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This weekend's transit debacle


Via Garibaldi 8

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I have to say Saturday and especially Sunday, the (MTA) did a terrible job with the re-routes.

 

Saturday they closed off parts of Madison Avenue, yet there were NO notices at bus stops stating this.  The street closures were supposed to start supposedly at 08:00am, yet no notices were posted on the website until 08:30am, and then checking via the phone, those notices would appear and disappear.  In addition to this, you had buses that were essentially doing their own thing and not following detour information posted on the (MTA) website.  For example on Sunday, into the city from Riverdale, my BxM1 was supposed to take 2nd down to 96th and then make a right on 86th and come up to Lex and make a left on Lex and run regular, yet he stayed on Lex the whole time.  Then you had BxM express buses actually following that route, such as a BxM6 that I saw coming up 86th from 2nd and taking Lex down just a few minutes after I got off of the BxM1, and made my way from 2nd and 85th to Lex and 86th.  Mind you this was for a planned detour, so the detour route did not change, but for some reason you had some buses following that detour information and others that weren't.  Then you had detours for Southbound buses, but no detour information listed anywhere for Northbound buses when there clearly were detours Northbound.  It was just a commute from hell.  I purposely tried to avoid the buses where possible yesterday in Manhattan and figured I'd have better luck with the subway, and that wasn't much better. 

 

After my first session, I took the subway back to 86th and Lex, grabbed my lunch, and then tried to figure out how I could get uptown to my next session.  It took almost 2 hours to get from there to where I needed to go (which usually takes maybe 15 minutes max).  I took the M86 to Central Park West, got off and then took the (C) to 125th (I went up that far in hopes that I could make my way East and not have interference from the marathon), got off and then went as far crosstown as I could to get over the the (2)(3) to go back Downtown, since I needed to be near 5th Avenue by the Upper East Side, but that was blocked off so that was basically the only way to get where I needed to go.  

 

Knowing that a marathon was occurring this weekend and that there would be crowds, why in the world would the (MTA) do all of this track work?  The trains were packed beyond recognition from 125th down, and there was really no relief in sight since some trains were running every 20 minutes due to track work (i.e. (5) train) even though you had all of these people here for the marathon.  Utterly ridiculous all around.  And before someone jumps in and says well they have to do the work sometime, I'm sorry but trackwork should've been suspended this weekend to handle the overcrowding that occurred due to the marathon.  This is an event that happens every year, and the (MTA) by now must know that people still need to travel including those people in the marathon.  They really need to do some retooling at the agency because there is just a lack of common sense all around.

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Only construction work was cancelled on (7), but I completely agreed. They should have cancel (1) train G.O as well.

2nd ING Marathon ago, (MTA) did not do very good job with detours for ING Marathon or Puerto Rican Day Parade where they forgot to put detour for NYC Buses routes, but only bus operators were informed.

During NYC Marathon, most of Eastchester Depot buses run via 2nd Av to 86th St because there are no stop at 96th St.

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The thing with the detours is that it goes hand in hand with the DOT and even they were out in the streets enforcing things around the Central Park and the Upper West & East Side areas. I was out in the city yesterday and it was hell all around just trying to get to places. All of the Southbound avenues were riddled with traffic throughout most of the day except for Park. I did happen to see some buses go through Park down to 86th and points below since Park was literally the only avenue with decent traffic flow both ways. Gotta say, smart idea. What I did notice was that some operators (express bus operators, that is) took faster ways into Midtown. I don't know how they did it, but some would be others from the Triboro down to at least 79th.

I had planned on taking the (2) and (3) up to 72nd to the (1), but those express trains were incredibly packed. Luckily, the (1) trains were decent enough for me to board as it wasn't as packed. Got to 86th Street, waited for the M86, no bus for 25 minutes...and I learned why.

 

I decided to walk across to the East Side along 86th since my bus didn't show up and I was getting impatient. The way things were being handled by DOT officials and traffic agents along Central Park West, East and at 86th Street heading East was a complete joke. They were sending buses EVERYWHERE. They didn't know where to send certain bus routes. I seen a few send M116s, M101s and M102s along 86th with other M101s and such going up CPW. Made no sense at all. They even sent M86s NORTH instead of WEST! They were basically sending buses every which way they can think of. It was a complete and total clusterf**k on the West Side. I even witnessed an M86 operator get into it with an agent especially since 86th was clear and traffic flow was fine. I had just walked through it and the agent sent him up CPW for no reason, meanwhile, he sent an M116 through 86th....

On the subway side of things, my travel was along the Lex and the West Side and this was in the early afternoon, which was very hit or miss for me. I had to take the (6) down and some trains came in packed to the doors, and after I passed that one up, the train behind that one was reasonable to the point where I can actually get on and board. The masses got off at 59th and Grand Central(which was my stop).

 

Had to go back uptown to drop off something for a friend of mine, so I decided to see how the local buses would fair during all of this nonsense. Took the M101 up from the Village and the bus was reasonably empty to my surprise the entire way. Moved pretty quickly through 3rd Avenue. Once we got to 86th, our detour began. Once we got to 5th, the clusterf**k began. It took us at least 25-30 minutes to make it across to the West Side(I honestly thought it would be longer, but traffic flow was slow, but it was moving at least). Once we got to CPW, we were sent along the regular detour route and things ran pretty smoothly from there.

Traffic flow started to ease down around 4pm. Took the M103 down to 42nd and it was moving considerably quick. Got to 42nd in decent time for a local bus.

All in all, it was hell getting around the Upper Manhattan yesterday.

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The thing with the detours is that it goes hand in hand with the DOT and even they were out in the streets enforcing things around the Central Park and the Upper West & East Side areas. I was out in the city yesterday and it was hell all around just trying to get to places. All of the Southbound avenues were riddled with traffic throughout most of the day except for Park. I did happen to see some buses go through Park down to 86th and points below since Park was literally the only avenue with decent traffic flow both ways. Gotta say, smart idea. What I did notice was that some operators (express bus operators, that is) took faster ways into Midtown. I don't know how they did it, but some would be others from the Triboro down to at least 79th.

 

I had planned on taking the (2) and (3) up to 72nd to the (1), but those express trains were incredibly packed. Luckily, the (1) trains were decent enough for me to board as it wasn't as packed. Got to 86th Street, waited for the M86, no bus for 25 minutes...and I learned why.

 

I decided to walk across to the East Side along 86th since my bus didn't show up and I was getting impatient. The way things were being handled by DOT officials and traffic agents along Central Park West, East and at 86th Street heading East was a complete joke. They were sending buses EVERYWHERE. They didn't know where to send certain bus routes. I seen a few send M116s, M101s and M102s along 86th with other M101s and such going up CPW. Made no sense at all. They even sent M86s NORTH instead of WEST! They were basically sending buses every which way they can think of. It was a complete and total clusterf**k on the West Side. I even witnessed an M86 operator get into it with an agent especially since 86th was clear and traffic flow was fine. I had just walked through it and the agent sent him up CPW for no reason, meanwhile, he sent an M116 through 86th....

 

On the subway side of things, my travel was along the Lex and the West Side and this was in the early afternoon, which was very hit or miss for me. I had to take the (6) down and some trains came in packed to the doors, and after I passed that one up, the train behind that one was reasonable to the point where I can actually get on and board. The masses got off at 59th and Grand Central(which was my stop).

 

Had to go back uptown to drop off something for a friend of mine, so I decided to see how the local buses would fair during all of this nonsense. Took the M101 up from the Village and the bus was reasonably empty to my surprise the entire way. Moved pretty quickly through 3rd Avenue. Once we got to 86th, our detour began. Once we got to 5th, the clusterf**k began. It took us at least 25-30 minutes to make it across to the West Side(I honestly thought it would be longer, but traffic flow was slow, but it was moving at least). Once we got to CPW, we were sent along the regular detour route and things ran pretty smoothly from there.

 

Traffic flow started to ease down around 4pm. Took the M103 down to 42nd and it was moving considerably quick. Got to 42nd in decent time for a local bus.

 

All in all, it was hell getting around the Upper East Side yesterday.

And you see that's exactly where the problem is.  There are too many hands in the pot and it just made a chaotic situation even worse.  I think a lot of people's frustrations were due to the lack of signs being posted about the detours and where you could and couldn't go.  For the last leg of my commute, I needed to go to Westchester and I was freaking out about making my way to a stop on the Upper East Side only to find that the bus bypassed me and took a detour, so I went all the way down to Madison and 29th for the BxM4 where I knew there was no detour.  At that time most of the streets were being cleared, but I still had a feeling that there was a Northbound detour going on that wasn't being posted anywhere, and sure enough, we detoured after 99th street, so anyone at 125th street was basically out of luck.  

 

 

A New York rule of thumb: Don't travel on Marathon day. This has been true forever.

I generally don't but I have sessions on Sundays, and I was not cancelling them because of a marathon and giving up $50 - 60 per session because of that.  I re-structured them and gave myself additional time to get from point A to point B.  There are plenty of people that also work on weekends.  No one is going to skip out of work because of a marathon.  That would be foolish.  That pocket change adds up especially when some of it isn't taxed either (as some folks pay me in cash), and I don't like giving up any money ever, be it side work or not.

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I heard they even sent the X1, 10, and 17 via New Jersey

Well that always happens during the marathon.  That's nothing new.  The problem is that the X10 and X1 can skip a ton of stops as they can't go all the way to Fingerboard to pick up.  Usually the X10 picks up until Slosson and then comes around as if he is heading Northbound back to Port Richmond and gets on the SIE from there.  That is a VERY LONG trip via New Jersey because you usually come out through the Holland Tunnel, then head south on West Street to go Downtown to drop off and then head up Northbound again.  

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From What I heard, there was a very confusing diversion posted for the 17

 

Buses to SI made all stops, while Manhattan Bound buses just skipped everything south of 42 Street (at least that's how I interpreted).

 

That's not confusing at all, they came through 42nd.

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Well that always happens during the marathon. That's nothing new. The problem is that the X10 and X1 can skip a ton of stops as they can't go all the way to Fingerboard to pick up. Usually the X10 picks up until Slosson and then comes around as if he is heading Northbound back to Port Richmond and gets on the SIE from there. That is a VERY LONG trip via New Jersey because you usually come out through the Holland Tunnel, then head south on West Street to go Downtown to drop off and then head up Northbound again.

They take the Holland? I was under the impression that they took the Lincoln like the regular Express routes

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The reroutes are awful when there is a single, small parade, so I'm not at all surprised by this. It seems like the MTA just doesn't care enough to fix it since this happens every year. Maybe now that weekend passenger loads are way up, they will finally get their act together. I've written emails to them about this, but of course that doesn't change anytihng

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They take the Holland? I was under the impression that they took the Lincoln like the regular Express routes

In past years they've taken the Holland in order to come down West Street and make drop-offs Downtown starting at Greenwich St... With the Lincoln it leaves them in Midtown and they would have a longer schlepp getting Downtown, OR they would to skip Downtown completely.

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In past years they've taken the Holland in order to come down West Street and make drop-offs Downtown starting at Greenwich St... With the Lincoln it leaves them in Midtown and they would have a longer schlepp getting Downtown, OR they would to skip Downtown completely.

On the Staten Island bound X1-do they drop-off in reverse order of stops, or go all the way east then back west on Hylan Blvd as they normally would? Same question for the X10 & 17.

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On the Staten Island bound X1-do they drop-off in reverse order of stops, or go all the way east then back west on Hylan Blvd as they normally would? Same question for the X10 & 17.

When I've done the trips on the X10, it skips all pick up stops after Slosson on Staten Island.  When it comes out of the Holland Tunnel, it heads south on West, then comes around onto Greenwich and starts making drop-off stops.  I think the X1 also has to skip some pick up stops along Staten Island in order to get on the SIE and head into NJ and probably does the same drop-off set up once it reaches Manhattan.  I've never used the X17 during the marathon, so I can't say.

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When I've done the trips on the X10, it skips all pick up stops after Slosson on Staten Island.  When it comes out of the Holland Tunnel, it heads south on West, then comes around onto Greenwich and starts making drop-off stops.  I think the X1 also has to skip some pick up stops along Staten Island in order to get on the SIE and head into NJ and probably does the same drop-off set up once it reaches Manhattan.  I've never used the X17 during the marathon, so I can't say.

I was referring to how the X1 heading to Staten Is. drops off once it gets there. Does it take the SIE all the way east to Lily Pond & normal route, or does it drop-off in reverse from Eltingville?

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I was referring to how the X1 heading to Staten Is. drops off once it gets there. Does it take the SIE all the way east to Lily Pond & normal route, or does it drop-off in reverse from Eltingville?

Ohh.... I see.... I couldn't say... I've only did the detour going to Manhattan.  By the time I would come back to Staten Island the detour would be over.  However, I have used other Staten Island express buses that did drop-offs in reverse.  A few times the X30 had to go via Brooklyn at night.  It would take the old X16 routing and then do its morning routine, dropping off in Sunnyside, Randall Manor, West Brighton, etc. and then going further east to Port Richmond, Graniteville and Mariners Harbor.

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I completely agree! All construction should have been over at 5 AM on Sunday...if you need to do more work, FasTrack it. As for surface transit---I would have cut some routes in two, or suspended services cross-town except for the M60, M79, and M86. This is where one needs MTA dispatchers on site.

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