Archive for the tag 'hurricane closures'

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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Damage wrought to Manhattan’s South Ferry train station, which was completely submerged from the storm surge. Source: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

THE COMMUTE: It is not too often that I compliment the MTA for a job well done. Regular readers of this column know most of my commentary toward the MTA usually is negative, but not this time. First, they did a tremendous job protecting the equipment from flooding by moving subways and buses to higher ground before the storm, as well as other protective measures to prevent damage to rolling stock and equipment. Then they worked ‘round the clock to remove standing water, clear debris, and check every foot of the system to ensure it was safe for service to return. That certainly was a monumental task. I just hope everyone doesn’t forget the storm in six months when elected officials start crying about MTA overtime. Overtime is not a bad thing in times such as these.

I spent nearly 25 years working for the MTA and saw firsthand what many of the problems were. However, this is not the time to discuss them. Suffice it to say that my co-workers would often compare the MTA, specifically New York City Transit, to a dysfunctional family. Squabbling between departments hinder many tasks from being completed efficiently. Those are during normal times, but not when there is a crisis. During those times, the MTA usually excels.

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From Notify NYC…

Notification issued 10/30/12 at 2:00 PM.  All NYC East River bridges are open but please stay off the roads and allow emergency personnel the opportunity to restore essential city services.  All MTA bridges except the ones in the Rockaways are open.  For updates on mass transit services, visit NYC public parks will be closed until further notice. Due to call volume, please report down trees or property damage using 311 online at  Only use 911 for emergencies. For the latest information on New York City governmentservices visit or NYC OEM’s Severe Weather page at

Buses will return beginning at 5:00 p.m. today, but they will be running on a Sunday schedule. More transit information is available below.

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The Mayor’s Office has put out a general summation of what’s closed, what’s blocked and what’s delayed. It’s a mess out there folks. Your best bet, stay home.


NYC Weathering Sandy – Stay Inside
The City is closely monitoring Sandy, which is bringing dangerous storm surge and high winds to New York City Monday night and Tuesday. For the latest Sandy forecasts, visit the National Weather Service or the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.

At this time, all NYC residents should stay inside, avoid using elevators, and stay away from windows.


Con Edison has reported power outages to a large section of Manhattan stretching from East 39th Street to the lower tip of Manhattan. The outage was caused by flooding in company substations and engineers are working to correct the problem.

Con Edison said approximately 250,000 customers in Manhattan are without power.

Con Edison has begun the process of shutting off electrical service to a portion of Lower Manhattan, a move that will protect both company and customer equipment, and allow for quicker restoration after Sandy passes.

Customers can report downed power lines, outages, and check service restoration status by computer or mobile device at They also can call 1-800-75-CONED ( 1-800-752-6633).


Alternate Side Parking regulations (street cleaning) will be suspended citywide on Tuesday, 10/30. Payment at parking meters is also suspended throughout the city on Tuesday, 10/30.

The MTA has shut down all subway, bus, and commuter railroad service and likely will remain closed throughout Tuesday. For more information, visit the MTA website.

The Staten Island Ferry service is suspended until further notice.

East River Ferry service is suspended. Learn more.

NJ Transit has implemented a gradual system-wide shutdown of all bus, rail, light rail, and Access Link service. Learn more.

All PATH train service and stations have shut down. Learn more.

Amtrak has canceled Northeast Corridor service north of NYC, and nearly all service on the eastern seaboard, including

Acela Express Northeast Regional, Keystone and Shuttle trains. Learn more.

The Holland and Hugh Carey (formerly Brooklyn-Battery) Tunnels are closed. Learn more.

The Tappan Zee Bridge is closed.

FDR Drive from Battery to 155th Street is closed.

The George Washington, Verrazano-Narrows, Throgs Neck, Whitestone, and Henry Hudson Bridges are closed.

The East River Bridges – the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, and Ed Koch-Queensboro bridge – have closed. After 7 pm, only emergency vehicles will be permitted on those bridges.


All NYC public schools will be closed to students Tuesday, 10/30. For more information, visit the Department of Education website.

All City University of New York (CUNY) Colleges are officially closed Tuesday, 10/30, and all classes are cancelled. For more info, visit


In preparation for Sandy, City parks, playgrounds, and beaches are closed. Surfing is prohibited at all beaches throughout the course of the storm. Learn more via the Parks website.

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.