Monday, August 4, 2008

WCBS NEWSRADIO 880 - Current Traffic Reports for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut

I stumbled upon WINS 880 news radio's traffic web page the other day while searching for web cams. The page features helpful tips and route-planning throughout the tri-state area. It requires registration for customizable elements to store routing, landmarks and reminders. The nice thing is that the notifications on traffic includes mass transit delays as well as construction; special events such as rock concerts & sporting events are noted. Web cams stills links you to various parts of the map to guide your trip through.

WCBS NEWSRADIO 880 - Current Traffic Reports for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

MTA plans to eliminate toll booths at the major crossings

The Daily News reports that the MTA plans to remove the toll booths in favor of EZPass transponders/receiver arrays blanketing the former and increasing cameras to photograph cars who don't have the latter. The Port Authority plans to have a feasibility study lasting 14 months and it's report published soon after.

While at first light, it does sound feasible to have it done however, possibly another agenda is in the works for the MTA and, for that matter, law enforcement. By eliminating toll booths would also eliminate jobs and traffic congestion surrounding the plazas. Pollution and health concerns would also abate, albeit temporarily, should the price of oil hold firm or rise.

But what would happen to the rarely used commuter discount that the PA offers for cars with 3+ passengers? The rule is that the toll booth operator would count the heads in the personal vehicle and issue a discount, $2.00 vs. $8.00. How would that be resolved? Then, this would be a fine excuse to increase tolls and expect higher fines for skipping without paying.

Law enforcement would also monitor those crossings much efficiently in the attempt to apprehend perpetrator or civil lawyers could subpoena evidence for their respective divorce/malfeasance cases. I hate to say it but another hash mark against privacy; I should be on my toes.

Photos by MTA

Monday, July 28, 2008

Outside the lanes: WIRED Celebrity Meter

If you were ever curious of how popular you are on the World Wild Weird, check out Wired's rendition of "Are you internet famous?" Mind you, I scored a level of a catfish where the likes Kevin Rose and Barack Obama ranked as celebrity sharks. The beta allows scoring of myspace, twitter and blog/personal pages and is customizable as well embeddable into your own site. Great for getting prime seats on the next ComicCon or impressing the ladies.

Saturday, July 26, 2008 Wide spaces and WiFi - NYC-PHL

As I am writing to you all, I'm aboard the motorcoach provided by heading from 34th and 8th Ave towards Philadelphia's 30th between Market & Chestnut. It's my first time traveling this way where I would normally take my car for the two hour drive. But, because I had had work late the previous evening, I didn't want to sit behind the wheel for the long, monotonous journey this morning. Besides, have you seen the price of gas lately?

I had scoured the net earlier this week to find the least expensive manner to get to Philly and found there's plenty of choices. Friends of mind recommended taking the NJ Transit to Trenton, then switch over to SEPTA (Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority) direct into the city's center. I had that in mind when I spotted online and queried the round-trip fare. The result was a mere $20.00 vis Todays motorcoach, which is one of many of the Chinatown coaches criss-crossing the NE corridor of the USA. Early in its inception, these transports were the result of immigrants needing to get to and from the respective enclaves for employment as well as family gatherings.

As I researched further on the net yielded and I became intrigued. For about $5.50 more, I could get more legroom and the ability to get onboard power & free WiFi. Plus, Boltbus offers a reward program that offers a free trip after eight paid. For example, you buy four round-trips and you get one-way free. Well, shoot, that sounds like a winner to me. I then quickly scanned the fare and suitably paid throught their secure website. You're issued an e-ticket for each trip, allowed two pieces of luggage, bulky items like strollers and bikes are permissible without charge.

The queue boarding the bus was moderate and choosing a place to sit meant you had check for a power outlet located on third of the seats. True to form, the motorcoach is very roomy and comfortable. If only we had cup holders for our drinks and drop-down table for the laptop, this would have been ideal. I quickly logged onto the WiFi network which read "boltbus" and quietly browsed the web and caught up on email.

The glitch came on the return trip back to NY where our 6pm bus arrived about 25 minutes late due to an accident near the Lincoln Tunnel. The bus driver apologized and mentioned that they attempted to contact us via SMS which didn't occur. Luckily, we had a pleasant afternoon to stand in the open air however if there was any where to stand under a canopy during inclement weather, there were none.

Overall, the trip was a bargain. Considering the savings in tolls, fuel, wear & tear on your car, I would repeat the process. Easy to use website, friendly service and amenities that's hard to beat makes Boltbus a winner.

graphics by

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ride with the Matchmaker Cabbie

Broadway is getting narrower in August

In the quest for more ameniable spaces for pedestrians to navigate through Midtown, the Bloomberg administration in conjunction with the Times Square Alliance, the Fashion Center B.I.D. and the 34th Street Partnership are designating the stretch of Broadway between 34th street and 42nd street, "Broadway Boulevard." These business improvement districts (BIDs) are spending $240,000 for maintenance and purchase of planters that line the sidewalks. The initial cost of creating the esplanade was disclose by Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan for the amount of $700,000 according to the NY Times.

The transformation of a very well known thoroughfare is the beginning of reclaimation of more productive spaces - spaces for more commerce in forms of outdoor cafes, vendors, advertising, hotels, stores and, in turn, revenue for the city. Don't be surprised that the venue not only lure more tourists in the area but could become the next site of Fashion Week events. However, not everyone is in favor of the change. Truckers who come bring in the goods to the respective stores are going to have a hard time. So will motorists who are accustomed to park nearby maybe forced to seek alternatives elsewhere. Time will tell how this experiment will develop.

Mayor Bloomberg has decisively made his vision of the city more apparent after the defeat in Albany for congestion pricing back in April. Realizing that idle traffic does not produce revenue other than for taxis and creates pollution (smog, noise and otherwise), the city's leaders are collaborating more productive spaces. Thanks to higher gas prices, tolls and maintenance, more and more motorists are parking their cars rather than driving it.

NYCDOT plan for Broadway Boulevard/Fashion district-Times Square - Herald Square (pdf file)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

D = Bon Jovi

D = Bon Jovi
Originally uploaded by java_pot
I would avoid driving around Central Park tomorrow between 72nd street and 86th street. There will be at least 40-70,000 attendees watching the rock concert. Rarely does the MTA subway system advertise a transit bulletin featuring a Grammy nominated rock band to advise taking mass transit.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Launch of the Metro Motorist NYC blog

Welcome to a new beginning.

This is the inaugural post of the Metro Motorist NYC where motorist, passengers, pedestrians, commuters and the rest can be informed and educated about driving in the city. I, myself, needed a resource where I can go to the "How to's" guides, reviews of places and products, talk to faces and tell their stories. Do you ever wonder what do to save gas in the city? I'll point the way. Ever asked yourself what's the best deal when purchasing a used or new car? Ever saw a new car passing by on the street and you want to post it here? No problem.

Keep an eye on this space where I'll also have video logs (vlog from here on in) on what's happening in and around the city. In the meantime, please feel free to patronize my advertisers and/or drop a kind donation in support of this blog. Thanks in advance!