Bridges and tolls are on everyone’s mind these days, thanks to the MTA’s latest proposed fare hikes. If approved, this would raise the toll of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to $16. And today, on the 50th anniversary of the bridge’s opening, most Staten Islanders still think that driving across the bridge was supposed to become free once it was paid off. No one’s really certain where this myth came from, but those who believe it are quite passionate about the subject.
- SantaCon’s drunken debauchery is abandoning its traditional East Village route and heading to Bushwick. [Bushwick Daily]
- All those backpack wearers and “man spreaders” are going to get a public shaming when the MTA rolls out its subway etiquette awareness campaign in January. [am NY]
- Explore the “poison cauldron” of Newtown Creek in photos. [Gothamist]
- After 15 years in the West Village, Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks is losing its space. [Vanishing NY]
- Well, this is convenient. An aerospace engineer developed a carry-on suitcase that charges your smart phone, tracks the luggage’s location, and has a built-in digital scale. [Phys.org]
If you feel like your subway rides are starting to feel more and more like squeezing into a sweaty sardine can, you’re right on the money. According to the MTA, ridership is at an all-time high with 149 million passengers cramming into cars during the month of September alone. The MTA also met another milestone last month on September 23rd, when a whopping 6,106,694 took to the rails—this is the most of any day since ridership was first tracked in 1985; and it broke last year’s record of 5,987,595 passengers on October 24th.
- You never step foot in a fast food joint (right? RIGHT?!), but for those times when it’s an emergency and you need that greasy, fried goodness I Quant NY reported on the cleanest fast food chain in the city, so you can at least eat some grub that wasn’t dropped on the floor first.
- Continuing on our food journey, The Village Voice rounded up the 10 iconic New York foods and where to find them.
- Why aren’t the souvenirs from NYC as great as this cartoon tourist map tablecloth Scouting NY‘s aunt got in the 50s?! Check out the old Madison Square Garden building (closed in ’68).
- Ever wanted to see a brand, spankin’ new subway car before it becomes a hub of germs, dirt and mysterious stains? Business Insider gets an exclusive look at how and where they’re built. We wonder if it has that new (subway) car smell…
Plans for a Second Avenue subway have been on the drawing boards since flapper dresses were all the rage. But not until now has this pipeline dream started to take shape.
One of the hottest discussions among the locals is undoubtedly the new line, and according to the MTA, 65 percent of Phase I is now complete. When it debuts in December 2016, it is slated to carry 200,000 straphangers, which in turn will reduce overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue Line by as much as 13 percent (that’s 23,500 fewer passengers on an average weekday). Phase II will extend the line from 96th to 125th Street, and the MTA just announced that $1.5 billion (only a third of the total estimated cost) is now set aside with the hope that the federal government will chip in, too. But those who wonder when the 8.5-mile stretch of tracks (125th Street to Hanover Square), you’d better hold onto your hat—it’s 2029! Though this is still 15 years away, that hasn’t stopped the prices of properties flanking the SAS from riding high in anticipation.
- Avoid Sketchy Areas with This New App: You know that weird vibe you get when walking down a shady street? Now there’s to help you navigate those mixed emotions! Crains reports that SketchFactor, launched yesterday for iPhones, uses crowdsourced tips to warn users of areas that are less-than-desirable.
- How Rooftops Went from Servant Quarters to a Social Venue: Let us guess, you’re headed to happy hour tonight at a rooftop bar? CityLab reminds us that only 140 years ago the only things up on roofs were wet laundry and servants.
- Future Plans for Phase 2 of the Second Ave Train Includes “Rider Enhancements”: Phase 1 will be completed in 2016; Phase 2, um, TBD. NYDN tells us that MTA has proposed plans for “countdown clocks on lettered subway lines and a swipe-less replacement of the MetroCard fare-payment system.”
- A Refrigerator That Doesn’t Use Electricity: Inhabitat features a clay refrigerator that doesn’t need energy to keep food cold which makes this invention perfect for people who live in rural areas were electricity is scarce.
Images: Copyright Patrick Cashin for MTA courtesy of NYDN (left); MittiCool Refrigerator courtesy of Inhabitat (right)
- How Does Your Train Stack Up?: Animal New York covers The Straphangers Campaign’s annual ranking “State of the Subway.” Find out which train was considered the best and the worst – hopefully you’re not taking the latter any time soon.
- Pepper Spray Doubles As A Camera: This innovative design, now asking for funding on Indiegogo, snaps a pic of your attacker when you pull its trigger. We’re not exactly sure where the photo goes or how the emergency service is able to find you, but find out more about this campaign on Daily Dot.
- A Growing Pot For A Growing Plant: You won’t have to repot your greenery anymore with Emanuele Pizzolorusso’s Fold Pot that grows with your plant. Check out DesignMilk to see the snappy design.
- Understanding Your City with Graphs: CityLab interviews the founder of I Quant NY about his open data graphs. In case you were wondering which convenient store is dominant in each of the boroughs: For the Bronx, it’s Rite-Aid; for Manhattan, it’s Duane Reade (duh); for Staten Island, it’s CVS; and Brooklyn and Queens love all convenient stores equally.
Left: Fold Pot courtsey of Design Milk; Right: Wikimedia Commons
For anyone in the world who’s ridden the New York City subway, they’ve undoubtedly taken a curious gander at the system map, full of its rainbow-colored, crisscrossing lines. But what many riders may not know is that in 1972, a man named Massimo Vignelli was commissioned by the city to create a very different version of this map, immediately sparking controversy for its geometric simplicity and geographical inaccuracy. In 1979, Vignelli’s map was replaced with a more organic, curving version like we see underground today.
In 2008, the MTA commissioned Vignelli’s firm to update their map, and a new version was put online to serve as the Weekender, highlighting weekend service changes. But now, underground map enthusiast Max Roberts has gone one step further, and claims he’s come up with a perfect compromise between the Vignelli work and the MTA’s signature map.