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Via Garibaldi 8

Full Shutdown of L Train to Be Halted by Cuomo

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Honestly, give it a rest. We all get it; you believe every little thing has to be done to curry some political favor from those well outside the impact bubble. For the last few days, you've done nothing but post this exact same thought almost verbatim in every thread semi-related to this change in the plans. Quite frankly, it's getting old.

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17 hours ago, Wallyhorse said:

Cuomo might demand the board go along with HIS plan anyway and threaten to retaliate if they fail to go along. He likely knows if a full-fledged shutdown is going on during the 2020 Presidential primaries he has no chance of winning. 

My God man, your knowledge of the MTA board is damn near as bad as your knowledge of what it takes to win a President campaign. What exactly can Cuomo threaten the board with as “retaliation” if they don’t go along with his plan? Their positions? Being on the MTA board is not a paid position, so they have nothing to lose financially if they still vote for a full shutdown. They still have their day jobs at the end of the night. 

6 hours ago, Wallyhorse said:

Again, Iowa doesn't matter...

Yeah, ask Hillary Clinton just how well that strategy worked out for her Presidential campaign. Even better, ask Rudy Giuliani just how well it worked out for HIS Presidential campaign...

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@MysteriousBtrain and @Union Tpke, thank you for posting those articles. They were all very informative. The Emperor really should take some time out to read them (he won’t, of course). Way more informative than anything he’s said over the past week, that’s for damn sure!

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21 hours ago, Wallyhorse said:

Again, Iowa doesn't matter.  This is specifically New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and to a lesser extent Pennsylvania.  Those are the states where people know Cuomo and either are directly affected or know people who are going to be affected by this.  If the shutdown occurred as planned, it likely is still going when the primaries in those states are taking place.  THAT is what matters to Cuomo if he is running for President. 

Unless the (L) is getting extended to Iowa, quit it.

Silica Dust is a very dangerous and toxic chemical if not cleaned up right.

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On 1/9/2019 at 11:27 AM, Wallyhorse said:

Again, Iowa doesn't matter.  This is specifically New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and to a lesser extent Pennsylvania.  Those are the states where people know Cuomo and either are directly affected or know people who are going to be affected by this.  If the shutdown occurred as planned, it likely is still going when the primaries in those states are taking place.  THAT is what matters to Cuomo if he is running for President. 

Nah. 

That'd be like saying voters in KS and OK got rid of politicians because construction of Interstate 2 in Texas is going slower than expected.

There are only two things voters from other states care about - appearing strong and not being truly incompetent. Cuomo's attempt to appear strong may end his perception of being competent, but (L) being under construction won't matter since even the dumbest of voters understand projects and repairs take time.

But if it's a cheap fix that won't last, and will cost more in the long term, that'll affect the choice, but not as much as the fact that Cuomo sounds weak and dumb because of his voice.

(He only got in because his name's Cuomo, and that name recognition doesn't resonate outside the Tri-state area.)

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Statement from Amtrak and MTA Officials Regarding L Train Project

Amtrak and MTA Representatives, Along with Columbia and Cornell Engineers, to Visit East River Tunnels on Friday

“Today, MTA officials met with Amtrak leadership to provide a briefing on the  Train project.  On January 3rd, the MTA accepted recommendations of an expert review panel that the  Train tunnel could be repaired while averting a closure. The expert team, comprised of the deans and faculty from Columbia University and Cornell University engineering schools, conducted weeks of extensive review and analysis, while working directly with MTA officials, design engineers and contractors. After the MTA’s leadership determined that the new scope of work could be achieved with the proper due diligence to ensure the safety and longevity of the project, Amtrak expressed interest in undertaking a preliminary review of these methods to see if they could be applied to any portions of its own projects including the East River tunnels. Today’s briefing was informative and productive for both parties, and on Friday, representatives from the MTA, Amtrak, and the expert review team will visit the East River tunnel to continue this important discussion. Meeting participants included: MTA President Patrick Foye and Managing Director Veronique Hakim; Amtrak Senior Executive Vice President Stephen Gardner; Chief Engineer and Vice President Gerhard Williams, and Amtrak staff; and WSP Senior Vice President Jerry Jannetti.”

 

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On 1/9/2019 at 6:19 PM, T to Dyre Avenue said:

My God man, your knowledge of the MTA board is damn near as bad as your knowledge of what it takes to win a President campaign. What exactly can Cuomo threaten the board with as “retaliation” if they don’t go along with his plan? Their positions? Being on the MTA board is not a paid position, so they have nothing to lose financially if they still vote for a full shutdown. They still have their day jobs at the end of the night. 

Yeah, ask Hillary Clinton just how well that strategy worked out for her Presidential campaign. Even better, ask Rudy Giuliani just how well it worked out for HIS Presidential campaign...

Okay, I was thinking in terms of paid positions within the MTA.  I was wrong.

The "Iowa doesn't matter" comment specifically referred to the (L) train shutdown.  Of course, Iowa matters, but NOT with regards to the shutdown.   The shutdown would matter if Cuomo is STILL in the race when the tri-state area and to a lesser extent Pennsylvania votes.  THAT was likely the concern of Cuomo, he knows the shutdown is irrelevant to Iowa, but NOT to NY-NJ-CT-PA. 

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I like how you can clearly read and comprehend what everyone's saying in response to your comments, but still ignore it and regurgitate the same stale talking points that have been debunked time and again. Perhaps you have a career in politics.

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23 minutes ago, Lance said:

I like how you can clearly read and comprehend what everyone's saying in response to your comments, but still ignore it and regurgitate the same stale talking points that have been debunked time and again. Perhaps you have a career in politics.

Old dogs don't learn new tricks.... He's been trolling this forum with such rhetoric (and his ill-advised subway ideas, and that's putting it VERY nicely) for over a decade now.... Reminds me of those old lonely, eccentric cuckoo coots nobody wants to be in the actual presence of, that call into those sports talk radio shows making the same points/arguments year after year after year after year after year.... I'm not trying to be funny, but those types wont (I'd argue can't) stop until their clocks stop ticking, if you catch my drift.....

Quite sad really.....

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Make no doubts that this is going to suck big time. People well find a way to  complain about the issue regardless of the fact. 20 minutes wait times while they use one trunnel. Not to mention how and the world will they get the damage duct banks aka bench walls with all that dust flying around out of a Enclosed trunnel in time for the morning rush hour which on the L train starts around 5:30am. There goes more delays which in return will have people crying and complaining. I take the L to work everything but I do know this i rather you shut it down get it fix now so I personal don’t have to hear about this ever again then you drag this along until boom one of those rack cables they got on the wall ends up falling on the track. Because of a half bake shyt job. 

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My biggest concern about restricting the work to nights and weekends is the nightly mobilization and standown of the work crews. That right there can take up to 20% of the shutdown time. The weekends is where they can realistically expect to get some work done. The weeknights are probably going to be reserved for installing the cable racks and maybe metal walkways.  They also have to find a safe but efficient way to take down and restore power six times a week. Meaning take down power quickly to get the workers on the tracks sooner, but not such that something can get overlooked. Then there's the increase to risk of work delays affecting the morning rush.

My next concern is about the selective benchwall demolition. Wouldn't the same safety protections needed for the full scale demolition be needed for selective demolition? It might be more work having to set up multiple isolation zones for selective demolition. Again, weekend work.

The benefit the total shutdown has over the intermittent stoppages is the ability for the multiple improvement projects to go on concurrently without the need to make provisions to perform work in an active revenue station. Work could get done quicker since there's no need to protect the public. The elevator work comes to mind.

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And my biggest concern is that a lot of the work that would have improved the stations will not happen. Think about the horror at 14 Street–Union Square. Those narrow staircases—one per platform to/from the Broadway level—are a massive pain to navigate during rush hours.

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7 hours ago, CenSin said:

And my biggest concern is that a lot of the work that would have improved the stations will not happen. Think about the horror at 14 Street–Union Square. Those narrow staircases—one per platform to/from the Broadway level—are a massive pain to navigate during rush hours.

Apparently, a lot of that other work is still happening regardless. 

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3 hours ago, Wallyhorse said:

Apparently, a lot of that other work is still happening regardless. 

How in the world are you going to complete that work with the station open? C'mon now.

You see how packed it is normally... Imagine that platform with large swathes closed off.

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BIG NEWS!

There will be an emergency board meeting this week. I urge all of those wishing to comment on the L train plan to come and speak up and hold the Governor and the MTA Board accountable.

Tuesday, January 15th
Special Board Mtg. – 12:00 p.m.

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About that emergency board meeting:

I think this might actually get voted down if we've already got board members calling it a stunt...

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4 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

BIG NEWS!

There will be an emergency board meeting this week. I urge all of those wishing to comment on the L train plan to come and speak up and hold the Governor and the MTA Board accountable.

Tuesday, January 15th
Special Board Mtg. – 12:00 p.m.

Where is it taking place?

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1 hour ago, Around the Horn said:

About that emergency board meeting:

I think this might actually get voted down if we've already got board members calling it a stunt...

Only thing I'm gonna do is give this here meme to our great governor:

a7c92986d4387aba97f873b45ba3be334cbf6cec

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/12/sunday-review/l-train-new-york-subway.html

 

Quote

 

The Transcendent Incompetence of the L Train Fiasco

No single individual is to blame for the reality of New York’s subway.

By Jim Dwyer

Mr. Dwyer is the author of the forthcoming book “Subway Lives Revisited: More Days in the Life of the New York City Subway.”

 

Jan. 12, 2019

In a famous medical study, two doctors traced a chain of errors that brought the wrong patient, a “Mrs. Morris,” to an operating room for an invasive heart procedure that she did not want, did not need and that no one had actually ordered for her.

It turned out that 17 separate mistakes were made before anyone realized that the wrong woman was on the table. Thankfully, Mrs. Morris was not harmed. The doctors said it was an “organizational accident,” meaning that one person could not have done it alone. Sticking tubes into the wrong person’s heart required mess-ups by many people.

One day, Mrs. Morris may be joined in the great case studies of nearblunders by New York’s L train fiasco. This one took a team of people, too.

Right after the New Year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the startling announcement that New York City’s L subway line, whose East River tunnel was damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, could remain in service while fixes were carried out.

Talk about whipsaw changes. In April, the line was to stop serving Manhattan for 15 months so the repairs could be made in the river tunnel.Its users had spent two years planning alternative routes and, in some cases, finding new places to live. They are just a fraction of the city’s subway riders, up to 300,000 people a day. But that’s more than the ridership of most mass transit systems in the country.

Losing L service for more than a year was a big, disruptive deal. But there was no way around it — or so the public had been told, over and over.

Now, it seems almost certain, that was a mistake. A team of academic engineers brought in by the governor last month devised a suite of repairs that they say would return the tunnel to a long-term safe condition with minimal closings. The academics collaborated with the government and consulting engineers who had come up with the original plan.

Their approach has been criticized in general terms by two former officials of the agency who had roles in the first plan, saying that the new one would be neither as safe nor as built to last as the original. They have identified no specific risks, and when you drill into the details, it is hard to see where the latest plan falls short.

Jerry Jannetti is a senior vice president at WSP, the consulting firm that has worked on the project since 2013 for New York City Transit, which operates the city’s subways as part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. If Mr. Jannetti personally owned and operated the tunnel, would he prefer his firm’s original plan, or the one that emerged last month?

“I would choose the way we are moving forward now,” Mr. Jannetti said.

Which leads us to the next question: If the planned new repairs would be as safe and durable without requiring closing the line, why didn’t anyone think of them before? Shouldn't someone downstream of the governor have thought to bring in outside experts for a fresh look, given the disruptive stakes?

Some people are skeptical about this new plan, in fact, precisely because it was driven by Governor Cuomo. That’s good. Without skepticism, society collapses. But this entire episode illustrates a failure to be skeptical. And it shows us the risks of ignoring what it means to fail, at scale, in a booming city that grows every month. It didn’t have to be the governor asking for a better way. But no one else did.

Until then, the new array of repairs had not been considered by the in-house engineers at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the WSP consultants or others involved in the project. Andy Byford, the president of New York City Transit, said he was conducting an independent review of the plan and would not sign on unless he was convinced of its safety and durability. That said, he is enthusiastic about its prospects. “I own the risk,” Mr. Byford said. “I am the president, the accountable person. This is my job.”

Anyone on the M.T.A. board could have demanded alternatives. Mr. Cuomo appoints six of the 14 voting members, and by force of personality, he has driven a number of projects, including this one — at the last minute — and pushing construction of the Second Avenue line.

You can find representatives of eight other public officials on the authority’s board, including the mayor of New York. Even more power is held by a virtually unknown committee of four, any one of whom can veto the entire capital budget. On this committee are the speaker of the State Assembly, the State Senate majority leader, the mayor and the governor.

Typically, that awesome power has not been used for actual oversight — asking questions! — but for horse trading. So one legislator hinted at a veto if political cronies were not given state judgeships. And in an infamous episode, an Assembly speaker, Sheldon N. Silver, demanded that a pet project be funded to a satisfactorily boondoggle-ish level, pointedly mentioning that he would soon be looking at the capital budget.

“I will expect to see the Fulton Street Transit Center fully funded, complete and at a scale that at least resembles what was repeatedly promised,” Mr. Silver wrote in 2008. He got his way. The price for fixing that one station hit $1.4 billion, more than the entire annual budget of the Chicago transit system at the time.

There are legislative oversight committees for mass transit in the City Council, the State Senate and the State Assembly. No one asked the fundamental question about finding another way.

The price of all these people being in charge is that no one owns the work.

In all walks of life — engineering, politics, transportation — there is a fine line between the earned wisdom of experience and the toxic self-regard of a credentialed rut. (That goes for journalism, too. For most of the time the L train shutdown was in the air, I was writing a column in the New York section of The Times. No one stopped me from asking questions. I just didn’t.)

The L train's East River tunnel — “still pretty darned good at 100 years old,” Mr. Jannetti said — was built under the supervision of the master engineer Clifford Holland starting in 1916. It was part of the surge of transit construction during the first decades of the 20th century that shaped modern New York into the nation's largest city.

New York’s mass transit system stopped expanding in 1940, and it has even shrunk since then. The city’s population has grown by about 1.5 million since 1990 and may only be choked off by frail transportation. The M.T.A. has proved itself one of the world’s most effective garrotes.

The agency was created a half-century ago to build, among other things, the Second Avenue subway (still unfinished) and a new tunnel for the Long Island Rail Road into Grand Central (the tunnel was finished in 1989 but the connection into Grand Central is years away). In 2002, the chairman of the agency announced a series of streamlining reforms. Today, there are about 10,000 more employees and less actual service. The Regional Plan Association proposed dismantling pieces of the agency. Maybe it should go into the portfolio of the governor or the mayor. To some one, at least — not everyone.

Mrs. Morris landed on an operating table for a procedure that she didn’t want or need, and that no one had ordered for her. New York City wound up being prepped for a different kind of surgery that it surely did not want or need. This organizational accident took a lot more than 17 errors.

 

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17 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

BIG NEWS!

There will be an emergency board meeting this week. I urge all of those wishing to comment on the L train plan to come and speak up and hold the Governor and the MTA Board accountable.

Tuesday, January 15th
Special Board Mtg. – 12:00 p.m.

I will speak up and will condemn the plan with prepared remarks. I urge other members to come and speak up. The more people that show up, the greater impact we will have. Also, if anyone else decides to come, come prepared.

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On 1/13/2019 at 7:52 PM, Union Tpke said:

BIG NEWS!

There will be an emergency board meeting this week. I urge all of those wishing to comment on the L train plan to come and speak up and hold the Governor and the MTA Board accountable.

Tuesday, January 15th
Special Board Mtg. – 12:00 p.m.

So does anyone know where this is actually taking place?

Also EVERYONE vote for the 15 month shutdown. Better to do it now then later in the future where there will be even more people.

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7 hours ago, Lawrence St said:

So does anyone know where this is actually taking place?

Also EVERYONE vote for the 15 month shutdown. Better to do it now then later in the future where there will be even more people.

2 Broadway

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Leaks, Cancer-Causing Dust: L-Train Plan Similar to Cuomo’s Was Rejected Over Safety

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority looked closely at the idea of hanging cables from the L-train tunnel wall in 2014, but officials determined that the technique raised serious safety concerns.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority looked closely at the idea of hanging cables from the L-train tunnel wall in 2014, but officials determined that the technique raised serious safety concerns.

The key to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s surprise decision this month to call off the L-train shutdown is a new repair plan that relies on mounting subway cables to the tunnel wall — a less disruptive approach that would allow the work to be done on nights and weekends.

But the Metropolitan Transportation Authority had considered a similar approach nearly five years ago and determined that it raised serious safety concerns, according to documents obtained by The New York Times.

The transit agency has come under intense criticism for not thinking of the idea sooner, but officials did closely examine an option much like the one Mr. Cuomo is pursuing in May 2014. Engineers warned that mounting heavy cables to the wall of a nearly century-old tunnel under the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn could damage its lining, according to the documents.

“Excessive anchor bolt penetrations for installing critical cables may damage the concrete lining and induce leakages,” according to a report by the transit agency and Parsons Brinckerhoff, an engineering consultant now known as WSP that is leading planning for Mr. Cuomo’s alternate plan.

Instead of closing the subway tunnel for 15 months, the new plan would limit construction work to one tube at a time on nights and weekends over a longer period of time. But the report raised concerns that the construction work could create silica dust, a hazardous mineral that would be difficult to remove during a short weekend closing. Exposure to silica dust can damage the lungs.

The engineers also said there was a “high risk” of not being able to restore train service on time every Monday morning.

On Tuesday, the authority’s board will meet to be briefed on the new repair plan by WSP. Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat who controls the authority, had called for the “emergency meeting.”

Jerry Jannetti, a senior vice president at WSP, said the firm was confident in its new approach, known as a racking system. Cables would be placed on a tray and would likely require fewer bolts and shorter ones.

“We are confident that the frequency and depth of the bolt penetration will pose no risk to the tunnel lining,” Mr. Jannetti said in a statement.

The new plan also removes a smaller amount of the concrete bench walls that can create silica dust, Mr. Jannetti said.

“Any issues related to silica dust will be managed by the contractor and overseen by an independent consultant, and will be safe for both workers and riders,” he said.

Some board members have criticized Mr. Cuomo’s secrecy in announcing the new approach without their input and the last-minute meeting — a decision that one board member called a “publicity stunt”since the board was already scheduled to meet next week. The board will have to approve the new plan, though no vote is expected on Tuesday.

The M.T.A. has become a punching bag over the last two weeks. Mr. Cuomo, complaining of its stodgy bureaucracy, said he wanted to “blow up the M.T.A.” A piece on New York Magazine’s website asked: “Is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority staffed by idiots?”

But the documents show that the agency had considered other options, but determined that a full shutdown was the best option. In February 2015, a report by Jacobs, an engineering consultant, warned that “weekend construction is not acceptable,” listing concerns over silica dust control and reliability. A chart showed the downsides of weekend closures, including high labor costs and a longer construction period.

Former subway leaders have criticized Mr. Cuomo’s plan as being just a temporary fix for the tunnel, which was built in 1924 and damaged by floodwaters during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The new plan, developed by a team of engineers from Columbia and Cornell Universities, would hang the cables from the wall, instead of encasing them in a structure known as a bench wall. Workers would remove damaged parts of the bench wall and secure other parts with a substance known as fiber reinforced polymer that could last 40 years. Rebuilding the bench walls, as the original plan called for, could last more than 80 years.

Carmen Bianco, the former president of New York City Transit, said he recalled attending meetings to discuss different approaches for the repairs, but the idea of hanging the cables was ruled out “very quickly” because of the tunnel’s age. Mr. Bianco did not provide the documents to The Times.

“We all knew the worst thing we could do was a complete shutdown,” Mr. Bianco said. “We knew what that would do to the neighborhoods and to the economy and to people trying to get to work. We couldn’t find another scenario that was really safe and made sense.”

Mr. Bianco, who argued in an Op-Ed in The Times last week that the revised plan had not been properly vetted, said Mr. Cuomo’s plan could still be very disruptive since the L train is popular on nights and weekends. Trains would run every 20 minutes.

“If people continue to use it as normal, then it’s going to be very crowded,” he said.

The shutdown was set to begin on April 27. It is not clear when the work will begin now. Andy Byford, the subway’s leader, supports Mr. Cuomo’s plan, but called for an independent review and said he would not be “steamrolled” if that process takes a while.

Silica dust has emerged as a central concern. Removing parts of the concrete bench wall could create silica, a mineral that can cause an incurable lung disease or lung cancer if its particles are inhaled, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The transit agency learned how to contain silica from rebuilding the Montague tunnel in 2014, according to the 2014 report on the L train. It requires “isolation of the work area,” which is difficult during a weekend closing, the report said. One approach of wetting the dust to remove it was not foolproof, the report said.

“Mister and water-spray systems reduce airborne dust by about 50 percent” but do “not eliminate the hazard,” the report said.

The debate over the L train also comes at a critical time for the transit agency. Mr. Byford introduced a plan to save the subway last May, but he needs Mr. Cuomo’s help to pay for it. Mr. Cuomo has urged state lawmakers to pay for it by approving congestion pricing, a proposal to toll cars entering the busiest parts of Manhattan.

Switching to a less ambitious plan in order to avoid having to shut down the L train would be a missed opportunity to fix the tunnel for the long haul, said Mitchell L. Moss, director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University.

“This is like delaying open-heart surgery,” Mr. Moss said. “We don’t know how long the stent is going to last.”

https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/566-mta-jacobs-report/d89211d4631578a251ea/optimized/full.pdf#page=1

https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/564-mta-brinckerhoff-report/d89211d4631578a251ea/optimized/full.pdf#page=1

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