Vacation Linkdump: Hugh Carey, Apple and more


I’m off for a four-day vacation this weekend and won’t be here on Thursday, Friday or Monday to provide regular content. In the meantime, I have a variety of smaller stories that have been open in my browser tabs for a few days, and I wanted to share. For the weekend service advisories, check out the MTA’s site on Friday.

Workers replace part of the LIRR viaduct at Nostrand Avenue. (Photo courtesy of MTA, Patrick Cashin)

We start with this photo. It’s from a great photoset the MTA published to Flickr yesterday, and it highlights the replacement of the LIRR viaduct at Nostrand and Atlantic Aves. MTA photographer Patrick Cashin was on hand two weeks ago as workers completed the project, and he snapped some great shots of some welding and the trackbed coming in. Check out the full set right here.

Next up comes a rather hilarious juxtaposition. Over the weekend, The New York Times complained that they could not get images of the Grand Central Apple Store from either the computer company or the MTA. In an editorial, the Grey Lady feared that the store would somehow ruin the landmarked building and its grand hallway. Strangely though, the pictures had already appeared in The Wall Street Journal. It’s a rather peculiar story, and I too would like to see more detailed renderings. But they certainly exist.

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is worried that the new Tappan Zee Bridge will have no space for transit. Clearly, that concern is not a positive development. It would be a shame to mess up this once-in-a-generation bridge replacement project. For more on that, check out my past coverage.

Tom Acitelli from The Observer summarizes the qualifications for the next MTA head.

Finally, former Gov. Hugh Carey passed away earlier this week. Carey has an interesting legacy with the MTA. He was in charge of the state as the MTA tried to escape for the economic doldrums of the mid-1970s, and as Noah Kazis wrote on Streetsblog, Carey is largely credited with saving the city’s transit system. It’s insightful, however, to read the contemporaneous coverage from the late 1970s. The city’s press wasn’t so sure of Carey’s success then. New York Magazine was critical of Carey in a piece in October of 1979 and looked skeptically at Harold Fisher, Carey’s MTA head, in an April 1979 article. If I have some time next week, I’ll delve deeper into those pieces, but Carey’s legacy isn’t as cut-and-dry as it seems.

14 Responses to “Vacation Linkdump: Hugh Carey, Apple and more”

  1. David says:

    Which MTA Genius ordered “cool” florescent tubes for the R160 trains? This may be shocking, but “cool” tubes does not mean temperature but rather color.
    Two trains sat adjacent on platforms and one looked very normal and friendly, the other train with new “cool” lights looked just like a hospital operating room. It felt like that inside too.
    When will MTA start to hire serious professionals?

    • Ray L says:

      Are you talking about the cars with the eye-straining bluish-hued lights? If so, they’ve been on some R160s for awhile now. They’re very uninviting.

    • Christopher says:

      This is actually a taste that is changing around the country. American’s have long preferred artificial light that was more yellow. It was originally an intention to match the color of candlelight. The rest of the world pretty much hates it. Especially Asia. But Europe too. The cooler lights are actually closer to natural sunlight. Expect to see even more of it as finally lightbulb manufacturers are releasing colors closer to what the rest of the world has long preferred. Call it the internationalization of lighting design.

      I prefer it myself. Those old cars with their yellow lights look and feel dirty. Lighting would seriously help that.

    • Alex C says:

      Those are LED lights being tested on 2 five-car sets. Worry not, as LED manufacturers are in the process of making LED lights readily available in white and amber.

      • David says:

        I hope you are right Alex since cool, white light never looks good no matter what the rest of the world doesn’t notice.
        There is a reason award-winning designed hotels, restaurants, and retail stores do not have cold, bright florescent lighting. It’s ugly and uncomfortable and is no place on a subway car either.

  2. AlexB says:

    I’m sure the MTA has studied this, but it really seems silly to me for them to be repairing these structures piece by piece. When you look at the newest elevated structures built of huge precast concrete elements – the JFK airtrain for example – they seem like they would require MUCH less maintenance and could be installed with much less labor. They also sit much higher off the street, allowing more light below. The more massive/monolithic concrete structures reduce vibration and noise as well.

    Alternatively, the elevated portion of this route is only a couple miles long and blights the neighborhood. Why not just bury it cut and cover? Build stations at Utica and Nostrand, with pedestrian connections to the express stations on the A train and the Franklin Ave shuttle. (Bringing back the abandoned Woodhaven Blvd stop would also be very useful but is another topic). While it would be billions to do this, it would probably significantly raise property values and pay for itself in increased property taxes and ridership along the A/C line and LIRR line over time. This area is ideal for car-less people reverse commuting to Long Island.

    • Alon Levy says:

      Alternatively, the elevated portion of this route is only a couple miles long and blights the neighborhood. Why not just bury it cut and cover?

      Because burying els does not actually increase ridership. It increases property values, but not always by enough. There’s nothing wrong with els; people in the northern reaches of Morningside Heights live with them, people in Tokyo live with them, people on Chicago’s North Side live with them.

    • Alex C says:

      Try and tell an NYC resident you want to re-build-from-scratch or build a new El and see how long you survive. Always remember that the opposition is always the lowest common denominator heard of sheep who oppose literally anything based on principle. Yes, a new and modern concrete viaduct *would* be better (quieter, last longer, etc), but even in less economically successful (and thus less powerful) areas like Bed Stuy and Crown Heights you’d have trouble getting that done. It’s just funny to me that in the year 2011 the MTA is replacing and old painted-steel viaduct with wooden sleepers with…a painted-steel viaduct with wooden sleepers. At least it’s retro, eh?

      • pete says:

        It lets light and rain through. Its better than brutalist precast concrete like airtrain.

        • SEAN says:

          I don’t know about that, cause the AirTrain’s design intrigues me despite it being a greyish white.

        • Alex C says:

          I wouldn’t say it’s brutalist since it’s just a viaduct. It isn’t as if the steel elevateds look like anything special nowadays (the old turn of the century El’s did). If you want the station designs to remain, that can easily be done. As for sunlight and rain, I’ll pass. The steel els don’t let much of any sunlight through, moot point; no point in letting/not letting rain through. A proper, modern concrete viaduct is also much quieter, which I think people who live near els would find to be quite nice. The Sonneville LVT track system the MTA finally wised up to use on the Culver viaduct makes concrete viaducts even more attractive in terms of noise and vibration.

          • al says:

            The Atlantic Branch elevated section runs over the middle of the road. The space underneath is used for storage, equipment/vehicle parking, and a travel lane. One can think of it as a predominantly metal cousin of the 7 train Queens Blvd Viaduct.

            The vibration and noise attenuating tracks are long overdue. The MTA should install this (and related technologies) on all track. Elevated, open air and in stations tracks in close proximity to residents and should be a priority.

  3. Kai B says:

    I noticed the vandalism resistant ticket vending machines (some sort of cage protecting them). Never seen those before. But I guess (judging by some of the other photos) it’s a concern at this station.

  4. Anon says:

    What’s up dog?

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