Friday, February 19, 2016

Week in review: Cuomo takes credit for a 16 year old problem, the W makes a comeback, NYC Sanitation throws food away and Obama disses Scalia

A lot of news items happened this past week, let's get right into it.

1.  The new 2/5 strip maps: MTA New York City Transit finally solved a problem on the 2 and 5 lines which uses the same car model (R142),  those in-car strip maps.  Unlike the R160 car counterparts which run on the lettered lines (E/F/N/Q/J/M) that have the interchangeable display, the R142 cars built in 2000-01 have a fixed strip map which can work on only one of the two IRT lines.  A 10 car train can have all 2 line strip maps then suddenly that trainset is put into service (scheduled or not) on the 5 line instead, making the 2 strip map useless except a disclaimer on the lower left corner "Route Change, Map Not In Use".  However, a train with 2 line maps may run on the 2 line then be rerouted on the 5 line between Bronx and Brooklyn.  Well after 16 years, NYCT finally got it right with the new 2/5 strip maps which combine both lines together in a single  map.  The news release claims this is part of NY State Governor Cuomo's initiative in improving customer service and communication.  Nor bad for Cuomo to take credit for something that took 16 years to solve.  Additionally, the new strip maps won't solve the problem of wrong automated announcements, such as announcing "Transfer to the A/C" during a weekend closure at Fulton Street. or the Bx41SBS transfer when it's not running after 9 PM.  More smokescreens by the MTA NYCT.

2.  The W makes a comeback:  The W line ran weekdays only between Ditmars Blvd-Astoria and Whitehall Street in Lower Manhattan and like some bus routes, it's making a comeback along with the rest of the pre June 2010 service pattern on the N/Q/R lines thanks to the impending opening of Phase 1 of the Second Ave subway line.  The W line is the latest of subway and bus lines being undone from the infamous June, 2010 service cuts - - the B37 bus route in Brooklyn was restored while recently the M5 bus route is finally being shortened due to the length and poor on-time performance.  Just don't look for the V train to come back anytime soon, the V line was replaced by an extended M train and that was the MTA's best move in 2010.

3.  NYC Sanitation throws food away:  Yesterday, Gary Schlesinger posted a Facebook video taken on Feb. 3 in Chinatown that shows two NYC Sanitation workers throwing out fruits and veggies from a produce store - - the video went viral with plenty of outrage across New Yorkers about all that food wasted.  Mind you, the workers  were ordered by their enforcement officer or supervisor to throw it out when the store was cited for illegally obstructing sidewalk space.  However, it is disgusting when the food was thrown out instead of confiscating the produce then donating it to a church or a homeless shelter.  There are thousands of hungry New Yorkers who desperately need good food like fruits and vegetables.  Also if Sanitation has the gall to throw food out, why can't they throw away traffic cones and trash cans which residents use to illegally hold parking spaces?

4.  Obama disses Scalia:  Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away last weekend and his funeral is set for tomorrow (2/20).  Justice Scalia is one of the more conservative justices and well respected among his colleagues who spent nearly 30 years on the bench.  President Obama chose not to attend Scalia's funeral tomorrow.  All I can is that's disgraceful for any President not to attend a funeral of a Supreme Court Justice, liberal or conservative.  It's only 11 months to go (as of tomorrow) until we get a new President in the White House.    

Enjoy your weekend all.

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