Tuesday’s Headlines: It’s Usain Bolt Day in New York

Yes, you read that right: The greatest athlete in the history of the world, Usain Bolt, will come to City Hall today to show off a new line of scooters from a company that bears his name (and had better be paying him royally). Streetsblog will be there, if only to test-ride some new micro-mobility with the biggest name in scooters since Paul Steely White joined Bird.

And now, the news:

  • Wow, the mayor really laced into our editor at his weekly question-and-answer session on Monday. Good reason, perhaps, given how Streetsblog has spent three days reporting on how many cops drive recklessly through the city in their private cars. (Oddly, however, the mayor publicly disagreed with his police commissioner over that flag football game that turned into a placard abuse party, the New York Post reported.)
  • What’s with all the dust at Bedford Avenue? (NY Post)
  • Jump Bikes, which operates small dockless programs in the Bronx and Staten Island, is launching a subscription model. (Crain’s) And City & State reported that Jump and Lime’s pilot programs will continue for a while longer.
  • President Trump’s proposed budget — the one that slashes money for transit and Amtrak — also doesn’t have a dime in it for the Gateway tunnel project, which is needed to avoid a catastrophic collapse of the regional economy. (amNY)
  • And, finally, advocates installed a ghost bike for Joseph Chiam, the 72-year-old who was killed near Times Square last month. Friend of Streetsblog Ken Coughlin sent the picture below. More photos are on the Families for Safe Streets Facebook page.

joseph chiam ghost bike

  • Larry Littlefield

    “You need to pay for us, because we have needs, but we don’t need to pay for you, because we’re against big government.”

    That abuse has been allowed to go on for too long. Because you have one political party that seems to be believe it’s voters want to cash in at the expense of other people and the future of the country.

    And another party that believes the path to success is to sell out the suckers who are going to vote for it anyway, on tribal issues, to pursue swing voters. As long as the special interests that fund it get a sweet deal, also at the expense of the serfs.

    Albany works the same way.

    This is why I liked the federal sequester. Because federal non-entitlement spending was shrinking across the board, folks in “anti-big government” states were catching on to who was making out of the deal. That seems to have created some cognitive dissonance for Republicans. This is how they solved it.

    Kind of like Generation Greed Republicans saying they have to get all the senior benefits they promised themselves but refused to pay for because they have needs, but those coming after should have those benefits slashed because they have “time to adjust.”

    (And Democrats saying today’s seniors should get even more benefits, and another tax cut, paid for by higher taxes on work in the future, when the last members of Generation Greed are no longer working).

  • Fool

    which is needed to avoid a catastrophic collapse of the regional economy

    Citation needed. Assuming a physical collapse is imminent, I do not think ~300,000 daily riders having to find alternative means would lead to a collapse of the regional economy.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Give all the people entitled to money off the top here, no matter what the consequences, a five percent decline might indeed be enough to send people running for the hills, as it would be a much larger share of whatever they have left.

  • Austin Busch

    ~300,000 is the same population as the cities proper of Cincinnati, Newark, St Louis, or Orlando. It the same as the entire metro area of Atlantic City. That’s enough of a disrupted population to at least collapse a regional economy, and definitely to stress New York’s in particular.

  • Fool

    It is about 1/3 of the Cross Hudson commuters.

    -Given real capacity management rather than bullshit 1 in 1 out, maybe 1/6th of total trans Hudson commuters are actually affected.

    ~150,000 people out of an estimated 4,000,000 daytime Manhattan workers is not a particular stress or collapse.

  • bolwerk

    Concur. It’s a micro-problem. Bad and stupid, but not catastrophic (not economically anyway).

    The macro-problem is the region’s inability to provision adequate transit, whether that means building new rail lines or repairing old ones.

  • bolwerk

    I’d say near 100% are “actually affected,” but probably only a relatively small subset gives up and does not commute anymore.

    But there is still an economic loss in reduced shopping/retail/restaurant /etc. trips. Not to mention externalities when you push people to less efficient buses and even less efficient automobiles.

  • AMH

    Wow, that dust story is alarming. Of course everyone has to pretend that everything is fine, since His Highness says so.

  • Larry Littlefield

    It can’t be good for the electrical equipment on the trains either.

  • Elizabeth F

    You minimize the problem:

    * There are NO ALTERNATIVE ways in from NJ with significant spare capacity. These commuters will not just “find another way”. Bus, PATH and private automobile systems are both filled to capacity (and then some).

    * The existing tunnels serve more than NJ commuters. They also take freight and Amtrak, both of which would be affected.

    * See NYTimes on actual employment numbers in Manhattan:
    > The New York Times reports Census data demonstrating that during the day people coming in to Manhattan roughly double the population from the 1.6 million residents to 3.1 million.

    That’s 1.5 million commuting into Manhattan (the vast majority of commuter workers work in Manhattan). If ~15-25% of Manhattan workers — site of NYC’s highest paid jobs — can’t get to work, that’s a real problem for everyone. Manhattan is the engine around which the entire region’s economy revolves. Economically speaking, a minimum-wage job serving Falafel in Brooklyn is not the same as a typically Manhattan office job.

  • Elizabeth F

    4.5 million workers in NYC total. Only 1.5-2 million in Manhattan.

  • Elizabeth F