Why is no elected official willing to challenge the Mayor on his plans for the boardwalk? We are still paying for Mayor LaGuardia’s decision to destroy our beloved trolleys. Now future generations will be paying for Bloomberg’s destruction of the boardwalk.
Another article appeared this week about the water leaks at the newly constructed South Ferry terminal. Since its completion, the MTA has blamed Schiavone Construction, the contractor, for the numerous problems. Schiavone Construction had previously blamed the MTA. The truth according to an independent engineering consultant hired by the MTA, is that both parties are to blame. You can read more about this story here. It is also interesting to note that, although the MTA places much of the blame on the fact that the station is below the water table, the first commenter, MaximusNYC, in this Second Avenue Sagas article states:
I was just in Amsterdam, and I was impressed to see that the main metro station is directly adjacent to one of the city’s canals. In fact, one of the entrances to the station features a 1-meter-high wall, with the canal on one side, and the floor of the upper mezzanine at the same level on the other side of the wall. I saw no evidence of even a single leak. Meanwhile, the actual platforms are 2 levels further down! The Dutch know how to engineer below the water table — it’s essential for their country’s survival. Too bad we don’t take these things as seriously… and apparently keep hiring the same contractors despite their shoddy work.
The MTA has had problems with Schiavone Construction on previous contracts, yet they were hired again to do work on the Fulton Street Transit Center. Currently they are paying for repairs to the South Ferry station, but will those payments continue indefinitely, since all repairs are only temporary? Or will the MTA eventually assume the financial burden of keeping the leaks out?
Again our elected officials have remained silent. But what have they insisted the MTA do? The City Council proposed the MTA rate the condition of subway stations as it relates to litter, graffiti, rats, etc, by giving each station a letter grade as we currently do for restaurants. Exactly what is that supposed to accomplish? Will failing stations be closed? This recommendation came in response to the MTA expanding its pilot program to remove litter baskets from additional subway stations, claiming two stations are not enough to draw conclusions.After track fires increase, the MTA will have to admit this is an ill-conceived plan. Either that or remove all litter baskets and ban food and newspapers from the system altogether. They closed virtually every subway bathroom and will not even make public a list of ones that are operational so why not also remove all litter baskets to reduce services and cut costs?A message to our elected officialsIt is time for our elected officials to stand up for the people they represent. Residents are overwhelmingly in support of a wood boardwalk, yet their wishes mean nothing. We want waste receptacles to be maintained in the subways. We want new subway stations that aren’t plagued with problems the day they open. We want a 311 system that works and reports information accurately, not closing out problems that are never addressed. We want traffic regulations that are not confusing and non-sensical. Why should blocking a pedestrian ramp or curb cut be allowed under any circumstances? This is why we put you in office, not just to seek higher office. We already know the condition of subway stations without a letter grade. It will not prompt the MTA into action or encourage straphangers to litter less. The rats will not decide to keep out of stations because they have an A rating. City Council, what will you think of next – CEMUSA operating subway bathrooms with ads in the stalls and in front of each urinal? Hey now, that’s an idea!
The Commute is a weekly feature highlighting news and information about the city’s mass transit system and transportation infrastructure. It is written by Allan Rosen, a Manhattan Beach resident and former Director of MTA/NYC Transit Bus Planning (1981).
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