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    I walk the length of Seaman with a stroller pretty frequently and I’ve been wondering when those guide lines would become actual bike lanes. Could it be that it’s too cold to lay the thermoplast now?



    What need? The ferry is slower and more expensive than a train, why would commuters use it?


    Brad Aaron

    Yeah, I don’t disagree. But doing everything but painting the bike lanes, and then refusing to say when they’ll be back, sends the message that people on bikes are still an afterthought at DOT.

    If half a block of parking disappeared you can bet we’d know when it would be back, to the hour.



    I haven’t looked in a while, but I don’t think it’s per-passenger mile costs were that high. It just happens its users don’t pay for it.

    I don’t know if it should be kept or not in this scenario, honestly, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it continued to meet a need.



    It doesn’t matter if the bike lanes are striped or not. Cars are either double parked in the travel lane or double parked in the bike lane. It makes no difference what’s painted on the road, sadly.



    perhaps I am wildly off base, although I think there are significant engineering challenges to a tunnel of that length under the NY harbor.
    However, Even on the order of $10B, how is that justified for a line that will carry less than 100,000 riders per day?
    Or perhaps staten island is where all the affordable housing will get built?



    Why would you keep the ferry? It costs a fortune and is 15 minutes slower than a train would be. Keep the terminals for a tourist operator if you want, but why would you want commuters to use it?



    The tunnel could probably be a billion a mile, give or take. Maybe the 1 could handle the trip. Landing is cheap on the Manhattan side since the station is right at the water anyway. Presumably the ferry would stay, so it wouldn’t need to catch all 60k riders.


    Joe R.

    $100 billion? The Channel Tunnel is over 6 times as long and cost well under $10 billion. In today’s dollars it will be under $20 billion. I think $5 billion would be a high estimate for a Staten Island railway tunnel. Seriously, if this project cost $100 billion then it speaks volumes about how we need to get infrastructure costs under control in this city. Even if we compare it to the cost of the Second Avenue subway (phase 1 is 1.5 miles at $4.45 billion), you still come out under $20 billion. Of course, the SAS cost includes stations every half mile. It also is being constructed around existing substructure which adds to the cost considerably. A Staten Island subway tunnel would face none of those issues. Like I said, I’d be surprised if it cost $5 billion even at NYC’s inflated construction costs. If we had China build it for us it would probably come in under $1 billion. Keeping the ferries running isn’t exactly cheap. You also have the value of the time savings over the ferry-5 minutes by train, something like 20-25 minutes by ferry.



    Different currencies make it hard to give a good number, but at the high end the Chunnel cost ~$20 billion in today’s dollars. A hundred billion for a shorter tunnel seems high, even by elevated NYC construction prices.



    How much of the MTAs debt load is due to the R68s? How about R42s? Still some of those left in revenue service.

    If you replace rails that last fifty years, but only a tenth of your rails get replaced how is that not an on going expense?

    Is there such a massive mismatch between capital needs over the next five years and capital needs in 2025-2029 that it makes sense to pay for two thirds of this capital plan with debt? Maybe you cut it down to half once you discount expansion projects the feds don’t pay for that you could more easily justify debt for. Still seems hard to believe that there is such a massive mismatch in needs.



    In the best case scenario, you have a little over 5 miles of underwater tunnel to connect staten island to lower manhattan. I don’t know if it’s realistic to even speculate about how much such a project would cost based on much shorter runs beneath the rivers, but it has to be on the order of a hundred billion dollars.



    I’d say capital is by definition not ongoing, but even if you disagree you use debt because debt lets you pay for it over time. Many people who use the rail cars will be long dead by the time they go out of service. Why force the present to pay everything for things that benefit the future so much? Even a heavy duty paint job can be expected to last a decade or two, I would think.

    Borrowing has been abused, sure, but not all borrowing is bad or avoidable.



    How much would it cost to connect one of the subways that terminates downtown to SI railway? It would be 15 minutes faster than the ferry, and have a stop at each ferry terminal so you’d get all ferry commuters (not tourists) ~60k riders per weekday, 100 million in annual savings for the city. The train would be faster than most express buses which require about a 100 million subsidy too. Might turn out to make sense. Get rid of the SI resident discount and you could pay a decent chunk of a subway to Brooklyn too, couldn’t you?


    Brad Aaron

    Forgot to mention this, but Seaman is the only north-south street that runs the length of Inwood west of Broadway, which makes it the only such north-south street in the Inwood Slow Zone*.

    As chaotic as Seaman is with rampant double-parking and *unregulated speeding, it’s much less scary than Broadway and as such is a natural alternative for biking (and walking, as far as I’m concerned). It’s the connector between the greenway and points north.

    Seaman could be a major cycling corridor if it had decent infrastructure. But at least there’s plenty of free parking, including in unmarked crosswalks.



    ” That wouldn’t work, DOT said, because the street isn’t wide enough for separated bike lanes and two lanes of parking.”

    Easy solution. Get rid of at least one lane of parking.



    Perhaps I misunderstand. Most of the capital plan is not for expansion. It seems to be for ongoing expenses. Sure, the subway cars you replace will last a long time. But it’s a large fleet. You have to buy subway cars every five years. And buses. And replace rails and signals. and elevators. Why should that be paid for with debt? Are riders paying interest on every project from the 90s that we are still benefiting from? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to pay for on going expenses with cash? If drivers for the next twenty years are paying back the bonds on five years worth of ongoing expenses, who pays for the next five years of on going expenses?



    Except for the Staten Island link. Even leaving aside the historical choices made by Staten Island, the current cost/benefit does not justify it. Too much money to benefit too few people.


    Rough Acres

    Upper Manhattan’s “bike lanes” mostly consist of sharrows.
    Not good enough.
    And we STILL do not have a way to connect the bike paths on the west and east sides, though Upper Manhattan would be the best place to do so.



    That’s the wrong way to measure this “gap.” The capital plan creates plant that allows the system to operate and it can reasonably have its costs amortized over long periods, probably decades. It needs to be financed in the 5 year period, but it does not need to be paid for in that period. What is built is useful for much longer than 5 years, even if it’s needed in the near term.



    I don’t remember reading about this on Streetsblog, so I thought I’d post it. I’ve seen that they are installing a very tall (1-2 ft?) curb on the Seventh-Avenue side of Duffy Square (aka the TKTS square). I guess they want to prevent heroic bus drivers from driving into the crowd.

    Sorry, no pictures. I don’t carry a camera with me all the time…

    In other news, Central Park was pleasantly uncrowded yesterday evening. But that had the unfortunate effect of giving motorists the impression that driving on the bike lane is a good idea. That’s what the lack of a critical mass of cyclists does…



    Sorry to repost my Brooklyn Paper comment, but:

    A two-way path on one side and a center path are “thinking big”? This is such an important street for cycling because of the bridge and getting it wrong like this would be a disaster.

    Best practice for this street would be side-running cyclepaths on each side. This means parking would have to be removed, or else the street could possibly be converted to one-way Northbound with parking on one side. Bus stops can get islands so bikes and buses no longer have to share space.

    In any event (even the status quo), the parking on the ends of all the side streets should be converted to loading zones, as clearly there is a huge unfulfilled need for unloading.

    Also, planning for Jay while ignoring Smith (which is, you know, the same street) is a mistake.



    In other words, you made up your “annual gap of four billion dollars.” Why would you do that?

    Re your Q about a revenue-maximizing toll: I’m actually not interested. We (Move NY) have pegged our cordon toll to the MTA’s toll on its East River tunnels ($5.33 E-ZPass, $7.50 cash; it’s the same on the MTA bridges but those will go down by $2.50 under our plan, as you know). That’s designed to put an end to toll-shopping; also for simplicity; also, as Game Theory teaches: use “default” values where possible. If *you* want to answer your own Q, download the spreadsheet and test whatever toll (s) you like. Click:

    The Move NY plan has been exquisitely tailored to hit a political sweet spot as well as a transportation one. Unfounded criticisms won’t help anyone.


    Alex Gonzalez

    Why can’t they use citibikes or their own bikes? Bikes are just so much more convenient in the island of Manhattan! Reduce the number of cars that these individuals get and or maybe they can car pool. I don’t understand how they operate but that’s really an abuse of these placard holders.


    Jack Chan

    did he ever answer your email? i bet he won’t watch the video either, it will give him nightmares for days.


    Jack Chan

    can somebody orangize some events to accomplish these goals? she cant die in vain like this


    Jack Chan

    you are absolutely right, can we start a petition with white house instead, have to go to higher ups if ny officials just ignore its ppl


    Local NY'er

    That’s right, since 9/11/2001 – Two Thousand and One


    Local NY'er

    This placard problem has existed since 9/11 – How cool is that for Wellington to wait this long?


    Local NY'er

    You’re full of ignorance, Charles. Many businesses in Chinatown were thriving before the invasion of the ILLEGAL placards. Let’s have them park on YOUR block, Charles – ALL WEEK 9-5, every day, and see how you like it, and see how your neighborhood businesses like it. These ILLEGAL placard abusers cost the city about 1/2 BILLION dollar in lost meter revenue during Bloomberg’s bought mayorship !


    Joe R.

    It’s also of note that the new stuff you mentioned mainly benefits Manhattan residents and people using the LIRR (mostly LI residents). Queens and Brooklyn have large swaths with no subway coverage. Moreover, building subways here would cost far less than in Manhattan. It would make sense to fill this need first before building any more new subways in Manhattan. And a direct subway connection to Staten Island wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. That would give ammunition against the people complaining about increased tolls on the VZ Bridge. Specifically, you could tell them they can now access the rest of the city for the cost of a subway fare, so driving is a choice which should be heavily tolled, not a necessity. Also, with a direct subway connection, the need for the SI ferry vanishes. A ferry is among the least cost efficient modes of public transit, particularly in NYC.



    15 billion unfunded from the capital plan not counting 6 billion in planned new debt. Operating budget deficit supposed to grow to 300 million by 2018 I think too. Sure, the reinvention commission could’ve pointed to moveny’s plan as a fix for the next five years, but one would hope that the agency doesn’t need a blue ribbon reinvention commission twice per decade.

    Does Cuomo and the legislature have the stomach to go after union and contractor excess to cut costs to close the rest of the funding gap? Is there that much waste there?

    Out of curiousity, is the proposed toll a revenue maximizing one? If not, what do you think one would be?



    Huh? $4B/y gap? Would you mind showing your math?



    what a beautiful boy…this is a terrible loss. But with the Lord, nothing is truly lost. I am sure this boy is in heaven. I hope the parents can find comfort in this tragedy that defies explanation.


    Kevin Love

    Who? The fraudsters and abusers, that’s who. Here is the solution: Tow them away. Like NYPD started doing in 2007.



    Maybe. What counts as new stuff? Just SAS, ESA, PSA and other big ticket projects? Do you count some fraction of the cost of signal upgrades? New elevator shafts in old stations? etc…


    Larry Littlefield

    Maybe that’s all for new stuff. Not for just ongoing normal replacement.



    Who is even using the placards for “government business”? Don’t all the higher ups have drivers to wait in the car?



    Why wouldn’t you count the six billion they plan to borrow?


    Kevin Love

    Most cities in the world do not have a placard system. Government officials who are car drivers have to pay for car parking just like every other car driver.


    Sine Metu

    How does a civil suit remove a dangerous and obviously incompetent driver from the streets? Perhaps he won’t be able to afford to drive a luxury car after they win such a slam dunk case?

    We need these people held criminally responsible for very obvious reasons. I get why cops and bureaucrats don’t want the extra work involved with enforcing public safety on our streets but frankly I’m absolutely fed up with this display of indifference and laziness by the people that we specifically pay to protect us.


    Larry Littlefield

    I think it’s $3 billion — $15 billion over five years. Unless you include the money they already plan to borrow.

    The first order of business is knocking $5 billion off WITHOUT cutting the scope of work by getting ripped off less.

    Move NY gets you the second $billion.

    Then you need one $billion.

    Or you can look at it differently. The MTA already has all the money it needs to fund transportation, and does not need anymore.

    The question is, who is going to pay the unfunded portion of its past pension liability, and the interest on most of that $32 billion in debt (the part that was for ongoing expenses)? That has nothing to do with transportation today. That’s really the problem.



    Living far from transit is one incentive for people to buy a car or pay for parking, but their jobs don’t need to be throwing out freebies on that basis.



    The MTA has an annual gap of four billion dollars. MoveNY covers a quarter of that. You need more than tolls.


    Larry Littlefield

    It’s very easy to do if you aren’t careful. You realize too late someone might be crossing, and you end up stuck in the road with someone coming at you.

    Better to chill out and wait it out than take a chance.


    Make Queens Safer

    This is a great tool. We hope the city uses this tool to correct a problem with the feed it publishes. In a large share of crashes, detailed locations weren’t entered into the system, so crash locations can’t be mapped. Any effort to estimate totals for a particular geographic area using these tools ends up with incomplete counts. Hopefully NYPD is taking the extra time to tag its database with appropriate precinct and community board information so it provides accurate totals.



    Gotta love a forum that produces gems like this. Priceless!


    Joe Enoch

    “That’s how parking works in Chinatown.”

    And on every other single block in Manhattan.



    When maggots are eating the meat I leave out on the counter, my solution is to throw on more meat. That way I control where they go!
    Some might say I should stop leaving rotting meat on the counter. But they just want to take away my freedom!


    Josh NYC

    Proof NYC needs more parking.NYC should build free parking lots.