Gotham Gazette Gotham Gazette is an online publication covering New York policy and politics as well as news on public safety, transportation, education, finance and more. http://www.gothamgazette.com/component/tags/tag/east-river-ferry 2017-10-17T09:45:57+00:00 Webmaster webmaster@gothamgazette.com What To Do When The L Train Closes 2016-02-01T01:04:28+00:00 2016-02-01T01:04:28+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6129:what-to-do-when-the-l-train Super User <p dir="ltr"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/24560963766_a421b18d43_z.jpg" alt="mta out of service" height="399" width="600" /></p> <p dir="ltr">Out of service (photo: MTA/Patrick Cashin)</p> <hr /> <p>The denizens of Williamsburg and Bushwick have responded to news of potential multiyear L train closures with a mix of shock, despair, and irritation. People are talking through the alternatives: taking the G, J, and M trains; boarding the East River Ferry; or even (gasp!) riding the bus. Quite likely Williamsburgers will also summon a swarm of UberPools and Lyft Lines unlike any seen in our time.</p> <p dir="ltr">Hysterics aside, it’s unlikely that the MTA would do a full, year-long double-tube shutdown. The most plausible plan is a long series of “nights and weekends” shutdowns for tube repairs, with the possibility of a brief total closure of both tubes to finish them “Fastrak”-style while rehabs of the 1st Avenue and Bedford stations and additional electrical substations are built. The latter service upgrades, which would permanently boost the line’s peak-hour capacity by 10 percent (a big deal for a subway line often at “crush” capacity during rush hour), depend on the timely success of <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2016/01/8587710/schumer-asks-feds-prioritize-l-train" target="_blank">Senator Chuck Schumer’s request to expedite federal funding</a>. Nothing is certain until the upgrade funding comes through, but some Sandy-related stretch of nights-and-weekends closures is sure to come, as the MTA’s initial bid requests describe a contract lasting <a href="http://www.subchat.com/read.asp?Id=1331886" target="_blank">about 40 months</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">If the MTA does indeed briefly close both tunnels—or even just one at a time—what should be done to limit the carnage? First, carpool restrictions (HOV-2, or even HOV-3) on the Williamsburg Bridge during train closures—just like during transit strikes and natural disasters. Previous nights-and-weekends closures of the L have brought “Carmageddon” to the bridge, especially during UberPool and Lyft Line promotions. Ensuring that solo drivers don’t hog every lane is a surefire way to keep everyone moving.</p> <p dir="ltr">I personally remember the bridge congestion during the UberPool $2.75-a-ride L train closure special, as it was both the first time I shared an UberPool and the first time I rode with a carsick middle-aged woman being ill out the back window into the East River.</p> <p dir="ltr">So to minimize the stop-and-go, nausea-inducing congestion—and maximize the potential efficiency of ridesharing services—the city should cooperate with the MTA in implementing HOV restrictions on the bridge, and even dedicating a lane to shuttle buses and the B39. It’s not at all radical to take away a car lane for more efficient transportation modes: The Williamsburg Bridge was <a href="http://www.columbia.edu/~brennan/abandoned/WillB.extphoto.gif" target="_blank">built for streetcars</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">This potential L train crisis is a reminder that better transit redundancy plans are needed for high-volume chokepoints, even if they inconvenience a comparatively small number of drivers. A truly radical long-term proposal would involve permanently replacing some car lanes with transit-only lanes and re-opening the abandoned streetcar terminal under Essex Street on the Manhattan side of the bridge. Current proposals include replacing the terminal with an <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/#photo-1" target="_blank">odd subterranean mushroom park</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">But if the real estate industry ever gets serious about funding <a href="http://gothamist.com/2015/07/31/is_it_maybe_possibly_actually_time.php" target="_blank">a public-private waterfront streetcar</a> through Williamsburg, perhaps restoring the rail lanes to the old streetcar terminal could be added to the plan. No matter what the MTA decides, the coming L train closures are an opportunity to start getting creative with our transportation systems and our waterfront. Let’s hope at least some of these mitigation proposals get a serious hearing.</p> <p dir="ltr">***<br />Alex Armlovich is a policy analyst at <a href="https://www.manhattan-institute.org/" target="_blank">the Manhattan Institute</a>. On Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/aarmlovi">@aarmlovi</a>.</p> <p>

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<p dir="ltr"><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/24560963766_a421b18d43_z.jpg" alt="mta out of service" height="399" width="600" /></p> <p dir="ltr">Out of service (photo: MTA/Patrick Cashin)</p> <hr /> <p>The denizens of Williamsburg and Bushwick have responded to news of potential multiyear L train closures with a mix of shock, despair, and irritation. People are talking through the alternatives: taking the G, J, and M trains; boarding the East River Ferry; or even (gasp!) riding the bus. Quite likely Williamsburgers will also summon a swarm of UberPools and Lyft Lines unlike any seen in our time.</p> <p dir="ltr">Hysterics aside, it’s unlikely that the MTA would do a full, year-long double-tube shutdown. The most plausible plan is a long series of “nights and weekends” shutdowns for tube repairs, with the possibility of a brief total closure of both tubes to finish them “Fastrak”-style while rehabs of the 1st Avenue and Bedford stations and additional electrical substations are built. The latter service upgrades, which would permanently boost the line’s peak-hour capacity by 10 percent (a big deal for a subway line often at “crush” capacity during rush hour), depend on the timely success of <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2016/01/8587710/schumer-asks-feds-prioritize-l-train" target="_blank">Senator Chuck Schumer’s request to expedite federal funding</a>. Nothing is certain until the upgrade funding comes through, but some Sandy-related stretch of nights-and-weekends closures is sure to come, as the MTA’s initial bid requests describe a contract lasting <a href="http://www.subchat.com/read.asp?Id=1331886" target="_blank">about 40 months</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">If the MTA does indeed briefly close both tunnels—or even just one at a time—what should be done to limit the carnage? First, carpool restrictions (HOV-2, or even HOV-3) on the Williamsburg Bridge during train closures—just like during transit strikes and natural disasters. Previous nights-and-weekends closures of the L have brought “Carmageddon” to the bridge, especially during UberPool and Lyft Line promotions. Ensuring that solo drivers don’t hog every lane is a surefire way to keep everyone moving.</p> <p dir="ltr">I personally remember the bridge congestion during the UberPool $2.75-a-ride L train closure special, as it was both the first time I shared an UberPool and the first time I rode with a carsick middle-aged woman being ill out the back window into the East River.</p> <p dir="ltr">So to minimize the stop-and-go, nausea-inducing congestion—and maximize the potential efficiency of ridesharing services—the city should cooperate with the MTA in implementing HOV restrictions on the bridge, and even dedicating a lane to shuttle buses and the B39. It’s not at all radical to take away a car lane for more efficient transportation modes: The Williamsburg Bridge was <a href="http://www.columbia.edu/~brennan/abandoned/WillB.extphoto.gif" target="_blank">built for streetcars</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">This potential L train crisis is a reminder that better transit redundancy plans are needed for high-volume chokepoints, even if they inconvenience a comparatively small number of drivers. A truly radical long-term proposal would involve permanently replacing some car lanes with transit-only lanes and re-opening the abandoned streetcar terminal under Essex Street on the Manhattan side of the bridge. Current proposals include replacing the terminal with an <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/#photo-1" target="_blank">odd subterranean mushroom park</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">But if the real estate industry ever gets serious about funding <a href="http://gothamist.com/2015/07/31/is_it_maybe_possibly_actually_time.php" target="_blank">a public-private waterfront streetcar</a> through Williamsburg, perhaps restoring the rail lanes to the old streetcar terminal could be added to the plan. No matter what the MTA decides, the coming L train closures are an opportunity to start getting creative with our transportation systems and our waterfront. Let’s hope at least some of these mitigation proposals get a serious hearing.</p> <p dir="ltr">***<br />Alex Armlovich is a policy analyst at <a href="https://www.manhattan-institute.org/" target="_blank">the Manhattan Institute</a>. On Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/aarmlovi">@aarmlovi</a>.</p> <p>

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Cautious Optimism Ahead of Hearing on Citywide Ferry Plan 2015-09-18T15:51:58+00:00 2015-09-18T15:51:58+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5892:cautious-optimism-ahead-of-hearing-on-citywide-ferry-plan Super User <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/ferry_DOT_.jpg" alt="ferry DOT " height="450" width="600" /></p> <p>(images: NYC DOT/EDC)</p> <hr /> <p>Mayor Bill de Blasio's proposed expansion of the city's ferry system, announced in February, appears to be one of the least politically controversial initiatives of his term. Ahead of a City Council hearing on the topic scheduled for Monday, no Council member has publicly opposed the plan, while some have loudly praised it.</p> <p>But this support comes despite concerns from transit advocates that ferries may not be the most cost-effective form of transportation for New Yorkers and that other investments in buses or bike lanes should not be overlooked. Meanwhile, others like Staten Island Borough President James Oddo want the system expanded further.</p> <p>The five planned ferry routes, connecting 21 locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens, will be rolled out in two phases in 2017 and 2018, <a href="http://www.nycedc.com/project/citywide-ferry-service" target="_blank">according to</a> the city's Economic Development Corporation (EDC). A sixth route to Staten Island is "proposed" but not part of the two phases or included in cost estimates. De Blasio said in February that rides would cost $2.75—the same as a subway or bus swipe, though MetroCards won't be accepted for payment—and that the system would bring residents of far-flung waterfront neighborhoods "closer to the opportunities they need."</p> <p>"Beyond connecting residents to jobs in Manhattan, our new citywide ferry system will spur the development of new commercial corridors throughout the outer boroughs," de Blasio said during his State of the City speech.</p> <p>One reason why the ferry plan is uncontroversial may be its relatively small size: its estimated 4.6 million riders per year by 2018 is less than the subway's average daily weekday ridership of nearly 5.6 million in 2014 (with 1.75 billion subway rides for the year). The boats' estimated $55 million price tag and $10 to $20 million annual operating subsidies are also a fraction of the city's $78.5 billion budget for the 2016 fiscal year.</p> <p>"Because it's cheap, politicians can say they're pro-transit," Nicole Gelinas, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute think tank, said. "I think the bigger danger is neglecting other transit."</p> <p><strong>Few Concerns</strong><br />Council members interviewed by Gotham Gazette were all supportive of the plan, which they say will provide a convenient mode of transportation in neighborhoods poorly served by subways.</p> <p>"We are in a city with an existing transportation infrastructure that is at capacity...So we need additional alternatives," Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer of Queens said. His district includes Long Island City, which has seen tremendous residential development in recent years and will be served by one of the new stops.</p> <p>At Monday's Council hearing, Van Bramer said he wants to "get a timeline on just when we can expect the landings to be sited, and when we can start service."</p> <p>Council Member Ben Kallos of Manhattan's Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island said making sure the three stations planned for his district are moving forward is a "high priority."</p> <p>The few concerns expressed about the current plan are oriented around the locations of landings. Residents at a recent community meeting in Long Island City were divided over where the neighborhood's stop should be: at Center Boulevard, close to waterfront high-rises, or at 44th Drive, less pedestrian-friendly but also less disruptive for a nearby boathouse.</p> <p>Council Member Carlos Menchaca of Brooklyn said EDC should try to offer solutions to siting concerns as it implements the project. Menchaca represents the busy waterway neighborhood of Red Hook.</p> <p>Ydanis Rodriguez, Council member for Washington Heights and Inwood and chair of the City Council transportation committee, said that he is looking forward to hearing more details about the plan from EDC—as well as promoting his own proposal for a ferry route along the west side of Manhattan.</p> <p>"I believe ferries play an important role when it comes to identifying different modes of transportation," Rodriguez said in an interview with the Gotham Gazette. "I hope that in the near future, all the areas not included in the present plan will be included." Rodriguez will co-chair Monday's Council oversight hearing, dubbed "Evaluating the Plan for a Citywide Ferry System" <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=430704&amp;GUID=103BA8C4-0394-4534-B01F-C94F3449318E&amp;Options=info&amp;Search=" target="_blank">on the Council website</a>.</p> <p>Staten Island Borough President James Oddo is also aboard the ferry plan, even though the first two phases of the plan will not reach his island and a sixth route has only been proposed for Stapleton, near the Staten Island Ferry's St. George terminal. Oddo said he's working to see if some sort of public or private service can one day reach other parts of the island.</p> <p>"To me, it [ferries] doesn't take a great deal of capital investment in our borough," he said. "It's the quickest avenue Staten Islanders have to getting some help to their commutes."</p> <p>Traffic engineer and former traffic commissioner "Gridlock" Sam Schwartz said that some of the issues he wants discussed at the Council include more details on expected ferry ridership, operating costs and fares, and integration with other forms of transit.</p> <p>"I think it would be a mistake not to have as robust a ferry system as possible...as well as improving transit, bus, and rail," Schwartz told Gotham Gazette.</p> <p><strong>Cost and Control</strong><br />Gelinas, of the Manhattan Institute, says an important question Council members should ask is how heavily the city should subsidize the ferry routes—especially if Mayor de Blasio sticks to his promise that each ride will cost the same as a MetroCard swipe.</p> <p>"It really has to come down to a cost-benefit analysis of how many New Yorkers will benefit at what cost," Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, said. "Ferries are a great option, but it's an option that should only be considered after rail and bus options have become untenable." White's group advocates for expanding bike lanes and mass transit projects like Select Bus Service, or express bus lines.</p> <p>A 2011 EDC study showed a subsidy-per-trip of $5.95 for the fare-free Staten Island Ferry and $21.22 for <a href="http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/05/ferry-service-for-6-from-far-rockaway/?_r=0" target="_blank">a pilot</a> Rockaway ferry service launched in 2008.</p> <p>"Some subsidy is reasonable," Gelinas said. "It will also depend on how much development we get [along the waterfront]...The more people you have, the lower the subsidy."</p> <p>Manhattan Council Member Dan Garodnick, who will also co-chair Monday's meeting, said that officials from EDC will have to answer questions about the status of the project, costs, community input, and integration with the rest of the city's transit system. He said he wants riders to be able to use MetroCards for boat fares—something EDC <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20150821/red-hook/citywide-ferry-plan-will-not-integrate-with-mtas-metrocard-for-transfers" target="_blank">has ruled out</a>, saying the 23-year-old card will be soon phased out.</p> <p>"Many of us are extremely enthusiastic about growing our ferry system," Garodnick said. "At the same time, we want to understand its cost and long-term viability."</p> <p>Other Council members were more optimistic about ferry finances.</p> <p>"This is another piece to the puzzle," Kallos said. "Despite initially low projected ridership, when you are speaking about the infrastructure we're building, and the cost of it...This is providing a lot more service to four or five boroughs, and it's improving people's commutes."</p> <p>EDC representatives are expected to testify Monday and say that the plans for the ferry system are on track. The agency is currently reviewing responses to a request for proposals for a ferry operator and plans to integrate the East River Ferry operator into the new larger ferry system. Officials point to the successes of the East River Ferry as they imagine expansion of ferry service.</p> <p>Rodriguez said that ferries are also particularly effective when natural disasters hit—a route between Manhattan and the Rockaways was established within days after Hurricane Sandy knocked out subway service to the neighborhood in 2012. He and Kallos also pointed that the ferry system would be completely under the city's control—unlike the MTA, which is state-run.</p> <p>"Investing in our waterfronts and our ferry system is a way for our city to have strong accountability and control over our infrastructure," Kallos said.</p> <p>Gelinas and White said that there are ways for the city to invest in transit without relying on the state. The 7 train's new 34th Street-Hudson Yards station, for example, was funded primarily by city tax bonds.</p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/proposed_ferry_network.jpg" alt="proposed ferry network" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" height="448" width="350" /></p> <p><strong>Waves Ahead?</strong><br />Schwartz said political opposition to ferries may emerge as waterfront dwellers start to complain about the noise and pollution boats generate. Residents of Battery Park City have long complained about ferry horns in the early morning hours—required by Coast Guard regulations.</p> <p>Noise was one of several concerns expressed by Long Island City residents at a recent community meeting on the ferry plan. But even there, most speakers said they want even more ferries to more destinations, not fewer.</p> <p>With the current plan, "you're only serving part of the community," resident Rebecca Olinger said. "I think it's foolish to put something in that serves such a small part of the neighborhood."</p> <p>***<br />by Christian Zhang, Gotham Gazette<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/ChristiZhang" target="_blank">@ChristiZhang</a></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/ferry_DOT_.jpg" alt="ferry DOT " height="450" width="600" /></p> <p>(images: NYC DOT/EDC)</p> <hr /> <p>Mayor Bill de Blasio's proposed expansion of the city's ferry system, announced in February, appears to be one of the least politically controversial initiatives of his term. Ahead of a City Council hearing on the topic scheduled for Monday, no Council member has publicly opposed the plan, while some have loudly praised it.</p> <p>But this support comes despite concerns from transit advocates that ferries may not be the most cost-effective form of transportation for New Yorkers and that other investments in buses or bike lanes should not be overlooked. Meanwhile, others like Staten Island Borough President James Oddo want the system expanded further.</p> <p>The five planned ferry routes, connecting 21 locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens, will be rolled out in two phases in 2017 and 2018, <a href="http://www.nycedc.com/project/citywide-ferry-service" target="_blank">according to</a> the city's Economic Development Corporation (EDC). A sixth route to Staten Island is "proposed" but not part of the two phases or included in cost estimates. De Blasio said in February that rides would cost $2.75—the same as a subway or bus swipe, though MetroCards won't be accepted for payment—and that the system would bring residents of far-flung waterfront neighborhoods "closer to the opportunities they need."</p> <p>"Beyond connecting residents to jobs in Manhattan, our new citywide ferry system will spur the development of new commercial corridors throughout the outer boroughs," de Blasio said during his State of the City speech.</p> <p>One reason why the ferry plan is uncontroversial may be its relatively small size: its estimated 4.6 million riders per year by 2018 is less than the subway's average daily weekday ridership of nearly 5.6 million in 2014 (with 1.75 billion subway rides for the year). The boats' estimated $55 million price tag and $10 to $20 million annual operating subsidies are also a fraction of the city's $78.5 billion budget for the 2016 fiscal year.</p> <p>"Because it's cheap, politicians can say they're pro-transit," Nicole Gelinas, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute think tank, said. "I think the bigger danger is neglecting other transit."</p> <p><strong>Few Concerns</strong><br />Council members interviewed by Gotham Gazette were all supportive of the plan, which they say will provide a convenient mode of transportation in neighborhoods poorly served by subways.</p> <p>"We are in a city with an existing transportation infrastructure that is at capacity...So we need additional alternatives," Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer of Queens said. His district includes Long Island City, which has seen tremendous residential development in recent years and will be served by one of the new stops.</p> <p>At Monday's Council hearing, Van Bramer said he wants to "get a timeline on just when we can expect the landings to be sited, and when we can start service."</p> <p>Council Member Ben Kallos of Manhattan's Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island said making sure the three stations planned for his district are moving forward is a "high priority."</p> <p>The few concerns expressed about the current plan are oriented around the locations of landings. Residents at a recent community meeting in Long Island City were divided over where the neighborhood's stop should be: at Center Boulevard, close to waterfront high-rises, or at 44th Drive, less pedestrian-friendly but also less disruptive for a nearby boathouse.</p> <p>Council Member Carlos Menchaca of Brooklyn said EDC should try to offer solutions to siting concerns as it implements the project. Menchaca represents the busy waterway neighborhood of Red Hook.</p> <p>Ydanis Rodriguez, Council member for Washington Heights and Inwood and chair of the City Council transportation committee, said that he is looking forward to hearing more details about the plan from EDC—as well as promoting his own proposal for a ferry route along the west side of Manhattan.</p> <p>"I believe ferries play an important role when it comes to identifying different modes of transportation," Rodriguez said in an interview with the Gotham Gazette. "I hope that in the near future, all the areas not included in the present plan will be included." Rodriguez will co-chair Monday's Council oversight hearing, dubbed "Evaluating the Plan for a Citywide Ferry System" <a href="http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=430704&amp;GUID=103BA8C4-0394-4534-B01F-C94F3449318E&amp;Options=info&amp;Search=" target="_blank">on the Council website</a>.</p> <p>Staten Island Borough President James Oddo is also aboard the ferry plan, even though the first two phases of the plan will not reach his island and a sixth route has only been proposed for Stapleton, near the Staten Island Ferry's St. George terminal. Oddo said he's working to see if some sort of public or private service can one day reach other parts of the island.</p> <p>"To me, it [ferries] doesn't take a great deal of capital investment in our borough," he said. "It's the quickest avenue Staten Islanders have to getting some help to their commutes."</p> <p>Traffic engineer and former traffic commissioner "Gridlock" Sam Schwartz said that some of the issues he wants discussed at the Council include more details on expected ferry ridership, operating costs and fares, and integration with other forms of transit.</p> <p>"I think it would be a mistake not to have as robust a ferry system as possible...as well as improving transit, bus, and rail," Schwartz told Gotham Gazette.</p> <p><strong>Cost and Control</strong><br />Gelinas, of the Manhattan Institute, says an important question Council members should ask is how heavily the city should subsidize the ferry routes—especially if Mayor de Blasio sticks to his promise that each ride will cost the same as a MetroCard swipe.</p> <p>"It really has to come down to a cost-benefit analysis of how many New Yorkers will benefit at what cost," Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, said. "Ferries are a great option, but it's an option that should only be considered after rail and bus options have become untenable." White's group advocates for expanding bike lanes and mass transit projects like Select Bus Service, or express bus lines.</p> <p>A 2011 EDC study showed a subsidy-per-trip of $5.95 for the fare-free Staten Island Ferry and $21.22 for <a href="http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/05/ferry-service-for-6-from-far-rockaway/?_r=0" target="_blank">a pilot</a> Rockaway ferry service launched in 2008.</p> <p>"Some subsidy is reasonable," Gelinas said. "It will also depend on how much development we get [along the waterfront]...The more people you have, the lower the subsidy."</p> <p>Manhattan Council Member Dan Garodnick, who will also co-chair Monday's meeting, said that officials from EDC will have to answer questions about the status of the project, costs, community input, and integration with the rest of the city's transit system. He said he wants riders to be able to use MetroCards for boat fares—something EDC <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20150821/red-hook/citywide-ferry-plan-will-not-integrate-with-mtas-metrocard-for-transfers" target="_blank">has ruled out</a>, saying the 23-year-old card will be soon phased out.</p> <p>"Many of us are extremely enthusiastic about growing our ferry system," Garodnick said. "At the same time, we want to understand its cost and long-term viability."</p> <p>Other Council members were more optimistic about ferry finances.</p> <p>"This is another piece to the puzzle," Kallos said. "Despite initially low projected ridership, when you are speaking about the infrastructure we're building, and the cost of it...This is providing a lot more service to four or five boroughs, and it's improving people's commutes."</p> <p>EDC representatives are expected to testify Monday and say that the plans for the ferry system are on track. The agency is currently reviewing responses to a request for proposals for a ferry operator and plans to integrate the East River Ferry operator into the new larger ferry system. Officials point to the successes of the East River Ferry as they imagine expansion of ferry service.</p> <p>Rodriguez said that ferries are also particularly effective when natural disasters hit—a route between Manhattan and the Rockaways was established within days after Hurricane Sandy knocked out subway service to the neighborhood in 2012. He and Kallos also pointed that the ferry system would be completely under the city's control—unlike the MTA, which is state-run.</p> <p>"Investing in our waterfronts and our ferry system is a way for our city to have strong accountability and control over our infrastructure," Kallos said.</p> <p>Gelinas and White said that there are ways for the city to invest in transit without relying on the state. The 7 train's new 34th Street-Hudson Yards station, for example, was funded primarily by city tax bonds.</p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/proposed_ferry_network.jpg" alt="proposed ferry network" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" height="448" width="350" /></p> <p><strong>Waves Ahead?</strong><br />Schwartz said political opposition to ferries may emerge as waterfront dwellers start to complain about the noise and pollution boats generate. Residents of Battery Park City have long complained about ferry horns in the early morning hours—required by Coast Guard regulations.</p> <p>Noise was one of several concerns expressed by Long Island City residents at a recent community meeting on the ferry plan. But even there, most speakers said they want even more ferries to more destinations, not fewer.</p> <p>With the current plan, "you're only serving part of the community," resident Rebecca Olinger said. "I think it's foolish to put something in that serves such a small part of the neighborhood."</p> <p>***<br />by Christian Zhang, Gotham Gazette<br /><a href="https://twitter.com/ChristiZhang" target="_blank">@ChristiZhang</a></p> The Week That Was in New York Politics, August 31-September 4 2015-09-04T17:05:34+00:00 2015-09-04T17:05:34+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=5874:the-week-that-was-in-new-york-politics-august-31-september-4 Super User <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/week_in_review_bus_readers.jpg" alt="week in review bus readers" height="409" width="600" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><a href="http://blog.mcny.org/2012/04/24/a-ride-on-the-subway-in-1946-with-stanley-kubrick/" target="_blank">photo</a>: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York</span></p> <hr /> <p>Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday September 4</p> <p><strong>PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: </strong>Mayor de Blasio rides the Staten Island Ferry, <a href="https://twitter.com/AnnaESanders/status/638836990394286081" target="_blank">via Anna Sanders</a>; de Blasio visits a homeless encampment, <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/exclusive-mayor-de-blasio-tours-bronx-homeless-encampment-article-1.2346737" target="_blank">via The Daily News</a></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/BdB_SI_ferry.jpg" alt="BdB SI ferry" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" height="300" width="400" /></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/bdb_encampment_daily_news.jpg" alt="bdb encampment daily news" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" height="266" width="400" /></p> <p><strong>TOP FOUR STORIES OF THE WEEK:</strong></p> <p>1. <strong>De Blasio &amp; Homelessness:</strong> This week, Mayor de Blasio authorized a $10 million <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/31/nyregion/mayor-de-blasio-authorizes-emergency-measure-to-aid-homeless-people.html?ref=nyregion&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">emergency measure</a> to provide rental assistance to people facing homelessness. Not long after, the mayor&nbsp;<a href="http://citizensunion.us3.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=ca0fb41d668202ba6cc542ca8&amp;id=d7caafb81f&amp;e=e35a0ce952" target="_blank">announced the coming resignation</a>&nbsp;of Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, after 20 months serving as deputy mayor of health and human services, where she oversees much of the administration's response to the ongoing homelessness crisis. Then, de Blasio visited a notorious homelessness encampment in the Bronx.</p> <p>2. <strong>Cuomo to Puerto Rico:</strong> In the midst of the economic crisis in Puerto Rico, Gov. Cuomo "will lead a <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/gov-cuomo-planning-solidarity-trip-puerto-rico-source-blog-entry-1.2342050" target="_blank">delegation</a>&nbsp;to Puerto Rico to meet with local officials and discuss the Puerto Rican governments' ongoing healthcare crisis and economic challenges as well as the need for Washington to act."&nbsp;Leaving Monday (September 7) and returning Tuesday, <a href="https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-leads-delegation-puerto-rico" target="_blank">the group will include</a> financial experts and elected leaders, including City Council Speaker and Puerto Rico native Melissa Mark-Viverito, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.</p> <p>3. <strong>Cuomo Launches ‘Enough is Enough’:</strong> As students head back to college campuses, Governor Cuomo has kicked off his statewide awareness campaign to draw attention to his '<a href="http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/240579/watch-at-1030-a-m-cuomo-makes-announcement-in-new-york-city/" target="_blank">Enough is Enough</a>' sexual conduct legislation, which will take effect in full later this fall. Legislation requires all colleges to adopt a set of comprehensive procedures and guidelines, including a uniform definition of affirmative consent, and expanded access to law enforcement.</p> <p>4. <strong>Safe City Summer:</strong> New York City had the safest summer in over 20 years - the NYPD’s newly released <a href="http://www.nypdnews.com/2015/09/new-york-city-has-safest-summer-in-over.html" target="_blank">crime statistics</a> show that crime and shootings are at historic lows, along with over 40,000 fewer arrests made and 58,000 fewer criminal court summonses issued year-to-date over last year. New York City experienced the safest summer (June 1 through August 31) in the modern crime tracking era of the department. For that summer period, shootings and murders were the lowest they have ever been in the modern CompStat era; the NYPD recorded 82 murders and 345 shootings over the three summer months.</p> <p><strong>THIS WEEK'S NUMBERS:</strong></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>$18 million</strong> in additional <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/09/8575649/already-under-repair-brooklyn-bridge-will-need-more-work" target="_blank">funding</a> for final design and construction support services of the Brooklyn Bridge. Repairs for the iconic bridge are already $92 million over budget and a year behind schedule.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>25%</strong> wage <a href="http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/240569/study-new-york-women-in-unions-have-a-25-percent-wage-advantage/" target="_blank">advantage</a> for New York women who belong to a union over women who aren’t union members</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>$1.25 million</strong> is how much a vacant lot in Crown Heights <a href="http://dnain.fo/1VwM38y" target="_blank">sold</a> for after less than two days on the market.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>144</strong> of the state’s struggling public <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2015/09/8575788/struggling-schools-face-deadline-improvement-plans?top-featured-1" target="_blank">schools</a> have until Sept. 30 for administrators to finish improvement plans and file them with the state.</p> </li> <li><strong>180 feet</strong> is how high a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/03/nyregion/before-the-popes-visit-a-180-foot-tall-francis-arrives-in-midtown.html" target="_blank">mural</a>&nbsp;of Pope Francis painted on the side of 494 Eighth Avenue in anticipation of the Pontiff's visit to the city will be.</li> </ul> <p><strong>THE FLASH:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>65 years ago</strong> around this time, on August 31, 1950, Mayor William O'Dwyer <a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2015/08/31/august-31st-in-nyc-history.html" target="_blank">resigned</a> amid rumors of a corruption scandal.</li> </ul> <p><strong>GOTHAM GAZETTE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK:</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5872-led-by-new-office-de-blasio-forms-his-brand-of-public-private-partnerships" target="_blank">Led by New Office, De Blasio Forms His Brand of Public-Private Partnerships</a>, by Brit Byrd</p> <p><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/5871-in-defense-of-plazas-from-times-square-to-brownsville" target="_blank">In Defense of&nbsp;Plazas, From Times Square to Brownsville</a>&nbsp;(opinion)</p> <p><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5867-advocates-rally-to-keep-solitary-confinement-in-spotlight" target="_blank">Advocates Rally to Keep Solitary Confinement in Spotlight</a>, by David King</p> <p><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/5868-bill-puts-city-landmarks-law-at-serious-risk-berman" target="_blank">Bill Puts City Landmarks Law At Serious Risk</a>&nbsp;(opinon)</p> <p><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5865-on-twitter-de-blasio-continues-efforts-at-direct-public-contact" target="_blank">On Twitter, De Blasio Continues Recent Efforts at Direct Public Contact</a>, by Ben Max</p> <p><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5863-map-launched-to-bring-greater-accountability-to-capital-spending" target="_blank">Map Launched to Bring Greater Accountability to Capital Spending</a>, by Brit Byrd</p> <p><strong>MORE FOR THE WEEKEND:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Anthony Weiner on WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show <a href="http://www.wnyc.org/story/anthony-weiner-knows-how-end-de-blasio-cuomo-beef/" target="_blank">discussing</a> a possible state constitutional convention and the governor-mayor relationship.</li> <li>The New Yorker <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/09/07/fixing-broken-windows" target="_blank">profiles</a> NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton.</li> <li>Chalkbeat NY&nbsp;<a href="http://ny.chalkbeat.org/2015/09/01/nearly-a-year-after-nyc-principals-float-diversity-plans-city-has-yet-to-sign-off/#.VecI3SzBzGd" target="_blank">looks at</a>&nbsp;the city DOE dragging its feet on allowing schools to change admissions policies aimed at increasing diversity.</li> </ul> <p><em>***NOTE TO READERS: we hope you enjoy this new Gotham Gazette weekly feature - please share it if you do; on Twitter, use our handle&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a>.</em></p> <p><em>If you have feedback on this feature for us, you can email editor Ben Max:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com">bmax@gothamgazette.com</a></em></p> <p><em>Watch Sunday evening for our latest Week Ahead in New York Politics, which gives you a preview of key issues and events to be aware of for the week about to start. In the meantime, catch up on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government" target="_blank">the latest original reporting from Gotham Gazette here</a>. And have a great weekend!</em></p> <p><em>***</em><br />by Meg O'Connor and Ben Max</p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/week_in_review_bus_readers.jpg" alt="week in review bus readers" height="409" width="600" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><a href="http://blog.mcny.org/2012/04/24/a-ride-on-the-subway-in-1946-with-stanley-kubrick/" target="_blank">photo</a>: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York</span></p> <hr /> <p>Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday September 4</p> <p><strong>PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: </strong>Mayor de Blasio rides the Staten Island Ferry, <a href="https://twitter.com/AnnaESanders/status/638836990394286081" target="_blank">via Anna Sanders</a>; de Blasio visits a homeless encampment, <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/exclusive-mayor-de-blasio-tours-bronx-homeless-encampment-article-1.2346737" target="_blank">via The Daily News</a></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/BdB_SI_ferry.jpg" alt="BdB SI ferry" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" height="300" width="400" /></p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/bdb_encampment_daily_news.jpg" alt="bdb encampment daily news" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" height="266" width="400" /></p> <p><strong>TOP FOUR STORIES OF THE WEEK:</strong></p> <p>1. <strong>De Blasio &amp; Homelessness:</strong> This week, Mayor de Blasio authorized a $10 million <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/31/nyregion/mayor-de-blasio-authorizes-emergency-measure-to-aid-homeless-people.html?ref=nyregion&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">emergency measure</a> to provide rental assistance to people facing homelessness. Not long after, the mayor&nbsp;<a href="http://citizensunion.us3.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=ca0fb41d668202ba6cc542ca8&amp;id=d7caafb81f&amp;e=e35a0ce952" target="_blank">announced the coming resignation</a>&nbsp;of Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, after 20 months serving as deputy mayor of health and human services, where she oversees much of the administration's response to the ongoing homelessness crisis. Then, de Blasio visited a notorious homelessness encampment in the Bronx.</p> <p>2. <strong>Cuomo to Puerto Rico:</strong> In the midst of the economic crisis in Puerto Rico, Gov. Cuomo "will lead a <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/gov-cuomo-planning-solidarity-trip-puerto-rico-source-blog-entry-1.2342050" target="_blank">delegation</a>&nbsp;to Puerto Rico to meet with local officials and discuss the Puerto Rican governments' ongoing healthcare crisis and economic challenges as well as the need for Washington to act."&nbsp;Leaving Monday (September 7) and returning Tuesday, <a href="https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-leads-delegation-puerto-rico" target="_blank">the group will include</a> financial experts and elected leaders, including City Council Speaker and Puerto Rico native Melissa Mark-Viverito, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.</p> <p>3. <strong>Cuomo Launches ‘Enough is Enough’:</strong> As students head back to college campuses, Governor Cuomo has kicked off his statewide awareness campaign to draw attention to his '<a href="http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/240579/watch-at-1030-a-m-cuomo-makes-announcement-in-new-york-city/" target="_blank">Enough is Enough</a>' sexual conduct legislation, which will take effect in full later this fall. Legislation requires all colleges to adopt a set of comprehensive procedures and guidelines, including a uniform definition of affirmative consent, and expanded access to law enforcement.</p> <p>4. <strong>Safe City Summer:</strong> New York City had the safest summer in over 20 years - the NYPD’s newly released <a href="http://www.nypdnews.com/2015/09/new-york-city-has-safest-summer-in-over.html" target="_blank">crime statistics</a> show that crime and shootings are at historic lows, along with over 40,000 fewer arrests made and 58,000 fewer criminal court summonses issued year-to-date over last year. New York City experienced the safest summer (June 1 through August 31) in the modern crime tracking era of the department. For that summer period, shootings and murders were the lowest they have ever been in the modern CompStat era; the NYPD recorded 82 murders and 345 shootings over the three summer months.</p> <p><strong>THIS WEEK'S NUMBERS:</strong></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>$18 million</strong> in additional <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/09/8575649/already-under-repair-brooklyn-bridge-will-need-more-work" target="_blank">funding</a> for final design and construction support services of the Brooklyn Bridge. Repairs for the iconic bridge are already $92 million over budget and a year behind schedule.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>25%</strong> wage <a href="http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/240569/study-new-york-women-in-unions-have-a-25-percent-wage-advantage/" target="_blank">advantage</a> for New York women who belong to a union over women who aren’t union members</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>$1.25 million</strong> is how much a vacant lot in Crown Heights <a href="http://dnain.fo/1VwM38y" target="_blank">sold</a> for after less than two days on the market.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>144</strong> of the state’s struggling public <a href="http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2015/09/8575788/struggling-schools-face-deadline-improvement-plans?top-featured-1" target="_blank">schools</a> have until Sept. 30 for administrators to finish improvement plans and file them with the state.</p> </li> <li><strong>180 feet</strong> is how high a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/03/nyregion/before-the-popes-visit-a-180-foot-tall-francis-arrives-in-midtown.html" target="_blank">mural</a>&nbsp;of Pope Francis painted on the side of 494 Eighth Avenue in anticipation of the Pontiff's visit to the city will be.</li> </ul> <p><strong>THE FLASH:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>65 years ago</strong> around this time, on August 31, 1950, Mayor William O'Dwyer <a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2015/08/31/august-31st-in-nyc-history.html" target="_blank">resigned</a> amid rumors of a corruption scandal.</li> </ul> <p><strong>GOTHAM GAZETTE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK:</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5872-led-by-new-office-de-blasio-forms-his-brand-of-public-private-partnerships" target="_blank">Led by New Office, De Blasio Forms His Brand of Public-Private Partnerships</a>, by Brit Byrd</p> <p><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/5871-in-defense-of-plazas-from-times-square-to-brownsville" target="_blank">In Defense of&nbsp;Plazas, From Times Square to Brownsville</a>&nbsp;(opinion)</p> <p><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5867-advocates-rally-to-keep-solitary-confinement-in-spotlight" target="_blank">Advocates Rally to Keep Solitary Confinement in Spotlight</a>, by David King</p> <p><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/opinion/5868-bill-puts-city-landmarks-law-at-serious-risk-berman" target="_blank">Bill Puts City Landmarks Law At Serious Risk</a>&nbsp;(opinon)</p> <p><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5865-on-twitter-de-blasio-continues-efforts-at-direct-public-contact" target="_blank">On Twitter, De Blasio Continues Recent Efforts at Direct Public Contact</a>, by Ben Max</p> <p><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government/5863-map-launched-to-bring-greater-accountability-to-capital-spending" target="_blank">Map Launched to Bring Greater Accountability to Capital Spending</a>, by Brit Byrd</p> <p><strong>MORE FOR THE WEEKEND:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Anthony Weiner on WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show <a href="http://www.wnyc.org/story/anthony-weiner-knows-how-end-de-blasio-cuomo-beef/" target="_blank">discussing</a> a possible state constitutional convention and the governor-mayor relationship.</li> <li>The New Yorker <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/09/07/fixing-broken-windows" target="_blank">profiles</a> NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton.</li> <li>Chalkbeat NY&nbsp;<a href="http://ny.chalkbeat.org/2015/09/01/nearly-a-year-after-nyc-principals-float-diversity-plans-city-has-yet-to-sign-off/#.VecI3SzBzGd" target="_blank">looks at</a>&nbsp;the city DOE dragging its feet on allowing schools to change admissions policies aimed at increasing diversity.</li> </ul> <p><em>***NOTE TO READERS: we hope you enjoy this new Gotham Gazette weekly feature - please share it if you do; on Twitter, use our handle&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/GothamGazette" target="_blank">@GothamGazette</a>.</em></p> <p><em>If you have feedback on this feature for us, you can email editor Ben Max:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com"></a><a href="mailto:bmax@gothamgazette.com">bmax@gothamgazette.com</a></em></p> <p><em>Watch Sunday evening for our latest Week Ahead in New York Politics, which gives you a preview of key issues and events to be aware of for the week about to start. In the meantime, catch up on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/government" target="_blank">the latest original reporting from Gotham Gazette here</a>. And have a great weekend!</em></p> <p><em>***</em><br />by Meg O'Connor and Ben Max</p>