Re: Why are the NYC subways suddenly a disaster?

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Postby delgriffith » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:11 pm

Swing and a miss.
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Postby came to wreck » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:19 pm

was the plan all along to make everyone preemptively move and bring prices down so the rich can swoop in and buy up more real estate at a good price?
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Postby SabreFancS » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:24 pm

no way, it's always only been about how the MTA (and their favored vendors), can line their pockets with more public funds
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Postby landspeedrecord » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:34 pm

the L train shutdown isn't a conspiracy jfc
rather be an idiot than a sheeple
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Postby milknight » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:35 pm

landspeedrecord wrote:the L train shutdown isn't a conspiracy jfc

prove it!
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Postby SabreFancS » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:35 pm

I see this article never got posted in the thread:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/28/nyre ... costs.html

The Most Expensive Mile of Subway Track on Earth

How excessive staffing, little competition, generous contracts and archaic rules dramatically inflate capital costs for transit in New York.


An accountant discovered the discrepancy while reviewing the budget for new train platforms under Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.

The budget showed that 900 workers were being paid to dig caverns for the platforms as part of a 3.5-mile tunnel connecting the historic station to the Long Island Rail Road. But the accountant could only identify about 700 jobs that needed to be done, according to three project supervisors. Officials could not find any reason for the other 200 people to be there.

“Nobody knew what those people were doing, if they were doing anything,” said Michael Horodniceanu, who was then the head of construction at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs transit in New York. The workers were laid off, Mr. Horodniceanu said, but no one figured out how long they had been employed. “All we knew is they were each being paid about $1,000 every day.”

The discovery, which occurred in 2010 and was not disclosed to the public, illustrates one of the main issues that has helped lead to the increasing delays now tormenting millions of subway riders every day: The leaders entrusted to expand New York’s regional transit network have paid the highest construction costs in the world, spending billions of dollars that could have been used to fix existing subway tunnels, tracks, trains and signals.

The reasons for the M.T.A.’s high costs start with the sheer number of people employed.

Mike Roach noticed it immediately upon entering the No. 7 line work site a few years ago. Mr. Roach, a California-based tunneling contractor, was not involved in the project but was invited to see it. He was stunned by how many people were operating the machine churning through soil to create the tunnel.

“I actually started counting because I was so surprised, and I counted 25 or 26 people,” he said. “That’s three times what I’m used to.”

The staffing of tunnel-boring machines came up repeatedly in interviews with contractors. The so-called T.B.M.s are massive contraptions, weighing over 1,000 tons and stretching up to 500 feet from cutting wheel to thrust system, but they largely run automatically. Other cities typically man the machine with fewer than 10 people.

It is not just tunneling machines that are overstaffed, though. A dozen New York unions work on tunnel creation, station erection and system setup. Each negotiates with the construction companies over labor conditions, without the M.T.A.’s involvement. And each has secured rules that contractors say require more workers than necessary.

The unions and vendors declined to release the labor deals, but The Times obtained them. Along with interviews with contractors, the documents reveal a dizzying maze of jobs, many of which do not exist on projects elsewhere.

There are “nippers” to watch material being moved around and “hog house tenders” to supervise the break room. Each crane must have an “oiler,” a relic of a time when they needed frequent lubrication. Standby electricians and plumbers are to be on hand at all times, as is at least one “master mechanic.” Generators and elevators must have their own operators, even though they are automatic. An extra person is required to be present for all concrete pumping, steam fitting, sheet metal work and other tasks.

In New York, “underground construction employs approximately four times the number of personnel as in similar jobs in Asia, Australia, or Europe,” according to an internal report by Arup, a consulting firm that worked on the Second Avenue subway and many similar projects around the world.





and that shit is just on the construction side; you live here for even a month, and you see clear as day the amount of inactivity of actual MTA employees doing any given job, and the enormous number of them that it seems to take to do literally anything.
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Postby Beautiful Jugdish » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:36 pm

it's not a 'conspiracy' but the only people who would prefer a sustained partial shutdown to a shorter full shutdown are developers are retail and they have more influence over cuomo than rank and file voters

so there is definitely a largely anonymous group of people influencing this decision, for what that's worth
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Postby viachicago » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:38 pm

SabreFancS wrote:I see this article never got posted in the thread:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/28/nyre ... costs.html



at least you guys didnt spend a half billion dollars on a subway station that never even opened

https://www.nbcchicago.com/investigatio ... 54431.html
Last edited by viachicago on Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Beautiful Jugdish » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:40 pm

SabreFancS wrote:why didn't this article ever get posted in the thread?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/28/nyre ... costs.html

The Most Expensive Mile of Subway Track on Earth

How excessive staffing, little competition, generous contracts and archaic rules dramatically inflate capital costs for transit in New York.


An accountant discovered the discrepancy while reviewing the budget for new train platforms under Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.

The budget showed that 900 workers were being paid to dig caverns for the platforms as part of a 3.5-mile tunnel connecting the historic station to the Long Island Rail Road. But the accountant could only identify about 700 jobs that needed to be done, according to three project supervisors. Officials could not find any reason for the other 200 people to be there.

“Nobody knew what those people were doing, if they were doing anything,” said Michael Horodniceanu, who was then the head of construction at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs transit in New York. The workers were laid off, Mr. Horodniceanu said, but no one figured out how long they had been employed. “All we knew is they were each being paid about $1,000 every day.”

The discovery, which occurred in 2010 and was not disclosed to the public, illustrates one of the main issues that has helped lead to the increasing delays now tormenting millions of subway riders every day: The leaders entrusted to expand New York’s regional transit network have paid the highest construction costs in the world, spending billions of dollars that could have been used to fix existing subway tunnels, tracks, trains and signals.

The reasons for the M.T.A.’s high costs start with the sheer number of people employed.

Mike Roach noticed it immediately upon entering the No. 7 line work site a few years ago. Mr. Roach, a California-based tunneling contractor, was not involved in the project but was invited to see it. He was stunned by how many people were operating the machine churning through soil to create the tunnel.

“I actually started counting because I was so surprised, and I counted 25 or 26 people,” he said. “That’s three times what I’m used to.”

The staffing of tunnel-boring machines came up repeatedly in interviews with contractors. The so-called T.B.M.s are massive contraptions, weighing over 1,000 tons and stretching up to 500 feet from cutting wheel to thrust system, but they largely run automatically. Other cities typically man the machine with fewer than 10 people.

It is not just tunneling machines that are overstaffed, though. A dozen New York unions work on tunnel creation, station erection and system setup. Each negotiates with the construction companies over labor conditions, without the M.T.A.’s involvement. And each has secured rules that contractors say require more workers than necessary.

The unions and vendors declined to release the labor deals, but The Times obtained them. Along with interviews with contractors, the documents reveal a dizzying maze of jobs, many of which do not exist on projects elsewhere.

There are “nippers” to watch material being moved around and “hog house tenders” to supervise the break room. Each crane must have an “oiler,” a relic of a time when they needed frequent lubrication. Standby electricians and plumbers are to be on hand at all times, as is at least one “master mechanic.” Generators and elevators must have their own operators, even though they are automatic. An extra person is required to be present for all concrete pumping, steam fitting, sheet metal work and other tasks.

In New York, “underground construction employs approximately four times the number of personnel as in similar jobs in Asia, Australia, or Europe,” according to an internal report by Arup, a consulting firm that worked on the Second Avenue subway and many similar projects around the world.


what you're citing is absolutely a major problem and it needs to be addressed in the interest of the longterm viability of our subway system. but separating the questions into "how to efficiently repair the subway" and "how to pay for repairing the subway," it is very clear that the route that cuomo is taking will be less efficient while in no ways addressing the very real issue of cost fattening that the MTA is notorious for.

the 1.5 year full shutdown also begs the cost issue, but it is the most efficient way of repairing the tunnel - something that was established by a long litany of experts prior to two dipshits from cornell coming around and saying exactly what cuomo wanted to hear.

so, to address your point directly, you are conflating issues here. the 1.5 year shutdown does not address all issues with the MTA, not by a longshot. but cuomo's proposal is much worse, disasterously worse.
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Postby SabreFancS » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:50 pm

I still don't completely understand the whole details of what's planned now, but it sure reads to me like Cuomo (and the engineers he found), called the bluff of the MTA's hired engineers (who had every impetus to reach their conclusion in order to get at the maximum amount of Sandy funds), and told them what they wanted to do (or how they wanted to do it?) wasn't necessary.

Governor Cuomo, joined by his experts, tells reporters that thanks to "a new design," the L train shutdown does not need to stop service between Brooklyn and Manhattan for 15 months.

"Long story short, with this design it would not be necessary to close the L train tunnel at all, which would be a phenomenal benefit to the people of New York City," Cuomo said. "There would need to be some night and weekend closures of only one tube, so service would still work."

Mary Boyce, the dean of Columbia's engineering school, and Lance Collins, the dean of Cornell's engineering school, have spent the better part of 30 minutes talking about the technical aspects of their recommendations, which include using LIDAR and "smart technology" that allow for the constant monitoring of tunnel conditions, allowing workers to identify areas of deterioration before they become problem sites.

"No closure of the service is necessary with this new design," Boyce says. "[The work] can be completed with weekend and night time closures and doing it one tube at a time. This leaves one train always available to do the back and forth."



but you're saying that 1 tube being down nights and weekends (for an unspecified amount of time), is a more "disastrous" plan than unnecessarily shutting the train down entirely for a year and half?
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Postby delgriffith » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:57 pm

I love that someone like SabreFancS looks at the endless stream of corruption that is New York politics and decides that "Cuomo (and the engineers he found)" are not the people who will stand to benefit/grift the most from this "plan." Please stop posting your addled conspiracy shit in this thread.
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Postby SabreFancS » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:58 pm

it's all a grift baby!

i personally hate the MTA just ever so slightly more than Cuomo.


and i hate them both a lot!
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Postby Beautiful Jugdish » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:00 pm

yes, there are a few reasons why its a much worse plan:
- The exact plan these two "experts" are suggesting was discussed and rejected years ago, mostly because it hasn't been tested yet and there are way too many unknowns for it to be safe to deploy through a vital piece of infrastructure
-- and on the topic of the experts - these guys are known and don't have a lot of fans. they're like the climate change denying scientists of the transit world.
- even putting aside the feasibility of the plan itself, addressing complicated engineering problems piecemeal rather than holistically and all at once necessarily raises costs and increases errors. there are miles of case studies to back this up. this is basically a foundational concept in engineering.
-- e.g.: if work is broken up by days or even hours, equipment needs to be started up and shut down each time, girders need to be reapplied, resources need to be moved on and off-site...every single time, and that is before the work actually begins. each step in this process raises cost.
--- & also: leaving a job and returning to it increases rate of error because the exact detailed status of the project must be remembered each time. this is why coding is best done all at once rather than broken up by multiple jobs.

so you've got basically two ways to view this: the MTA has literally no interest in anything beyond making money, or two guys came along and offered a solution wholly rejected by most experts, but ideally tailored to cuomo's interest - and that plan just happens to be the better solution. that to me is very unlikely.
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Postby Beautiful Jugdish » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:01 pm

like i think you're being very flip here and not really interested in learning about why this is a bad idea, but it can't be said nobody addressed the issue now.
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Postby internetfriend » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:28 pm

love to catch those nefarious engineers in their selfish plan to shut the train downs for nefarious reasons presumably
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Postby loaf angel » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:43 pm

these knuckleheads down at City Hall!!
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Postby tex porneau » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:30 pm

Beautiful Jugdish wrote:yes, there are a few reasons why its a much worse plan:
-- and on the topic of the experts - these guys are known and don't have a lot of fans. they're like the climate change denying scientists of the transit world.


Does anyone have links about any of the experts (Del?). I saw people mention that they are piss on twitter as well, but I want to know howwwww they're piss.
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Postby Beautiful Jugdish » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:00 am

this is the best summary you'll find, though it is long: http://secondavenuesagas.com/2019/01/04 ... n-shutdown

At its core, the move is quintessential King Cuomo. Sounding very Trumpian, Cuomo, who ended his press conference by saying, “No, I am not in charge of the MTA,” spent over an hour on Thursday touting his “panel of the best experts we could find” and came up with a plan in three weeks that remains underdeveloped and untested. At best, it will kick the can down the road; at worst, it will fail, costing precious time and even more money. No matter what, everyone involved with the L train shutdown I’ve spoken with today agreed that at some point in the near future, whether it be 10 or 20 or 30 years down the road, the MTA will have to rebuild the L train’s 14th Street tunnel.
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Postby tex porneau » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:16 am

I'm actually an intellectual in a big way, so I actually prefer it to be long. Mondo .txt files in my fucking huge brain.
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Postby Beautiful Jugdish » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:48 am

that's not what i heard about you
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Postby DasLofGang » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:35 am

move to cleveland, the City That Drives
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Postby Beautiful Jugdish » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:40 pm

ok
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Postby ratbags » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:59 pm



andy, did you drink toronto out of your memory or what
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Postby loaf angel » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:45 pm

http://gothamist.com/2019/01/08/silica_dust_l_train_mta.php

Two-and-a-half years ago, the leaders of the MTA embarked on a massive public outreach campaign to convince New Yorkers that there was "simply no other option" but to fully shut down the L train for more than a year. Led by longtime transit planners and engineers, they cited a slew of complicated findings and internal expertise that ultimately led them to conclude that the tunnel's bench wall, which holds the all-important electrical cables, would have to be rebuilt from scratch.

If Governor Andrew Cuomo's surprise intervention last week is to be trusted, none of that was ever true—or perhaps it was, and the governor's decision to overturn years of planning because of a random street encounter will prove to be a catastrophic mistake. There is a lot we can't yet know.

Then there are the things we thought we knew. For years, the MTA has warned of dangerous particle dust in the damaged bench wall, which they claim made a partial shutdown impossible. The problem was laid out in a bleak video of the decrepit tunnels shown at public hearings across the city. It noted that the damage cause by Superstorm Sandy was "just too much for a nights and weekends closure," due primarily to the "special precautions and procedures" necessary to mitigate dangerous silica dust kicked up by the crumbling wall.

"Even if we did shut down the tunnel for the weekend," a narrator explains, "we couldn't bring back normal service until the following Tuesday or Wednesday because of the time we'd need for the cleanup and silica testing." In order to mitigate the risk of the tiny molecule—which is known to elevate the risk of lung cancer in certain doses—the city had reportedly purchased a ventilation and filtration machine the length of a football field. Workers were instructed to wear respirators, while the hermetically sealed tunnel would ensure that passengers remained out of harm's way.


So, what's changed? Under the MTA's new plan, the work will take place one tube at a time during nights and weekends, and will involve hanging the new cables along the tunnel wall. While the full 32,000 feet of duct bank no longer has to be removed, the most damaged bits of the bench wall will still need to ripped out. The current plan was developed by people who spent a total of one hour evaluating the Canarsie Tunnel in person, and at this point it's unclear how much of the wall will need to be demolished—and thus, how much of the dangerous dust will make its way into the air.


In a brief phone interview with Gothamist on Tuesday, New York City Transit President Andy Byford said that the dust issue was one of the "key safety concepts" that he plans to explore as part of his forthcoming review of the proposal. But while he expects a "vastly reduced" amount of silica dust under the new plan, the transit leader conceded that a final determination can't be made until engineers conduct a full examination of the bench.

"I will not be giving my blessing to the plan going forward until the question of safe dust management and mitigation has been assured," he said, adding that an independent third party would also review the plan. "I will not be pressured on this due diligence exercise. It will be done properly."

Still, some transit leaders are wondering whether it was premature for the MTA to "accept" the governor's proposal without first ensuring that it would keep workers and passengers safe.

"There are real questions about the actual dust from this new plan, and how you stop that from coming into trains," MTA board member Andrew Albert told Gothamist. "How do you make sure you get everything out in time for the morning rush? How do you get the trash trains in there? Where do you store all this debris that you've removed so it's not a threat to the public?"

Figuring out that process could take much longer than anyone behind the plan is currently admitting. According to Lisa Daglian, the executive director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, it could be up to a year before the new project is fully designed and deemed safe by both local and federal oversight authorities. A new NEPA evaluation may need to happen, she says, which would be carried out by the presently-furloughed Federal Transit Administration. (For his part, Byford says that starting the work on April 27th is "still our intention, if possible.")

"If certain things don't fall into place, I'm not sure this can start in April," admitted Albert. "The plans really are apples to oranges."

Meanwhile, the new racking system may present its own set of dust problems. Daglian says there are concerns that securely affixing cables to the tunnel could send dangerous dust airborne, potentially attaching to work trains that move through the system. "We haven't seen a plan or design, so we don't know what level of drilling is going to have to happen to make sure this racking system is safe and secure," she said. "You're going into a space that potentially hasn't been disturbed in 100 years."

"This is untested technology for a subway rehabilitation plan in the United States," adds Daglian. "All of these things shouldn't just be on the minds of advocates, but on the mind of every New Yorker who uses the subway system."


:barney:
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Postby delgriffith » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:18 am

The other shoe may be dropping:
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Postby Classic Dog Avatar » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:46 am

the fuck was that copy and paste thing nytimes is pulling
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Postby big zorb » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:51 am

to live and die on the l train
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Postby delgriffith » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:54 am

Classic Dog Avatar wrote:the fuck was that copy and paste thing nytimes is pulling

You mean the mock ups/excerpts from the MTA report? Yeah they like doing that these days.

Also I feel like I've already said this but I'll repeat it: why would anybody trust that all the safety considerations in this project have been properly accounted for when this governor, within the last six months, pushed for the opening of a massive infrastructure/rebuilding project so that he could show it off before the primary - only to have it shut down the very next day because of safety concerns?
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Postby cartola » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:59 am

Someone explained that our infastructure money is going to the military rite?
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Postby Zurich » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:03 am

delgriffith wrote:
Classic Dog Avatar wrote:the fuck was that copy and paste thing nytimes is pulling

You mean the mock ups/excerpts from the MTA report? Yeah they like doing that these days.

Also I feel like I've already said this but I'll repeat it: why would anybody trust that all the safety considerations in this project have been properly accounted for when this governor, within the last six months, pushed for the opening of a massive infrastructure/rebuilding project so that he could show it off before the primary - only to have it shut down the very next day because of safety concerns?


this.

cuomo, go focus on your shitty disaster of a presidential campaign and leave us alone
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