Friday’s Headlines: Second Avenue Subway Excelsior! Edition

Excelsior! The Second Avenue Subway station at 86th Street. The federal government said it would pay about half of the estimated tab for the subway's extension, the Daily News learned.
Excelsior! The Second Avenue Subway station at 86th Street. The federal government said it would pay about half of the estimated tab for the subway's extension, the Daily News learned.

Subway fans rejoice!

The feds say that they plan to pay $3.4 billion of the $6.3-billion estimated cost of the Second Avenue Subway extension, according to a Jan. 6 letter obtained by the Daily News’s Clayton Guse. Yes, we know, as Professor Philip Mark Plotch wrote of the Second Avenue Subway in these pages, that “building just three stations — at a cost of $4.5 billion, nearly 90 years after the subway was first promised — was not exactly one of New York’s greatest achievements.” But, hey, federal money for transit is federal money for transit.

The letter — the culmination of a 2019 handshake deal between then-Gov. Cuomo and then-President Trump — brought back fond memories from the peaceful year of 2020, when Big Dog Excelsior Car Guy shrieked that Trump was telling New York to “drop dead” because the Short-Fingered Vulgarian would not fund Cuomo’s transit priorities. Isn’t it a relief that the current governor won’t ever ply us with operatic images like this one?:


In other news:

  • Surprise! Mayor Adams cut the budget of the NYPD’s watchdog agency, among others. (Gothamist)
  • Yep, what about The Bronx?, ask those that Gov. Hochul’s Interborough Express leaves high and dry. (BxTimes)
  • Speaking about The Bronx, Revel pulled its mopeds on account of some theft in the Boogie Down. (NYPost, BxTimes)
  • The Times reviewed “American Urbanist,” a biography of “unconventional” and enormously influential thinker William H. Whyte. The reviewer’s tweet says it all:

  • Credit where credit is due: We made a big deal yesterday about Streetfilms auteur Clarence Eckerson Jr. being the “sneckdown” king, but we really should have doffed our cap to the real king — Michael King, also known as Trafficcalmer. King has an inventory of sneckdown pix from as far back as the 1990s, some taken with a vintage Kodak 110 Instamatic.
  • The organizers of Astoria’s 31st Avenue Open Street extended the deadline for their online survey seeking the community’s ideas and feedback on the amenity, Patch reported.
  • New Council Member Lincoln Restler argues in a Daily News op-ed that the city must mandate vaccinations for MTA workers.
  • SEE IT! The Daily News published disturbing video of a guy pulling out a gun and shooting up a speed camera. Interestingly, he was not on Staten Island (where thousands of motorists belong to a Facebook group that shares tips about vandalizing the cameras). Several of the group’s commenters celebrated the shooter, natch.
  • It’s a mitzvah (tank parade)! Tweeters in Brooklyn and Manhattan noted the unruly 72-rented-vehicle processional that a faction of Chabad put on yesterday in order to proclaim (in the view of many Jews, blasphemously) the “72 years” of leadership of the group’s long dead “king messiah,” Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.


BRT, Rail, and New York City: A Conversation With Walter Hook

Perhaps no one knows the ins and outs of BRT better than Walter Hook. As director of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, Hook has advised cities on four continents about BRT implementation, including Jakarta's seven-corridor network, the first full-fledged BRT system in Asia. Streetsblog caught up with Hook -- in between trips to Cape Town and Mexico City -- for an email Q&A about why New York City needs Bus Rapid Transit, common misconceptions of BRT in America, and what will make BRT succeed here.

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