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Union Tpke

More delays on projects due to G.O. Incompetance

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I just love the fact that these areas have been pretty much constantly shut down on weekends/over nights, and NYCT _still_ couldn't figure out how to slot these projects in among the other work. No other transit system in the world faces such issues of productivity. 

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4 hours ago, RR503 said:

I just love the fact that these areas have been pretty much constantly shut down on weekends/over nights, and NYCT _still_ couldn't figure out how to slot these projects in among the other work. No other transit system in the world faces such issues of productivity. 

I just don’t understand why they don’t just look at a line, say “this is everything we need to do to restore its usefulness for 20-30 years”, and then just shut it down and fix everything.

Plenty of places have shut down lines for extended periods just to get them as close to brand new - even LA shut down the Blue Line this year to rebuild it after 28 years of heavy service - yet here we do everything haphazard and piecemeal and basically keep construction workers on a single project from hire to retirement.

But then, (MTA) did say it hires corrupt folks just to help straighten them out. So I can only conclude things are how they are here because the folks on top are delusional.

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5 minutes ago, Deucey said:

I just don’t understand why they don’t just look at a line, say “this is everything we need to do to restore its usefulness for 20-30 years”, and then just shut it down and fix everything.

Plenty of places have shut down lines for extended periods just to get them as close to brand new - even LA shut down the Blue Line this year to rebuild it after 28 years of heavy service - yet here we do everything haphazard and piecemeal and basically keep construction workers on a single project from hire to retirement.

But then, (MTA) did say it hires corrupt folks just to help straighten them out. So I can only conclude things are how they are here because the folks on top are delusional.

Yes, and the powers that be are disincentivized (donations from unions and contractors) from doing anything about this, especially given how generally impermeable NYS government is to any sort of reform efforts. So much easier to just put up a smokescreen of New York exceptionalism and pro-this or that-ness, and leave it be. 

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17 minutes ago, RR503 said:

Yes, and the powers that be are disincentivized (donations from unions and contractors) from doing anything about this, especially given how generally impermeable NYS government is to any sort of reform efforts. So much easier to just put up a smokescreen of New York exceptionalism and pro-this or that-ness, and leave it be. 

Started my career in the union. Believe in unions. Hated mine (google the SEIU-UHW/NUHW split), but stay supporting them.

But here, nah. When I see the difference between unions out west and out here, it’s astonishing how self-serving they are here. I’ve never seen a union put itself and membership ahead of the people they serve.

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Why does the (4) have to run all the way to Woodlawn for a baseball game? Just have the work be done north of 167th St and have the (4) end at 161st St/149th St.

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1 hour ago, Deucey said:

Started my career in the union. Believe in unions. Hated mine (google the SEIU-UHW/NUHW split), but stay supporting them.

But here, nah. When I see the difference between unions out west and out here, it’s astonishing how self-serving they are here. I’ve never seen a union put itself and membership ahead of the people they serve.

Yeah. The NYC union scene is definitely a product of national actions, though. The scourge of RTW laws has so reduced membership bases nationally that unions have been incentivized to really milk areas they still have control in for everything they can get — which is especially easy in NYC given how deeply convoluted and unaccountable so many of our critical municipal functions are. 

I definitely blame that latter part for a lot of what’s happened. Not at all to suggest that that’s what you’re doing, Deucey, but it’s easy to see unions as the gluttonous devils in their own stories, but in the end of the day, it is their most basic function to seek the best end for their members — and the most basic function of ‘management’ to push back against that force to find some balanced solution. If you’re tied in political knots by some politician who knows they’ll never be made to answer for their actions (oh hi governor I didn’t see you over there), then that part of the game is shot, and it’s all the easier for unions to take more than is necessarily good for civic health. 

Regardless, it’s worth noting that NYC area unions are not uniformly omnipotent, and have not always been strong. The great neoliberal renaissance of the 1970s and 80s was really hard on especially city workers — IINM, in real terms, city employees took cuts to pay coming off of decade(s) of pay increases ahead of inflation. They also saw their numbers shrink as government functions were devolved to non profits or into P3s as parts of efforts to streamline city government. It’s the state/authority employee unions that have done at least marginally better over that time period, and seem to wield more power than their city counterparts. Even under fauxgressive DeBlasio, city unions seem somewhat more malleable — they worked with the city to cut something like 3 billion in healthcare costs back in 2014.

Edited by RR503
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57 minutes ago, Lawrence St said:

Just have the work be done north of 167th St and have the (4) end at 161st St/149th St.

You'd be blocking yard access (and staging areas) for the postgame extras which would be a really bad idea.

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1 minute ago, Around the Horn said:

You'd be blocking yard access (and staging areas) for the postgame extras which would be a really bad idea.

Not really, you have 149th and 167th St to store trains, as well as the (D) and Bx6 as alternatives.

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I mean the baseball specials have to line up on the middle track before the game ends to get ready and lots of Yankee fans rely on the (4) and where would the specials come from if you cut off Jerome Yard access? There is a major reason why they want the (4) running normal in the Bronx when there are a Yankee home games. 

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11 hours ago, Deucey said:

But then, (MTA) did say it hires corrupt folks just to help straighten them out. So I can only conclude things are how they are here because the folks on top are delusional.

Reality: corrupt folks bend the MTA.

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8 hours ago, j express said:

I mean the baseball specials have to line up on the middle track before the game ends to get ready and lots of Yankee fans rely on the (4) and where would the specials come from if you cut off Jerome Yard access? There is a major reason why they want the (4) running normal in the Bronx when there are a Yankee home games. 

So why can't G.O's start before and after a ball game?

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14 hours ago, RR503 said:

and the most basic function of ‘management’ to push back against that force to find some balanced solution.

It's not balance, management will seek to transfer all of the benefit to the Agency and all of the liability to the employee. As a few "we're not responsible for" bulletins have shown. 

I think the (L) train shut down is an example that it is certainly not just Unions that have a say but everyone is going to vociferously object to "their" train being cut, or "their" train being crowded by those "other" people. 

 

4 hours ago, Lawrence St said:

So why can't G.O's start before and after a ball game?

Some can, Some can't. If we're talking about major surgery like track and structural repairs it really requires long outages since the track needs to be installed and inspected before rolling trains through. It would be like doing surgery and constantly sewing up the patient so they could use the bathroom. Nothing gets done and the stitches will rip. 

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3 hours ago, Jsunflyguy said:

It's not balance, management will seek to transfer all of the benefit to the Agency and all of the liability to the employee. As a few "we're not responsible for" bulletins have shown. 

I think we're saying the same thing here. Union will push in one direction, management in the other, and you'll generally reach some sort of stable medium. 

3 hours ago, Jsunflyguy said:

Some can, Some can't. If we're talking about major surgery like track and structural repairs it really requires long outages since the track needs to be installed and inspected before rolling trains through. It would be like doing surgery and constantly sewing up the patient so they could use the bathroom. Nothing gets done and the stitches will rip. 

To add on, you'll notice that sometimes GOs on elevated lines are active during the daytime on weekends, with normal service running overnight. Those generally are the GOs that can be done piecewise rather than in one fell swoop -- remember that shuttle buses and alternate service cost $$$ so the agency is disincentivized from just leaving a GO up overnight when no work would actually be done. 

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On 6/21/2019 at 9:03 PM, Deucey said:

I just don’t understand why they don’t just look at a line, say “this is everything we need to do to restore its usefulness for 20-30 years”, and then just shut it down and fix everything.

Plenty of places have shut down lines for extended periods just to get them as close to brand new - even LA shut down the Blue Line this year to rebuild it after 28 years of heavy service - yet here we do everything haphazard and piecemeal and basically keep construction workers on a single project from hire to retirement.

But then, (MTA) did say it hires corrupt folks just to help straighten them out. So I can only conclude things are how they are here because the folks on top are delusional.

In Philly when they rebuilt the Market-Frankford line, during the summer they had periods of one and two-week shutdowns with full-bore shuttle buses on the routes affected.  

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On 7/1/2019 at 12:43 PM, Wallyhorse said:

In Philly when they rebuilt the Market-Frankford line, during the summer they had periods of one and two-week shutdowns with full-bore shuttle buses on the routes affected.  

It’s kinda what’s supposed to happen when your system has rampant breakdowns.

Save the Lex, B-way in the Bx, and Rockaway, EVERY NYC Subway line has a nearby or parallel line that can pickup the passengers that’d be displaced with a total shutdown. Sure, running (B)(D) on 8th instead of 6th will slow commutes down because of switching at West 4th and at B-way/Lafayette, but it can be done.

Likewise, wanna shut down Eastern Parkway? Run shuttles to Fulton St and have (4)(5) start at BG.

But our ironically named authority is too scared to use its authority to dictate changes to improve service beyond fare increases.

I get that they wanna minimize inconvenience, but what’s worse - rampantly delayed trains trying to crawl through repair zones for months or years - to only do it again a few years later for something else, or “No weekend (4) service from 161st to Woodlawn. Take (D) to BPB for bus shuttles to Woodlawn”?

The thing I thought was so cool way back in my 20s was how The Weekender showed you this. Folks adapted. The noise made by the few upset about inconvenience should be drowned out by the boots of folks switching to (J)(M) because (L) shutdown and the lack of comment after it’s back up (had the other idiot from Queens not hijacked it).

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23 hours ago, Deucey said:

It’s kinda what’s supposed to happen when your system has rampant breakdowns.

Save the Lex, B-way in the Bx, and Rockaway, EVERY NYC Subway line has a nearby or parallel line that can pickup the passengers that’d be displaced with a total shutdown. Sure, running (B)(D) on 8th instead of 6th will slow commutes down because of switching at West 4th and at B-way/Lafayette, but it can be done.

Likewise, wanna shut down Eastern Parkway? Run shuttles to Fulton St and have (4)(5) start at BG.

But our ironically named authority is too scared to use its authority to dictate changes to improve service beyond fare increases.

I get that they wanna minimize inconvenience, but what’s worse - rampantly delayed trains trying to crawl through repair zones for months or years - to only do it again a few years later for something else, or “No weekend (4) service from 161st to Woodlawn. Take (D) to BPB for bus shuttles to Woodlawn”?

The thing I thought was so cool way back in my 20s was how The Weekender showed you this. Folks adapted. The noise made by the few upset about inconvenience should be drowned out by the boots of folks switching to (J)(M) because (L) shutdown and the lack of comment after it’s back up (had the other idiot from Queens not hijacked it).

Right.  The problem is an extremely vocal minority that would worry doing such would cause them to have to leave for work two hours early just in case some unforeseen delay elsewhere happens that causes THEIR commute to be that badly delayed to where they could face being fired for not allowing even more time. 

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On 7/3/2019 at 9:27 PM, Deucey said:

It’s kinda what’s supposed to happen when your system has rampant breakdowns.

Save the Lex, B-way in the Bx, and Rockaway, EVERY NYC Subway line has a nearby or parallel line that can pickup the passengers that’d be displaced with a total shutdown. Sure, running (B)(D) on 8th instead of 6th will slow commutes down because of switching at West 4th and at B-way/Lafayette, but it can be done.

Likewise, wanna shut down Eastern Parkway? Run shuttles to Fulton St and have (4)(5) start at BG.

But our ironically named authority is too scared to use its authority to dictate changes to improve service beyond fare increases.

I get that they wanna minimize inconvenience, but what’s worse - rampantly delayed trains trying to crawl through repair zones for months or years - to only do it again a few years later for something else, or “No weekend (4) service from 161st to Woodlawn. Take (D) to BPB for bus shuttles to Woodlawn”?

The thing I thought was so cool way back in my 20s was how The Weekender showed you this. Folks adapted. The noise made by the few upset about inconvenience should be drowned out by the boots of folks switching to (J)(M) because (L) shutdown and the lack of comment after it’s back up (had the other idiot from Queens not hijacked it).

Gotta cut the MTA some slack, I mean, they only recently figured out it's best to completely shut down a station and do all of the major work at the same time (platform, painting, replace stairs, do a powerwash), or under FASTrack to get a good vacuum-job done and some possible station upgrades while doing track repairs. The Board/Transit Committee seemed to have little conniptions when Plochochi was first bringing some of the "bills to be paid" for work that had been done/authorized without the traditional pass-it-round-the-table being done. Under the old method, if the contractor for spec'd platform work demo-ed and found the structure basically totally gone (something not planned for), work came to a standstill until the paper started flying through various hands with the eventual "OK, go ahead and fix it, here's more money", which may have been at the next confab around a conference table. Which means any other work concurrently/scheduled faced delays -- something the same eggheads would have demanded answers for.

Something that is still lacking is the Community Boards being able to give the MTA some "what-for" and having more muscle. Reminds me of something around 20 years ago, when the State of Michigan was planning to widen one of their state roadways through one community. Their plan was a good one: Take an very aged road of 5 lanes (2-left turn-2), rip it up, put down a 6 lane boulevard (berm-divided highway, 3 lanes each direction, "Michigan left turns" via the median berm) -- more of a highway-style. Residents were elated. Then came the timetable: For the 3.25-mile project, state was going to do the first 2 miles one year, then finish the remaining the following year. Residents (and city) said, "Uh, no way -- what a stupid idea. Do it all at once or come up with something else." End result? State did it all at once,

The vast majority of Community Boards would approve such ideas, and probably DO actually tell the MTA to do such projects all at once. But the MTA has, in the past, demonstrated that they don't care, and they're going to do what they want as planned. Look at the Staten Island Express Bus fiasco -- the MTA is STILL out touting that as a great "success", embraced by all those customers. Totally the opposite, in reality, but what does the MTA care?

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On 6/21/2019 at 10:06 PM, Lawrence St said:

Why does the (4) have to run all the way to Woodlawn for a baseball game? Just have the work be done north of 167th St and have the (4) end at 161st St/149th St.

1. Yard access (as others have pointed out.

2. There are people *within the Bronx* and even Westchester that also go to Yankees and NYCFC games. People from the ‘burbs that are too close to Woodlawn to take Metro-North drive or take Bee-Line to the (4). (if there was no demand the Yankees would’ve moved to the Meadowlands a loooong time ago.)

3. It’d be a horrible look if you kneecapped access to Yankee Stadium for people that actually live in the same borough as the stadium.

 

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1 hour ago, paulrivera said:

2. There are people *within the Bronx* and even Westchester that also go to Yankees and NYCFC games. People from the ‘burbs that are too close to Woodlawn to take Metro-North drive or take Bee-Line to the (4). (if there was no demand the Yankees would’ve moved to the Meadowlands a loooong time ago.)

 

Because the (D) doesn't exist at all...

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28 minutes ago, Lex said:

Because the (D) doesn't exist at all...

The (D) doesn't directly connect to the W20 bus and it is a longer trip for those coming from the Bx10, Bx16, Bx34, and W20 to get to the (D) than the (4).  Also the (4) is also more frequent than the (D) (which now runs 12 minutes on some weekends because of trackwork).

 

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58 minutes ago, Lex said:

Because the (D) doesn't exist at all...

The (D) can’t absorb every (4) rider (and vice versa) without doubling service on the remaining line, which the (MTA) won’t do except for the occasional Concourse FASTRACK. Just because the (D) and (4) co-exist in the Bronx doesn’t mean one of the lines can get cut and the other kept as-is. Both lines carry very well when they’re both running.

21 minutes ago, GreatOne2k said:

The (D) doesn't directly connect to the W20 bus and it is a longer trip for those coming from the Bx10, Bx16, Bx34, and W20 to get to the (D) than the (4).  Also the (4) is also more frequent than the (D) (which now runs 12 minutes on some weekends because of trackwork).

 

Good point also.

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2 hours ago, GreatOne2k said:

The (D) doesn't directly connect to the W20 bus and it is a longer trip for those coming from the Bx10, Bx16, Bx34, and W20 to get to the (D) than the (4).  Also the (4) is also more frequent than the (D) (which now runs 12 minutes on some weekends because of trackwork).

 

It's a 3 minute walk from the underpass Bedford Pk Entrance to the W20 bus. And on multiple occasions when the (4) is out, the (D) has picked up the slack with no problem.

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2 hours ago, GreatOne2k said:

The (D) doesn't directly connect to the W20 bus and it is a longer trip for those coming from the Bx10, Bx16, Bx34, and W20 to get to the (D) than the (4).  Also the (4) is also more frequent than the (D) (which now runs 12 minutes on some weekends because of trackwork).

 

That's nice.

It doesn't change much of anything, though.

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2 hours ago, Lawrence St said:

It's a 3 minute walk from the underpass Bedford Pk Entrance to the W20 bus. And on multiple occasions when the (4) is out, the (D) has picked up the slack with no problem.

The walk is nothing really (and during a full shutdown there would be buses between Woodlawn (4) and Bedford Park (D) anyway, but no buses anywhere else.)

re: the (D) picking up the slack:

1. This ain’t 1998 when it ran every 8 minutes on Saturday and Sunday.

2. D train service has been cut basically twice since (10 mins officially in 2010 and 12 mins de facto when there’s a GO on it.)

3. This ain’t like in Washington Heights (do *not* bring up the geography argument) where shuttle buses supplement whatever line between the (A) and (1) that still runs. Let’s close the (1) between 137 and 242, reduce the (A) to 12 min headways and take those shuttles away and see how the remaining (A) trains deal with the Heights.

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