Home Capital Program 2015-2019 The Second Ave. Subway as a capital funding bargaining chip

The Second Ave. Subway as a capital funding bargaining chip

by Benjamin Kabak
The wacky font at 63rd St. and Lexington is the first glimpse of the tiling for the Second Ave. Subway. (Via MTA)

The wacky font at 63rd St. and Lexington is the first glimpse of the tiling for the Second Ave. Subway. (Via MTA)

As far as bargaining chips the MTA can use for leverage in discussions over capital funding, the MTA’s options are few and far between. Short of kidnapping a bunch of customers and hiding them in the station shell at South 4th Street, MTA officials can only make noises about potential options. We heard about steep fare hikes yesterday, but those aren’t the only trump cards the agency can play. How about big-ticket capital projects?

During the same press conference at which he promised not to raise fares to delivery capital funding to the cash-strained MTA, agency head Tom Prendergast spoke about what may need to go in the capital plan if funding doesn’t materialize, and of course, the namesake of my site came up. As part of the five-year spending plan, the MTA has requested $1.5 billion for the Second Ave. Subway. This line-item isn’t without controversy as the MTA hasn’t put a dollar figure on Phase 2 in over decade and wants a large sum for initial construction set to begin in the last year of the proposed five-year plan.

Still, the MTA knows the Second Ave. Subway won’t cost less than $1.5 billion, and the agency needs this money to keep momentum going. When Phase 1 of the Second Ave. Subway opens, the rest of the East Side will clamor for more segments of this line. It’s going to be that much of a game-changer for people that this phased approach is likely to be viewed as a mistake (if it already isn’t).

But as is the MTA’s wont with in-demand projects, the Second Ave. Subway makes for a potential liability and lever. In speaking on the impact of no funding solution earlier this week, Tom Prendergast said, as Capital New York reported, that future phases of the project could be “put on hold.” Isn’t that exactly what Sheldon Silver wanted when he forced the MTA to break one subway line into quarters?

The MTA can’t really afford not to build out more of the Second Ave. Subway. After all, phase two northward to Harlem and 125th St. is the part that will truly alleviate capacity constraints along the Lexington Ave. line. But threatening the future of the Second Ave. Subway is indeed something the MTA can do. Much like Prendergast or his underlings can discuss fare hikes, so too can the MTA boss talk about putting capital projects on hold. The more he discusses this in the context of Albany, the clearer it becomes that someone is responsible for holding up discussions surrounding badly-needed subway extension plans. I don’t love using the Second Ave. Subway as a bargaining chit, but if it forces legislators to the table as the days tick by, that’s better than the alternative.

Meanwhile, to show progress and perhaps to force a reckoning over this capital funding issue, the MTA released a series of photos from inside the Second Ave. Subway construction area. The agency maintains that the new stations will open for revenue service by the end of December of 2016. That gives the agency a full 20 months from today to realize this goal. The clock is ticking, and the delays at 34th St. and 11th Ave. along the 7 line loom large. Click through for some photos and check out the full set in this PDF presentation.

Underneath 2nd Ave. at 72nd St., this station cavern awaits finishes. (Via MTA)

Underneath 2nd Ave. at 72nd St., this station cavern awaits finishes. (Via MTA)

A staircase and a short escalator will take passengers from the platform to the mezzanine at 72nd St. (Via MTA)

A staircase and a short escalator will take passengers from the platform to the mezzanine at 72nd St. (Via MTA)

Due to various construction issues and legal complaints, the station at 86th St. and 2nd Ave. is the least finished of the four new stops. (Via MTA)

Due to various construction issues and legal complaints, the station at 86th St. and 2nd Ave. is the least finished of the four new stops. (Via MTA)

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Eric May 1, 2015 - 3:19 am

Somewhat off topic, I discovered a fascinating blog from our closest peer city, which has interesting articles about the current system, as well as critical but thoughtful articles about expansion and the problems the system has occasionally been having (needless to say, the London subway is run much more competently than the NYC subway, but there are still plenty of small things to talk about).

This is simply an amazing glimpse into what the NYC subway could be like, and hopefully will be like some time in the future.


Phantom May 1, 2015 - 5:57 am

I ride the London system a few times a year, and see zero evidence that it is run ” more competently ” than the NYC subway.

I see a lot of delays on the Piccadilly, District and other lines, etc.

tacony May 1, 2015 - 9:44 am

No way. TfL will give you a refund if you’re delayed by 15 minutes on the tube! (See: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/fares-an.....ay-refunds)

The MTA’s budget would be decimated if it instituted a similar policy.

Eric May 1, 2015 - 9:49 am

1. Construction costs
2. The fact that London runs up to 36 trains per track per hour, while NYC can’t get higher than 30.

Those are the first two that come to mind, I’m sure there are others.

Dex May 1, 2015 - 12:25 pm

The second one is more due to more than one route using a single line in a lot of places. The Tube really cannot handle more people right now and it’s at the point now that certain stations get so crowded that they need to be closed off until the loads have died enough to resume letting people in.

Eric May 2, 2015 - 3:09 pm

London has shared lines in a number of places. NYC has a number of lines, like the 6 and 7, which are segregated and still can’t break 30 trains an hour.

Dex May 7, 2015 - 1:44 pm

Very few. Mostly the District, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan Lines along the Circle Line. But the signal systems there are in need of upgrading as the maximum tph on many lines is somewhere between 24-26. Lines have been getting signal upgrades over the last decade but there is a limit to how many trains can run without line extensions. That 36tph number is a recent thing that has only happened within this last decade. The newest lines in that city with the best tph are in need of another upgrade according to Transport for London.

In the case of NYC, unsegregated routes are very few. In fact, the only TRULY segregated non-shuttle routes are the L and 7. The 6 is still subject to 4 and 5 trains being diverted to the Local if the need arises. Yeah, a line can run 30tph, but if two routes share a trunk line, then the outer branches tph are reduced to 15. With every added route to a corridor, the tph is reduced further. As I type this, I think of how bad that number really is and at the end of the day, the only real solution is system expansion. CBTC is good and all but it’s not going to truly solve the capacity issue. The L for example now has CBTC and from what I hear, modern signal systems can run 40tph. But then you have to consider how many trains a terminal can turn before congestion occurs. I say CBTC is a stop gap because what if the neighborhoods served grow to a point where the line is once again at full capacity and overly congested? The only options here are to rebuild both terminals for Three Tracks, or extend the line.

I also wish they built SAS with the other boroughs in mind. 2 Tracks are not enough because again, you’ve reduced service on the branches. I have many more problems with the current iteration of the line. But a 2-Track line is better than none.

Brooklynite May 1, 2015 - 9:49 am

Frequencies on the core are well over 30tph on several lines, while here we complain that lines running 28tph are maxed out.

However, they do have nightly closures, weekend maintenance, and very high fares…

Clarke May 1, 2015 - 10:01 am

Weekend maintenance can be tough…but I was there recently and used the Tube on a Sunday. While trying to take the most direct route, I found that one of the lines was closed for the weekend. Rerouting, had to instead transfer, go out of the way, and then transfer again in order to get to my destination. In NYC on the weekend, two transfers could mean up to 20 minutes in waiting….in London, I still got to my destination at the time anticipated with no service disruptions.

pete May 1, 2015 - 11:11 am

Moscow metro does 40 TPH during rush hour. There is a headway clock at each station facing the TO. In this pic it has been 3:43 since the last train http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi.....lockmm.jpg . If the driver is early, he will wait until the correct time is reached before closing the doors. If he is late, IDK what happens, maybe the train drives faster to the next station.

Brooklynite May 1, 2015 - 6:13 pm

I’m familiar with several of the Eastern European systems. They are just astoundingly competent, at least in this regard. Could such a thing be achieved here? I don’t think so. Just too many people who benefit from the current system of finding excuses for everything.

smotri May 3, 2015 - 9:30 am

So New York also has nightly closures – judging by the frequency of ‘service changes’ (fastback, weekend closures, etc.), the MTA might as well do us all a favor and shut the entire system down everyday at 1 am, to reopen at, say, 5 am. That way, everyone would know the deal, and the MTA would not have to print those ‘service change’ notices constantly, the MTA could perform their so-called track work and signal improvements (as they like to claim) and, finally, maybe, just maybe, the system would run better!

Dex May 7, 2015 - 1:50 pm

That’s not exactly possible considering it’s been done before and it takes hours to start it up. Too much time. Then what about the people who work overnight? Routes are too long to run effective Owl-Service buses to replace subways. On top of that, there would need to be a lot of buses as there are not enough of the articulated type to better meet service demand.

The MTA is always preforming their work. NYers just like to complain and like to look at the obvious. Most of the improvements the average joe would never know about unless they knew where to look. I have certainly seen and felt the improvements. You question if the work is really being done, but have you thought about how rare derailments and accidents are? That’s the work.

Tex May 3, 2015 - 6:49 pm

Come o troops!!! South Ferry had he most needed stations. The 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 9th avenue ELs, Thee 1,4,and5, subway stops and the N,R, and defunk W station. It has never been equalled, so why should it now?
Get a life, 80 years of zero east side progress. A transit revolution is required both vocal and physical with dedicated backers. New Yorkers let the east side els go with out a subway replacement. The population dictates a full east side subw
ay at least from 155th street to the battery. This has to be a full force priority programme. A WPA type programme that task workers, fully funded for a firm fixed price supported by OPA type organization with fixed costs and salary during the execution of the project. Full time survelliance of the programmes progress is a must with graduate programme managers in charge. Graduate programme administrators would be required.
Its worth doing, itis a must. Keep the EPA out of it presson!!

APH May 1, 2015 - 9:07 am

It’s nice to see the actual construction pics from each station… Based on what Hudson Yards station looked like when Bloomberg rode it 16 or 17 months ago, I am going to say the 2nd Ave Subway has a 0% chance of opening in 20 months. PROVE ME WRONG MTA.

eo May 1, 2015 - 9:26 am

You are probably right, but to me it seems that unless there is some great stupidity again with fire systems or something similar the way it is going with the 7 extension they will be able to open it earlier than the Fed’s projection of 2018. Let’s keep fingers crossed for late third quarter of 2017.

Brooklynite May 1, 2015 - 9:50 am

Given that they’ve been unable to get anything from elevator buttons to fire alarms to work properly on the 7, the odds are pretty high that similar things will occur on SAS. That’s just more tax money down the drain, no big deal right?

eo May 1, 2015 - 9:17 am

Ben, I hate to say it but it is clear that the extension to 125th is not going to begin during this capital budget cycle. The $15B hole is just too big to fill without dropping the whole Phase II out of the 2015-2019 Capital Plan. If the rumours are correct that Cuomo is considering a third term as governor, you can probably forget about anything happening before 2025-2029 Capital Budget. This is not Cuomo’s pet project the same way as the AirTran to Laguardia and the Penn Station Access for Metro-North’s New Haven Line. Also Harlem above 96th is less politically connected than the Upper East Side below it, so the noise they generate will not be enough. They will oppose rezoning for high-rise construction which is the only way to get developers to pay some of the cost. With the environment the way it is, no politician outside of Harlem will vote for any form of taxes bringing sufficient revenue to pay for this thing.

tacony May 1, 2015 - 10:03 am

Harlem above 96th is less politically connected than the Upper East Side below it, so the noise they generate will not be enough

In a different world, the fact that the City Council speaker represents East Harlem would mean some “noise”…

They will oppose rezoning for high-rise construction which is the only way to get developers to pay some of the cost

Interestingly, East Harlem around Park Ave is being rezoned for slightly higher densities with support from the CB and other locals. (http://therealdeal.com/blog/20.....-rezoning/)

But more importantly, East Harlem is dominated by tons of public housing. Rezoning around 2nd Ave would have limited impact because the projects aren’t going anywhere, and talking about building mixed income housing and commercial development on underutilized NYCHA property is a whole other fight that Bloomberg botched and de Blasio seems less willing to fight for.

lop May 2, 2015 - 12:40 am

mixed income housing and commercial development on underutilized NYCHA property is a whole other fight that Bloomberg botched and de Blasio seems less willing to fight for.


Bronxite May 4, 2015 - 7:52 pm

There is a ton of potential for building more dense in East Harlem. The area around 125th Street and 2nd Ave is largely underutilized and the NYCHA developments alongside have plenty of available land.

Alon Levy May 3, 2015 - 9:42 am

Developers didn’t pay a cent for SAS Phase 1. On the contrary, some real estate honchos denigrated SAS and said the 7 extension was the important line, because they couldn’t develop anything new in Yorkville. In Bloomberg’s parlance, Yorkville is already developed, so there’s no need to provide new infrastructure there.

JMP May 3, 2015 - 10:16 am

Can’t develop anything new near SAS Phase I?

Tell that to Related, which is building at 205 East 92nd, or Extell, with projects lined up for 95th & 3rd and 92nd & 2nd, or the developers with projects underway at 88th & 3rd and 88th & 1st. And those are just the projects north of 86th street for which demolition has already started. There are still areas with low density buildings that can be replaced with more high rises.

Tim May 4, 2015 - 11:35 am

There’s a whole strip of recently shuttered restaurants in walk-up buildings on 80th and 2nd. The fact that they’re all in a line makes me think that something big is going up there and those are going to be torn down.

Brandon May 1, 2015 - 9:23 am

The phased construction is not a mistake in itself, but the short increments are. Phase I should have been 63rd-125th. But with our incredibly high costs they probably couldn’t fit that into the capital plan.

In that picture it looks like the white wall tiles are using standoffs from the actual concrete wall. This is an ingenious design that will hide the ugly water intrusion and keep the wall tiles from falling off.

JMP May 1, 2015 - 9:55 am

Or the mistake was the way the timing was staggered.

With the current division of the phases, what if Phase II had started prep work while Phase I was still finishing up the digging and blasting, so that digging for Phase II would’ve started right around now, as Phase I is working on backfill and station finishes?

The big thing is making sure that the workers who have new expertise in subway construction are retained from one phase to the next.

If you believe the MTA, the initial refiguring of the scheduled completion date from 2013 to 2016 was because they discovered a whole lot of things when they started digging. If they cannot retain whatever lessons those might have been for future phases, those of us who have lived in a construction zone for several years longer than originally promised will have suffered for nothing.

BruceNY May 1, 2015 - 1:36 pm

I think it was a mistake. If they had just kept the tunnel boring machines going they could have finished up to 125th by now (it only took what–something like 15 months to finish 63rd-96th) and already reverse course heading downtown. How much extra time and effort is it going to take to build a new launch box somewhere and reassemble the TBM’s? Or, why not use the TBM’s used for East Side Access. . .oh, wait, they can’t because they decided to bury them in concrete somewhere beneath Park Ave. in the 30’s. You can’t make this up.

Seth R May 1, 2015 - 2:11 pm

They couldn’t have done that because Phase 2 is not going to use TBMs at all. It’s mostly cut and cover:


What irks me is that while they had the TBM there they didn’t just tunnel all the way to Houston street. It would have seriously reduced the amount of work for phase 3, and they wouldn’t have to build another launch box in midtown.

adirondacker12800 May 1, 2015 - 3:11 pm

It would have seriously delayed the opening. The rock they are chewing up doesn’t evaporate, it has to be hauled out somehow.

Brooklynite May 1, 2015 - 6:20 pm

In the twenty years that it takes to get all of the elevator buttons and fire alarms working on Second Avenue, the TBM would have already reached Brooklyn. Excavation would not interfere with passenger service, because there still wouldn’t be any.

BruceNY May 1, 2015 - 11:15 pm

They could’ve made it all the way to JFK!

Miles Bader May 2, 2015 - 12:11 am

Hell, just keep that thing going, twisting and turning, never make it quite clear to the operators which direction they should be going, and pretty soon, the entire city will have a huge eerie cavern network underneath it! How cool would that be?!

It would be absolutely perfect for cheap subway construction, low-priced housing, subterranean parks, and C.H.U.D. colonies!

Larry Littlefield May 1, 2015 - 9:27 am

You mean all we have to do is give up something in just one part of the city, and we don’t need fare increases, tolls, tax increases, lower construction prices, anything? That’s all this is about?

What a win win. OK, no SAS second phase (Sheldon Silver tried to kill the SAS anyway), and no money. Cuomo and the state legislature must be jumping for joy!

Or course whose of who know that we are headed for a downward spiral, either in the condition and reliability of the system, financially, or the second followed to an even greater extent by the first, know his is PR.

You’ve been had. The real headline is that the political class lies and pretends all that is at stake is the second half of the SAS.

Michael May 1, 2015 - 10:01 am

Looking at the station entrance renderings it seems that the MTA could rezone for higher density buildings on these corners. Why keep things at 4-5 stories just because that is the existing neighborhood density?

Just like with the SL Green project at Grand Central, capture more value from the real estate by allowing taller buildings. This could at least put a dent (maybe $100 million) into the project costs. In Hong Kong this funds the majority of capital expenditure.

AMHess May 1, 2015 - 11:59 am

Those entrances/ancillaries are hideous and a waste of frontage. That kind of prime corner property should be developed into tall mixed-use buildings with retail, commercial and residential space. (sob)

Brooklynite May 1, 2015 - 6:27 pm

Exactly. I get that there is a need for ventilation but they could seriously put some retail under it on the ground floor, even if residential over it wouldn’t work because of noise. Even if not that, can’t they do a 58 Joralemon and at least make it LOOK like a normal building?

adirondacker12800 May 1, 2015 - 7:40 pm

The customers would find the air rushing up ( or down ) through the floor disconcerting.

Brooklynite May 1, 2015 - 9:32 pm

They wouldn’t be walking over a grate… It would just be a store with an enclosed central shaft that happens to house ventilation ducts instead of elevators for instance.

adirondacker12800 May 1, 2015 - 11:15 pm

ah so you’ve seen the floor plans that have wide open spaces that will never be used. In a building in Manhattan. That 27 different community organizations looked at.

Herb Lehman May 1, 2015 - 10:08 am

Oh boy. If they’re still doing the excavation work for the escalator tubes, as the PDF shows, there’s no way we’re going to see revenue service at these stations in December 2016 (not that that’s news to any of us). Considering what’s going on at the Javits Center station, I think even if the escalators were fully installed right now, December 2016 would be a crapshoot.

I’d be astonished if I got to ride a Q train north of 63rd Street much before the end of this decade.

Subutay Musluoglu May 1, 2015 - 10:45 am

Why do I feel like we’ve seen this movie before? If I’m not mistaken, this may be the third consecutive capital program which has not started on time due to insufficient funding, and during the previous occurrences of uncertainty, the expansion projects have been offered up as sacrificial lambs to compel into action the powers that be. My question is this – when Prendergast makes this pronouncement, who is the intended audience here? Is it the mayor? The state legislature? The public? Or is it the governor?

I don’t mean to sound naive or rhetorical here, because to me it’s clearly a combination of all of the above. But the reality is this – with one exception, each of the stakeholders I’ve just named is limited in their abilities to affect this discussion. The mayor proposes a whole new subway line without a way to pay for it, let alone provide even a moderate increase in the city’s contribution to the needs of the current system. The legislature, at least the part that expresses a modicum of interest in downstate transit, has shown that it’s much easier to bash the MTA over trivial matters rather than address long-standing structural issues in how transit is funded. And the public, who experiences declining service on a daily basis and sees an agency that cannot control costs or schedule on many of its projects, has absolutely no appetite to shouldering a greater burden of those costs.

So that brings us to the governor. So far he has shown a middling interest in the affairs of the MTA, unless you count his interfering in negotiations with already nicely coddled labor unions; his questionable mandate to shut down the subway unnecessarily in the face of an average blizzard; his push for a LaGuardia Airport access project which is politically expedient, but has limited effectiveness at best; and his push for new Metro-North service in the Bronx, which is laudable and useful, but probably 10 years away from implementation.

The governor demonstrated great intelligence and leadership when he reappointed Prendergast to a full six-year term. He has not exhibited leadership on MoveNY, reflexively dismissing any talk of congestion pricing to help fund transit. And he has certainly not showed leadership when he calls the capital program “bloated” when it is clearly far from it. The governor talks often about economic development. He repeatedly emphasizes how great our state is. These are nice platitudes, but he needs to step up and put his money where his mouth is.

Ralfff May 1, 2015 - 11:24 am

I generally agree with you but we should not let the legislature (or the ever-useless City Council) off the hook either. It’s their ultimate responsibility to write and pass a budget and New York City has large representation there, but no one is doing more to sabotage transit than the NYC delegation.

adirondacker12800 May 1, 2015 - 11:45 am

his questionable mandate to shut down the subway unnecessarily in the face of an average blizzard;

When was the last time it was predicted to snow 30 inches?

Brooklynite May 1, 2015 - 6:31 pm

What does Cuomo care? He gets his political brownie points by making everything good “Cuomo announces” and everything bad “MTA chair Prendergast says.” The reason he reappointed Prendergast is because the guy says whatever is convenient for Cuomo.

That’s essentially the way our wonderful governor is playing the game. He does whatever he thinks will benefit him politically.

adirondacker12800 May 1, 2015 - 7:41 pm

A politician being political. It’s just awful.

Brooklynite May 1, 2015 - 9:33 pm

The problem is that he’s basically neglecting our actual needs in pursuit of his perceived needs.

Phantom May 1, 2015 - 12:25 pm


Give it up. The professionals in the MTA were completely prepared to have underground service even if there had been 30 inches.

Mario Cuomo’s son screwed it up out of an super-abundance of caution.

End of.

adirondacker12800 May 1, 2015 - 1:38 pm

How do you get the next shift into work? Or are you proposing that having train crews work for 36 or 48 hours is safe?

Spendmor Wastemor May 1, 2015 - 5:03 pm

The same way they got into work during the past one hundred years.
I have heard that there was snow in times past.

adirondacker12800 May 1, 2015 - 5:28 pm

And when the blizzard of 1947 dumped 30 inches of snow on the city they didn’t go to work for two or three days until the main roads or tracks were cleared.

Brooklynite May 1, 2015 - 6:36 pm

Those who needed to go to work during the 2015 storm went to work anyway (hint: NEEDED). It’s safer to have people underground than on the street climbing over piles of snow. That’s the whole reason we have a subway – the Blizzard of 1888 demonstrated the need for a weatherproof mode of transit.

If you’re talking about transit workers, during major weather events a number of them sleep over in the yards. This happened during Sandy as well.

adirondacker12800 May 1, 2015 - 7:43 pm

Or the blizzard of ’88 showed that it’s really really really stupid to go out in that kind of storm and it’s best to stay inside until it passes and the transportation network is running again.

Bolwerk May 2, 2015 - 12:17 pm

It’s only unsafe for drivers. Anyone else can deal with snow fine, even several feet of it. If they can’t, they can choose to stay inside if they want.

adirondacker12800 May 2, 2015 - 9:04 pm

What percentage of the people killed in the Blizzard of 1888 were killed in automobile accidents?

Spendmor Wastemor May 1, 2015 - 7:07 pm

You sure they shut down the whole subway in 1947? I don’t believe so.

In any case, we have a ton more money and equipment than in ’47. That was barely after WWII.

In any case, the trains actually ran all night. We were just not allowed to get on.

Unless you believe we need a government representative near at all times lest we scratch our behinds with excessively rough tp, I can’t see any justification for Cuomo’s showboat-turned-failboat move.

adirondacker12800 May 1, 2015 - 7:49 pm

If the trains are running with just an engineer or an engineer and a conductor when it gets stuck they only have to evacuate two people.
The last time they ran the trains anyway the whole of the blogoshere was up in arms because the poor widdle passengers on the train got stuck for 8 hours. The MTA should have been out there with their magic snow blowers keeping the track clear.

Bolwerk May 1, 2015 - 8:04 pm

There have been three shutdowns under Cuomo, which also represent 100% of the shutdowns of NYC transit in over a century (there was no shutdown in 1947).

And who cares what some illiterates on Twitter become histrionic about? If they don’t have anything to be histrionic about, they make it up.

BruceNY May 2, 2015 - 1:35 pm

How would a train running underground in a tunnel get stuck in the snow?

Bronxite May 6, 2015 - 12:29 am


Bolwerk May 1, 2015 - 4:39 pm

it’s worse than that. Super-abundance of caution would have entailed keeping the system open with supplies ready to hand out for stranded people.

Cuomo’s need to look important compelled him to pick the most dangerous route of all. He deliberately stranded people to show Iowans he can make “tough” executive decisions.

His only caution is political, never for safety.

adirondacker12800 May 1, 2015 - 5:25 pm

People who are too stupid to go home when told to.. had places to shelter.

Spendmor Wastemor May 1, 2015 - 7:26 pm

Well then, just for you, we’ll open an office of “Bureaucratically Approved Activity”.
Before leaving your registered residence each day, you will call the BAA and check for approval to go about your activities.
If it’s too hot/cold/wet/average (could die of boredom, you know) or if you might accidentally offend the prophet and cause a mass beheading rampage, you will be instructed to shelter in place. Only people who are too stupid not to do as they are told would object! There will be adult happy play camps for such people.

adirondacker12800 May 1, 2015 - 8:29 pm

If you are so clueless that you weren’t aware of the impeding blizzard maybe you shouldn’t be allowed to wander about when the weather is better.

Bolwerk May 1, 2015 - 8:13 pm

“People who are too stupid keep their penises out of other’s men’s butts deserve AIDS.”

That’s how petulant you sound when you call people stupid because they don’t have the luxury to drop work and family obligations that might keep them from going home.

adirondacker12800 May 1, 2015 - 8:55 pm

If they have family obligations one would imagine they would want to go home. And if they are invaluable to their employer, there better be a contingency plan because bad weather happens rather often. It may not stop the trains but it can do all sorts of other nasty things.


Phantom May 2, 2015 - 12:18 pm


You are being dense and arrogant over time on this.

If you live in Sunset Park, and work in Jamaica, and your boss won’t allow you to take the day off, you go to work. In this economy, or in any economy, jobs do not grow on trees.

Again, the MTA had a plan that in retrospect, would have worked perfectly. The complete shutdown was caused by a politician, and was against the publicly announced plan of the MTA, by people that know the system’s capabilities much better than you, me or Mario Cuomo’s son.

adirondacker12800 May 2, 2015 - 8:44 pm

Which is one of the reasons why the Governor makes it illegal to go to work when there is going to be 30 inches of snow. That’s one of the things the Governor does. Tell your idiot boss that yes, he has to close his business for 24 or 36 hours until it’s safe for you, and him, to get to work.

Brooklynite May 2, 2015 - 10:12 pm

“Telling one’s idiot boss to close his business” is a surefire way to ending up unemployed. If the boss says to go to work, one has to go to work. There is absolutely no reason why people are unable to walk through some snow and board an underground train. Instead people were stuck walking the whole way, driving, or doing whatever else they could.

I can’t believe we’re still arguing about this, so that’s why I think we should stop derailing the comments. Snow has nothing to do with Second Avenue. (Yet. They haven’t thought of it as an excuse for construction delays.)

adirondacker12800 May 2, 2015 - 10:39 pm

The Governor doesn’t work for the idiot boss in Jamaica.

Bolwerk May 2, 2015 - 11:32 pm

You can’t be this stupid. It wasn’t illegal to go to work. Employees could make work just as mandatory as ever, and of course they did. The only thing that changed was the means to get to work or, more likely given the timing, get home was taken away.

It is a simple matter of fact that Andrew Cuomo took a situation that competent people had under control and bollixed it with his Dunning-Kruger-infused incompetence. If anything, it might have been a deliberate attempt to injure people because he could.

adirondacker12800 May 3, 2015 - 12:31 am

An emergency was declared and it was illegal. There was a curfew. That’s what the governor or mayor is paid to do.

lop May 3, 2015 - 5:18 am


Where does it say there is a curfew, that you can’t walk wherever you want?

JMP May 3, 2015 - 6:31 am

Even in a state of emergency, there are people who need to get to work. Did the governor also declare that patients in hospitals no longer needed anyone to attend to them? This isn’t like the Simpsons episode in which the nuclear power plant workers get a snow day.

Aside from the aforementioned idiot bosses, there are some vital services that simply couldn’t shut down, regardless of what the governor may or may not have ordered. The model to follow was the 1996 storm, which did dump 3 feet over 2½ days. The trains kept running. When it did finally stop snowing, people went straight to the trains to get places. The fact of the subway running through the storm greatly increased the speed with which people could get back to work after the storm.

Bolwerk May 3, 2015 - 12:17 pm

You seriously don’t even know what you’re defending, or you’re making things up and hoping everyone else isn’t smart enough to know you’re making things up.

No, there was no curfew. People who were told by employers to be somewhere had to be there or face whatever consequences the employer wanted to inflict upon them. Some employers might be fair, some aren’t. I’m sure some were at least white liberal enough to let the plebes sleep on the floor until transit started working again.

adirondacker12800 May 3, 2015 - 12:44 pm

Yes there are people who need to get to work. They were announced. Government employees and health care workers. All of those employers have contingency plans for when the weather closes everything down.

adirondacker12800 May 3, 2015 - 1:20 pm

I’m not going to go get the references again. You can go find them and read them incorrectly again.

Bolwerk May 3, 2015 - 1:49 pm

Anybody in the private sector who was told they had to be at work had to be at work, or they faced whatever consequences they face any other day. These people were fucked over.

adirondacker12800 May 3, 2015 - 4:16 pm

No they didn’t.


For and example when a governor closed down a whole state. It’s what governors and mayors do.

Bolwerk May 3, 2015 - 6:22 pm

“No they didn’t.

“[link to something that in no way substantiates my claim]”

Of course, I was on standby myself.

adirondacker12800 May 3, 2015 - 7:58 pm

How is Governor Whitman closing down the whole state not pertinent? Or is New York City so extraordinary that the weather a mile away in New Jersey is radically different?

Bolwerk May 10, 2015 - 3:49 pm

It had nothing to do with your denial above about people who work for a living having to be where they’re told.

New York isn’t as auto-dependent as New Jersey, so of course it’s different. Several feet of snow is relatively trivial to a New Yorker, but it’s a big problem in Long Island or New Jersey. Cuomo, being a New Jerseysan himself, may not understand.

adirondacker12800 May 10, 2015 - 3:58 pm

The people who can have them arrested if they get the urge to arrest them told them and their bosses to stay where they are.

Bolwerk May 11, 2015 - 8:45 am

Nobody was told to stay where they were in the Cuomo shutdown. The means to get where they needed to be, or more likely to get home later, was simply taken from them. The curfew is a figment of your imagination.

adirondacker12800 May 11, 2015 - 1:57 pm

I’m not gonna go find the links to the reputable sources that quote the mayor saying “subject to arrest” for the 197th time. If you can be arrested for being on the street what is that called?

Bolwerk May 11, 2015 - 3:27 pm

You aren’t going to find it because it didn’t happen, not because you found it before and can’t be arsed to look again. Again, people were out and about, including me. Neighborhood bodegas tended to be open.

Anyway, your obsession with your fantasy curfew misses the point. Had there been a curfew, it would have simply fucked more working people out of pay, Herr Privileged Whiteman.

adirondacker12800 May 11, 2015 - 4:41 pm

Why should I go dig out the links again. You didn’t read them the other 198 times I listed them.

Bolwerk May 12, 2015 - 11:00 pm

Reading or not reading links you post isn’t going to make them say what you’re claiming they say.

You’re telling me, someone who was himself out and about in full view of probably several cops, that there was a curfew. Why wasn’t I arrested? Why were local bodegas open for business? Bars were open and had patrons, and cops can contrive reasons to pester bars almost as easily as they can contrive reasons to thug out on black people.

There was no curfew.

adirondacker12800 May 13, 2015 - 5:40 pm

Police have a wide latitude when it comes to when to arrest someone.

From http://gothamist.com/2015/01/2.....celled.php

NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill said “there are a number of steps we can take” against those who defy the travel ban.

“It will be up to the discretion of the police officers involved. It could be anywhere from a summons, to, in the worst case scenario, an arrest. Not what we want to do, we want to be helping people, but we need people to say off the roads tonight.”


With a sign language interpreter. The mayor mentions sidewalks at least twice.

Bolwerk May 16, 2015 - 1:45 pm

Yes, there was a travel ban. People were not allowed to drive. Everyone knows that. It is not news.

That’s not a curfew. Businesses were open and people had to be at work. Police weren’t arresting employers for requiring employees to work. People who did not show up at work could be subjected to loss of pay or pink slips. Even some of the thicker people who post here understand that.

adirondacker12800 May 16, 2015 - 3:21 pm

Traveling involves more than automobiles.
There was going to be 30 inches of snow. The mayor told people to stay put and the police told them they could be arrested.

Bolwerk May 18, 2015 - 10:03 am

If you like, there was a curfew for driving. There was no such limit placed on people’s freedom to be outside if they chose – as long as they didn’t drive or maybe ride a bicycle. Since you refuse to produce a URL to the effect that there was, I assume you agree.

But that is besides the point anyway. Since you seem to think the transit shutdown was about safety (it wasn’t, of course), the fact that the mayor and governor clearly did nothing to protect people who still had to be out and about because of financial or other obligations – you admitted that much, inadvertently at least – the very argument you’re making is simply undermining previous arguments you made on this subject. It’s not like the governor and mayor are writing people checks for their lost wages or giving them lost jobs back or paying them for time they spent walking long distances when they could have taken a bus.

You seem to be very much like Cuomo. You enjoy the fact that his decision beyond any doubt caused people needless suffering, and you seek to find moral imperative to justify that glee. Why not just admit that pointless displays of power give you a chubby?

adirondacker12800 May 3, 2015 - 12:52 am

So when the mayor said people could be arrested he was just whistling in the wind?

Bolwerk May 3, 2015 - 12:24 pm

Arrested for what? Citation plz?

I was out and about myself. Even bought a coffee at a nearby bodega, where people were, um, working and buying stuff. A cop came in for a soda or something while I was there. Could hear the train running overhead!

adirondacker12800 May 18, 2015 - 1:43 pm

Their obligation was to stay where they were if they were too stupid to go home, after being given hours and hours of warning to go home, or be subject to a variety of penalties including arrest.
After emergency services are taken care of there is nothing that is so important that people needed to be moving about.

Bolwerk May 22, 2015 - 8:23 am

Repeating lies won’t make them true. If you really believe that, it can only be because you’re so pig ignorant of how human beings live that you probably never had to work for a living a day in your life. Even if you were right about the danger (you’re not) or that people were subject to arrest for being outside (they clearly weren’t), there is nothing stupid about choosing a precious day’s wages over the “threat” of a few feet of snow.

This may surprise you people who never left Florida, but people in parts of Upstate NY shrug off several feet of snow accumulation every winter. You’d think at least the governor of New York would know enough to know that.

adirondacker12800 May 22, 2015 - 12:55 pm

I’m not the one saying you could be arrested it was the mayor and the police.

Bolwerk May 22, 2015 - 2:54 pm

Yet you can’t find any evidence to that effect. Of course, it doesn’t help your argument anyway. It just means the mayor would have been tolerating arresting people who were trying to make a living, which just makes something stupid and harmful into something fascist.

Think of it this way: if I say I will punch you in your little right-wing nuts if you drink any liquid today, and then follow through with my threat, am I justified?

adirondacker12800 May 22, 2015 - 3:48 pm

The next time you claim that the mayor didn’t say stay off the sidewalk I’m gonna go get the links to each time I cited a source and spam this board reposting the links.
You should have stayed inside, preferably at home.

Bolwerk May 23, 2015 - 11:41 am

You never posted such a link. Each link you posted claiming to support your claim that there was a pedestrian ban turned out to do no such thing, and some probably even contradicted you.

And why the fuck would I stay inside if I don’t feel like staying inside? I like to walk around, a few feet of snow doesn’t bother me in the slightest, and now and then I grab a snack at a nearby deli when I work late.

Had I been called into work, I might have considered (illegally?) biking in, but probably would have just jogged.

I walked three miles during Hurricane Sandy. That was probably way riskier than any plausible snow fall that could hit NYC. Of course, there was no ped (or even auto) ban then either – funny thing that, since it arguably would have made sense then.

adirondacker12800 May 30, 2015 - 11:06 pm

I told you to go file a FOIL request because any other link, including the ones quoting the mayor telling people to stay off the sidewalks or the police saying they will arrest people if they feel it is nessary, aren’t good enough for you.

adirondacker12800 May 23, 2015 - 1:11 pm

A video of the mayor, saying out of his own lips, with a sign interpreter, “stay off the sidewalks” isn’t good enough for you? Or the video of the Chief of the Department saying “arrest” isn’t good enough I don’t know what is.

Bolwerk May 24, 2015 - 12:53 pm

No, a video that may or may not exist, and that you may or may not have understood, isn’t “good enough” for me. Show me a link to the executive order signed by the governor or mayor saying people who used sidewalks would be arrested. While you’re at it, explain why the pedestrian walkways across the bridges were open.

Not that I really care. As I said, such an order would simply compound the cruelty and delusion of depriving people of necessary mobility. Or are you also going to pretend that Cuomo and de Blasio are cutting checks for people who lost wages because they couldn’t get to work?

It’s just funny that you’re so insecure that you feel the need to make things up.

adirondacker12800 May 24, 2015 - 1:58 pm

The mobility that needs to be assured when there will be 30 inches of snow is response to calls to 911. If you weren’t enabling that in one way or another you should have stayed where you were.

I have better things to do today than find links for assholes who refuse to read them or watch them. Go back and find them yourself.

Bolwerk May 24, 2015 - 4:53 pm

Yes, silly white man, mobility needs to be assured when there is 30 inches of snow on the ground. Or 40 or 50. Old people still need their medicine, parents still need to reach caregivers, and people obviously still needed to work.

If you had ever linked to anything demonstrating this supposed pedestrian curfew, I would have noticed. The last time you made a feeble attempt to provide evidence for this illusory pedestrian curfew, you linked to some irrelevancy about a state of emergency in another state several decades ago.

adirondacker12800 May 26, 2015 - 2:12 pm

People had hours if not days to go refill their prescriptions, pick up the kids and close their businesses. Not that old people are able to wade through the drifts that 30 inches of snow would create. Or that many people leave their kids in with caregivers until midnight. There’s a reason it’s called daycare.
The Department of Sanitation makes an attempt to keep snow emergency routes open. So that emergency responders can get through. They don’t always suceed.

You want a copy of the emergency declarations feel free to file a FOIL request with the city and the state.

Bolwerk May 27, 2015 - 9:41 am

Has living in Florida caused your brain to atrophy or are you really that ignorant of how other human beings survive? No, not all people are the same. Lots of people did not have hours to prepare or any time to prepare. No amount of time would have changed that they needed to go to work. Therefore, everything you say in defense of Cuomo’s ineptitude continues to be stupid, wrong, and delusional.

Why would you need a FOIL request? It was a public proclamation. Here is the relevant executive order. Yes, I read it when it was issued, in case I needed to go to work. What’s your excuse now?

adirondacker12800 May 27, 2015 - 3:20 pm

If you knew where it was why did you demand a link? It announcement references specific laws that… make it illegal for you to be on the street when an emergency has been declared.

adirondacker12800 May 27, 2015 - 3:29 pm

If you read it why did you demand a link? Since you apparently have a link.

I find section 104 particularly interesting, the part that says

“When such highway shall have been closed to the public as provided herein, any person who disregards the obstruction and notice, and drives, rides or walks over the portion of the highway so closed shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”

Notice the word “walk”. I suspect a judge would take “ride” to mean the use of skis, snowshoes, snowmobiles, garbage can lids etc.

Unless your job involves emergencies that the government responds to, you didn’t need to travel.

Bolwerk May 30, 2015 - 10:46 am

I demanded a link supporting your claim. There was no reason for me to provide a link until I wanted to disprove your claim that the governor’s executive orders required a FOIL request. At that point, I opted to provide a relevant link rather than a link to any old NYS executive order. I was fully aware that you were making things up, and providing a link would not have proven otherwise. All this proves is, even if you had turned out to be right, you would still have been making things up!

Yes, BTW, in theory the mayor and presumably the governor has authority to impose a curfew on sidewalk usage. This was not, however, done. It might have been a fortuitous oversight that Cuomo did not, in fact, ban pedestrian use of sidewalks. Or maybe we actually reached the limit of his ineptitude and folly; even he should be smart enough to realize that level of oppression would likely end up in a toxic mix of dead cops and full jails.

You have yet to justify this claim that only agents of the state had a reason to be out. I don’t see why anyone whose absense at work would have undermined their ability to pay their rent wouldn’t have had compelling reason to be out. I know you haven’t ever seen snow before, and probably don’t know what it’s like to need your job, but trust me: a few feet of snow is way less scary than an eviction fight.

Anonymous May 1, 2015 - 7:14 pm

Here’s the dirty secret (that’s actually not a secret if you read the MTA’s public documents carefully) – the MTA is woefully inefficient and slow at spending the money from the previous capital plan. Certain departments have barely started spending 2013 funds this year. So there is no urgency to fund the next plan because there’s lots of cash to chew through yet. Bargaining chips, whatever – nobody’s at risk for getting laid off, unfortunately, for a good while longer.


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