New MTA Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger; photo courtesy of AMNY/ Lane Johnson / June 26, 2007
Almost two months ago I asked “Will The Hemmerdinger Era Ever Come To Be?.” I can now answer that question with a resounding yes. The State Senate confirmed Mr. Hemmerdinger four months after Gov. Spitzer nominated him for the position.You might enjoy reading these related entries:
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- Clear Display Of Nepotism
Flushing-Main St. bound 7 train approaching Junction Blvd; Resized photo courtesy of Eye On Transit
This is according to William Neuman of the New York Times City Room blog who broke the story a little over an hour ago. The MTA board approved the $1.4 billion dollar contract to dig the tunnels for an extension of the 7 train. The current plan is to have the extension run to the Jacob Javits Convention Center with one new station being the terminal at 34th Street & 11th Avenue.
The board was expected to approve the extension all along even though one board member voted against the contract. The lone person to bid against the contract was co MTA Vice Chairman Andrew M. Saul. Here is a comment he made expressing his disapproval of the bid: “I can’t, for me as a fiduciary here, sit here and go ahead and approve a contract for over $1.1 billion of state money, or city money, or both, without having competitive bids.”
He also had issues with the current plan scrapping calls for a 10th Avenue station on 42nd Street. His last concern was the fear that the project would have cost overruns that could prevent money from being used for other major projects such as the Second Avenue Subway. As it stands now the city is footing the bill up to $2.1 billion. The city & MTA have not reached an agreement on who would be responsible if the overall cost was to go over $2.1 billion dollars. MTA CEO Elliot G. Sander says the issue will be taken up when new contracts are issued for further work on the project. This is scheduled to happen in two years.
As I noted the other day, Mr. Saul was not the only person to have concerns about the project. Andrew Albert of the NYC Transit Riders Council had this to say to NY1′s Bobby Cuza: “More exists now around the 10th Avenue station than around the Javits Center station. Are we saying that conventioneers are more important than our own residents? I hope we’re not saying that.”
It is sad to see that only one board member was thinking correctly about this extension. I personally do not support it due to the 7 train bursting at the seams as it is. If the MTA can handle these issues, create the more needed 10th Ave. station while not having it cost them much money if any at all, I would then support the project. However this is the MTA so I do not expect these issues to be taken care off properly initially if at all.You might enjoy reading these related entries:
- MTA Ready To Screw Up 7 Line Extension….
- Groundbreaking On The 7 Line Expansion Project
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Yesterday was a historic day for the Long Island Railroad as the day marked the agency’s first new rail service since the 1964 World’s Fair shuttle. The new service is in response to traffic congestion during the construction work on County Road 39. The service will operate weekdays from October 23, 2007 through May 22, 2008.
The expanded service dubbed the “East End Shuttle” will feature three additional eastbound, weekday trains from Speonk with two terminating in Montauk and one in East Hampton. There will also be three additional westbound, weekday trains with two originating from Montauk and one from East Hampton which will terminate at Speonk. Here is a quick fare breakdown for the “East End Shuttle”:
- $2.25 uniform intra-zone fare for travel between Speonk and Montauk
- $1.00 uniform intra-zone fare for travel between Speonk & Montauk for the seniors & disabled riders
- Weekly pass will cost $20
- Monthly pas will cost $66
The cost of the service is estimated to run $84,000 a month. The costs included in the estimate include fuel, cleaning, maintenance, & crew. According to the LIRR, they are working with the government to help fund the additional operating expenses that would be incurred with this enhanced service.
The Long Island Railroad along with local politicians & residents are thrilled with the new service. Here are some comments from all sides:
Long Island Railroad President Helena Williams – “In response to community requests, the LIRR is nearly doubling its service to East End communities during the coming months. We are pleased to be partnering with local East End communities, elected officials and Suffolk County to help mitigate traffic congestion during the construction work on County Road 39. I am proud that the LIRR has been able to work with community leaders on this initiative.”
State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. – “South Fork community leaders have long envisioned improved rail and bus service as a means of reducing traffic congestion on the South Fork. The current CR 39 construction project has provided us with an opportunity to request increased rail service.
I am indebted to the foresight of new LIRR President Helena Williams. Her willingness to think ‘outside the box’ has allowed our residents to have a real alternative to the traffic gridlock that is inevitable during the CR 39 project over the next 7-8 months. It could also prove to be the catalyst to future mass transit initiatives on the East End. I urge all my constituents to consider the train to meet their commuting needs from now until Memorial Day.”
Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy – “We are happy to be a partner in this bi-partisan, multi-leveled approach to solving a very real problem to our mutual constituents and customers. I would also like to thank new LIRR President Helena Williams for adopting a ‘can-do’ rather than a ‘can’t-do’ attitude.”
24 year old Manorville resident Linda LaRosa – “I’ve been working here for three years, and each year it [traffic] seems to get worse. Usually when you get to work, everybody is grumpy from the commute.”
65 year old East Moriches resident Don Sevigny – “It’s a mild excitement not jubilation. It’s another way of getting to work at East Hampton High School.”
I have to hand it to the Long Island Railroad for being proactive in creating better inter island service for commuters. Lets hope that this temporary project turns into permanent improvements to intra island service!You might enjoy reading these related entries:
- No LIRR Service Between Speonk & Montauk
- Farewell To The East End Shuttle
- One Year Later
- LIRR Adds Extra Train For St. Patrick’s Day Parade
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Yesterday redrawn plans were unveiled for the proposed Moynihan Station. The plans also included a new Madison Square Garden, & office buildings which would reside at the current location for Madison Square Garden. The plans were met with a great amount of support from local officials & advocacy groups even though the plans did not contain many specifics. The plans are currently up for public comment on the Empire State Development Corporation’s Web site.
Here are some comments about the proposed plans:
Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Dan Doctoroff – “The potential for the underutilized area around and west of the current Penn Station has been talked about for decades. Now we are on the cusp of transforming it into one of New York City’s most vibrant districts.”
Partnership for New York City President Kathryn Wylde – “It’s a much clearer and realistic approach than the original. What they’ve come up with is much more practical, considering our future transportation needs.”
Daughter of the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Maura Moynihan – “After years of false starts and delays, we cannot let optimism slip. It’s time to build Moynihan Station well and build it now.”
However there are some who question the current project & the execution of it. This comment sums up what many feel who are currently on the fence about the project:
“Municipal Art Society President Kent Barwick – “It seems like they are not finished doing the planning, but are starting the process anyway. They didn’t put forth enough for people to really be able to understand what the project is all about. There is an enormous amount at stake here.”
Honestly I do question the project myself. While I understand that Penn Station is in major need of upgrades to its infrastructure to better handle transportation needs for today & the future, we need to make sure this is the best course of action. We do not need to rush into something that can backfire in the face of everyone from elected officials down to the commuters such a plan is supposed to help. Also we can’t forget that the city must still convince the Dolan family to sell the land MSG sits on & move west for 1-2 blocks.You might enjoy reading these related entries:
- Friends Of Moynihan Station Unveil Principles
- Moynihan Station Developers Still Optimistic
- Gov. Patterson Promises Progress On Moynihan Station
- Amtrak To Announce Gateway Tunnel Project
- On Display: Plans For The Hudson Rail Yards
Yesterday afternoon an already crazy intersection in downtown Brooklyn became even crazier due to a car accident. The accident happened at approximately 2 p.m. at Cadman Plaza West near Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights. The police believe the accident happened when the driver attempted to move her double parked car. As she was attempting to do this, she hit another car & panicked. In her panicked state of mind, she accidentally put the car in drive & bolted forward about 150 feet.
The accident led to 4 people injured including the driver. One of the 4 injured was a man who was taken to Long Island College Hospital with an injured ankle. One woman was taken to Bellevue Hospital with an injured ankle. The third non driver injured was a 55 year old who suffered minor injuries but further information was unavailable. The driver who was not identified was taken to Bellevue Hospital for physical evaluation. The police said charges are pending against the driver.You might enjoy reading these related entries: