MTA Response to Pokey: Traffic Congestion = “Vibrancy”

The MTA’s response to the annual Pokey Awards ceremony is always worth looking out for. Rather than using the publicity generated by the event to build political capital for some bus service improvement or another, the Transit Authority’s response falls somewhere between defensive and infuriated. This year’s statement is a doozy and reminiscent of Mayor Bloomberg’s famous remark, "We like traffic, it means economic activity, it means people coming here." Here’s what the MTA had to say:

The bus routes cited by the Straphangers’ report as the slowest in the city, along with many others, operate in conditions of severe traffic congestion. Slow and unreliable bus service is very much a product of the city’s vibrancy. Some routes must negotiate narrow streets while others serve heavily-traveled shopping areas. Some major routes even run past bridge and tunnel approaches, which are prone to traffic back-ups.

So, here’s a question: Which urban environment looks more vibrant to you? This typical Columbus Circle rush hour scene…

vibrancy_nyc_traffic2.jpg

Or this picture of a Friday afternoon rush hour that I snapped a couple of weeks ago on Copenhagen’s inner city pedestrian street, The Stroget…

vibrancy_stroget.jpg

Columbus Circle photo by Hidden City on Flickr

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The Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives today handed out their annual awards for the slowest and least reliable NYC buses, with Manhattan routes taking the honors. The M42 and the M50 tied for the 2013 Pokey award. Each crosstown bus was clocked at 3.4 miles per hour at noon on a weekday. That’s slower than […]

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This Awards Season, Manhattan Buses Rank as the City’s Worst

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Since 2006, Streetsblog has provided red carpet coverage of the annual Pokey and Schleppie awards, given out by the Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives to the city buses with the slowest average speed and the least reliable service, respectively. This year, Manhattan buses took the crown in both categories. Although the awards spotlight the routes most notorious for crawling through traffic, stopping […]