Stop what you’re doing and celebrate one thing: starting today, for the first time, Long Island Rail Road trains will be able to go to and depart from the East Side of Manhattan instead of to and from Penn Station.
Plenty of smart people have been carping about a decades-old project that ran way over budget, but it’s still one of the biggest infrastructure improvements we’ve seen in our professional lifetimes (and our old man editor didn’t earn his nickname because he’s some Gen Z guy).
Ben Kabak carped and hyped at the same time:
Planning for East Side Access began in the 1950s and the current work began in 2007. It’s insanely over budge and long delayed but can be transformative for Long Island.
— Second Ave. Sagas (@2AvSagas) January 24, 2023
Pretty much every outlet previewed Wednesday’s grand Grand Central opening:
- Gothamist was quick to point out, that the $11.6-billion project “was originally scheduled to wrap up in 2011 at a cost of $4.3 billion.”
- The Daily News called it a $12.7-billion project.
- The Post played up how the MTA is running a limited schedule for the first three weeks.
- amNY stuck to jaw-dropping numbers: “The 750,000-square-foot terminal, situated 17 stories underneath Grand Central…”
- Hell Gate had the best (and most pessimistic) take.
In other news:
- Obviously we got scooped on the biggest news of the day, but we are happy to report that our former Streetsblog colleague David Meyer will return to us after a three-year stint at the New York Post to become our Deputy Editor. We’ll share more news soon about Meyer’s role, but suffice it to say he will kick ass.
hi! today is my last day at the new york post.
i'm extremely excited to start feb. 6 as the DEPUTY EDITOR of STREETSBLOG ?? pic.twitter.com/qo6pZo4jL3
— David J. Meyer (@dahvnyc) January 24, 2023
- The mayor wants to set up dinners to get us all to love each other again (watch out, or you’ll end up at our old man editor’s house — yes, he volunteered to host, that ham). (NYDN)
- Justin Davidson did a nice write-up on the Bermuda Triangle of Manhattan road violence: W. 96th Street. (Curbed)
- The team at Open Plans and Regional Plan Association want the Council to finally make the Covid-era open restaurants program permanent. (amNY)
- See, some reckless drivers do get jail time in New York … if they’re reckless and drunk, that is. (NYDN)
- Before you sign up for Nextdoor, you should reads Aaron Gordon’s take on the way it turns normal people into cranks. (Vice)
- Two interesting stories on the same day out of amNY’s Queens editions: In Middle Village, Council Member Bob Holden wants to ban e-bikes, saying, “We must ensure that these vehicles are operated safely before allowing them back on our streets” (Sunnyside Post). Meanwhile in Astoria, a berserk SUV driver smashed into a store, prompting every rational person to say, “We must ensure that these vehicles are operated safely before allowing them back on our streets” (Astoria Post).
- In its piece about the “great” debate over bike lanes, Wired mentioned our own Jesse Coburn’s great investigation into how bike lanes actually improve local business.
- Remember that Jersey City Council member who hit a cyclist with her car and then fled? Naturally, no jail time. (Gothamist)
- Like Streetsblog, amNY and The City covered the MTA’s relief program for stroller pushing parents and caregivers.
- The trial of Hudson River Greenway terrorist Sayfullo Saipov is wrapping up. (NY Times)
- Hey, Streetsblog readers, join a community board! (The City)
- And, finally, we were very happy to see Council Member Selvena Brooks-Powers put out a statement after our story (and Gothamist’s) about Transportation Alternatives’s latest Vision Zero report. The Transportation Committee chair is wise to keep herself out front in the battle for safe streets:
— CMSelvenaBrooksPowers (@CMBrooksPowers) January 24, 2023