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NYC Pilot Program Will Limit Cars Along 14th Street

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A pilot program that will limit cars on 14th Street was announced Wednesday, all with the goal of easing congestion while getting bus riders moving along one of the city’s busiest streets.

The city will pilot Transit/Truck Priority (TTP) lanes, banning through traffic from Third Avenue to Ninth Avenue. This pilot, which is expected to last 18 months, will coincide with the launch of the M14 SBS service in June.

“We have an opportunity to try something new and really get bus riders moving on one of our busiest streets,” de Blasio said in a statement. “As we continue to address congestion across New York City, this is an experiment that, if successful, could provide us another tool to move buses faster and save people valuable time for the things that matter.”

The MTA and DOT announced earlier this year that M14 SBS would be coming to 14th Street in 2019. According to the city, one of the most used bus routes in the city utilizes that street: the M14A/D carries 27,000 daily riders from the Lower East Side to Union Square and the Meatpacking District.

In an effort to make these buses travel quickly, DOT studied best practice for busy transit corridors across the world, including along King Street in downtown Toronto.

“The Toronto changes, popular with transit riders, dramatically reduced travel times and increased safety along the corridor – and have been since made permanent,” according to the city.

Working with MTA, DOT decided to pilot a similar arrangement on 14th Street.

Starting later this spring, the new TTP changes will include:

  • Only buses, trucks and emergency vehicles will be able to use 14th Street between 3rd and 9th Avenues as a through route;
  • Local traffic will still be permitted to make pickups and drop-offs along the corridor and access garages, but cars will always need to turn right at the next possible location since left turns will be prohibited;
  • New curbside regulations will prioritize short-term loading and passenger pickup activity;
  • Intersections along 14th Street will be designed with new turn lanes to ensure that bus lanes will remain clear. Intersections will also receive Vision Zero pedestrian safety treatments, including painted curb extensions

Construction will begin this spring for completion in time for the launch of the M14 SBS in June.

The MTA has announced that in the period this spring prior to the implementation of Select Bus Service, L riders will benefit from increased M14 service on nights and weekends.

“When the partial Canarsie Tunnel closures begin this weekend, New Yorkers can rest easier knowing that the City is rising to the challenge by bringing an ambitious new design to 14th Street aimed at zipping bus riders along without having to contend with space-hogging cars,” Transportation Alternatives Senior Director of Advocacy Thomas DeVito said in a statement.

The pilot builds on proposals made during the original L train planning process, while incorporating feedback from local residents to ensure that curb access remained available, and that through truck traffic not be diverted to local streets.

Additionally, aside from the 14th Street pilot program, the city will make permanent the bike lane improvements made on Grand Street in Brooklyn and 12th /13th Streets in Manhattan.

Source: https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/NYC-Pilot-Program-Cars-Transit-Bus-Transportation-14th-Street-DOT-509006971.html

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Schumer wants investigation into Chinese-designed New York subway cars

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is calling for a federal probe into a plan for a Chinese government-owned corporation to design new New York subway train cars.

Schumer told the Associated Press in a statement Sunday that he requested that the Commerce Department conduct a “top-to-bottom review” after train-manufacturer CRRC won a contest to design the cars.

CRRC has previously been given contracts in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia, according to the AP.

Government officials and security experts have reportedly warned that allowing a Chinese-state company to design U.S. transit systems could leave it vulnerable to cyberattacks and cyberespionage and sabotage.

Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) spokesman Max Young told the AP that it has “robust” safety standards.

“The MTA has robust, multilayered and vigorously enforced safety and security standards, but we support efforts of government agencies to bolster that work,” he said.

CRRC said it would invest $50 million to develop the train cars after it won the bid.

A spokesman for CRRC Sifang America, the company’s Chicago subsidiary, told the AP that most of the train parts it plans to use are made by American companies.

Spokesman Dave Smolensky told The Hill in a statement that the company “fully supports Senator Schumer’s efforts to ensure the nation’s transit systems meet the highest cybersecurity standards and we are eager to address any concerns the Senator may have regarding our U.S. operations.”

“A review will demonstrate to lawmakers there are no examples of a passenger railcar manufacturer, including CRRC, installing any type of malicious software or exposing a transit system to any type of cyberespionage,” he added.

Smolensky said that it is “not possible” for CRRC to put malware into the cars.

The Hill has reached out to Schumer’s office for additional comment.

Relations between the U.S. and China have become strained in recent weeks after the countries failed to reach an a trade agreement and instead pledged to raise tariffs on each other in an escalating trade war.

Source: https://thehill.com/policy/transportation/security/444476-schumer-wants-investigation-into-chinese-designed-new-york

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Bad welds are latest woe for NYC’s newest subway cars — MTA blames manufacturer

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They’re shiny and clean and all of them were supposed to be on the subway two years ago.

But New York’s newest subway cars face yet another problem with their manufacture — and an official of the transit workers’ union calls them “lemons.”

A handful of the new R179 cars, which run on the J/Z and A/C lines, have shoddy welds on their collision pillars, a part of the cars’ structure meant to protect train operators in crashes, NYC Transit president Andy Byford said.

The problem isn’t severe enough to require the cars to be pulled from service, Byford said at an MTA meeting last week.

Bombardier, the Canada-based company that is building the cars at a factory in upstate Plattsburgh, reported the problem with the cars.
“This is very disappointing from Bombardier and rest assured I’ve made it very clear to them that that is my position,” Byford said.

The $600 million, 300-car delivery was supposed to be completed by early 2017.

The R179s are supposed to replace the R32 subway cars, which were first delivered in during Lyndon Johnson’s presidency and are the oldest rolling stock on any subway system in North America. R32s — dubbed “Brightliners” when they were first delivered — have distinctive corrugated metal exteriors.
“This is bad news for riders who want to retire the R32s,” said Andrew Albert, the rider advocate on the MTA board.

The bad welds are the latest problem the MTA has had with Bombardier’s delivery of the R179s. The MTA pulled dozens of the new cars from service in January because of mechanical problems.

“These things are lemons,” said Transport Workers Union Local 100 head of trains Eric Loegel. “We’ve known about a number of mechanical problems with them for a while.”
NYC Transit employees complain the windows in the cars’ cabs uncomfortably press into their chests when they lean outside as trains enter or leave stations. They also say the space between the ends of the cars is so small, larger crew members can’t squeeze through them when they are required to do so.

MTA spokesman Shams Tarek said those issues are being addressed.

Around 190 R179 cars now run on the subway, with roughly another 126 on the way. Bombardier is providing an extra 16 cars because of its extensive delays in delivery.
Bombardier spokeswoman Maryanne Roberts said the company values its partnership with the MTA, and is working to resolve the issues with the R179s as quickly as possible.

Bombardier products are also causing troubles on the Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road.

Bombardier and German technology giant Siemens bungled the installation of a $1 billion federally-mandated project to install life-saving positive train control equipment on the two commuter systems.

The problems on that project led the agency’s leaders to demand an appearance by the CEOs of Bombadier and Siemens at the next MTA board meeting on May 22.

Source: https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-bombardier-r179-subway-cars-20190513-vp54a7fsirewtggdk22nzdhyim-story.html

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Man dies after walking between subway cars in Bronx, MTA urges caution

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A man was killed by a subway train Monday morning in the Bronx after he fell between cars, police said.

The victim, who police said was in his 30s, fell beneath a northbound No. 5 train as it left the Jackson Ave. station in the borough’s Woodstock neighborhood at around 9:15 a.m.

He was dead when emergency responders arrived, an FDNY spokesman said.

The man is the fourth person to be killed on the rails in New York City over the last nine days, and at least the eighth to be struck by a train.

Last Tuesday two straphangers were critically injured after falling between subway cars in Manhattan and Queens. On Saturday, another 34-year-old man feel between cars on an F train is it entered the York St. station in Brooklyn at around 3:40 a.m.
“We cannot stress enough how dangerous this is and urge all of our customers to never walk between cars unless told to by an MTA employee,” MTA spokesman Shams Tarek said.

Three homeless men have also recently been killed by subway trains while they were walking on the tracks.

Last Saturday a homeless man died after being struck by the Times Square Shuttle while walking through the tunnels near Grand Central Terminal. On Friday, a 60-year-old homeless man was struck and killed by a No. 4 train after he was seen struggling to get back onto the platform at the 28th St. station.

On April 28, a man in his 60s who appeared to be homeless was killed at the Grand Central Terminal subway station after he was seen on the tracks.

Source: https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-mta-subway-death-fall-between-cars-20190506-exdpwaf5rzfylbzwfe5qqjglkm-story.html

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