About 135 riders get hit by subway cars every year. Many of them die, some of them spectacularly, like in December, when Sunando Sen and Ki Suk Han were pushed to to their deaths.
This morning, someone committed suicide by jumping in front of an uptown No. 2 train as it pulled into Times Square. Yesterday, a woman jumped in front of a train at the Bedford Avenue stop on the L line.(1)
G. Oliver Koppell, a councilman from the Bronx, has invoked a rarely used City Council rule to force a vote on a bill that would require all new taxis to be wheelchair-accessible, but the move might well prove a symbolic one.
Smartphone taxi apps are poised to flood the market, perhaps forever changing how taxi drivers find passengers, and how passengers find rides. But what about people who are either too poor, or too Luddite, for smartphones?
How much traction will Andrew Sullivan’s criticism of Mitt Romney get? [Dylan Byers]
Maybe just ignore the Romney vice-presidential stuff till there's a decision, whatever Drudge (or the Times!) says. [Alex Pareene]
East Bronx Councilman Jimmy Vacca hopes that one day the M.T.A. will run commuter rail through the East Bronx to Westchester.
"Commuters traveling from the East Bronx to work in Westchester have no viable choice but to take their cars and sit in traffic on the Hutchinson River Parkway, which is backed up every day," said Vacca, the chair of the Council's transportation committee, during a hearing about mass transit in the outer boroughts.(6)
A handful of New York City Council members proposed that subway stations get letter grades, just like city restaurants currently do. The idea was floated during a City Council budget hearing where officials from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority were testifying.
The response? One M.T.A. spokesman at the hearing simply said, "No." Later, another spokesman, Adam Lisberg, said, "We don’t see any value in giving subway stations letter grades for cleanliness."
The idea seemed to comport with the emphasis placed by the mayor and governor on assessing public services and exposing inefficiencies. The proposal comes as the authority also plans a hike in fares for commuters. The chair of the City Council's transportation committee, Jimmy Vacca of the Bronx, said that fare hike is what makes the grading system a necessity.
"If they are going to raise the fare, damn it, we're entitled to accountability" Vacca said.
The Bloomberg administration has gotten a lot of flack in recent months for its resistance to making New York City's taxi and limousine fleet fully accessible to wheelchairs. The vast majority of taxis can't accomodate wheelchairs, and the city has selected a new taxi model, to be imposed fleet-wide, that also is inaccessible.(2)
Since fights over sustainable streets usually involve bike lanes, pedestrian plazas and traffic initiatives like congestion pricing, you may be surprised to learn that the city's pothole-strewn black roads are one of New York's greenest components. That's because over the last fiscal year, the city Department of Transportation ripped 300,000 tons of potholed or damaged asphalt off the ground, carted it to city-run facilities and reconstituted it back into usable pavement, effectively recycling the city's roads.(1)
If the Metropolitan Transportation Authority votes to raise fares and tolls for a 7.5 percent revenue increase, as currently planned, nearly all of the resulting revenue will go toward covering the rising costs for employee health care and pensions.
Patrick Foye, Governor Andrew Cuomo's pick to serve as executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, defended a governor's right to cut funding for mass transit as he sees fit, saying, "Governors unfortunately have to make tough fiscal and policy choices."
Since 2005, about 72,000 pedestrians, drivers, passengers and cyclists have been injured in car crashes. But thanks to a loophole in New York City law, unless a driver is proven to have been drunk or distracted, or the accident victim dies or is so seriously injured as to be categorized “likely killed,” the police don't usually do much of anything.
In part, that’s because the NYPD’s expert squad of accident investigators, the kind of officers who can derive meaning from the width of skidmarks, numbers only 19.
City Council speaker and 2013 mayoral candidate Christine Quinn said she remained opposed to a legislative mandate for paid sick-leave during a City Hall press conference this afternoon, as proponents of the legislation wrapped up a rally outside.
Christine Quinn moved to rein in the Bloomberg administration's bike-lane policies this afternoon, making this the second act of opposition in as many days to the policies of a mayor with whom she has been closely allied during her tenure as City Council speaker.(2)