Tuesday’s Headlines: Subway Meltdown Redux Edition

On Monday, Gov. Hochul got into the weeds with (from left) MTA Senior Vice President of Subways Demetrius Crichlow and Acting MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber. Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA
On Monday, Gov. Hochul got into the weeds with (from left) MTA Senior Vice President of Subways Demetrius Crichlow and Acting MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber. Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA

The big story yesterday was all the Monday-morning quarterbacking about the electrical blip that ground the subway to a halt late on Sunday night.

All the papers covered the post-mortem (NYDN, NY Post, NY Times), but it boils down to this: When the ConEd power flickered off for a split-second on Sunday night, the MTA’s emergency backup system did what it was supposed to do. But when the ConEd power was restored, the system did not switch back to ConEd power, but kept going until its own backup batteries were drained.

The power was flowing, but the MTA wasn’t using it.

In other news:

  • We think it’s great that anti-safety advocates are now protesting directly in front of DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman’s luxury home on Furman Street — hey, that’s the First Amendment for you. But we draw the line at media outlets that swallow — hook, line and stinker — 1980s framing by ancient lawmakers who will be defending cars until the last glacier melts. Seriously, read Jessica Parks’s story in the Brooklyn Paper about the DOT’s sensible plan to make Seventh and Eighth avenues in Sunset Park safer (we covered it here). The story’s sad framing really hits you when you get to Assembly Member Peter Abbate’s quote towards the end. “I think this is coming from City Hall, and forgetting about the safety,” said Abbate, who has been in the lower chamber since 1986. Now, we’ve spent a LOT of time in Sunset Park — and there’s no denying that the double-parking, paucity of loading zones, narrow sidewalks and no bike lanes are the safety problem! The DOT’s plan would make the entire area far safer for all road users, at the expense, yes, of free parking. Reminder: free parking encourages driving — and driving is what is warming our planet, killing our kids and making beautiful neighborhoods like Sunset Park unlivable and choked with cars. Why are we allowing lawmakers who took office the last time the Mets won a World Series to continually frame today’s debate? We are dying here.
  • Speaking of Gutman, the commissioner has started revving up his office’s bully pulpit, issuing another statement on Monday calling for the state legislature to come back into session to pass a bill sponsored by State Sen. Andrew Gounardes and Assembly Member Deborah Glick that would allow city speed cameras to operate 24/7. (We covered the bill last year.) Gutman’s statement came after another bloody weekend on the roads. Only the Norwood News covered it, but good for them!
  • Whoa, whatever happened to safety first? The MTA is cutting down on training to make sure there are enough employees to staff trains. But the move has union support. (The City)
  • In case you missed it, the Daily News got many more details about the June crash between Council Member Farah Louis and motorcyclist Luis Santiago, which led to his death. Louis, who has opposed street safety measures, didn’t talk about the crash with the News — and, indeed, has declined to talk to us about it, too.
  • The News also dug deep into the sorrow of the family that is now grieving the road death of pedestrian Murielle Gousse, who left behind two children.
  • Yet another mainstream opinion writer — this time Hayes Brown of MSNBC — has penned a righteous call for the end of car culture: “Housing and car-ownership shaped the way the U.S. functions,” he wrote “But with vehicle emissions making up nearly 30 percent of the greenhouse gases the U.S. produces each year, the way we function is killing the planet.” Is anyone listening?
  • Indeed, if we are serious about combatting climate change, train service needs to be expanded, and that includes deeper into the Berkshires. (Berkshire Eagle)
  • And, finally, how did that restraining of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway go on the first day? Julianne Cuba offers this slideshow:

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Filed Under: MTA