New York News

Monday, May 04, 2009

Daily News columnist Liz Benjamin and Edward-Isaac Dovere, editor of City Hall, round up the latest from Albany and City Hall, including the MTA deal, budget woes, and some gay marriage polling.


Liz Benjamin and Edward-Isaac Dovere

Comments [11]

mac from manhattan

what's the point of learning so called 'street smarts' when you don't need them anymore? the city is safer. one caller says 'if you respect the neighborhood, it respects you back.'s exactly this kind of macho 'eye for an eye' 'might makes right' thug culture that is boring and deserves no respect.

May. 04 2009 11:28 AM
mike in pawling from pawling, ny

What is Your Popsicle Index?
what percentage of the people in your place believe that a child can leave their home, go to the nearest place to buy a popsicle or other snack, and return home alone safely?

The Popsicle Index is the % of people who believe a child can leave their home, go to the nearest place to buy a popsicle or snack, and come home alone safely. For example, if you feel that 50% of your neighbors believe a child in your neighborhood would be safe, then your Popsicle Index is 50%. The Popsicle Index is based on gut level feelings of the people who have intimate knowledge of a place, rather than facts and figures.

The purpose of the Popsicle Index is to inspire continous conversation and learning in every neighborhood and village on earth about what it means to feel safe and secure where you live and work, to be phyically free to wander and roam without concern and to identify and shift the people and things that contribute or drain that feeling.

Maybe a passersby can be trusted to leave my child alone, but she drives like a maniac through our neighborhood. Maybe a child is physically safe going to the local store, but his parents are concerned about the chemicals and unknown substances in snacks these days, or the influence of older kids hanging around the store. Maybe the family is too poor for the child to have the money to go buy a treat. Maybe she will be perfectly safe going to the market alone, but die of a preventable disease for lack of basic healthcare. Or maybe there is no market nearby, or any jobs either, so parents commute to someone else's neighborhood to work and shop. By Catherin Austin Fitts (source:

May. 04 2009 11:26 AM
jeff from New york

There are many types of fear and I'm way more afraid of my landlord and winding up homeless then the chance that I might be mugged. I'll take back Nelson Georges nostalgia any day

May. 04 2009 11:25 AM
jeff from New york

I'm form the east village 25 years ago there was a chance an addict might mug me on 10th street and get 20 dollars form me I could still negotiate with him to keep my wallet. Now everyone in that neighborhood is mugged every month and you try negotiating with your landlord he's taking your pants to

May. 04 2009 11:22 AM
Leo from Queens

Elise, If you look at the funding for the MTA in the past 6-8 years, you will see the following: Fares make up over 60% of the operation budget - Highest of ANY public system in the country and I bet MUCH higher than any public system in Canada; Ridership has been increasing and its actually up to the peaks of the early 60's. Fares for buses and subway have increased about 33% in the past 6 years; Income from Real Estate transactions more than quadrupled; Revenue from utility taxes which I pay have doubled since 2004 because of the increase in energy prices.
YET labor costs have increased at the rate of inflation and unlike NJ Transit there has been NO increase in transit services. There has been DECREASES in subway service - 'G' service is designed to discourage it's use. 'A'&'C' service is non-existing outside of rush hour - 'B','D' service is non existing outside of rush hour. The outer-boroughs have not had any reliable, consisten subway service on weekends since 2002. The question to ask is where has all this extra revenue gone? - NOT to improve or increase service.. The question is NOT how do we provide more revenue for the MTA? it's how do we structure the MTA and make it accountable so that increases in funding are used to maintain and expand service in the long term?

May. 04 2009 11:09 AM
Elise M from West Harlem, NYC

Agree that MTA investments and those in charge need to be held accountable. That said, why have we not seen increased revenue form advertising in subway stations like they have in Toronto?
There, the billboards are not behind you but where people look INSIDE the tracks!
It would be VERY easy AND inexpensive to create frames that the track cleaning cars could easily access and roll advertising posters onto frames/tracks as they roll by stations.
This is only ONE idea that is not that original. What about asking New Yorker subway riders what kind of services would they suggest to generate more income?!! Subway coffee? ipod stations?

May. 04 2009 10:37 AM
Leo from Queens

Whoindatgarden #4 - I totally agree with you. But we need to target the mayor and governor. THEY appoint the MTA board. These are political appointees of the mayor and governor and serve at the pleasure of the mayor and governor, yet we (the taxpayers, voters, straphangers, and the media) do not hold them accountable. They should be tarred and feathered for their lack of leadership and just plain manhood. They use 'the economy' as an excuse. the problem is the crushing debt and ponzi schemes in which the MTA invested our tax dollars.

May. 04 2009 10:26 AM
Whoindatgarden from Brooklyn

I think New Yorkers need to show who is in charge here. We need to have a civil disobedience movement.MTA is mismanaged and is corrupt.The only way we the citizens have any say in this is by striking, but I doubt we will do that as we have too much to loose and so we will fall in line like the DOCILE SHEEP we are

May. 04 2009 10:21 AM
RJ from brooklyn

The mayor is saying about his budget proposals both (paraphrasing) "New Yorkers will be asked to sacrifice in terms of services (libraries, children's services, etc.) and the unions should too (less health care coverage, poor wage increases, etc.)." Exactly which New Yorkers does he think are "sacrificing" library and other services, if not the *exact same* New Yorkers who are union members and city workers? (And who also would be triply hurt by a sales tax increase.)

He's asking for *double* sacrifice from only one group of New Yorkers: union members who work for the city. And rejecting income tax increases for the wealthiest New Yorkers because they're being taxed now by the state and supposedly will leave if they have to pay another .07% of their incomes.

So only people who can't afford to leave will be doubly taxed.

Would he seriously leave if he had to pay another .07% of his extraordinary income?

May. 04 2009 10:21 AM
Leo from Queens

Does anybody understand that this additional source of funding for the MTA is to keep or maintain current service and that it is to plug a hole of the monies that were funneled to risky financial gambling products and that this money IS NOT and WILL NOT be used to improve or increase public transport service?
The MTA itself needs to be restructured and made accountable and transparent. The huge debt being held by the MTA needs to be restructured and a criminal investigation needs to be opened to understand why the MTA used public funds and its authority to gamble away our tax and fare dollars

May. 04 2009 10:19 AM
Nick from NYC

Can anyone point to coverage or resources that compare the MTA's funding mix to mass transit systems in other cities, US and foreign?

What are the funding mechanisms for systems in more rational universes than NYC? Can't we learn something from them?

May. 04 2009 10:19 AM

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