Monday, May 05, 2008

Monday Morning L-Train Madness:
Caught on Video

OK, so this isn't actually video from the Bedford Avenue platform. But following a complete shutdown of service between Broadway Junction and Eight Avenue just prior to today's normal morning rush insanity, the Japanese "pushers" in this YouTube clip might have been welcomed.

We stood at platform's edge for nearly a half-hour, trying in vain to insert our relatively lithe body onto not one but three overstuffed L's before successful injection (hands above head, crammed between a baby stroller and several visibly annoyed hipsters) onto the fourth.

The MTA has been responsive to the growing commuter crisis, maxing out the frequency of rush hour trains and pushing forward a computer-controlled switching system (affectionately dubbed 'robo-trains' by neighborhood Luddites) that will allow even more closely-spaced lemming-haulers sometime this century.

But given the massive influx of commuters to the L-corridor in Brooklyn (ridership on the line nearly doubled between 1994 and 2005), demand will almost certainly outstrip these improvements over the coming years. That's why we'll continue to beat the drum for year-round ferry service between Williamsburg's North Side and (ideally) East Side destinations between Wall Street and 34th. We realize the Water Taxi isn't a panacea: compared to the subway, its expensive; and waterside landings often mean transferring to a bus or taxi. But for some, it would be a pleasant alternative to the morning madness that's becoming an unpleasant way of life in Williamsburg.

Thanks to Megan for forwarding the hilarious YouTube clip!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

At Williamsburg Edge Site, Giant Crane
Marks Start of Prolonged Erection


Late last week, Williamsburg's condo high rise project du jour took delivery of a massive crane and began receiving truckloads of steel I-beams, marking the beginning of real vertical construction at the two-block site. As of Wednesday afternoon, a number of beams had been bolted in place to form the embryonic underpinnings of what will soon grow into two thirty-story condo towers surrounded by six-floor rental and retail buildings fronting on Kent Avenue between North 5th and North 7th Streets.

Gazing out from the imnotsayin offices, contemplating the prospect of the big crane dropping by unannounced some afternoon (through our roof), we couldn't help but wonder why neither this development - nor its next-door frenemy Northside Piers - are using respectable-looking big boy tower cranes. Instead, both sites are using old-school erector set truck-mounted crawler cranes. Is it the potential winds off the East River? The increased scrutiny of tower cranes following the tragic March 15th collapse in midtown that killed seven people? Any thoughts?

Cranes [Wikipedia]

Williamsburg Edge - Official Site []