Transport Workers Union Local 100 Has A Message For The City

Earlier today, Transport Workers Union Local 100 joined other transit advocates & officials in asking the city to provide more funding for the MTA. Marlene Naanes of AMNY has more on the story so here is her article courtesy of AMNY:

The Transport Workers Union, transit advocates and elected officials asked the city Monday to offer more funding to the MTA to avoid a fare hike.

“New York City contributes only four percent of the costs of running our subway and bus system,” said Gene Russianoff, staff attorney for the Straphangers Campaign, a transit riders’ advocacy group. “That’s simply not a fair share and not enough to get us affordable fares and decent service.”

The MTA board will vote on increasing MetroCard costs, commuter rail fares and tolls this month. The governor announced last month the base fare would remain at $2, and state lawmakers have said they would try to garner more funding for the agency facing billions in future debt.

The Mayor’s office said that city is looking into the MTA’s financial situation, but it’s also funding a No. 7 line expansion project for more than $2 billion.

While the message is a good one that has to be sent, I think it needs to be sent to the state more. The state is more responsible for the financial crisis the MTA is in compared to the city. If I was apart of this group, I’d refocus my attention on the main culprit.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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LIRR Service Alert (8:40 pm)

Monday, December 3, 2007   8:40 PM

Ronkonkoma, Port Jefferson, Oyster Bay, and Hempstead Branch Customers:

The LIRR is experiencing 30-45 minute delays on the Ronkonkoma, Port Jefferson, Hempstead and Oyster Bay Branches following an accident involving an unauthorized person on the tracks near Floral Park.

Oyster Bay customers on the 8:07 PM train from Jamaica will be provided with train service to Mineola, then transfer to a bus making all stops to Oyster Bay.

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Service Alert B, D, N, & R (9:00 pm)

Due to a police investigation at the Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street Station:

Coney Island-bound n is running on the r line from the Canal Street Station to the DeKalb Avenue Station.

Coney Island-bound b and d trains are running with delays.

Please expect delays in service on the b, d, n and r trains at this time.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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LIRR Crossing In Huntington Finally Repaired

Huntington resident Jean Kouwenhoven must be very happy tonight according to a story in yesterday’s Newsday. The Newsday reprinted a brief letter that Jean sent them complaining about the uneven grade crossing on Oakwood Road in Huntington. Beneath the letter was the article featuring the news Jean & many other drivers have been waiting to hear, the crossing has been repaired! Here is the full article courtesy of Newsday:

The LIRR crossing on Oakwood Road in Huntington is so uneven the cars go around it to avoid the raised pavement on the tracks. It’s just a question of time before one car swerves into another car. I have been after people since last year to get it fixed. I wrote the town and county and learned it’s the LIRR’s responsibility. I left a message a few weeks ago at the railroad and they never called.

Jean Kouwenhoven, Huntington

Drivers won’t have to do any more pothole dodging at the Oakwood Road crossing.

Workers finished overhauling the roadway by the tracks on Tuesday, using 20 tons of new asphalt, LIRR spokesman Sam Zambuto said.

After we called the railroad about the problem, the crossing was reinspected. Zambuto said that inspection confirmed what the railroad already knew – the crossing needed help.

Previous inspections had put the Oakwood Road crossing on the railroad’s repair radar, although the LIRR did not perceive a “current hazard,” Zambuto said.

“The crossing needs asphalt work and that was something we were planning to do,” Zambuto said before the repair work began on Nov. 21.

The asphalt on both sides of the tracks was replaced across all traffic lanes. Repairs were also made to the rubberized crossing panels for smoother driving over the tracks. Oakwood Road is one of 290 street-level train crossings within the LIRR system that are regularly inspected, Zambuto said.

Anyone with a problem involving an LIRR crossing should call Public Affairs at 718-558-8228. Complaints can be e-mailed by visiting mta.info, click the FAQs/Contact Us button on the left and then click E-mail at the bottom of the page.

While it is good to see that the problem was fixed, I do have a couple of opinions about this. For starters why did it take Newsday contacting the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) to get this project expedited. The MTA urges customers to contact them with any comments, concerns or suggestions yet they seem to overlook what is sent in. I don’t think it should have taken the Newsday contacting them to get the work completed ahead of whatever schedule they had in mind.

The next piece of business is in regards to their choice of how to repair the crossing. When I finished reading this article on their website, I noticed that someone had left a comment. The comment was left by Anne & she had this to say:

That has finally been repaired? I am in shock!!!!!!! Oh, please. that crossing had been messed up for a long time. I remember the holes at the edge of the tracks 35 years ago. They should rip the entire crossing up and start from scratch. They have down work on that crossing years ago. But for some reason, it never stayed repaired. Use to go around the holes a lot.

If this crossing has been repaired before & the problems kept manifesting itself, maybe Anne’s suggestion is the right way to go about this. Why keep repairing the crossing if the problem is going to manifest itself? This is not cost effective & in a time where wasting money stands out more then ever, the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) should have seriously looked into what would be the best way to fix this problem once & for all.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Transportation Alternatives Launches Crashstat 2.0

Earlier today, Transportation Alternatives announced the launch of their new website Crashstat 2.0. The website which will call Crashstat.org its home is the second version of the hugely popular Crashstat website which launched in 2004. The site is considered to be a key resource in finding out what are the most dangerous streets in regards to bicycle & pedestrian crashes. Today’s debut was marked by a press release so here is that entire press release courtesy of Transportation Alternatives:

Crashstat 2.0 Reveals NYC’s most Dangerous Streets

New Website Provides 11 Years of Bicycle and Pedestrian Crash Data

Thousands of pedestrians and bicyclists are injured or killed on NYC streets every year. With the launch of Transportation Alternatives’ newest web resource, Crashstat 2.0, New Yorkers can identify the most dangerous streets in their neighborhood and work for a safer city. This interactive website allows users to search through 11 years of bicycle and pedestrian crashes on easy-to-use Google Maps. Crashstat 2.0 displays 139,227 pedestrian crashes and 44,942 bike crashes.

Crashstat identifies East 33rd Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan as the intersection with the highest number of pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and fatalities in NYC. The intersections with the most crashes in each borough are:

* Manhattan: Park Avenue and East 33rd Street: 156 crashes
* Brooklyn: Eastern Parkway and Utica Avenue: 120 crashes
* The Bronx: East Fordham Road and Webster Avenue: 99 crashes
* Queens: Queens Boulevard and 63rd Road: 72 crashes
* Staten Island: Victory Boulevard and New Dorp Lane: 34 crashes

“Crashstat 2.0 is an indispensable tool for New Yorkers fed up with dangerous streets,” says Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “Anyone with an internet connection and a few minutes to spare can go online, research their streets and win stronger safety measures.”

Version 2.0 includes the ability to view crash data by community district, displays community facilities (schools, hospitals, senior centers, etc.) and enables users to search through yearly data between 1995 and 2005. The original version of Crashstat.org ushered in a new era of technology-driven community activism. It launched in 2004 and compiled data from 1997-2002.

Visit the site at crashstat.org.

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