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Via Garibaldi 8

A Mayor, a Governor, and the Feud That Keeps New York Down

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A Mayor, a Governor, and the Feud That Keeps New York Down

About New York

By JIM DWYER JAN. 23, 2018

merlin_132784103_7bbdf22f-5bd1-4ea7-94f0

Mayor Bill de Blasio took the subway on Monday. For a leader who prefers to get around by S.U.V., his ride struck some as a political statement.

Credit Stephen Hiltner/The New York Times

All of a sudden, in the midst of three days of existential struggle with the governor over the transit system, Mayor Bill de Blasio turned up in the subway on Monday evening.

Perhaps it was merely for the purpose of getting from one place to the other, and if so, the use of mass transit rather than the customary mayoral S.U.V. does not seem to have done him any harm.

If it was for political reasons, it does not seem to have done him much good.

All Tuesday, surrogates for Mr. de Blasio and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo spoke to reporters, kicking the blame ball back and forth in a game that gets more pointless by the day.

Last week, the governor floated two ideas that would amount to profound changes in the city without consulting the people actually elected to run it. Both of the proposals, it should be said, have a lot going for them. One is a fee on vehicles in the busiest parts of Manhattan, and the other is the creation of special tax districts on property around new transit projects.

The mayor and his surrogates have more or less been stamping their feet and saying this amounted to usurpation of local taxing power, the city already pays a big share, the governor’s forces do not speak with them, and besides, the transit system blows a lot of money on wasteful projects. These points have some truth in them.

So does the rebuttal from the governor’s camp: that the mayor already has the power to veto big transit spending.

Still, does the governor really need to micromanage the streets of Manhattan when he already has under his jurisdiction 55,000 square miles of New York State, from the Canadian border to the tip of Montauk? Is any public good served by not talking to the mayor when you want to change taxes and transportation in the city?

The governor’s command of detail has given him a portfolio of accomplishments throughout his public life. But micromanaging can curdle. It turns out that last summer, the governor’s office fiddled with statistics on the reasons for transit delays, as Dan Rivoli reported in The Daily News. In a cache of emails, senior officials struggled to blame more delays on Con Edison than the utility was genuinely responsible for, which an analyst had put at 3,422 annually.

“How would you massage that language?” a press secretary for the governor wrote to a transit official. “Could we say ‘power-related issues caused more than 32,000 delays?’”

Sure, you could say that. It would be no less than 99 percent dishonest, but you could say it.

If someone fell or jumped on the track and the power was turned off, the trains that could not run on time would be categorized as “power-related delays.” If a piece of track equipment failed and the power had to be shut off while repairing it, that, too, could be counted as a “power-related delay” — and not the fault of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

By this logic, people who kick out the cord to the television in their living rooms could curse Con Edison, rather than blame their own clumsiness.

Thanks to this abuse of language and arithmetic, the figure of 3,422 Con Edison delays was swollen beyond recognition when the governor walked the tracks and spoke to reporters on Aug. 9 in the Columbus Circle station.

“We’re looking at the largest single cluster of delays, which are 32,000 power-related delays,” Mr. Cuomo said that day. “What people tend to forget is the M.T.A. runs on power.”

Asked about this on Monday, after The News’s exposé, Mr. Cuomo said he had relied on figures sent to him by the M.T.A. Thereafter, transit officials did back flips trying to say that the naked manipulation of data was not naked manipulation of data. It was. It is. Andy Byford, the new president of the subway system, declined to endorse the counting techniques used by his agency.

When Mr. Byford was introduced as the transit leader in November, I asked him what he thought about the governor’s practice of bypassing the chain of command to directly call superintendents within the system. “That’s the governor’s prerogative,” Mr. Byford said. “He’s the governor.”

But he’s not the mayor.

New York City’s wealth, and its role as an economic engine for the state and the nation, depend on mobility.

A show of hands, please, from all those who believe that it is possible to improve, or at least passably fix, New York’s transit system if the governor and the mayor cannot figure out how to work together.

Anyone?

Follow Jim Dwyer on Twitter:@jimdwyernyt
Email: dwyer@nytimes.com

A version of this article appears in print on January 24, 2018, on Page A18 of the New York edition with the headline: Power Plays By Leaders Won’t Fix The Trains. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/nyregion/de-blasio-cuomo-nyc-subway.html

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17 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

A show of hands, please, from all those who believe that it is possible to improve, or at least passably fix, New York’s transit system if the governor and the mayor cannot figure out how to work together.

Anyone?

*Shakes head with hand down* I don't really see anything happening with the two clowns at it. If Byford is really all that, then I can believe it can be possible, but unlikely unless things start changing now.

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Robert Moses actually predicted that the MTA would not work. He had his own selfish reasons for not wanting TBTA & the railroads to tie up, but he wasn't wrong.

Really, we need to take state government out of the MTA. Devolve the MTA to the constituent counties and let them sort things out. A seat for every county exec and BP and two additional ones for the Mayor and Council Speaker. And implement real, substantive home rule while you're at it.

Of course, something that crazy would require a ConCon, which we just voted down, so have fun for the next twenty years.

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2 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

Robert Moses actually predicted that the MTA would not work. He had his own selfish reasons for not wanting TBTA & the railroads to tie up, but he wasn't wrong.

Really, we need to take state government out of the MTA. Devolve the MTA to the constituent counties and let them sort things out. A seat for every county exec and BP and two additional ones for the Mayor and Council Speaker. And implement real, substantive home rule while you're at it.

Of course, something that crazy would require a ConCon, which we just voted down, so have fun for the next twenty years.

That would be quite interesting, I bet the Tappan Zee would have had some type of rail service. However, how would that work with Metro North and CT? (Or even NJ with Rockland County Service)

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2 hours ago, N6 Limited said:

That would be quite interesting, I bet the Tappan Zee would have had some type of rail service. However, how would that work with Metro North and CT? (Or even NJ with Rockland County Service)

The same way it works today? Neither has representatives on the MTA Board.

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He can say good bye to his bqx cause i saw a news story that it goes through a piece of state property. And since cuomo likes to wield his weight around and remind deblasio to respect his authoritah

https://nypost.com/2017/11/09/de-blasios-brooklyn-queens-trolley-may-be-a-pipe-dream/

Edited by BreeddekalbL
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18 hours ago, BreeddekalbL said:

He can say good bye to his bqx cause i saw a news story that it goes through a piece of state property. And since cuomo likes to wield his weight around and remind deblasio to respect his authoritah

https://nypost.com/2017/11/09/de-blasios-brooklyn-queens-trolley-may-be-a-pipe-dream/

The BQX was never a possibility, it was just a meme that was constantly propagated by waterfront real estate developers who want to drive up the land value. It would be just as useless as the (G) train in terms of connectivity and getting people where they need to go.

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1 hour ago, kosciusko said:

The BQX was never a possibility, it was just a meme that was constantly propagated by waterfront real estate developers who want to drive up the land value. It would be just as useless as the (G) train in terms of connectivity and getting people where they need to go.

The (G) is growing into it's own. Or I guess we can say the places people want to go is growing around the (G) . I wouldn't say it's useless. The waterfront is going to be a code red issue it's growing at an alarming rate I just got a small satellite office in Dumbo off of the (F) York Street station to work closer to home. Crowds on top of crowds at that station I had no idea. How are we supposed to move these people? BQX would have been something at least even if just for tourists. 

Edited by RailRunRob

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6 minutes ago, RailRunRob said:

The (G) is growing into it's own. Or I guess we can say the places people want to go is growing around the (G) . I wouldn't say it's useless. The waterfront is going to be a code red issue it's growing at an alarming rate I just got a small satellite office in Dumbo off of the (F) York Street station to work closer to home. Crowds on top of crowds at that station I had no idea. How are we supposed to move these people? BQX would have been something at least even if just for tourists. 

We shouldn't be spending 2.5 billion dollars on a massive streetcar project and saying "[its] something at least even if just for tourists."  Those crowds on the (F) are not from people traveling up and down the waterfront, they are traveling to and from the waterfront. An unintegrated streetcar system is not the answer for irrigating Brooklyn's transit deserts. 

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8 minutes ago, kosciusko said:

We shouldn't be spending 2.5 billion dollars on a massive streetcar project and saying "[its] something at least even if just for tourists."  Those crowds on the (F) are not from people traveling up and down the waterfront, they are traveling to and from the waterfront. An unintegrated streetcar system is not the answer for irrigating Brooklyn's transit deserts. 

From my understanding that $2.5B can't go anywhere else to the MTA. So it's not going into the Subway funding doesn't work like that. I agree with the integration part it needs to be integrated better into the subway maybe with some tweaks maybe it could to that. The game of politics and funding is give-and-take or lesser of two evils id much rather have that $2.5B go into transportation than into to something else trust the City will have no issues finding another home for the cash. And just playing Devil's advocate 2.5B for 12 miles is a lot better than 2.5 B for one mile. Sometime's you have to take your wins where you can get em.

Edited by RailRunRob

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17 minutes ago, RailRunRob said:

From my understanding that $2.5B can't go anywhere else to the MTA. So it's not going into the Subway funding doesn't work like that. I agree with the integration part it needs to be integrated better into the subway maybe with some tweaks maybe it could to that. The game of politics and funding is give-and-take or lesser of two evils id much rather have that $2.5B go into transportation than into to something else trust the City will have no issues finding another home for the cash. And just playing Devil's advocate 2.5B for 12 miles is a lot better than 2.5 B for one mile. Sometime's you have to take your wins where you can get em.

As if the cost of constructing a deep-bore heavy rail line under the most densely populated part of the city is at all comparable to the cost of an above-ground non-dedicated tramway. In addition construction will still be oversaw by the oligarchic unions who are responsible for much of the cost-inflation of the SAS and ESA.

When it comes to funding transit projects we shouldn't be supporting the "lesser of two evils" we (as taxpayers) should be pushing and advocating for smarter transit investments to be explored. One of the top issues with the (MTA) is how overly politicized it is, and it is hard to get anything done with them, but that doesn't mean we should be dumping 2.5 billion dollars into a tram system which has been pushed for primarily by real estate developers.

(sources)

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/developers-planned-streetcar-route-donate-de-blasio-article-1.2906024

https://nypost.com/2017/01/01/private-developers-running-discussions-over-brooklyn-queens-trolley/ (I know the post isn't super trustworthy but the info in this article seems good)

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20171221/REAL_ESTATE/171229976/catch-22-as-bqx-streetcar-project-rolls-past-deadline

 

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36 minutes ago, kosciusko said:

As if the cost of constructing a deep-bore heavy rail line under the most densely populated part of the city is at all comparable to the cost of an above-ground non-dedicated tramway. In addition construction will still be oversaw by the oligarchic unions who are responsible for much of the cost-inflation of the SAS and ESA.

Trust I understand. More than most. Seen the articles and data some from the inside.$20 billion for the SAS and that's at current projections I'm sure I'll be more. If you can quantify that through service frequencies and bandwidth have at it. If we lived and existed in a world were Logic, objective thinking and reasoning dictated business and how things got done you'd be 100% correct Unfortunately it's not the case. The fact of the matter is you have $2.5B on the table earmarked for this Tram it's not negotiable, refundable or transferable to anything else. I don't need the data have that. What I'm saying this isn't the way I know Negotiation or business to work. When Grandma gives you the Starbucks gift card you either use it or give it to someone else plain and simple you don't go to ChipotleAnd try to use it. In a Simplified way, this is a lot like that. Don't want it okay Board of Education can use it or Ferry service maybe shrugs. You play chess and you take your wins however small. It's added Infrastructure. That money is going to be spent anyway. If You keep thinking in zero-sum you'll get nothing had to learn that the hard way. Taxpayers want to see a change then they better organize and be informed. Everything else is just hot air. Big brain conversations never works and that comes from someone with an Engineering background in Technolgy. Follow and quantify the money.

Edited by RailRunRob
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5 hours ago, RailRunRob said:

When Grandma gives you the Starbucks gift card you either use it or give it to someone else plain and simple you don't go to ChipotleAnd try to use it

I think a more accurate analogy would be Starbucks cooperation is "donating" millions of dollars to grandma to try and convince her to buy us a Starbucks gift card when what we really need is a Pizzahut gift card.

Money for the BQX has not been raised yet, its not too late to scrap the project. The only reason the BQX is even on the table is because wealthy waterfront landlords put it there. Its not designed to serve the interested of the people. It is not designed to help alleviate the transit crisis. It is designed with the primary intention to increase land value. This is why I do not support the project. If said landlords want to pony up the money and fund the project to completion (like what was originally promised), then go for it, but I don't see that actually happening in the future.

The project has been dead in the water for a while now and unless the whole thing gets overhauled I think its better off staying that way. 

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49 minutes ago, kosciusko said:

I think a more accurate analogy would be Starbucks cooperation is "donating" millions of dollars to grandma to try and convince her to buy us a Starbucks gift card when what we really need is a Pizzahut gift card.

Money for the BQX has not been raised yet, its not too late to scrap the project. The only reason the BQX is even on the table is because wealthy waterfront landlords put it there. Its not designed to serve the interested of the people. It is not designed to help alleviate the transit crisis. It is designed with the primary intention to increase land value. This is why I do not support the project. If said landlords want to pony up the money and fund the project to completion (like what was originally promised), then go for it, but I don't see that actually happening in the future.

The project has been dead in the water for a while now and unless the whole thing gets overhauled I think its better off staying that way. 

I'm with you on the plans needing to be overhauled it does need better integration into the system. Again you need to quantify the money we know capitalism tops all people aren't  going to do things from the goodness of their heart especially when it comes to money or funding they need an incentive. Using that point of reference with the wealthy landowners why wouldn't you just have them invest in Subway Expansion/ upgrades if that's the case all you'd really have to do is show them how they would make their money back a hundredfold "Waterfront property and I can better connect people to it?" The problem again this you have a whole bunch of brainiacs that aren't great communicators or great business purveyors. If we had more transit champions that understood business and negotiations we'd be well on our way. Hell, I hope at some point I get the chance to take a crack at it if that's the case.  I'm not going to keep beating a dead horse but again true the money isn't raised and the way things are going it's never going to be raised for the MTA either sooo at the end of the day you get nothing. Nothing to show for these landlords making more of a fortune off of the existing infrastructure they're not putting anything into but gaining everything and adding to the strain. These people aren't thinking about the interests of the people or transit crisis they've never had to. We have to start pushing the transit Agenda through the Real estate agenda "You guys want to build okay we'll we need this Station Rehab or this mile of tunnel or station funded". They have start putting in on transit Honestly, in the long run, it's helping them as well I've never seen anyone say no if you show them where the money is.  All I'm saying if not this then what? Nobody seems to have any money. Or at least for all the stuff the experts are talking about and seems logical. 

Edited by RailRunRob
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On 1/24/2018 at 9:06 PM, bobtehpanda said:

Robert Moses actually predicted that the MTA would not work. He had his own selfish reasons for not wanting TBTA & the railroads to tie up, but he wasn't wrong.

Really, we need to take state government out of the MTA. Devolve the MTA to the constituent counties and let them sort things out. A seat for every county exec and BP and two additional ones for the Mayor and Council Speaker. And implement real, substantive home rule while you're at it.

Of course, something that crazy would require a ConCon, which we just voted down, so have fun for the next twenty years.

Someone likes my idea...

Edited by Deucey

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1 hour ago, Deucey said:

Someone likes my idea...

It's not an uncommon or unique setup, and I've talked around it before:

 

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7 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

It's not an uncommon or unique setup, and I've talked around it before:

 

Couldn’t just let me have the W, eh?

 

 

:)

Edited by Deucey
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