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Busy Bee Sep 30, 2010 2:22 PM

New Street Sign Designs
I didn't want to start a new thread for this.

Personally, and speaking as a graphic designer, I think this is unnecessary and a huge waste of money - not to mention opportunity to return an iconic street sign to New York, not make it look MORE like anywhere USA. I also think it's nonsense because the Federal Highway Administration is forcing the city to make the change to a more 'legible' font. More legible font? I can understand this position for highway and high speed thoroughfare signage, but all municipal street signage is supposed to be more visible for speeding drivers? Isn't this what we are supposed to be getting away from? On top of that, with such a huge investment, we will be left with signs that look essentialy the same in that horrible shade of highway green that says nothing about New York City. They should have returned the gold signs or the really throwback humpback enamel signs to at least Manhattan and a simplified modern sign to the outer boroughs that gave NYC a unique image when it came to its' signs much like SF has or Philly or LA even.

Anyways, here's the articles...

New Yorkers outraged as bureaucrats order city to change lettering on every single street sign

BY Andrew Phillips and Pete Donohue | New York Daily News

Thursday, September 30th 2010, 4:00 AM

The city will change the lettering on every single street sign - at an estimated cost of about $27.5 million - because the feds don't like the font.

Street names will change from all capital letters to a combination of upper and lower case on roads across the country thanks to the pricey federal regulation, officials said Wednesday.

By 2018, MADISON AVE. will become Madison Ave. and will be printed in a font called Clearview, the city Department of Transportation says.

The Federal Highway Administration says the switch will improve safety because drivers identify the words more quickly when they're displayed that way - and can sooner return their eyes to the road.

Still, several city residents were OUTRAGED.

Rest of story

$27 million to change NYC signs from all-caps

By JEREMY OLSHAN | New York Post

Last Updated: 7:14 AM, September 30, 2010

The Capital of the World is going lower-case.

Federal copy editors are demanding the city change its 250,900 street signs -- such as these for Perry Avenue in The Bronx -- from the all-caps style used for more than a century to ones that capitalize only the first letters.

Changing BROADWAY to Broadway will save lives, the Federal Highway Administration contends in its updated Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, citing improved readability.

At $110 per sign, it will also cost the state $27.6 million, city officials said.

"We have already started replacing the signs in The Bronx," city Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan told The Post. 'We will have 11,000 done by the end of this fiscal year, and the rest finished by 2018."

It appears e.e. cummings was right to eschew capital letters, federal officials explain.

Studies have shown that it is harder to read all-caps signs, and those extra milliseconds spent staring away from the road have been shown to increase the likelihood of accidents, particularly among older drivers, federal documents say.

The new regulations also require a change in font from the standard highway typeface to Clearview, which was specially developed for this purpose.

As a result, even numbered street signs will have to be replaced.

Rest of story

NYC4Life Oct 2, 2010 5:38 PM

10:33 AM
New Willis Avenue Bridge Opens To Traffic
By: NY1 News


Drivers can now take the new Willis Avenue Bridge between Manhattan and the Bronx.

The bridge, which officially opened at 7 a.m., replaces the 109-year-old "swing" bridge that opened on a pivot to allow marine traffic to pass on the Harlem River.

The $612 million project is part of more than $5 billion in bridge investments.

The new bridge was floated up the East River in July.

The city Department of Transportation says it will eliminate the old span's tight curves and create more direct connections to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive and the Major Deegan Expressway.

The old bridge will be floated to New Jersey in the coming weeks to be recycled.

The Willis Avenue Bridge carries more than 70,000 vehicles a day.
A July photo of the Willis Avenue Bridge being floated down the East River.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 6, 2010 6:31 AM

News 12 The Bronx

Wireless service headed to city subways
(10/05/10) THE BRONX - Wireless access will be at some New York City subway stations by late 2011.


AT&T and T-Mobile USA signed 10-year agreements on Monday with Transit Wireless to install wireless networks in the subway.

Under the agreement, at least six subway stations will have wireless service by late 2011. That’s one year ahead of schedule, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Wiring the rest of the system will take up to five more years. The service will not be available on running cars, only in stations.

Other carriers can also join the network once installed.

© 2010 & Rainbow Media

NYC4Life Oct 6, 2010 6:33 AM

Updated 10/05/2010 09:39 AM
New MTA Digital Screens Show Bus, Subway Schedules
By: NY1 News


A new pilot program from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will use digital screens to alert subway riders to service disruptions and alternatives before they head to their stop.

MTA Chairman Jay Walder wants to outfit the entire transit system with digital screens that show the status of subways, buses, and commuter trains.

The screens would be installed inside and outside subway stations, on trains, at bus shelters, and even in stores near bus and train stops.

The information would be laid out like it is on the MTA's website - with information about delays and alternate routes.

The screens are currently being tested at Grand Central Terminal.

Meanwhile, the MTA announced an agreement with AT&T and T-Mobile to provide cell and Wi-Fi service by the end of next year on the platforms at six stations in Manhattan, including stops along 14th Street at Eighth Avenue, Seventh Avenue and Sixth Avenue, as well as at 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 6, 2010 6:37 AM

10/05/2010 10:12 PM
Queens Residents Call For End To Cross Bay Bridge Toll
By: NY1 News


More than 200 people marched across the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge in the Rockaways Tuesday evening to protest the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's newly added toll for local residents.

The bridge is the only direct link from the Rockaways to the rest of Queens, and crossing it used to be free for residents.

Back in July, the MTA started charging $1.13 for residents' first two trips of the day over the bridge with E-Z Pass. All subsequent trips that day are then rebated.

Drivers paying in cash are charged $2.75.

"It's unfair. We don't see this anywhere in the United States, only in Rockaway. And we have been the dumping ground for the last 60 years. And we're not gonna take it no more," said one Rockaways resident.

"It is almost unheard of to have tolls go from one side of a community to another. And we're hopeful that the sheer force of the wisdom here, and a lot of people will get the MTA to change their mind," said Congressman Anthony Weiner.

The MTA has not responded to the protest.

They agency has said in the past that adding the toll was necessary in order to help them plug an $800 million budget deficit.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 8, 2010 4:39 AM

Updated 11:15 PM
MTA Board Approves Fare Hikes, Costlier MetroCards
By: John Mancini


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board approved fare hikes and higher prices for unlimited-ride MetroCards by a 12-2 vote in a heated Midtown hearing Thursday.

The MTA's third fare increase in the past three years will take effect on December 30.

The base fare will remain at $2.25, but single-use cards will cost $2.50, since users will pay 25 cents for the card itself.

The bonus for Pay-Per-Ride cards will kick in only after $10. The discount will go down to 7 percent. Currently, users get a 15 percent bonus after $8.

The seven-day card is to go from $27 to $29, and the 30-day card will increase from $89 to $104. The MTA is also charging an extra dollar for buying a new MetroCard, rather than refilling an old card.

The one-day and 14-day unlimited cards will also be axed.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 8, 2010 4:41 AM

Updated 7:31 PM
Christie Pulls Plug On Manhattan-NJ Rail Tunnel Project
By: NY1 News


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced Thursday that he will not contribute towards a multi-billion-dollar commuter rail tunnel between his state and Manhattan, thereby finishing off the expensive transit project.

Current estimates put the tunnel's cost at $8.7 billion, but Christie said the Federal Transit Administration and New Jersey Transit just estimated the final cost would be between $11 billion to $14 billion.

The tunnel would have doubled the number of New Jersey Transit and Amtrak trains into Pennsylvania Station.

Last month, Christie put a 30-day stop to all work on the tunnel and began to review the project's cost.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg previously said New York City cannot afford to finance the project, as the city has higher transit priorities like extending the 7 subway line.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 8, 2010 5:31 PM

Updated 12:37 PM
LaGuardia Airport To Use New Control Tower
By: NY1 News


LaGuardia Airport in Queens will use a new $100 million control tower this weekend.

The Federal Aviation Administration says that flights taking off after midnight Sunday will be the first to get their orders from the new tower.

FAA officials say the the new tower will provide better visibility, new technology to reduce flight delays, more information about planes' destinations and a ground radar system to track aircraft on the runways and taxiways.

The 46-year-old tower that is being replaced will be turned off and decommissioned.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 8, 2010 5:42 PM

Updated 12:18 PM
Study: City Bike Lanes Have Numerous Safety Violations
By: NY1 News


A new study finds Manhattan bicycle lanes are not the easy route they were designed to be.

A study by the Manhattan borough president's office finds that double-parked cars, delivery trucks, pedestrians and even police and city vehicles are clogging up the bike lanes.

The study monitored 11 Manhattan bicycle lanes over 22 hours this week, and monitors found more than 1,700 violations. Only two summonses were issued.

Nineteen police cars were observed blocking bike lanes, as well as 16 other city vehicles, including a school bus.

Opening car doors forced 77 cyclists to swerve out of the way on the lanes.

Cyclists themselves are not sticking to the rules, as 242 riders were seen going the wrong way and 237 blew through red lights.

Also, 741 pedestrians were seen standing in bike lanes.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 8, 2010 5:48 PM


MTA Will Prevent Hoarding of Metrocards Ahead of Fare Hikes
October 8, 2010 10:31am Updated October 8, 2010 10:39am


By Jill Colvin

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MIDTOWN — For cash-strapped strap-hangers considering hoarding MetroCards before the fare hike goes into effect, the MTA has a message: don't bother.

While riders will be given a grace period in which they can activate unlimited MetroCards purchased before fares jump on Dec. 30, the old cards will stop working shortly after that date.

"They’ll have a period of weeks in which the card will remain valid for its first swipe," said MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan.

The MTA passed the controversial proposal to raise bus and subway fares Thursday to bridge a budget deficit, bringing the price of a 30-day unlimited MetroCard to a whopping $104, despite massive opposition.

Copyright © 2009 - 2010 Digital Network Associates dba All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 8, 2010 6:01 PM


Operation Rail Safe tests nation's train security
Updated at 12:57 PM today


NEW YORK (WABC) -- "Operation Rail Safe" tested the nation's train security during Friday morning's busy commute.

The drill gave various law enforcement agencies a chance to work together on security procedures on the rail system.

"I did notice some extra dogs and extra security," said commuter Courtney Mazzola, of Colts Neck.

The NYPD, Amtrak police and law enforcement from several agencies patrolled the trains, the stations and subways.

Those areas are highly populated and, therefore, a target, experts say.

Operation Rail Safe was a 4 1/2 hour drill that was intended to reinforce security cooperation on rail systems.

The practice run factored in lessons learned from the attacks in London and Moscow in recent years.

Security was evident inside and outside Penn Station and Grand Central Friday morning, and riders said they were thankful for it.

"I think that's great, if it helps keep the trains safe, then that's great," Long Island resident Stuart Barnett said.

Operation Rail Safe comes right on the heels of the state department's terror alert for Americans traveling in or to Britain, France and Germany.

It's just a coincidence that Operation Rail Safe happened the very same week, but as some riders pointed out, these coincidences are less surprising these days.

"You know, things have changed since 9/11, and you have to face the facts," said Andrea, a commuter from New Jersey.

Operation Rail Safe will continue during Friday's evening commute. The drill took place in major cities across the country.

(Copyright ©2010 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

NYC4Life Oct 8, 2010 6:04 PM


Feds hope to save Hudson Tunnel project
Updated at 12:38 PM today


TRENTON, N.J. (WABC) -- Don't write off the nation's biggest construction project just yet.

The creation of a train tunnel from New Jersey into Manhattan may not be dead, at least the federal government hopes not.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is in New Jersey Friday, hoping to persuade Governor Chris Christie to save the project and thousands of jobs.

The project was budgeted for $8.7 billion and would create two new rail lines from the Frank Lautenberg Station in Secaucus to a new station at 34th Street in Manhattan.

But Christie announced Thursday that he was shutting down construction over concerns of cost overruns and New Jersey's inability to cover the bills.

(Copyright ©2010 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

M II A II R II K Oct 11, 2010 7:21 PM

Roosevelt Island’s Flying Buses to Return Soon


In the company of 109 other daredevils, you’d step into a giant glass bubble. As the bubble is suspended, somewhat unconvincingly, from a length of wire, you’d all be pulled up off the ground and out away from solid land. Higher, farther, higher, farther — until you were dangling 230 feet above the East River.

David Blaine stunt or morning commute? In November, New Yorkers will get the chance to decide, when the Roosevelt Island trams return to service after a seven-month hiatus.

The original trams — chunky red metal on the bottom half, sliding windows above — were perfect relics of mid-1970s design. Each hanging from a brightly painted arm and emblazoned with bold sans-serif type, the trams looked, more or less, like cheerful flying buses. They ran on the equivalent of a clothesline — a single loop of wire with a vehicle at each end. If one got stuck, the other got stuck, too.

The new trams, which are receiving their finishing touches in the Roosevelt Island terminal, suggest the sleek glass-and-steel towers that ate Manhattan (and parts of Brooklyn and Queens) during the last real estate boom. Boarding one is like walking into the achingly spare living room in the sales office of some new Richard Meier project. That aesthetic may have become a visual cliché, but in person, it’s still pretty cool: a minimalist frame for a maximalist view.

NYC4Life Oct 16, 2010 7:17 PM

1:10 PM
Overnight Lane Closures On Tap For GWB, Outerbridge Crossing
By: NY1 News


Drivers who use the George Washington Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing overnight may want to find alternate routes this weekend and next.

Inbound lanes on the lower level of the George Washington Bridge will be closed Saturday night from 10 p.m. until 10 a.m. Sunday.

Inbound lanes on the Outerbridge will be closed next Saturday from 10 p.m. until 11 a.m. next Sunday for a paving project.

Drivers are urged to use the Lincoln Tunnel, Holland Tunnel, or Goethals Bridge during the closures.

For all the latest information on traffic and transit conditions, be sure to check out NY1's new 24-hour traffic channel "NY1 Rail and Road" on Time Warner Cable channel 104.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 16, 2010 7:20 PM

Updated 2:24 PM
Agencies Conduct Emergency Response Drill At Grand Central
By: Erica Ferrari


Several agencies including the city's Office of Emergency Management took part in an emergency response drill Sunday at Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal.

Emergency workers simulated a train accident, which included mock rescue efforts of 30 victims.

The drills are an exercise in communication between Metropolitan Transportation Authority safety officials and the city's emergency responders.

"Well, obviously to meet our objectives, but basically to make sure the coordination and and communication amongst the emergency service agencies and the MTA come together to solve a problem," said MTA Deputy Director of Safety Joseph Strenany.

"How to get patients out quicker possibly, to use the resources, possibly the hazards that can come from incidents like this, hazards to us and the public," said EMT Rezaur Raman.

The annual exercise is a federal requirement and is aimed at testing communication and coordination in an emergency.

Train service was not affected, and many passengers did not seem to mind.

"I think it needed to be done I mean they need to be on their toes all the time deal with medical emergencies and stuff that can come up at any time," said one traveler.

A similar drill was also held at Newark Liberty Airport.

The Port Authority says flights were not affected.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

fleonzo Oct 16, 2010 7:25 PM

Tappan Zee Bridge replacement
State down to 2 final designs
for Tappan Zee Bridge

NEW CITY — State officials today announced the
final two designs for the bridge that will replace the
Tappan Zee Bridge.

One is a single-level span that would have room for
trains to run in the middle, with bus lanes on either
side of the tracks and cars and trucks traveling in
the outer lanes (Plan 3, above).

The second configuration is a dual-level bridge
(Plan 5, above). Trains would run under the north
span. Vehicle traffic would be on the top level, with
dedicated bus lanes in the center.

Michael Anderson, leader of the Tappan Zee
Bridge/Interstate 287 Corridor Project, said the two
designs were narrowed down from six presented to
the public this summer because they had the
shortest construction time, lower costs and the least
environmental impacts to the Hudson River.

The bridge replacement is just one part of the $16
billion project
, which would also add bus rapid
transit from Suffern to Port Chester along 30 miles
of Interstate 287 and see the construction of a new
passenger train line across Rockland, into
Westchester on Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line
and onto Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.

Anderson made the announcement in New City at a
meeting about the project organized by Rockland
County Legislature Chairwoman Harriet Cornell. She
has held similar summits on the project for the past
six years.

Project officials also said they were continuing to
work on financing for the project but had not
secured any firm commitments.


NYC4Life Oct 17, 2010 7:09 PM

The Tappan Zee is in desperate need of a replacement.

NYC4Life Oct 19, 2010 6:38 AM

10/18/2010 09:45 AM
Flashing Bus Lights May Be Illegal
By: NY1 News


Those flashing blue lights you see on the new express buses running in Manhattan and the Bronx could be illegal.

The Daily News says state law reserves the use of blue lights for first responders like police and volunteer firefighters. The flashing signals are supposed to alert drivers to stay out of the way.

But the lights on the Bx12 and recently unrolled M15 Select Service Buses are positioned to attract riders, not warn of emergencies.

According to the News, the Department of Motor Vehicles would not say whether the bus lights violate state law.

But an agency spokesman confirms that the use of blue lights is restricted to first responders.

A spokesman for New York City Transit says the agency sees no safety concerns.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 19, 2010 6:42 AM

Updated 10/18/2010 11:42 PM
MTA Begins Dyckman Street Station Rehab
By: NY1 News


Some subway riders in Upper Manhattan could be having a tougher commute starting today.

Uptown 1 trains are bypassing Dyckman Street until next August for the first phase of a station rehabilitation project.

The northbound platform at Dyckman Street will be closed until the work is complete. New tracks, platforms, and a new canopy above the station will be installed.

Customers headed for Dyckman Street may ride to 207th Street and use their MetroCard on the downtown side to ride back. They will not be charged a second fare.

A second phase of the project, set to begin next September, will take the southbound platform out of service for several months.

The A subway line is still stopping at Dyckman Street.

For more information, call the Travel Information Center at 1-718-330-1234 or visit the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's website at

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 19, 2010 6:47 AM

Updated 10/18/2010 09:19 PM
Officials Break Ground On Long-Anticipated Moynihan Station Project
By: John Mancini


The mayor, governor, and other officials broke ground Monday on the long-anticipated Moynihan Station project, on the 100th anniversary of the long-gone original Pennsylvania Station. NY1's Transit reporter John Mancini filed the following report.

Monday's birthday party for Pennsylvania Station was bittersweet, as it marked the 100th anniversary of a place that no longer exists, as the first classical-style building was unceremoniously demolished in 1964.

"There's a part of me that wishes someone would come along and take away what we're standing in right now and say 'OK, we made a great mistake. Let's start from scratch and rebuild it,'" said author Lorraine Diehl. "It's tantalizingly sad in a way, because I wish that everyone here who didn't see the building would have at least one opportunity to walk through it."

That dream is not coming true any time soon, but at Eighth Avenue, officials held a groundbreaking ceremony for a project to transform Farley Post Office into an expanded Penn Station that will link the subway system and Amtrak trains in a massive new facility.

"With newer subways, and wider passageways and a modern security upgrade, it will create a safer and more comfortable experience for all travelers," said Governor David Paterson.
The current exterior of the Penn Station.

The improvements are also expected to ease access for people with disabilities.

The $257 million concourse project, which received $83 million in federal stimulus money, will have the Farley Post Office entrances feed a complete Moynihan Station, which is named for late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. The west-end concourse is expected to ease congestion for all rail and subway passengers at the nation's busiest terminal.

"We're also, for the first time, going to have direct access from that platform into Moynihan Station. So all of that work is needed to be done in advance of the second phase of building the grand inter-city train hall," said Timothy Gilchrist of the Moynihan Station Development Corporation.

No one banked the additional hundreds of millions dollars needed to complete the whole station, whose design echoes the station demolished in 1964.

Riders who battle the Penn Station crowds every day say they welcome any relief.

"Rush hour, when I get on the train to go home, it often takes five or 10 minutes just to get from station level to platform level. It's ridiculous," said a commuter.

The new entrances are expected to be completed by 2016, but there is no estimate for when the entire Moynihan Station will be finished.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 22, 2010 11:39 PM

Updated 10:35 AM
Major LIRR Service Delays Expected This Weekend
By: NY1 News


Some major service changes are expected this weekend as the Long Island Rail Road begins a massive modernization project.

The project will update technology at the control center at Jamaica station and will make travel easier in the future. But for now, riders can expect extremely limited service this weekend.

Only the Port Washington Branch, Babylon, and Long Beach branches will have direct service to and from Penn Station.

All other LIRR branches have significant changes.

Officials say buses and subway service will replace some LIRR trains. But they caution riders to allow for up to 70 minutes of additional travel time.

"We believe this is absolutely essential for service reliability and train service reliability through Jamaica and while it is inconvenience for train customers on two weekends and we recognize that it is an extremely important upgrade for the LIRR," said Long Island Rail Road President Helena Williams.

Officials say riders can expect a normal commute on Monday.

Work will also be done the first weekend in November, so service will again be limited.

For more information, visit

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 22, 2010 11:40 PM

Updated 9:18 AM
Cash-Only Drivers May Get Higher Toll Hike
By: NY1 News


E-ZPass users may get a break when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board votes next week on toll hikes.

But those who use cash-only lanes should prepare to dig deeper into their pockets.

According to the Daily News, drivers who pay with E-ZPass will be hit with a five-percent increase, just half of what was originally proposed.

The paper says drivers who pay cash will be hit with an 18-percent hike.

Board members tell the News they want to encourage more drivers to use E-ZPass, which they say will reduce MTA labor costs, traffic congestion, and pollution.

The agency had originally proposed a 25-cent to 50-cent increase per trip on its bridges and tunnels.

If approved, the hikes will go into effect in January to help close the agency's budget gap.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 25, 2010 6:44 PM

Updated 2:27 PM
Minor Train Derailment Causes Major Delays For Evening Commute
By: NY1 News


A minor train derailment is causing major delays at Penn Station, which are expected to continue throughout the evening rush hour.

Trains are delayed up to an hour on New Jersey Transit and Amtrak trains due to what officials are calling a "slow-speed derailment."

NJ Transit says two cars jumped the tracks as a slow-moving train was departing Penn Station this morning. About 300 passengers walked back to the station.

No injuries were reported but the problem is limiting the number of tracks available at the station.

NJ Transit officials say problems could continue through the evening commute on the Northeast Corridor and New Jersey Coast lines.

LIRR rush hour service will likely be affected, as well.

PATH is honoring NJ Transit tickets.

For more information, go to, and

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 29, 2010 4:37 PM

10:20 AM
Amtrak Shells Out $500 Million For New Electric Trains
By: NY1 News


Amtrak is shelling out nearly $500 million for 70 new electric locomotives.

These new locomotives will replace the ones in use on the Northeast Regional line between Boston and Washington and the Keystone route in Pennsylvania.

Those cars are between 20 to 30 years old and have an average of 3.5-million miles.

First delivery of the new trains is scheduled for 2013.

The purchase is part of Amtrak's plan to replace and expand its entire fleet over the next 30 years.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 29, 2010 4:42 PM

11:03 AM
MTA Works To Bring Down Its Decibel Level
By: John Mancini


On the heels of a study saying New Yorkers are being stressed out by too much noise, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it's doing what it can to help – at least in one small way. NY1 Transit reporter John Mancini filed the following report on how one sound New Yorkers hear from buses may become a bit less irritating.

The beeping noise that buses make while becoming handicapped accessible may not be the loudest thing about the bus, but it can be the most annoying if you live along a route.

"At night, when people are trying to sleep or rest in their apartment, the last thing they want to hear is a noisy bus outside their window or door,” said MTA Bus President Joseph Smith.

Untreated, those mechanisms can produce 110 decibels.

That's why the MTA is aiming to make the kneeling system on all of its 5,900 buses less loud. Pneumatic noise is muffled and that beeping is made a bit softer.

The new setup tamps things down by 20 percent. That’s similar to the difference between a doorbell or alarm clock and a leaf blower or power saw.

So far, 220 buses have been retrofitted, at about $170 each.

"It is a complaint that we can do something with that's relatively not that costly,” said Smith.

The new muffler on the kneeling system is just one of the ways the MTA is trying to take some of the noise out of transit.

On elevated subway lines, announcements through external train speakers stop after 8 p.m. Bus suppliers have to reduce engine noise.

And the MTA is working at taking some of the hiss out of other compressed-air systems.

"We're working with our bus manufacturers to incorporate these changes into new buses so the new buses will be delivered with the equipment already installed,” said NYC Transit Assistant Chief Maintenance Officer Daniel Corzdoza.

The MTA says 2,400 new buses should roll more quietly into service over the next four years. This comes as welcome news if you work 12 hours a day along a route, even if not all the noise is bad.

"It has its pros and cons for me, you know,” said Ron Sawney, a button vendor in Union Square. “If I don't want to hear somebody, and the bus is right there, it can just drown them out."

But even the oldest kneeling bus doesn't make enough noise to drown out bigger annoyances.

"I live at First Avenue and 29th Street, across from Bellevue. I hear nothing but sirens 24 hours a day,” complained one Manhattan resident.

For others, complaints about beeping fall on deaf ears.

"I'm sorry that New Yorkers are so sensitive. I think they need to get ear muffs,” said another New Yorker.

There has been no word from the MTA on that particular retrofit.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Oct 29, 2010 7:44 PM

An Emirates passenger jetliner originating from Dubai has just landed at JFK International Airport following military jet escort. There are reports of a possible suspicious package from Yemen onboard. This follows other developments from earlier today involving suspected packages from Yemen aboard UPS cargo planes that were investigated in England, Philadelphia and Newark.

NYC4Life Nov 8, 2010 6:16 PM


Amtrak in talks to revive New Jersey rail tunnel
A passenger walks on the platform beside an Amtrak train in a file photo.
Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder


PHILADELPHIA | Mon Nov 8, 2010 10:33am EST
(Reuters) - Amtrak is in preliminary talks with New Jersey's public transit agency to revive a plan to build a commuter rail tunnel between Manhattan and New Jersey, a spokesman for the U.S. national passenger railroad said on Monday.

"We are in preliminary discussions," spokesman Cliff Cole said. "We are discussing options that would be mutually beneficial. We have been talking with them ever since the program was put in jeopardy."

The $8.7 billion tunnel under the Hudson River, which would have been America's largest public works project, was canceled on October 27 by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who said the state could not afford likely cost overruns.

Cole said talks would continue. He declined to comment on any financing options that may be under discussion. He said the possibility of a revival of the project was first publicly stated by a senior Amtrak official on November 4.

A spokesman for New Jersey Transit did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

(Reporting by Jon Hurdle; Editing by Daniel Trotta, editing by Philip Barbara)

NYC4Life Nov 10, 2010 7:26 PM


A “Secret” Subway Stop


By Mike Krumboltz – Tue Nov 9, 2:16 pm ET

Hidden deep under New York City, a "secret" subway stop is drawing visitors. The Big Apple's City Hall station, a beautiful structure that opened in 1904, but has been out of use for decades, can be seen by riders ... if they know how to make the journey. Check out these photos below, courtesy of John-Paul Palescandolo.

Jalopnik writes that if you want to check out this long-forgotten station, one of the "most gorgeous gems in the world of mass transit," you'll have to take the 6 train and then stay on board. Jalopnik elaborates, "The 6 train used to make all passengers leave the train at the Brooklyn Bridge stop, but no longer. If you have a little extra time, you can stay on the train and view the City Hall station as the train makes its turnaround."
Looking up at the mezzanine level from mid-way up the stairs between the track and mezzanine levels.
(Photo courtesy of John-Paul Palescandolo)
Looking down the tunnel. This is how trains departing Brooklyn Bridge station and arriving at City Hall would have come. This is still the route the 6… Read more »
(Photo courtesy of John-Paul Palescandolo)
Standing on the track level and looking up through the archway to the mezzanine level.
(Photo courtesy of John-Paul Palescandolo)
Looking down to the track level from the mezzanine.
(Photo courtesy of John-Paul Palescandolo)
Shot of the skylight and lighting fixtures of the mezzanine level.
(Photo courtesy of John-Paul Palescandolo)
One of the old City Hall wall mosaics, identifying the station to passengers.
(Photo courtesy of John-Paul Palescandolo)
The former mezzanine level of the City Hall station taken with a wide angle lens.
(Photo courtesy of John-Paul Palescandolo)

Copyright © 2010 Yahoo All rights reserved.

Busy Bee Nov 10, 2010 9:07 PM

Someone explain to me why the City Hall station isn't a branch of the Transit Museum? Would be amazing clean and completely restored with a rotating exhibit and gift shop of equal size to Brooklyn but with no subway car displays?

J. Will Nov 12, 2010 8:41 AM


"The 6 train used to make all passengers leave the train at the Brooklyn Bridge stop, but no longer.
Do all NYC subways have a front and back? Here the subways are reversible, so they don't have to turn around at terminal stations.

ardecila Nov 12, 2010 9:39 AM


Originally Posted by J. Will (Post 5052466)
Do all NYC subways have a front and back? Here the subways are reversible, so they don't have to turn around at terminal stations.

When this happens, the motorman has to walk from one end to another, from car to car. That takes a few minutes, and back in the days when most of the NY subway system was built, trains came on ridiculously small headways at peak periods - 30 seconds, I've heard. If they had to wait for the motorman to walk down the length of a 12-car train, a bunch of trains would back up.

Early NY subway planners preferred to build loop stations so that trains could operate continuously. The older lines in Chicago have this, too - usually, there is a yard at the end of the line with a loop track in it. In NY, some lines terminated in Lower Manhattan, so they couldn't very well build a yard - they just built a loop-shaped station. City Hall and South Ferry both had this setup.

Most systems today - Chicago and Toronto included - don't have those ridiculous headways, so a simple pocket track at the end of the line works to turn trains around, and the motorman can do his walk.

NYC4Life Nov 13, 2010 2:32 AM


Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 5050415)
Someone explain to me why the City Hall station isn't a branch of the Transit Museum? Would be amazing clean and completely restored with a rotating exhibit and gift shop of equal size to Brooklyn but with no subway car displays?

There were talks back in the 90's of renovating the station and opening it to the public as part of the NY Transit Museum. Howerever; citing safety concerns mayor Guiliani at the time abandoned the idea.

NYC4Life Nov 13, 2010 2:33 AM

Updated 2:34 PM
Amtrak Abandons Talks To Put Hudson Tunnel Plans Back On Track
By: NY1 News


It seems Amtrak will not be the one to put the scrapped commuter rail tunnel under the Hudson River back on track.

Amtrak told NY1 today that it has abandoned "exploratory" talks with New Jersey Transit.

The railroad issued a statement saying its primary interest is advancing high-speed rail service along the Northeast. And it says N.J. Transit would have to put up the extra cash in a potential joint-commuter venture.

The announcement comes a day after Governor Chris Christie told a New Jersey newspaper that Amtrak showed interest in the plans for the rail tunnel.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Nov 13, 2010 2:39 AM

Updated 4:59 PM
Memorial Service Held In Remembrance Of Flight 587 Crash Victims
By: Roger Clark


A solemn memorial service was held this morning to mark the ninth anniversary of the Flight 587 crash in Belle Harbor, Queens.

The ceremony featured the reading of the names of all 265 who perished, followed by remarks from the mayor and a procession of loved ones of the victims leaving flowers and trinkets by the memorial on Beach 116th Street at Rockaway Boulevard – 15 blocks from the 2001 crash site.

"In the span of those nine year,s our lives have changed and so has the great city around us," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "But what has remained is the unity of this group."

Flight 587 had just taken off from John F. Kennedy International Airport en route to the Dominican Republic when it crashed at 9:16 a.m.

All 251 passengers and nine crew members were killed, along with five people on the ground. Many of those killed were of Dominican descent and the crash was heavily felt in the Dominican neighborhood of Washington Heights.

"My sister came to my house crying, she was crawling, she couldn't even talk, she just screamed," recalled Karen Tavarez, who lost both her mother and her three-year-old nephew in the crash.

Many say time does not really heal the wounds.

"Sometimes the emotion just comes back," said Anna Inez Reyes, whose brother was killed when Flight 587 crashed. "Especially when you're walking around this area that you know where the tragedy was, you came after. So, it brings back sad memories, but it also brings happy memories because we were discussing stuff about him, like, 'you remember this?' It brings both emotions."

"These nine years, have helped me get used to life without him," said Belkis Lora, whose brother was also killed in the crash. "But the pain is still there. Every morning when I wake up, I always remember the day that I took him to the airport. It's really hard."

Federal investigators determined the crash was caused when the plane's tail broke off due to overuse of the rudder in the wake of turbulence from another flight.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Nov 13, 2010 2:43 AM

Updated 9:29 PM
NY1 Exclusive: Video Shows Subway Motorman Texting As He Runs Train
By: NY1 News


City transit officials are investigating the case of a worker who was caught on cell phone video texting while driving the train.

The straphanger who shot the video says it happened at about 8:45 a.m. today on a 7 train that was headed from Woodside, Queens to Grand Central Station.

In the video, the motorman is seen using his mobile device and not keeping his eyes on the above-ground tracks. He then looks behind at the rider with the camera and then stops operating the mobile device.

A city transit spokesman said in a statement, "MTA New York City Transit has an absolute, zero-tolerance policy against texting, cell phone use or handling any type of mobile device while in a crew cab. The incident is under investigation and once identified, the train operator will be removed from service pending the disciplinary process."

Riders of the 7 train who saw the video today told NY1 they were scared and shocked by the incident, but said the driver should be reprimanded and not fired.

"This is disturbing. I don't even feel safe going on this train, to be honest," said one rider. "I don't know what to say, it's disturbing."

"It's a distraction, Thousands and thousands of lives are at stake. So I think that's not behavior that should be condoned. That should be cracked down upon," said a second.

"It's dangerous and it's not safe," said a third. "It's just like if you're driving a car, you shouldn't do it. I don't think you should be driving a train and doing it either."

MTA officials could suspend the motorman, or fire him if he is a repeat offender.

Copyright © 2010 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Nov 16, 2010 7:51 PM

Yahoo! News / AP

City Hall unveils 3 finalists to be next NYC taxi


By SARA KUGLER FRAZIER, Associated Press – Mon Nov 15, 5:36 pm ET

The competition to manufacture New York City's next official taxicab has been narrowed to three automakers who each came up with similar tall, boxy designs that are more like minivans than traditional sedans.

The finalists announced Monday are Ford Motor Co., Nissan North America Inc. and Karsan USA. Karsan is a Turkish company that makes cars for such brands as Fiat and Hyundai.

The New York City yellow taxi fleet of more than 13,200 taxis is now made up of 16 vehicle models from nine different manufacturers, including nearly 4,000 hybrids. The anchor of the fleet is Ford's Crown Victoria, which was recently discontinued.

None of the vehicles on the road now was originally designed to be used as a taxi, which typically drives 70,000 miles a year and has its doors slammed 60 to 70 times a day. All were existing automobiles that were then specially outfitted by garages to meet the city's requirements for cabs.

For the next official taxi to replace the Crown Victoria, City Hall wanted to change that.

"Although the city has long set standards for our taxis, we have never before worked with the auto industry to design a taxicab especially for New York City — that is, until now," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Of the three submissions, the Nissan design most resembles a traditional minivan. The Karsan proposal looks a bit like a Smart Car and the Ford submission evokes a sort of European ambulance.

The city declined to make the three finalist proposals available Monday because the information in them is still proprietary. Officials provided photographs but scant details about the proposed vehicles, their features or potential fuel efficiencies.

Nissan also declined to provide its proposal, and requests to the other two finalists were not immediately returned.

Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky described Nissan's design as the roomiest and the most ambitious in terms of sustainability. The automaker's proposal "aspires to a fully electric vehicle at some point," Yassky said.

Yassky said Ford is a trusted partner with its history of making Crown Victoria taxis and other models, and Karsan offered a proposal with an eye-pleasing design, roomy interior and accessibility.

Earlier this year the Taxi and Limousine Commission put out a request for proposals for the exclusive right to make the taxi of tomorrow.

The city asked all proposals to consider the roominess of the interior, driver comfort, environmental impact, maintenance and repair costs and exterior design.

It also asked for ideas to update the partition that divides the driver from the passengers.

The three finalists were chosen from seven submissions.

New Yorkers can go online, see the three finalist designs and vote on features they want to see in the next official taxi — choosing from such possibilities like sunroofs and electrical outlets to charge computers and cell phones.

The three finalists have been asked to submit their best and final offering within the next month.

A winning design will be announced early next year; the chosen automaker will have the right to exclusively provide the standard taxicab for 10 years.

Officials expect the new vehicle to be on the road by the fall of 2014.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

NYC4Life Nov 17, 2010 4:37 PM

WABC-TV New York

7 line extension an alternative to Hudson tunnel?
Updated at 07:39 AM today


NEW YORK (WABC) -- The rail tunnel project under the Hudson River that was killed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie could be staging a comeback.

The Bloomberg administration is looking at a plan to extend the No. 7 subway line from Times Square to Hoboken and then on to Secaucus.

New Jersey commuters say they pack themselves onto crowded trains, so many of them are hoping that the No. 7 train is on the way.

But riders shouldn't get their hopes up, at least not just yet. The subway extension plan is in its earliest thinking stages. More trains, more tracks and more seats are a long way off, but...
"If it cost what the subway costs, I would definitely consider it," one commuter said.

The proposed extension would link the Lautenberg Train Station in Secaucus to all of the city's subway lines, including Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal.

It would be the first time the subway system would extend beyond the city limits.

And it could be done for half the cost of the original plan. That's because the No. 7 line tunnel already extends to the Manhattan waterfront.

"The 7 line in Manhattan is good," one straphanger said. "And if they can extend it, I think, as long as the logistics are fine and it will help quantitatively, it sounds like a start, because we need another tunnel."

City officials say extending the No. 7 line would shave billions of dollars off the cost of the original proposed tunnel.

Copyright ©2010 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.

Crawford Nov 17, 2010 4:51 PM

That map is obviously wrong.

If there is a 7 train extension, it would go to Union City, not Hoboken.

And the map doesn't show the actual route of the 7 train. The 7 train will travel south from Times Square.

The Hoboken Terminal is nowhere near Hudson Yards or Secaucus Transfer, and it already has direct subway access to Manhattan through PATH, so that would be nonsensical.

It would also blow up the budget, because it would basically double the length.

NYC4Life Nov 17, 2010 5:42 PM

Amazing that commuters as far north as Port Jervis in Orange County and Spring Valley in Rockland County would have direct access to the subways from Secaucus and Hoboken.

M II A II R II K Nov 17, 2010 9:54 PM

When would Staten Island get a decent connection....

NYC4Life Nov 21, 2010 8:32 AM


Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 5059394)
When would Staten Island get a decent connection....

Perhaps, by extending the 1 line to a new tunnel beyond the South Ferry station in Lower Manhattan to St. George on Staten Island. That will allow for connections with the Staten Island Railway, the Staten Island terminus of the ferry and Richmond County ballpark.

Busy Bee Nov 21, 2010 3:37 PM

No way. No how.

k1052 Nov 21, 2010 8:40 PM


Originally Posted by NYC4Life (Post 5063932)
Perhaps, by extending the 1 line to a new tunnel beyond the South Ferry station in Lower Manhattan to St. George on Staten Island. That will allow for connections with the Staten Island Railway, the Staten Island terminus of the ferry and Richmond County ballpark.

I can only imagine the many many billions that would cost. Probably better to wait for the Bayonne Bridge replacement and include rail in the design and go into Manhattan through the PATH tunnels.

NYC4Life Nov 23, 2010 3:10 PM

WABC-TV New York / Associated Press

Christie says he'd consider helping fund subway link
Updated at 08:42 AM today


TRENTON -- Gov. Chris Christie, who halted construction last month on a new commuter rail tunnel between New Jersey and New York City, said Monday that he would consider contributing to a cheaper alternative: extending New York's No. 7 subway line under the Hudson River to New Jersey.

Speaking on Millennium Radio's "Ask the Governor" program Monday night, Christie said extending the No. 7 line from Manhattan through Hoboken and onto Secaucus is "a much better idea" than the tunnel that was the nation's most expensive public works project.

Christie scrapped that project because of potential cost overruns, forfeiting $3 billion in federal funds that had been approved. New Jersey could be on the hook to repay the federal government $350 million already spent.

Christie said he hadn't yet spoken with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg about the proposal. Policymakers in Bloomberg's office have been discussing whether it would be possible to extend the line.
"This is an example of what can happen when you decide to take a strong, principled stand on something," Christie said. "If something is necessary, people find other ideas that are more equitable."

Christie said the proposed subway extension has three points in its favor: It would be cheaper than the scrapped tunnel, it would connect to Penn Station and Grand Central Station and would have funding from New York City and state.

He then chided Sen. Frank Lautenberg for not speaking up on behalf of the new idea. Lautenberg helped secure federal funding for the rail tunnel.

The $8.7 billion project to construct a second rail tunnel between New Jersey and New York was 15 years in the making when Christie killed it Oct. 27. Former Gov. Jon Corzine broke ground on the project amid his re-election campaign against Christie.

Christie later accused the former governor of rushing the start of the project for political gain; Corzine said he was creating jobs.

New Jersey was expected to shoulder $2.7 billion of the costs, plus overruns. The federal government and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had each committed $3 billion to the project.

Before the most recent idea goes anywhere, it would need support from Christie, Bloomberg, who's an independent, and New York Gov.-elect Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat. U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., offered his support in obtaining federal funds to make the idea work.

(Copyright ©2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

NYC4Life Nov 23, 2010 3:13 PM

WABC-TV New York

New York City considering bike-sharing plan
Updated at 06:18 AM today


NEW YORK (WABC) -- Critics say there are too many bicycles wheeling around New York City. But now, there are plans for a bike-sharing program that could put thousands more on the streets.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to push ahead with the plans Tuesday, launching an effort that could make thousands of bicycles available for public use.

The city is reportedly set to request proposals from companies interested in running kiosks to rent the bikes. If those kiosks become a reality, New York would join a string of American cities now trying out similar measures.

A bike-sharing program in Washington, D.C. started in September. A day pass costs just $5, with annual membership going for $75.
But in New York City, there are concerns that too many bikes are already roaming the streets. The NYPD is in the middle of a crackdown on cyclists, issuing large amounts of summonses to delivery people, pedicab drivers and regular commuters.

"People are extremely frustrated, they're nervous," New York City Councilman Daniel Garodnick said. "It's a dangerous situation, and that's why it's important that police have stepped it up and done some strong enforcement out here."

If implemented, the bike-sharing plan would take effect next year.

(Copyright ©2010 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

k1052 Nov 23, 2010 4:10 PM

It will be 20+ years before a 7 train extension to Secaucus could come to fruition. The MTA should focus on Metro-North, LIRR, and improvements to the subways. Leave NJ to suffer the consequences of their own bad choices.

M II A II R II K Nov 23, 2010 4:13 PM

Regardless of extra cost the tunnel should be commuter rail to traverse long distances, not a short range rapid transit line to go through it, unless it was thrown in, in addition to a commuter rail line.

Dac150 Nov 23, 2010 4:27 PM

Am I the only one who isn't digging those new taxi proposals?

Busy Bee Nov 23, 2010 8:21 PM


Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 5066544)
It will be 20+ years before a 7 train extension to Secaucus could come to fruition. The MTA should focus on Metro-North, LIRR, and improvements to the subways. Leave NJ to suffer the consequences of their own bad choices.

I'm not sure the region, like the country, has the luxury to make transport policy based on absurd, meaningless jurisdictional lines and worse yet, fueled by revenge and contempt for literal neighbors and shared benefactors. Such protocol will just accelerate our non-competitiveness to ______________(fill in the blank with any number of developed and emerging centers of business and commerce - the list is long).

k1052 Nov 23, 2010 8:52 PM


Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 5066937)
I'm not sure the region, like the country, has the luxury to make transport policy based on absurd, meaningless jurisdictional lines and worse yet, fueled by revenge and contempt for literal neighbors and shared benefactors. Such protocol will just accelerate our non-competitiveness to ______________(fill in the blank with any number of developed and emerging centers of business and commerce - the list is long).

That's already been done and NJ did it. The possbility of any new service is dead for two decades until Amtrak decides to build new tunnels and NJT piggy backs along.

I just see no reason for the MTA to expend their limited resources in this area at present when they have a number of other worthy projects that have been on the sidelines for much longer.

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