Woman Saved From Train Tracks

Three days ago, a most likely horrible incident was averted as a Brooklyn woman was saved after falling to the tracks at the Myrtle-Willoughby Avenues station on the G Train line. NY1 has the story:

A woman was rescued after falling onto subway tracks in Brooklyn Tuesday afternoon at around 4 p.m. at the Myrtle and Willoughby Avenue station of the G Train Line in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Officials say the woman was having a seizure at the time she fell.

When emergency medics arrived, they found her lying face-down between the first and second rail.

She was taken to Woodhull Hospital where she was held for observation.

Thankfully a sure disaster was averted.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Metro-North Repairs Lead To Road Detour

The Metro-North division of the MTA issued a press release a few days about repairs that will lead to a road detour in the town of Southeast. Here are the details:

The Town of Southeast will close Prospect Hill Bridge beginning Monday July 21, 2008 so that MTA Metro-North Railroad can repair the 98-year-old bridge.

The 270-foot-long bridge, which was built in 1910 and has a load limit of five tons, carries Prospect Hill Road over the Harlem Line railroad tracks and parts of the Brewster Yard.

Metro-North, in consultation with the Town of Southeast, came up with the shortest possible detour which adds about two miles to the trip, rerouting traffic over to Route 312 to Route 6 to North Main Street.

The bridge will be closed for at least two months as the railroad will be removing concrete to determine the condition of the steel on the truss span. Metro-North welders and masons will be repairing the structural steel of the span.

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Port Authority Makes A Questionable Hire

The Port Authority has been known to make their share of questionable decisions. Their most recent qualifies as another one as they hired a former MTA Executive who was fined for taking illegal gifts. This comes on the heels of the Port Authority’s General Inspector recommended he not be hired. Tom Topousis of the New York Post has the story:

A former MTA executive who was fined $10,000 for taking gifts from a contractor doing business with the agency has landed a consulting job at the Port Authority to provide engineering advice at the World Trade Center, The Post has learned.

Joseph Siano, formerly a vice president of MTA Capital Construction, was retained as a consultant this month by the PA after that agency’s inspector general recommended he should not be hired, a source said.

Siano resigned from the MTA in April 2005 after the state Ethics Commission determined he inappropriately accepted a $2,500 ticket to a fund-raiser and $350 in golf and dinner expenses from construction firm DMJM.

The firm has several contracts with the MTA, including design of the Second Avenue subway line, which Siano oversaw.

A PA spokesman said Siano is being paid $115 an hour in consulting fees. A statement from the PA insisted “the highest safety, integrity and ethical standards are in place at the World Trade Center site.”

Siano “will have an arms-length relationship with DMJM,” the statement continued.

DMJM is under contract with the PA to design the WTC transit hub.

You see these are types of decisions made by agencies that showcase why they do not do what is best for the overall picture. Why would you even consider hiring someone who was fined for taking illegal gifts, much less when they will have some sort of working relationship with the company that provided them in the first place? This smells like a back room deal which are never good in the long run.

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Federal Government Won’t Bail Out The MTA

As you probably have heard by now, the much hyped Fulton Transit Center is behind schedule & over budget. If the MTA was wishing the federal government would bail them out with this project, they better go back to the wishing well & try again. New York Daily News Transit Reporter Pete Donohue has the story:

The Federal Transit Administration won’t bail out the MTA’s troubled Fulton St. subway hub with an infusion of more money, a top Bush administration official said.

“Absolutely not. That’s capped out,” federal transit Administrator James Simpson said Tuesday when asked if the FTA would increase its commitment for the Fulton Transit Center.

An MTA-FTA funding agreement commits the feds to $819 million. Another $40 million is set aside in reserve funds. Plans call for overhauling the existing Fulton/Broadway/Nassau St. subway complex and creating a grand, domed entrance building with retail space.

In January, MTA officials said they were short $1 billion for expansion projects because of rising costs.

The MTA said work on the underground parts of the project – including a new walkway connecting 11 subway lines downtown – would continue, but it couldn’t afford the above-ground components.

“We are continuing make great progress on underground work …,” MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin said.

One has to seriously wonder if this project will ever be done. The MTA is supposedly $1 billion+ over budget for the project. They can’t make up their mind on what the outside design should look like, & their overall financial picture is as bleak as it has been in ages. This sorely needed project better have 9 lives times maybe 1000 as it will need each & every one of them.

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MTA Opens New Entrance At Columbus Circle

The MTA has opened a new entrance at the 59th Street-Columbus Circle station on the A Train, A Train, A Train, A Train, & A Train lines. The new entrance located at 60th Street & Broadway is part of the ongoing 42-month $108 million station rehabilitation project. Here is the press release:

The 59th Street-Columbus Circle ABCD1 subway station, a major mid-town stop on Manhattan’s west side, is undergoing a 42-month $108 million station rehabilitation. As part of this on-going project, MTA NYC Transit is opening a new entrance on the northwest corner of 60th Street and Broadway. Executive Director and CEO of the MTA, Elliot G. Sander, NYC Transit President Howard H. Roberts, Jr. and local elected officials were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony today. The opening coincides with the closing of the Broadway Island control area for renovation, scheduled to reopen in May 2009.

The new 60th Street control area cost $14 million and was carved out of solid rock made up of the well-known Manhattan schist while a vast array of street utilities were suspended from the decking beams. Those utilities included 20-inch and 32-inch city water lines, a 20-inch Con Ed steam line as well as numerous smaller electric, gas and fiber optic lines. The entrance, which includes two new street-to-platform level staircases and a MetroCard Vending Machine, was newly constructed under concrete decking, which minimized the disruption to street traffic on southbound Broadway.

“Funding for transportation is a scarce commodity, but we are doing everything we can with the resources we have available to improve the experience our customers have with us,” said Elliot G. Sander, the Executive Director and CEO of the MTA. “Whether it is a much needed new subway entrance or the initiation of Select Bus Service, we are committed to improving customer service.”

“This station rehabilitation project and particularly this new entrance are examples of the difficulties NYC Transit faces when upgrading what is an aging system,” said NYC Transit President Howard H. Roberts, Jr. “Despite the complexities of the construction, we have delivered to the customers who use this station a new, modern entrance which will provide additional egress capacity for the more than 69-thousand people who use the station daily.”

With the addition of the two new staircases and control area, customers will have better access to the station, particularly to the southbound 1 platform. When the Broadway Island reopens next year, there will be an additional staircase south of the current stair. Customers will then have three new points of entry from Broadway.

The full 59th Street-Columbus Avenue project will see the rehabilitation of the 8th Avenue ABCD and the Broadway/Seventh Avenue 1 parts of the station, installation of a new street elevator on the west side of Central Park West and other ADA-compliant amenities and will renovate employee facilities at the complex. Also included are upgrades to the communications, lighting and electrical systems. Artwork by the late Sol LeWitt will be installed. Restoration of the complex is in accordance with historic preservation guidelines, as required.

I am not sure why they felt a need to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony. While it is a new entrance, it is still just an entrance. The ribbon cutting ceremony should take place when they actually complete the work at that station which is a total nightmare to straphangers who have to navigate it. The end to the nightmare would be a real cause for celebration in my book!

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