Thursday, February 28, 2008

T For Travesty

I know that AM New York went with T for Tardy this morning on their frontpage, but that doesn't do the situation justice. Yet again, the MTA is delaying the Second Avenue subway line, some day to be the T line running up and down the east side of Manhattan. The project was to have its first leg completed by 2013 (63rd-96th St.) but now they're tacking on two more years. You can add that to the 79 years we've been waiting so far since the project was started initially. But this isn't a technical issue, its a money issue and that is ticks a lot of people off.

From AM New York:

Commuters on the packed downtown platform at the 51st and Lexington station were in no mood to sympathize during the Wednesday's evening rush hour. "It's bordering on incompetence at this point," said Max Chee, 35, who was trying to get home to Park Slope. "By the time it's eventually ready I'll be retired."

The one-year delay - the second such postponement in recent months - affects the first stage of the Second Avenue line that will connect 96th Street to 63rd Street.

David Guin, a lawyer who lives in the West Village, sat on a bench watching the shiny metal No. 6 trains that resembled sardine cans rumble past.

"I wait for at least one or two, sometimes three trains to go by before I get on," Guin said. "Anything that would relieve the congestion on this line would do a lot."

By the time this is done, Max's grandkids will be retiring and David will have to let six or seven trains go by. Damn, if I was time-warped to 1929 when they proposed this thing, I'd be 106. I hope to God almighty I'm not a straphanger by that time in my life (if I get there). Enough griping about that though, there is plenty more on this plate.

Remember way back when (November-December '07) the fare increase was being mulled? The MTA said that they wanted to raise the fares for operational costs and save the state allocated money for large projects like....the T line and the Grand Central LIRR connection. Well now both items are delayed and the only thing that changes is that we, the straphangers, pay more starting next week.

And then there's the plan to solve our transportation needs with congestion pricing. Charging more to those that drive into the city so that we can have better mass transit would have been a great idea. Unfortunately many are seeing it now as a way to finance the M.T.A. as is instead of the improvements we were promised. On top of that, there are discrepancies between the Mayor and the M.T.A. on how the funds will be used. So not even the Mayor is able to say with certainty what those additional funds would be used for.

Meanwhile, we keep wasting billions in Iraq......wouldn't it be nice to have a week or two's worth of that to make New York move in the 21st century?