Monday’s Headlines: Bay Ridge Overnight Subway Blues Edition
A coalition of Bay Ridge lawmakers called on the MTA to ease the burden that neighborhood transit users are going to start feeling tonight, as R train service is eliminated on weeknights and weekends for the next two months. All R train users between Whitehall and 95th Street will be affected, but the pain will be worse in Bay Ridge because there’s no alternative subway route. The MTA will provide a shuttle bus between 59th Street and the Bay Ridge terminus.
On Sunday, state Sen. Andrew Gounardes and Council Member Justin Brannan said they appreciated that the MTA is investing in necessary repairs, but want the agency to make sure shuttle buses are timed to connect to the subway, and that bus service comes every six minutes during the overnight and weekend hours to better serve transit users, who are disproportionately poorer. Overnight service cuts tend to hurt workers on the late shift.
“We owe it to the essential workers that keep our 24-hour economy going to provide the best transit service possible,” Gounardes said. “We have all seen shuttle buses that don’t come or confusing transit delays. Our nurses, restaurant workers, and home care workers shouldn’t have to take money out of their pay-checks for a for hire vehicle when the shuttle bus doesn’t show up. These proposals are a common sense and easy way to ensure our community is well served.”
We asked the MTA for a reaction and got this from spokesperson Kayla Shults:
The MTA has a robust plan to provide bus shuttle service during hours when when service is interrupted as we improve the R line. We appreciate recognition of improving bus speeds and reduced travel times in busways and bus lanes across the city, including on 14th Street, and will continue to work with the city to enhance bus priority.
In other news (if you want to talk about anything other than Will Smith and Chris Rock, that is):
- Speaking of MTA service, it looks like “Amtrak” Joe Biden is going to pump $400 million into the Second Avenue subway, prompting a wave of train puns from Sen. Chuck Schumer. (NYDN)
- Also speaking of MTA service, some Metro-North trains will be restored as of Monday. (Gothamist)
- After weeks of relentlessly hyping crime, the Times finally did a story fretting about whether too much focus on crime will lead to overpolicing.
- The Bronx has the worst subway escalators, The City reports.
- Subway mask mandates remain in place, but the masks? Not so much. (amNY)
- Gridlock Sam pointed out what every cyclist in town has noticed: it’s pothole season. (NYDN)
- Guse of the Newsuh was let down by his headline writer, but he had a good story estimating how little inconvenience has been delivered to drivers as a result of the Brooklyn Bridge bike lane. Yes, car speeds are down 28 percent on the Manhattan-bound lanes, but speeds are down nearly 7 percent on the Brooklyn-bound lanes (which didn’t get a bike lane). The biggest problem for drivers is, frankly, other drivers — and there are way more of them now than there were two years ago.
- Kinetic Clayton had another interesting weekender (right) about a neighborhood in the Bronx where parking is so hard to get that people sleep overnight in their vehicles. Once again, the story only glanced at the real problem: too many cars and too many car owners who think the city owes them public space to store their vehicles. (NYDN)
- Speaking of which, NY1 poorly spun its story on Citi Bike’s long-awaited expansion deeper into Queens looking only at the alleged inconvenience to drivers, who, of course, complained how difficult it is for them to find parking (because of all the cars they and their neighbors own!).
- On the plus side, NY1 aired an interview with Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez in which he went further than he had gone before in championing a broad livable streets agenda.
- No one has been banned from the subway system for assaulting MTA workers or committing sex crimes, even though judges were given that power two years ago. (NY Post)
- A cyclist was hurt in a crash with a pedestrian on Sunday morning. The pedestrian was uninjured, which would not have been the case if the walker had been hit by a car driver. (NY Post)
- One city resident is no fan of pigeons, or the people who feed them. (NY Post)
- Daily News columnist Harry Siegel used Mayor Adams’s Friday presser on road violence as a jumping off point to talk about crime. We wish he had stayed on topic (as we did!).