowns,” notably Stamford and Norwalk. Lots of other commercial downtown too.

    The office campus fortresses off the highways are white elephants, as elsewhere in the metro area.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Did you say $1 billion? For two side platforms and perhaps an overpass? Holy smokes. If you aren’t just making that up, Amtrak is the least of the problems with this project.

  • crazytrainmatt

    The full cost isn’t clear, but there is $695M in the 2015-19 MTA capital plan as an hors d’oeuvre. This has been in the planning stage for decades and some of the stations used to exist.

    http://secondavenuesagas.com/category/penn-station-access/

    Probably the same story as ESA: agency turf wars, graft, and bad contract management

  • Larry Littlefield

    Plus a contribution to the multi-employer pension funds, no doubt.

    Meanwhile Boston, no stranger to agency turf wars, graft and bad contract management, is adding commuter rail stops within the city for $20 million each.

    https://www.masslive.com/news/worcester/index.ssf/2017/05/new_boston_landing_station_pai.html

    Built by the private sector.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/05/new-balance-bought-its-own-commuter-rail-station/392711/

  • sbauman

    The Hell Gate line here runs between the 5 and the 6 trains, and while the Hunts Point station is next to the 6 for a transfer, the other three proposed stations are not near the subway. The Morris Park stop is right next to Einstein and the hospitals, which are major employers and no good way to Manhattan.

    Here’s the breakdown by station.

    Coop City: population, jobs, workers within 1/2 mile of new station: 9,315; 217;2, 755
    of whom are more than 1/2 mile from an existing station: 9,315;217;2,755

    Hunts Pt: population; jobs; workers within 1/2 mile of new station: 12,515; 2,671; 3,500
    all of whom are already within 1/2 mile of an existing station

    Morris Pk: population; jobs; workers within 1/2 mile of new station: 5,264; 7,661; 1,679
    of whom are more than 1/2 mile from an existing station: 4,055; 5,741; 1,327

    Parkchester: population; jobs; workers within 1/2 mile of new station: 36,338; 4,576; 10,568
    of whom are more than 1/2 mile from an existing station: 3,146; 618; 1,004

    Please define “major employer” in terms of the number of jobs.

    And MNR gives a faster ride to midtown

    About 25% of NYC residents live more than 1/2 mile from an existing subway station. I’d prefer to spend money providing them with subway access rather than providing a faster ride for those who already enjoy such access.

  • kevd

    in stamford, greenwich, bridgeport and new haven they’d probably walk

  • kevd

    could some of it be adding 3rd and 4th tracks?
    Amtrak’s ROW from the hellgate to pelham used to be 4 tracks and the space is still there.