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Via Garibaldi 8

Corey Johnson proposes breaking up the MTA

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Corey Johnson proposes breaking up the MTA

By Rich Calder and Max Jaeger

March 5, 2019 | 1:01pm | Updated

190305-corey-johnson-2.jpg?quality=90&st

Corey Johnson

Getty Images

He wants to take a “BAT” to the MTA.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Tuesday proposed breaking up the state-run MTA and transferring city trains and buses to a mayoral-run agency called “Big Apple Transit” — or BAT.

Johnson, who is mulling a run for mayor in 2021, outlined his vision for improving mass transit during his first State of the City address at LaGuardia Community College in Queens.

The speaker hopes to bring the subways, buses, Staten Island Railway, MTA Bridges and Tunnels and portions of the authority’s headquarters under the mayor’s control to sidestep what he describes as political interference from Albany that has plagued city transit for decades.

But several proposals hinge on state approval, presenting potential hurdles for Johnson’s plan.

For one thing, his proposal hinges on the passage of congestion pricing — the plan to toll Manhattan motorists below 61st Street — and its anticipated $1.1 billion in revenue.

The state is mulling such a plan — which has been met with some resistance — but Johnson said the city could pass its own congestion plan if Albany doesn’t.

“If the State Legislature fails to pass an acceptable congestion pricing plan in 2019, the Council can and should pass its own plan,” a summary of his remarks says.

He also seeks to expand the city’s taxing authority to fuel the BAT’s budget without relying solely on fare increases — another move that requires the state’s blessing.

Meanwhile, he says he wants to rein in construction costs by addressing bloated construction union contracts and implementing more design-build projects to curb the cost of dealing with multiple contractors.

Johnson’s plan, outlined in a 104-page report titled “Let’s Go,” calls for a complete overhaul of how New Yorkers get around – with far less emphasis on driving and significant upgrades to the city’s bus and bicycle network.

Seeking to increase bus ridership 16 percent by 2030, Johnson is proposing new dedicated lanes, bus cameras and transit-signal priorities, as well as the creation of 30 miles a year of new lanes.

He also wants to create a “fully connected bike network” by 2030 that includes equipping “every square mile of the city’s street grid with bike infrastructure” – including dedicated lanes, the report says.

Johnson also said he’d also like to see private ownership of cars drop citywide by 50 percent by 2050. And he suggested cutting the city’s fleet of vehicles — which currently totals over 31,000 — by 20 percent as of 2025.

Source: https://nypost.com/2019/03/05/corey-johnson-proposes-breaking-up-the-mta/?utm_campaign=iosapp&utm_source=facebook_app&fbclid=IwAR2g1KSV7ZLYUFs7B8XIIf35GO9mi9eW8yBzNLFSQfLSS0iNu2uSjbglZzA

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The announcement between the Mayor and the Governor was meant to preempt this.

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3 minutes ago, Union Tpke said:

The announcement between the Mayor and the Governor was meant to preempt this.

So much for that...

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Yes! Corey Johnson for Mayor 2021!

I haven't read that far into it, but this is very impressive!

Before spending $4 billion to reconstruct a 1.5 mile stretch of highway, the City should study alternatives to the reconstruction of this Robert Moses-era six lane road, including the removal of the BQE in its entirety. A study and planning effort to overhaul the BQE should start with public engagement and be accompanied by sufficient plans to improve public transit options and mitigate the im- pacts of truck traffic in each scenario, particularly in environmental justice communities throughout the City. The reimagining of the BQE should be coupled with a truck route redesign initiative.

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1 minute ago, Union Tpke said:

Yes! Corey Johnson for Mayor 2021!

I haven't read that far into it, but this is very impressive!

Before spending $4 billion to reconstruct a 1.5 mile stretch of highway, the City should study alternatives to the reconstruction of this Robert Moses-era six lane road, including the removal of the BQE in its entirety. A study and planning effort to overhaul the BQE should start with public engagement and be accompanied by sufficient plans to improve public transit options and mitigate the im- pacts of truck traffic in each scenario, particularly in environmental justice communities throughout the City. The reimagining of the BQE should be coupled with a truck route redesign initiative.

I was at the BQE meeting.  That's a done deal.  Removing it entirely would be far too expensive, not to mention the time involved, and the BQE in terms of its lifespan is coming to an end so it needs to be replaced and soon.

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2 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I was at the BQE meeting.  That's a done deal.  Removing it entirely would be far too expensive, not to mention the time involved, and the BQE in terms of its lifespan is coming to an end so it needs to be replaced and soon.

The costs would pay itself. Reduced driving, reduced crashes and emissions, better health, restitching the street grid back together, more parks, bus lanes along surface boulevards, and space for businesses and housing. The removal of the highway would increase real estate values. It would be a great investment. See what is being done in Syracuse.

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4 minutes ago, Union Tpke said:

The costs would pay itself. Reduced driving, reduced crashes and emissions, better health, restitching the street grid back together, more parks, bus lanes along surface boulevards, and space for businesses and housing. The removal of the highway would increase real estate values. It would be a great investment. See what is being done in Syracuse.

A little too late now. That meeting was held last year or the year before that and they were already talking about the need to put weight restrictions on it because of how vulnerable the expressway is.  There's a time process with all of this. First, an EIS has to be done which is basically an environmental impact study, and depending on the scope of work that needs to be done... I've seen EIS statements that were 30 pages, while others were hundreds of pages, and these studies eat away important time. They can be at least a year in most cases. Then you have to hold public meetings and engage all of the stakeholders and once all of that is done, THEN you can start talking about starting with the project once a design has been agreed upon, etc. etc. etc. They plan on keeping the BQE open during the project otherwise you'd have massive congestion.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Just now, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

A little too late now. That meeting was held last year or the year before that and they were already talking about the need to put weight restrictions on it because of how vulnerable the expressway is.  There's a time process with all of this. First, an EIS has to be done which is basically an environmental impact study, and depending on the scope of work that needs to be done... I've EIS statements that were 30 pages, while others were hundreds of pages, and these studies eat away important time. They can be at least a year in most cases. Then you have to hold public meetings and engage all of the stakeholders and once all of that is done, THEN you can start talking about starting with the project once a design has been agreed upon, etc. etc. etc. They plan on keeping the BQE open during the project otherwise you'd have massive congestion.

I know that the planning is underway, but now is the time to undo the destruction of the city by the automobile. Even if work was 80% completed on the project, I would be willing to tear it all up to get rid of the highway. Many residents along the BQE in Downtown Brooklyn have signs in their windows arguing for its removal.

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2 minutes ago, Union Tpke said:

I know that the planning is underway, but now is the time to undo the destruction of the city by the automobile. Even if work was 80% completed on the project, I would be willing to tear it all up to get rid of the highway. Many residents along the BQE in Downtown Brooklyn have signs in their windows arguing for its removal.

Yes lots of people disagree with the plan, but given the funds available and the urgency of the project, this is what the City came up with. If there was more money and time surely they'd love to bury it, which is what should really happen, but the construction costs are just insane here. Too high...

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Just now, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Yes lots of people disagree with the plan, but given the funds available and the urgency of the project, this is what the City came up with. If there was more money and time surely they'd love to bury it, which is what should really happen, but the construction costs are just insane here. Too high...

I don't want it buried. I want it removed completely. Replace it with a surface boulevard like the Embarcadero.

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1 minute ago, Union Tpke said:

I don't want it buried. I want it removed completely. Replace it with a surface boulevard like the Embarcadero.

Big plans cost big bucks...

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Just now, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Big plans cost big bucks...

Some plans save money for the long term....

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If they were to get rid of the bqe, I would just convert it to a subway line

 

 

As for the city taking over the subway, buses and etc. Is not happening. The city ran city buses and that didn't work out too well in the later years. 

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I would be bummed if the MTA was broken up. As a buff, I thought it was cool that the subway & local bus, express bus and commuter rail systems in lower NY State were all under one umbrella. Also like the fact that info for all those services are all on one website.

 

 

As for the suggestions in the article, a lot of fantasy which probably won't come close to happening anytime soon. Reminds of when AOC suggested banning Air Travel in the U.S or something like that, WTH.

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1 minute ago, trainfan22 said:

As for the suggestions in the article, a lot of fantasy which probably won't come close to happening anytime soon. Reminds of when AOC suggested banning Air Travel in the U.S or something like that, WTH.

Except AOC never actually said that. All she said was invest in high speed rail corridors (which would make short haul air travel obsolete) and everyone flipped out and interpreted that as eliminating air travel.

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I don't know what's this obsession with this politician. That's all she is, and then they all say AOC... Spell out the damn word. I didn't know what it was for a while. I know it's long to say Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but it's far less confusing.

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2 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

I don't want it buried. I want it removed completely. Replace it with a surface boulevard like the Embarcadero.

Are you talking about the entire BQE? or just the section between Atlantic Ave and Cadman Plaza West? or?

I also have reservations about suggestions to replace highways with transit lines as if all trips on these roads are local. 

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3 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

Are you talking about the entire BQE? or just the section between Atlantic Ave and Cadman Plaza West? or?

I also have reservations about suggestions to replace highways with transit lines as if all trips on these roads are local. 

I want to remove the whole thing. Also, the GCP between Kew Gardens and Northern Boulevard, the Clearview, the Bruckner, a decked over Cross Bronx, Mosholu, and the Prospect Expressway.

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1 hour ago, trainfan22 said:

As for the suggestions in the article, a lot of fantasy which probably won't come close to happening anytime soon. Reminds of when AOC suggested banning Air Travel in the U.S or something like that, WTH.

Splitting the (MTA) up in of itself sounds like Fantasy, I’d actually like to see if this politician will be able to pull this off! Those are my 2 cents in this topic. 

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YES! SOMEONE GETS  IT!

 

I was very skeptical of the Speaker's plan for municipal control, but his genuine support for the transit and this report have won me over. I hope that it does not hinder integration with the LIRR and MNRR.

INDUCED DEMAND

Induced demand is the idea that creating or expanding roads does not reduce traffic congestion, but rather induces or generates it.766 The assumption is this: more lanes create more room for cars to flow freely and more quickly, thus reducing traffic. However, the creation of more roads or highway lanes actually encourages more people to drive, thus leading to fur- ther road congestion.767 Studies have found that for every one percent increase in highway capacity, traffic also increases 0.29 to 1.1 percent in the long term, which is about five years out and up to 0.68 percent in the short term, which is one to two years out.768 Researchers suggest that this result be taken into consideration as highway planners develop schemes to expand roadways.769

While expanding roads and highways has the effect of induc- ing more traffic, the same is also true in the reverse. Removing highways or reducing the amount of road space that is avail- able for cars and reallocating it for pedestrian use, or to create bus, cycle, or high occupancy vehicle lanes, can reduce traffic congestion and increase attractiveness to other modes of transportation.770 Removing highways allows traffic to disperse more evenly around a city and encourages fewer people to drive.771 It has also led to economic development and an increase in property values for properties that are situated near freeways.772 For example:

In Milwaukee, the city replaced its Park East freeway with a boulevard, which freed up twenty-four acres of space in its downtown neighborhood and attracted $1 billion of private investment in development projects.773

San Francisco replaced its Central Highway with a boulevard, which revitalized the surrounding neighborhood and caused property values within that area to increase.774 According to research, one reason for an increase in property values after highways are removed is the reduction of local traffic within the area.775 San Francisco also replaced its Embarcadero Freeway, which increased employment in the area by 23 percent within a decade.

In Portland, Oregon, when the city replaced its Harbor Drive Freeway with a 37-acre park, property values increased in downtown Portland by a yearly average of 10.4 percent.776

In Seoul, Korea, when the city removed one its elevated ex- pressways, uncovering the stream that was underneath, the stream attracted 90,000 visitors per day within 15 months of its opening.777 Land values also increased by 15 percent and traffic levels were reduced by nine percent after a rapid transit bus system was implemented as part of the project.778

The city of Paris developed a policy to reduce the size of its roads, which increased public transit usage by 20 percent within two decades.779

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4 minutes ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

Splitting the (MTA) up in of itself sounds like Fantasy, I’d actually like to see if this politician will be able to pull this off! Those are my 2 cents in this topic. 

Please... "Politician"... He's just a public advocate. Nothing more. Most of what he wants to do depends on getting State approval, so he doesn't have all that much say in the matter.

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Reminds me of this vanshnook article that I read http://www.vanshnookenraggen.com/_index/2018/10/we-dont-need-to-replace-the-bqe-but-we-will/ and this recent SAS article http://secondavenuesagas.com/2019/03/04/the-nyc-transit-system-has-a-mayoral-problem/. All I can say is, in times like these, we need someone to actually represent our city.

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2 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Please... "Politician"... He's just a public advocate. Nothing more. Most of what he wants to do depends on getting State approval, so he doesn't have all that much say in the matter.

He was only Acting Public Advocate. He is the Speaker of the City Council, and unlike Mark-Viverito, has stood up against the mayor, and asserted the council's rights.

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