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Keeping it On Track

November 6, 2010 Leave a comment
The James Farley Post Office in New York City,...

The James Farley Post Office will be transformed into the new Moynihan Station.

I happened to run across on one of the NYC cable channels this morning a replay of the groundbreaking for Moynihan Station, which was originally held in October. If you’re not familiar with it, this is the project which will incorporate the massive Farley Post Office, which sits in back of Penn Station. The idea is to turn Farley into a station reminiscent of the old Penn Station which was torn down to make room for the sad excuse for a station we now have, and Madison Square Garden.

I really hope this project moves forward. The designs for the new station that I saw years ago looked brilliant. Our city deserves another station on par with Grand Central.

During the ceremony, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood spoke passionately about a network of high-speed rail that would eventually connect more than 80 percent of the country. That sounds like a dream, what with Obama’s opponents on the record as opposed to the idea saying we cannot afford it. But this to me is such a short-sighted way of thinking. Won’t investing in our nation’s transportation eventually help to grow our economy?

Here are some articles on Moynihan Station if you want to learn more:

 

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Subway Delays Tonight

September 3, 2010 Leave a comment
NYC Subway

Image by JeffreyPutman via Flickr

UPDATED 8:12 p.m.: Just a quick update – This fire or smoke condition or whatever it is near 75th Ave. is actually impacting pretty much all of the trains heading to Forest Hills tonight. And from what I hear, the conductors are giving people on the trains virtually no information about what is causing the horrendous delays other than “train traffic ahead.” Meanwhile, what should be a 30 minute ride is turning into about an hour and a half for most of them.

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If you are waiting for someone to get home tonight, the MTA is reporting a “smoke condition” at 75th Avenue, affecting the F, M and R lines. So that might be the reason for the delays.

Just thought I’d put the word out, since God forbid any of the local “news” would cover such an insignificant thing as thousands of people being delayed due to a fire somewhere in the subway system.

Now, if there’s a car holding up traffic somewhere, that’s a whole other story.

While I’m on the topic, when are they going to get cell phone or at least internet service down there in those tunnels so we can communicate with our friends and loved one’s when there are delays like these?? Pathetic!

Derailed – Part 2

August 24, 2010 Leave a comment
From http://flickr.com/photos/eugene/16372042/...

Image via Wikipedia

This is so sad. How anyone can think we have our priorities right as a country with a situation like this is beyond me. When are people going to learn that what’s good for some of us, is good for all of us. We’re all in this together. Maybe those business owners whose employees have not been able to make it to work from this will finally realize that yes, you have to pay into the pool if you want our economy to keeping running. Trains relying on century-old equipment = trains that don’t run = businesses that don’t run. From The NY Times:

The electrical travel chaos on the Long Island Rail Road on Monday offered a frustrating reminder of the fragility of a rail network still dependent on antiquated equipment.

Embedded along the railroad tracks by Jamaica Station, and soaked by rain from the night before, two or more cables shorted out around 11 a.m., the authorities said, sending a pulse of electricity into a nearby train control tower and setting fire to the century-old equipment inside.

It seems improbable that a piece of ancient machinery, a contraption of levers and pulleys designed in 1913, would be critical to the successful operation of one of the nation’s largest commuter railroads.

But the machinery, which remained on fire for about an hour, controls the 155 track switches at a crucial choke point: Jamaica Station, which 10 of the railroad’s 11 branches must travel through to get in and out of New York City.

With no way to direct trains onto their proper routes, railroad workers scrambled onto the tracks, spikes and mallets in hand, to lock the switches into place manually so that trains could travel by, a practice known in railroad parlance as “block and spike.”

Read the entire article here:
Published: August 24, 2010
Delays continued on the Long Island Rail Road Tuesday, and Amtrak suspended service on the Northeast Corridor.

Derailed

August 24, 2010 Leave a comment

What a transit nightmare! In case you were not aware, trains along New Jersey Transit’s Northeast Corridor line were also put out of commission this morning due to an electrical fire, further adding to the travel woes.

My thinking is it’s amazing these transit system breakdowns don’t happen more often. The same people who shoot down every attempt to find additional sources of sustainable funding for our transit system — remember congestion pricing? — are the first one’s you hear blaming our deteriorating public transit system on the MTA itself.

Yes, I’m sure there is some mismanagement in the MTA. But isn’t there mismanagement to some extent in most organizations?

I’ve always thought the City should take over control of its subways. Why should outsiders have a say in our system? That is crazy. And this photo on the right, of our deteriorating Forest Hills station, is what you get as a result.

But really, you have to fund it to run it.

LIRR Service Suspended

August 23, 2010 Leave a comment

In case you have been actually doing what you’re supposed to be doing today (working), and haven’t had a chance to check the news, this is shaping up to be a major headache for this evening’s rush. Try to arrange an alternative way home if you regularly take the LIRR. Luckily, we have the subway – let’s all pray that holds together for the rest of today.

N.Y. / Region
By By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM and ANDY NEWMAN
Published: August 23, 2010
The Long Island Rail Road has been stopped almost dead in its tracks since 11 a.m. due to a fire in a switching tower.

MTA Fare Hike Proposal

July 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I think this is potentially some of the worst news I have seen in quite a while for the city if you consider how the unlimited MetroCard has transformed riders’ habits and opened up the entire city to its residents. With an unlimited MetroCard you thought nothing of hopping on the express train from Forest Hills to spend an afternoon in Manhattan. Now, you very well might think twice. Bad for Forest Hills, bad for Manhattan, bad all around.

Specifically I am referring to this excerpt from the article: “The unlimited subway and bus MetroCard, which pushed ridership to record levels after its introduction in the 1990s and revolutionized the way New Yorkers imagine their transit system, could also be on the way out. One proposal would place limits on how many rides could be taken on monthly and weekly passes.”

From The Times:

N.Y. / Region
By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM
Published: July 28, 2010
The proposals are to be unveiled Wednesday, just weeks after severe service cuts were imposed on the transit system.

Only in New York?

July 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Saw this on the 4 train this morning.

I assume it might have its uses? 🙂

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