Thursday’s Headlines: Feeding at the Subway Trough Edition
That’s why they call it the “gravy train.”
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority handed its subway cops oodles of unplanned, unbudgeted overtime from 2018-20 — $19.1 million, to be exact — in order to enforce then-Gov. Cuomo’s crackdown on fare-beaters and the homeless, according to an inspector general’s report.
The now-disgraced ex-governor’s bullying initiatives to harass the city’s poorest and most vulnerable (while rewarding union members who tend to remember such things when they vote) made overtime grow by a head-spinning 21 percent during the period, even as the officer headcount only grew 11 percent (itself a breathtaking number), according to IG Carolyn Pokorony.
Such are the wonders of neo-liberalism: One can pose as the defender of “law and order” while using the public fisc in a grossly inefficient, borderline corrupt manner in pursuit of one’s re-election — even as one afflicts the afflicted and comforts the comfortable, as it were.
In other news:
- First, we’d be remiss if we didn’t thank the generous benefactors who contributed yesterday to our annual December Donation Drive. Thanks, Ron (yes, our old man’s dad)! Thanks, Hindy! Thanks, Gary! Thanks, Mark!
- Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road, whose bar cars once sloshed with mad men swilling suds, will ban booze from their platforms and rolling stock on Saturday in order to dampen the spirits of SantaCon. The move is only their latest limit on libations: The railroads have gone dry on St. Patrick Day for eons, and they booted the popular platform bar carts in 2018 after a profit-skimming scandal. (amNY, NYDN)
- Bloomberg’s City Lab promoted Transportation Alternatives’s ideas for fixing Atlantic Avenue. Meanwhile, our own old man editor looked at TA’s plans for four other notorious car sewers.
- More from City Lab: Why building infrastructure costs so much in the United States.
- The Lower East Side forces who are advocating to stop the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, an anti-flooding measure that has closed the East River Park, got a judge to slap a temporary stay on tree cutting. And everyone’s favorite broken clock, Arthur Schwartz, spun the victory as a win for cyclists, too. (Village Sun)
- Yes, Penn Station, MSG, and 1 Penn Plaza are historic — historically, monumentally, epically ugly. Why is the state seeking to add them to the National Historic Register? (Crain’s)
- Tokyo, the world’s most livable big city? (The Economist)
- We, no surprise, have the nation’s worst traffic congestion, a study says. (New York, New York, a helluva town! The Bronx is up and the Battery’s down! And TOO FEW ride in a hole in the ground! New York, New York, it’s a helluva town!) (WPIX)
- Streetsblog’s publisher heard the universe knocking on bike parking. (Via Twitter)
I just had a great lunch with @ShabazzStuart . We spent 2 hours talking about the need for secure bike parking. After lunch, I went out to find that my bike and the scaffolding to which it was locked had been removed.
— Mark Gorton (@MarkGortonNYC) December 8, 2021
- Loading zones make it to Astoria (Via Twitter)
The Neighborhood Loading Zone pilot has made it to Astoria, just in time for the holiday season. pic.twitter.com/IBWalVIiWl
— John Surico (@JohnSurico) December 8, 2021
- Finally, we liked this “Vast Flowchart of Evil,” which purports to describe the nefarious connections among London’s cycling advocates. Note “Train Daddy” Andy Byford in the thick of it. (Via Twitter)
Not entirely surprised to find myself on the Vast Flowchart of Evil created by someone unknown from a group opposed to safer cycling etc. Nonetheless intrigued at the suggestion that on cycling issues I'm only two connections away from Carrie Johnson. Who knew? pic.twitter.com/qbDqWBtSzU
— Peter Walker (@peterwalker99) December 8, 2021