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  2. If you get stopped then just put it away and move to the next station. Even if you're completely in the right it's just not worth your time engaging with the police, and avoiding a confrontation will make everything so much easier and better for you if your purpose is just to railfan. You have to understand that the cops are high alert and in their minds it's better to wrongfully confront a railfan than let a terrorist slip through. Even though a terrorist probably wouldn't be taking pictures in the subway in the first place because pictures and diagrams can be found online for free, only people who are interested in transit know about that and where to find it, and the cops may legitimately feel that a threat is present. If for some reason the cop detains you or throws you off the property for simply photographing or taking a video of the subway then they've crossed the line, but you have to understand why they would stop someone for doing an act that isn't common and to some seems unusual (honestly I still find the idea of railfanning strange and unusual, but I do understand why people do it now). The subway is meant to get from point A to point B, and anyone loitering around a station and not getting in a train is enough to at least draw their attention. Basically just use common sense when railfanning, and if a cop stops you just put it away and move on to the next station; it makes both your lives easier and saves a huge hassle.
  3. I have a question. When deadheading is there one set route that the driver must take or are they given some leeway to take an alternate route if there's traffic? The one main thing that I think of about this topic is that if they run the bus on a route then it's subject to whatever traffic it gets hit with and pretty much doubles the amount of time it takes because of stopping for passengers. For example the M15SBS says it takes 29 minutes to get from 14th St to 96th St on 1st Av, but I've driven from 14th to 92nd along 1st Av in under 15 minutes. The fastest bus route takes twice as long to go the distance 4 miles, making 10 stops, than it would to just drive through without stopping. The M15 local takes about 45 minutes, three times longer than just driving without stopping. This probably isn't a deadhead route, but driving up 1st Avenue is the only instance where I ever drive along a bus route for a while so I have something to compare it to. Also keep in mind that any delay along the route such as traffic, an accident, or construction, would make the bus late for its next run. If a bus is deadheading and one of those incidents occurs along the route then the bus could just be diverted to another street or take a completely different route that avoids the traffic that will build up in that area, but if it's on that bus route it has to keep making the stops along that traffic infested route.
  4. There are many people who use the bus to get to the subway in Manhattan. I'd say at least half of crosstown bus users on the Upper East Side are using the bus to get to the subway. Especially the M66, M79, and M86 which run out of seats after 1st Avenue going westbound. I'd say about 30% of the bus gets out at Lexington Avenue, and then for the M79/M86 at Central Park West about half of the people get off (not all go to the subway, but almost all do), and quite a few people stick around until Broadway, maybe only about half of those getting off at Broadway go into the subway though since it is a destination in itself already. There are also a fair amount of people who transfer between crosstown buses in Midtown and the subway.
  5. When delays or other things happen on the Lexington Avenue line they tend to send trains along 7th Avenue. Similarly I've had my fair share of rides on a downtown train on Lex during the morning rush.
  6. M86 off board payment would be good, but NO BUS LANES ON 86TH STREET, and definitely no stops removed. Bus lanes would be a completely joke as almost all of 86th Street is residential and many people currently double park to load/unload as well as cabs stopping frequently to pick up/drop off people. Putting a bus lane in would just push those cars into the bus lane and render it useless. Traffic isn't even bad on 86th Street to the point where bus lanes are even needed, and even if everyone follows the law and stays out of them they'll get backed up from cars making right turns, forcing the bus to use the center or left lane instead. Also would that mean they would install an SBS machine at the stop within Central Park? I've only ever been on the bus once when somebody got on there, and twice when someone got off, but it's still a stop nonetheless.
  7. Your plan would force many more people to transfer thus eliminating any real possible gains, plus it completely eliminates the connection between the Broadway line and the Queens Blvd line. Currently there are many ways to get from Queens Blvd to your destination by taking one train, but your plan would eliminate. Also Central Park West would be completely messed up by forcing half the local riders to transfer at 59th Street if they want to access 6th Avenue. I do believe that your changes would decrease the amount of delays each individual train experiences, but it adds extra time to most commutes by forcing people to make one or even two transfers to get to their final destination. Currently as it is now: 10/12 Queens Blvd Queens Blvd Lcl -> Broadway Queens Blvd Exp -> Broadway Queens Blvd Lcl -> 6 Av Queens Blvd Exp -> 6 Av Queens Blvd Lcl -> 8 Av Queens Blvd Exp -> 8 Av Queens Plaza -> 6 Av Queens Plaza -> 8 Av Others CPW Lcl -> 6 Av CPW Exp -> 6 Av CPW Lcl -> 8 Av CPW Exp -> 8 Av ----- Your plan: 5/12 Queens Blvd Queens Blvd Lcl -> Broadway Queens Blvd Exp -> Broadway Queens Blvd Lcl -> 6 Av Queens Blvd Exp -> 6 Av Queens Blvd Lcl -> 8 Av Queens Blvd Exp -> 8 Av Queens Plaza -> 6 Av Queens Plaza -> 8 Av Others CPW Lcl -> 6 Av CPW Exp -> 6 Av CPW Lcl -> 8 Av CPW Exp -> 8 Av
  8. At intersections where cars are unable to turn because of pedestrians the solution is to either create separate light phases for each or to restrict pedestrians from crossing on that side of the turn. In Midtown for example pedestrians are physically restricted from crossing on the south side of some intersections and are forced to walk 1/3 of a block down to cross at a pedestrian crosswalk. This only delays pedestrians crossing on that side of the street by about 20 seconds or so and allows many more cars to turn. Also at 63 St/2 Av pedestrians are physically unable to cross 2 Av on the south side of the street to allow for cars to get from the FDR Drive to the Queensboro Bridge faster and to prevent a backlog of cars waiting to turn while pedestrians cross. Of course you can never blame pedestrians for crossing at a marked crosswalk when they have the light. It's just that in some places it would make sense to restrict crossing or give cars time to turn without interference from pedestrians so that traffic can move smoothly and prevent any gridlock not only at that intersection but at other surrounding intersections. What does that have anything to do with how good of a driver anyone is? When pedestrians cross they prevent cars from turning, obviously. If pedestrians are crossing for the entire light phase then only the cars in the intersection already can make the turn, which would be only two or three cars. He's not blaming the pedestrians for doing what they're allowed to do, he's just suggesting an alternative that would both allow pedestrians to cross and vehicles to cross without having them interfere with one another, which makes it both safer for pedestrians and also easier for cars.
  9. Um you are aware that you're assuming that the person lives right along an express bus route as well as works right along that same express bus route, which isn't too common. And if someone can easily afford to drive into the city then why should they voluntarily switch to a less convenient method of transportation that takes longer when they're fine as is?
  10. BrooklynIRT, you complain about those that will not take public transportation at any cost, but you're on the exact opposite side in that you will avoid taking a car at any cost. If you don't mind subjecting yourself to an extra 30 minutes of travel each way to get to a bowling alley then that's fine, but I have places to be and would never give up an extra hour of my time to wait and then sit (or probably stand) on a slow city bus. If everyone suddenly gave up their cars the public transportation network would be flooded and fail. The subways are the only methods of transportation with speeds comparable to that of a car and they're already overcrowded to the point that I can't always get on the first train that comes during rush hour. I forget who mentioned this, but many of the cars on the street, especially during rush hour, are have New Jersey or other out of state plates because public transportation to the city is either nonexistent or would require extra hours of travel time. I have never driven through Midtown during rush hour and never will. In Midtown almost all of the double parked vehicles are trucks making deliveries, and there's absolutely no alternatives to truck deliveries. You say that many drivers are stubborn about understanding why public transportation is vital, but I must say that you are quite stubborn about understanding why cars are needed.
  11. . So far I've completed all of the changes to the current routes. I'll be working this week on the new routes.
  12. Once I'm actually in the subway train it takes about 20-25 minutes assuming the usual delays. I'm not complaining about rush hour frequencies, although the crosstown buses could be improved because all the seats are taken already by the time the reach 1st Avenue. Skip stop service used to be great and save quite some time, I don't know why they eliminated it in the AM rush. They still have it westbound during the PM rush. People don't usually take local bus routes for far distances in Manhattan, so if buses are scheduled to run only once every 8-10 minutes then some people would opt to walk or take a cab if the bus isn't in sight. There have also been times when I've gotten out of the subway and seen a mob of 20+ people waiting for the bus and just chose to take a cab instead because I knew it would take at least 15 minutes to reach York with the bus. It seems like during rush hour the demand outweighs the supply, but during off peak hours the lack of supply causes a steep decrease in demand, which in turn makes the MTA supply less, which causes less demand and so on. You brought up a point about ferries which made me remember that there used to be a ferry from East 90th Street to Lower Manhattan (I forget if it was Wall Street or the WFC). They canceled that either before or at the same time that the X90 was eliminated. If it was to the WFC I would have definitely been willing to walk along the promenade down to catch the ferry, even if it did take longer than the subway. I think we can all agree that a ferry commute would be much more pleasant than a bus-subway commute.
  13. I work downtown, there is no way to avoid taking a crowded subway train down. I used to take the X90 express bus every day which offered comfort, convenience, and was faster than the subway, and I absolutely loved it. In the mid to late 2000s if you asked me if I would prefer to drive if parking was free or take the express bus then I would definitely say express bus all the way. The nearest stop was right on the corner, buses ran every 5 minutes, and I was able to rest or look over my notes which I certainly wouldn't be able to do if I was driving. Not so much the southbound routing, but the northbound routing was almost the fastest way possible, especially when the driver would take the FDR all the way up to 42nd Street before the MTA added in that annoying 23rd Street stop forcing the bus to use 1st Avenue north of there. Another issue with public transportation is unreliability. For example the preferred method of traveling along York Avenue is by taxi because the M31 is extremely unreliable and runs only once every 8-10 minutes on the weekends and midday. I'm not against public transportation; I just feel that the current subway and bus system will never be able to suit my needs. Trains and buses are overcrowded during rush hour, and at all other times don't run frequently enough. Like I've said previously, I believe that for me personally Citi Bike will make me use my car much less once it's expanded uptown. Obviously this won't benefit small kids, the elderly, the disabled, or anyone else that is unable or afraid to ride a bike in traffic, which is why I wouldn't consider it a real alternative to general public transportation. Of course I'll still use my car when I need to transport stuff and when the weather isn't good, but I would definitely opt to use Citi Bike for short trips to also get exercise, plus only $95 for a year is an insanely low price considering an unlimited metrocard is over $100 per month.
  14. I just want to make it clear that I use the bus + subway + walk to commute morning and night five days a week. Public transportation makes sense in that case, because even though my 45 minute mass transit commute would take 15 minute by car I would have to pay ridiculous rates to park downtown. If parking was a reasonable price then I most definitely would be driving down every day. Cars also have a sense of comfort, safety, privacy, and freedom that is impossible for public transportation to ever have. I absolutely hate standing in a packed subway car with no personal space whatsoever holding on and getting pushed back and forth every time the train turns. Public transportation in the city is extremely overcrowded, disgusting, smells, and potentially dangerous (although it's so much safer than it used to be). For those who say cars can be dangerous also I'll just say that the only time I was ever involved in a car crash was when I was on a school bus as a kid. I also want to emphasize freedom. If I'm on a bus and there's a bunch of traffic on the street because of road work or whatever other reason, the bus isn't going to reroute unless the street is closed off. As a driver I can just turn wherever I want and then take an alternate route. On the UES and UWS side streets are always faster than main streets with traffic. Buses don't reroute just because of traffic, but I can take whichever route I choose. I'm not stubborn about doing whatever I can to use my car. If there was any other mode of transportation that could get me to my destination as fast as my car could then I would definitely take it. That's why I'm hoping that Citi Bike gets expanded to the UES and UWS. Even though a car is faster than a bike, docking a bike is much faster than looking for parking and getting a munimeter ticket. Almost all my car trips, at least those just within the UES, will be replaced by Citi Bike if the weather is good. Obviously Citi Bike isn't for everyone, but specifically for me it would provide an alternative mode of transportation that I would prefer to use. In fact I'm actually considering getting an annual membership right now to replace the walking portion of my commute from the subway to the WFC, and then to use on those occasional times I have to go to Water Street or Midtown.
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