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Union Tpke

More delays on projects due to G.O. Incompetance

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23 minutes ago, Lawrence St said:

Trains can't switch to the express track after 161st St and go down to 145th St middle?

Might as well discharge at 161 and turn the train on the middle track in the tube and forget about 145.

Your ideas are all pretty good, but as another poster pointed out there have been closures for many weeks out of the year and as I’ve said already: They don’t do any alternative service plans beyond having a shuttle bus between BPB and Woodlawn. Once the (D) semi-permanently went 5tph, they went with running 3tph on the (4) thru whatever maintenance they were doing.

Running any kind of overlay on the (D) requires there to be zero GO’s on the Concourse, 6th Avenue, AND CPW, and if you want the (D) to run regular headways, you need the aforementioned scenarios AND the Manhattan Bridge to be open AND zero GO’s on 4th Avenue AND West End AND Sea Beach AND the (R) can’t be cut short to 9th Avenue.

Its a lot to ask for. Can all this be done for weeks at a time? And please factor in current work rules bc y’all are using 1990s stats and facts here.

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39 minutes ago, RR503 said:

A lot of it was also track panel/rail replacement work, too, if I'm remembering correctly. Emergency work is what it is, but once again, failures are, to some degree, a constant across all systems. NYCT's 'massive impact' approach to remediating them and doing work generally _seems_ unique. 

Not following how A4 is involved here... Is there not enough space (or no capability) to relay on C3-4 south of X664? 

Regardless, we're on the same side here. Shuttles to 145 are a waste; just coordinate appropriately. 

Seems is the operative word, for example, TfL for has 5 of their 15 lines with substantial closures over this weekend, New Yorkers just cry more about it and as I've mentioned in previous threads having overnight closures is a huge boon for keeping up with recurring maintenance and medium sized projects. Just as an example my Railroad had to do tie and track replacement, there's a 4hr gap overnight, the rail train comes out and drops track as far as it can. The next night it does the same thing to finish, crews come out with prep materials and stage them on the line. The weekend comes and we have a scheduled outage. By the time the track gang shows up its all plug-and-play  Which is why places like RER, LUL, MTR fight tooth and nail against 24/7 service. Also all of those places didn't let everyone retire practically at once in the 60s during the height of white-flight then neglect the system for 20-30yrs. New Yorkers are uniquely qualified at shooting themselves in the foot.

Anyway you go down to A4 because with the (D) every 6 minutes you'll have to pocket a train C1->A3->D5 while waiting for a train to pass in the opposite direction. If you really had a reason to force the plan. 

As I said, the GOs are in place for track paneling for 4hrs at a time, given that an external cran may be required, 3 work trains and prep work, a 4hr window accomplishes precious little especially since everything needs to be reconnected and tested in time for PM rush. 

 

13 minutes ago, paulrivera said:

And please factor in current work rules bc y’all are using 1990s stats and facts here.

While I agree a lot of bolstering the Concourse hamstrings other GOs and work...what work rules are you referring to and what impact do you claim they have?

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This sounds like a problem which a crosstown extension across 125 Street might render moot. But that kind of discussion is decades down the timeline if ever in our lifetimes.

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1 hour ago, Jsunflyguy said:

Seems is the operative word, for example, TfL for has 5 of their 15 lines with substantial closures over this weekend, New Yorkers just cry more about it and as I've mentioned in previous threads having overnight closures is a huge boon for keeping up with recurring maintenance and medium sized projects. Just as an example my Railroad had to do tie and track replacement, there's a 4hr gap overnight, the rail train comes out and drops track as far as it can. The next night it does the same thing to finish, crews come out with prep materials and stage them on the line. The weekend comes and we have a scheduled outage. By the time the track gang shows up its all plug-and-play  Which is why places like RER, LUL, MTR fight tooth and nail against 24/7 service. Also all of those places didn't let everyone retire practically at once in the 60s during the height of white-flight then neglect the system for 20-30yrs. New Yorkers are uniquely qualified at shooting themselves in the foot.

The notion that any of these systems are maintaining every inch of their system throughout the night and that New York isn't is quite flawed. They're doing work on the sections of the system that need attention. New York, as it so happens, does largely the same thing -- most every line has a GO or two every night, and if they don't, there's likely some work gang out doing stuff under traffic. All of this is allowed to occupy more time than elsewhere too; while NYCT maintenance crews may not have truly unlimited access through the night, the actual windows in which they can do work are larger (usually 00:00-05:00 for foreign systems vs 22:00-05:00 here).

That bit of anecdata about TfL, by the way, just furthers my point: the TfL route structure (it's deinterlined) means that a line isn't totally equivalent to here, but 5/15 is nothing compared to this weekend's 14/23 (which includes the 3 shuttles, and excludes lines that don't have changes but are being flagged because of changes), or next weekend's 13. 

Moving onto some more numerical quantification of the productivity issue, though. One particularly galling trend I've noticed over the past few months is that of wasted GO time. If you pay close attention to runtimes on weekends, you'll notice they drop sharply around 4 PM, suggesting to me that whoever requested track access isn't using it to the fullest (the connection being that shorter runtimes with services at a constant frequency means there's less flagging after 4 than there was before). This weekend on Queens Boulevard, for example, saw (E)(R) runtimes drop a full minute both Saturday and Sunday across that barrier. A similar phenomenon occurred last weekend, and so on. I understand a good bit of the issue here is poor coordination with contractors, but that's nevertheless an issue that should be fixed: it isn't as if the GO suspends overnight. 

On an even larger scale, though, NYCT performs quite poorly on productivity metrics even when compared against US systems, which by and large can't realize economies of scale. We, for example, rank 7th out of the 13 systems in the NTD on a vehicle revenue hour/maintenance employee hour basis; 9th when you exclude vehicle maintenance employees. We're outclassed by the likes of BART, MBTA and WMATA. And again, this is just US systems. Benchmarked against those abroad, we probably look even worse. 

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2 hours ago, Jsunflyguy said:

Anyway you go down to A4 because with the (D) every 6 minutes you'll have to pocket a train C1->A3->D5 while waiting for a train to pass in the opposite direction. If you really had a reason to force the plan. 

As I said, the GOs are in place for track paneling for 4hrs at a time, given that an external cran may be required, 3 work trains and prep work, a 4hr window accomplishes precious little especially since everything needs to be reconnected and tested in time for PM rush. 

Sorry, my computer cut me off before I was finished typing. 

So you say use the spurs at 135. I'm still not entirely following what is stopping them from relaying on the stretch of C3-4 between the crossovers at 145 and the switches to/from A3 and A4. Is there not enough space? Does the interlocking not accept that move? 

And yeah, midday GOs are a productivity disaster. More time spent setting up/drawing down than working, all while incurring a large rider impact. 

2 hours ago, Jsunflyguy said:

While I agree a lot of bolstering the Concourse hamstrings other GOs and work...what work rules are you referring to and what impact do you claim they have?

Flagging rules are a real killer. Those procedures have largely evolved piecemeal into a monolithic thing that few follow to the letter, all the while NYCT's injury rate remains...quite high. I think the basic premise of flagging is sound (trains should move quite slowly when around workers not protected from train traffic) but between the still-high injury rate and the fact that flagging sucks up so many conductors on weekends that its needs begin to play a role in holding service levels down (I've heard numbers well north of 20 flaggers for GOs), there certainly seems to be room for improvement. 

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2 hours ago, paulrivera said:

 Running any kind of overlay on the (D) requires there to be zero GO’s on the Concourse, 6th Avenue, AND CPW, and if you want the (D) to run regular headways, you need the aforementioned scenarios AND the Manhattan Bridge to be open AND zero GO’s on 4th Avenue AND West End AND Sea Beach AND the (R) can’t be cut short to 9th Avenue.

This isn't entirely true. Depending on how (D)-like you want your overlay to be (ie whether or not you're willing to run trains down 8th), you can get away with just CPW being clear. If you're good with (D) to 2nd Avenue, then CPW and 6th. If you're good with weekend (B), then CPW/6th/Bridge, and so on. Remember, too, that Concourse GOs change service, but don't pose capacity limits, as (D) is the only line up there.

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8 minutes ago, RR503 said:

Sorry, my computer cut me off before I was finished typing. 

So you say use the spurs at 135. I'm still not entirely following what is stopping them from relaying on the stretch of C3-4 between the crossovers at 145 and the switches to/from A3 and A4. Is there not enough space? Does the interlocking not accept that move? 

And yeah, midday GOs are a productivity disaster. More time spent setting up/drawing down than working, all while incurring a large rider impact. 

Flagging rules are a real killer. Those procedures have largely evolved piecemeal into a monolithic thing that few follow to the letter, all the while NYCT's injury rate remains...quite high. I think the basic premise of flagging is sound (trains should move quite slowly when around workers not protected from train traffic) but between the still-high injury rate and the fact that flagging sucks up so many conductors on weekends that its needs begin to play a role in holding service levels down (I've heard numbers well north of 20 flaggers for GOs), there certainly seems to be room for improvement. 

So why not have barriers between the closed tracks and active tracks?

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Just now, Lawrence St said:

So why not have barriers between the closed tracks and active tracks?

What an excellent idea!

http://web.mta.info/mta/news/books/archive/180521_1245_Finance.pdf#page=45

This procurement could have a massive impact on service, yet aside from @Union Tpke's testimony on the matter, precious little has been said. 

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3 hours ago, Jsunflyguy said:

While I agree a lot of bolstering the Concourse hamstrings other GOs and work...what work rules are you referring to and what impact do you claim they have?

1. Flagging on one track = 10mph speed restrictions on all tracks, even on the tracks not being worked on. This began in the early 2010's.

2. On trunk lines with all services forced on one track (like today with CPW, the (C) joins the (A) and (D) on the express track southbound) there is now a de-facto cap of 15 trains per hour (give or take a couple) in each direction thru each affected work site (it's why the (E)(F) and (R) run 5 tph each on QBL and the (D)(N) and (R) run 5 tph each on 4th Avenue.) This began as an unwritten policy recently and is slowly being implemented officially line-by-line (next up: IRT in November: (3) and (5) will end Brooklyn service earlier to make room for work.)

Both policies hamper the ability to overlay alternative service throughout quite a bit of the system.

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On 7/7/2019 at 11:46 AM, Lawrence St said:

No we are running on something called logic and common sense.

I totally get yours and everyone else's point of placing infrastructure work before sporting events, but it's not that clean cut. Take away direct connections to the stadium, people WILL NOT attend games and that will have direct implications to the economic stability of the area. 

Also, the present transit offering is meager at best. I attend most NYCFC home games and the 4/Metro-North is a complete sh*tshow following a match...and attendance at those games average 15K.

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9 hours ago, 40MntVrn said:

I totally get yours and everyone else's point of placing infrastructure work before sporting events, but it's not that clean cut. Take away direct connections to the stadium, people WILL NOT attend games and that will have direct implications to the economic stability of the area. 

Also, the present transit offering is meager at best. I attend most NYCFC home games and the 4/Metro-North is a complete sh*tshow following a match...and attendance at those games average 15K.

I have the opposite point of view. Tourism brings ruin to the communities. I consider people flocking to stadiums as a form of tourism. Sure the businesses make a quick buck as outsiders pay inflated prices for goods and services, but that is paid for by:

  • noise (I can’t sleep in the summer in Coney Island because of the concerts and other events going on late into the night)
  • poor land use due to vacant parking lots most of the year (when nothing is going on)
  • congestion
  • blocks nice views
  • increased costs of living
  • garbage left behind by crowds (common sight on residential sidewalks near the amusement parks)

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Yes, god forbid people enjoy themselves, or more broadly, experience some other facet of culture. Truly no value in that.

FWIW, tourism is the fourth largest sector in the NYC economy. I would be careful before taking craps on all the people taking photos/doing touristy things. They support something on the order of 300,000 jobs. 

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1 hour ago, RR503 said:

Yes, god forbid people enjoy themselves, or more broadly, experience some other facet of culture. Truly no value in that.

FWIW, tourism is the fourth largest sector in the NYC economy. I would be careful before taking craps on all the people taking photos/doing touristy things. They support something on the order of 300,000 jobs. 

And again, I ask why are we worrying about baseball when we should be worrying about infrastructure.

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14 hours ago, 40MntVrn said:

I totally get yours and everyone else's point of placing infrastructure work before sporting events, but it's not that clean cut. Take away direct connections to the stadium, people WILL NOT attend games and that will have direct implications to the economic stability of the area. 

Also, the present transit offering is meager at best. I attend most NYCFC home games and the 4/Metro-North is a complete sh*tshow following a match...and attendance at those games average 15K.

That's nice.

When work needs to be done, it needs to be done. The short-term pain from the work will mean fewer disruptions overall, which should be the goal.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Lex said:

That's nice.

When work needs to be done, it needs to be done. The short-term pain from the work will mean fewer disruptions overall, which should be the goal.

It's far beyond just "nice"...whatever that means.

But sure, close a line short-term, ignore that tourism doesn't impact the South Bronx, tell 15-30K gameday attenders to drive or seek other options and I guess we'll see what happens with the displacement.

Edited by 40MntVrn

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1 minute ago, 40MntVrn said:

It's far beyond just "nice"...whatever that means.

I have no words for this.

3 minutes ago, 40MntVrn said:

But sure, close a line short-term, ignore that tourism doesn't impact the South Bronx, tell 15-30K gameday attenders to drive or seek other options and I guess we'll see what happens with the displacement.

Because sports are somehow far more important than the infrastructure needed to get people to/from the arenas/stadiums/whatever, among many other destinations.

Seriously, give it up. We need the work done, so the staff need to have as much access to the infrastructure as possible in order to make it happen. Placing a single venue (with alternatives!) as the whole reason to do piecemeal work is nothing more than a bullshit excuse to avoid doing what needs to be done in order to maximize efficiency. I know the people who rely on it for more than just that one landmark would appreciate it, as they would actually be able to gain some certainty while the work is done and after it's done.

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Not that I would either way, but If the Steinbrenner's themselves aren't near as concerned about this work that has to be done, then I won't begin to show (or feign) any care about any lost revenue the Yankee franchise would end up undergoing...

 

9 hours ago, Lawrence St said:

And again, I ask why are we worrying about baseball when we should be worrying about infrastructure.

Because, priorities.....

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There is a balance to be struck between work and service. Yankees games may seem like discretionary events, but riders are riders and it is indeed MTA's duty to serve them. I'm certainly not going to advocate for some sort of absolutist "no impactful work" policy, but again, looking at international standards and at our own visible issues, there is most certainly a better way of structuring outages here. 

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On July 10, 2019 at 7:38 AM, Lex said:

Seriously, give it up. We need the work done, so the staff need to have as much access to the infrastructure as possible in order to make it happen. Placing a single venue (with alternatives!) as the whole reason to do piecemeal work is nothing more than a bullshit excuse to avoid doing what needs to be done in order to maximize efficiency. I know the people who rely on it for more than just that one landmark would appreciate it, as they would actually be able to gain some certainty while the work is done and after it's done.

I've been to Yankees games on weekends and you're vastly underestimating how much of a clusterf**k it would be with just the (4) or just the (D) and not both. I mean regular weekend service on both lines is already not enough to handle the volume and now you want to include GOs in the mix too? 

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4 hours ago, Around the Horn said:

I've been to Yankees games on weekends and you're vastly underestimating how much of a clusterf**k it would be with just the (4) or just the (D) and not both. I mean regular weekend service on both lines is already not enough to handle the volume and now you want to include GOs in the mix too? 

And who's forcing them to go over there, anyway?

Again, those people have options for game day, and not all require them to leave the house (if they do, there are other trains they can take, along with buses). Meanwhile, the work needed to maintain our infrastructure is left fragmented in piecemeal fashion (and with spectacularly low productivity, to boot). Closing the infrastructure and getting all of the work done at once means that the work can be done sooner with less significant impact. Moreover, talking about regular service is a moot point, as I've already stated that Concourse service would be increased to compensate for the lack of (4) service.

All of this focus is being placed on the people going to watch the Yankees instead of the people who live or work around the line and use it on a more regular basis...

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4 hours ago, Lex said:

Moreover, talking about regular service is a moot point, as I've already stated that Concourse service would be increased to compensate for the lack of (4) service.

You would have to suspend all GO's on CPW, 6th Avenue and most likely also 4th Avenue in order to provide more (D) service. It's much easier to just schedule GOs on the the (4) and (B)(D) when there's not 50,000 people trying to get to a Yankee game (which is October to March plus every weekend they're out of town).

You can repeat the spiel about infrastructure until you're blue in the face but you also have to provide enough service to meet ridership demand, which is what the MTA fails at spectacularly every weekend.

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4 minutes ago, Around the Horn said:

You would have to suspend all GO's on CPW, 6th Avenue and most likely also 4th Avenue in order to provide more (D) service. It's much easier to just schedule GOs on the the (4) and (B)(D) when there's not 50,000 people trying to get to a Yankee game (which is October to March plus every weekend they're out of town).

You can repeat the spiel about infrastructure until you're blue in the face but you also have to provide enough service to meet ridership demand, which is what the MTA fails at spectacularly every weekend.

This.

Also see your own comments here:

4 hours ago, Lex said:

(and with spectacularly low productivity, to boot).

You could be doing more work with less track time if you got really good at managing resources and structuring GOs (ie go for fewer longer GOs with a minimum of train interference). 

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I was just about to edit my comment but I'll add it here as a new one since RR503 quoted me already...

Targeted week/month/however long outages on the (4) to replace track on the el with the (B) and (D) as alternatives is a good idea, and would most likely increase worker productivity. However the best time for this kind of work would be during the baseball off season.

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Just to add on to what ATH said above, the time it takes to set up and draw down work consumes a not insignificant portion of a GO allotment. You’re looking at — best case — an hour at each end, usually more. What this means is that the longer the GO the more productive the GO.

A second, related statement is that the requirement to flag trains consumes massive amounts of money and people, to the point where inability to meet flagging staffing requirements has played a significant role in slowing major capital investments. 

The conclusion? Run those weekend shutdown GOs that ATH mentioned, and be sure that everything that can get done concurrently within those time allotments is getting done. 

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