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  1.  

    Sean Kelliher

    When I pass this location, I always wonder why the Hudson River Trust doesn’t just reconfigure the path? Eliminate the light here and run the path so it arcs along the sidewalk of the Circle Line terminal, avoiding conflict between path users and motorists. A design like this already exists on the Greenway around Vesey Street.

    Path users and ferry passengers would need to work around each other. But, this seems preferable to the current situation.

  2.  

    Larry Littlefield

    There is a real estate transfer tax that goes to the MTA. We have another real estate bubble, with properties being flipped and transfer tax revenue soaring. That’s the money that’s going to those raises.

    Or couse when the bubble deflates again…

  3.  

    Larry Littlefield

    Have toll money cover the cost of maintaining the rail infrastructure. That would be a reasonable rent for the externality. Property taxes would pay for the stations, because they raise property values.

    Fares would cover the purchase, maintenance, and operation of the trains.

  4.  

    i9u37v5

    Every person taking public transit is doing a favor for drivers, since it’s one less car to deal with in traffic. There should be some mechanism to account for this positive externality.

  5.  

    i9u37v5

    Higher fares would lead to a vicious cycle. As the higher fares increase the MTA’s revenue, you’d see more pressure for wage increases from the TWU and other unions. As a result, little if any of the extra revenue would go to service improvements. But as a result of decreased ridership caused by higher fares, Cuomo’s flunkies on the MTA board would soon justify service cuts.

  6.  

    Larry Littlefield

    “Subsidize transportation for the poor.”

    Or raise the minimum wage — see above.

  7.  

    Larry Littlefield

    I agree with Rohit Aggarwala (or, based on when this point of view was first posited, he agrees with me). More money for operating subsidies is simply taken out of the future. It has happened over and over again. Save the fare led to deferred maintenance, and in the end higher fares.

    A lower fare is a subsidy for low wage employers. I recommended raising the minimum wage in Manhattan instead, to 30 percent plus higher than the U.S. average (whatever it is at the time) and having the City of New York take over the bus system, after which it could charge whatever it wants for bus-only travel. You could read that in my series based on transit finances earlier this year on Saying the Unsaid in New York — I had made the same proposal earlier. The Mayor seems to have taken up the concept of a higher minimum wage, somehow mentioning the same 30 percent figure that I have used, but in his case citywide.

    A lower fare also disguises the cost of excess staff and higher compensation. One reason the fare is going up faster than average incomes is because the pay of transit workers (and other public employees) is going up much faster than the pay of most workers. Not in cash, but in higher retirement benefits. From 2000 to 2003, after the huge retroactive pension increase that “cost nothing” payouts by NYCERS, which covers NYC transit workers among others, increased by 34.0% more than inflation, and contributions by employees to that pension fund fell 54.1%.

    That wasn’t paid for at the time. It is being paid for now. The union doesn’t care, because members who matter have one foot out the door to Florida. Any addition money put in might very well go to a 20/50 pension, which the TWU went on strike for in 2003.

    Moreover, the years chosen to compare fares are misleading. There was a huge DECREASE in per ride fares adjusted fares associated with the introduction to the Metrocard. It was a huge victory for advocates for PAST subway riders against future subway riders. Even now, the inflation adjusted per ride cost is below the level of 1995, although increased ridership (without, for the most part, increased service) has offset this.

  8.  

    Joe R.

    A road that always has cars on it is cheaper per vehicle than one in a small town that’s lightly used.

    Same thing applies to electric lines, sewers, water lines, gas lines, pretty much any type of infrastructure most people need for modern living. That said, if someone wants to live far away from it all, they should study living off the grid. That means generating your own power via solar panels, composting your waste, growing your own food, in general being as self-sufficient as possible. If you do all that, as a bonus you don’t need to worry as much about earning money. Just turning a hobby into a marginal business might provide sufficient income. Sprawl and spread out living isn’t necessarily evil or harmful. It only is when people who do so still expect the same modern conveniences as living in a city. You gave a great example of how someone who doesn’t like to live in a big city can make a living elsewhere without asking taxpayers to subsidize a 50 mile each way or more car commute.

  9.  

    Michael Klatsky

    This is rambling. Trust me, the state hardly pays for any of it. Everything is through federal loans.

  10.  

    Kevin Love

    Perhaps judges who are car drivers should not be involved in cases like this. The conflict of interest is obvious, blatant and led to a clear miscarriage of justice.

  11.  

    lop

    You’re asking for the state to pay for the road instead of you. You say it can’t afford it, but it’s paying for the Tappan Zee expansion, so why assume that it won’t cut other projects to pay for sprawl as it does now? The state already subsidizes sprawl too much, why make it worse by cutting what few user fees drivers currently pay? What mechanism will force suburbs to turn into small cities? And even if there was one, why subsidize that over transportation in a big city? A road that always has cars on it is cheaper per vehicle than one in a small town that’s lightly used. More-so if travel is by subway instead, even if the distance traveled is the same for the big city versus small village traveler.

    If you don’t want to live in a big city, then live in a smaller one or a suburb or a rural area. If you don’t want to pay much for travel, then don’t travel much. Get a local job, or make one. I know someone who bought an old building in a tiny river village in upstate NY, and put a bakery on the first floor, second floor is apartments/vacation rentals. It’s great. And there are plenty of places in old cities in NY where something like that could be set up. It makes it harder for that to work though when people are subsidized to live far away. If you want suburbs to turn into villages and cities, or for old villages and cities to grow again then you need to subsidize transportation less, not more, because cheaper transportation creates sprawl.

  12.  

    Kevin Love

    I certainly agree with the last sentence. In New York, driving is a privilege, not a right. Permanently revoking a drivers license is not a punishment.

  13.  

    Kevin Love

    This is exactly the not-so-fascist burden of proof for DUI convictions. Blow over the limit and there is a presumption of guilt. So far we have managed to survive as a society with this presumption of guilt.

    What Brian is suggesting is that killing or injuring someone should be prosecuted in the same way as DUI. That works for me. It also works for Canadian law. Last time I checked Canada was not quite a fascist society.

    Canadian law was correctly stated by Crown Attorney Lidia Naronzniak while prosecuting the car driver who killed 87-year-old Kitty MacLeod in Hamilton, Ontario while she was crossing the road in a crosswalk.

    A quote from:

    http://www.thespec.com/news-story/4412657-driver-found-not-guilty-in-death-of-senior-crossing-dundas-road/

    “It’s an area where pedestrians can be expected,” Narozniak said. “The claim, ‘I didn’t see her’ is proof of a lack of due care and attention and reason for conviction.”

  14.  

    Kevin Love

    Not true. Many suburban employers pay large sums of money for the construction and maintenance of employee car parking lots.

    Since employers subsidize car driving, why not transit?

  15.  

    Michael Klatsky

    I don’t see the connection – sprawl is paid for with federal money. There is no way the state can afford the investment required for sprawl without the TTF paying for road expansion to the suburbs. With a return to state general funding, we will see many suburbs return to the compact small cities and villages they once were.

    That is a much better goal than throwing fuel on the us vs. them urban/sprawl debate

  16.  

    lop

    If it comes out of state general funds, then the state is subsidizing transportation. It’s cheaper to move a city dweller five miles than a suburban dweller twenty five miles. If you pay for both out of state funds, then you are subsidizing suburban living over urban living. Why is that beneficial?

  17.  

    Andrew

    Details, details.

  18.  

    lop

    Why would hiding the cost of the system help? Employers don’t pay for anything, health insurance included. If you just want to charge the well off more why not charge everyone more and give the poor cash for transportation? Or if you prefer to give them a metrocard that some would end up selling you could just give them that instead, or at least at a discount. Just charge extra for driving where transit is plentiful if you want to avoid having only one unsubsidized mode. If you want to shield them from fare hikes just hike the subsidy every two years or so as needed.

  19.  

    Michael Klatsky

    Your comment doesn’t make any sense. Why would anyone be subsidizing.

  20.  

    lop

    Why is it better to subsidize the suburbs than the city?

  21.  

    jon

    But do those taxes and fees cover the cost of the roads they will use? I don’t think that’s the case, so then it’s not so much a gold mine as a financial sink for the rest of the state.

  22.  

    AnoNYC

    How about a ramps where needed on the bridges?

    The Willis Ave Bridge could use some lane markings and signaling for bikes at the Bronx side exit too.

  23.  

    Michael Klatsky

    To be clear, I dont think transportation decisions can be tied to user fee collections. It results in the expansion of the system that is easiest to tax, in our case, drivers.

    I think DOT should directly operate all transportation – no MTA and bridge authority nonsense. Transportation is a general public good and should be funded through general taxes, not a dedicated funding stream.

  24.  

    Michael Klatsky

    What I mean is that Rockland and Orange will be forced into auto dependance and will be paying gas taxes, NYC Metro Car registration and inspection fees while receiving the joke called the Port Jervis and Pascack Valley Rail lines in return. They will be growing rapidly in population – that population will likely reach over 1 million within a decade or so and they will all be paying gas taxes into the state fund.

    The cars only TZB is designed to ensure that happens.

  25.  

    AnoNYC

    The Move New York plan would reduce the cost of tolls between the Bronx Queens while providing funding for transit from tolling the transit rich core (Manhattan CBD).

  26.  

    Andrew

    Felony Murder only applies to deaths that occur in the commission of “inherently dangerous” felonies. In New York, this only includes Burglary, Rape, Arson, Kidnapping, Esape, Robbery, and Sexual Assault.

  27.  

    Jass

    And children should pay for their classes, and victims of burglaries should pay for police response…

  28.  

    jon

    ” gas tax revenue gold mine”

    What do you mean by that exactly?

  29.  

    chekpeds

    this is the same situation that requires spli phases on the streets . there should be a speed table at each of these crossings

  30.  

    Hilda

    I spoke to the NYPD to inquire whether they were impounding the bike, as I know it may be necessary for evidence. Eyebrows were raised, and he responded, “Why would we investigate, this was clearly an accident.”
    I noted that the bus was turning while the cyclist had the green light, and this is when I was told the cyclist hit the bus, “which is obvious because the glass in the door was broken.”

    The attitude was nightmarish, with comments like:
    “A bus isn’t gonna yield to anyone”
    “The only reason this happened is because that guy was going too fast on his bike.”

    I, and a few other cyclists, was the only one taking photographs, and was told “things like this don’t need to be investigated, it was simply an accident.”

    The NYPD were somber, and respectful enough, but with this attitude, Intro 238 will never be enforced. There needs to be a number of items covered in the retraining that Bratton has spoken about.

  31.  

    SteveVaccaro

    This is a serious design defect present at several spots on the Greenway, with the green light for the southbound MV traffic turning right at the same time as the green light for north and southbound bike traffic. The only thing preventing disaster is a small sign telling drivers to yield to cyclists that isn’t even present at all of these conflict points.

  32.  

    kenney.sleater

    what ever happened to people paying their own way?….drivers should pay for operations and capital improvements to roads and highways….and public transportation riders should pay for their own operations and capital improvements….

  33.  

    J

    I agree, nothing in NYC or NY State is sold in a reasonable and aboveboard manner. Politicians treat most people like morons, and most people vote accordingly. If politicians actually spoke to people with respect and honestly, they might be surprised by the way people vote.

  34.  

    Charles

    That north-south rail link in Boston was going to be part of the Big Dig, but it got axed when costs spiraled out of control. Believe me, “planners” were all for it.

  35.  

    Joe R.

    The actual fare might be moot for most people if employers had to pay it. Maybe that’s the route we should take. Most people don’t care, or even know, how much their health insurance costs because their employers pay for it. If we did something similar with transit fares then we could raise the base fare without impacting many people. Even better, perhaps there could be a two-tiered fare system. Those whose employers pay their fare get a card and pay a higher base fare (say $5). This can be used to subsidize a lower base fare ($1?) for the minority who pay with cash, either because they’re unemployed, work for smaller employers who might be exempt from paying transit fares for their employees, self-employed, retired, etc. If we must raise fares, this concept could shield the most vulnerable from a fare increase. The costs to employers might not even be all that high, either. Perhaps an employee could opt for a lesser health plan in return for having the employer pay their transit fare.

  36.  

    Michael Klatsky

    I agree with your premise, but the tolls and taxes are not sold to the public in the fashion you say. Tolls are “supposedly” to pay for facility operating and maintenance costs – and the gas tax is billed as funding the federal highway transportation fund.

    Since we have a user fee system of transportation funding, this means that transit will never compete since power plants don’t pay fuel taxes on the oil and coal burned to power the subway system. Personally, I think that if we took all of the emotional stuff out of the equation and simply funded transportation directly out of the general fund, much more rational choices would be made.

    Consider the Tappan Zee Bridge – it is being rebuilt larger solely to ensure that the Hudson Valley develops into a gas tax revenue gold mine for the state!

  37.  

    Charles

    Private property owners here have profited many, many times over from public investments in transit adjacent to their properties, and, unlike some other cities, our transit agency and government leave almost all that money on the table. Excess condemnation, anyone?

    Of course, it’s not surprising that in a town run by a real estate cabal, the impulse is to raise the fares paid by the public at large and not tap into the obscene profits of rentiers.

  38.  

    Joe R.

    If we subsidized transit more that person who works in the Bronx but lives in Queens might actually end up with a reasonable commute on public transit, negating the “need” to drive to work. The more people drive, the less money goes into the fare box, making mass transit worse, encouraging more driving, etc. in a vicious circle. That’s what happened in the US over the last 50 years. The reverse also happens to be true. Fund transmit more and eventually it will seem like a reasonable option to many who now drive. It entirely makes sense for those who drive to subsidize those who take transit for the reasons J mentioned. If we’re concerned about penalizing the working class who drive, perhaps there could be a sliding scale of taxes on driving based on income. The wealthy will probably still drive no matter how good transit gets, but if in the process they help pay for decent transit then that’s certainly a good thing.

  39.  

    Canonchet

    Note the reported NYPD terminology: the bus didn’t hit the bicyclist; the bicylclist ‘hit the bus.’ This says everything. This has to stop. I was hit biking in the exact same Hudson bike lane spot by a bus earlier this year – a bus that picks up Circle Line passengers and crossed into the bike lane, and straight inot me, while the bike traffic light at that bike-path intersection was still clearly signaling green. I was knocked over and down and bleeding heavily from where my hand was cut open by the bus’s front grill. Other cyclists called 911 and volunteered to remain as witnesses. The officers who quickly arrived in a patrol car survyed the scene – me still on the ground on the bike path, hurt and bleeding, bike upside down nearby, blocking the bus that was also still there on the bike path, with my blood visibly on its hood – and began quizzing the bus driver whether, or how, I had ‘run into’ her, thus causing the ‘accident.’

  40.  

    Maggie

    As part of the PABT improvements, I’d love to see 41st Street be pedestrianised between 8th Ave and 6th Ave at Bryant Park. It could be such an amazing gateway to NYC.

  41.  

    J

    Why is it unfair? The more people that take transit, the fewer cars are congesting the roads for people who need to drive, the less polluted the air we all breath, the less health care everyone subsidizes through taxes, etc.

    Basic economics teaches us that we should tax the behaviors that we want to discourage and we subsidize the behaviors we want to encourage. Since taking transit has enormous positive externalities (reduced congestion, reduced pollution, better health, higher land values, etc.) it makes absolute sense to subsidize it. Since driving has all sorts of negative externalities (congestion, pollution, negative health impacts, etc) it makes absolute sense to tax it. Given that the two are substitutes for each other, it makes sense for a tax on the negative behavior to subsidize the positive behavior. It sucks that some people have jobs that they must drive to, but those commuters directly benefit from more people taking transit and fewer other people driving, and their driving has a direct negative impact on other people. I don’t think this is unfair at all.

  42.  

    Joe R.

    Suppose then the punishment is limited to simply permanently revoking the person’s license? No fines, no jail time unless a higher burden of proof is met. That should be constitutional since driving is a privilege, not a right. Privileges granted by the state may be revoked by the state for any reason whatsoever.

  43.  

    AnoNYC

    Most of the stops son’t even have a small island, you just stand on the street between traffic.

  44.  

    Ian Turner

    Yes, I nearly got hit by a cab here this weekend. The intersection needs a flashing red arrow to make cars stop before turning.

  45.  

    AnoNYC

    Curbs should be extended to the supports along the entire length of the elevated rapid transit lines.

    Eliminating the parking and outside moving lanes would do wonders to regulate traffic while providing new pedestrian spaces and improved safety.

    See first image above.

    If buses are a concern, you can even create inlets outside the pillars at the bus stops for buses to pull off onto the side and pick up. Or just make off board fair payments the standard.

  46.  

    Andres Dee

    I’d prefer a higher base fare if it meant more accountability to the riders, money for serious upgrades and less need to kiss rings in Albany. “Senior” fares could be expanded to the poor.

  47.  

    Michael Klatsky

    Tying Transit to Road costs is simply unfair and breeds resentment. If you want it funded through subsidy, then fund it through general taxation – don’t penalize the person that happens to live in Queens and can only find a job in the Bronx….

  48.  

    iSkyscraper

    Try living in Toronto. They have much higher fares than New York and cover far more of the operating cost, but that has just been an excuse for less funding from governments for capital improvements, leaving the system overburdened.

    http://www.blogto.com/city/2014/01/are_ttc_fares_still_the_priciest_in_north_america/

  49.  

    Brian Van Nieuwenhoven

    Unless they do something illegal.

    It should be illegal to hit a pedestrian with a car because of reckless driving. And it is. Except the courts are like “Ehhhhh it’s not a crime”

  50.  

    BBnet3000

    If theyre going to be adding more crossings of the greenway in the future, i certainly hope they widen it when they do. Its really not wide enough for faster riders to pass slower ones comfortably all the time.

    Does anybody know what the CROW width standard for a bikeway like this would be?