Tuesday’s Headlines: Victory Over Rogue Cabbies Edition

SB Donation NYC header 2Did you see what Streetsblog did yesterday? Hours after we posted a story about a bill by two Bronx council members that would reduce street safety, the legislation was withdrawn.

That’s exactly the kind of work that reminds us to ask for your support — so we can continue doing, um, exactly that kind of work! This month, every story will feature the icon above. Just click on it to make a tax-deductible donation to the non-profit that oversees Streetsblog — and we’ll keep exposing the pols who want to set us back 20 years.

And here’s the news:

  • Wait a second — it looks like not even the MTA board trusts the MTA. The Daily News reported that the board’s finance committee didn’t recommend that the full board pass the MTA budget on Wednesday “because it contains proposed fare and toll increases that are far from certain.” The Wall Street Journal also covered the confusion.
  • Andy Byford has raised the speed limit for subways! Finally, some muscle cars we can get behind. (NY Times, WSJ)
  • The Times ran a long story about an East New York megachurch’s unlikely bid to build thousands of units of housing as part of an “urban village.” The takeaway for us? The Euro-styled community appears in renderings with “curb-less streets” and no on-street car storage. Somehow we don’t believe that a massive parking lot that serves the church’s 43,000 car-owning members is suddenly going to be transformed to transit-oriented development (but we can dream, right?!).
  • Now this is just silly. Gov. Andrew StatusCuomo, who never rides the subway, now says he’ll personally review the L-train shutdown mitigation plan that the MTA and city DOT have been working on for nearly three years. OK, so tell us, Governor, what would you do with Kenmare Street? Two-way or one-way? And what do you think the modal split will be from the L train to the G train? We’re thinking about 28 percent. Sound too high to you? (WSJ, NY Post, amNY)
  • Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s David Meyer took Cuomo down with one tweet (also embedded below the news).
  • The Times still hasn’t covered Citi Bike’s five-year, 28,000-bike, 35-square-mile expansion, but it did find time to go to Detroit to cover bike mobility issues in the Motor City. (NYT)
  • The bane of Dyckman Street — La Marina — is finally in trouble (not for all the rampant double-parking, mind you, but for corruption).  We’ll take it. (NY Post)
  • And finally, so long, Cone Ranger: One of the ubiquitous men who put out orange cones hours before the celebs show up at film shoots was run over and killed. (NY Post)

  • Joe R.
  • Gersh Kuntzman

    Thanks, Joe R.!

  • Larry Littlefield

    So pass congestion pricing, but use the revenues to fund the operating budget, skip a fare hike so everyone celebrates, and don’t fund the capital plan, allowing the decline of the system to continue. It could probably fund a raise for the TWU in excess of what the serfs are getting too.

    Everybody (who won’t using the transit system in 5-10 years or trying to earn a living in NYC) wins!

    Sounds like the same thinking that had Streetsblog in favor of using federal capital funds for operating expenses a decade ago. Of course we’re not in favor of having do so a decade ago now, given the consequences, but we ARE in favor of doing so now, right?

  • fdtutf

    From that article:

    “MAS stands for maximum attainable speed,…”

    In standard English railroad terminology, MAS stands for maximum allowable speed. Not the same thing as the maximum attainable speed at all. The MTA may say it stands for maximum attainable speed, but if so, they are in error.

  • 1ifbyrain2ifbytrain

    As a certain Noble Laureate once put it: There were certainly “escapades out on the “D” train” this morning. The N and R too.


  • Russell FL

    Re: Cuomo L train shutdown – Maybe he can get them to build those tail tracks at 8th Ave, and not let this opportunity go to waste. Latest I’ve heard is that they weren’t going to build them during the shutdown.

  • Maggie

    “So long, Cone Ranger”? Thats a pretty insensitive way to write about a horrific tragedy.

  • placard corruption

    Quick commentary:

    “The Times still hasn’t covered Citi Bike’s five-year, 28,000-bike, 35-square-mile expansion, but it did find time to go to Detroit to cover bike mobility issues in the Motor City. (NYT)”

    — The Times still hasn’t covered the #placardcorruption that is literally outside their front door every day.

    “The bane of Dyckman Street — La Marina — is finally in trouble (not for all the rampant double-parking, mind you, but for corruption). We’ll take it. (NY Post)”00

    — You mean for other corruption. There is plenty that’s corrupt about the La Marina’s parking hustles.

  • AMH

    That would be worthwhile, so it’s more likely he’ll spend millions on putting LED screens and blue and gold tiles in the station.

  • AnoNYC

    Why would you say the “urban village” is unlikely?

    Churches across the city are being torn down and replaced with high density mass transit oriented development.

  • running_bond

    Re: La Marina — the valet parking seizure of city streets and parkland for seven summers (in a No Standing area no less) was pretty wild, but nothing may ever top the day they hosted a smoke-bomb-throwing anarchist car rally party. In a Manhattan park.



  • Joe R.

    Or maximum authorized speed, which is typically the lower of line speed, equipment speed, or any temporary speed restrictions in place due to things like track work.

    On another note, I wonder if Byford is considered returning the trains to the way they were before being detuned? That means reprogramming the traction computers on the NTTs, and putting back field shunting on the older DC rolling stock. This could save about 10 seconds per local stop in most cases.

  • AMH

    Now Cuomo is personally inspecting the tunnel this week. Like what does he think he’s going to do at this point? https://bklyner.com/governor-cuomo-pledges-to-inspect-l-train-tunnel-thursday-at-midnight/

  • anon

    For an organization that advocates against traffic violence, the tagline used for the death of film crew worker story is particularly tone deaf, if not embarrassing.

  • kevd

    “So long, Cone Ranger:”
    That headline is despicable. Maybe you’re too good to be a P.A., but hundreds of people make their living that way.
    A human died.
    In traffic.
    Have a little fucking respect.

  • AMH

    Field shunting…very interesting. Had no idea what it was; I got wrapped up in some fascinating online discussions on that topic. Sounds like it just kicks in near top speed to add a few mph when the torque reduction doesn’t matter.

  • Joe R.

    Here’s the quick explanation. A DC motor develops what’s called back EMF when the armature spins and acts as a generator. When the motor spins fast enough the back EMF almost equals the applied voltage and the motor can’t spin any faster. If you weaken the field by diverting some of the current via a shunt resistor (hence the term “field shunting”) the back EMF drops, the motor draws more current, and it goes faster.

    Of course, that’s not the entire story. Weakening the field of course means the motor has lower torque at any given current BUT field shunting allows the motor to draw more current at any given speed. Sometimes the net result is more torque than without field shunting, sometimes it’s not. It turns out with DC motor subway cars field shunting doesn’t help at speeds below roughly 25 mph. Above 25 mph the back EMF increases and the motor torque falls off sharply without field shunting, meaning the acceleration drops off cliff once you get above about 25 mph.

    Usually there are several stages of field shunting, with each stage diverting more and more of the field current. Basically, the idea is to divert just enough at any given speed to the more have more torque than without field shunting. The net result is stronger acceleration above about 25 mph, and an increase in top speed from 42 to 45 mph to about 55 to 57 mph. The stronger acceleration and higher speeds reached between stops save locals about 10 seconds per stop. The expresses save time also, especially when the track is straight enough to run at maximum speed.

    The NTTs use AC motors which work differently. There is no need for field shunting. AC motors develop their full power over their entire speed range. However, you can limit their power and torque by controlling the frequency and voltage of the inverter driving them. The MTA did exactly that, attempting to match the characteristics of the NTTs to more or less match the detuned DC motor subway cars. A simple reprogramming of the traction computers can fix this.