Monday’s Headlines: Northern Boulevard Edition

There’s still time to tell the Department of Transportation what you want done to improve safety on the “new Boulevard of Death,” Northern Boulevard. The agency has set up a handy website so you can log your comments and place them on the map of the strip where more than a half-dozen people have been killed since 2017. And tonight, the agency will host the third of its three community workshops in Long Island City at 6:30 p.m. Streetsblog covered the first one here.

And now, the news:

  • The New York Times endorsed Democrat Andrew Gounardes in his race against “affable” State Senator Marty Golden. “Voters should not let [Golden’s] good cheer distract from some of his questionable actions in recent years,” the paper’s editorial board wrote. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Eagle-owned Home Reporter will endorse Golden in, what Bklyner called, tainted croneyism.
  • Street safety opponent Council Member Mark Gjonaj is apparently suing the city using his campaign funds, which is not necessarily legal. (Gotham Gazette)
  • ICYMI: The company that runs the boondoggle parking lots at Yankee Stadium owes the city millions — and is claiming it is losing money every year because fewer and fewer fans are driving to the games. (NY Post)
  • I was happy to see myself and Streetsblog all over CBS2 reporter Marcia Kramer’s report on rogue private carters on the Upper East Side. Her must-see TV report shows how easy it is to write up these drivers…if the NYPD has the will. (CBS2)
  • I was also happy to see that Assembly Member Michael DenDekker, who has been inconsistent on street safety, came out in support of congestion pricing — sort of. He put so many conditions on it, that in the end, I’m not sure. (Dendekker via Twitter)
  • More bike lanes coming to Staten Island — though none is protected. (Advance) The island still has no on-street protected lanes.
  • Queens cyclist Angela Stach clued in the Department of Transportation that it gave a permit to allow a construction company to park a Dumpster in its new protected bike lane on 43rd Ave. in Sunnyside. The good news? It was gone by Sunday night.
  • amNY offered a sightseeing guide for next year’s L-train refugees.
  • Nicole Gelinas investigated the latest on MTA finances. (NY Post)
  • @uws_cyclist introduced us all to the 13 train.
  • And, finally, my French is a bit rusty, but it seems like Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo won a lawsuit and the city can now use the banks of the Seine for public space instead of parking. (Jarret Walker via Twitter)
  • Joe R.

    I’m not finding Dendekker’s conditions unreasonable. The MTA has been like a black hole where money just disappears without any tangible results. This has to stop. If we give the MTA more money, they have to show something for it.

    That said, in lieu of Dendekker’s conditions, or perhaps in addition to them, I think it’s extremely important that we specify congestion pricing revenue be used only for transit as it comes in. Some pols have suggested using the revenue to float bonds. That’s a horrible idea on many levels. What happens if congestion pricing revenues drop below anticipated numbers? Do we default on the bonds? If not, do we use other city revenue to pay bondholders? Even if this doesn’t happen, the end result is a one-time infusion of cash, followed by congestion tax revenues going entirely to pay bondholders forever. In the long term, that obviously means a lot less money for transit and a lot more for rich bondholders who will just add another 0 to their net worth. So no bonding of this or any other anticipated future transit revenue sources. It’s always been a horrible idea to do this in the past. It should never be done again. It’s like spending the family jewels for a night on the town.

  • HamTech87

    Is there an extrication plan for the Yankee garages? Can those buildings be sold to developers to pay off the bonds or at least get a portion paid back? EDC could negotiate lifting height restrictions and eliminating parking requirements to get the best deal of an awful situation for taxpayers. Why shouldn’t this neighborhood get 45-60 story apartment buildings without parking when it sits near 3 subway lines (4,B,D) and 2 MetroNorth lines (Hudson,Harlem)? River Park Towers is far from a subway line, and it has 44 story apartment buildings.

  • Joe R.

    Unless they can be converted to housing in a cost-effective manner, the buildings probably have no value beyond scrap value. The land is the only thing worth something. The only way out of this should be for the Yankees to pay the city the $100 million its owed. This is only fair as they were the ones insisting the parking was needed in the first place. As for the bondholders, they get nothing. Every investment carries risk. In fact, risk is what keeps hucksters from getting people to give them money for bad ideas. If others see investors took a bath here, those proposing garages in the future will be less likely to get financing. All of us here can talk until we’re blue in the face about the evils of excessive parking but in the end nothing talks like money. If car-oriented projects start being seen as mostly money-losers there’s likely to be a lot fewer of them in the future.

  • AnoNYC

    The amount of land around Yankee Stadium dedicated to parking is just crazy in such a dense, mass transit rich area.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The MTA has been like a black hole where money just disappears.”

    Somehow I don’t think that’s what’s happening. There are hands reaching up from the bottom of that hole, and most of them will be grabbing whether we put in more or not.

  • Larry Littlefield

    It wouldn’t have been crazy in 1977.

    The world changed, and it somehow took a while for the political/union class to catch up.

    Keep the pain and embarrassment rolling until it all sinks in.

  • Joe R.

    In other words, the MTA disproves the theory that nothing can escape from a black hole:

    https://www.livescience.com/33602-particles-escape-black-holes.html