Monday, August 11, 2008

News Bites

News news news! Some of it is current. Some of it is not.

Here’s more about those subway ads in NY:

Sexual misconduct on subways (editorial)
Gothamist’s run-down (Aug. 6)

Also, goats shipped into the city to eat plant pests slipped through a fence to trip a security alarm, allowing the media to use phrases like “weapons of grass destruction” and this charming lead:
It was a report calculated to send chills through those charged with anti-terrorist vigilance in New York City: Bearded intruders secretly penetrate heavily guarded transportation site.
You’re so funny, Associated Press! NOT. This is worse than your editorialization that suspected Anthrax-mailer Bruce Ivins is lyke, totally guilty guyz. Sigh.

I also failed to mention in this posting madness that MTA (NY) has negotiated labor contracts two years early to avoid a strike. This is good, I think. But I think that If I lived in Brighton Beach (where I’d probably start looking if I moved) the MTA contract wouldn't have been negotiated and I would have tested my daily commute from Brighton Beach to NYC. CAN SHE WALK IT? PROBABLY NOT. (But I also imagine that if I moved to New York—and this was all speculative fantasy in high school and part of college—I’d party more, because that’s what twentysomethings do in New York, and I’d have to drag a hangover behind me at 6 a.m. Oh, yes, it will take me three hours to walk from Brighton Beach to midtown. Is midtown where there’s publishing? Because that’s where I’ll need to walk. Or bike, but I think we can all agree there’s no way I’m going to ride my bike from one borough to another and share the road with a car. Ha!)

Lame! MTA has changed its mind and is now uninterested in weekend rail service at Penn Station and midday rail service to the Camden Line. Baltimore and surroundings cities could really benefit from weekend surface.

Some guy tricked Google News by adding to the MBTA vs. MIT hack. He wrote that the CharlieCard and the drama were all related to That Song, ostensibly to prove that Google News is a robot without, he says, a sense of humor. I guess the article would be funny—I’d probably link it here with more vigor if it were from The Onion—if he weren’t trying to trick anyone.

DC Buses drive too fast. In the face of last year’s pedestrian accident (and CTA’s various incidents of similar nature) speed = bad. I’m willing to concede that I take a sick joy in silently cheering my bus driver on to speed through Shady Grove Road and make my morning and evening routes substantially shorter. I’m also willing to admit that I’m throwing caution to the wind because I’m secretly pretending that this is completely safe when it’s not. Still, the news focused mostly on whining transit riders who’ve never had to wait for a bus before and I’m drawing the line. I have to draw it somewhere and spoiled whining looks like a good place.

DC is finally bringing it’s bike program, Smart Bike (Clear Channel’s involvement kind of freaks me out), to the public starting tomorrow. You have to subscribe to a $40/year service and the replacement fee is $550. If you fail to return the bike within 24 hours, you’re charged the replacement fee. Also, I’m paranoid and not trusting the ease and simplicity of locking the bike. I don’t trust that because it’s through DC that the bike won’t get stolen. Hrmph. (Renting does look easy, though.) Subscription includes the Smart Bike DC card and I wish the easy pass through WMATA were somehow related. I know, I know, the easy pass and Smart Bike are different people! I just want ease. Rental hours are only three hours, which makes my sister’s plan of riding to work null. Maybe Smart Bikes will inspire more people to ride their own? Whine whine whine I'm going to actively attempt to follow this. I know it's not mass transit. Not in the sense that you share elbow space with someone, at least. Yet I'm deeply fascinated in bikes and the on-going struggle for the road. (Also, I like to ride my bike, so it's a personal thing.)

After totally screwing up my attempt to get from point A to point B in Chicago last month, Diversey station is open. Or something. I'm so annoyed that the station opened so soon after I COULDN'T USE IT THAT I CAN'T FINISH READING IT.

And, from the CTA Tattler: "CTA Workers Get Lost Wallet to Owner." This isn't news but this is worth sharing, especially as a kiddo who lost her wallet and had it return by mail. I think it speaks volumes about the importance of being nice to transit workers. The rider lost her wallet, asked CTA to watch out for it, and had it returned! My heart feels warm.

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