Streams

Matthew Schuerman

Editor, WNYC

Matthew Schuerman appears in the following:

Subway Emergency Exits, and the Three Types Who Walk Through Them

Thursday, August 13, 2009

HOST: New York City Transit began installing emergency exits in all of the city’s subway stations four years ago. They allow people to leave quickly in the event of a terrorist attack or other emergency. But they, and the ear-splitting alarm they set off, have ...

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Where’s the Fire?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The “panic bars” on emergency exits in subway stations are supposed to be used only in emergencies. But their use, and the alarms they set off, have become just another fact of daily life in New York City. Take our poll, and let us know what you think by adding your thoughts in the comments section below.

[poll=5]

New York City Transit began installing emergency exits in all of the city’s subway stations four years ago. They allow people to leave quickly in the event of a terrorist attack or other emergency. But they, and the ear-splitting alarm they set off, have become part of the daily routine for many straphangers.

There are three kinds of people in New York: “Trailblazers” like Kasia Reterska, who push through the emergency exits with a clear conscience.

"Quite frankly when I’m leaving the subway it’s always an emergency because I need to get home," says Reterska.

Others, like Max Clark, who might be called “Pragmatists”.

"I never open them myself, but if they are open, I will perpetuate them for a while," says Clark.

And “Moralists” like Nicki Garcia, who think going through violates their principles.

"You know I did it once. Just once," says Garcia.

And what happened?

"Nothing," says Garcia. "No, I didn’t push the gate myself. I followed the crowd through."

She followed the crowd through an already open gate—but she felt bad about it.

"Because it says emergency gate. Um, you know. It’s not an emergency to leave here."

The emergency exits, and the “panic bars” that riders push to open them, allow the subway system to conform to a new state building code. Politicians lobbied for them, especially after the London Subway bombings made it clear straphangers needed a faster way to get out.

"People are not using them for the purposes they were originally intended," says Andrew Albert.

Andrew Albert is the transit riders representative to the MTA board, which oversees New York City Transit. He’s standing near the exit on the 79th street platform on the Number 1 line.

"People are leaving and there’s a high wheel to leave and a lot of people don’t want to wait in line for using the high wheel. As you can hear, they are using the emergency exits. Was that an emergency? I don‘t think so."

Station agents can turn off the alarm on exits they can see from their booths. But not exits they can’t see. And the MTA’s eliminating more and more booths and replacing them with automated turnstiles and panic bars. Albert says New York City Transit should add more turnstiles so people won’t be tempted to push the bar, and also do a better job educating riders.

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Panel Raises Transit Workers Pay

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Transit workers will receive an 11-percent pay raise over the next three years.

That's the decision of a three-member arbitration panel. The MTA and the Transport Workers Union took the dispute to arbitration earlier this year, after they failed to agree on a new contract.

The interim ...

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Helicopter Tours to Stop Use of West 30th Heliport in 2010

Monday, August 10, 2009

Saturday's helicopter crash has prompted calls to ban helicopter tours over the Hudson River. While no decision has been made on those flights, WNYC's Matthew Schuerman reports that sightseeing tours will stop using the West Side heliport next year, for an entirely different reason.

REPORTER: The ...

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MTA Says $25.6 Billion Needed For Capital Improvements

Monday, August 10, 2009

The MTA says it needs $25.6 billion for capital improvements over the next five years. That's a 14 percent increase over the amount it allocated for the current capital plan. The MTA says the new funds will finish the first leg of the Second Avenue ...

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Carpenter's Union Officials Indicted for Bribes

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The head of a large carpenters' union, and nine other officials have been indicted for receiving approximately $1 million in bribes from contractors. In exchange, federal prosecutors say the officials allowed contractors to pay less than union wages, and avoid contributions to union pension funds. ...

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You're Fired, You're Rehired

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Sara Horowitz, Founder and Executive Director of the Freelancers Union talks about employers laying off workers, then rehiring them as independent contractors without benefits.

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WTC Redevelopment Impasse Enters Arbitration

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Back in May two governors, one mayor, and developer Larry Silverstein held a summit at Gracie Mansion to work out their differences.

BLOOMBERG: We cannot allow this not to get done. And we're not going to negotiate in public. we're not going to sit there and ...

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Silverstein: Paterson's Demands Mean Loss of Towers

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Governor Paterson is threatening to come up with a World Trade Center plan that does not include developer Larry Silverstein's office towers, as the negotiations between the developer and the Port Authority continue to drag on. The governor says he doesn't want the negotiations to continue delaying ...

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Bloomberg the Candidate Unveils New Transit Plan

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Mayor Bloomberg who tried to bring congestion pricing to New York, has come up with a more modest transportation platform detailing what he would do should he get re-elected this fall. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has more.

REPORTER: At a campaign event, the Mayor introduced 33 ideas ...

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Paterson Threatens to Cut Silverstein Out of WTC Design

Monday, August 03, 2009

Governor Paterson is threatening to come up with a World Trade Center plan that does not include developer Larry Silverstein's office towers, as the negotiations between the developer and the Port Authority drag on. In a letter to Silverstein, the governor says he doesn't want ...

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Costs of Dismantling Deutsche Bank Building Rising

Monday, August 03, 2009

The costs of taking down the former Deutsche Bank building at the World Trade Center site keep climbing. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has set aside more than $200-million to acquire clean and demolish the tower. But WNYC's Matthew Schuerman says the government agency has ...

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New Development Plans Approved for Pier 57

Friday, July 31, 2009

It doesn't always happen that the community's favorite developer also brings in the most money. But that's the story with the latest proposal for Pier 57 at 15th Street, according to the Hudson River Park Trust.

The board of directors conditionally selected the Manhattan firm "YoungWoo ...

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MTA to Set Aside $50m Annually for Capital Needs

Friday, July 31, 2009

The MTA's preliminary budget released this week will dedicate $50 million a year for "pay as you go" capital needs like new subway cars. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has more.

REPORTER: Usually the MTA borrows about $2 billion dollars annually for new equipment, station rehabs and mega-projects. ...

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Hearings on Atlantic Yards Development Continue

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Public hearings on the latest plans for the Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn continue today. At yesterday's hearing, Bob Zuckerman, who's running to represent a City Council district adjacent to the project's footprint, criticized many of the changes made to the proposal, since it was ...

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MTA Says Tough Times Ahead

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Despite a $2.3 billion bailout from Albany, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it still faces tough times as a result of the recession. Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger says its preliminary budget estimates may turn out to be wrong, if the economy gets worse.

HEMMERDINGER: The takeaway from ...

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Suit Challenges Public Benefits of E. Harlem Development

Monday, July 27, 2009

A group of property owners is challenging the city's right to take their properties for a housing and retail complex on East 125th Street in Manhattan. The East Harlem Media Entertainment and Cultural Center is supposed to be a 1.7 million square foot complex, spread ...

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WTC Planners Scout Alt. Location for Performing Arts Center

Friday, July 24, 2009

City and state planners are studying a way to get the performing arts center at the World Trade Center site built more quickly. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation is considering moving the location from the northern end to the southern end - where the site ...

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Port Auth to Move WTC Retaining Wall, Saving $300G a Day

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Port Authority says it's found a way to resolve a situation that was costing it some $300,000 a day.

The authority was supposed to turn over two building sites at the World Trade Center site to developer Larry Silverstein more than a year ago. But ...

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Lilly First Tenant in Science Center

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A science complex under construction along the East River got its first official tenant yesterday. The research division of drug company Imclone Systems will take over four floors once the first tower is completed next summer. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has more.

REPORTER: Mayor Bloomberg has said ...

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