Thursday’s Headlines: Bombs Away Edition

Happy to report that no one sent us a package bomb yesterday, so we’re still here, delivering all your biking, walking and transit news! Check back later for our coverage of the sentencing of the bus driver who killed Citi Bike rider Dan Hanegby, yet is only facing 30 days max.

Meanwhile, here’s the news:

  • We’ve been critical of State Senator Marty Golden’s poor record on street safety, but others will likely have a problem with the eight-term incumbent’s view that people who support transgender rights are “like Martians from Mars,” which he uttered at a debate on Tuesday night. (NYDN, NY Post) Apparently, he also called for militarizing the border. (Fight Back Bay Ridge, via Twitter)
  • Staten Island-Bay Ridge congressional candidate Max Rose did two things wrong yesterday: He made an illegal U-turn that the Staten Island Advance caught on camera. But much more troubling as far as Streetsblog is concerned, Rose released a campaign ad with him at the wheel of a car demanding highway expansion on Staten Island. Yes, the ad also called for better public transit, but we have long decried the “windshield-eye-view” of the world that politicians often have (looking at you, Joe Crowley and Adriano Espaillat). Being in a car, alone, is the single worst way to connect to the car-free majority.
  • Apparently, the MTA is in such a huge money hole that congestion pricing can’t even pull it out. (NYDN) And, apparently, service cuts or fare hikes are coming. (amNY) Yes, it’s a death spiral. (NY1)
  • What does the NYPD do when a videotape shows a cop causing a cyclist to crash? It suppresses the video, of course, according to this story in the New York Post.
  • The good news is that New York City Transit boss isn’t going to ban us from eating roast chicken on the subway — but he does want us to be neat about it. (NY Post, NY Times)
  • In case you missed it yesterday, I made a video at a bad intersection on the Lower East Side.
  • And, finally, is this really how drivers think of us (yes)?

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Apparently, the MTA is in such a huge money hole that congestion pricing can’t even pull it out. (NYDN) And, apparently, service cuts or fare hikes are coming. (amNY) Yes, it’s a death spiral. (NY1)”

    I wish everyone who benefitted from this would be honestly celebrating rather than complaining. “We won! We took it all!”

    But that’s not the way to bet.

    Record ridership — with less service than in the 1950s. Fare increases in excess of inflation. One new revenue source after another added. Lower benefits for new hired workers. An economic boom almost beyond comprehension for those who have been following this for decades. And no recession — for the moment.

    And still a fiscal meltdown.

    Just wait. They’ll really have something to celebrate soon.

  • Fool

    Cut Night Service!

  • ortcutt

    It’s time for one-person train operation on all of the lines, at least outside of peak hours.

    “The number of annual revenue car-miles per subway employee in New York was 14,000 in 2010. In Chicago this number is somewhere between 14,000 and 16,000, depending on how one allocates administrative workers between rail and bus. On Tokyo’s Metro, the comparable figure is about 18,500. The trains in Tokyo are famously overcrowded, but Tokyo has high productivity per car-mile, not just per passenger.”

    https://ny.curbed.com/2017/10/13/16455880/new-york-subway-mta-operating-cost-analysis

    The MTA is going to need to get tough about overstaffing. Currently only four services (apart from the outer-borough shuttles) have part-time one-person train operation.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-man_operation#New_York_City

  • Larry Littlefield

    It would save some money, but not as much as might be believed. Last I checked there were only about 2,400 conductors out of 60,000 MTA employees.

    And this would have no impact on the number of retired conductors. An honest accounting would say that NYCERS is only 50 percent funded, so future taxpayers and riders will be paying for half of the pension benefits of past conductors. And all of the retiree health insurance of past conductors.

    The honest accounting will occur after the latest asset price bubble deflates.

  • ortcutt

    I didn’t say this was the only thing they should do, but it’s low-hanging fruit in terms of controlling the headcount.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Why are we talking about what it is we should have to lose, and/or how much more and in what form we should have to pay, without anyone being forced to accept responsibility for putting us in this situation to begin with?

    Where is the admission that prior generations grabbed a great deal for themselves and the expense of those coming after, and now we’re screwed?

  • Joe R.

    Not related to anything here, but this article is a real eye opener on how much damage our automotive, fossil-fuel based society is causing:

    https://cleantechnica.com/2018/08/27/capturing-co2-from-exhaust-pipes-is-a-bad-idea-that-wont-die/

    The article explains why CO2 capture makes no sense but instead is merely being used as a ploy to make people think we can continue to use fossil fuels without harming the planet. The calculations basically show than an average car emits a dead body’s worth of CO2 in a week. That’s exactly why CO2 capture schemes can’t work.