Home Asides MTA: UESers should push pols on capital funding

MTA: UESers should push pols on capital funding

by Benjamin Kabak

While complaints over construction dust and debris fill the air along Second Ave., the MTA has asked Upper East Siders for help. With the current authorization for the authority’s five-year capital plan set to expire at the end of the year, the MTA will not be able to continue apace with its big-ticket items — including the Second Ave. Subway — without legislative action. To that end, the authority is urging Upper East Siders who do not want to deluged with a construction slowdown to push their elected representatives to find a solution.

“I would encourage all of you to contact elected officials, particularly the state elected officials who represent you, to encourage them to appropriate the money,” MTA Senior Vice President for Capital Construction William Goodrich said to CB8 last week. “Without additional funding, we won’t have the ability to procure and award the remaining three contracts.” Those three remaining contracts are for the SAS stations at 72nd, 86th and 96th Streets.

Meanwhile, as of the June 22 meeting, the Tunnel Boring Machine had reached south of 77th St. during its east bore, and the MTA has been working to overhaul the 63rd St. station for service on both tracks. The authority also anticipates adding the so-called model block wrap to construction sites up and down the avenue by Labor Day. For more on those beautification efforts, check out my previous coverage.

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Alon Levy June 28, 2011 - 5:16 pm

Why is the MTA not badgering the city and the state to contribute more money? SAS Phases 1-2 is part of PlaNYC; Bloomberg might be willing to contribute at least something to Phase 1, though obviously not as much as to the Subway to Nowhere.

Shabazz Stuart June 28, 2011 - 7:59 pm

Nowhere on Manhattan island, one of the most densely populated islands in the world, is “nowhere.” That aside, this situation is a disgrace. Especially considering the amount of funds and time that have been poured into this phase one development, not only do we not have provisions for phase 2, 3 and 4, we can barely seem to cross the finish line on the first four stations… Ineptitude at its finest.

No public leader has yet had the courage to propose a series of non-Manhattan subway expansions that would probably be much cheaper, and bring far more riders into the system. I.E. A Nostrand avenue expansion or a utica line etc.

Jerrold June 28, 2011 - 8:07 pm

First FOUR stations?
It’s the first THREE stations.
Unless we count the already existing 63rd St./Lexington Ave. station, just because it will be served by the Second Ave. subway.

Justin June 28, 2011 - 9:40 pm

Those parts of Brooklyn you proposed building subways for politically don’t even exist. No leader that NYC will get in the forseeable future is going to propose building subways in those areas. If its hard to attract funding for the Second Avenue Subway, which goes through a number of wealthy neighborhoods in Manhattan, then its pretty much impossible to attract ANY money at all for a Nostrand or a Utica line subway.

J B June 29, 2011 - 2:49 am

He’s referring to the 7 extension, which by Manhattan standards is to nowhere. If you want a cheap extension how about the Triboro RX, but as mentioned below it will probably never happen because it doesn’t even go near Manhattan.

Jerrold June 28, 2011 - 8:01 pm

Didn’t the Launch Box site report that the TBM was at 81st St. at the end of May? Then how come it was only FOUR BLOCKS south of that point, three weeks later?

BEN, do you know if those facts are correct?

Redbird June 28, 2011 - 8:50 pm

At the MTA NYCT committee meeting yesterday it was reported that the 20-day running average for the TBM was around 80 feet per day, above the expected 65 LF per day estimate.

Using Google maps, the distance from 81st to 77th is roughly 0.2 miles or 1050 LF. At 80 LF per day, it would take 13.5 days to mine that distance, which is almost 3 weeks. Also, don’t forget that the rock quality decreases as you go south–as was seen when the west tunnel was bored. As the contractor must put up steel ribs in the bad ground, which usually takes 1 day at each location, you arrive at 1050 LF in 3 weeks.

Tsuyoshi June 29, 2011 - 6:49 am

I honestly don’t understand why we should be begging the state for money to finish this. We are the wealthiest part of the state, and we will reap all of the benefits. Why not just raise city taxes to pay for it?

Streetsblog New York City » Today’s Headlines June 29, 2011 - 9:01 am

[…] MTA Staff Encouraging Upper East Siders to Advocate for Capital Funding (2nd Ave Sagas) […]

Larry Littlefield June 29, 2011 - 10:21 am

“Why is the MTA not badgering the city and the state to contribute more money?”

The MTA IS the state. The state is its boss, and the way state politicians use it is to take the blame for the state’s priorities.

It’s easy for me to condemn the state legislature. I’ve been doing it every since I left that agency in 2004. Not so easy for employees of the state to do so. Is it even ethical for them to do so? I think they have to the extent they can.

And the Board? How do you think you get to be in the MTA Board. If I had been, I might have resigned in protest as a result of the debt-laden 1995-99 MTA Capital plan. But if I were appointed after 1995, I might have resigned in protest as a result of the debt-laden 2000 to 2004 capital plan and the 2000 pension deals. But if I were appointed after 2000, I might have resigned in protest over the debt-laden 2005 to 2009 MTA Capital plan. But if I were appointed after 2009, I might have resigned in protest over the raid of dedicated MTA taxes.

I would have at least voted no on all those plans and all those budgets. Which means I would have been fired, and we’d be right where we are anyway.

H. Taylor June 29, 2011 - 10:27 am

Does anyone think Cuomo is going to break his no new taxes pledge to fund the MTA capital plan? There is no new money coming from the state, and maybe even negative funding, if Albany steals more MTA money. The state senate Republican majority hates the suburban Payroll Mobility Tax, and isn’t going to approve any new funding for MTA unless that is eliminated. The most likely scenario is dismal: MTA will self-fund the remainder of this capital plan by stretching it out, cutting/stretching some core state of good repair, raising fares/tolls a lot and bonding all of it, and cutting more bus service. They are going to finish the three station, 2nd Ave Stubway and East Side Access. There is too much political momentum. The only wild card here is whether the MTA funding crises gets so bad that congestion pricing starts looking politically viable. Regardless, we are stuck with the holes already dug.

Larry Littlefield June 29, 2011 - 2:03 pm

That being the case, the state road system is going down the tubes too, because all of its dedicated funding will be going to debt service.

Don’t forget that Generation Greed wants to cut infrastructure first and foremost at the federal level, too. It’s pretty much a scortched earth generation.

Learn to ride a bike, or take advantage of all the IT investment — the only investment we’ve had — to work at home.

Hank June 30, 2011 - 10:43 am

As a person who lives next to the launch box, I find it a crying shame that my US Rep (Maloney), State Rep (Kellner), State Sen (Krueger) and City Council (Lappin) spend more time bitching about the impact the SAS has on the businesses there than on getting it done.

Intellectually, I understand that Manhattan has to subsidize roads for the broke people up-state, just as democratic states have to subsidize interstates for poor republicans in red states. Still, I would like my reps to actually fight for decent transit options for me and my neighbors.


Justin June 30, 2011 - 12:39 pm

NYC subsidizes the interstate system for itself. No food is grown here, nothing is made here either so everything physically has to be trucked in.

With that said, the city should be able to sell bonds and fund the Second Avenue Subway itself. Obviously, if would have to find a new revenue source, but if Bloomberg tried hard enough he could. Perhaps a certain amount of Port Authority Money should go to MTA capital projects, as the Port Authority gets plenty of revenue off of New York airports and seaports.

Or perhaps city agencies should be cut further and that money spent on the MTA capital projects……

Hank June 30, 2011 - 6:43 pm

Justin- I completely agree with the free-rider benefit logic on the interstate system. However, the same is true for subways. Every car that’s taken off the road benefits everyone. I’m expressing the frustration of someone who doesn’t own a car, yet sees the gov’t appropriating 100s of billions each year for roads while rail and mass-transit have to fight for scraps each budget.

Alon Levy July 3, 2011 - 5:57 pm

You’d think New York couldn’t get food in until 1956 and the opening of superhighways in Wyoming.

Justin June 30, 2011 - 12:41 pm

Then again, maybe the state can sell bonds to cover the Second Avenue Subway. They have a new revenue source, tax receipts from gas production in the Marcellus Shale. They just lifted the ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Light Rail for Second Ave.: An idea almost gone :: Second Ave. Sagas July 8, 2011 - 12:02 pm

[…] freeze some big-ticket items if the politicians do not come through. Recently, the MTA has taken to urging Upper East Siders to contact their representatives, and it has some civic activists a little […]


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