It's two o'clock in the morning on a Saturday night in Astoria. You've just left the bar with your friends and, because of the way the world works, the N/R/Q trains are running every hour and you just missed it. You try to hail a cab back to East Williamsburg, but to no avail, since, you know, you're in Queens, where cabs are an endangered species. This is the plight of thousands every night in the outer boroughs and, as of yesterday, it will end very soon.
Unless you've been wasting away inside the past week and a half, snuggling with your A/C and bingeing on the new season of Arrested Development, you've seen the lines and lines of metallic blue Citi Bikes stationed across New York City, begging, as the slogan goes, you to hop on and "explore your city." With point-counterpoints and usage mounting, the rollout of the program has become a metropolitan talking point. Except little room has been left to discuss the battle between bike share and bike shop.
Second maybe to the A train in the Rockaways, the damage wrecked by Hurricane Sandy to the Montague Tunnel was devastating: The underground tunnel beneath the Brooklyn Bridge witnessed the worst flooding of any line in the city, leaving the R train out of commission for nearly a month and a half after the storm made landfall. And, now, a little over six months later, the MTA has begun repairs.
Between 2009 and 2011, approximately 450 people died crossing the street in New York City. Whether to reckless driving, not looking both ways, or sheer confusion, the city lost 450 residents. And that's not counting bicycle fatalities. Needless to say, like subway deaths, it's become a problem that demands fixing ASAP, especially with the advent of CitiBike next weekend.
Enter Christine Quinn.
In a statement released yesterday, the City Council speaker and mayoral frontrunner laid out her platform on the issue of ground-level urban planning. Her goal is straightforward: By 2021, Quinn wants to cut New York City's street fatalities in half.More »
It's been almost exactly two months since the fare hike for our city's public transportation went into full effect. Overnight, straphangers' wallets were a little heavier, facing a permanent $2.50 per ride fee as well as bumped-up prices for weeklies and monthlies. And presumably, no one was happy.
But there was another roadblock we'd now have to face collectively as commuters: a $1 fee if we decided to buy a new MetroCard instead of replenishing the value on our old one.
Naturally, it's a pain for those who've lost their golden tickets but the measure was an incentive snuck into the fare hike to discourage New Yorkers from wasting plastic (by the thousands). You would think we'd think twice about tossing our MetroCards into the trash once their lives ended. Turns out we didn't... and now the MTA is making much more money than expected from the tiny provision.More »
We remember when it was supposed to be July 2012. Then we heard maybe it'd be March 2013. That didn't happen. Then the Department of Transportation released a map of where the 293 stations would be built. And we heard it would be some time in May. So we were kinda/sorta convinced: New York City's bike share program - the largest of its kind - would become a reality in our lifetime.
Now, we have ourselves an official release date: Memorial Day.
We checked our calendars: that's only three weeks from now. The three-day weekend just got that much more cherish-able.
On that day, thousands of CitiBikes will be rolled out onto the streets, occupying the empty stations that have already been spotted all over Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. And it looks like the Tourists Gone Wild criticism isn't stopping anyone: according to a DOT press release yesterday, eight thousand people have already signed up to flex their pedals come Memorial Day. Good luck getting to the barbecue.
But, seriously, the bike share program is real now. Ride accordingly.
With Boston in a full lock-down due to the ongoing manhunt for the surviving suspect in Monday's marathon bombings, travelers throughout the northeast found themselves facing delays and cancellations today.
Now that we have a map of stations and a confirmation from the Department of Transportation that absolute tourist mayhem won't break out, it looks like we finally are seeing this CitiBike program come into fruition with a definite arrival date.
Janette Sadik-Khan, DOT commissioner, told reporters at a press conference in DUMBO yesterday that the initiative would begin "in May," just in time for summer. She was unable to give an exact date, emphasizing that the fact that this project was developed in less than three years is more than enough reason for everyone to calm down.More »
A few months ago, we learned that the MTA would bow to the demands of everyone and finally take a look at the dreaded G train. You know, the Crosstown Express, the green one, the one that comes whenever the hell it wants. A full line review and decision will come in July and, if yesterday's news is any sign, there's no better time for this subway to get a makeover.