Archive for the tag 'hearing'

Source: (vincent desjardins) / Flickr

THE COMMUTE: About a week before Hurricane Sandy, I got a delightful surprise in the form of an email from a senior MTA executive who worked at the Chicago Transit Authority earlier in his career complimenting me on my series, “A Tale of Two Cities: Chicago and New York.” [Part 1, Part 2]. He also corrected my erroneous hypothesis that, at one time, the Loop had more than two tracks. It appears that there were provisions for additional tracks, but they were never constructed.

Sometimes when you criticize, complain, or try to make suggestions, you get the impression that no one is listening, especially when facing a large bureaucracy. It is easy to forget that these bureaucracies are not objects, but human beings.

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Source: Antonio Martínez López / Flickr

THE COMMUTE: Last week, I wrote that fewer than 50 people showed up at the Brooklyn fare hike hearing, held the same day as the nor’easter, which possibly explains the low turnout. However, how do you also account for the low turnouts in Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens?

Approximately 120 people, including myself, attended the Manhattan hearing, held in an auditorium that could have accommodated at least 10 times the number of participants. Only approximately 30 attended the Bronx hearing. The Queens hearing was so sparsely attended, that there was a break before the 8:00 p.m. concluding time to allow for more speakers to arrive.

Even the elected officials seemed to boycott these hearings. In the Bronx, only Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz of Riverdale spoke. In the Manhattan, former mayoral aspirant Scott Stringer — who has now decided to enter the race for NYC Comptroller instead — testified. This is a marked contrast to the 2010 service cut hearings, which were so widely attended by the public and elected officials that many intending speakers, such as Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo, left after two or three hours waiting their turn. That Brooklyn hearing concluded at 11:30 p.m. So what happened this time?

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Photo by Erica Sherman

THE COMMUTE: If you did not attend the Brooklyn Transit Fare Hike Hearing held at the Marriott Hotel in Downtown Brooklyn last Monday because of the nor’easter, you have another chance. Another hearing will be held in Manhattan tomorrow evening from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Registration begins at 4:00 p.m. You also can pre-register on line here.

The Brooklyn hearing should have been rescheduled. Seniors and the disabled should not have been expected to brave the nor’easter, especially without full subway service. The MTA did not care, however. Fewer than 50 people showed up, one of the lowest turnouts ever. “I didn’t hear anyone calling for not having the election,” MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said. “We have to continue. We have to move forward.”

Last week I complimented Chairman Lhota on how well the MTA handled Hurricane Sandy and how well the agency works in times of crises. They were even considerate enough to provide two days of free fares. Well it looks like the crisis is over as far as the MTA is concerned, because it’s back to business as usual. A typically heartless MTA was unconcerned that residents in Sea Gate and Gerritsen Beach, who had lost their homes, had higher priorities than to brave a nor’easter in order to attend a hearing right now.

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Medgar Evers College. Source: Google Maps

Beginning today, the New York City Districting Commission will hold five public hearings — one in each of the city’s five boroughs — from October 2 to 11, 2012. The Brooklyn hearing will be held October 11 from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. inside the Medgar Evers College Founder’s Auditorium, 1650 Bedford Avenue.

The purpose of these hearings, which are open to the public, is for the NYC Districting Commission to hear testimony from the public concerning the initial phases of its work in drafting a new districting plan for the New York City Council. It will be the commission’s task to reconfigure all 51 City Council districts to reflect population shifts. The plan is slated to be submitted to the council by November.

Individuals wishing to pre-register for speaking time or to submit written testimony in advance may do so by signing up online at www.nyc.gov/districting. Individuals wishing to speak at any hearing will be provided up to three minutes of speaking time.

Prior to the hearings, you may submit written comments to the NYC Districting Commission by mail to: NYC Districting Commission, Attn: Jonathan Ettricks, 253 Broadway, 7th Fl.,New York, NY 10007, or by email at hearings@districting.nyc.gov on or before 5:00 p.m. on the date of the hearing. You must indicate in your correspondence the date of the hearing for which you are submitting your comments.

The hearing locations are accessible to those with physical disabilities. Individuals requesting an interpreter for sign language or any other language at any hearing should contact the NYC Districting Commission at hearings@districting.nyc.gov or by calling (212) 442-0256 in advance of the hearing, and reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate such requests.

Brooklyn Borough Hall. Source: Wikipedia

The New York City Districting Commission will hold five public hearings — one in each of the city’s five boroughs — from August 13-23, 2012. The Brooklyn hearing will be held August 13 from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street.

The purpose of these hearings, which are open to the public, is for the NYC Districting Commission to hear testimony from the public concerning the initial phases of its work in drafting a new districting plan for the New York City Council.

Individuals wishing to pre-register for speaking time or to submit written testimony in advance may do so by signing up online at www.nyc.gov/districting. Individuals wishing to speak at any hearing will be provided up to three minutes of speaking time.

Prior to the hearings, you may submit written comments to the NYC Districting Commission by mail to: NYC Districting Commission, Attn: Jonathan Ettricks, 253 Broadway, 7th Fl.,New York, NY 10007, or by email at hearings@districting.nyc.gov on or before 5:00 p.m. on the date of the hearing. You must indicate in your correspondence the date of the hearing for which you are submitting your comments.

The hearing locations are accessible to those with physical disabilities. Individuals requesting an interpreter for sign language or any other language at any hearing should contact the NYC Districting Commission at hearings@districting.nyc.gov or by calling (212) 442-0256 in advance of the hearing, and reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate such requests.