Home Asides Following ghost shutdown, passengers allowed back onto subways

Following ghost shutdown, passengers allowed back onto subways

by Benjamin Kabak

Shortly after midnight, an hour and a half after the subways were supposed to stop running, I took a walk to Grand Army Plaza to check out the scene, and while I stood there, three trains arrived in the space of about four minutes. Their doors opened; the automated voices announced the station; and then the trains pulled out. Passengers were nowhere to be found, but by all accounts, as we learned early on in the evening, the subways ran without passengers. Some ran to de-ice elevated tracks while others ran simply because it was easier than powering down for less than 12 hours.

At around 7:30 a.m. this morning, the Governor decided it was acceptable to allow passengers back on these ghost trains, and he lifted the unnecessary and ill-conceived total travel ban. The first trains with passengers ran at around 8:45 a.m., and the MTA expects to be able to run a full Sunday schedule by noon. As snow continues, bus service may be slow to non-existent, but New Yorkers will be able to get around quickly and safely via the subway just as they always have been in the snow no matter the severity of the storm. At this point, Transit expects to run normal service on Wednesday, but if anything changes, I’ll be here to update the site.

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Walt Gekko January 27, 2015 - 9:45 am

I don’t think anyone would want to admit it, but I’m suspecting the real reason Cuomo did a complete shutdown of the NYC Subway as he ordered for this snowstorm-that-wasn’t-as-big-as-forecast was because he almost certainly in my opinion was protecting a potential Presidential bid in 2016 (if Hillary doesn’t run) OR more likely 2020 or ’24 (depending on who wins the White House in ’16).

This was the first time anyone could remember the entire subway system being shut down due to snow. While parts (especially the open cuts and some elevated sections) have been closed in the past in big snowstorms, there was no reason for the underground portion to be closed and it never had previously been in a snowstorm, which to those of us who lived through the blizzards of 1983 (a then-record 21″), ’96, 2003 and ’06 (still the record) for instance never saw the MTA have problems. What happened in 2010 (as noted in a previous posting) had to do more with the MTA being ill-prepared due to when that hit: Right after Christmas when a lack of normal media availability due to the Christmas holiday likely contributed to those problems.

I suspect this closure was mainly because Cuomo was fearful that NOT shutting down the entire system, the MTA screwing up and there being a situation similar to 2010 that resulted in a lawsuit similar to what happened resulting in when it would otherwise be long forgotten Cuomo having it used against him during a run for President in 2020 or ’24 by a rival candidate. In the cutthroat world that is politics today, something like that scenario is certainly NOT off the table and I suspect was playing a lot heavier than anyone realized in Cuomo’s decision not to trust the MTA to do things right and shut down the system.

Cuomo now may be dealing with some serious blowback from this that includes potentially key donors, especially those on Wall Street making it clear that he is NEVER to shut the underground portion of the subway again like that and if he did OTHER than a Sandy-like situation where flooding is a genuine concern, he would face having donations withdrawn from a 2020 or ’24 Presidential campaign.

I do suspect politics may very well have played into this decision.

Brandon January 27, 2015 - 10:06 am

Politics always play a huge role in anything Cuomo does related to the MTA.

Simply put, the MTA has plans for dealing with snowstorms, including how to deal with snow on elevateds and even closing down some outdoor lines, particularly the Sea Beach line. Worst case they shut down the elevateds and maintain local-only service underground.

Instead of actually having a 2-way conversation with the MTA in order to implement the existing plans, he unilaterally shut the system down, or kept customers out anyway. The system never actually shut down, because they were following their own plans anyway.

Lunk January 27, 2015 - 10:19 am


Will you STOP repeating your same message about Cuomo shutting down the subway system?! We get your point, Cuomo did it for political reasons, but to copy and paste the exact same wording for every single response on this post and the previous blizzard post, and a whole bunch of other transit forums, is just insanity! Oooh, blowback from Wall Street donors lawsuits lawsuits lawsuits Christmas 2010 LIZARD PEOPLE LIZARD PEOPLE!!

Walt Gekko January 27, 2015 - 10:20 am

I do that because not everyone reads every thread, especially in a situation like this.

Maggie January 27, 2015 - 12:08 pm

What Lunk said. I think you made your point multiple times; please could you go easier with the reposts?

How much has Cuomo been on the subway in his 4+ years as governor, anyway? Does he get the difference between the presumably long snowy driveway to his Westchester home, and an underground transit network for a city of 8 million people? After watching him shut this thing down by fiat, I’d like to see the subway system back under local control.

sj January 27, 2015 - 7:21 pm

Thank you, Lunk. I’m typically a lurker but Mr. Gekko was seriously getting on my nerves. I hope there aren’t more of his spam-like messages further down on this thread….

eo January 27, 2015 - 11:11 am

Well, same is true for NJTransit. Christie did the same because he also has presidential aspirations and after the GWB scandal he is not taking any risks. Six inches and some wind and they cannot get the rail running before noon? We have turned into a Banana Republic. I understand that certain precaution was necessary and I support that, but go tell my employer that the reason I cannot make it to work on time today is that 6 inches of snow don’t allow the trains to run. Both Cuomo and Christie are wasting someone else’s time and resources and someone else like us is getting scolded by their employers for not being at work, so why do they care. A private corporation would behave differently even though they also would have reputation to protect. Too bad the stupid government put out pretty much all private transportation companies out of business other than buses which get heavy subsidies through our taxes that pay for the roads.

Walt Gekko January 27, 2015 - 11:14 am

And that’s why I would not be surprised if Cuomo potentially gets sued over the shutdown. If enough on Wall Street are adversely affected, I can see Wall Street make it clear to Cuomo if he does this again, he will face unintended consequences over it.

adirondacker12800 January 27, 2015 - 12:50 pm

Governor Whitman closed down New Jersey twice during the blizzards of the 90s. One of my idiot managers was threatened with arrest because he refused to turn around and go back home. There were a lot of idiot managers there. I don’t work for them anymore.

eo January 28, 2015 - 9:56 am

I think that we are talking about different things here. I do not disagree that closing down the system is the right thing to do in situation like this with a big storm predicted to come. I disagree with the attitude that after the storm is the biggest dud in decades, it should take until noon to get any service restored. If we had 30 inches, I would have agreed that a whole day would have been necessary, but 6-7 inches with only sporadic strong gusts and practically no blizzard conditions anywhere outside Long Island should allow for restoration no later than 8 am, and possibly as early as the first trains schedules at 4 or 5am.

Back to NJTransit: what sort of workforce do they have that after a dud storm like this not enough crew people show up to work so that they cannot even run a shuttle to Bay Street in Montclair (or Gladstone)? I agree with your point on your example of the guy not going home, but given that the roads were cleared and everything was fairly passable by 6am, how is it acceptable that the workers did not show up for work yesterday? Were they told to stay home regardless of their ability or inability to get to work? If yes, whoever did that is responsible and needs to face the consequences. Or is it that the workers on their own decided to take the day off anyway? In this case there is some problem with the workers and employee morale or whatever relations need to be addressed. At the end of the day the big story is that we lack common sense to deal with everyday challenges in life (such as weather) and an expectation is settling that the government has to provide it for us. Then politicians make too conservative decisions and are not nimble enough to reverse and adjust them as the situation changes with the passing hour, so society as a whole ends up losing mightily with certain members of the public suffering greatly (for example hourly workers who could not get to work and will not be paid for yesterday) while others such as most public employees got an extra day off with pay (pay which comes from our taxes).

Rob January 27, 2015 - 2:31 pm

If private companies were still operating the systems and did this, you could bet the icc and psc would have hit them with a ton of bricks.

Bolwerk January 27, 2015 - 11:30 am

It’s more dick-waving than long-term political calculus. Cuomo is insecure with authority, and needs to prove he is a big tough decisionmaker like his idols George W. Bush and Chris Christie. This isn’t even the first time he made an embarrassing botch of a subway shutdown in the name of earnestness, and it seems nobody remembers. So I have no idea why you think they’ll remember in 2024, even if he is delusional enough to think he could end up in the White House. He’s insecure about, uh, other things too, as his muscle car fetish demonstrates.

Also, everyone else had the same thought you did. There is no reason to keep re-posting it. Virtually nobody here even likes Cuomo. Even the authoritarians who like Chris Christie don’t like Cuomo.

adirondacker12800 January 27, 2015 - 12:56 pm

People don’t remember that the city closed down a few times in the 90s. They don’t remember that their parents and grandparents told them about how the whole Northeast closed down for three days in 1947. Or read about the blizzard of 1888.

Bolwerk January 27, 2015 - 1:39 pm

Until Cuomo came along, the city didn’t close down over weather once in living memory. (One of the three times Cuomo did it was the right call.)

adirondacker12800 January 27, 2015 - 3:32 pm

Either you have amnesia or are too young to remember the times it was done in the 90s and 70s and the times it just happened leaving people stranded in the 60s and 50s and in the 40s with 1947 being particularly notable. When 77 people died because of the storm. I realize the ones that weren’t in the navel of the universe that is Manhattan weren’t as important but they died because of the storm. At lot like the Darwin Award winners who stayed at home during Sandy.


Bolwerk January 27, 2015 - 4:04 pm

I bet you can’t find one documented case of anybody dying because the subway operated through inclement weather ever.

adirondacker12800 January 27, 2015 - 6:38 pm

But just a few short years ago everybody was ready to get some heads on a pike because one train got stuck for a few hours. The people who end up in the hospital from a slip or with frostbite because they were gonna get to work didn’t get injured on the subway.

Bolwerk January 27, 2015 - 7:50 pm

So what? Those people were hysterical attention-seekers too. Let them whine, and mock them for their stupidity for all I care.

It’s snow. It happens. It will happen more in coming years. Everyone born and raised in New York State has seen it all their lives.

adirondacker12800 January 27, 2015 - 8:29 pm

and those of who are smart enough to tell the difference between 8 inches and 28 inches plan on staying in one place when the forecasters say we will get 28. Which has happened in some of our lifetimes.

Bolwerk January 28, 2015 - 12:02 am

Knee-deep accumulation. Truly takes a mighty IQ to process that.

lop January 27, 2015 - 8:03 pm

Can it be from the washington metro?


“In Washington, the death of a subway motorman whose train skidded into the back of another was attributed to the storm.”

Walt Gekko January 27, 2015 - 10:17 pm

But even then (and in 1983 when NYC got a then-record 21″), the subways DID NOT shut down. That’s why to me this was about Cuomo’s own political fears and how politics really are as cutthroat as they are that led to this shutdown, something I now think the Democratic National Committee will tell Cuomo NEVER to do AGAIN UNLESS it’s a Sandy/Irene situation.

adirondacker12800 January 27, 2015 - 11:22 pm

the trains got stuck and people were being stupid enough to struggle to train stations to get places that were closed because the people who work there weren’t stupid enough to try to get into work.

Tower18 January 27, 2015 - 1:34 pm

Cuomo also likely correctly predicted that De Blasio would get blamed for any backlash anyway, as the mouthbreathers would assume that the NYC mayor controls the NYC subway.

PL January 27, 2015 - 3:03 pm

Cuomo for President? Of the US? For which part? Know-nothing? As a far-left liberal I can assure you I don’t vote for idiots and, given that he is one, I won’t be voting for him.

(Nor, for the record, do I like dynasties, so NY’s former senator isn’t on my list, either)

Larry Greenfield January 27, 2015 - 10:09 am

Storing the subway fleet underground to the maximum extent possible means that post-storm restoration of service is much easier to than if the fleet is stored above ground, exposed to the elements. That, I think, is what was behind the shutdown plan. The downside of this approach is that service, even for routes entirely underground, is affected by cars in storage on the right-of-way.

Walt Gekko January 27, 2015 - 10:29 am

No, it wasn’t:

It was Cuomo in my view fearful that if the MTA screwed up and anything resembling 2010 happened, it would be used against him in attack ads if he runs for President as many expect he will at some point, most likely 2020 or 2024. That, not anything else was behind this and Cuomo in my view is going to face some massive blowback over this, especially from people who had to be at work early and had to walk the whole way if they could or had to take a day they now have to make up over the weekend, potentially missing the Super Bowl as a result.

Chris January 27, 2015 - 1:11 pm

Nope, the MTA already had a plan for that. They were planning to trains on express tracks and continue local service underground. That’s their standard operating procedure in storms like this.

The shutdown wasn’t a plan — it was a decision made unilaterally by Cuomo with no consideration for the MTA’s own storm preparations, which had already been announced and would have worked even if we did get the 20-30″ that were predicted.

John-2 January 27, 2015 - 10:21 am

Cuomo was smart enough to back off his original call fast enough so that only the late night people and the early-to-work crowd were truly negatively affected by the underground closure. So it was a dumb idea, but not a dumb idea that’s going to follow him around for a while due to irked riders who couldn’t get to their jobs after a routine snowfall total for a decent-sized winter storm.

Walt Gekko January 27, 2015 - 10:24 am

Not early enough for some:

I suspect he is going to be warned if he does this again, he will face major unintended consequences from people on Wall Street and others.

David Faber blasted Cuomo earlier on CNBC and I suspect there will be many more who do. I would not be shocked if Cuomo even faces legal action over this by some who were affected.

John Huntington January 27, 2015 - 10:25 am

Thanks for your great reporting on this situation!


Phantom January 27, 2015 - 10:57 am


Please do not try to spin that there was any upside to a poorly conceived strategery than Cuomo pulled out of his ass.

Again, I don’t think that this shutdown has ever happened before due to snow.

One of the reasons we go to the expense of building underground is that we could have service in snow conditions.

This may set a precedent in ” learned helplessness ” when we shut down the subway system whenever there is the possibility of a snowstorm on the east coast.

adirondacker12800 January 27, 2015 - 12:36 pm

and if there had been 30 inches of snow everybody would be whining about how people got stuck on trains without power for hours and hours. And the death toll because idiots decided to go out because the subway was still running.

Bolwerk January 27, 2015 - 12:46 pm

If there had been 30 inches of snow, there would have been 30 inches of snow and little would have been different for it. Risk of death is higher when the subway is not operating, especially for homeless who are kicked out of the system into the cold.

Chris January 27, 2015 - 1:16 pm

If there had been 30 inches of snow, the MTA would have instituted Plan V as they had prepared to do, shutting down outdoor lines that were vulnerable to snow accumulation. They learned from what happened in 2010. This was the equivalent of the governor stepping in with a sledgehammer when the MTA already had the scalpel they needed.

nycpat January 28, 2015 - 1:14 am

They didn’t implement the snow plan in 2010, the 106 years before that they did, but not in 2010.

Chris January 28, 2015 - 10:10 am

So, what’s your point? Is it that because one time they didn’t implement the plan when they needed to, we should shut down the entire system every time there’s a forecast of snow? Because that’s the direction we’re headed now.

nycpat January 28, 2015 - 12:52 pm

No, they should be allowed to run the system and when there is a potential blizzard on xmas day eve they should put there snow plans in effect, ie; call in T/Os to lay up trains on express tks, have snow blowing locomotives in place, call in mechanics to put chains on busses, etc.
For some reason this wasn’t done in 2010.

nycpat January 28, 2015 - 12:56 pm

My point is 2010 was an anomaly and in no way should be used as an excuse to close down the system.

Walt Gekko January 28, 2015 - 4:26 pm

Keeping this as brief as I can:

The forecast on Christmas Eve 2010 was for “maybe 1-3 inches.” It was only Christmas Eve night when it grew to 6-10 inches. By Christmas morning, it had grown to 15-18 inches, but due to it being Christmas Day, at the time there were no local newscasts in many cases until 11:00 PM Christmas Night so staff didn’t have to come in until most religious and family activities were complete (in fact, in Philly, WCAU-TV meteorologist Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz came in on his own apparently just to do special webcasts noting the storm because of a lack of available newscasts that day), which has since been rectified so it doesn’t happen again.

Back then, the MTA could not adjust so easily because they would have faced the wrath of religious leaders and relatives of workers over calling them in even in a emergency like that storm. This likely included people who normally would have been monitoring but likely had family/religious commitments they could not easily get out of without offending people (attitudes that again changed after that storm). The lack of easy access to available media in many cases also likely played a part.

Much of it has simply put been adjusted since to avoid a repeat.

nycpat January 29, 2015 - 12:27 am

Nonsense. They could have implemented an ad hoc snow plan. PLENTY of workers are OT hounds.

Phantom January 27, 2015 - 1:38 pm


No one I think is saying that the outdoor lines should not have been shut down as a precaution.

If the two indoor only lines ( E, R ) and large indoor segments of other lines ( A from Inwood to Euclid, D from Bronx to say 36th St — you would have had lifelines to stranded people in the four boroughs. It wouldn’t be perfect but it would have been something.

To shut everything down is beyond lazy. It’s not even trying.

Bolwerk January 27, 2015 - 1:42 pm

Hell, I actually don’t see a problem with a system shutdown if the experts managing the system really think that’s the best way to manage the system.

Cuomo is not an expert. He doesn’t even realize the limitations of his own judgment, which makes him stunningly incompetent.

adirondacker12800 January 27, 2015 - 3:29 pm

Leaving the underground lines open encourages Darwin Award competitors to wade through the blizzard to get to the subway. So that they can arrive wherever it was so important to go to find out that it’s closed because of the storm.

Ralfff January 27, 2015 - 3:46 pm

Stop saying “Darwin Award Winners”. Nobody was going to die of snow inhalation or whatever. Has it ever happened that more people died due to blizzard conditions by leaving their home than the average death toll per day?

Bolwerk January 27, 2015 - 4:10 pm

Car accidents alone probably drive death tolls up precipitously. Slips and falls are dangerous throughout the winter.

But there is little to no risk of getting stranded and freezing to death in NYC. Maybe if you’ve never stepped foot outside the Adirondacks you’d be easily confused by that point.

adirondacker12800 January 27, 2015 - 6:36 pm

I used to step off a bus and use the stairs to platform one in Newark’s Penn Station for PATH trains and before that H&M trains or trains to Penn Station in New York. For 47 years. Things closed down during storms. I remember getting calls from a manager telling me to bring clothes because it would be illegal for me to go home and they would be providing a hotel room and food.

Tower18 January 27, 2015 - 10:59 am

The shutdown was idiotic, especially if trains ran all night anyway.

But tell me: why would anyone on Wall Street give a shit that trains service was shut between 11pm and 9am during a snow storm? Nobody important working late/early on Wall Street takes the train…haven’t you seen the Goldman Sachs limo queue?

Walt Gekko January 27, 2015 - 11:02 am

This to me was polictically motivated and Cuomo may very well pay a MUCH deeper price for this shutdown than he ever expected (and not because the snow was less than expected either).

Alex January 27, 2015 - 11:21 am

Support staff takes mass transit.

NattyB January 27, 2015 - 12:23 pm

Support staff takes mass transit.

Yup, so here in FiDi, it’s a skeleton crew of support staff (though I’m working – I walked) and all the lunch places are closed or have skeletal staff. This is embarrassing. At least Hale & Hearty had some soup (though no salads or sandwiches). Snow days may be fun for kids but some of us have work to do!

Cuomo is such a joke. To shut down the subway (and effectively most of commerce for today, even with re-opening of the train — ppl have to plan) on such a pleasant day . . . argh

NattyB January 27, 2015 - 12:29 pm

And while this may seem petty, yesterday I broke out my ski jacket for the first time and realized the zipper was broken. I walk to the shoe repair shop in FiDi (since they fix zippers) this afternoon and it’s freaking closed! Is it because of the weather? No, it’s because they shut down the train. No one could get to work.

This is just one inconvenience but it’s totally unnecessary and it shows how Cuomo just f—s with his constituents so he can appear like a bold leader. What a joke he is.

Michael January 27, 2015 - 12:57 pm

Let’s see:

At 10pm last night, as I was watching the news it was reported that the all of the bridges to/from Staten Island were closing, as well as the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, George Washington Avenue would be closed by 11pm. In addition the Staten Island Ferry would stop running at 11:30pm. All of the subways, SIRT, Metro-North, LIRR would be shutting down for the night, including the bus systems in each of the boroughs. Frankly the message went out that the roads were being cleared and travel only allowed for emergency vehicles/staff to deal with problems.

Basically, unless on foot – there’s no way to get around – and travel to/from other boroughs would be out of the question.

But all everyone here keeps talking about is keeping the underground portions of the subways running! IN A BLIZZARD!

Of course, now that we’ve hunkered down and the incident is past, life is returning to normal.

Some time ago I participated in some very instructive meetings at the Office Of Emergency Management in downtown Brooklyn. The meetings gave me a detailed look at all of the various elements go that into disaster planning and response, as well as responding to various incidents – and plenty of things that go on behind the scenes that most folks simply do not consider.

But all everyone here keeps talking about is keeping the underground portions of the subways running! IN A BLIZZARD!


Walt Gekko January 27, 2015 - 1:15 pm


That’s because until now they have ALWAYS done it in a BLIZZARD!

There wasn’t a problem in 1983, ’96, 2003 or ’06 or COUNTLESS other times a bad storm hit. This shutdown was a combination of what happen when the MTA was caught off guard in 2010 in part due to the storm becoming big on Christmas Day when many people likely didn’t have access to media they do now even on that day and likely not wanting to call in people and risk the wrath of family/religious types. That all to me contributed heavily to what happened then and this was the blowback from that. Only now, Cuomo is being slammed in a LOT of circles to where he may have no choice but to back off the next time a big snow is forecast and run the system no matter what.

I’m sure big Wall Street Firms have their teams of lawyers who go over everything look for any LEGAL way possible to take Cuomo to court over this and attempt to force Cuomo to keep the subways running outside of a Sandy/Irene situation where it is obvious the system has to close. There are MANY people on Wall Street right now who are EXTREMELY pissed off at Cuomo and it would not surprise me if we have not heard the last of this, with if any legal way found to do so taking Cuomo to court to block shutdowns of the subways during snow.

adirondacker12800 January 27, 2015 - 12:41 pm

How many passengers have to be evacuated from a train that is stuck if the only people on the train are the crew? Who are getting paid to be on the train. And probably rubbed two brain cells together and brought along enough food and water to last them until the diesel powered snowblower got to them?

John-2 January 27, 2015 - 1:09 pm

If you’re running the A, don’t run the A east, past Euclid Avenue.

If you’re running the N, don’t run the N past 59th Street and Fourth Avenue towards Coney Island.

Don’t run the Q south of Prospect Park. Don’t run the 5 north of East 180th Street. And think about problems with the M at street level at Metropolitan Avenue or the D in the open cut area between Ninth Avenue and 36th Street, the F on the viaduct between Carroll Street and Fourth Avenue, or the 7 above Queens Boulevard.

There are your snowstorm bottleneck areas. Everything else is either underground or on an elevated section where the snow can pass through to the street. That’s why the system went 110 years without the action Gov. Cuomo took Monday.

tacony January 27, 2015 - 1:49 pm

Yep. Simple common sense.

Andrew January 27, 2015 - 7:17 pm

Most of the system is not vulnerable to snow buildup. The MTA has plans for dealing with the parts that are.


tacony January 27, 2015 - 1:48 pm

MTA should refund a day from time-based Metrocards. I didn’t get as much value out of my 7-day with a 10 hour gap in service.

(Late night/morning LIRR and MNR commuters from faraway lands were even more ripped off– some to the tune of $20+! Especially when you consider that the late start on the railroads meant it wasn’t worth going in at all for a lot of long distance commuters…)

Berk32 January 27, 2015 - 2:02 pm

Metro North and LIRR was still shut down this morning – and for good reason – they got a lot more snow than the City did.

They’re just getting limited service going on some branches now.

JJJJ January 27, 2015 - 2:37 pm

The reason Cuomo needs to be raked over the coals is because the MTA is filled with experts that actually have the ability to properly assesses the situation.

Making a unilateral decision is just a power trip with dangerous consequences, one that throws out the experts in favour of his idiotic gut feeling.

This man isn’t fit to lead, and if he even attempts to run for president, this will be one of the many points used to show how bad a candidate he is.

adirondacker12800 January 27, 2015 - 3:36 pm

Technically if your vehicle didn’t have a snowplow on front or flashing lights on top of it, it was illegal to be on the road during the emergency also. and to be out walking but the cops have better things to do than ticket idiots. The EMS services don’t appreciate it when they have to come haul you to the hospital because you are so important that you just had to go to work and instead slipped in the snow.

JJJJ January 27, 2015 - 5:53 pm

Youre being hysterical. If reducing hospital visits are a concern, then road use would be banned on all days. Snow storms are the safest days for pedestrians because cars are moving 5mph, when there are any at all.

adirondacker12800 January 27, 2015 - 6:40 pm

So are the ambulances. They want to keep as many people as possible out of them. Like people who try to shovel out the front stoop and have a heart attack because the subway is still running and they just have to get to work.

adirondacker12800 January 27, 2015 - 6:45 pm

No I’m not being hysterical that’s what a snow emergency like the one they just put into effect and then canceled means.

Bolwerk January 27, 2015 - 7:46 pm

You’re either being hysterical or you’re demonstrating Poe’s Law.

Walt Gekko January 27, 2015 - 11:49 pm

I agree there.

The subways ran just fine in previous street closures. Cuomo in my view was more concerned with how it would affect him politically.

Phantom January 27, 2015 - 10:09 pm


Under which statute was it illegal to be out walking in NY last night?

Be as specific as you like

adirondacker12800 January 27, 2015 - 11:21 pm

the one that gets people arrested for being on the street when there’s an emergency shut down of everything. If some cop decides you should go to shelter and you refuse the shelter you go to is jail.

lop January 27, 2015 - 11:46 pm

Are you sure?


Question: Do you mean – forgive me if this sounds naive, but is this sidewalks – is this people on the actual part of the roads? Can you just specify specifically where you want and don’t want people to be?

Mayor: We want people not to drive on the roads after 11 pm unless they are performing an essential service, an emergency service.

Sounds like it might have just applied to vehicles.

lop January 27, 2015 - 11:49 pm


Vehicular traffic. I see nothing about pedestrians.

Simon January 28, 2015 - 11:20 am

Interesting–all the news reports made it sound like a curfew where you’d better not step outside your front door.

lop January 28, 2015 - 6:38 pm

Understandable. In his press conference De Blasio said

“We have great first responders, great agencies, ready to do what they do to keep us safe, but it’s up to all of us to do the smart thing – get off the roads, get off the streets, as – get off the sidewalks – as this emergency deepens.”

“The best thing to do is stay indoors, stay off the roads, stay off the sidewalks.”

“So literally, someone may say, oh, I’ll walk to the corner store – that’s going to be dangerous in and of itself. So, right now is the time – if you need food, if you need anything from the store, go get it in these next few hours so you won’t have to be moving around tomorrow where it’s very difficult conditions.”

Walt Gekko January 27, 2015 - 9:51 pm


It was one thing to do it for Irene and Sandy when there were LEGITIMATE flood threats (and let us not forget Irene did directly hit NYC, albeit as a Tropical storm and not the Category 2 Hurricane that was predicteed when the system was shut down then). Cuomo was RIGHT to do it those times.

A snowstorm is MUCH DIFFERENT. Cuomo might very well have been worried about someone at the MTA who wanted him out of office going rogue, ignoring MTA orders on Plan V, order lines that should be shut down stay open in the hope something REAL bad would happen that would make Cuomo look real bad and turn the national media against him. While NO ONE in the MTA would be stupid enough to actually do that, given what politics are and how some people hate Cuomo, I would not put that fear past him, especially in the politically charged climate we are now in.

I do know if I were in the Democratic National Committee, I would make it clear to Cuomo he is NEVER to do this type of a shutdown outside of a Sandy/Irene situation again and leave it to the MTA, making it clear to Cuomo if he doesn’t, he will get no help if he does decide to run for President in 2020 or ’24, taking away the fears of attack ads against him for motivation. Wall Street is EXTREMELY PISSED OFF at Cuomo right now and the Dems know something like this could be taken out on other Democratic candidates if Cuomo does this again, especially in 2016.

adirondacker12800 January 27, 2015 - 11:19 pm

It was as Sandy or Irene situation. Look at the news reports for what is going on 100 miles east. The storm didn’t go the way the forecasters though it would and there wasn’t 30 inches of snow.

Walt Gekko January 27, 2015 - 11:29 pm

I saw what happened in New England quite a bit. The NYC subways were built to handle situations just like this. The MTA would have known if they needed to shut down entirely, they did NOT need Cuomo to tell him.

Apparently, from what has been posted elsewhere Cuomo was also afraid suburban voters would have used keeping the city subways open against him in a 2018 Governor’s race. That may have also played into his decision.

That said, Cuomo violated Rule #1 of politics and that is YOU NEVER PISS OFF WALL STREET. He did that here and it may have unintentionally hurt the Democrats chances of re-gaining control of the House and Senate in 2016 as Wall Street may very well be more motivated than they would otherwise to get Republicans into those positions to get back at Cuomo for what he did here. If I’m at the DNC, Cuomo would be warned NEVER to do this again outside of a Sandy/Irene situation. I don’t think Cuomo realizes how EXTREMELY PISSED OFF Wall Street is right now.

adirondacker12800 January 27, 2015 - 11:35 pm

And it is happening or has just stopped happening in Massachusetts where there is a travel ban until midnight. It’s probably very very technically until 12:01 AM on Wednesday. Including shutting down all MBTA services. No service on the T until Wednesday morning.


“Last updated at January 27, 2015 06:00 PM
Governor Baker To Lift Travel Ban At Midnight”

“Last updated at January 27, 2015 06:00 PM

All MBTA services, including the T, transit, buses and commuter lines, are set to resume operations as normally scheduled for Wednesday (T opens at 5:15 AM). “

Simon January 28, 2015 - 10:08 am

I was amazed by the total shutdown. I thought that only at- and below-grade lines should be curtailed, and apparently that has been NYCT’s plan for dealing with snow all along. It’s not like NYC has never gotten inches or feet of snow before. Cuomo needs to let the MTA do what it knows best and stay out of the way.


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