Andrew Cuomo

Policy, Transportation

Image © 6sqft

The crumbling of New York City’s subway system didn’t happen overnight. According to an investigation by the New York Times, the system’s current problems stem from nearly three decades of underinvestment by transit officials and elected politicians, who, despite its aging signals and equipment, have actually directed funding away from much-needed repairs. Now, New York’s subway has the worst on-time performance of any major rapid transit system in the world when looking at the data of the 20 biggest systems. Only 65 percent of weekday trains reach their destinations on time, the lowest rate since the transit crisis of the 1970s.

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Policy

AIRTRAIN, ANDREW CUOMO, LAGUARDIA AIRPORT

Rendering of LaGuardia Airport via Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office

The Port Authority on Thursday approved $55 million in funding for the second phase of planning for an AirTrain to LaGuardia airport, a project first announced nearly three years ago. The authority previously allocated $20 million for the AirTrain which would run between Mets-Willets Point and the airport, one part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to revamp LaGuardia. According to the Daily News, the total $75 million will go towards technical planning, design work and developing an environmental impact report. Despite this new investment, the AirTrain still has no final cost estimate or a completed study, but previous estimates price the project at $1 billion.  More this way

Midtown West

Penn-Farley Complex, Moynihan Station, Farley Post Office, Moynihan Train Hall

Earlier this month, New York City officially pitched four neighborhoods to house Amazon’s HQ2: Long Island City, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, Lower Manhattan and Midtown West. During its third-quarter earnings call Tuesday, Vornado Realty Trust said the Moynihan Train Hall remains at the forefront of the city’s Midtown West bid, citing the project’s proposed 730,000 square feet of office space and 120,000 square feet of retail as meeting the retailer’s key requirements (h/t Commercial Observer). Vornado, along with Related Companies, Skanska USA, and architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, is converting the former James A. Farley Post Office into the Moynihan Train Hall, an effort led by Governor Andrew Cuomo to create a world-class transit center.

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Meatpacking District, Policy, Urban Design

BARRY DILLER, DOUGLAS DURST, GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, HUDSON RIVER PARK TRUST, PIER 55

Photo: Pier 55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio.

In September, 6sqft reported that billionaire IAC Chairman Barry Diller was giving up on the $250 million project that promised to bring a futuristic offshore park and cultural destination to the Hudson River’s dilapidated Pier 54. Since its beginnings in 2014, the seemingly ill-fated project, known as Pier 55 (or sometimes “Diller Park”), was beleaguered by opposing factions–eventually revealed to be funded by prominent New York real estate developer Douglas Durst–that blocked its progress at every turn. Diller, who had imagined the project as a new Manhattan waterfront icon to rival the nearby High Line, had had enough. In a cautiously optimistic turnaround, it was announced Wednesday that the media mogul–now backed by his recent legal foes and Durst in addition to Governor Andrew Cuomo–was renewing his commitment to move ahead with the project, according to Crain’s. Diller said in a statement, “I have had countless people tell me how much they were looking forward to having this new pier, and how unfortunate were the circumstances of its cancellation.”

So what happened?

Policy, Transportation

nyc, traffic, congestion pricing

Photo via Lucas Klappas on Flickr

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Sunday a five-point plan designed to ease congestion in the city’s busiest neighborhoods. The program, called “Clear Lanes,” includes a series of initiatives like creating new moving lanes in Midtown, clearing curbs during rush hour and expanding NYPD enforcement of block-the-box violations. Beginning in January, in addition to the heavily congested Midtown, rush-hour deliveries will be banned during a six-month test run on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn (h/t New York Times).

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New Jersey, Policy, real estate trends

Photo courtesy of Robert Scoble on Flickr

Amazon’s nationwide competition to find a home for its second headquarters draws to a close this week, with pitches from stakeholders due Thursday. While New York City meets most of the requirements the tech giant listed for its HQ2– a population of at least 1 million people, proximity to an international airport, mass transit access and talented workforce–business costs in the city would be sky-high. However, as Crain’s reported, even if Amazon does not set up shop in NYC, politicians and developers have been preparing for a comparably-sized company to move in for over a decade. The failure of the city to win the 2012 Olympics bid back in 2005 actually turned into a success, allowing apartments to rise in Brooklyn where sports stadiums never did.

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Greenpoint, Transportation, Urban Design

As of 8 a.m. Sunday morning, the old, traffic-snarling Kosciuszko Bridge is no more. The decaying bridge, which was officially closed in April when the eastbound span of its replacement opened, crumbled and fell to the ground in a matter of minutes in a process known as “energetic felling, the city’s first ever implosion of a major bridge using explosives.

See the full video footage of the bridge getting blown to bits

Policy, Transportation

Image © 6sqft

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer released an analysis on Sunday that found the economic cost of subway delays could range from $170 million per year to $389 million in lost wages and productivity for businesses. The comptroller’s office used data from the MTA that looks at train schedules, passenger volumes and wait assessments by each subway line (h/t NY Times). Stringer’s analysis listed five subway lines that cause the biggest economic losses: 5, 7, A, F, and 4 trains. During a news conference Sunday, Stinger said, “The summer of hell is turning into the fall of frustration for subway commuters.”

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Policy, Transportation

When the Second Avenue Subway opened this past New Year’s Day, it was nothing short of a miracle. Not only had the $4 billion infrastructure project been 100 years in the making but in the months leading up to its deadline, there was much talk about delays related to the system’s “rigorous testing schedule” not being met. As it turns out, the testing wasn’t met; the Times tells us that when the train opened on January 1st, “the fire alarm system was still being tested and more than 17,000 defects found during inspections had not been fixed.” And eight months later, the train is still operating under a temporary safety certificate.

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Policy, Transportation

gateway program, hudson river tunnel, amtrak

The path for a future Hudson River tunnel is being preserved at Hudson Yards, photo via Amtrak

Even though the U.S. Department of Transportation withdrew in July from the board that oversees the Gateway Program, President Trump is keeping an open-mind about the nearly $30 billion project that would add a second rail beneath the Hudson River. According to the Daily News, during a meeting at the White House between New York and New Jersey elected officials and the Trump administration, the president showed interest in the project and appeared to support having the federal government pay for half of the cost. The new train tunnel under the Hudson would provide a critical link between NJ and Penn Station.

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